Jill has posted a description of her latest class. It has some great links to a number of web-based stories and some to some of the early pioneers of hypertext. I sometimes feel like I'm actually attending Jill's classes by correspondence, or like I've snuck into a class I'm not really enrolled in.
I sent an email to Johnnie Howard the other day and yesterday I received a reply. I almost missed it, actually, as it was in the junk mail folder with all the mortage and investment advice &tc. When I say reply it was more along the lines of a "this email is to thankyou for you email and to tell you that you won't be receiving another from us in the near future". Kind of like the letter I received last Christmas from MIFF telling me that I wouldn't be receiving a Christmas card. Rather disappointing, I thought, but not at all surprising.
Sensei accused me yesterday of deliberately trying to distract him from his own MA by posting links. He retaliated by sending me this link Pictoplasma. It's a funny kind of a site- it has a tantilising page of characters that you expect to be able to click and see at least a close up, and hopefully a little bit more information. But no, they are merely rollovers. And then it has another weird nav at the bottom which is actually quite difficult to manipulate. The images flick through at their own pace, like animated gifs and the user is unable to control the speed or to stop on an image of interest. This is a shame as there are some great images on there.
Claire has started a very good system this year of constantly changing list of "favourite" sites. It's a great list, too and I have found some wonderful sites this way. Yesterday I clicked onTadahiro Uesugi Illustration. Beautiful, sixties-esque illustrations, broad areas of flat colour and a fantastic use of negative space. I like it a lot.
As I walk through the Fitzroy Gardens I often pass a guy walking along reading a book. He is always so intent on reading it that I wonder how he prevents himself from straying off the path and blonging into a tree. I love seeing people doing this. I like it that they can be so caught up in a story that they are prepared to attempt something that not only makes them look fairly stupid, but is likely to cause them a degree of bodily harm.
And it always makes me want to tear the book out of their hands and say "What is it? What are you reading that's so fabulously interesting that you can't stop, even while you are walking?"
She is looking out the window but talking to me.
"I remember someone telling me a story once about the milk bar on the corner of her street. The owners had a baby, and as people often do, they put a notice up in the window saying "'Its a girl!' "
"Yes." I say "That's pretty common."
"But you see, it didn't stop there. A little while later a new sign went up that said 'She's got her first teeth!'. Then another sign; 'She's started walking!'. It became a habit for the people in the street to glance at the sign every day to see what was the latest development."
"How long did this go on for?"
"Well, apparently it went on for years and years. The notices in the window announced her first day at school, her birthdays, her successes at the Sports Day events. The person who told me the story eventually left the street and hadn't been back since then."
"We should go and find out where the shop is and see if there are still signs. How awful if they'd stopped."
"Yes, I'd like to do that. But I can't remember who told me the story in the first place."
"Oh. That's a shame."
"Yes. I often think about it, I must admit. I wonder if they kept all those signs. And I wonder how the girl felt, when she was old enough to understand, about having her life posted up in a series of headlines in the shopfront, next to the lost cat notices and babysitters for hire."
A link sent to me from Y which I daresay is doing the rounds. It uses the interface and layout of a game and it takes a moment to realise that it's actually not really interactive at all (beside a couple of clicks and rollovers.) It's possibly a bit long for my short attention span, but still, it's an interesting play on people's expectations, I thought, and a clever way of putting across your personal take on current events.
Video Log Every now and again I'll have a click through the blogs listed on the blogs I read regularly, just so I don't read the same ones all the time. This morning I was looking on Mark's site and clicked on the link to Ryan Francesconi. Ryan is a musician programmer and artist and he has a number of quicktimes, flash movies and sound grabs on his site. I thought they were great- I particularly like 3 musicboxes and noiseorgan. This last one is sound only, but I love the way he's set it up so that the user triggers off the quicktime sliders to play over the top of each other.
Here's an article by Tony Laszlo on Blogs and Klogs (knowledge logs).(It's a pdf). As he explained to me when he contacted me about it, it's written for a business audience, and one who might not be familiar with the blog genre. I must say I'm a little scared by the idea of mandatory workplace blogs to make workers accountable for how they spend their time. I've always been struck by the hideousness of lawyers having to break their days down into 7 (?) minute time chunks. A workplace blog would be even worse. Knowledge-sharing is one thing, but it sometimes starts to sound more like timesheets.
This project presents the diaries, photgraphs and letters of American Gertrude Bell who travelled extensively throughout the middle east during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Although the interface is functional rather than aesthetic (how I'd love to do a Flash version...) the content is very interesting. I can't imagine that there were terribly many Westerners, let alone women, travelling through these countries, learning about the language and the culture at this time.