Tag Archives: Website

Marko Samastur – Easy deployment of site-extensions with a browser plugin [firefox3 launch party notes]


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Image by ccmerino via Flickr

Marko Samastur – Easy deployment of site-extensions with a browser plugin.

Starting with Zemanta presentation, since it’s relevant for the presentation. Zemanta is a tool for contextual matching for blogging platforms and has to support a wide variety of platforms.

The limitations of XHR was a problem because of limitations of security-model that doesn’t allow cross-domain POST requests. In case of Zemanta, we can use custom-build JavaScript function.

When to use extension?

When web-site as such, doesn’t provide integration points (e.g., Blogger.com platform), the other reason is if you want to use functionality that is not available within the normal browser window.

Process

First thing that you need to do, is that you need to find a place for widget. In case of Zemanta, we used right side widget. In this case, we used CSS and made it a bit narrow.

Blog better using Zemanta
Creative Commons License photo credit: chucks

But wherever you go, CSS selectors that you use, will most probably match styles of the platform. So if you use a widget on different platforms.

You can conquer this within CSS by writing selectors that are more binding than the default way. The one that we did (and is not the best way), we use a platfora of id’s and classes and then we use these names and classes that get injected into web-page and are more binding than the platform ones. This one works great if you use two files: general one and platform specific one.

Second way is to use nesting and “id envelops” – encapsulation and while it’s ugly, it’s the best way:

#zem1 #zem2 #zem3 h3 {

}

the second thing that you should try to use is microformats. After you put your widget into the page, you usually want that widget to do something, and for that we normally use Javascript.

Javascript problems

The variety of problems is large, but a short selection:

Extending Object and Array – it sounds a good idea in a start, but it’s a major problem down the road. It’s usually a bad idea that many JavaScript libraries (like JQuery), use Objects as configuration buckets and if you extend it, it means that all objects will have this and bad things will happen.

The second thing is, that if you have a web-site and you want to have it “extendable”, it’s a good idea not to step all over their feet and potential code.

Private name-spaces – either through anonymous functions or through object hierarchy. The problem is that sometimes you want to change behaviour of methods that are hidden behind namespaces (e.g., changing how dragging boxes works in 2.3 WordPress).

One thread implication: what comes later can rely on what came before. It’s not always true, because JavaScript API’s like DOM functions doesn’t always run in the same thread.

While you can do is to test your JavaScript on slow browser and computers, and on different connections. But this is often not enough, so you should actively protect from this and check to make sure the code and functions are there before you call them.

Useful tools for extension creation

Firefox extension Wizard – http://ted.mielczarek.org/code/mozilla/extensionwiz/

FUEL – http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/FUEL

Besttoolbars – http://www.besttoolbars.net/

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NooCamp – Lighting talks notes

time out...

Image by Norma Desmond via Flickr

Tomaž – http://www.editor.si

Content management system, “editor – spletne komunikacije”. It’s supposedly not Yet Another CMS, but something more. It’s called MyPortal – set your website free. It’s of course – “beta”. Full of Not invented Here syndrome, everything built in-house.
Main differentiator is that it’s available to all the developers that want to work with it. It has full multilingual support, totally adjustable rights for users, fancy administrator interface (doesn’t look that fancy in screenshots).
It’s not public yet, but they promise “real soon”.

They money by creating web pages, they intend to sell the application in two models:

  • Free license, to anyone who wants to use the solution for “non-commercail”
  • Paid license, for other licensing agencies

They think that open-source solution do not have trust between solutions. They will compile it using proprietary Zend solutions, and they think this is better.

Klemen – Firefox 3 launch party / Kiberpipa

24th of June, “release event for Firefox 3”, support from Mozilla Europe, Crea, Marand, Zemanta. Lots of important people from Mozilla Europe and a big party, together with in-depth lectures about Firefox, together with supporting the biggest download numbers.

Learn more about: http://www.kiberpipa.org/firefox

Space bed

Fotosphera – space bed, a bed that is cheaper and better than your existing bad. A bad that you can put on the sealing and it stays there.

BoÅ¡tjan – Zemanta, the next interation

He’s demoing the next release from Zemanta. Zemanta had another release on Tuesday, he announces next release in September, and tells us that this is Zemanta’s first incarnation. It’s a startup that makes an application for bloggers that solves two problems: not happy about appearance of blog and another enough traffic. Making interface easier is not that easy as it seems. The new incarnation thus upgrades the whole experience with new links Amazon, YouTube, etc. And users will be able to suggest their own blogs and help the system to learn.

He’s showing now zemanta.com/popular that is an aggregation of suggestions from within community,

There is also a third feature – “reblog”, that allows easy quotation that allows reader to easily select a piece of text and posts it to hers own blog.
Martin – Spletne novice.net

Spletne novice .net “online news .new”, it’s a free paper offline newspaper. They recently redesigned their design and business model, they will not give it away for free, but they decided to make a shift back to paid model. What they are trying to do is to take an everyday situation and research it online and then print it back in a common language and explain it to the readers. It’s very interesting to older people.
They supposedly have very innovative advertising spaces for their advertisers and have a great logo.
Enjoble – Borislav

Starts off with a nice geek blogs, together with a long tail of them. He asks, what is the best way to monetize popularity on the Web? One way is advertising, but the biggest money making source is – Job Ads.
Enjoble – hosted platform for creation of custom job boards and their integration into any Web site

Advantages for site owners:

  • Free and simple creation of new boards
  • A number of APIs for painless integration
  • Fixed-price cost of service (as opposed to percentage fee)

Employers:

  • Extremely focues
  • Networking feature promotes to other related sistes
  • Simple and easy to use

And lots advantages also for job-seekers.

Zongler.info

A juggling act. Quite fun.

Andrej – Juggling and entrepreneurship

  • Entrepreneurship – needs relaxation; also juggling. When you relax and start concentracting everything starts to change and it becomes clear.
  • Juggling takes lots of time and practice, years and years. The same is within enterprenourship, going from Slovenia to other regions – it took about 8 years for them; going on global market is something that they started now.
  • Juggling takes stamina, the same thing in entr. You have to keep pushing and don’t let you loose stamina.
  • Make sure you keep going.
  • The best ones are ones that are creative, so even if you don’t have lots of requisites you make magic out of it.

Andrej giving a quick juggling demo with a “flower stick”.

David, 5 SEO myths

Telling a quick story about how he got involved with SEO.

1. Meta-keywords do not work
2.
3. Links yes, but you have to know how to make them
4. PageRank is not that important anymore => TrustRank is new buzzword, also hiltop
5. SEO = spam

Jure – It’s complicated
Talking once again about how gender is not a binary option in web pages and that we have to fully embrace wiki’s and user generated content

Andrej – Looking for patterns in series

They have lots of discrete data sources, series like music, amino-acids etc.

They do lots of cool stuff with it, like:

  • Automatic classification
  • Clustering
  • Looking for motives in DNA sequences
  • Automatic tagging of series

They used this initially in 2005 for Spam filter, got very good results. They moved on to finding interesting news. Following with text-to-speech with automatic location of intonation levels.

He’s looking for interesting datasets and would like to analyze your data, and is also looking for people who would be interested in research on this topic.

Foto-Grafija – Ciril

Talking about his life story. He’s explaining how in 8 years he discovered his style of photographing and is now successful in business in this area. He shows us some of his photos that look very nice.

http://www.ciriljazbec.com/indexmain.php?xUrl=news

Studio 12 – Matej

Independant media studio, online portal and upcoming video portal. It’s core is content based approach to video:

  • Making quality of living better
  • Support to organizations

Media scene:

  • Too much information
  • Too shallow
  • Sensationalism
  • Problem of independence

They have over 230 content pieces, mostly in Slovenian.

They are working on distributing this content into other TV networks and with time, their own TV station/channel.

Their business model is to make enough quality content to be able to sell it to different TV stations, and with time on global market.

Davor – Jacob and his ski’s

There is Jacob that wants to get some ski’s. He doesn’t know yet, but we as marketers we can use lots of different approaches to approaching him but most of it fails.
So the solutions to this problem (partially through ToboAds):
Rich banners
Interaction with banners within the page

Showing how ToboAds know when the advertising is in within the visible field, so advertisers pay only for ads that get showed.

Http://www.toboads.si

David – Odpiralni časi

Opening times database. Http://www.odpiralnicasi.si

Who are the most influential bloggers – Jure Leskovec

Obscure technology story is discovered by a small tech blog, it propagates to bigger blogs, and then big media finds it. So the question is, who is really influential here? (Shoing nice network graph)

Blogs – allow for detecting big stories early. It’s easy to detect all stories, but we figure it out late. Data, it’s possible to get with a simple crawl.
Give a budget (e.g. Of 3 blogs), select the blogs to cover the most of the blogosphere?
Bad news – Solving this is exactly NP-HArd.
Good news: Theorem: Our alhorightm can do it in linear time and we have guarantee for this.

Which blogs to read to be most up to date?

More info at:
http://www.blogcascades.org/

New music – Vasilij

Playing his music creation. Very nice video/music

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Introduction to Findability, Cyril Doussin [WSG meetup 28/05/08]

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Image from Flickr

Here are my notes from tonight’s Web Standards Group London Meetup, the topic was Findability.

It’s a big subject, so he’s going to focus mostly on theoretical aspect. The topic of findability has been very well research by Peter Morville (semanticstudios.com) – Ambient Findability book

“Finding” and what it means.

Dictionary:

  • Discover or perceive by chance o unexpectedly
  • Discover after a delibarate search
  • Succeed in obtaining
  • What is exposed to us (on purposes on inadvertently)
  • After search

We’re searching for: physical items. We’re also searching for digital information, mostly knowledge about: oneself, concepts (mining of something), more detailed information (e.g., products), entities in the same society (people, organizations, businesses).

Besides knowledge we’re trying to find opinions also. To validate feelings or judgments, in order to feel more conformable about data; we also search to establish trust relationships; complementary judgments (finding different POV on things).

Definition of information is a complex subject, but authors definition is:

  • Data: a string of identified but unevaluated symbols
  • Information: evaluated, validated or useful data
  • Knowledge: information in the context of understanding

Information is very closely tied to communication.

Examples are memes,  pieces of information that are transmitted from one mind to another. Either verbally or physical action. One example of this is “Rick Rolling”. If you are able to achieve this, you have “viral marketing”.

Multi-agent systems, systems composed of interacting intelligent agents. It’s a domain of AI. There are two types of agents:

  • Reactive agents (e.g., colonies of ants; they base their communication on very simple signals and they don’t really have a clue about the larger task)
  • Cognitive agents (e.g., closer to human beings; they are able to memorize things, they have beliefs and they have pretty complex ways of communication with each other)

Interesting base to study collective environment.

Findability referees to the quality of things we find.

Item level:

Evaluate to what degree a particular object is easy to discover or ..

System level:

How well a psychical or digital environment supports navigation and retrieval

Wayfinding: a complex events of what people to get from one place to go:

5 step process:

  • Knowing where you are
  • Knowing your destination
  • Following the best route
  • Being able to recognize your destination
  • Finding your way back

How do we make something findable?

Make sure that the item is easy to discover or locate

Have a well organized system which supports easy navigation and retrieval

“In your face” discovery principle; expose the item in places known to be frequented by the target audience. This is a case for advertising and commercial display. Advertisers have to understand how people navigate and use the world in which they live. Contextual example are airport related adds around airports since these are the people who usually drive around.

Hand-guided navigation:

  • Sorting/ordering
  • Sign-posting

Example: restaurant menus are sorted by the dish types and when you eat it in the process.

Describe and browse:

  • Similar to asking for directors
  • Similar to asking random questions
  • Get list of entry-points to pages

It’s also possible to mix things up. First example is from Google, direct links to custom web sites and inline search. Search assist for Yahoo proposes stuff to users other interesting things around this term.

Recommendations:

  • Describe intent
  • Casual discussions
  • Advice
  • Past-experience

Essentially they are heavily based upon communication between peers..

Web is essentially a giant referral system. Anyone can add signs to entry-doors on your site. But this leads to need for relevancy system; someone seeing the signs don’t really know if that is the best way to go. One solution for this is PageRank, in order to put ranking on links; peer based example is Digg.

Relevance has two ways to measure effectivens the best as possible:

  • Precisions: how well a system retrieves only relevant documents
  • Recall: how well a system retrieves all relevant documents

Precisions = (number relevant and retrieved) / Total number retrieve

Recall = (number relevant and retrieved) / total number of relevant

When we talk about relevance, we need to identify the type of search that is being performed by the user:

  • Sample search: a small subset of documents are sufficient (most of the time; we often don’t look at the second page of results) (precision method)
  • Existence search: search for a specific document (precision method)
  • Exhaustive search: full set of documents needed (recall method)

Content Organization:

  • Taxonomy: organization through labeling
  • Ontology: taxonomy + inference rules (RDF, Dublin core)
  • Folksonomy: adding a social dimension

It’s increasingly important as the volume of information grows and information is shared. Very good base for search engines.

Measuring Findability on the Web:

  • Count the number of steps (less steps, better)
  • Many ways to get your data (search engines are predominate; peer-based lists and directories are also important)

Recommendations:

  • Aim to strike a balance between sources
  • Know the path your audience will follow (do user testing)
  • Understand the type of search
  • Make advertising relevant (which is highly subjective, and a hard thing to do)
  • Make your content rich and relevant
  • Make your content structured