Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
It takes years of practice to be truly brilliant at anything, and websites are no exception. If you want to make an original website that hits it off, it’ll take you more than a few days to put together. I’ve been working on my website for months, and whilst I believe in taking risks, making things happen and learning from mistakes, sometimes I can’t help but wonder if I am in some way suffering from the Dunning–Kruger effect.
The Dunning-Kruger effect is an effect that makes people who do not know a lot about a subject think they know more than they actually know. It also makes people who do know a lot about a subject think that they know less.
In other words, am I a skilled web designer, or do I just live on mount stupid? When I look at my website, sometimes I think “this is a real masterpiece”. Other times I wonder if, like many other projects I have worked on, it will merely be a blip, or fail to achieve critical mass. Will posting a link to Reddit be enough to get my site on the map? Would boingboing post a link to its main page? Should I (in desperation, one would assume) post to Digg? Will my Facebook friends tell their Facebook friends until it gains momentum? How can I hire somebody to promote my site? And what if they too suffer from the Dunning–Kruger Effect and are, in fact a total marketing bozo?
In the end I’ll just have to launch it and see.
Monday, April 23rd, 2012
The interesting part about Google and Facebook is that these super giants didn’t even exist a couple of decades ago. Google was created by two guys from their university dorm room, and Facebook started in basically the same way. Just take a look at this screenshot of Facebook from 2005 (7 years ago):
and Google from 1999 (13 years ago):
These sites, employ thousands of people (33,000 employees currently work at Google and 3,000 for Facebook) and get billions of hits from users. For me the amazing thing is that beneath the hood, the code which makes up the core of their functionality is really just a tweaked and improved upon version of what Zuckerberg, Brin and Page came up with in their free time.
Sunday, April 15th, 2012
Think about where the most popular websites on the Internet come from for a second.
Ebay. Yahoo. Amazon. Google. Facebook. Twitter. Linkedin. MLKSHK. Youtube. Wikipedia. WordPress. Blogspot. Bing (yuck). Tumblr. Craigslist. Flickr. 4chan. Stack Overflow.
American, American , American , American , American!
Great Britain, my country of residence, has been left behind in the dust and we are not close to catching up. Perhaps we lack the entrepreneurial spirit fulled by a Randian, laissez-faire, pro-capitalist worldview, compared to our cousins from across the pond, but we have really dropped the ball this time.
Aside from the BBC (which is cheating really) and Wolfram Alpha, we haven’t really yet made our mark on the 21st century.
Somebody has got to do it. May as well be me. Only when PJs.Cat is a real success will I then rest.