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A Clearer View of the Future of Google Glass

(See Update)

November 14, 2014, via Reuters:

Of 16 Glass app makers contacted by Reuters, nine said that they had stopped work on their projects or abandoned them, mostly because of the lack of customers or limitations of the device. Three more have switched to developing for business, leaving behind consumer projects.

Last year, I observed in a post–one that included an email exchange  with Don Norman of Nielson-Norman and author of The Design of Everyday Things–that I believed the product release of Google Glass was bungled by Google. As much as I’m a fan and customer of many services provided by Google, they have a way of consistently demonstrating a lack of understanding of the importance of “customer” when it comes to marketing non-search products. (They’re better these days with some categories of business-to-business services, however.)

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For Long Time Readers of RexBlog, a Flying Car Video

First: A Flashback to the year 2006 when I blogged all year about stories I’d see regarding flying cars. The truth is, you could pick out any year and read just as many articles about people who are going to start having a commercial version of a flying car next July. For some reason, next July is always far enough in the future so reporters will forget to check back in.

Anyway, I just saw this and thought it was too 2006 to pass up.

At least they didn’t claim it would be available next July.

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Review: The Podcast “Serial”

This is the post where I am officially joining the quickly-expanding fan club of Serial (Website | iTunes), the new audio podcast spin-off from Ira Glass’s public radio program, This American Life.

It joins Chicago’s WBEZ’s incredible lineup of podcasts that are setting a high standard for the production and distribution of media that are opening eyes (but more importantly, ears) for a coming revival of audio programming unmatched since the golden age of radio (which I’m not old enough to recall personally, despite rumors to the contrary).

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Top Ten List of Reasons to Ignore Top 10 List Blog Posts

Here are the top ten reasons to avoid blog posts that are top ten lists.

  1. They are boring and repetitive..
  2. They are obvious.
  3. No one reads past #3.
  4. So bloggers make up stuff from 5-10.
  5. Moses. Now there was a great list writer.
  6. A grocery shopping list is good to have.
  7. A grocery shopping list is good to have.
  8. Did you notice #7 repeated #6?
  9. No one else noticed it.
  10. They are boring and repetitive.

When Responsive Design Meets SEO Headline Writing

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In the olden days of print, there was a term called “orphan ” that referred to a headline or paragraph with a lonely word dangling on a line by itself. The copy editor would rewrite it “to get rid of the orphan.” (For a discussion of widows and orphans, see: http://www.magazinedesigning.com.)

Today, when we all read our news on various size screens on sites with “responsive design,” the headline length is not measured by “size” but by its relationship to the width of a container that I’ll just call “a column” (i.e., 100% of the width of a column, not 14 px).

Moreover, the writers of headlines today have it beat into them that their headlines should be “optimized” for search (SEO), which can be translated: Write this headline for a machine called Google.

There is nothing inherently or existentially or ethically wrong with writing a headline for Google. If I had a story like the one appearing on the Tennessean.com today about Ashley Judd and Connie Britton, I’d put their names at the beginning of the line, as well.

However, when “responsive design” meets SEO headlines, it can create something the reader sees on the screen a bit confusing. It makes me think of a big sign I used to see on a newsroom that said: Pity the Poor Reader.

I guess they took that one down and put up one that says,  Pity the Poor Google.