The end of the year is nigh. It's been weird, fun, intense, terrible, and wonderful all at once. But then again: what year isn't?
Because we think that all these Christmas and New Year's wishes are mostly bullshit, we would like to say "Thank You" for hanging out with us this year by feeding your head with some pieces of the web that influenced us the most in 2013.
2013 was certainly not an easy year. While we are used to horror stories and catastrophes on the news, this time drama reached our safe little world of technology. The NSA debate ultimately made us rethink right and wrong in our always connected societies.
While I was surrounded by HD photos, video-games and apps all year, I learned that the written word still carries farther and moves stronger. Enjoy some links, below.
by Frank Chimero
Admitted: I was late to get my hands on this gem of a(n e)book. Taking the time and absorbing it in one sitting was a little revelation. We use the word “design” for almost anything these days that tries to carry value or has a human component. Frank Chimero gives meaning back, helps us understand what we’re really doing with context and clarity. Read it and think.
A strong brewed coffee and medium.com were the two things I enjoyed every morning, when 2013 was still young. At the end of the year, mostly coffee remained.
The constant quality of grounded articles and opinions soon gave way to bragging texts, fighting for some quick attention. I’m not saying that there’s no place for this on the internet, but Medium’s example clearly shows the importance to curate and filter on today’s web.
Building lastwebsite.io together with the talented Brothers Chapman was an influential experiment for Opoloo. It did push our technical skills on the mobile web and sensitized us for deep, immersive experiences and storytelling as a fundamental part of modern communication.
If you still haven’t found the easter-egg, maybe revisit it and enter the Gateway again ...
A lot of things happened in 2013, and it’s hard to keep track of all the fascinating, mind-blowing, funny, and immersive moments lived and experiences made. Throwing it all together in just a couple of links is an impossible task, since most of what really mattered happened in the real world: Conversations with lots of people, some really good books (yep, some of us still read old school books :) ), and finally the mandatory trial and error life experience.
Nevertheless there are some specials I’d love to present, and my third “link” refers to one of my favorite business related books for 2013.
After decades of struggling with dual boot (Linux for work environment and Windows for the spare time gaming experience) Valve’s announcement of Steam OS being based on Linux was long overdue and like Easter, Christmas and all past birthdays all at once. Lets hope that it will succeed and revolutionize the gaming world and especially the mindset of hardware vendors to support more than one operating system.
Upon making “The Last Website”, we needed something new to play with and keep up the team spirit. Some weird ideas rose and were thrown over board again, but what’s lasted was our mindset to share things and enlighten people. Developing our own blogging software to publish what matters for us personally as well as open sourcing the source code was a perfect fit.
Paperwork you should have read
“Team Geek: A Software Developer's Guide to Working Well with Others” was one of my favorites in 2013. Coding is not all about your code, but mostly about your team. This book teaches and/or reminds you on how to get a better developer by improving your “social coding skills”. Read it now if you haven’t yet.
Happy New Year to you all.
by Erin Kissane
You might have to have a really good life. It might be fucking amazing.
Something in me resonated when I read this short piece by Erin Kissane. She’s as emotional as she’s smart here, just speaking my mind about some things that have actually plagued me this year. Some of those things, I feel, are just capital-T-True.
by Craig Mod
Sometimes I really feel a certain way, but the right kind of words to describe that feeling can’t be formed just yet. Then, I’m all the more astonished that there are people who feel the same but are already 20 steps ahead of my naive ass. So is Craig Mod. This is what publishing on the web should look like, even a year after this article saw the light of day.
by Oliver Reichenstein
For me, Oliver Reichenstein remains one of the most influential people in all things web-related (even iA writer Pro left aside). What he writes is always accessible and useful—there’s no other way for you to feel about it, because you know he has thought about everything he says thoroughly (that might be his philosophy background showing, too). I haven’t read or heard a single stupid sentence by this man. This article, though, is him at his finest.
Codepen was one of my most visited links in 2013. I've never learned that much about web stuff as I did in 2013 on this site. Together with other codepen users I created a new dev-group to exchange our code and experience. It's fun and was a really good decision I made in 2013.
This ruby gem is really made for me. It's a small engine to convert dynamic content into a static website. Most of my friends and I use it for our personal websites. Small but powerful, I love it.