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January 11, 2009

2 Top 5 Lists = 1 Top Ten List: My most read Web Development Blog entries from 2008

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New Year's Eve around the world

Now that the New Year has been rung in, it seems that the meme of the moment is to blog about the year in review. So I thought I'd follow suit. I looked over my blog entries to see if I'd trended towards any new themes for 2008. While I have written more on social media this year (who hasn't?) I quickly noted that my topics overall continued to range across a wide array of Web related subjects. Next I looked at my stats to see which articles were getting the most traffic and comments.

As it happens the most read article of 2008 was also the most read article of 2007. While quick trendy subjects such as Plurk: Social Media Marketing in Action brought in new readers and temporary traffic spikes, the more timeless subjects such as writing, marketing and navigation were the ones that drew in the most readers overall. So, instead of presenting you with my top 10 articles of 2008, I've decided to break them up into 2 groups, the top 5 written in 2008 and the top 5 from year's past that continue to draw readers—even with the passage of time.

Top 5 Web Development Blog Entries written in 2008
5. Testing Web sites with multiple browser versions
Suggestions on ways to test sites in multiple browsers, reasons for testing and why we still can't ignore Internet Explorer 6.0.
4. Reflections on social media networking and marketing
Overview of popular uses for social media, nature of word-of-mouth and the impact of social media on marketing goals.
3. Wayfinding within your Web site
This follow-up to Your home page is NOT your index; it's your store front provides tips on navigational aids that will help users to explore your site no matter which page they may enter through.
2. An URL by any other name would still work like an URL, part 1: subdomains
Exploring the differences between subdomains and subdirectories and their impact (or lack thereof) upon marketing.
1. Embedding YouTube Videos the Standards Compliant Way—SFWobject 2.0
Embedding YouTube Videos is one of the easiest things you can do on the Web, but if you're a stickler for standards compliant HTML, you can't just copy and paste. SFWobject 2.0 provides an easy remedy.
Top 5 Web Development Blog Entries read in 2008
5. CSS Tip: Positioning photos with floats
Positioning photos with hspace or tables is awkward and dated, but the CSS float property makes it easy for anyone to include images in their Web sites and blogs so that they float cleanly to the right or left of the text.
4. An Introduction to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Part 1
Search Engine Optimization may seem complicated, but by following these simple SEO basics you can make a significant impact.
3. I'm not going to teach you XHTML/HTML, but you should learn it anyway
This brief introduction to HTML provides links and resources for learning HTML as well as a homework assignment users can try as a way to get started.
2. So you want to build a website
This is the first in a series of articles that make up my Planning your Web site tutorial—in which I walk readers through a process of identifying goals, understanding their audience, choosing content, outlining a site and organizing pages and navigation.
1. Voice and Tone: Writing to reflect your personality as well as your message (Part 1)
Writing is more than the stringing of words into a sentence. This article addresses the importance of using a tone suitable to both the audience and the subject matter in order to better connect with readers and clearly convey your message.

The Web is constantly evolving and we're all trying to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. But no matter which platform we use to publish, which strategies we apply, it always seems to come back to the basics. The most basic element of the Web is content. While video and audio continue to build in popularity, the core of our content is still composed of words. That's probably why the Voice and Tone article was read more than any other.

You, my readers, understand the importance of fundamentals over the latest fad. I think that is why—for the most part—the most popular subjects on this blog are the ones that address these basic strategies, those that can be applied now and in the future. In 2009 I expect to be writing more on social media topics such as Facebook and Twitter, but I'll also be writing more about content and general marketing principles, the foundations we build upon in all of our Web-based endeavors.

What about you? If you're a blogger what will you focus on in 2009? If you're a regular (or new) reader, what would you like to see here?

Happy New Year!

P.S. Read more of my thoughts on social media and the Web on Ariwriter

Ari Herzog recently interviewed me for his blog, AriWriter: Strategies and tips on social media and online marketing. You can read the full article, Guest Interview with Heidi Cool: How a University Experiments with Social Media, online.

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Posted by: Heidi Cool January 11, 2009 11:26 PM | Category: Blogging , CSS , Content , HTML , Heidi's Entries , How-to , SEO , Social Networking , Web Browsers , Web Standards , navigation



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Posted by Ecreeds on January 12, 2009 04:35 AM


The blog has been one of my favorite reads for months now :) Congrats on 08, I look forward to your wisdom and insight in 09 and beyond!

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Posted by Jack on January 27, 2009 01:44 AM


Great list of articles. I emailed some and stumbled others. Waiting for some more '09 entries.

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Thank you!
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Posted by: hac4 (Heidi Cool) January 11, 2009 11:26 PM | Comments (21) | Trackback