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Showing posts from May, 2020

Combining Three Art Sites into One

In May 2018, I consolidated the content from three related art websites into a single site. Urban Art On The Map, Critters On The Map and Murals On The Map became Aberdeen Art, currently called Aberdeen Art and Music

The old content was copied, pasted, edited as needed and reorganized. A plain black background was chosen to put the spotlight on the art, not the website design.

Aberdeen Art And Music, Home Page
Urban Art On The Map, Home Page
Sculpture page (all the content from Urban Art On The Map)
As You Were, Urban Art On The Map As You Were, Aberdeen Art And Music

Mobile The old sites were practically unusable on mobile. Below are three cropped screenshots of the same entry to give you an idea of how much better the mobile experience is on the new site. I also have a separate page with a number of uncropped mobile screenshots from all the sites.

Old Site
New Site

Critters On The Map, Home Page
Critters section on Aberdeen Art and Music
Critters On The Map, Critter

Using CSS Styling on BlogSpot Sites

BlogSpot gives you a great deal of control over what you do with the website and serves all coding and design skill levels equally well. For people with zero skills, you can select from one of their existing themes. If you are a serious coder, you can click on "Edit HTML" under "Theme."

For an intermediary level of customization, you can click on "Customize." It takes you to a dashboard where you can change elements of existing themes in a safe manner. If you don't like what you did, each section has an "undo" option called "Clear advanced changes to (section name)."

In this dashboard, you can even add CSS styling with zero danger of permanently breaking your website. If you don't like what you have changed, you can just delete the CSS.



Here are some examples of adding CSS styling to the Blockquote attribute.

Example One
Without CSS:

With CSS:



Example Two
Without CSS:
With CSS:


Example Three
Without CSS:

With CSS:



I have done a …

Website Copy Suggestions for "Thoughter" Project

A little over a month back, I had an exchange with someone on Hacker News about their project. I fairly often write website copy for pay, though as a ghostwriter through an online service. I gave them a few suggestions on the website copy for their project.

The project is called Thoughter and this is a copy of the original opening paragraph from the site that I was critiquing:

What Is This?
The first project out of Aytwit's software research labs. Sometimes you want to ask someone a question or tell them a secret and you suspect or hope they're thinking the same thing, but it's uncomfortable to bring up. This is why Thoughter was created. For example let's say it's the holidays and a father and son had a fight a few years ago and haven't spoken since. The father pushes a thought to his son like "I miss you #reunite" that lasts one week. If the son pushes a thought to his father within that time containing the same hashtag then they will both rece…

Promoting Your Work Via Social Media

Social media marketing is a space you can spend a lot of time studying, but that doesn't mean you have to spend years studying it to benefit from it. Here are a few tips for how to use social media, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, to promote your work for free.

In order to actually promote your work, your social media account should have some means to connect people with your work. This might be a link to your professional site listed in your profile so that if people get really intrigued with the kind of work you do, they can find your work and some means to purchase it.

Keep in mind that it is a social space. In other words, people participate to connect with other people. You can use it to promote your work, but you don't want to be too sales-y.

While you don't want to be too aggressive and sales-y, you also don't want people to have to ask you for essential information. You should make it easy for them to find it.

Here are some good practices:
Be…

How To Do A Comic On BlogSpot

I have an old comic from a few years that I would like to get back to doing. The old comic is called Lil November and it is on one of the older BlogSpot themes, a theme that is not mobile optimized. Most of the comic isn't very good.

This is the "above the fold" view of the first page I want to keep as seen on Lil November:


Compared to the new site, it is cluttered and the comic is cut off when you first go to the page. You have to scroll down a bit to see the whole comic.

This is the same page as seen on the new comic:



Goals: I want to rename it, keep the only story arc I like and move it to a mobile optimized theme.

A few months back, I chose a new name for the comic: The Cute and The Dead. It grew out of me and my sons cracking jokes about something.

Initially, I was stymied. I thought it wouldn't be possible to do a comic on one of the mobile optimized themes. But I stuck with it and eventually found the following combination worked:

Soho theme. I went wit…

Actionable Content Marketing Tips

This is a TLDR of Content Marketing Tips from Experts at First Round Capital and A16Z (found via HN). The original podcast meanders a lot, which makes it hard to extract actionable tidbits from it. Some pieces of this TLDR are direct quotes. Others are paraphrased. I have made no effort to indicate which is which.

First, how do you measure the effectiveness of your content?

This is not a solved problem. But, there are some obvious measures you can look for, like page views and time on site. However, you really need to look for a metric that ties it to goals. Ask yourself what are we trying to measure and why? How does it fit our strategy and our goal? Stronger measures than page views are time on site, engagement and uptake.

And so, to make that more specific, what is a good (metric)?

What is the amount of length that you actually need to convey the point? It’s more about information density to me, like how many insights are you conveying? Are you really packing it in, or are you…

Me. Woodward Park, Fresno, CA. January 2016.

My favorite pic of me that's sort of recent-ish. (No, you aren't lost. As of June 1, 2020, DoreenTraylor.com redirects here.)