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April 2004 Archive

Mac Props Updated

posted by DL Byron on April 30, 2004

At each conference I’ve attended recently, silver Powerbooks outnumber drab PCs. At SXSW, Brian Alvey noted he could make a killing selling Apple stickers for PCs, so PC users didn’t feel left out of the cool Powerbook club. I don’t blame them, they’ve got a few years to wait for Longhorn, but I’d never expect a PC user to attempt to transform his PC to a MAC. Most of us Mac users go the other way, with VirtualPC and find that XP looks way better on a Mac.

Wired picked up the Fake Mac story and reports on Mac users at MS.

In a day where Thurott once again exclaims that Mac is near death, it’s refreshing to read that some PC users don’t envy, hate, or diss Mac, but give it props where due.

Updated: MacdailyNews picks up the Wired story and adds even more resources.

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Trifecta of Blog Marketing

posted by DL Byron on April 26, 2004

Clip-n-Seal hit the Trifecta of Blog Marketing last week: Boing Boing, 37Signals, Gizmodo. I'm just starting to get caught up with all the other Texturadesign, Inc. business. On deck for this week:

  • Writing a new Flash article
  • Redesign
  • Preparing the presentation for WebVisions 2004.
  • Case study on Blog Marketing!

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Target Blank

posted by DL Byron on April 21, 2004

Alvey posts on targetting new windows with links today and it reminded me of a discussion Nick and I had a month ago. I've argued on both sides of this topic and where I think it still works is for intranets. It's very easy to get lost on an intranet, for various reasons, and opening a new window for external links helps the user understand that they've left the current site. On an intranet, there's usually one browser that doesn't support tabbed browsering and no pop up ads.

I instant messaged a usability expert I trust on this topic:

Lara says:
my perspective is that any external link on an intranet should open in a new window - no matter the size of the intranet - because it represents going "outside the firewall"

Lara says:
and sometimes i recommend opening new windows for content that is posted on the intranet (within the firewall) simply because of the difference of the content - for instance

Lara says:
 an executive is posting a blog internally, and he links to an email recap in one of his postings

-b- says:
   (oooh, blogging execs!)

Lara says:
i typically open that in a new window, so employees can read it separately without losing track of the blog page - or with ppt's - very different content from what employee was first reading - so new window is needed

Lara says:
 AND - on internet sites - i favor new windows within articles, because i don't like to lose my original read as i'm tracking something else down that was linked/mentioned within the article

Lara says:
but then again - that piece is pretty subjective - since there are right-click ways around it (as Nick mentioned last) - honestly, i didn't know about that option and may just need to retrain myself when clicking on links in stories

Lara's right about right-click and tabbed browsing. That assumes a user sophistication, or browser, that may not exist.

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Blogging Overload

posted by DL Byron on April 19, 2004

With back-to-back NYTimes stories on bloggers, exhaustive Bloggercon resources, the Register and Dan Gilmore, I don't think I've ever seen so much blogging press in one day - there was even a few headlines that I just skimmed over.

Additionally, Rick Bruner launched Business Blog Consulting. The site features business that blog and includes Clip-n-Seal and Blogstakes among others.

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Short-lived Meme

posted by DL Byron on April 14, 2004

I got a link to Baby Jessica, "all grown up" photo yesterday and thought, "hmmm." I don't know. I'd expect she'd just be another typical, chunky, middle-western teenager by now, not a mens' magazine hottie. Today, in a series of related IM convos, the following sites were found

If only Jessica Simpson could be as short-lived?

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posted by DL Byron on April 14, 2004

I'll be on a panel discussing how to use Weblogs to communicate with your customers at WebVisions 2004, this July in Portland, Oregon. I haven't attended WebVisions previously, but I know it attracts a great lineup.

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Enter the WaSP

posted by DL Byron on April 09, 2004

I joined the Web Standards Project earlier this week and it reminded me of my "Pants Down" Zeldman story where he linked to me midway through a live redesign, on a piss-ant, personal site no one knew about, and I had some funkadelic CSS layout issues going on. All of the sudden, there's a spike in traffic, email, and I'm like, "wtf?" I spent a day scrambling to fix it.

When Molly and I first chatted about WaSP, I was like, shit!, I better sweep any public code I've ever written! There are Fahrner image replacements, ampersands in URLs, and who know's what else out there.

There's been a recent confluence of standards issues for me and on other blogs. I don't know what I'm going to do yet to contribute to WaSP, but it'll be something and I hope it helps. I hope to get to the point of not talking about standards-based design all the time, where it's just what we do, it's expected.

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Heidi FAQ

posted by DL Byron on April 08, 2004

I checked in on the Heidi FAQ today and then asked,

"Did Heidi Watch Condi testify?"

"Nope. No tv. Not really for any good reason, I just don't get reception and can't get cable and don't want a satellite dish on my roof. It unfortunately renders me entirely out of touch with news."

Then I wondered, what does Heidi do all day in those cordurouy slacks.

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Listening to Channel 9

posted by DL Byron on April 06, 2004

Channel 9 gets slashdotted and quickly taken to task for the markup. I'm sure Channel 9 will correct those problems, Scoble's already recognized it, but I wonder why they would launch with bad code? In the past, say around 1999, nobody really cared (well some of us did), but now when your site breaks in Mozilla you're going to hear about it. Nearly every week I read about new mainstream sites moving to Standard-based design. It's remarkable that web standards are actually becoming an expected standard and if Slashdot is a microcosm that's very good news.

Update: Check the comment thread on Scoble's post for the code problem explanation and positive reponse.

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Just a blogger

posted by DL Byron on April 06, 2004

Months ago when the first journalists died in Iraq, I thought that blogging doesn't really matter much. These professionals are losing their lives. 36 of them died in 2003. What are we doing? Blogging about blogging? We tend to think we're more important and big then we really are. Even with all the press some sites get, the blogosphere is still a small sphere. Ask anyone that doesn't blog or use RSS. I bet most of them don't know what that is, what we do, or care. While Boing Boing's fascination with goatse is entertaining to it's 3.5M visitors, is it valuable to the rest of the world? Blogs deserve their place and everyday I'm out there evangelizing them, but we need to check ourselves, keep it in perspective.

Today, Dan Gilmour posts on the 2004 Pulitzer Prizes and asks if bloggers could ever produce that quality of work. A threaded debate is ongoing with strong opinions on both sides. While I've written about amateurs, citing Tom Coates, there's still much need for professionals and I give them their due props.

I'm certainly not a journalist. Just a blogger

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An astounding descent

posted by DL Byron on April 02, 2004

With a full-on presidential race, I asked a pundit friend where the mainstream independent journalism was? For every accusation on either side, there’s a counter accusation and facts to support it. The automotive industry is a good example. At the height of the outsourcing debate last week, the jobs created by foreign automotive companies were touted as examples of how free trade works. Well, a little-heard report also noted that those factories were put here because of quotas, not for free-trade good will.

Today, an article in the Seattle PI, quotes world-traveller Rick Steves

  • ”We had the world with us after 9/11: Everybody was an American. In two years, however, America has become a rogue nation. It has been an astounding descent.”
  • “I don’t think people like being told, ‘You’re with us or against us’.”
  • “They want to like Americans.”

It’s refreshing to read good news/bad news opinions from someone with experience abroad and no political agenda.

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