links for 2009-12-03

  • Writing for the web is a challenge. There are usually word length restrictions, the fact that users scan rather than read every word, and sometimes style guides to adhere to.

    There are enough writing tips online to keep you reading for longer than you probably desire. Here are 1o tips that have been the most useful to me:

    Know your audience
    This sounds obvious but is often taken for granted. The only way you can write relevant copy that is targeted at the right audience in the right tone of voice, is to understand who that audience is. Depending on where your audience are located, you may have to include local expressions or if writing for a wide audience be specific with things such as dollars. If it is US dollars then say so. If it is Cardiff in Wales then say so as there is also a Cardiff in New Zealand and other countries.

  • Colour is a powerful tool when it comes to design. It’s fun to work with and when you get it right it can really make a design.

    I’m no colour expert so I’m not going to bore you with any theory but having worked with colour for a long time I there are a few really simple tips I’ve picked up along the way.

    Editor’s note: We’ll be covering topics like Typography, CSS3, HTML5, Microformats and how to work with clients at The Future of Web Design Tour. Tickets are only £59.

  • When you type www.wikipedia.org into your browser's address bar, you expect nothing less than to be taken to Wikipedia. Chances are you're not giving much thought to the work being done in the background by the Domain Name System, or DNS.

    Today, as part of our ongoing effort to make the web faster, we're launching our own public DNS resolver called Google Public DNS, and we invite you to try it out.

    Most of us aren't familiar with DNS because it's often handled automatically by our Internet Service Provider (ISP), but it provides an essential function for the web. You could think of it as the switchboard of the Internet, converting easy-to-remember domain names — e.g., www.google.com — into the unique Internet Protocol (IP) numbers — e.g., 74.125.45.100 — that computers use to communicate with one another.

    The average Internet user ends up performing hundreds of DNS lookups each day, and some complex pages require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading.

  • Well, the latest installment of the Twilight series is breaking box office records all over the place. I contributed to that as I saw it with a packed house on Saturday afternoon. How could I resist, after having so much fun at the first one last year? It was an interesting experience, as my audience had a maniacal cackler who almost provided more entertainment than the movie itself.

    Before I get to my detailed review (I am educated in film so expect serious criticism), I want to mention the movie's soundtrack. I think a lot of indie rock fans were up in arms over some of the bands on there. I don't know, I don't put much stock in the whole "selling out" concept, and I've been listening to it and there really are a lot of great tracks. Thom Yorke, BRMC, Grizzly Bear, Editors…. um, uh… oh geez.

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