Hallways: the best part of a conference

Where do you get the most out of a conference? Keynotes from the big names? Practical break out sessions with best practices? The showroom floor with vendors?

Hallways receive my vote for the best part of a conference (especially those with big leather couches). I’ve been to large conferences with 15,000  in swarming masses and to small conferences with only 12 attendees and in both cases (and all in between) I’ve benefitted the most from the conversations in the hallway. Some of those are random conversations that I’ve struck up with the person sitting beside me and others are more strategic accidentally running into a speaker  (after stalking them from the speaker’s lounge).

Which browser would you kill?

Let's kill Internet Explorer 7I spend a lot of time testing web sites and making sure they look right on different platforms, different browsers and just like it’s always been some browsers really make me pull my hair out. Right now, it’s IE 7. Anytime I open up a web site in IE 7 (I have a WinXP install that I’ve saved with it on it), I’m just surprised by how slow web sites open and then all the little design touches that disappear (degrade gracefully).

It really surprised me that IE 7 was finalized in November 2006— almost 5 years ago. I was excited when it was released so we could get rid of the dreadful IE 6. W3 Schools show that IE 7 makes up 6 percent of the current browser market share. As more people abandon Windows XP that will decrease quickly, but if you are viewing this in IE 7 I want to encourage you to move your online life to a new platform– upgrade IE or download firefox, safari or chrome.


Visit my church’s new online campus

Fellowship Bible Church's Online Campus

We’re debuting our online campus at Fellowship Bible Church Sunday morning at 11 a.m. I’ve been working on the launch team on this since around September and will be one of the rotating hosts for the service.

Besides the video stream of the service there is also a chat feature to allow discussion of the message, a place to notes on the screen and the bible passage for the sermon.

If you’re not in church on Sunday mornings at 11 (central), you should stop in, check it out and say hi. I’ll be there.

Which browser do you use?

The latest browser usage reports have google’s Chrome browser being used by nearly one out of every 10 users online with Firefox gathering around a 23 percent market share and IE at 57 percent. When I first saw this report I wondered about regional variations in browser usage, but on second thought it really doesn’t matter because you want your sites to be useful by the majority of readers no matter what browser they prefer.

Even though I use Firefox on a daily basis, I always make sure I thoroughly test sites in IE because that’s the browser being used by the majority of our visitors. I normally don’t give our sites as thorough a viewing in Chrome and Safari as I do Firefox and IE and often times I just ignore Opera.

I have to admit that on personal sites I tend to ignore earlier versions of browser (like IE6). Even for a while a ran banner telling IE6 users to upgrade their browser.

Predictions for 2011 and beyond

As my first post of the new year, here’s my web, technology and communications predictions for 2011 and beyond. Don’t let me forget to check up next year and see how many I’ve gotten right.

Social Media
Twitter will stagnate and be recognized as a niche product. Twitter’s web traffic has plateued and can’t seem to grow. It’s management will start grasping for straws and reduce access for outside applications to their API. Facebook’s growth will slow, too (it has, too there aren’t that many people with Internet access left).

The mobile web growth will increase while app growth slows. Companies will realize it is much cheaper to customize their web site designs for mobile devices rather than code 3 or 4 seperate apps.

Online Content
We’ll see more and more niche sites pop-up and make it. The sites will have to be run on a shoe string, but they can survive that way (A few of those may even be paid content that work).

Tablets will continue to be huge for online content. Not for their apps, but their easy portability to access the web. iPads will continue to grow, but there will be a surge in cheaper linux based tablets.