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Our really interesting entertainment subsite (and product)

January 16, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

Blended into all of the excitement from last week’s MacWorld and CES events was an interesting new area of Cisco.com we launched for our Cisco Eos product. Eos is a platform that allows media companies to scale a community-based entertainment experience across a large portfolio of sites without incurring the cost and complexity of custom building each site. You can think of Eos as a “white-label” solution for media companies to build and define their own online communities. A couple of examples are Warner Music Group’s lauraizibor.com and allseanpaul.com — different presentation layers and experiences even though they’re running on the same Eos product backend. Since Eos is an abstracted platform (presentation layer separate from the data objects separate from the content assets), media companies can continue to experiment and tweak with the web experience without interrupting the day-to-day operations of the live web site. Anyway, this in an interesting business is for Cisco — hosted-software model, focused on media companies, all for delivering an end-consumer experience (a B2B2C approach), and so we worked to define a subsited web experience that conveyed something of that idea: new, while being a strong part of the Cisco brand, like so: imageimage One lesson is that new styles and subsites can pay off in terms of interactive and visual aesthetic, but are definitely a ton of work to create and deploy, so they should be approached with both eyes open. Stay tuned for some interesting navigational treatments we’re planning for these subsite. A good place to keep up with these media-related topics, including Eos, is Cisco’s DigMediaRev blog.Enjoy!

If you can spend gaziliions on icons

January 12, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

elance.comguru.com

Web templates on the cheap

January 12, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

Here are the two sites that I’ve used in the past along with some notes about them: TemplateWorld.comThis site is subscription based with subscriptions going for $49.95 for six months or $69.95 for one year. Once you’re a member you can download as many templates as you like (up to 25 a day). My experience with this site was that the templates look nice but were typically hard to customize and many had some severe usability issues. The HTML coding that the template used was messy and hard to work with. I ended up downloading a bunch of templates but only used one for a clients site. I did not renew my subscription to this site. Site I created using a TemplateWorld.com template: www.harborlitelodge.com TemplateMonster.comThis site sells templates on an individual basis, typically for $60 to $70. They also tell you how many times a template has been purchased and give you the ability to make a template unique by purchasing it outright for significantly more money (around $3000), they will then take the template off their site and will not sell it anymore. That means that if no one purchased it before you, your site should be the only one using it (assuming you trust them to never sell that template again). Since I always modified templates anyway I was never concerned about having a “unique” template. I found that while the TemplateMonster templates can be seen as more expensive then TemplateWorld’s templates they are much easier to use and much better constructed. Site I started creating using a TemplateMonster.com template (development stopped because client stopped providing content): http://thelunchbox.biz/dev/ Take aways:These types of services are a great way to get a professional looking template for next to nothing in terms of what it would typically cost to hire a design firm Saves time over traditional web design Not all templates are created equal, some look great but can be hard to modify or have usability issues

My 2008 Virtual Highlights and 2009 Quick Picks

January 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

OK I know a bit late for this kind of post but here are my top highlights as relates to virtual news and happenings in 2008.1) Google’s Lively -- Came, went and was re-born as NewLivelya. Many folks saw the announcement to shutter Lively as unfortunate and a bit short sighted, read one opinion.b. Fans rallied though and NewLively was born from the ashes.2) PlayStation Home -- Finely launched but will it be in Beta forever?a. Everyone greatly anticipated this release which seemed to take forever to finally get here.b. Some folks think Home is just scratching the surface of what it can do while others (including Home Director, Jack Buser) think it will be in beta forever.3) Warhammer -- Darn fine game, raising the bar…but not the death of WoW; imo.a. Warhammer Online released this year. Woot!b. The game garnered a lot of well deserved praise but some folks are cautious to cry victory as regards the games long term success..4) Virtual Meetings and Events -- The current state of the economy and corporate ‘green’ initiatives help the format explode off the chartsa. Read a couple of opinions from some of the folks on the vendor side of the industry: Unisfair talks about the future of virtual events and this blog ponders the future of MacWorld and CES.image5) OpenSim -- Not ready for prime time yet but when it is, watch out y’all.a. OpenSim is the open source alternative to Second Life. Some say it is as important to virtual worlds as Apache is to web site, read for yourself. b. Many folks say that there are definitely good things going on and to come in 2009, but not a large audience at this time. However, they always follow-up with while it may not be ready for public consumption now…it will be industry changing when it is. So what am I looking forward to right now in 2009? Many things but at this moment… Read More »

Sneak Preview: Speaking of Home Wireless…

January 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

In follow-up to my recent post about setting up my home network, here’s a sneak preview of a new site area we’re launching: Linksysbycisco.com.imageThere are some really great tips about setting up home networks, including lots on wireless.This site is Beta so there are a few things being put together, but have a look and enjoy!