Yellow Arrow

Here’s another instance of amateurs beating professionals to the punch. There has been a lot of talk lately among a certain set of public historians (lots of it at CHNM, in fact) about moving networked historical information off the desktop and into the historical landscape using new mobile communications technologies like GPS, podcasting, WAP, andContinue reading “Yellow Arrow”

Amateur Historical Archaeology with Google Maps

He doesn’t call it historical archaeology, and there’s nothing to suggest he thinks of it that way, but that’s definitely what Michal Migurski’s “scar tissue” is. It’s also a very cool example of how web technology is democratizing history, helping ordinary people do some serious work.


Predictably, the Harvard undergraduate plagiarism scandal has focused more attention on the thief—sophomore Kaavya Viswanathan—than on the thieved, coming-of-age novelist Megan McCafferty. In terms of found history, however, McCafferty is much more interesting than Viswanathan. Each day in (retro)blogger, McCafferty offers a glimpse into her past, reproducing an entry from her own teenage diary forContinue reading “(retro)blogger”

Amazon History

Following on my earlier post, here are two additional examples of practitioner web histories, both concerning The first is an idiosyncratic, twenty-part insider’s account of Amazon in the late-1990s. The second, a more targeted piece by a designer unconnected to Amazon, documents what is probably the company’s most important contribution to the look andContinue reading “Amazon History”

Calendars as Timelines

Jeremy had a post yesterday about the buzz over timelines at CHNM. For the last year or so, we have been talking a lot about timelines, all of us coming to the topic at slightly different angles. Jeremy, for instance, is especially interested in the user interface challenges that online timelines present, and he’s toyingContinue reading “Calendars as Timelines”

Makings of a Classic

An interview with Phaidon editor Emilia Terragni about his new three-volume Phaidon Design Classics turned up Tuesday on digg. Accompanying the interview is a slideshow of twelve Designs That Never Get Old, consumer products from the last century that fit Phaidon’s definition of classic design. Among these are the table-top Kikkoman bottle and London’s familiarContinue reading “Makings of a Classic”

Google, Miro, and Commemoration

I’m sure many of you noticed the recent controversy over Google’s use of Spanish surrealist Joan Miro’s work in a logo commemorating the 113th anniversary of the artist’s birth. Intended by Google as a “tribute” to Miro’s “extraordinary contribution,” the artist’s family and their representatives at the The Artists Rights Society nevertheless cried foul andContinue reading “Google, Miro, and Commemoration”