Please Note

This is only an archive. Styling and assets will probably be broken on single pages until I get around to manually fixing them

So one of my long-view undertakings is finally ready for public attention. I founded a publishing laboratory a while back and some of its experiments are beginning to see fruition. I’d like to nurture that seed. It’s time for my most personal project to grow.

With this publishing laboratory I, my co-founder and the team are creating a focused space. A space for the magic of books to come alive in digital form. A place where my sprawling media innovation efforts are put to one use: craft digital reading experiences to fall in love with.

pixelcraftbooks is open for business. I’m probably still available for the odd amazing thing you want to make happen, because I can’t resist amazing. I’m totally available if you want to create something to benefit readers.

…please spread the word! Thanks.

pixelcraftbooks

Product Design As Communication

Here’s another entry for the cryptic category. It’s time I formulate a design philosphy of sorts. A philosophy to help me lead and set expectations, and hopefully to inspire. A philosophy you can build a venture on.

Viewing things through the lense of communication comes naturally to me. So here we go, three tenets for communication centered design (yes, it’s User Centered Design that incorporates the creator’s constraints and incentives into a framework that views creator and user as roles analogous to sender and recipient — the product/medium really is the massage).

  1. A product speaks to its user.
  2. A product speaks for its designer.
  3. Markets are conversations.

Hence, product design is marketing.

I ain’t dead yet. In fact, I’ve been quite busy at the intersection between the ephemeral and the physical. Not quite like in the video shown here. If not in form, then in spirit.

Also, life got in the way of publishing. And then publishing got in the way of publishing. Enough veiled references, rest assured: I’ll be back.

This is the sort of post I wish I had the time and talent to write. Now, the least I can do is link to it and urge you to read it.

With a little bit of introspection and reflection on the functional constraints and social affordances of media, we can grasp new forms of communication. Vine is just an example for Om Malik to elaborate how conventions and consumer expectations emerge from a particular medium.1

So please enjoy a quick introduction to very recent media history, and some context to help us understand how technology and a peer group of users shape what a medium is. Screen sizes, download speeds, user habits, they all have a systematic relation to the way we can package moving pictures into an experience. Putting the pieces together helps us understand, perhaps even tentatively predict media evolution.

And if, after reading the piece, you feel up to it, imagine how a change in user base, like a succession of generations, may influence the development of a tool itself. We don’t read our grandmother’s newspapers, if we read newspapers at all. Do you think that the Youtubes or Facebooks 15 years in the future will cater to today’s expectations? Surely they will adapt to new users demanding their experience to matter, lest they go the way of Myspace.


  1. Incidentally, Medium, the platform, is another example where it is hard to pinpoint what it is that makes the medium. Its properties are fluid, never quite clear to either its authors or readers whether it is a distribution platform or a channel with its own voice and brand. And yet, through networked use of the technology, of the medium, properties emerge that bring value to both, authors and readers. ↩︎

Vine gets better with age: How screens, speed and networks are changing the future of online video — Tech News and Analysis

The post Bruce Sterling wrote about the state of communication infrastructure and its denizens is a gift that keeps on giving. You can read it as a piece on policy in a post globalization world, or as an analysis of where systems thinking and intelligence collide with ideals of democracy and rules dating to a premodern world. I’m sure you can read something else into it entirely, but read it you should, if you have not already. It is relevant in every context.

The Ecuadorian Library — Geek Empire — Medium