As a webdesigner, SEO developer, UI expert you need to be aware how and whether your product gets displayed on various browsers. How do you optimize it? Well, you have to know your standards and what works and what not on different platforms and browsers, there is no avoiding that. But beyond that you need to check your product. Sometimes you don’t want to or don’t have access/time to test on all possible or even major platform. So what tools should you use for checking browser compatibility.
I will cut to the point. I recommend Adobe BrowserLab and then explain why is it better than the other options when you do a cost-benefit analysis. To use Adobe BrowserLab you need to sign up/in/for/with a (free) Adobe ID. Then you just give it a URL and it can show you how that page would look like with Chrome (13 & 14 on Windows), Firefox (5 &7 on Windows and OS X) Internet Explorer (6-9 on Windows) and Safari (5.1 on OS X).
A side note: On a local tech email list there was a slight case of panic as someone misread an email and thought it said that BrowserLab would be discontinued April 22. A quick check on the official page of Adobe CS Line online services clarified that it ”Adobe CS Review and SiteCatalyst® NetAverages™ will no longer be available after April 12, 2012.” Don”t worry then, BrowserLab lives on. (For now?) Read more
In the past all the videos I had to create were intended for online distribution. This time though I had to make a DVD. I use Adobe Premiere to edit my videos. On the few occasions I wanted to make a DVD out of its output I just used Windows DVD Maker and it worked fine. This time however no matter what format I outputted from Premiere, after I created the DVD, the audio was out of sync from the video. I knew it was time to upgrade my tool. So I got Adobe Encore, which is designed to work together with Premier. It did, but I didn’t. When I opened it I had some ideas what to do, but not enough to produce a simple DVD. Therefore I turned to the web, where I found two videos that put me on the track in 11 minutes, combined. They were both made by Ryan Atkins.
After watching the first one I managed to make a simple DVD with no menus. Finally it was not out sync. After watching the second one I could even make a set of menus. Although the missing step from that was that I had to create my buttons foist in Photoshop. Otherwise both were assumed the level of knowledge and the speed of learning that I was comfortable with me. Thank you, interwebs and Ryan Atkins for getting me going in 11 minutes.
Yesterday, February 7, 2012, I attended a webcast titled “Google in the Real World: How Links Boost Your Rankings“. It was presented by Stephan Spencer for O’Reilly, who published his book “The Art of SEO” three years ago. The books 2nd edition is coming out in March. This webcast was much better than the one I listened to 2 months ago. The slides were available at the beginning of the presentation so I could follow it from there. I learned a lot from the presentation, particularly about the tools of the trade. The pace was much closer to my level: fast paced. I believe I am not allowed to share the slides, so I won’t. (The thumbnail on the side is of the cover slide though.) But we were encouraged to tweet through it, and I did. Below is a somewhat cleaned up version of my tweets, with added hyperlinks, in reserve chronological order, latest being on top.
Spencer Q&A: No good SEO can be done for under $500 a month.
Strip away all commercial links during the initial media swarm. Friend popular/power uses or get them to submit your story.
Popurls.com – aggregator of the most popular stuff from many social sites.
Monday I’ve learned what I suspected for a while. YouTube is going forward and enforcing its Cosmic Panda update. I found a note/link on my logged in YouTube page saying “All channels will be updated to the new design on March 7th 2012.” Clicking on it I got to the page describing the new YouTube channel options. From a developer/designer’s perspective the options are much more limited than previously. I can still upload a background image, but none of the major sections of the regular YouTube channel page can be set transparent. Furthermore in the old version of YouTube there were 8 modules that I could turn on and off and position on the page ( Ask Your Audience, Comments, Event Dates, Moderator, Other Channels, Recent Activity, Subscribers, Subscriptions) . These modulels are gone in the version and instead we can select 1 of four preset options/combination (Creator, Blogger, Network, Everything) and enable or not a “Featured” tab. The combined effect of these changes is that most YouTube channel will look very similar to each others.
Old YouTube Design
New YouTube Design
On the same day I read some rumors about upcoming Twitter changes which points to the other directions, with the introduction of “enhanced” pages. Econsultancy wrote: “the enhanced pages will allow brands to add additional interactivity to their Twitter accounts. The enhanced pages may even include iFrame support, which would allow users to play games or shop on a brand’s site without actually leaving the Twitter environment.” They link to The Wall, which in turn linked to AdAge:
According to an email from a Twitter account executive obtained by Ad Age, the roll-out of enhanced brand pages will only be available to those firms committing to spend in excess of $25,000 a year in advertising.
The initial group of 21 brands which got the original versions of brand pages in December were all higher-spending media partners and were said to be spending around $2m a piece.
This means that while YouTube is homogenizing the user experience, Twitter is allowing (at least for big spenders) making Twitter pages be very different from each other. We’ll see who wins on the long term. I bet on both. They are both learning from MySpace’s example which originally went too far in allowing users to modify their pages/profiles.