Productive humans make mitsakes

I don’t get that sinking feeling in my stomach when I realize I’ve overlooked a typo or two. This seems to be an increasingly common trend among my peers, and with so much digital communication, I’d venture to guess that it’s statistically bound to happen every day.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time tutoring writing to a range of professors, ESL students, children, and old folk. A forgettable portion of my time was spent actually going over basic spelling, grammar, and punctuation; nearly all of my time was spent on the overall message. …

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The motivations of a new economic detractor

The day that KISS released their 11th album, Lick it Up, they appeared on MTV without their over-the-top, signature makeup they’d long been known for. It was 1982 and it was the first public appearance by the band where they didn’t don the demonic faces that they’d gone through such hell to wear on every occasion. This change broke the 4th wall for a lot of fans. These long-admired musicians became overly relatable to some, if even subconsciously. You were more aware of their blemishes, both literally and psychologically—like seeing with a sharper lens. These transformations happen a lot in life, frequently on a larger scale. Perception changes with the things you learn, whether that’s abandoning your favorite restaurant for a single bad experience or falling in love with a stranger because they have the same favorite movie. Knowledge evolves perception and that evolution helps to steer your micro and macro path, sometimes derailing them entirely. …

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A letter to the newlyweds

Tumblr’s great. It’s clean, simple, and the userbase is all about great content. There are some fundamentals missing that I haven’t seen addressed, though. Now might be a good time.

1. Too many things are hidden. A lot of the basic functionality is masked by 12px dog-ears and hidden syntax. Take for example, the question mark. In order for readers to reply to your post, you need to insert a question mark (?) in your post somewhere. Anywhere. I haven’t been able to uncover why this is the case but I’d really like to know if I’m missing out on an important piece of user psychology here. I did, eventually, come across the page with the hidden, “tips” but these should generally be more visible/discoverable on the site. Mainstream users shouldn’t need to go looking for basic social functionality. Only power-users go searching, remember syntax, and where the hidden page elements are. Normal users bail. This could be alleviated with something as basic as a pop-up tutorial or toggled overlay but, in any case, Tumblr shouldn’t be hiding such an important feature behind obscure actions. Save easter-egg features for the functions that most people aren’t looking for, like recovering old custom themes. …


Zac Pappis

2nd @DuckDuckGo

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