You have something to say. But with so many online tools to share your wisdom with the world via the web, how do you choose? How user friendly and flexible are services like Blogger and WordPress compared to newer options like Squarespace? Thursday Friday Saturday presents to you: CMS Fight Club.
Entries in wordpress (5)
I haven't set aside time to write lately: got into a car accident which basically totaled my 1994 Nissan Quest minivan in mid-December, a day before I went skiing in Steamboat, Colorado.
Then the holidays came, and we finally sold our house after it was on the market for nearly half a year.
Basically broke even, but found out the previous owners a) were paid $11,000 to replace a hail-damaged roof and b) they never replaced the roof but lied about it on their sales disclosure, and our "inspector" didn't catch it. So we had to pay our buyer to fix the roof (thankfully, not the entire $11k the previous owners were paid.) Nice. I guess that's what small claims court is for (or soon will be.)
And I've been busy at work - a great thing. Working on some websites, PR, marketing, and helping adoptable dogs and cats in many ways. We're trying out some social-media avenues (Twitter, Facebook, ExactTarget e-blasts, etc.) to get the word out about our animals, and it's working. It's quite an amazing experience!
One of the sites I'm working on is for Mutt Strut. I'm considering using Expression Engine as blog/CMS software on it. This blog is run on WordPress, which I also used for the Angie's List Podcast site during my time there. I'm even considering trashing the design of this site in favor of a custom Expression Engine setup.
Wordpress is great, but customizing its templates can be a bit of a beast, especially for a PHP non-expert like myself. We're working with xiik on this project, and I'm sure they could wrassle a Wordpress theme into shape, but Expression Engine seems to offer much potential.
If you've used both platforms, what are your thoughts in the Wordpress vs. Expression Engine battle? Which do you prefer, and why? (Hopefully this isn't as heated as a "dogs versus cats" argument!)
This post isn't as focused as those previous, but read on, kind sirs and madams: A big week for me at Angie's List and for Adopt An Animal. At Angie's List, I set up our magazine department's blog and released List-en up!'s first true video podcast. I say "true" video because previous episodes were in what was technically a video format, but were basically a still-image slideshow with pictures to accompanying the audio. This time, though, I actually followed a home energy auditor and videotaped the house-inspection process. After watching the video, I hope you have an audit performed on your home to find out how much money you can save through some simple energy-efficient upgrades. As for the blog, you'll notice that its design is basically the same as the Angie's List podcast site. For the "Blue House Blog," as we're calling it (thanks to Brandon Smith, Angie's List magazine artist and Goldfish Don't Bounce bandmember, for the awesome logo!), I used the same Wordpress content management system, and the same theme, K2, simply because it works well. It looks good on its own, but is easily customizable and functions quite well for the most part. And though I have little PHP-programming experience, going into the code and fiddling with certain things isn't too difficult. And there's a tremendous network of free plugins, forums, and bloggers that serve as terrific resources for any Wordpress-related problem. On a Wordpress-related note, I've posted some more dogs for adoption in Indianapolis at my Wordpress-based Adopt An Animal site. Please check them out (an adult female German Shepherd and adult male Pit-bull mix) and let me know if you or someone you know is interested. Finally, I hope to install Ableton Live this weekend and create my first digital mix of some songs I've been really into lately. If you have any experience with Live and have tips to offer, please let me know. Thanks!
I switched this website to a different server today, following these instructions from WordPress. I followed them to a T, or so I thought, but as soon as I signed in to my newly transferred site, I realized I had a lot more work ahead of me than I'd bargained for (almost 4 hours' worth, to be exact.) WordPress's simple instructions failed to mention the fact that nearly all of my settings for this site (descriptions and preferences for plug-ins, widgets, thingamajigs and doo-dads) would be erased. So, I've reconstructed the broken or missing pieces as best as I can with my evaporating patience. If you've read this far, I would greatly appreciate it if you would spend a minute, 30 seconds, or even 5 seconds poking around, clicking on things and seeing if you notice something broken, out of the ordinary, or missing. If you do, or have any recommendations in general, please post a comment or email me. I would truly appreciate it! I think I can finally let this computer (and my eyes) rest now that my blog is up and stumbling along again on its Frankenstein feet.
According to ComputerMajors.com's "10 Hot Computer-Driven Careers," I'll (*fingers crossed*) have a secure career for awhile. Their list, partially based on the BLS Top 30 fastest growing careers and on interviews with computer professionals, includes several jobs I've done, am doing, or am planning to do. From their list:
- Digital Film Production Assistant and Technician Thanks to Internet TV software such as Joost and Babelgum, many dozens of video sharing sites, and of course the traditional film and TV industry - including Pay Per View and Cable - demand for video content will simply grow. While actual reel film might have its advantages and still be in use, post production-wise the trend is digital - both for movies and TV - using sophisticated computer systems that require a specialized training to use. Add to this the pending widespread use of HDTV (High-Def) broadcasting, and the distribution of content online, and additional technical careers will no doubt be available to be filled.
- Website Network Manager / Administrator. Magazine writers don't have to know the technical details of keeping a print publication afloat. So why should writers in an online publishing network be expected to know all the admin and technical details of managing a site, even if it is CMS? With the growing number of website and blog networks, the need for people with technical skills to maintain the networks will grow as well.The ideal person will understand how to install CMS platforms such as WordPress and Drupal, maintain domain registrations, manage the content databases and backups, monitor hosting, and move servers if necessary. They might also need to know how to tweak website themes, create plugins, etc. Management skills might also be a requirement.
- Visual and Audio Content Producers. The greatest growth in online content over the next decade will be in Video and Audio. From viral video production to visual tutorial content producers, the major differentiating factor for online businesses is going to be their ability to create compelling visual and audio content. Familiarity with high-level codes like Action Script and the ability to use video screen capture software such as Camtasia Studio and web-based embeddable video distribution services such as Splashcast, will be very marketable. In addition, the ability to storyboard tutorials and write text content increases your career opportunities, so don't neglect those English & Literature classes!