One of the reasons I’ve put off starting this blog for years is that nobody’s coined a term yet for what I want to write about. Google “virtual campus” and the top results will be either a university’s online course offerings or its campus tour.
That’s not at all what I mean. For me, “virtual campus” is a way of thinking about a university’s web presence: approaching it not as collection of documents and web apps but as a collection of virtual buildings, rooms and property managed in a manner comparable to the best practices of physical plant operations.
… And exhausted to tears, surrounded by empty vials of holy water, bags that once contained salt, discarded iron bars and the burned bones of vitaly, who no longer ruled Google, the web developer finally sealed the gateway to the beyond, banishing the ghosts from Google Analytics stats forever.
I wish. That would have been a lot more fun and made for a better story.
The web developer paused at the threshold of the WordPress admin pages. The dashboard was clean and well-organized; there were no ominous sounds, no foreshadowing of what lurked in the Google Analytics summary until she saw, out of the corner of her eye, the stat for the site’s top page: sexyteens.hol.es/post465853.
The Top Referrers suddenly flew out at her: free-share-buttons, Get-Free-Traffic-Now, free-social-buttons, buy-cheap-online and guardlink. She tried to scream, but something cold and slimy wrapped around her throat as vitaly rules google taunted her from Top Searches.
Author’s note: readers who are easily offended by scaffolding and the setup thereof may want to give this post a miss lest they find it objectionable.
I planned to discuss web fonts in some future post, taking the line that the new choices offered by the likes of Google and Adobe are a treat for the creative among us, but that it’s important to weigh the merits of novelty against the impact on page download times.
Today, though, I need to share something far more urgent: how poor typography, and not only on the web, can completely change the message you’re trying to communicate and potentially harm innocent people whose eyeballs are pointed in the wrong direction at the wrong time.
I developed the idea behind the 30 Questions exercise several years ago after a faculty member took it upon herself to become the university’s marketing department. She discovered the World Wide Web at 9 a.m. on a sunny Thursday morning. By 2 p.m. she was issuing directives as to the design and features of the university’s web site.
How does a web developer begin to explain to a single-minded faculty member with zero web background the number and enormity of ways in which they’re completely wrong?