the evenings out here - Thoughts, rants and musings about absolutely everything except photography. Or cats.

Meanwhile, on the ‘B’ Ark

turn down the signal, ramp up the noise

in General Rants , Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I’ve been tasked with “doing something with Twitter” on the project I’m working on just now, which is still under wraps. Well, I’ve “done stuff with Twitter” before, and I’ve been on Twitter. And I found it creepy and really, but really disturbingly superficial.

But anyway, I’m supposed to be being paid to do what I’m told, so I though a quick refresher might help, and I’m reading The Twitter Book by Web 2.0 Cult High Priest Tim O’Reilly (who I also find creepy and superficial) and Sarah Milstein (who she?).

The book design follows a sort of playschool format, with big letters and big pictures on small pages, which I guess is the designer’s wonderfully subtle way of referring to Twitter itself. Whether or not that is a good thing is somewhat open to question.

By page 120 of 240-ish my eyelids feel like steel shutters and my body is invaded by narcolepsy. It is so, so, so dull. It really doesn’t help that it parades the same old Web 2.0 names in cutesy referential ways, or that all of the examples have a very strong gee-whiz San Francisco air about them.

Above all, it is so remarkably self-glorifying, self-referential and vapid. Which, actually, is well matched to the subject, I guess.  “Be interesting to other people”, preach the authors. They could start by taking their own advice to heart.  Well, I’ve got a message to all you Twitterers: the ‘A’ Ark is coming real soon now.


Identikit Airlines

in Irreverence , Thursday, January 04, 2007

Just seen that the Swiss budget (well, so they claim) airline Helvetic has rebranded. From their frankly eye catching lurid pink (or whatever it is), they now look Exactly Like Every Other Swiss Airline: helvetic.jpg Seems that unless you've got a white cross on a red background, you just don't cut it in the Swiss airline industry. Here's three other Swiss airline liveries. I'm sure I've missed some. Spot the difference: boeing767_c.jpg sw-oc-A321_high_c.jpg flo1_c.jpg One trace of originality still survives at Geneva based Baboo... but then again, Geneva isn't really in Switzerland... dash.gif ...and anyway, if you squint it still looks pretty much the same.

Stupid dialog of the day

in Irreverence , Tuesday, June 28, 2005

And a prime example of corporate stupidity. I am sure that somebody at Microsoft must have pointed out that "Stop" is hardly the best choice of label here when the user wants to "Safely Remove Hardware". "Stop" a memory stick ? Huh ??? But that somebody's manager's manager will not have seen any political capital to be made from changing it to something sensible... (the followup confirmation is even worse by the way) removedialog.jpg

The BBC clears it all up for us

in Irreverence , Friday, May 13, 2005

BBC News online has a typically muddled article today which talks about mobile phone user interface complexity. For those of us watching at home, Auntie Beeb has decided that "user interface" is an "awkward term" and can explain to you that, "simply put, (this means) the way a device presents its wares and functions, and how to get to them, to people." Much clearer then. I'm glad they've explained it so well. By the way "simply put" is a complicated way of saying that using 19 words where 2 are perfectly sufficient is a jolly fine idea.

More popular than 7 million other losers: official

in Irreverence , Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I've just registered myself at technorati. This has provided me with the nugget of information that my estimate that this blog was number 46,786,342,113 might have been a bit out. Seems that as far as tecnorati are concerned, The Evenings Out Here is ranked at 1,108,851. By a really strange coincidence, it's close relative, Photoblogography, is ALSO ranked at 1,108,851. Strange doings indeed. Technorati claims to be watching 8,994,847 weblogs. So either (wait a minute, let's fire up Calculator, I can't do this stuff in my head anymore) there are 7,885,996 which they're watching but are not registered...who are these guys ? the CIA ? the Rosicrucians ? Andrew Orlowski ? ... or I'm more popular (twice more in fact) than over 7 million other weblogs!!! I think I'll settle for the latter. Now I feel good.