Monthly Archives: November 2011

[VIDEO] El Lupe Live Recording
Date Created: November 28, 2011  Date Modified: May 6, 2012

Back when I was a student I aspired to work in the glamours world of the music industry, needless to say that didnt happen, but here is one of the many gigs I filmed at the time.

It was shot on a Canon XM1, but as you can see this upload has been thru the codec blender (blame the producer, not me. I didnt upload it)

More info can be found on the producers MySpace page (Im mentioned by name on this site…)

Occupy Web Technology
Date Created: November 21, 2011  Date Modified: May 2, 2012

The “Occupy” brand has exploded, Im not going to get into all the different products latching onto the Occupy theme–that would take to long. What I have found a little interesting is that two Occupy movements have popped up that I think are worth a mention here, they are Occupy Flash and Occupy HTML. Oh dear.

Lets start with Occupy Flash. Flash is propriety software that is distributed by the corporate giant Adobe, after they purchased their biggest competitor–much to my annoyance at the time. At the time I saw it as Adobe creating a web monopoly, something the OWS have been vocal about since they launched their brand. Since then the web has changed and the Macromedia stable is nolonger the dux-nutz of web development tools. Who uses Dreamweaver as much as they did in 2001?. Flash managed to survive the Web 2.0 upgrade by catering toward a different market, and it worked; testimony to that was Microsofts attempt at encroaching Adobe’s market share with Silverlight… To any webmonkey claiming flash is dead, just log into Google Analytics and right click on the map overlay!

However the folk at Occupy Flash seem to think otherwise:

Flash Player is dead. Its time has passed. It’s buggy. It crashes a lot. It requires constant security updates. It doesn’t work on most mobile devices. It’s a fossil, left over from the era of closed standards and unilateral corporate control of web technology. Websites that rely on Flash present a completely inconsistent (and often unusable) experience for fast-growing percentage of the users who don’t use a desktop browser. It introduces some scary security and privacy issues by way of Flash cookies.

Flash makes the web less accessible. At this point, it’s holding back the web.

All of the above could be true of any web technology; Sharepoint, iOS, .NET, their all guilty to some extent. Holding back the web? well back in the late 90’s it was Flash that was the fore-front of rich web, and without it we would have never seen any of the Web 2.0 technology we have today; Google Maps, Youtube… I could go on.

Then there is the counter argument from the Occupy HTML folk:

Flash is mature. It’s supported by all major desktop browsers. It’s stable when used properly. If not, it crashes a lot, just like every other technology. It requires constant security updates, just like every other web technology. It doesn’t work well on most mobile devices, and for good reasons. It’s a content plugin, developed during the era of closed standards and unilateral corporate control of web technology. Websites that rely on Flash can present a unique (and often unparalleled) experience for the massive percentage of users on a desktop browser. Flash powers some amazing experiences that work consistently across all of the major browsers in a way that cannot be replicated without Flash technology.

Championing simplistic statements regarding web technologies makes the web less educated.
At this point, it’s holding back the web.

A “content” plugin? well thats news to me–altho the XML data connector is a great little object to display your content in a visually pleasing way, Flash is for the most part asthetically driven as opposed to content driven (but maybe my definition of content differes from the writers?). The point about Flash working consistently accross browsers is a misnomer too–Konqueror anyone?.

As someone who wasted MANY years of my life with ActionScript, Im not one to quickly bash Macromedia’s Adobe’s rich-web software. That said, having years of experience dealing with an anti-Flash market, and the shortcomings of the platform, Im not one to instantly praise it. Flash is still useful in certain situations, and HTML5 does not get full cross browser support (yet). Really its like comparing Apple’s and Wintel’s.

Im not going to bash either technology, both are useful, both are required by the market. Both cater to a different market share. And most importantly: Both can co-exist on the web. If we as developers and designers dismiss one tech for another then we are only limiting ourselves to one market or the other.

Live and let live.

[VIDEO] The CMS Rap…
Date Created: November 20, 2011  Date Modified: May 2, 2012

I was sent this a while ago but didnt click the link till today… This guy is the Biggie Smalls of WebRappers!–bigger than Heavy-D and his boys.

http://youtu.be/Zw-oflFWiR8

Finally Its Released! (no, not Skyrim)
Date Created: November 20, 2011  Date Modified: May 2, 2012

I have to admit, the last week my major focus has been Skyrim–tho Im not here to mention that!. No the other big release recently (and its not Saints Row 3 or MW3 either!) was Android 4.0, and my reaction is a bit mixed.

Not all Android compatable devices can take this upgrade OOTB, so Im carefully looking into what can take it and what wont. I doubt I will be utting Android on my Sony E-Reader, but Im itching to get an update on my phone–even if I have to h@x the core (to use a Drupal colloquialism)..

So what will this new Android offer me over the last version, well for me the biggest letdown with the Android OS was multitasking. The new version aims to rectify this, according to Android’s own site:

Multitasking is a key strength of Android and it’s made even easier and more visual on Android 4.0. The Recent Apps button lets you jump instantly from one task to another using the list in the System Bar. The list pops up to show thumbnail images of apps used recently — tapping a thumbnail switches to the app.

http://www.android.com/about/ice-cream-sandwich/

So there is the claim that it will multi-task better, however you just cant go by what the developers managers marketing assistants say so I will be eagerly awaiting any improvement with the Android OS.

Web Traffic: Quality over Quantity
Date Created: November 7, 2011  Date Modified: May 2, 2012

Last week I recived an unsolicited phone call from a PPC (pay-per-click) re-seller wanting to take me on as a client; Now I dont have anything against PPC per-say, however it is important to note that a PPC campaign can be counter intuitive in some situations.

An example of this is when I was working at UNDA: The marketing manager had arranged a PPC campaign that ran on a selection of keywords the marketing team thought would drive traffic to the site. Of those keywords were a few that related to the University’s name, Notre Dame, this had a couple of disadvantages that were overlooked by the marketing team:

  • Searches for Notre Dame that were paid for were mostly not related to interest in the University. We were in effect paying for a higher bounce rate
  • Google was used as a site search internally, causing us to pay for clicks from within our own domain
  • Course related keywords purchased (Medicine, Law, et al) were of high cost, and proved little return

My recommendation was to suspend PPC, as we were paying for traffic that was of no use to us as a business–we were seeking enrollments in courses; not just web hits.

This brings me to the call I received last week. I do not have AdSense on this blog to try glean revenue from traffic–the only revenue I intent on creating from this site is employment as a Web Developer / Administrator; I am the product here. A PPC campaign may increase hits to the site, but increased traffic does not equate to increased sales.

The trick to increasing quality hits is not by being the first to pop up in Google, the real trick is to have quality original content, that people will want to visit for. Webmasters should know what purpose their site serves, and should host content related to their purpose. There is no point driving traffic to your site if all they will do is click away.

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