When Web Designers Reproduce
November 11, 2003 6:58 AM   Subscribe

When Web Designers Reproduce We've all seen web pages announcing new arrivals, and I have thrown up my own minimalist attempts using bare bones html. But I found this link a fascinating example of what happens when one applies a particular web aesthetic to an important life event. A new genre is born!
Is your infant w3c compliant? (no Flash required)
posted by mecran01 (57 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
nsfw
posted by crunchburger at 7:10 AM on November 11, 2003


I think that is the pregnantest woman I've ever seen.
posted by sklero at 7:15 AM on November 11, 2003


What's the new genre?
posted by nthdegx at 7:18 AM on November 11, 2003


I think the baby is.
posted by tiamat at 7:40 AM on November 11, 2003


That's one happy baby
posted by cmicali at 7:44 AM on November 11, 2003


Well I guess it's not my style, graphically, HTML-wise (that's a lot of code), or exhibitionally, but no objections. I know this is a personal effort, but maybe in the future we'll see increasing numbers of proprietary niche-lifestyle blog designs, a la Hallmark cards, for occasions such as these.

BTW, if your user page and their home page are current, it turns out that you guys are actually pretty much neighbours in Utah; about twenty miles according to the zip codes?
posted by carter at 7:46 AM on November 11, 2003


A timely post for me. My wife gave birth to a little girl yesterday, and after handling hours of phone calls and inquiries, I can imagine how nice it would be to have a page like this, especially for the benefit of friends and family. (Even more so when one's friends and family are spread across the globe.) Unfortunately, I lack the skill to do so, not to mention the energy.
posted by Ljubljana at 7:58 AM on November 11, 2003


I note that their baby has, as yet, no name, despite being born some two weeks ago...

...there is a cynic somewhere inside of me that think that they, perhaps, should have put at least as much work into finding a name for their child as they put into building this website.

But its a cute baby, and its lovely to see a pregnant woman who is so comfortable in her own skin.
posted by anastasiav at 7:58 AM on November 11, 2003


nice link...the photos are intimate and artistic without being intrusive or cheesy...the opposite of "A Baby Story" on TLC.
posted by serafinapekkala at 8:01 AM on November 11, 2003


congratulations, Ljubljana!
posted by whatnot at 8:10 AM on November 11, 2003


I actually thought she was pregnant with triplets given her enormous tummy and the "new math" animation stating that 1+1=3.
posted by shoepal at 8:19 AM on November 11, 2003


maybe she's a small woman, she's showing quite a lot of tummy as early as 17 weeks.

ooh, a baby girl, congratulations Ljubljana!
posted by dabitch at 8:25 AM on November 11, 2003


Congratulations Ljubljana!
posted by riffola at 8:27 AM on November 11, 2003


Shameless, but justified self-link.
posted by eustacescrubb at 9:01 AM on November 11, 2003


Congrats, L!

And congrats to MeFite vraxoin on second baby
Emerson Althea Porter Sturges ("Mercy")
11/3/03; 8 pounds 2 ounces.
posted by Shane at 9:04 AM on November 11, 2003


Thanks everyone! I'm very disoriented, as well as exhausted and slightly under the influence, but I still appreciate your well wishes very much.

And congrats to vraxoin and eustace!
posted by Ljubljana at 9:24 AM on November 11, 2003


ok, that's wacky. that someone else named their child Emerson. I've got one of those too.

I made a real simple place to dump pics this year. It just uses the filesystem object to automatically catalogue stuff for me.

wee!

http://www.maxandemerson.com

Sorry for the self-linkage.
posted by glenwood at 9:37 AM on November 11, 2003


Christ almighty I am sick of people thinking their child is the most unique goddamned event in the entire world so much so that they need to make a freaking-A website about it. Get over yourselves.
posted by xmutex at 9:40 AM on November 11, 2003


What's the new genre?

poly-ethnic happy thrash! it's like Deee-Lite meets DRI.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:40 AM on November 11, 2003


xmutex,

i made a website so i could store photos to share with grandparents and friends and the ilk. they appreciate it quite a bit actually.

are you getting enough fiber?
posted by glenwood at 9:45 AM on November 11, 2003


Well. That's certainly way more pregnant woman than I ever needed to see... I can't believe I'm such a prig (well, I guess I can...), but those pictures are a web-based multicar highway pileup, just a-beggin' for rubberneckers... Based on all the above, though, I'm clearly in the minority.
posted by JollyWanker at 9:46 AM on November 11, 2003


I am sick of people thinking their child is the most unique goddamned event in the entire world...

I'll assume that's unfunny sarcasm, but to assorted aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends it is a pretty "unique goddamned event." - I'm contemplating one of these myself, but it sure the hell isn't going up there for your benefit. Get over yourself.
posted by jalexei at 9:47 AM on November 11, 2003


crunchburger.. what is nsfw?
posted by Pericles at 9:52 AM on November 11, 2003


anastasiav - I'm not sure that I follow you on the name issue. Why should it be more urgent than, say, sharing your joy with loved ones?
posted by magullo at 9:53 AM on November 11, 2003


A web presence for a newborn is indeed the best way to keep family and friends updated and in touch - much better than those end of the year "newsletters/holiday cards". For grandparents and relatives who are savvy with the interweb - Blogs by babies.
posted by turbanhead at 10:04 AM on November 11, 2003


I'm not sure that I follow you on the name issue.

This isn't just photos they pitched up on the internet to 'share the joy' - this is clearly something they put many hours of work and planning into. It just seems like an odd contradiction to me, that the parents spent so much time celebrating and planning and sharing, but the baby is two weeks old and doesn't have a name ... just "sprout".

I went to school with a girl whose legal name was 'Peanut' because her parents put off finding an 'official' name for her, and by the time they really needed one (needed to get her a SS# for a bank account grandparents were setting up in her name) it was too late, and Peanut was the only thing they could agree upon - Peanut Hester LeGere, actually.

Don't get me wrong, I think its a great site and a wonderful celebration of their new family, but it just seemed ... well ... odd.
posted by anastasiav at 10:13 AM on November 11, 2003


While I guess it's possible they haven't named the baby yet, maybe they just choose not to share the baby's name? I refer to The Boy and The Wee all the time, but I don't give their real names.
posted by headspace at 10:15 AM on November 11, 2003


The Story About the Baby.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:16 AM on November 11, 2003


You know, as much as I appreciate the joy of motherhood and procreation, I don't really feel the need to see someone's pregnant and distended belly, just like I don't need to see Paul Prudhomme's belly.

There are just some things that should remain covered up, away from public eyes.
posted by crunchland at 10:17 AM on November 11, 2003


Or, maybe there are just some things you shouldn't look at, crunchland? Unless you wanna toss your hats in with the folks who think showing ankle is scandalous, and men's faces unadorned of a beard are blasphemous.
posted by headspace at 10:24 AM on November 11, 2003


(and I mean that not as an insult to any pregnant, formerly-pregnant, or potentially pregnant women... I'm told that some men find their wives to be very attractive in that state.)

Given the choice, I wouldn't look at it. The website didn't give me one.

And quit flashing your ankle at me, you hussy.
posted by crunchland at 10:26 AM on November 11, 2003


ah, so it's NSFC.."not safe for crunchland"! Eachto their own ... The only reason I ask is cos sometimes on MeFi, I find myself amazed at what people's bosses/ companies would deem inappropriate/ porn.

Sure, there's nudity, but no genitals or tits are on view (and even if they were, the intent isn't aphrodisiac). Maybe I just have liberal Brit bosses ...
posted by Pericles at 10:27 AM on November 11, 2003


While I guess it's possible they haven't named the baby yet, maybe they just choose not to share the baby's name?

I considered that, but that certainly isn't what "undetermined" implies to me. If they'd wanted to not share it why not just put "Sprout" or not put the name field there.

"I think that is the pregnantest woman I've ever seen." "That's certainly way more pregnant woman than I ever needed to see..." "There are just some things that should remain covered up, away from public eyes."

I'm so amused by this - crunch's last comment actually made me laugh out loud. Men are such strange creatures - thin and near naked woman = good; fertile and near naked woman = icky. I'm dying to know - what do you find so disturbing gross offensive icky about good photos of a woman 40 weeks pregnant?
posted by anastasiav at 10:31 AM on November 11, 2003


oh, I have no idea. I guess it's a personal hang-up... Must have been some traumatic experience during childhood. Maybe I got too close to a popping balloon when I was an infant. For the record, wet hair in the shower drain completely oogies me out, too.
posted by crunchland at 10:35 AM on November 11, 2003


Pericles:
nsfw = "Not Safe For Work", a pretty common abbreviation on the web (or on some sites)...

I said that because I saw nipple, and thought people in (some) offices should beware.
posted by crunchburger at 10:42 AM on November 11, 2003


When my wife was pregnant I also put up a website. It wasn't because I thought it was some unique event, but because I, too, am a web designer, and it was the easiest way to share information and pictures with friends and family scattered around the globe. We even had a web vote for what to name the small prior to his birth.

I thought the Sprout site was cool. Good for them.
posted by sharpener at 11:00 AM on November 11, 2003


I am sick of people thinking their child is the most unique goddamned event in the entire world so much so that they need to make a freaking-A website about it. Get over yourselves.


Heh. Gonna go way out on a limb here and guess that xmutex is not yet a parent, else he'd know that parenthood is all about getting over oneself: it's all about the baby now.

It's okay to have a blog, xmutex, when it's about Really Important Stuff like How Much you Hate SUVs, but it's not okay to put some baby photos and stories on the web?
Somebody needs to get over themselves, alright.
posted by eustacescrubb at 11:04 AM on November 11, 2003


funny. i agree with almost everyone.

like crunchland i think it's borderline NFSW (in U.S.), and, like anastasiav i don't like looking at pregnant women. distended bellies bring to mind malnutritioned and deformed bodies. nothing wrong with showing it, of course. i just agree that it's unattractive.

i also agree with xmutex. get over yourself. there are at least three times as many pics of mom as of baby. people don't wanna see mom. they want to see baby!

finally i agree with glenwood. more pictures (and less HTML) of my new niece, please (hint, hint)!

however, i gotta dis the fpp a little. nothing new here at all. my bro's got a well-designed baby site too. in reality, it's the same as any (bloated) "look at my new car/truck/dog/girlfriend" site, right?

and on preview, i gotta completely disagree with eustacescrubb: "parenthood is all about getting over oneself: it's all about the baby now."

ideally, but most people have babies b/c they want to continue their own family lines. or else they're bored. there are *plenty* of children in the world as it is. if it were really "all about the bab(ies)," we'd all agree not to reproduce for a couple of years and instead volunteer our time educating and raising the (far too many) kids we already have.

imo, having a baby is generally a self-centered act. i would agree that there are usually plenty of great intentions surrounding that act, but the main impetus is that the parents *want* a baby of their own. how many parents (male and female) force their children into something (religion, sports, business, music, politics, etc.) to satisfy their own desires?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:13 AM on November 11, 2003


It's interesting to compare everyone's reactions to the site with my own. My guess is that they've named the kid but haven't updated the site yet. I guess the "new genre" would be:
"highly stylized multimedia depictions of the birthing experience that reinforces and constructs the identity of the parents, in ways that, as is always the case, attempt to move away from generic expectations while still being complicitous with them."

Or something like that.
posted by mecran01 at 11:18 AM on November 11, 2003


the art of womanhood????!
eew.
And yeah, that's some fugly code. Are you sure he's a web designer?

/me runs to double check my validation status...
posted by mimi at 11:18 AM on November 11, 2003


like anastasiav i don't like looking at pregnant women

er, um ... mrgrimm, I think you mean "like JollyWanker and crunchland", not me. I think pregnant women are beautiful. I was just quoting some other posters who don't share my opinion.
posted by anastasiav at 11:27 AM on November 11, 2003


I think pregnant women are beautiful.

Just to really split hairs here: I also think pregnant women are beautiful. I didn't think this particular woman was beautiful, pregnant or otherwise (and that may have been more a response to those hippy-dippy settings than anything else).
posted by jalexei at 11:40 AM on November 11, 2003


So would you say that if she was reading this thread?
posted by mecran01 at 11:44 AM on November 11, 2003


sorry, anastasiav. with all the agreement, i got a little confused. i actually agree with you that it's weird the kid doesn't have a name yet.

to me, the site almost seems like promotional material, rather than a place to put baby pictures and information.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:05 PM on November 11, 2003


i love the site and the idea.

i don't think i'd have shared naked pictures of my pregnant wife with my family, though.

or the rest of the internet, for that matter.

just a thought.
posted by taumeson at 12:36 PM on November 11, 2003


I'm still creeped out.
posted by xmutex at 12:58 PM on November 11, 2003


I won't speak to the design of the site (it's all just opinion anyhow, don't like it? don't look! :^) I will vouch for the usefulness of such sites. I'm of the age where friends are starting to have kids but those friends live far away. Websites help me keep in touch with them, see how their kids are doing, &tc. It's nice to get the scoop on little Jane's recent exploits via teh intarweb and then commiserate with my friends the next time I see them or in a followup email.

One friend even set it up so that when her second child was born she could update the website with his stats via her cellphone and notify her web geek friends of his arrival. That's kind of nice when you want to know what's up with your friends because you care about them but don't want to pester them with "Is the baby here yet?" phonecalls. They get enough of that with family.
posted by absquatulate at 1:06 PM on November 11, 2003


when one applies a particular web aesthetic
To which 'web aesthetic' do you refer? Hipsterism?
posted by mischief at 1:43 PM on November 11, 2003


As a person that tends to steer clear of sites about babies and the likes (my general opinion is that they aught to be password protected in order to protect any unsuspecting general public from their content), I only visited this site to look at the design (I work with web design and am about to become a father - and I am definitely going to post a few gigabytes of pictures on my site when the time comes).

In my humblest opinion the design in no way merits a metafilter link. It is mediocre at best.
posted by FidelDonson at 1:45 PM on November 11, 2003


Somebody way up near the top said: the photos are intimate and artistic without being intrusive or cheesy

Most of these photos look like they're simply re-stagings of the images found in the book Pregnant Goddesses by Mary Halpin.
posted by ahughey at 2:25 PM on November 11, 2003


So would you say that if she was reading this thread?

Yes, with the caveat that my taste is my own, that I'm married to a pregnant woman, and that hopefully my opinion doesn't mean anything to her, and if it somehow did, I would apologize, and say that regardless of what my impression is (gleaned, of course, from a photo on a website, and not a personal meeting), that I meant no offense, and was mainly trying counter the idea that people either like or don't like looking at pregnant women as a blanket statement, given there's as much a range of looks among pregnant women as there are in the general population.

Furthermore, as an expectant father, I'd probably offer my congratulations and hopes for a long and healthy life for mom, dad and the to-be-named baby boy.
posted by jalexei at 2:42 PM on November 11, 2003


You want cool baby pages? I'll give you Cool Baby Pages!
posted by Fofer at 3:18 PM on November 11, 2003


most people have babies b/c they want to continue their own family lines. or else they're bored.

Ah, such wisdom. Tell me, by what magic do you peer into the hearts of others?
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:13 PM on November 11, 2003


Congratulatons eustace, vraxoin & glenn, and anyone else I missed.
posted by riffola at 4:34 PM on November 11, 2003


I posted a few pics of our new daughter from beside in the post-partum recovery room. All of the grandparents "back east" were pleased.

The motivation question is tough to answer. I'm not 100% certain why we did it. We were perfectly happy, certainly not bored, and never big fans of kids. It's tough to rationalize the decision. But, it has been really interesting and more fun than I expected.
posted by laptop_lizard at 5:20 PM on November 11, 2003


...shameless self-serving (fixed link) double-post...

I posted a few pics of our new daughter from beside in the post-partum recovery room. All of the grandparents "back east" were pleased.

The motivation question is tough to answer. I'm not 100% certain why we did it. We were perfectly happy, certainly not bored, and never big fans of kids. It's tough to rationalize the decision. But, it has been really interesting and more fun than I expected.
posted by laptop_lizard at 5:22 PM on November 11, 2003


In my humblest opinion the design in no way merits a metafilter link. It is mediocre at best.

True, it is not an earth-shaking site, but the conversation surrounding it has been pretty useful, and I learned from the discussion.

What web aesthetic? Hipsterism?
Good question. It's a sort of new age hipsterism filtered through the medium and changed in the process. I don't know if you could take *any* aesthetic, slap it on the web, and not have it substantially changed in the process. But now we are edging towards Mcluhanville, a place I'd rather not visit.
posted by mecran01 at 10:17 AM on November 12, 2003


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