The Internet Society's Dan York reports on new technologies and other technology-related developments that communicators will have to deal with, and the actions communicators should take now to be prepared.
FIR On Technology 006 – Understanding Core Web Vitals, a new Google search ranking factor in May 2021
In May 2021, Google search rankings will start to include more user experience ranking factors – are your websites ready? Using a set of metrics called ‘Core Web Vitals’, your web pages will now be ranked based on how fast they load, how quickly a user can start interacting with a page, and how stable the page is while it loads. In this episode, I explore questions such as: what does this mean for your websites? What tools can you use? What can you do to improve your sites so that they don’t lose any search engine ranking (and perhaps increase their ranking)? In this time when commerce has moved online, and Google search remains a critical way for people to find websites, how can businesses ensure their websites remain competitive?
* Mindmap with links for this episode
* Google’s page on Core Web Vitals
* PageSpeed Insights
FIR-on-Technology #005 – Understanding WordPress 5.5
Did you know WordPress 5.5 can speed up your site? And that you can now edit images directly in a post or page? And that you may be able to get rid of multiple plugins? Whether you have installed WordPress 5.5 already, or have been holding off, if you are part of the 38% of the Web that uses WordPress, this episode is to help you as communicators know how to get the most out of this excellent new release.
* WordPress 5.5
* What’s New With WordPress 5.5
* What’s New in WordPress 5.5 — A Deep Dive Into an (Epic) Release
FIR On Technology #4 - How To Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
How do you make your website “mobile-friendly”? Given Google’s impending April 21, 2015, deadline to start using mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor for mobile search results, what can you do both in the short-term and in the longer-term to both provide the best experience for mobile users – and also retain your Google search result ranking?
In this fourth episode of “FIR On Technology” Dan York explains what you need to be thinking about with regard to “responsive design” of your website, outlines some of the resources Google offers to help, and explains several of the options you have to make your site mobile-friendly. During the episode Dan discusses the following sites:
* Disruptive Conversations: Google Says Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly By April 21 – Or Drop In Search Results
* Resources from Google:
* Mobile-Friendly Test Site
* Customize Your Website Software
* Mobile SEO
* Responsive Web Design Basics
* Principles of Site Design
* Webmaster Tools: Mobile Usability
FIR On Technology @#3: Understanding Markdown
What is the Markdown language all about? How can it help communicators more rapidly create content for the Web and other formats?
In this third episode of “FIR On Technology” Dan York explains the Markdown language and how it can be used to rapidly create richly formatted text in places such as WordPress via the Jetpack plugin, Github, Ello and more. The goal is to help you as a communicator understand the basics of what Markdown is about and where to learn more. During the episode Dan discusses topics that can be found at the following links:
* Wikipedia on Markup languages
* Wikipedia on Markdown
* Markdown Overview
* Markdown Basics
* Markdown Syntax
* Markdown in the Jetpack plugin for WordPress
* WordPress.com Markdown Quick Reference
* Ello: How To Format Posts Using Markdown
* GitHub Flavored Markdown
* Markdown Extra
* 35+ Markdown Apps For The Mac
* The Best Markdown Editors for Windows
* 78 Tools for Writing and Previewing Markdown
FIR On Technology #2 - Known And The IndieWeb
What is “Known” and how does it relate to the IndieWeb? What is the difference between the Known software and the Withknown hosted platform? How do these compare to the new Ello social network? And what value are any of these to communicators?
In this second episode of “FIR On Technology”, recorded on October 1, 2014, Dan York and Shel Holtz discuss all these questions, plus the value of owning your own content, the meaning of “POSSE” and perspectives on the various tools being discussed.
UPDATE: In the show, I mentioned that the self-hosted version of Known did NOT come with social media integration. This turns out to NOT be true. Ben Werdmuller from Known clarified that my experience had to do with the fact that I had installed Known directly from the Github repository. If I had used the “Download Known” button on the Known Developers page, I would have downloaded a complete version, including social media integration tools. With using the bare bones version directly from the Github repository, I still could have installed the social media integration tools, but I just needed to download and install them as separate plugins. I appreciate Ben’s reply and clarification. —Dan
Along the way, Dan and Shel discussed a wide range of links, including news stories and articles about the IndieWeb:
* This Week In Google Episode 266
* GigaOm: Don’t like Facebook owning and controlling your content? Use tools that support the open Web
* Dan Gillmor: Why the Indie Web movement is so important
* ArsTechnica: Tim Berners-Lee: We need to re-decentralize the Web
* Fred Wilson: The Personal Blog
More details about the IndieWeb:
Discussion about “Known” as an instance of the “IndieWeb”:
* GigaOm: IndieWeb advocates launch Known so bloggers can be social and still control their content
* Disruptive Conversations: The Importance of The ‘Known’ Publishing Platform And The Rise Of The Indie Web
Examples of hosted Known sites:
* a href="http://nevillehobson.withknown.
FIR On Technology #1 - Exploring Google+ Hangouts On Air
What are Google+ “Hangouts On Air” (HOA) all about and how can communicators best use them? How does a “Hangout On Air” differ from a “Hangout”? What kind of technology do you need to know to use them? What are some tips and tricks for working most effectively with a Google+ HOA? What is the linkage to YouTube? How do you get started?
In this first episode of “FIR On Technology”, Dan York interviews Randy Resnick who has been involved in over 200 Google+ Hangouts and HOAs and uses them as part of his regular daily work. They talk about all of these questions as well as some of the latest add-ons that work with Google+ HOAs and some of the latest changes that provide even more capabilities. Along the way Randy provides some insight into what he has found works best when working with Google+ Hangouts On Air. Some resources discussed in the episode include:
* Google’s page on Hangouts On Air
* Google+ Community about Hangouts On Air
* An example tutorial from Ronnie Bincer about scheduled HOAs
Randy Resnick, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1947, became interested in technology at a young age, building electronic kits and projects through high school. He became a professional musician and moved to Los Angeles in his 20’s, playing blues in clubs with artists like John Lee Hooker, toured Europe and Asia and recorded with John Mayall. He moved to France to go back to his love of technology, where he worked for a company as a programmer while learning minicomputers. He eventually started his own consulting business with his wife. He also got involved with voice-over-IP (VoIP) as a hobby. In the early days of the web, they worked for prestigious Bordeaux wine producers, helping them get on the Internet and later, social media. Since the advent of affordable video, he has been producing Google Hangouts and Youtube Live Events, including the weekly VoIP Users Conference.