Why the hell are we building an app in the first place? via @codinghorror’s App-pocalypse Now
And for the record, I’m posting this using the tumblr website, not the app. Don’t get me wrong, I use apps across devices, but when I really want to get things done and create and/or share content with minimal bugs*, not deal with limited or nonexistent critical features or random conversion slipups, I use the web. It still works. Just like email.
The minute you begin switching between platforms – say you use an iOS tablet and an Android phone and a Windows 8 touch laptop, like I do – you’ll find there are massive differences between the Amazon apps (and the eBay apps, and the Netflix apps, and the..) on these different platforms. At some point, you just get fed up with all the inconsistencies and oddities and quirks and say to hell with these apps, can I please just use the website instead?
Now, if your website is an awful calcified throwback to 2003, like eBay, then the mobile apps can be a valuable opportunity to reinvent your user interface without alienating all your existing users. If there’s one thing I love about tablet and phone design it’s that their small screens and touch interfaces force people to think simpler. This is a good thing. But if you don’t eventually take those improvements home to the mothership, you’re creating two totally different and incompatible UIs for doing the same things.
*Now, as I say “minimal bugs”, please note that I used IE10 to post this in tumblr (I know, shame on me but you know what? It’s STILL A DEFAULT BROWSER for the uninitiated which are MANY) and of course, the upload picture pop-out did not function and the edit tweet feature is completely wonky. #browserwars
Today everybody has digital audio and music-making tools, video tools, and graphic tools on their laptops, tablets, or smartphones.”
When Mr. Pennycook began working with digital arts, he says, computing was one of the main draws to the area. Since then, computer programs and apps have made it much easier to create art. Now it’s hard to persuade students to embrace the programming side of the discipline.
"There is some resistance to the essence of programming, and I see that as a bit of a hurdle," he says.
From Austin’s New Director of Digital Arts Pushes Programming Skills via the Chronicle of Higher Education.
The way we measure data is subjective," Ms. Posner says. "We’re not talking about reality. We’re talking about the part of reality that we’re able to capture and make use of.
From the @chronicle “How the Humanities Compute in the Classroom”
I found this article to be interesting considering all of this talk about “the internet of things”. Perhaps the humanities can provide some relevancy and insight into how we navigate this “internet of things” frontier. Let’s get digital.
"We want liberal-arts graduates who are not digitally challenged," one museum director said. via @chronicle
Excerpt from No More Digitally Challenged Liberal-Arts Majors:
For several years now, I have been meeting with the center’s faculty members, students, and internship directors to learn what they are hearing from employers about our students. Again and again they hear potential employers say things like, “We like liberal-arts graduates. They are curious and creative, they write well, they can do research, they are quick learners, and they are good critical thinkers.” The best of them have the “ability to synthesize and distill large amounts of information.” And “we especially need individuals who are good storytellers—who can convey the mission of our organization in a variety of forms.”
All good so far. We liberal-arts faculty members pride ourselves on graduates who have those qualities and who can do those things. But employers also have other, more specific and immediate needs: “What we really want right now is someone who can build and maintain our website and publicize our work appropriately using social media. We want graduates who can generate content, of course, but they also need some technical skills. And most of the time we can only hire one person. Do you have anyone like that?”
Inspired by a friend and colleague working in Positive Psychology at @Penn. Alejandro was the first person to introduce me to meditation, proper. Funny story: During my days in grad school at Arcadia University, I enrolled in a Mediation course, partly because I misread the flyer and thought it was a course for Meditation—a typo that seems to happen quite frequently! :)
Through a serendipitous work association, I met Alejandro years later at Penn, while at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy. He helped me take the plunge into mindfulness. See below for an excerpt from a recent article in the Huffington Post, The Power of Mindfulness.
Koseli is part of a larger project underway by the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology PhD candidate Alejandro Adler. During travels to Bhutan during his undergraduate years, Adler became deeply interested in the concept of Gross National Happiness as an alternative development paradigm to Gross Domestic Product. This journey led him to explore the larger question of how we can help individuals and societies flourish. To answer this question, Alejandro enrolled in the Positive Psychology PhD program at Penn, where Professor Martin Seligman started the movement.
Positive Psychology is defined as the scientific study of optimal human functioning and is concerned with empowering individuals, organizations, and communities to maximize their strengths and virtues and to thrive. The movement has demonstrated that character and social-emotional intelligence can be taught. For example, the Penn Resiliency Program, which teaches the skills for resilience, is being taught to individuals in organizations ranging from schools, to businesses, to the U.S. Army. However, the majority of this research has been conducted in advanced industrialized countries, such as the U.S. and Australia, so Alejandro asked whether or not the teachings of Positive Psychology could be applied to less developed countries.
"We should have a strong arts program in every one of these schools, because children have to have a reason to come to school other than just to be tested."
Diane Ravitch Rebukes Education Activists’ ‘Reign Of Error’: http://n.pr/1dGnQqu
See @digiday’s “The Pageview’s Days Are Numbered.”
There was an article this past week that forecasted the end of the page view as a metric for determining size and scale for websites on the internet. It’s a little fascinating, when you think about it, that the page view continues to be a metric given any formal consideration given that page views can and widely are gamed by companies to create the illusion or image that a site has more visitors than it has. The page view, however, has remained a key metric for advertisers even though in a lot of cases advertisers are paying for what’s essentially not real as artificially generated page views (and unique visitors for that matter) are as such. Unique visitors, like the page view, can also be gamed and artificially generated, though not in as many ways as the page view can be.
What’s interesting is that if/when page views are eliminated as a metric is how it might affect revenue for a lot of companies in the digital business. This would include social networks, publishers/blogs, etc. There are quite a few companies out there that make a lot more money than they would due to being able to jam up page views without necessarily having anybody visiting.
But the event of this changing would be ultimately better for everyone, and better for internet business. It’ll be interesting to see if and when it happens, and what happens if it does.
The heart of the digital humanities is not the production of knowledge. It’s the reproduction of knowledge.
The promise of the digital is not in the way it allows us to ask new questions because of digital tools or because of new methodologies made possible by those tools. The promise is in the way the digital reshapes the representation, sharing, and discussion of knowledge.
Mark Sample, Building and Sharing (When You’re Supposed to be Teaching)
And by “call me”, I mean, send me a text message. :)