News : July 2008
SummerMash coming to Seattle on Saturday, July 12th!
Mashable’s traveling U.S. tour is coming to Seattle, the first city of their seven-city tour! Join the Mashable crew (including Pete Cashmore) and other Seattle geeks for an evening of “drinks, food and connecting at SummerMash”, coming up quickly on Saturday, July 12 at Showbox SoDo! DJ El Toro, snacks, drink tickets and more… I’ll be there, too, so say hi if you see me. Full details:
Upcoming cities on the tour
- San Francisco, July 15th at Mighty SF
- Los Angeles, July 18th at Rubicon Project HQ
- Austin, July 30th at Buffalo Billiards
- Miami, August 2nd at Opium Garden
- Boston, August 5th at The Roxy
- New York City, August 7th at Touch
- more info
Scripting Enabled Accessibility
Scripting Enabled will focus on the idea of “accessihacking” — creating mashups of social media and Web 2.0 applications to make them useful and accessible to disabled people. The conference is looking for a venue at the moment, so if you might be able to help, get in touch.
New Issue: Integrating Social Media into a Web Content Strategy
Digital Web is happy to welcome back Britt Parrott this week, with a very helpful post about breaking the concept of social media’s good side to reluctant organization in Integrating Social Media into a Web Content Strategy. Ever tried to explain the social appeal of Twitter or Flickr to those unfamiliar with social websites? Or how to integrate social aspects into key components of your site(s)? Try a different approach that emphasizes the value of openness, transparency and customer engagement. Get started on your organization or project with Britt’s thorough guidance.
Web Directions South contest coming soon!
Last week I mentioned (incorrectly, sorry) that the deadline for early bird registration to Web Directions South was fast approaching. In fact, we all have until July 16th for $200 off conference passes, and a second less-early bird deadline after that. However, don’t get complacent, because the WDS folks are giving away an iPhone to one lucky attendee who buys a pass by July 11th!
Still resisting temptation? Web Directions South pulls some serious conference clout, not only for its Sydney venue but also due to the quality of speakers, sessions, workshop and camaraderie. This year speakers include Jeffrey Veen – Designing our way through data, Lynne D Johnson – New media – new business, Derek Featherstone – Web app accessibility, Jina Bolton – Creating sexy stylesheets, Daniel Burka – Interaction design case studies, Jeff Croft – Elegant web typography and Douglas Crockford – Ajax security amongst quite a few other top-notch speakers, many from Australia’s own geek community. The workshops look compelling, too, covering a wide range of topics from Django webapp development to Website accessibility for webapps & ajax.
Digital Web is proud to be a media partner for WDS, and we’ll be running a contest for our southern-oriented readers very soon. If you are familiar with our previous contests for Web Directions North (the Canadian counterpart), then you might have an idea of what we have in mind. Stay tuned; I’ll post more about it soon!
New Issue: Educating Geeks by Tom Green
This week Digital Web is happy to introduce perhaps more thought-provoking fare. Our resident Flash video expert and all-around excellent contributor Tom Green poses questions about academia, technology and hiring in The Education of Geeks and Freaks. Tom brings up salient points about correcting the gap between self-education, school and employable technologists.
While we’re focusing on education, a number of websites recently put new attention to curricula, educators and whether academics hold value for web professionals. WaSP’s Education Task Force recently announced a new focus and task force members. The SVA in New York recently announced a new MFA in interaction design, along with their new design criticism program mentioned here previously. Meanwhile, Ajaxian gets to the heart of the issue by reconsidering the question, What’s the Value of a College Education for Ajax Developers?
Lastly (and as a nice counterpoint to academic settings), July 19th is the last day for early registration discounts ($200 off!) to Web Directions South! The southern edition of the widely respected Web Directions conferences kicks off September 25-26th in Sydney, Australia, along with solid pre-conference workshops. Digital Web has more information coming soon, but for more details visit south08.webdirections.org.
* Correction, 19June08, Tiff Fehr: I can’t read. The early bird deadline for WDS is July 19th, 2008.
Web standards designers heading toward academia?
Is web design and web standard thinking—formerly a self-teaching badge of honor—heading into academia? Today NYC’s School of Visual Arts announced a new MFA program in Interaction Design, to launch “fall of 2009”. The program plans to focus on “concepts central to interaction design, including design research, human-computer interaction, interface design, graphic design, information architecture, and ubiquitous computing.” While the curricula sounds solid enough, the potential faculty is the bigger news: “A portion of the faculty includes” Christopher Fahey, David Womack, Jason Santa Maria, Karen McGrane, Khoi Vinh, Paul Ford, Rachel Abrams and Jeffrey Zeldman, with Liz Danzico presiding as department chair.
In addition to SVA’s MFA IxD progam (acronyms galore!), Khoi Vinh recently blogged about SVA’s new Design Criticism MFA, too. The faculty features names readily familiar to web designers, with a specific program focus on expanding design criticism to “the broadest possible definition of design, the curriculum includes graphic, web and product design”. Outside New York, many conferences and seminars on calendars this year skew academic (or at least “teaching”) as well, with what seems to be a sign that web design conventions are patterned enough to round out a degree. It also indictes that academic departments believe they can keep up and stay relevant even with fast-paced technology changes.
Design is obviously the easier to nail down than development. Perhaps higher degree programs centered around web development aren’t far behind. Know of any other new programs that focus in part on web design and development? Post ‘em up.
Opera 9.5 released
Opera have released the final 9.5 version of their web browser, accompanied by a detailed write-up on their developers’ blog. This version includes aspects of CSS3 (text-shadow, media queries, nth-child, and background sizing are just some of the goodies you can play with) and HTML5 (Web Forms and canvas are supported). Finally,
getElementsByClassName is supported natively too.
Veen announces Start, a conference for starting your own company
Just a short while ago Jeffery Veen, of Adaptive Path, MeasureMap and Google fame, announced a new conference called, simply, Start. According to the website, Start is a “one-day conference in San Francisco designed for smart, talented Web people to take hold of their ideas, follow their dreams, and start their own companies.” The speakers list is impressive, but eclipsed by the amazing price: $200, with full understanding that you might not want to tell your boss about it.
I’m sure it’ll fill up fast, so register soon and work out the travel and work-compensation side later. (I’m doing just that.)
CSS Support in Email
Dave Greiner at Freshview tells me that they have put together A Guide to CSS Support in Email . If you are sending out newsletters via email (like we do with our Digital Web Magazine Newsletter) you may want to note this handy resource. The guide covers both desktop clients as well as web based email clients.
We’ve put together this CSS support in email clients guide to save you the time and trouble of figuring it out for yourself. With 21 different sets of results, all the major email systems are covered, both desktop applications and webmail.
While your on this site you may want to check out their blog, lots of great tips and articles for creating newsletters and dealing with bugs in email clients.
New Issue: Web Startup Alphas and Building Findable Websites
Digital Web is happy to welcome Dave Goldenberg to our considerable list of contributors. Dave asks (and immediately answers) a continually relevant question: Why Do Web Startups Die? Lack of Alphalpha. What is “alphaalpha”, you ask? Dave explains it as the “frantic time between the Product Requirements Document and the alpha release”. See what Dave prescribes for getting past early challenges with your startup.
For those with a publicly available website, the ongoing battle is getting your website in front of your users. Given the prevalence of search engines, human and search engine findability is key. Digital Web’s Editor in Chief, Matthew Pennell, reviews Aarron Walter’s new book, Building Findable Websites.
dConstruct 2008 for social web designers
One of the most eagerly-anticipated UK conferences is back for a fourth year. This year dConstruct takes a timely look at “Designing The Social Web”, with such social network luminaries as Daniel Burka, Matt Biddulph, and Joshua Porter. The one-day event is again preceded by two days’ worth of exclusive masterclass workshops given by the conference speakers.
Tickets go on sale June 24th.
Hot on the heels of the recent PHP benchmarking site comes some CSS performance tests (part 1, part 2). The results are interesting, with descendant selectors rendering significantly slower in Safari and IE than classes — classitis FTW, apparently…
New Issue: ScreenFlow Review and SearchMonkey Embedded Data
After our short break, Digital Web is happy to be back with a double-issue to start off your June on the right design/development foot (feet?). First, Christian Heilmann returns with a guide to improving your data solutions and organization with Free Your Embedded Data With SearchMonkey. Get your data and applications in line with SearchMonkey.
Also, we’re happy to have Ben Chestnut back as well, with a solid review of ScreenFlow, an effective screencasting and editing tool. Screencasts are rapidly proving their value as video becomes an internet staple—get ready to make your own screencast with this quick primer of techniques.
Lastly, Digital Web’s all-volunteer staff is sad so bid adieu to Jessica Neuman Beck. Jessica’s full-time job, CouldBe Studios is taking off, and she needs her time back. While we’re sorry to say goodbye, burgeoning business is hardly something to lament. All the best, Jessica, and thank you again.
PHP Bench is a brilliantly useful site for any PHP developers out there. Chris Vincent’s simple one-pager compares various ways to accomplish common tasks — loops, output, etc. — and displays live benchmark speed comparisons. Bookmark and return next time you’re wondering if
foreach is really the best tool for the job (hint: it isn’t).