Ariana Osborne Eighty rod from the edge of the world. Less when the fog rolls in. 2020-04-08T16:49:11Z WordPress Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[In the process of breaking stuff.]]> 2020-04-08T16:49:11Z 2020-04-08T16:49:11Z To hell with test devs — wouldn’t you rather watch the magic as it happens?

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[Y’know, if I keep getting traffic from my garages…]]> 2020-02-15T19:02:58Z 2020-02-15T19:02:58Z I may have to start talking bits of esomechanica over here. Hm.

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[Speedslow]]> 2020-01-24T01:51:59Z 2020-01-24T01:51:59Z I’ve been in every major airport in the US, and not nearly enough abroad. Doesn’t really matter why, but I used to fly a lot. Life in a couple of bags, all the cliches you ever heard. Doesn’t matter.

Tonight I’m not thinking about planes. I’m thinking of those long, long hallways connecting terminals. I’m thinking about moving sidewalks, because I don’t think I ever have before.

You’re always tired when you hit the terminal, whether you’re going home or heading out. It’s easy to lose everything but heading to your gate or the nearest smoking section, easy as anything to become a moving object with nothing but a single objective. You’re never thinking when you hit the moving sidewalk, your legs just speed a titch to keep you from falling and then the world moves faster.

Count it: Ten steps to the sidewalk, five, speedpace-three-two-now. And then the periphery of the world is sharper or softer or not there at all, but the world is moving with you until the break. And then count it: Ten steps to the end, five, slowpace-three-two-lurch. That damned lurch- it always snaps me just a little, that moment when the ground stops moving. The world not going as fast as it could anymore, and me on my way home or to the nearest smoking section.

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[Oh yeah…]]> 2020-01-02T15:25:10Z 2020-01-02T15:25:10Z …Forgot about this.

Well: Happy New Year.

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[XMAS APPROACHES RAAR]]> 2020-11-26T15:21:20Z 2020-11-26T15:17:51Z null

You know people with walls. You know people that wear clothes. You also know people that like robots. You, I’d hazard a guess, know people that have walls, wear clothes, AND love robots. I’ve solved xmas for everyone on your list — make with the clicky.


(Some people don’t like robots, I know. Jamie’s got those people covered, too. Seriously, clicking.)

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[Where is my other shoe?]]> 2020-11-12T22:59:41Z 2020-11-12T22:50:43Z Things this essay is not:

1. A tirade about web killing print, or print’s superiority to television, or anything vs. anything, really.
2. The work of a qualified web theorist
3. Sourced worth a damn
4. An essay

If you want any of that, go somewhere else.

I am so. fucking. tired. of people saying web is going to kill print. As tired as I am about people telling me that books are better than movies. So I’m just going to put this out there, for the record:

You’re all retarded. Shut up. You deserve the rounded edges on your user interfaces because you CLEARLY cannot handle sharp edges.


I feel better.

That should get rid of all the know-it-all bastards, too, so now we can talk.

I’ve been thinking about the web. Haha, SURPRISE. But, more specifically, I started out thinking about print, and what the written/printed word can do that nothing else can. And what pictures can do that words cannot. And how that changes once you make those pictures move. And when, and if, you need to accompany your moving pictures with sound.

Yes, I’ve just now gotten around to dissecting the pros and cons of media, and wondering what, if anything, makes the web a different beast. (This is a lie, but I’m just getting around to writing it down. So we’ll pretend like I just got here.)

Because that’s really what all of this design and 2.0 nonsense is about. It’s about capitalizing on a different animal. Or, at least, it should be. The point, I fucking well hope, is NOT that the web is just like anything (only better). The point, I fucking well hope, is that the web is different, and we can do different things with it.

So I went back to mags printed in 1997 and found that yeah, we were pretty sure it was different back then. We were, in fact, really excited about the new challenges we’d face with this radically new content distribution system. And then we promptly set up online television stations, online printing presses, online radio, an online postal service, and online telephony.

Way to go, neenernet. You’ve managed to recreate the world we already had, just a little faster.

So let me, as a singularly qualified individual with no idea what I’m talking about, point out exactly what it is that the intertubes CAN do, what makes it different, and what you’re doing wrong.

You can trust me.

I’m not an expert.

Hyperlinks: Or, Why are we underlining everything?

Credits, supplemental information, and further reading are not new concepts. Neither are bibliographies, footnotes, or sources. For a very, very, very long time we have added information at the end of movies, or inline in books, that allowed the viewer to follow up if they were interested. And when we moved to electronic communication, we pulled that concept in, too. I can link you anywhere or nowhere, inline or in the sidebar. Hell, I can even embed a sound or video file if that’s relevant. At the simplest, links allow me to provide you, my reader, with credits, supplemental information, further reading, bibliographies, footnotes, or sources. See also: wikipedia. See also: google.

But that’s… well it’s certainly convenient, but how is that really any different from the linking of information we were already doing?

It’s not.

Digest that for a second.

Hyperlinks aren’t cool, or new, or exciting — not in base concept.

So why the hell am I talking about them (aside from my obvious need to talk whether I’ve got something to say or not)? Because the thing that hyperlinking online does that no other medium can mimic is the instantaneous transmission of information. Which is a few big stupid words that basically means: You don’t have to wait to find out more.

Did we forget that? I mean, don’t any of you remember reading a short story and having to wait until your next trip to the library to find out if the author had written anything else? Don’t you remember when we had to figure out definitions from context, or walk across the room or town to find a dictionary? Because we seem to be taking linking for granted, these days.

I’m not saying “I’m old, and in my day there was walking through snow before fire.”

(Well, yes, I kinda am.)

But I’m saying “Once upon a time we chose carefully what information we ‘linked’, because we had limited space and time. Now we do not. So why are you sending me in circles? I’m running out of time, again.”

Listen. Please. It is incredible that you can just underline a word or a name, and I can follow that to new information. It’s fucking amazing. It’s the future. But.


But we’re using this amazing little miracle and using it, almost exclusively, to datamine. Which is great, sure, and necessary… but if everyone’s just pointing at content, where does the new content come from?

Apparently, someone got it into their head that all it takes to be a journalist is an access to the wire. That the news is just pointing at information and saying “LOOK WHAT I FOUND.” That, if content is cool, then finding it must be even COOLER.

And BoingBoing is, in fact, awesome.

We’ve just already got one of those. We’ve already, actually, got THOUSANDS.

So if your idea of a great new web site is some new way of linkmining and pointing me at content — some NEW way — then I am very excited and want to know more. If your idea for a new site is “Hey, this one time I totally scooped [insert news site here] and I could totally get famous if I did it all the time”, well then congratulations — you’ve reduced the web to your old high school newspaper, printed on the office copier, and no different than 1986.

You’ve got the ability to transfer information. Immediately. To supplement or hype or credit or define. It is up to you whether you want to shoot info bullets, or fling the same shit everyone else is.

Your call.

Which brings me, because I’m so sorry I’m not done talking yet, to part two of Really Awesome Stuff We Can Do Online That We Can’t Do Anywhere Else But Damned If We’re Using It To Full.

Archival, Storage, Syndication, and Aggregation: Or, Where does it all come from, and where does it all go?

Collectors, infojunkies, and obsessives rejoice.

The web is awesome.

It’s all here. Everything. And if it’s not, yet, it will be in a minute.

We’ve got YouTube quickly filling up with all the videos ever, and new ones every day. Literally millions of billions of gajillions of minutes of streaming multimedia content. We can access is, embed it, download it, upload it, watch it, share it, and (sadly) read comments on it. LastFM is doing the same for music, with some copyright limitations, but you can find pretty much any music you want through torrents or even google. Flickr is an ongoing and nearly infinite scrapbook and art gallery. You can even collect your friends and contacts and everything in the known world (thank you, technorati, for that little bit of tongue in cheek) about them.

It’s the biggest library in the world.

It’s linkable.

It’s streamable.

It’s searchable.

It’s… a little much sometimes, isn’t it?

Which is why, if I didn’t make it clear in part one, data and linkmining are, of course, necessary. At some point, someone smarter than I am is going to get around to creating stations of content, probably staffed by pirate radio dj’s, that rebroadcast new content alongside supplemental and links. At some point. And then we’ll have reinvented radio, or network television, or magazines — maybe one better, maybe not. But didn’t I start all of this by saying I was looking at what made the web different?


Because when you have a seemingly limitless library, and you have the ability to access it immediately, and you have the ability to choose what to broadcast and choose what to pull…

When you have the ability to push and pull the information instantly, you have something new. Take another look at the right hand side of my screen. Yes, I’m just aggregating content from my friends list — but if they thought about it, and if I had a decent readership, they could push content to their site, through their site, to my site, to my readers.

Think about that for a second.

Remeber ye olde webrings of 2000? How you could move in a lazy circle of like-minded people, sometimes jumping up or down a level if you came to a new webring link? It wasn’t perfect, but it was the seed of RSS, I think. It was certainly the seed of my sidebar. Because if you’ve got a library, but you’re also IN the library, there’s another way to link information…

If you’re grabbing my rss, and I’m grabbing yours, we probably don’t want to both link the same site in a post. But if you link a site, and I’ve got more to say about it, and I know what I say is going to show back up on YOUR site… we’ll then we’ve started to have a conversation, haven’t we? Not in the comments section, or on a web forum that shoves us into a corner.

Aggregation and syndication, push and pull, friends lists and networks — when you add those in to this ever growing library where we can store anything — there’s the potential here for a constant growth of content.

Building on information. Not just storing it and sorting it and saving it and linking it.

Constant growth and dynamically shifting content that carries you and me not _through_ the library, but makes us the authors, photographers, creators, and curators.

Of course we’ve got to put it all somewhere, that’s the point of the storage, the need for the archival.

But we’ve got to realize we need to keep moving. We can’t just be sorting the data as it appears. Or we will run out, and become a dusty echoing repository. I know you don’t believe me — I know you think there will always be new stuff. Of course there will. You just won’t get to see it because you’ll be catching up on yesterday.

Which, I suppose, is part three.

Right Now: Or, This Matters. Or, The fucking point.

(With sincere thanks to Melissa Gira for letting me blather half of this at her last night, and certainly the theft of 80% of this directly from her.)

All that long, stupid, reiteration of concepts is really just to say this:

What really, really, I’m being serious, pay attention, sets the web apart from radio, television, print, and the neighborhood coffeeshop is that you’ve got 5 seconds, you’ve got 1024×768 pixels, you’ve got a MOMENT of life, THIS moment of life, to make a point. The irony of my loooooong post to come to that point is not lost on me. It’s the entire, hurt, screaming irony of the internet.

Twitter asks “What are you doing?” Say it. Right now. In 140 characters. That’s it. Touch quickly. What matters, right now. Not before. Not after. Right now. Make it quick. It’s already gone.

Tumblr says “Put it here.” Link it. Bookmarklet. Make it longer if you have to. But make it short enough to parse. Right now. What matters? What do you need? What did you see? Where was it? Leave a trail, but don’t stray too far. Touch in, touch base, make it quick, it’s already gone.

What seems a horrible handicap, this speed to the point of moments dropping off the front page too quickly to linger, this fucking frenzy of information, I give you leave to take a second and consider this:

If you only spoke of what matters, right now, not before, not after, how much more could you say?

Of course we need the archives, doomed to repeat the past if we don’t learn from it, etc, etc. Of course I’m thrilled to find an online novel I can dl in PDF and read at my leisure. Of course I don’t want to replace my life with a series of disconnected moments and broken transmissions.



But this is something different. This isn’t life, any more than your favorite tv show is life, or your favorite song is life, or your well-worn copy of a handwritten manifesto you found in an old bookstore is life.

This is entertainment, advertising, and sometimes networking to the point of comfort, yes, but mostly Just Another Medium. The web has the ability to push, pull, force, and ease content to and from everyone with $30 a month or a wireless card.

From anywhere.

About everything.

But only in a moment.

And if you make that moment SO IMPORTANT that it can’t be forgotten… and then move right on to the next thing — the next thing that is SO IMPORTANT that it can’t be forgotten.

Well that’s some goddamned entertainment, isn’t it?

That’s content so damned refined I can get a contact high just from 140 characters.

You know, if you can manage that.

If only there were some way for you to create content, and fill in the spaces with more content, from someone else, to create a constant stream of information, emotion, snapshots, videos, love, music, hate, words, sex, definitions…

Not a life online, but an online that anyone alive could dip in and out of at will. A place people want to visit, interact, and then go back out into that life to bring back more.

Well, there is.

It’s already here.

As soon as the other shoe drops.

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[I’ve gone mad]]> 2020-11-04T06:51:57Z 2020-11-04T06:49:33Z I’ve been coding and tweaking and nattering for some godIdon’tknowhowmany hours straight, so forgive me for being insane.

I’m going to write it down, anyway.

LOLCat captions are written in “Pidgin”. True story. That’s what they’re calling it.

People are having relationships via twitter in 140 character bursts.

Others are having entire conversations cross-site in Flickr photo tags. We’re talking in tags.

How quickly can you grab the relevant information off a page? 20 words? Ten? Five?

People may be as dumb as bricks sometimes — just look at the comments section of YouTube if you don’t believe me. Give people space to write and they’ll give you back shit, 99% of the time.

But with faster communication systems we’re learning to communicate faster. Developing complicated netspeak beyond just simple letter or word replacement. Shoving an entire twelve page rant into DO NOT WANT. We’re moving into, haha, radio communication. Roger that? Only it’s multimedia, because we can toss up a pic (worth a thousand of them) or a vid or an mp3 to sup the broken grammar.

Club, groups, scenes, doctors, pros in any field have always had lingo, faster than thought communication. A well oiled machine can talk faster than an outsider can listen. A loved one can lecture or praise with a twitch of the lips. We’ve always been able to communicate this fast, but never with so many at once.

Of course, we’re still sticking captions to cats.

But once we’re fluent at talking in nothing…

Well, some do enough damage with a couple thousand words.

You could crack the world with seven.

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[Do Better]]> 2020-10-27T06:15:14Z 2020-10-27T06:15:14Z “Video content overshadows prose.”

I see this opinion all the damned time. Most recently (a few minutes ago) it was a comment on a thread about multimedia online magazines (in reply to this post). And, as someone that fully intends to publish some of my stories, it pisses me right off. On the other hand, picking a fight on the internet is just going to end up hurting my brain, so I’ll just rant over here.

Look. If you want to write stories, and you’re worried that some other medium is going to overshadow them, go into another business. Seriously. If you’re afraid that moving pictures are going to get more views than your prose, then you obviously can’t write a scene that breathes. If you’re afraid that people are going to listen to mp3s instead of linking your shorts, then you probably can’t dialogue your way out of a wet paper bag.

But more people watch movies than read books.

Then write better.

But people are mindless sheep that don’t want to read.

Then write so damned well that they’ll have to.

If and when ever you say “some other content would overshadow my prose,” you’re basically saying “I don’t want to be judged, I just want to be consumed.” You don’t want to be read and enjoyed on your merit, not really — you want to have written something that was read because, well, there wasn’t a whole lot else going on.

You may, now that I think of it, have a career writing ad copy. Look into that.

Sidestep: That’s also why, in four days or so, people are going to start annoying the ever loving fuck out of me by posting Nanowrimo stats. So that, come December, they can say they’ve written a novel. It wasn’t, you know, great or anything. But if you don’t hold it up to any other content it’s still a whole lot of words. That counts, right?

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[We’re edging to the end of Phase One, yes.]]> 2020-10-25T03:27:48Z 2020-10-25T03:27:48Z Why is the web of TEH FUTURE all rounded corners? Are we all too retarded to handle sharp edges? Is that it?


Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[I don’t even drive.]]> 2020-10-21T02:17:32Z 2020-10-21T02:17:32Z Flying cars are for sky cities. We don’t want sky cities. That’s what happened to your flying car.

It’s as simple as that.

Look, listen, remember: Once we were heading for space. That’s where we’d built our gleaming sky cities — in a different atmosphere, with different tech, for a different world. And, of course, to tie the worlds together we’d build our own skies higher — so that our Pale Blue Dot would always be reaching up for our brothers and sisters in the heavens, up there, out there. Sure, some visions start on the ground and build up, others float on platforms above the clouds, but once we though we’d stop building out and start building up.

Of course, sky cities don’t come with private gardens.

Most cities don’t come with private gardens.

They come with public spaces, if built right, where men and women and boys and girls can meet and play during the day. But those gardens aren’t safe at night, and the darker parts aren’t safe during the day. And we never got space, and we likely won’t in my lifetime, so we went back to building out.

The suburbs: Close enough to work in the city, but far enough for a private garden. And you certainly don’t need to fly there.

That’s where your flying car went. Let it go. It’s just getting in the way now, because we can not rewind.

(And there’s a different rant, but I’ll say this: Why do you think so many people are trying to rewind to to the last industrial age of widgets and gears and cogs and tubes? Later.)

What we have are the cities, and the suburbs. I’m speaking from an American point of view here, because that’s where I live and that’s what I’ve got. I’ve lived from coast to coast, here, carefully avoiding the flyover states because they terrify me, carefully avoiding the suburbs because they terrify me too. So I’m pulling on a decidedly American City point of view — Eastern and Western seaboard. Let me always live near the sea.

I forget, all too often, that the suburbs and the land bound states exist. I forget there are places where the public spaces are all malled to oblivion, and the teenagers cannot even gather there anymore for fear of danger in numbers. I forget the parks close, even there, at dark. I forget that college radio stations should not broadcast past their borders or they may be pirates.

I forget, because I live in the city and play online, that the web is one of the only places left for the almost-growns to play. And many of the adults, too. Because who actually has time to tend that garden with the commute every day?

And what have we done to it? We’ve malled the public spaces, we’ve locked the private gardens, and we increasingly thought-police the places where people can gather in the name of NSFW.

It’s no real wonder, is it, that our vision of the future fleets between nothing at all and dystopian visions. At the least, if the world starts falling apart, there will be new places to build. At the very least.

Silly people.

We’ve got the tools to build a floating city, right here. One that doesn’t need to be split into ghettos based on any socio-political standards. One that doesn’t, like real cities do, screw DXing broadcasts from the ends of the earth. One that doesn’t, if you’ve got half a brain, need to close at dark for your safety. (Although, for your health, you should go out into that real world now and again.)

We don’t need to tear it all down and start again.


So yeah, that’s really all to say I’ve made new projects for myself and might be quiet again for a minute.

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[Easy there, girl, it’s just a meme.]]> 2020-10-19T06:48:52Z 2020-10-19T06:46:15Z Robot

*And sometimes: Meat Products
*And occasionally: Bees
*And everywhere else: Cats

Does anyone remember when these things weren’t called memes? (I’ve been zen link clicking again, yes.)

Just pitchures

Why do so many women want a Robot Boyfriend? Why does he always have a broad metal chest and long, bendy arms? Why does he always have just gentle, confused, eyes?

And one more sidestep: When did sexy costumes shift from cleavage and wigs and thigh-high everything to Zombie decay and walking death?

These things are everywhere, yes, I know, that’s because they’re memes. That’s all. Just memes.

But have you noticed the Monkeys are getting angrier and more angular? Did you notice when the pranks started involving knives?

And were you paying attention when the Pirates became a subject of scorn? Have you noticed we’ve made rebelling into a holiday for rejects, a special ed class, the dinghy on the short seas?

No, I’m not so young that I can’t think of similar fads and fashions going back to before I was born.

Mmhmm. I’m reading too much into a picture of innocence with no ability to speak in more than clipped and pained pidgen.


Oh Hai. Thers sumthing ther mebbe. Cant u see it?


Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[Delirious Moscow]]> 2020-10-13T22:57:49Z 2020-10-13T22:53:24Z In Search of Lost Vanguards
Excavation and Space Exploration in Constructivist Architecture

Fantastic feature essay at Archinect that manages to hit on a lot of my thinking lately. The discussion of the architecture and aesthetic alone would be great, but there are key notes scattered throughout the piece that apply to a much, much larger picture:

If Modernity, or Modernism, is our Antiquity, then its ruins have become every bit as fascinating, poignant and morbid as those of the Greeks or Romans were to the 18th century. Tarkovsky’s Zone is in some ways specific to the former USSR and a few locations in Estonia, yet practically every industrial or post-industrial country, has something resembling the Zone within it. Such an area would be, for instance, the remnants of industrial districts of East London. Beckton, Woolwich, Stratford, outposts marked by the cyclopean remains of silos, gasometers, factories. These are the places that inspired the Modernists of the 1920s: every manifesto from Le Corbusier’s Vers d’une Architecture to Moisei Ginzburg’s Constructivist response Style and Epoch had their lovingly photographed silos and power stations. Appropriately, also in the Zone can be found the bastard children of the Modernists, the scatterings of overambitious social housing, with their crumbling highrises and streets in the sky. These are remnants of something as alien and incomprehensible to the seamless mallscape of 21st century Capital, or the heritage Disneyland of European Urbanism, as Shklovsky’s Futurist Martians were to their contemporaries: only here without any of the insurrectionary promise of a new world, merely the ruins of a defunct future.

And this:

In contemplating these images however, one is reminded of the interesting element to Albert Speer’s otherwise utterly banal ‘Theory of Ruin Value’. Not the bit about the impressiveness of ancient ruins, and the need to leave similarly imposing remains. Rather, the psychotic, suicidal notion of building with the ruins already in mind: a death-drive architecture, where posterity’s opinion is internalised to such a ludicrous degree that, in a sense, the corpse has been designed before the living body.

Go read the whole thing.

Via William Gibson’s blog.

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[Sometimes I’m very quiet, yes.]]> 2020-10-13T07:26:16Z 2020-10-13T07:26:16Z Real life popped up, and I’ve got some mad projects on the Bunsen burner.

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[Crap.]]> 2020-10-08T03:52:14Z 2020-10-08T03:12:59Z I’m a little too old to have only just now had the realization that I should figure out what I’m good at.

Thank you, LinkedIn.

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[Not New]]> 2020-10-08T03:23:29Z 2020-10-07T17:11:00Z Thank you, Trebor Scholtz, for “The Web 2.0 Ideology”:

Illustrations of Web 2.0 commonly map an overwhelmingly large number of logos of startups, supposedly demonstrating that the creators have their thumbs right on the pulse of the Internet. These maps are meant to visualize the momentum of this phenomenon, while making the non-familiar user feel intimidated.

What sounds like 1960’s counter culture rebellion, against control and authority, is far from it. It is hard not to think of Richard Barbrook’s Californian Ideology, the “bizarre fusion of the cultural bohemianism of San Francisco with the hi-tech industries of Silicon Valley.” Web 2.0 ideologues use the language of rebellion, anarchy and horizontal structures but their core values do not support the goal of the Internet as a common good.

Social Networking: Not New.

Separation of content and presentation: Not New.

Writing out or recording info and putting it out there for anyone to find: Not New.

Collaborative knowledge: Not New.

And all the tech, all the buzzwords, all the hype, all the rest: Not New.

Thank god for everyone that realizes “New” is the deadliest buzzword of them all.

My “recent” nattering on about all this webcrap isn’t really new, either. For those of you just joining me, I do this every time I move. I got fascinated to near obsession with telephone and radio when I was four years old. We’d just moved some 1500 miles, and suddenly I needed to know how the world fit together. I didn’t know that’s what I was doing, I just knew that there were ways to talk to people that weren’t in the room. There are several cassettes (possibly) still in existence of a four-year-old me talking about my day, singing a couple of songs, and just saying hello to the folks I’d left behind. These were recorded on my scrappy little tape recorder with the built in mic, and mailed out at the post office.

I was an only child, yes.

I’m no web expert, and I’m sure as hell no tech expert, I’m just a grown-up girl that doesn’t know how to be lonely. I took up chat post ‘97 when I was moving too fast for anything else. But I had pen pals when I was eight. Not New. I can not remember a time when someone I loved didn’t live over 3000 miles away. My world has always been a social network. Always.

And I don’t know how to be lonely.

I don’t understand loneliness. It’s a creeping, dark thing that offends me. Missing people cuts me deeper than I know how to say, the holes where people should be in an empty room… oh that I feel and know and understand. But loneliness is a cruelty of ignorance. There is always some way to touch another person’s mind. Always. And no, it’s not always good enough, maybe it’s never quite enough — I’m a living creature and I crave physical contact — but it’s a balm and a comfort and a drive and a tool and when it works it’s good.

And I’m not talking about the web, right now. I’m just talking about contact.

Any form of contact.




More than just me.

Because that’s what’s always driven everything. You can say it’s knowledge and information, sometimes, but you’d only be half right. There’s no reason for information if there aren’t at least two people to build on it. Whether we’re talking about the web, or radio, or the corner cafe, or the neighborhood street fair, humans like to congregate, mingle, or just sit in a room with another person sometimes.

And that’s why I hate Web 2.0. It’s a name and a brand that calls itself the focus. And it’s just not.

I don’t care what the tech is called, any more than I care if my city was founded by Spaniards or Brits, named after a Saint or a King. I don’t care about the company selling me the coffee. I do not care about the neon-to-wall ratio at the bar. And while I do appreciate a good cover, it’s crap if the inside doesn’t follow through. I do not care for anything that sets itself higher than the content, and I do not care for content that sets itself higher than the contact.

If you aren’t trying to effect the world with your touch, your voice, yourself — if you aren’t trying to reach out for someone, anyone else, you don’t exist.

Back to point. Business and politics drive what we see, sure, and what we have to work with. So we’re focused on Web 2.0, for worse or worser. I can’t really do anything about that — see up-post where I mention the bit about being just a girl. What I can say is that we’ve already got enough tech to change the world. We do it every day, and sometimes it’s even done on MySpace (Not New). You wanna fix the web? (Of course you don’t, and I’ll probably stop caring in a few months, too.) But in the off chance you do?

Forget about where you are, forget about what your site runs on, forget about whether or not your tech will be obsolete tomorrow, forget about your graphs and tracking and analytics, forget about whether you’re doing it right.

You’re doing just fine.

Just tell me something new.

What did you do today?

I watched the sun rise.

Not New.

But I’ve never seen this day before. And neither have you.


Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[A serious question]]> 2020-10-05T20:52:26Z 2020-10-05T20:51:49Z Dear Google:

Why can’t I tag my emails? Sometimes folders don’t quite cut it.



(What? Don’t tell me that Google doesn’t parse everything that’s cached. It’ll get read. Just like my letters to Santa.)

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[Livin’ in a lonely world (with apologies)]]> 2020-10-08T03:23:54Z 2020-10-02T19:20:43Z From today I’m going to be handling cross-posting to LiveJournal a little differently.

I came to internet society via LiveJournal. I’d been tuning in to IRC channels for a few years, already — found those in… hell, ‘96 or ‘97? It seemed just right to make a handle and join in the conversation when I could. I was moving around a lot back then, and IRC was the internet equivalent of citizen’s band. And, not surprising, I spent many a sleepless night there, just checking to see if there were any other lonely voices on the waves.

I was sleeping about three hours a day, then. From ten in the morning to one in the afternoon. God I miss being young.

At any rate, in January of ‘02 I had slowed down a bit, and was without a personal website, so when I got an LJ invite from my friend Mao (who has since gone her way, and I hear from in bottled messages from her island a million miles away) I figured, what the hell. LivejJournal was fantastic in ‘02… It was invite-only, and many of us already knew each other from somewhere else. It was a little bit of a Bohemian settlement in the middle of the InterCityNet. I’m getting damned near sentimental… heh. That’s probably the reason why I’ve kept my account for so long. My LJ account is, in its way, my key back into a city I left years ago. It’s the slender line that connects me to wonderful people that I never want to have “left behind” even though I’ve moved out on my own.

Are my internet metaphors drive you nuts, yet? Maybe I should just call things what they are: Social Networks, Blogging Platforms, Friends Locked Entries, Categories, Links, and URLS. But I really think we’ve been focusing on the tech, the APIs, the marketing, and the buzzwords for so. fucking. long. that we’ve started to forget that “Sites” used to be called “Home Pages”, that “Comments” can still be conversation, and that “Users” are real people.

But to LiveJournal, where I still read, I still comment, and in an attempt to touch in and touch base I still crosspost: I think it’s time to stop echoing what’s going on over here, over there. I’m still going to crosspost any entries that link to other people, because I want to send those letters from the wide, wide, world. But I don’t live there anymore, you know? I just go back to visit, sometimes, and you’re all welcome to visit me, too. And I’m likely going to lose a few readers in my quest to figure out how all of this works, for me… but that’s all right. I’m just playing with how this net works.

I’m tired of twenty companies in Silicon Valley giving me their answers.

Isn’t anyone else?

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[The 4am @]]> 2020-10-02T06:43:50Z 2020-10-01T15:40:07Z Warren Ellis is doing a new podcast series:

The 4am is a mixtape file containing nothing but music donated directly by new and/or unsigned acts. The 4am is of no set length and is released on no set schedule. The 4am is mixed down to 128 of the kbps. The 4am will not clean your monkey. Do not feed The 4am.

Why this is Good:

Unlike, oh, say, the damned Hype Machine, you can count on the tracks from Warren being… well… good. I’m so terribly, terribly tired of music blogs that want so badly to have discovered the newest greatest thing, that they’ll just post any wailing in the hopes that it’ll get better. Or maybe it’s not their fault — maybe I’m just getting old. What is this noise, and all that.

At any rate, go have a listen. It’s perfect first-day-of-October music, even if you’re not a cranky old lady.

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[Sunday BrainDump]]> 2020-09-30T20:36:17Z 2020-09-30T20:36:17Z Half-formed thoughts from this week:

There’s no need to post an image if a word will do. Yes, sometimes you absolutely have to post the visual representation, but if I’m not talking about a particular shade, I can just type red. This applies to vids and sound, too. (This is only half in response to Winer’s Twitter Payload post. It actually applies to a fuckload of interbloat. And, frankly, you’re missing a channel if you can’t see that text is a payload.) Content is key, and when content can be packaged in words, there’s no need to distract with flashing lights and a stereo soundtrack.

That’s what’s so fucking brilliant about the Tumblr-style interface — it forces you to choose your method of conveyance. (Dear Winer: I think Tumblr’s what you’re looking for. See also: Flying cars are called “airplanes”, and Teleportation is often referred to as “love”. Sometimes it’s not that hard, people.) The text on Tumblr’s quotes/captioning on pictures is deliberately huge — it forces you to shut up at some point or risk filling the page with screaming. (The “chat” function should have been branded as “bullets”, I think. It’s a sadly underused style. I use the functionality for lists, myself.)

Of course multimedia has a place. This isn’t a “less is more” rant. I’m just as frustrated by minimalism for the sake of minimalism. If it’s obvious that you’re withholding content just to keep your site’s aesthetic… well that’s just petty, damnit.

I want sleek. I want streamlined. I want the bells and whistles when they are absolutely necessary. When, for instance, I am looking for extended bells and whistles media. I want the closest thing to raw content, in an aesthetically pleasing form. I want readable fonts and navigable menus. When possible, I don’t want menus at all — I want content to lead to content to lead to content. I want a web with a current. And I want it to run in the background when I’ve got other things to do — I want to dip in and out gracefully.

I’m not saying anything new, I know that.

Ariana Osborne <![CDATA[Sorry about any PHP Errors]]> 2020-09-30T00:57:07Z 2020-09-30T00:57:07Z I’m smack in the middle of an experimental site redesign. This follows a little from my rant yesterday, and a little from just being nuts.

I stumbled across Quipsologies, and yes, it’s an absolutely gorgeous layout. What struck me, though, was the use of two columns for content. So I’m outright stealing the idea, mashing it up with Tumblr, and sticking up here. was already a narrow-width single-column layout, but now the right side of the page is what I’m tentatively calling a Tumblogroll until some really bad pun comes to mind to replace it.

It’s a little bit of laziness — I visit these sites every day, anyway. It’s also, like I said, a bit of an experiment. The content on the right is often the content that inspires me, and it’ll be interesting to see that play inline. The people on the right are the people I find interesting, and it’ll be interesting to see the venn diagram of what I like and what you like.

But, I’m tweaking it live, so there’s a chance things will break or look strange for the rest of the day.

At any rate, I like it.