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Notes from An Event Apart Boston 2012 I had a great time at An Event Apart Boston, 2012. Ill post some photos soon. The conference avoided deep dives into code in favor of showing WHY you would do reactive design. As Eric Meyer said "My...

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Judging the CT Student Innovation Exposition (E-Commerce)... Want to know what the next 10 years will look like? Ask a high school student. Their creativity isnt limited by their knowledge of what we currently call technological limitations. They have a vision of...

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The Value of Feeling Appreciated as an Employee in... Whether you’re a new employee or the vice president of the company, everyone wants to feel valued, even appreciated, in the workplace. Not only does it improve morale and make the workplace a more pleasant...

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The difference between classic and motion tweens in... Here it is: If you're used to doing things "the cs3 way" then you can continue to do so with the classic tween tool. It works the same way as you remember, using key frames as normal, but you cannot...

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PHP: If (equal to AND not equal) - eliminate form spam... Just learned a great function of PHP thats already made my forms a lot better. A while back I wrote an article about eliminating form spam without captchas by using css to hide a text input box for bots...

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Breaking News


Technical Trauma

Category : Around The Office, Technical Mishaps

I walked into my office yesterday morning and was greeted by silence. A very unnerving sound when I had for months been greeted by the somewhat irksome spinning of my PC’s numerous fans. Something was wrong. Very wrong. Upon pushing the power button the machine started and beeped once. As soon as the text faded onto my screen I saw the problem, or the most likly cause, one of the processors in my duel core had failed. To be sure we removed the ram and tested this one by one. No luck. Then we tried the CMOS jumper to no avail. The prognosis was fatal. Time of death: sometime between 3 and 7am Wednesday 23, 2007.

Fortunately, my data (and that of my clients) is safe. This was a motherboard and processor issue, but had it been a software issue like if Windows had crashed or been attacked I would still be fine as I keep all client data on a different physical drive then my boot disk. This helps for two reasons, the first being that I can point the photoshop scratch file to be on this drive so its not conflicting with windows (helping PS performance). The second being that if I need to reformat/repair windows I can do it just to my C drive and not lose any data. I didn’t think of this simple defense until after I lost all my school work half way through sophomore year, but its saved me a ton of grief since then.

Plan for the worst while you hope for the best.

And from the ashes rises a new monster…AMD 64 x2 5400
2 Gigs of DDR2 800
Few new hard drives512MB 7600 SLI graphics cards

Plus all the parts from my old pc. Next step will be to get a second video card (4 monitors!) and a bigger external HD to put in a lockbox. The idea being that I can do a monthly backup on this drive and if something were to happen to my office (building burns down) then I wont have to run into the burning building for my data. I think there are online services that do this, but I’m looking to backup gigs of data and it’s just easier this way.

Back to work!

My First Webinar and SEO 2.0

Category : Around The Office, SEO / SEM, Technology

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a webinar on SEO 2.0 by More Visibility, a premiere search engine marketing agency. I’m always amazed at how technology is pushing the envelope in business communications towards greater efficiency but I wasn’t prepared for the interactivity of this webinar.

The webinar, to the user, feels like watching an online power point presentation listening to someone speaking over conference software, but Im sure the presentation side of this application was much different. I had no idea how many people were also attending this event. It didn’t matter as all mics from attendees were muted. Comments could be sent back to the host via text messages and at the end of the webinar questions were selected and answered.

Among the best information I got form the webinar was an understanding of the differences between SEO 1.0 and SEO 2.0. In SEO 1.0 optimizers and webmasters were being informed by search results and in SEO 2.0 these same people are feeding the search engine to get results. I know that founds fishy. Its sounds like they were about to list bullet points of tactics to use like packing your key words and hacking the search engine to make it do what you want, but that’s not what I mean…

With the decline of page rank and the rise of personal searches it will be increasingly hard to monitor being number 1 in search results. Further, being number 1 on my search may not coincide with being even number 10 on your search. This is partly because of the immense personalization of Web 2.0 applications such as: myspace, netvibes, flick-r, and digg, etc that allow users to customize their experience.

What will become increasingly important will be a new system called trust rank which will have to do with how long your site has been there, who links to you, and how many people click on links to your site. The numbers for your site may never be published in the same way that page rank was to prevent people from doing trial and error tests until they boost the ranking. Couple this with the above mentioned personalized searches and optimizers going to be in a tricky place. This is not to say we will be out of a job, far from it, as we’re likely to be the only people who will be able to make sense of this madness, but I do think the job will change drastically.

In SEO 1.0 it was enough to know the code and how to use it. SEO 2.0 will be much more focused on old school marketing techniques in new ways. The 1.0 way to get the word out was a newsletter, the 2.0 corresponding technology is a blog. If you wanted a tech support for your product the best thing you could do was have a FAQ with an email address for harder questions on your site; In 2.0 you’d be a fool to not offer a wiki to your customers so they can not only ask questions but get responses from some of the most knowledgeable people using the product, your other happy customers.

Sadly, there will be no way out of the Catch 22 new sites will face: You don’t get a high trust rank without traffic coming to your site, and without a high trust rank, how will you generate hits? Solution: old school marketing campaign done anew with blogs, wikis, press releases, and pay per click ads replacing direct mailers, newsletters, and magazine ads.

The Fruit in Frustration

Category : General Web Info, Technology

I recently updated the main page of my website with a website for the Art History Department at the University of Hartford. I’m linking to the final mockup I did for them over 3 years ago because the current design is quite different. Actually it’s almost nothing like what I delivered to them. I think its time that I request that they strip the footer of my name where I take credit for the site.

But I do like the original design, though the code is overly complicated, and it uses iframes so for SEO purposes it’s a terrible website. Im going to keep this site on my page as examples of sites that look good (or at least alright), but are really quite terrible for search engines, and usability.

And I won’t feel bad about ragging on the coder in my blogs because the guy who made it was some kid in Massachusetts on summer break 2 years ago, me.