196. Interview with Kevin Rose

Paul Boag

This week on Boagworld: We interview the founder of Digg.com Kevin Rose, take a first look at Codeslam and plan the future of the show.

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200th Boagworld

On the 12th February Boagworld will have finally reached 200 episodes!

To mark this momentus achievement we are going to do a live 12 hour marathon!

The show will start at 10AM UK time and finish at 10PM in the evening. Guests will include:

  • Drew McLellan
  • Rachel Andrew
  • Simon Collison
  • Christian Heilmann
  • Sarah Parmenter
  • Dan Rubin
  • Paul Stanton
  • Ryan Taylor
  • and many more!

If you want to get involved with the 200th episodes you have 3 options…

  • Come and join us at the Barn for part of the day (drop me an email if interested)
  • Throw a Boagworld Party and dial into the show. To do this simply register a party on upcoming.org with the tag ‘boagworld’ and let me know by email.
  • Email me with why you would be a great guest on the show and we will pick the best to include.

Coming soon: Boagworld Bites

We have been putting some thought into the future of the show and have decided to introduce a new version of the podcast following the 200th episode.

This will not affect the current show that will continue to be released every Friday. However, we recognise that not everybody finds the current show to their taste:

  • Some find it too long
  • Others get annoyed by the banter (especially at the beginning)
  • Others are only interested in specific parts of the show (e.g. the interviews)

We are therefore introducing ‘Boagworld Bitesize (iTunes LinkRSS Link)’, which will be released three times a week. Each ‘Bite’ will be approximately 20 minutes long and will include one of the three sections of the main show. For example a ‘bite’ could consist of the news, an interview, a feature or a review.

This gives you the listener a choice. You can either subscribe to the existing show which is normally about one hour long. Or you can subscribe to the shorter ‘bites’. You also have the option of just downloading whichever ‘bite’ takes your fancy.

Hopefully this will increase our audience without alienating existing listeners :-)

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For those starting out

As this is our first podcast of 2010 it seemed only right to start from the beginning. I would therefore like to recommend a couple of sites that provide some excellent basic information for those starting out.

Now if you have really just started out in web design then I would recommend Build Your Own Website The Right Way Using HTML & CSS by Ian Lloyd or The Website Owners Manual if you are running a website rather than building it.

However, if you are looking for the next step, then check out the following two websites:

  • Web Design + – This site is an amalgamation of web-standards solutions for common web development issues and problems — a way to tackle development in the cleanest, most accessible and semantic way possible. It is a great starting point for anybody new to standards.
  • Getting started with jQuery – Six Revisions have recently posted an article providing an outline of jQuery. It asks why use a Javascript library before going on to explain the basics of how jQuery works. It’s a great starting point for any designer looking to move beyond HTML and CSS. That said, it is also good to understand Javascript itself and for that I would recommend DOM Scripting by Jeremy Keith.

That should be enough to keep you newbies occupied ;-)

User experience resources

Talking of useful resources, there have been a couple of new user experience ones worth mentioning.

The first is a post by Smashing Magazine entitled 25 User Experience Videos That Are Worth Your Time. To be honest it is somewhat overwhelming because all of the videos are so good. There is just too much content to watch!

It even has one of my favourite UX talks ever, UX Team of One by Leah Buley of Adaptive Path.

The second resource is a new website called 52 Weeks of UX. The site is the work of Joshua Brewer and Joshua Porter. It appears to be a 52 week project that has only just started. Each week they are posting user experience related articles and judging by the first two it will turn into a useful resource.

The posts are short and easy to digest. I also love the fact that they are not just focused on web based user experience. They are already talking about advertisements, call centres and any other contact point with your organisation.

Ambient user experience

While on the subject of user experience I would also like to briefly mention Ambient User Experience.

I recently wrote a post on stock photography. At one point I wrote:

Good imagery is about conveying a sense of personality and character, not a literal representation of what you do.

What I was talking about there was apart of ambient user experience.

As UX booth explain in their recent post on the subject, ambient user experience is about shaping how users feel about their experience. It does not necessarily make something easier to use and is not intrinsic to getting stuff done.

Instead it creates a tone and personality that influence perception. In my opinion this kind of subtlety sets apart a great site from a good one.

If you have a well established site that has overcome many of the basic problems of usability, accessibility and content, then you should be looking at ambient user experience. This is the area that will allow your website to move froward and not stagnate.

Explaining the fold

Let’s conclude by moving from advanced subtleties of design, to addressing a fundamental basic – the fold.

As designers we love to chant the mantra, “there is no fold.” However, although we know this to be true we are often bad at communicating it to clients.

If you are a website owner, you may well be wondering what us designers are talking about. After all when you load up your webpage you can clearly see the point at which users have to scroll.

What then is the fold and what does it mean to the design of our websites? How do you explain that it isn’t the issue it appears to be at first glance?

Well the guys at Clockwork have attempted to clarify the situation in “How to discuss the fold with clients.”

Although this is obviously aimed at web designers who struggle to explain why the analogy of the fold is fundamentally flawed, it is also useful for anybody unsure about the fold.

In short I would pretty much recommend this post to anyone.

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Interview: Kevin Rose, founder of Digg.com

At this years at Future of Web Apps I was fortunate enough to interview Kevin Rose, the founder of digg.com about running online community. To read the transcript of this interview go to: Kevin Rose On Community.

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Interview with Andreas from Codeslam

Stanton: Ok, so joining me today is Andreas Carlsson, and we’ve got him on tonight to talk to us about CodeSlam, Hello Andreas!

Andreas: Hello.

Stanton: How are you?

Andreas: I’m Fine. Fine thanks.

Stanton: Fantastic! Ok, so do you want to give us your elevator pitch, a really quick run down of what Code Slam is and what it does?

Andreas: Yea i’d Love to. Code Slam is basically an online code editor and a development environment and we like to think of it as like code development in the cloud.

The goal is to have a device and a platform independent coding environment where you have no setting up of local servers, no configuration, no installing apache or php or mysql, just log in and start to develop your web projects. Right now it supports php, and all that good stuff. We wanted to have a clean warm interface where you can access your web projects from anywhere, anytime.

The main target is front end developers and designers who do a lot of coding and developing and but also the tech savvy and pros can use CodeSlam as an extension to their existing development environment. You can sign up at http://www.getcodeslam.com and get started, and that’s about it.

Stanton: Fantastic, so do you see this being like a replacement for a normal desktop based editor, development environment, or kind of a supplementary thing?

Andreas: Somewhere in between. The phase we’re in right now is stable basic functionality, so we’re starting to poke around projects in CodeSlam. The only time you can’t use CodeSlam is when you don’t have web access, so it might be a good idea to have an offline version. We’re integrating SVN or Getintoit, so you can work on your projects when you don’t have internet access.

Stanton: Ok, so you’re integrating source control directly in the editor, so is that automatic, are you doing that for people who don’t want it, or do they have to set it up separately?

Andreas: Not actually sure how we’re going to solve it right now, but the basic idea is to have, we’re not going to have our repository on our CodeSlam servers, so people can have, use external repositories service like you do in Coda, or most other code editors, you just collect yourself to the repp and it automatically picks up changes from the repp and into CodeSlam.

Stanton: Ok, so if people already have a repository they can just tap straight into that. So if someone’s across the other side of the world at an internet cafe and they need to do some emergency fixes they can log into CodeSlam, connect to the central repository and start making changes straight away?

Andreas: Exactly.

Stanton: Fantastic. OK so their are other browser based editing environments, the first one that comes to mind is Besbin by Mozilla, how are you different from those, or what’s the feature of CodeSlam?

Andreas: I think where we’re different is we’re trying to focus on a little more of the user flow. Many of the other services similar to CodeSlam, their either imitating a desktop app on the web or their just real focused on getting as much technology and features into it. But we’re trying to have it really really simple. It’s very simple to create a project, connect to your live web server, and start the project. So I think the user flow, the logics of how you interact with it, is what sets us apart. Also I think we have a little more friendly interface and environment.

Stanton: Ok, so i’ve tinkered about the beta you’ve got up and running at the moment, and it seems to be quiet focused on collaboration as well, getting people in so you can collaboratively work on projects, I guess that’s another main focus of yours.

Andreas: Yea it is, and that’s also where the subversion thing come in to.

Stanton: And you’re in beta at the moment aren’t you?

Andreas: Yea, private beta actually. We have a few hundred people signed up, and we let, I think 50+ in to try it, because there’s somethings we thought would be greater use to us, that has been some pretty huge issues to solve.

Stanton: So what’s the ultimate road map, when are you aiming to go live effectively?

Andreas: The basic road map is public beta this first week in October, and then go fully live in the beginning of January. We were running a little late for the public beta, so I think January we can do.

Stanton: Ok so for anyone wanting to sign up for the Beta queue or find out more information where can they go?

Andreas: getcodeslam.com.

Stanton: OK, and you have a @codeslam as well?

Andreas: Yea, it’s @codeslam, yea.

Stanton: Alright well that’s great, so hopefully we’ll get some people interested and we’ll hear back from you soon as to how it’s developing.

Andreas: Perfect, thanks very much.

Stanton: Cheers!

Thanks goes to Chris Pasveer for transcribing thi
s interview.

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