The Daily Render

by

A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future

| FRONT PAGE | GEOSPATIAL ART | DC HISTORY / TIMELINE | NEWS | COLONIST | FOUND MAPS | FRACTALS |
| PHOTOGRAPHY | ANTIQUE | DESIGN | VIDEO | RANDOM | CONTACT |

Overdubbed in Turkish on Voice of America
|| 10/17/2013 || 2:39 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

My August interview with Steve Baragona at Voice of America was published in Turkey today.

+ MORE



Are We Eating Fishy Food? on Voice of America
|| 8/19/2013 || 2:45 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today I was on Voice of America talking about the Are We Eating Fishy Food Campaign.

+ MORE



A Digital Dérive Through On-Line Advertising
|| 9/18/2009 || 2:57 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

A screen grab from my entry titled: You Are Probably Not Here, which is a different type of Dérive

A dérive is defined as an attempt at analyze the totality of everyday life, through the passive movement through space. In the late 1950’s French writer Guy Debord first theorized this concept in his studies of architecture. Combined with another Debord term, psychogeography, which is “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals,” the dérive is a means for people to haphazardly explore and learn about their environment through random or pseudo-random methods. Examples of a dérives include exploring the urban environment with a predefined set of arbitrary rules, such as strolling down the street (a Flâneur) and taking only right turns when you see someone a walking a dog or making left hand turns only when you pass by houses that are painted white.

As Guy DeBord wrote in “Theory of the Dérive” in 1958, “In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there.” In essence, the dérive is both an objective and subjective means to view the urban environment.

Fast forward to the present day. The urban environments still exist, and in most cases, these cities have grown substantially over the last 50 years, but there is also a new type of environment that exists today that did not fully exist in DeBord’s time: the digital environment.

Today computer users conduct their own strolls on the internet. They are loosely guided by search strings and mouse clicks. They surf through webpage after webpage seeking knowledge, entertainment, and connections through a medium that is not defined or limited to the physical space in which they live. Buildings become blogs and flâneurs become link lemmings, following the hyperlinks of their blind curiosity.

While some still myopically place the dérive as a strictly urban activity, the digital environment, both manifesting itself on the internet and in computer games, are akin to megalopolises, cities, towns, and villages in their own right. Examples would be the vast digital expanse of games like The Sims, World of Warcraft, or Second Life, which feature digital environments where thousands upon thousands of people from around the world interact within the constructs of the respective games, while never needing to physically meet each other in person. Another example would be those that comment on blog posts or message boards, where the website itself becomes the city, and the articles, blog postings and forum topics become the streets, and the users are the flâneurs, strolling and trolling through ever-increasing content.

However, combined together these participants do not always take part in a de-facto dérive, but rather are merely present within this complex digital environment and may take it upon themselves to conduct a dérive. And that is what I am writing about today.

For quite a few years I eschewed the presence of advertisements on websites. I found them to be visual clutter, like an architectural eye sore of a blighted city. Over time, however, I grew bored of my blog’s layout and I felt that my little digital city (errr, scrapbook) needed some urban planning and ideally, more citizens (visitors, errr, I guess they’d technically be immigrants?). So on a whim, I decided to start serving Google AdSense ads on my website. At first I reverted back to my original reaction, where I thought that my new urban design was tacky and had failed, but then something changed.

As a god of this alternative reality, I was only seeing that which I had coded and created myself. Like looking at a vast sea of sameness, day in & day out, I began to warm up towards these visual invasions that were created in someone else’s digital environment. I began to see that they offered a welcomed distraction. In fact, it is this very type of distraction from the spectacle of reality that first Debord spoke of many years ago. Why does this spectacle exist? What website lies beyond that ad? What is at this animated exit on my digital highway? And why was it so important that someone is actually paying money for the ad to be shown?

Thus began my own digital dérive into on-line advertising.

Since I cannot legally click on my own ads (Google considers that fraud), I went to my friend’s blog, which has a small text ad at the top. Out of genuine curiosity, I clicked on that ad. The resulting page also had an advertisement on it. I clicked on that ad, whereupon I discovered that the resulting page also had ads on it. So click on that ad as well…

The premise of this digital dérive through on-line advertising is quite simple. Explore the internet only through pages with advertisements. Where do you end up? How many ads do you click on before you hit the dead end of the digital alley? Before you jackknife on the information superhighway? What observations can be made through this type of stroll through the internet? Do you end up in digital city or a dark alley of get-rich-quick schemes?

To many people, time is money. But to many others, so are clicks on ads. Depending on where this digital dérive begins and ends someone is making money and someone is also theoretically losing money (unless of course, the act of taking part in the dérive benefits the person paying for the ad, as in, you discover something meaningful on the website of the ad you clicked on). Like the construction costs of the buildings (not to mention their monthly rent) in Paris that Debord strolled through, few things are really free. It takes time to click on ads, just like it takes time to walk down the street looking for houses that are painted white. But unlike construction costs or rent in a building, a digital dérive can be conducted in the comfort of one’s own home and with minimal resources- without the need for shoes or even clothes- only a computer connected to the internet, which over the last decade has become extremely inexpensive. Or completely free if you go to the library.

In essence, a digital dérive can be done in private, while the dérive of Debord’s day was done in public. But if no one sees you walking down the street and you don’t write about it or share the experience with others, did the dérive actually take place? Paradoxically, while a digital dérive can be experienced in private, where no one sees you in person, your journey does leave a trace– in the form of the websites logs. Your IP address will show up on each of your stops in your digital dérive and while it does not leave an exact size 10 shoe footprint, it contains its own geographic markers of where your IP address resolves to. But its a footprint that is scattered across the internet instead of sequentially left in the dust & mud of city streets. It’s a solitary footprint that webmasters cannot immediately tell that a dérive had even taken place. Similarly, people walking down the street participating in a dérive do not nessesarilly have signs saying “we are conducting a dérive,” but they can be see by others in the urban environment.

On-line advertisers want you to see them. They want you to purchase their product & services or be influenced by their very existence. But the digital dérive outlined in this entry is not for them to exploit. It’s for you. Its a means of self-discovery through external stimulation. A method to understand the vastness of the digital environment through a single conduit: advertisements. It doesn’t have to be solitary- two people can sit in front of a computer and choose which ads they think will beget more ads. Moreover, this dérive doesn’t have to be as I directed above, instead you can take turns clicking on ads and clicking on regular links simply to see where the path leads you. The rules are not hard and fast, but rather they are up to the flâneur. Its merely a form of digital exploration that might yield it’s own rewards for you, while paradoxically adding a couple cents to someone’s coffers and removing a couple cents from someone else’s coffers. In essence its a postmodern example of psychogeographical exploration, but without predefined borders; where the environment is wholly located on your computer screen, at a specific location on the surface of the earth, and you are the flâneur strolling from one disparate location to another, without a passport or a map, just strolling, strolling, strolling.


The image at the beginning of this entry is from my entry titled “ Postmodern Cartography: You Are Probably Not Here.”



Twitter T-Shirt Design: “I PREFER TO BE FOLLOWED @USERNAME”
|| 8/24/2009 || 8:15 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

An Animated GIF of a t-shirt for Twitter Users

I recently saw a photo on-line of someone’s hand-written white shirt that basically said “follow me @USERNAME” and was inspired to modify his concept. Thus the image above is by no means an original design. However, I was looking through other t-shirts featuring roughly the same notion, and very few used the concept of following @USERNAME placed on the back side of the shirt. Most of the tacky shirts on customization websites merely mention that the wearer is on twitter or ‘huge or twitter,’ but since they are generic and don’t mention the user’s actual name, they have little practical use. In this design, the Twitter Bird (does she have a name?) extends the branding to visually legitimize the @USERNAME. Replace the stylized Twitter Bird with your company’s logo and, in theory, you’ve got a brand & social marketing t-shirt campaign. Or what about an entirely fake URL? “I PREFER TO BE FOLLOWED BY @JESUS” Or “I PREFER TO BE FOLLOWED BY @SPAM” By using an incorrect @USERNAME the wearer is poking fun at the nature of the website, but paradoxically advertising the @USERNAME. Since I joined Twitter I’ve taken issue with the lexical aspect of following people and while I’ll eventually start following (in name) people, I am curious about how this t-shirt design will slowly creep into the mainstream. On the other hand, I hope its not from people buying this shirt, which is cool in concept, but also somewhat aesthetically tacky.



Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 4 – Fvck Censorship]
|| 5/18/2008 || 3:56 pm || Comments Off on Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 4 – Fvck Censorship] || ||

For my last experiment I decided to just screw around with Facebook to see if I can get one by their censors. This experiment involves the use of geeky lexical humor to poke fun of the antiquated way of using the letter V in place of the letter U and to see if I could get a quasi-curse word through their filters.

+ MORE



Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 3 – Twenty Phantom Women]
|| 5/17/2008 || 4:45 pm || Comments Off on Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 3 – Twenty Phantom Women] || ||

Who would have thought that there were 20 phantom women who are between 26 & 28 that exist somewhere between Washington, DC and the District of Columbia?

I’d sure like to meet one of those ladies.

It should be noted that the Facebook entry for DC is missing the definite article, as in “the District of Columbia.” Currently it dsnt reed rite.

Related Facebook:

+ MORE



Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 2 – Banned Ads]
|| 5/16/2008 || 3:39 pm || Comments Off on Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 2 – Banned Ads] || ||

Today I decided to see if I could link to my Facebook or MySpace page. NOPE.

+ MORE



Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 1 – Basic Ads]
|| 5/15/2008 || 2:47 pm || Comments Off on Experimenting with Facebook’s advertisement system [part 1 – Basic Ads] || ||

Facebook ad showing a link to my Geospatial Art on-line store

Screengrab from Facebook showing my advertisement being served
___names whited out___

On Monday evening I noticed that Facebook was promoting it’s internal advertisement system on my notification panel. As a curious person I decided to check it out and see why I receive so many stupid ads for dating websites. I remember reading a long time ago that at the height of MySpace’s popularity their servers had trouble keeping up with the demand of the user traffic, and while those times have passed, Facebook seems like a clear alternative for social marketing.

So what should I link to? This blog or my on-line store? I chose the on-line store because if I am paying money for a service I might as well get some money back. I also don’t actively promote the store because it’s become too cumbersome to manage and I haven’t added any new maps in ages.

But what to specifically link to? This is where is gets fun.

+ MORE





The Daily Render By
A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future.

©2004-2019 Nikolas R. Schiller - Colonist of the District of Columbia - Privacy Policy - Fair Use - RSS - Contact




::LAST 51 POSTS::

Fair Use


21 queries. 1.282 seconds.
Powered by WordPress

Photo by Charlie McCormick
Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

If you would like to use content found here, please consult my Fair Use page.

::THE QUILT PROJECTION::

Square
Square

Diamond
diamond

Hexagon
hexagon

Octagon
octagon

Dodecagon
Dodecagon

Beyond
beyond

::OTHER PROJECTIONS::

The Lenz Project
Lenz

Mandala Project
Mandala

The Star Series


Abstract Series
abstract

Memory Series
Memory

Mother Earth Series
Mother Earth

Misc Renderings
Misc

::POPULAR MAPS::

- The Los Angeles Interchanges Series
- The Lost Series
- Terra Fermi
- Antique Map Mashups
- Google StreetView I.E.D.
- LOLmaps
- The Inaugural Map
- The Shanghai Map
- Ball of Destruction
- The Lenz Project - Maps at the Library of Congress
- Winner of the Everywhere Man Award

::MONTHLY ARCHIVES::

:: LAST VISITORS ::



::LOCATIONS & CATEGORIES::

  • 2004 Elections (2)
  • 2008 Elections (35)
  • 2014 Elections (4)
  • 2016 Elections (2)
  • ACLU (3)
  • Activism (287)
  • Adbusters (13)
  • Advertisements (33)
  • aerial photography (19)
  • Analysis (31)
  • Animals (30)
  • animated gif (7)
  • Animation (25)
  • Antique (104)
  • Apple (1)
  • Arabic (17)
  • Architectural Archeology (9)
  • Artomatic (25)
  • Astronomy (15)
  • Astrophotography (9)
  • Audio (2)
  • Awards (3)
  • Backpacking (2)
  • banner graphics (5)
  • Beat Google to the Map (56)
  • bicycle (23)
  • Birds-Eye View (5)
  • Blaeu (10)
  • Book Covers (7)
  • Bridge (10)
  • Building (15)
  • calendar (28)
  • calligraphy (6)
  • Capital (61)
  • Cars (18)
  • Cartography (74)
  • Cartoon (9)
  • Celestial (31)
  • Censorship (32)
  • Chinese (7)
  • Chronicling America (34)
  • Classroom (5)
  • Clothing (12)
  • Commentary (76)
  • Commissioned (27)
  • Credit Cards (3)
  • Crime (12)
  • Cyrillic Alphabet (1)
  • DAILY LINKS (30)
  • Dance (2)
  • DC History (93)
  • Design (102)
  • Digital Scrap (5)
  • Election (11)
  • ESA (3)
  • Facebook (19)
  • Fantasy (3)
  • Fashion (23)
  • Fast Food (2)
  • FBI (7)
  • Flag (15)
  • flickr (4)
  • Found Map (56)
  • French (9)
  • Gallery (54)
  • Gardening (25)
  • General (256)
  • George Bush (12)
  • GIS (69)
  • GMO Labeling (4)
  • Google (31)
  • Google AdSense (4)
  • Google AdWords (3)
  • Google Earth (28)
  • Google Maps (47)
  • Google Reader (4)
  • Google Streetview (8)
  • GPS (7)
  • Graffiti (5)
  • Greek (4)
  • Green (72)
  • Green Party (18)
  • Healthcare (15)
  • Highway (35)
  • Hiking (2)
  • Hipster (2)
  • history (151)
  • Holidays (10)
  • House Party (2)
  • Hubble Telescope (2)
  • Humor (88)
  • In The News (88)
  • Insects (2)
  • Interactive (74)
  • Interiors (4)
  • IP Trace (28)
  • Latin (22)
  • Law (15)
  • Lecture (11)
  • Legislation (19)
  • Library (21)
  • Library of Congress (66)
  • Location (1,018)
  • LOLMaps (3)
  • Mass Transit (6)
  • Memorandum (2)
  • meta-data (32)
  • Mobile Phone Applications (1)
  • Movie (3)
  • MrSID (4)
  • MSN (5)
  • Museum (5)
  • Music (48)
  • MySpace (6)
  • NASA (10)
  • National Archives (3)
  • News (182)
  • Obituary (2)
  • Oil (4)
  • Ornithology (4)
  • orthophotography (4)
  • OSCE (16)
  • Photography (134)
  • Poetry (18)
  • Portuguese (1)
  • postmodern (8)
  • QR code (9)
  • QTVR (4)
  • Radio (3)
  • Renderings (675)
  • RSS (3)
  • Seasons (12)
  • Sold (40)
  • Spanish (7)
  • Speech (5)
  • Sports (1)
  • Stadium (40)
  • statehood (94)
  • Statistics (2)
  • Stellarium (4)
  • Stereogram (1)
  • Street (21)
  • Street Art (10)
  • Submissions (5)
  • Tattoo (2)
  • Testimony (2)
  • time-lapse (19)
  • Torture (3)
  • Transportation (6)
  • TV (23)
  • Twitter (5)
  • University (41)
  • Update (24)
  • Vegetarianism (2)
  • Video (49)
  • Vimeo (18)
  • visualization (36)
  • Washington Critic (2)
  • Weather (19)
  • Web Crawler (9)
  • Wikipedia (14)
  • Wordpress (4)
  • Wordpress Upgrade (2)
  • World Wind (3)
  • Yahoo (6)
  • YouTube (113)
  • Zodiac (23)




  • thank you,
    come again!