Archive for October, 2008

Wordee Number 1 – Nifty

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Greetings Internet!

I have finally found an internet cafe that allows you to plug in a camera. So here is interview with Wordee number 1!


  • Wordee – Koen Van der Auwera
  • Word – Nifty
  • Website –


Koen (later discovered to be pronounced ‘koon’) was a fantastic wordee! We met in a big square called the Groenplaats in Antwerp, Belgium in the pouring rain, thunder and lightning. Myself, my trusty cameraman Marty and translator Jo were waiting for our first encounter and didn’t really know what to expect. We were looking around deciding ‘could it be him?’….or ‘is it that guy?’. There was a guy running around the square in the rain….in his underwear. We all hoped this wasn’t our first wordee … well maybe a little.

Smiling Man

Then a smiling young man in a Wikipedia tshirt came towards us. It was a huge square and while we knew it was him and he knew it was us, it took a long time for him to reach us. Kind of like that scene in Austin Powers where the guy gets run over by the steamroller.

Koen was great! We went to a small cafe/pub on the Groenplaats and had some Karmeliet, the best belgian beer according to Koen. We talked for ages about various things, Belgium, beer, Koen being his own boss, the concept of word ownership and more beer.

We had some great chats about geeky internet stuff. Who knew that wordees would be geeky? Koen was wearing a great tshirt, reading ‘Wikipedia is accurate’ and below that ‘citation needed’. Brilliant.


We had a great time with Koen and after taking the picture below, trying to fit in the stunning background, we said our goodbyes and wished him a happy day at work.

Although we did catch Koen riding on his bike later with a McDonalds under his arm. He obviously didn’t feel like heading back to work yet. Ah the joys of being your own boss!


Blogged back

Koen has written a blog post about our encounter. It’s always nice to get the wordee’s opinion on the meeting too. I’ve linked to a translated version of the post but here’s the original post in Dutch.

I’ll be uploaded videos of my other interviews soon :)

Word of the day

Nifty – very good; fine; excellent: a nifty idea.

Blessed are the Twitterers, for they shall inherit the Internet

Monday, October 27th, 2008

My Tiny Jesus…

Jesus preaching the random word of Twitter.  Kinda cute speech bubbles, and a little hypnotising.

I’m number 181

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Always willing to give back to other interesting Internet projects, I have joined We Are Numbers!  I am officially number 181.  What a great number!  Did you know it is a twin prime number? [A number separated from another prime number by only two, 179 being it’s twin].

“Why is this fashion system so f4ck3d up? And why are we so stupid to keep following it? With We Are Numbers I’m trying to investigate how to create an improved fashion culture. Where the company (me) is creating only one (1!) design and tries to keep that innovative and exciting for as long as possible. Furthermore the company should be more humble. It should accept and promote that people are different. That is there no need to create an image. We are all beautiful as we are!”

This project, set up by Twan Verdonck, is aimed at challenging the fashion industry for it’s ‘one night stand’ approach to design.  Upset by the fact that companies like Louis Vuitton, Armani, Prada and Dior are creating clothing ranges that last no longer than it takes to get it home, Twan has developed ‘We Are Numbers’, a new sustainable way to create innovative fashion without the quick degradation of the product.  Anyone can join up by simply purchasing a tshirt for €25, they are then given a number based on the order they signed up and then they are officially a number.

The only thing Twan asks is that we send in a photo or video of ourselves showing off our shiny new tshirt.  I sent in one of me near Fairhead, Ballycastle and also photoshopped in a wee post-it note to say hello to my twin prime, 179.  Twan wants to create a comunity around the concept which is a great idea.  People are already contributing by offering gifts to other numbers.

Here’s a few final points from Twan about the project, definitely check out the site though and consider buying a tshirt.  I love being referred to as a number!  Something cool about being 181, and now I see that number everywhere I go… :)

  • One graphic print means: we are all the equal.
  • Everyone has a different number: we are all unique.
  • The number system gives us some idea of how the project evolves and may give us some feeling of being together.

Tokyo Tuesday

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

Wanna know what Japan is up to?  Tokyo Tuesday is the place to be!

“Let’s jump right into this: Japan has the absolute best census in the history of my known world. Not only does it include normal things like age, sex, and the height of each of your pets, but it also legitimizes the gossipy question of What Are You Doing Right Now? Japan slapped a bunch of people with notebooks and a sacred Numbers Mission: keep a log of what you do during the day, in fifteen minute intervals. And those people did!”

This visualization project is the work of Soma, from Brooklyn, and looks at the everyday life of the Japanese people.  Do you want to find out just how many women with part-time jobs are walking their dog at 3am?  This project will tell you with the help of some lovely colourful graphic timelines.  The design is perfect, really simple and, even though it’s difficult to figure out exactly whats going on from first visiting the site, you are drawn into the project and persevere to find out the intricacies of this project.

Its projects like this this which encourage me to kick start my own vis projects, while giving me bucketloads of inspiration at the same time.  Another different approach to visualization is Toby Ng’s World of 100 project, one of the simplest vis projects I have come across so far.  A series of posters which shows various statistics based on the premise that if the world were a village of 100 people.  The posters have a variety of images which are split in some way to show the different statistics.

I must admit that I did chuckle when I saw the image for the sexual orientation poster.

Some striking images and so well excecuted.  I have now got a range of ideas for my visualization project.  I had originally planned on pursuing a more computer/coding based project but the World of 100 project has shown me that it could be much much simpler and still have a dramatic effect using my Illustration skills.  It is often the case that I over complicate things so the inspiration from this project should make me think clearer.

A couple of other Visualization sites which inspire me include Infosthetics [Above], which explores the symbiotic relationship between creative design and the field of information visualization, and TweetStats [Below], which shows you just how addicted you are to Twitter.  I’m getting there but not quite on Stephen Fry’s level yet :)

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Friday, October 24th, 2008

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