Google Pulls the Plug on Google Health

From the  announcement on the Google blog:

“When we launched Google Health, our goal was to create a service that would give people access to their personal health and wellness information. We wanted to translate our successful consumer-centered approach from other domains to healthcare and have a real impact on the day-to-day health experiences of millions of our users.

Now, with a few years of experience, we’ve observed that Google Health is not having the broad impact that we hoped it would. There has been adoption among certain groups of users like tech-savvy patients and their caregivers, and more recently fitness and wellness enthusiasts. But we haven’t found a way to translate that limited usage into widespread adoption in the daily health routines of millions of people. That’s why we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue the Google Health service. We’ll continue to operate the Google Health site as usual through January 1, 2012, and we’ll provide an ongoing way for people to download their health data for an additional year beyond that, through January 1, 2013. Any data that remains in Google Health after that point will be permanently deleted.”

Also check out the TechCrunch story.

Short Attention Spans for Web Videos – NYTimes.com

The New York Times reports:

After watching an online video for a full minute, 44.1 percent of viewers will have clicked away, according to Visible Measures. But an outsize slice of that loss occurs in the first 10 seconds, during which 19.4 percent of a video’s audience defects.

Read more at Drilling Down – Short Attention Spans for Web Videos – NYTimes.com.

Salesforce announces Chatter, social network for the enterprise

As Virtual Home prepares ShareCenter pilots, the enterprise collaboration software space continues to expand. Salesforce recently announced the availability of Chatter, an enterprise social networking application that it has been testing with select customers. Features include user profiles, groups, secure document sharing, status updates, news feeds, and email alerts. Additionally, it allows for building custom Chatter apps, as well as embedding Chatter features into other tools.

Other recently announced offerings in the enterprise collaboration space include Acquia’s Drupal Commons and Cisco’s QUAD which join the mix with established offerings from Socialtext, Jive, IBM, and a sizable list of other players.

Read more about Salesforce Chatter in VentureBeat:

Salesforce says social network Chatter is ready to talk | VentureBeat.

Top 5 Web Design Debates

At Virtual Home we’ve had our share of healthy differences of opinion on best practices for web design.   At web design blog Line25,  they break down both sides of the argument for the Top 5 Web Design Debates That Cause the Most Riots.

  • Should links open in a new window?
  • Should links use the words ‘Click here’?
  • Should Bold <b> and Italic <i> tags be used?
  • Should a logo be enclosed in a <h1> element?
  • Should a site should be viewable in IE6?

Email vs RSS subscriptions: 12 to 1

Inbound marketing software provider HubSpot published some interesting stats on blog subscriptions. Analyzing data from 605 of their customers with blogs (mostly small- and medium-sized businesses), the average email subscriptions for these blogs were 12 times more than the average RSS subscriptions. In a breakdown by industry, the medical / biotech sector shows an even greater ratio of email to RSS subscribers. While not entirely surprising, this data sample further underscores the value of utilizing email as a tool for disseminating blog and open forums content. (CTSI Virtual Home is in the process of evaluating tools for converting RSS feeds into email subscriptions.)

The Importance Of Wireframes In Web Design And 9 Tools To Create Them

Prototyping is an important step in the process of developing web applications, allowing you to test, refine, and clearly communicate ideas about how the application will work, before costly resources are spent on development. Here’s a useful little article from OneXtraPixel on the importance of utilizing wireframes in prototyping for the web, including an annotated list of tools for creating wireframes.

The Importance Of Wireframes In Web Design And 9 Tools To Create Wireframes..

Effective use of online video – case studies

Fast Company presents five examples of the effective use of online video as part of an organization’s overall communication strategy.

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