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(an inspirational speaker, to her audience) I want you to say, Yeah! My life is one big non-semantic div! And I want my life’s code to start validating!

I’m OK, You’re W3C.

I’m OK, You’re W3C. published on 1 Comment on I’m OK, You’re W3C.

So. Many (eight) years ago, I drew a cartoon that came to me while I was at Web Directions North. The inspiration was a keynote by one of my web heroes, Molly Holzschlag, titled Crimes Against Web Standards. And it was great.

So I drew that cartoon and posted it, and Molly reposted it on her blog with some very kind words — and the comment “I had this passing thought that the guy should be female and have curly hair, but that’s just me.”

I didn’t take that as criticism at all — there’s a pretty strong implied wink in her comment — but it still stung to realize what I’d done: for the last eight years, I’ve wondered off and on why the hell I drew that speaker as a guy when a woman inspired it. Now, assuming that any speaker at a tech event must be male is not a rare ailment, but I’m not proud that I have the odd flare-up myself.

In the meantime, I’ve followed Molly’s career and web standards advocacy, as well as a grave health crisis (one that should shake anyone’s belief in the robust integrity of Arizona’s health insurance system) with respect and admiration in equal measure.

When I saw Molly pop up in my mentions a while ago, I finally decided that I’ve had enough of that cartoon hanging out there, and I’ve redrawn it. No, the woman in that cartoon isn’t necessarily Molly Holzschlag circa 2007; she’s just a very dynamic, inspiring speaker who is female and has curly hair. (This disclaimer is necessary not because I don’t want to draw Molly, but because my record as a caricaturist is pretty hit-and-miss, which I suspect this cartoon establishes nicely.)

Thanks for all you’ve done for the web, Molly. This cartoon may be eight years late, but your work is no less timely.

2010 in review: Announcing that things are dead is dead

2010 in review: Announcing that things are dead is dead published on No Comments on 2010 in review: Announcing that things are dead is dead

Here’s the next cartoon in my ret­ro­spective of 2010 in social media. I’ll be posting the individual cartoons all week – but meanwhile, here’s the whole thing in video.

Got content?

Got content? published on 4 Comments on Got content?

Have you noticed that we aren’t writers any more? Or filmmakers, or video producers, or even musicians or cartoonists? We’re content-creators.

Way too often, I hear Web folks talk about “content” as some kind of undifferentiated commodity: “Yep, figger we’re gonna need ten, maybe twelve kilos o’ content for that page. You got a bulk discount?” Back a cargo truck up to the content silo, fill her up and you’ve got yourself a website.

But there’s actually something interesting about the term – once I get past my visions of container ships laden with content, plying the seven seas. It’s a way of dismissing the value of individual creativity, sure. But it can also be a way of capturing the idea that so many of us now communicate in different media, and that digital technology has gone a long way toward democratizing personal expression.

How about you? When you hear “content”, do you think of the lorem ipsum that fills in the space between the revenue-generating ads… or something else?