Open letter to Oxfam…

Dear Oxfam,

I was happy when I heard that you are selling music online. However I wan’t so happy to learn that you only allow Windows IE use only.

Is that because you think Macintosh and Linux users don’t want to give to charity? Is it because you are unaware of the other, more secure browsers available? Or maybe you’ve signed a deal with Microsoft to use their audio file format rather than one of the many other formats available.

Also, your main music page is also built using broken and invalid code. I’ve done a new version, built using web standards which works in all browsers.

The advantages of web standards are clear to see; for example consider that the HTML code of my version of your page weighs in at a fraction the size of your HTML code. That may save you a considerable amount in bandwidth charges when applied across your whole site.

Whatever the reason for the decision to not build your websites using international standards, I’m disappointed and it’s made me have difficulties in using your site. Surely it’s in your interest to make your website as open as possible, so as many people as possible can use it and help to fund your excellent work. I firmly believe that web standards are the way forward to ensure a more open, accessible and scalable future for the web.

Yours sincerely

Chris Taylor

Google sitemaps…

I’ve been playing with the excellent Google Sitemaps facility (yes, you guessed it, it’s in beta) and I’m impressed. It’s easy to use, and provides some really nice simple statistics for those that are that way inclined. For example, here’s my top ten search queries:

Number Search Average position
1 animals 11
2 sport 17
3 chris taylor 10
4 wibsite 8
5 datatable class 9
6 animals in sport 10
7 computers unlimited 10
8 wiblog 8
9 javascript zoom 15
10 cartoon children 106

All in all a pretty fair reflection of what I do with my time, I think you’ll agree.

What’s in a name?…

Chris Anderson, erstwhile editor of Wired magazine, member of the technological elite and author recounts a story about early 80’s hair, a battle of bands, and how he was nearly in REM.

Fantastic, I’d have loved to be there. Funnily enough just the other day I dug out my copy of Green by REM (disclaimer, I get a few pennies if you buy from that link) which may or may not be their best album, but I enjoyed it immensely anyway.

The customer is always right…

Yes, sure. As the good people on Andy Budds website have made clear, some clients are just clueless. That goes for managers, too. If you want to feel my pain, just read that list.

My three things:

1) There is no substitute for good content (and no, I won’t ‘just make something up’)
2) There is no substitute for good design (and no, I won’t ‘just use the Powerpoint template’)
3) There is no substitute for hard work (and no, it won’t happen overnight)