Busy week at Ideas & Coffee

This week has been fun at Ideas and Coffee. We had Sam Hotchkiss’s very popular WordPress Developers Meetup on Monday. Alonso and Florian of Hermes Development spoke about developing plugins for customers. On Wednesday at RubiABQ, Cliff continued working on bringing the Built in New Mexico website up to Rails 5. It was a struggle with GitHub being down for about half an hour. There are an amazing number of things that become more difficult with GitHub being unavailable, but we got lots of interesting information none the less. Thursday brought the general WordPress Meetup on the topic of Themes. Thanks to Alonso, Florian, and Sheelah we got some insight into how people create bespoken WordPress themes using UnderScores. And we had a fun conversation about what all to look at when evaluating a WordPress theme.

I completely failed at taking pictures during the events. Too busy enjoying the great flow of information, so I’m attaching a picture of the Sandias as a bonus 🙂

WP developers favorite tools and services

Last night we had a great WordPress Developers’ Meetup centered around what tools people use in their workflow. The meeting was so information laden that I decided we needed a summary. I’m sure I’ll miss some of the tools presented, if so drop me a line and I’ll add them.

Caveats
We have a lot of Macintosh users in the group, and not many Windows users, so we discussed a number of Mac specific tools.

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Writing Content for Web Usability

Writing Content for Web Usability

Friday, Sep 26, 2014, 11:30 AM

Ideas and Coffee Coworking Space
5021 Indian School NE Suite 500 Albuquerque, NM

7 Members Attending

Laurie Dudasik is back to give a second talk in her series on Web Usability. The first talk was great and  even if you missed it this one should have lots of useful information. Here’s Laurie’s description:In this second installment of web usability topics, we’ll explore the tips and suggestions presented by Janice Redish in her book “Letting Go o…

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Anatomy of a successful blogging business

Last Friday we had a great presentation by Susy Lucero. She took us through her journey of creating a carefully curated wedding website that focused on weddings with a New Mexico flair. Ultimately the site became large enough that she needed to hand it off to a larger organization and she successfully sold it.

Here are a few of the things I found really useful from her presentation.

  1. Maintain a high quality of content, both writing and photography. Think upscale magazine quality.
  2. Make sure you keep the trust of your readers by giving them useful and exceptional content.
  3. Be consistent with your blogging. Creating new content helps with SEO as well as keeping your readers happy.
  4. If you sell ads make sure they’re relevant to your readers and of a high quality.
  5. Contact vendors and others working in related fields, even if they don’t realize they’re in a related field. 🙂
  6. Be generous with promoting other people, and they will promote your blog.
  7. Don’t be afraid to contact magazines, and local media. They are always looking for interesting stories. You could be one.
  8. Pick a topic you’re really passionate about.

Here are some pointers to websites and tools Susy mentioned in her talk.

 From Susy

The website I used to accept submissions for my website was twobrightlights.com. Vice versa, people can use this website to submit their photographs to be featured.

passionfruitads.com is a website people can use to not only set up an ad shop on their website inexpensively, but also search out blogs where they may want to purchase an ad to target relevant readers.Flippa.com is where I had listed the website for sale, in addition to posting on social media such as Facebook and twitter.

I found Yoast to be very helpful in terms of helping me up the SEO of a blog post! And I used WordPress analytics to get useful information regarding search terms and what people were clicking on.


susy

Susy is available for one on one consulting, and actual hands on in getting people started with their websites, branding and strategy at inspirationfiles.com

Notes from Putting the Web Together in your Mind

Here are some great notes from Bill Bergmann’s class on modern Web technologies. Really useful pointers! Thanks Bill!

THE MOST USEFUL RESOURCES

The Art of the Start Guy Kawasaki

If you read or watch one thing — watch this

Don’t Make Me Think – Steve Krug 

Huge selling book on usability testing with cheap methods to determine if your usability is what you think it is.

Letting Go of the Words  – Janice (Ginny) Redish

For me this book stands for one important principle — your users are not interested in your novel. They are “satisficing,” getting quick, good-enough answers for what they are trying to do.

Widening your JavaScript Application – Alex McPherson

A talk about what you might be trying to do with your web pages and what javascript methods you might use. I disagree with javascript as the ultimate solution, but I strongly agree with the overall view of what we are asking our web pages to do.

OTHER RESOURCES


BUSINESS

Crossing the Chasm –  Geoffrey A. Moore

A marketing book on how your product relates to the technology adoption cycle. Every product’s market tends to proceed from a small number of sophisticated early adopters to eventual commodity status on main street. The big money lies between those two markets.

Positioning, Marketing Warfare – Al Ries and other

Your product has a position in your customers mind. (Your web app is not facebook.) Understanding what position you have and the leverage you can exert will help you greatly.

Grouped – Paul Adams

presentation UXWeek 2011 Paul Adams

The theory behind social marketing — a strong counter point to the Al Ries books

The E-Myth – Michael E Gerber

Speaking of leverage — if you don’t find a point of making money by what you do without having to work by using some kind of leverage, you will burn out. Don’t burn out. Find some leverage.

Business Model Generation – Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur et al.

A smash hit among the MBA — provides a general template that covers the bases of planning a business.

Unfolding the Napkin – Dan Roam

No matter what you are trying to do, it will come down to who, what, when, where and how. Dan Roams books teach you a visual method for revealing the 4ws and h in a presentation, or to yourself.

DESIGN

The Non-designers Design Book – Robin Williams

Great training wheels for organizing your web pages.

White Space is Not Your Enemy – Kim Golombisky and Rebecca Hagen

A college-level survey of graphics design, deeply and broadly detailed.

CSS and RESPONSIVE DESIGN

Web Form Design Luke Wroblewski

Luke W designed the forms for ebay, and is a prolific designer and speaker. Learn how to avoid stupid form mistakes from him. You can find many other useful things by goggling his name.

Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook Dan Cedarholm

This book is outdated, but extremely useful for learning the most efficient way to create web pages — by hand. I take that back — template are the most efficient way to create web pages, but knowing how to make one by hand will help terrifically in being able to make many pages.

css.maxdesign.com.au/listutorial/

An exceptionally useful tutorial on making all sorts of lists in web pages.

http://www.getskeleton.com/
http://getbootstrap.com/
http://foundation.zurb.com/

The big three in responsive design — don’t even doubt that you have to use responsive design.

webdesign.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-a-responsive-layout-with-skeleton-starting-out–webdesign-6318
designshack.net/articles/css/build-a-responsive-mobile-friendly-web-page-with-skeleton/

Two good tutorials on my favorite: skeleton.

JAVASCRIPT AND JQUERY

A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript – Mark Myers

An excellent introduction to javascript. Worth reading and doing if you are not already an expert.

jQuery Compressed – Jakob Jenkov

A well written primer on using jQuery. You need to learn css to be able to use jquery well. There are other javascript libraries — use jquery.

Learning JQuery – Jonathan Chaffer

Another well-written but much more thorough primer on jquery.

todomvc.com

An intimidating and complex comparison of the different one-page javascript frameworks, but a singularly useful place to see all the latest javascript frameworks compared.

GENERAL WEB REFERENCE

www.w3schools.com/

A general purpose site for looking up that stupid html, css, javascript, sql thing that you forgot.

caniuse.com

Want to use some new html5 feature like canvas? See if your market is using it here. Compatibility tables for support of HTML5, CSS3, SVG and more in desktop and mobile browsers.

www.quirksmode.org/

Detailed discussions of the million details involved in creating a web page.

 

WordPress Show and Tell

WordPress Show and Tell

Friday, Jan 10, 2014, 11:30 AM

Ideas and Coffee Coworking Space
5021 Indian School NE Suite 500

21 Members Attending

Jamii and Todd will introduce you to WordPress terms and build a small WordPress site while you watch. Questions welcome. This is a nice way to see the basic functionality of the world’s favorite content management system.

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