“Vermont’s largest city has a new success to add to its list of socially conscious achievements: 100 percent of its electricity now comes from renewable sources such as wind, water and biomass.”

Via: ABC News

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You Need to Write

Jeffrey Zeldman Avatar“I do think it’s true that designers need to write, and UX people need to write, and developers need to write. (…) I think that when you share your knowledge, there’s always people who learn from it. There’s always someone who’s going to learn from it. And I think that’s just a great way to advance your career, and -more importantly- give back, you know, and be part of the community.”

Jeffrey Zeldman on The Big Webshow, episode #53. 5by5

As often, I agree with Mr. Zeldman’s point here. It’s not always easy to find time, and even harder to find something interesting to say. This web site illustrates both issues nicely. But even more important than advancing your career or giving back to the community is the fact that writing makes you order your thoughts and really focus on your subject. Writing does many things, from introducing you to the community, to making you a better designer, to making you re-think the ‘truths’ that you live by. Writing is to a designer what going for a jog is to an athlete.

Since 1995 (!), Mr. Zeldman leads by example at Zeldman.com. Here’s a link to a blog post about this very subject: “One blog post is worth a thousand portfolio pieces”. And if you are just looking for an entertaining, well written story, check out “Cameron Diaz and Me”. There’s much more enjoyable reading to be found there, so click around, get inspired and then head over to your blog or pull out your journal and write something of your own.

Social Media

“During the NCAA basketball tournament I heard announcer Jim Nantz telling viewers to go to CBSsports.com for “tournament related social media.” A week later I noticed a category at Maria Shriver’s site for “social media.”

Strange thing is I’ve never heard a non-tech person use the phrase “social media.” Normal people mention being friends on Facebook or reading someone’s tweets on Twitter. They don’t say, “I want to get some social media.”

It’s a good reminder of how easy it is to get caught up in industry jargon and how we talk instead of how they (i.e. customers) actually think/talk. The phrase you use internally isn’t necessarily the one you should use with the outside world.”
{Matt via 37Signals}

The problem here is obvious, but as you can tell from the comments to the post, the solution is not as obvious.

Further Reading: Social Media – 37Signals

 

Content should be appropriate

There’s really only one central principle of good content: it should be appropriate for your business, for your users, and for its context. Appropriate in its method of delivery, in its style and structure, and above all in its substance. Content strategy is the practice of determining what each of those things means for your project—and how to get there from where you are now.
{Erin Kissane – A Checklist for Content Work}

Further Reading: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/a-checklist-for-content-work/

WordPress.com starts offering Premium Themes

As of today, two premium themes are available for use with WordPress.com.  I guess that’s good news for theme designers and the WordPress community as a whole.  I just wish they didn’t call them Premium.  That moniker insinuates that commercial or ‘paid’ themes are inherently better than free themes created under the GPL license.  Maybe ‘commercial themes’ would have been a better name?

“Along with this extraordinary growth we’ve been thrilled to watch a thriving marketplace of commercial themes drive innovation and quality in theme design while producing an amazing variety of theme choices for self-hosted WordPress sites.

Now we want to bring the same level of theme choices to the WordPress.com community—it’s time to give you a chance at not only more themes, but a chance to showcase your site with beautiful designs that will blow you away with their style and quality.” {Lance Willett – WordPress.com news}

*Update
Further Reading: Matt Mullenweg on WordPress.com Premium Themes

Marco Arment speculates on the future of the Macbook Pro

I’m predicting the next 15” to be, effectively, the halfway point between the current one and what you’d expect a 15” Air to be. {Marco Arment}

Which is exactly what I am hoping and waiting for! Come on Apple, be brave, ditch the optical drive and the glass display!

Further Reading: marco.org/3027446896