[…] but people who believe that ‘gamifying’ life via social media is something a large number of people will want to integrate into their lives neglect the fact that realistic implementation of these concepts has until now been ‘fucking obnoxious’ in the real world.
Paul Ford doesn’t update his great Ftrain.com site very frequently, but every now and then he does it with must-read — even must-print — essays like this. I won’t give anything away by quoting a bit from it; read it all.
I wrote this 18 months ago when Mozilla announced that Firefox wouldn’t support H.264 in the <video> tag, instead supporting only the free, open-source, fairly crappy Ogg Theora codec that nobody uses:
By not supporting the practical [H.264] format, Mozilla isn’t making a brave statement or taking a stand: they’re just keeping everyone on Flash and preventing meaningful adoption of HTML 5’s <video> element.
Change Mozilla to Google, and it’s the same argument today.
But Google’s reason to drop H.264 has nothing to do with any moral or political issue about free or “open” software. I hope they’re not fooling anyone with that.
“Facebook runs on a very stiff, crude model of what people are like. It herds everybody — friends, co-workers, romantic partners, that guy who lived on your block but moved away after fifth grade — into the same big room. It smooshes together your work self and your home self, your past self and your present self, into a single generic extruded product. It suspends the natural process by which old friends fall away over time, allowing them to build up endlessly, producing the social equivalent of liver failure. On Facebook, there is one kind of relationship: friendship, and you have it with everybody. You’re friends with your spouse, and you’re friends with your plumber.”—
I probably would have linked this up yesterday, but the site wouldn’t pull up from me — presumably due to all the traffic from the tweets about it. The latency is well-deserved. Their impressive portfolio is front and center, and there isn’t a lick of Flash as far as I can tell.
Even better, every portfolio piece has a unique URL. If there’s one thing agency sites desperately lack (mostly due to being done in Flash), it’s the ability to link directly to a portfolio piece. Many such pieces have gone unmentioned on this site because of that.
Jaw-dropping simplicity and elegance. It’s really an impressive website. An example for many self-appointed Web designers.
Great piece by Andy Ihnatko. I particularly agree with him on this bit:
- A successful slate doesn’t necessarily need to run Android.
I’m not convinced that sheer metric tonnage of apps are a real feature for a tablet. I know it isn’t a real feature of the iPad. After ten months of iPad ownership, during which I’ve defined and acquired the dozen or so apps that I really need, my app purchases have slowed to a trickle.
Users won’t care that your slate doesn’t run Android or iOS if you can provide them with a surprisingly short list of apps that turn a slate into a useful tool. Office apps, Netflix, Pandora, book readers, apps that plug the user into their cloud storage accounts, and a handful of media apps will cover most of a user’s needs.
I’m actually more eager to see HP’s WebOS slate than anything that runs Android.