Tag Archives: web Blog

Web Accessibility

Tim Berners-Lee said it best: “The power of the web is in its universality.” To make websites genuinely universal, they must be accessible, ie: “that every person can perceive, understand, navigate, interact with, and contribute to the web.” Here are 10 tips to broaden the reach of your information, products, and services by designing your communications with everyone in mind: http://bit.ly/2uiIz5H

It’s Time for HTTPS

It’s been coming for a while, and now it’s time to make the move — to HTTPS, the secure transfer protocol for web communications. Encrypted transmissions will become the norm as the web moves toward greater security. Traditional HTTP websites will soon be hit with INSECURE warnings from browsers and search ranking penalties from Google as HTTPS becomes the standard. Check with your developer or hosting company for specifics on converting to HTTPS.

Read full article: http://bit.ly/2sTrniC

Updating Web Forms for Mobile

Today, all things digital must be usable and provide value on mobile devices. Web forms, one of the most mundane but essential elements of user interaction, are no exception, especially considering that most online transactions are conducted and much important data is collected via forms. Here are some tips for updating your forms to make them more effective on mobile: http://bit.ly/2lN1oYO

Understanding Google Plus

Do we really need another social network? If you’re anything like me, you’ve had a hard time figuring out, much less using, Google Plus. Then about a year ago, Google changed its privacy policy and began integrating its many properties. Now you’ll often see a Google log-in for services like YouTube, where it didn’t exist before. There’s a method to the madness, though. If plans work out, Google Plus will become the hub of Google’s services. In the long run, this can be a far more integrated and meaningful approach to social networking than we have seen to this point.

Most people believe [Google Plus] is just another social networking service where all of our friends are supposed to join and share photos, status updates, and messages with each other. But it’s really not that at all.
Sure, there’s a social networking aspect to it, but Google Plus is really Google’s version of Google. It’s the groundwork for a level of search quality difficult to fathom based on what we know today. It’s also the Borg-like hive-queen that connects all the other Google products like YouTube, Google Maps, Images, Offers, Books, and more. And Google is starting to roll these products all up into a big ball of awesome user experience by way of Google Plus, and that snowball is starting to pick up speed and mass.

The article goes on to show how services like Google Authorship and Google Plus Local Business pages all come into play to make Google Plus membership a must-have. Maybe take a second look at Google Plus, and then get ready for a migration someday soon.

Read full article: http://bit.ly/XeiGt5

LinkedIn Endorsements: Frictionless = Meaningless

LinkedIn seemed to have hit on a great idea: let members endorse other members for their specific abilities with a single click. The problem is, it’s so easy to do that endorsements have become meaningless. Every day I get endorsements. Then dutifully, I go and return the favor by endorsing my endorser. The result is a click-fest that distorts what people actually do. Judging by my endorsements, I’m an expert in SEO and web marketing. We offer those things, but our strong suit is design, technology, strategy, and digital media, all of which appear at the bottom of the endorsements list on my profile. And because that list is so prominently displayed, visitors will completely misconstrue my business. Hopefully, they’ll read the summary portion of the page, but does anyone read anymore?

There is a way to make endorsement relevant, however. Make them harder to give. The article below suggests a couple of ways to do this:

Right now, endorsing is way too easy. When you go to a connection’s profile page, there’s usually a list of categories in which they can be endorsed. If you click the “Endorse” button, you endorse that person in every category … remove that all-in-one feature, and you’ll probably get rid of a lot of spurious or unintended endorsements. Second, when you endorse, give the endorser the opportunity to expand on the thought by citing a specific project they both worked on.

LinkedIn’s endorsements point out a more significant problem, however. Today, more companies are creating features that benefit themselves rather than users. A solid endorsement mechanism could provide value if it reflected companies’ and individuals’ true worth. Something like that already exists in recommendations. But they take some effort to write. It’s easier for users just to click an endorsement. Yay! Pop the cork and celebrate our brilliant feature. Everyone’s using it. But if there’s no meaning, you just end up with lots of data signifying nothing. Unless what really matters is LinkedIn’s user engagement numbers. That must be it.

Myspace Puts On a New Face

It may be a little late, but former social media star, Myspace, is back with a new design. A nice video overview of the site is available on Vimeo.

Myspace was viewed as “the future” when News Corp. bought it in 2005. But it quickly fell into obscurity, eclipsed almost immediately by Facebook, which has become the social media venue of choice for all humankind. A complete history of Myspace is available on Wikipedia.

With its new design, it will be interesting to see if Myspace can recapture some of the social media onslaught it helped create. The new look features large photos (which everyone loves), fun page effects, and a side-scrolling interface. However, it’s hard to imagine how any website can head off the FB juggernaut, much less a “new” Myspace. But this is the Internet, where things change quickly, and the unexpected is always possible.

For two contrasting views on the new Myspace we have TechCrunch presenting the thumbs-down, and Engadget, the thumbs up.

Any product or service can go from fad to wildly popular, find its peak, and then fade if it stops innovating or something better replaces it. Comebacks are another story. Once something is branded, is it possible to be anything else? Perhaps the people who bought Myspace from News Corp. would be better off renaming it and not bringing back the negative aura.

To a certain extent, Myspace is reminiscent of another superstar that merged with a traditional media company, fizzled, and came back under its own name, but never regained its past glory. That would be AOL, which has been on the fringes ever since, and never really had a chance with its outdated business model. But social media is all the rage now. Everyone’s social savvy and people try new things. Will trying a refreshed Myspace catch on? Or will it be like just putting on an old shirt from the ’90s? Maybe if it had a new name?

Engaging Customers

The Web offers so many ways to engage people, as long as you’re putting the right content in front of the right people. Yet, the sheer diversity and quantity of engagement opportunities are far greater on Websites than anywhere else. Why does this matter for marketers?

Today, marketers must focus not just on reach but on engagement — high-value brand interactions — and of course, actual leads and sales. Think of it this way: there are banner impressions and then there are lasting impressions. Engagement helps brands make lasting impressions with target audiences.

Web marketers, do you have an Engagement plan? Here are 10 good ideas to help you engage customers: http://bit.ly/aZ8pzP

European Commission Joins Investigation of Apple’s Flash Exclusion Policies

The anti-Apple bandwagon grows. Is Apple being called out now for taking its shot at “owning” the Web?

The New York Post reports that the European Commission has taken an interest in Apple’s long-standing exclusion of Adobe’s Flash from its iOS devices, as well as its ban on Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone compiler and similar tools designed to allow non-native applications to be recompiled for the iOS platform. The paper was the first to report back in May that U.S. regulators were considering an inquiry into the situation.”