One of blogging's biggest barriers is how much work you have to do to get a post out the door. You can stick to straight text, but adding links, pictures, tags, and related stories makes it more engaging for your readers. But let's face it, doing all that on every post is time consuming. In fact, the length of time required to write a decent blog post is what spawned services like Tumblr and Twitter--the ultimate lazy man's blogging tools.
Web site owners might be amazed to learn that one of the biggest sources for duplicate content isn't externally, but rather internally.
Certainly, popular sites and blogs that syndicate a lot of content have to deal with external duplication, but as I already touched on external duplicate content, we know that there are steps to minimize those challenges and to establish your site as the canonical source.
Internal, or on-site, content duplication tends to come in a few key ways, the first of which is within the key page elements. The second is from the content itself; similar to e-commerce sites using stock product copy, you may be using your own copy over and over again on your site. Third, it simply may come from too little differentiated copy.… Read more
Do you maintain a Web site or blog? If so, you've probably experimented with several FTP clients to keep your site up to date. While there are a lot of good File Transfer Protocol apps available, SmartFTP continues to stay high on our Most Popular list for good reason: It has the features you need and it's incredibly easy to use.
Whether you're a pro Web designer or are looking to start your own site, check out this First Look at SmartFTP, the affordable shareware FTP client with pro-level features.
I've heard of death by a thousand cuts, but never cursors--that was until Firefly, a less-than-practical approach to letting your site visitors communicate with one another in real time. The service lets everyone see each other's cursors live as they zip around the page and lets them chat with one another via text. To strike up conversation, just start typing and a chat bubble will form above your cursor. Everyone's public chats are stored in a little queue, and frequent users can register to have their information and chat history saved to view at a later date.… Read more
Pixel art has held a special place in the the world of Web 2.0. Most recently it reared its head at Adobe Systems' Engage event earlier this year, where attendees received a poster with pixel art characters using various Adobe products. The poster was professionally designed, but that doesn't mean you've got to go out and buy some special software or take digital art classes to have some fun making your own.
Last week NBC quietly released a learning tool called iCue in conjunction with MIT. (See coverage on CNET TV's Loaded.) It's been designed as a "learning environment" using a large collection of news clips taken from NBC's video archives to enable anyone to catch up on news coverage and current events. This archived footage is put into context, as long as viewers are willing to acknowledge that the content is coming only from one source (NBC), and for now only with the focus on the U.S. presidential elections.
To get going, users can simply … Read more
Over the years, Microsoft has taken different approaches to offering online support. Some of you may remember Microsoft Bob, a bizarre software desktop replacement whose personal guides were supposed to offer personalized help.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, the product went nowhere and is now better-known as the answer to the trivia question, "What was Melinda French's claim to product fame?" (Of course, Melinda French later went on to fame and fortune as Mrs. Melinda Gates.)
Most computer users are more familiar with the Clippy, the office assistant Microsoft put into Office 97 that offered advice to user queries. … Read more
I found this article on O'Reilly's (Microsoft-sponsored) Port 25 page fascinating. For all Microsoft's attempts to own the budding minds of students, it may well be that Microsoft has become too corporate, too sterile to be of interest to the creative mind:
Even back in my day, you could go to a "Windows lab" and work with Visual Studio or go to a "UNIX lab" and use vi and gcc. And you know what? All the fun was in the UNIX lab. And not just for me. There was just a difference in the attitudes and ethic across the two lab environments. People in the Windows lab were trying to get their project in before it was 11:59 PM, while people in the UNIX lab were goofing off, playing with code, and... trying to get their project in before it was 11:59 PM.
What is it about UNIX, vi, emacs, gcc, perl, and INSERT-HERE that makes it fun to play with, while Visual Studio just makes you want to... well, work?
In the enterprise, this alleged Microsoft attribute might be considered a Very Good Thing. But is it? Do enterprises really want automatons that punch in and code to spec? Or do they want innovation that changes the game?… Read more
Yahoo announced Wednesday that it plans to acquire Tensa Kft., a Hungarian company known professionally as IndexTools, which makes marketing analytics tools for the Web.
Financial terms of the deal were not released, but Yahoo hopes that the acquisition will be finalized by the middle of 2008. Yahoo, currently battling with both a Microsoft takeover offensive and its status as second-string to Google in online advertising, plans to use IndexTools' technology to bolster its existing marketing analytics software. The initial target, a release from Yahoo explained, will be the 150,000 small and medium-sized businesses using Yahoo's marketing analytics … Read more
Last week a video made the rounds showcasing a new way to bypass Apple's many layers of security on the iPhone. The software called PwnageTool, which has been released today for both Mac and Windows users, opens up the iPhone to running apps that have unsigned code, effectively letting users run homebrewed developer apps with no special seals of approval or verification whatsoever. The tool also lets you load up your phone with customized firmware, letting advanced users develop their own concoctions that could be shared with other users, complete with automatic unlocking, jailbreaking, and activation upon first boot.… Read more