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Topic: Community

  • Open for Business

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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.

  • Findings from the Web Design Survey, 2009

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    The findings are in from the survey for people who make websites. Once again, we have crunched the data this way and that, figured out what the numbers were telling us, and assembled the sliced and diced data-bytes into nifty charts and graphs for your edification and pleasure. As in years past, what emerges is the first true picture of the profession of web design as it is practiced by men and women of all ages, across all continents, in corporations, agencies, non-profits, and freelance configurations.

  • The Wisdom of Community

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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.

  • How to Be a Great Host

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    Online communities can take time to get off the ground. Like small businesses, most fail to thrive due to poor planning and support. John Gladding explains how anyone who can host a great party can start a successful forum.

  • The ALA Primer Part Two: Resources For Beginners

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    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.

  • The ALA Primer: A Guide for New Readers

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

  • Community Creators, Secure Your Code!

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    Don’t be like MySpace. Protect your community site from malicious cross-site scripting attacks. Part one of a two-part series.

  • Anonymity and Online Community: Identity Matters

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    Most community managers want to offer a comfortable level of anonymity without spending too much time battling hooligans who aren’t invested in the community. John Grohol offers advice on striking the right balance.

  • The Way It’s Supposed to Work

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    Groundbreaking accessibility information. Project management and information architecture theory from old-school experts. Plug-and-play solutions to universal design and development problems. Experimental CSS/DOM hacks that use non-semantic elements to do funky design tricks. One of these things is not like the others…which is why we’re introducing a tiny new feature to the magazine.

  • How to Write a Better Weblog

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    Great writing can’t be taught, but bad writing can be avoided. Mahoney shares tips to enhance the writing on your personal site, blog, journal, etc.