Paperless Libraries

As I write about shifting conversation, I have come across what could possibly be the first paperless public library in the world. Needless to say, I am reading and writing in the virtual space.

Some years ago I was invited to do a presentation at a seminar about publishing. The key take away of my presentation was that the real change is happening at the ends of the value chain, i.e. how book is being created and how the book is being read. I had stated that even though all this has implications on the way books are designed, published and distributed, the real change in the book space is that what really matters is the conversation. It is a big conversation, which cannot be limited to the physical book. Even the word ‘book’ needs to be used with caution.

The paperless library draws focus on the user. It is the user that consumes, shares and creates more knowledge. To appreciate the book, one has to appreciate the conversation around it…to the point of dedicating well designed spaces for such an activity.

The 3 year old presentation follows below:


Navigation Menu

Navigation Menu

This is the office lift. I cannot help but associate the brighter button to the navigation menu one finds on various online sites – I am currently writing a “new post” and so the “new post” button is brighter…showing me where I am heading to. Just like the lift navigation menu.

I’m a DJ too!

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In March, Jimmy Iovine hinted at what his next project is all about. The project revolves around a kind of music curation where you can get a custom list made for you by a team of music lovers. The interview is available here. In the meantime, Grooveshark launched “Broadcast” just 4 days ago. The service makes listening to music a public experience.  This is what the blogging community had to say about the service:

Grooveshark’s Broadcast is attempting to recreate the experience of a terrestrial (aka old school) radio’s DJ shift. A Grooveshark user will first start broadcasting their music selection, which is available to anyone who wants to listen in. From there you’ll basically just play songs from your own collection of music as well as insert 30-second recordings that can introduce songs, sets, or provide commentary about anything. When you stop DJing, you can either hand off your audience to another DJ or your station goes off line. Read more

These new ways of listening to music continue to offer new ways to interact with friends. One day we’re at the office together, next day we become DJs and run a social “radio” stream on weekends! One question remains, what happened to the “request a song radio shows”, are they dead or is this the new way of doing things!?

International Day of the Book

Today is the international day of the book. 3 years ago I did the crazy thing of starting my PhD in New Media. In one of my lonely study trips at the School of Arts & New Media I had written a post entitled “The Book is Social”. Over the years, iPad and Kindle became more mainstream. Both these tools could be seen as a threat to the publishing industry. Just today, I had a discussion with an advocate of the book in its original state. However, these tools make it much easier for us to read together. On Kindle for instance I can read the book on multiple devices, share notes, highlight favourite quotes and share all this instantly. Just like the old days when publishing was too expensive to be afforded by the mass, and reading happened in public spaces.

The 2010 post can be found here



The rise of the “app”, as early as 1991

So interesting to watch this video in retrospect. It spells out the early origins of the “app” notion, the idea of apps for work…and stretching it, “social” networks when Jobs refers to Interpersonal Computing (IPC). Thinking that the AppStore was the first idea of an app, is missing out on fundamentals of the same notion.

A related read I came across is that by Donal Norman (1991). More about it here –

My reads on design

In my university days I designed for a hobby, mostly print, but also did some online stuff. Since then, my idea of design evolved thanks to inspiring reads. A classic read I came across in 2007 is Tom Peter’s Essentials (in a sentence, Design is more than fonts and colours), but there’s more.

Over the past 3 months I came across these three reads:

Design Interactions by Bill Moggridge –

Design for Growth

Change by Design

I am sure there are many more, so if you’ve landed here, feel free to add to the list, via email or comment.

Facebook Home – Keep chatting, even when you’re using other apps

This is one of the claims that Facebook makes of its new Facebook Home. There has been a lot of hype on the new offering from Facebook. At the face of it, Facebook’s launch is nothing but an interface re-design, but it would be wrong if it had to stop at that.

Facebook’s Newsfeed in 2006 could also be considered a re-design but it caused at least 700,000 users to protest against it. Whilst Facebook claimed it had exposed nothing more than the already available information, users felt otherwise. Prior to Newsfeed, users had to go in respective profiles to keep up to date of what was going on.

Facebook also got its fair share of criticism when Timeline was launched. Once again, all the information Timeline contained was already available prior to its launch. I recall that I spent an overnight downloading all my Facebook data before Timeline came about. Seeing years of personal posts and exchanges in one file is close to scary.

Home seems less intrusive from a privacy perspective, but definitely overwhelming from a user experience point of view. With the Facebook app you could take Facebook with you on your phone. With the Facebook Home variant, you take Facebook with you even when you are roaming around the virtual space. Facebook claims that you can keep using Facebook whilst using other apps. You do not need a social app to get social whilst using it.

Facebook’s Cover Feed takes on from the Windows 8 tiles concept. With the Windows 8 tiles, you can access content without going into the grid like app menu found on all smartphones.

One looks forward to watch Facebook Home move from its intended use to its emergent use as many of us adopt it as their conversation hub.