March 24, 2006

What You Don't Drink, Serve

I'm in Vancouver for the next 6 or so days. The first four are devoted to the IA Summit, and then Stacy and I plan on staying a couple extra days to look around. (If you are a Vancouver reader of peterme and want to get together, email me.)

Anyway, this morning I wandered into the closest coffeehouse, Fahrenheit/Celsius Coffee. Looking at the choices, I asked the man behind the counter which roast is best. "I don't drink coffee," he replied. I turned to the woman behind the counter, "Me, neither."

Oops. By that point, I couldn't really turn and run, so I forged ahead with a cup of French Roast. Which was not a great cup of coffee -- brewed bitter and acidic.

But, really, mostly I was surprised that a coffeehouse would be run by people who don't drink coffee.

Posted by peterme at 07:31 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

March 22, 2006

Off My Chest

Maybe it's the forthcoming IA Summit. It's also probably my role as president of the IA Institute. But I feel obliged to stand up for my peeps (information architects), who have been oddly denigrated in this passage from 37Signals' "Getting Real" book:

Go for quick learning generalists over ingrained specialists

We'll never hire someone who's an information architect. It's just
too overly specific. With a small team like ours, it doesn't make
sense to hire people with such a narrowly defined skill-set.

What I don't understand is why 37Signals singled out "information architect" as the bugaboo job title.

It would have made a lot more sense to me if they had said, "We'll never hire someone who's just an information architect, or interaction designer, or graphic designer." Their point is that they need generalists not specialists.

But for some reason they decided to pick on a single profession. And of all the professions they chose to pick on, they chose the one that I consider to be (historically) the most generalist, so that doesn't make sense either. "information architects" typically do a lot more than information architecture.

All of which confirms my belief in the shallowness of 37Signals' views and rhetoric.

Posted by peterme at 06:58 AM | Comments (25) | TrackBack

March 19, 2006


So, I finally got around to finishing the season finale of Battlestar Galactica, and...


there they are on New Caprica, and Chief starts rousing his union members with a speech that sounds oddly familiar. And I realize, Hey! That's the speech Mario Savio gave standing on a police car during the Free Speech Movement protests. Any Cal graduate is familiar with that speech -- you'll see it at least once during your time there. And I thought, "Damn! It's pretty cool that that speech has such resonance over such a long period of time."

The power of well chosen words, spoken from the heart.

You can listen to it here. The passage used on BSG begins at 0:59.

Posted by peterme at 04:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Bruce Sterling dissects me

In a highly entertaining post on his blog, Bruce Sterling has at a passage from my conversation with GK Van Patter. It's a remarkably bit of linguistic and conceptual insight; Bruce is like a cat with a toy, bouncing it between his paws, picking it apart, not out of malice, but because that's what he does.

I should demur on the phrase "That Measure Map thing of his is amazing," as it was largely the work of others at Adaptive Path.

Posted by peterme at 04:16 PM | TrackBack


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