September 3, 2009
Colorful, But Not Cute
Two things I like about this interview with The Little Friends of Printmaking: a) the colors, and b) the process. Near the end of the post, you get to see every stage in the creation of a new poster. Pretty cool.
July 27, 2009
Today and Tomorrow: SECRETS REVEALED!!
So, at this point you know that I really, really like today and tomorrow. I feel like this is sorta my prototypical t&t link: presented without comment, and mostly just awed that he found it in the first place. That's what's most impressive to me about the blog: I see stuff there that I haven't seen anywhere else. Sometimes I get the feeling t&t is plugged into some other internet—some other, cooler internet.
Anyway, when I noticed that the blog was celebrating its fourth anniversary, I thought it might be a good occasion to coax Pieter, its proprietor, into giving me the password to his secret web.
(Snarkmarket) You live in Berlin; what do you do there? What kind of things do you work on besides today and tomorrow?
(today and tomorrow) I work in the digital department of an advertising agency. today and tomorrow started as my personal visual bookmarks, which it actually still is. Somehow I want to add a few items a day, so I have to invest quite some time finding them. And Berlin is a great city to spend the rest of my spare time.
My reaction to a today and tomorrow post is basically always the same: "Where did he find this??" So... where do you find it all? Is it simply from scouring other blogs? Are there any aggregators that you find useful? Any other go-to sources?
There are five sources for my content: my feedreader, bookmarks, browsing, emails, and offline.
When I find something on another blog, I mention it at the bottom of the post. So you should be able to recreate my feedreader pretty fast. And I can tell you, it's a very full feedreader.
I scroll really fast through my feeds, so if the title and the visual of an item don't catch my eye in second, it's gone. Most feeds are blogs, mixed with some news sites and even feeds from artists, architects, designers... I'm always disappointed when a good website doesn't have a feed.
Of course I still have a few bookmarks.
But some items I just find by browsing and searching the internet, or even offline...
I receive a lot of emails; I can't even reply to all of them anymore. But only a few of them make it on today and tomorrow. Strangely, I like it better when I find things myself.
I don't like aggregators anymore, especially those where everyone can post. It's not really cool to reblog your posts on those sites just to get some traffic to yours.
Some of my favorites:
Building on that last question: I feel like I see art on today and tomorrow that I don't see anywhere else. Where do you find it, and what's your personal filter for new art? Do you look for things that are creating buzz in the art world? Things that are just visually arresting? Something else entirely?
I visit a lot of websites of art galleries and there you can find the new and unknown artists. When I find an artist that I like, I google them and get to the next page where I find another interesting artist... and so on.
The filter is a very easy one: me. If the work doesn't catch me in second...
I never add something because there is a buzz around it, but it's possible that I found them because there was a buzz around them.
I guess you can tell that most of it is very visual work, I probably miss out on a lot of good work because I don't take the time for it. Others are about the material used, like kinetic sculptures made with ferro-fluids.
today and tomorrow is not an art or design news blog, otherwise I would cover anything what's going. today and tomorrow is a reflection of my personal taste.
July 15, 2009
Behind the New York Review of Ideas
But a question lingers: What is this thing?
Turns out it's the project of a class at NYU's graduate school of journalism. I was curious to know more, so I did a quick email interview with Derrick Koo—an NYU grad student as well as the site's designer and developer. Here goes:
So, you mentioned that the site was the project of a class at NYU's graduate school of journalism. Which class? And did the project set out to create a website, or did that format coalesce somewhere along the way?
The class was Robert Boynton's Journalism of Ideas, so that partially answers the second question. The aim of the course was for each student to create a small body of ideas-based, magazine-style work and to compile the publishable pieces into a blog or website at the conclusion of the class. So the idea for a website was there from the beginning; but how far we took the project was left entirely up to the students.
The title—"New York Review of Ideas"—seemed to really resonate, instantly, with a lot of people. I read some comments along the lines of: "Wow. I want to read every single thing on this site. Right now." Could you talk a little bit about the thinking behind the title, the tone, and—most importantly—story selection?
The title was Professor Boynton's idea, and seemed like a natural fit for the type of ideas-based reporting we were doing. Almost all the stories we wrote began with questions of personal interest. Professor Boynton put it something like this: explore an idea you're interested in but most people would know next to nothing about, then find the people who are best qualified to explain it or embody it in a meaningful way. I think this approach allowed us to explore a really wide variety of issues, while forcing us all to adhere to a very specific purpose. As for the tone, we owe a great debt to the late magazine Lingua Franca—the ideas in some of the stories reach an almost academic depth, but they're meant to be as universally interesting as possible. I'm glad to see that readers like this choice.
For the nerds: what tools are you using to run this site? What's the CMS? Any crucial plugins?
It's really simple, actually—the whole site is built in WordPress, which I thought would be the quickest and easiest platform to publish with. The basic concept revolves around multiple category-specific loops for the simple reason that I didn't want to design just another reverse-chronological blog. Very early on, I decided that basing the design around the categories (profiles, reviews, Q&As, etc.) was a good way to keep the site focused on the ideas rather than on the "latest story," since it was never meant to be a news-oriented project. No special plugins were used aside from a "print friendly" function (added on request).
I'm always interested in the way that journalism students' vision of the kind of work they want to do matches up—or doesn't—with the way journalism really works in the world today. Were your fellow students generally excited about the prospect of publishing an idea-rich website? Lukewarm? Unmoved?
It's tough to parse out the feelings of 15 very different students, some of whom I know better than others. But most of us probably chose to take the course because of its focus on ideas-based journalism. It promised to immerse us in a much different type of research and writing than what we'd find in your average news-writing course, or even your average post-grad first job. So I'd venture to say most of us were pretty excited about working on the site—everyone pitched in to write, edit and produce it. This was the kind of work we wanted to do—and if it doesn't match up to professional opportunities, well... people want to read it, right? So maybe the way journalism really works right now isn't how it should work.
This was a one-time, stand-alone project. So, you're telling me I will never get anything new on that RSS feed I subscribed to? Seriously, nothing?
It was conceived as a one-time project, since we had no idea what kind of response we'd receive or where we'd all be after the semester ended. But just because we don't plan to update monthly doesn't mean your RSS feed will go completely unused—especially since the feedback we've received so far has been so positive.
I can't promise anything, but I bet there are a lot of current and future students who would be interested in contributing ideas-based stories in semesters to come. I, for one, am definitely open to maintaining it beyond the original scope. I really do hope it turns into something ongoing.
File under: Interviews, Journalism, Media Galaxy
November 21, 2006
How Current Works
Go Digg it if you do such things!