Sptnk : The Study of Contemporary Culture
July 2, 2009 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Sptnk.org : The Observatory for the Study of Contemporary Culture. Sputnik is an NY organization that seeks to document, promote, and foster discussion around current trends in culture (I think Sptnk is more a "loose confederation" than an organization, but I can't seem to find much more about them. Here's one of the founder's tongue-in-cheek Linked In page). They just launched a new website which ties together sets of interviews from thinkers and doers in lots of fields. They are organized nicely into "paths", "conversations", and transmissions (presentations). Jonathan Harris (he blogs at number27.org) did the design of the site, which is top notch. The production values are not up to ted.com levels, but the weaving of stories and conversations that is emerging may prove useful. Happy culture hunting!
posted by zpousman (18 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Even though the videos don't work for me at work, I already learned two new things just from the theme headings. Sounds pretty great!
posted by DU at 11:24 AM on July 2, 2009

Using iceweasel 3.0.6, the site thinks my browser is incompatible.
posted by idiopath at 11:26 AM on July 2, 2009

Do they foster any discussion on the trend of vowel shortage? I couldn't find out because they're blocking my browser.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:27 AM on July 2, 2009

To view the Sputnik Observatory site, please install Flash version 9.0+, and enable Javascript.

Supported browsers are Firefox 2.0+, Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 3.0+, and Google Chrome.

Please download one of these browsers to view the Sputnik site.

To get me to view your site, please make it a bit more accessible.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 11:28 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

For a more browser-friendly look into the sort of things Sptnk is covering in their fancy-pants flashed-to-hell website, you can look at their blog. It seems to have some overlapping material.
posted by hippybear at 11:49 AM on July 2, 2009

Sorry about the browser + plugin nonsense. I didn't have any troubles in Safari or FF, so I was okay. It's not as compelling content like the please-please-please-please campaign with Playboy and MS Silverlight. But I swear, it's cool.
posted by zpousman at 11:53 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

They are not targeting long tail types like you Guy. They are all about the fat heads.
posted by srboisvert at 11:53 AM on July 2, 2009

About Sptnk
posted by hippybear at 11:57 AM on July 2, 2009

Aw, balls.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 11:57 AM on July 2, 2009

srboisvert: I see what you did there.
posted by hippybear at 12:01 PM on July 2, 2009

hippybear: yeah, I checked the about page and sent a polite request to their contact email asking that they let my browser in.
posted by idiopath at 12:18 PM on July 2, 2009

idiopath: hey, I'm as tired of the "flash design = website creation" fallacy as the next guy, believe me.
posted by hippybear at 12:20 PM on July 2, 2009

OK, I checked the blog, and saw an essay about utilizing zero point energy. While this is not a guarantee that someone is a deluded kook or a fraud, it is definitely a warning sign. As far as current technological understanding is concerned, utilizing zero point energy is in the same realm as making a backward traveling time machine.
posted by idiopath at 12:26 PM on July 2, 2009

Really, anybody who assesses compatibility by looking at browser version is stuck in 1999. Just bloody unnecessary. Borderline hostile. (And I haven't even started in on Flash dependency...)
posted by lodurr at 1:36 PM on July 2, 2009

They emailed me back, they had the web developer add a link to bypass the browser detection, better than nothing, at least I can access the site now.
posted by idiopath at 3:12 PM on July 2, 2009

They get +5 for responsiveness, I should say.
posted by hippybear at 3:19 PM on July 2, 2009

i found the architect!
posted by doobiedoo at 5:12 AM on July 3, 2009

I find teh information architecture to be far too clever to be really useful. And the scrolling-letter thing is just effing annoying. If this website were a book I'd put it down quickly and feel like my fingers had been soiled by it.
posted by lodurr at 5:25 AM on July 3, 2009

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