A(nother) visit to the Museum of Modern Betas

'Ticket Stubs (1987 - 2007)' by pouryourheartintoit
'Ticket Stubs (1987 - 2007)' by pouryourheartintoit

Over the weekend someone searched for ‘museum of Modern Betas‘ and found my blog. This was because I posted about the site back in 2008.

MoMB is a site dedicated to listing sites and web-based applications in beta.

I haven’t been back there for a long time. So I decided to pay a visit and went through the first 10 pages of displays.

All good museums make you think and generate ideas. MoMB is no different. It’s interesting to look at individual examples but also to reflect on the trending subjects, styles and functions.

Here are 3 that I picked out:

1. Fiverr

It’s a US site that I think would have gone down well here in the UK.

Basically, people pledge to do something for a $5. But forget social conciousness; this site is all about commerce and is dominated by people who will either draw you, sing for you or tweet about you.

2. Say My Name

Really liked this incredibly simple site, where people with difficult names explain how to pronounce them via audio.

So no more problems with the Jevgeni Beliaikins and Dennenesch Zoudés of the world.

3. Website in a box

As long as there has been the web, there have been sites-in-a-box. These services seemed to disappear with the onset of blogging but my visit to MoMB reveals that a new generation of sites-while-u-wait are springing up.

Drupal Gardens, Lifeyo and BaseKit are typical examples.

On my desktop this week… “Funny Funny” by NIARK1

'Funny Funny' by NIARK1
'Funny Funny' by NIARK1

This splendid totem of absurdity and goof is by NIARK1, an ace illustrator from Paris.

His work often features intense and colourful characters. It’s fun and it’s rich and more can be seen at www.niark1.com.

This particular illustration is the perfect accompaniment to full-on week.

I originally found it on Behance.

What might service transformation learn from the world’s most fearsome mammal and a wax-eating bird?

honey badger and honeyguide

My fiancée and I are hoping to go on an safari honeymoon in Africa later this year.

If we go, I would really like to see a honey badger and a honeyguide.

The honeyguide is a bird that likes beeswax but can’t break into bee hives. What it does is catches the attention of a honey badger, which loves honey but isn’t so good at finding the hives.

Off they go together, the badger following the bird till they reach the hive. The badger then rips open the hive and both get their reward.

Both these independent organisms can exist without beeswax and honey and without one another, but they combine their skills in a wonderful manner to achieve a shared goal.

These special symbiotic relationships happen throughout the natural world. I think that they ought to happen in the world of public services too, especially in the context of citizen engagement with public services online.

Continue reading “What might service transformation learn from the world’s most fearsome mammal and a wax-eating bird?”

On my desktop this week… ‘Street Bubble’ by Unknown*

'Street Bubble' by Unknown*

I don’t know who this is by, which annoys me becuase I like it.

Usually, I like to say a bit about the illustration, photo or what ever it is. All I can say is that I found it on ffffound.

In an earlier post, I wondered if these desktops reveal anything about my state of mind. Not sure. This illustration reminds me of times when you find yourself thinking so hard about something that you wander almost aimlessly, or when you smell something that triggers a memory and transport you to an earlier time or aniother place in your life.

* ‘Street Bubble’ is what I’ve called it. If anyone finds out the designer, let me know. I think it may be a book cover.