The Bold Italic: Covering local stories, venues and events with style

The Bold Italic is not about typography. It’s not a news site either, but it feels like one – albeit a very trendy news site. In fact, it’s about ‘local discovery’ – trendy San Francisco types write about their local obsessions. Venues, merchants and events are also covered. From the about page:

Just when you thought you were a pretty savvy local, along came The Bold Italic. Our mission is to help people become better locals, equipping our members with rare local intel, backstory and potential adventures.

Our writers, the Bold Locals, find their way behind-the-scenes in San Francisco and come back with backstories of distinctive, offbeat local experiences.

A San Franciscan, such as yourself, can keep pieces of these backstories — a particular merchant, landmark, or product — in the Clipbook. That’s the tab on the left with shapes on it.

It’s a hugely appealing site. Anyone considering a local web project should study it closely.

Britons remain tolerant despite terror outrages

Okay, so I know the Metro isn’t exactly the bastion of great journalism or anything, but they ran a story today based on a Harris Interactive study, that bugged me: METRO: Britons remain tolerant despite terror outrages (the linked story lacks the infographics that accompanied the printed article).

Harris Interactive interviewed 1,296 people, who were asked to rank their strength of faith from 0-10, with zero being agnostic. I’m curious why the Metro used this label. Surely atheist is the correct definition for someone with 'zero faith'? To me, agnosticism implies that some doubt – trace amounts of faith – may remain.

The main issue the data raised for me was completely ignored by the article. Those surveyed were asked which religion was 'best' and which was 'worst'. Sensibly, 65% answered that no one religion was better or worse. Christianity stormed ahead in popular opinion however, with 26% voting it the 'best'. The 'worst', according to 24%, was Islam.

That result, in my view, contradicts the Metro's conclusion that we remain tolerant. Also, there is a very strong implication that it's the Christians that have the biggest problem with Islam. Sadly, the Harris Interactive data hasn’t been published on their site to elaborate on the Metro's assertions.

I left a (polite and reasonable) comment on the Metro post, but it wasn’t published.

FontForge – Other ways to build a typeface in Linux?

FontForge I have always had the ambition to design typefaces, but besides reading several books on the subject and creating one (very rough) font, I’ve not made any progress.

Well, I still haven’t, but I have just installed FontForge. After much digging, it seemed to be the only real option for Linux (not that other Mac and Windows are exactly overflowing with options). I’m know Inkscape has some type-specific features – and I plan to explore these – but I really wanted to try a dedicated program. Continue reading

Boundaries – a tool to visualise the shape of neighbourhoods

Boundaries - a tool to visualise the shape of neighbourhoods

Boundaries uses Flickr geotagging data to draw local area boundaries on a map. It’s creator, Tom Taylor, says:

Flickr understands that places are more than unique geographic identifiers; that they are mental models people use to identify with location. Moreover, they are fluid and opinionated, varying based on a number of parameters such as context, ambition and personal background. In true wisdom of the crowds style, Flickr use the combined selections of their thousands of photographers to compute the shape of these places.

I think it’s a wonderful idea. Tom has several other fun projects, including the Flickr game Noticings, and a handy micro-printer you could use for to-do lists or hyperlocal news print outs. He also has a talk up on http://www.dolectures.com/ where he explores more ideas.

Cardiff regions on Boundaries.