Under the hood…

I was very pleased to see that Barclays is getting on the CSS bandwagon. However, all is not well in code-land. Look under the hood and a case of divitis can clearly be seen, with a rash of divs and not-very-semantically-marked-up mark-up.

So, while it’s good that they have made the effort, it’s a shame it couldn’t be done a bit better. After all, it’s not like they don’t have the money…

Minty minty…

Shaun does it again. As well as being a phenomenal designer, he’s also a rather spiffing developer, and his new offering, Mint, is rather fantastic. The demo is all I’ve seen so far, but I will be purchasing a copy of the software very soon for use on a site not far from here.

One interesting thing to note is how he’s marketed this release. Nothing more than a simple website with a form you can add your email address to for updates (you only receive 2, one to thank you and one to say it’s released, and then your email address is removed) and a few blog entries. Yet word of mouth has made this a very public (well, for the internet, anyway) and exciting build-up. And all the hype is worth it, in my opinion.

That’s what happens if you’re respected on the web. People watch you, talk about you, do your marketing for you. Fantastic.

UPDATE: Oxton gets in on the actions. There are some interesting comments (and there will probably be more), but this particularly jumped out at me (by Hayo Bethlehem):

Hype is a great marketing tool. I hope the product will live up to it.

Web 2.0 – internet animal farm?…

There’s a thoughtful and interesting article here which talks about this thing known as “web 2.0”, and in particular APIs. Are they a good thing? Well, they are certainly opening up opportunities that wouldn’t have been made available in any other way, and the relaxing of control over certain aspects – vectors, he calls them – of data is definitely doing some good. But who is really pulling the strings?

Of course it’s us, the developers and designers. Just as the editor of a book has the final say over what goes into it, the editor of a film has control of what goes to the screen, we have control over what data we allow out of our systems. More than once I’ve been scared at the thought of the responsibility we have with regard to our blogging software. Not just because of the political and legal implications of what is written, but because of how people perceive the system – something they own and control themselves.

But they don’t control it, I do. And while I think I’m a nice guy who wants to act in the best way for my group of internet friends, there may well people people will much more power than me who have less in the way of scruples. It’s all too easy to put up a face of friendliness and cooperation to another person, while witholding things from them secretly. That, to a certain extent, is what’s happened in many countries around the world over the last few years.

So, we’re all equal. But some are more equal than others.

Back into the swing of things…

So, here wa are again. The holiday officially over, work officially started. But before I get into the nitty-gritty of web stuff again, can I draw your attention to a few pictures of Guernsey, which is where we’ve just been for a few days. It’s beautiful, as you can see, and full of nutters who like jumping off rocks (hi to Adam, Brad and Jason).

On to other matters. This post got me thinking about attitudes towards many things, not least of which is faith and software design (which are spiritual and mental equivalents, which I’ll explain about soon). This quote…

If you’re interested in creating passionate users, or keeping your job, or breathing life into a startup, or getting others to contribute to your open source project, or getting your significant other to agree to the vacation you want to go on… congratulations. You’re in marketing.

…says it all. I am in marketing, because I want to connect people to my stuff. Whether that stuff is software, images or music, I am a marketer. I have stuff, and I have a potential marketer. I am the person in the middle who makes the connections happen.

The differences between old-school marketing and neo-marketing (modern attracting) couldn’t be more pronounced, and totally shift the focus from the marketer to the market. I like that, I like that a lot. I may end up saying a lot more about that very soon.