App-crazy, Widget-mad and Pluginsanity; What’s it all Mean?

December 3rd, 2007 · No Comments

When I first started building websites and blogs I toured a few content management systems that were all but ridiculous to figure out. Though, at the time there were a few out there that were simplified for the non-designer or non-developer, me being me, I needed something more robust and endlessly flexible. Joomla and Drupal were a couple I explored but both, especially Drupal, were just so incomprehensible. Of course, the modules, extensions, etc. gibberish make sense to me now, but back then, I was just as lost as the average person trying to learn either a new language or a new system. In fact, looking back on those maddening weeks of hyper-research, I realized now, with Web 3.0 looming and Web 2.0 in full throttle, that it’s often language that is a barrier in learning, using and adapting any new way of doing something or any new system, especially on the Internet which is still very new to many people. At least, the way many of us use it now. In this article I’ll attempt to break down common gibberish (lingo) used to explain simple concepts in this new age of the Internet and put them in context.

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Tags: (Web) Technology · Design and Development · Essentials · Innovation

Good Web Writing is All in the Tone and Context

November 14th, 2007 · No Comments

write stuff for the webIt’s a difficult thing to write and non-writers take it for granted that readers don’t want to read bad writing. Bad writing is like bad singing. If you’ve seen the auditions for American Idol, you get my meaning. Anyway, bad writing is especially offensive on the web because the web is meant for readers irregardless of this new dawn of videos, photo galleries and emoticons. Just like the web won’t replace books, no matter what people say (and fear), images won’t replace text as the major form of communication no matter how evocative the image. Not that an emoticon can be that evocative to begin with. And yes, a picture says a thousand words, but the words they say can’t always be left to the imagination of the viewer if you’re trying to get your point across. I’m a big proponent of distinct communication. What I mean by distinct is that no matter the medium and no matter the context, what you’re saying should be evocative of the the tone in which you mean it, and the context in which you put it. Obviously you should write what you mean as clearly as you can, but more than anything, humans being what they are, the way something is said is as important as what’s being said. This may seem like a lot of effort for web content, but to stand out on an Internet with over a 100 million web pages, it warrants a little consideration at least, right?

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Tags: Blogging · Essentials · Writing

Our Love Affair With WordPress: Part 3 - Your Blog Content

October 22nd, 2007 · No Comments

We love WordPressSo, back for more? Couldn’t resist, huh? Well, let’s get started then. Friday, we went over the The Essentials of Blogging and talked about how content, categorizing (including archiving) and commenting are the main staples of blogging. A blog exists for content and sociability for the most part. The goal of any blogger should be to make your blog as interesting to read as possible and that promotes interactivity (usually through commenting and often also through sharing and bookmarking, which we’ll cover later). Your content must also be categorized in such a way your readers know where to look for articles on a given topic or maybe even a specific article. Category listings, archiving and tag clouds are the most common methods of effective and simple ways to organize your blog articles without confusing or frustrating your readers.

Though categorizing and commenting are essential, content is king. More importantly, your written content is king and executioner. A blog is nothing without good content and everything with it. More to the point, good content is what brings in readership. Relevant content creates a following. Crappy content kills a blog.

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Tags: (Web) Technology · Blogging · Our Love Affair w/ WP · WordPress · Writing