Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Accessibility and Intranets

I was told recently of a case in the UK where a woman who became blind, was subsequently unable to access applications on her PC, and litigated against her employers. I may have got the wrong end of the stick on this one, but if anybody knows the details, can they let me know? I'd be interested, as it could be an excellent stick for good practice, standards adherence, accessibility and treating your employees right (it always helps to have some convincing ammo).

Probably won't be posting over the next fortnight as I'm off to get married in France.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Sweets delivering results!

I had an email from Scott Berkun - who always writes such interesting pieces on www.uiweb.com - yesterday in response to my suggestion to him that small, unexpected treats (like a sweet) at the beginning of a training session lead to more creative training [NB: this was in response to an article of Scott's - I think it was The problems of training]. I'm sure it's ust a matter of relaxing people (and giving them a mild sugar rush), but it works for me - I hope Scott gets similar results!


By dint of being a bit busy with other things, I haven't posted anything on the blog for a while. I would cite Bertrand Russell's "In Praise of Idleness", but I haven't been exactly idle... I've also been concentrating on writing on my other new blog, Semantic Wobble, which is mostly about cinema as I seem to have been spending a deal of time glued to the silver screen (and the smaller screen too with DVDs - Pirates of the Caribbean: what was the big hoo-hah about, I thoght it was a bit boring, myself). So this is an abject apology to myself for not putting the effort into the Info Blog!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Testing Meme Propagation In Blogspace: Add Your Blog!

This via nate's notes:

Testing Meme Propagation In Blogspace: Add Your Blog!
This posting is a community experiment that tests how a meme, represented by this blog posting, spreads across blogspace, physical space and time. It will help to show how ideas travel across blogs in space and time and how blogs are connected. It may also help to show which blogs (and aggregation sites) are most influential in the propagation of memes. The dataset from this experiment will be public, and can be located via Google (or Technorati) by doing a search for the GUID for this meme (below).
The original posting for this experiment is located at: Minding the Planet (Permalink: http://novaspivack.typepad.com/nova_spivacks_weblog/2004/08/a_sonar_ping_of.html) --- results and commentary will appear there in the future.
Please join the test by adding your blog (see instructions, below) and inviting your friends to participate -- the more the better. The data from this test will be public and open; others may use it to visualize and study the connectedness of blogspace and the propagation of memes across blogs.
The GUID for this experiment is: as098398298250swg9e98929872525389t9987898tq98wteqtgaq62010920352598gawst(this GUID enables anyone to easily search Google or other search engines for all blogs that participate in this experiment, once they have indexed the sites that participate). Anyone is free to analyze the data of this experiment. Please publicize your analysis of the data, and/or any comments by adding comments onto the original post (see URL above). (Note: it would be interesting to see a geographic map or a temporal animation, as well as a social network map of the propagation of this meme.)
To add your blog to this experiment, copy this entire posting to your blog, and then answer the questions below, substituting your own information, below, where appropriate. Other than answering the questions below, please do not alter the information, layout or format of this post in order to preserve the integrity of the data in this experiment (this will make it easier for searchers and automated bots to find and analyze the results later).
REQUIRED FIELDS (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)
(1) I found this experiment at URL: http://natek.typepad.com/blog/
(2) I found it via "Newsreader Software" or "Browsing the Web" or "Searching the Web" or "An E-Mail Message": Newsreader Software
(3) I posted this experiment at URL: http://marktsinfoblog.blogspot.com
(4) I posted this on date (day/month/year): 05/08/2004
(5) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 09:37:00
(6) My posting location is (city, state, country): Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland

OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS (Replace the answers below with your own answers):
(7) My blog is hosted by: Blogger
(8) My age is: 31
(9) My gender is: Male
(10) My occupation is: Online Strategist
(11) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: Bloglines
(12) I use the following software to post to my blog: Blogger
(13) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 27/05/03
(14) My web browser is: IE 5.5
(15) My operating system is: Windows NT

Monday, August 02, 2004

Another helpful accessibility widget

Via the Ease of Use mailing list, I learned of an IBM addition to the accessibility checker/assistant tools list. This one, aDesigner, looks like it could be useful in combination with other tools, heuristic evaluation and user testing (probably at the early stages). As the description states:

"The aDesigner is a disability simulator that helps Web designers ensure that their pages are accessible and usable by the visually impaired.
Voice browsers and screen readers read aloud the text on Web pages and are used by visually impaired people. However, these devices are less effective with certain kinds of content, such as highly graphical material. Web developers can use aDesigner to test the accessibility and usability of Web pages for low-vision and blind people. "

Sounds interesting and potentially useful - one to download when I get 5 minutes.