The state of book design
I am genuinely concerned about book design these days. On the left are the bookcovers as how they were first published, later editions are on the right. Guess which cover sells better? Yes, the ones on the right, terrible, but true.
Concerned with sales and making money, which I understand as publishers are having a hard time trying to survive, they’re forgetting a very important question: in the long run which cover will stick in the collective memory of people?
Seriously, which book would you pick up in a book store? And what cover will you remember 10 years from now?
Admit it, your neighborhood isn’t like Mister Rogers’. You don’t know the name of your postal carrier or beat cop, or even the person who lives next door. But why shouldn’t you? These people who occupy the orbit of your house have the potential to turn an otherwise dull domestic existence into the rich experience we used to know as community.
We’d like to help return some of that richness. Henceforth, let’s make the last Saturday in April (that’s April 27th this year) Neighborday, a global celebration of the people with whom we share space. It’s about potlucks and having face-to-face interactions with the people around you. It’s about taking care of your streets and supporting your local shops. It’s about getting to know the people around you that you may not notice every other day of the year. Think of it as a holiday of the GOOD community everywhere.
Here’s how it breaks down:
Sign up to celebrate Neighborday this year (4/27/13) by going here. Will you host a dinner? Start a lemonade stand? Stage a barn raising? It should be a day of block parties, yard sales, trading stuff, and barbecues. It should happen on sidewalks, front lawns, and on side streets. No traveling allowed; the idea is to know and enjoy the company of your immediate neighbors.
Once you click “Do it,” our community manager Hannah will email you and introduce herself in case you have questions. (She’s really nice.)
While Neighborday is on your mind and you’re still at your computer, let your friends know about it. Share it over email, on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, MySpace, wherever you like spreading the word. Here’s some helpful stuff to get you started on that.
Keep a lookout for a weekly email from us on Saturdays. Theyll include helpful tips, new ideas, and all sorts of ways to make sure Neighborday is off the hook.
Get outside and talk to your neighbors. Download a sample set of invitations that you can print and start giving out to the people next door. Or feel free to create your own, and let us know what it looks like by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org or tagging it online with #neighborday.
Document your own neighboring, and collaborate with us on the Neighborday documentary (we’ll be sharing more about that next week). Capture video, take photos, share thoughts and experiences in the comments.
Got questions? Email us at email@example.com. It’ll likely go to Hannah.
N.B. Neighborday was first proposed to GOOD as we were putting our Neighborhoods issue of the magazine together in the Spring of 2010. Someone named Gene Benjamin Baker suggested it to us on our Facebook page. We’re yet to track Gene down again, but if you know him, tell him thanks or give him a high five, and feel free to let us know how to get in touch if you’ve got any leads.
According to Metahaven the ultimate combination of social media and government would be ‘Facestate’. They build a whole installation around this concept of Facestate to make people more aware of where the idea of large-scale online social networks under centralized control might be heading.
As Metahaven states in an interview:
“Facebook now has so many users, that if it were to be a country, its number of inhabitants would only be second to India and China. There is an incredible, almost eerie power in Facebook’s brand as a kind of new neutrality, a new standard. It is almost a second coming of the Swiss or International Style.”
Also inspired by the idea of an ultraminimal state (as described in the 1974 book Anarchy, State, and Utopia of Robert Nozick) Metahaven designed
concrete objects and interfaces that show the way the constellation of Facestate might influence politics, currency and the social contract. These are shown above and here.
Metahaven has done and is doing a lot of interesting projects linking societal movements with design and art, a current one being about ‘black transparancy’. Follow the meanderings of Metahaven on Tumblr & Twitter. And no, they’re not on Facebook. :-)
musing-inspiring & amusing!