Infografía: imagina cómo sería el mundo sin Internet

por Equipo Social Media

En la ceremonia de apertura de los Juegos Olímpicos de Londres, se rindió homenaje al físico británico Tim Berners-Lee, considerado el padre de Internet al ser él quien desarrolló el lenguaje HTML, el protocolo HTTP y el sistema de catalogación y búsqueda de contenidos a través de las URL. De eso hace más de 20 años. Dos décadas en las que se ha concentrado un proceso tecnológico y social revolucionario que ha significado ya el cambio más colosal en la historia de la humanidad.

Hoy, el correo ordinario, los crucigramas en los diarios, los discos de vinilo, los videos VHS, los disquetes o la Enciclopedia Británica nos parecen casi tan lejanos como el cine mudo, el charlestón o las palomas mensajeras. Un mundo muy distinto pero demasiado reciente como para olvidarlo sin más. ¿Tan diferentes éramos hace solo 20 años? ¿Tan difícil era nuestra vida sin un smartphoneentre las manos? ¿Acaso el trabajo era un infierno incontrolable sin el e-mail y las relaciones sociales un desierto solitario sin las redes sociales?

Te proponemos un juego: imagina cómo sería tu vida si no existiera esa comunidad de 2.300 millones de personas que utiliza a diario Internet. Ni webs ni correo electrónico ni Whatsapp ni Facebook… Casi asusta, ¿no? Seguir leyendo “Infografía: imagina cómo sería el mundo sin Internet”

Clients, the Web and the Big Misconception


Pretty ambiguous title isn’t it? That’s entirely intentional, because the topic of this particular article is something that a lot of web designers seem to hate talking about.

But, now that I’ve got you here hopefully you’ll stick around, so I’ll let the cat out of the bag (so to speak). In this article we’re going to be talking about Web 2.0.

Wait! Don’t run away! This isn’t the sort of article that’s going to round up eight bazillion awesome examples of Web 2.0 designs, or a tutorial that’s going to try to teach you how to replicate some overused and increasingly outdated design element. No, I’m going to tackle the issue head on and in a way that I hope will actual be useful for you. Why? Because we can’t simply ignore Web 2.0 (as much as we may want to).

The term is out there, and has permeated far beyond the borders of the design community and into the mind of the larger public.

it has also permeated into the minds of your clients and potential clients.

That means it has also permeated into the minds of your clients and potential clients.

Here’s a case in point. The other day I was communicating with a new prospect about possibly designing a website and all the things that it would entail. We had exchanged a few emails already when that dreaded question that so many web designers hate to hear came up: will the site design be in 2.0? As a designer/developer, this kind of thing generally and predictably draws a plaintive groan from my lips. Images of strong gradients, big bold stripes, glossy buttons and overused reflections dance like tiny, trendy goblins in my mind.

Later, when I offered my initial proposal for the website, I indicated that I would code it all in XHTML 1.0 and CSS3. I didn’t really expect the client to understand exactly what that meant, but it’s just one of my standard practices to include those kind of technical details, just to make sure that I’ve covered all the bases.

As you can imagine, the client came back and asked: Will the site be done in XHTML 2.0? Based on the previous version-based question, I was reasonably certain that the client was not referring to the W3C’s now defunct concept for XHTML 2 (parts of which have survived in HTML5 – see Jeremy Keith’s wonderfully succinct “A Brief History of Markup” for more details).

No, what the client was actually talking about was his notion of having a website designed to “work” with version 2.0 of the web.

No New Internet

Of course, there is no “new” version of the internet. We’ve introduced some new technologies into the mix, and allowed others to grow and evolve. Our browsers can do a heck of a lot more in terms of rendering sites than they could a decade ago, and the evolution of frameworks like jQuery have allowed for the much broader development of application-like functionality within a document.

But, at its core a website is still very much the kind of thing that I talk about in my recent article “HTML (and CSS) do Not a Website Make” – the unified sum of the various technologies that drive it.

It’s also important to note that there has been no significant change to the underlying structure that drives the internet. To quote Wikipedia on this subject:

Critics of the term claim that “Web 2.0″ does not represent a new version of the World Wide Web at all, but merely continues to use so-called “Web 1.0″ technologies and concepts. First, techniques such as AJAX do not replace underlying protocols like HTTP, but add an additional layer of abstraction on top of them.

Many of the new technologies that we use these days to drive the experience of the internet are not really all that new at all, but are either expanded (such as CSS3 and HTML5) or frameworks that provide a simplified form of access to existing technologies (like jQuery and MooTools do for JavaScript).

As web designers and developers, this probably isn’t anything all that new or revolutionary for us and we understand that the internet that we are using today is precisely the same internet that we were using back in 1995.

Instead of being replaced with a new version, it has simply grown and matured, much the same way my daughter has transformed from a helpless newborn to the energetic two and half year old who is currently pushing my MacBook closed and asking me to come play with her… Seguir leyendo “Clients, the Web and the Big Misconception”

How to Teach Web Design Using Optimal Learning and Gestalt

by Michael Tuck

How to Teach Web Design Using Optimal Learning and Gestalt

This article attempts to give you, the reader, a leg up on how to teach new hires, colleagues, or your nephews and great-aunties the basics of Web Design using optimal learning and gestalt principles.

The idea of teaching Web Design (or anything really) can be examined in the light of gestaltism.

One of the biggest concepts to understand in teaching your newbie how to design and code a website (or to throw a football or grill halibut, for that matter), is to:

  1. Present the bigger picture before tackling the details
  2. Connect new learning with previous learning, or concepts and ideas the learner already knows

It comes down to “learning how the brain learns.” Cast your mind back to the most boring high school class you ever had the misfortune to endure. Chances are you were bored to distraction — i.e. looking for a distraction — and you were probably led to feel that it was your fault. “If you’d just listen better,” or “You have to pay attention all the time, not just some of the time,” so forth and so on.

Well, guess what? It wasn’t your fault. At least not entirely.

If you were sitting there in your classroom strategizing on how Master Chief can best defeat Tartarus or thinking about what’s going to happen in tonight’s episode of Gossip Girl, it’s partly because your attention wasn’t being engaged. Your brain wasn’t being activated to learn whatever subject the teacher was attempting to teach. This isn’t to say that your slipping firecrackers into Jimmy Mahoney’s shorts was the teacher’s fault, but it is to say that many teachers, with deep groundings in their fields and the best of intentions, don’t teach their subjects well.

Most people don’t learn in incremental bits, yet that’s how most of us were taught, whether it was Web Design, the Punic Wars, or long division. Do a quick Google search on “web design tutorials,” and chances are you’ll find several results that attempt to teach the subject slowly, incrementally, with the focus on the most boring parts first.

This is where gestalt principles come into play. Boiled down to their basics (and perhaps their most simplistic), a gestalt view of Web Design advises you to look at the entire issue of design as a large (and certainly complex) whole and introduce learners to that view of Web Design before getting down to the bits and pieces.

That’s where you should start, the bird’s eye view.

Many people in the position of teaching someone new to Web Design will just tell the newbie to go to this or that tutorial site and get started. Sometimes we just tell them to Google it to sidestep having to train someone who wants to know if CSS is something they get from kissing girls.

This is always a mistake.

For one, you’re throwing the entire responsibility of the newbie’s learning onto the newbie. That’s a mistake. Here’s a 1941 sales training film from Chevrolet that makes the point beautifully. It’s worth watching even if you don’t need the reinforcement.

Your pupil depends on your experience and knowledge, but more importantly, trusts you to get him started the right way. Farmer John didn’t give Jimmy a copy of a tractor manual and then send him out to plow the south forty. “Just make sure you don’t plow over my crop of soybeans, that’d send my farm into bankruptcy!” “Sure thing, Mister John! …Wish I knew what soybeans look like…”

You shouldn’t make the same mistake with your new guy.

You’re the expert in your company (or your family, or your church, or your neighborhood), you should be the one to give the initial guidance. They trust you, and if they don’t, they will after you get them started correctly. You don’t need to start them off with an explanation of doctypes, or worse, an invitation to get to know Dr. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. They need to grasp the overall concept of what a web page is and how the various elements work together.

Not only does this help your newbie get started properly, it also makes it a bit more fun for them.

And fun is more important than you might think in a learning process. The authors of Engagement Economy note that fun at work creates a sense of achievement, increased socialization with peers (hopefully that includes you), and immersion both in the subject at hand and in the company.

Want your new hire to commit themselves to your company for at least the next five years? Spend five hours helping them get started on the right track to learning. It’s a worthwhile tradeoff. Seguir leyendo “How to Teach Web Design Using Optimal Learning and Gestalt”

Evolution of Websites: A Darwinian Tale

by Alexander Dawson |


Evolution of Websites: A Darwinian Tale

The web is constantly evolving. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how quickly new technologies are being adopted and how fragile design trends are. While the web is still an infant relative to other mediums such as print, TV and radio, and still has fair amount of growing up to do, it has already amassed a rich history. Let’s take a look at how the medium has evolved throughout the years.


A Matter of Carbon Dating

Evolution is inevitable. As British philosopher Herbert Spencer put it — inspired by Charles Darwin’s theory on natural selection — it’s “survival of the fittest.”

If we examine any aspect of web design, we can see that trends and technologies being discarded, improved on, or superseded by something better is common. Evolve or die, pick one of the two options. And if we delve deeper, we can see three core elements that dictate this natural selection and evolution.

A Matter of Carbon Dating


Certain web browsers tend to be more evolved than others!


One of the core elements of the web is code. As web designers and web developers, the success of a particular language largely depends on how much value it brings to our work. I’m sure only a handful of you remember VRML with the fondness of the concept that we could soon be browsing the web using the same virtual reality as used in the movie Tron. Alas, virtual reality didn’t take off.

A Matter of Carbon Dating


The idea of virtual reality and 3D objects fascinated developers. Seguir leyendo “Evolution of Websites: A Darwinian Tale”

10 ReadWriteWeb Readers Explain What Our Internet is Turning Into

Written by Deane Rimerman

question_mark.jpgHow do we explain the Web and what it means? With so many innovations changing our lives, that’s a complex explanation. Now what if you had to do it in only a few words?

Marshall Kirkpatrick recently asked some of our readers that very question. We then picked 10 responses most worth sharing. Congratulations to those who made the list. And if you’d like to add more ideas to this ongoing discussion, please do so in the comments section below.

  1. Filtering is The Future

  2. “I feel the next great advancements in the Web will not be centered around publishing, but filtering all the information so you can find more relevant content and people.” – Eric Wortman

  3. A Way to Have a Voice That Matters

  4. “For non-techies like myself, the Internet is empowering. I can have a voice and it matters to some. I can consume, create, share, participate, lurk, connect with others, etc. It’s up to me, and I love that.” – Robin Ashford Seguir leyendo “10 ReadWriteWeb Readers Explain What Our Internet is Turning Into”

The State of Linked Data in 2010

Written by Richard MacManus

In May last year we wrote about the state of Linked Data, an official W3C project that aims to connect separate data sets on the Web. Linked Data is a subset of the wider Semantic Web movement, in which data on the Web is encoded with meaning using technologies such as RDF and OWL. The ultimate vision is that the Web will become much more structured, which opens up many possibilities for “smarter” web applications.

// At this stage last year, we noted that Linked Data was ramping up fast – evidenced by the increasing number of data sets on the Web as at March 2009. Fast forward a year and the Linked Data ‘cloud’ has continued to expand. In this post we look at some of the developments in Linked Data over the past year.

Governments Get on Board

The most high profile usage of Linked Data over the past year has come from two governments: the United States and United Kingdom.

The U.S. was first to open up some of its non-personal data for use by developers, with the May 2009 launch of In January 2010, the U.K. government announced – with the help of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. At launch, had nearly 3,000 data sets available for developers to build mashups with. At the time it was more than three times as much data than the U.S. site offered.

Following on from the launch of, U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a new British Institute for Web Science along with $45 million in government backing. The Institute will be led by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and prominent researcher Nigel Shadbolt. This was great news for Linked Data, because according to Prime Minister Brown, the Institute “will help place the U.K. at the cutting edge of research on the Semantic Web and other emerging web and internet technologies.”

Commercial Applications

There have been commercial success stories too, such as OpenCalais for media, MusicBrainz for music and GoodRelations for e-commerce. There are also many commercial sites tapping into the general knowledge data store at

However it’s relatively early days for commercial applications of Linked Data. We’re beginning to see smart people explore potential use cases, such as this list for news organizations, but much of the early implementation is being done by publicly funded entities such as the U.K.’s BBC.

The latest version of the Linking Open Data dataset cloud, as at July 2009, maintained by Richard Cyganiak and Anja Jentzsch.

Just Get The Data Up There

To reiterate, Linked Data is data that has been marked up using Semantic Web technologies such as RDF (Resource Description Framework) or RDFa (a simpler variation). Minus the acronyms, Linked Data is simply structured data.

However one of the reasons the Semantic Web hasn’t yet been widely adopted, at least commercially, is that it’s often difficult or time consuming to mark up data semantically. RDF in particular has a reputation for being painful to code. With that in mind, the past year has been as much about prompting governments and organizations to put their data up on the Web in whatever form they can.

Indeed when I interviewed Sir Tim Berners-Lee last July, he told me that he’d be happy if governments “just put data up in whatever form it’s available.” He mentioned that “Comma separated values (CSV) files are remarkably popular.” He’d be much more happier if it was semantically marked up data, using the likes of RDF, but conversion can happen after it’s been uploaded to the Web.

So overall, Linked Data is still early in its adoption curve. However it’s undeniably become a solid on-ramp to the wider Semantic Web and world of structured data.

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