• Bruce Sterling bids farewell to Beyond the Beyond

    Beyond the Beyond, the blog by Bruce Sterling hosted by Wired, is shutting down this month. It’s been a staple for the blogosphere, so it makes me sad to see it go. Read the farewell post, and – if you were a passenger on the ride – take this moment to reminisce a bit. Also, how nuts is it that Wired didn’t pay for all that content?

  • Social Needia

    Social Needia

    All arguments over and done, we stand on different sides of the barricades. Either you believe the claims of corporations making money selling your data – words, photos, videos, dreams – or you don’t.

    I don’t.

    It all boils down to trust and you pick who you choose to believe. Just don’t tell me you haven’t been bothered by the ads you see on Facebook and Instagram, that everything doesn’t feel a tad uncanny. Because it is uncanny, weird, and – dare I say – plain wrong.

    We’ve been had, and we don’t want to see it, because we need it. Now more than ever.


  • Five Things (April 10th, 2020)

    Some things are not important and/or baked enough to be proper posts, nor are they journal entries, and then those things go to die. (Or end up in the newsletter, I guess…)

    No more. I’m resurrecting the list posts, because if blogs can be back (they never left), then so can list posts. Buzzfeed’s stocks are soaring, I’m sure.

    I used to do these Things Enjoyed lists a few years ago. Time sure flies, and now we’re all in quarantine and bored, so this sort of thing feels quite on point again. The concept is simple. I write about five things I’ve enjoyed recently, you read it, and then go about your day.


  • Turning 40

    Turning 40

    I’m turning 40 today.

    (Please hold your applause.)

    My girlfriend says turning 40 changes you. Or rather, that it’s different afterwards. I’m not so sure, it’s just a number, right? Maybe I’ll feel different about it later.


  • Nobody Meant Social Distancing

    Nobody Meant Social Distancing

    The WHO has changed “social distancing” to “physical distancing” and know-it-alls all over social media are patting their backs. Yes, it was a clumsy choice of words to begin with, but honestly, did you think that “social distancing” was about not talking to anyone? Not texting, twittering, facebooking, whatsapping, communicating?

    No, of course not, that would be stupid.


  • Services I’m Quitting

    Services I’m Quitting

    Social networks gobble up your time like a hungry duck, while also taking all your thoughts, your photos, your insights, and your personal information, and selling it. That’s disgusting, isn’t it? It’s not just what you and I write either, it’s people, places and companies we mention, which means you get targeted by association too.


  • New iPad Pros

    Apple announced new iPad Pro models, with a new and really cool keyboard to boot, yesterday. Yes, I ordered one, because now that I’m lugging around a 16″ MacBook Pro, the 12.9″ iPad Pro is a bit much – they overlap for me – so I got the 11″ model. That is the only reason I’m opening my wallet this time, because my current iPad Pro isn’t breaking a sweat in my workflow. Size is important though, and this lets me go back to smaller bags when I’m not carrying the whole damn office with me.

    I’m looking forward to a smaller device again, both for reading and writing in coffee shops (when the damn COVID-19 thing has blown over, that is). Less so for designing, screen real-estate is key there, but that happens on my MacBook Pro too, which offers even more pixels to push. I think the only time I’ll miss the big screen is when reading comics, and watching something in bed.

    (I won’t comment on mouse support until I’ve tried it. It does look pretty clever though.)

    Apple also announced an upgraded MacBook Air, which looks great. I’d be all over that a decade ago.

  • Yes, I can tell COVID-19 affects you

    There’s an email about COVID-19 and what the sender does about it, or rather, an affirmation that it is taking the virus seriously, hitting my inbox every other hour. These mails is from grocery stores and shopping malls, todo app developers and gaming companies, airlines and tech giants, and so on. They’ve all seen fit to write the same bloody email about COVID-19, and spam the world with self-righteous words meaning nothing.

    Yes, I get it, we get it. The virus affects you, and you might have to make some changes in your offerings (most don’t), but I shouldn’t worry because you’re following the development closely. Thank the heavens, what would I ever do without this knowledge.

    This situation is hard, more so for some than others. Nobody needs a we take this seriously email from a business. Add value or shut up, it’s as simple as that.

  • A Book on Honest Design

    My friends at Smashing Magazine – who actually wasn’t involved in the creation of the Smashing WordPress books that I wrote, but had a partnership with my publisher, John Wiley & Sons, thus the logo on the first editions – has a new book out. They’ve been publishing some great stuff the last couple of years, on their site as well as in book form, and this one looks to be no different. The new book is called the Ethical Design Handbook and is written by Trine Falbe, Martin Michael Frederikjsen, and Kim Andersen.

    The Ethical Design Handbook

    Read more in the announcement post, where you can also get a sample PDF, and buy the thing digitally or in print. I can’t wait to dig into this one.

  • Just Cancel All Conferences Already

    The number of cancelled conferences due to COVID-19 is growing, SXSW is the latest big one to cancel. It’s not just the organizers that take a hit when a conference is cancelled or postponed, hotels and restaurants, tourism in general, and so forth suffer too.

    I propose that all conferences and trade shows should be cancelled. Let’s reboot and restart, kill off the whole circuit and find something new. If you do business visiting these things, then you’ll find another way, because business will be done no matter what. And if you make your living on or around the shows, well, you’ll have to adapt. That’s the way of things.

    Maybe I’m just channeling my inner hatred for crowds, and the fake importance of the stage, but I don’t feel that cancelled conferences is such a bad thing. Take this opportunity to find other ways to get what it is you get from conferences. Write down all the good things, and replace them with alternatives. I’m pretty sure that’ll be easier than you thought.

  • Things I miss on my Surface Pro 7

    Things I miss on my Surface Pro 7

    I’ve been using the Surface Pro 7 instead rather than my iPad Pro for a week now, as part of my Surface Experiment. It’s a mixed bag.

    When you challenge your tools and workflow, there will always be friction. That’s why I’ve committed to this experiment. I don’t really expect to make a full switch to a Windows-driven ecosystem, but I want to know what it’s like on that side of the fence.


  • Letting Clients Go

    Letting Clients Go

    I’ve been running various sorts of consultancy businesses since the late 90s, and doing mostly digital agency stuff since the early 10s. I’ve worked with big brands and small, with startups and institutions older than my late great-grandfather. There’s been a lot of clients over the 20+ years I’ve been doing this, and I’ve learned a lot from both successes and failures. Mostly the latter, as we’re wont to do.

    Saying goodbye to a client, by which I mean letting them go, boils down to four reasons:

    1. They’re unhappy with you, or the work you do together.
    2. You’re unhappy with them, for whatever reason.
    3. The work has stagnated and frustration brews.
    4. They’re total asshats.

  • The Surface Experiment

    The Surface Experiment

    People who keep reloading my setup page knows that there’s a lot of Apple stuff there. Apple does quality hardware, and decent enough software, for me to lean on them when it comes to my computing needs. But there’s always a different side to the story, and it’s all too easy getting caught up – or plain caught – in what you have and know.

    So I’m typing this on a Surface Pro 7. Well, not the actual device, I’m using the Type Cover, but you get the point. The reason for this is twofold. Changes over at Divide & Conquer means that we’ll be without an office in a month or so. This is all fine, but it does mean that I need to lug my whole gadget park with me, to wherever I’ll plant my behind to get some work done. An extra Android phone is one thing, but the old Alienware laptop we’ve been using for Windows testing is twice as heavy as my brand new MacBook Pro, so that’s out of the question. Especially since I always carry an iPad Pro too, of the 12.9″ variety at the moment, as you probably know if you’ve gotten this far. I – we – need a Windows test device, and the Surface line is as good as any. That’s where it all started.


  • Brain dumping (or welcome to my (b)log)

    Things aren’t looking like they used to here. Yesterday I finally flipped the switch on the new site, then I went to bed. It’s by far the most low-key launch I’ve done in years, but it shouldn’t be. This is my online home, my corner of the web, and while I never forgot about the difference between participating on a social network and actually publishing a site of your own, I didn’t exactly live it, did I?


  • Hi, HEY

    Basecamp is doing something with email, called HEY. They have a glorious domain name for it too, hey.com. I’m intrigued, because although I’m not an active Basecamp user at the moment, I have been, and they’re doing a lot of things right.

    So I sent them an email, as requested.