May 18th, 2006

Don’t know if it will really work, but I figured might as well try since I have a phone with a keyboard now.

[tags]Web, Mobile Web, Mobile Web Browsers, Moblogging, Moblogs [/tags]

Yahoo Front Page May 06 redesign

May 17th, 2006

Here’s a shocker for you, I actually like the May 06 Yahoo redesign. (Well, aside from the fact that the browser I use, Camino, is not supported already, but that’s probably because of a lack of Ajax support.) As a designer, I can see the direction where Yahoo’s designers are going with the page and it echos many of the same elements that have been recently unveiled on the newly redesigned NY Times and not quite there yet CNN home pages.

Elements I like…

*Boxy boxes. Even though these boxes are like that I do know that Yahoo uses rounded corners in their other branded pages. See Yahoo Tech for an example of this.

*Menu buttons and action box (with the Mail, Weather functions) background.

*Page colors are muted (gray and blue on a white background), stay in background, while photos and video pop out.

*Call to action colors are yellow and orange.

*Drop down hover action for the Mail, Weather, etc. functions.

*Overall feedback I heard from others about the page - new page has less text and seems easier to read.

*Left hand menu seems better organized. The caveat for Yahoo designers is that I wonder if the new organization will direct traffic differently than in the past.

*Major page elements float and have the margins around the boxes - but that was on the old page too. This is indicating that Yahoo is probably planning to allow some configuration of the boxes.

*Designed use of nearly the whole width of the page, save for a margin (depending on screen width).

Elements I don’t like…

*I think the Aqua looking accents will age a little too quickly.

*Yahoo Pulse box can’t be configured to show Pulse items you’d want to see.

*There are some text ads in some weird spots - i.e. a text ads in margins between the boxes on the page.

*When I first viewed the page via Firefox/Windows on 5/16, the left hand buttons had different text sizes - as if to promote various services. The text size issue appears fixed on Firefox/Mac this morning 5/17.

Aside from the look and feel aspects, I will let others debate if portals are so “Web 1.0″. Personally, I have been using Yahoo News and Weather on a daily basis for some time now - I think Yahoo executes those two functions nicely and they are easier to use than some other services. If my use of Yahoo qualifies as a portal which Yahoo provides or organizes content, so be it.

However, I thought that once a long, long time ago, Yahoo had unveiled a simpler Google like search page.

MacBooks and Marketing Apple

May 16th, 2006

I shall add my voice to the chorus and note that I think that the new MacBooks look awfully cool, especially the black one.

I won’t be trading in my trusty PowerBook in the near future, but a discussion I had tonight centered upon the thought of “Why doesn’t Apple have a trade in program for individuals?”, especially for those of us who turn out to be company cheerleaders. I know I have had influenced at least $6,000 worth of Apple product sales within the last three years or so.

One other great marketing idea was “Why doesn’t Apple have a wedding registry? A 30 inch Cinema Display would make the perfect wedding gift.”

See, I’d be a great addition to the Apple marketing team. :-P

[tags]macbook, apple[/tags]

I guess you just had to be there

May 16th, 2006

From the “ooh shiny new back Macbook” thread on Slashdot today, advice for European vacationers trying to avoid sales tax on new computer equipment…

Yes, I often find myself thinking “Oooh, St. Moritz or Wilmington? I just can’t decide.”

[tags]Slashdot, Delaware [/tags]

RSS feed and blog directories

May 16th, 2006

If you had nothing else to do on a Tuesday, here’s a list of RSS feed and blog directories.

There are quite a few services that I’d never even heard of. Some of them are useful, some of them not so. Some of them you have to be active on like RateItAll and Blogazoo (good luck with that). Some of them have broken sign up links. And some of them are old fashioned link exchanges.
Most of the earliest listed services I’ve been using for the past few years. Out of the new services I’ve discovered via this list, BlogSearchEngine has actually given me the most referrers so far.

I’m not quite sure that listing with all of the services mentioned will help blog or feed popularity in the long run, but hey, it’s an experiment for someone interested in SEO.

Apple Store Suburban Square Grand Opening

May 13th, 2006

A not so hypothetical question for my readers: What’s worse, getting an email about a store grand opening or putting said grand opening on one’s social calendar?

Since I mentioned the Apple Store Suburban Square Grand Opening a few days ago, I somehow found myself in Ardmore, PA at the ungodly hour of 10:10am this morning. Not only was there a line out the door, it was around the corner and snaked along three sides of the building. At least I was there in time to get an official Apple Store (hugely oversized for my petite frame) t-shirt.

The line was so long (and oh yes, there was a security guard outside directing traffic) and regular people who were shopping at Suburban Square didn’t get what the hubbub was about. In fact, a middle aged couple had the misfortune to ask a few people in line around me what the occasion was.

Middle aged couple: “What is going on?”

People around me in line: “The Apple store just opened today.”

Middle aged couple: “No, really, what’s going on? What are they doing?”

An excited person in line replied with “It’s the Apple Store Grand Opening!”

Middle aged couple looked at each other incredulously and walked away.

Among the sights in the store, ooh shiny Mac Minis, 30 inch Cinema Displays, Video iPods and hot MacBookPro action. I spent about a good 45 minutes in the store, egging on a Video iPod purchase and people watching. The activity died down about 11:30ish, when the t-shirts ran out. Oh, and there were lots of bloggers. Bloggers taking pictures and video - like the quicktime movie below (hint, click on the image).

Apple Store Ardmore

Update: 5/15/06 Two things, first, in case you were wondering there’s a whole Web site devoted just to Apple Stores…now you know.

Secondly, a certain blog author made an appearance in this video about the Grand Opening.

From the site logs

May 10th, 2006

User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (PSP (PlayStation Portable); 2.00)

PlayStation Portable- I didn’t realize they had Web browsers now.

[tags]site logs, user agents[/tags]

A Web marketing observation on Yahoo and MSN advertising

May 10th, 2006

I’d be more impressed with the recent announcements by Yahoo (lawsuit nonwithstanding in this particular instance) and MSN concerning their new Web advertising initiatives if I received more traffic from them. Really, how much traffic does Yahoo and MSN see as opposed to Google? Advertising on proprietary content sites is ok, but then you’re beholden to traffic patterns on those content sites.
Think simply, traffic = $ and more traffic = more $$$. You would think part of the reason for Google AdSense’s success is that the Google Network (Google specific and affiliates) commands so much traffic.

Current music

May 10th, 2006

Since I’m listening to much more new music with having XM and all, here’s what I’m listening to currently.

For some indie sound via Barsuk Records.

Next up, some of the local music scene with Marah.

one to grow on

May 8th, 2006

Oh boy am I going to be grumpy in about 6 hours from now. Note: if messing with backgrounds or what seems to be simple vertical borders in WordPress, check the header.php template first to delete the background images.

Yeah, my first thought would have been to check header.php for a page background.

bit by color via lazy css

May 8th, 2006

At work, because I’m doing more concept and presentation rather than straight on Web dev, my markup and CSS are optimized for churning out ideas of “can we do it?” rather than cross-browser rendering. Also, I write markup and CSS by hand, and the simple editor I use doesn’t correct for small idiocyncrasies.

So I was caught surprised when I found out my lazy way to express background color in a td tag wasn’t working properly in Firefox. Worked fine in IE6 though.

lazy way: bgcolor=”cc0099″

cross browser rendering: bgcolor=”#cc0099″

The problem? I neglected to add a #sign to the hex color. This method namely wasn’t working in table cells. In my markup I wasn’t seeing issues with font-color and it didn’t matter if it was HTML bgcolor or CSS background.

New Apple Store in Ardmore

May 8th, 2006

Maybe I can’t get Radiohead tickets, but at least I get emails about the Grand Opening of the Apple Store in Ardmore, PA.

Now there will be no less than three Apple stores within reasonable driving distance, including King of Prussia, PA and the home of Tax Free shopping, Christiana, DE.