All posts for “history”
There is just something funny about the not-too-distant past, especially when it comes to explaining technology. Here the interestingly named (and still in the media) Kim Komando explains computers for a TV audience in a series called Komputer Kindergarten. The editing is choppy, but still fun to watch. Email readers can watch here. Via Gizmodo.
Lee is a hand model - of sorts. When you see a finger appear in a Common Craft video, it’s usually Lee’s right index finger. Each video is live action footage and before each shoot, this finger is inspected and potentially manicured for each performance. When problems persist, the left index finger may be used. In some cases, Sachi’s hand appears when handwriting is required. We could keep Dunder Mifflin in business. Each video is shot with hundreds of paper cut-outs. Each cut-out begins... Continue Reading
It’s easy to look back at Internet history and spot the points of major change. A famous example is the Web 2.0 era which spawned products like Twitter, Facebook and other lasting features of the Web. Some would say we're in the cloud era now, with nearly everything we do on computers being moved to off-site servers. Within these big, tectonic shifts are smaller shifts that also make a difference. YouTube was a big shift that kicked off online video in 2005 and in the years since, we’ve seen... Continue Reading
A few months ago, we released a completely new and different Common Craft. This is the story of the big ideas that drove the change and getting the website designed and built. App or Not? In 2010, we wanted a Common Craft app that would put our video library in your pocket, any time you need it. We had a version built, but something didn’t feel right. We dropped it. Soon after, I talked to a few people I respect in the mobile world, like Brian Fling at Pinch/Zoom and Brian Leroux at Nitobi... Continue Reading
People often ask about the origins of what has become known as “Common Craft Style” and what inspired us to use paper cut-outs, hands and a whiteboard. The truth is, it was a solution to a problem. I had been experimenting with drawing on a whiteboard in live action videos and found it frustrating. I felt like such a dork trying to draw and look at the camera at the same time. It felt forced. Sachi, always the problem solver and adult in the room, suggested our current format. She had seen... Continue Reading
The video that started it all, RSS in Plain English, was published 3 years ago today. We had no idea, three years ago, what we were getting ourselves into, but we're so happy that it has worked out the way it has. Here's the original version of the video. The one that appears on this site (the one we license) has been updated for color and clarity. The video currently has over 1.1 million views on You Tube and has been licensed hundreds of times. As much as the technical quality of the... Continue Reading
The Explainist blog pointed me to this awesome video that tracks the evolution of the web from the very beginning. History of the Internet from PICOL on Vimeo. I'm inspired by some of the iconography, which is one of the goals of PICOL. From the PICOL web site : PICOL is an project for providing free and open icons for electronic devices. The aim is to find a common pictorial language for electronic communication. Bonus video: The Drawn! blog pointed me to these neat little... Continue Reading
It's true, Common Craft (the company and blog) is 5 years old today, or sometime around now. I recently went back to the very first blog posts I wrote in 2003. One of first was called "My Intentions for this Weblog" of June 24, 2003. Here are two quotes: This weblog will be written in the language of a lay person. I feel strongly that a key to my success is being able to relate technology and technical concepts to people that are not educated or well-versed in technology. I think that the... Continue Reading
We're often asked how we got started with our videos. Here's the story. It all started with an online community. It was the latter part of 1999 and I was working in a healthcare data company called HBSI (which was eventually merged into non-existence). The customers were asking for a way to work together across hospitals. So, a few of us started an email group on eGroups, which is now Yahoo Groups. Through this experiment and the online community that grew out of it, I discovered my... Continue Reading
It started with a tweet. Eddie Codel described Boston's streets as "Kafkaesque." I found it on Wikipedia (it means disorienting), along with a listing of other name-inspired words. One caught my eye: Machiavellianism. The first line of the Wikipedia entry:Machiavellianism is the term that some social and personality psychologists use to describe a person's tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain.It comes from Nicollo Machiavelli, a Renaissance writer, diplomat, etc. known... Continue Reading
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