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from swerve of shore to bend of bay

links for 2011-02-24

  • This year, the focus is on how governments and nonprofits can leverage the new custom map design studio (TileMill) from MapBox to address public policy challenges. It is an especially interesting story given the increasing demand for custom maps for websites, web services, and mobile applications.
  • So I began looking for pairs in the core sets of fonts that all graphic designers have on their computers—that install with the Apple operating system, Adobe Creative Suite, and Microsoft Office. When I couldn’t find a list on the web, I started experimenting.

    I set the following parameters: the typefaces had to be in the three core sets, and have a least four weights (regular, bold, italic, and bold italic). To make a good pair I looked for similar letter shapes, x-heights, stroke weights, and “feel.” I found over 20 pairs, but there isn’t enough room to include them all. I’m only posting 10. On the first line the letters may appear to be the same size because their sizes have been adjusted to make comparison easier.

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links for 2011-02-23

  • The renewable organization is optimized for long-term growth and the health of all entities involved, including shareholders, employees and customers. For this reason, in the renewable enterprise:

    1. Documentation is a proactive customer care channel.
    2. Documentation meets the growing demand for self-service support.
    3. Documentation authors are respected communications experts.

    Because the over-arching goal is to build customer loyalty, documentation authored for the renewable organization:

    * Reflects the state of the product as it exists on the day it is READ.
    * Includes knowledge gained through actual customer usage.
    * Builds marketplace credibility for the product and the brand.

  • “Governance? Process? Yuck, nasty words!”

    Those are the actual opening words I used in an introductory email to O’Reilly Media business leaders whom I was inviting to participate in an important new process. What I was introducing had the potential to become antagonistic bureaucracy and could seriously backfire. So I was treading carefully but knew I had to move forward to enable our desired IT transformation and sustainable on-going effective operations.

    But let’s step back and understand the origin of my motivation for this new process.

    As an IT leader, do these statements sound familiar? Demand for IT capacity far exceeds the ability for the IT team to deliver. Everyone who makes a request considers theirs to be a priority and wants it done as soon as possible. There’s considerable frustration from requesters that their work is not getting addressed or has been put on-hold to address other priorities. The IT team is highly stressed, lacks direction, and morale is low.

Filed under: delicious, reading

links for 2011-02-19

  • Example of table that can be sorted by any column
  • In the past few years, businesses have increasingly dedicated resources to creating social media strategies in hopes of boosting site traffic, sales and brand engagement.

    Joining social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, companies have struggled to create unique user experiences and provide value for followers, while also meeting management expectations and program goals.

    The biggest social media challenge for businesses in 2011 will be to rethink their social media strategies to make them sustainable and scalable. We spoke to representatives at Dell, Intel and Constant Contact to discuss how building social media training programs has helped their companies do just that. Read on for their top tips.

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links for 2011-02-17

  • To know if design changes improved the usability of an application, you first need a baseline measure of usability from a benchmark test.

    Here are 10 tips to use when planning your next benchmark test.

    1. Recruit for representativeness over randomness: It will be difficult to select a random group of users for your tests. Worry less about the random selection than how well your test users match your entire user-population. If you need to compare new versus existing users or domestic versus international users, it is more important to have these users proportionally represented than trying to randomly select them. Even clinical trials have problems with random selection and most usability tests don't involve life and death decisions.

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links for 2011-02-16

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links for 2011-02-15

  • Other social media tools, like YouTube and Twitter, also played major roles in Tunisia and Egypt, especially when the protests broke out. But Facebook was the primary tool used in Egypt, first to share reports about police abuse and then to build an online community that was mobilized to join the Jan. 25 protests.

    In recent weeks, Facebook pages and groups trying to mobilize protesters have sprung up in Algeria, Bahrain, Morocco and Syria. Hashtags on Twitter have also helped spread the protests, which extended to Algeria over the weekend and to Bahrain, Iran and Yemen on Monday.

    “This is an incredible challenge and an incredible opportunity for Facebook, Twitter and Google,” said Ethan Zuckerman, a senior researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard…. “It might be tougher for Facebook than anyone else. Facebook has been ambivalent about the use of their platform by activists.”

  • For this first tutorial, we have decided to introduce you to one of the most common and basic tasks in design – creating buttons, shiny buttons! We will be using GIMP, the free and open source raster graphics application to create this said effect.

    To those who are unfamiliar with GIMP, I highly suggest that you first make yourself comfortable with the software. You can download the user manual and view some tutorials here. This way, you will be familiar with the terms and tools that I’ll be showing you along. Nevertheless, I will do my best to explain the procedure as simple as possible and as quick as I could.

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links for 2011-02-14

  • The U.S. State Department launched a new Farsi-language Twitter feed Sunday in a bid to connect with internet users in Iran.

    "US State Dept recognizes historic role of social media among Iranians. We want to join in your conversations," the department said in its first tweet.

    The feed was launched just one day before opposition leaders and activists in Iran have called for a protest in support of the Egyptian revolution, according to Saham News. The rally is planned to coincide with the 25th day of Bahman, the 11th month of the Persian calendar.

  • Virtually every web designer I speak with is familiar with the ‘alt’ attribute: the part of the html ‘img’ tag that you use to provide an equivalent alternative for people who are unable to see the image. This includes people who are using a screen reader or people who are browsing the web with images turned off. What’s less commonly known is that there are five different classes of image used on web pages and each of those images requires a different approach to writing the ‘alt’ attribute.

    The five different classes are:

    * Eye candy.
    * Clip art and stock images.
    * Images that express a concept.
    * Functional images.
    * Graphs, complex diagrams and screenshots.

    The ‘alt’ text you write will be different for each of these classes of image.

  • This guide is designed to help you create a WWW hypertext database that effectively communicates your knowledge to the reader. It has been prepared in the light of comments by readers, and many demands by providers of online documentation. Some of the points made may be influenced by personal preference, and some may be common sense, but a collection of points has been demanded, and so here it is.

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links for 2011-02-13

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links for 2011-02-12

  • CuteFlow is a webbased open source document circulation and workflow system. Users are able to define "documents" which are send step by step to every station/user in a list.
    It's an electronical way for doing (i.e. internal) document circulations. A document can be assembled from input fields of different types. The fields can be filled with values by the receiver of the document directly in the users E-Mail-Client. After a completed circulation you will have a completely filled document. Also attachments to the document are possible (i.e. for illustration material).
    All operations like starting a workflow, tracking, workflow-definition or status observation can be done within a comfortable and easy to use webinterface.

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links for 2011-02-11

  • Most consumers think haggling is only appropriate when buying tchotkes at a street fair or facing off against a used-car dealer. But why not negotiate the cost of medical procedures? Or a new Sub-Zero refrigerator? If you're not paying less than sticker price for these and other goods and services, you're leaving money — and often lots of it — on the table. "Everything is negotiable," says Stuart Diamond, adjunct professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and author of "Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World." "All you have to do is ask."
  • time for round two for Gov 2.0 LA. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Gov 2.0 LA, it is a hybrid conference that stimulates the brain and positions people to have actual time to talk to each other. bridging digital diplomacy, social media, entrepreneurship, mobile and mapping and reaching into the crossover into citizen engagement tools. Gov 2.0 LA founded by Alan Silberberg had an amazing first year with hundreds of people showing up throughout the 2 day weekend event. They brought in an amazing group of speakers some of which included people like, Bill Grundfest, the Golden Globe Winning Producer and Creator of “Mad About You”, Craig Newmark the founder of Craigslist, Cory Ondrejka Co-Founder of Second Life, and many more. And this year there is no shortage of awesome speakers that are going to be in attendance.

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February 2011

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