A chain is only as strong as its..

29 04 2009

I think this saying is quite apt in light of the readings for this week.

If the links on your page are either weak or non-existent, then the chain of communication (or web, as Rosen puts it) will be broken. Weak links (like those that direct you to pages that aren’t there, or types of files that won’t load) are severely detrimental to your web page, effectively rendering your page the weak link in the chain of communication.

If I visit a page without links, I might look around for a bit, leave, and not go back. A lack of links gives the visitor an impression of a stagnant website that doesn’t draw from external sources, doesn’t want to share its knowledge, and doesn’t refer to anything other than itself. It’s a dead-end. In short, the message is to love the link.

Gradual engagement kind of reminds me of meeting someone for the first time. You don’t say to them, ‘Well, before I get to know you I’d like to know your home phone number, how much money you make and why you’re at this party.’ You shoot the breeze for a bit, and then if you get along, you might possibly exchange some more information, some contact details etc. Nobody wants to put themselves out there all at once – you want to suss things out first, just as you want to suss out a web page’s services before you actually let them have you as a member.

Websites: make friends with your users!

In other news, as I sit here adding albums to my iPod on iTunes, Apple is being sued for shutting down an online discussion about how to use iPods without iTunes. Seems Apple is a bit miffed that their stranglehold on the mp3 market is being loosened.

Google has also launched an information-finding network to rival Wolfram Alpha. On the official Google Blog, a blogger writes:

Since Google’s acquisition of Trendalyzer two years ago, we have been working on creating a new service that make lots of data instantly available for intuitive, visual exploration. Today’s launch is a first step in that direction. We hope people will find this search feature helpful, whether it’s used in the classroom, the boardroom or around the kitchen table. We also hope that this will pave the way for public data to take a more central role in informed public conversations.

This is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more.

With Wolfram Alpha’s launch looming, it will be interesting to see what happens.

A new study has also shown that a large percentage of people who sign up to Twitter lost interest after a month. Facebook and MySpace apparently have a much higher user retention rate. I only signed up today, because I’m always behind the trends. I can see the appeal of Twitter, but I think if I were faced with a block of spare time, I’d probably find other things to do.

Like write an essay. See you tonight!

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