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Industry News

Catch up on interesting new discussion and industry news.

    The value of product specifications: a modest proposal

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Sep 6, 2017
    Questionable use of stock photography aside, Colin Lernell’s Is the Product Requirements Document Dead? A Debate. brings up some interesting points. I’ve long argued that if you do it right, a good “product spec” is essential to successful product management and development. We’ve come a long way since the original concept of a 45-page PRD that no one reads (not even the person who wrote it). The format has evolved as we’ve grown accustomed to leaner development processes.

    One of Colin’s...

    Google Search Ranking & Algorithm Update Underway? Chatter...

    rustybrick
    by rustybrick
    Sep 6, 2017
    In the past 24 to 48 hours I have been noticing an uptick in SEO and webmaster chatter around a possible Google search algorithm and ranking update...

    [Quote] Plan All of the Things!

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Sep 5, 2017
    I find teams generally do a good job of thinking of the features that make up the core customer-facing functionality of their project. It’s the non-customer-facing features that tend to be forgotten.

    — James Hood on why software project estimates are so often wrong, from Plan All of the Things!

    Google: We Ignore Tons Of Links But Which Links Is Almost Impossible To Figure Out

    rustybrick
    by rustybrick
    Sep 5, 2017
    Gary Illyes from Google was asked about why he didn't mention links in his desktop to mobile comparison tool post. He said that is because it is "close to impossible for you to check which links are actually deemed critical...

    The biggest mistakes product managers make (and how to avoid them)

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Sep 4, 2017
    There is essentially two ways to improve at your job. You either get better at the things you should be doing, or you learn to stop doing the things you shouldn’t be doing. We tend to spend a lot of time and effort on the first aspect—and for good reason. It’s absolutely essential to keep learning. But lately I’ve been consumed with that second part. Day in and day out, at the most inconvenient times, the same question jumped into my head:

    What are the biggest mistakes I’ve been...

    AMP Powers Google Featured Snippets On Mobile

    rustybrick
    by rustybrick
    Sep 4, 2017
    Google seems to have made a switch a few days ago where on mobile search they are now likely to serve featured snippets from pages that are powered by AMP. @thefke and @glenngabe were one of the first to notice this and I am able to replicate it...

    How smartphone usage affects teens’ mental health

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Sep 2, 2017
    I should start by stating the obvious: I like technology and phones, and I think it’s essential for kids to be exposed to it so that they can be prepared for the future ahead. That said, despite its click-bait title, Jean Twenge’s Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? really got to me. She studied how teens tend to spend their time, and how it affects their mental health, and came to some alarming conclusions:

    More comfortable in their bedrooms than in a car or at a party, today’s...

    Fidget no more

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Sep 2, 2017
    Listen, I held out as long as I could with this whole fidget spinner thing. Sure yeah “It’s only $3, Dad!” but I just couldn’t get myself to do it. And then my 7-year old used the age-old trick used by 7-year olds for centuries: she went over my head and convinced my wife to buy one for her a couple of weeks ago.

    Of course, the joke’s on her, because the fad is basically over. Why so soon? In The Rise of the Fidget Spinner and the Fall of the Well-Managed Fad Charles Duhigg takes a...

    Citations behind the Google Brain Word Vector Approach

    by Bill Slawski
    Sep 1, 2017
    In October of 2015, a new algorithm was announced by members of the Google Brain team, described in this post from Search Engine Land – Meet RankBrain: The Artificial Intelligence That’s Now Processing Google Search Results One of the Google...

    Google: We've Changed The Way We Think About The Panda Algorithm

    rustybrick
    by rustybrick
    Aug 31, 2017
    Gary Illyes from Google said on Twitter this morning that Google has changed the way they think about Panda from five years ago. Gary wrote "we've changed the way we think about Panda." He added, "what was true 5 or so years ago...