My Last Three Months Blogging Under Fear

I was in a bar with Rob Dodson three months ago discussing all manner of topics. About two drinks in, the conversation turned to Rob’s last big spurt of blogging. He knew just how hard it is to keep a writing routine, so he made a deal with himself—he would blog for 60 days straight or he had to give $500 to a politician he was not fond of. This sounded like a great idea, especially after two stiff drinks. I decided to do the same, with slightly different parameters. Continue reading “My Last Three Months Blogging Under Fear”

Frank Under Fire—How a WordPress Theme Designed for Speed Performed Under High Traffic Conditions

I wrote an article for Smashing Magazine a few weeks ago showcasing Frank. As was expected, my site got bombed. Since Frank was designed from the ground up to be fast, I wanted to share the results of how Frank performed on a high volume traffic day. It’s important to know that my site is hosted on a medium-tier VPS with no CDN. Continue reading “Frank Under Fire—How a WordPress Theme Designed for Speed Performed Under High Traffic Conditions”

Some Random Dude is Now (More) Responsive

In the past two weeks, I was able to update this site (and more importantly, the open source theme behind it) to have a responsive layout. This was the last big hurdle for me to get a final-ish version of the theme out the door.

There are still small issues that need to be addressed, but this was the big one. The next goal is to get a project page up along with some simple starting guides, take a breath and see where the project goes from there. My current site is still imperfect, but I consider it to be a good reflection of how I view responsive web design. As I mentioned in an recently, responsive web design goes beyond a responsive layout. Our designs need to address limited bandwidth and processing power associated with mobile devices.

My hope is this theme will continue to improve so that it can provide a viable option for bloggers who provide a fast, reading-centric experience for their visitors. Due to my limited schedule however, I need to rely on the community to help me push this project forward. If you have enjoyed this site and/or you would like to use this theme, I encourage you to do so. I also encourage you to help make it better for everyone else. So please, fork this theme and get in touch with me if you are interesting in contributing.

Write Like You Design

Good designers make beautiful things. Why then do so many create such poor sentences?

I have long held the opinion that writing was part of design. I simply did not practice it. Writing was not given much priority while I attended art school. Writing continued to be of secondary concern during the early years of my career. Evidence of this can be seen on this blog. I started taking my writing more seriously after my wife, who has her master’s degree in English, started editing my posts. It progressed further while working at Adaptive Path, where it was clear that how we communicated our work could be as important to our job as the work itself. Currently, the attention given to language in the work at Seabright solidifies a dedication to the writing process in my practice. Continue reading “Write Like You Design”

Write Articles, Not Blog Postings (Sometimes)

I just read a very good article by Jakob Nielsen on proper writing for weblogs. His opinion is that blogs (most notably, business blogs) should focus more on in-depth articles rather than short, post-lets. I think Mr. Nielsen’s advice is absolutely correct for a large number of business bloggers out there – but I hesitate to agree it is the best format for all business blogs. I genuinely respect Nielsen’s research on the subject, but a few thoughts from my experience have led me to the opinions mentioned below.
Continue reading “Write Articles, Not Blog Postings (Sometimes)”

So I Am Starting to Twitter

I have been playing with Twitter for the past few months now and I have decided to temporarily take the plunge and devote much more time into it. I am planning to integrate my Twittering into this blog – which required this plugin, which required a WordPress upgrade which ended up creating all hell with some of my plugins, which ended up clearing all my tags once someone commented, which required me to frantically try to get my site back to normal.

Good times.

If you Twitter, by all means, please head over to my profile and add me as a friend. I have been very resistant to the social networking scene as I feel many, if not most, lack substance. What I like about Twitter is the fact it is a tool that can be used however one desires – the social aspect is merely a feature. Due to this flexibility, I am going to give it a go.

Integrating some aspects of my Twittering to the blog should not take too long so they should be popping up in the next couple weeks… Along with the photoblog and the functionality updates to Some Random Dude… Yes, I know I bit off more than I can chew. Still, I think this could add a lot to the site, so I am looking forward to trying it out. Please let me know your thoughts and, by all means, Sign up for an account and add me as a friend so you can join in on the fun.

Work, Deadlines and Hospitals. Oh My!

Life has taken another unexpected turn with an unexpected trip to the hospital (Leah and I are fine – a family member had a fairly large scare). Things seem to be back to (somewhat) normal at this point, but I am quickly learning that emergencies do not mix well with a daily blogging schedule. I have a whole queue of articles that are on the way to being published, but as one would expect, I just need to find the time to finish them up.

If life resumes to its normal pace, I will be back to my normal schedule of writing. Based off the last three weeks however, I am holding off judgment until I see proof…

The Blogs I Read (and outright envy)

I have been writing this blog for close to two years now and reading blogs for nearly twice as long. There is no shortage of great writers and great blogs on the internet, but to me, these either represent my favorite content or are special to me for other reasons. Either way, I highly suggest all of the blogs below – not a day goes by where I do not wish I could incorporate the quality of writing or type of content in each of these sites. I do not spend enough time on this site giving my respect to what I consider good work, I thought now was as good of a time as ever. If I were to list all of my favorite blogs, the list would be in the hundreds and it would literally take me weeks to finish the article. Perhaps I will begin briefly talking about my favorite blogs on a monthly basis, but for now I will leave the list at this.
Continue reading “The Blogs I Read (and outright envy)”