Drewspace Archive

Shortcut to: Drewspace Archive ==>

Or see the list of all months on it here.

For several years (starting in 2000!), I kept an old-school Blogger blog where I used to work. Because I haven’t had an ftp login for that account for a long time, I wasn’t able to import the entries into WordPress properly.

But I finally took a little time to suck down the whole site using a cool little app called SiteSucker.

The results are clunky, but at least I now have my whole blog history under one URL. So, drop on by the newly uploaded Drewspace Archive to see what I was blabbing about circa 2000-2002. I’m sure you’re all dying to.

The Howard Finster Guitar

In 1987 some friends and I traveled out to visit the Rev. Howard Finster in Summerville, GA. You may have seen his artwork on albums by REM and Talking Heads? But that wasn’t his main gig … his main gig was being a folk visionary for Jesus (and sometimes Elvis) who had an entire cosmology all his own. He was in some ways the William Blake of North Georgia. He had an entire garden of sculpture and art that he called Paradise Garden, some of which the boys in REM helped him out with when they were younger lads.

We sat with Howard and listened to him opine, surrounded in his cramped living room where almost every surface had been turned into art — ceiling tiles, doorframes, everything. He served us CocaCola (a beverage he believed to be in some way ordained by God, with mystical significance) and played his banjo for us some.

I had taken along a weird little guitar I’d found and rebuilt (and painted turqoise…seemed cool at the time) and for some reason had a hankering for him to scribble something on it. An angel or anything. I sheepishly asked him for that, but he took it into his kitchen for half an hour and then came out with it looking like you see here.

Howard told me way back then to please share the message he’d inscribed there. I never really thought about that until now, when it hit me that with the Internet, I can indeed share it with anyone who cares to see. So here it is.

(Also here’s the whole guitar from the front…)

Omni Magazine Shrine

Please visit the OmniShrine Wiki!

Rather than commenting on this blog, where hardly anyone will ever see what you said or asked, why not post your thoughts in a space that’s more suitable?

Try the OmniShrine Wiki!

I set it up so that fans of Omni can share information, and also be able to subscribe to comments or page changes, so that you can more easily keep up with the conversation!

The comment area on this post doesn’t act like a discussion list; there’s no way for anyone to be alerted of a question or an answer to one posted. That’s why the wiki is your best bet.


My original post is below. The omnimag.com link no longer takes you to the site I referenced back in 2003, but you can still see the glorious prehistoric black-background web experience via the magical “Wayback Machine” archive here via the Wayback Machine.


Growing up, I was an avid reader of Omni Magazine.
I lost touch with it after high school, and I heard they’d tried doing their thing online, but then it had kind of died on the vine.
And I ran across the site today…how weird, that it’s still sitting there. A ghost town.
The design is so perfect for mid-to-late 90s ‘cool’ website design. Lots of 3D shapes floating in black space.
I wonder if anybody still tries entering the “Deconstructing the Titanic Sweepstakes” there?

25 Theses

25 Theses of Information Architecture

For the record: These were written by me, Andrew Hinton, but were inspired by the input of all those who collaborated to form the beginnings of the IA Institute.

  1. People need information.
  2. More importantly, people need the right information at the right time.
  3. Without human intervention, information devolves into entropy and chaos.
  4. The Internet has changed how we live with information. It has made ubiquitous the once rare entity: the shared information environment.
  5. Shaping information to be relevant and timely requires specialized human work. Doing so for a globally shared environment that is itself made of information is a relatively new kind of specialized human work.
  6. This work is both a science and an art.
  7. This work is an act of architecture: the structuring of raw information into shared information environments with useful, navigable form that resists entropy and reduces confusion.
  8. This is a new kind of architecture that designs structures of information rather than of bricks, wood, plastic and stone.
  9. People live and work in these structures, just as they live and work in their homes, offices, factories and malls. These places are not virtual: they are as real as our own minds.
  10. Many people spend most of their waking hours in these spaces. As the numbers of physical workers decline and knowledge workers increase, more and more people will live, work, share, collaborate, learn and play in these environments for more and more of their lives.
  11. There is already too much information for us to comprehend easily. And each day there will only be more of it, not less. Inexorably, information drowns in its own mass. It needs to breathe, and the air it needs is relevance.
  12. One goal of information architecture is to shape information into an environment that allows users to create, manage and share its very substance in a framework that provides semantic relevance.
  13. Another goal of information architecture is to shape the environment to enable users to better communicate, collaborate and experience one another.
  14. The latter goal is more fundamental than the former: information exists only in communities of meaning. Without other people, information no longer has context, and no longer informs. It becomes mere data, less than dust.
  15. Therefore, information architecture is about people first, and technology second.
  16. All people have a right to know where they are and where they are going and how to get what they need. People naturally seek places that provide these essential needs. Any environment that ignores this natural law will attract and retain fewer people.
  17. The interface is a window to information. Even the best interface is only as good as the shape of the information behind it. (The converse is also true: even the most comprehensively shaped information is only as useful as its interface. For this reason, interface design and information architecture are mutually dependent.)
  18. Just as the Copernican revolution changed the paradigm for more than astronomy, the Internet has changed our paradigm for more than just technology. We now expect all information environments to be as accessible, as immediate, and as total.
  19. Just because information architecture happens mostly on the Internet today, it doesn’t mean that will be the case tomorrow.
  20. Information architecture accomplishes its task with whatever tools necessary.
  21. These tools are being fashioned by many people, including information scientists, artists, librarians, designers, anthropologists, architects, writers, engineers, programmers & philosophers. They all bring different perspectives, and they all add flavor to the stew. They are all necessary.
  22. These tools come in many forms and methods, including controlled vocabularies, mental modeling, brainstorming, ethnography, thesauri, human-computer interaction, and others. Some tools are very old, and some are very new. Most are still waiting to be invented.
  23. Information architecture acknowledges that this practice is bigger than any single methodology, tool or perspective.
  24. Information architecture is first an act, then a practice, then a discipline.
  25. Sharing the practice grows the discipline, and makes it stronger.

Continue reading “25 Theses”