Paul Ford

(1974– ) Writer, editor, programmer. Working on a book about web pages for FSG. Contact ford@ftrain.com if you spot a typo.


How to Be Polite

Most people don’t notice I’m polite, which is sort of the point. I don’t look polite. I am big and droopy and need a haircut. No soul would associate me with watercress…


Yes to the Dress?

Right now people in my professional world (content platform pontificators) are avidly discussing the traffic garnered by a single picture of a blue-and-black dress that could…


Sausage streams!

Well, here’s what I know: Yesterday, someone told me about a friend of theirs who has Attention Deficit Disorder. It was like opening a…


Just Checking In


By Virginia Heffernan and Paul Ford

Virginia Heffernan and Paul Ford have never met, but have often crossed paths—we live in New York City…

Publications edited by Paul Ford

A collection of sensations (to see what sticks)

Latest Story

Sausage streams!

A notebook of observations, for when I am between projects in the day and need to clear my mind.Paragraphs start with “When” or “Sometimes.” Pieces take the form W-SS-WWW-SS-W. All pieces written in 10 or 20 minutes.


It’s Kind of Cheesy Being Green

Apple is petty sometimes


A few months ago my friend Edd Dumbill shared a discovery. He pointed out that if you search Twitter for the words “green bubbles” you’ll find very consistent results. People hate green bubbles. Example:


How PAPER Magazine’s web engineers scaled Kim Kardashian’s back-end (SFW)

PAPER Magazine “broke the Internet” when it put a naked Kim Kardashian on the web. This is…


An email I sent about the Chinese Room in 2003


I have 420,000 messages in my mail archive (many of those are from mailing lists, though) and I made them searchable. I keep finding crazy things. I enjoyed finding this.

From: Paul Ford
To: searle@—.—.—
Subject: Fan letter
Date: Thu Aug 14 01:45:20 2003


1.

You Will Build Your Own Google

Or maybe map a genome. Or do something truly insane. All thanks to dirt-cheap cloud computing.


My daughter, the user

What my toddler told me about making websites

And yes I know that sounds like clickbait but it really is the subject of the essay


How to Email with an Old Friend After Falling Out of Touch


An old friend of mine was on the Internet and came across an article that I had written, so she emailed to say hello. I was…


How to get through painful family conversations this Thanksgiving


  1. Listen to what the people in your family have to say. Don’t say anything right away. If people expect an instant reply, say, “I am thinking quietly to see if I can understand your point of view.” See if you can understand their point of view.
  2. This is really hard and you won’t get it totally right…