links for 2010-07-28

  • Kevin: A look at updates to the BBC's CPS content management system. I used to use it when I was the Washington correspondent for BBC News Online. It has definitely progressed in the three and a half years since I left the BBC. The interface is much cleaner. They have now moved away from table-based layout to CSS in part because it will help them add more meta-data to the layout.
  • Kevin: Wolfram Alpha now has widgets that allow you to embed math-based apps using their computation engine easily on your site.
  • Kevin: Jeff Jarvis argues at Business Insider that content companies like Condé Nast know that they need diversify their revenue streams. They cannot rely on advertising to the extent that they used to. The abundance of content and also advertising online means that the margins will never be what they once were. Jeff suggests that content companies need to move into retail (or possibly even affiliate sales such as through Amazon) to help offset the decline in advertising.
  • Kevin: A visualisation toolkit from Stanford. They have a number of examples of how to use the toolkit. The site explains: "Protovis is free and open-source, provided under the BSD License. It uses JavaScript and SVG for web-native visualizations; no plugin required (though you will need a modern web browser)! Although programming experience is helpful, Protovis is mostly declarative and designed to be learned by example."
  • Kevin: A good interview with Clay Shirky. I like how he is moving the discussion about the impact of the internet away from the binary banality of internet good/bad that we seem to have. The internet is complex, just like humanity and life in general. There are good and bad aspects. For instance Clay says: "We'll never get to a world where the high-minded civic stuff is the majority of the medium, anymore than books are like that. But we need things like PickUpPal and PatientsLikeMe, services that are saying we could actually harness this medium not just for self-amusement, but to change the world for the better."
  • Kevin: A good look by Christian Arno at Six Revisions at how to design your site for a global audience from using UTF-8 for text encoding to how symbols and colours might mean different things depending on the country and culture. It's a good reminder that globalisation doesn't mean homogeneity.
  • Kevin: John Stauffer of Ogilvy looks at the rise of Facebook in Asia. In the past, local social networks have dominated, but that is changing. Apart from Cyworld in South Korea and Mixi in japan (Orkut is the leading social network in India but it is not local and Facebook is expected to surpass it later in 2010), Facebook is the dominate social network in most Asia-Pacific countries. The growth has been stunning in the past year especially in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.