Dear Higher Ed Administrators

If you’re in higher ed web development, you probably saw this article making the rounds criticizing university web sitesMelonie Fullick put this together along with the feedback of other Twitter users after trying to research some information from various sites. I, too, recently had some complaints doing some research on programs at institutions and finding it infuriating at times trying to get relatively simple information. I’ve talked with a couple folks about the article as well, and thought I’d give some additional commentary. Not necessarily counterpoint, or refutations, just an additional viewpoint as someone who spent years behind that curtain. Read More

Finding the Path

It’s been a longstanding joke among my friends that my religion is “bad Buddhism.” For quite a while, I have embraced this concept. This is because I am, in fact, a bad Buddhist. I’ll never be a good Buddhist, either. I believe I lack both the commitment and willpower (I REALLY like scotch, and meat, and cussing, after all). But, just because I can’t be a good Buddhist, doesn’t mean I can’t be a better Buddhist. And it seems like maybe that’s something to focus on coming into the new year and beyond. So we’ll try that. After all, that’s part of the Buddhist process in the end – not being perfect on the first shot, but improving upon each pass. Read More

Art Walk – April 2016

So I realized this is a belated posting, as I shot the last art walk a couple months ago and forgot to do a post of the gallery shared here (it’s been on Flickr, of course). Got to play with the PixelStick a little bit this time, and climb some buildings. Good times. Also got to put my new-to-me D700 through its paces, which gave me some extra flexibility to have two bodies at the ready to switch between what I wanted to shoot.

Pittsburg Art Walk - April 2016

Pittsburg’s ArtWalk showcases local talent and downtown businesses. (art, music, food and more!). ArtWalk happens twice in 2016: April and August.

Where is the Perfect eBook Reader?

For quite a while, I’ve wrangled with the challenge of physical books versus eBooks. On one hand, physical books just look nice on a shelf, especially if they are nice books to begin with. Plus, physical books are easy to lend when someone asks me if I have a suggestion on a good book on social media marketing, or content strategy. On the other hand, I can carry thousands of eBooks on my tablet and have them anywhere, any time. As time has gone on, eBooks are slowly winning out more and more for me. Read More

Why We Suffer

This past weekend sucked. It didn’t suck in any new or particularly shocking way. It just sucked in the same old way that we keep going around with. People being shitty, people dying needlessly, and people pointing fingers every direction they can find in hopes of finding comfort. Every time it happens, I think about it, and I usually don’t say much. This time, I want to say something. Read More

Newspapers’ User Experience Failure

For quite a while now, newspapers have been fighting upstream against other news outlets, blogs, and content sources in a battle for readership. Hell, even things like Twitter can be better and faster for getting eyeballs on an issue than mainstream sites. They’ve had many run of the mill issues, like simply lacking aesthetically pleasing designs with good information architecture that invite users in. But then there have been more specific problems like paywalls, popover ads, and interstitials which have been subject of much derision (and savvy users have been capable of working around them since nearly day one). Read More

Shortened URLs with dotCMS

While there are many solutions out there for doing URL shortening, most of them lack one feature that can be really important for a large site (at least without paying a hefty fee) – the ability to control destination URLs. This might not matter to a lot of folks, but can be extremely important if you migrate a site, move pages, or otherwise use those links in a way that would result in them breaking due to other site changes. Read More

The Myth of the Full Stack Developer

Many folks are happy to tell you that full stack developers no longer exist.

They aren’t wrong, but they also aren’t really right, either. Because when it comes to finding one, it all comes down to getting the right skillset for the right job. The trick is bringing one in with the specialty skills you need.
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Art Walk – August 2015

Every other month through the summer and early fall, Pittsburg hosts an art fair downtown. Part of my contribution, as I’m not much of an artist, is to do photography for the event. These are the shots from the August Art Walk. The next one will be the Halloween walk at the end of October. All my Art Walk photos can be found on Flickr under a CC by-nc-sa license.

Pittsburg Art Walk - August 2015

Pittsburg’s ArtWalk showcases local talent and downtown businesses. (art, music, food and more!). ArtWalk happens 4 times a year: April, June, Aug. & Oct.

Manipulating WordPress Canonical URLs

For many people, it’s not necessarily a big deal to move a blog from one domain to another, and losing social sharing metrics as a result (at least when you’re like me, and most shares are single digits, anyway). This commonly happens because the share counts get tied to each unique URL. If that changes, then so does the count. Virtually every social platform, however, allows you to specify the URL that’s used when sharing via special <meta> tags. This whole issue becomes much more important, though, when you’re a company with many hours and lots of marketing dollars vested in social metrics and the value they drive to your business.

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