Category Archives: Webbed


Now that the new Manoverboard website is launched, I’m going to take some time this summer to fully update and revise this here site.
Deckchairs has been around for ten, short years. During that time, I’ve published nearly 1,140 entries. My plan for this blog is as follows:

  1. Repurpose a few relevant, design-related blog posts by rewriting and publishing them on the new Manoverboard blog.
  2. Fully revitalize Deckchairs with a new design and new install of Movable Type.
  3. Find a way to make Deckhairs relatively relevant to myself again, focusing on ideas unrelated to design and the business of good design.

Zeldman Video on Web Standards.

Jeffrey Zeldman providing one of the most cogent, honest, and clear explanations of Web standards I’ve seen, at least in video.

Thanks, Jeffrey, for your unyielding willingness to explain, in laymen’s terms, the import of Web standards, a movement you started near single-handedly, despite your humble objections.
“Is Web Standards an ethos? For someone who is looked at as leading the movement, I’m very un-doctrinaire … “


I usually spend my birthday, in some form or another, giving thanks. I’m super-thankful for my family, small and extended both, and for all of my friends, close and far. I’m also superbly thankful for friends that I’ve re-met via something called Facebook.
What with the global economy in a Faustian struggle with its own structural integrity, I wanted to publicly acknowledge all of the companies, organizations, and individuals that have been my clients during the past seven years. The follow is a list of entities that have literally put bread on my table and, depending, new synapses in my brain or gray in my beard.

  • 2aTEE
  • 3RingPress
  • 9 Boutique
  • Acumen Fund
  • Amphetameme
  • Art Net
  • Accessible Systems, Inc.
  • The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies
  • AtlantisArts
  • Barneys New York
  • Bespoke Information
  • Barbara Fazio Salon
  • Big Picture Partners
  • BlendedValue
  • BraTenders
  • Brown University, New York City Chapter
  • Bullseye
  • Buttercup Beauty Bar
  • Camp Wasaga
  • Canada’s National History Society
  • Steve Cannon
  • Canopy Designs
  • Community Alternative Systems Agency (CASA)
  • Charles B. Wang Community Health Center
  • Congregation Beth Elohim
  • Council of Canadians with Disabilities
  • CEI
  • CISD Aquatics Center
  • Climbers Rock
  • Columbia University
  • CommAlert
  • Connie’s Cookies
  • Dandelion Eatery
  • Danny Schur
  • Denise Keim
  • DesignStudio
  • Developing World Markets
  • Doubet Consulting
  • Down-to-Earth Finance
  • dtkResources
  • Eko Asset Management Partners
  • Europa Technologies
  • ExecMPower
  • FeltGoods NYC
  • Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana
  • Flatiron Partners
  • GC Global Research
  • Garrett Creek Ranch
  • Global Document Solutions
  • Generation Investment Management
  • Generation Foundation
  • Global Justice Center
  • Global Health Partners
  • Hendrickson Custom Cabinetry
  • HeartShare Human Services of New York
  • Heather Tamir
  • The Hendrickson Group
  • Howell Benefits
  • Intuit
  • ISM
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Jackfish Media Group
  • Jake Dobkin
  • Jewish Education Service of North America
  • Jezra Kaye
  • Keftec
  • Ken Rosenzweig
  • Kims Video
  • Kole Assets
  • Larkin Logistics
  • Lelia & Andrea
  • Luminous
  • Maciej Toporowicz
  • Marden Consulting
  • Mayer Consulting
  • Mind Alliance
  • Montessori Learning Centre
  • Metropolitan Montessori School of New York
  • MIT
  • Monik Lozinska Lee
  • NancyNancy
  • NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
  • Nigel Freeman
  • NoFlake Paint
  • New York Foundation for the Arts
  • Oak Hill Advisors
  • Of Record
  • OpportunityTV
  • Organza Natural & Organic Market
  • Parkway 360
  • Paula Ochs
  • Phytomedics
  • Pixie & Ivy
  • Public Knowledge
  • PolicyLink
  • Primedia
  • Private Label Interactive
  • Project Peacemakers
  • The Province of Manitoba
  • Red Three Consulting
  • The Research Initiative on Social Entrepreneurship (RISE)
  • RM Marketing
  • Roche
  • Rosanne Pugliese
  • Russ Martin
  • The Santa Fe Group
  • Ska Capital
  • Smallbiztechnology
  • South Osborne Nursery School
  • Souls Journey
  • The Spacialist
  • Special Places Travel
  • Spondizo
  • State University of New York
  • Stewards Plumbing
  • stone circles
  • Stonewater Control Systems
  • The Art Bureau
  • Teachers Count
  • The Breakers
  • The Silver Word
  • The Tapestry Group
  • Therese Murdza
  • Thomas Sullivan, Ph.D.
  • True Majority
  • United Nations University
  • Vault Gallery
  • Verdeo Group
  • Waiting Room
  • Xu Bing Studio
  • Youth Communications
  • Za Za Zsu

And for all my current clients, thank you and speak with you soon.

Some reads.

It’s been a very, very busy few weeks. Just to prove that I’m not fully incapacitated, blog-wise, here are a few light links to stories I found fascinating recently:
Who Writes Wikipedia: It’s not the 80/20 rule that you might expect. More like 99/1.
Real Advice Hurts: Weird, mean advice by Merlin Mann.
Web Standards: Where the ROI is: Molly assesses the movement, ten years (almost) out
How Waterboarding Got the Green Light from Bus: It works “100% of the time.”

Owning Acme.

I have been collecting domain names pretty much since I had knew there was an opportunity to do so, starting in 1996. It’s been a mild and inexpensive hobby to maintain, and I don’t do to make money, sit on domains, or for speculation. Rather, there’s something simply wonderful about owning one of the most “physical” aspects of the Internet, which is a domain. All of the other features of the Net, including email, hosting and even access are simply temporary, non-exclusive properties that, though democratic, don’t hold inherent value. These are essentially commodities, like orange juice or bread that you can use, dispose of, and buy again.
With domain names, on the other hand, one owns a digitally sophisticated lock on a given, agreed-upon series of letters and numbers (and, occasionally, hyphens) that is registered worldwide and, inexpensively, creates a microcosm for a website or a potential website. It’s powerful stuff.
Tonight, after much searching, I purchased two domains this evening that make use of the word “acme.” I’ve long desired to own a piece of the “acme” pie, which was popularized by Warner Bros. wonderfully irreverent Road Runner cartoons. Since then, hundreds of parodic and real Acme corporations have risen and I plan on doing the same (the Wikipedia entry notes that “Acme” stands for ‘A Company that Makes Everything’, which is news to me.) One kind soul even went to the trouble of grouping the fictional Acme Co.’s products on a site. Note that while his catalogue is great, his domain name——stinks.


Reasons I completely dislike Twitter:

  • It reminds me of the word “twit.”
  • It has all of the panache and weight of a Cliff Notes book.
  • It exudes a lack of confidence in the permanence of our experiences.
  • It smells like teen spirit.
  • It takes the place of blogs, which are now the more-thoughtful electronic communication tool, which, in turn, is hard to believe.
  • It creates a kind of enforcement of followers.
  • It further glamorizes celebrity at the risk of shunning important content.
  • It places urgency above explication.
  • It creates new demands on our mental space, which is increasingly limited by the detrititus of impoverished, short-term thinking.
  • It is cute.

I signed up for an account and you can follow it at

Hulu in Canada.

Unbelievable. I tuned in to, the nicely designed site featuring popular video clips, thanks to a link by John Gruber today. Lo and behold, I live behind some kind of iron curtain in Canada. is not available in my “country or region,” which essentially means “we don’t like your kind,” or, more technically, “our copyright laws do not apply to you.” What looks to be a promising means of corporate release of digital rights turns out to be, for now, a tease and poor one at that.

(A) Good Magazine.

Amazingly, there are a number of new magazines getting out there these days. It’s an incredibly crowded place, but one magazine that looks very promising (and is getting blog traction) is Good. I love the logo, their site is pretty (albeit with pretty small type), and they’re doing some really interesting typographic and visual work.*
You subscribe to the magazine and 100% of the proceeds go to the charity of your choice (or your choice from their website, actually). (Unfortunately, Canadian subscribers have to add $10.00. Why do people in Canada always to have to pay more for everything? It’s not like we live in Japan or something.) The press release from their design agency‘s launch says “Amazing, but true – visit their website and see for yourself how they are redefining the magazine business model.” I don’t know if there actually is a business model but it’s cool nonetheless.
*As an example, take a look at this video, produced by Good. It’s both cool and scary, a kind of private-public service advertisement with good historical footage, smart music, and good art direction.

Bob's Your Uncle.

I heard the phrase “Bob’s Your Uncle” today on Mary Poppins. My wife has said it for years, mostly related to cooking (e.g. “You put the water in the pot, add some miso, and ‘Bob’s your uncle.'”) and to the ease and quality of the results.
Well, I wanted to find out the history of the phrase and it’s, of course, an interesting one:

The most attractive theory, albeit suspiciously neat, is that it derives from a prolonged act of political nepotism. The Victorian prime minister, Lord Salisbury (family name Robert Cecil, pronounced ) appointed his rather less than popular nephew Arthur Balfour to a succession of posts. The most controversial, in 1887, was chief secretary of Ireland, a post for which Balfour, despite his intellectual gifts, was considered unsuitable. The Dictionary of National Biography says: “The country saw with something like stupefaction the appointment of the young dilettante to what was at the moment perhaps the most important, certainly the most anxious office in the administration”. As the story goes, the consensus among the irreverent in Britain was that to have Bob as your uncle was a guarantee of success, hence the expression. Since the very word nepotism derives from the Italian word for nephew (from the practice of Italian popes giving preferment to nephews, a euphemism for their bastard sons), the association here seems more than apt.