My first post this year will be a short one but nevertheless a very important one.
The Free Internet in the USA is at risk!
It is challenged by two proposed laws which basically will allow or even require censorship.
While the intent of the legislation is noble, “Stop online piracy and copyright theft!” The means the law provides will do more harm than good. And not only in the USA. There will be some global collateral effects as well.
At least this is my personal take.
Some say, “This will break the Internet as we know it!”
Here is what I wrote in a private forum earlier today.
As usual the law will affect regular businesses only. Spammers don’t care.
The One Big Chance: The inbox Goes Mobile
It is a trend that people are connected to the Net and to their email inbox more often and on multiple places. You don’t need to wait till it’s raining and people stay at home at their desktop computer. They take their email everywhere, anytime.
That’s an opportunity, isn’t it.
But you need to be prepared for it. Do your commercial emails display nicely on those mobile devices with the tiny screens? If not, change that.
Thanks to the fact that most if not all social media and networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and G+ as the latest star, connect to your email inbox to some extent. I.e. even the young generation knows what email is. It does not main that they like to consume email but email has one big advantage over the walls on Facebook or the Twitter and Google Plus streams.
It’s an archive, one can sort and use filters. It’s much easier to find a specific message in email than on social media
Before we get started I want to put the title of this post into the proper perspective, right away.
No, I don’t have anything to hold against Chris Brogan (↑), not at all. He is a fine person! Otherwise I would not follow him on Twitter, in Google Reader, now in Google+, and probably elsewhere.
Unfortunately for him -- I hope his ego can cope with that -- he becomes my poster child for something he is not even responsible for himself. (Life can be tough, isn’t it.)
Chris posts a lot on Google+ (at least now) and his followers are eager to comment and share. The result is that he (as well as other heavy posters like Robert Scoble (↑), Trey Ratcliff (↑), … show up first almost every time when I look at my stream.
Don’t get me wrong, I follow them, because they usually have blurbs of value to share. Anything from entertaining to educating …
It’s just that I don’t want them right in my face all the time whenever I look at my stream.
When taking this screenshot above it just happened that Chris Brogan was up there twice in a row. It was not planned. Seriously. It could as well have been someone else. Sorry, Chris.
Robert Scoble has addressed the problem and has described how you can organize your circles to take your stream back into your possession. You can read Scoble's tips for newer users of Google+ (↑) (a post on Google+, I believe you can read it even without being signed up for G+). Note his point 2.b.
But wait a second! Your stream should not be hijacked in first place.
Isn’t that something the user interface is supposed to protect you from? That question might be a bit philosophical and we don’t need to address it here but why should you be foreced to arrange your circles in a certain way so that your stream remains usable?
John on the Fourth Annual International Blue Beanie Day
Today, on Tuesday, November 30th, 2010, the Fourth Annual International Blue Beanie Day ought to remind the Internet community to stick to Web standards.
It will make on-line life so much simpler then.
Imagine how much easier development could be if you could trust your code to work on all major platforms.
It's a call — an outcry — to the big guys like Google and Facebook to make sure their APIs, widgets, and plugins are within the standard and pass validation.
It's also an outcry to the standards committees to adopt innovative ideas and integrate them into the standards more rapidly.
The relatively new social plugins from Facebook, e.g. LIKE button, comments, …, does not validate to the (X)HTML(5) standards.
Same is true for the embedded YouTube Player.
And I could go on, and on, and on …
You might say it doesn't matter if a website doesn't validate 100%. However, one could detect true and serious issues with the code with less hassle in the absence of all those defacto standard violations.
Please, participate by doing the following:
1. Take a self-portrait wearing a blue beanie (toque, tuque, cap) and upload it to the Blue Beanie Day 2010 (↑) pool on Flickr.
2. Add a blue beanie to your social network avatar on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc.
3. Write a web standards haiku and post it on Twitter with the hashtag #bbd4 for your chance to win web design books from Peachpit and A Book Apart in the Blue Beanie Day Haiku Contest.