Category Archives: CSS

Something New This Spring :: Student Digital Resumes and Portfolios Online

Note: All portfolios are now being posted to PRProspects.com.

Spring semester brought something new for the PR Style & Design class. They published their digital resumes and portfolios online.

The students completed their final projects this week. The links below lead to their digital resumes and portfolios.

In the past, some students took it upon themselves to do this. Each semester, more and more chose that path. So, I thought about having all the students stake their place online with a resume.

I think this is a positive opportunity. Already, some of the students have received positive feedback from those they’ve applied to for internships and jobs.

A diverse group, these students are either graduating, heading out to do their internships or about to search for internships/jobs. So, if you’re interested in hiring … check these links out now.

We’ve been doing a final project like this for years. But, this is the first time I’ve required the students to obtain a domain and publish their final projects online.

Here are the results … Continue reading

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infOpinions Redesign by Necessity

IE7 does not like my blog. This blog, specifically. It likes all the other WordPress sites of mine, but not this particular blog. Hmmm? I’m guessing it is a plugin conflict, but do not know. I have so many running, I really don’t want to go through the process of deactivating them one at a time to see if that’s the case.

…this theme does load a bit faster, which is good … but, I don’t know if I’ll stick with this one…

As you can see, I have changed the layout. I did it for my own site to test one I’m creating for another project.

What do you think? I like the widget goodness of the newest WordPress themes. That is invisible to you, I know, but the AJAXY widgets make defining layout simple – without any HTML or PHP, if you wish. The opensource WordPress community has made the platform even easier to use and adapt. Their efforts are deeply appreciated.

This theme is Tarski. I like it very much. Great work from Ben Eastaugh and Chris Johnson. The flexibility is quite remarkable.

The theme I really want to implement is Canvas – by Karsten Temme and Yasser Dahab. It worked in WordPress 2.0.4, but the recent upgrade to 2.0.5 makes the Canvas plugin fail, for me. They state, on their site, that they will be rewriting the theme. I’m hopeful.

Have any of you had good fortune with IE 7, or any of these widget-friendly WordPress themes?

Update: Do not, whatever you do, put an ampersand in one of your tags. I had Style & Design in there and it crashed my feed.

Social Media Press Release via Wordpress Installation and Structured Blogging

For some time now, I have wanted to create a process through which students may practice creating versions of this new-fangled social media press release concept.

thumbnail of SMPR release formatNow, I have it. Simple, yet functional.

For our fall classes, we have created a new site: The Loveliest Village Newsroom. This is part of a larger site where students will be posting news and feature stories they will write and produce (audio and video) during the semester. The Loveliest Village utilizes blogs, a wiki, Flickr, del.icio.us and is intended to provide experiential learning.

I am looking for some help with this project, if any of you are interested. A skilled coder/developer willing to help adapt the structured blogging plugin will be particularly useful. The version I have modified will work, but it can be more fully developed.

Our newsroom will utilize WordPress and various plugins, including: Structured Blogging, podPress, WP Notable, WP Print, WP Lightbox JS 2 and Ultimate Tag Warrior. All of those will combine to allow posting releases featuring the major elements of a social media release (PDF) similar to the one suggested by Todd Defren.

Using this WordPress implementation, the posting will still require the use of code. This file of HTML/CSS code is one example of how we will accomplish the format.

This zip file is the adaptation I made to the showcase-person.xml file within the structured blogging plugin.

Overall, this is a simple modification, but it allows us to practice (a) HTML, (b) CSS, (c) writing skills, and (d) creating social media releases.

I have two primary reasons for doing this. First, I want to have a process by which my students may practice the various principles we are studying – writing and production (HTML, CSS, graphics, layout). Second, I would like for them to have a leg up on understanding the social media release upon graduation. We are still blogging and commenting, by the way.

I’ll write more later. I hope to have some very exciting news to share later this week.

Update: After doing all of this, I went over to listen to the latest (Sept. 4) edition of Social Media Club’s Social Media Cast 0.2 with Shel Holtz (FIR), Chris Heuer and Brian Solis. In that podcast, the group discusses how some corporations are considering doing their releases through a blog due to the high costs associated with doing it at one of the major press release distribution services. So, this is quite interesting. I believe that a modified WordPress or MT site can accomplish this process. Of course, the blogs won’t have the reach that one gains from services like PRNewsire or Business Wire, but it does reach the search engines.

Given the Social Media Club’s work on developing standards for such releases, we will be watching their work with interest.

Web Site Development Week :: HigherEd BlogCon

HigherEd BlogCon is still going on this week. The month long event concludes with Websites & Web Development. This is a good group of articles. Mike Richwalsky serves as Section Chair. Karine Joly and Rob Pongsajapan assisted in setting up the week of posts.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Legal Education Podcasting Project

John Mayer
Executive Director
Elmer Masters
Director of Internet Development

Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction/CALI

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Student To-Do List RSS Feed: Combining Audience and Task Navigation

Matthew Winkel
The College of New Jersey

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Using Web Traffic with a Kaizen Methodology

Tiffany Vincent
Academic Web Services

brilliantignorance.com

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Know Enough to be Dangerous: Tools for Taking Control of HTML and CSS

Steve Lawson
Colorado College

Bringing Audio to a Visual Medium: Podcasting News and Events

CASE Online Speaker Series
2:00-3:30 ET (Paid registration required.)

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Fast Track to Agile Web Apps: Best Practices for Higher Ed Web Development on Rails

Jason Garber
Eastern Mennonite University

New Theme for infOpinions? :: In Business

Is it strange that, when I find a few free minutes, I turn to checking out new templates and do a redesign of the site? Probably so. But, nonetheless … I did it again.

…opensource
communities provide a great service
like this free theme layout…

Many thanks to Kaushal Sheth for porting the In Business theme from Now Design’s “Business Design” free template they contributed to OSWD.org – Opensource Web Design.

I like the clean and easy to read use of white space. Kaushal did a fine job in crafting the ‘.php’ files to work quite well with WordPress.

So, thanks to Kaushal and NOW Design.

Update:  I have removed all five of the javascript functions I had running in the sidebar.  That ‘should’ help with the pageloads.  They were neat tools, but – if they discourage those that might visit because of shear lag-time and frustration – they just don’t cut it, yet.

Upgrade to WordPress 2.0

Took the plunge. As part of the redesign effort for this blog, I was hoping to upgrade to WordPress 2.0. Thankfully the developer team met their deadlines and did release the new version. Aren’t they great? You bet! Congratulations to all WordPress Developers.

The majority of differences between 2.0 and previous 1.5.x versions are in the user interface (admin area) and casual users won’t see them. There is the new “Roles and Capabilities” determination for blog subscribers/authors. A good run-down of all the changes, with an explanation, comes from Asymptomatic. Also, with the upgrade of the platform, WordPress has redesigned their main site and provided an improved, and organized, documentation section. That is especially good to see.

Upgrading to WordPress 2.0 on this heavily modified blog took only 45 minutes to get it back up and working. Not bad when you consider that counts backing up the database, deactivating over 20 plugins, deletion of all files, FTP of all new files, unrelated phone call interruptions, and the final re-activation of select plugins to get the blog running. There was a bit more to it, but that covers the major tasks.

…WordPress simply the best blog platform available anywhere…

Comments and posting are working. The new theme, Exquisite, is functioning. I will enable it later as the sidebar still needs some work.

As for WordPress 2.0, I admit that there are some quirks I’m discovering and I’ll probably spend a few hours fixing and tweaking things. However, that is because this blog had been modified a great deal with numerous plugins/hacks over the past several months. If this were a new installation, I am certain that the famous WordPress 5-minute (or less) install is still a safe and honest promise from the developers.

This version looks just like WordPress Multiuser in the administration area. It is very clean, easy to use and navigate, and quite powerful. All of that from free software. Can’t beat it.

So, for what it is worth, I now declare WordPress the King/Queen of the personal/business blogging platforms – opensource or commercial. Alright, to be fair – I’ll have to caveat that with my trusty-dusty “of the platforms I have tried” qualifier. As a yardstick on what I have tried, I have downloaded and installed (or tried to install) almost all of the blogs, portals, wikis (and several other CMS platforms) at Opensourcecms.com. I’ve even installed Movable Type and have/had Typepad, Blogger, LiveJournal accounts. For me, WordPress is the clear winner. It is not even close.

In fact, the new version of WordPress – out of the box – allows for the easy importing of posts from a Movable Type blog. “The importer is smart enough not to import duplicates, so you can run this multiple times without worry if—for whatever reason—it doesn’t finish. If you get an out of memory error try splitting up the import file into pieces.”

But, the new platform doesn’t stop there. You may also import from these accounts and processes, too. “Blogger – Import posts and comments from a Blogger account; Textpattern – Import posts from a Textpattern Blog; and, RSS – Import posts from an RSS feed”

What’s the point here? The level of user knowledge required to launch a WordPress blog is much lower than a Movable Type blog, for instance. Yet, you get the same power of Movable Type. I think you actually get more, but that is still being debated. Either way, more people can use the WordPress platform – easier and faster, out of the box – than any other platform you might choose to host yourself, or acquire hosting to launch.
Continue reading

infOpinions? Redesign :: I’m Playing. Be Afraid.

Danger, Will Robinson. If you are not interested in style & design, this post isn’t for you. I link below to most of the new themes for WordPress that I really find to be quite attractive as well as very well constructed. You will find photoblog themes, one administration area theme and many colorful and whitespace optimized blog themes.

…style & design
beauty with functionality is always the goal
remember, whitespace is your friend…

Hey, if you like looking at pretty designs, this post has links for you. So, if you are game – read on….

I have been wanting to redesign this blog, and several others I have going, for some time. During the holidays I’ll be playing with different ideas. Do you have any suggestions for some new WordPress themes that have been released recently?

Some of my favorites so far are:

K2 at Binary Bonsai is yet another truly nice theme from the creator of the famed Kubrick theme, Michael Heilemann, and Chris J Davis for WordPress. Kubrick is now the default theme for WordPress, for instance. But K2 goes much further. A one-column theme. Very pretty and getting lots of buzz online. It is still beta and seems destined for WordPress 2.0, but works with 1.5.2. Still, a pretty theme. Simple, clean and easy on the eyes.

All of the themes based upon the work of Andreas Viklund are just beautiful, to me. So, the following themes are especially nice:

WPAndreas03 v1.0: Somewhat similar to “Think Different” (you’ll see that one in a minute). This is a clean and pretty whitespace theme.

Kaushal Sheth’s WordPress Themes are very beautiful and quite clean, too. They share similar characteristics with work by Andreas, above. Or, vice versa. Don’t know if they’ve ever actually seen each other’s work.

And, there are many more great new themes, too.
Impact: A clean and modest business looking theme. Simple, but quite nice.
triSexuality: An interesting name. This is a ‘very’ colorful and clean them with three-columns. Very stylish.
Eclectic Theme for WordPress: Orange. Very sleek and pretty. A ‘different’ kind of design.
Kiwi: Great look, but I swear I can’t read it.
Phoenix Theme: Very clean and nice. But, a bit dark. However, that can easily be changed with the background color.
Think Different: A very “Mac” looking theme. Clean and lotso whitespace.

And, for something totally different, there is SpotMilk. Now that is actually a theme specifically aimed at the admin area of your blog. Great work.

How about a specific WordPress photoblog theme? Try Tan. This is really nice. Beautiful, in fact. Very clean and well done. This one should win prizes. Lots of prizes. And, the designer – Taly (Spanish) – has more Fotolog Themes to choose from, too.

I so hope that WordPress 2.0 will be released during the holidays. There has been a little scuttlebutt that it will, but we’ll have to see. I’ve already installed that a few times with the beta and two release candidates. It is looking sooooo good. WordPress has all of the other platforms beat – hands down. There will no longer be any question with 2.0. (Update: Just found that release candidate #3 is out. Get it here.)

I have already installed and slightly alterd the Exquisite theme. You can see it in action on this blog with this link. The theme is based upon the Andreas03 theme. The images will likely change, but I like the very “whitespace” look of the theme. Simple to read and so easy to navigate. It is a fixed-width theme. Some people don’t like those, but I do.

Update: Also found some very nice and well crafted themes from The English Guy – Richard Dows. Of particular interest are the News Print and Spick and Span themes. Can’t wait for those to be available for download. He’s doing some very nice work, so check it out.