Category Archives: ideas

Positioning of radio buttons

Usability of 3rd party modules is often interesting and you can see evolution of the product through the interface. Breezing Forms is not exception to this, as it uses interesting formation of  radio buttons to indicate validation options.

Trick question: what is current setting?

Yep, it’s None. Not Library that it seems from the first glance. Readability of this form can be greatly improved by moving radio button field to the left of text:

The lesson here is that if you’re forms are making you hesitate before clicking, you probably have to rethink them.

Update: D. submitted further improvement in the comments (thanks!):

Visualizing budget of Slovenia for 2010

Slovenian budget is a 12 billion euro monster that most citizens don’t understand or even have remote idea how it’s structured and where does their money go. As it turns out, people are just not good at taking abstract numbers to go into billions and understanding proportions and what it means to spend 50 million on one thing and 1 billion on something else.

That is what I’m trying to solve with this Visualization of budget of Slovenia for 2010. Show where the money is going as well as tell a story of a country that’s so much in debt that it would be a reason for panic if it happened to a person or a company. Yet we don’t seem to talk or address the issue that we’re 3.6 billion EUR short of making budget and that we have to borrow more money to pay our old debts.

(click on image for interactive version)

Income

Spending

(red is debt)

Lesson

Having access to experts or your own understanding of the data you’re trying to visualize is essential. In this case we had to reassemble budget since they form listing in a way that presents debt separately from the rest of the budget.

OK Go – This Too Shall Pass – How to Create A Viral YouTube Video

OK Go recently released video for their song This Too Shall Pass, of their new album, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, and it shows that they really understand viral web video and that their target demographic consumes their content on YouTube and Facebook.

First, check out their video, if you haven’t yet. It’s really worth watching, even if you don’t like their music. Analysis after the jump:

As you’ve seen it’s a Rube Goldberg inspired music video that is doing everything it can to keep your attention. It starts with a shock view of singer that looks like he just slaughtered a cow and as that grabs your attentions it gives you an interesting machine to observe as you watch the video. If they kept your attention for 30s you’ve probably managed to be enthusiastic enough about it to instant message it to your friends as well shared it on Facebook etc.

Based on their recent open letter, this is exactly what brings money today to a band – YouTube advertisements and the only way to actually make serious money on YouTube, besides having 500 videos that you released over last 2 years is to go viral with a well thought our video.

This brings to a completely new problem: what sells of the internet is porn, but if you can’t show that, kittens and lolcats will do. So the best tactic for an indie band that would like to get a lot of views would be to get some cute girls and somehow embed fuzzy kittens and puppies into their video. This way you’ll have a few bonus points in terms of views and maybe you’ll be able to achieve tipping point that will allow you to skyrocket the number of your views.

Did you spot any other details in the video that would contribute towards virality and sharing?

Announcing RealTime WebCampLjubljana

It’s been two months after last WebCamp and it’s time for another party. Following the idea of BarCamps with story line, we’ve decided to organize RealTime Social WebCamp Ljubljana.

This time we’ve decided to focus on a single emerging technology space: Real-Time Social Web. If you’re not up-to date with the latest buzzwords, it’s about next generation RSS protocols like HubSubPubBub, RSSCloud, XMPP (that powers GTalk), Synaptic Web, Twitter API and a bunch of other technologies and ways of thinking about the Web and Mobile space.

Intended audience are developers and people who are close to them (e.g. interface designers, product managers, etc.) and will need to innovate in this space in the next 6 months.

We’re doing it a bit more limited this time, just 50 spaces. I’m interested in seeing how a smaller and more focused group changes the dynamics of such gathering.

The rules for the tickets are the same as the last time. Send description of your talk early and you get a ticket, or hope that you can click fast enough for the left-over tickets later. I believe that extra effort should be awarded.

The official language this time is Slovenian since we’ve figured out that locals that are not native speakers understand our geek talk enough that it shouldn’t be a problem and we can understand them as they lecture in their own language.

As always: all the details are at http://www.webcamp.si

Do internet memes ever die?

it's a cow

While observing 4chan’s attack on Spar’s “create your shopping bag” online tool, I started to wonder if Internet meme’s ever die or they’ll continue to haunt us well into the future. I’m sure that on the trivial level, we’ll soon see in Jeopardy question type: “popular internet meme’s of 90’s”, but there is a different component. Given that a large amount of our current society and youth is influenced by short and not-so-short lived meme’s – what are today’s anthropologists doing to document and conserve this information? Will we need to resurrect it from old Wikipedia dumps, before they get removed for not being notable enough?

One of the notable things happening in this area is that Jason Scott has an archive of 10 million 4chan threads and while he isn’t releasing it to the public just yet, I’m confident that this will happen in a few years time.

I do hope that there is a whole generation of graduate’s in anthropology that are wondering how to capture all the memes so they can build their careers on top of it.