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I just wrote about the newest Pisang Ambon incredible web site experience but I felt I had to write theese next few lines appart from it. Theese are the kind of ideas that the “wanna-be-marketer” spammers would love to have once in a lifetime but are too dumb to believe in anything but brute force.

I’ve recently read that around 90% to 95% of all email sent this year was spam. This kind of level is something that usually just passes beside you like the number of car crashes in the last year or something like that. Spam filters work pretty good theese days, good enough to make my inbox to receive just one or two a month from the hundreds that fill my junk mail.

Still, I’ve recently been hitted by the SPAM-Machine in an unforeseen way. I’ve been receiving theese returned email messages sent by fake email acounts set up in my website server. This is obviously a bogus and a way of sending the latest junk to all of those who haven’t eard about “the wonders of penis enlargement pills”. Who the hell still doesn’t know about the existance of theese things? Does it really help to promote something that anyone can search for?

I’ve read an article around that says that there’s not much to do about that since anyone can use a fake email account around and according to the article, I’ve just had bad luck enough to own one of the randomly created email server by spammers. Thanks to them, I’m now probably being reported as a spammer all around spam filters and will have some dificulties if by any chance I try to send a newsletter around to any of the spam victims.

This leads us to the value of internet advertising theese days… Something is definately going down all over the internet as we get more and more assaulted with all sorts of publicity and spam. Soon I’ll post a short review on one of  the most intrusive forms of web adds.

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Taking theese kind of experiences onto a newer level, the guys that developed Pisang Ambon’s newest site (would love to know who they are…) have definately got a really cool way of getting people to get into the experience of trying theese kind of sites.

http://www.rockthepalace.com/ I’m not going to spoil the experience by describing it so I’ll let you try it for yourself.

I’m sure there could some other sites around already using this kind of interaction, but the “NEW!” feeling in it definately hooks people onto the site, delaying their staying times on the site itself, thus allowing the info in it to be absorbed much widely and deeply.

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CSS3 review by Jina Bolton

December 6, 2007

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Although (sadly) I wasn’t present at FOWA, I’ve found out Jina Bolton’s presentation regarding CSS3 which I actually found most interesting since it guides you through some practical examples while showing all the code in use for such great new features as the endless-value feature of new selectors or the grid and column features.

Make you sure you wander your eyes over it at http://creatingsexystylesheets.com/

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Email Standards Project

November 29, 2007

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Email Standards Project

Building a CSS-based newsletter template these days is like wanting to build a concrete house on a swamp hit by an hurricane. Sure it’s the best choice you could make but eventually you end up using weak wood and plastic just because the foundations would give sooner with concrete than the actual walls will with the hurricane!

Everyone that has tried to comeup with a coherent email template has probably faced The Fear! of reentering that which I consider the Twilight Zone of web design! The Bermuda Triangle of information architecture which is building a layout made out of tables. And bare in mind that I’m not a CSS purist myself. I actually still find working with tables quite simple! But I just can’t accept that using divs is not that easy. But that would be a subject for another post talking about my experience with my students’ first difficulties once I first introduce CSS floating to them.

The Email Standards Project is a project that has definitely come to give us some voice on that subject, “formed out of frustration with the inconsistent rendering of HTML emails in major email clients”. In my opinion a lot has yet to be done side by side with the developer teams involved in the email clients in order to achieve standards, but this project with it’s opinion-made acid test is the right way to keep up what could be considered to be an epic fight: educating and assisting designers.

As for email standards, I personally feel like I’m back in the age of IE5 wrestling basic principles in order to get layouts straight everywhere (of course back then there wasn’t much more than IE itself being used). I believe that only great and noble projects such as Email Standards Project or the WaSP will be able to put some pressure onto browser and email client developers in order to make them respond to the community needs.

I can’t make a project that doesn’t respond to my client’s needs! How can big corporate brands neglect us (the middle-man when it comes to the web)? Definitely a debate worth keeping (RSS-)track of!

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Understanding Web Design

November 27, 2007

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Web design is the creation of digital environments that facilitate and encourage human activity; reflect or adapt to individual voices and content; and change gracefully over time while always retaining their identity.

Understanding Web Design by Jeffrey Zeldman is the kind of post that gives out the perfect answers that we, web designers, have craved to come up with every time we get into an existential hiatus or each time a fellow designer or work colleague tries to come up with it’s own comparison to how web design should work.
Basically, their trying to tell us how to do our work. I mean that would be ok if we we’re talking about a medium completely different from the web. As a web designer I feel like I’m always dwelling into the unknown every time I create a new interface. You never know exactly how everything’s going to fit and work regarding the end user. Even if you’re totally up to designing through the user interest point of view.

Still, as the time passes, certain basic things become really basic and needed to us.

Great web designs are like great buildings. All office buildings, however distinctive, have lobbies and bathrooms and staircases. Websites, too, share commonalities.

And even though we do a great work most of the times, there’s always someone who thinks they know it better. Mostly when it comes to comparing a very strict commercial/enterprise-like work with some cool and wild design studios sites or some more bolder companies that really want to break the rules with their website. That’s really were you can separate a true web designer from a graphic/communication designer. Usually the web designer proposal is less bolder but, most of the times, more usable.

Few celebrate great magazine layouts, yet millions consciously or unconsciously appreciate them, and nobody laments that they are not posters.

A great article on (once more) understanding the limits of the web and embracing it’s singular nature, totally independent from any type of comparison to other medias.

http://www.alistapart.com/articles/understandingwebdesign

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There comes a time, every now and then, when some new hype invention crosses your eyesight in a really unbelievable flash of the future.

That applies to this new product which is the Eye-Fi Wireless Memory Card. I really could believe when I first started reading about it on Ajaxian and I thought that I had missunderstood the concept there between a few eagerly read lines. The concept was really right: someone had invented a wi-fi device that fits inside an SD card. After taking pictures with a common camera, the card comunicates with the preconfigured wireless network of our home, to our computer and then automatically uploads the photos to our hard drive or, even better, directly to web apps such has Flickr, Photobucket, Picassa, KODAK Gallery among several others. It also automatically shrinks down image sizes accordingly to each service specifications. How complete, simple and cool is that?

Another good thing about this service is that the app itself that runs on the user computer is based on the browser, meaning it has automatic behind-the-scenes-updates and cross platform compatibility. The app itself was made by the guys at SitePen using their famous Dojo, “JavaScript Toolkit” which enables the AJAX connection.

This definately has to be the most usable invention I’ve seen since they decided to create a sauce that has ketchup and mayonese together in the same tube… What would be next? A computer with a builted in buffet would be nice…

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