I feel pretty
Another lecture season kicks off this week with my lunchtime keynote address at Active Insights, WebSideStory’s two-day user forum on best practices in digital marketing. Catch me if you can: Thursday, 10 November, the Grand Ballroom, the Roosevelt Hotel, Madison Avenue at 45th Street, New York City.
A List Apart 207
In Issue No. 207 of A List Apart, for people who make websites, we highlight a few unexpected consequences — both positive and negative — of common interface design and accessibility choices.
- High Accessibility Is Effective Search Engine Optimization
- It’s no coincidence that search engines love highly accessible websites; in fact, by designing for accessibility, you’re already using effective search-engine optimization techniques. Andy Hagans explains yet another reason to pay attention to accessibility.
- Design Choices Can Cripple a Website
- Do you test your designs? If not, Nick Usborne wants you to take responsibility for your design choices and the very quantifiable effect they can have on websites that are built for business.
The unshaken world looked on in horror as school buildings collapsed on children during the Kashmir earthquake. Carrie and I watched a man clawing at rubble because his little girl or boy was somewhere under there. A television journalist, reporting from the scene, said every child in that village had died.
Television journalists report on all kinds of awful events from all kinds of places, and it is part of their job to calmly relate even the most terrible facts. Yet this particular television journalist, standing just a few feet away from the grief-maddened parent, looked as if he, too, had been crying.
Then the 24-hour news cycle turned its attention to the next scandal, the next storm, the next talking point.
But the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India who survived the earthquake don’t have the option to change the channel. Three million are homeless and a harsh mountain winter is setting in. Three million who survived will die in the coming weeks if not enough is done to help them.
It will take money and effort. And both are wanting.
You would think the governments of rich western nations would consider saving three million lives a no-brainer. For one thing, they are human lives, and from our pulpits and benches we constantly and truthfully proclaim that human life is an absolute value.
There are humanitarian reasons to make every effort to save these lives. There are ethical reasons, spiritual reasons, and even (though it is horrible to say so) political reasons, given that most victims are Muslim and the west has, to say the least, not done the best job of winning Muslim friends lately. But that is just logic and ethics and the religious duty of one human being to another, and thus not enough is being done.
So it is up to us, the people, to reach into our pockets and give whatever we can to aid agencies working to save lives in South and Central Asia.