The Little Things

Once design has jumped from what you do for fun to what you do to keep yourself fed and housed, all the little ways in which we can improve life┬ábecome annoyingly clear. My obsessive tendencies compel me to keep iPhone cables neatly wrapped and tucked away in drawers, which is massively inconvenient for actually ever connecting it to my computer. But I couldn’t stand the clutter of a loose cable dangling on┬ámy desk when it wasn’t in use. This kind of thing usually leads me to say “someone should really make this product,” at which point I usually find out that someone already has.

This particular product is a RadTech ProCable Shortz, one of a line of tiny iPhone & iPod cables that are short, strong, and look like they could’ve (and should’ve) come with the iPhone itself. The 20cm length is exactly enough slack to let me stow my phone on the iMac’s foot, so it doesn’t get whipped around during one of the 50 or so times a day I readjust the position or angle of the computer. It’s exactly as much as you need, and nothing more. Sweet words to a graphic designer.

WordCamp New Orleans

On Friday, I had the great pleasure of attending and addressing WordCamp NOLA, the first WordCamp in this neck of the woods and a great introduction to the WordPress users of the Gulf Coast. The organizers did a fantastic job of putting together a really polished event, and the attendees I was able to speak with had great enthusiasm for WordPress and really great questions for me.

It’s hard to pick out highlights when an event like this goes so well, but for me, as always, it’s all about the people I meet. It’s a real honor when you can walk away from a conference with the feeling that you’ve made a few new friends. Thanks to the organizers, volunteers, speakers and of course the attendees who made for a memorable weekend. I can’t wait to do it again real soon.

WordPress for iPhone 1.21

Update: Because this got mistakenly posted to Twitter when I moved my blog over to WordPress.com, I should mention that this is an old post, and WordPress for iPhone 2.1 is the most recent version available. :)

Original: After a slight hiccup with 1.2, I’m proud to point you toward WordPress for iPhone 1.21, a pretty substantial update to our mobile app. I wont run down all the features here, but theres lots of new stuff and we’ve already started planning the next version. Download and enjoy! (Composing a post — like I’m doing now — is about a hundred times easier with the landscape keyboard!)

iPhone OS 3.0

As anyone interested probably knows by now, Apple gave a preview of the new iPhone OS and SDK today, addressing quite a few of the biggest omissions in current iPhone software. From Apple’s annoucement:

With a rich set of over 1,000 new APIs, iPhone SDK for iPhone OS 3.0 beta provides you with an amazing range of technologies to enhance the functionality of your iPhone and iPod touch applications. New APIs also provide support for applications to communicate with hardware accessories attached to iPhone or iPod touch.

The nice part about this, for me, is that I just copied and pasted that quote from Apple’s web site into this post, which I composed using WordPress for iPhone. The future’s gonna be great.

The WordPress Face Book

That’s “Face book,” not “Facebook.” Ryan Imel at Theme Playground has compiled a list of Who’s Who in WordPress, bringing together the most comprehensive list I’ve seen if the people working on WordPress and the community that surrounds it. While I was flattered to be included, I’m linking to it not because of that but because I didn’t even know some of the folks on the list, so it was a great way for me to get up to speed, too. If you dig WordPress and want to know more about the people who make it go, this is a great resource.

And now, to bring us all up to speed

Since I’m starting anew, there’s a couple of things that bear repeating:

  • WordCamp New Orleans is being held April 10th and 11th and I’ll be there (on Friday), along with Automattic’s own Douglas Hanna and a bunch of really smart people. If you’d like to chat about design, the WordPress UI, CSS3, the new Pepsi logo, or how much you hate Internet Explorer, be sure to find me.
  • Automattic recently released P2, the reincarnation of Prologue, the micro-blogging theme for WordPress. We have some really exciting things in store for the design of P2 that will make it ridiculously easy (and fun) to customize the theme. We use P2 for internal back-and-forth at Automattic and it has brought with it a surprising aspect of collegiality. It’s a pretty cool thing.
  • The “I <3 Blogging" contest is in full-swing, but entries are due March 31. I’ll be one of the “celebrity” judges so get in there and enter your submission. There’s some pretty cool prizes up for grabs and I really want a great design to win!

What's Past is Prologue

Many people have written a great deal about blogging, and its social impact, and the virtues and vices of the medium. They’ve written a great deal about efforts to preserve the web, and what’s written on blogs is by its nature archived and filed away into a little library of whatever it is that’s come out of your head. Some things need to be preserved. But if you’re like me, having thrown away more than one old journal or notebook of ideas once thought to be profound, just because it’s been written doesn’t always necessarily mean it needs to be read.

So in the spirit of embracing the impermanence of this medium, I’m unabashedly starting over. When I asked myself why I was treating this space like the middle child I never really loved, it wasn’t the design or the domain name or the interestingness of my life that made me not want to blog. It was the feeling of being connected to the detritus of my brain over the past four years. Any new idea I had was linked and archived next to all of the highest highs and the (really really lowest) lowest lows. While we’re each the product of what’s come before, I prefer to imagine the past like hazy memories that blend together as your brain ages — and less like evidence stored in a locker.

With that out of the way, welcome back.