Entries from the Month of November 2007

How to Find Inspiration for Your Blog

November 28th, 2007 · No Comments

lookingSometimes it’s hard to get motivated to write a post for you blog. Sometimes it’s hard to find what to write about. Writing every day, or every other day for a blog is time consuming and mentally exhausting. You won’t always know what to post next. The best advice I can give you is what I learned at school as a writing major, don’t think so hard. Explore the world around you. Take a nap. Socialize. Work on something else. History proves time and time again that you often find what you’re NOT looking for and that inspiration comes from all corners of your life.

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Tags: Blogging · Web Content · Writing

Redesign Projects Over the Thanksgiving Break

November 26th, 2007 · No Comments

Kemio.net originalKemio.net newHoliday breaks are a great time for getting personal projects done. I decided to redesign two of my personal sites. One is Film Tops, a film blog and the other is Kemio.net, my personal website that I converted into a blog for easier updating and maintenance. Both Kemio.net and Film Tops are hosted on one account with Lunarpages but have separate installations of WordPress. Kemio.net is the main domain and Filmtops.com redirects to Kemio.net/filmtops.

I’ve been wanting to do these redesigns for a long time now. Let’s take a look at Kemio.net first. The two images on the side here are the old Kemio.net website (top) and the new Kemio.net blog (bottom). The goal here was to make updating easier especially considering I have so much going on right now and not time to waste fiddling around with code unnecessarily. I built Kemio.net origninally using PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Most of the JavaScript is used for displaying pages from a click of a link in the top portion, blue area, to the dynamic load area on the bottom portion, white area. I used PHP to make it easier to load the navigations on the bottom right side in the white area since they vary given what page you’re on. Everything else is HTML and CSS. I had fun building this site originally a couple of years back when I started using PHP. I especially loved having the data for my “kemipedia” (random facts about me) and the links to my favorite websites dynamically imported from a database, which was also replaced with new facts and new links, respectively, whenever the page reloaded.

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Tags: Design · Design and Development · WordPress

The Value of “Free” on the Web

November 21st, 2007 · 1 Comment

Starting a business, I read a lot on marketing, advertising, promotions online and offline and a common method of generating more leads was giving something away. Free tutorials, free whitepapers, free samples of my services, etc. It’s uneasy to give away my time and sweat, but as a business owner, perhaps it’s part of the process to give a little away to get a little back that’s worth a lot more. This afternoon I came across this article at The Blog Herald (a great resource, by the way) titled “The Value of Free Information?”. The following is an excerpt that stood out most.

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Tags: Web Content

‘Tis the Season for Family, Friends and Holiday Blogs, Forums and Networks

November 16th, 2007 · No Comments

Holidays and online communication‘Tis the Season for all the family mania. Who’s doing what, when, where and how. Thanksgiving is fast approaching and Christmas will be just around the corner, then New Year’s. Many of you are in the midst of planning where you’ll be spending the Holidays and with whom and for how long. Phone calls, email lists, letters, cards, yadda, yadda. Why not step into this new generation of online communication. Blogs, Forums and Social Networks are ideal for staying in touch, planning and updating family members and friends from across the globe, especially during the Holidays.

Think about it: events happen all the time; times and places are always changing; you often live in different cities, states, countries and continents; and when it comes to keeping in touch, we’re all a bit lazy and avoiding phone calls is a staple of being a part of any family (blood or non-blood related). Not to mention, your phone bills may decrease dramatically. You can love talking on the phone, but there are those certain friends and family members who simply do not. Enter the Internet. Emails are great, but they can get unruly when trying to plan trips, events and so forth. Enter, blogs, forums and networks.

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Tags: (Web) Technology · Blogging · Social Networking

Understanding Publicity, Part 3: HOW to Pray for Space and Time

November 16th, 2007 · No Comments

Our guest blogger Murry Shohat is back with the final installment in the series, Understanding Publicity.

Websites are dynamic, living things. They breathe (or they should). A static website that rarely changes or fails to regularly add content is like a store with goods on display but no employees to transact business. One good way to add life to your website is through publicity. This part of my series tells you how to get publicity and what to do with it to keep your website breathing.

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Tags: SEO and Web Marketing · Web & Blog Business

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

Wow Them With a Hot Header

November 12th, 2007 · 2 Comments

One of the many great things about WordPress (and PHP in general) is that your header is separate from the rest of your design & layout so it’s easy enough to create a distinct blog or blog-powered website design by just designing or redesigning the header alone. The header is the first thing you see when visiting a web page so your header needs to leave a great first impression or your site visitors won’t stay and browse. What makes a header pop and not suck is that it directs site visitors to where they should go, looks good and gives the overall impression of what the site is about.

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Tags: Design · Essentials · WordPress

Web 3.0 is Web 2.0 with Better Beta and More Accountability

November 9th, 2007 · No Comments

web 2.0 meet web 3.0Wikipedia.org defines Web 2.0 as “a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis and folksonomies — which aim to facilitate creativity, collaboration and sharing between users.” Gibberish? Yes. Forget the jargon. Web 2.0 is is simply a new wave of using the Internet for users to get what they want and need in a more dynamic way that promotes interacting with other people on the Web. More important, this new age of the Internet is about developing mutually beneficial relationships between users and website owners, users and users, website owners and website owners, etc. Remember the days of static, non dynamic one-way interactions with websites where you searched, found, read and moved on with your web surfing? Well, they’re gone, even if you are still using Internet Explorer. Now, you have a hell of a lot more options and have a hell of a lot more control over how much or how little you can receive, share and contribute to websites, and blogs. You even, on some level, have more choices with how much advertisement you get exposed to. That alone is reason enough to embrace this new Internet age. The most appealing aspect of Web 2.0, the current generation of all things web is the perpetual interactivity and interconnectedness of users to the site creators and the content created. It’s like the wild west, digitized and Digged.

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