News : May 2002
Jeffrey Zeldman Presents turns 7 years old today. Congrats my good friend, mentor, and a man who just happens to be one of the Web's greatest authors.
For those of you in Portland, we are having our 2nd Portland Blogger Meet on Friday, June 7th. If you are interested in attending, please contact me and I will give you the details.
Zeldman continues to increase his legendary status as his site turns 7 today and enters its 8th year!
Must Read: The Real Internet Predators, NetSol appears to be missleading domain owners (note: those who do not have NetSol domains) into transfering their domains over to NetSol. I have actually seen these notices, it is a true fact that this is happeing. Don't be fooled, read the fine print, know who your registrar is. What else can be done? How about filing a detailed complaint with the Better Business Bureau for starters.
Another good article on Reestablishing the Value of Content by Gerry McGovern. Gerry disputes the aspects of the information erra and suggests we put a sticker on the information we produce. He has some valid points here, but we prefer to give you a blank sticker in which you can choose your own price for out content... dontation systems work. [from Info Design]
John Hiler has a great article up about Blogosphere: the emerging Media Ecosystem which details how Weblogs and Journalists work together to Report, Filter and Break the News. Included are contrasts between blogging and conventional media. [from IA Slash]
A new issue of Digital Web Magazine is up. In this week's issue we have a great software review of Electric Rain's Swift 3D 2.0 by Jesse Nieminen and another great book review of Jim Munroe's "Everyone in Silico" by James McNally. You will also notice some changes to our format and navigation, we are making some changes to the site so that your user experience with using the user interface is seamless with actually enjoying the content. Feedback and suggestions are always welcome. See you next week with more great content.
Linkage and geography are the themes behind A Picture of Weblogs. There is also a more complex version and lets not forget the local NYC version that uses the subway system as a guide. [from IA Slash]
For those of you who attended some of the pannel sessions I was involved with at SXSW you may remember the disucssion of archiving art and information online, well, here is an article that just came out about this same subject from the perspective of digital art: Museums Seek Methods for Preserving Digital Art. [from Tomalak's Realm]
To click or not to click. To scroll or not to scroll. To choose or not to choose. Users are confronted with several options on the Web... "what does that button do if I click it?" "If I check this box, will it give me all of the results plus what is checked, or will it give me only the checked options?" These are common questions related to information mapping. Wayne Greenwood explains these issues on a software level in his article "Don't get burned by bad mapping" [from IA Slash]
Another great article on the ever-important design phase of wireframing: Using Wireframes. To quote the article "Wireframes serve a central function in communicating the content and layout of each web page for internal discussion and client review as well as a blueprint from which graphic designers and web developers will derive final designs. It's importance, roles and implementations are discussed in this article." [from InfoDesign]
A List Apart issue 145 is out. In this issue Christopher Ross-Gill talks about simple content management and Dan Benjamin talks about email spam and how to avoid it on the Web.
A new issue of Digital Web Magazine is up. In this issue we have a great tutorial entitled "Rock, Paper, Stone: The Biz Stone Guide to Independent Publishing" by Biz Stone, of course. Special thanks to Molly Holzschlag for all the extra last minute help.
Another great article is up at Boxes and Arrows. "Designing on both sides of your brain" by Scott Berkun brings up some good points. I personally do not consider myself a right-brain or left-brain person, I am both at once. I solve problems from both the technical and creative aspects of the issue at hand.
For those in the Portland area, it's almost time for the 2nd annual PDX Zine Symposium. This is a two day conference and zine social exploring facets of underground publishing and DIY culture. That's Zine, not necessarily e-Zine, but there will be some discussion related to e-Zines by the likes of Jack Saturn and James Squeaky. Hope to see you there in July.
'been wondering what rex had been upto lately. turns out he has been spending time doing the latest incarnation of zoorex.com. go check it out kids!
How many times can you rip off someone else
Redberger is giving away "Preaching Season" stickers. All you have to do is to write me an email and give me 3 good reasons why you deserve to get dem stickers. and oh, don't forget to include your name and mailing address.
digital-web.com celebrates six years online this week. To add to this a new issue is now online. This week I share my insight about the magazine, where we have been and where we are going in the article "Independent Publishing is Growing Up." Special thanks to all the staff and contributors for making this possible.
If you are in Portland on May 22nd you may want to set aside some time for this one: CHIFOO (Computer Human Interaction Forum of Oregon) is hosting a presentation by Marijke Rijsberman on integrating user research into project implementation. See you there!
Jim Byrne's new article explains why it matters to use good structural markup with CSS: CSS accessibility problems: is markup dead? Good reading.
A new issue of Boxes and Arrows is out. In this issue Meg Cole talks about Moving from Flatland to Hyperspace: The "Evolution of a Mindset".
We received word that there has been a call for entries for the 2002 5k "anything goes" competition. Enter your 5k web site! Also be sure to check out last year's competition.
There is a new report out suggesting that in the UK, millions of pounds are being wasted on poorly designed and maintained sites, and rather begs the conclusion that the same is true elsewhere without regard to the headquarters location of the companies that commission these sites. My bizdev experience insists that in many cases these failures are the result of workplace culture rather than failures on the part of service vendors... my question is, what can be done about it?
In case you missed it on Friday issue 144 of A List Apart is out. In this issue Eric Meyer writes about the use of CSS for printing. The article is titled "CSS Beyond the Browser: Going to Print" Also, if you happen to be in Portland, Oregon this Wednesday, you should come to the IMDG meeting where I will hit on this subject as well as many other CSS-related topics in my presentation called "Mitosis: The Separation of Content from Style"
Molly.com gets styled. 100% CSS driven. No tables, no spacer gifs, just paragraphs and headers, pure beauty baby!
This nugget from from Scripting News regarding the imminent demise of RealNames is instructive: "Now, Bill Bliss - who runs MSN Search and was until recently in charge of the RealNames relationship, has in the last few weeks been moved to 'Natural Language Platforms' and is charged with developing a variant of our system. The browser is now back under Microsoft's control and it is likely that - having learned much from RealNames - it will develop its own version of our resolution service." and thus another company lands on Boardwalk...
For those who are in the Portland area or near by, I will be speaking at this month's Portland Multimedia | Internet Developer's Group. The topic I will cover is "Mitosis: The Separation of Content from Style." The event will be held on Wednesday, May 15th starting around 7:15 PM at the PCC Workforce Training Center next to OMSI (1626 SE Water) in room 104. Note: there is a $2 parking fee to park in the PCC lot so bring quarters or crisp dollar bills. First-time attendees, please RSVP via email located on the PMIDG site.
UIWEB.COM has published a great article by Scott Berkun entitled "Strategic usability: partnering business, engineering, and ease of use" Interesting note here: the imagery used in this article focus on a subway system. I have thought about an article in the same light that covers the transit system local to me only from an Information Architecture level. [from Tomalak's Realm]
Amit Asaravala tells us that a new issue of New Architect is out. Noteworthy articles are "By Design: Wisdom from the Industry" in which New Architect asked 16 technologists, thinkers, and luminaries to share how they stay ahead and which technologies they've got their eyes on. Find out how they keep innovation alive and their businesses running smoothly. Also in this issue is a great article titled "The Languages of the Semantic Web" by Uche Ogbuji. He states, "If you believe Tim Berners-Lee, the Web has more potential than is realized today. Part of that potential is held in specifications like RDF and DAML+OIL. A new Web where agents do our bidding may not be far off."
First Monday has published a whole list of great articles on Building Digital Communities in their May 2002 issue. These are all papers from the Third Annual Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World sponsored by the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Johns Hopkins University, 20-22 March 2002, Baltimore. [from IA Slash]
Check out IXI Software. They have some cool experimental audio applications for free download. Its also nice that it works for mac and pc. So, in the spirit of independent content this is independent audio. [from MetaFilter]
I'm glad to be a part of this issue of Digital Web. Thanks for the invitation. In the spirit of independent content, I wanted to point out a recently released book that Joe Shepter (Adobe.com fame) wrote about independent web projects. Superb writing and visuals: Personal Web Sites
Another month, another new theme. For this month's theme we focus on Independent Web Publishing in celebration for bringing you six years of quality content on digital-web.com To kick things off we have a excellent interview of Gabe Kean by Meryl K. Evans and new cover art by Jose Illenberger all the way from the Philippines. Don't forget to check out the site next week for some fresh and new content that you won't want to miss.
Interview with Australian Type Foundry's Owner, Wayne Thompson at today's Brainstorms and Raves. Art Director for Enigma Advertising in Newcastle NSW, Australia, Wayne discusses what also inspired him to be a type designer, start his own business this year, and gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how he created one of his type designs.
David Heller took the words out of my mouth when he wrote the article "Why I'm not calling myself an Information Architect anymore" and I fully agree with his statments, but from a different perspective. I believe any "good" Web Designer has been doing IA since they began doing Web Design, thus I still consider myself a Web Designer (or shall I dare say Interaction Designer if you are talking about my hand I had in the many multimedia project a few years back). Any accreditable Web Designer should already be practicing the arts of interaction design, experience design, usability and some library science.
Alexa Web Search at first glance seems like a great tool. It ranks site based on traffic. What they fail to mention is that their databases are terribly outdated (by my test it appears to be 1 year and 1 month out of date). In addition, the ranked numbers are based on a site-wide rank and not per page rank, we are not sure if they use the highest-ranking page on the site or the lowest for the base. Let's hope these bugs get fixed before it goes beyond beta. As always, we prefer to measure a site's creditability by the number of readers as opposed to the number of hits, after all, any banner view in a pop-up can count as a hit. [from Meryl's Notes]
It is true that good friends have a lot in common as is the case with Jeffrey Zeldman and myself. Jeffrey Zeldman Presents celebrates its eight birthday on May 31st. That's eight years of inspirational content done by a single person, a humble man, and a good friend of mine, Jeffrey Zeldman. I was fortunate enough to work with Jeffrey on A List Apart. He has been an inspiration to me to keep Digital Web Magazine going. On May 13th, six years ago, I started this site and it has grown ever since. I couldn't have done it with out a mentor like Jeffrey. Thank you, Jeffrey.
Sometimes clients ask for things they don't really need (note: need, not want) as Meg Hourihan explains in her article "The Sanctity of Elements, or Why You Shouldn't be Double-clicking in a <textarea>" [from NoFusion]
Jade Palmer tells us that Basefield has finally launched. The project aims to sell design collectibles to the wider community, and provide children with financial assistance through various charities in return. Available for purchase are 12 different kinds of A2-size posters, all of which have been individually hand numbered. They were created by some super lovely people, including Matt Owens, Rinzen, Obey Giant, Future Farmers, Lee Misenhiemer, and Buro Destruct, to name a few. If this project works and people respond with excitement, Jade says he has many other plans up his sleeve, and more charities who are doing great work on a global level to be able to provide support.
Here is great article on Usability, Collaboration and Organizational Design from Carleton University. [from InfoDesign]
Shirley Kaiser writes some great notes on Brainstorms and Raves about choosing fonts and why some fonts look good in print but bad online.
Don Norman writes a great article about Gratuitous Graphics and Human-centered Website Design. He's trying to prove a point here with the cursor graphics. Something of note: the page you are viewing right now (the Digital Web Magazine What's New page) consists of 1 graphic asside from the banner ads and cached graphics (assuming you visited another section of this site). Every 45 degree angle graphic, the icon-like graphics across the top of this page and the rollover navigation graphics in the main nav on the right are the same ones use in every other section on this site. How many unique graphics does a single sub page on your site contain? This all translates out into load time.
A new issue of Digital Web Magazine is out. In this week's issue we have a book review of "Back to the User: Creating User-Focused Web Sites" by James McNally and a product review of Macromedia's Flash MX by Jesse Nieminen. Check it out!
A new issue of Boxes and Arrows is out. In this issue there are two great features: "Slate: calculated refinement or simple inertia" by Jesse James Garrett and "The age of findability" by Peter Morville. Both are great articles and well worth reading.
A short and to-the-point article by Nick Usborne explains why you should Tell Site Visitors What To Do. The first example reminds me of ICQ.com ...in two words: link overload. Thus the nature of someone who is trying to be a portal and really has no business being one, IMHO. There is a huge difference between a portal and community. Remember the over-sung words of "know your audience." [from IA Slash]
So now that the browser-wars have been rekindled it looks like the development software-wars are starting up: Adobe, Macromedia meet in court... this just days after Macromedia announced it's new integrated product family, Macromedia MX, which includes the likes of ColdFusion MX, Flash MX, Dreamweaver MX and more. Of course, this is also on the heels of Adobe's Photoshop 7.0 release and the announcement of a new wireless authoring module for GoLive 6. The battle is on and the key to the kingdom is standard compliance.