SixApart just released a really interesting tool to help owners of Movable Type websites customize their style. To learn more, read the announcement on the blog – “Introducing the Movable Type Design Assistant” – or head directly to the design assistant and start playing with it.
The assistant is a step-by-step wizard that starts with one of a few popular default templates, lets you choose from six standard column layouts, and tweak your CSS. At the end it shows clear directions for implementing your new design on your site.
I liked the column layout in particular; it really makes it easy to play around and visually find out what will work best for you. The CSS tweaking is pretty cool as well, letting you click on an element in the sample blog to bring up a selector for easy customization. It’s similar to the live CSS editing a tool like Firebug provides, but in a lighter manner.
The design assistant is open source (GPL), and they plan to continue improvements, so potentially this could become a powerful tool for adjusting Movable Type website styles.
Here’s an interesting report from yesterday quoting Akamai Technologies which found that traffic to advertisers’ website didn’t increase appreciably during the game:
Akamai delivered the Web sites and advertising content for approximately half of the companies that aired commercials during the Super Bowl, according to company spokesperson Jeff Young. This year’s advertisements featured fewer commercials with so-called cliff hangers, which drive viewers to a company’s Web site to see the conclusion of the ad, Young said.
I wonder if there is a good baseline to compare this against. It’s probably not realistic to expect a traffic increase during the game. I think the advertising is more tuned to brand recognition and spreading the message as everyone talks about their favorite SuperBowl commercials.
Yesterday’s game was actually close and came down to the wire — much improved compared to the recent trend. The commercials were pretty good, but didn’t seem as extravagant. Even so, there’s always a lot of buzz around all the ads — here are some good sites that showcase all the ads run during the game:
Also, if you liked the NFL commercial featuring Ephraim Salaam and Chester Pitts (both from the Houston Texans), check out the Super Ad: Who Want’s it More? contest. NFL players pitched their stories to be considered for this year’s NFL Super Bowl commercial and the Salaam/Pitts story won.
Very interesting day at work yesterday with the news of the Microsoft buy-out offer, including plenty of rumors and speculation (as you might expect).
While the board and executive management work through this process, employees probably have a few concerns along the lines of “how will this affect me?”. In no particular order, some likely questions:
- What will happen to my stock options?
- Will I still have a job?
- Which products will survive?
That last point is probably the most interesting and will lead to lots of fun speculation. (It’ll also drive question #2 as things shake out.)
Webware.com has a good comparison of most of the web properties to see who presumably would win out: Web 2.0 cage match: Microsoft vs. Yahoo.