Trends in Web Design Involving WordPress

This week I caught up with Debbie Campbell, a Colorado web designer and developer and the owner of Red Kite Creative, and asked her about the latest trends in web design. I've been following Debbie on Twitter for a while. This week she posted a few tweets about web design and WordPress, so I asked her to share a little more. In the projects you take on, how common is it for websites to integrate a blog? Are there any trends you're observ...

WordPress Tip: Rotating Flash Tag Clouds

The rotating flash tag cloud provides a curious approach to tags, no doubt more novel than useful, but still interesting and somewhat worthwhile. The flash cloud shows only 80 tags (any more and it's unreadable). My rotating WordPress tag cloud (click to view the flash version) You can also create a comprehensive set of tags that function as an index. Both arrangements lack usability. I'm never quite sure what to do with tags. My approach...

Blogging Webinar Thursday Evening

I'm giving a webinar on blogging tomorrow evening for the Rocky Mountain STC chapter at 7 p.m. MST. As a webinar, it's open to everyone, not just the Rocky Mountain chapter. The cost for the remote viewing of the webinar is $10. More webinar details here. To give you a little more preview about what I'll cover, here are the ten main topics: The Blog as an Expected Format Why Bother to Blog? Search Engine Optimization: The #1 Perceived Va...

WordPress Tip: Podcasts on WordPress: WordPress Weekly from the WordPress Tavern

Podcasts on WordPress are an excellent way to stay updated with the latest WordPress news, trends, plugins, themes, and other development. I recently discovered a WordPress podcast that I enjoy quite a bit: WordPress Weekly from the WordPress Tavern. The hosts include Jeff Chandler and David Peralty -- both knowledgeable, passionate people about WordPress and blog design and development. The two WordPress podcasts I listened to this eveni...

Communication Preferences and Jane's Voicemail Message

Jane recently changed her voicemail message to the following: (20 second voicemail) I nearly choked while laughing the first time I heard this. What she says is true. I usually end up listening to her voicemail messages for her. The proliferation of communication formats provides more possibilities for how we communicate. With all these format possibilities, we need a few best practices. As a best practice, if you're trying to maximize y...

"You know what .chms need? More bling-bling. More flash..."

Last week Kristi Leach wrote a tweet about the need for help to transform into a more attractive format: Kristi's tweet about the need for help to change Her tweet expresses what I've been feeling for a long time.  There's a massive rift between content online and content in help files. In most help files, the content is static, old, textual, boring, unhelpful, sometimes obvious, or irrelevant, never packed with eye-candy, video, or a...

robfelty.com :: Blog :: Collapsing Pages

WordPress plugin that allows you to expand or collapse page hierarchies. Okay, this is a WordPress plugin that is going to be essential if you import DITA content into WordPress, because you'll have a huge hierarchy of pages that you'll want to expand and collapse. This is the plugin that will do it for you.

Tip: Automatically Push Your Latest Blog Posts Across Twitter

I know Twitter isn't for everyone (even though David Pogue on the New York Times recently praised Twitter's ability to quickly gather information from your followers.) But if you have a blog, you'd be crazy not to provide a Twitter feed for it. On my blog, I give people three main subscription options: RSS, e-mail, or Twitter. Granted, with Twitter they also get other microthoughts, but they also get my post titles. It's generally a poor ...

Can SharePoint 2007 Be Used as a Help Authoring Tool?

Can SharePoint 2007 be used as a help authoring tool? Maybe. Giovanni from Italy asks the following about SharePoint: I am assisting a colleague with a complete overhaul of an existing Help system. It is in RoboHelp, but has legacy topics that have to be maintained in Word. The Help is for call center and business office employees regarding the proprietary, in-house computer program. We recently got SharePoint, and I would like to know yo...

Embedding HD Quality Screencasts in Your Blog

If you've ever uploaded a screencast into a video sharing site, such as Youtube, you'll notice that the screen quality is poor. Screencasts require a high degree of clarity to be watchable. For example, here's a screencast I uploaded to Youtube. It's hard to see what's going on. Other video sharing sites have the same problem. Here's the same video on Viddler. And here's the same video on Vimeo. [vimeo 3140858] Unlike the other video s...

WordPress Tip: Merging Worlds: DITA and WordPress

Sept 29, 2014 update: For an updated article on the topic of migrating DITA into WordPress, see Import DITA's XHTML Output into WordPress. The DITA-to-WordPress importer tool allows you to import the XHTML output from the DITA Open Toolkit as pages into WordPress. This  importer (created by Mike Little, a brilliant developer who had a hand in creating WordPress itself) is available for download here, along with a sample XHTML output. The ...

Free Screen Sharing Software: Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect Now -- free screen sharing software for up to three people If you ever need to share your screen remotely with someone, or see their screen, use Adobe Connect Now. It's free, doesn't require an extensive download or setup, and connects quickly. Other tools may perform better, or have more functionality, but are they free? Usually not. Adobe Connect Now is free for up to three users. If you need more, hosting 15 users costs o...

Documentation Review Techniques (videocast)

I believe that in order to learn something, you have to do it, for the most part. So forgive me if my first dozen videocasts here are experimental, because I'm learning. I'm finding that video is a little trickier than I thought. To create video, you first need some type of video camera (obviously). I have a Sony handycam camcorder that I bought in 2000 and never really used much -- until now. It records on miniDV tapes rather than a hard...

TiltViewer - About

TiltViewer Pretty amazing viewer for graphics.

Structured Authoring Survey from Scriptorium

Scriptorium Scriptorium has created a brief survey about structured authoring. The purpose of the survey is to gather "input from everyone: those who have implemented structured authoring, are planning to implement it, or have decided against it." The survey only took me about three minutes to complete. When the results are published, each participant receives a free copy (valued at $200). Take the survey here. You can read more details a...