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D.I.Y. Media: Consumer is the Producer

February 26th, 2006 by

See me speak at SXSW

The title of this entry is also the title of a panel I’m moderating at the Interactive portion of the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, at 3:30 on March 14.

The panelists include Phillip Torrone and Natalie Zee from O’Reilly’s Make magazine, Cameron Shaw from AOL, and Limor Fried from EYEBEAM (and late of MIT’s Media Lab). The panelists will be talking about how consumers of media are becoming producers of media (and media objects).

I’ll talk a bit about how blogs and wikis and other online social media are putting people at the center of their own information ecosystems instead of relegating them to the fringes of a mass-media dominated discourse, but mostly I’ll be introducing the other speakers and keeping time.

I’m not sure how well the SXSW banner fits the design of this site, so I’m going to let it gradually scroll off the page along with this entry instead of stowing it in the sidebar.

Google Analytics offers tips on traffic and conversion

February 24th, 2006 by

Google Analytics has posted a few white-paper type articles to its Conversion University section, grouped under Drive Traffic and Convert Visitors)

(Link via Terry.)

AIGA relaunches GAIN journal of business and design

February 24th, 2006 by

AIGA, a designers’ professional association is relaunching its web journal, GAIN:

The Gain journal is dedicated to stimulating thinking at the intersection of design and business. Through rigorous case studies and thoughtful interviews, the journal demonstrates how the process of design can be used to solve business problems, foster innovation, build meaningful customer relationships and differentiate products from competitors.

Gain has a new team: managing editor, Karen McGrane, and mailing list moderator, Jeff Lash….

[R]eaders are invited to join a discussion through a new mailing list, AIGA-Gain –an informal, open discussion on topics at the intersection of design and business. The mailing list will focus on one topic per week.

A little CSS diversion

February 22nd, 2006 by

Stu Nicholls has created a little web-native video game powered by CSS. It’s maddening, though. I can’t seem to win.

Web 2.0 as hype

February 21st, 2006 by

First of all, Web 2.0 is definitely hype. It’s a marketing concept whose meaning varies depending on who you are talking to. For some it means web-as-application-platform, for others it means social web (or living web), and for others still it means a new round of VC investment and rags-to-riches tales.

So let’s get that part straight: Web 2.0 is hype. But Is Web 2.0 Just Hype?
Is web 2.0 just hype? That is the question:

It’s interesting to me that while the Web has been around for 10 years, we’ve only gotten to version 2.0 in the last year or so. I mean, with the advent of the Internet, it seemed like most software was getting a new version every couple months, not once a decade. And yet, Web 2.0 is on a lot of lips these days. But what is Web 2.0? According to Wikipedia, Web 2.0 is “what some people see as a second phase of development of the World Wide Web, including its architecture and its applications.” It is often defined by the technology that is used to create the applications that are considered Web 2.0 – such as AJAX and SOAP. In fact, the word application is often what defines a site as a Web 2.0 site. It is not just a static repository of information, but rather an application that customers use to get more information, make more information, or interact with existing information in new ways.

Yahoo! Pattern and UI Libraries

February 14th, 2006 by

Yahoo! has really taken it to the next level in terms of reaching out to the developer community. As Christian mentioned earlier, there’s the new User Interface Blog and I coincidentally stumbled on the Graded Browser Support article around the same time.

Digging deeper I found the Design Pattern Library which Yahoo! defines as “an optimal solution to a common problem within a specific context”. The pattern library describes a problem and the best approach to undestanding and solving it.

Current examples include: auto-complete, breadcrumbs, drag and drop modules, module tabs, navigation tabs, object pagination, search pagination, object ratings, and writing a review.

The examples are sectioned into: when to use, the solution, the rationale, and accessibility. A sidebar includes links to related patterns, where Yahoo! has applied it to their own sites, a related blog article, and code examples.

Coupling the Pattern Libraries are the UI Libraries with in-depth examples and BSD-licensed code available for download.

These libraries are shaping up to be an essential resource for developers and designers alike!

Yahoo! Design Pattern Library
Yahoo! UI Library

Graded Browser Support

February 14th, 2006 by

Nate Koechley, Senior Web Developer for Yahoo! has written an interesting (if a bit high-level) article on what he’s calling “graded browser support”. Instead of using the more commong “graceful degradation” approach, Nate looks at browser support using a graded system.

The system puts browsers into 3 seperate categories based on their distribution.

See the article for more information. The graded chart will make a lot more sense after reading it.

Yahoo! Developer Network: Graded Browser Support
Yahoo! Developer Network: Browser Grade Chart

Yahoo launches UI blog

February 14th, 2006 by

Since leading sites such as Yahoo and Google set expectations for users across the web, I’m glad to see that Yahoo is sharing their user-experience philosophy in the form of their new User Interface Blog.

IE7 to offer better CSS support

February 10th, 2006 by

Todd sent around this post from the IE team’s blog regarding the changes they made to CSS in IE7 Beta Preview, and this MSDN article that describes the changes in more depth, adding:

I think the important thing to remember is that this isn’t final, this isn’t even a full beta version. It will change, but I think the progress they’ve shown is good for all.

Not being accessible can cost you

February 8th, 2006 by

Today a lawsuit was filed against Target because their website is not accessible to the blind.

Target’s site lacks “compliant alt-text,” an invisible code embedded beneath graphic images that lets screen-reading software detect and vocalize an image’s description to blind computer users, according to the suit filed by Berkeley-based Disability Rights Advocates for the National Federation of the Blind, its California affiliate and a blind man from Berkeley.

Read the full article