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Discussing Web Design & Marketing Since 1998
Closing May 25. Investment Opportunity.


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EGOL last won the day on April 26

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  1. That's a fair point. But, I believe that every website that tries to comply with GDPR will have that same type of risk. I think that I would be exceeding their guidelines because I ask every person every time they enter the site.
  2. Google is flying by their a$$pants. I just got an email message from Google.... [Action Required] Register for Google's GDPR Webinar on May 3rd The webinar is tomorrow at 10:30 AM !!! GDPR "is undoubtedly one of the most significant developments in privacy and data protection for many years.We are conscious that this topic is top of mind for many of our partners and we would therefore value your attendance at our GDPR livestream." So, pitch it to me now for tomorrow morning. Don't give me enough time to make alternative plans and don't tell me if you are going to post a recording. They are running like turkeys with their heads cut off.
  3. That's for sure. With students like that, you don't have to worry about the types of academic dishonesty that seeps into many university courses. I need a good course on htaccess. That could be a course that you set up and much of it can be reused again and again over time.
  4. Those are interesting ideas, glyn. It has me thinking... maybe instead of having GDPR opt-ins and opt-outs, we simply say... Yo! If you step into this website we are going to show you ads, track you, and whateverall. They simply click "I agree" to get in, or "no thanks" and the browser closes. You know how people change their mind, have different moods, experience personal growth, etc. This confronts them at the moment they want into the site and they have a chance to agree or depart. This is no different than charging an admission fee.
  5. I started teaching online while at a small university before course management systems such as Blackboard, WebCT, were invented. My courses had interactive assignments and automatic grading that were supported by Perl programs that I wrote from scratch. When Blackboard became available, I started using it because it made course administration easy (grading and communication), but my interactive assignments were still hosted on a private server -- but displayed in the right-side window of Blackboard. What kinds of online courses do you like the most? Straight text? Video? Mix? Straight text is very easy. Video can be easy. If you want to run a course that is simply tossing out information and giving an auto-graded quiz on that information, those are very easy. If you want students to solve problems and engage with one another then you need to give them data or information that they must think about and put together, in a way that enables them to come to a defensible conclusion. In a face-to-face setting, students would come into the classroom, receive a packet of data, and work in small groups to reach a conclusion. If they can easily come to the conclusion by consensus, then: A) you have a good introductory assignment; or, B) you have not challenged them sufficiently; or, C) one strong personality in the group is given over to by the rest of the members. Situation A) is good at the start of the course. Situation B) is mid-way through the course and you have low expectations for your students. Situation C) is when you have not placed enough grade pressure on the students or your assignment is way too easy. If students do not come to easily reach conclusion by consensus then you might have a great assignment that challenges your students, or you might have an assignment that is beyond their ability (which is not a bad thing to throw at them occasionally - and then come back to when their skill level is higher). In either event, you have given an assignment that is making them think, conclude personally, and, then express themselves to others to test their own answer or test the answer of others. At least a couple of your assignments should be difficult enough, or impossible enough that students are arguing about them (or you don't have enough individual accountability and grade pressure on them). All of the stuff above is easy to observe in the face-to-face classroom, however, observing this online requires two things: first, making them to develop their own opinion and submit it to you for assessment, then, having them present their idea to a small group of peers by use of message boards. You don't want to make unique assignments for each student. But, if you have sixteen students, you could make four different assignments, divide the students into four groups, and each student presents and is critiqued by three other students who each had one of the other three assignments. That way, each student sees four different problems, and you must only prepare and assess four. Problem solving assignments are demanding for the students and for the teacher. The harder you make the students work, the harder you must work yourself. You can go easy on yourself and your students will not get a lot out of the course, or you design ways to make students work as hard as possible and limit the outfall on yourself. Keep in mind if they are not arguing with one another about the assignments, and not complaining that they have to work, then you might not be giving them their money's worth.
  6. I have a hard time understanding how the entire GDRP thing is possible. The webmaster is required to notify the visitor and the visitor is supposed to opt-in or opt-out. Then the webmaster is supposed to keep a record of this in a way that enables the visitor to return and change his opt-in / opt-out choice as many times as he wants. So, the visitor has multiple devices, many of these visitor devices connect to the web on various IPs, numerous people share some of these devices, and if I have a website that gets a lot of traffic, all of this data is going to grow infinitely large over time. How am I supposed to tell who is on the other side of the server? That seems like an impossible situation to me. Google promised to provide some help to the Adsense webmaster and I am waiting for it, but all of the information that they have provided has either unintelligible (to me) or leads to webpages that have nothin' relevant or websites that are not workin'. We are less than a month out and I have no idea how this is going to work. Honestly, I think it would make a lot of sense if all of the webmasters in the United States simply showed blank webpages to all visitors from the EU.
  7. When search engines started they were counting and measuring very visible information and using that to determine your rankings. They looked at visible things like <title> <h1> <b>. Then they started to move off-site, and almost the entire focus is was counting one thing.... <a href> They realized that all of these visible things can be gamed, and all of these visible things were really not measures of a good site. Now they have moved to the invisible and the less visible metrics, which are the real measure of the value of your site. These include... * are visitors asking for you buy name * are visitors staying on your site and making genuine engagement * do you have the expertise to write the stuff that appears on your site * is your content fake or genuine Build a site that rates well on the above and it will probably do really well, especially as search engines become better at divining your real worth.
  8. I don't believe it. This used to be something that Google would see on your site and send you threatening messages that they were going to turn your ads off if it was not fixed in 72 hours.
  9. About 15 years ago one of my kids wrote a perl script that randomly changed the background color / font color / border color / font face / etc... for my Adsense units every few minutes. This was done by simply changing the code of the ad in a server-side include that was inserted into various placements of the website. Our site received a lot of traffic and it didn't take long to find design combinations that performed poorly and combinations that were kickdonkey. At least for my site at that time, I learned that a border around the ads seemed to be a barrier to eyeflow, subtle background colors performed better than dark, and white background was the kickdonkey winner. dark blue linktext and a green URL were kickdonkey winners. We discovered that ads that looked pretty much like the Google search results made the most money. Imagine that. When you are designing a website that must earn its keep from ads, size elements of your design so that they will accept the most productive ad sizes. 970x90, 970x250, 160x600, 300x600, 336x280, and 300x250 all do well on desktop. On mobile I am still learning but the default responsive ads provided by Google, along with turning on the automated vignette and anchor ads have been doing well and improving over time without any intervention or work from me. But, the size is less important than the placement. Two ads above the fold in positions that don't compete with your content is what I think is best if you are serious about making money. If you are not serious about making money place all of your ads below the fold is a good bet for keeping your day job forever. If you don't show ads you are not going to make money. On an informational website there are three basic elements that the visitor can consume. The template, the content, the ads. If you have all three of these screaming at the same time they are going to compete with one another. So you gotta decide what you are willing to sacrifice. I give my #1 and #2 priority to content and ads, in that order. My lowest priority is the template. My template is Spartan. The domain at the top, navigation links, that's about all. A big schmancy fancy template is going to compete with your content and compete with your ads. So make your site look like a newspaper. They don't stink up their pages with a bunch of gratuitous graphs or chest-thumping screams of their brand name. Just present your message, present your ads. Don't do anything more.
  10. I agree. Google and plenty of other highly used websites have a "What? Me worry?" business model that is only to their advantage and to the great detriment of their users. The law allows them to collect, organize and distribute damaging and even illegal content without worry.
  11. Looks like Google doesn't vet the goods advertised in the Chrome Store.
  12. Deciding what to do with a two-column site that has long articles and lots of images was a challenge. It would be easy allow one column to slide under the other. We took a much more laborious route. We post the text in the left column and then match the images with the text topics, floating them to the right beside text and allowing the text to wrap around them. When the site responds to mobile the images are presented above the text that they are paired with. That way, when the person approaches the end of a text section an image starts to show and if you have nice images they will pull the reader down the page.
  13. That's why Nielsen needs to promote the videos higher on the page. A couple of options... in the left nav, on the right side, place them above the big melange of text links at the bottom of the page. The videos are more enticing content than readin' an article.
  14. Thanks for sharing this. It fits with a discussion that we are having at our office. On desktop computers our site presents as two columns. We always have one of our best photos at top right, then an ad below the image. We are going to switch our second image with the ad with the hope of drawing visitors further down the page. We are hoping that the engagement and content presented will be more valuable to the searcher and to google than the immediate revenue from the ad... and the increased engagement of the visitor will result in more links, and the engagement of the visitor will result in more ranking credits from Google... and more return visit revenue from all of the ads. There were also some interesting videos provided at the bottom of that article. The Fold Manifesto: How to Encourage Scrolling Page Parking: Multi-Tab Obsession Common Among Millennials Replacing the ad with a photo will encourage scrolling. Replacing the ad with a photo might retain more of the multi-tab millennials.
  15. Fido! Sounds like a chip behind the ear.