The Vision Thing

In 1974 or so, visionary Ted Nelson crafted Computer Lib / Dream Machines

“the best-selling underground manifesto of the microcomputer revolution.”

It was so cool. One half explained computer tech in plain language. The other half was visionary insight.

I still have my copy.

In 1980 Nelson took it to the next level with Literary Machines. In it, he coins and explains a new term – “hypertext“, as well as

  • tumblers” (mapping the evolutionary history of a shared concept into the network),
  • transclusion” (‘crowdsourced’ knowledge), and proposes a mechanism of
  • micropayments” (establishing dynamic value within the information economy).

Yep, I still have my copy.

That was then. This is now.

It’s only taken a few decades, but several of those insights are finally getting traction in the mainstream. Most recently IA/UX pioneer and author Peter Norville has taken Nelson’s concept of “intertwingularity” and run with it and he’s published a new book on the topic.

The Infrastructure of Meaning

Everything is deeply intertwingled. In an important sense there are no “subjects” at all; there is only all knowledge, since the cross-connections among the myriad topics of this world simply cannot be divided up neatly.”

Ted Nelson wrote in Computer Lib/Dream Machines (Nelson 1974)

Empathy for Users

Nice Insight from Russell Willerton @ User Experience Magazine

A Plain Language Model

Thanks to Whitney Quesenbery for the link to this article.

Whitney spoke to this “mainstream accessibility” issue at our recent Northern NJ UX / IxDA meetup.

Whitney and her colleagues at Civic Design have been doing excellent, groundbreaking work re:

Making voting accessible

Kinda relevant. Especially these days. Vote Early. Vote Often. Vote.



It’s Not Just Semantic

… in the midst of scary times. Why are we a terrified Country?

Worth Reading

Noam Chomsky is amongst the world’s most cited living scholars. Voted the “world’s top public intellectual” in 2005, he is perhaps best known as a critic of all forms of social control and a relentless advocate for community-centered approaches to democracy and freedom.

Timely insight:

Requiem for a King

Professor Noam Chomsky Explains Why Martin Luther King Jr. Was Assassinated



Web Addresses That End With Panache

“Perhaps you didn’t know it, but New York City is in the last leg of an officially decreed 60-day land rush to claim a web address that ends in .nyc.

Until Oct. 7, people and businesses with a “physical” address in the city can pay a premium price to sign up ahead of the general public for .nyc addresses at”

Interesting: Especially in the context of Net Neutrality

Thanks to Tom Lowenhaupt for this heads up. Tom’s been working tirelessly as the “Founding director of NYS nonprofit established to advocate for the development of the .nyc TLD (top-level domain) as a public interest resource.” He’s quoted in the article. Read on



UX Strategy: Jobs to be Done

Above: Jim Kalbach presents at our recent meeting of UX / IxDA NNJ

Jobs to be done (JTBD) theory focuses on identifying real needs and making plans for how to meet them. Practitioners start by identifying what customers are trying accomplish – why they “hire” a product or service – and then develop solutions to address their needs. The job, not the customer, is the focus of attention.

This approach not only helps identify and prioritize areas of innovation, it can also be used for behavioral segmentation. Jim will outline JTBD theory and practice, and show its relevance to both marketing and design.

It was a huge success – Highly rated by our members.

Truly one of the best events we’ve ever hosted. I found myself thinking seriously about Jobs To Be Done this morning, wondering how best to bring Jim’s methodology to bear at work as quickly as I can. Great information about strategy and how to instantiate strategy to practical effect. Many thanks to Jim Kalbach. — Adam Lerner

You can visit the Slideshow of Jim’s presentation