Abundantly abundant abundance

From my column in Thursday’s Guardian:

The Facebook app Dramatic Whitespace is more than just a bit of silliness (though it’s certainly that). It’s a sly comment on the net’s reigning design ethic: the cramming of as much stuff as possible into every bit of available space. The thought that a pixel might go to waste seems to fill site owners with dread.

The worst examples of data overload can be found inside the social networks themselves. At Facebook’s main rival, MySpace, people seem to compete to create the densest, ugliest pages imaginable. Photographs, videos, music snippets, wacky fonts and assorted digital bling are thrown together into eye- and ear-assaulting jumbles.

But professional media sites are little better …


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