New InformationWeek Tools For You To Play With - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
2/22/2006
05:47 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
Commentary
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New InformationWeek Tools For You To Play With

We've been making some changes to the InformationWeek.com Web site designed to make it more useful. This isn't a big remodel like we did two months ago, where we gutted the whole house and redid everything. This is more like new windows and doors, new coats of paint, and replacing the loose floorboards. What's new? A mobile edition, search tools, RSS feed upgrades, and favicons. Our Digital Edition isn't completely new, but how about we take a minute to tell you about it anyway, as long as we h

We've been making some changes to the InformationWeek.com Web site designed to make it more useful. This isn't a big remodel like we did two months ago, where we gutted the whole house and redid everything. This is more like new windows and doors, new coats of paint, and replacing the loose floorboards.

What's new? A mobile edition, search tools, RSS feed upgrades, and favicons. Our Digital Edition isn't completely new, but how about we take a minute to tell you about it anyway, as long as we have your attention.The biggest new feature is the InformationWeek Mobile Edition. It's a version of the site optimized for the BlackBerry, Treo, smart phone, or any device with a small screen and slow connection. It's a page of breaking news headlines, with links to lightweight versions of the articles.

We rolled out a couple of search tools to help you find past InformationWeek articles. If you use the beta of version 4 of the Google Toolbar, you can get a plug-in and button for the toolbar that lets you search InformationWeek content and also display a drop-down menu of current InformationWeek headlines. For now, the software requires Microsoft Internet Explorer on Windows, but presumably Google will get around to rolling it out for Firefox and other platforms.

Likewise, if you use Firefox, you can easily install a search plug-in that'll add InformationWeek to the menu of searches available in the box on the top-right corner of the browser.

Here's a page of instructions for loading both the Google Toolbar and Firefox searches.

For those of you who prefer a simple story layout, try our new All Stories Page. It's a neat and orderly list of headlines, descriptions, and links for all our recent InformationWeek stories, posted in chronological order, newest first. If you're a devoted reader and you just want to see what articles were posted to the site since the last time you visited, the All Stories Page is the place to go.

We've done some tidying up of our RSS feeds; we organized the RSS Resources Page a bit to make the feeds easier to find, and we also added feeds to correspond with the Tech Centers we rolled out in December. Fred Langa fans take note: Our feeds include Langa columns. Just paste this link into your RSS reader and subscribe: http://www.informationweek.com/rss/author.xml?id=1111.

As a matter of fact, we have individual feeds for all our writers, including this guy, who writes Microsoft news, this guy, who writes about Google, this guy, who covers security, and this idiot, who has nothing useful to say and I don't know why they even let him out of his cage.

Our Digital Edition isn't new, but you might not know about it. It's a reproduction of the pages of the weekly print edition of InformationWeek. The Digital Edition contains reproductions of the actual print pages themselves, with the text, graphics, photos, and even advertisements. The user experience of the Digital Edition even acts sort of like a print magazine; clicking on the image of a dog-eared page corner looks like turning a page.

I've read that this sort of presentation is great for viewing on a Tablet PC because the Tablet PC sits on your lap or flat on a table, just like a print magazine does.

You should definitely check out the Digital Edition at least once. Even if you decide you don't like it, you'll be impressed, and you'll "oooo" and "aaaah" about how slick it is.

Finally, we have favicons. Whutza "favicon," you ask? It's a tiny little icon--generally just 16 pixels square--that's used to represent a Web site. It appears in the address bar and in the bookmarks of Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, and other non-Internet Explorer browsers. (It's supposed to work in IE too, but we haven't been able to get our favicons to work there. We haven't been able to get anybody else's favicons to work either, and we finally decided it wasn't worth the time needed to figure out what was wrong.) Anyway, our favicon is an attractive little black, white, and red thing that appears in the address bar and bookmarks in Firefox and in most RSS readers.

Hey, our logo's official colors are black, white, and red. We're black and white and red all over! That never occurred to me before! I'm hilarious--sometimes I just crack myself up!

What do you think of our improvements? Find anything broken? Any other user interface changes you'd like to see?

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
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