Week 181

Last week was a short one and mostly spent in preparation of work writing proposals and quotes. I hope we can wrap all that stuff up this week and go back into grand scale production mode.

The biggest thing to do last week was to transition the PLAY Pilots twitter bot to use OAuth. I just found this article “Setting Up Twitter Bots with OAuth” that describes exactly what I did (without having read it). Twitter’s documentation is a bit shoddy in this respect.

The week was cut short because of a trip to London and Brighton for dConstruct. It gets a bit routine but I greatly enjoyed the second half of more conceptual and broad reaching presentations (Tom Coates completely crushed it) that are not directly concerned with the day to day operations of an agency1. I wrote up my hyper-connected London tourism experience yesterday in: “Boris Bikes are made of epic win”

Housekeeping: @ouroffice (in photos) is due for some upgrades in the near future and it looks like we will be getting 1-3 new openings. The location is pretty ace, the rent is crazy cheap and the company is good and may get better depending on what you’re bringing. So if you’re professional and design minded, get in touch2. It will be good to work together.

  1. Something I know many people attending do want to hear about if only to justify to themselves why they went.
  2. Or talk to me this afternoon at the MoMo about design which you should be attending anyway.

Week 180

Last week was concerned with finalizing stuff for the first presentation of guadalajara. The current concept was more exploratory, we do not seem to have found the point of relevance yet to move forward.

A friendly neighborhood visit to the nice people at Johnny Wonder. And another chat about open data for the city of Amsterdam. Also continued writing a bunch more proposals.

Finally finished importing the videos and the race times for Wip ‘n’ Kip on the PLAY Pilots website. Glorious slow motion for you to behold.

Week 179

Last week was a quiet one.

Updates to Ebi and a preparation of the movies and game data from Stekkerfest.

Writing and submitting proposals to various affairs and agencies around the Netherlands (expect a bunch of new code names, soon!).

Started pushing the agenda for Open City Amsterdam.

A bunch of sketching and research for nezahualcoyotl.

Also thinking and preparing a study/business trip to Syria probably somewhere in the second half of October.

Weeknotes 177

This week started pretty extreme1 with 12+ hour days on Monday and Tuesday culminating in the launch of PLAY Pilots.

Home • PLAY Pilots

Wednesday was occupied with fallout, rest and coming to terms with Stumptown Amsterdam’s closing. I drank quite some coffee there and talked lots of work. Also Martijn dropped by the office to solder something:

Thursday started the quest to find a good identity for Monster Swell. Also started the foray into the Dutch subsidy jungle.

Friday, updated the portfolio’s a bit and went to the (OMG WTF) MoMo AMS BBQ.

Saturday my Epson V500 scanner arrived which I’ll be using mostly for capturing project documentation better and scanning 120 film. On to an even more dematerialized life.


Sunday was occupied with a lot of reading in Designing for the Digital Age preparing for the UX Book Club we are hosting on Tuesday. Also more scanning (and throwing out paper) and writing the first issue of my Dutch design and technology column “Design Directie” (due out here tomorrow morning).

  1. Thoug we wouldn’t have it any other way. It was epic!

Weeknotes 176

This week was completely spent with work each day on project Ebi, better known as PLAY Pilots. The site is due to launch this week (it in fact launched yesterday night).

Two other noteworthy events transpired:

I got a new avatar picture taken by Daphne Horn. My current avatar picture was long overdue for a refresh and Daphne’s offer to get my picture taken by a professional photographer proved to be both very fun and resulted in a very nice photo. The picture is now live on my account. A preview was on Daphne’s tumblr.

Sunday marked the end of the Dutch mission in Afghanistan, so I used some downtime on Saturday to finish project puebla which is a small map with the origins of our 24 fallen (write-up).

The launch of PLAY Pilots is going to be interesting, and there’s a bunch of other stuff coming up: nezahualcoyotl, guadalajara and some other proposals are progressing nicely.

Weeknotes 175

A quick one.

PLAY Pilots (née project ebi) is revving up for its public launch follow @playpilots for news about that. Lots of work going into that, lots more to do still.

Noteworthy other stuff:

The first pilot game is going to be awesome and the second one probably is too. Read more about those on the blog.

I met with René Wansdronck an architect about geographical plotting of objects.

Also project nezahualcoyotl got its go ahead. Something to do with a hardware manufacturer and the quantified self, should be great. Going to take place in the course of August.

Weeknotes 174

Project Ebi is taking most of my capacity and brain these days, so everything else is necessarily pushed to the back burner a bit.

In other news…

I started drafting an open letter in Dutch regarding the information platform for transit data for the Netherlands which will be created in the near future. We (Open Data Nederland) want this platform to be open and inclusive to enable the greatest potential for innovation.

Talked about an interesting quantified self dataviz project (codename: nezahualcoyotl) with a well-known hardware maker. More dataviz is forthcoming:
puebla got its public deadline (which is quite shortly) but could use some visual design attention
guadelajara got its datasets after some gentle nudging of authorities, expect some first draft renders for that soon

I also did a bunch of beta testing of Peerz. A Dutch startup I did the initial IA/IxD for. You can try it out yourself and could even win an iPad for your efforts.

Weeknotes 173

Some notes, this time not ordered by day, but by theme.

A bunch of conceptual and game design progress for Ebi. We created a concept which is fun, viral and not impossible to implement given the time we have. Also big thanks for the baristas at Brandmeester’s for keeping the creativity fueled.


Coffee at Stumptown with @mosselman and @remcojanssen. Signup at the mental stimulation Google Wave (still a free spot left for this week!).

I attended all three days of the Mediamatic Mapping Festival. There was a lot of familiar stuff there but still saw some interesting things (see Monster Swell’s tweets) and talked to some cool people (among who catalogtree). The amount of interactive data visualizations was somewhat disappointing. It is about time we transformed data and insight into read/write media.


Malkit Shoshan

Some writing:

Some updates on Haïtinu.nl a site I have been working on.

Weeknotes 172


Continuation of Ebi and first deployment to the server. One of my biggest beefs with Django is that any fresh deploy to a server will cost you at least one hour, despite it being the same old stuff you have been doing for ever (as opposed to App Engine).


Ran some updates on Haitinu.nl which is an aid site that I delivered recently.

Continued with Ebi and prepared a talk with the people that run our national transit information site.


Done an Ebi brainstorm and progress review in Utrecht.

Then back to Amsterdam for the transit information meeting with @mdebruin, @jelleprins and @alexandernl.

I skipped the douchebag extremism of Social Media Day in favour of a book presentation on journalism by Alexander Pleijter and Arjan Dasselaar in Dauphine which was next to my house (and where a bunch of friends from the ‘Confetti generation’ were checked in).

It was entertaining enough and confirmed again how out of touch with the internet the journalism profession is.


Inbox management and Ebi.


Did another sprint on Ebi and got out of Utrecht before the match started.


Had a nice 4th of July BBQ and squeezed in some pre-Monday updates to the Ebi site.

Weeknotes 25

Let’s see how this goes. Consider this a try out for now.

I tried 750 words, but I’d like my writing efforts to be viewed by a larger public and be of some use. Weeknotes for me could solve the problem of recapping what it was I actually did in a week (and also show other people what it is I actually do).


I wrote an overview of the first chapter of Check in / Check out. That got picked up by Adam Greenfield the following day by the miracle of trackbacks and Google Translate. Good as well, because I need to do some prepwork on Transmobility before meeting with people from 9292ov next week.

Check in / Check out has a series of design principles at the end of each chapter. Those might be interesting to a wider audience, so I’m going to translate those to English.

I finished a presentation on two transportation concepts for Amsterdam, both involving water. Still waiting to hear back from my city council member, but that may be publishable in the near future.

I went to a meeting on the future of the Amstel station next to my house. Here’s a picture of their bold plans where I most probably won’t be living anymore by the time they are completed:
Future of my front yard


Tuesday was the real start of project Ebi more on which at Leapfroglog.

We managed to cover quite some ground, but because of the plurality of our options, the creative process can be quite devastating draining.

I unfortunately missed the Amsterdam.js meetup, but I’m happy that the AMS programming scene is reactivating.


The good start of Ebi (and its subsequent celebrations took their toll). After a slow start at Stumptown —where I may be found regularly on weekday mornings— I got to the office where I was stuck till 22:00 because of the slowness of the iOS4 update.

Did some work on puebla which is a low data but heavy content dataviz to be published in the near future.

Also published the UX Triangle a funnily accurate model of the UX community.


The rest of the week wasn’t that productive due to a touch of flu. Did some more work on Ebi.


More work on Ebi (designs of which by the way are coming along and are ridiculously awesome).

In the afternoon I had a studio day with Dirk van Oosterbosch at his Damrak studio. We discussed progress on the Table Viewer and another more commercial but innovative HTML5 project.

Then it was off to the Cineville launch party. Cineville is an all-you-can-eat movie pass for 13 Amsterdam art house cinemas. They recently redeveloped their site to become a hub for the pass, the cinemas and everything to do with indie movies in Amsterdam (eventually to become a sort of Last.fm for the cinematic experience). I beta tested the release (rather enthusiastically) and was curious to their future plans.


Nothing much except a good coffee (at Stumptown again!) and professional discussion with Taco.


More work on Ebi. The site is mostly functional now in Django but I’ve also read up on both MongoDB and REDIS because of the inherent flexibility requirements of a project such as this one.

Somewhere this week I also started to read Designing for the Digital Age which is the next book for our UX Book Club —now with Twitter account— and is promising to be quite the read.

That was about it. Now I’m off for a more than overdue BBQ on the beach.