Entries Tagged as 'Culture'

Top 10 Things Science Fiction Promised Us That Didn’t Happen in 2010

The Jetsons

Image © Warner Bros. Animation

Science fiction makes a lot of predictions about the future — that’s really the point, isn’t it? The best science fiction looks at the future, trying to see where we are headed and what it will be like when we get there. Some authors are so good at this it seems as though they actually are able to peer into the future (even if only through a scanner darkly) and tell stories of what is to come. But even the best sci-fi has, over the years, gotten a lot wrong about what was the future when it was written.

2010 is almost over, and I thought it would be an appropriate time to look at a few things that were supposed to happen (or have happened) by this year, but didn’t.

  1. Flying Cars — This is a popular one to gripe about, but I’ve got bad news for you: it ain’t ever gonna happen. It’s not that flying cars are technically impossible, but they are socially impossible. I have little doubt that if our best and brightest applied themselves to the task, we could mass-produce personal travel devices that would allow us to rise off the ground and zoom through the air just like George Jetson. But imagine a world where the millions of cars on the road are replaced by millions of flying cars, or, should I say, millions of potential flying bombs. Even if we were to create some system that automatically forces cars to avoid buildings, how long before some moron with a beef against a particular government, philosophy, or just against sanity in general hacks that system and heads towards the closest sky scraper in a flying car packed with C4 explosive? No thanks, I’ll stick to the ground.
  2. A Moon Base — We were supposed to have Moon Base Alpha by 1999, or at least by 2001, but for sure by 2010. That didn’t happen. What did happen in 2010 was some unmanned moon landings (deliberate crashes, really) that provided new evidence that it might be technically possible and financially rewarding one-day to establish a permanent (but small) outpost on our lonely satellite. Well, I guess that’s something. The goalpost for a working Moon base has now been pushed all the way to 2069, according to a recent design challenge from Shift Boston. I’ll be 101 years old in 2069, so I just hope we have anti-aging pills soon.
  3. Anti-Aging Pills — Although you can not yet pop a pill and stay 36 forever, the possibility of arresting or reversing aging is looking promising. New advances in unlikely places such as nano-technology are pointing to ways that we might ingest little robots that rebuild our systems from within. But nano-bots are also the bane of a lot of sci-fi stories, turning the world into a mass of gray goo.
  4. Trips to Jupiter — Zooming off to planets far was a staple of 1950s sci-fi. What’s changed in the nearly-50 years since Yuri Gagarin took the first off-planet jaunt is that we learned space is a really inhospitable climate. No air, no water, no heat, no gravity and no magnetosphere leads to dead humans. And recreating all of this in a portable format has proven far more elusive than the dreamers of the golden-age of sci-fi first thought. Even the more realistic versions shown in 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequel 2010: Odyssey Two may be centuries away.
  5. Nuclear Holocaust — OK, so it’s a good thing this one didn’t happen, obviously, but when I was a child in the 1970s, it seemed like a high probability. Growing up with the specter of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction, for anyone too young to remember it) looming over you was a way of life that we hoped no one was mad enough to test. The made-for-TV movie The Day After scared the hell out of me when I was a teen. But no one would have guessed in 1980 that by the end of the decade the Soviet Union would no longer exist. The nuclear threat may not have disappeared with it; however, the constant specter of nuclear holocaust has, if not disappeared, at least become less of a daily concern.
  6. Virtual Reality — Sure, we have Second Life, World of Warcraft and Toy Story 3D, but the truly immersive user interface that is virtual reality is still just a dream. There’s some promising work being done with wearable computing, but its still a long way from being able to jack your cranium straight into the net as in Neuromancer, or even hacking your optic nerve with VR goggles as in Snow Crash.
  7. AI Robot Butlers & Self-Driving Cars — I want my piña colada served to me on the veranda at the perfect temperature by a slave robot. I want to be chauffeured around the city at night in my high speed luxury electric car while it reads to me the news of the day customized to my unique interests. I want all of this and I want it all guilt free. Oh sure, I can get a Roomba to vacuum my house or a Lexus which can park itself, but that’s not really the same thing, is it.
  8. Computer Overlords — On the up side, none of the non-existent robot butlers and self-aware cars have risen up to overthrow their human oppressors and imprison them in The Matrix. We’ll call this one and #7 even.
  9. Commercial Supersonic Air Travel — We actually had this mode of travel, but lost it in 2003 with the last flight of the Concorde (although we did get a very funny semi-eponymous TV show). There is some movement to bring back supersonic commercial flights, but I suspect you’ll be buying tickets to Moon Base Alpha before you are buying supersonic airplane tickets again.
  10. Cheap, Clean, and Unlimited Energy — Nikola Tesla’s dream of free and unlimited electricity seems even more impossible today than when he first proposed it in the early 20th century. Many of the wars on this small blue marble we call home are in large or small part over energy resources. Global climate change is intrinsically linked to the ways in which we produce energy. Whether it’s gas for your car or electricity for your house, we all spend a lot of money on energy. A limitless, non-polluting, inexpensive (or even free) energy source could completely transform humanity, taking us out of the energy dark age we live in now, and leading to a true peace on Earth and good will between all mankind. That’s my wintertime wish for the future. Do you have one?

Later this week: 10 for ‘10: 10 things sci-fi promised that DID happen in (or by) 2010.

Dream Jobs You’ve Never Heard Of: Parabolic Flight Crew

In Douglas Adam’s book Life, The Universe, and Everything, he shares the secret of flying: it’s the art of learning how to “throw yourself at the ground and miss.” Tim Bailey  teaches people how to do just that:  throw themselves at the ground (in an airplane) and miss in order to fly.

Tim Bailey — Parabolic Expert

Tim Bailey — Parabolic Expert

Professionally speaking, Tim wears a lot of hats. Although his LinkedIn profile gives his job title as simply “Catalyst”, it  then lists 10 separate jobs under “Current”. To name just a few, he works on SpaceVidcast, Space Task Force, Yuri’s Night (The World Space Party), and is the co-founder and Chief Operating Office of Sky Fire Lab—an independent organization promoting space travel in the media. See a theme yet?  But if you scroll down to the bottom of his lengthy list of job titles, you will see that he is also a member of the Parabolic Flight Crew for the ZERO-G Corporation. What’s that you ask? parabolic what?

Tim’s job is the closest thing there is to being an astronaut without actually going into space. He spends his days assisting and training people in aircraft flights that simulate a microgravity environment—effectively he’s a flight attendant teaching people how to fly—and he is one of only nine people on the planet qualified to do this.

Tim has performed over 150 such flights, each with multiple parabolas—where the craft goes up and down at a steep angles to create a “weightless” free-fall environment inside—equating to over 24 hours of his life that Tim has spent unencumbered by the Earthly bonds of gravity. This has led to Tim’s unique ability to, as he puts it,  “execute some fairly bad-ass flips in any axis [x, y, and z].”

In addition to being an evangelist and trainer for manned space travel, though, Tim is also a husband and recent father. Judging by his recent Twitter posts, he spends a lot of time with his family going between  Kennedy Space Center and Disney World—a true geek dad’s paradise!

I recently chatted with Tim about his job, his work advocating for manned space travel, and his own future in space.

Read the full interview on GeekDad »

Whatever Happened to Doctor Who’s Sarah Jane Smith?

The Sarah Jane Adventures wrapped its fourth season last Tuesday night (10/15) … at least it did in the UK. Alas, for we poor souls in the Colonies there is no firm date for us to enjoy the exploits of the plucky investigative journalist and her brave band of teenage sidekicks as they repel a seemingly endless stream of alien invasions. This is a shame because TSJA is one of those rare sci-fi series that my kids, my wife, and myself can all equally enjoy.

Read the full story Whatever Happened to Doctor Who’s Sarah Jane Smith? on  GeekDad »

Web Designers VS Web Developers

Some one sent me this insanely funny info graphic on Web Designers VS Web Developers. It reminds me of the series of articles I did for Webdesigner Depot: 5 Pet Peeves Designers Have With Developers (and How to Avoid Them … and the sequel 5 Pet Peeves Developers Have With Designers (and How to Avoid Them …

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The World’s Greatest Super-Hero Blues

The World's Greatest Super Heroes

The World's Greatest Super Heroes

Sometimes it’s hard to be a super-hero. It takes a lot of effort to save the world from an endless stream of egomaniacal geniuses and swarms of planet marauding alien armadas! But what about the daily problems of human existence—hunger, disease, poverty, and equality? Shouldn’t super-heroes put some effort into confronting these problems as well?

It’s not like there’s no one on Earth “Prime” trying to take on these issues. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending TEDxChange 2010 at Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. At this event, some of the top thinkers about the human condition were discussing the progress of the Millennium Development Goals—eight pressing issues facing humanity that need to be solved. The goals include ending poverty and hunger, ensuring universal education, promoting gender equality, improving child health, and combating HIV/Aids. These are the real problems that need real heroes. So, why don’t the super-heroes of legend ever try to tackle these more pedestrian, but equally important issues?

That’s the question posed in the recently released The World’s Greatest Heroes graphic novel from DC Comics. This collection of stories take the all stars of the DC Universe—Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman and the Justice League of America—and ask them to deal with some of the real issues of being human.

Read the full article on Geek Dad »

Beyond Biff, Bam, Pow: 10 Graphic Novels To Enjoy With Kids of Every Age

The Little Endless Storybook by Jill Thompson

The Little Endless Storybook by Jill Thompson

Comic books, graphic novels, sequential art or manga; whatever you call them, illustrated books are a great way to tell a story. I’ve been reading comics for most of life, except for a brief period from age 12 to 16 when I thought I was too old for them. Boy was I wrong.

I’ve been reading comics to my kids almost since the day they were born, mixing them in with other storybooks and eventually novels. One of the great things about reading comics is that graphic stories cut out all of the boring “He said” and “She said” stuff. If you combine this with distinctive voices for the different characters, your kids will always know who’s saying what, making stories much easier to keep up with.

Here are a few of their favorites, roughly arranged for age appropriateness from younger to older readers.

Read the full article on GeekDad »

Vote For Me to Speak @SxSW

I want to spread the good word of Web typography again to the fine folks attending South By South West (SxSW) at the 2011 event, but I need your help. The first round of selection is (literarily) a popularity contest based on a thumbs up or down by the public at large.

I’m proposing a session on Web typography (surprise, surprise), recapping the basic technologies, but then examining directions those new technologies are taking us. Here’s a bit from the intro:

As the dust settles from these changes, a new style of Web typography is emerging, one that reflects print origins, but is also experimenting with the unique strengths of online communication. This session begins by recapping recent advances in technology and then focuses on case studies at the borders of online typography. Designers will see how they can use the new Web typography to set their work apart from the rest of the herd.

All you have to do to help me out is give my session on Web typography the thumbs up. You will have to register (don’t worry, it’s painless) and that’s it! And if you could leave a comment at the bottom of the ballot, I would be ever so grateful.

While you are there, I can also recommend a few other great panels to vote for:

Voting ends 11:59 CDT on Friday, August 27.

So, run, don’t walk to the SxSW Panel Picker and choose the best.

Win a ticket to the CSS Summit!

•••THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED•••

It’s been a crazy busy few weeks for me as I finish up my new book CSS3 Visual Quickstart for Peachpit, but I’m really excited that in just over a week I’ll be presenting at the online event of the year for CSS: The CSS Summit. The summit is an online only event lasting from 9am–5pm Central Time (10am–6pm EST) brining together some of the best minds writing about CSS today to give you the inside scoop on Web design.

In addition to my own teachings on fluid web typography, you can hear:

  • The wonderful Stephanie (Sullivan) Rewis teaching the gospel of CSS and progressive enhancement.
  • My buddy David McFarland talking about CSS Animations.
  • The energetic Zoe Gillenwater helping you get effective and efficient design with CSS.
  • My sister from another mother, Desnise Jacobs helping you troubleshoot your CSS.

All of this for the low, low price of $149, and, if you act now, you can get a 10% (~$15) discount using the code CSSCRANFORDTEAGUE. You can also use the discount to get a meeting room ticket, getting 10% off the $449 price (~$45).

Wanna’ go? Of course you do, and I have two tickets to give away to two lucky readers.

How to Enter to Win Tickets

There are three ways to enter to win one of the two tickets.

  1. Follow @jasonspeaking on twitter and then tweet “I want to go to the #CSSsummit to hear @jasonspeaking» http://ow.ly/2cxRd” .
  2. Follow @fluidwebtype on twitter and then tweet “I want to go to the #CSSsummit to learn @fluidwebtype» http://ow.ly/2cxRd” .
  3. Add a comment at the bottom of this post with a link to a Web site that is using Webfonts (not using Flash or images) to create particularly inspiring typography.

Three ways to enter, and yes, you can enter all three ways once a day to improve your chances to win. The more you enter, the better your chances.

RULES: The contest starts at 12:00 PM EST, Friday, July 16th and runs through 12:00 PM EST, Tuesday July 20th. Winners will be announced later that same day. You have to be following @jasonspeaking or @fluidwebtype when the winners are announced OR have left a comment. This is the only way I will have to contact you. Only one entry per channel per day will be accepted. The judges decisions (mine) are final.

GOOD LUCK!

What Kind of Conductor are You?

I’m back from my whilrwind tour of Berlin and London, and still trying to process the great big bolus of knowledge I aquired during my travels. My own sessions went well, and I’ll be sharing more about those later. For now, you can view some of the photos I took , including more panoramic shots I’ve been taking on my iPhone with the remarkable application Pano.

I’ll be posting more in the coming weeks about Next10, but I had to start with what was surly the most remarkable and inspirational session I saw while there. A Noted conductor Maestro Itay Talgam spoke about what might seem like a non-sequitur at a tech conference—music conductors and their conducting styles. To be honest, I was very surprised how wonderful and useful this information was. I had not planned on attending this keynote, but after watching a few minutes of the live feed on my laptop in the main hall, realized I needed to see the rest in person. I’m glad a I did!. It starts a bit slowly, but what Itay has to say about the different methods conductors have to work with their symphonies, and by implication how good managers can best work with their team, should be required viewing for all managers. Here is his talk from Next10 in it’s entirety. There are two problems with this video. First, the audio is out of synch and second is they do not show the video examples he is using to illustrate his points—which does cut down on its effectiveness—but I think you will get the point.

Arriving in Europe

One thing I was dreading about this trip was the Jet lag. In my past visits to Europe, one of the most agonizing miseries I remember all three times was the unbearable fatigue I felt the first few days as my body got used to the lack of sleep. This generally followed a sleepless 8 hour trans-atlantic trip. This is my fourth trans-atlantic trip (averaging one a decade) and the first I actually got some sleep on. So I’m awakening, if not fresh and bright eyed, at least with the psychological sense that the night has passed and a new day has dawned.

Of course this also means that I didn’t get any work done on my Marriott 2.0 presentation, but, although I’m not done with it, I’m at least comfortable with the direction that’s taking. After watching several TED presentations I’ve decided that given the short format, it’s most important to tell a story, so that’s how I’m approaching this, and I think it will make a good one. The trick now is to integrate the why of the Marriott 2.0—which I think is what most of my audience will be primarily concerned with but makes a less interesting story—with the how—which can get more technical but will make a better story. I’ll let you know how the balance goes.

One thing I was dreading about this trip was the Jet lag. In my past visits to Europe, one of the most agonizing miseries I remember all three times wasa sleepless 8 hour trans-atlantic trip followed bythe unbearable fatigue I felt the first few days as my body got used to the lack of sleep. This is my fourth trans-atlantic trip (averaging one a decade) and the first I actually got some sleep on. So I’m awakening, if not fresh and bright eyed, at least with the psychological sense that the night has passed and a new day has dawned.

Of course this also means that I didn’t get any work done on my Marriott 2.0 presentation, but, although I’m not done with it, I’m at least comfortable with the direction that’s taking. After watching several TED presentations I’ve decided that given the short format, it’s most important to tell a story, so that’s how I’m approaching this, and I think it will make a good one. The trick now is to integrate the why of the Marriott 2.0—which I think is what most of my audience will be primarily concerned with but makes a less interesting story—with the how—which can get more technical but will make a better story. I’ll let you know how the balance goes.


DEVO Focus Group Testing the Future at SXSW

I was privileged to participated in the DEVO Live focus group at SXSW this year, where I learned a lot about the rigorous of user research testing. If you look closly, I’m at the edge of the frame when the camera pans all the way to the left, wearing my Yuri’s Night T-shirt and standing next to my buddy Phil Djwa.

They also showed us this little movie explaing what DEVO is up to with it’s re-branding:

via DEVO – Focus Group Testing the Future – #3 .

Shame on You Apple: A Musical Odyssey

Most of my friends think of me as an unabashed Apple fanboy who drools over Steve Jobs’ every word. Truth-to-tell—although I’m a great fan of Apple’s products and design philosophy—many of their policies leave me chilled or outraged.

I was reminded of this recently while I stood watching the band Stricken City at the British Music Embassy that was a part of the SXSW festivities. I was really digging the band, who had shades of Siouxsie and The Banshees and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. As they started into their last song of the set, the lead singer gave out the obligatory URL and told the crowd that they could download this next song for free from their Web site.

You can't download music files directly from a Web site to your iPhone. Why not?

You can't download music files directly from a Web site to your iPhone. Why not?

Great, I’m thinking as I pull out my iPhone and navigate to the correct URL with my
“revolutionary Internet device.” I click the link to download the album, and an alert pops up telling me that due to restrictions by Apple, I cannot download the song with my iPhone. I will need to go to a computer if I want it for free or use the iTunes store to purchase it. I later choose the free option, sending the band a contribution for it’s hard work, but was miffed that I cold not grab the song and go.

There are no good technical, security, or legal reasons why I can’t download this freely available music file to my iPhone. The only possible reason for this “feature” of the iPhone is that Apple wants to be the single gateway for all information in and out of their devices. I can sympathize with this to a certain point. Apple wants to keep a quality and consistent experience for their customers. But not allowing me to download a music file and have it install in iTunes is going too far. This not only stifles competition, it also stifles innovation.

Take one of the most important apps on the iPhone: Mail. Mail has not undergone a significant improvement since it was first released with early model iPhones. It gets the job done, but there are some very basic and obvious features missing, most notably the ability to flag a particular message and view multiple accounts in a single list. Yet Apple obviously will not permit any competing products for this service. Yes, you can get some Web app based mail programs, but that’s not what I need.

I still think my iPhone is the best device I’ve ever owned, bringing me the promise of  40 years of sci-fi tech into my palm. But I would rather Apple not take page from the Microsoft playbook and establish itself as a monopoly.

Come on Apple, open up a little: you can still make the best products, gobs of cash, and keep that whole “Think Different” philosphy alive.

Sketchnotes for FWT

Thanks to Mike Rohde for making these great “sketchnotes” of my lecture at SXSW and the Web Typography dinner afterward at the Athenian Grill . For more of Mike’s great SXSW sketchnotes, visit his SXSW Interactive 2010 Flickr pages.

Sketchnotes from Fluid Web Typography.

Sketchnotes from Fluid Web Typography.

Sketchnotes from Web Typography Dinner

Sketchnotes from Web Typography Dinner

Meeting Bruce

I was watching Andrew Keen speak at SXSW Sunday. He’s the author of The Cult of the Amateur—a book that could be subtitled “everything Jason does is evil and destroying the fabric of American culture,” so I was not exactly an unbiased audience member. It was a surprisingly small room for someone as renowned as Keen, but then again, no one at SXSW was likely to be too hip to his message.

I arrived late, and slid into a seat in the back. In front of me were a couple watching intently as Keen blathered on in black and white terms about the evils of the modern Internet and how we were all doomed.

Keen kept referring to “Bruce has said…” and “In Bruce’s article, he writes that…” At one point the woman in front of me leaned over to her companion and whispered “Bruce” in what I took to be a questioning tone of voice. The man shrugged his shoulders, attention still fixed on Keen. Now, being the helpful kitty that I am, and thinking that they did not know who Keen meant, I leaned forward and whispered that Keen was referring to Bruce Sterling. Bruce Sterling turned around and told me that he knew who Keen meant.

Andrew Keen in the middle. Bruce Sterlings head is in the bottom right corner.

Andrew Keen in the middle. Bruce Sterling's head is in the bottom right corner.

If you don’t know, Bruce Sterling is one of the most famous and influential Sci-fi authors alive today. Bruce was one of the major voices in the cyberpunk sub-genre which predicted much of the culture you are experiencing today. If you haven’t read his books, I highly recommend you do. I’m a fan and have seen him speak on several occasions, so, when I saw his face, I recognized him immediately.

I was mortified, mumbled an apology, shook his hand, and told him it was a great honor. Fortunately,  I didn’t also say “I’m not worthy.”

After the session, I left post-haste, but it was like when you buy a new car: suddenly you start seeing that car everywhere you go. We passed in the hall within feet of each other three times that day. The next night, I’m at a totally random party, and who should walk past me but Bruce.

Now, I’m not saying Bruce Sterling was stalking me, I’m just saying that guy really gets around.

Q&A with Jakob Nielsen and Kara Pernice

Eyetracking and Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen and Kara Pernice

Few Web pundits stir-up as much debate as Jakob Nielsen. His theories on Web usability are sacrosanct to some and anathema to others. For my own part, I’ve at times had to strongly criticize his conclusions at one moment while vociferously defending his theories the next. Indeed, my first book on Web design, published in 1996, was entitled Programming HTML Frames, a technology that Mr. Nielsen more or less killed with an article he wrote entitled “Why Frames Suck (Most of the Time).” Yet, when I teach Web design classes, his book on Web usability is required reading.

I recently interviewed Jakob Nielsen and Kara Pernice about their new book Eyetracking Web Usability (New Riders). I asked them about perceptions and use of eyetracking data, especially by Web designers, but it was his answer to my question about shoveling ads onto pages, something I was forced to do again and again when I was designing for AOL. Nielsen’s argument is one I often tried to use with my managers:

The question is really long-term vs. short-term business goals. If you stuff a page with ads, you may be able to make money today from clueless marketers who don’t recognize that they’re paying to be displayed but not to be seen. In the long run, a page with too many ads means two things:

  • Poor performance of each ad, as they visually compete with too many other ads. Sooner or later, even the most clueless advertising manager will realize that the money is wasted, and they will stop doing business with you.
  • Poor user experience because the clutter makes it harder for users to locate the content they care about. Initially, page views won’t drop, because visitors only get annoyed after loading your pages. But sooner or later they will stop visiting, because each visit is so dissatisfying.

If you think the site won’t be around next year, then sure, go ahead and smother it under too many ads. But beware that this easily turns into a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Read the Full Interview with Jakob and Kara on Peachpit.com »

Glorious Dawn

Web 3.0 at the Library of Congress

Tuesday I’m speaking at the Library of Congress in DC for the Fedlink meeting. They want to know about how they can improve online community aspects of their Web site, so I’ll be talking about Designing for Credibility and Web 3.0.

U.S. Library of Congress

U.S. Library of Congress

What is Web 3.0 (besides a marketing term)? Everyone has different Ideas. To me, Web 2.0 was about taking content out of the static Web page and spreading it around—RSS feeds, ajax, widgets, and the things that made online communities more viable. Web 3.0 is about taking the Web out of the browser (Web enabled stuff like Adobe Air, iPhone apps, Tweetie and Twitterific) and turning the browser into a desktop (like Google Chrome). It’s all part of the convergence of the Web into a ubiquitous place we “are” and is always with us rather than a place we “go.”

I’ll post after that and let everyone know how it went (as well as posting my slides!)

Signifier and Signified as One!

I love it when the the signified (the thing being represnted) has multiple signifiers (things that represent it). Thus, plush toy animals I found at Target that also spell out what they are. Double simulacrum. How very PoMo.

Heading to #WebVisions

I’m sitting on the Tarmac waiting for my flight to leave, headed for the WebVisions conference, where I’ll be giving a presentation called “Children of the Revolution: Reaching the Cybernetic Teen”. It’s an update to talk I gave a couple of years ago at Macworld, but is taking on increased significance as the world of social media grows.

(Ok, I’m in the air now. I have to say that JetBlue is not bad, but can’t hold a candlestick to Virgin America, at the same price (where does the expresssion “can’t hold a candlestick” come from anyway?).)

So, anyway, cybernetic teens. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research on how, by internalizng technology–both metephorically and literally on some cases– is changing the way we think and communicate. “COTR”, brings together those thoughts, focusing on the generation where electronic communication became mrs than a way to extend our voices, but our entire nervous systems.

I know, I know: it all sounds pretty blue sky, but I bring it down to earth by placing it in the context of my theroies of the Trusted Filter, and how we see the need to find credibility in the online arena played out all around us. Teen, who are at the fore front of this change are a great litmus test for how these new technologies will be adopted and how they will adapt to our needs.

(Now sitting in Long Beach Airport, which appears to be less of an “airport” and more of a trailer-park where jets land.)

The theme of trusted filters is something I see hinted at all the time in news media that deal with any form of computer mediated communication. It’s not enough just to be talking about a lack of trust online. We have to explore how the qualaties of trust are changing and how we are adapting.

(Back on a plane. Headed to Portland… Ummm, no observations)

Speaking In Styles is about done. I finished the major writing yesterday with chapter 10 (there are 12 chapters, but I skipped around some). Right now I’m deep in the woods editing. Look for the book out later this summer.

Trusted Filters at Voices That Matter

In a little over a week I’ll be heading cross-country to the City by the Bay for the Voices That Matter conference to talk about trust in design. The ideas I have researched and will discuss center around one central idea that I argue is the most important yet most over looked aspect of successful Web design: trust. Trust, sincerity, credibility. These seem to be ideals that we assume are the natural result from our designs, but are in fact considerations that go hand-in-hand with audience analysis and defining site objectives.

Designing with sincerity is not a one size fits all solution, but something that should become a guiding principal within your design process. At VTM I’ll be discussing this process and how to play skeptic to your own designs in order to gain and keep your visitors trust.