About Liquid Information & Frode.
Why bother? I hear is again and again, after explaining the problem to people when they wonder if an individual or a couple of individuals can ever have a chance to make a difference against the entrenched Microsoft-mentality.
To the question: What can I do? The answer - More than nothing - will solve everything.
And then they basically ask me - who do you think you are? Do you think you are you some kind of special genius who will change the whole world? What a conceited, arrogant silly cow you are! So I ask, why do I have be so special to do my part? Ever been confronted with an attitude like that when you try to change something? Gosh! It's odd. But explained quite well in Howard Bloom's Global Brain.
At heart, I am an artist. I spent good parts of my childhood drawing - abstract stuff compositions and textures - then my teenage years as 'that guy with a camera'. Realizing that computers are, well, important, and underdeveloped, I changed.
"I was a soldier so that my son could be a farmer so that his son could be a poet"
-- Thomas Jefferson.
In 1995 I put together Liquid Information in the form of a website outlining the liquid philosophy; liquid.org. (The domain got hijacked but is back now, as a pointer to www.liquidinformation.org)
The Liquid Information Company Ltd was a direct result of working to create more liquid information environments, incorporated in London 2 April 1998 with my partner Sarah Walton. Our first publicly available service was unimaginatively called Liquid Information. It was a free, Web based email service, featuring automatic & dynamic message filing, a quick & easy Address Book and a simple, uncluttered interface. The company and the email service died when we couldn't make any money of it and the server got hacked (after receiving a £3,000 bill from our ISP).
LiSA, The Liquid Information Speaking Assistant is a Mac (OS 9 & X), LINUX and Windows application which announces your email as-and-when your messages arrive, stating who the messages are from (fx: "You have a message from an old friend") with a real human voice. She has not been a affected by the general circumstances of the company.
Later I ran this web site mostly by myself, working with Sarah as we have an opportunity. I completed studying at University College London to get my masters in HCI. About time.
Currently the work has evolved into an expanding research project at UCL.
The issue is about how our external mind spaces are developing. The human mind wasn't built in isolation and was never intended to be used in isolation - the places we increasingly put our minds during much of the day, are often virtual, that is to say computer environments. These environments radically limit and expand our intellectual options, both at the same time.
But it's not about ease-of-use. I am continuing my effort in emphasizing power over easiness. Augmentation over patronizing icon-click simplicity.
I work to expand our options, not dumb us down with patronizing icon-click over simplicity. Imagine being a competition cyclist and you're given a tricycle, and asked to go out there and win. "But it's easier" they say - "It ain't easy if it's impossible - I can cycle easier, but there is no way I can get the performance required to win" you might reply.
It's the same with your day-to-day knowledge work. Compared to 1984, the year the first Mac was introduced, computers are now over 500 times faster. And will be 1,000 times faster next year. Do you feel that the software has evolved in supporting you to become anywhere near that much more productive? Or do you have that sinking feeling that you are left with little more than shinier buttons?
There are many kinds of knowledge workers in the world today. We have engineers, teachers, ceo's bankers and so on. All of them are primarily using the same tools; MS Office. That's kind of scary. And the engineer who is home watching TV after a hard days work only wants to click through channels, she wants it simple and easy. We are all knowledge workers and we are all couch potatoes at some stage. And want to interact with our information on different levels; deeply or easily. There are many who are focusing on the easily side of things. I am an Engelbartian, I focus on the augmentation first, and then I try not to make it hard. It's a matter of priority and perspective.
In the quest for more productive information environments, I represent you. I represent you unclouded by the technofog of jargon and hype. I represent the user who yearns to get the computer out of his or her way, to manipulate his or her thoughts and ideas, his or her information freely and directly.
But I try to understand the machine as well, the other half of the equation. I work to extract its maximum potential, not to dilly dally with our prejudices of what the machines can do for us.
For me, it's not about ease of use. It's about deep augmentation, making more than you ever thought possible, possible.
This sphere animations you see on all the main pages are moving stills. Designed to be played back on flat screens on walls. Moving, but always the same image. They are the second in a series of themes, starting with a water series
Who do you think I am?about the original liquid.org siteThis site was registered 22 of August 1995, under the name of www.liquid.org. It is now at www.liquidinformation.org as a dispute with my previous hosting company has made it hard to move this domain across to the new ISP, appropriately named Liquidweb.com, who has turned out to deliver amazing customer service. (update, late 2004: liquid.org is now back!)
The Houston Chronicle featured us in their Online list and had this to say about us on 1/10/1997 :Make it better -- Everyone agrees: Computers are too hard to use, and don't really work like we expect them to. So much for whining -- who's doing something about it? The Liquid Information Environment Organization, that's who. The group's Interface Evangelism Home Page at http://www.liquidinformation.org/ urges the designers of computers to simplify the way people interact. Who are these guys? The About Us page reveals their members to include some of the original designers of the Macintosh's interface. Check out their opinions as well as suggestions for implementing their ideas.
Thanks to UK for mentioning the site in their November 1996 issue.
This site was proudly !
Awarded way back in '95.
Cool-ly enough, the site was Cool Centrals cool site of the hour once. (Christmas eve '96 actually!). Funny, our service Liquid Information, was cool site in March '99! The site is hosted in our offices in London England. A cool thing we'd like to mention; if you surf this site without a frames capable browser, no worries. All the info is in the framesets anyways! (though not always quite as up to date...)
Thanks to everybody from the United Kingdom, USA (.com, .edu, .gov, .mil, .org and Arpanet!!!), Sweden, Australia, Japan, Israel, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, Brazil, Netherlands, Singapore, France, South Korea, Canada, Italy, Hungary, Argentina, Estonia, Denmark, South Africa, Italy, Norway, Greece, Belgium, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Russian Federation, Former USSR, Mexico, Hong Kong, Poland, Finland, Portugal, Iceland, Thailand, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Malaysia, Slovak Republic, Taiwan, India, Former Yugoslavia and the Czech Republic who's stopped by the site.
We fully support the
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