Posts by Ian McBride


Friday Links – September 20

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

CSS Image Orientation coming in Firefox 26.

Responsive Navigation on Complex Websites.

4 HigherEd Search Engine Optimization Success Stories.

Google Analytics will drop IE 8 support at the end of 2013.

Page Height, Scrolling, and Responsive Web Design.

A history of spaces after the period.

August 2013 Social Media Stats

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

The following stats refer to activity on the Middlebury College Facebook page, the Middlebury College Twitter account, and share buttons on the main Middlebury College website. For trend comparison, the previous month’s statistics are included in parentheses, where appropriate.

Facebook Insights

  • 142 (148) new people liked our Page, while 36 (33) people unliked our Page.
  • 612 (499) unique people shared stories about our page. These stories include liking our Page, posting to our Page’s Wall, liking, commenting on or sharing one of our Page posts, answering a Question we posted, RSVPing to one of our events, mentioning our Page, phototagging our Page or checking in at our Place. [Daily People Talking About This]
  • 21110 (17370) unique people saw one of the items shared in that way. [Daily Viral Reach]
  • 59144 (49731) unique people saw content associated with our Page. [Daily Total Reach]

Top Five Facebook Posts

“Reach” is the number of people who saw the post. “Engagement” is the number of people who clicked on the post.

  1. Where do students enroll when applying to top colleges? According to the Parchment Student Choice College Rankings, Middlebury is among the top 20 schools in the nation and top five among liberal arts schools. Reach: 10072, Engagement: 1244
  2. Middlebury named one of 22 schools on Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll.. Reach: 8560, Engagement: 636
  3. Beautiful Middlebury campus footage at mid-summer, captured by Communications Office graduate intern Matt Lennon ’13.. Reach: 8172, Engagement: 469
  4. Middlebury President Ronald D. Liebowitz issues statement on divestment. Reach: 7800, Engagement: 980
  5. Get your first look at Middlebury’s Solar Decathlon home, InSite!. Reach: 6928, Engagement: 253


ShareThis is a service that tracks the clicks on the sharing buttons on our website. These buttons are shown on news postings, which are primarily found in the News RoomArtsSustainability, and Athleticssections of the site.

Shares By Channel

  • Facebook: 23 (37) Shares, 1723 (990) Clicks
  • Twitter: 9 (20) Shares, 77 (166) Clicks
  • Pinterest: 6 (0) Shares, 1 (0) Clicks
  • Email: 6 (0) Shares, 17 (569) Clicks
  • LinkedIn: 3 (4) Shares, 12 (1) Clicks
  • Google+: 3 (2) Shares, 0 (0) Clicks

Data Sets

August 2013 Web Stats

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

For trend comparison, the previous month’s statistics are included in parentheses.


  1. 312,603 (371,746) visits from 170,440 (198,853) people
  2. 36,085 (48,060) visits from 29,469 (36,711) people
  3. 22,714 (22,004) visits from 21,323 (20,619) people
  4. 16,396 (26,964) visits from 11,077 (19,929) people
  5. 8,425 (8,763) visits from 7,679 (8,431) people
  6. 7,778 (5,878) visits from 7,192 (5,691) people
  7. 6,730 (10,087) visits from 5,208 (8,759) people
  8. 6,130 (13,779) visits from 4,239 (9,633) people
  9. 5,880 (7,045) visits from 4,670 (5,647) people
  10. 4,675 (6,270) visits from 2,828 (4,259) people

Top Pages

  1. 183,436 (234,814) pageviews
  2. 20,504 (33,831) pageviews
  3. 19,472 (20,088) pageviews
  4. 14,323 (15,897) pageviews
  5. 11,139 (10,571) pageviews
  6. 9,751 (10,719) pageviews
  7. 8,992 (4,532) pageviews
  8. 8,722 (14,544) pageviews
  9. 7,753 (8.136) pageviews
  10. 7,671 (8,329) pageviews

Search Terms

  1. Search Midd: 504 (545)
  2. academic calendar: 254 (249)
  3. banner web: 79 (68)
  4. mojo: 72 (64)
  5. schedule planner: 69 (29)
  6. go/zw: 55 (61)
  7. 55 (54)
  8. moodle: 48 (181)
  9. go/famis: 47 (48)
  10. go hub: 47 (83)


  • Safari: 34.61% (32.47%)
    • Desktop Safari: 24.30% (23.04%)
    • Mobile Safari: 10.21% (9.43%)
  • Chrome: 23.46% (22.49%)
  • Internet Explorer: 19.91% (22.00%)
    • IE8: 10.17% (12.57%)
    • IE10: 5.00% (4.63%)
    • IE9: 2.76% (2.59%)
    • IE7: 1.93% (2.14%)
    • IE6: 0.06%)
  • Firefox: 18.27% (19.34%)
  • Android Browser: 1.22% (1.15%)


  • Windows: 45.30% (47.90%)
  • Macintosh: 39.34% (38.19%)
  • iOS: 11.72% (10.37%)
  • Android: 2.03% (1.85%)
  • Linux: 0.36% (0.34%)
  • BlackBerry: 0.11% (0.08%)
  • Windows Phone: 0.08% (0.05%)

Friday links – August 16, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

New Animated PNG Creation Tools Intend To Bring APNG Into Mainstream Use: While grainy GIF images can have entertaining uses, they aren’t the ideal animated image format due to lack of full color support and an alpha channel [for varied transparency]. Animated PNG doesn’t have these faults and has been available and incorporated in quite a few browsers since roughly 2004.

10 ways tech support has changed since the 1980s: Over the past 30 years, IT has seen some monumental changes — and they’ve had a huge impact on the field of tech support. See if you remember the way it used to be.

Touch Laptop Forecasts: Only 10-15% of laptops sold this year will be touch-enabled. Sales of touch-enabled Dell and HP laptops are declining, but Lenovo’s touch laptops will be 50% of their sales in the next 2-3 years.

What to Expect in WordPress 3.7 and 3.8: The 3.7 update will come in October and feature better internationalization support while 3.8 is planned for the end of the year and will include an overhaul of the admin interface and a new Twenty Fourteen theme. If you have thoughts on improving the dashboard take their survey.

Web Development

The New IE11 Developer Tools: Microsoft has improved the script debugger, added a memory analysis tool, and cleaned up the display of inherited styles in the DOM explorer.

uCSS and CSS Dig: Two tools that can be used to crawl a website and produce reports to help us clean up unused and redundant CSS declarations. This might be helpful in organizing our own stylesheets.

Libraries & Librarians

NPR’s Bob Mondello gave a nostalgic, sometimes humorous view of libraries last week: Libraries’ Leading Roles: On Stage, On Screen And In Song

Have online journals evolved beyond their readers? “… science has become abstracted away from practitioners. It has disappeared from the tangible world as journals have disappeared from tables, desks, and waiting rooms. …”


Google’s “Opt-out village” (from The Onion) –

Wiki Wars: The ten most controversial Wikipedia pages (from CNN)

Friday links – August 9, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Web Content

Firefox 23 Released: Features a network traffic monitor on the desktop version and added security when browsing sites under HTTPS. Oh, and the <blink> element is no more.

Facebook Announces ‘Story Bumping’: The newsfeed algorithm is changing to promote items you haven’t seen from earlier in the day that have high engagement to the top of your newsfeed.

Google SERPs to include In-Depth Articles: Their webmasters blog details how sites can work to identify articles in ways that the googlebot spider can process.

A Facebook Post’s Lifetime: Posts achieve 50% of their total lifetime reach within the first 30 minutes, 75% in the first two hours, which means that timing the post to appear when most of your fans are online is critical.

Web Development

Follow-up on Data URI Performance: Decoding the base64 string does not appear to be the reason for the slowdown in performance on rendering SVG images passed to the browser in this way, as mentioned in a previous week’s links.

Making smartphone sites load fast: Bryan McQuade writes about techniques we can use to get page rendering down to under 1 second, required for good mobile performance.

WordPress 3.6 available on and

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

New features:

  • Twenty Thirteen Theme: A responsive theme that is now the default for new sites. The Twenty Ten, Twenty Eleven, and Twenty Twelve (along with the 100+ other themes we have installed) are still available for use.
  • Local Autosave: Your edits are now saved locally in your browser in addition to on the server so if you lose network connectivity while editing you won’t accidentally lose your work.
  • Post Locking: When you’re editing a post and someone else starts editing it there is now an interface letting you know that someone is taking over editing. Also, your autosaves are unique to you, so other editors won’t overwrite them.
  • Easy Audio/Video Embeds: Paste the URL of a .mp4 or .mp3 file into your post and WordPress will provide the player.
  • Revision Browser: The interface for looking at post revisions is significantly easier to use.

Friday links – August 2, 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

University of Oregon Ripple: An open source mobile audience participation application.

Web Content

Universal Analytics and user-centric analytics: What Google’s new Universal Analytics platform is doing and what it might be positioned to do in the future to track individual users across multiple devices.

Social Media in Higher Education: A curated Flipboard of articles from the last month on this topic, with many focusing on analytics.

4 Tips From Google To Make Your Website More Compelling: Resist organizing content according to pre-formed taxonomies of ideas and try to think from the user’s perspective–then make sure to test and test again with real users.

Higher Education Search Analysis Q2 2013: Good news for Middlebury! Searches for higher education resources with a strong relation to the liberal arts and a residential location were up compared to last year.

Facebook adds embedded posts

Google launches real-time analytics API beta

Matt Mullenweg: State of the Word 2013: Matt discusses the upcoming 3.6, 3.7, and 3.8 versions of WordPress. The release video for 3.6 is at about 7:00 and features native audio and video embed support and a better revision browser. 3.8 will include a redesigned administration interface and is slated for release this December.


Web Development

Protect Your Website From Its Embedded Content: Security considerations for the new sandbox and seamless attributes to the iFrame element.

Facebook’s Huxley and the BBC’s Wraith: UI testing tools that compare screenshots of your web application and lets you know if things change that you aren’t expecting to change.

Google PageSpeed Insights: Updated to include tips for mobile speed improvements.


Students Prefer Print for Serious Academic Reading: A study that will be published in College & Research Libraries shows that while students read for pleasure on devices, they prefer print for academic work. Among other reasons, this preference may owe to print being a less distracting medium, with easier ways to highlight and take notes.

The Professor Who Declared, It’s J.K. Rowling: Stylometry software was used to help build the case that J.K. Rowling penned crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling under a pseudonym. The comments to this article are great reading, too.