Viral Video: World’s Toughest Job
“Your Photos Deserve Better”.
This is the declaration of the homepage of Exposure.co and their assumption is that wherever your photos have lived up until this point, it’s not nearly as good. Here’s the thing: I completely agree. If you haven’t heard of Exposure, or Storehouse, or Steller – fear not. These hip names represent some of the latest players in the world of multimedia storytelling.
Some point back to the beautiful and award-winning piece by the New York Times called “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek” as the moment when the public’s eyes were opened to the world of a more complex, visually stunning and immersive way to present stories to the public.
No matter its inception, a new way to share your content is emerging and I recently had the chance to take two of the most popular new platforms for a spin: Storehouse and Exposure. (I’ve also dabbled with Steller, a free iPhone app that you can read about here.)
Exposure: MY SAMPLE
Here’s what I love about Exposure. When used correctly, you will not be able to pull yourself away from a story. Take for example, Josh Trujilio’s coverage of the devastating Oso landslide. My wife and I were glued to these images and instantly felt a sense of closeness to the story that we hadn’t felt in reading the coverage elsewhere online.
If you’re concerned about security or just sick to death of hearing about the notorious Heartbleed bug, you may want to shut out the internet’s pervasive Heartbleed noise.
But perhaps you shouldn’t. It’s a catalyst for a long-overdue discussion about what it means to be a part of the virtual world, what this means for the open source community and who we trust.
At times like this, those of us who were feeling a little behind with the state our online security game have been busy. Some sources estimate that more than a third of us do not have password protection on their mobile devices. Other estimates put that figure much higher. If you haven’t been concerned about the issue (is your password “Password”, like so many other people out there?), now is the time to take stock: Find a better way to protect yourself and stop leaving a digital key under your virtual front-door mat.
My own personal productivity has taken a hit since last week’s news about the Heartbleed bug. I’ve been busy changing passwords, of course, but I’m also revisiting my personal online security infrastructure. And if the figures regarding weak passwords – and no passwords at all – are correct, many of the people reading this should do the same.
Of course that’s what has so many of us chewing nails. It’s a pain to step away from the seductive power of our online tools for a few minutes – or several hours – to evaluate how we use those tools and how our use of them is making us vulnerable. It’s also difficult for most of to find the time to do so because of our perhaps not-so seductive work and/or school obligations. Hackers happily exploit this fact of modern life.
How did we get here?
By this time, most tech-savvy readers know that Heartbleed is not a virus, created deliberately to entrap unwary netizens. Rather it’s a coding error in the OpenSSL cryptographic software library, an inadvertent omission by one of the open source programmers who contributed to the free software that is ubiquitous in much of the corporate world. Robin Seggelmann , the German Ph.D. student and programmer whose error gave us the Heartbleed bug, was working on improving the security of the system at the time. The ball that he dropped – a failure to validate a variable – was not caught by the code reviewer who certified his code. It’s the type of error that’s easy to make, but supremely difficult to spot. It did not create a functional error, but merely created a vulnerability for someone with the imagination, the technical ability, and the will to exploit a system weakness. Therein lies a one of the glaring weaknesses of today’s complex systems: we don’t know what we don’t know.
A few years ago, I wrote a post for Flip the Media on how to become a Content Strategist—and soon became one. In this position, I get to work with and learn from other digital media professionals. I recently collaborated on a complex website re-launch with Eric Ranelletti, an Information Architect who, confusingly, also identified himself as a UX Architect. “About five years ago, people started talking about user experience (UX) in addition to information architecture (IA),” explains Ranelletti. “It denotes that there is more to structuring the experience for users than simply manipulating content. Wireframes are not just fonts and boxes; anytime something is put on paper and identified, it becomes an expression of ideas that should be explored and evolved.”
And then there is the close cousin to IA/UX Architect, the UX Designer. Jeroen Bet has ample IA experience, but his role as User Experience Designer at Expedia is “much more visual,” although he does consider the hierarchy of information. The role of a UX Designer goes beyond designing individual interfaces, argues Bet—it’s about making the user experience as seamless as possible. “A coupon has to be applied to the price of a hotel. But how does the customer get a coupon? What happens if the coupon has expired? A UX Designer thinks about the whole process and thinks of opportunities where the company can add value for the customer.”
The three job titles are part of a continuum of functional roles. Continue reading