Seth Godin Asks : Are you a Marketing Wallflower?

Always a favorite marketing guru around here, Seth Godin has a quick quiz with a surprisingly telling answer. Instead of trying to win over the whole world, you should aim for a select niche of customers.

True, you might have a smaller customer base as a result – but you will have greater loyalty amongst those few. Let’s take a glance at some fields where this works:

  • The “Twilight” fiction franchise – The majority of people just don’t get excited about vampire stories. So what? This series appealed to tween / teen girls with a vivid and somewhat macabre imagination. And now they’re rolling in the dough.
  • Ethnic restaurants – Sure, not everybody likes (or even understands) Mediterranean food. So what? When you want falafel, hummus, and babaganouch, you just aren’t going to get that appetite satisfied at McDonald’s.
  • Hot Topic – The mall-based clothing and gift franchise focuses on the “Goth” and “punk rock” demographic. The rest of the teens head for more traditional fare, but the headbangers and rivitheads all flock here.

Eight Mean Jabs at Internet Explorer

Web designers, why, oh why, do you hate poor little Internet Explorer so much? It seems almost like it did something to you. Did a web browser bully you as a kid? Oh well, whatever the founding incident was, it’s good to see you all working your aggression out with these hilarious images…

  1. IE fails on Jeopardy – We don’t even know how it qualified for the show
  2. Microsoft tries to make it up to us – And fails, because it fails everything.
  3. Microsoft’s error report process – Apparently they get a lot of duplicates?
  4. Four web browsers at a drive-thru – And I want to go to this restaurant!
  5. Browser-tans line-up – Apparently IE is a “butterface”.
  6. The only reasons to use IE. – …and it’s a short list.
  7. A Spanish example – Because IE is so hated, it gets insulted in every language!
  8. Bonus buck! – A whole website dedicated to beating the death drum for IE.

O’Reilly Webcast On HTML5

O’Reilly is putting on a webcast titled “10 things every web developer, designer (and manager) should know about HTML5 “. If you didn’t catch it in person, there’s always the YouTube archive.

But this is without a doubt one not to miss. HTML5 is sweeping the Internet. Both the desktop and mobile platforms are looking at the day when they need to upgrade their website code base to be up to date with the current web technologies. While it’s of course true that old websites will still function in HTML 4.1 and XHTML, web owners will want to stay competitive. And adoption is happening with surprising speed.

Why HTML5 O’Reilly Breakdowns?

OpenGL and 3D in HTML5: an O’Reilly Breakdown

What Do We Wish For From Santa Google In 2012?

Assuming there *is* a 2012, that is, what with all the hugger-mugger about the Mayan calendar and the usual end-of-the-world predictions. Matt Cutts, Google blogger, asks for our 2012 wishlist. Oh, we could think of a few – but we’re going to think really off-the-wall:

  • A way to invert search results. So the lowest-ranking pages show first. Hey, sometimes we want to find out what the Z-list has to say!
  • A way to turn off second-guessing and mutations. Dangit, there was a time when you could type in anything and Google would only show pages that contained every single one of the words you’d typed in exactly as you’d spelled them. Oh, how we miss those times.
  • Bring back cache-view. In fact, make it automatic for every page – when a website is down, we want to just read what we came to find out and move on.
  • Better image search? We know, this is a developing field. We can’t wait for the day when we can find the bloke who stole our image even when he ran two filters on it and scaled it down.
  • How about using regular expressions? Yes, we know, most users would scream in terror, but those of us techies would love to be able to narrow searches down by clicking a regexp switch.

Told you these’d be out there!

Yay! We Want Another Bubble Bath!

The big story lately is how tech investment and business is fixing to blow up another bubble, right up to where we were at the turn-of-the-century. Can somebody find that dog puppet again? He’s the web-bubble mascot now.

Our latest hand-wringer is, saying the tech 2.0 bubble is here. And you know what? Bring it on! Now, why do we say that?

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The 4Chan | Reddit Dogs of War

We love a good Internet investigation, so we got a real kick out of Gawker’s look inside a smear campaign. Things we learned this time around:

  • 4channers don’t all like electro-pop. Apparently they’re 50/50 split heavy metal and indie.
  • 4chan got their site’s founder voted Time magazine’s most influential person.
  • On a related note, Time thinks 4chan invented LOLCats. There’s published books of cat pictures with funny captions from the 1960s, at least.
  • There’s a website called ‘refreshthing’ that automates Google-bombing. Or at least (if you’re reading this a few days from now), there was.
  • 4channers can’t hack for a damn.

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Wannabes Are The Cancer That Kills Everything

Our favorite blogger who specializes in the human side of technology, Jeff Atwood, has brought to light the distressing story of how many candidates who show up for programming job interviews can’t program. He, and many of the comments appended, marvel at this phenomena.

But it’s not so surprising, when you stop and think about it. They’re wannabe “hackers”.

Nobody wanted to be a hacker at first. Then trashy movies like “War Games” and “Hackers” came out, and people got the idea that hackers get to have sex with Angelina Jolie and start their own nuclear wars, so hence must be “cool.”

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Why The 17-Year Flaw in Microsoft Windows Is Dead Serious

In case you didn’t catch the buzz going around, the story of how an ancient Microsoft Windows flaw was found after 17 years is pretty-well explained at the Inquirer. The news was particularly shocking because it was a simple hole that has been in existence since Windows 3.1 all the way up to the latest Windows 7! That’s a serious bug.

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Will We Ever Fix the Weak Password Problem?

Any website developer knows the drill: you put up anything requiring a login, and people are usually going to pick the laziest possible weak password. As documented in Ars Technica’s lament on the failure of the password model, this problem has existed unabated for 30 years. Users are still just as sloppy about password security as ever.

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