April 3, 2001 8:19 PM   Subscribe

NeoXplane Hey Xplane launched their new site! You know Xplane from such magazines such as USA Today, Wired and that old classic, Business 2.0. Forget Adobe, these guys know how to upgrade.
posted by Brilliantcrank (9 comments total)
This looks like a good company to work for/with. I love xBlog, and bBlog might rival Davenetics (the only industry rag I can stand) if such a thing is possible.

How come no one mentions xBlog among people who get paid to blog? What other companies keep weblogs (besides the /usr/bin/girl team)? If I were paid to blog, I'd say "I blog to get paid," rather than "I get paid to blog," but that's just me. Maybe because it rhymes with "I blog to get laid." Neither of which are true.
posted by sudama at 12:48 AM on April 4, 2001

Oh boy, do I ever want to work there. That's one of the nicest websites I've ever seen. Gee, if only the high-res images were readable I would be in iso-ma-metric heaven.
posted by holloway at 1:47 AM on April 4, 2001

Do you really want to be paid to write progoganda for other businesses? "Explaining complex business issues" isn't going to be sitting down and deciding whether it's better to spend more on employee welfare or share dividends - it'll be explaining how we cannot survive without supporting the lovely old ladies with cuddly doggies that own our shares and deserve the money more than the nasty unions etc etc.

It's a nice site, but doesn't anyone else think working there would be even more dodgy than working in a traditional advertising company? I know I've exaggerated above, but being paid by big business to "explain" complex issues doesn't sounds very nice...

Sorry if I've misunderstood this and posted completely irrelevant crap - I'm a bit worried because I don't understand what the comment on being paid to blog is referring to!
posted by andrew cooke at 4:40 AM on April 4, 2001

It's also a sad commentary on the state of business culture when paying someone to blog is seen as a radical innovation. Unlike blogger, where the employees blogged because they wanted to.
posted by mecran01 at 6:48 AM on April 4, 2001

I would love to work for Xplane but they don't have a Southern California office yet. Maybe when my wife is out of school we'll make the move to the midwest...
posted by Brilliantcrank at 7:21 AM on April 4, 2001

Thanks for all the comments, everyone. It's always nice to get feedback on stuff like this. Just to address some points that have been brought up:

I don't think of it as though we're "paid to blog." xBlog is put out by a company, yes, but it's not like people are hired based on their blogging skills (if there is such a thing). It's probably something that would have gotten started up by Bill (the founder/editor) on his personal site if it hadn't gone on (He's not in the room at the moment so I can't check with him to verify that, though.) I contribute to the xBlog because I like to. Even if I didn't work here, I'd still contribute links.

We get paid to do lots of things here; putting together good useful weblogs is a small part of that. (There are also some that are incredibly useless side projects like RobotPirateMonkey that we put together.)

Hi-res images: We're working on that. Most of our XPLANATiONS are designed for print, and when you've got an image that's 1800px wide and over 300k and you still can't read all of the text, it's hard to justify making the images any larger. We're trying to balance high quality of images with reasonable download times, and sometimes you have to make sacrifices on both ends.

As far as writing propaganda for other businesses, well, we don't see it that way, and our clients don't either. We make complex things easy to understand. In the last issue of WIRED, we explained how XML's data-linking abilities make it easy for clusters of related businesses to connect (see the XPLANATiON). I don't see that as dodgy; I see it as helping people understand better.

We've explained space stations, highway construction, health care and human resources, just to name a few. If you go through examples of our work or our case studies, you'll see that businesses come to us with complex ideas and concepts, and we come up with creative and effective solutions that yield great results.

Thanks again for all the comments and feedback. If you want to get in touch with us directly and give us more input on the redesign (we'd love to hear it), you can go to our site feedback page. And for those who want to work here, I suggest bookmarking our jobs page.

Keep in touch...
posted by jefflash at 7:44 AM on April 4, 2001

JetFlash... I saw someplace on the net a utility that allows web users (with out plugins) to zoom-in on images. I wish I could remember the name of the technology... it could address the problem with the hi-res image issues.
posted by silusGROK at 8:34 AM on April 4, 2001

As far as writing propaganda for other businesses, well, we don't see it that way, and our clients don't either.

Hmmm. Your answer is impressive. I've never seen "being paid by someone to present their case" spun in such a pleasant way... I hope they pay you lots - you deserve it!

But in the end, articles in Wired excepted, the people who can pay for your services are going to be just one side of society. The ones that can't pay don't get their views presented quite so slickly. Of course, you can try - and do - present it as some kind of quest for the truth. But you're not paid to look for the best solution to a complex problem; you're paid to present an argument.

And unfortunately, that means it's propoganda, not neutral research...
posted by andrew cooke at 9:58 AM on April 4, 2001

Image Pump allows users to zoom in on images for higher resolution. I first remember seeing it at the Sotheby's Declaration of Independence auction.
posted by Aaaugh! at 12:54 PM on April 4, 2001

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