Webometric Thoughts

April 2, 2009

Internet Explorer 8 Virtual Q&A: Time for the bespoke browser?

Filed under: IE8,IE8QA,Microsoft — admin @ 6:11 pm

I have just spent the last hour having a chat with some people at Microsoft about Internet Explorer 8 (using Tangler).

Whilst I first tried IE8 over a year ago, I have been a pretty solid Firefox user since then; Firefox wasn’t a deliberate choice, just something I floated into over time.

I’m not too sure why I was invited along to the chat (everyone there was far more technical than me), but it did force me to think about web browsers. My conclusion:


IE 8 is full of bells and whistles, and whilst the technorati may make use of them, does the average user? Are they actually becoming a hindrance to the average user? Not only slowing down the program, but adding confusion to the browsing experience.

I think it is time to move beyond the one browser fits all model. At a minimum I would like to see Microsoft develop two browsers: IE Simple, and IE Professional. But what I would really like to see is a bespoke browser. You go to the Microsoft site, select the browser features you want included, and it compiles the IE browser for you.

April 1, 2009

The Social Web and a Leicester Hotel Owner

Filed under: Twitter,blogosphere,liberal evangelism — admin @ 2:11 pm

People realise that a static web site is not enough to promote their business, but that doesn’t help them embrace the social web. There are a multitude of different social media technologies available, and the person needs to select the right ones, learn how to use them, and understand the culture of the different communities using the different technologies. Unfortunately the successful adoption of social media takes time; there are no quick fixes.

I have just spent the last two hours on the phone to a friend discussing how he can make the most of social media to promote his hotel.

The Old Approach
His hotel had a web site http://www.campbellshotel.com/, but it didn’t particularly do much for the promotion of the hotel. Whilst there are design issues (don’t even think about looking at it with Mozilla), the primary reason the web site failed was that people didn’t come across it. If you Googled Campbells Hotel the site would be number one, but looking for a hotel in Leicester? No chance.

The New Approach
Engage with the online community, and let the world see more than a brochure. As such I have encouraged him to revolve his new online presence around a blog (http://campbellshotel.blogspot.com/), incorporating other technologies such as Twitter (@Campbellshotel) where appropriate. Whilst such an approach is natural to those involved in social media, it’s a big leap and a big commitment for someone who has little experience of social media.

The Philosophy
Whilst I struggled to explain how the social technologies could help, and that it wasn’t about sending Tweets to everyone you came across; his moment of epiphany came with the comment:

“It’s like liberal evangelism”

Exactly. It’s not about trying to force doctrine down someone’s throat, it’s about demonstrating it in the way you live your life; it’s not about Tweeting adverts at everyone, it’s about demonstrating the way you run your business.

Nb. If you have any advice/suggestions for a small business owner trying to make use of social media I’m sure commenting on his blog would be appreciated. http://campbellshotel.blogspot.com/

I Hate April Fool’s Day…but I like the Guardian-Twitter story

Filed under: April Fool — admin @ 6:57 am

I have never been a fan of April Fool’s day. It’s not that I have been emotionally scarred by some outrageous prank, I just don’t get the idea of pleasure from making someone else feel foolish. However, I’m in a bit of a quandary today as I did enjoy the Guardian’s Twitter story: Twitter Switch for Guardian, after 188 years of ink.

Maybe it’s time I reassess my dislike of April Fool’s jokes. A couple of people have been commenting that the Guardian story is ‘too bleeding obvious’, but that is why I liked it. It’s not at any one’s expense, merely a humorous commentary on today’s society, including a jibe at the idiotic Daily Mail:

“…the Daily Mail recently pioneered an iPhone application providing users with a one-click facility for reporting suspicious behaviour by migrants or gays”

If all April Fool’s were like this, the day would be much nicer.

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