Tools for making your online portfolio

In our web class we’ve been given the task to create a website for ourselves. The website will also act as a portfolio. We’ve covered using light box to display our images but I’ve stumbled upon this maskable.com article on creating online portfolios

All the options are free, though some have special features that you have to upgrade to a paying package to have. 

I think some of the better.. or cuter options are;

Simple Viewer (uses flash)

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ScriptOcean Accordion Menu (uses Javascript)
my personal fave.

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Typography for the Web

I wish I could have taken a class on typography. But alas, I didn’t have time. I found an article on helpful tips for having successful typography for the web. It’s nice because it explains how elements of CSS effect the type. 

For example, font weight is the thickness of the stroke and has a value between 100 to 900. 400 is considered regular. Using this numbering system is a more specific way to get ‘light,’ ‘bold,’ ‘extra bold,’ etc. 

I thought that was one interesting thing. Check out the article for more!

Springtime fonts

Aside

Just like everyone else in Ohio, I am OBSESSED with the decent weather today. I’m probably jumping the gun in thinking, “spring is surely on its way!”
Regardless, I’ve decided to add some freshness into my life whether the weather cooperates or not!

Mashable.com recently made a post about 10 floral fonts for spring. They make my mouth water.

4.%2520twenty-five%2520springs

One of my favorites, Twenty-Five Springs. Image courtesy of Marie-Anne Verougstraet

I realize I’ve been desperately missing some new fonts from my life.
As it relates to web design, using new, downloadable fonts can be risky. Not all computers are going to have access to your unique font, so it’s important to give options in your css file.

Or use the fonts for logos or as part of an image.

Anyways, aside from the ten fonts from the mashable article, I invite you to check out the new goodies I added to my collection this afternoon!

Go, my friends, and expand your typing horizons.

 

What I’ve Found

A couple weeks ago a friend introduced me to an interesting app called Vine. Vine is an app that allows you to shoot short video clips and smash em together to create a short snippet that let’s people look into your life.
However when my friend showed me Vine, he showed me strange videos of his friends’ faces really close up making weird noises and I thought, “What else could I use this app for?”

Leave it to mashable.com to answer that question for me. They recently published an article on 5 ways startups can use Vine and I started getting some useful ideas of my own.
Vine can be used to create minicommercials, showcase products, get out information quickly or just give viewers a peek at a company’s personality. Please check out the article for yourself. The examples are really fabulous.

I think it’s also worthwhile to visit the blog at Vine. This is a newly launched app and their blog is like an insider’s look at the process of developing the app for mobile devices, which is pretty cool.

You can check my very lame Vine video if you want. I’m not underestimating the lameness, but it’s not the apps fault. I hope to make something better in the future and I’ll update this post.

So app development aside, I think Vine is another great way for small companies to make the most of the web and social media with little economic investment. Sounds pretty good right?

Senioritis: a misdiagnosis

 

In 2005, UrbanDictionary.com defined Senioritis as “a crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as graduation.”

Senioritis should only be a word used to described seniors in high school but I’ve unfortunately heard it used frequently to describe college seniors. And I have a beef with that.

I’ve seen teachers go through a roster during the first week of class and once they see that they’ve got seniors in the room, they’ll ask “You’re not going to get Senioritis on me half way through the semester are you?”

Or I’ve heard coworkers asked if they can handle taking on the responsibility of a new project or if they think they might feel a case of Senioritis coming on.

Ask how school is going and any answer other than “Great!” elicits the response, “oh Senioritis huh?”

No. Senioritis is a little insulting. Suddenly my work ethic is forgotten and I’m a sloth? Sure Senioritis is a nice cushion of an excuse for not giving 100% effort, but let’s get some things straight.
I don’t have Senioritis. I’m just having some Pre-Grad Pains.
Pre-Grad Pains start popping up whenever exposed to an impending graduation date.

Causes include:
Perfecting your resume
Adding new material to your portfolio outside of classwork
Scheduling interviews
Gaining work experience including shadowing, internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer work
Realizing you might not see your close friends as much as you used to
Job searching
Applying for jobs you’re underqualified
Considering the possibility of moving back into your parents’ house
Hearing the ticking clock that counts down the time until people expect a monthly loan payment.

Symptoms include:
Forgetting class assignment deadlines
Missing class
Wearing professional attire 50% of the time and a disheveled mop of hair the other 50%
Use of the phrase, “Good enough”

Cures?

Sleep
An appreciation of how lucky you are to be able to get a higher education
Getting hired pre-graduation

Sleep

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Knowing Your Viewer

A recent study from the University of Missouri School of Journalism gives a peak into the mind of a website’s consumers. The study suggests an interesting take on how their brains process your website. 

The study breaks the consumers down into two groups: Reward Seekers and Threat Avoiders. 

Reward Seekers tend to get their information from online sources or from their mobile devices. RS are more likely to join in on a conversation (ex. leaving comments), stay longer on the website and visit other pages of the site. 

Threat Avoiders don’t seek out online or mobile news as frequently and tend to do so in a passive manner. When they do find their way to your site, they are less likely to stay as long as the RS.

It sounds like you would definately want to have an audience composed of RS, but that’s not always the case. 

I think when designing your site, it’s best to start with a firm understanding of your audience. There’s no need to expel a huge amount of energy designing a site that encourages an online community if that’s just not what your audience is into. 

Unless you’re trying to rebrand, then I guess that’s a whole other monster to tackle. 

One thing is for certain, no matter what type of viewer you have in your audience, simple web design is the best. It seems obvious, but a viewer shouldn’t have to spend time figuring out how to get the information they want. 

Another thing that the study found was that users want stories. Stories will keep them engaged longer. i think for small family owned businesses this is perfect. 

 

 

Revisitng SEO (unfortunately)

So I’m a PR major and my roomate’s a marketing major. In job searches & in classes, people seem to think our majors should know something about SEO.

Did we miss an entire semester’s worth of a class? Did other students learn this? Because this stuff is confusing! My roommate was recently assigned to ‘revisit’ SEO, when she had never visited it in the first place.

I found her looking at the Google PDF on SEO I had linked to a couple weeks ago. I tried to help her since I have a little knowledge on HTML but realized I’m light years away from getting this shiz.

This is a plea for help. If you can put SEO into very basic terms, I’d love to hear it.

Now,

This is some of the findings from our research:Let’s talk about on-page & off-page factors.
On-Page: all about the user experience. How fast can the website viewer get to their desired information? How is the information organized? How is it broken down within a hierarchy of importance?

Off-page: Link it up yo. When you’re talking about something, link it up to others who are credible and also talking about what you’re talking about.

Something else that helps your SEO, if your title tag isn’t very unique, a website browser’s crawlers will use your site’s meta description as your snippet in search results.

If anyone wants to explain this in the most simplified way possible, PLEASE DO.

WTF Akron.

 I have a history of losing hubcaps off my Jetta and having personal possessions stolen from me. This weekend I had the pleasure of having those two experiences combined. After leaving my car parked in my apartment building’s garage (which I pay to park in) for approximately ten hours, I came to realize someone had stolen the plastic cover off of my passenger’s side mirror.

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I know that it was stolen because the part on the driver’s side is so firmly attached, there is no possible way it could accidentally knocked off without the side of the car sustaining damages also.

I attempted to file a police report but when the officer arrived, he told me that without more solid evidence that a crime was committed, he couldn’t file a report. The best he could offer to me was that the situation was indeed, strange.

I tried explaining to the officer that a few weeks ago the building manager had posted signs that a group of boys ages 10-13 were seen running around the garage. They are my number one suspects. Apparently that’s not enough evidence for the police. And so my case goes unsolved.

Rather than complain about things, I like to think of scenarios that might explain what just happened to my life. Here are my best hunches:

-Someone stole my mirror cover with the intentions of putting it on eBay at a ridiculously high price knowing that I’ll need to buy a replacement. This person will probably also create a fake eBay account to bid against me, driving the price up even higher.

-Someone stole my mirror cover with the intentions of putting it on Craigslist. In this situation, the person would want to meet up in person to do the money/mirror cover exchange concluding their longtime hobby of stalking me. That meet up with either end in myself get trapped in a basement a la Silence of the Lambs or getting murdered.

-Someone is stealing my car. One. Piece. At a time.

– There is some way of breaking into a car by going through the side mirror. Someone was in the process of breaking into my car but someone else came into the garage before they could finish. Not wanting to leave empty handed, they pocked my mirror cover.

-Someone is a hoarder and a kleptomaniac.

And that’s all I got. If anyone has any leads for me let me know. Or if you have my mirror cover, give it back.

Go Ahead, Stalk me.

Much has been said about Facebook stalking. It’s a guilty pleasure for some, a ritual for others. A girl can say to another girl that they were creeping on her pictures and it can be a totally fine thing, almost like a bonding experience. Because there’s a good chance the other girl did the same thing.

Switch the tables and imagine a girl telling a guy that she had been creeping on his pictures.

SHE’S CRAZY.

I had always thought it was just the type of thing to do on the DL and not make a fuss over. But I now want to come to the defense of Facebook creeping/stalking.

I recently met a guy and exchanged numbers. I didn’t know too much about him just that he was nice and nice looking. I knew his first and last name though. That’s all you need to run a full Facebook background check.

At first I was going to resist Facebook stalking because it kind of takes the fun out of getting to know someone. It’s terribly nerve wracking, but also exciting to be waiting on the other end of the phone to find out whether your text came across as funny or lame.

Eventually I caved though. I was just going to take a peek. I didn’t find out anything too revealing. Tons of pictures of his dogs though.

Facebook stalking can be irrelevant like in this situation, but then I think about the other times I’ve FB stalked and it actually has been beneficial.

Seeing that they’re in a relationship is good information to know.

Or that they post trashy pictures.

Or statuses with terrible grammar.

 

Whatever. Sometimes you don’t pick up on these things from a first impression.

Let’s say I didn’t Facebook stalk this kid, even though I had the option. It ends up he has a girlfriend and isn’t hiding it on Facebook. Wouldn’t I seem stupid for not just checking instead of trying to keep some mystery in my life?

It would be like not studying for a test even though the teacher gave you all the answers.

 

Even to a less extreme version, is there really something so wrong with scoping out the situation? What’s wrong with trying to find out if there’s something glaringly wrong with the person (just wrong for you, everyone is right for someone!).

Let’s save ourselves some time.

I don’t mind if you turn the tables on me either. Get your creep on 😉