>So, you may be thinking based on the title that this is nothing new. We already have the capability through instant message and collaboration tools such as Google Docs so what else could this be about? Well the new part to this post is about Google Wave is currently only available on an invitation only basis. You can receive an invitation from someone already on Google Wave or you can request an invitation from Google.
What exactly is Google Wave?
Google Wave is simply a tool for online communication and collaboration. You could think of it as combining instant messaging and Google Docs together into one tool…and it’s better than that. The collaboration part of Google Wave offers much more than is available in Google Docs.
How does it work?
Google Wave operates through what is called a wave. A wave is a means of both communication and collaboration. Users on a wave can discuss and work together in real time through the use of rich text, photos, videos, maps and many more. The wave is both shared and live. What this means is that as soon as someone makes a comment in within a wave, any of the other users in the wave can see the comment right away. Although the wave does allow for real time collaboration, it does not require that a user be online at the same time as other users to be able to participate. When you are offline the updates made to the wave are saved and you will see them next time you log in, just like you haven’t missed a thing!
Some possible uses for Google Wave could be, organizing events, group projects, brainstorming, or even games. The possibilities could be endless with Google Wave!
>Net Neutrality is a proposed principal which will aid in preserving the free and open Internet. In short, this would prevent Internet providers from controlling the content that is available on the Internet through their connection. It will prevent the providers from being able to speed up/slow down, or block content. Therefore making Internet providers simply a pathway with no control over the content which travels through it.
Who doesn’t want it?
The answer to this one is the obvious…cable and telephone companies want to have control over the Internet content to be sure that it caters to their search engines and products and limits or even blocks content from other providers. The opponents of Net Neutrality see Net Neutrality as “a solution in search of a problem.” They also argue that restriction on content which is aimed to increase quality of service is desirable.
Who will it benefit?
Having Net Neutrality will largely benefit benefit everyone (except for the Internet providers that is). It will allow for innovation and for further development regarding the Internet. Supporters of Net Neutrality include leading technology companies such as Amazon.com, Ebay, Google, Intel, Microsoft and many others. The FCC and Obama have also voiced their support of Net Neutrality.
>“Findability precedes usability. In the alphabet and on the web. You can’t use what you can’t find.”
– Peter Morville
Findability and SEO
On Peter Morville’s blog, there can be found a lot of useful information regarding the term findability. He defines findability as the quality of being locatable or navigable. Based on this definition it can easily be seen how this term can relate to search engine optimization (SEO). If a web site has a high level of findability then the search engines can locate it much easier making it search engine friendly. A findability/SEO cheat sheet can be found on Aaron Walter’s blog. This checklist goes through several items that should be addressed in a web site that will increase the level of findability.
Findability vs. Usability
These two terms differ in the meaning. Just as the quote by Peter Morville mentioned above, “you can’t use something you can’t find.” Usability is defined as a quality attribute which assesses how easy an interface is to use. Usability has five components:
Information Architecture and Findability
Information architecture is the structural design of shared information environments. Having a good information architecture allows a web site to have a higher level of findability.
Findability and Accessibility
Accessibility on the web addresses the ability of individuals with restrictions to perceive, understand, navigate and interact with the web. Web accessibility can also benefit individuals without disabilities as well as organizations. Accessibility and findability go hand in hand with one another. If a web site is findable but not accessible then it is no good to the user. The opposite is true as well, if a web site is accessible but can’t be found then it is no good either.
We have all heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” However, with web design the opposite can sometimes be true. When designing a web site, let us assume this is for an online book store, being a ‘pretty’ web site will not help to gain traffic and consequently income and profits. So for this scenario, having the right words in the right places can mean significantly more to success than to have a great looking web site. There are several important factors to keep in mind when creating a good web site that will be search engine friendly. First, the title tag should be short and to the point. The body of the page should contain a high density of keywords, especially in the beginning. Another point is to use the <strong> tags in HTML. Keywords should also be used in the URL, filenames, images and links. These are only a few of the factors to keep in mind when creating a web site that will be search engine friendly. A good quality web site cannot be created quickly. It takes time and patience to be able to create a web site that can be successful and meet your needs or the needs of your client, but by taking the time to do it right both you and your client will be happy in the end and have a great web site to show for it (and hopefully some profits too!).