Khoi Vinh, former New York Times design director, makes three important arguments in a piece "The End of Client Services": 1) move beyond "publishing" to creating digital experiences; 2) build internal digital capacity to do this; and 3) emphasize good design as a differentiating factor, because the technology itself is now mature and widespread. Good lessons here for all types of organizations navigating the modern digital landscape. Some key quotes snipped (emphasis added):
The most critical time for designers to be involved in a digital product is all the time...
Digital media requires something different, though. It's not sufficient to just publish a narrative to the Internet. You have to build an experience around it, a system that lets the user experience the narrative but also one that responds to his or her inputs and contributions. Basically, to create anything meaningful in digital media, you need to think in terms of a product, not just a story.
"But more and more, every business is becoming a digital business, is responsible for digital products. If a company is not able to design, develop and maintain their own products without outside help, then what kind of future does that company have?"
"...because the technology has matured so greatly that the difference-maker is design."
GigaOM interviewed Joyent founder and chief scientist Jason Hoffman about the Node.js programming framework and its uses. Alongside the more technical discussion is an important quote about big data. Big data aren't the issue, Hoffman says. They've always been there. He frames the challenge as not about contending with data volume, but rather data delivery (connection volume) and interface — building responsive applications with real-time access to data. Have a look:
We talk about this "big data trend" very often. But big data's been around for a long time. We all had genomes ten years ago; we all have genomes now. Oil and gas data existed ten years ago; it exists now. So it's not so much that there's a lot of data. It's that we're actually interested in looking at data in real time. So we call these types of apps Data Intensive Real-Time applications: "DIRTY" apps.
Video from GigaOM
Philanthropic foundations have long made important investments in information gathering, analysis and dissemination on issues of public importance. Now a few of the big names are getting into the act of transforming that information into interactive digital resources. Three recent examples:
Added 7/14: The Ford Foundation breathes some digital life into the traditional foundation annual report with a number of excellent interactive features. Start here but note three features in particular:
Helping Traditional Communities Claim Their Territorial Rights
Demystifying Global Finance
Creating Infrastructure with Community Broadband
The Gates Foundation's "We Can End Malaria" interactive map projects the number of lives saved around the world from malaria as a result of four interventions. The feature received some coverage on Mashable. Check it out.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported via Twitter today that its new interactive map/database feature is the most popular its on rwjf.org. Comparing Health Care Quality: A National Directory is a "online directory for patients to find reliable information on the quality of health care provided by physicians and hospitals in their communities." Check it out.
Have some more examples? Send them our way.