Archive for the 'Web2.0' Category

You Can Never Leave Dripbook. Ever.

Dripbook
I’m updating this blog post after a few e-mails with Dripbook. They are a group of people trying very hard to make an excellent service. Most of my reasons for writing this post could have been dealt with better communication on their website. I suppose that’s been done by now.

Photographers, illustrators, hair stylists etc are typically a little crap at keeping their websites maintained, if they exist at all. I appreciate any efforts to help these busy creative people show their work to the world. Dripbook is one of those efforts. I found out about them through a comment in one of the Virb art groups and Mashable have written about them too. I’ll check anything out and it seemed like a good project. Easy portfolio tools combined with a social network aspect to help you connect and promote. So I sent them an application. I had to apply because… they’re pulling the exclusivity card as a marketing stunt really. I said I’m handsome and make nice work and sent them my portfolio site (ironically). Thank goodness I was let in or my street cred would have collapsed like an underfed model. The feature I wanted to explore was their ability to publish to third party sites. Widgets that create a bit of code that refers to your dynamically updated portfolio instead of you having to create the books on your own site. I use viewbook.com for a site I built for a photographer which does that exactly. Unfortunately I never did get to trying that feature.

Most of Dripbook is fine even if it’s a bit dull in the design stakes (a web 2.0 phenomenon apparently). The upload of images was easy enough, the networking idea is a good one. After I uploaded I found that my images came out looking soft. Which is odd considering they were sized down for web use and were sharp, black and white images when they left my desktop. Even that I could figure out given enough patience. My irritation is that the site is not recognizing that I have “published” a book of drawings. It says it’s published. But it’s not visible to anyone else it seems. I’ve tried every “publish” button three times and now I’m bored. If you can’t publish, you can’t promote and then the social network is useless.

Turns out that because I put a “Mature” marker on my book because it contained drawn nudity, I encountered a legal fix:

You followed the instructions exactly and did exactly what you were supposed to do. When a user goes to look at your book, he / she is asked whether he / she wants to look at mature content. Then a cookie is places on that user’s computer, and the warning does not show up again.

 A fact that would have been good to know a few days ago.
Not wanting to spend any more time on the site I figured that I’d cancel my hard won account and focus my efforts on other tasks, like my real job. Except I can’t find anywhere to cancel, suspend, deactivate, kill my account. Really. I’ve looked pretty hard. The FAQ neatly ignores the fact that anyone would be brazen enough to leave their services. I wonder what happens when you buy a premium account ($9 per month)?

Dripbook have informed me that they hadn’t got to that detail yet.  It’ll be done now.
Dripbook is in Beta phase which may excuse any screw ups and my decision to leave their site is based on a few personal impressions, not only some basic technical glitches. The site is slow, I don’t like their presentation options and I don’t like their design.

I‘d leave, but I can’t.

ps. Turns out that no one had ever asked to leave. I have that dubious honour. My apologies, Dripbook, for being that guy.

 I have been deleted. After the short e-mail chat with Dripbook I appreciate that I was rather harsh on their Beta site. I only wish they had been a bit more forthcoming with how Beta they were. I mean, who doesn’t have a delete account button?  If you think I was a putz let the comments fly.

Colour Lovers & Classic Pallettes

 Mona Lisa

Colour Lovers have an article about colour used by some of the great painters, written in a 2.0 kinda way. They’ve grabbed the colours from these classic images and turned them into easy to borrow pallettes. If you have a website that’s looking a little dull, why not base it on your favourite Renoir and skin it right?

Link 

Image Mosaics As Ads Are Deceased

Mosaic - Prada

In advertising you sometimes get briefs that say things like: “it’s for everyone, it’s made up of all of us”, “there is tremendous range (and we want it all in one print ad)”, “we want to express diversity and cohesion”. For literal clients who want the strategy as the ad and lazy creatives the traditional fall back is the mosiac. “You see,” say I to the client, “this execution shows the COLLECTIVE of INDIVIDUALS who embody the SPIRIT of your brand and product and they all UNIFY to show your MARK 3 PHOTOCOPIER.”
Client buys it. I feel dirty.

No longer.

The mosaic option is now so easy for anybody to make that it has become a standard web tool. This makes me very happy, the mosaic as mediocre solution to stupid brief is officially DEAD.

Go here, make mosaics of puppies, kittens and your naked self until the end times.

ps. I never noticed until now how Maoist most company strategies are.

Joost TV Beta Tester Says:

Joost

I got my invitation for Joost yesterday. I would have played right there and then, but had to bring my work laptop home because the software doesn’t run on anything less than the latest Intel macs. No biggie. Installation was painless, I have a user name and the thing looks awesome for streaming TV. Just like regular TV to be honest. Content will come with time but there’s a few hundred hours viewing.

Searching is fast and over picture. It is truly on demand. It may take a few seconds to get the stream started but nothing like wading through 5 minutes of ads. The ads are targeted and fairly discreet (that’ll change!) The interface isn’t awful (the controller needs a little help) and a click on the picture kills all the onscreen controls. Slick. I really, really like it. I want to love it.
One problem. The stuttering. To be honest I am on a wireless network which may account for some of the lag but I’m ahead of the curve for bandwidth and if I’m suffering (enough not to bother watching) this service may not get mainstream acceptance.It basically relies on a lot of people watching TV all the time and some dedicated bandwidth (700kb/s download, 300kb/s upload I think).

Maybe no one was watching TV with me?

This, or something like this, is the what TV is now. Interactive, niche, high quality content , on demand.

ps. is it just me or every rugby lover out there: everytime I see the name Joost I think of the Springbok scrum-half, Joost van der Westhuizen.

[UPDATE] I’ve played with it a few more times and the skipping has definitely reduced. The resolution sometimes suffers but it’s not bad. A lack of content is a problem. I’m bored already.

Colour Me Kuler

kulerLast week Steve Rubel from Micro Persuasion wrote about Adobe Labs’ new and beautiful “social colouring” site called Kuler. He describes it thusly:

“[Adobe] unveiled a social network called kuler. Basically it’s a place for designers to share color combinations for different purposes. The site has tags, RSS feeds and desktop and Apollo widgets as well. Using the site, designers can upload color combinations they used for different projects.”

Urban Mustard and Relish

But wait! It’s so much more than that. It’s a site where designers can earn bragging rights to combinations of colour groupings that even Martha Stewart hasn’t marketed yet. It’s a place to get inspired about colour, to take ownership of swatches, to be judged by your peers. Not only is it a place to be inspired, but it’s also a serious colour theory tool that matches most commercial products in it’s complexity. My one complaint is the limit of 5 colours per swatch family, but the rest is a glorious spectrum of fun.

picture-56.png

Stressers on VIRB*


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