The Effects of Social Media on Your Content

We talk a lot about social media and how we can use it to generate buzz and traffic to our Web site.  By using Twitter and Facebook to our advantages, TJSL is attempting to raise awareness of the institution and the excellence of the education at our school.  In particular, this part of a strategy to generate traffic as we prepare for a major redesign of our site.

From, the impact social media can have on your site.

social media impact

Amazon Windowshop

OK, its always cool when someone wants to try and “push the envelope” by coming up with some new way to navigate information.  Unfortunately, this one just seems to not make much sense to me.  Windowshop‘s call to action is for you to “Lose yourself in Amazon bestsellers and find what you’ve been missing.”  Unfortunately, the experience is a little random and the motion is a bit much, makes me a bit queasy.  Additionally, I don’t like having to move up, down, left, right to see whatever content is being offered to me.  It manages to make my 24″ monitor feel small… a pretty big feat! On the positive side, a graphical view into what’s new does expose me to items I would otherwise have had no interest in or knowledge of.

Amazon Windowshop Beta

First draft beta: cool.  I hope they keep up the creativity and come up with a different spin on it.

Adobe CS4 Adds Multi-Touch Ability

This sounds pretty cool.  If I just had enough money to run out and buy a new computer and CS4 I could tell you all about it…

I can see that zooming and moving objects around on the screen would be very handy in CS4.  I work with large digital photos and a Wacom tablet right now but having the ability to pinch, squeeze, and spin the image to inspect and work on various parts would be a great feature. 

I wonder who will follow Adobe and be next to see a value in supporting multi-touch.  It certainly won’t be long until PC hardware supports this across the board.

More >> Wired Magazine

Happy Birthday Microchip!

Seriously, as much as I think I’d love to live in the 50s I don’t know what I’d do without my microchips. Happy birthday big guy!

Kilby Solid Circuit

From Wired Magazine:

Consisting of five components linked by a tangle of wires, the first integrated circuit wasn’t particularly pretty. But it did prove that a device could be built with all its circuit components on the same piece of semiconducting material — in this case germanium — rather than using individual, discrete parts.

[Read more…]

Do I Really Need A 4th Browser?

Having recently posted a confession that I’m simply not that into social networking, I felt that I needed to check out Flock “The social Web browser” and see what it was all about.

Flock is based on Mozilla and purports to be the browser for the modern Web.  Basically, the concept is that you finally have a single point of view on all your Web 2.0 social apps including Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, and more.

[Read more…]

Amory Lovins & Backcasting

Sometimes things just seem to come together… for me, this is the case with backcasting and Amory Lovins.

Recently we discussed backcasting after a colleague (Nikki Roberg) had seen a presentation at the IA Summit in 2007.  In this case, backcasting was discussed as another tool or method we could use as IA’s to elicit client needs and set a strategy for success.  Personally, I had in mind a client who has a very complex set of business rules which are largely based upon the historical limitations of their AS400.  Moving forward (and off of this system) will require extreme change in how they do business to which I thought backcasting exercises may help to sort out the differences between business rules based on smart business versus those based on the past limitations they had faced with their IT options.  This would in turn help to create a road map for success that would allow us to work with them more strategically and add value to our services.

[Read more…]

Plastic Logic E-Reader Aimed at Business Users

Plastic Logic reported today that they will be demonstrating their new e-reader hardware before “industry influencers” at DEMOfall 2008.  Though black and white only,  this actually looks like a pretty neat little product.  I’ve always liked the idea of the eBook or eReader but couldn’t get behind the Kindle’s 1980s inspired design.  Plastic Logic’s reader is much more svelte looking and with a screen nearly twice Kindle’s size.Plastic Logic says they will launch the product in Q1 2009.

Plastic Logic eReader

It does make me wonder though, if devices like this start to take off, will we need to create yet another CSS to ensure usability?  It would be nice if a standard could be agreed upon to ensure some kind of cross platform “e-newspaper” standard… Good luck with that.

Microsoft Patents Page Up and Page Down…

Seriously… do they already own CTRL+ALT+DELETE?

via Gizmodo:

A method and system in a document viewer for scrolling a substantially exact increment in a document, such as one page, regardless of whether the zoom is such that some, all or one page is currently being viewed. In one implementation, pressing a Page Down or Page Up keyboard key/button allows a user to begin at any starting vertical location within a page, and navigate to that same location on the next or previous page. For example, if a user is viewing a page starting in a viewing area from the middle of that page and ending at the bottom, a Page Down command will cause the next page to be shown in the viewing area starting at the middle of the next page and ending at the bottom of the next page. Similar behavior occurs when there is more than one column of pages being displayed in a row.

Target Settles National Federation of Blind Accessibility Suit

This article ties in nicely with my earlier thoughts on progressive enhancement vs elegant degradation

While a lot of the driving force behind design on the Web is sexiness, we can’t forget fundamental usability and accessibility.  Federal guidelines require government institutions and some federally funded organizations to ensure a certain level of accessibility be baked into their electronic information mediums.  I don’t believe that there are federal guidelines for commercial sites, but Target stepped up regardless.  

I know Target takes its position in the community very seriously, it would be interesting to see if settling their case starts a greater trend in how corporations review their site’s accessibility and/or taking stock of the Americans with Disabilities Act.