As a designer, I like big challenges. Sure, you can pay the bills endlessly tweaking a pixel here and there, but it's much more fun to be on the bleeding edge. In my career thus far, I've been lucky to have had a hand in some pretty major web happenings: HotWired, Electric Minds, Blogger. Some failed, some succeeded, but they all had one thing in common: They were doing brave things, well ahead of their time.
Technorati, where I've been the Senior Designer for the last 15 months, has been another fantastic challenge. The first seven months of my employment were spent reimagining the entire product - branding, logos, features, and functionality. Since the redesign launched, in addition to evolving the design, I helped conceive of and create new features: Tags, Blog Finder, Explore, and now Favorites.
A small note to all those staring deeply into their navels and fretting about the role of gatekeepers in the blogosphere.
This is a gatekeeper.
Her name is Dana Barrett and she's waiting for the Keymaster to bring about the return of Gozer the Gozerian, who will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, he came as a large and moving Torg. During the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, he came as a giant Slor. (Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!)
So that's a gatekeeper. Fortunately we haven't seen one since 1984, when Ghostbusters came and went.
If you have a website that you post to every day, and you've amassed a sizable readership, good for you. But you are no more a gatekeeper than the New York Times is a homepage.
What you are is a popular nerd, king of your very own soapbox. Congratulations! But being a gatekeeper in the age of the blogosphere is completely meaningless.
After all, how valuable is it to be a gatekeeper in a world of infinite gates?
iTunes can now broadcast to more than one set of speakers at the same time. Previously, you were limited to sending your tunes to the speakers in your computer, or to the speakers attached to an Airport Express, but not both at the same time. Now you finally can!
What this means, in English, is that you could place Airport Express stations throughout your house and use iTunes to play music to some, or all, of them as you like.
One step closer to the brave new digital future.
I'm 32 years old. That means I missed reel-to-reel. I never owned an 8-track. But I remember vinyl. In this modern world of MP3s and iPods, there's something romantic about records.
It's the ritual that I miss. I remember flipping through my dad's albums until the immense cover art of one drew me in. I remember unsheathing the thing like a precious gem, touching only the edges. I'd place it on the Technics, press a button, and it would begin turning. I'd gently run the dust brush over it. It was deep red and soft like velvet. Then I'd move the needle, every so slowly, into place. If you did it right, it made no sound at all - you just heard the music start. If you did it wrong, a loud bonk would come out of the speakers, and a stern look would come from my dad.
I was only 10 and I knew these things were older than me. They deserved respect. Reverence.
This section is called Just a Thought. It's a blog where I post little pieces of what I'm thinking about at the moment. This page shows thoughts from February 2006, including:
Technorati, Favorites, and Moving Forward
22 February 2006
14 February 2006
Playing iTunes to Multiple Speakers
8 February 2006
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
4 February 2006
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Working the web since 1995, Derek Powazek is the creator of many award-winning websites, a couple of which still exist. Derek is the cofounder of JPG Magazine and the CCO of 8020 Publishing. Derek lives in San Francisco with his wife, two nutty Chihuahuas, a grumpy cat, and a house full of plants named Fred. More »
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Technorati, Favorites, and Moving Forward 22 February 2006
Infinite Gates 14 February 2006
Playing iTunes to Multiple Speakers 8 February 2006
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 4 February 2006