Design interactions for social networks, not just teams.

Peter Merholz points to Steve Whittaker who has some yummie research papers like this one called Networkers and their activity in intensional networks (PDF), discussing how social networks are becoming more important (using ethnographic research methods.), and how we should take these into account when designing interactions, and not just design for teams.

I saw Celia Cruz’s but.

I happened to be in Central Park (New York, USA) today, and lo and behold, there was a free concert by the legendary queen of salsa, Celia Cruz. Unbelievable.

I stood in the queue for 50 minutes (not too bad), and by the time I got in and got a beer she was there, shaking and singing salsa like no other. The lady is in her late 70’s, and when she shook her but at the audience it started to rain. It hailed, it poured, and the sun came back. That was my afternoon in New York – this morning was pretty amazing as well, but I’ve been sworn to silence.

(It really hailed. We didn’t care.)

Email interface design 101.

Email interface design 101.: “Email interfaces offer the advantages of being asynchronous (you don’t have to be online to use it) and fast for repetitive sending of one step commands to a web server, and allow for requested interaction by the server. Email interfaces have a lot of untapped potential.”

I wrote a short article about email interface design because I feel it’s really uncharted territory. Any feedback is really welcome.

Victor’s looking for a decent

Victor’s looking for a decent Email Client. Aren’t we all? I’ve been really dissapointed with the lack of development in the email client interface department the last few years. I guess that’s what you get with a monopoly? Then again, I’ve been realy dissapointed with the lack of development in good photo storage interfaces, and with the lack of development in browser interfaces the last few years (can we get a proper bookmark interface finally please?). Maybe I’m just not easy to please.

Inside Intel’s Mentoring Movement (FastCompany)

Inside Intel’s Mentoring Movement (FastCompany)

“Ann Otero seems like an unlikely mentor — at least by the rules most companies apply. The 12-year Intel veteran is neither a star engineer nor a fast-track sales executive. She’s a senior administrative assistant.

But Otero has rare gifts that Intel prizes. Among the 5,500 employees at the company’s sprawling New Mexico plant, Otero is a master at tapping into the informal people networks that make the company tick. Need to know who to call in human resources about a difficult employee? Wondering how to decode the company’s internal teams? Otero knows who to call and how to read the Intel culture. Her ability to navigate Intel is so refined that she’s currently teaching her skills to an Intel manager who happens to outrank her. “

How Google Searches Itself “Most

How Google Searches Itself

“Most Fridays at Google, the search-engine company in Mountain View, California, Marissa Mayer and about 50 engineers and other employees sit down to do a search of their own. Mayer, an intense, fast-talking product manager, scribbles rapidly as the engineers race to explain and defend the new ideas that they’ve posted to an internal Web site.

By the end of the hour-long meeting, six, seven, or sometimes even eight new ideas are fleshed out enough to take to the next level of development. Some of those ideas might become new features on Google, new code or search algorithms, or a new way to juice up the Google home page.
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War Resister Becomes Savior of

War Resister Becomes Savior of Tibet’s Literature (NYT)

“There are stacks of Tibetan books in every room but the kitchen of E. Gene Smith’s house here. Many are centuries old, and from the looks of things they are practically nudging Mr. Smith out the door.

The books are just a fraction of the 12,000 volumes of Buddhist and Buddhist-influenced literature that Mr. Smith began to collect in 1965, when he first went to India and found work in the Library of Congress office in New Delhi. Most of the books were brought by refugees, who had carried them over the Himalayas in their flight from the invading Chinese.

[…] He and a few employees of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, the nonprofit organization he founded and directs from his home, are trying to have every one of the hundreds of millions of pages scanned onto a computer and made retrievable at no cost on a Web site ( “

Competition Is Heating Up for

Competition Is Heating Up for Control of .org Domain (NYT, registration required)

“An intense, largely behind-the-scenes competition is under way for the right to manage the global database that keeps track of Internet addresses of noncommercial organizations.
Although the business of registering Internet names has begun to shrink this year, as many as eight or nine bids are expected at a meeting this month in Bucharest, Romania, when the group that oversees Internet addresses will decide who should manage the list of names that end in .org.”

PHP’s new Zend Engine 2

PHP‘s new Zend Engine 2 (Alpha release out) promises to take the language tot the next level: real object orientation, good integration with JAVA and other stuff, exception handling, lots of goody goodies…

Day 1: “Jacquelin, who goes

Day 1: “Jacquelin, who goes by Jackie, lives with her mother in Park Ridge, Illinois, outside Chicago. She is 19 years old, a senior in high school, and she is an A student. The reason she is an A student is partly because she has private tutors to help her, but mostly because she studies diligently and reads voraciously. She has all of her textbooks on audiocassette, which she listens to on a special tape player that can intelligibly play the tapes at 3 times their normal speed with minimal distortion. She has been blind for 8 years.”

This is too good not to link to… Describing case studies has too long been the stepschild of user research, numbers and graphs were long seen as the ultimate conveyors of truth (see Market research). Time to change that back. There is a lot of detail lost in the numbers and graphs, and a long time ago, the medical profession (for example) recognised that. They used to do detailed case studies; what happened to that practice? These days, case studies have been all but banned to the dark back alleys of social studies, and are not taken as seriously anymore in “real” sciences it seems to me. But hell, I may well be all wrong here.

Day 2: Michael.

Belgium! Belgium! Belgium!

ITopia (via

“”callRECORD!” allows every user to dial a telephone number and to receive a copy of the held conversation in his E-mailbox.
The “callRECORD!” service is aimed towards people who are looking for an easy way to take e.g. an interview over the phone and to have a copy of this conversation. Companies may also be interested in “callRECORD!” by recording telephone discussions in order to improve customer satisfaction. ”

That’s funky. And Belgian! I just hope they start doing automatic transcription as well. “Die Spezifikation zu dem “Die Spezifikation zu dem offenen XML-Format XFML (Exchangable Faceted Metadata Language) liegt nun in Version 0.2 vor. XFML ermoglicht den Austausch von Faceted Metadata und soll den Web-Developer dabei unterstutzen, der eigenen Webseite eine automatisch generierte Navigation hinzuzuf├╝gen. Ebenso sollen Links zu verwandten Topics auf anderen Webseiten automatisch generiert werden k├Ânnen. XFML ist ein freies Format wie SOAP oder RSS; ein Anwendungsbeispiel kann auf eingesehen werden.” Yeah!