Text Field Spell Checker for Internet Explorer

One of the problems with blogging and entering information into text fields in general is that it’s a hassle to spell check what you’ve written. Of course, if you’re posting a comment on a bulletin board or a blog, or writing an entry, you can preview what you’ve written, but it’s easy to miss typos.
Fortunately, there are a couple of free IE plugins that solve this problem: Hot Lingo and IM Translator.
I’ve tried both but have settled on Hot Lingo as IM Translator (as the name implies) provides a lot of additional translation functionality which I have no need for. Although on the Hot Lingo site it calls the free version an ‘evaluation’ version there’s no time limit to how long it works and no limitations on its functionality. How handy is that?!

Knowledge Management Best Practices

There’s a good article at CIO about knowledge management best practices using some real world examples of companies that have been successful at it.
I particularly liked the tips for making knowledge management work for other organizations:

→ Start with the enthusiasts
→ Convince the influencers
→ Make it a no-brainer
→ Hire a knowledge coordinator
→ Tell stories
→ Recognize contributors
→ Create in-person knowledge forums

Incidentally, I quite liked the “Reader ROI” sidebar that accompanies the article, which gives you a quick bulleted overview of what’s in the article and why it might be useful. A nice touch.

Search Engine Optimization Tool

I’ve been using a great free search engine optimization tool from Softnik Technologies called Good Keywords. It enables you to see how popular certain keyword phrases are with particular search engines. This is invaluable for choosing page titles and headings and also for helping you to lace your content with appropriate keywords. If you’re a bit new to all this, you can learn more about writing good page titles.
If this isn’t enough, Good Keywords enables you to check out your link popularity (the number of links pointing to your site) on the major search engines as well as to see your overall site popularity (based on the service provided by Alexa.com). It’s an excellent way to see how your site is stacking up against the competition.
Incidentally, you can check for good keywords on the web too, using suggestiontool.com but it’s much more convenient to have it in a desktop app.

Tabbed Browsing for Internet Explorer

I’m one of those people who likes to surf the web by opening up multiple windows when I find something of potential interest. That way, I can keep the current page open if the content in the new window turns out to be a false lead and I can click on a whole bunch of links and get to them when I’ve finished reading the page I’m on.
I’ve always hated the fact that IE doesn’t support tabbed browsing and have grown extremely tired of ALT+TABbing through multiple browser windows. Of course, I love Mozilla and Firebird, but I think it helps to be using the same browser as 90%+ of web users.
Well now, thanks to the excellent Avant Browser, I can. Avant is based on IE and so it operates in exactly the same way. However, it has practically all the functionality of Mozilla, in particular, tabbed browsing. If you’ve never surfed the web in this way before, try it. You’ll thank yourself (and improve your productivity to boot).
I’d love to get Avant deployed as our default browser at work (we’re a Microsoft shop so Mozilla would never fly). I’ve been using it for a while at work and haven’t found an internal app yet that it fails on. I’m sure that with a little education employees could make more efficient use of their time on our intranet or on the web.

Bloated Home Pages Increase Travel Site Load Times

Optimizationweek.com has a great speed comparison of three leading travel sites and comes up with some interesting findings. Plus it has a catchy title–Overweight Travel Sites Delay Holiday Travelers–although from an SEO standpoint it would benefit from being a little less cute and a bit more obvious as to what it’s about.
Anway, the fact that the sites’ home pages average about 150kb is pretty scary–don’t they care about dial-up users? I’d never heard of the term “HTTP Compression” before reading this article either–there’s a useful technology that more sites should be using. Maybe they are and I’m just late to the table?