Every archive has an intended logic, a day logic, with well-defined topics, alphabetical orderings, hierarchical taxonomies, or cross-referenced indexes. At night we see less of what is intended and more of what is there.
Having a family with secrets will turn a child into a detective.
Hello and welcome to our Dark Archives tour. Please make yourself as comfortable as you can.
This seems too simple to have to say, but sadly it has to be said: if you are in the business of selling fiction, your website should have fiction on it.
As writers, we research in-depth features, sure—but we blog to fill time between features, and we tweet to fill time between blog posts. As readers, we pull-refresh and pull-refresh again, awaiting the news like a child up too early on Christmas morning.
A digital collection still needs a story to support outside interest, something stronger than “full-text searchable.” Without curation, what’s the difference between a digital archive and the rest of the internet?
What if intertexts could be invisible unless you were looking for them, so you could read without noticing them or mouse carefully over every word looking for clues? What if intertexts could overwrite, fade, or push aside the text at hand? What if the text could fight back?
This exhibition of items from Miss Windhill’s personal collection is held in conjunction with the announcement of the first holder of the position of Windhill Storyteller-in-Residence.
Beyond these questions of design, digital production, and commerce, the book’s relationship to the world is changing—or perhaps simply resolving into view in a higher resolution.
In countless organizations, there’s precious little talk about these shifts in form—much less the shifts in practice they’ll require. Which means we’re in danger of leaving too many people behind as we, the already converted, whirl away into the future.
Drop your CMS. No more WordPress. So long Tumblr. Come, trade shrines for community and see what we find.
Our work is made up of beeps and blips that can be endlessly reworked, so why are our design systems more rigid than ink locked on paper?
Stacks allow you to control the rhythm of an argument at the level of the sentence, the phrase, or even the individual word.
We’re constantly switching accelerations; we’re jumping between time frames. That’s what we’re asking people to do every time we make something new, some new tool or product. We’re asking them to reset their understanding of time. To accept that the sequence we’re asking them to follow is the right way to do a thing.
I’m tempted to claim that hypertext empowers us to represent more complex conceptual topologies than older literary technologies, but I’m not completely convinced of that myself: consider the subtlety, nuance, and explosive range of interpretation embedded in your favourite poem. It’s more accurate to say that hypertext enables complex conceptual structures to be explicit—baked into the artifact, rather than emerging through reading.
It’s hard to fake being useful. You have to know what you’re doing, from your strategy all the way through your execution. But, when useful content is so important to your credibility as a source, it’s hard to justify anything less.
Online communication technology has shown the potential to shift the balance of power to a nation’s people. And we, the people who will shape the intelligent content and communication platforms of tomorrow, can play an important role in safeguarding this power.
All books live in a wider context. So do all interactive experiences. The context for an interactive experience doesn’t come from the site itself; it comes from what others are doing in the category and out of category, as well as all the information about the organization, its audience, and its objectives.
When you learn what your audience needs to know, it simplifies the problem of what content to create and when to create it.
As the online editor, I sometimes feel like my job is to make something beautiful, just to hack it apart for kindling. Here’s the way I (mostly) think about it instead: any link to a fragment of LQ is a breadcrumb that can bring you back to the whole.
Ambiguity is the essence of metaphor, mystery, poetry and humor. Without it we couldn’t write songs, flirt, or tell jokes. It’s a magical aspect of communication. But try telling that to your laptop.
Let’s create the quiet we need. We’re makers. And we’re not making for the sake of adding to the pile. We’re here to make things better, clearer, and easier. We should add calmer and quieter to that list.
People with low literacy skills have always been part of our audience. They’ve always needed their information presented clearly, plainly, and simply so they can succeed in understanding and using it.
Curiosity is tricky. It’s the first thing that pushes us forward, but it’s also one of the first to hold us back: to keep us from shipping good ideas because we’re too busy lusting after unachievable ones.
No one really owns a recipe. They get shared and disseminated through a love all humans share, of good food. Substitutions get made, volumes altered and flavors tweaked as the cook makes and remakes a dish.
Content wants to be messy. It wants to roll around in the mud. It wants to be gross. Our job is to pull it together—to take the guesswork out of creating and curating it—and to treat content work as something closer to a science.
And just as our tent is expanding, so too are our ideas about what we do. A complete description of our work would begin to define what it is that makes this our tent: What brought us all here? What are we hoping to achieve? Of all the assumptions and ideas we’ve dragged in with us, which are the babies and which the bathwater?