Subject: Gleanings: now with 30% more words!
*This is another rather wordy gleanings– I’ve been pondering how to make it more digestible. Any thoughts, short of going with an html format? I’m trying out asterisks today. and why not? firstname.lastname@example.org
*Meanwhile, those clever lads over at xplane.com have created a wonderful graphic explaining when to use flash and when to use a gif. Bless them for not engaging in the holy war.
*Tog resurrects the butterfly ballot.
The Butterfly Ballot: Anatomy of a Disaster
You will have to go to the library to read this article, boyos. John Shiple points at this
“Cohen, Laura B. “Yahoo! and the Abdication of Judgment” American
Libraries 32(1) (January 2001): 60-62. – In this piece Cohen rightly
criticizes the library profession for overlooking the many faults of
the Internet subject directory Yahoo!. She cites several reasons
for this: a) a fear that users will see our opposition to typical user
behavior as irrelevant, b) our desire to give our customers what they
want (even if it isn’t particularly good for them), c) abandonment our
mission to improve user searching behavior, and d) negligence of our
professional responsibilities. “In a world where the proliferation of
information is accelerating,” Cohen asserts, “and paradigmatic changes
are sweeping our profession, we cannot toy with our standards or the
trust of our users.” Her solution? “We should explain to our users the
deficiencies of Yahoo!, establish a repertoire of recommended
alternatives, and teach those alternatives with confidence.” Cohen
reminds me that the reaction of the library profession (not everyone,
but in general) to the Internet passed through several stages:
indifferent ignorance, denial, opposition, tentative acceptance, and
slavish acceptance. It appears that Cohen is hopeful that we can move
out of the slavish acceptance stage by remembering and reapplying our
professional principles to the Internet age. – RT”
*On Magic Features in (Spatial) Metaphors
“Every computer system creates the illusion of a virtual world containing
objects to manipulate. This is especially true in modern graphical user
interfaces. In some systems this virtual world, defined by the user
interface metaphor, is made explicit in others it is not. Explicit spatial
metaphors allow users to transfer navigational skills developed in the
domain from which the metaphor is drawn, but constraints of the metaphor
may limit the efficiency of the user interface. To overcome these
constraints magic features can be introduced that go beyond the spatial
metaphor.” from xplane.com/xblog
*Financial Times: Disney may cut jobs and abandon Go.com.
Robert Iger, group president, questioned whether the portal was a long-term
sustainable model. The concerns about Go.com mark a swift change of heart at
Disney, where until a few weeks ago Mr Eisner had said he intended to stand
behind the internet investments…
*NY Times: The Spread of News by E-Mail Is Becoming News Itself.
People often pass around news articles via e-mail. Some even do it
compulsively, in part because it’s so easy: most news sites include an “e-
mail this article” link on some or all of their stories. But until last
spring, apparently, no site made use of the statistics generated by those
*Industry Standard: Napster to Launch Fee-Based Service in Mid-2001.
Sarfeld said a survey of 20,000 Napster users conducted in December by
Webnoize showed that a large majority are willing to pay up to $15 a month for
the music download service. However, Sarfeld cautioned, this is no indication
for what the fee will be. “We are not talking figures yet,” he said.
***APROPOS OF NOTHING
*As long as I run this newsletter, I’m keep plugging pal Anton Barbeau. Scream “christina box” if you want to hear the song he wrote for me in exchange for a carrows breakfast.
“SATURDAY FEB 3 – BRAINWASH. San Francisco’s finest cafe/laundromat welcomes
back Sacramento’s finest Anton/band. (1122 Folsom Street aka 7th and Folsom)
415.861.food. we’re on “8-ish”, or so i’m told. i think we’re the only band
of the night, and so we’ll be doing a couple sets, so drag out your request
blankets and lemme know what songs you’d like to hear chopped and tweaked.
no cover, all ages!” –anton
*from the chi-web list.
“Don Norman gave an example of a conference session that had AV
problems because they couldn’t find a book the right height to raise
the projector. Finally one person took a book larger than the required
size and opened it until one half was just the right height for the projector.
He said something like, “a room full of PhDs and not one knows how to
open a book.” (I think this was Don Norman–I remember it as such).”