Site technologies…

Honestly, probably another blog because it was so much fun designing for wordpress, RSS feed, some php/database for member accounts and definitely some social networking.

Now-a-days, you can’t really be discovered on the web unless you seriously use some Social Networking and SEO.  Exposure is the key over this massive, constantly expanding web of endless pages/sites/etc.

I honestly think the only thing that’s going to take me the longest, cause it always does, is the actual design of the site.  For some reason, a site’s design is just never finished to me so I constantly work on it even after turning it in.

The technologies are the easiest part cause once you get them working, you don’t mess with them.  Its a general rule.

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AT&T’s Business Impacts of Social Networking

Here’s what I retained from the article:  Social Networking is VERY BIG when it comes to communication and pleasing your customers, more than ever now.  SN has made it very easy and very fast to get feedback for anything you may need to change, as  a business/company, to continue pleasing you customers and gain more.

Now, instead of having an idea, running with it and hoping for the best with your demographic, customers can review and give feedback directly.  Companies actually have to change their communication, vision, organization due to how transparent social networking has made them.

Customers want to see how companies work and whether their values match their own and continue buying from them.  Social Networking has made that possible and more.  It’s like looking through a looking glass (no pun intended).  We can see a company and they can see us and what we want, how we want it and they change what they need to to meet our criteria.

Companies may have these ideas to sale to the public but if the public says no, or we prefer your product this way rather than how you started, well than companies need to swallow their pride and change otherwise they won’t get any revenue in any way and then they crash and burn.  Social Networking has made all this simple and speedy.

Companies should use social networking as a tool to better themselves, from their product to their employees.

 

Progressive Enhancement

Well, as far as my understanding goes, with Progressive Enhancement, you’re basically focusing on the content when you’re designing your site.  Simple enough.

Actually, that’s quite brilliant.  When I first learned any form of html, css, etc., I designed everything depending on the browser I was using which, back then, was IE, which isn’t even a browser if you ask me.  IE just needs to be shot.  Just get rid of it.

Okay, ranting done.  I really like the article I found from A List Apart.  He basically described the whole “enhancement” as a Peanut M&M.  Not going to go into details, you can just read the article, but in simplest terms, progressive enhancement is just layers upon layers upon layers of protecting your content from incompatible browsers.

So you can still design your site how you like it and not worry about browsers messing it up.  Just make sure you protect it with some Javascript.

Yeah, I like this.  Very smart.

Postitioning…

I have to be honest, positioning is really how I learned html.  When I was learning how to design any layout really cause I started in high school (2003, holy freak that was forever ago), I saw everyone using positioning: absolute, relative, fixed and it would always be followed by top, width, height, left, bottom, right.  It didn’t mattered if it worked in other browsers or not, especially since everyone pretty much used IE, if it looked good then yay.

I found this pretty cool site, Learning CSS Positioning in 10 Steps.  If you seriously have no idea about positioning, then by all means visit.  You’ll leave feeling more confident.

Whether you like reading or not, Relatively Absolute makes positioning so easy to understand.

I love this site, Digital Web Magazine because of how simple it was to understand further stacking level, or the z-index property.  Mr. Batchelder really explained it well cause I honestly never understood why it was used or really existed and then this site just gave more detail really on the property.

My Compitition…

So at first I thought I wouldn’t find any sites due to the topic of Chip’s, my friend’s, website.  Boy was I wrong.  Although, I must say, there are some that seriously need some work done.

For example, I found this site Man in the Mirror and I know it has a lot going on, but I do like their little resource section on the right as well as the little blog area at the top in the middle.  Chip wants to do similar but not that messy are tiny, so people can actually read it. Just make the homepage inviting, so the user will want to stay and search for whatever whether they need something or not. Other than those little details, there’s nothing really I like about the site.  Just check out the navigation and you’ll see what I mean.

Another one I found was the National Coalition of Men’s Ministry.  The only thing I liked was the breadcrumb. Everything else is a mess. Especially the footer. They have a white image background for white links.  You can’t see them unless you highlight them.

Next one I found was interesting. All About God had a good layout, my only issue was the width of the main content, it could have been bigger.  I did like the organization of the navigation area. The branding/header area did not need the extra links I suppose, especially since it has the same ones at the very bottom.  Overall, a way better design as opposed to the previous examples.

Emale.org was a fairly descent site, just needed a bit more tweaking.  It’s also more similar to the way Chip wants his site to be like, just target a more younger audience with the design.  I love how they have their events page.  Thought that was cool.  With a bit of CSS, it could even be pretty.

Men’s Ministry was a pretty good site.  If you centered it and not have the navigation background repeating over again, it would be even better.  Even with it’s minor flaw I liked the navigation.  Other than that, pretty good site. Not much going on.

The one thing these sites all have in common though, is their target audience.  Its all towards men 30 and older.  I’m pretty sure Chip wants his audience to be 30 and younger at least.  I’ll be meeting with him again to discuss the site some more when he gets back into town.