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Free WordPress Workshop by HelloARI: Web sites for Performing and Visual Artists in Chicago


Peter McDowell and I will offer the free workshop “WordPress Web sites for Performing and Visual Artists” at the 2011 Creative Chicago Expo on March 12, 2011. The Expo is held at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington and offers free admission.

Using dynamic discussion and visual examples, this workshop will go through the basics of establishing a strong online presence for performing and visual artists with a focus on:

  • Branding
    • Simple logo vs Complete visual identity
    • Logotype, logomark, business cards and other matching print collateral
  • Content Management System (CMS): How the WordPress CMS can empower the delivery of constantly changing information to key audiences
  • The differences between WordPress.org (requiring a web developer) and WordPress.com (free do-it-yourself) services
  • Building a strong platform for online marketing
    • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
    • SEM (search Engine Marketing)
    • Social networking strategies to drive traffic
  • How a web site fits into a larger marketing effort
  • Costs and timelines: getting your content together before you approach a designer
  • Time management: “Don’t be a programmer, be the best artist you can be.”

Peter McDowell and Ari Salomon believe in the necessity of access to effective, attractive, functional web sites for performing and visual artists. McDowell (a veteran of 20 years experience in arts management) and Salomon (a web designer and developer for 15 years) have teamed up since 2009 seeking to provide a low-cost, high quality option in web marketing for artists by creating over a dozen web sites for artists and by training them how to update and maintain their new sites. Their upcoming venture, PerformSites, will launch in Spring 2011.

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JCSEO: Dirty Little Secrets

The New York Times had a long article about Black Hat SEO they uncovered for JCPenny.com over the last few months. Google has severely lowered their ranking as a result.

…the digital age’s most mundane act, the Google search, often represents layer upon layer of intrigue. And the intrigue starts in the sprawling, subterranean world of “black hat” optimization, the dark art of raising the profile of a Web site with methods that Google considers tantamount to cheating.

It’s like the old robber-baron day of railroad when big brands did whatever they want.

I was surprised to learn this fact: 34 percent of the traffic from Google go to the #1 result, about twice the percentage that go to #2.

I rechecked my own PageRank: I’m up to 6 out of 10. That reminds me of other SEO successes my clients have had. And new clients I have connected with since I started targeting “WordPress Expert” on my own site. Including an internet lawyer who is using SEO effectively to get his new business off the ground.

via Search Optimization and Its Dirty Little Secrets – NYTimes.com.

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New Laser Zaps Mosquitoes in SlowMotion

Killed by consumer electronics. I can somehow relate to that.

YouTube – New Laser Zaps Mosquitoes in SlowMotion.

Posted in Inventions | 1 Response

Formerly Honest Foods

I came across this rebranding nightmare. Honest Foods became Earnest Eats. But somehow they also became “Formerly Honest”…

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Prado print on demand

I was recently at the Prado museum and found this print on demand service available for many images in their collection. the Gift store no longer carries posters – you can print many images at any size you want.

Here is their info card with pricing. I did not buy one but I remember the days when I used to buy posters from museums.

you can also buy online at www.tiendaprado.com

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WordPress Support » Widget Logic (logged in?)

Do not display for people logged in

Question: Is there a conditional tag so that I can show/not show a certain widget based on whether the person is logged into the blog.

Answer: the code to use: is_user_logged_in()

The forum post below is closed so I’m answering this question here on my blog.

BTW if you want to NOT show a widget to logged in users just use: !is_user_logged_in()

via WordPress › Support » Widget Logic – Do not display for people logged in.


More Tips

Also: if you want to show a widget on two or more specific posts then use an array like this: is_single(array(1,147,53))

if you and to target two or more specifica pages use: is_page(array(1,147,53))

and you can use the opposite too if you want to exclude a handful of pages or posts: !is_single(array(1,147,53))

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Unintentional signage #1: LIBERTY

I am gathering images of old, faded, cracked vinyl signs and have been keeping an eye out for a certain kind of wabi-sabi sign. Today though I have a different kind of sign to share.

I came across some moss growing in the sidewalk embossed sign for “Liberty” street…

Posted in Fine Art Photography | Leave a comment

A More Usable Skype 5 Mac Beta

The new Skype for mac has so many problems. Better video quality but serious UI issues. Full screen mode and partial screen sharing are gone but this skin solves the too-much-whitespace issue.

This skin is easy to install and does a great job.

We’ve created a quick and simple custom style named “RocketTheme.SkypeChatStyle” that incorporates the following:

  • Smaller font sizes
  • Reduced paddings and margins
  • Visible avatars and names for all members of the conversation including yourself
  • Lighter borders and colors

via A Prettier More Usable Skype 5 Mac Beta.

Posted in Product Reviews | Leave a comment

Dr. Seuss does Star Wars

The Star Wars universe blends with the goofy, strangely-named world of Dr. Seuss pretty easily.

via Not only, but also.: Dr. Seuss does Star Wars.

Posted in Design | 1 Response

Building an HTML email is not like building for the web

A great article about the challenges of building HTML for email clients. I had banged my head on many of these challenges and want to reiterate his point below to “keep it simple”.

While web browsers continue their onward march towards standards, many email clients have stubbornly stayed put. Some have even gone backwards. In 2007, Microsoft switched the Outlook rendering engine from Internet Explorer to Word. Yes, as in the word processor. Add to this the quirks of the major web-based email clients like Gmail and Hotmail, sprinkle in a little Lotus Notes and you’ll soon realize how different the email game is.

via 24 ways: Rock Solid HTML Emails.

Posted in Web Design | 1 Response
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