Links for January 2013

Snow Fall - The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek

Hands down the most fascinating thing I’ve come across online in the past month has been the New York Times’ multimedia feature, Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.

I tend to steer clear of the ‘interactives’ spewed out by newspapers – the flashy stuff always seems to come at the expense of me getting to the information I want – but this one works. The diagrams were useful and supported the text, the photos and videos brought a more personal dimension and the whole thing added up to something that really gripped me.

Arts/digital links

Paola Antonelli (senior curator of MoMA) and Steve Crossan (director of the Google Cultural Institute) discuss how culture will be redefined by innovations at the point where art and technology meet.

process.arts is “an open practice platform for sharing art, design and media practice based learning and teaching”. It took me a while to get my head round what was going on – it seemed quite chaotic. I think that’s a good thing and might even show that it’s working.

A couple of music things: beat matches parts of several songs into a single mp3 and Plink is an entertaining multiplayer music maker.

Tim Wray is a PhD student looking at “how computational methods and interaction design conventions can be used to create beautiful, engaging experiences for museum collections”. This is his blog.

A break-down of some arts start-ups (or ‘businesses’ as I’d much rather they were called) and how they plan to make money. Includes, Artspace, Exhibition A, 20×200 and Paddle 8.

A trio of cultural apps:

  • Played in Britain: Modern Theatre in 100 Plays, 1945-2010 uses photos from the V&A’s collection to illustrate 100 plays of the postwar period, with essays, reviews, interviews and extracts
  • Magic in Modern London from the Wellcome Collection uses images from nine different archives and has layered soundtracks, illustrations, audiovisual material and geo-cached readings from Lovett’s work
  • The Orchestra for iPad allows real-time selection of multiple video and audio tracks, with an automatically synchronised score and graphical note-by-note visualisation of pieces as they are played

Other links

Tis the season for end of year round-ups. Too many to bother with, although I watched Rewind YouTube Style 2012 a couple of times. Not because it’s all that good, but because I’m interested in how YouTube’s most successful channel owners do what they do. If you put stuff on YouTube and want people to see it then follow the links and work out what those guys do better than you.

Ok, one more round-up. Big Spaceship’s post on the Most Interesting Web Experiments of 2012 is worth a read.

This comment on Reddit about Facebook Page hijacking was pretty fascinating. I hadn’t thought about this.

Having apparently conducted over 60 studies on the ways children interact with tablet devices, Sesame Workshop (the nonprofit behind Sesame Street) has released a best practice guide for children’s app development.

Some people will see a video titled ‘A Marketing Optimization Framework‘ and run a mile. Fair enough but, as these things go, I thought this was pretty good. If you don’t watch it, here are some words to live by:

All web analytics and marketing metrics should have a clear line of sight to the financial statements of an organization. This framework describes how you would set this up to create an accountable analytics nervous system to meet the needs of the organization and please the C-Suite

KPCB Internet Trends 2012 has lots of tasty stats and, as ever, the ‘Re-imagination of…’ is good. Those iPad figures always surprise me.

I don’t agree with everything written in Invasion of the cyber hustlers but it’s good to read something to temper the evangelism every so often.

It’s not so much my area, but UX Archive – screenshots showing how mobile apps do sign-ups, search, sharing and so on – was still pretty interesting.

Google have released Data Highlighter for event data. If you look after a website that publishes event listings then you need to take a look at this.

Apps, services, etc


Google have put out a couple of Google Analytics in real life videos. The online checkout video apparently went up a year ago, but I hadn’t seen it before. I know it’s meant to be funny, but I can see myself showing this to people to illustrate a point.

Published by Chris Unitt

I work at One Further, doing digital projects with cultural organisations. Follow @ChrisUnitt or find me on LinkedIn.