EE community reacts to Grist.org move and more

Here’s an interesting post and comment thread on EEInsider about Grist’s move to WordPress.  While parts of the thread are sort of lame (EE is better than WP, etc etc etc …) it’s touched on some interesting themes, like scaling, NoSQL and the organization of EE’s development team.  I also learned about CE Cache for EE2 … didn’t know that cool little add-on existed.

3 Things You Can do on Sopa Pipa Blackout Day

Tomorrow is SOPA/PIPA protest day.  The US entertainment industry wants to censor the internetz so that no one can download the Lion King anymore.  While it is excessive to want to do this in the first place, what’s worse is that the industry is seeking broad powers to force ISPs and web companies regulate DNS and enforce draconian take-down orders.  If all that sounds like a horrible idea, it’s because all that is a horrible idea.

Here are three things you can do about it:

1.  Learn more  about the blackout protest .  You can even add it to your own site.

2.  Watch this cool explainer video about the bill from Fight For the Future:

3.  (IMPORTANT)  Contact your representative — I just did — it was fun!

Why I do not have an “iPad strategy”

Now that the iPad hysteria has calmed down somewhat … oh wait … has it?  At least in the circles in which I circulate, there has been much ado about whether or not we have an “iPad strategy”.  I’m taking this question to mean:  what do we have to do now to make our sites “iPad compatible”  … or something of that sort.

Is this just more hysteria?

No, according to many.  For example in an excellent post,  Martin Langeveld at Neiman Journalism Lab argues that the iPad’s impact will be disruptive on the scale of Facebook’s impact on online habits.  He says:

The iPad’s effects on how people use the web (and other media) will be similarly profound, and similarly unpredictable at the outset.

But most of Langeveld’s (and everyone’s) excitement really turns out to be about the commercial or cultural impact of the iPad, and not really it’s impact on web design and engineering.  Will the iPad kill newspapers?  Will it save them?  Will it change how people do everything online?  Maybe, maybe, and maybe … Apple has certainly built the iPad as an excellent web browsing device.  But from a web-builder’s POV, while I can vaguely imagine some design paradigms and practices that might come about because of the coming shift away from keyboard/mouse toward touch interfaces.  what I can’t really imagine that designers and developers will need to think about a vastly different set of best practices than those we are supposed to observe now.

However the web is consumed, application and site designers will still need to focus on the practices that produce positive, usable web experiences.  Standards and validation will probably be more important than ever.  Also, it remains to be seen how quickly, if at all, the iPad captures sufficient audience share for most sites to produce an iPad version, if that version even needs to be much different than the site in the first place.  And if it doesn’t, then it seems like the new technology will have a subtle, and not disruptive, effect on the way we design sites and interfaces.

So what’s my iPad strategy?  For now, it’s just to build a usable, humane website that does its job well.  I’ll stay tuned for the rest.

(Also, no flash.  Zing!)

WordPress is a CMS

This is a really interesting video about wordpress-as-CMS. The line between blogging platforms and full-on CMS’s is getting blurred … ExpressionEngine, for example, has navigated the transition from its bloggy roots to its most recent incarnation as the only PHP-platform-built CMS.  Drupal powers various blogs.  And this guy is talking about how WordPress was chosen to power the dozens of sites associated with PBS station and content producer WNET.