OpenFiction [Blog]

Painful to watch

Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on August 16, 2007

Two years on…

Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on August 13, 2007

…it seems my intuition might have been right. Rumors are beginning to circulate that the New York Times will drop the TimesSelect service. My home page has gone from NPR to the Economist to iGoogle. I’ve continued to read the NYT free content–especially the reporting on the Yankees (interesting how losses don’t make the front page)–but I’ve managed to avoid going back. It appears that many others may have.

I’m a strong believer…

Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on August 13, 2007

…in the importance of font choice. I know some writers who are very careful about the fonts they will use, and tend to choose somewhat fancy nonstandard fonts. For me, fonts really only have the power to hurt, not help. The moment a font is more noticeable than the writing, either because its a bad font or just too fancy, the font is a problem. There’s an article in the New York Times Magazine on fonts for highway signs that illustrates this nicely. The whole point of a font is to maximize readability and communicate information.

For any text I expect to be read on paper that is longer than a paragraph or two, I prefer Times New Roman, which is classic compact and very readable. For most online text, I use Verdana, which is again simple and quite legible. Verdana’s too wide a font for printed sans-serif though, and I’m not a big fan of Helvetica, which lacks crucial detail needed for the numbers-based evaluation reports I write (in particular, you can’t distinguish the letter “l” from the number “1”). For printed reports and for spreadsheets, I use Tahoma, which is essentially a compact Verdana. It’s got good contrast between characters and is legible at very small font sizes (down to 6 point in print).

All of that being said, I’ve never been entirely happy with the font of tOFP [ Blog ], which looks really crappy on a PC, so I may go back and change it.

tOFP by the numbers [ July 07 ]

Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on August 8, 2007

Numbers for tOFP still look healthy, with more than 18,000 visits reported by Webalizer. I continue to be impressed by how different the Webalizer stats are from the Google Analytics readings. I’m attaching the two Google Analytics reports for the same time period, which show a combined 515 visits.

I tend to trust the Google numbers a bit more. The GA courseware report also shows a big spike in page views at the beginning of the month that Webalizer misses, which looks like real user behavior to me.

Anyhoo, 36 downloads of tOFP [ Print ] which is a drop from previous months, but it is summer.

Here’s the overview:

Here are the details.

Here are the Google courseware numbers.

Here are the Google blog numbers.

OpenFiction Remixed

Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on August 7, 2007

Here’s a really nice reuse of tOFP content on the USU OCW site, in a context that continues to spread the love. I’ve come across instances before where instructors have reused some of the content, which is great, but in this instance the reuse is made available to others for further reuse. Very nice.