Go Wiki Yourself

Quick, name the one marketing step you can take that will have the largest possible effect on your company’s online presence, yet is totally, completely free?

I’d have been hard pressed to come up with a good response before last week, when brilliant young CBS Interactive editor Andrew Nusca tipped me off. The answer is: make sure you have a Wikipedia page.

A Wikipedia page not only immediately lists your business in one of the most-searched global databases, it also adds organic (and valid) search engine weight to your own website, when you make sure Wikipedia links back to it.

Nusca and his wife, with some beerNusca and his wife, with beer

Continue reading Go Wiki Yourself

Want To Change Your TypePad Domain Mapping?

(Note: This post somewhat of a story, but also has some useful code design info.)

Domain mapping is a handy and common way to set up a custom URL for your hosted blog, such as one on TypePad.com, WordPress.com or Blogger.com.

This allows you to use MyExample.com to reference your blog, instead of something like myexample.typepad.com.

Better?But what if you want to change the name you originally set-up to something else? In the case of TypePad (and likely other platforms), this can cause serious issues.

All of your posts and images use the original name, such as in search engine listings, on trackbacks and more. So if you change the name, all of your old links will break. You might loose a bunch of RSS feeds that used the old links. And also, all of the images in your posts will be missing!

I ran into this issue for a client last week. A popular blog, with an average of 1,500 unique visitor per day, and over 2,100 posts, was essentially broken. Not acceptable.

Because of TypePad’s inept support I was forced to find a solution, which can likely be adapted for use on other hosted blogging systems as well. The answer lies in some simple .htaccess code. Read on to find out more. Continue reading Want To Change Your TypePad Domain Mapping?

All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Ideas in Food

I like to be inspired by my clients.

One of the best things about running your own business is the relative luxury of choosing with whom you work.

While sometimes time constraints force compromises in design and code, the best case scenario is when there is opportunity to address details.

Aki and Alex have strong convictions and are extremely particular. Yet they are also avid explorers and open to new ideas.

This comes across in their food. Hopefully also in their new website.



paint with benA wonderful example of great web design, both visually and interactively.

Great look, and great feel.

I even submitted a word-color-story of my own.

This is what I am aiming towards in my work.

Created by AKQA.

Thanks to Evolve for posting this inspiration.

Semantics vs Aesthetics

The separation of content and style is a philosophy that is strongly encouraged in design, and especially web design these days.  The main idea is that this allows great flexibility. Colors and styles can be changed without affecting actual content — text or photos.  Different styles can be applied depending on how a visitor is viewing, such as via computer, mobile phone, or as a printed out version of a page.

It’s tricky to fully put into actual use, though, and most web designs I’ve seen or created mix style with content at least a small amount. 

The one exception is blogs — especially template-based blogs hosted on providers like typepad.com and wordpress.com.  In this case, the content must be separate from the style, because the front-end content is constantly changing, being updated and rearranged by the blogger.

Additionally, in order to maintain full functionality offered by these services, the back-end, behind the scenes content also has to stay the same (for the most part), and can’t be changed or accessed by a designer at all.

This was the challenge I faced in redesigning the blog from my previous post to match the rest of my client’s (totally custom built) website.  I learned quite a bit more than I knew before about CSS styling during this project.  Perhaps I will post some tips on what I discovered. In general, a success.

Minimalist Design

Sometimes I question my attraction to minimalism. When I work it’s usually a battle between my personal appreciation for minimalist design and the reality of a world filled with loud, noisy, look-at-me layouts. Shola Olunloyo

In advertising and marketing, you must get noticed. Get attention. A Call to Action! should shout from the moment a visitor first views the design, or else that visitor will quickly skip on to others. But what grabs the visitor doesn’t need to be a lot. It can be clean simplicity instead.

Most customers want attention-grabbing layouts. Usually I compromise my desired look by adding elements and colors.

In the case of my most recent website design, there was no such compromise, and I’m pleased with the results; the synchronicity of my and my client’s aesthetic.