So simple, yet so genious

Cecilie TS

Four years ago, Cecilie TS had never touched Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. No wonder, really. Since Instagram didn’t exist then. She uses four keywords to tell her tale on how to relate digitally: text, timing, presence and time.

Personal relation

We are all humans (right?) Customers are people too. They want to speak to someone human, genuine. When texting on G+, Facebook or what more social services to be born, let your communication be genuine, not synthetic, dyed in your strategy, rather than copy-pasted from a document.

Why do people follow my Facebook page? Likes are good, but we want to know about your backstage life. Even if people follow your company’s logo over time, they really want to know who you are, how you think, what you drink and perhaps the color of your eyes.

Fun

Humor engages. Let it be – yeah you guessed it – genuine, not put on. If you are a funny-bunny by birth, use the humor to draw attention. If not, don’t try. People will realize you’ve been bluffing when they meet you in real life.

Presence

People want to be seen. If they’re not visible in your eyes, they won’t believe you. Building relations take time. Build relations rather than spewing out information.

You will fail

Sooner or later, things will go wrong. You will end up hurting or disappointing one or another. One of your employees will post something one late Saturday night – that should not have been posted. No wonder. You are human, right? Ask for forgiveness, that’s human.

How to succeed in social medias

People who succeed in social medias are people who see other people, as humans.

Disclaimer: This is my personal interpretation of the speech. I might have intentionally or unintentionally left out parts or details.

Why the W3C validator won’t help your customer

Let me tell you my story. Many years ago I was religiously validating all my sites in the W3C validator. That was back when HTML 4.01 was so 2000 and XHTML 1.0 was the new cool kid in town. I vigorously taught my fellow developers to code all sites so that they validated with XHTML 1.0 STRICT. I liked the word STRICT, capitalized! Also, semantics was a beautiful word in my head. I conveyed a mystery layered on top of the regular deadly HTML, giving meaning to the words scattered around tags and javascript. Elevating the site above the rest.

However, one day I faced reality. Met a light, so to speak. I read an article by a very wise guy, that basically said: We make websites to help the customer do their thing better. Now to validate in W3C. I was, like, WHAT?! I thought W3C validator was for the customer, and not the developer. I came to realize, however, that everything comes at a price. XHTML is by nature strict. X stands for XML, so to have valid XML, everything must be validatable. So without validation pass, XHTML made no sense.

I also got in contact with reality when I started validating big sites like google, microsoft and – hold your horses – the validator itself. And they all turned out invalid. Surprising, eh? I sent a mail to the developers of the validator, where they replied something like this: “eh, hehe, hihi. didn’t see that coming – oh the irony”.

The motivation of the validator is to make sure the sites follow W3C’s recipe for HTML5, XHTML, HTML 4.01 etc. The thing though is that many times it’s impossible to validate and do cool things at the same time. Many plugins and cross browser compatibility fixes actually break the validation.

Another fun motivation for validation is SEO and semantics. Semantics is a word that describes the addition of meaning to content, so that search engines, screen readers and other tools without (well functioning) human eyes can understand the meaning and importance of the content. However, it turns out that search engines don’t really care about validation. It doesn’t mean that they don’t care about semantics, but not validation. Read this article to gain more insight. This topic is however religion. And you will find many SEO expert calling this heresy.

So, to conclude this essay: Validation is mostly never relevant to user experience. I will run the validator and fix relevant errors, but I will not make the site validate.

Some sites that do not validate:

Debugging PHP has never been so beautiful

Well, in fact, to me, debugging PHP has been an ugly mess. I know this probably is because I just think I know how to program PHP. Really good programmers interpret the feeling of the server by holding their hand over the screen and analyzing the heat pattern that emits from the irritated pixels.

But to us normal, deadly developers, we need help. Help is found at www.phperror.net, a simple class that outputs beautiful error messages. Not only beautiful, but also very, very informative. Play the video, download the class, and become a happy debugger!