Three of a kind [230613]



This piece by Justin Jackson maybe one of my all time favourite things I have read on the web. It sums up my feelings about things more articulately than I could ever manage.

Despite everything at its heart the web is all about words and that is what makes it special (to me at least.)

Search Engine Privacy: DuckDuckGo does not track its users 

Nice little interview with the CEO of DuckDuckGo Gabriel Weinberg, whose search engine has had a serious boost in profile since the PRISM allegations surrounding Google and others.

I’ve been using DuckDuckGo full-time for a couple of weeks now – I’ve updated the Chromium ‘omnibus’/address bar to use it as the default search which has really embedded it into my workflow. The results are quite different from Google – as an example my blog is weirdly the number one result for the phrase ‘digital by default’ on DDG but even logged in on Google it doesn’t appear until page 2 (its result three on Bing). So clearly I am biased now 🙂

Connect Lockleaze project wins prizes for tackling digital exclusion 

Nice post from @wood5y about an important project close to home for me. I live a couple of minutes walk from Lockleaze and have known people there my entire life. It is an area that has suffered from deprivation and neglect over the years (and at times in the past it has had some local pubs that were not for the faint of heart!) and projects like this are important if the residents there are going to have an opportunity to move forward. I actually proposed something very similar for Southmead a couple of years ago but it never got off the ground.

Three of a kind [160613]

Auto-Forwarding Carousels and Accordions Annoy Users and Reduce Visibility

This is an article from January that has popped up a couple of times in my stream recently. After I mistakenly accused the Jisc website of having a carousel I was reminded of it again. The tide does seem to be turning against this feature on home pages and hopefully that trend continues.

Open source preference blunted in UK Government guide

I’ll be honest I think this is a real shame. I am a huge fan of the GDS Service Manual – I think it is a seriously useful resource for anyone running large websites particularly in Government but the previous strong endorsement of open source really could have been game changing – this not so much.

Why ‘I Have Nothing to Hide’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance

The fall out from PRISM continues and this in particular is a really interesting essay on why the ‘nothing to hide’ argument is simply not appropriate in this case. There was also a very good article from Clay Shirky in the Guardian about the scale and capacity that the NSA are likely to have from a technology stand-point – weirdly it was in response to something from David Simon, creator of the Wire and former journalist but not really an expert on surveillance of this scale as far as I am aware – now if it had been Lester Freemon speaking that would have been a different matter.

Three of a kind [090613]

What If The Product Is The Service Is The Marketing?

Great post from Emer Coleman (recently of GDS) about the changing face of ‘marketing and communications’ in this digital world of ours.

I particularly liked this line “if you’re relevant and have standing in the conversation, then things like press releases become pretty irrelevant.” The 3 Ps from Harvard Business Review are also really interesting and relevant I think.

The perils of asymmetric openness

In light of PRISM etc this week Euan Semple writes a really timely and insightful post. The problem with advocating all this openness and transparency (as I am certainly guilty of) is that is only really valuable if *everyone* is doing it.

NSA scandal: what data is being monitored and how does it work?

It was pretty hard to miss the PRISM scandal this week and the Guardian was once again at the forefront of breaking it all. This is a nice primer about what is going on and what it all means. I imagine the EFF and ORG will have a run on membership in the days to come! [though surely I’m not the only one who assumed they were doing this anyway?]

Three of a kind [020613]

Oh my god, don’t make things for “Everyone.”

Dan Sinker heads up the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project for Mozilla and I’ve been reading alot about that project recently and finding Source, their digital journalism magazine, particularly interesting. This was a personal post though and one that resonates with me as I’m currently knee deep in personas and audience research. Also Karen Berger is a hero of mine and I tend to think Dan DiDio is ruining my favourite comic book universe 🙂

A sobering day

This is an extremely honest post that details how a few outposts of the FT digital estate were compromised due to a pretty sophisticated hack. It goes to show that even organisations with alot of skilled staff and considerable security protocols in place can still succumb if the attack is well planned.

How Dave Goldberg of SurveyMonkey Built a Billion-Dollar Business and Still Gets Home By 5:30 PM

I always enjoy these posts that go some way to puncturing the myths around start-up culture (there was another great one this week from Alex Payne). To some extent the title is a bit misleading as Goldberg might head home by 5.30 but he is back working by 8 each evening. Still its an interesting read about a very different take on that Silicon Valley culture that so often gets held up as *the* way to do things from a guy who runs a hugely successful company.

Three of a kind [reprise]

Last summer I briefly tried to ‘curate’ (that ones for Mike!) a weekly list of links I’d found interesting. It didn’t last long. I’m not convinced I’m going to be any better this time but I am reading *alot* of blogposts at the moment and sending quite a bit to Evernote so we’ll see.

Anyway here are three posts that particularly sparked my interest this week and they are all pretty inter-related. Think of this as the infographic edition!


In his talk last week at OpenVis Conf, Miguel Rios, who leads the Visual Analysis & Insights team at Twitter, walked through four major options for viz on the web—HTML/CSS, SVG, HTML5 Canvas, and WebGL—using real-life examples to create a simple rubric for choosing the most suitable format.


Data visualisation creates powerful, elegant images from complex information, but can also be potentially deceptive.


The answer is (depending on the type of infographic):
A man of above average numeracy with a doctoral-level degree between 45 and 54 years old.