A Fulfilling Vacuum

We take sharing our creative work for granted nowadays—what happens when you intentionally choose not to?

I’ve a long, deep relationship with photography. It began 13 years ago in college, took a three year hiatus and then has been with me ever since. I began taking photos for myself with little interest to expose my photos to anyone other than friends and family. Then came Web 2.0—and my habits changed. I followed in the footsteps of many others from the internet-generation—I posted my photos on various sharing sites. At first it was just to have a place to display my photos. Then it was to see if anyone else liked them. Eventually I became equally interested in the pursuit of external validation/acknowledgement as I was with the actual process of taking photographs.

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Life/Work Updates

It’s been a while since I’ve last blogged here, for good reason. As most of you probably know, I recently completed the Iconic Kickstarter campaign with my two partners at Waybury. This has predictably sucked up all of my time and will continue to do so for the next few months. The good thing is that it’s definitely worth it and we’re going to have one hell of a final product to share with the world.

However, that means that this blog will be a little light on the updates (translation: no updates) until early 2014. That said, I am still very busy blogging at the Iconic Blog which I highly recommend that you subscribe to. Since I’m going to be 100% on Iconic, that means all other projects (e.g., Frank) are on hold. That said, I put quite a lot of time into Frank prior to Iconic and should have a lot to talk about in Spring 2014.

Until then, I hope to see you on the Iconic Blog!

My Last Three Months Blogging Under Fear

I was in a bar with Rob Dodson three months ago discussing all manner of topics. About two drinks in, the conversation turned to Rob’s last big spurt of blogging. He knew just how hard it is to keep a writing routine, so he made a deal with himself—he would blog for 60 days straight or he had to give $500 to a politician he was not fond of. This sounded like a great idea, especially after two stiff drinks. I decided to do the same, with slightly different parameters. Continue reading “My Last Three Months Blogging Under Fear”

Stepping Away from the Trough

Earl Butz was the US Secretary of Agriculture who shifted domestic policy to support large-scale farm production. As a man who grew up through the Great Depression, poverty and hunger no doubt influenced his view on food policy. People in his youth couldn’t afford to eat and his policy in many ways fixed that. When he was asked about the unintended consequences of this policy, he almost looked perplexed. Continue reading “Stepping Away from the Trough”

The Age of Immortality is Over

In the past, media and information was sparser, thus great works of art, music and literature shone brightly for great periods of time. In turn, a person’s relationship with media was cherished, deep, profound. This environment enabled art, media and literature to embed themselves not only into people, but into culture. Some of which still have an impact to this very day. Continue reading “The Age of Immortality is Over”

Everything is a Prototype

Designers spend their entire day prototyping, they just don’t know it. The things designers create are more than a deliverable or an artifact, they are a learning opportunity to make the work better.

Interaction design is quickly changing. Code is becoming a design medium which has made prototyping a more common design process. This is a step in the right direction, but is missing the point. Prototyping is not a step that designers check off the list. It’s *what designers do*. Everything designed is a prototype. Continue reading “Everything is a Prototype”

Design is Implicit Education

I played a lot of baseball in my youth. Through all the years I took the sport seriously, I had a pitching coach named Lefty. I didn’t realize it at the time, but he was the best teacher I ever had. I remember at some point, he started helping me throw a slider. The slider is a tricky pitch. It’s the epitome of easy to learn, hard to master. The technique for throwing a slider isn’t hard to grasp, but it can be very easy to hang. After weeks of struggling with the slider on my own, Lefty was able to fix it with a single sentence. It amazes me to this day. Continue reading “Design is Implicit Education”

Open Source Projects Must be Bigger than the Languages They're Written In

When WordPress was first created, PHP was the obvious language to write it in. The language was pervasive, was all but ubiquitous on hosting servers and was considered a current language. That has changed. PHP is as ubiquitous as ever, but now showing its age. The next generation of developers aren’t flocking to PHP and most modern web apps are written in something else. So what is an open source project like WordPress to do? With a PHP codebase, you are effectively creating an interest barrier for many younger developers to contribute to your open source project. WordPress may be the biggest current example, but this conundrum is going to be a continual problem for other large open source projects. How do you keep an open source project modern and relevant when it’s built on top of an aging language?

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The Best Way is Through

My Grandmother was dying. She was in the hospital, being monitored before she was sent home with hospice care. Everyone in the room knew the end was not far away. My wife and I had driven to be there when we were told that she could pass at any time. Not long after we showed up, my Grandmother politely asked to be left alone so she could sleep. I knew that once I left the room, it would be the last time I saw her alive.

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