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SEO Article in Flash & Flex Developers Magazine

Flash & Flex Developers Magazine - January 2009A few months back Jason McCoskery and I wrote a fairly detailed article for Flash & Flex Developers Magazine about SEO for Flash and Flex. It looks like the article has just been published in the January 2009 issue.

Jason and I used our experiences in building the p.i.n.k. Spirits website as a platform for testing the concepts and they worked so well that we decided to write an article. The article covers using SWFAddress and SWFObject with PHP to provide your content in an alternate view (in this case HTML instead of Flash) for SEO purposes.

The article contends that when Adobe announced they were working with Google and Yahoo! to improve the searchability of Flash and Flex websites and applications, the Flash development community largely applauded the initiative. However, months after the announcement there has been minimal increase in the effective search engine rankings of Flash and Flex websites.

We discuss why the current method of Google and Yahoo!'s new 'headless player' isn't working quite yet, and how you can provide a mirror of the exact same content in your Flash and Flex projects as HTML using a single data source. This is a 'white hat' approach and doesn't break any of Google's rules.

There have recently been some articles on how Google has been updating the 'headless player', namely this article on InsideRIA, and I may do a blog post updating the article if necessary. Until then, be sure to check out the article in the January 2009 issue of Flash & Flex Developers Magazine.

Released: The Essential Guide To Open Source Flash Development

The Essential Guide To Open Source Flash Development CoverI am super late in posting this, but the book in which I recently co-authored, The Essential Guide To Open Source Flash Development, was released toward the end of July and is available for purchase.

The book covers a completely open source work flow for Flash and Flex developers, as well as providing concrete examples and documentation for some of the most popular open source projects, including: PaperVision3D, SWX, Red5, Fuse, and AMFPHP. I contributed the chapter on SWX, featuring both mobile and website uses with the p.i.n.k. Sprits website as a case study. More details can be found on the Friends of Ed website. Marc Hughes, one of the main authors on the project, also has a good write-up on his blog.

Overall, I really enjoyed the experience of writing and hope to continue to do so in the future. If I learned anything, it is how much time and effort really goes in to these books -- I can't imagine what Colin Moock must have felt like writing the massive 1000 page effort that is Essential ActionScript 3.0. Just getting the 40 pages I wrote through the whole publishing system took over a month, including writing, technical and editing reviews, page formatting and proofing.

All of this has led me to start thinking about why as a developer I own such a large and ever-expanding library of printed material. The photo to the right is of my library of work-related books. Mostly reference material and inspiration, but all in print. To this day I still buy printed copies of books even when a PDF version is available. As a developer who helps create digital experiences, shouldn't I be trying to help expand the digital world? I doubt that I'll ever stop buying printed materials, but the notion is certainly one to think about.

Review: Guidelines for Online Success

Rob Ford, founder of The FWA, and Taschen Books have posted a virtual copy of their upcoming book "Guidelines for Online Success" for viewing before the print version hits bookstore shelves.

I ended up spending about an hour flipping though the virtual edition, and this is both a great reference and a great source for inspiration. I have previously posted about several of the smaller Taschen web design books, and while those are great for inspiration, I always felt they lacked any educational component. "Guidelines for Online Success" takes the normal screenshots of amazing interactive projects and then discusses what makes them amazing, how you can learn from their success, and how to avoid some possible pitfalls.

I have a feeling as soon as I get my copy, it'll become a well used resource for both inspiration and interactivity guidelines. Every agency should have at least one copy of this book, so pre-order a copy from Amazon.com today.

Writing SWX Chapter for The Essential Guide to Open Source Flash Development

About a month ago Aral Balkan mentioned he wasn't finding the time to write a chapter on SWX for an upcoming Friends of Ed book, so I offered to step in to write the chapter for The Essential Guide to Open Source Flash Development on SWX for Flash and Flash Lite.

It is an honor to be a part of this book with such open source Flash community members as Chris Allen, John Grden, Wade Arnold, Carlos Ulloa, Moses Gunesch and others. You can read bios of all the authors on the book's bio page.

I am wrapping up the last round of review this weekend, and the book should be published and available in July. You can pre-order the book on Amazon.com today for about $31.

Essential ActionScript 3 is a Bestselling O’Reilly Book

Moock AS3 According to Mike Downey and Ryan Stewart, Colin Moock's Essential ActionScript 3.0 is the bestselling O'Reilly book and number four (or five now?) on Amazon's best seller list.

I had previously posted about my problems finding a copy of the book, including the major delays by Amazon.com. Apparently others are having the same issues (see the comments at the bottom of Mike's post), which I am sure is a result of unexpected popularity on Amazon's part. Either way, if you are still wondering why you can't find a copy of the book -- now you know!

Moock’s Essential AS3 Book Now Shipping in Late August

Essential ActionScript 3.0 CoverToday I woke up to an email from Amazon.com informing me that Colin Moock's new book "Essential ActionScript 3.0" was going to be delayed until August 24th. The book is still listed on their site as available for pre-order without an estimated shipping date, and after checking Powell's Books (Portland's famous bookstore) and Borders' website, I have found that neither of them list an available date.

So if you are like me and have been waiting for this book to come out for months now... it looks like the wait will continue. Sadly, I have a feeling that due to Moock's overwhelming success with his prior books, many developers are waiting for the release to learn AS3. Because of this, I can't help but think that the delay in releasing this book has the potential to slow the overall adoption rate of AS3 in the interactive community.

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