News : February 2005
Just wanted to let those who will be attending SXSW this year that I have added all of the official events as well as the other after-hour events going on to Upcoming.org. If you are not a user of the site, you should be... and if you already are, well get in there and RSVP for your favorite after-hour events. Also, be sure to RSVP for the big Digital Web Magazine Face 2 Face gathering on the 14th!
New Issue of Boxes and Arrows
Another new issue of Boxes & Arrows is out. In this issue you will find three great articles. First, Liz Danzico has a great article on What I Learned From Television. Next is a great article by Alex Kirtland on the reality of the ad situation with an article entitled Ads Are Here To Stay: Planning For Ad Placement. And last but not least Clifton Evans writes an interesting article on Architecting Our Profession which I highly recommend everyone reads.
Browser Stats: Revolutions
Since Jason Kottke posted his stats and linked to an old stats post I had made I thought now would be another good time to update the scorecard here. It looks like Firefox usage on this site is growing quite rapidly of late. Here are the stats to date:
|Browser||Session %||% Change|
|Internet Explorer||27.90%||down 0.94%|
As always, it is important to note that this is a developer site, not a consumer site so the stats do not reflect mainstream web usage. Also, be sure to check out my previous stat reports if you like: December 16th, 2004, November 14th, 2004, and October 25th, 2004.
Putting a Name to IT
Kris Krug offer a great and to-the-point post about file formats for digital photography. I think this is the kind of basic information that those who have been in the field a long time forget to explain to others just entering the field. Also, if you liked this post, you may want to check out Stephen Voss's great article on digital photography.
Some of you may have noticed that the posting has slowed down a little bit over the past few days. This is due to the overwhelming amount of freelance work coming in the door for me since I started freelancing full time in early February. This is a good thing as the work is for some very high profile companies (think Fortune 100 broadcast company and a well recognized airline), but I am also still doing projects for smaller companies and much lower traffic sites as well. I'll make some posts here of projects that launch that are of interests to Digital Web Magazine readers, but for the most part, that kind of news will be on my Journal only.
AIfIA is going to be IAI
Lou Rosenfeld makes public the announcement that AIfIA is being renamed to, well, IAI, or The Information Architecture Institute (not the new domain as well). In short, they will be removing "Asilomar" from their name. Read more about this in Lou's post.
Digital Web Magazine contributor, Kris Krug, has started a poll about the rumor that Flick is going to be acquired by Yahoo. To me, it's all just Rumor, beside that $20 I slipped Cal should have revealed the truth if there way any.
New Issue of Digital Web Magazine
This week we have a special triple issue of Digital Web Magazine. This issue is all about the Zen of design and web standards and to kick things off Karen Morrill-McClure returns with a great review of "The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web" and we have also interviewed the authors. Meryl K. Evans returns with a great interview with Dave Shea and Dave Linabury conducts a hilarious interview with long time friend and colleague Molly E. Holzschlag. If you haven't gotten you hands around this book I would highly recommend you get a copy and see it in all it's beauty. Lastly, I would like to remind our readers to vote for us in the SXSW Web Awards for the People's Choice Award. You can vote once every day until voting closes on March 1st, so hurry, there are only so many days left for voting! Again thanks for getting us on the ballot it's been a thrill just to be here. Thanks for reading.
Web Analytics Association
A web site I did the information architecture on when I was at my former employer finally launched the other day: The Web Analytics Association. This is the first phase of a site that will grow over time as the association grows. It's backed by companies such as WebSideStory, WebTrends, Omniture, Coremetrics, IBM SurfAid, Nedstat, and Visual Sciences. "The WAA unites and fosters the interests of industry practitioners, vendors, consultants, and educators who use, sell, install, implement, consult, teach or train in the filed of web analytics."
Web Analytics and Information Architecture
I found a great email this AM from Jeff Lash on the AIfIA Members mailing list. He pointed out a few articles that Hurol Inan has published about IA and it's relationship to Web Analytics. Web Analytics
Broad and Narrow Folksonomies
Digital Web Magazine contributor and colleague Thomas Vander Wal has a new post up on Personal Info Cloud which covers the topic of Explaining and Showing Broad and Narrow Folksonomies. There are some good examples and illustrations here which help explain the differences in simple terms. Anyone know if there is a Folksonomy 101 article for the non-IAs out there?
Cleansing of the Web
Today Digital Web Magazine's email newsletter had it's 6,000th subscriber. Oeyvind Michaelsen from Norway was our lucky reader, we will be sending Oeyvind a very nice gift here shortly. Meanwhile, don't forget you can vote once every day until March 1st, so please get in as many votes as you can while the polls are still open.
I am headed down to Portland for the weekend but will return to Seattle in time to post this Monday. That said I thought you may enjoy some fun reading this Friday provided courtesy of OK/Cancel. This week's comic strip is entitled Usability Practitioner Arrested for Theft of User Experience. There is also an article to accompany the comic, it is, of course, entitled Stop the Presses! User Experience Owner Found!. I am still trying to figure out the math and solution here in these diagrams, but the basic point is pretty much what I would have expected. See the comments for more.
New Issue of Digital Web Magazine
In this week's issue of Digital Web Magazine Joshua Kaufman joins our ranks with the first issue of his new column entitled Information Architecture for the People. For the first edition he has an article which goes into detail about using Information Architecture as an Extension of Web Design. While the article can be a little bit in-depth I highly recommend anyone who is a web designer read it as he makes some really good points here. Also, before I wrap this up I want to let you all know that Digital Web Magazine has been nominated as a finalist in this year's SXSW Web Awards. Now, only the judges can decides what sites win in each category, however there is also a People's Choice Award which you have the ability to vote for your favorite site. You can vote once a day until the polls close. I can't tell you how much it means to the staff, the contributors, and I just to be on the ballot, so please show your support and vote today. Thanks for reading.
Misinformation about the IE7 announcement
As many of you may already know during his keynote address at the RSA conference, Bill Gates announced that Microsoft will be releasing a new beta version of Internet Explorer 7.0 for XP SP2 this summer. Going off only official news there seems to be some misinformation already circulating. As we understand it there won't be any version available for the Mac, much less for other platforms other than XP with service pack 2 ("Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows XP Service Pack 2 customers"). The release is also identified as simply a beta to go along with the Longhorn beta release ("The beta release is scheduled to be available this summer."). The release has only been identified as a security update, which means the rendering engine could still be identical to that in IE6 ("Internet Explorer 7.0, designed to add new levels of security to Windows XP SP2 while maintaining the level of extensibility and compatibility that customers have come to expect."). That said, I think it may be Fall before we see any new IE7 (non-beta) and I am not so convinced that it will be a standalone browser at all... much less offer any improved standards support.
Six Apart redesigns
The folks at Six Apart have redesigned their company site. As per the new standard, the new site is done in XHTML 1.0 transitional with CSS for layout. I don't know about you guys but they look more like an official business now more than ever and I think that's exactly what they were after here. It's a bit busy for my liking, but overall it's not too bad. Good job guys. More details about the redesign can be found in this post and Mena's take on the redesign (a behind the scenes look) can be found here.
Show me the content!
Here is an interesting topic about blogs and content from del.icio.us and Flickr. Don't get me wrong, I love both of those services and I think they provide some interesting perspectives on people I know online... however, there becomes a point where enough is enough. Don't tell me there is a new post if it's just a photo. Don't tell me you have written up something cool if it's just a link. Both Matt Haughey and Matt Jones have written about this issue recently. I must admit that out of all of my feeds (whose numbers I have long since lost track of after 266) the feeds that actually produce content and deliver it to me in a timely fashion are the ones I keep reading. Perhaps we all should consider moving our del.icio.us and Flickr content to their own feed(s)?
Ezines, mags, zines, and blogs, oh my
Today's topic within the web community seems to be publishing. In specific the relationship of blogs (or even ezines) and printed magazines (or even zines). This is often a misunderstood topic within the community. A quick look at this year's readership survey results still show people confusing the nomenclature; blogs, ezines, zines, and magazines. These are all very different terms which describe very distinct types of publications. In simple terms a blog is an online journal of sorts, an ezine is an online publication (i.e. they have an editorial staff), a magazine is a printed publication (of course with an editorial staff) and a zine is a small printed publication typically done indy style with grassroots distribution. Never the less, there are two great articles out there today about blogs and their relation to print magazines: Blogs vs. Mags and Cut, Paste, Publish: The Path From Zines to Blogs. Go have a read.
Kris Krug's blog
Digital Web Magazine contributor Kris Krug tells me that he has launched his new blog at kriskrug.com. "This blog is my personal site and is all about change, culture, creativity, and community." He has several years of material already there from his interviews he did for Digital Web Magazine to the material that was on Spark-Online. Go check it out.
Keith on Content
D. Keith Robinson wrote a great post today about content. It's entitled A Rant (Mostly) About Web Content. He has some good points, why is it sites often neglect the content? I have been in situations where I have authored headlines and entire pages because someone forgot to set aside some time and money to hire a copywriter or find a freelance copywriter. It's not like these people are hard to find, and it's not like this isn't a critical piece of every web site. So why is that? Well, I am not sure, but Vinnie Garcia has an interesting suggestion about Getting content from clients. Go check it out.
Eyetracking User Interfaces
Mike Rundle tells me that he has posted about Attentional Spotlighting in User Interfaces to the Business Logs blog. The post covers some interesting theories about eyetracking usability tests. He makes some very good points here, however there is one part I disagree with. I believe that eyetracking tests should only be done with a "potential user" and not with someone who is already a user and familiar with the user interface. That aside, it's a great read and offers up some things that we should all be thinking about.
Cast Your Vote
As some of you may remember that I mentioned Digital Web Magazine had been nominated as a finalist for this year's SXSW Web Awards. Well, like every year before there is also a People's Choice Awards where you, yes, you can vote for your favorite finalist. So what are you waiting for, go forth and cast your vote!
New Issue of Digital Web Magazine
This week's issue of Digital Web Magazine covers an old topic from a different perspective. Alan K'necht returns to write about The Dollars and Sense of Building to Standards. Now this isn't your typical web standards grandstanding article... this time around Alan talks about how much it's costing companies and developers not to code to standards. Lastly we are still looking for a few good volunteers here at Digital Web Magazine, so if you are interested please let us know. Details about what we are looking for can be found on our contributors wanted page, this includes a Web Design Columnist, a Web Development Columnist, a Web Marketing Columnist, and a Product Reviewer. Thanks for reading.
Nate Koechley has some interesting comments on Semantic Markup. He talks about Layered Semantic Markup, Inclusive Web Design, and Progressive Enhancement. Well worth the read if not to get a few ideas rolling about what's to come next.
How do you stop a wiki from being ruined?
Some of you may be interested in my post over at nickfinck.com on Wikis and trust. It's a response to a reader question about how to control access to the dynamic within a wiki. We have all heard of Wiki spam from time to time, and I am still not convinced a Wiki should be a public tool, at least without considerable moderation. Anyway, go ahead and read the post: How do you stop a wiki from being ruined?
The Personal Information Cloud
Thomas Vander Wal launches PersonalInfoCloud.com. "The Personal Information Cloud, or as it was initially stated in the Model of Attraction [is] a rough cloud of information that follows the user, is the next step to understanding how to best create, store, and make information reusable." While most of the material has been around on Thomas's personal blog for some time it's now all in one spot at an easy to remember domain name. I encourage you to browse through the archives, there's lots of great material here.
Just hours ago Google has launched the beta version of Google Maps. This is prehaps one of the most streamlined and efficent mapping tools out there. I have already taken it to task to locate WiFi hot spots, pizza joints and apartments within the area. [from A Whole Lotta Nothing]
Polar bears online
It appears that entire first edition of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville (AKA "The Polar Bear Book") is now all online for your reading pleasure right here. I still have a hardcopy of the 1998 first edition and a lot has changed since then, the second edition remains to be my most used resource. [from UX Centric]
Digital Web Magazine makes the cut
I just got an email from Shawn O'Keefe at the SXSW Web Awards that Digital Web Magazine has been selected as a finalist in the "Community/Wiki" category. The complete list of finalists is already available online. This is really great news... and you know, it really doesn't matter if we win it, what means the most to me is just being nominated. Thanks to all of the judges and everyone who helped get us this far. Special thanks to everyone who has contributed to Digital Web Magazine. For those who are thinking about attending SXSW this year, you better hurry up and register because only have eight more days to register at the $250 rate. After February 11th the registration fee increases to $275.
New Issue of Digital Web Magazine
We can all agree that that technology in this industry changes by the day. It is also know that technical books in this industry don't stay fresh on the shelf for too long, but when we come across a book that can be revisited and still relevant months or even years after its publication... well, that is a rare thing. In this issue of Digital Web Magazine contributing author Karen Morrill-McClure returns to cover some of The Four Best Web Design Books You May Have Missed. I highly recommend you take a look at this review and consider purchasing these books if you don't already own them. They are worth much more than their weight in gold. Thanks for reading.
The Fog of the Cold War
As it happens, both our Nick and Keith are under the weather, battling the fog of cold/flu medications. Posting may be sparse here at the Daily News Blog until the fog dissipates. Get well soon, guys.