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When Great Minds Collide
[ By John ]

john

Leave a Comment | This entry was posted on March 18th 2011

Collaboration with DK New Media breeds WordPress Plugin for NameTag.

As you may have heard, Visual Blaze has launched a new division focused on streamlining business productivity called VB Tools. We were showing some of our fellow Tech industry friends like Doug Karr (who runs a new media agency called DK New Media) what we were up to, and the next thing you know Doug has utilized our API to create a kick-butt WordPress Plugin.

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Twitter Authentication Upgrade and Native URL Shortening t.co
[ By Andy ]

andy

Leave a Comment | This entry was posted on September 2nd 2010

Twitter developments Speculated on earlier in the year have (mostly) arrived – say hello to OAuth and t.co.
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Technologies We’ll be Watching in 2010
[ By Andy ]

andy

Leave a Comment | This entry was posted on February 9th 2010

2009 was an exciting time for the Web and Web-related technologies as technology advancements saw further shifts in the way we interactive with content and data online.

2010 looks set to be just as exciting as we see these trends advance further, as existing technologies continue to develop and new ones come into the picture.

Below are some things that we will be watching eagerly in 2010.

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Ants Walking on a Wire Helps Understand Web Usability
[ By John ]

john

Leave a Comment | This entry was posted on November 17th 2009

This is the first post in a 3 part series discussing Web Usability and the impact It has on user experience. Usability ultimately works in two ways – it can positively affect your viewer’s user experience or it can negatively impact the perception of your company.

At times, when a web development firm mentions web usability it is often followed up with discussions of focus groups, surveys and eye tracking software. Those strategies have great value. But what I’m going to talk about is more elementary than that and applicable to every website on the Internet. The point I am about to make is often overlooked because in essence, it’s simple routine maintenance and hey, let’s face it, not as fun as eye tracking software!

To set the stage, lets move from the web and think about usability in terms of a different experience. Consider for a moment how we know when someone has made a large mistake, and if someone’s mistake is an indicator of their lack of knowledge, understanding or skill.

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Visual Blaze at MBO ’09 Indianapolis
[ By Andy ]

andy

Leave a Comment | This entry was posted on October 15th 2009

mbo_logo

It’s just days away. The Masters of Business Online (MBO) Conference is an outstanding event for marketers, business owners and pretty much anyone with a pulse that has an interest in the Web.

This year’s event boasts 23 speakers, 18 sessions, and 3 tracks. That means you are SURE to find information of interest to you and your business.

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tr.im resurrected. Rules Still Firmly Apply in URL Shortening Caution.
[ By Andy ]

andy

Leave a Comment | This entry was posted on August 11th 2009

trimlogo

I reported Sunday that tr.im had announced it was terminating its URL shortening service which, would have the knock on effect of discontinuing all links shortened with the service starting early 2010.

Nambu, the development firm behind tr.im today announced it will be retracting this decision, making its service available once more, and with the promise that links will NOT become unavailable after 2009.

Unfortunately, its not safe to sleep at night in the URL shortening world just yet.

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tr.im is Terminating Service. URL Shortening Cautions Personified.
[ By Andy ]

andy

1 Comment | This entry was posted on August 9th 2009

trimlogo

In a coincidental, but shockingly relevant turn of events, the URL shortening service tr.im as of Sunday August 9th 2009 has announced it will be terminating its URL shortening service, effective immediately.

Regretfully, we here at Nambu have decided to shutdown tr.im, the first step in shutting down all of our products and services within that brand.

tr.im did well for what it was, but, alas, it was not enough. We simply cannot find a way to justify continuing to work on it, or pay its network costs, which are not inconsequential. tr.im pushes (as I write this) a lot of redirects and URL creations per day, and this required significant development investment and server expansion to accommodate.

(Read on at blog.tr.im – blog since terminated)

The coincidental part of the equation lies in my posting to the Visual Blaze blog last week about the many vulnerabilities of utilizing URL shortening services and how URL shortening should be performed with caution.

Shorten URLs with Caution. Here’s why.

As one of the larger players in the URL shortening market, tr.im’s move to shut down their service really drives home the need for users to use external URL shortening services with caution.

To the Nambu Network we express our regrets for the services discontinuation. To all URL shortening users we express our regret for any lose of link traffic that this news may bring.

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Shorten URLs with Caution. Here’s why.
[ By Andy ]

andy

2 Comments | This entry was posted on August 3rd 2009

The rise of URL shortening

Anyone familiar with Twitter will no doubt have used URL shortening. URL shortening is a technique used to, as the name clearly suggests, shorten the number of characters required for a given URL/link. With Twitter’s 140 character limit, this has become an invaluable technique for adding links to tweets.

But URL shortening is also being used in places other than Twitter (and has been for a number of years). Many are using URL shortening to consolidate long URLs on Web sites, for external links in blog posts, links to downloadable content, and many other things. Some are using these shortening services to make long or complicated URLs easier to read and retype by users, and some for reducing the risk of malformed URLs being sent in emails, with longer and complicated URLs at risk from corruption by varying email clients’ interpretation and multi-line breakage.

Without doubt these services have great value – but their use should be done with caution.

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Search Engine Optimized Research
[ By John ]

john

Leave a Comment | This entry was posted on July 20th 2009

This has been bugging me for a while now and I even started writing about it back in April. I thought perhaps it was just me being overly sensitive since we build Google optimized websites.

Thumbs-up

My curious mind and affinity for crunching numbers went to work (finally I get to use my Math minor). I wanted to get a decent sample size (1400+ websites) and give them a standard criteria to gauge how well Google reads their sites. The criteria mainly looked at how the site was built (indexing-friendly code), image/media tagging and meta description handling. The resulting report generated a score out of 100 and anything over 70 got the thumbs up.

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Talking Tech Series
[ By John ]

john

Leave a Comment | This entry was posted on July 7th 2009

Join me as part of a Talking Tech Series Webinar July 8, 2009 at noon along with fellow colleagues Robby Slaughter of Slaughter Development, Jeb Banner of Small Box and John Wechsler of FormSpring in talking about some of the latest technology trends and tips.

I will be talking and fielding questions about multimedia innovation and when/how to use different media elements in your Website. Utilizing effective multimedia in your website should add to the overall user experience. We’ll discuss some of the elements and directions to take when considering multimedia integration.

Register Online for the Free Webinar.

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Visual Blaze is an Indianapolis based Web Development firm with innovation and creative thinking at its core.