links for 2009-07-16

 by Martin Belam, 16 July 2009
  • "During June we also ran a short survey of users to ask some specific questions. I was pleased to see that only a small percentage of users thought our recent changes had made the service worse, whilst a third thought it had become noticeably better. Over 40% of users gave our site search 8 out of 10 marks or higher".
  • "For those interested, from this week onwards the new Crossrail Visitor Centre will be open to the public in the area as well - it's located at 6-18 St Giles High Street and opens on the 16th". I'd wager it won't have a display on how an incoming Conservative Government may affect the financing of the project. Great time lapse pics of construction in this post though.
  • From the "D'oh!" the humanity files - I've been reading the Highgate Public Library blog for months via RSS, and I've only just twigged today that it is in Highgate, Vermont, not Highgate, North London, just-down-the-road-from-me. Lucky I didn't try to go to any of the events, eh? Call yourself web literate etc etc
  • "Information architecture conferences have become less specialised, covering a broader range of web design and management topics. If you are a regular attendee then you’ll have seen the big name speakers run through their spiels before. There’s usually some intriguing presentations from less familiar speakers but you don’t actually have to attend to find out what they have to say. The presentation slides and audio are increasingly available after the event and bloggers are likely to report or twitter the highlights. You can contact speakers direct if you see a presentation that looks particularly interesting. Most will be more than happy to talk to a fellow enthusiast. Remember if they’re not giving a big presentation then they probably aren’t being paid to speak anyway."
  • "Hairspray paint sold in goody bags by a local newspaper during a festival may have been used to daubed graffiti around the town. The bags were on offer at Midsomer Norton's Mardi Gras festival and contained copies of the Somerset Guardian and Standard newspapers, along with some brightly-coloured hairsprays. However, it appears the paints might have been used to daub some graffiti around the town, forcing the council into a hasty clean-up operation ahead of a visit by Britain in Bloom judges on Monday."
  • Some "rough and ready audio" from the event featuring Simon Willison, Will Perrin, Rick Waghorn, Toby Moores and Mark Jones
  • One of the things that interests me in this debate is the '200m people watched Susan Boyle on YouTube and ITV never got a penny'. To me, the thing is, prior to YouTube existing, nobody outside the UK would have seen Susan Boyle at all. It is quite hard to put a quantifiable figure on those extra eyeballs. Susan Boyle (and her agents) certainly made money out of it though. Perhaps ITV should focus their monetisation efforts on getting a cut from the Boyle publicity machine, not trying to monetise random eyeballs from the US.
  • From the comments "Twitter isn't the holy grail, nor is it Satan personified. It's just a web-service that lots of people seem to like...If you see an article about Twitter, just skip it, like you would one about cricket, potassium mining or insects. Unless, of course you love either cricket or insects. Nobody loves potassium mining, obviously. I can't understand why every article I come across on Potassium Monthly is about potassium mining. Sheesh, we get it, you like potassium."
  • "The Financial Times released its iPhone app Tuesday, touting it as free. But the not-so-small print reveals that this is severely crippled trialware app that could very well be useless in first few minutes you use it". Interesting that one reaction to anything not 'free' is that it is 'crippled'

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