================================================== WebWord.com Newsletter "Usability & the Internet" ================================================== List Owner John S. Rhodes John@WebWord.com .................................................. October 4, 1999 Newsletter #32 .................................................. Table of Contents 1. The Human Behind Robot Wisdom 2. An Inside View of Epinions 3. Path of Resistance: Reader Feedback 4. URLs and Signatures in Email: Reader Feedback 5. Books I'm Reading 6. My eBook 7. What Can You Find at WebWord.com? - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ITEM #1 A new WebWord.com interview is now online: --> http://webword.com/interviews/barger.html The Human Behind Robot Wisdom Jorn Barger is the force behind Robot Wisdom, a weblog that covers all kinds of interesting news. I've been pushing weblogs on you because I think they offer a true view of personalization. This, as you know, is a crucial component of web usability. Jorn is an interesting fellow. Robot Wisdom gives you a quick peek at his thoughts and feelings. Also, because of a variety of things falling into place, I found out that he has some interesting views about XML, usability, and scrolling. Things that are all rather important to me. And, perhaps to you too. Take a few minutes to read the interview: --> http://webword.com/interviews/barger.html - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ITEM #2 A new WebWord.com interview is now online: --> http://webword.com/interviews/guha.html An Inside View of Epinions I've been talking a lot about Epinions, both here and on my main page. I like how the site operates and the ideas that make it work. I recently had the chance to send off some questions to Guha, the Chief Technology Officer at Epinions. He has a lot to say about the "Web of Trust", and how readers and writers benefit from the Epinions model. If you want to see how this company built "trust" into an e-commerce model, then you ought to read the interview. Here it is: --> http://webword.com/interviews/guha.html p.s. If you want to see Epinions in action, see my profile page: http://www.epinions.com/user-webword - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ITEM #3 Path of Resistance: Reader Feedback After reading 'Are You Creating a Path of Resistance?' <http://webword.com/moving/path.html> Jonathan Keane <http://www.jonk.com> wrote me to say: "When I first started working the net, it was an accepted convention that site admins would physically differentiate their resource addresses -- my gopher site would be 'gopher.', my ftp site 'ftp', later my web site would be 'www.'. That was so that people could tell what was there and so they could tell what app to use to access it. It wasn't until Netscape 1.x that web browsers started to subsume the other functionality and we started to use http://, ftp://, etc. to indicate resource type to the browser. I still think that telling everyone that something is a web resource by using 'www.' as the start of the address is a good idea for accessibility/education reasons. Allowing both at the server _does_ make it easier to be lazy. Also, aliasing of the sort you mention does add load to the system. At a DNS server, it adds and extra lookup and possibly a re-direct. I have run into ISPs who won't support DNS aliasing because it impairs performance and makes maintenance more complicated. I have also run into ISPs that charge more for it. At my proxy server, as far as I can tell, it means that I am storing two copies of the static content from your site, which chews up space and slows my proxy server down. BTW, from behind my main and backup ISPs, I can only get to www.dell.com or www.dell.ca, dell.com and dell.ca don't work. Anyway, I just want to finish up by thanking you for putting out a very usable bunch of columns!" Jon, thanks for the feedback. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ITEM #4 URLs and Signatures in Email: Reader Feedback Josh Baugher <http://www.acm.vt.edu/~jbaugher/> sent me the following email signature resource: --> http://www.math.fu-berlin.de/~guckes/afw/ Be *sure* to scroll down this page. There are a few signatures that are too funny and too cool to miss. You probably know this, but I should remind you that you can substantially increase your web traffic with a good signature. With "good" being equal to "usable". Great resource, thanks Josh! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ITEM #5 Books I'm Reading -- Things That Make Us Smart Donald A. Norman "The theme of the book is that technology can indeed enhance human intelligence, but only if it is properly built to fit human abilities and needs." http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201626950/wedwordcom -- Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Interent Stephen Segaller "Based on four years of research and interviews with the founders of the successful companies who started in their parents' garages with credit card advances and with the venture capitalists who supported them, as well as with the unlucky engineers who missed the patent deadlines and key phone calls, Stephen Segaller tells the human story behind the Internet. " http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1575001063/wedwordcom -- Applied XML: A Toolkit for Programmers Alex Ceponkus and Faraz Hoodbhoy "You get an in-depth look at how to use the XML Document Object Model, the DOM, and techniques for leveraging the XML Stylesheet Language, and XSL." http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471344028/wedwordcom - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ITEM #6 My eBook I'm putting together an eBook of most of the WebWord interviews. I'll have it set up so that *you* can sell the book and earn money as an affiliate. I'm going be offering a 35-40% commission. Details are coming soon. However, if you need more details right now, feel free to contact me. My address is <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>. By the way, if you are a "real" publisher, or you know one, I'm interested in turning this into a hardcopy. Let me know what you are thinking. Or, pass this newsletter on to the person you are thinking about. Thanks. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ITEM #7 What Can You Find at WebWord.com? Articles (Moving WebWord) <http://webword.com/moving/> Expert Interviews <http://webword.com/interviews/> Recommended Books <http://webword.com/books/booksindex.html> Newsletter Archive <http://webword.com/archive> Usability Reports <http://webword.com/reports> Recommended Web Sites <http://webword.com/hotsites.html> Free Stuff <http://webword.com/freestuff.html> Friends <http://webword.com/friends.html> ---- End of WebWord.com Usability Newsletter #32 ------ (c)1998-99 by John S. Rhodes. All rights reserved.
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