Everyman Links for November 24, 2009

Website art and science. According to David Meerman Scott, the five essential website elements are Strategy, Content, Design, Technology and Measurement. On technology, so many Social Media books espouse crap like, “focus on the conversation. Don’t worry about the technology.” Yeah, right. Scott says, “Obviously an essential element is what technologies will be used at the back end.” To us geeks it is the “back end” that makes everything else possible.  One of the things made possible by the back end is Measurement, and adding “measurement” is something on the Sueetie Shortlist that you’ll be hearing more about soon. Another item on Scott’s list whose importance is often overlooked is Strategy. How often do we articulate a website strategy, let alone execute it?

Speed-up!  Apparently Google is planning to add page load time in their SEO ratings algorithm. That’s interesting, but even if Google didn’t care about load time, you and I do. As developers we know there’s caching and other behind-the-scenes issues that affect page load speeds. Because we go so deep we can get sloppy with the basics like image size, number of http requests, heavy CSS and script files for starters. Here’s a reminder for us to think speed. The post includes a few speed test tools as well. It doesn’t mention Fiddler or viewstate, so it only gets a “C+.”  Still a good reminder that page load speed can be better than mind-altering drugs. Or not.

Asking Microsoft employees to dance cannot end well. This video of employees at a Microsoft Store in an attempt to create some sort of viral marketing meme is just sad. I agree with Jim Kukral, “It’s ok to not be one of the cool people. In fact, I like MS a lot because they’re the uncool ones.” I also like how Joe Hall titles his post on the incident, “How Not To Go Viral and Look Like an Idiot.”

Panoramic Library with potential. This is an intriguing 360 panoramic flash app of a library demonstrating Papervision3D. (A library. You know, with books!) Someone at Papervision3D needs to get a clue about navigation because the entire site is a freakin’ mess.  The panorama is cool and all, but I could only think how much more meaningful it would have been if Microsoft’s Sea Dragon was in the mix. I guess Flash can only do so much…

Personally Branding Me. I bumped into several references of Personal Branding the last few days.  I’ve been poking sticks into the personal branding fire for years, and I’m a Believer. Here’s a slideshow from Joe Pulizzi worth clicking through on the subject. I’ll skip to “The Payoff” on slide 56 (of 57): “You rarely have to sell, your credibility is never questioned, people want to work with you, and others do your marketing for you.”

Bread Crumbs you can believe in. We see JQuery demos all the time, on the same tired UI elements like navigation menus, accordions and slideshows. Here’s a JQuery demo on bread crumbs. Very cool. Then again, if you need more than 3 or 4 breadcrumb tiers in your site navigation you might need to restructure a tad.

Turbo HTML. Someone really REALLY needs to incorporate Zen HTML Coding in a Visual Studio Add-In. You type “a” and get “<a href=""></a>”  Maybe I can talk my Big Brain Iranian bud Keyvan Nayyeri who wrote the book on Visual Studio Add-Ins to consider it?

Open Minded Photoshop UI Tutorials. This psd tuts+ post on UI design tutorials not only covers iPhone icons, but “Stunning Vista Inspired Menus” as well. Talk about a democratic approach to interface design! 

Chrome OS #fail. I used Fake Steve Jobs excerpts to badmouth Chrome OS in a July 2009 Everyman and my New Hampshire bud Tim Laughlin rightly called me on it for suppressing competition. Avoiding direct criticism of Google’s efforts this time around, we’ll cite an Econsultancy post titled “12 reasons Chrome OS will fail.” Liked “Less isn’t more. Windows 7 rocks. Google doesn’t have a monopoly on web apps. HTML5 isn’t here. The Chrome browser hasn’t taken the world by storm.” And my favorite, “Support? What support?”

Yes, I’d buy a mobile home from this man. “These are mobile homes, not mansions. They come in two pieces.” Cullman Liquidation. “Come on down and get yourself a home. Or don’t. I don’t care.”  T-shirts available in sizes small to wide (XL).

The Bacon of Christ. From an Agency Spy post, “[Faith in Christ] wants you to have forever happiness (but the faith part means there’s no guarantee) whereas with bacon, you get your pay-off immediately. It’s a toss up.” I’ve got two packages of bacon in the fridge that I bought 3 weeks ago and haven’t touched. That probably makes me a sinner.

My blog UI sucks. Don’t respond to that. Smashing Magazine’s “The death of the boring blog post” made me think about alternatives to the common blog post. I’ve got ideas, some good ones. I have to be careful though. I don’t want to turn my blog into a Tom Peters book.

OOBE – Out of Body Experience. Some times you don’t know how to react to a YouTube video. An honorary Everyman sings about his heart attack-induced Out of Body Experience in contrapuntal. “What else did the beings say?” “Imagination is the key.” “Clarify now, please explain.” “Thoughts become your reality.” “It’s an awesome feeling, such joy I feel inside.” I’m pretty sure the guy in the video experienced his near-death experience and made the video in a Cullman Liquidation mobile home.

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.