A post about things we”ve found interesting in January, 2013.

January”s a funny old month. One of the oldest months, I think. Certainly the longest. It”s been a mixture of waking up from a winter break, and hurtling into new projects. There”s a handful of new things on the go, which we”re pretty stoked to share when we can, and a few ongoing projects we”re shortly to finish.

In the meantime, have a look at the things we”ve been sharing in Dark Social.

The Cloud, by STML

- The first thing we published this year was Orchestrated Text, a blanket-swaddled project that Richard munged together over Christmas and James finessed when we were all back in the studio. It”s done pretty well – thanks Wired – and helped broaden our thinking about what text on the web can mean, beyond “just words”. Should be more on that soon enough.

- Tying nicely into Orchestrated Text, Richard has been following the ‘Alan Rusbridger Plays Chopin’ story for a while. The publicity run for the book this month, especially Know The Score (the musical e-book accompaniment) has been particularly enjoyable.

- The odd space between digital and physical is never more felt than when people replicate physical things in digital – such as notepads, watercolour painting or leatherette folders. We”ve had a nice play with Paper and been pleasantly surprised by how it feels – very digital, but with a reassuring sense of friction. It won”t replace our pads and papers, but it’s a damn nice attempt to.

- Mark Fell“s article in The Wire reminded us all of the values of working within limitations, and pushing at the edges of what can be done: “we can redefine technology, not as a tool subservient to creativity or an obstacle to it, but as part of a wider context within which creative activity happens.

- Matt Ward wrote a moving and insightful blog post about what digital spaces outside of capitalism might be like. It feels a bit like a beat”s companion piece to Russell”s post about truthiness and The Majority of Images. In a way.

- Revisited “Why Lost Is Genuinely New Media“, Dan Hill“s excellent post from 2006 about leaving threads open for parallel narrative and speculation. “This isn”t so much product placement as identifier placement.

- Our James has continued to smarten up and iterate the new Mudlark aesthetics, and has been taken with a handful of projects looking to solve or evolve design problems. Of the most mainstream and publicly visible is the ITV rebrand. There”s still quite a lot of discussion about whether it”s any good, but James is firmly in the Pro camp. He feels it really comes to life when animated over the idents with the ‘colour-picking’ technique.

- We packed him off to NAConf last week, so expect a blog post about that soon. When he bought his ticket, he noticed they were using tito – which provided a very simple experience. As a company who has PayPal grief every year with , we”re hoping this turns out to be a healthy challenge to them.

- Work continues on Chromaroma: putting wires back where they should go, kicking the data scraper and looking for new ways to develop it, inside or out of London. A couple of us have been using Moves for iOS. It is definitely an extension of thoughts we”ve had about taking Chromaroma “off the rails”, but lacks that competitive and social edge.

- Smart travelling moves into the next phase over in Boston with the introduction of using smartphones for ticket purchasing.

- Our pal Ben Bashford got his speak on at UX Brighton last year. It”s up on YouTube now. If you enjoyed his excellent blog post about Emotional Computing you should enjoy the mundane Robocop”s talk.

- Matt Edgar wrote an excellent post titled “Ad agencies are discovering products like Columbus discovered America“, which just about sums up his angle. Typically great.

- Brendan Dawes is someone who consistently turns out excellent and beautiful work. The RSC are the latest to benefit from this, with the rather lovely To Be Today, “a Shakespearean twist on the events of the day.”


How To Make A Cocktail.

- How To Basic
Genuinely the best and most informative channel on YouTube.

- Internet of Lamps
Good Night Lamp is a beautiful looking and simply realised IoT project. Its Kickstarter is closing soon, so go and wang as much as you can in their bank account.

All Other Parties Are STILL Trite And Dull.
If you”re going to GDC, go to this. You will thank yourself.

- Towards A Canon of “Hypertext Literature/Interactive Fiction/Digital Narrative”
Tom Armitage started drawing up a list of most “important” works in the messy taxonomy of interactive fiction.

Vinny Poo
Bless Russia”s laissez-faire approach to copyright and enjoy this very special interpretation of Winnie The Pooh. Thanks to Marie for putting it into our lives.

Great Reddit thread on “house rules” in games.

The Internet of.

“The family”s principal entertainment… was for everyone to recount their dreams.”
What it”s like to be cut off from human contact for 40-years.

The Internet of Ketchup Things

- Diddy Appreciates, by Shardy

- rrrrrrrroll

- What we”ve been listening to: , , the .

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