Surf's up -
We have a mixed bag this week, starting with a local photo blog that is not updated often, but which is deserving of your attention. Later on, we'll revisit some childhood memories, turn YouTube videos into MP3s, and eavesdrop on some healthy venting from designers and journalists.
St. John's Character Collection
Sporadically updated as it is, this set of photographs is really something. Robert Young, every now and again, adds a picture and some comments to a set of images of folks who make St. John's what it is. In February, he marked the passing of Bill (Moon Man) Sweeney; at other times, he's added images of folks you see around the city. I wish Robert would add more - and maybe pursue a more ambitious project. The idea is that good.
Young Me Now Me
Surely you have a picture of yourself as a child that captures all the exuberance or awkwardness or poignancy or innocence (or, just maybe, all of these things at once) of your younger self. Ze Frank, who has had some great online success with off-the-wall ideas, has a wonderful feature called Young Me Now Me, in which participants take a photo of themselves, more or less matching the pose of a childhood snap. Some are spot on, some don't seem at all similar, and a few might take your breath away.
Ever seen, say, a concert performance on YouTube you liked so much, you wanted to listen to it later on your iPod? Dirpy is the tool for you. It converts a YouTube video to an MP3, suitable for loading up on the player of your choice. A caveat: you may well be cheating a copyright law or two here. Another caveat: remember the audio quality in many YouTube videos is, well, hideous.
Clients From Hell
This site has been making the rounds lately among some self-employed folks and creative types I know, and they've been laughing - often out loud - with recognition. The idea is professionals (designers, web developers, writers) send in horror stories of working with clients who just don't get it. Take the designer who informed the client that the small, out-of-focus picture supplied simply would not work for a professional campaign, and was told the client was disappointed in their skills. Even outsiders will find this funny - and perhaps a few clients would benefit from reading the tales, too.
Overheard in the Newsroom
In a similar vein, but closer to my profession, Overheard in the Newsroom publishes anonymously submitted tidbits, almost always verbatim exchanges that make you laugh or cringe, or both. An example: "Editor: 'Kiddo, you can't pitch stories like you're already in love with them.' Intern: 'Sorry. I forgot that enthusiasm is a no-go in this place.'"
Yes, Scott Adams had hit the nail on the head a thousand times or more, as chronicles the petty insults and idiocies of contemporary office life - but couldn't you (yes, you, with all of your wit and pain and woe) do a better job? That is, sort of, the point behind Dilbert Mashups, in which the official site asks readers to take an existing strip, and put their own personal spin on it.
10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling
From The Oatmeal, a tipsheet on good grammar (e.g., how to know the difference between They're, Their and There) that is also great to look at.
John Gushue is an editor with the CBC News website in St. John's. Twitter: @johngushue. Blog: johngushue.typepad.com