tecznotes

Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Apr 30, 2007 6:59am

cameras, twitter, style sheets

Three things that are making me happy right now:

  1. My Sony/Ericsson w810i phone camera.
  2. The page layout on Twitter.
  3. display: in-line and background-color in CSS.

I got the new phone after my going-on-four-year-old Nokia was stolen in February. It was the only decent candybar phone being offered by any of the local providers, and I switched from Verizon to Cingular just to get it. In addition to accepting MP3's of P+B as ringtones, it has a camera on it that totally beats the pants off the Nokia N90 that I tried out last year.

I also recently came crawling back to Twitter, after leaving in a huff in four or five months ago. This time, I'm being less profligate with the friends feature and I'm posting mostly pictures instead of words. I like the idea of Twitter as a constrained medium for short bursts of communication, and the fact that a few of the people I know using it don't make an extra effort to page back into posts they've missed. It's a very in-the-moment style of update, and I think it's far more appropriate to camera phone snaps than Flickr. They give you a permalink for your "tweets", but it's not a focal point like on the photo-sharing sites. This makes Twitter a better home for throwaway shots, albeit one that has no built-in photo upload mechanism.

This is where twitter-pic.php comes in, a stupid-simple PHP script that accepts e-mails on STDIN and pushes their image contents to Twitter. Images too fleeting to post here belong there.

Technology aside, I very much like Twitter's page layout. Their default is a giant, statically-placed, user-defined background image with blocks of text-filled color in the foreground. It's quite elegant, and very CSS-appropriate. I keep noticing these little technology-driven design details being celebrated and even jumping media boundaries. Tom showed me a UK magazine the other day that's using text block backgrounds directly nicked from the default rendering of an in-line element with a defined background color. This particular detail has a cultural resonance as well, after six years' worth of popping up in the news in the form of redacted government documents (see New York Times and John Emerson).

This has really been a long way of saying that I just redesigned my website incorporating phonecam pictures, giant backgrounds, and blocky text backgrounds, and that you should let me know what you think.

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