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i spent this morning looking at swinney.org and i see a lot of similarity in the UI concepts between that and citynoise that really strive to encourage contribution and ease-of-browsing- and for that i am just really impressed by both sites. i think citynoise's level of interface maturity is due to a lot more thought and coding energy being put into it, or at least the sort+amount of energy+thought that helps me enjoy a website more.
i especially like the ability to browse frm different time-based criteria (recent posts, recent comments, recent views)- that sort of real time site interaction has a sort of immediacy that brings the ability of a community to communicate asymptotically closer to the raw-communication ideal of the uneditable chat room.
While swinneys seems to rely on moderator-based editorial control, citynoise's editorial policy is rarely centralized in any one person and more spread out over the group/community as a whole- articles can be ignored or fall off the list, the "highest ranked contributors" are listed on every page- these and other social-networking features replace the need for even the least intrusive editorial control, for example the fuckedcompany.com style "dont see crap | see the crap" browsing options where moderators tag things as "off-topic". When we browse citynoise, first of all there is luckily a very small amount of trolling noise, or maybe it's more correct to say that there is MORE thoughtful, intented signal so that the noise is barely noticeable. But isn't noise in the eye of the beholder?
That is a challenge for an online community- how to deal with what people perceive as "noise"- implementing the ability for community members to choose what they see so that they feel a part of the community without cloistering themselves, and respecting the community's need to evolve through the "different" things that can get expressed, via articles or intra-comment flame warfare or whatever. Due in a large part to the evolving interface of the site and the and the collective aesthetics of the fried of a friend social network that seeded citynoise, the few (any?) "noise" articles and many "noise" comments have contributed their unique cacophany to the city noise in very entertaining, amazing, and revealing intents of their authors. People google for crips and bloods to post their thoughts on crips and bloods- same for the northern ireland series. If you want to, you can check these dialogues out, but if that kind of shit doesnt entertain you it's perfectly easy to never run into it. Personally I think those exchanges are testaments to the power of images + writing and the very act of expressing "here's where i live, here's what i think about it". Thus the online communities infinitesimally affect the offline ones.. with a thousand tiny spears the blog+forum+indymedia+radio communities of the world use the Illuminati's capitalist pamphlet-raining skynet to form an anti-empire resistance.
The removal of an editorial clique results in the consituent writers and photographers owning the citynoise community. Feeling like what they put into it, they get out of it too. And the reward system for "Getting something out of it" seems directly tied to receiving various types of pong for our ping. An internet gangwar, a long thoughtful response, or really any type of props that ultimately boil down to "thanks for expressing this- you feel this way too? dope." and even if it lasts just for a second, seratonin, the friendship chemical is released in our heads and we think pleasant things about ourselves, our friends, and our shared existence through which communication is possible.
The citynoise social network has a "reputation" coefficient which simultanouesly adds another vector to the ease-of-search interface and encourages people to contribute (and travel!). It also allows readers to make their own judgement on what is pleasing, circumventing any editorial bias. Explicitly, the implied ranking by amount of writing + photography an artist or city has produced+contributed to this site encourages prolific art-making, which leads to learning+discipline and refines+evolves the aesthetic of both he individual artist and the community-of-influence pool the artist swims in.
And by artist I mean the enlightening artistic inclination+desire to create+evolve that is an important aspect of all of humanity, that really needs to be emphasized right now over destruction and ignorance.
As a city's reputation/article count grows it flushes+fleshes out the delusions and mind-models we maintain about the different locations in the world we are becoming fascinated with.
Last week i did not consider myself a writer or photographer part of a community of other writers+photographers, or even particularly informed about London, Banksy, Graf Trux, or Proddies.
But i did consider myself a software artist.
ui feedback + suggested feature work which i am willing to help on:
i like the publication interface a lot, not too many buttons, and you *have* to preview what you post so you always get visual feedback on what your article will look like, in the *Exact same module-layout* that it would look like live.
-detect encoding of postings and offer "translate" link for russian, spanish posts + comments, maybe even provide a dropdown for it next to the "post your comment" button, but that would add another ui element and i like that it's so clean and sparse down there at the bottom of the page..
i think this would be a great feature to help follow some of the russian threads, and it's basically just like the "goo" link up top so i dont think it will be that intrusive to the ui. this will allow encourage other countries/languages to post (another search filter or article category, by language?)
-ability to view posts by day, either a calendar interface or a "previous day posts" link with a count on it maybe > (4)
this would make it easier for me to catch up on my citynoise reading, some ability to sort by date so that i can leave town for a week and not have to just guess which posts are from the week i lost.
-link under "popular articles" to see and navigate all of the articles in the system ranked by priority
i like the popular articles section because i like to see what "the best" or "most linked" ones are, but they are all by peter! :) okay so i have one on there.. so i'm dying to know what the next 5 are.
-another link under "recent articles" to see and navigate the other recent articles, maybe all articles by reverse date.. this might be too much of a ui clutter
for recent articles, it's similar to the missing week problem, where even now i login the next morning after being up til 1am posting an article and the "recent articles" list has already scrolled off last night's entries! so how do i get to see what i missed with my stupid addiction to sleep??
i, think with these additions, all of the floating modules in the left margin of the page will have "see all" buttons with appropriate names.. this might be cluttering but i think it could be pulled off very elegantly and reinforce some key UI tenants of the site eg "there's always a link at the bottom to see the rest if i'm interested".
-a soundtrack. a changeable textbox in its own module/palette in the right marging, maybe under the top searchs+search box but basically just like it, labeled "Currently playing". The textbox's value should be set to the last entry, and the button should be labeled something that indicates "change". Very small floating module, maybe even the one song last playing in a smaller font underneath the textbox. No history, just whatever's playing at the moment in whoever's reality.
Having developed social networking software (indyvoter, flexomatic.net) for some time now, I am aware of the dilemna of removing one select elite editorial clique of artists and replacing it with another- eg the software artists. The features that enable people to communicate and take ownership of their community cannot be driven by desires that subvert the collective's individuals' goals and boundaries. Examples: tribe+friendster's ultimately revenue-generating goals drive their interfaces+ads.. they are trying to get people online for a greater share of their eyeball-time and hopefully someone will pay them money for that. Indymedia/Wikipedia is more charity/non-profit donations generated by their level of traffic and their commitment to openness, freedom, and the good kind of globalization- which people like to support.
Where a software artist falls on the shifting axis between the "Software Anarcho-Synidcalism" and "Microsoft" methods of development has a significantly huge impact on the moods+types of expression allowable in a community. The software artists that inflict their aesthetics upon the citynoise community (be they functionality aesthetics, interface aesthetics, visual design) require the community at large's open feedback and a software artist's loving responsiveness. Good things to think about while working on citynoise are "I hope my friends and the others i haven't met yet use this site even BETTER now!" "I think this statistic/list/interface is something interesting+useful+elegant that will make people even freer to express themselves + influence themselves with the help of our social network of writing+photography" or even the more directly pleasing mantra "My friends who asked me for something beautiful will enjoy that i made this for them."
so, URL to cvs??? :)
This article has been viewed 25007 times in the last 8 years
jeeff: 21st Apr 2005 - 20:50 GMT
i agree with most of your suggestions (made a lot of them myself in a recent email to peter) but i must protest the soundtrack. i hate sites with soundtracks or sound effects. even if you have the ability to switch them off. to me, sound/music seems totally superfluous on a site like this, as ironic as that is considering the URL.
Marc: 21st Apr 2005 - 21:13 GMT
not suggesting the actual music playing, just the text.. i agree that music playing is bullshit. also just a suggestion!
jeeff: 21st Apr 2005 - 21:22 GMT
by the way, are there really any translation services for russian (or other languages for that matter) that actually work? i've tried a bunch of services linked from babelfish.org, but especially with the cyrillic characters it doesn't translate more than 10% of the words.
vz: 22nd Apr 2005 - 04:17 GMT
jeeff-- you mean the guys who were trolling? the untranslatability was intentional on their part; htey wre esentialyy riting liek dis (only in Russian).
Jamie: 22nd Apr 2005 - 08:18 GMT
Marc. Firstly thankyou for your praise of citynoise's UI. I'm not sure if you are aware but the current interface went live only a short while ago. It's maturity is indeed due to a legthened period of evolution. The first incarnation being a reverse-engineered-by-peter version of my personal blog site "jamazon". It's since been recoded from the ground up during lunch hours and random periods of free time. Great UI suggestions from Hool and Jeeff have helped a great deal, and many more improvements are underway based on their suggestions.
And.. wow, thanks for all your UI tips/suggestions. Many of them are already in development, which has slowed a little lately. Improvements are triclking in at a steady rate though so fear not. The ability to "view posts by day" is a must have and will be available soon. Total list of articles ranked by popularity is missing due to nothing more than an oversight on my part.
Your views on Software Artists are very interesting to me. I enjoyed reading this article, and hope your suggestions will continue to flood in.
Jamie: 22nd Apr 2005 - 08:45 GMT
enclosing text in double asteriks = bold
enlcosing text in curly brackets (what are they called?) = search for text
also, the ability to add external hyperlinks is my main priority right now. It really isn't difficult (one line of code!!) i just keep forgetting to do it. Sorry guys!
fuzzytank: 22nd Apr 2005 - 09:34 GMT
i mean i never learned anywebcoding
but i think the simplicity of this site is what keeps me comming
that 'b' word is possibly the infinate death of the internet but oh well
and i love images
because the two dont mesh, unless you mess with them and really want them to
but this is where i come to see photos that are for the most part pure.
if i wanted to deal with varied realities yes i could list tons of sites that showcase digital man-ip-ulations but those are easy to find.
i dont want a forced soundtrack, even if its just visual, i have one im workin on all the time. Id be happy to share it, but only if you ask
and i dont want a faster better way to experience things every single day
Jamie: 22nd Apr 2005 - 09:57 GMT
Oh, i totally agree with you on the blog issue. Not that there is anything inherenyly wrong with blogging. it is just that it has become somewhat cliche nowadays. Everyone has a blog these days. I like to think that citynoise is something a little more than that. Something unique perhaps.
Peter: 22nd Apr 2005 - 14:03 GMT
oh, also... marc: re site development... if youre interested, we have a developer's login to atari for the purpose of working on the site. ill probably catch you on buttl one of these days and we can discuss...
jeeff: 22nd Apr 2005 - 14:21 GMT
hooray! i'm really liking all the changes in the last week. i can't tell you how many more "from the archives" posts i've clicked on since they started displaying thumbs. you could even make the thumbs 50% smaller if you want to avoid the column-stretching. small thumbs aren't necessarily bad - they are often more tantalizing. the linking and the prev-next buttons are godsends too.
Jamie: 22nd Apr 2005 - 14:25 GMT
Thanks, did those today. If the thumbs are too large for some peoples screens i will scale em down. I have a super high resolution screen here which kinda warps my perception of things a little. Selectaaaaaaa!
jeeff: 22nd Apr 2005 - 14:50 GMT
yeah i guess if you're viewing the site at minimum dimensions (i don't like to surf full-screen) then the thumbnails will stretch the nav bar horizontally.
elaine: 22nd Apr 2005 - 18:40 GMT
hee hee hee - am well amused by stupid addiction to sleep! I too, was obliged to be away from computer for a day or so and would like a calendarised shuffleboard thingy whoosit of some sort, but then on a daily basis I get up at stupid o'clock and put my puter on to see the citynoise babies who have been up in another time zone usually talking for hours about grafs in the specialised language they have for that, and it is a global time lapse thing, and the comments page is about the right kind of length I think really, and the new stuff is good. I was so glad to find the site, it was by accident and it was one of the first things I found when I got my broadband set up, and it has made me do stuff I would have been thinking about but would not have been doing. Mark, you put me onto the Sinclair, and I was in the middle of having a discussion about grafitti here which believe me I would normally never do, and fucking weirdly the next thing he talks about is Greenwich Uni, which I just got into for a PhD - and the 'eye of the storm' is part of my proposal... so living here part of the time is very meaningful to me too (check me bearing witness, I am not a christian, I hasten to add)
elaine: 23rd Apr 2005 - 06:13 GMT
also I like that comments based talk is very variable, the work acts as ballast
elaine: 28th Apr 2005 - 08:33 GMT
it's way noisy by comparison to swinney, i bin there lately and that sounds mucho well carpeted by comparison
fuzzytank: 31st May 2005 - 10:09 GMT
marc flikkered faster than i would have thought
elaine: 31st May 2005 - 14:13 GMT
i thnk he might be back - he dropped in in the middle of my 'hackney city farm' and wrote a long thing about his dad. he said he was busy. i think he will return
Peter: 31st May 2005 - 18:00 GMT
yeah i talked to mark a while back, and he is travelling now... mexico and california. we shall most likely get some good content when he returns :)
Anonymous (cache-rtc-ae02.proxy.aol.com): 30th Jun 2005 - 19:24 GMT
I know this is off subject, but I am desperately trying to find a friend of mine who lived in Monterrey at the time that I knew her. She lived in TN with me as an exchange student in 1988. Her maiden name was Evelyn Schipper, father was Arno Schipper. If you have any info, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org THanks Traci Church Harris
austin: 24th Aug 2005 - 08:10 GMT
seriously though, i was just looking up on google for swinney+jonestown because aparently, there were some swinneys who participated in the jonestown massacre. but anyway...
john: 8th Sep 2006 - 20:29 GMT
where the hell is that place on mty? i neeed to know about this salvia hehehehehehe just give me the street names hehehe :)
josephine: 18th Oct 2006 - 02:02 GMT
yeah please tell us that place.. in mty its a lil hard to find salvia, as no1 knows what it is!
Marc: 16th Mar 2007 - 21:21 GMT
Where Is This Salvia Booth??
if i find documentation on the hotel or pass through monterrey again, i will update here with the location of the salvia booth.
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