Set Them Free

Scott Karp wrote an interesting piece about online journalism. In it he makes a good point about what is often referred to as “stickiness” or how much you do to keep people on your site. Stickiness is important to site owners for a number of reasons, the biggest is often so that visitors will see lots of ads or buy lots of widgets. Mr. Karp makes the point that it is okay to direct people to another site. His example of site that is brilliant at making people go away is Google and yet you never hear Google criticized for not being sticky. People leave Google over and over and come right back. Being good at sending people away has […]

Why a Geek won't buy HD-DVD or Blu-ray Discs

It’s simply not worth the trouble. Ignoring the obvious ethical and social issues, DRM leads to an arms race that should never have started. And it is one that the DRM pushers are sure to lose. It costs loads of money to produce a DRM scheme, to try to implement it, to keep it updated when it gets cracked within a few weeks of each update, and then to support all of the customers who simply want to play their movie but can’t because you are “protecting” it. There is a great discussion over at Ed Felton’s blog about the AACS cracks and updates. Basically it takes tons of time and money to stop movies from playing, inconveniencing paying customers, […]

John McCain Loses My Vote

For while he almost had me with his maverick attitude and independent slant. His talk about compromise and ethics reforms. His sudden decision to speak at Bob Jones University without holding to his earlier pledge to tell off the racists running the place was, well, disheartening. Now he has decided to push for a ridiculous legislation that essentially bans sex offenders from using any website that requires registration, including blogs, chat rooms, social networking sites, product review sites, e-Commerce sites, etc. and potentially levies 6 figure fines against individuals who don’t police their blogs’ comments tightly enough or turn in people who post offensive material in comments.

Websites That Don't Suck

I recently came across a great article that gives 14 of the biggest mistakes you can make in web design. The article makes sense and in my opinion is almost dead on. The video that is linked to at the end of point number three is great. It is a really simple video made by a guy named Matt Cutts. He talks about search engine optimization versus end user optimization. It seems that there are a lot of SEO companies out there these days but not a lot of EUO (end user optimization) companies. I don’t even know if EUO is an acceptable acronym but i like it, so i’m going to use it Kevin and I recently had the […]

American History 101

You’re a large organization with divisions and departments and teams. You have vice presidents and managers and team leaders. You have a web team that manages your massive public web site. They have designers and developers and a manager. So, I ask you, who should decide what content goes on the website? Do you let anyone send content to the web team for posting. Does the vice president from Marketing call the shots? How about the manager from customer relations? Or the team leader from product development? Perhaps the manager of the web team? What is the right answer? Who should be the gatekeeper for the website? Should you even have one? The answer is not so simple. If you […]

One Small Step For Man….

(via Yahoo News) Is really hard to see if you are blind. “Links list dialogue.” “Links list view.” “Your Account — Two of 164.” This is what the Internet sounds like to Chris Danielsen. Danielsen is blind. He’s using a software program called Jaws that converts the text on a Web page into a computerized voice that comes out through a speaker, allowing him to surf the Web using keyboard commands instead of a mouse — the same way lots of blind people use the Internet. But I’m more interested in the lawsuit facing Target. Apparently the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is suing Target due to their websites poor accessibility. The idea of accessibility on the web is […]

Net Neutrality and Short Sightedness

Google’s Vincent Cerf testified before Congress on the issue of Net Neutrality. His testimony is well reasoned and insightful. It is available as a PDF file. I recommend that everyone read it and think long and hard about this issue. It affects everyone who uses the Internet. There is a push by companies that own networks to try to determine what content moves over that network. Mr. Cerf makes the argument against this quite eloquently so I won’t try to duplicate it. However, I would like to emphsize a few points that he doesn’t hammer home as much as I would like. When the network providers (the cable and phone companies) pick what Internet content flows across the network it […]

Tough Choices and Making Progress

The world is not always the way we wish. I wrote a few days ago about how the state of Digital Rights Management (DRM) for music and movies is not where we want it. Andrew McLaughlin, senior policy counsel at Google, write today about the launch of Google.cn in China. He wrote about the fact that Google will not be offering Gmail and Blogger in China and will be filtering search results to remove some content at the behest of the Chinese government. Google is not happy about making this choice. I had a long talk with Brad yesterday about my disappointment about not having the perfect solution for distributing online media while protecting the content from illegal copying. I’m […]

R-E-S-P-E-C-T…

Volkher Hofmann is boycotting Sony BMG, Blue Note, and EMI. Why? Because he is sick and tired of paying to be disrespected by those labels and their intrusive Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes. And he’s not alone. The audiophiles and film buffs who spend the most on music and movies are the ones who are most insulted and turned off by DRM. As media conglomerates push DRM more and more and technology companies that produce computers, DVD, CD, and MP3 players build DRM support into their products consumers are growing more aware of DRM. And the more they know the more they bristle at the restricted playback of legally purchased music and movies, incompatible hardware and software, inability to backup […]