thoughts on art, interactivity, technology, design, culture & life

My name is Rachel Diesel and I am an art addict. I love art, I always have. I know I am not the only one who loves art, there are millions of art lovers across the world, which is why I was always surprised at the lack of a good website for information on the art world with the web 2.0 flavor I have come to expect of a good informational website. I was elated when I discovered NY Art Beat last week, finally the kind of site I expected and wanted to help me curate my artistic activities in the city.

NYAB buttonNY Art Beat provides information on both their website and iPhone application. Both mediums are well designed (though I expect many additions and updates to the iPhone app, I would happily redesign the app for free -- contact me ;)) NYAB even provides an API to developers allowing their information database to basically go anywhere. As a developer, the prospect of doing a visualization of this information is extremely exciting!

Why I've fallen in love...

In NY there are about a million places to go see amazing, cutting-edge, inspiring art. Selecting, curating, and actually going to these events/exhibitions is nothing short of a small miracle at the end of the day. By the end of every year I can name at least five exhibits I missed because I put it off til the last minute and forgot the end date. I hear about exhibits all the time, I never can remember where they are if I remember them at all. NY Art Beat fixes this by allowing me to bookmark events and exhibits to my NYAB Account. Furthermore I can count on reviews of exhibits and up-to-date information about all the important art events in the city. This has become my new go-to place for my art world information.

To add to my absolute love for NYAB is a solid first version of an iPhone app, providing basic information on events around the town (GPS proximity filtering included!). My ONLY disappointments are that I can't sync my NYAB Account to my iPhone or pull the latest information to my device for viewing when internet is not available (pesky subways). That being said, I usually suggest that apps release with a lighter first version and build out from that. I hope to see these features added in the future.

What I expect in the future

Make it social

Much like the rest of my internet hubs (Hulu, Netflix, Twitter, Facebook, etc...) I expect to be able to share what I like, my recommendations, and events I'll be attending with my social network. I also want to see what my friends are doing. Facebook Connect integration would be great to find friends bookmarks, events and recommendations. Integrating Facebook Connect would also afford the iPhone an easy, pre-built login platform to retrieve user information. Another feature I think would be great is an event badge for bloggers who often talk about specific exhibits. This would not only help bloggers provide up to date information on exhibits without having to gather it all by themselves, but it would allow them to point to NYAB driving traffic to the site -- effectivly becoming a relevant in-line ad targeting it's desired demographic.

Make it .mobi

I am surprised when I see major websites that don't have a mobile version of their site, especially when the information on that site pertains to being out-and-about. If I had an android phone I would be pinching and zooming to try and see the information on the site. The extra time it takes to make the site mobile would be completely worth it in my opinion.

Make it intelligent

The more data you have, the more conclusions you can draw. Zappos knows what shoes I like, Netflix knows what movies I like, Amazon knows what books I like, FreshDirect even knows enough to remind me to buy my favorite items before I check out....NYAB should know what kind of art and art exhibits I like. The NY art world is huge, please put the content I'll like on the front page when I visit.

Remind me

If I have an exhibit saved to my account I should get a reminder via text or email before that exhibit ends. Furthermore I should be able to export or sync my NYAB saved events to my iCal or Google Calender. [CORRECTION: Email reminders are sent from NYAB]


If you're an art lover like me do yourself a favor and jump on this bandwagon. I'm super excited to see how this site grows, I think it really has the potential to become the best of the best when it comes to information, especially as expands into new locations.

The other day I was watching TV and I saw the following commercial for Bacardi Mojito.

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On top of being a really excellent commercial about timelessness and tradition, I was really impressed by the appropriateness of the music selection. A simple piano melody, a really great beat, a song that could meld with any of the eras depicted and sounded simply cannot go wrong with that.

After the commercial was over I walked to my computer and ran a Google search to find what song was used for the commercial. I found my answer on Adtunes.

Adtunes is an ad music website that serves as a guide to music used in television commercials, TV shows, movie trailers, film soundtracks, video games and more.

The song in the Bacardi Mojito commercial is by Matt & Kim and is called Daylight. Beyond finding my answer I also discovered some more cool music that I've heard and enjoyed before (but didn't know the name of) like Penguin Cafe Orchestra's Perpetuum Mobile. Go check out Adtunes, there's some awesome content on the site.

The fact that the economy is not doing well right now is no secret. Companies all around the world are being forced to lay-off workers to insure they can stay afloat. It's not a happy situation but we deal with it, some of us better than others. Belgian company So Nice is taking a more innovative approach to firing an employee...they've made a website allowing you to choose called "You choose...we fire".

While I don't speak the language the website is in, it is worth a visit to see a new way to approach the timeless situation of letting an employee go. Seeing as how this website has a viral quality to it maybe they'll even gain some business in the mean time. Props to So Nice for thinking outside the box and avoiding making a difficult decision themselves.

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