CircleID - A News Site About Internet Infrastructure, Domain Names, new gTLDs, more...

CircleidWant to stay up on what is happening with the underlying infrastructure of the Internet? Or perhaps more interested in what is happening with domain names or the new "generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs)"? Curious about Internet governance issues? policy issues?

For all of those topics, and many more, a site I've come to rely on is CircleID.com.

It is a "news" site, but one that is very focused on what is happening in the underlying infrastructure that powers the Internet - and from both a technical and business/marketing point-of-view. There are technical articles and blog posts focused on topics such as IPv6, DNS security, cybersecurity, cloud computing, etc. - and there are more business-focused articles and blog posts talking about the business behind domain names or the new generic TLDs.

For marketers and communications professionals these latter topics are quite important - there is much going on right now in that space that will define what the future of domain names will look like.

I should note that Circle ID is a community-driven site and anyone can register and sign up to contribute. If you want to publish articles in this space - or have a client for whom this would be a logical audience to write - the folks behind CircleID are always open to new contributors.

To that end, I should note that I do write at CircleID from time to time and have republished some of my Disruptive Telephony posts there in the past.

It's a great resource, and one that many of you may find useful to track what is happening behind the curtains of the Internet.

P.S. Naturally CircleID is also on Twitter and Facebook, too, and has a host of RSS feeds.


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Want to Join in World IPv6 Day? Here's How To Set Up Your Home Office With IPv6

Worldipv6day 2Tomorrow, June 8, 2011, is "World IPv6 Day" and Google, Facebook, Yahoo and hundreds of other sites are preparing to enable IPv6 on their main websites. For 24 hours, the main websites of those organizations will be accessible over both IPv4 and IPv6, rather than requiring a separate domain name like "ipv6.google.com" or "www.v6.facebook.com".

The day will be a day to test out how well various websites work using IPv6... and what experiences users have in connecting over IPv6.

Would you like to join in the testing and experimentation?

To do so, you need to have IPv6 connectivity, naturally. You can go to either of these sites to see if you currently have IPv6 connectivity:

If you do have IPv6 connectivity, then you are all set to participate and will have no problem connecting to sites using IPv6.

If you do not, but would like to join in the experiment, here are two articles I wrote about how you can easily configure a home network to use IPv6 using the free service available at Tunnelbroker.net:

I also have other information available on an IPv6 Resource Page I put together (the page does have a slant toward telecommunications because that's the business I'm in... but some of the tutorials are equally applicable to people outside of telecom).

Direct participation in using IPv6 on World IPv6 Day is entirely optional, of course, although everyone will be part of the experiment of the big sites adding IPv6 support. You don't have to do anything and hopefully everything will "just work" for you on the Internet and Web tomorrow.

For those of you who would like to play, though, hopefully these links are enough to get you started...


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How Fast Do Your Pages Load? Check Your "Site Speed" In Google Analytics

How fast does your website load? How fast do individual pages load? With Google stating that site speed will factor into future search engine result placement, how can you tweak your site to make it load faster?

To help with all of that, Google announced earlier this month a new "Site Speed" report available in Google Analytics. I've enabled it for a number of my sites (it's not on by default) and the results have been quite interesting. Here's a view of the average load speed of my Disruptive Telephony site:

Sitespeed

Overall, my pages on the site take about 12 seconds to fully load into a web browser... perhaps because I dynamically load in various RSS feeds into the sidebars. That is the point of the report, though... I can now start digging into WHY pages load slowly. The report also shows the data for each individual page (at least, for pages that have had visitors), letting you dive down into more details.

In fact, you can explore a whole range of details. As Google's blog post notes, this report can help you understand:

  • Content: Which landing pages are slowest?
  • Traffic sources: Which campaigns correspond to faster page loads overall?
  • Visitor: How does page load time vary across geographies?
  • Technology: Does your site load faster or slower for different browsers?

Now, as I mentioned earlier, the Site Speed report is not enabled by default. As explained in this Google support note, you need to tweak your Google Analytics tracking code to start sending a new variable back to Google. Assuming you are using the current asynchronous tracking snippet, you just have to add one line to your tracking code:

 _gaq.push(['_trackPageLoadTime']);

After you make that addition, GA will start collecting your speed data from that point forward. Now, you should note that GA only uses a sample of your overall data to generate the reports and statistics... but you can see very clearly in the user interface what the sample size is.

Note that there are two important caveats about this report.

First, the Site Speed report is only visible in the "New version" of Google Analytics. After you login to GA, you probably have to click the "New version" link at the top of the screen to switch:

Ganewversion

Once you are in the new version of GA and then select one of your sites, you'll see a "Site Speed" report in the left-hand nav bar:

Ganavbar

The second caveat is that this Site Speed report only works in some web browsers per the Google help page:

This report currently supports the following browsers: Chrome, Internet Explorer 9 and previous versions of Internet Explorer with the Google Toolbar installed. More specifically, the Site Speed reports require browsers that support the HTML5 NavigationTiming interface or have the Google Internet Explorer toolbar installed

With those two caveats in mind, I've found the report to be quite a useful view into what is going on within my site. What do you think? Have you enabled this yet? Did it help you understand where you might want to make some changes?


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Are You Seeing Increased Website Referrals From LinkedIn?

Are you seeing a dramatic increase in referrals to your website from LinkedIn? Over on Business Insider, Nicholas Carlson wrote about the dramatic spike in referrals they are seeing from LinkedIn and provided this chart to prove it:

Linkedinvisits

It certainly is a dramatic growth curve!

I'm not seeing anything remotely similar across my own blogs or over on the Voxeo blogs, but then again, those sites aren't providing regular "news" to the degree that Business Insider is doing so. The content that is being posted to my sites and/or Voxeo's sites is also far more focused in terms of subject matter than the BI news. It is probably not showing up in any of the "LinkedIn Today" services they are now providing, whereas content on BI and other more "news sites" certainly would show up.

Anyone else seeing a "LinkedIn Effect"?


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KISSmetrics' Great Infographic on The Evolution of Web Design from 1990's to Today

Mashable.com today published a great infographic that was created by KISSmetrics on "The Evolution of Web Design".

For those of us who have been working with the web from its earliest days, it's a great trip down memory lane. I remember learning of "the World-Wide Web" back in 1991 or so when all you could do was telnet into info.cern.ch. I had written and was teaching an "Introduction to the Internet" class for large companies in the Boston area... and had a section at the end about "new topics" that included a brief mention of this world-wide web thing :-) Shortly, thereafter, of course, I was rapidly developing courseware in how to create HTML pages and helping people learn how to set up websites.

We've come a l..o..n..g.. way from hand-coding all our pages using an editor like "vi" or Notepad...

Kudos to the KISSmetrics team for coming up with the cool infographic. The full graphic is huge... but worth checking out.

Webdesigninfographic

P.S. Kudos to the KISSmetrics folks for also providing a "Facts and Stats to Tweet" area below the infographic, complete with links to tweet out those stats. A well-done example of making it easy for people to tell the story you want and get people coming back to your site... ;-)

Factstotweet


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AOL Buys Huffington Post - Mathew Ingram Curates The Zillions of Articles

Unless you have been offline today, you have to know by now that AOL bought Huffington Post for $315 million... there are literally thousands of articles being written (some are linked on Techmeme). Thankfully, Mathew Ingram over at GigaOm curated some of the best into a post describing reactions:
What the Web Is Saying About AOL’s HuffPo Purchase

Thanks, Mathew, because yes, there are simply way too many articles being written on this right now!

For my part, I was skeptical when AOL announced it was changing its course to be a "content company", but this action along with their purchasing of sites like TechCrunch and hiring many reporters certainly shows their determination to be a major player in creating online content. I still am admittedly skeptical, but I do have to give them credit for continuing to assemble a great team.

Meanwhile, if you did somehow miss the news today, do read Mathew's post as he puts the pieces together nicely.


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For all you love fonts, check out what's coming in Firefox 4...

Wood Type

Flickr credit: lwr

If you, like me, enjoy good use of typography, check out the support for control of OpenType font features via CSS coming in Firefox 4:
http://hacks.mozilla.org/2010/11/firefox-4-font-feature-support/

These are some of the minor nuances in typography... but they can add up to make a site or document just look that much better! I'm looking forward to trying them out once FF4 becomes available..


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Nettuts+ Video Tutorial: Getting Clever with CSS3 Shadows

Lately I've been doing a great amount of experimentation and testing with CSS - and seeking to understand more of the goodness that comes with CSS3 as more and more browsers support both HTML5 and CSS3. In that experimentation, I came across this great video from Nettuts+ about how to create shadows with CSS3. I thought it was quite cool and recommend it for anyone else playing around with CSS3:

Now... if only all the browsers out there would fully support CSS3!


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Here's the #1 Reason I Hate Websites That Use Flash...

Right here in the screen capture:

flashonamac.jpg

If the fan on my MacBook Pro starts kicking in... or if it gets slow... or if I look at the CPU monitor and see it jacked to near 100%... all I have to do is open my Activity Monitor and...

99% of the time it's an issue with Flash!

Now, granted, it's probably not "Flash", per se, but rather "a website that isn't using Flash properly". Or "a website that has a poorly written Flash app."

But that's perhaps the point... so many websites out there have poorly written Flash apps!

The good news is - and THE reason I use Google Chrome - is that I simply kill off that process and my Mac goes back to being snappy again. Still, it's annoying.

How about you? If you're on a Mac do you find Flash sites jack up your CPU?


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CSS3Please.com - a great way to learn about CSS3

css3please.jpgIf you are, like me, interested in understanding more about how Cascading Style Sheets Level 3, a.k.a. "CSS3", particularly as it plays a major role in the ongoing evolution of HTML5 particularly on mobile platforms, you will probably find this site immensely useful:

http://css3please.com/

CSS3 has been in development for quite a while (intro from May 2001) and is still evolving (current status) but it represents a great advance in control over design of web sites directly in a browser.

With CSS3 one of the greatest benefits is the ability to replace images with in-browser elements.

Consider something as simple as "rounded corners" on a box. Without CSS3 you have to use images. With CSS3, you can ditch the images and create rounded boxes directly in the browser. For instance, this paragraph should have rounded corners (and a shadow) if you view it in the most recent builds of Firefox, Chrome or Safari.

What I've done is simply added an inline style to the <div> and then added multipled paragraphs inside of that div block.

CSS3Please.com lets you experiment with CSS3 directly in the browser... and then copy/paste the results over into a stylesheet for your site (or use as an inline style as I have here). It's a cool tool for those of us interested in design.


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