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.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

More Desire Paths

I’ve written a few times about my fascination with desire lines: “the unpaved paths that people wear down over time.”

Anyway, Peter Merholz, who wrote the first post that exposed me to the idea, just wrote a new post on the topic:

Designers come from a tradition of figuring out the whole system, and putting it out there. But the success of Twitter has emerged from an approach that’s nearly 180 degrees from that. Twitter began simply as a way to post 140-character messages, and allowed remarkable freedom in following. Almost no structure was placed on the system. It’s through the paths that users have worn in the system (e.g., @ replies, retweets, hashtags, followfridays) that Twitter has grown to realize the value of the service, and they’ve made initial steps to “pave” those most popular paths (most notably replies, though Doug mentioned that they are considering how to more formally support retweeting as well).

October 27, 2009