Facebook has announced their platform for mobile devices: Introducing Facebook Platform for Mobile. Developers will have the ability to target content directly to the mobile site and to access Facebook’s SMS platform. This is important for a few reasons, but chief among them is that outside of North America, the mobile internet is a primary means of access for many. In many countries, no mobile literally means drastically reduced access to users.
I managed to get the new mikel dot org design working, more or less. But really more or less. It appears perfectly in both IE5/Mac and IE 5.5 Win. It appears OK in Netscape 6.2. The whole thing is very weird though. It started working when I commented out all the margin variables and nested the bottom two divs inside the div containing the top content (the title graphic etc.). Then I used top and left positioning to put up the main text div. Fair enough. The positioning worked OK at the top and left.
Now the funny part. I didn’t want to specify a width for the main text div, as I want the site to be perfectly fluid. When I set a right position it worked perfectly in IE 5.5/Win. It didn’t work at all in IE5/Mac. So just for kicks I put in a “margin-right” as well. Suddenly it worked perfectly in IE on both platforms (which I don’t think it should do). Only Netscape does things as I would expect, which is to start the margin x pixels over from where the right edge is supposed to be (from where “right: #px” tells it to start counting).
Anyhow, it validates as valid CSS now, and the content is very readable on the platforms that I’ve tested it on, so I’m going to implement it in the next few days. If anyone can set me straight on my CSS foibles, however, I would really appreciate it.
to our own Federal general election tonight, as I watched the English language debate between the leaders of the 5 major parties. I was quite disappointed in the whole thing, although frankly I didn’t expect much.
Dan Rather, following all the US debates, was loathe to call them debates at all, suggesting that rather than debate it was really an opportunity for the two leaders to talk about their platform only – the other guy just happened to be in the room. Our debate here was the opposite – it was all acrimonious bickering and no annunciation of coherent platforms. None at all.
Alexa McDonough, leader of the ever-smaller federal NDP, came off the best by far, in my opinion. My own MP, Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Quebecois, was actually pretty good – except the idea that overwhelms everything else he stands for is diametrically opposed to my view of things. Joe Clark, the once and current leader of the Progressive Conservative party was OK, but it’s clear that although he’s a decent guy, his time has passed.
Which leaves Jean Chretien and Stockwell Day. Chretien, the leader of the Liberal party (and current PM, if you’re not from around here) was basically in an impossible situation. He didn’t meet it very well. Day came off like a motivational speaker – a lying, duplicitous motivational speaker. He and his Canadian Alliance cronies are probably the scariest thing to happen to Canadian politics in years. Which is enough said about him.
starting to be apparent coming out of some of the spectacular dot-com failures? Soundbitten’s article on the failure of Verde and the possible contribution Scient made to the failure is instructive. Verde was trying to be a web-only content site, with e-comm built in at the ground level. OK, fine. But they outsourced the very lifeblood of the company – the platform on/in which it was to live!
Maybe it’s just me, and my biases (the company I work for does its own design, programming, editorial, hosting – everything) but I think that if you’re going to live on the web, you have to develop for the web in-house. That’s the real challenge for marketing and sales types with an idea – to figure out how to work with developers – and developers who themselves are radically different from one another (i.e., programmers and designers are different from one another in dozens of ways, in general). But if you’re a retail bookseller, you don’t farm out your retail sales staff to a consultancy – that’s what you’re about, to a great extent.
There may be a place for consultants in all of this, don’t get me wrong. But if you’re a net company, you have to have to develop your own internet infrastructure – you can’t get around it. Doesn’t mean you can’t purchase products that will help you do this – a company doesn’t have to invent everything from the ground up.
Maybe the real lesson is that new dot-coms try to separate back end from front end too much. It isn’t enough to be good marketers, writers, strategists. To split form (content or marketing) from function (CMS, design, UI) is to tie one hand behind your back as you try to get a dot-com off the ground.
is saying some pretty tame, boring stuff when he talks about [Making] Way for New Net Era. “The internet will become the platform, he predicted.” Uh, that and $3.50 will buy you a half-caf latt.