The Brooklyn Museum API – Q&A with Shelley Bernstein and Paul Beaudoin

The concept and importance of museum-based API’s are notions that I’ve written about consistently (boringly, probably) both on this blog and elsewhere on the web. Programmatic and open access to data is – IMO – absolutely key to ensuring the long-term success of online collections. Many conversations have been going on about how to make … Read more

No such thing as a free API

Nat Torkington (!) removes some of the romance around free API’s over on O’Reilly Radar, and he’s got a point. I guess this is particularly – mostly – pertinent for businesses whose core offering is based on decentralised content, rather than for those (such as museums) who might want to share data as part of … Read more

Moral redundancy

A few things seem to have coalesced recently to make me think quite hard about “moral redundancy”. A bit of a trigger for this post was the story about the lorry deaths in Essex (and can I just say that the graphic on that page showing the positions of the people in the back of … Read more

Nerdy things

The word “nerd” is a bit disappointing. I mean, nerds rule the world, of course, but still it feels a bit dismissive. Anyway, I’m slowly growing a list of projects here which I’ll flesh out in more detail where it might be interesting to do so. Almost of all of them are half-baked and never … Read more


I’m 17,000 or so words into my first novel and I realise I’ve been suffering a bit of writers’ block. It’s probably been a couple of months if I think about it realistically. I now see I’ve been in avoidance mode, ostriching the fact that I couldn’t get past this particular issue, and it’s been bugging … Read more


Writing – whether a new song or a bit of fiction – is very often like walking along a thin wire over an abyss. The abyss isn’t death but the loss of the idea – if you look down too long, or think too hard about the almost intangible thing you are running through your … Read more

What to do about Facebook?

Ah, Facebook. On the one hand: …this is the single most dynamic, engaged and engaging platform for user generated content that there has ever been. 500 million people, converging on a single web application. Wait, read that again – 500 MILLION people. That’s a noticeable chunk of the entire global population. That’s a totally, utterly … Read more