24 Mar 2013
Thanks to Google the web is free again. Reader wasn’t quite friendly towards web standards. It wasn’t that the Reader acted like a prison for RSS, it was the fact that it felt more like an hospice. It kept us sane every morning, but at the end of the day we worshiped a service that wasn’t open. Now it is gone and web is free again. One day I want to say the same thing about social networks.
Promote your content, not a RSS feed
The preference for my own site is to remove any links for RSS, but unfortunately I use Textpattern which provides RSS as a core asset. So, I’ll keep it for browsers and apps that can auto-detect the feed with no relevant place in the design of site’s layout. I have to keep in mind that this site was designed for the year 2022. It may sound ridiculous at first, but when I posted it on Dribbble I explained the design principles behind it.
Recently I added an access count to the site, this way it’s making each article standing on its own. The initial page views numbers where gathered from Google Analytics. I don’t believe in social networks counters (likes, tweets, plus ones) because they don’t change the way an article is consumed, actually they make it worst.
Microdata saves the day
Microdata is an invisible interface added to the HTML code. It can provide the basic feed functionality using descriptors for different parts of content and can be extended using schemas. For example, the first paragraph from my “About” page contains the name and a small description of me. This “thing” is called a Person. The Person can have multiple properties which can be defined within inline HTML elements like span, b or i.
Let’s say I want my readers to know how many times an article was read. Can I past this information to a RSS reader? No, not with a twenty years old format that can’t be extended in any way. All I have to do with Microdata is to define the access counter as UserPageVisits and past this information as an interactionCount. Now any robot that will parse the page will interpret the data as any human will do. Clever, isn’t it?
12 Mar 2013
We say stupid things on Twitter, we post almost naked pictures on Instagram, we do the same thing on Facebook, but when we are actually drunk. The worst of all these things get shared on Tumblr. Everything is broadcasted live 24/7.
Do we want to stop? No way! We actually praise Google for giving us Glass so we can continue to do everything I mentioned above even more easily. Who cares about the next generation? How would they get used to all of this nonsense, how would they even manage it? Do we really think Mark cares about his children or the world in which his children will live?
The web is a social network because everything that makes it was created by individuals. Does the web needs some lame social networks? Apps created especially for those networks? The answer is no. What the web needs is careful curated content that the next generation will find useful and valuable… and apps that can manage all of this content. Our kids can use the tools we create today to build a future we can only dream of.
This article was written on an iPhone 4S using Squarespace Note and published on the web using Textpattern.
8 Feb 2013
I often see articles where the author recommends to read a few—not very small—books even for something easy as learning HTML and CSS.
My advice is to learn by shipping, a point taken from the recent blog of Steven Sinofsky. I want to take the challenge one step further and say that you can shipping by learning. Get the right tools that are used by professionals and then start delivering hand made, high quality code without learning anything before that. It seems impossible, but it’s not. It’s actually how a child starts to walk, they don’t learn how to walk, they just do it, over and over again, until it gets perfect. If you learnt about the tag “p” then go ahead and make something useful with that, like creating a few paragraphs inside an HTML document.
My recommendation is to use Firefox and Firebug, because they are the most verbose, easy to learn developer tools available and also, used by professionals. But keep in mind that “View Source” might be the first step to get yourself familiarized with tags inside of the HTML documents and #IDs or .classes for styling those tags with CSS.