In April, 2011, the Google co-founder Larry Page took over as C.E.O. Besides moving to streamline Google’s increasingly sprawling scope as a company, he immediately launched Project Kennedy, an initiative to give all of Google’s products a more consistent look, so everything would be easier to use.
Nearly a year later, the crisp design cues of Google Now and the Kennedy Project have swept across Google, and cards are set to become one of the dominant ways in which Google presents certain types of information to users. In other words, a card will be the atomic unit of information display across all of Google. In addition to Now and Google’s Glass wearable computer—where all information is displayed as a card—they have started appearing across a multitude of Google's services and applications, like the Play Store, Gmail on iOS, and mobile search and Plus, to name a few. And today, cards are invading two of Google’s most important products outside of search, with a dramatic design overhaul of both Maps and its Plus social network. That change might seem minor in some ways, but there are profound implications in the proliferation of cards, given that they will become the way that billions of people consume and digest bits of information they’re seeking from Google over the next few years.
Graciousness looks easy, but of course it is not. Do not mistake mere manners for graciousness. Manners are rules. Helpful, yes. But graciousness reflects a state of being; it emanates from your inventory of self. Start with what you already possess.
Remember that the only representation of you, no matter what your station, is you — your presentation, your demeanor.
So listen. Be attentive to what people say. Respond, without interruption. You always have time. You own the time in which you live. You grant it to others without obligation. That is the gift of being gracious. The return — the payback, if you will — is the reputation you will quickly earn, the curiosity of others, the sense that people want to be in the room with you. The gracious man does not dwell on himself, but you can be confident that your reputation precedes you in everything you do and lingers long after you are finished. People will mark you for it. You will see it in their eyes. People trust the gracious man to care. The return comes in kind.
The recent announcement of the retirement of Google Reader, and Feedburner most likely following, has led me to revisit the ways you can subscribe to the blog and the growing collection of feeds related to it.
You can follow us on the usual social networks. You'll get a stream of related links and everything we post on the blog.
You can still subscribe to our various feeds via RSS using the following direct links:
SmarterCreativity RSS feed for all the blog's content.
DanceMoves.Me RSS feed for the blog's dance related content only.
WordsMove.Me RSS feed for the blog's writing related content only.
MusicMoves.Me RSS feed for the blog's music related content only.
The Week's Links RSS feed for the blog's weekly collection of all the links posted on social networks plus all the blog's posts and book recommendations.
In addition, many of you asked to subscribe via email. Below you can subscribe to a daily email delivered in the late afternoon, with the days' posts, or to a weekly email that delivers the week's links only, delivered in the late afternoon on Fridays.
If you already receive the blog posts via email I would ask that you re-subscribe below. The emails you are receiving now are generated by Feedburner and there are no guarantees they'll continue to work past the retirement of Reader.
Let me know if you experience any problems and thank you for following the blog and for all the great things you share with me, especially for your reactions to something you found useful in your own creative work.
PBS Idea Channel recently celebrated their one year anniversary. One year of provocative and funny questions to view the world from a new perspective. I am a big fan of the Idea Channel from PBS Digital Studios. In honor of their anniversary, over the next couple of days I'll be sharing some of their recent work, catching up with some and introducing new ones.
If you're like us, you LOVE Game of Thrones. But if you're also like us, you may not, technically, have... cable. So how are we seeing this amazing show on HBO, which is stuck behind a pay wall? A huge amount of viewers (not us of course, no no no) are downloading the show illegally. But despite being the most pirated show of 2012, the Game of Thrones DVDs are top sellers, breaking HBO's own sales records! Could it be that piracy is actually HELPING the show?
Living in the consumer culture that we do, we've learned that specific brands can carry very different meanings and values. We're willing to pay hundreds or thousands more for a specific brand name item, but sometimes it can be tempting to go the way of the knock-off for a fraction of the price. The counterfeit industry is huge and isn't going anywhere, and companies spend huge amounts to dissuade people from buying "fakes". But are knock-offs REALLY a negative for the brand?
If you've watched past episodes of Idea Channel, you know we're huge fans of Minecraft. This totally amazing video game allows you to build your own world from scratch, what's not to like? But it may be good for more than just fun and games. Some experts have brought Minecraft into the classroom, allowing teachers to customize lessons and students to engage with concepts in new ways. And while educational games aren't new, Minecraft has some unique advantages that could usher in a new direction in education. In the future, students across the world may spend their class time punching trees.
A meteorite crashed into earth! This wasn't the first time and it won't be the last, but it is the first time such an event was captured by SO MANY CAMERAS! The incredible number of views and angles filmed was made possible by Russia's bizarre driving culture and the MILLIONS of car dash cams installed all over the country. But besides providing the world with some hilarious, frightening, and amazing footage, the dash cams also make us think about surveillance, and what role it will play in the future.
If you've ever played Team Fortress 2, you know how valuable hats are. To those who haven't: yes, HATS! If a community agrees on the value of something, then that thing can become a currency, to exchange for other goods. Just like american dollar bills (or euros, yen, or any other currency), or... bitcoins. Bitcoins are an online currency worth over $200,000,000, and though they are just 1s and 0s, some think that this is the future of money. On the other hand... mo bitcoins mo problems.
Transhumanism is a scientific philosophy that says technology will solve all our human biological constraints and that immortality is right around the corner (well not RIGHT around the corner, but WAY closer). They envision a world of endlessly euphoric robo-humans that represent the next step in evolution. And while this sounds super awesome, we had to ask, will this really make us happy? If you watch Futurama, than you know that the answer is probably NO. While not an exact illustration of transhumanism, Futurama does show a future of vast technological ability, where today's everyday problems are rendered moot, and yet the characters on the show still seem to find themselves in some very non-euphoric emotional states. Does this disprove what transhumanists expect for our future?
If you've ever talked to a vinyl purist (or are one yourself) you know that people can be pretty passionate about what format is king when it comes to music. And based on how much people like to brag about what band they saw live and how many times, we clearly value the authenticity of the live performance above all else. But when we see a performer live, we're judging them based on what we know from the mp3 or record that we've already listened to 1000 times. . . because what is a song SUPPOSED to sound like anyway? As music has evolved from solely performance into "media", the issue of what the most authentic even IS has become increasingly complicated. So which is the most authentic?
Thank goodness for the internet and for social networks, because they let us keep up with what our friends and collaborators are doing. My friend Michael Camarra has launched Pop Deflated, a new tumblr where he illustrates the everyday celebrity tweet and in the process elevates them into high satirical art. Go ahead and follow, don't miss any work, you never know what Moby or Sarah Silverman tweet will get the PD treatment next. And if you see a tweet that is just screaming to be deflated you can submit it here. Hopefully the collection will grow large enough we can convince Michael to make them available as prints.