Tag Archive for 'weblogs'

Life Below ‘The Fold’

Irish designer Paddy Don­nelly, in a nicely-designed arti­cle, attempts to sub­vert the accepted wis­dom of the page fold:

The fold is one of those guide­lines that has been thrown about so much that it’s now become a ‘rule’ of web design (or maybe more appro­pri­ately a ‘ball and chain’ of web design) with web design­ers blindly obey­ing with­out question…

If every­thing of excep­tional qual­ity is pushed upon the reader at the begin­ning, once they start explor­ing and the rest of the site isn’t of the same cal­i­bre, they’re going to be let down.

I agree—scroll below the fold on most large-scale web sites, and the qual­ity dimin­ishes as you move down the page. I don’t know if that’s because too much atten­tion is paid to ‘the fold’ myth, or because most web sites have a ver­ti­cal up-and-down ‘rail’ struc­ture… or, if we’re just bad designers.

Peo­ple scroll. Peo­ple read left-to-right. We should design for these rules.

New Capndesign.com

I love Matt Jacob’s just launched redesign. Bright and fresh, with cool jquery charts, archives that mashup pho­tos and posts, and some Type­kit.

New Capndesign.com

Screen shot

Con­grats, Matt! If only things didn’t look so stale around here.

Al Shaw on Redesigning the Front Page of Talking Points Memo

On Redesign­ing the Front Page of Talk­ing Points Memo »
Al Shaw talks about some of the design con­sid­er­a­tions and tech­ni­cal wiz­ardry that went into the face lift of the Liberal-leaning pol­i­tics blog. Be sure to watch the video demo of the ajaxy front page CMS editor.

How Hackers Show it’s Not All Bad News at the New York Times

Apolo­gies that this blog looks a lit­tle New York Times-y lately, but I had to share this – O’Reilly’s Andrew Savikas wrote a very inter­est­ing post on some of the inter­est­ing stuff we’re doing:

…there‘s some­thing going on at the Times that prob­a­bly won‘t make it to Sil­i­con Alley Insider, much less the main­stream busi­ness press, and it‘s some­thing that‘s start­ing to make me think the Times just might suc­ceed in adapt­ing to the chang­ing rules of the media and pub­lish­ing game…

So what’s the Times doing that’s so impor­tant? They’re hack­ing.

Savikas goes on to list a lot of exam­ples, but the best one that I can pro­vide is the com­ing release of our APIs, which will enable peo­ple on the out­side to play, tin­ker, and mashup NY Times con­tent. There are only a few APIs cur­rently pub­lic, but there will be a flood of releases in the com­ing months.

[via Jeremy]

UPDATE: Oh man, a bit after I pub­lished this today, we launched our Visu­al­iza­tion Lab – a part­ner­ship that uses IBM’s Many Eyes tech­nol­ogy. More Info Here »

What the Hell, Malcolm Gladwell

My friend Julia writes today on Huff­in­g­ton Post – What the Hell, Mal­colm Glad­well. She takes the Tip­ping Point author to task for not includ­ing one woman in his new book Out­liers, which exam­ines high achievers:

But what about Vir­ginia Woolf, Susan Son­tag, Tina Brown, or Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo?

What about Oprah?

The omis­sion of women in Out­liers says more about the nature of “big think” books than it does about Mr. Gladwell.

I think that lets him off the hook easy, but it’s inter­est­ing to read Julia’s thoughts on the book pub­lish­ing world. She posts reg­u­larly to the Harper Stu­dio blog, at 26thstory.com.

Subtraction 7.1 Beta

Khoi Vinh recently realigned his blog, Subtraction.com, con­vert­ing the back-end from Mov­able Type to Expres­sion Engine. (Full dis­clo­sure: Khoi is my boss.)

There are a few new tweaks to the famil­iar design, the most notice­able being the link roll folded-in with longer form entries, cre­at­ing a nice chrono­log­i­cal flow. Also, he cre­ated tem­plates for photo posts.

wordpress.app

I’m writ­ing this from the new Word­Press iPhone app. It’s a pretty light, straight-forward inter­face. It allows sav­ing posts locally on the iPhone before pub­lish­ing or sav­ing drafts to the server, enabling offline drafting.

There is even rudi­men­tary photo sup­port – but you can’t really con­trol the place­ment or siz­ing of the image – it is merely appended to the end of the mes­sage. You don’t even see the image markup until it is pub­lished or saved as a draft on the server.

But even then, the lim­i­ta­tions of the iPhone become clear – there is no copy/paste, and the classes that deter­mine how Word­Press dis­plays uploaded images is unnec­ces­sar­ily com­pli­cated. (They should sim­plify that.)

So, though this is a pretty nice app, I’m not sure how use­ful it will be with­out more for­mat­ting options and copy/paste. For instance, I can’t even pro­vide a link to it’s app store page. Also, why doesn’t the iPhone have char­ac­ters luke curly quotes and em/en dashes?

UPDATE (from my Mac): Here is the link to the app.

Speed up syncing from your Mac to MobileMe

Speed up sync­ing from your Mac to MobileMe » MobileMe isn’t exactly “push­ing” so much as “sync­ing every 15 min­utes” – Ars Tech­nica points to a way of speed­ing this up.

Adding Flickr to WordPress 2.5’s Media Bar

I’m a big fan of the new Word­Press admin inter­face, espe­cially the new media but­tons that lets you quickly add pho­tos, videos, and audio to your posts.

wp-media-flickr 1But what if you use Flickr for your pho­tos? Well, there is a great plu­gin called Word­Press Media Flickr, writ­ten by yu-ji. It adds a lit­tle Flickr media but­ton, and makes adding a photo from your Flickr pho­to­stream a piece of cake.

His site is in Japan­ese, but he has a great screen­cast show­ing the plu­gin at work.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Adding Flickr to Word­Press 2.5’s Media Bar’

WordPress 2.5

A bit of admin­istrivia to pass along…

WP 2.5I spent some time this week­end updat­ing this weblog to Word­Press 2.5 RC1.1. The 2.5 pub­lic release should be avail­able soon, but you can grab nightlies that are pretty solid.

There are many new fea­tures, but the one I was most look­ing for­ward to was the redesign of the admin screens, by Jef­frey Zeld­man, Jason Santa Maria, and Liz Danz­ico of Happy Cog. The design is sim­pler and fresh, and I like how they sep­a­rated the pure admin­is­tra­tive options from those that deal with post­ing and man­ag­ing con­tent. Also, the post­ing screen is greatly sim­pli­fied and elegant.

Of course, in order to upgrade WP, I had to first upgrade the k2 theme, which my design is built upon. This involves rec­on­cil­ing my old CSS with any changes made since to K2, lest I break my site. After a few hours of work, every­thing was in order and I’m happy to report that the RC5 nightlies of K2 worked per­fectly for me in Word­Press 2.5.

If you’re curi­ous about WP 2.5, but not ready to upgrade – Chris John­ston has put up a pub­lic demo of 2.5, (login with admin/demo).

And if you’re con­sid­er­ing tak­ing the plunge, I rec­om­mend first mak­ing a backup and ver­i­fy­ing that your theme is compatible.

kottke.org is 10

Three cities, two seri­ous rela­tion­ships, one child, 200,000 fre­quent flier miles, at least seven jobs, 14,500 posts, six designs, and ten years ago, I started “writ­ing things down” and never stopped. That makes kottke.org one of a hand­ful of the longest con­tin­u­ally updated weblogs on the web.

Kottke.org is 10 years old today. Jason’s weblog has been a big inspi­ra­tion for me as a weblog­ger; his enthu­si­asm for design, media, sci­ence, and all things web, has launched a thou­sand memes, and made him an indis­pens­able voice in dig­i­tal culture.

Subway Love

Lisa’s photo on Gothamist!Another Valentine’s Day related post – Lisa’s snap­shot of this note in the Car­roll MTA sta­tion made it to a post on Gothamist!

The orig­i­nal is avail­able in her Flickr pho­to­stream.

She is kind of a big deal, ’round these parts.

RSS Updates

I’m doing a lit­tle house clean­ing of this site’s RSS feeds. For a while, I was exper­i­ment­ing with splic­ing in del.icio.us and flickr con­tent along side the weblog posts. Kind of like my own tum­blr hyper­blog­ging exper­i­ment, via RSS.

How­ever, after think­ing about it, I’ve decided to limit the main RSS feed to only weblog entries. It just makes sense, since a lot of my del.icio.us and flickr con­tent is chan­nelled into expanded weblog posts any­way. And, Ricky makes a per­sua­sive case against what he calls hyper­blog­ging. So, the default feed is now just what I put through WordPress.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘RSS Updates’

Unoriginal

copy cattimothytipton.com is using a slightly mod­i­fied ver­sion of my K2 stylesheet, with­out atttribution.

The post lay­out is the same, and he’s using the same exact side­bar mod­ules, in exactly the same arrange­ment. His CSS is full of my cus­tom selectors/classes, and is still hot link­ing to images on my domain.

It’s one thing to take some­one else’s work, pick it apart, and learn from it. It’s quite another to just take someone’s work, remove attri­bu­tion, and tweak it just enough so that it has your name on it.

My site is built-off of the K2 frame­work, which is the work of a lot of excel­lent design­ers and devel­op­ers. The dif­fer­ence is that I’m upfront about attri­bu­tion, AND, I’ve taken the time and care to fash­ion some­thing new.

So, Tim­o­thy, might I sug­gest read­ing Greg Story’s post on How to prop­erly steal the design of a web­site?

I ran a diff on the two stylesheets, and took some screenshots:

no attributionbreaking IMG references instead of removing?hotlinking to IMG on my domaincopying IMGs over to your own servercustom selectors

Splat!

It’s been nearly 24-hours since I relaunched this weblog, and the feed­back has been encour­ag­ing. Thanks to every­one who emailed or left a comment.

I talked last night about my desire to use a typo­graph­i­cal grid for this design, but I also knew that this had the poten­tial to look quite anti­sep­tic and ster­ile. I thought of the com­ment that David Car­son makes in the Hel­vetica film, as he points to the word “caf­feinated” that has been printed out in Hel­vetica Black and hung on the wall next to other iden­ti­cal look­ing words: “This doesn’t say ‘caf­feinated’!” To avoid the trap, I needed to work in a design ele­ment that would make things a lit­tle more interesting.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘Splat!’

A New Nedward.org

Today, I’m launch­ing ver­sion 6 of nedward.org, a typo­graph­i­cal grid-based lay­out, with heavy use of Hel­vetica Neue. This site has always used a sim­i­lar shade of green, so I wanted to main­tain that bit of con­sis­tency with the past, while intro­duc­ing some­thing very dif­fer­ent. I also wanted to bring together my con­tent from twit­ter, flickr, del.icio.us, and last.fm, while keep­ing it dis­tinct from the weblog con­tent – yea, I’ve gone back on my post is a post comments.

The last major revi­sion of this site was launched on May 1 2005, but even that was some­what of a realign­ment of the pre­vi­ous design, which dated back to 2001. I’m a big pro­po­nent of Cameron Moll’s realign not redesign rule – so I spent the past few years tin­ker­ing away, refin­ing the same basic layout.

Con­tinue read­ing ‘A New Nedward.org’

Blogging for 7 years?

I’m totally get­ting old! I just real­ized that I missed my “blog­ging” anniver­sary… On this past July 11, this site hit the 7 year mark.

wow.

FIrst Post? It was about that brick of a dig­i­tal cam­era (point-n-shoot) that I bought that summer.

My orig­i­nal weblog was on blog­ger, and then was migrated to a ned.suckahs.org, when we set up the suck­ahs domain in July 2001. (More on that here.) In Feb­ru­ary 2005, I decided to split it out into the domain I use today.

Windows Live Writer (Beta)

I’m post­ing this from inside Win­dows Live Writer, a newly released “weblog­ging” appli­ca­tion by Microsoft. It’s a slick lit­tle win­dows app, with sup­port for pub­lish­ing to Mov­able Type, Word­Press, as well as Live Spaces, by default.

Paul Sta­ma­tiou has an extended review, but here are some of the features:

  • WYSIWYG Author­ing
  • Spell Check
  • Photo Pub­lish­ing
  • Map Pub­lish­ing, (via Live Local)
  • Com­pat­i­bil­ity with Blog­ger, Live­Jour­nal, Type­Pad, Word­Press (and many others)

Also, like most good WYSIWYG edi­tors, it allows you to tog­gle over to HTML code view – (tak­ing a quick look at this post, I see that it writes pretty clean code).

Note: There is no sup­port yet for Tags, a new fea­ture in MT 3.3. (Cat­e­gories & Key­words are supported.)

More Infor­ma­tion & Download

UPDATE: Om has a nice review:

It is not often, I say good things about Microsoft prod­ucts, but with this free-blogging tool, I have to say: write on! …the soft­ware actu­ally lets you use your blog styles for edit­ing, has abil­ity to add plu­g­ins, and has an SDK to extend the func­tion­al­ity of the pro­gram. You can also swap out  Microsoft Maps for say Google Maps.

Vox Upgrade

voxWell, I finally have access to a blog on Vox… (the starter account is lit­tle more than an online pro­file). Seems like other peo­ple also com­plained:

With this release, we are also respond­ing to your feed­back that the whole starter account thing wasn’t work­ing and have decided to shelve that fea­ture for now. Last week, we upgraded all starter accounts to stan­dard accounts (yay!) and have turned that account level off.

It seems pretty cool, but I don’t have any invites! So, I have no friends. If you’re on Vox, add me to your neighborhood.

(Re) Launches

It’s the end of a week, so I thought that I’d note a few new things that I’ve seen this week.

First, Anna just launched Door Six­teen, which will doc­u­ment the ren­o­va­tion and restora­tion of the late-1800′s brick row­house just bought in New­burgh, NY. I used to read her old blog, Absolutely Vile, every day, so I’m glad to see that she’s back.

Veerle launched her redesigned blog this week, using Expres­sion Engine and a whole lot of magic. A com­plete, beau­ti­ful piece of work, which makes my blog feel com­pletely inad­e­quate and irrelevant.

Last and cer­tainly not least, Todd, (of the local food blog Eat and Destroy,) moved his old beansareevil.com domain to the new, (and aptly named), ScootAndDestroy.com. (Nev­er­mind that he pre­vi­ously moved to beansareevil.com, from foodtastesgood.com – make your freak­ing mind up, Todd…). He’s got some great scoot­ing videos, the famous Peeps video, and a new fea­ture – silk-screened T-shirts!

Beer Logos in Vector Format

Boddingtons BitterI love this site, which offers tons of beer logos for down­load, in EPS for­mat [via]. For some rea­son, this amuses me.

What didn’t amuse me, was the 20 min­utes of frus­tra­tion last night, try­ing to get a freakin’ Bod­ding­tons at The Bur­ren in Davis Square. I had to order twice, from the same woman, (as she must’ve for­got the first one)… and finally I grabbed a sec­ond bar­tender to go check on things. And, HE was the one who brought me my freakin’ beer. I real­ize that a lot of bar­tenders double-pour Boddy’s, (much like Guin­ness), but you’re not sup­posed to for­get me!

24 Ways

24 Ways”:http://24ways.org/ is a kind of _advent calendar_ for markup geeks. I’m now in the process of redesign­ing (as oposed to “realigning”:http://www.alistapart.com/articles/redesignrealign) my port­fo­lio site, and it’s been fun tun­ing in to these lit­tle tutorials.

My favorites include:

* “An Expla­na­tion of Ems”:http://24ways.org/advent/an-explanation-of-ems – I love using _ems_

* “Intro­duc­tion to Scrip­tac­u­lous Effects”:http://24ways.org/advent/introduction-to-scriptaculous-effects – for a lit­tle javascript splash

* “Putting the World into “World Wide Web””:http://24ways.org/advent/putting-the-world-into-world-wide-web – I _work_ in local­iza­tion, so I enjoy this kind of thing.

PageRank and Me

When I switched this weblog’s domain from ned.suckahs.org to nedward.org a while back, I wanted to main­tain both URLs for a tran­si­tion period, so as not to lose readers.

Sounds inno­cent enough, but since then, Google has stopped deep-indexing this site. On the advice of Casey, I tried re-directing with 301s, pro­vid­ing a sitemap with every entry on this site, and a whole lot of other trick­ery… all with­out luck. To this day, search­ing the old domain is more fruit­ful than search­ing the new one.

Since I’ve tried every­thing I can think of, I think the fact remains that ned.suckahs.org has a higher PageR­ank than nedward.org… There are still many peo­ple who link to the old domain.

I’ve started send­ing out emails to the peo­ple I know about. But, won’t you help me out, and update your URL?

Thanks in advance.

Mapped FTP drive

mapped ftpThere was a great “how-to” arti­cle on Engad­get yes­ter­day: Map a drive to your FTP server.

Now, tweak­ing that CSS file is as easy as right-click, and Edit.

Mint: Languages

Since installing Mint, I’ve enjoyed pour­ing over all kinds of refer­rer data, with­out hav­ing to sort through spam bots.

One of my favorite bits of vis­i­tor infor­ma­tion, (see­ing as how I work in the Local­iza­tion indus­try), is the lan­guage of my read­ers. Using Marc Garrett’s Parsel Pep­per (plug-in), I see that my vis­i­tors are over­whelm­ingly English-speaking.

No real sur­prise there, but guess what the #2 lan­guage is? Believe it or not, it’s Chi­nese. I have twice as many vis­i­tors from China and Tai­wan than from either France, Ger­many, Spain or Japan… (where are my Nordic readers?)

Even more sur­pris­ing, when I sep­a­rate out PRC vs. Tai­wan, 75% of my Chi­nese vis­its are from the main­land. I know there is a huge pop­u­la­tion advan­tage there, but I still find that fascinating.