Who’s who on Twitter

Twitter Styles

Jeff Barr posted a lazy web request for a better view of Twitter contacts and Wes Maldonado responded with a slick Greasemonkey script.

Well, not to be outdone by the scripting folks, I made two similar scripts for , a Firefox plugin that allows you to apply custom CSS on certain webpages (see what I did for Tangler a couple days ago).

To apply these styles, install the extension and then add either of these styles to Twitter.com:

.code { border: 1px solid #ccc; list-style-type: decimal-leading-zero; padding: 5px; margin: 0; }
.code code { display: block; padding: 3px; margin-bottom: 0; }
.code li { background: #ddd; border: 1px solid #ccc; margin: 0 0 2px 2.2em; }

No avatars

  1. @-moz-document domain("twitter.com") {
  2. #friends {margin-top: 12px;}
  3. #friends a[rel=contact] {display:block;text-decoration: none !important;margin-bottom:3px;}
  4. #friends a[rel=contact] img {display:none;}
  5. #friends a[rel=contact]:after {content: attr(title);}
  6. }

With avatars

  1. @-moz-document domain("twitter.com") {
  2. #friends a[rel=contact] {display:block;text-decoration: none !important;margin-bottom:3px;}
  3. #friends a[rel=contact] img {margin-right: 3px; text-decoration: none !important;}
  4. #friends a[rel=contact]:after {content: attr(title);}
  5. }

Rituals of social networking

In considering the interaction design of a social web application, it’s important to remember that expediency and efficiency are not always allies. Indeed, the laborious act of “adding a friend” or “creating a group” can become sacrosanct experiences in the course of the development of one’s online self… and tasks that should not be trivialized down to the data level.

Instead, these kinds of flows should be crafted and architected to be noticed as part of the network’s rituals: i.e. those behaviors and actions that occur regularly enough to give rise to a kind of life in the network. When you’re online, those actions and (notifications of like, the same) are the closest thing to respiration you can offer… and without some kind of active respiration system, you’re likely to be left for dead.

A specific example:

Tangler Invitation

While on the surface this interface originally struck me as an efficient way to deal with a lot of group invitations, over time I’ve realized that it actually demeans the invitation acceptance ritual and that this design treats groups like commodities to be joined en masse, without much fore-thought, exploration or examination of the act about to be taken.

On the contrary, Flickr’s approach leaves the responsibility on the invitee to consider the validity of an invitation, and to explore the group before making a final decision to accept the invite.

Flickr Invitation

In this sense, you’re forced to read through the invitation in isolation and apart from any other decision, allowing you the space to consider it and choose to act positively, negatively or to defer until later. Like email, should you choose not to act this invitation will simply fade into the caverns of your inbox, outside of your daily environment, and not begging to be addressed. In the Tangler example, on the other hand, not making a choice will leave a residue on the interaction experience, forcing you to repeatable reconsider an invitation every time you view this interface leading to an intuitive mental stress that will likely cause people to downright avoid checking their invitations after the first 10 or 15 stack up.

The reality is that these subtle decisions in the interface design will greatly affect how the life of your community takes shape — and what ritual behaviors will be enjoyed and looked forward to as opposed to those that will be avoided because the mental tax over time gets too high. This is an area that I’d like to think more on — and start to positively collect ritual experiences that I enjoy on the networks of which I’m happy to call myself a member.

OS X Leopard mauls Little Snitch

Leopard Firewall Prefpane

Check it out. Looks like Apple’s at it again, this time ripping off independent Mac developer Obdev and their excellent Little Snitch firewall app in Leopard, Apple’s next version of its OS X operating system.

I mean, does it get any more blatant than this? Even over-simplification can’t save you from the fact that you’re clearly pushing out derivative work without crediting sources

With Coverflow, hey, you guys did the right thing. You bought all the IP and, if I’m not mistaken, gave the guy a job. I don’t know the full story here, but if Obdev contributed to your thinking here, a little hat tip seems apropos.

ConceptShare nearing launch…

Our friends from the great white north are nearing the launch of ConceptShare — a collaborative design product that looks very complementary to apps like Basecamp and Bugzilla (if only I had this when I was at Flock!). They’ve finally released a video tour of how it works — and it’s looking awesome. Oh — and don’t forget to wish a happy birthday (Nov 13)!

What dreams are made of: Pzizz 2.0 is out

Pzizz 2.0

As you might know, I’m a fan of Edward Laing’s Pzizz nap app.

Well, he’s finally launched version 2.0, offering new features, ways of customizing the soundtrack ending experience and a much improved interface, but apparently the launch process hasn’t gone perfectly.

Still, a hearty congrats to Edward and team — I’m eagerly looking forward continued improvements.

StrangeKiss — a shop for weird stuff


StrangeKiss is almost a month old but has barely been noticed, which is too bad, considering the caliber of the artists offering their wares on the site.

For one, David Lanham, who was recently interviewed by Apple Matters and is one of the best digital illustrators and icon and interface designers around, is selling prints and other good stuff on the site, while also lending his design talents to the site itself.

Second is Martin Laksman, king of the eggpeople and pioneer of the Consumer Way.

Besides prints, StrangeKiss also offers toys, apparel and other oddities.

But really, I’d highly recommend going to take a snoop around yourself.

Unlocking the Tao of TextMate

TextMate: Power Editing for the Mac cover imageI use TextMate almost as much as QuickSilver, and, like QuickSilver, probably make use of about 5% of its features. But now, a new book coming in February (get the Beta now!) promises to unlock the Holy Grail of this immensely powerful and award-winning app.

Oh, and if you haven’t checked out soft-spoken developer Allan Odgaard’s screencasts, you’re missing out on one of the best things about TextMate. Highlights: