March 31, 2008 | Jason Gibb: Browser Wars Revisited

You may recall the halcyon days of the late ‘90s: Amazon was just a book store, Google wasn’t the top search engine, and Internet Explorer was an upstart Web browser challenging the domination of Netscape Navigator. In those days, the top browsers competed by adding non-standard features and extensions to the nascent HTML, CSS, and JavaScript syntax.

The concept of “Web Standards” was unfamiliar to the majority of Web developers, who gladly implemented browser-specific hacks to implement the latest and greatest techniques on their Web pages. It was a time of rapid divergence—browser makers ignoring standards and consistency in the name of differentiation and market share.

March 30, 2008 | Ron Lee: Virtual safe deposit boxes open for business

imageTired of making trips to the bank to stuff legal documents in a safe deposit box? Now consumers can lock up their important documents online, thanks to electronic document archiving soon to be offered by banks.

March 24, 2008 | Greg Ness: More on the Future of Marketing and Advertising

Last week I posted about a YouTube video on the future of advertising from Ben Hourahine at Leo Burnett, London (see below). The Slideshare deck above provides another great overview on that same subject. It’s from Paul Isakson.

There are some prescient quotes in this deck from some of the people on the front lines of the digital marketing frontier, as well as some powerful slides on branding and insights. Thanks to David Armano for the point on this one.

March 20, 2008 | Greg Ness: Idol Marketing

imageApple definitely knows how to feed off the buzz.

March 20, 2008 | Greg Ness: A Glimpse Into The Future Of Advertising?

The future of advertising as predicted by Ben Hourahine, futures editor at Leo Burnett in London. There is a lot to think about here in just 2 1/2 minutes of video, but I think he is spot on. Via AdRants and Fresh Creation.

March 17, 2008 | Greg Ness: How Do You Hide The Internet From 1.3 Billion People?

Stories were all over the place this weekend about China denying its Internet users access to YouTube because of videos posted about the crackdown in Tibet (see NY Times story). Other countries such as Pakistan and Turkey have recently done the same.

Considering the viral nature and growing pervasiveness of the Web, it will be interesting to see how these countries attempt to control future information they deem unacceptable. Many governments administer the Web portals in their borders, but even with legions of censors, it is going to be difficult to slam the door shut on information.

March 14, 2008 | Greg Ness: Scandalous Marketing Via Spitzer & Dupre

Two obvious business “beneficiaries” of all the attention the Spitzer scandal is generating are MySpace and Facebook. Publicity about Ashley Alexandra Dupre’s profile on both social networks has been plastered all over the media. Here’s just a few:

New York Times
Los Angeles Times

March 11, 2008 | Paul Bourdeaux: Reflections from SD West 2008

SD West, one of the nation’s premier software development conventions, just concluded SD West 2008.  Yours truly was fortunate enough to be able to attend, and for an entire fun filled week I got to embrace my inner geek and participate in tutorials on Agile Estimating and Planning, attend classes on Test Driven Development, and visit expo booths to play Guitar Hero (Hey - we may be developers, but we’re aren’t total nerds!).  I even managed to go on a Segway Tour of San Francisco.  OK, that last one was a little nerdy, but still pretty fun!

March 11, 2008 | Jason Gibb: Will IE8 “Break” the Web?

Last week Microsoft released a beta test version of their next generation Web browser, Internet Explorer 8. This new update offers one thing that will make Web developers cheer: considerably better standards compliance than previous versions. However, it has already generated considerable controversy because that very same standards compliance is breaking many Web sites that incorporate fixes or workarounds for problems in IE 6 and 7.

March 11, 2008 | Greg Ness: Building Better Customer Service With the Google “Sucks Index”

What is the Google “Sucks Index” (GSI)? Go to Google Search. Enter your company’s name followed by the word “sucks.” Hit return. Voilà! There before you in the results represents a summary of what you need to fix to provide better customer service.

This is the advice of Jeff Jarvis a professor at the City University of New York. According to Jarvis, the GSI for Wal-Mart turns up 165,000 results. Google itself has a GSI that totals 767,000.

March 10, 2008 | Greg Ness: Apple’s Design Secret: 10-3-1

imageMichael Lopp, senior engineering manager at Apple, delivered a presentation at the SXSW conference this last week in Austin, Texas that provided a glimpse into that company’s wildly successful design methodology. One of the insights he revealed was a 10 to 3 to 1 process that Apple designers must follow. Helen Walters is at SXSW blogging for Business Week’s Tech Beat and this is how she described 10 to 3 to 1:

“Apple designers come up with 10 entirely different mock ups of any new feature. Not, Lopp said, ‘seven in order to make three look good’, which seems to be a fairly standard practice elsewhere. They’ll take ten, and give themselves room to design without restriction. Later they whittle that number to three, spend more months on those three and then finally end up with one strong decision.”

March 08, 2008 | Greg Ness: What Technology Would It Be Hardest For You To Give Up?

imageA new Pew Internet study shows people would have a more difficult time giving up their cell phone than any other technology. As the table at right shows, cell phones are followed by the Internet, television, and landline telephones as the toughest to do without.

There are some big changes in the 2007 results. Cell phones have replaced landline phones at the top of the list and the Internet has moved ahead of television into second place. Landline phones have seen the most precipitous decline in the last five years, and Blackberries or other PDAs have seen the most significant rise in the chart.