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The tangled Web issues

You may have noticed -- well, we hope you noticed -- that FCW.com -- well, all of the 1105 Government Information Group publications -- were mostly offline yesterday.

There was much consternation because every time the site would come back up... crash! It ended up that it was caused by a firewall conflict, which we believe has now been fixed.

Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, we're very sorry about the problems. It's not your job to have to worry about this stuff, so... we're sorry that you had to.

One other note to those of you who use RSS feeds -- and if you don't, why not? With the migration to our new content management system, FCW's RSS feed address has also changed. The new RSS address is http://www.fcw.com/rss. Put that in your RSS reader and you'll have FCW content fed right to you. If you don't know what RSS feeds are, visit the site below. I mentioned these folks before, but they create what are called the Plain Language Guides -- this one happens to focus on RSS. I think they are simply fantastic.

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/0klgLsSxGsU&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/0klgLsSxGsU&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

Finally, our blogging platform. I had posted earlier about the problems with our new blogging platform. Well, they have fixed those to a large extent. From a procurement standpoint, I've been trying to practice what I preach -- we hire somebody to do work for us, so rather then telling them what to do, we've been trying to lay out the requirements and let them find the way to fix the problems... all while keeping the lines of communication open. It is really difficult. And we have made much progress.

Eventually, we'll focus on how the blogs actually look. Folks tend to try and treat blogs as just are just another story. They aren't. And they shouldn't be. They are a stream of conscience, to a certain extent, and the look and feel of them carries that across. Right now, I think our posts look too much like... well, any other story that you'd find on FCW .com. Blog posts need to be tied into one another -- a way to get to the next item... or the previous item... so it conveys this streaming idea. We also don't make it easy for you to get back to the main blog page other then the main navigation bar.

The nice thing -- and the challenging thing -- about the Web is that the work is never done. So... we're working on it... among other things.

Your critiques are always welcome, of course.

Posted on Oct 30, 2007 at 12:17 PM


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