Monday, June 30, 2008

Browser uptake in enterprises has just released browser usage statistics for its service which is interesting in that the company's clients are enterprises. What this shows is a much more conservative picture than we are used to: 51.7% of users are still on IE 6 even though IE 7 was launched in October 2006.

As web usability guru Jakob Nielsen points out in his Alertbox newsletter, web users are becoming more, not less conservative. The upgrade speed, which was 2% per week historically, has now dropped 1% per week with the latest browsers, he says.

it now seems to take about two years to move most of the users to a new browser version.

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What our readers are really interested in

There's a though-provoking post from Jeff Jarvis commenting on the difference between what people say they are interested in, and what there really are interested it. (The inspiration is the Florida obscenity trial where the defence lawyer used Google Trends data to shine a light on the local population's real behaviour). His basic contention is that people have always said one thing but done differently and in the world of the internet there is now more visibility than ever of this tendency. This should remind us to spend more time looking at our usage data from Hitbox (or whatever) and less listening to the "experts" in our midst - or even, perhaps, sometimes, our research?

Popular resource

I've noticed more and more people lately using online slide sharing site Slideshare.
Another tipping point, I wonder?

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Getting past inertia

The Point (from Malcolm Gladwell's book, The Tipping Point, apparently) is a site which aims to get collection action past the critical point when it will work. Users sign up to a pledge (dontate $10, boycott a particular store, etc) but are only committed when the required numbers of people have also signed up. That way, presumably, prospective campaigns can avoid the ignominy of being the only one with the placard.

I wonder if we could run our business like this?

  • conferences only take place if the required number of people have committed to them upfront?
  • newsletters only get published if there are enough subscribers already signed up?

Interesting idea...

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Microsoft Office self help

My colleague Phil Harris points out a resource I hadn't heard of - Office Labs' Community Clips. The idea is that Microsoft employees and users anywhere can record simple "how to" videos which demonstrate in easy steps how to do things in the Office Suite. It's a nice idea and could be a useful place to start the next time you can't remember how to make a pivot table or change the master template on a PowerPoint...

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Salary surveys Web 2.0 style


Glassdoor is a new site which aims to bring the era of Wikipedia and user power to the traditional field of the salary survey. They encourage "insiders" to disclose salary levels and to rate the company and provide reviews to help others to decide whether to take that job offer. There is a give/get approach to information - you have to post your salary in order to see those from others who have already posted. 

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Times archive goes online

The Times has launched its entire archive, dating back 200 years, in a new section of the site. There are 20m articles, ads and photographs in the archive. I particularly like the interactive timeline and the way the PDF pages are embedded into the site, and surrounded by integrated content about the major events covered. There are 150 topic pages which feature subjected like Winston Churchill, the Crimean War and Scott of the Antarctic. Great stuff.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Yellow pages for Twitter

Twello is a new service, currently in Alpha, which aims to categorise Twitter users by which sectors they are in. There are already listings for aerospace engineers, people in the oil and gas space, and in pharmaceuticals, for example. Could be an interesting resource for my more enterprising b2b publishing thought-leading colleagues....

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Interactive timelines

Dipity is a new site which allows users to create interactive timelines on the web. The site claims there are already over 20,000 timelines available.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

More woes at Yahoo!

Techcrunch reports that Yahoo's exodus of senior talent is continuing, this time with the departure of Joshua Schachter, founder of which was bought in 2005.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Flickr founders flee

Flickr's founders, Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield are leaving Yahoo. The company, which has been pursued (and dropped) by Microsoft, has seen a slew of high profile defections.

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Alexa competitor

Google has extended its Trends service to include data on sites. Now you can enter domains and get back data on daily uniques (you have to sign in to get the numbers). You can compare more than one domain by adding another separated by a comma. Searchengineland has the skinny.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Widgets trying to be free

Amnesty Hypercube aims to let widgets live wherever they want, according to TechCrunch. The software, available currently only the Mac (but with a Windows version promised shortly) allows conversion from desktop to web-based widgets in various formats. Is this the start of a whole interconnected ecosystem of widgets? I wonder if we can use this to free our platform widgets on EpiServer so they can live in the wild?

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Saturday, June 14, 2008


The way social apps can authenticate against each other has taken usability to a whole new level. But it makes you think how cataclysmic a security breach on one account could be. The new iPhone Blog-it app, for instance, easily created links with my Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter and Google identities.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Jolly Journalists

Not all journalists feel put upon and under pressure in this multi-media world. At least that's the presumption behind the which aims to capture up beat soundbites from journos happy to be alive.

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Reputation systems

Yahoo! has produced a guide to reputation systems with discussions about which system is right for your particular type of application. Some of the types described are: the competitive spectrum (points mean prizes); named levels (like rank for enthusiasts) and numbered levels (does what it says on the tin). As they say:

A person participating in a social structure expects to develop a reputation and hopes for insight into the reputations of others, but each designed model of participation and reputation embodies its own set of biases and incentive structures. Balancing these forces determines in large measure the success or failure of a social system.

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Facebook - the journalist's friend

The Online Journalism Blog posts an answer the the question "how can journalists use Facebook?"

  1. As a way to find contacts
  2. As a way to find special interest groups (particularly niche ones)
  3. As a news source via status updates (not convinced about that one)
  4. By setting up your own groups to bounce ideas off

Convinced? Using Facebook already?

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