Wednesday 31 March 2010

2.0 or not 2.0?

Diagram of a Blog by Paula Scher (click on image for larger view)

My Google account was disabled last week. This came after trying to log in to Blogger and being prompted by Google to reset my password due to 'suspicious activity' on my account. I proceeded to cock up resetting my password, hence the disablement!

In the time between me emailing Google and my account being re-enabled, I made elaborate plans, both in my head and on paper, for my online presence. After all, I imagined never being able to post here again. I'd decided I was going to take down my website in readiness of starting an MA this September and planned going Word Press or even Indexhibit to document work produced by it. This wasn't a great emotional tie as my site has some pretty old work on it now and isn't really representative of what I do anymore. I'm not entirely sure what I do do now, but that's a different story and one that the MA will help to clarify, I hope.

Then Google got in touch and I regained access to Blogger again and all's fine and the same as ever and the plans have been shelved.

For now.

Anyway, last week blogging was on my mind quite a lot. The same day my account was temporarily snatched from my grasp, I'd spent a day at work mulling over some student blogs. The following day, when I got home, with half an hour to kill while cooking, I booted up my iMac and was bombarded with RSS updates in NewsFire; Johnson Banks had an interesting post about Photoshop the verb; there were a couple of things that took my fancy on Design Observer; I Love Typography's 'A few things I've learned about typography' beaconed; and Graphic Journey Blog was recounting the second part of a traveling/graphic design story, seducing me with photos of snow filled landscapes, constructivist classics, architecture and sculpture. With only 30 minutes to spare, there was no time to decide which one to read, and this, the same day that the new look Creative Review thudded onto my door mat and a neighbour kindly dropped off my copy of Eye that the postman couldn't get through my letterbox. I decided to drop the pixels for the smell of CMYK on coated stock.

The day after I killed some time at work surfing blogs while waiting for students to turn up to tutorials. I read about Brody's new role at the RCA on CR Blog and got hooked on the comments. I started getting itchy fingers and wanted to stick in my two pennies worth. I'm glad I didn't after I followed a link to Paula Scher's brilliant Diagram of a Blog (above). As I've just got rid of a 'friend' on Facebook for trolling, I'm glad I was stopped in my tracks.

So, what's all this about then. Well, today I've been talking to students about how design starts with writing. But I'm coming to realisation that, sometimes, just sometimes, writing gets in the way of designing. Divergent tactics are all too tempting. When I was doing my PGCE my bathroom had never been cleaner. Thank god that design blogs were in their infancy then and that the only one that I read regularly was Underconsideration's Speak Up. At least I had a clean toilet to show for my lack of an essay on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I pity some of my students and have suggested disconnecting their modems or blocking Facebook for the duration of writing their dissertations.

And as for me, well, there's a few projects that have been knocking around for a while that I must draw a line under. And the plans I had when I thought I was going to be permanently blocked from Blogger, there was some promise in there somewhere that has now been diminished through lack of urgency. So I might well have to uninstall NewsFire and declare a moratorium on Dublog. But not yet. In the words of the 1980s anti heroin adverts: Blogging, I can handle it.

I Love Typography
Graphic Journey Blog
Creative Review Redesign
Eye magazine
Speak Up
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs


Sean Scannell said...

Hi Nigel, it's Sean (the one who somehow managed to spell his name wrong on his dissertation last year...)

Just thought I would post a couple of links to two blogs I religiously read. I'm sure you probably are already aware of them but for those who are not & maybe to your students if they're reading...

Thought this may be worthwhile. Hope everything is well!

Dubdog said...

Hi Sean. Cheers. Haven't looked at FormFiftyFive for a while - it's had a major facelift since I was last there. As for It'sNiceThat, I just got issue #3 through the post this week - if you like the blog it is definitely worth ordering the printed version.

Hope all's good and life's treating you well.

Yviemarie said...

I agree with the whole internet is a serious distraction thing. I often see things that inspire me via internet, but dont do anything about it, because Im in surfing mode.
Am trying to change that though, with challenges between classmates...we shall see!