Posted by Elmer in Geek on January 25, 2010
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As web designers, we hope that we don't just build websites for the sake of having one. We also aim to ensure that these websites are also easily accessible to those who find them, and not simply a white elephant sitting in the corner visible only to people who know us and not to those looking for us. Obviously, we need tools to find out if we achieve these objectives. We can accomplish such by installing web analytics tools, notably Google Analytics.

Posted by Elmer in Geek on December 22, 2009
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Ever wondered what are the top terms on status updates posted by Facebook users? Now we will all know as Facebook releases its inaugural Facebook Memology, a yearly list of the top trending memes or ideas.

Given the 300 million Facebook users and high percentage of active accounts sharing hundreds of millions of updates everyday, there's high volume of terms digested by Facebook Data, grouping the related topics and ranking them altogether to come up with this list.

The report found out that while people often share about celebrities and related entities (movies, deaths), but they also share personal topics related to family, and religion. Please note that the list below aren't the exact terms people use, but are the ideas of individual status messages.

Posted by Elmer in Geek on December 18, 2009
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The online community has been monitoring any movement by Google, from the typical and obvious product launches to the more intimate ones like the playground inside Googleplex or massage. So every news (including hints and rumors) about the search engine giant generates interest to many people, me included. One interesting development in Google's ever growing list of products and acquisitions isn't necessarily a new feature, but perhaps a reincarnation of a useful service that was unceremoniously two years ago.

Google Blogoscoped reported the existence of Google Guru on some countries notably Thailand (see below)

Posted by Elmer in Geek on December 15, 2009
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China is known to be home of some great imitators from shoes and golf clubs to movies and theme parks but now it's hard to believe that a multinational company based stationed in China has been accused of basically copying code and design of a Canadian microblogging service. Plurk has accused Microsoft China of copying the code of its service, claiming that 80 per cent of the code of Microsoft's Juku service was allegedly copied from Plurk.

Posted by Elmer in Geek on December 10, 2009
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A few days ago, Google launched its real-time search feature. This means Google will now be able to display search results of web content that has just been published. Think of it as like adding a Twitter search form that spits out what people are talking about at this very moment. Traditionally, Google displays search results only after a page has been crawled and indexed. With the popular presence of social media tools, it is hard to ignore featuring real-time search. This feature is clearly screaming to be added when Twitter added this feature into its homepage.

So that explains the existence of Google's real-time search capability.

Real-time search enables us to discover late breaking news the moment they happen. That's even before editors get hold of the news for fact checking and publishing. When you use Google to search for something, you may find results from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and a few other partners on search results. But it should be understood that not all terms will yield results of these search partners, as Google only focuses on "hot topics".

Certainly sounds good but what benefits and risks do we expect from this latest Google feature?

Posted by Elmer in Geek on December 07, 2009
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Bill Gates used to maintain a Facebook account. However, since he couldn't cope up with the friend requests from strangers, he abandoned his account because there are "10,000 people wanting to be my friends", he confessed. This is how Facebook works, I want to be your friend but before we are officially called friends, you need to validate my claim. 

With Twitter, it is not necessary as everyone can follow (almost) all of the account he wishes to follow, unless blocked or followed account has private tweets. Let's examine the reasons why Twitter is better than Facebook.

Posted by Elmer in Geek on December 03, 2009
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In light of the move by News Corporation's Rupert Murdoch to make news a commodity online -- making readers pay to access accurate and timely news reports on the web -- Google also made an adjustment by offering a new feature called First Click Free.

As the name implies, Google allows web and news publishers to set up a facility to show content preview free but subsequent access to pages may need login access. This application tries to help achieve these two goals:

a) Include highly relevant content into Google's search index

b) Provide opportunities for publishers to promote pages with restricted content

Posted by Elmer in Geek on December 01, 2009
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Mashable has reported that there are updates on Facebook layout. Not too long ago, the social networking giant embarked on a major facelift and many are unhappy with the change. Facebook apparently listened to the clamor (or the contact form) and is now embarking on a new layout change. Whether this is the restoration of old design or another round of changes, nothing is certain until we see the new interface.

The Mashable report mentioned that there are five notable areas this change will bring. 

Posted by Elmer in Geek on November 25, 2009
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Not too long ago, news was accessible via the morning paper, prime-time newscast or radio. But the Internet changed the way we get updates on local and international news. No need to wait the next morning paper, nor watch the news broadcast later tonight if you want to know more details about breaking news that happened now.

The good news is that websites, social media and search engines connived to provide Internet users better access to news and information. The bad news is that news sources are unable to make money out of these conveniences they provided. The sagging subscription numbers and dwindling advertising earnings have prompted layoffs and magazine closures (see Bloomberg, Time Inc and PCMag. Print magazines and newspapers have folded for good (Time, CosmoGirl and Seattle Post-Intelligencer as examples. Focus has now been towards their online presence and now, Rupert Murdoch, the media magnate who heads the News Corporation, is out to change the business model and make visitors pay as they access content.

A possible impediment? News content is freely searchable through search engines, notably Google News. By virtue as the most popular search engine worldwide, Google is now the target of Mr Murdoch as he wants all news content of his web-based media property websites delisted from Google search results. He can then promptly ask readers to pay to access content.

Posted by Elmer in Geek on November 19, 2009
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Breadcrumbs are navigational aids placed on top of the body content of a web page. Their subtle presence allows visitors to quickly refer to the links that come with breadcrumbs to bail them back to the homepage, or parent category of the current page. In terms of user experience, it's a good guide as it's prominently placed, yet not too obtrusive so as to steal someone's attention.

For search engines, breadcrumbs provide a quick navigation guide on where to go after done crawling one page. Other links may exist within the page such as navigation menu or footer links. But from the standpoint of the current page being crawled, breadcrumb navigation offers the best structured way of crawling pages from top to bottom content organization without leaving any page unattended.

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