Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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I’ve recently added a new tag to my del.icio.us: “insight“. The articles I tag with this all have some single nugget or idea that I think is genuinely insightful. Most of them take something I think I know about and flip it in some way. I’ve got five articles with the tag so far, and I think they offer some interesting peeks into the world.

  1. more thingy: The first one comes from Russell Davies and I’ve actually mentioned it before. “I’ve liked noticing the solidification of the internet recently, it seems to be becoming more like a thing and less like a service or process,” Russell points out. He notes that it’s become much more like a commodity, you buy it with vouchers or it just exists in the form of signs mentioning free wifi. Finally he concludes, “Soon we’ll just stop mentioning it.” I think that’s the insight. It’s becoming ubiquitous and it’s only a matter of time (or generations) that we cease to even mention its existence.
  2. Why did we feel oddly liberated thinking the terrorists had struck again?: I’m not sure if this is insightful, or just stating something others are afraid to state, but it’s true. That’s the way I felt. “We know it’s coming. There was that apocalyptic but apparently far-fetched JFK plot, what almost happened this summer in London with the car bombs. Last Wednesday, when everybody thought it was 9/11 Part Two—at last—it was, at least to some New Yorkers, something of a relief. We could deal with it and move on.”
  3. Pixels are the New Pies: Anil Dash points out that increasingly infographics are using pixels to represent data instead of pie graphs. He asks the question (amongst many other smart ones): “Is the square format more familiar to readers now because of the preponderance of the pixel in pop culture?” I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I saw the photo below over at swissmiss the same day.


  4. On Stickiness: This is one part lesson and one part insight. The lesson comes in the form of understanding that if you want to find insights its great to understand what’s going on underneath/what’s the science behind something. In this case, Clay looks at the science of what makes something sticky and takes away three lessons for creating “sticky marketing”: 1. Make it flexible, 2. Make sure it can flow and 3. Make sure it has enough internal strength to provide resistance.
  5. Meet the Wired Retired: Last but not least is an article from Amelia. In it she points out the new Luddite might not actually be the elderly . . . “So the real Digital Luddites lie, I believe, somewhere in between our web-saturated youth and the wired retired. It’s the busy professionals, too frazzled from family, too washed out from work, who are simply too tired and scared to engage and explore new digital technologies. They feel they have enough technology to contend with during working hours to let it interfere with their leisure time.”

So that’s it. Would love to hear more thoughts and get some more links to insights. Also, I’m in Chicago for one more day, so if anyone has any recommendations on things to do I’d love to hear them. If you’re around town, drop me a line.

Oh, and I’m feeling much better, thanks for all the nice notes and comments.

August 3, 2007