Thursday, December 27, 2007

Geeze... Running out of time!

Quick post. I have to get to the airport... always rushed, I, guess. Anyway. One of the hardest things to design are redesigns. It is exciting to get the chance to make something look "better," but you never really know if what you are designing is better or if it is just your taste and you don't particularly like the taste of the other designer's work. I noticed that I get really excited to design anything wether it is a full page ad, a debit card, or a redesign website for school. I just like creating and I hope that I do not lose that excitment... Max says, "HI," and that we need to get to the airport. 3 year olds are sooooo intelligent. I believe I have an awesome idea for a chior site redesign. Scared it won't go over in class as well as it is in my head.

More posts to come that hopefully will be of some interest.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Great News... Kinda.

Well, I got my car back... finally. Back to shifting. Totally stoked, but I'm back to not having a radio. So, I haven't listened to NPR in a long time. This means that I don't really have anything to write about. I'm plugging away trying to look for a new job and learning how to redesign websites. It's kinda hard, but very interesting. I think, "I can totally do better than that." Then when I'm "doing better than that" I think, "Crap, this isn't so easy." The good news is that anything I do HAS to be better than theirs! :) (No offense to the people that created them.) I really enjoy looking at other people's websites and trying to do what I think they have done but in a completely different way. This way, I can design in a different style and not be copying what other's have done and I can learn from it... If that makes sense.

I am getting sick and my head is cloudy. So, this is ridiculously short. I'll turn on NPR over the break and come up with an entry that'll blow your socks off... This statement was in no way intended to be taken literally and may or may not match the opinions of my co students, parents, or affiliates.

Thank you.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bread Crumbs, Worked for Hanzel and Gretel, but Not for the Web

As usual, there I was driving on I-25 listening to NPR... You know, National Public Radio... Moving on, they had a story about how users leave bread crumbs every time they visit sites on the web. This gets used in marketing research to see what users are looking at and what they want so ads are created for certain pages to draw these customers in. Very complicated and sneaky stuff. Well, there are lots of users that don't want to leave bread crumbs. This is an invasion of privacy to some. has created a way to search without leaving bread crumbs. This has users ecstatic, but advertisers not so much. The bread crumbs gave advertisers a great way to do marketing research and figure out their target market's browsing habits. I, personally, don't want people to know what I'm browsing for... not that I need to hide it or anything like that... Continuing to move on... Many users don't realize they are being watched. I didn't know until I heard the report on NPR. With more and more people learning about this, issues and protests are coming out. Maybe, advertisers will figure out how to do their research without the aid of bread crumbs and users will feel better knowing they are not being watched.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Good Will and the never ending need for more...

According to NPR, Good Will, which is a company whose purpose is to create jobs, but whose name is synonymous with clothing, has realized the power of vintage clothing. They have buyers who go out to other used clothes sellers and buy vintage clothing. Then they turn around and sell it on Ebay. A 1970s suit found by Good Will was sold on Ebay for over $100, but was purchased at under $12. Let's face it, vintage sells and so does Ebay. Good Will has discovered that they can draw untapped revenue from the internet. This not only includes auctions from such popular sites as Ebay, but it includes blogs. Yes, that's right. Good Will has a fashion blog on Blogger. I do not know the URL of this particular blog, but they keep it up to date. I find it interesting that a used goods store such as Good Will who usually sells to the less fortunate and the collector has a blog about fashion. That is really cool. My goal now is to create a blog that is actually useful and means something to me other than talking about what I heard on NPR, though I now notice so much about website and blog stories on NPR that I probably wouldn't really have thought about before. So, that's cool too.

I have been looking at domain names for my portfolio. I have come up with the name and a design that I am happy with, but I have had the unfortunate experience of discovering that my name has not only been taking by someone, but that that person doesn't design well. They are totally misusing my idea! My name for myself is driven by URL possibilities and not by what I think truly speaks to me. I want my URL to match my name. That's super important. So, I'm still looking... *sigh*

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blogs, they are popular!

As usual, I was listening to NPR while driving, because most of my time is spent driving, and they were talking about how popular online classes have become in recent years. One teacher was quoted as saying that it was super easy to get in touch with his students and get them the assignments. All he has to do is post a blog on... Yup, you guessed it,! Now that I am learning about all this web stuff and am required to create a blog once a week (with absolutely no resentment or sarcasm in my voice!), I have come to notice that the knowledge I am inquiring is all over the place! I am noticing that web is in the news in new ways to me. I probably never would have thought twice about the blog thing on the news if I hadn't been told to create one nor would I have really understood what it was. I knew what a blog was, I just have a better understanding of it now.

I have looked into purchasing a domain name and will do it shortly once I remember not to leave my debit card at home! I have researched and will use GoDaddy. This is exciting stuff.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Google and the Magical World of NPR

Well, this computer completely sucks. I am using my work computer and I had my blog almost completed when, out of nowhere, the Explorer screen changed and my blog erased. Stupid me didn't save it. So, considering I have a ton of work to do, my body hurts from my accident, and my son is super sick and needing me, I'm going to make this blog boring and short. My apologies, but I'm irritated that the whole thing is just GONE!! Anyway, I was writing about an NPR story I heard about last night as I was driving to school in my rental car. The story came on as I was passing under the on ramp that gets you the hell out of Larkspur. So, they were talking about Google and how their clients just love the simplicity of the site and how easy it is to navigate and use. They pretty much used the same verbiage that Mr. Troy Dunn used as he was speaking about Google. You know, "Yay, Google. They are awesome! People enjoy using them. Information at the bottom with little dividers in between. Logo at the top left corner. Simple. Easy to use." They also starting talking about the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. Apparently only 1% of Google's users actually use that button and many don't really understand what it is used for. This button takes you to the exact site you are looking for instead of to a list of sites for you to choose from. Now, it doesn't always take you to where you want to go. That's why you do it if you are feeling lucky. This button takes users to a non Google site and much of Google's revenue is from people advertising. So, the people, that measly 1%, that use this button don't see the ads on the Google results page and Google looses about a billion dollars... I want exactly paying attention the amount of money they lose, but it is quite a lump sum. Since not many people use it and it makes Google loose revenue, then why, do some ask, does Google keep it around? Great question. They say they keep it there to show that Google isn't a money grubbing, corporate giant thingy that is scary. They want to keep that personable side to them. "Hey, we are Google and, we do make a TON of money, but we are nice and hip and fun and it isn't about money... even though we make a TON of it." Okay, so I didn't actually hear that in the interview, but someone from Google could have said something like it. The button does confuse a lot of people and it doesn't take you to exactly where you want and people abandon using it when they get to a site that they don't know why the button sent them there. In my personal opinion, Google should try something different to make them look more hip and personal. Maybe they should try baby Tigers and Monkeys. Hey, it worked and still works for Jake Jabs.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclodepia, a blog is a website where entries are posted in chronological order, but displayed in reverse chronological order and can be made up of important facts or personal "diary" entries, which can be argued as important information or TMI. The word 'blog' is a portmanteau, which means that two or more words are combined or fused together to create a new word. I hear the German language does that a lot. Props to the Germans. No need to create new words. Lets just put words we all ready have together. Much less effort on creating words, if you ask me. I personally like using 'comediately.' It means you have done something funny, but in a hurried manner. "It was done comediately." Or, 'smarcastic.' This means that something was not only sarcastic, but smart assed as well. "That was a smarcastic remark." Other keeper is 'shnot.' This means that it was like shit and snot all at the same time. "The sidewalk is slicker than shnot!" Kids are a great source of portmanteaus or other uses of words. I like 'eyelooking.' It is a spyglass. "That man has an eyelooking." That was an actual sentence used by a three year old.

Blogs are interesting. I have not been one to frequent, or ever look at, them, but am learning about them and hopefully will come up with something interesting to use this blog for. Until then, I'll continue to write things that don't make any sense whatsoever, but will help me learn a little more about the web and, we all may argue, is the true meaning of a blog.

Thank you.