links for 2010-12-20

  • Quality product descriptions can transform e-commerce conversion rates — it’s common to see increases of 30-100%. As well as converting more visitors, search traffic increases drastically when unique copy is written for each product. Most online retailers use manufacturers’ copy or rely solely on images to sell products. They then use inadequate copy elsewhere on their site and fail to achieve a consistent tone to persuade their audience. This creates a compelling opportunity for savvy retailers — by writing quality e-commerce copy you will create a unique competitive advantage. Essentially, your copy must achieve two goals: 1. Establish trust and 2. Convince visitors that your product is right for them. Potential customers cannot see or touch the product since it’s not physically there in front of them. This is why it’s important that your copy anticipates the needs of your visitors while convincing them that your company can be trusted to provide excellent products.
  • Wirify is a bookmarklet that lets you turn any web page into a wireframe in one click.
  • Web Highlighter and Sticky Notes, Online Bookmarking and Annotation, Personal Learning Network.
  • After giving millions of users a good 24 hours to express their anger and frustration at wide reports of a plan to kill off web bookmarking service Delicious, Yahoo got around to explaining that there was no need to panic. A leaked internal presentation had showed on Thursday that Yahoo was planning to “sunset” some services, including Delicious, and Yahoo statements to the press that it was “cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products” encouraged the idea that this meant Delicious was doomed.On Friday, Yahoo said something new: “We are not shutting down Delicious. While we have determined that there is not a strategic fit at Yahoo, we believe there is a ideal home for Delicious outside of the company”, officials wrote on Friday on the Delicious home blog. The service will stay up as Yahoo talks to potential buyers. Perhaps the company changed plans after a torrent of criticism.
  • (No joke. This is actually how I deal with Lawyers. This isn’t just theory, this is my experience.) Have you ever seen the movie “Monsters Inc.”? It’s a cute animated Disney film about Big Scary Monsters. All day long they go through magical doors, each leading into a bedroom of a young child sleeping at night, and the monster’s job is to scare the shit out of that kid and extract screams for money. That’s very much like the life of a lawyer. He goes about his work day, new situations come up, he gets involved and scares some people, he gets paid. The better he is at scaring people, the better paid he is. I’m not attacking lawyers for doing their job, everyone’s got to eat and earn a living. I just want to show you how best to deal with him. You have to understand this fundamentally: When someone hires a lawyer to threaten you, he’s not hiring someone to figure out the legal matters involved, he’s hiring someone to threaten you.
  • We are all obsessed with sites like Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin at the moment but rewind a few years to when the term Web 2.0 first popped up and a whole host of different sites were the hot young startups destined for great things. It’s amazing what a couple of years do though because as we can see below, some of the biggest sites from the “Web 2.0 generation” are either on a massive decline, facing huge competition or about to be closed down. There’s a good lesson here to highlight; how the hype cycle around websites and services can come and go and what was once lauded and destined for great things can within a couple of years shut down and be abandoned…
  • In a blog post today, Delicious says “No, we are not shutting down.” But they aren’t staying at Yahoo either. Yesterday, it was all but confirmed that Yahoo! was sunsetting Delicious, one of the most popular social bookmarking services. They do admit that they are not a strategic fit at Yahoo!, and are looking for a home outside of the company. From the blog, “We’re actively thinking about the future of Delicious and we believe there is a home outside the company that would make more sense for the service and our users. We’re in the process of exploring a variety of options and talking to companies right now. And we’ll share our plans with you as soon as we can.” In the words of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, “Don’t Panic.” Delicious says they are maintaining the site and encourage users to stay active.
  • For busy websites, using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to transfer static content such as images, javascripts, stylesheets, Flash etc. is highly recommended (as listed in Yahoo!’s Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site) as it reduces server load and bandwidth thus improves stability and availability. There is a catch – Commerical CDN’s like Akamai and Limelight are not cheap at all. Good news, we have an exception however – the free, P2P-based CoralCDN allows us to take full advantage of a powereful CDN without spending a dime. How to use it? Well, basically, just append `` to the hostname of any URL, and that URL will be handled by Coral – simple. This plugin takes that simplicity one step further (or closer?) by rewriting your static files’ URL’s (JavaScripts, CSS, images etc.) so that they are served from Coral servers instead of your own. You don’t have to touch anything! Just enable it, and boom! your static cont
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    links for 2010-07-07

  • The new captain jumped from the cockpit, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the owners who were swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”
  • How many times have you heard someone say, I just want that top search result on Google? For a business website, the top spot in the search engine returns can be a lead generating machine. Think about it. Google is where most people go when they are researching. What if there was a way to get your company’s website on that coveted first page? Well there is… One of the best ways to gain that top spot is by blogging. Incorporating a blog into a website can have a huge impact on the overall website’s search engine rankings.
  • Today’s blog post we have decided to do a massive collection of 99 icon sets which can each be used within commercial design projects. This compilation was put together simply because of the lack of free icon sets which are available to be used in commercial design projects, what’s the point creating an icon set if its not free to use ? A great blog post of high quality icon sets which is a greate reference to bookmark for future reference. This post was time consuming putting together therefore any comments on your thoughts about the article would defiantly be really appreciated.
  • There are over 10k plugins available in the wordpress plugin directory at this moment and they are still increasing. Now the thing is that, how to choose the must have plugin after a fresh install of wordpress on your blog and what are the basic wordpress plugins needed for your blog. Here I am listing top 10 must have wordpress plugins according to me which I think they should be installed and running on your blog. I am pretty much sure that if you are a blogger then you must be having all of them installed but still I am listing down so that it might be useful for a new blogger .
  • Photography for the Web by Paul Duncanson is the latest release from the SitePoint book publishing stable. It contains all you need to know to transform photos taken on your standard camera into gorgeous images that impress. You may already know that we’ve made Chapters 1 and 2 available as part of the free sample PDF of the book, and a few weeks ago we ran an article on Exposure, taken from the book. This article is an excerpt from chapter 2, addressing the principles of composition. Read on to learn more, or download the free sample to read both chapters offline at your convenience. Composition is the art of placing elements in a scene to make it more aesthetically pleasing. It’s a subject on which many books have been written. Here I’ll give you an overview of some of the basic principles of composition. Rather than tell you to take pictures in a certain way, we will show you some well-established techniques that engage the viewer’s interest, encouraging them to explore the picture
  • Designing Email templates has proven to be a tricky thing. Between the many possible variables with different email clients and an effective message that communicates with the end user, email has basic elements that must be followed for success. Below I have outlined the difference and strategies of design and functionality. Enjoy!
  • Seeing CSS3 on actual functioning websites is a lot like spotting a Himalayan Snow Leopard or a Giant Panda. Because roughly 53 percent of browsers in use don’t support CSS3 (ahem, IE, ahem), most web designers just don’t use it on a regular basis. At least they don’t use it on sites they design for work. As such, most people don’t see it regularly, and if they do, it’s just a fleeting glimpse. That’s not to say it’s not out there – again, like with snow leopards and pandas, to see CSS3 in the wild, you need to be stealthy, smart, and patient. So, with out further ado, here are some examples of CSS3 in the wild. But please – make sure to avoid big, sudden movements. You don’t want to scare it off. To learn more about CSS3, you should also check out these articles and tutorials:
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    links for 2010-05-12

  • Facebook has made all kinds of privacy changes lately. It's made some users uncomfortable and, thanks to a couple poorly-timed screw-ups, Facebook is getting a lot of heat about the changes from Senators, media, and watchdog organizations. We don't think any of that will ever cause you to quit Facebook. You love what Facebook does for you too much to quit. But if you're going to stay on Facebook, you should definitely know how to keep your information private.
  • Facebook fan pages number among the few social media channels that allow page customization for users. Instead of a mediocre interface, business owners and professionals can now apply HTML code to enhance their Facebook fan page presence to promote and build business branding. Rich content creates a memorable interface that gets people talking, lets a special announcement or contest go viral, improves fans’ engagement and so much more. To create an important hub to reach out to millions of potential supporters, you need to up your game and optimize your fan page to meet its ultimate purpose. Everything is possible, thanks to the powerful Facebook application known as Static FBML. Many people may be unaware of the advanced functionality FBML gives a fan page, such as creating and naming your tabs or boxes freely. For those who are curious just how powerful Static FBML can get, we’re going to inspect it all here:
  • Google chrome is a relatively new web browser but it has already gained huge popularity with its great speed and features. Web developers must work more faster and more productively – what could help more than these extensions aimed to ease your daily development process and save time. At least for me – none of extensions have made browser load speed slower – I cannot say this about Firefox though, which I don’t use anymore. Scroll through this list – I am sure you will find at least few new extensions to use daily!
  • This picture was taken at the Vancouver airport by Michael Lonergan when he felt a disturbance in the atmosphere.
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