Everyman on the Splinternet, Website Pre-Launch Homework, Bob’s Dumb Ass Ain’t Home

The Splinternet. A new Harvard Business Review post says Micropayments may return us to a closed, vertically integrated ecosystem like how IBM used to do it in their heyday. It mentions an important concept that’s getting more and more play these days: the splinternet. “We are on the brink of accessing digital content through what they call the ‘splinternet’. Devices, hardware, software, applications and content, rather than being offered interoperably in a wide-open World Wide Web are increasingly going to be stacked up in proprietary ecosystems in which denizens can talk only to each other. I’ve described this in the past as a ‘stage one’ situation: User interfaces are not standard, the system needs a dominant player to make sure all the components work together, and one common design is the only way that functionality for customers can be guaranteed.”

Doing our website pre-launch homework. Good advice on what many people fail to do before launching a website venture: the research. One need to know fact is the exact appeal your customers are looking for in your product. Loved this anecdote on a fitness product, “A 50 year old guy cares about losing his gut, feeling young and living longer. While a 20 year old guy usually wants to look good so he can impress his friends and get laid. The same product could have an entirely different appeal depending on the age group you target.” In short, you need to understand everything you can about your potential customers, what they want, who they are and the words they use.

Freelancers for Health Care Reform. An excellent quote in a FreelanceSwitch post on the relationship of Health Insurance and Freelancers. “As Daniel Pink said in Free Agent Nation, ‘America’s health insurance system is seriously and intrinsically flawed. It traps people who’d like to become independent in jobs they don’t want because leaving that job would mean losing its medical coverage. It makes the lives of those who are free agents more precarious because they have few options and limited bargaining power in the health insurance marketplace.’”

Another Icon for your Bookmarks Toolbar. Here’s a Smashing Magazine post on 50 Useful CSS techniques you’ll want to add to your Firefox Bookmark Toolbar for quick reference. With guides on vertical centering page content, Facebook style footer admin panels, equal column heights, full page backgrounds, greyscale hover effects, image rollover borders that do not change the layout and fluid form label placement.

Inline Editors. I’ve always been fascinated with rich inline editing. I use NicEdit in Sueetie. It’s alright, but I’m not married to it.  Here’s a description of 10 inline editor plugins.

60+ .NET Libraries. From Inline Editors to .NET Libraries. These cover the spectrum, from FTP to compression, logging, searching and pdf generation.

Now on Foursquare. Bob’s dumb ass ain’t home right now. Sometimes it’s okay to be a slow adopter, like I’ve been with Foursquare. BgCreative has it right in Why I Hate Foursquare, “I don’t care that you are the mayor of the Hillcrest Subway. What makes you think anyone actually does care, except for you and the owner of the business you are promoting by telling me where you are?” An Ad Mavericks post raises an interesting shortcoming in Foursquare on retweeting check-ins, “Now that random guy who only wants to rob my house may think Romelle may not be home for a while either. Did Romelle want me to retweet that? Since he protects his tweets, my guess is not. So, there is no control. There is no ‘don’t retweet’ button.”

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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.