You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

September, 2008


So once again, I don't necessarily have enough to put into a "proper" entry, but I have lots of random thoughts and links I've been collecting over the last few weeks. I really do swear at some point I'll get back to the regular blogging schedule, but it's probably going to have to wait a bit until things slow down.

  • The Barbarians and I are having a party on Friday in NYC. You should come.
  • More Americans watched Obama's closing-night DNC speech "than watched the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing, the final "American Idol" or the Academy Awards this year." (Seems like ages ago now, I know.)
  • Someone decided the world needed a Twitter marketing agency.
  • Fascinating look at the links between Wikipedia entries. The center of Wikipedia: The aggregate article for 2007. "It takes on average 3.45 clicks to get to any of the 2111479 articles reachable from it." Interestingly the most central non-aggregate entry is actually the one for the United Kingdom, followed by (and there's no chance you were thinking this), Billie Jean King.
  • Fake following just might be the "most important feature in the history of social networks". Seriously. FriendFeed implemented it and basically to the person you're following it looks like you're paying attention, but in reality you're not. Fits in nicely with my opaque friend management idea, which is basically that it's easy to not "friend" someone in real life: You just go to the bar and go get a drink. But in the binary world of social networks, this process is a whole lot trickier. Fake following is a step in the right direction. (As is friend groups on Facebook, which I've just started messing around with.)
  • Speaking of Facebook, I've been playing with it much more lately and been running into an unbelievable number of interface quirks. When you spend enough time on a website, as many do on Facebook (including me), little UX issues start to magnify quickly.
  • A computer virus infected International Space Station laptops. We were just having a conversation the other day about how being a rocket scientist isn't necessarily the highest level of intelligence anymore ... I believe when I forwarded this along I included the note "virus author > rocket scientist" ... For whatever that's worth.
  • TechCrunch had a good piece on how NBC screwed up the Olympics web strategy. (Wow, I really need to start writing more often than once every two weeks. These were all interesting in a world before Palin.)
  • Zara is a super fascinating company. On the occasion of their taking the crown of world's largest retailer away from The Gap, The Telegraph has a nice profile of just how they made it happen.
  • Open source is all the rage: Laconica is an open source Twitter (finally) and Opentape is an open source Muxtape. (I haven't played with either yet, so use at your own risk.)
  • My friend Charlton is a professor at NYU and writes a blog about race and politics. Not surprisingly, his blog has been of fire lately with interesting insights. Check out Breaking News: Republicans Support Affirmative Action (Sorta) and Preview of Republican National Convention.

Hmmm, really thought I had collected more links than that over the last few weeks, but I guess not. I'm sorry that I haven't had more time to write and think here, but I've just been totally crazed with work and other stuff.

It's also kind of odd, I just haven't had that much of an urge to write anything substantial (I've been keeping up on the "quickies" entries pretty well lately ... those are the ones on the right). Not sure why that is, but I feel like it is some kind of reaction to my recent desire to just make stuff. I feel like I've been fairly productive as of late, turning out Is the internet awesome? and my silly little iPhone ringtone. While these things don't seem like much, they feel like small wins: Part of some larger portfolio on internet ephemera that I'm quite proud of (for the record included in there is How Much Does it Buy? and Holy Crap! Facts).

Anyhow, it's late and I'm rambling a bit. Have a great night.

September 3, 2008
Noah Brier | Thanks for reading. | Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.