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The Web Culture Explained by Adam Smith

It seems that the Internet is a new world where everything looks unique and original. The idea of the user experience and the social networks seem to have been developed by young people working for companies like Google, Facebook, 37signals and many others. But is it really true that all these concepts are new or are they insights from the economy theory applied throughout the years? Well, let's see what Adam Smith wrote at the economic science inaugural piece, An Inquiry into the Nature And Causes of the Wealth of Nations from 1776: For Adam Smith the individual has a natural propensity for accomplishing trades. However, to accomplish trades we have to produce an excess to sell it or permute it with other. But how is it that the society increases the production to create this excess? For Smith the individual should be specialized in one step of the production and not accomplish the whole process alone. “the certainty of being able to exchange all that surplus part of the produce of his own labour, which is over and above his own consumption, for such parts of the produce of other men's labour as he may have occasion for, encourages every man to apply himself to a particular occupation, and to cultivate and bring to perfection whatever talent or genius he may possess for that particular species of business.” So, can Adam Smith dialogue with the Internet? Well, think at the specialization level that the Internet has reached, nowadays we have almost every imaginable kind of service avaible online. For example, if you are a photographer and need to create a portfolio you can use services such as Flickr, Behance, Deviantart, Carbonmade and others not only to create it but also to promote it. If you need to make money from your portfolio or work there is Shutterstock, iStockphoto and other marketplaces, Apple and its app store for the iPhone is a really good example. The only thing you have to worry about is creating a nice app, the rest (hosting and selling) will be done for you. All these services have as a main goal to allow the user to focus on his/her own potentials to be able to evolve and improve his/her own activity and productivity. Remember that: “In civilised society he stands at all times in need of the cooperation and assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons.” Smith alerted us around the 18th Century about the importance of trades and specialization on things we can contribute. Therefore, let's take his tip and contribute to the continuously human development! About the Author This article was written by Fabio Pesavento, PhD in Economic Science from Brazil and professor at ESPM.

Sikbox the Live search for your site

After a few weeks of work with my brother, Eduardo Sasso and my friend/Zee partner Fabiano Meneghetti, we proudly present you with our newest project, a web app called Sikbox. What is Sikbox and what does it do? Sikbox is the easiest way to have a fancy and useful live search on your blog or website. Not only is that the tagline for our app, but it is exactly what Sikbox does. It's a fully customizable live search script for your site. Features include: Easy to install and use No programming required Extremely lightweight Fully customizable via skins or CSS Lightning fast Sikbox uses the new Yahoo BOSS service and the almighty jQuery to do the work. The coolest thing is the simplicity. Just enter the domain you want Sikbox to search on, get the code, and put it on your site. It works with all CMS’s: Wordpress, Drupal, Textpattern, etc.. In addition, it works with static sites as well. BOSS (Build your Own Search Service) is Yahoo!'s open search web services platform. The goal of BOSS is simple: to foster innovation in the search industry. Developers, start- ups, and large Internet companies can use BOSS to build and launch web-scale search products that utilize the entire Yahoo! Search index. BOSS gives you access to Yahoo!'s investments in crawling and indexing, ranking and relevancy algorithms, and powerful infrastructure. By combining your unique assets and ideas with our search technology assets, BOSS is a platform for the next generation of search innovation, serving hundreds of millions of users across the Web. Of course we've added some nice features such like eye candy themes and the ability to choose how many results you want to show. But that’s not everything. We are working on some very cool new features such as statistics and another killer feature that I can't tell you right now. So take a look at http://sikbox.com/, test it on your site and let us know what you think. Suggestions and critics are always welcome. Oh and we've been using it here on Abduzeedo for a few days already and it's been working better than the Drupal search engine.

Let's drink some wine!

I’m neither a wine expert nor drink wine that often, but I work with web design and I’ve been noticing a great variety of sites related to this subject. Besides that one thing that caught my attention is that these sites are really beautiful, well designed, and with a vibrant community. I’ve never imagined that this subject had such a great appeal from all ages. Some of these sites have discussions and forums about wine, where I could notice comments from young and not so young but much more experienced users and wine tasters. Because of that in this post I will show you some sites about wine, so you will be able to learn, interact, and who knows become a wine expert.

Slogan, you really should use one.

When I visit a site for the very first time, at first I just wanna know what does that company do. Making your visitor look for what your site is meant for, what it sells ou what kind of service you pay is a great step to make him go away before you can even blink once. And that's why you should use slogans, short frases, that explain the main purpose of your site or even instigate the visitor to get to know more about it. Here we'll show you some slogan use references in sites headers. Strong frases, big fonts, straight to the visitors' eyes and some time with some kind of humor. Isn't it good to find something before you even think of looking for it? Author: Fabiano Meneghetti | If you want to write an article and have it published here send it via email to abduzeedo[at]abduzeedo.com

The World in Panoramic

Are looking for vacation spots and just wish you could actually visit the place before you went buying your trip package? Well, there's the just the right place for you to do that: ViewAt.org It's a cool project... it's integrated to Google Earth and Google Maps. It´s a free service and everyone can upload their panoramas to show any place that they wish to. The rapid advance of Internet related technologies allows the use of more and more sophisticated tools. While this provides many advantages, it also means that surfers are put off by the sheer speed of these changes. This is why we are so excited at having set up viewAt.org, because we think we can avail this technology to all those who are interested in showing their panoramic works in a spectacular way and at the same time, reach a maximum number of netheads. From ViewAt.org I really recommend everyone to pay a little visit to these guys. It's an awesome site. And if you know a cool website worth showing to the world, you may email us sending links. We will analize it and we may publish it here! Author: Paulo Antunes | If you want to write an article and have it published here send it via email to abduzeedo[at]abduzeedo.com

Openjobs seeking talents

Openjobs is a very cool project where I had the opportunity to work in partnership with my brother. It’s basically a job board target for the Brazilian Market, inspired by Krop, 37signals GigBoard and Authentic Jobs. One of the coolest things about this project was the freedom I had to create the design and the CSS. We used a web framework called Wicket, which really makes designing and developing web apps very easy and straightforward. Besides that we are creating widgets so everybody can publish them on their blogs, and in the near future we will be releasing an Open Social widget as well for the Orkut mainly. With proper mark-up/logic separation, a POJO data model, and a refreshing lack of XML, Apache Wicket makes developing web-apps simple and enjoyable again. Swap the boilerplate, complex debugging and brittle code for powerful, reusable components written with plain Java and HTML. Some screenshots Widget

Using VectorMagic

I found this tool on Digg a couple of days ago but I couldn’t use its service because of the “Digg Effect”. Everybody, that includes me, was trying to convert some bitmaps to vector with a tool called VectorMagic, the online tool for precision vectorization. VectorMagic is the result of a Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Laboratory research project by James Diebel and Jacob Norda. Vectorization (aka tracing) is the process of converting a raster image to a vector image. Raster images are pixel-based, whereas vector images are represented by geometric shapes such as lines, circles and curve Basically this tool converts bitmaps to vector. However, this might be the best vectorization tool out there, at least that I have used befor. They even created a link showing some comparisons between the VectorMagic, Adobe Live Trace (Illustrator CS2) and Corel PowerTRACE (CorelDRAW X3). I have converted some images to vectors using it with very good results, specially with logos and some photos. Besides that it's really easy to use, with a distinct and clear user-interface, and the best thing is that it's online and free. If you need a vectorization tool, VectorMagic is definitely an excellent choice.

Splashup the Photoshop online?

There are some very good online photo editors available, tools like Picinik, pixer.us, Snipshot; and everybody knows that Adobe is about to release an online version of Photoshop. However there’s a new contender in this battle and it’s called Splashup. Splashup, formerly Fauxto, is a powerful editing tool and photo manager. With all the features professionals use and novices want, it's easy to use, works in real-time and allows you to edit many images at once. Splashup runs in all browsers, integrates seamlessly with top photosharing sites, and even has its own file format so you can save your work in progress. Splashup is a flash based application, it must work in all browsers, and one of the best things, in my opinion, is its interface. It basically recreates the Photoshop’s UI, making the learning curve less steep if you are familiar with the Adobe app. There’s a lot to be done, as they are still in beta; like the filters and the blending modes. Even though it lacks a lot of features we can have a very good idea what to expect in the next generation of these online photo editors, as they will be able to take advantage of technologies such as Adobe® AIR™, Silverlight and the new Mozilla Prism. Here is an image I created using it, it's definitely worth giving it a try.

The Behance Network

Thanks to a new friend I got an invitation to The Behance Network. Basically it’s a network for creative people to promote their work, but much more than that, its a platform for projects and collaboration. As they slogan says "make ideas happen". Represent your work professionally. Build a dynamic portfolio of your latest projects, open to all or shared selectively. Connect and collaborate in "circles." Join or create groups of creative professionals, gathered around interests, to share content and ideas. Discover job opportunities. Behance's GigList features great work opportunities for creative professionals. Creative industry leaders are also able to mine the network for talent. I liked the fact that you could personalize your portfolio, add text, change colors, typefaces, and customize pretty much everything. The problem with that is, at least on my machine, the site seems to be a bit slow Anyway, I have some invitations to give away. So if anyone is interested, just drop a comment below with a valid email for me to send the invitation.

Wet floor effect maker

This is a very handy site I found at digg.com called Reflection Maker, it basically creates that wet floor effect, very common in this web 2.0 era, for you. You just select an image or use an image’s URL, set the reflection size, the background color, press the Generate button and that’s it, your image with the reflections will be created. The term wet floor was apparently coined by Nathan Steiner for Twinsparc in October 2005.[citation needed] Initially popularised by Apple Computer in the early 2000s, the style is popular on sites which appeal to a modern young-adult culture such as Flickr and Digg. Wikipedia Reflection Maker is really nice and if you want to create the wet floor effect without even opening your Photoshop, this site is totally worth checking it out. The sites'interface

Web 2.0 Design Master's Degree

Well, that's not totally true, but Design Interviews has on their website a really nice and funny quiz that helps you to figure out how good you are on the Web 2.0 issue. Take a minute to complete our new special Web 2.0 quiz and figure out how smart you are on this issue. We have composed this quiz with the help of the world’s best Web 2.0 experts - although they most likely have no idea they were involved. Even so the results are believable. After you take this test you will receive a special code with the results on an icon that you can place on your website so that every visitor can see how aware of the Web 2.0 issues you are. The quiz has only 10 questions and depending of your score you can get a Web 2.0 Master's Degree, Web 2.0 Bachelor's Degree or Web 2.0 Student. The coolest thing is that there is a list of everybody whom has taken the test and their degrees.

5000 Web 2.0 logos in 333 Seconds

This is a video created by SimpleSpark, a directory of web 2.0 applications. It basically shows pretty fast, exactly 333 seconds, 5000 web 2.0 logos of all 5000 companies they have indexed so far.The Simple Spark Catalog is the place to find all of the really cool web applications, or "apps" that will become an integral part of your life online.  

Explaining RSS to your mother

Among all new terms and technologies in the Web 2.0 era, RSS might be one of the most unknown terms and also one of the most powerful technologies to stay tuned to fresh news. Nevertheless you must master it first and only then you will be able to truly unleash its power. You will find lots of sites explaining about RSS, however, none of them can really deliver a convincing and simplified explanation so even people like my mother could understand what it is. Actually, my mum has been very useful in the improvement of my skills on regarding different and simple ways to explain web related terms to my clients. If she is able to understand it then, I guess, anybody can.Although with RSS it's been very difficult to explain to her what it really means. Also if  you look at some explanations you will understand why.RSS (which, in its latest format, stands for "Really Simple Syndication") is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines or podcasts. An RSS document, which is called a "feed," "web feed," or "channel," contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that's easier than checking them manually. Wikepedia Now the best way I found is using videos as there are some really cool explanations on "Youtube" that illustrate what RSS is and how to use it. Some of these videos I have listed below: This, in particular, is the best one in my opinion What's RSS (ASL VLOG) A poll of everyday people to see how much RSS has had an impact in the real world. By the looks of the results - not much!

The Invoice Machine

Every time you provide a service, or sell a product you need to send an invoice indicating the products, quantities and agreed prices ... Probably everybody knows that, however we need to create invoices all the time. Most people have a template of an invoice for their text editor, while others use software like Quickbooks that do the job for them. In my case, I used to use a custom template that I created. But to be honest I was really thinking, an online invoice app wouldn't be a bad idea at all. The Invoice Machine website provides exactly that, it creates free and really cool PDF invoices for you. Simple as that, put your information and start the invoice machine. The Invoice Machine is a free web 2.0 application that let's you create free and beautiful PDF invoices in a snap. Click on "Start The Invoice Machine" to begin creating your custom invoice! Here are some screenshots of my first invoice created using The Invoice Machine: Adding information: Invoice From/Invoice To Descriptions and Prices Downloading your invoice

Testing sites in different browsers

I've been working on several projects for the web lately and I have always had to test them in several browsers. That could be very frustrating most of the times, mainly because as a Mac user I must test them every time on Windows and Internet Explorer 6 and 7.With virtualization tools like VMWare, Parallels, Virtualbox and others I thought my problems would have ended. Of course that big concern of testing in a PC ended, now I’m able to open Windows and test my sites in IE 6 and 7. However my machine gets really slow, some times freezes, what makes the user experience a bit disappointing.Fortunately, after some searches I came across with this really useful website called IE NetRender, where allows you to check how a website is rendered by Internet Explorer 7, 6 or 5.5,This web rendering tool is ideally suited for web designers working on Apple iMac and Linux workstations. It allows to verify web designs natively on all popular Internet Explorer versions, without the need to set aside several physical or virtual Microsoft Windows PCs just for that purpose.It’s definitely worth checking that out. An essential tool for those who work as web designers. I captured some screens of my site rendered by IE 7 and 5.5 via IE NetRender, you can check the photos below.Abduzeedo blog rendered in IE 7 via IE NetRender Abduzeedo blog rendered in IE 55 via IE NetRender

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

This is a really good video showing how the web 2.0 is changing communications and the ways we use the web The video was created by Michael Wesch and he describes it as "Web 2.0 in just under 5 minutes". Transcripts are available as well at http://mediatedcultures.net/ksudigg/?p=78

Wedeed logo

Lately I have been working with my brother on a promising project. Actually I shouldn’t even been talking about that now, but it’s necessary to say some things. Basically it’s all about CSS, it’s really cool, and it's called Wedeed. Anyway, what he asked me to do was the logo and later its GUI. “Well, you don't need to hire any creative designers for making those web 2.0 style logos for your blog - just follow any of these tutorials. And if you hate reading instructions in text, head straight to the video tutorial.“http://labnol.blogspot.com/2006/11/logo-tutorials-design-web-20-style.html It’s amazing the number of tutorials showing how to create a web 2.0 logo, actually, there are really good tutorials, but almost all of them showing us how to create those web 2.0 effects, rather than how to come up with a good idea, and that was I was looking for. For this logo our goals was to create a really simple logo, easy to understand, web 2.0, and beautiful. 1 - We follow some ideas like: Cascading Pages Separate design from data Different Colors Simple typeface Flipping pages   2 - Definitions A Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) provides the ability to separate the layout and styles of a web page from the data or information. Styles such as fonts, font sizes, margins, can be specified in one place, then the Web pages feed off this one master list, with the styles cascading throughout the page or an entire site.www.liv.ac.uk/webteam/glossary/ How CSS works 3 - Some inspiration: What people have been doing. http://www.flickr.com/photos/stabilo-boss/93136022/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/stabilo-boss/101793494/ 3 - My ideas: The idea of layers perfectly represents the separation of the design from the data. Looking for some references and inspiration, nothing like google images and flickr Some of the initial digital tests 4 - Fonts of the web 2: There are really great sites showing examples, though I think the simplest the best. Font variations, colors and alignments Great fonts for web 2.0 Web 2.0 logos(fontshop) Andy Budd's SXSW keynote 6 - Adjustments: Some adjustments in the perspective, testing opacities and effects. Trying some colors and opacities 5 - Final Result: Pretty much the simplest version of them all.