UPDATES

CONFERENCES:
web directions South - Oct 6-9 in Sydney, Australia - www.webdirections.org/
Usability Week Conference
- Oct. 12-18 in Las Vegas - www.nngroup.com/events/las_vegas/
An Event Apart 2009
- Oct. 12-13 in Chicago - http://aneventapart.com/2009/chicago/
An Event Apart 2009 - Dec. 2-3 in San Francisco - http://aneventapart.com/2009/sanfrancisco/
FECT (Florida Educators Technology Conference) - Jan 12-15 in Orlando - www.fetc.org/

UK's netmanager - to understand the severity of outside attacks on UK web sites - https://its.net.uky.edu/home.php


HOST YOUR OWN SHORT URLS

As an educational unit it's often wished that we could shorten our web addresses to something more memorable. But alas, we are basically tied to http://www.uky.edu and variations thereof.

Along come TinyURL, is.gd, Metamark, ow.ly, Su.pr, thurly, tinyarro.ws, and Tweak to fill the void.

But there are cautions. Most of these services are on shaky financial ground, one having already threatened to shut down. If one or more do go under then the shortened URL's they created go with them. In other words, if you provide viewers and search engines with your shortened URL and the service that created it tanks the redirect to the real site is gone and, in essence, your website.

SitePoint's Kevin Yank also points out that "URL shortening services significantly weaken the lattice of hyperlinks that hold the Web together. Developers who want reliable, permanent short links to their stuff need to find a better way to provide them."

-->Read more


TWITTER POSTINGS: ITERATIVE DESIGN

Are you being asked, in addition to your duties posting news about your unit to the world on its website, to also make an effort to tweet on Twitter?

If you said yes, you've probably struggled to shorten that news or announcement into the 140 character limit imposed by Twitter and still maintain the essence of the message - better yet, to compile Twitterers to even read your post.

Web guru Jakob Nielsen has had the same issues. He shares the five steps he personally took before coming up with a final version of a major announcement about conferences his company sponsors. He also takes on the task of logically assessing the times to post "tweets" to maximize worldwide coverage.

-->Read more


FLASH COOKIES? WHAT ARE FLASH COOKIES?

Web users beware!!! There's a new way to track your web habits - Flash Cookies.

But these aren't your father's web cookies, ones that sit within your browsers' preference folder to remember that you gave a site permission to remember you or to allow advertisements to appear on their page. Many of you use them so viewers to your site have a faster experience.

A recent Wired article says "Unlike traditional browser cookies, Flash cookies are relatively unknown to web users, and they are not controlled through the cookie privacy controls in a browser. That means even if a user thinks they have cleared their computer of tracking objects, they most likely have not.

Most browsers allow you to clear traditional cookies within the Tools Menu or automatically when you close the browser. However, Flash Cookies are hidden in your user library and preference files, away from any interaction with your browser files.

The Wired article goes on to say "Several services even use the surreptitious data storage to reinstate traditional cookies that a user deleted, which is called ‘re-spawning.’ So even if a user gets rid of a website’s tracking cookie, that cookie’s unique ID will be assigned back to a new cookie again using the Flash data as the “backup.”

Want to find out how to rid yourself of unwanted Flash Cookies? Read this TechRepublic article.