Monthly Archives: February 2011

Open Creative

One of the things that I most admire about photography and the internet is that anyone can get involved with both.
Within 15 years of the invention of photography, cameras, darkrooms and nascent photographers had bloomed everywhere even in small towns in the 1850s. One of the very first places that a woman could own her own business legitimately in the Victorian era was a photography studio, and women did. For the last 150+ years, photography has grown beyond a specialty into a life, creative outlet, as well as snapshot hobby for billions of people worldwide.
The internet has been much the same in the last 18 years, the barrier to creative entry has been relatively low: access to a machine that can access the internet. Many millions -> billions have taught themselves the rudimentary coding skills necessary to maintain a website or blog online and are expressing themselves thereof.
One of the things that I have loved most about Nokia as a company and as a mobile culture is that they have brought mobile camera phones to millions -> billions worldwide, and regardless of my own personal feelings of the recent (mis)alliance between Steve + Stephen, Nokia has pioneered the mobile camera phone space and will most likely be on the forefront for a least a couple more years.
Beyond the great hardware that Nokia has created for camera phones in the last six years, I have been very excited about the development of Qt and the open source development platforms that Nokia has been rolling out since 2008. My greatest hope is that they will continue pursuing this space and my greatest fear, due to Mr. Ballmer’s hate on for all things open, is that they will not.
As humans we are at our best when we are creative and when we share with love. We teach our toddlers and kindergartners to share. Creativity is best served openly, with the transmission of knowledge, mentoring, passion, and the art product freely without restrictions.
If you want to give your art and knowledge away, good. If you want to charge for it, good. If you want to share your source code so others can learn how to code as well, even better. If you want to copyright your material, good. If you want to copyleft it, good. Just create and encourage those around you to do so, be it art, music, photography, code, software, cooking, sewing, knitting, hair coloring, web site creation, writing, blogging, bulding, making, creating, etc. etc. etc.
Regardless, create and share creation.
To that end, my goal for the next six months is to finish my Qt mobile app for photographers, to blog here more often, to photowalk more often, and to get involved in an open source community where I can share my passion and learn from others.
And if at all possible, with all the other travel planned for this spring, I will try to get to EuroPython as I do love the Python community and after all that has gone on the last few bits, I think it is time I participate more fully in the community around my favorite programming language.
What about you?

Sometimes…

Sometimes a thought will pop up in my head that is fully formed and completely contrary to current thoughts on a subject and contrary to the evidence at hand, but in the long run the thought will turn out to be completely true and will come to pass. Most of the times that this has happened to me, I am not the primary actor who could or could not make the contrary thought come to pass, usually it is forces that are larger than myself, outside of myself that are the primary actors and my actions are how I react to it or the situation.
I have never been comfortable about calling this knowing a premonition or ESP. I suppose if I was a futurist or an analyst, I would have a lucrative career with these knowings. But mine are much more whimsical, as they are usually about art, music, or people.
I am sure that there are a legion of psychology studies that have explained away or rationalized this type of behavior; but whatever the reason, it still happens.

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Nokia + Microsoft = 11 Days of Links

Since my life has continued to be personally challenging, I have not had the time to blog about my thoughts on the Nokia + MicroSquash announcement but here are my favorite articles of the last eleven days:
* asymco on In memoriam: Microsoft’s previous strategic mobile partners
* outsider on Microsoft Buys Nokia for $0B: “This is a coup, folks.”
* C. Enrique Ortiz on Reaction to Nokia 2011 Strategy Announcement (and Microsoft relationship)
* Mobile Monday Silicon Valley’s Mike Rowehl on Nokia and Microsoft: “So to all the other developers out there who are going to be hearing a ton of marketing down the line about the Microsoft/Nokia partnership and trying to make some sense of it, remember that this isn’t a two party deal. This is really about Microsoft, Nokia, and us. And in business deals like in poker: if you look around the table and can’t figure out who the sucker is, it’s you.”
* Roland Tanglao hits the whole matter on the head with point #2 in February 11, 2011 shall henceforth be known as #Nokia #Microsoft Co-Dependence Day 🙂 and further hits the nail on the head with a second blog post in Nokia execs believed it couldn’t do 21st century mobile phone experience hence Nokmsft & the move to Windows Phone 7
* Jonathan Greene on Nokia the OEM: “Microsoft gets a new hero manufacturer to abuse. If Nokia enables Windows Phone sales he wins – on both sides of the equation. Nokia as a company and brand has some major issues to resolve.
The real issues facing Nokia are remain the same. They still need to attract developers and require some major assistance still in the US, the largest smartphone market. Microsoft has barely made a dent and it seems their sales are in the channel rather than end user. Windows Phone is a fresh start in a race that’s been active for years. Android while more competitive for Nokia as an OEM would have been an easy option for developers to work with given the stratospheric growth and sales of Android products over the past two years. Windows Phone is certainly nice, but that’s all it is. There are no standout applications yet even though the growth has been reasonable. Time will tell, but I’m not feeling this at all.”
* Former Nokia designer, Adam Greenfield, who would not blog about Nokia upon departure has now blogged in Nokia: Culture will out: “I have to conclude that it’s this inability to even perceive the clear makings of an unacceptably bad user experience, let alone address them as profound obstacles to success in the marketplace, that leads to situations like this.
Another, blunter way of putting it: there’s nobody with any taste in the decision-making echelons at Nokia. And this is especially unfortunate and ironic, given that elegant, simple Finnish design has tutored generations in what taste means. My whole tenure in Espoo was soured by the nagging counterfactual, “What if Nokia had embraced and extended the finest traditions of its own national design culture, in its approach to the global mass market?”
Something tells me that Stephen Elop, whether or not he turns out to be a Trojan horse for Redmond, will be comprehensively unable to help in this department.”
* Today, former Nokia Lifeblog creator & executive Christian Lindholm, came out in favor of the alliance from a long term design cycle perspective in The beauty of the Nokia Microsoft deal:”In UX circles we have for a long time talked about Context or Task Centric UIs. UX people agree that context or task centric experiences are the future, but no one has stepped up and launched one, until Microsoft Phone 7. The Microsoft Phone UI is called Metro, from the underground network that connects you seamlessly from one place to another and from the clear signage the real world is full of. It is a great name, and a powerful guide for designers. It the first UI that has taken bold moves towards the context UI. (one of my visions here from 2007). The Metro vision is from 2004 it seems a long time ago, but designing these UI’s take a long time. A key reason is timing the paradigm shift. Microsoft simply had the guts to do it first. A huge bet. We do not know if it pays of, but one thing is certain it will be the catalyst to the next paradigm if it is not it. The most important sign is user reaction which generally is positive. Once that happens the rest will unlock.
Both Microsoft and Nokia knows that this is where things are going. Nokia is joining an industry transformation or even a disruption, started by Microsoft. It is a transformation, because we need to rethink how services work, how users are drawn into the services, and how branding is done and how customisation is done. How services are mashed up. Lost of challenging Service design rather than UI or UX design. Metro takes the UX business and turns it into a service business.”
Lindholm makes the first compelling argument for the Nokia + MicroSquash (mis)alliance, but I am still afraid that MicroSquash’s inerrant ability to crush and bankrupt partners as well as their deeply ingrained distaste/hate for all things open will be more detrimental to Nokia than the possibility that the two companies could *possibly* be on the vanguard of a whole new mobile UI / UX archetype.
Deep down inside, I am wary and more than a bit horrified at the Nokia + MicroSquash deal. It still smells slightly rotten to me.

My Brother Joe

Joe Hanen waiting at a light
Fri 02.18.11 – I met my brother for lunch today and we walked across the street from his office to a very delightful and tasty Peruvian place, Renzo’s. The sun was trying to peak through the clouds and the light was very nice, so of course I had to take a photo as we were waiting to cross the street.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.