Archive for April, 2010

Facebook Powered Web

April 29th, 2010

A new data model for the web is unfolding. It has been in the Facebook labs for some time. Participating sites are now integrating this model on their sites and rapidly building up relationships the so-called connections (e.g., friend relationships, shared content, and photo tags) and diving into the social graph, a representation of our relationships. This has a magnetic effect for the web at large. When a site’s visitor log into such participating sites, brings their connections/relationships to the site which will indirectly bring up the connections through content recommendations, friend’s activity, news feed, and status message notices. This shows how fast people are climbing to the same tree, the new Facebook data model and branch out and reach out to their networks of friends and connect with other Facebook objects such as photos, events, and fan pages.

Recently, it has also been rumored that Facebook is getting more popular than Google at least in the U.S. It’s partly because of online social connections are growing faster and widely spreading games such as farmville, partly Facebook plays on a more semantic, smarter web that creates a real online interaction with people. It seems that we are heading toward not Facebook but Facebook platform centered web, which means a lot of our important content we want to share, connections, and what matters us most hit Facebook than any other social site or simply any site in the future. Are you ready?

Facebook's Connections-based Web

Very soon, the Facebook platform is going to be the epicenter of the new web (in my opinion) should the new system is embraced with open hands by most constitutions and it will bring such an impact that never happened in the last two decades. Once the connections, relationships and objects are all related, established and intertwined, it is going be so easy to find the information you look for at your fingertips. You may not need to use keywords, rather you may trust the opinion of your friends/online relationships that you are connected with and care to pick up what you want, to choose out of many options. As Facebook’s Bret Taylor puts it in his blog, the underlying graph of connections just needs to be mapped in a way that makes it easy to use and interoperable.

Focus, Focus, Focus

April 27th, 2010

Let’s say you are digging about urban fashion in New York on the Internet. You have opened three or more browsers. You might have one or two hours to search for it. In the middle of your searching you find other irrelevant but important information, let’s say ’10 ways to wear brand fashion cheaper’. You are tempted to read but your focus should be on urban fashion in NY.
One easy way to focus on what you are reading is this: bookmark the site.
Here’s how:

  1. If you are in FireFox, click Bookmarks menu
  2. Click Bookmark This Page
  3. Click the drop down arrow under Folder
  4. Click New Folder button
  5. Type something like: Read later or anything you like
  6. Click Done

If you are using IE (Internet Explorer),

  1. Click Favorites menu
  2. Click Add Favorites
  3. Click the New Folder button
  4. Type: Read Later or whatever you like
  5. Click Create and click Add

Next time, go to Favorites menu and Access the Read Later menu to see your saved web pages.

Once you have searched enough on urban fashion in NY, should you have time, go to Bookmarks menu, then under Read Later folder, you will find your favorite link.

Chances are you are reading online on your PC, iPhone, Android, or iPad. It’s better to take your time to install the Instapaper application, a simple tool to save web pages for reading later.

Instapaper

Should you have other ways to do this, tell me in the comments section below.

Dealing with Expiry Content in Drupal

April 13th, 2010

Whenever there’s an event, or announcement that’s happening tonight or the next morning, or even in the next few days, usually I will create a block and post the content and then later I will disable the block. Imagine how many blocks that will be listed under Disabled Blocks section. Furthermore, I have to make sure that I remember to disable the block when it’s no longer important to have the content on my site. As a result, I will have more blocks and loading the blocks administration page consumes more memory and it becomes hard to organize it.

I come up with one way of automating the process of publishing expiry content without installing extra modules and PHP usage:

Create a content type called Expiry Content, name it anything you like.

Under Content Management -> Content Type ->Add New Content Type

In the Fields section, add a new date field called Expiry Date. We will use this field to set some future time we want the content to expire

Tips: Lower the sitemap priority adjustment for this content type if you have installed the module. You don’t need search engine results for such a content

Create and Configure a List View Based on The Expiry Content Type

Here, we don’t need to provide a page view, a block suffices. Set the Nodes Per Block to 1.

In the Fields section, get the required fields, usually body is enough. We don’t need title here as we can customize the block’s title later.

In the Filters section, include a node type and select Expiry Content, include Node: Published and set to Yes. Include also the Expiry Date field we created earlier. Under Operator section for this particular field, use Greater Than and under Option, type Now. Whenever the expiry date becomes less than the current time, the content is not visible in the block, literally it expires. This doesn’t mean the content automatically¬† gets unpublished.

At this step, we can go ahead and publish new expiry content.

  1. Content Management ->Create Content > Expiry Content.
  2. Set the Expiry date for the content in the publishing administration.
  3. Edit the title of Expiry Content block in the blocks admin
  4. Make the block available on any page that you want to feature the content