Archive for December, 2007

Mr. Zero Punctuation

Mr. Zero Punctuation

I was a little late in catching onto Mr. Zero Punctuation [Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw], an English video game reviewer for The Escapist magazine. A few scant months back, a co-worker of mine played Croshaw’s review of The Orange Box for me (knowing that I was a huge fan of the game) – and I found myself really not only bowled over by the quality of the review itself, but in the funny and unique presentation. Obviously, the guy gets his moniker from his verbal delivery… he snarkilytalksreallyfastandgetsinalotinaveryshortamountoftime – but the accompanying minimalist / information graphics-style animations are so simple, subversive, and friggin’ fast that you NEED to be paying very close attention to be getting all the jokes, cross-references, jabs, and barbs.

Hell, I’m even not the world’s biggest gamer (in fact, I remain blissfully unaware of most of the games he reviews), but whatever… I could watch this guy review breakfast cereal.

Check him out either via The Escapist or his blog.

The Union of User Generated Content Calls A Strike

In a statement released to blogs and YouTube today, the Chairuser of the Union of User Generated Content (UUGC) MastaMovie, said that Users were laying down their handicams and suspending their YouTube accounts until their demands for a share of Google AdSense was met. “There will be no more anime mashups with pop songs, no more cute puppy videos and definitely no more LolCats,” said the leader of the UUGC during a marathon 2 minute speech accompanied by video of his latest GTA exploits. “We’re the ones entertaining the masses and we demand our 5% share of the revenue stream.” Reports of severe content withdrawal are being reported from around the worl.d

Statement
MastaMovie slaughters bystanders while standing up for the rights of his Union.

Beautiful Losers

Beautiful Losers

In the early 1990’s a loose-knit group of like minded outsiders found common ground at a little NYC storefront gallery. Rooted in the DIY subcultures of skateboarding, surf, punk, hip hop & graffiti, they made art reflected the lifestyles they led…

 Watch Trailer

TED: Philippe Starck – Why design?

Philippe Starck - Why design?

Legendary designer Philippe Starck — with no pretty slides behind him — spends 18 minutes reaching for the very roots of the question “Why design?” Along the way he drops brilliant insights into the human condition; listen carefully for one perfectly crystallized mantra for all of us, genius or not. Yet all this deep thought, he cheerfully admits, is to aid in the design of a better toothbrush.

Take A Seat – Chair Follows You

The Take-A-Seat concept by Jelte van Geest is about chairs that follow you wherever you go. For instance if you’re in a library and you are a member of that library. You hold your membership-card in front of the chair and from then on you have a seat that follows you around. (via fresh creation)

Typo’s and New Types

New Type

This is an awesome article collecting type samples that have characterised 2007 and may lead 2008. As a creative guy who often falls out of touch with pure typographic expression this was a great crash course.

Link to Speak Up (via cpluv)

Credit: Trick typeface, designed by Andrei Robu / Romania

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.


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