Archive: February, 2011

The Gawker redesign misfire

After months of planning, Gawker Media’s massive redesign was released to the public a week ago. Founder Nick Denton declared the changes to be “an evolution of the very blog form”, strong words from the influential entrepreneur.

In response I took a closer look, and after a week of heavy use across several of Gawker Media’s sites (Kotaku, Gizmodo and Lifehacker) I’ve concluded the redesign is a disaster: Gawker takes a shockingly old media approach to a very new media subject matter, largely ignoring the browse and scroll-heavy tendencies of web users in a desperate grab for page views and ad buys. If this is the solution, in Denton’s words, to “the bankruptcy of the classic blog column”, I shudder for web journalism’s future.

Below, a more thorough breakdown of my four largest problems with Gawker’s redesign.
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Keeping up with news and social media: My workflow

An interesting paradox became apparent months ago at the office: As I got better organized and more focused on my projects, breaks between the action became increasingly messy and unsatisfying. While I’ve always liked to stay abreast of the latest news from RSS and Twitter, given the sheer volume of content available combined with little free time during the work day, it’s rare I ended up digesting anything of substance.

Yet, more recently, I had a revelation: Given the distractions and tribulations of the modern workplace, why bother with the rush? I now file everything away in a simple yet organized manner, going back to the content later in the day when I have time to process it at a more relaxed pace. It’s led to less stress in the office and I’m able to better enjoy the various articles, videos and other assorted content I find.

Below, the details on my workflow that I’ve broken down into two sections, gathering and processing.

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Cloud syncing and the Apple ecosystem

I tend to be cynical when I hear journalists talk about how a new technology is a “glimpse of the future.” It’s often terminology synonymous with the overly ambitious, exotic and doomed to fail.

Real glimpses of the future for me instead come in surprisingly subtle forms, the most impressive being cloud syncing: Core bits of data are stored online in the “cloud”, in turn automatically referenced by different digital devices to keep media seamlessly in sync. Just as surprisingly? The usually innovative Apple has almost nothing to do with it.

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