- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
Web 2.0 Archive
All startups (including the one I founded) are always looking for more visitors as more visitors can mean more sales. We already know how to write engaging blog posts which can drive sharing on the social networks including Twitter and Facebook. We’ve seen the countless posts on design and tech blogs offering creative 404 pages (when a webpage is missing, a 404 error page is displayed). South Park has a rotating 404 page so hit refresh a few times until you find Cartman.
This is the first time I can remember where an About Us page has the potential to be shared and draw new visitors to the site (and could eventually drive sales!). Romanian web development shop Lateral has a very cool and innovative About Us page. You can see it below – but you need to visit their site to see how it works. I also like how they put their open spaces as placeholders that YOU could fill if you took one of the positions. All they need is for each person to have a sound effect and the page would be complete. I found this neat About Us page because Jason Urgo shared it on Twitter.
The screenshot below sure looks like a typical boring About Us page, eh?
We are just a month away from the big SXSW weekend of parties. If you will be arriving into Austin early, or live in Austin, you might want to check out the Web Camp that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) will host just days before SXSW begins. I have not attended a Microsoft Web Camp in the past so I can’t provide any reviews but the sessions look interesting and you will be fed.
You can register for the two-day event here – you must use a Windows Live ID (why I don’t know) and you must register for each day individually. From the course overview, “Microsoft’s 2 day Web Camps are events designed to teach you all about building websites using ASP.NET MVC, WebMatrix, OData and more. This event is a unique opportunity, partnering classroom learning on day one with hands-on-labs on day two, and leveraging experts to help you build new and exciting websites.”
The sessions include MVC basics, jQuery Globalization, data access and modeling, validation and testing processes. I don’t see any specific sessions around the Windows Phone but I have to image the topic will come up throughout both days. The event is free to attend and will be held at the AT&T conference center at the University of Texas in midtown.
During the time CN hoster Rackspace was down (just about three hours!), I read some of the posts regarding the decision by Yahoo to close the web bookmarking service Delicious. I remember years ago that Delicious was a big traffic driver if you hit the front page…no idea if this is still the case as CN hasn’t made the home page since the Jets had a winning season.
You will probably see 50 “top x delicious replacements” posts over the next few days – Zee’s Next Web appears to have posted the first list. I would ask that someone in the Portland area check in on ReadWriteWeb writer Marshall Kirkpatrick over the next few days as I know how much he passionately cared about Delicious.
I am not going to reblog the facts of the case – you can read 100 other posts for that. But I did realize something by reading the posts and the messages on Twitter. Yahoo just pissed off the one group they shouldn’t have. That group? Developers.
I’ve written in the past that Yahoo should have learned to embrace the developer community. I believe Yahoo would be a much stronger company today had they realized that getting developers excited about your offerings means more usage of said offerings. If you look at Apple and Google, the developer community is what made their devices a success. The iPhone or Android phone would NEVER be the huge moneymakers and game changers if it wasn’t for us, the developers.
When I think of building an app using an API, I can’t remember the last time I thought of using Yahoo – whether it’s for search, maps, etc. I go to Google because while Google isn’t known for customer service, they do seem to care about developers. And now I wonder if any developer will want to work with Yahoo when they know that services in their area might be closed at any time.
Look, we all know that Delicious probably isn’t used by mainstream Internet users. My mother isn’t saving her card club website on delicious – she saves it on AOL or in Internet Explorer. But Delicious did have a very passionate community (just see Marshall’s post) of early adopters, developers and other techies who used the service on a regular basis.
I’d love to learn what it actually cost to run Delicious. I just can’t imagine that it was a huge expense. My guess is that the Yahoo executive team saw no revenues coming from the Delicious line item and cut it. Sometimes it’s about goodwill.
I am sorry Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, but I think you just made a huge mistake. One that will sting today but will hurt for a much longer period of time.
When it comes to developing websites and pages we could all use a little help now and then when it comes down to the real detail. Fortunately there’s a wide variety of tools on offer to developers that can be of use when it comes to developing, monitoring, evaluating and debugging web pages. Here are 10 which I’ve found useful over the years.
Web developer toolbar
The Web Developer Extension adds a menu and a toolbar to the browser.
For anyone who uses Firefox that’s interested in accessibility and CSS web development, this is an essential must-have for testing web pages!
Click here to download the web developer toolbar.
Web accessibility toolbar
The web accessibility toolbar is available for Internet Explorer.
It can perform virtually any accessibility test on a web page, such as HTML and CSS validation, colour checking, HTML structure analysis, and much, much more!
Click here to download the web accessibility toolbar.
Firebug is an extension to the Firefox web browser and is an indispensable tool to any web developer.
There’s been a lot of discussion lately about how important a role load times and website speed play in search results.
Found via Mr. K, Google has announced the launch of a new tool to track how Google views your website, ecommerce site or blog from a loading perspective. The tool is available within the Google Labs section of the Google Webmaster Tools service. The tool is called “Site Performance” and actually displays some interesting information.
Google notes, “Studies have repeatedly shown that speeding up your site leads to increased user retention and activity, higher revenue and lower costs. Towards the goal of making every webpage load as fast as flipping the pages of a magazine, we have provided articles on best practices, active discussion forums and many tools to diagnose and fix speed issues.”
The tool shows you how long it takes Google to load your pages and includes the details on total size, number of requests and domain lookups.
As the announcement post notes, the tool also shows you example pages and edits you could make to have the page load faster. In my tests, it says I should:
- combine CSS
- reduce domain lookups
- Enable gzip compression
- serve resources from a consistent URL
Give the tool a try and leave a comment with the suggestions the Site Performance tool suggests for your website.
TweetMeme, the service built completely on top of Twitter, has been down for over half a day as of the time of this posting. I first noticed that the service was having issues midday Tuesday when the little “retweet” button wasn’t being displayed on our stories. I noticed the button was also missing on Mashable. Luckily the button degrades very nicely so except for a bunch of beeps that it can’t find the server, the pages still loads just fine.
TweetMeme creator Nick Halstead posted several messages on Twitter – the last one coming 12 hours ago. He has three posts related to the outage:
- we are having a problem with our DNS for TweetMeme – we are trying to get it fixed ASAP
- .@Fasthosts your going to have some SERIOUS bad press soon unless you sort out problems out
- anyone know people at internic? we need help with a DNS issue ASAP
Twitter users are also posting about the TweetMeme outage. Apparently there is a full TweetMeme site that shows off the most popular stories based on who clicks the button the most. While the API didn’t load yesterday, for most of the day the main site did load as I noticed a couple of tech blogs up on the home page. As of the time of this posting, the main site was unaccessible as well. It appears that the main TweetMeme twitter account is working although the stream seems slow.
TweetMeme was in the news last week with the launch of “retweetable ads”.
You might use this down time to start to plan your Black Friday shopping. I wonder if this is affecting traffic to the Twitter-heavy blogs.
Update 10AM Eastern: The TweetMeme site is back – it appears you can now find all of the techcrunch and mashable stories on their home page once again.
Yahoo is bringing their “Open Hack” developer conference to NYC next weekend. The Open Hack will be held on October 9th and 10th. Yahoo says they are still accepting registrations although they manually approve each person. There’s a wiki with more information about agenda, location and speakers.
Here’s Yahoo’s description of Hack Days: “Yahoo! Hack Days started back in 2005, when a team of engineers designed an event to see what sort of interesting and innovative applications people would build using Yahoo! tools and technologies over a 24-hour period. At the end of the day, they presented working hacks to roomful of colleagues and peers. Since then, “hack” has become an integral part of culture at Yahoo!. ”
The sessions run through the night and you can nap at the conference center. They say there will be lots of “geek food” – let’s just hope they don’t bring any Twitter cupcakes – we all know how those ended up for me :)
I am hoping we will learn why we should use Yahoo tools and developer platforms over their Google counterparts.