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Topic: Community

The wisdom of community. SOPA and other threats. In defense of readers. Coaching your community. Improving the conversation in comments and forums. Content-focused digital product and brand development. Building magazines and communities. Editorial best practices. The arithmetic of readers and writers. Conferences and communication. Anonymity and online community: identity matters.

  • In Pursuit of Facebook Happiness

    by Nishant Kothary ·

    Our level of happiness and satisfaction on social networks is largely determined by the same things that make us happy in the rest of our lives. You can let your timeline be a perpetual reunion of your dullest second cousins or get out there and join some clubs.

  • Writing Is Thinking

    by Sally Kerrigan · Issue 388 ·

    When you write about your work, it makes all of us smarter for the effort, including you. Done well, this kind of sharing means you’re contributing signal, instead of noise. But writers are made, not born. We often hear from people who say they’d love to write for A List Apart or start blogging, but don’t know where to start. They feel unfocused and overwhelmed by the task. If this is beginning to sound like you, read on, as Sally Kerrigan walks you through how writing works, and how you can get better at it.

  • A List Together

    by Mat Marquis · Issue 388 ·

    A List Apart gets back to its roots: building community, giving a platform to new voices, and getting people excited about the web. We’re making changes to the way we work—starting with our decision to open-source the code that powers alistapart.com itself—and we want you to participate. Our Mat Marquis invites you to contribute code and concepts via GitHub, get to know our acquisition scouts, and use ALA and its editors to share your ideas and insights with the whole web design and development community.

  • The REAL Real Problem with Facebook

    by Nishant Kothary ·

    The Facebook news feed: featuring the perfect lives and perfect kids of people you barely know, and sometimes glimpses of weird opinions from friends you thought you knew perfectly. Maybe our understanding of identity has outgrown the design of our virtual interaction spaces.

  • The Monster Within Us

    by Nishant Kothary ·

    There's a monster within you and me—we all have it. It's driven by primitive needs and it's relentless, but—plot twist—it's trying to save your life. Only it doesn't understand what's going on and it can hijack your thinking and actions in an instant, making you a menace, or at least a jackass, to everyone around you. Scared yet? Fortunately, there's a great technique for keeping the monster at bay.

  • Does Our Industry Have a Drinking Problem?

    by Rachel Andrew ·

    The social events surrounding conferences are an integral part of the experience—and they mostly involve getting together over drinks. But as the industry becomes more inclusive, we gain more people for whom drinking isn’t a good option. It's time to add more ways to party and meet up that give us a chance to network with all of our peers—and maybe even leave us feeling up for that second-day morning workshop.

  • Open for Business

    by Laura Kalbag ·

    The web is a record of all you share (and over-share). So why would you risk looking less than perfect right where potential clients will be getting to know you? Because it’s also the best way to show them how honest, hardworking, and reliable you are—and helps you connect with people who can fill in gaps in your knowledge and sympathize with your ups and downs. So how do you find the right level of openness that can actually help your business?

  • “Like”-able Content: Spread Your Message with Third-Party Metadata

    by Clinton Forry · Issue 372 ·

    Woman does not share by links alone. Although formatting our content via structural markup makes it accessible across a multitude of platforms, standard HTML by itself offers no means to control how our message will come across when shared on popular social networks. Enter third-party metadata schemas. Facebook’s Open Graph protocol (OG) and Twitter’s Cards are metadata protocols designed to provide a better user experience around content shared on these social platforms. Clinton Forry explains how to use these tools for good.

  • The Flirty Medium

    by Derek Powazek ·

    Our brave new digital world allows us the freedom to flirt safely, but that’s both good and bad. In this special Valentine’s Day edition of Fertile Medium, we explore online flirting from two different perspectives.

  • Picture Yourself in a Boat on a River

    by Derek Powazek ·

    Welcome to Fertile Medium, an advice column for people who live online. Each edition, I’ll take a question from you about living and building social spaces online, and do my best to answer. Want to ask a question? Tweet to @fertilemedium or call (415) 286-5446 and leave a message.

  • What We Learned in 2012

    by Our Gentle Readers · Issue 368 ·

    A new A List Apart means a new design, new features, and renewed excitement about the future. But before plowing full-steam into tomorrow-land, we asked some of our friendly authors and readers to share lessons they learned last year, and how those lessons can help all of us work smarter in 2013.

  • Say No to SOPA

    by Jeffrey Zeldman · Issue 340 ·

    A List Apart strongly opposes United States H.R.3261 AKA the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), an ill-conceived lobbyist-driven piece of legislation that is technically impossible to enforce, cripplingly burdensome to support, and would, without hyperbole, destroy the internet as we know it. SOPA approaches the problem of content piracy with a broad brush, lights that brush on fire, and soaks the whole web in gasoline. If passed, SOPA will allow corporations to block the domains of websites that are “capable of” or “seem to encourage” copyright infringement. Once a domain is blocked, nobody can access it, unless they’ve memorized the I.P. address. Under SOPA, everything from your grandma’s knitting blog to mighty Google is guilty until proven innocent. Learn why SOPA must not pass, and find out what you can do to help stop it.

  • The Wisdom of Community

    by Derek Powazek · Issue 283 ·

    The Wisdom of Crowds (WOC) theory does not mean that people are smart in groups , they're not. Anyone who's seen an angry mob knows it. But crowds, presented with the right challenge and the right interface, can be wise. When it works, the crowd is wiser, in fact, than any single participant.

  • Coaching a Community

    by Laura Brunow Miner · Issue 280 ·

    A key to running successful "social networking sites" is to remember that they're just communities. All communities, online or off, have one thing in common: members want to belong, to feel like part of something larger than themselves. Communicating effectively, setting clear and specific expectations, mentoring contributors, playing with trends, offering rewards, and praising liberally (but not excessively) can harness your members' innate desires, and nurture great content in the process.

  • In Defense of Readers

    by Mandy Brown · Issue 278 ·

    As web designers, we concern ourselves with how users move from page to page, but forget the needs of those whose purpose is to be still. Learn the design techniques that create a mental space for reading. Use typographic signals to help users shift from looking to reading, from skimming along to concentrating. Limit distractions; pay attention to the details that make text readable; and consider chronology by providing transitions for each of the three phases of the online reading experience.

  • Ten Years

    by Jeffrey Zeldman · Issue 269 ·

    When Google was little more than a napkin sketch and the first dot-com boom was not even a blip, we started a magazine for people who make websites. Celebrate A List Apart's first decade. Join Zeldman for a look back at the way we were—and why we were that way. Find out what we've done and who did it with us, peek into our process, and get a clue about what's next.

  • Putting Our Hot Heads Together

    by Carolyn--Wood · Issue 265 ·

    The web is a conversation, but not always a productive one. Web discussions too often degenerate into whines, jabs, sour grapes, and one-upmanship. How can we transform discussion forums and comment sections from shooting ranges into arenas of collaboration?

  • Community: From Little Things, Big Things Grow

    by George Oates · Issue 258 ·

    Q. What technology do you need to build the next Flickr? A. Trick question. What you need to build the next Flickr is people. George Oates, a key member of the core team that shaped the Flickr community, shares lessons that can help you grow yours.

  • The ALA Primer: A Guide for New Readers

    by Erin Lynch · Issue 223 ·

    New to A List Apart? Welcome! ALA's own Erin Lynch suggests a few good places to start reading.

  • The ALA Primer Part Two: Resources For Beginners

    by Erin Lynch · Issue 225 ·

    In part one of this series, Erin Lynch suggested a few good starting points for those new to ALA. In part two, Erin and the rest of the ALA crew suggest resources for those new to the whole industry.

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