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from swerve of shore to bend of bay

links for 2009-03-03

  • Why use icons? Design is all about communication: it doesn’t matter how important or exciting the information that you’re sharing is if you fail to hook your visitors. When initially viewing a website, most users will first scan the page for visually interesting content, and only after something grabs their attention will they actually begin reading. Icons are a simple, effective way to draw users into the content of your website.

    Icons serve the same psychological purpose as paragraph breaks: they visually break up the content, making it less intimidating. A well-formatted page, with text broken into easily accessible paragraphs and accented by icons, is easy to read and visually interesting enough to sustain the user’s attention. So, stop wasting time writing so much content that no one will read, and start using icons!

  • With the new government administration, comes an advocacy for a more transparent government, but what does that mean in the real world and can it be applied to the corporate enterprise data as well? The theory is that by democratizing data—-allowing you to access and use any (and all) data–government and enterprises can leverage lessons learned from the Web 2.0 world to build networks and communities based on trust, openness, and empowerment.
  • The government transparency movement is waiting for a deluge of public data from Congress and the Obama administration. Developers are ready with open-source software and protocols for structuring data on everything from lobbying disclosures to pending legislation to stimulus allocations. And once the data is free and flowing through RSS feeds, Application Programming Interfaces, and Twitter messages, others are poised to mash it up in visualizations, plot it on Google maps, and ferry it out for discussion with social networking tools.
  • A list of 45 open source and free software programs to replace existing business apps for free. It's pretty amazing that you could spend $60,000 on software that you could get for free. If you're paying for software for your startup – you're OVERPAYING.

    We've put together a list of the best. From social networking and communication tools to productivity and security software, you're bound to find the right tools that'll help get your business rolling. Software is an integral part of any new business. With free software, it's hard to make the wrong decision, until scaling demands a bigger and better solution (which may STILL be free).


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