Review: 'Drupal 6 JavaScript and jQuery'

Let's start with a confession: I don't like JavaScript. I don't like object notation and I don't like programming languages where whitespace (line enders) is significant. I cut my teeth on C, and I am suspicious of any deviation from its spartan truth. I also don't trust power windows and think the Volvo 240 was the pinnacle of automotive engineering, just to put it all in context.

Looking for journogeeks

Life is change, and we've had some great people change their lives by leaving Morris DigitalWorks to take on new challenges in the Web consulting and development world. We're sad to see them go, but excited when they wind up working on cool projects like

So we're looking to grow a new crop of wizards, and in the mix we're going to be recruiting some journogeeks.

Blows against the empire: iPad, Chrome, HTML5 and Android

It hasn't been a good month for Microsoft. First Google with its Nexus One, then Apple with its iPad, have highlighted how its empire is in risk of falling, replaced by a new mobile world in which Microsoft is irrelevant.

Most revolutions fail because the revolutionaries can't stay united. This one is no different. And there is plenty of skirmishing among the revolutionaries.

Regarding the iPad, I am Dr. Buzzkill

It's here. And I'm disappointed. It's not just that the iPad failed to live up to its hype (which was just short of ending world hunger, curing disease and raising the dead). It's that the iPad doesn't change the world, no matter how many times Steve Jobs says "advanced," "revolutionary," "magical" and "unbelievable."

Drupalization of Augusta

The new Augusta Chronicle website is now live, the latest in a series of conversions of Morris websites to a Drupal-based system.

Before and after

The soft paywall: Some more numbers to chew on

OK, one more post about the "soft paywall" concept and then I'll move on to something else.

Paid-content discussions tend to be dominated by religious wars -- declarations of belief, not fact -- so I want to do what I can to inject some facts when I can.

As I've pointed out repeatedly, averages are useless and segmentation is essential if we're going to understand human behavior and discover whether there is any real reader-revenue opportunity left in local journalism.

Cookie monster versus "soft" paywalls

Pretty much everybody who's talking seriously these days about asking users to pay for news content is pointing at the same model: Leave the website open to casual visitors, but require heavy users to sign up as paying customers. Let people see perhaps half a dozen stories a month, but if they show signs of high interest, present them with a bill for the content they're consuming.

Going mobile with a news site that Just Works

Point #2 of my Seven simple thoughts about the Mobile Web was "Your old website should Just Work. ... When someone wants to use your website from a mobile browser for whatever reason, including following a link that someone sent them through Twitter, it should detect the user's browser and deliver an appropriately formatted page."

What we won't learn from the New York Times' paywall

So the New York Times has announced it will begin charging for access to its website, using a metered model similar to the one I discussed recently. The reactions have been predictable. I want to focus on one small angle: What we won't learn.

We won't learn a thing this year, because they're not doing it until 2011.

Paid content and the march to Paris

There's an incident from World War II that I think can teach us something about paid content.

At the end of the first war, the French built a series of defensive fortifications along the border with Germany called the Maginot Line. It was supposed to make it too expensive for the Germans to attack, because they would have to conquer heavily defended positions.

But the Germans simply avoided the line, using new technology to practice fast-moving "lightning war," crossing into Belgium, flanking the Maginot fortifications, and proceeding to Paris.