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Two more Voices That Matter

As an acquisitions editor, some of my favorite moments are when books I signed months ago are first delivered to the author, hot off the press. All the frustration and deadlines and sleepless nights and self-doubt the authors endured during the editorial process melt away into glee and excitement. I got to experience that twice this week.

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Voices That Matter set the (web) standards

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recently announced a new incubator group called The Open Web Education Alliance (OWEA) to help Web standards and best practices find their way into classrooms around the world. As part of the program, they have identified a foundational library of Web standards books. We were proud to learn that every one of the eleven books they selected is a New Riders title.

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A stunning first for New Riders

With the publication last week of Yes We Did: An Inside Look at How Social Media Built the Obama Brand, New Riders scored the distinction of publishing the first book from inside the Obama campaign. How it came together was a kind of magic.

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Doin' the Pecha Kucha

From Indianapolis to Istanbul, in over 123 cities around the world, a new kind of entertainment is taking place in hip clubs and multimedia spaces. Pecha Kucha began in Tokyo, and it can be summed up very simply: Slide presentations where the presenter is given a chance to tell a story with only 20 images, each shown for just 20 seconds. That’s 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up.

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To what degree was Jeffrey Zeldman responsible for Obama's election?

The South by Southwest Interactive Festival is almost over, after five whirlwind days. Sessions by day, parties by night; the routine can wear a person out. But I wouldn’t ever want to miss it; there are just too many serendipitous moments. Let me tell you about one of the best. It happened the first night, at the New Riders authors’ party.

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All social media all the time

Social media is all the rage at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive Festival. How to use it to advertise. How to use it to get a job. How to use it to make friends. Applications that extend it. Pitfalls to beware of. New sites to try. Whether to have a reputation system. On and on. The digerati are at it again, examining the world they’ve created, trying to imagine—and design—where all this will lead.

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South by Southwest Interactive festival begins

I got into Austin last night and joined eight other people on a shuttle from the airport to downtown. One of the other passengers was a gregarious young man named Brooks Lindsay, founder of Debatepedia, a wiki encyclopedia of debates, arguments, and supporting quotations. Brooks asked each passenger what they do in the interactive world and why they chose to come to SXSWi this year. 

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Mobile apps can increase ROI

A headline at AdAge.com caught my eye yesterday: Mobile Hotel Bookings Show ROI in Recession. It was another confirmation of the argument I’ve been hearing lately, that applications in the mobile space have finally begun to matter to users. That’s good news for new media designers who can expand their skillset into this growing market.

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By Michael NolanCommentsFebruary 25, 2009
Topics: Apple, Design, iPhone

My new online obsession: Safari

Often I’m in the middle of some kind of computer project and find myself in need of a technology tip at a moment’s notice. In years past, I’d turn to a nearby shelf and my most-referenced books. Of course, sometimes I didn’t have the book I needed, and it would slow me down to have to wait for a solution to my problem. Now with my Safari account, those days are over. Instant access to knowledge is empowering; I’m hooked. I’ll give you a couple of examples.

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By Michael NolanCommentsFebruary 2, 2009
Topics: Productivity

Findability is job one

Your Website can have a perfect user interface, an exquisite, cutting-edge design, and all the whiz-bang features in the world, but if your intended audience never finds it, all your hard work is for nothing. Users don’t just find you by accident; you have to attract them. New Riders’ author Aarron Walter provides a checklist you can follow.

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A book with a cult following

Nine years ago, when I signed Jeffrey Zeldman to do his first book for New Riders, Taking Your Talent to the Web, it was in what I call the “dot-com hoo-hah days” when all things Web were golden. A year later he finished the book, and it was published. By that time, the dot-com collapse had changed everything.

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Voices mattering in Nashville

The Voices That Matter preconference workshops are underway now, and already the excitement is palpable. I spent the morning in Charles Wyke-Smith’s session, Stylin’ and Codin’ the User Experience. Even though I’ve acquired books on the subject and paid attention to the field of UX for years, I learned new things from Charles’s presentation. His audience was enthusiastic and engaged, and as they handed in their evaluations, I noticed most of them had rated the session as “excellent” in all categories.

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