Conducted via email by John S. Rhodes (2-Aug-99)
Well, Tomalak's Realm was started in November 1998 and it provides a daily selection of annotated links to strategic Web design stories. So people working on the Web can find a selection of articles without having to click through twenty or thirty websites.
I also include historical links with some stories to provide some context. Along with searching out direct links to reports or other resources mentioned, but often not directly linked to in an article.
A lot of the stories shine a spotlight on companies that still aren't clued into the Web. So you'll read about a company that wants to replace cursor pointers with a branded logo for a telephone company. Or how Levi's realized their banner ad buys cost them between $56 to $120 per paying customers.
Online journalism fits in beside stories looking at the impact of wireless devices, patents and customer service.
Usability is a core subject of stories that are linked to on Tomalak's Realm and I think with a combination of straight-usability articles and more anecdotal references inside other articles would help in the process.
Linkrot is a problem with websites that delete articles off their server, instead of keeping them so links to the articles still work. So there are weird situations like with MSNBC which doesn't archive their stories but syndicates stories to ZDNet. So instead of directing traffic, I'll point to the ZDNet version of the story that I know won't disappear in two weeks.
Some sites also use generic URLs for articles that are constantly refreshed with new articles. Even if they do have an archive of old articles, some websites only post a unique URL after the article is moved into the archives which means if someone doesn't come back and fix the link then users will be pointed to a page with the wrong story.
If you read the site for a few days, you'll get a good picture of the topics covered on the site. As well, the archives on Tomalak's Realm and NewsSearch are another way to view the topics and see what sources are used.
NewsSearch is a search engine from Userland Software that has Tomalak's Realm has a selected feed. The search engine indexes the links as well as the text of stories that I point to, so it's a great resource on top of visiting the site to research a topic.
Lawrence, thanks for your time.
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