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Archive for June, 2005

If you haven’t downloaded Google’s new Google Earth application then what are
you waiting for? The is a glimpse into the future. Google Maps redesigned
mapping programs on the web and this application jumps way beyond. Be sure
to check out the 3D buildings along with the tilt and rotate controls.

http://earth.google.com/

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Searching the web I’ve found 3 great articles written by Joshua Porter on this
topic:

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RSS has changed how I navigate the web and I’m sure I’m not alone.

I use the Firefox extension, Sage, to track about 70 RSS feeds. These feeds
provide me with all the latest information on web design, marketing, sports news,
and technology news. What I’ve found is that I rarely visit these 70 sites. I use the
feed to read the latest content postings and then proceed to the next feed. If I
click on a topic and visit a site, I often find that I don’t continue further into the
site. Instead, I click back to the feed and look for the next topic which interests
me. I’m using the feed as the primary navigation for the site.

Why do I use the RSS feed for navigation?

The simple answer is that I’m not looking for one particular piece of information or
an answer to a question. If I’m focused on finding something, I’ll navigate a web
site to find it. When I’m reading content from an RSS feed I have a different
focus. That focus is to learn more about a topic I find interesting. I’m only going to
the site to read about that topic and then I return to my feed to see what else of
interest has been recently posted. RSS feeds show the latest content changes
and are topic specific so they­re more efficient to use as the primary navigation.

What does this mean to web site owners?

As web designers and developers, we need to consider how people use RSS to
navigate our sites in addition to how they use the main site navigation. Currently,
there aren’t any best practices built around this approach. It is up to us to
experiment and test different solutions to find what works best for our users.

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Marketing
Sherpa
delivers the bad news to those folks still relying on email as their
primary eMarketing channel. If this doesn’t have you thinking about RSS then I’m
not sure what will.

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I applaud Microsoft’s effort for innovation using its start.com site but why don’t they support
design standards right from the beginning? Most of their beta releases only work
in Internet Explorer. Ignoring the 15% – and growing – Firefox segment of the
browser community isn’t going to help this site grow. After all, many of those
using Firefox are the early adopters Microsoft needs to provide feedback and
spread word of mouth about the site.

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It’s amazing how much publicity blogging has received over the past year. It’s
climbed from obscurity to the main stream. Now there are several articles a week
suggesting that blogging is over hyped. Well, truthfully it isn’t hyped enough. I’m
not saying this because I think blogging as it stands now is going to change the
world. It’s the future potential that makes it so news worthy.

Currently, blogging has remained isolated from corporate web sites. They’re
either located at a blogging network such as blogs.companyname.com or its part
of a more isolated site such as developer.companya.com. The real value of blogs
will be found once companies integrate them into their corporate sites. For
example, would you like go to a product page that’s a blog about the product or
would prefer the typical static content with the typical marketing speak?
Personally, I’d prefer to go to a product page and receive first hand knowledge
from the product marketing manager or the design team. The features and
benefits, and technical details may all be included as links off of this page. This
would add a great deal of value to the site and it gives people a reason to come
back. Repeat visitors are more interested in your products and they are more
likely to buy.

This is one of several examples of how blogging can support or replace content
on your corporate site. Taking advantage of this integration will improve your
customer relationships and add value to your site.

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There is a huge revolution going on with the web and its taking place without
much notice outside of the inner circle. XML is taking over and it’s going to
change the web drastically over the next couple of years. If you aren’t paying
attention to these changes you better start now. RSS is only the tip of the
iceberg. AJAX is gaining strong momentum and even Microsoft is changing the
Office file formats to XML. This one change by Microsoft is sure to make a huge
impact all by itself. XML will change how we design and build web sites, be part
of this revolution.

Find out more…

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