Why is SEO Important?

Creating solid organic leads is made by providing content that connects with the users need. When you write content for your website to answer the questions or concerns of your site visitors – then you have provided important website content.

Content is still King

If your user response is to leave your post quickly and produce a negative bounce rate on your website, then you know your content is not KING.SEO provides both Internet Users and Search Engine the data they want. Getting your content seen is the most important aspect of publishing to your website. SEO works toward connecting your content with global, national, and most-of-all local users.We provide the correct amount of SEO to your site to make a difference.

SEO Benefits Your Business

Without SEO your business may not rank on Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Our SEO staff knows the arrests and skill of the Search Engines. Our goal is to improve your ranking.

Using SEO to Improve Site Ranking

Sure, IRISHGUY has you covered on annotating, building, and formatting your website. We understand that without SEO your site is invisible to search engines.The best practices for SEO. Includes the method for your content to be indexed. Indexed to reach your target audience.

We provide our clients with the help and training to write searchable, readability, and user-friendly content. Content is still king for ranking. Content does need to be refined, edited, and formatted to reach your target audience.

CLASS Mastering the NC Digital Library Workshop

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Course Dates: October 1, 2016
Times: 9 a.m. – noon
Instructor(s): Gary Crossey
Course Catalogs: 2016 Fall
Fee: $50

Join tech expert Gary Crossey to discover and learn how to use free digital library services, opening a world of easily accessed media and information. Learn how to search, reserve, download and return free eBooks and audio books from multiple sources and discern best practices for digital publications. A Buncombe County library card is required.

Gary Crossey() is an adult professional development instructor, author, and library advocate. Gary’s teaching awards include Adobe Education Trainer, and AB-Tech Continuing Education Faculty Member of the Year.

Web Design Trends

2017 Web Design Trends

Web Site TrendsIf you are waiting for 2017 to apply web design trends, you will be too late. Web Design Trends value diminishes with time.

Mobile Optimisation

Mobile users are here. Moreover, they want their content now. Mobile Optimisation is every website’s top concern. The 2017 need is to have a simple mobile-friendly site. For many businesses having two websites is the correct solution. While for others business websites building one straightforward and minimalistic design, with a real sense for negative space will be key.

What Does Mobile-Ready Mean?

Understanding your audience remains extremely relevant. Today people use less powerful devices, consoles, and tablets to access web content. With the expectation to see high-resolution content, as quickly as possible.

Key Elements to Mobile-Ready Content

  • Minimalistic Design
  • Simplicity
  • Plenty of Negative Space
  • Responsive content.

What the web user expects

More than ever people accessing your website want content. Mostly they are engaging with a large image – add a small amount of motion for stronger appeal.

  • Giant Hero Images
  • Cinemagraphs
  • SEO

Embrace SEO

Website users expect to find you. SEO is still required. With 64% of online business is driven by top ranking sites on Google – it is important. If your future customers are unable to find you, they will go elsewhere.

Essential Elements for Successful SEO 

  • Keyword Research
  • Content Writing
  • Link Building
  • Reporting
  • Web Site Analysis
  • Web Site Optimization
  • SEO submission
  • Client Requirements

Provide easy to find information

Informational Footer

Yes, the Footer has become a big player for web design layout. Use the website Footer for contact information, Google Map, Google Business Reviews, Facebook or Social Media Feeds, Site Maps, Quick Links to relevant info.

Yes, the Footer is the Catch All for your website. But, learn to manage the footer to ensure that the information and resources are clean and precise. The Footer is about ease of use for the end user. Make it helpful without overwhelming the end user.

Call to Action

What is the designed reaction? Every business web page should serve a purpose.

Digital Literacy

VIDEO – Media Literacy

t

Most young people are comfortable using modern technology. Social Media and other Digital Communication skills are second nature. However, there are strong focuses that use the media to control their message.

How can we trust media?

Begin, by question how we use media and technology. By learning how we use media we will be able to.

  1. Make Choices
  2. Take Decisions
  3. Communicate

Build Strong Tech Skills

Know your environment. Take the time to learn the tech skills required. And, keep learning. Understand what content you need and what content is not needed. When searching for content online you need to be aware of.

  • Nasty Content and Viruses.

What is Media News

Everyone there are thousands of worthy news stories to report. However, in any given day only a few story will be broadcast as news worthy. With a smaller group of media outlets filtering the mainstream news hub.

Online Marketing

Online marketers are smarter than ever before. The online marketer now knows you. They know where you live. What shows you like, What size of colors you like. The books you read. The books you want to read. The items that you wish to buy. The marketers know you, your family, and everyone of your friends.

digital-literacy-professional-development

 

How to tell a Digital Story

The key to successful Digital Storytelling is to keep it simple. The COFFEE tutorial is an excellent example of how photography and Adobe Voice can work together to deliver a seamless digital experience.

Moreover, perhaps it is time for Weekend Coffee. Put the kettle on and enjoy.

1. Setting the Digital Storytelling Scene

Begin by creating your scene. Envision where you what your stage to be. Use your camera and lighting to run test shots for possible scenes. Keep it simple.

For the COFFEE tutoring video – I used a kitchen table to place my items. Think of the things as your actors, and position them where they can deliver your message best. It is important to have your story ready and to do a few practice rounds before committing.

With COFFEE the positioning of the items – begins with the coffee jar and moves right to the sugar, milk, and water.

Photography by Gary Crossey IrishGuy - How to make Coffee

2. Start your Digital Storytelling Experience

What are the things in your digital story? I used Adobe Photoshop to add ID text. Consider your viewer when adding labels to photos. In my case, most people know what a cup and spoon are. Even with the most annoying names – find a way to be useful.

Boiling Water – having the instruction in use boiling water is more user-friendly than the label Kettle.

Photography by IrishGuy Gary Crossey - Asheville

3. Tell Your Digital Story

One step (or a teaspoon at a time). Consider how the instruction and the objects in the scene interact with each other. For the instruction to add one teaspoon of coffee – the coffee jar is positioned in full view, with the lid (open) and in center view. The hand reaches from the right. During the storytelling, the length of the arm decrease – helping to carry the viewer’s eye from left to right.

how-to-make-coffee_frame03

4. The steps to Digital Storytelling success

Establish the pace. The sugar jar seizes the position of the coffee. The sugar jar lid resumes the location and position that the coffee jar lid – creating a learning expectation. The end user can focus on the essential element of the lesson by not having to consider the less valuable items.  By positioning the lid from each jar in the same location, the viewer does not have to second question what the item is.

Photography by IrishGuy Gary Crossey Add sugar to coffee cup

5. Maintain the Pace

Maintaining the pace for a Digital Story is hard. When teaching a step-by-step process, the user focus does best when the other items on the stage do not upstage the frame message.

Positioning the jar of Coffee and Sugar – back in their place – is created by the pattern established in the first four frames. Always look for opportunities in your storytelling to provide objects in your scene “their place”.

Add Milk to Coffee - Photography by Gary Crossey for IrishGuy Asheville

6. Enhance you Message

Enhance your Digital Story Lesson with visual effects. Reducing the exposure rate of the camera created a time-lapse. The motion of the hand is reinforced by the prior frames – with the hand is also shot in stillness. The hand motion was set up by leaving shooting the image with a long exposure.

Look for moments to enhance your message with special effects. However, be careful not to let the special effect overshadow your message.

Visual Effects are powerful tools that overpower a weak story.  

Stir Coffee

7. One Step at a Time

The second to last frame – this is where everything can go wrong. The end user has already figured out that the water is next. All other items have had their turn and have returned to their spot.

When creating this second to the last frame – maintain. Yes, manage and deliver the frame as expected.

Try not to break your visual pattern by moving items around, or altering the camera focus.  By planning the stage layout before beginning to photograph the frames – you can imagine the position of objects. Grouping the Coffee, Sugar, and Milk together allows the viewer to capture the three prior elements quickly and calculate that that process involved four steps.

The learning process in this frame would less if the jars had not resumed their original position, with the caps restored.

how-to-make-coffee_frame07

8. Show the Result

What have we achieved? Was the lesson plan a success?

The successful reader of the Digital Story Lesson has a new or refined skill or piece of knowledge.

The Show The Result frame finalizes the lesson.  There is no more ground work, no more questions, no more information to share. The viewer has this last frame to grasp the importance, and leave with a deeper understanding.

how-to-make-coffee_frame08

9. Provide that Something Extra

Include something extra. Wrap up the experience with a helpful piece of information – that some of the users can use. The Digital Storytelling Lesson taught the user how to make a cup of coffee. The frame provides the user with the information they can add liquor to the drink – with the disclaimer that adding this step is limited to weekend use.

how-to-make-coffee_frame09

10. Recap the Essentials

Recap the overall process. When teaching a class – this is a perfect final slide that can be left on the screen for students to capture the information they need. Don’t treat this Digital Storytelling Lessons like a cooking show – that would end highlighting the final product. With a Digital Storytelling Lesson, it is best to recap the main points in the final frame (which may often be a repeat of the first frame).
how-to-make-coffee_frame02

Building the Perfect Classroom

 

The Six Stages of Creativity wall graphics. The wall graphics began with a discussion with other teachers. The following two questions.

  1. What is your ideal active adult learning space?
    With active learning and flipped classroom teaching styles the students do best when provided one-on-one problem solving. And the classroom can handle working in groups, and alone. With devices becoming more lightweight and wireless we can start to imagine active teaching learning environments and classroom layout adapting to the different functions of the active learning. This idea is already very present in early learning classroom. But, what about the adults?
  2. How can we best adapt our classroom to best suite active learning for adults?
    Please share your creative layout solutions, experiences, or ideas for creating an active adult learning space.

Adobe included the discussion during a newsletter update – which created incredible insight to adult learning space.

classroom-design-discussion

REVIEW: 21st Century Enlightenment

21st Century Enlightenment has bought us insight into individualism. We know more about how we function than any time prior.

As a society we create dications of life based on economic circumstance and social convention. Rather than on the empathic capacity of the person.

While the Utilitarian notion is to maximise human happiness. Research tells us that we are not good at predicting our own happiness.  And we are even worse at descripting past happiness.

Research also demonstrates that people tend to respond automatically. That conscious decision making is infrequently deployed in short-term decision making. We are no better at long-term decisions than we are with short-term decisions.

When it comes to making a decision we tend to turn to one of two options: 

  1. Right / True = Familiar.
  2. Wrong / False = Strange.

What went wrong with 21st Century Enlightenment?

As a society we have moved forward. Progress in evident in every area of life. People live longer. We experience an improved quality of life. As a society we have had a revolution in social attitudes toward civil rights including race, gender, and sexuality.

Until recently people have felt self-aware and socially embedded within our modern model of autonomy and progress. Until recently no-one raising substantive and ethical questions on how the three main Society Logics obtain progress.

The three main Society Logics

  1. Logics of Science & Technological. 
  2. Logics of the Markets.
  3. Logics of the Bureaucracy. 

The three deciding Society Logics answer only to their own objective. They are indifference to a substantive concern for the general good.

  • Bureaucracy –  Rationality of rules above the rationality of events.
  • Markets – If it can be sold, it should be sold.
  • Science & Technological  – Everything should be discovered and developed.

The short-term national concerns are superior than the long-term sustainable needs of the planet and it’s people.

Developing Ideals of Cultural Consciousness

Fostering communal, interpersonal, and global empathic capacity is essential for cultural consciousness. Media coverage and foreign travel have expanded global knowledge on the suffering of people, immigration and emigration.

Out interpersonal empathy sought answers to:

  • Who we are as human beings?
  • Political debates about who we need to be?
  • Philosophical and spiritual exploration we might aspire to be.

Our ideals of Cultural Consciousness require change. 

To move forward and progress with consciousness and self-awareness our ideals of cultural consciousness should include the following.

  • Reasoning – the laws of nature fail to conform to religious doctrine and intuitions.
  • Popular Government.
  • Centrality of Economics in Policies.
  • Consciousness is universal.
  • Secularism.
  • Human Autonomy.
  • Diverse Values 
    • Norms.
    • Lifestyles.
    • Cultural Psychotherapy.
    • Traditions.

MAPPING: 21st Century Enlightenment

ZOOM MAP: CTRL + Mouse Scroll Wheel.
MOVE MAP: Click on map and drag.

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

REVIEW: Network Thinking

Illustration: Tree of Life by Gary Crossey

Illustration: Tree of Life by Gary Crossey
Tree Illustration by Gary Crossey

Mapping Complexity

Aristotle is credited as the first person to use the tree method as a classification system. Where information and knowledge are represented with branches that do not touch.

Tree Metaphor

Entire systems of Religious Symbols and Classification System all depend on the symmetry of the tree metaphor. The tree creates a hierarchy, balance, order, and unity for the collective.

Tree of Enlightenment & Life

knowledge_structure_1780

1751 French Encyclopedia published The Tree of Enlightenment. Created by Chrétien Frederic Guillaume Roth. 

Tree of Life

800px-Darwin_Tree_1837

 

 

100 years later in 1859 Darwin published his diagram Tree of Life.  Cataloging the species.

By the millennium the Tree of Life diagram has evolved to include more categories.

Organized Complexity

1948 the paradigm shift begins with the publication of Warren Weaver article Organized Complexity.

A social paradigm shifts is a fundamental change often born from simplicity.

Warren Weaver introduced one fundamental difference. That knowledge is interconnected.

That classification at its most fundamental state, should represent “how one element influences the other”.

Modern Science became aware that elements have a bigger relationship to one another than a hierarchy system could represent.

Universal Structure

2000 Millennium Simulation published the mapping system of millions of galaxies.

18135102_07a58fd89d_o_d

Six year later, Neural Networks of a Mouse was published.  The visual representation of the patterns of a mouse brain.

3_recon_512x512

Network Thinking

Both mapping systems look very similar. The galaxies represent the largest scale of the Network Thinking mapping system. While the mouse brain represents the smallest scale of the same Network Thinking mapping system.

Network Thinking 

  • Collective Intelligence.
  • Innovation Partnerships.
  • Shared Ethical and Moral Principles.

Non-Structured Leadership

Knowledge is interconnected. Examples of collaboration are everywhere. With  the arrival of Wikipedia rhizomatic (multiple, non-hierarchical) structure. And the many successful open source programming projects that have been successful based on the contribution of the individuals to the good of the collective.

Mind Map of Network Thinking

ZOOM MAP: CTRL + Mouse Scroll Wheel.
MOVE MAP: Click on map and drag.

Resources Mapping Systems

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

REVIEW The Secret Powers of Time

A child drops out of an American school every 9 seconds. I understand that child. I did everything to avoid attending high-school. But, here I am talking about higher-education. And like many of the kids in today’s education system – lack of interest is not due to poor performance.

The youth of today is different. Research suggests that most 21 year old males have spent 10,000 hours playing video games. That is the same as working a 40 hour job for 250 weeks. Or, working of 40 hours a week for almost 5 years. Most young adults have spent more time playing video games, than it takes to earn a four-year degree. Current research does not include the time spent on pron, and social networking.

While kids may be clocking in hours on gaming. Adults are now equally likely binge watching the new sensational TV show. Hasn’t anyone noticed – a TV show went from 20-45 minutes, to running the entire season in one viewing. We are all digitally rewired. It’s foolish to think that the kids are experiencing this reality alone.

How does any of this new media involvement fit into a traditional classroom? 

FIRST – We need to change the teaching approach. Provide the lesson plans that provide people with the learning experience they deserve.

  • People today want to have control.
  • People do not appreciate being passive.
  • People believe they have a voice.
  • People believe what they say holds value.

The Secret of Powers of Time video does have some awesome and insightful aspects. While, the idea that the young are engaging differently that the adults simply is not true. While the kids may not have other frames of reference to old tech – the high levels of engagement by adults with computer interfaces is often higher than that of the youth.

  • Highest percent of gamer population are women over 40 (Farmville, Scrabble, Bingo).
  • Amazon highest increased customer base are the 65 years plus age group.

While Amazon may be boosting increased sales from the elderly. The youth today seem to be happy enough settling in a night with the streaming TV shows, while saving for a Facebook ready holiday.

graphic_design_blog

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

Earnest Keywords

Keywords - Know the different between positive and negative keywords

KEYWORDS The Importance of being Earnest

The objective to bring people to your website is to complete a call-to-action. If the call-to-action is not met, the website objective has failed.

Smart web designers create websites that encourage users to complete the call-to-action. Using any method available to secure potential customers. Whatever the steps – the objective does not change. Have end user complete the call-to-action.

Keywords - Know the different between positive and negative keywords

Keyword optimization is one method used to attract potential customers to your website. While, some business still think keywords are a list of words. For a successful website keywords are more than words. Keywords are the search terms that potential customers use to locate your service.

What are Keywords?

Keywords are more than a list of words. Keywords create the framework for your digital content. Keywords connect your content with potential customers search terms.

Keywords help visitors and search engines understand the purpose of your content.

Are there different types of Keywords?

Yes, keywords come in two varieties.

 

  • Broad Keyword – one word or short phase.
  • Long-tail Keyword – precise, or specific longer word combinations or phases.

Websites do best when they rank well for long-tail keywords. While the long-tail keyword will generate less traffic than a broad keyword, the customer transfer rate are much higher.

Broad Keyword Examples

  • Service – Washer Repair.
  • Brand – Quiksilver.
  • Product – KitchenAid Food Mixer
  • Loan.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords do not have to longer – aim for preciseness rather than length.

  • Model  number for new products
  • Serial Number for replacement parts.
    • Washer Belt – search by Serial Number.
    • Product Full Name – Apple TV 32” Retina Display
    • Personal Car Loan.

Are there negative keywords?

The problem with negative keywords – is that they use up resources. The impact of negative keywords to a small business be tremendous. Unfortunately negative keywords are always the result of inexperienced SEO. An experienced SEO specialize will inform you that ranking for everything is not good. While Board keywords can generate more traffic to your website. Here are a few questions that every business should ask prior to generating website traffic:

  • Why does the site need extra traffic?
  • What resources will the extra traffic require?
  • Is the business set-up to successfully distribute the extra resources?
  • How long can the business maintain customer support?

Negative Keywords are keywords that attract incorrect website visitors. Extra traffic requires extra resources. Can your business successfully distribute extra resources? Negative keywords can kill your business. Not just your little website -but, can seriously put a small businesses out of business.

 

Domain Registration

Domain Registration

New Domain Research

The first step for any success website. Acquire the right domain name.

  • Does your domain need a focus keyword?
  • Is your URL user-friendly?
  • How do your online competitors impact your legal rights to a URL address?

Ensure your success by having IrishGuy Website Design do your domain research.

Adobe 2016 – What 2 Expect?

The 2015 Max conference attracted over 7000 attendees. All excited to hear about the new and future apps and workflows presented by Adobe. While this year did see advancements with the Creative Suite. The real benefit right now is that Adobe software works. The day of work-arounds is long past. Adobe has taken hold of the creative workflow and bought organization to project assets.

So while the new improved tools are impressive – it be more about the freedom to work whenever and wherever that makes Adobe 2016 an exciting year for the creative community.

Adobe Creative Suite Mobile Invasion

Yes, everything now connects. Files can move from one application to another seamlessly – and back again. Adobe says that “creativity has moved away from the desktop. With mobile device creativity can happen wherever and whenever we are inspired.”

Creative Cloud is Connectivity

  • Libraries are now the best method for sharing project assets.
  • Libraries can be share across all apps and with other people.

Mobile Adobe Apps

It is difficult to know if 2016 will be the game changer for the Adobe mobile app market. Adobe have been mining the mobile apps platform for a quite a few years. The Adobe apps are general good – if not well intended.

As a longtime Adobe user – the app development is a very different user experience than the development of Adobe software. The years of watching Photoshop grow into the software that it is today was quite a user experience. What was different back then was that Adobe was loyal to it brand.

The apps development experience as a user is very different. The brand loyalty is gone. The user now downloads an app, becomes experienced with the app, loves the apps – then the apps is discontinued or merged into a new app.

Saying that, I love the array of Adobe Mobile apps – even with all the repackaging and rebranding of the Adobe Mobile Apps there are some really great gems and new approaches to the creative workflow.

Perhaps that’s why Adobe has taken a more flexible approach to launch mobile apps. The hub now is not about the tools – but about user adoption rate. While the mobile devices and new Adobe design apps provide us the user with all the means to leave our desktop and go “anywhere to be creative” for the most of us – that anywhere is generally still in front of our desktop.

Adobe Comp

Adobe Comp is one of the most impressive changes to our workflow for 2016. While earlier versions of Adobe Comp has been quite successful is generating basic design concepts. The new and improved Adobe Comp benefits from shared libraries, advanced hand gestures, and font modifiability.

Improved Adobe Comp features

  • Shared Libraries – this feature has improved right across the Creative Suite.
  • Live font libraries – that now include character styles.

Adobe Comp Hand Gestures

  • Box with Period = Headline.
  • Box with Lines = Filled Body Copy.
  • Box shape = Filled shape.
  • Cross shape = Image Placeholder.

Adobe Capture

Adobe has combined five prior mobile apps into one easy to access app. Adobe Capture now includes:

  1. Color – capture color palette.
  2. Shape – capture vector shapes.
  3. Hue – video coloring.
  4. Brush – create custom brushes.
  5. Pattern – create seamless patterns.

Photoshop Mix

Fun app for combining images.

  • Combine images.
  • Supports multiple layers.
  • Support image color temperatures.  
  • Loads project files into Photoshop.

Photoshop Fix

Photoshop Fix is quite a big deal. Yes, you can now retouch images on your handheld device. Photoshop Fix can even open and handle very large format files.

Photoshop Fix Features 

  • Spot Heal.
  • Patch Tool.
  • Stamp Tool.
  • Lighten / Darken.
  • Vanette
  • Skin Smoothing – knows the difference between skin & eyes.
  • Tooth whitening.
  • Color eyes.

Face Modeling 

The face modeling feature is something once only found in professional photography software. Now, it here to use on your device. Apply pins to face and with liquify tool – everything moves while blending.

  • Face Button
    • Drops pins and make changes to face.  

Lightroom Mobile

Lightroom Mobile now includes the Dehaze tool. Ideal for removing clouds and fog from a photograph. The dehaze feature is located in the adjustment panel.

Photoshop Sketch

New brushes have been included into the Photoshop brush library.

  • New Watercolor Brush.
  • SeamLine to Adobe Comp or the Creative Suite.

Photoshop Software

By the end of 2015 Photoshop has seen many new improvements.

  • Creative Cloud Libraries
  • Add content from document > Add to library.
  • Assets are stored in centralized place.
  • Artboards
  • Multiple iterations of designs in a single document.
  • Special Layer Type.
    • Drag out to cavus.
    • Document guides move.
    • Artboard guides do not move.
    • Duplicate Artboards.
  • Filter Layers panel
    • Select the artboard filter – only showing the layers for active artboard.
  • Handles SVG files directly.
  • Export features  
  • Export layers with scales (new).

Adobe InDesign

Publish your content directly online. Adobe InDesign is jam pack of design tools. Many of those tools happen to be cool animation and interactive tools for creating complying interactive content. However, the design market have been slow to adapt to interactive content. So as a method to hopefully get the design community on board with interactive design – Adobe are now offering a unique URL to publish and promote our online content.

Project Comet

“New tool that is laser focused on everything you need to go from design to prototype in one end to end system. It built from the ground up, so it has breakthrough performance that really changes the way that you work. And it combines design and interactivity for the first time. in one tool that can create an interactive prototype”.

Sign up today to be part of the 2016 launch.

Adobe Fuse CC

Work with 3D Characters. Similar to Poser – Adobe have bought use character development. What is not good about this software? You have characters, clothes, adjustments, lighting, textures, and full integration with Photoshop. Meaning, design changes can be made with 3D model within Photoshop, from position, orientation, lighting, and adjustments. 

The preview version of Adobe Fuse is available for download. I creative table is limitless with Adobe Fuse – I can’t wait to see how this new product line of 3D solutions will develop.

Being Creative is a Choice

The concept of right vs. left brain functions interest peaked in the 1960’s. During which time the idea that the right side of the brain deals with Reason & Vision. While, the left side of the brain could handle Emotion & Language. Today, the Right Left brain functionality is considered completely false.

Now, the concept of Right Hemisphere and Left Hemisphere is in vogue.

Right Hemisphere

“The right hemisphere by contrast yield a world of individual changing, evolving, interconnected, implicit, incarnate living beings with the context to the lived world. In the nature of things never fully graspable. Never perfectly known.”

  • Alertness.
  • Broad.
  • Open.
  • Sustained.
  • Vigilant.
  • Lookout of what is different from our expectations.
  • Understands individuals.
  • Disposition for the living.

Left Hemisphere

“The left hemisphere dependent on detective language in abstraction yields clarity and power to manipulate things that the known, fixed, static, isolated, decontextualized, explicit, general in nature but ultimately lifeless”.

  • Attention to detail.
  • Sharly focused.
  • Narrow.
  • Important and precise.
  • Specifics of what matters to you.
  • Understand Categories.
  • Disposition for the mechanic.
    • Tools and Machines are coded (even for a left handed person).

People who lose use of the Right Hemisphere have “a pathological narrowing of the window of attention”.

Frontal Lobe

  • Inhibit. (Permits you to stand back and observe).
    • Machiavellian (outwit the other party – manipulate).
      • Use and interact with the world for our benefit.
        • Food is the starting point.
    • Emphasize (see individuals from a distance – with interests and values).

For reasoning and imagination you need the use of both hemispheres.

Today’s Pursuit

Today we live in a paradoxical world. The pursuit of happiness is the objective.

  • Pursuit of happiness.
    • Leads to resentment and unhappiness.
    • Explosion of mental illness.
  • Pursuit of Freedom.
    • World that is more monitored by cameras.
    • Subjected to more networks of rules that strangle freedom.
  • Pursuit of Information.
    • Lead to less understanding.

 

Flipped Classroom

DEFINE: Flipped Classroom

Unlike the traditional teaching model of introducing new martial during lecture time and assimilating information is reached via homework. The flipped model has students discovering directed new material at home, prior to the lesson plan. And then assimilating the new concepts in class.

Research on learning styles have reported significant learning gains from the flipped classroom approach compared to the traditional teaching method of passive student lectures and algorithmic problem solving.

John Bransford , Ann Brown, and Rodney Cocking defined in their book How People Learn the three parts of learning.

  1. Student most have a deep foundation of factual knowledge.
  2. Student should understand the facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework.
  3. Organize knowledge in ways to facilitate retrieval and application.
  • Student gain access to new material outside the classroom.
    • Video
    • Reading
    • Infographics
    • Podcast
    • Slideshow
  • Class Time Assimilating the Information
    • Problem Solving
    • Debates
    • Discussion

Outside Classroom 

Lower Level cognitive work – Knowledge and comprehension.

Inside Classroom

High Level cognitive with the support of peers and instructor.

  1. Application
  2. Analysis
  3. Synthesis
  4. Evaluation

How to teach a Flipped Class

  • Teach cycles are 13 – 15 minutes.
  • Students are able to provide answers anonymously.
    • Instructor interaction and feedback.
  • All students answer conceptual questions.
  • The class has data feedback from the group.

History of the Flipped Class Profile

Walvoord and Anderson first proposed the Flipped Classroom approach for teaching in their 1998 book.

Flipped Classroom

For more information on using the Flipped Classroom method in your classroom contact Gary Crossey admin@irishguy.us.

REVIEW: Infrastructure, Culture, and Process

How to develop a happy team

How to develop a happy teamRecent research shows that 70% of people are unhappy at work. With being “too busy” as the number one reason for their lack of personal fulfillment. People are too busy being busy. Sure, the workplace has changed. The tools are different. The expectations are not the same.

Today’s successful business needs three working components:

  1. Infrastructure.
  2. Culture.
  3. Process.

The components are simple enough in concept. However, in the real business the practice can be a different matter.

What is work?

The first step to building a strong infrastructure is understanding what you and your team do.

Here are a few questions that will help begin building that foundation.

What does work mean to you?

  • How do you work?
  • What tools do you use?
  • Where do you work?

What does work mean to your employee?

  • How do your employees work?
  • What tools do your employees use?
  • Where do your employees work?

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

ADOBE IPAD APPS – Improve Your Creativity

Class Outline

Access Class Outline via the Adobe Education Exchange: Adobe iPad Apps – Improve your Creativity

Adobe iPad Project Samples

Here are samples of projects that were created using Adobe iPad Apps. You may share these samples with your class.

Adobe Voice

Slideshow Voice Over App. Very easy to use and share stories.
The Icon library is a awesome design resource – simply enter a search term and select an icon.
Limit your use of photos – playback is more reliable with icons.

Here are two Adobe Voice Samples.

The Journey of Creativity

How I became the IrishGuy

APP: Adobe Draw

Adobe Draw is an easy to use paint program. With a select of different brushes, layers, and color picker.

Adobe Draw – Interface Prototype

Adobe Draw is a great tool for creating design mockups. This events website prototype was created with Adobe Draw.

Digital Drawing creating using Adobe Draw.

artwork_adobe_draw

APP: Adobe Shape

Capture and convert your line drawing into digital art. For best results draw on plain paper to reduce visual artifacts. Using Adobe Shape camera photography your sketch – and let Adobe Shape do the tracing and converting. High Contrast images have the best results.

Adobe Shape Examples

artwork_created_by_gary_crossey design_by_gary_crossey faces_created_by_gary_crossey

Or use Adobe Shape to capture layout plans or brainstorming sketches.

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APP: Adobe Photoshop Express

Photoshop Express is a quick and easy way to enhance your photography. With an array of visual effects.

photography_by_gary_crossey

APP: Adobe Photoshop Touch

Adobe Photoshop Touch is a BIG APP. Full of special effects for photography and paint. It all you would expect from a iPad version of Photoshop – but with some really awesome new ways of thinking and working with digital media.

Created by Gary Crossey

Adobe Photoshop Touch is also a great way to capture old documents without using a scanner.

adobe_to_capture_old_documents

APP: Adobe Ideas

Adobe Ideas bring the power of layers to the iPad. Making if easy to control complex sketches. The automatic sync to Creative Cloud has been permanently disabled. However, you can still load files to the Creative Cloud, Share the artwork, or email as an attachment.

Here are two examples of digital sketches created using Adobe Ideas.

Both images were created during part of the brainstorming process. The Indian figure uses layers for foreground, midpoint, and background. The figure was sketch out in black outline on one layer. The colors were painted in – almost like paint by number – the black outline created an instant crisp mask. Textures and clothing details were drawn on a third layer. Shadows were draw on the final layer.

The second figure were quick sketches. I found that drawing on the iPad provides precise control. I liked how easy it was to create too different styles to express an expression. In both examples the hands are rendered differently.

Artwork by Gary Crossey - Created with Adobe Ideas

Session Closing

For my Professional Development Session Closing I always recap the class objective. I also include an instant Google Feedback Review. By using Google Forms – I have everyone complete an instant feedback form. Here is the Feedback form that I use for this class. The results of the form are shared with everyone in the class. Any unsolved problems or misunderstandings can normally be handled here. Or, it can simply be a strong visual way of recapping the elements of the class outline. For me, I use the group results to guide me though the closing statement – it’s my cheat sheet!

Some information about Feedback Forms

People love to fill in feedback forms! As much as most people love doing their taxes. 

Make them fun and engaging. If you want real results from your Feedback Forms you need to connect with your participants. Use a variety of quick fire questions. Share the results with all the class. Any questions or problem areas can be reinforced at this time.

 

 

 

Yearly Cost for a Website

We have reached the time where everyone should have a website. Even if you don’t need a website – friends will tell you – you need a website. Those same friends may also tell you about how everything on the internet is free. And, how easy it is to have a website simply and sell your stuff.

Yes, there are many online success stories. And, not everyone is trying to be the next Amazon – who ran at a loss for ten years before turning any profit.

The days of Free Internet Services are GONE

The internet market has changed. From what began as an open market for conversation and exchange. Has become the promised platform of commerce. The truth is that the internet started as .com for commerce.

Recall the .com bubble? Yes, that was a business bubble. People invested in online ideas – short term ideas. A few years later the online adoption rate was slow, and the investments failed.

Fast forward a decade the commerce model is still active. The difference is the same pattern is now making money.  I build websites – so I know that sometimes I live in an internet bubble. But, every so often something happens in the real world that even shifts my point of voice

Order small applications online

During a recent visit to Home Depot to buy a small kitchen application. I was told to visit their website for small applications buy, and they are no longer carrying the small applications in their store. That tells me that the commerce of .com is here and strong.

What to Expect to Pay for your Website

Domain Name (URL)

Every website needs a domain name. The price of a domain name can vary. According to online expects buying cheap URL can be as successful as the original domain. Some people also that having an easy to recall domain is real.

Either way, both must acquire the ownership of a domain name. The domain name sex.com was recently purchased for $13 million. While this is a huge amount for a domain name. The recent trend for prime web domains has been the decline.

Domain Name $10 – 20
Prime Domain Name $130 – $200
Super Prime Domains prices are dropping to $5000 max.

Hosting

There are now many considerations to think about when selecting the create the hosting package.  My first hosting recommendation is www.fastforward.hosting – ideal for WordPress and small business websites. For large traffic sites, hire a consultation to manage your website requirements.

  • Basic HTML Hosting $4 – $10 weekly.
  • WordPress Hosting $10 – $15 weekly.

In some cases, the WordPress hosting is the same price, if not cheaper than the HTML hosting. However, in the future, it is expected for the WordPress hosting to increase in price to show its market share of users.

Sitelock

Hackers are looking for websites that are not safeguarded. Protect your site from viruses, malware, and spyware with SiteLock protection.

  • 25 Pages = $18 a year
  • 100 Pages =  $48 a year
  • 500 Pages = $84 a year

All WordPress websites need SiteLock protection.

Cost of a website

SiteLock is by far one of the best online services to subscribe to. However, due to the very nature of SiteLock billing rate being determined by page volume it does mean that each page on your website now comes at a cost.

To keep the math easy, it is a good estimate that each web page could cost from $0.15 to a $1 a year to keep online. The more pages you publish, the cheaper the page rate is to host.

However, the other side of the cost is the page development cost.

Page Development Cost

Other than paying for hosting and security for your pages. The pages also need layout, 300 words of content, artwork and featured image to be considered a ranking page.

Be aware of what your website will cost.

TUTORIAL: Use Adobe Draw to Create App Prototypes

IMG_0885Adobe Draw is one of Adobe’s latest mobile app. Adobe Draw is designed for the creative community to get away from having to draw with a mouse. I for one love sketching my visual ideas on my iPad.

Here are the steps I used to create quick app prototypes using Adobe Draw.

STEP 1. Capture template files

The first step for creating our app prototypes will begin online.

IMG_0878Use the browser of your choice and go to www.interfacesketch.com.

 

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2. Locate the template your need

Scroll to the template that you wish to use. Here four examples – there are many choices.

3. Capture the Template

Many of the templates have links to PDF documents. Position your template to fill as much of the screen as possible. When viewing PDF documents on a iPad – all of the PDF controls will be present on the screen while you navigate the PDF document. However, if you remove your hands and pause – all the PDF controls will disappear – making for an cleaner template.

TO CAPTURE: One the iPad. Press the HOME Key and the Side Button at the same time. The screen will do a quick flip. The screen shot is saved directly to the iPad camera roll.

4. Launch Adobe Draw

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Launch Adobe Illustrator Draw. For the best results use a stylist of your choice to draw directly on your iPad to create quick app prototypes.

IMG_08875. Create a New Project

To create a new project simply click the + sign on the sidebar.

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6. Work in Full Screen mode

Tap one time on the project window. The project will go to full screen. Three items that are worth noting.

  • Drawing Tool Bar.
  • Top left Menu Bar
  • Top right Close command.

IMG_0889Drawing Tool Bar.

The Adobe Drawing Tool Bar is pretty simple – with five options.

  1. Brush Selection.
  2. Brush Size.
  3. Opacity of Color.
  4. Color Selection.
  5. Layers.

Top left Menu Bar

The top left menu has a few tools that are very different from one another.

  1. Export Button – access to a wide range of sharing apps.
  2. Shapes – Add free clip art.
  3. Lines Tool – Draw precise lines.
  4. Full Screen button to hide menus.

Top right Close command.

Press the close button to return back to the Adobe Draw projects.

  1. Close Button.

7. Add Device Template

To add the Device Template that were captured during step 3.

  • Click the Layers Icon.

IMG_08918. Choice the source for your photo

Images can be imported into Adobe Draw from many different sources. For our project – the screen shots that were captured automatically save to Images On my iPad. 

  • Click On my iPad 

9. Select

Navigate to the Camera Roll to locate the captured screen shoots.

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10. Locate Device Template Image

Locate the Device Template image of your choice.

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The template image will load into place. You will notice that the template screen capture includes the iPad frame. This can be trimmed off prior to importing into Adobe Draw. I don’t mind the frame being there and am happy to save myself the step of editing the screen captures. IMG_0894

11. Select a Drawing Layer

To begin drawing be sure that you have the drawing layer selected.

  • Clip the layer icon.
  • Click on the upper layer to select.

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12. Select your Brush Style

On the right sidebar – click the brush icon to open the brush palette.

Experiment with the different brush styles to find a look that you like.

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13. Choice Your Brush Color

Yes Adobe Draw has a vast color palette. Simple click on the color button.

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14. Zoom around your work space

Adobe Edge supports all the basic iPad gestures.

  • ZOOM – Yes two finger pinch will zoom into your work.
  • UNDO – Two fingers ran quickly from the right to the left

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15. Draw your Design

Using a stylish of your choice begin to draw your app prototypes.

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16. Use Color to Highlight Features

The purpose of creating the prototype is to create quick design ideas – often working in black in white will be enough for most basic designs. However, color may be used to help highlight app layout and functions.

In the example below the green bar highlights where the app ad banner will run.

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17. Add Detail to App Prototype

Add as much detail to your App Prototypes as you need.

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18. Export your work.

Using the share button – located on the top right menu.

  • Click Share Button
  • Choice which service you which to use to share.
  • Follow on screen instructions to complete your share.

IMG_0889

REVIEW: SAMR Model for Teaching

Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition 

The SAMR Model was developed by Ruben Puentedura with the objective to provide educators with a framework to integrate technology into  the modern workflow. Puentedura understood the shift has happened. We are now working with tech tools that do different tasks than we did before computers.

Many of the first computer app made our tasks either easier or faster. With filing and storing data being the top objective. For many experienced Office user, and the few past Word-prefect users – Saving and Storage was one of the most important operator functions.

With my Google Drive Professional Development sessions many experienced users love the auto save feature. The easy search and find makes losing a document even more difficult.

Like me, some of the adults I work with began keyboarding on a manual typewriter. Typing is one skill that I acquire when I was young that I use everyday. For computer power users – it is important not having to look at your keyboard and that all your fingers work equally.

My typewriting skills transferred directly to the computer. My typesetting skills transferred too, making the Word easy to grasp. Word mirrored the typewriter – right to the paper. Now, with Google Docs the working environment makes another shift.

  • Typewriter
  • Word
  • Google Docs

For experienced computer users  (and typist) Google Docs appears to be the same. However there are difference.

Google have resolved some of the basic challenges using the computer.

  • Auto Save – no more losing important data.
  • Auto Backup – retrieve past data.
  • Auto Cloud Storage – no more losing files or misplacing files.

No More having to Save Documents

Save SAVE SAVE save – yes we have all lost a document from not saving. Now with Google Doc, its automatic saving. And now rather than spending time figuring out how to save, and where to save to. Google Drive offers a different approach – just use the app – let the app take care of the storage and saving.

Google Documents are living Documents

Another BIG shift with document creation. The document now lives. The document is accessible, changeable, and developing. Unlike the objective that both the typewriter and Word took – a document was created – then sent out to the world. And that message was normally sent out to the world on some form of (you got it) paper! The out come is final. Sure you can recycle the paper – but the message remains the same.

Google Docs has changes this idea that documents are complete. But rather that documents are never done. That the information on the document can be updated. And the people who have access to the document will have the most current version.

It actually sounds more difficult than it is. Think of it this way:

  • You have a club website.
  • You want to post the rules and conditions of your club on the website.
  • You have a Google Doc with the rules and conditions.
  • You embed the Google Doc to your website – to populate the Rules and Conditions.
  • Amendments to the Rules and Conditions are made to the Google Doc – website automatically updates.

Having Google Docs populate content to a website is only one example of how live content can be used. The amount of time that is saved when important information can be updated in one document and the different sources using the content are automatically updated. That’s one interesting feature of Google Doc that makes it different from what Word Processing give us the ability to do.

Google As a Group

The Google as a Group part of Google docs has been the most difficult for me to get people to adopt. Personally, I love some of the editing tools. So, I do wish the interface was more interesting, and I could format like I could in Office. Office did have awesome document styles.

Google Comments

What Google Docs does have are COMMENTS – may not seem like a big deal, but it is. For the experienced Word Processor – this is the time you might change your typeset to red and start editing a document. This is where you need to STOP.

Live documents need fast edits, with comments as the development area. Yes COMMENTS are king for all Google Doc editing.

  • Comments can be notes to yourself.
  • Comments can be notes to research a word.
  • Comment to Proof Check.
  • Comments could be a question to your team – Who is a vegan on staff?  Whatever!

I like to use comments as my document to do list. As I compose an outline I use the comments to plot out areas that I need to research, or may need help with. Like I said, my Document To Do List. 

Document To Do List

Even if I am working alone the comments provide a quick method to highlight a task – without having to leave the document. When writing, I use the comments a great deal. Firstly, I use the comments to take quick notes (typically questions) that I can come back to. Comments are easy to add, without losing your pace.

At the beginning of the a writing project my Google doc tends to be full of comments. Most of the comments require some fact checking and research. For me the comments represent my unresolved concerns for the document. My goal is to publish the document – when all of my comments have been resolved. The resolving of the comments tells me my document has been worked correctly and to my satisfaction. Saying that – you got to firm on your questions – do add tasks to your comments that you know you will not do. Or add comments to information you already know.

How Comments Impact Other

When using Comments as your Document To Do List it makes it easy for other team members to help. No more having to email to “EVERYONE” when you can simply add a comment to the shared document that anyone (who has the information) can update, and resolve the comment.

EXAMPLE: Notice for a Staff Meeting – Comment: Room Number?
Any one with the information can update the document and resolve the comment.

Again, this is a simple example of how to use comment to resolve simple questions. However the transaction is actually more complex. In the past, to confirm the room number of an event you would have to email, “someone” or “everyone” for the information. While there are a few different methods in email, for most people needing to discover a simple bit of information it normally plays out something like:

  • Email one personal directly. Wait on replay. Mostly able to resolve.
  • Email one personal directly. They don’t reply.
  • Email everyone – everyone replies – with many “out of office notices”

In all of those responses I am provided with the information I need. However, by the time I sent the email and the time the response was received I may have moved onto another task. GUILTY! This is where the problem becomes recognizable. Transferring that “small” amount of data from one place to another has now become a TASK!

STOP THERE! Google Docs has changes all of that. You need to know “anything” – select the word that your question is about an right-click > Add Comment.

EXAMPLE: Comment: What is the Room Number?

Be an Active User

Another difference with live documents – you need to be AN ACTIVE USER. Using the Comments system – we are faced with the Room Number Question. The same question when handled via email requires the exchange of information, followed with the processing, collecting and distributing of the received information. In our example, that information or data is the Room number.

The Old Information Workflow

Email Request for Room Number > Reply from Email has Room Number > Copy Room Number > Locate Document that needs the information > Paste the information into the document > Save the document.

The New Information Workflow

The active user understands that today workflow requires everyone’s involvement. For our simple example of obtaining the correct room number. The Workflow simply requires a comment to be posted that anyone with access to the document can resolve and update the document. The key to the success of the active user is the updating of the document directly and in doing sure is able to resolve the concern posed by the comment.

EXAMPLE: Comment: What is the Room Number? > Active User updates the document with the correct room number and resolves the comment, adding any additional information to the comment to support the comment being resolved.

SAMR Model for Teaching

The SAMR Model for Teaching is certainly a method that I support. I do believe that skills need to be transferable. And that people learn best when they can relate digital skills with their real world skills. While also understanding that the digital shift has happened in that the digital apps are not simply a mirror of past tools. Digital tools are now available that reshape the way we work and play.

Live documents are real. Working in teams – real too. Being able to adapt your skills in a every changing workflow and work requirements? The SAMR Model can help adult learners make a deeper connection with digital tools. Providing useful new approaches on how to work with and understand data and design.

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

Install WordPress

How to install a WordPress Website

There are different approaches to installing a WordPress site. From my experience, the installation is just the first consideration that you need to take if you are thinking about switching to the WordPress platform. The biggest concern I have is updating my WordPress website. Due to the nature of WordPress updates, you really can’t delay them – update is there to keep your site safe, active and out of harm’s way.

BTW – WordPress updates are often released – and each time you do an update, you should first backup all the content, themes and database. A task that can require hours of focusing on transferring the correct files in the right order. To finally install an update that could bring your WordPress installation down (the more custom the website, the bigger your problems will be). When doing WordPress updates, select a Web host provider that will give Free WordPress Updates, with a rollback period, if the upgrade installation goes wrong.

For my hosting company, I always recommend www.fastforward.hosting – Fast Forward Hosting provide domain registration, website hosting, email, merchant account and WordPress (for FREE). Fast Forward Hosting will email you when there is a new update available.

The Two Internet Groups

There are two groups of people who approach the internet from two different directions. The first group heard they can make money quickly online, and it has something to do with Keywords. They build a site, steal the keywords from their competitors website and wonder why nothing happened on their website. Then, there is the other group who grasp the deeper meaning of SEO ranking and generating worthwhile content.

Enjoy this well written and informative article on “How Online Marketing Works” – so that you generate the results you need to be a successful website.

The Future of the Internet

Image Registry and licensing affiliate programan excellent article about what is in the pipeline for online images and photography. The article includes some great solutions and genuine concerns.

The difference between _Blank and _New – found this brilliant answer for the difference between “_blank” & “_new” targets for hyperlinks.

REVIEW: Changing Education Paradigms

Sir Ken Robinson.
Changing Eduction Paradigms. 

Education in the 21st Century is not fast enough. With the quick pace of developing technologies it is difficult to teach children the skills needed for an unknown future economy. The idea that doing well at school will lead to successful employment has become more a nostalgic notion. While a degree may be a requirement in some professionals, it certainly doesn’t guarantee employment.

Research has shown that with increased testing students lose interest. Tests are boring. Professional Adult Development does not have to boring. Everyone learns more when they are focused and engaged.

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

WEB SITE DESIGN: OneClick Asheville

  • Company: One Click Fix Computer Repair
  • Project: Asheville website design and SEO optimization.
  • Website URL:  oneclickavl.com
  • Platform: WordPress.
  • Theme: Off-the-shelf.
  • Target Market: Asheville and surrounding area.
  • Online Market: Local search interest.
  • SEO services: Yes
  • Customization: Make WordPress Theme responsive.

One Click Fix Computer Repair is a local Asheville business. Having a WordPress website is the ideal solution for One Click Fix. With a user friendly interface – visitors are able to locate the information they need with ease.

SEO Services

Having a great website is only half the answer. For One Click Fix Asheville – it was important to improve their online presence.

In the first four months IRISHGUY Web Design Studio improved the ranking for One Click Fix on average gained 47 positions for each of the top twelve target search terms. With 7 of the 12 website keyword have gained more than 50 positions for their organic targeted keyword search.

The business name went from not ranking to obtaining the #1 position for all search variations.

  • One Click Fix Asheville.
  • OneClick Fix Asheville.
  • OneClickFix Asheville.

We look forward to our continue our relationship with One Click Fix Computer Repairs as we move all of their search terms to the one number ranking position.

Programming & Design Services

Our first objective with the One Click Fix website was to make it responsive. Ensuring that all visitors to the website, on any device would have the same ease of engagement and usability.

Most of the website look is generated by the WordPress theme. This theme required like to no customization. IRISHGUY Web Design Studio did load One Click Fix with our WordPress Plugin Package. 

While the WordPress Theme will handle most aspects of look and feel of the website. IRISHGUY Design Studio did create a series of computer service icons for the One Click Repair Asheville.

ADOBE: Photoshop GIF Animation

How to make a GIF animation with Adobe Photoshop.

Getting images to move is just fun. Here are the steps I used to create this short Photoshop GIF animation.

Step 1 – Review Source Files 

For my gif animation I started with these three photos. I like the body shot of the far right image – which I plan to use as my base image for the final animation. The other two photos, I plan on using the head and part of the neck for the final animation.

Screen-Shot-2015-05-06-at-9.59.03-PM

Step 2- Prep up files 

Using the Quick Selection Tool – I have a clean, shape selection around the birds head. I increased the selection area around hair on the birds head – I plan to refine the hair later – for now capturing the image of the head on a transparent background with be good enough.

computer_training_photoshop_animation_002

Step 3 – Review images in Photoshop

Each image of the bird is now on its own layer in one Photoshop file. While the two heads that I sampled and bought into to use are quite a bit smaller than the bird head on the right – so I plan to resize the larger bird head to match the size of the other two bird photos – there’s has got to be a “bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” joke there somewhere.

computer_training_photoshop_animation_003

Step 4 – Setting animation pieces 

Now that I have the three birds heads the same size – I can start having some fun – AFTER ONE LAST PREP STEP: Knock out the background from the main photograph. I shoot these bird photos earlier today at 300 DPI – High Quality. The Photoshop Quick Selection Tool loves to work with High Quality Digital images.

computer_training_photoshop_animation_004

Step 5 – Content Aware- make your selection

I don’t think they even had this tool on Star Trek. The Content Aware Fill. Yes, this feature is similar to the Healing Brush – however it is also a bit different too. The Content Aware Fill likes to have a selected area to focus on. In my case with the bird head – I made a loose selection around the head and lower neck area.

From the menu Edit > Fill.

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Step 6 – Fill with Content Aware 

From the Contents menu > select Content-Aware. Press OK. Photoshop will then review the selection area and attempt to fill the selection with content-aware content.

computer_training_photoshop_animation_006

For this image I ran the content-aware feature 3 times on the same area. In this case I don’t mind losing the background windows. I may have to revisit the background to tweak – but for now, a quick crop (to remove the white frame).

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Step 7 – Clean Up and Align 

I now have four layers – the background (with the body of the bird), and three bird heads (with transparent background) on the remaining layers.

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Step 8 – Access Photoshop Animation Timeline  

To access the Photoshop animation tools. Go to the top Menu Bar > Window > Timeline. 

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Step 9 – Working with Photoshop Animation Timeline 

Working the Photoshop Animation Timeline is fun. However, you may have to first turn it on. From the Timeline Drop down select Create Frame Animation. 

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On the Timeline – Select the playback length.

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As well as being able to control the playback time for each frame – you can also control the playback for the entire animation. On the lower part of the timeline you can choice how you wish for your animated gif to playback.

Playback Once, or 3 times, or Loop forever. Or, press other and make your own custom playback. computer_training_photoshop_animation_009cCreate a second Frame. Toggle off the layer with the left head. Toggle on the mid head.

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I am pausing the first frame for half a second – the slight pause will give the viewer that impression that they are simply viewing a simple 2D photo – then the action happened.

Step 10 – Working with Photoshop Timeline Frames. 

With the placement of the first two frame – a simple animation has been created. More time was spent prepping up the image files. However, the next step is where you can really get creative with the frames. Adjust the playback length for each frame, while controlling the other all control of the animation.

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Is Data the New Soil for your Business?

What is Data Visualization?

Knowledge = Power {from data}. Data Visualization Infographics are there to capture and relate the meaning of mass data.

Yes, we understand that knowledge based data is often not understood, appreciated, or seen. Which in an age that success is measured on your ability to share. You data driven message may be easily ignored when the data is difficult to understand – even when you are a numbers person.

Better Communication though Innovation” – Quote from video.

Data Visualization Infographics are a blend of Design and Data. Infographics can also be designed to illustrate relationships, hierarchies, complex systems, chronology, and mapping.

Data Visualization Infographics can provide the means to:

  • Focus on a precise data-set.
  • Tell a story.
  • Share Ideas and Concepts.
  • Form Connections.
  • Demonstrate the relationship between efficacy and popularity.

Our eyes and brain work quickly to process complex relationships and patterns. By using color, scaling, orientation, and motion graphics connections and patterns between numbers become easier to visualize, grasp, and act upon. the eyes ability to discern variations in color, shape, position, or pattern.

Visually you can hold the concept of conflicting points of views, that can be difficult to to balance when the information is verbalized. You know the one about – you are only listening for your moment to talk.

Create an Infographic Landscape

Data rich infographics create a visual landscape that your eyes can explore.

But you first need to be a data detective who can recognize hidden patterns. By first asking the right questions, or working the data in a particular way can create unexpected relationships. And if that doesn’t work. Ask different questions, or hire a data detective to interpret your dense data requirements.

Infographics can help your staff, students, clients, or colleagues navigate dense information. Infographics can change perspective when relative numbers are used.

The other aspect of Infographics is that they are often a living document. Recall, most people will interact with your infographics online, or during a presentation, training – that happens mostly in a paperless work environment. When infographics are connected to a live database – the results are always changing  – the information being presented is different – the visualization output is never the same.

A sense of uncontrolled skepticism has arrived with the overload and saturation of information. Along with a distrust from the collapse of reliability sources. And the fact that much of the information is boring. There is no magical magnetic force that draws people into decoding a well constructed spreadsheet.

Data Visualization – For more information

REVIEW: What Motivates

Do you love your job? I do.

I understand what motivates me. And which tasks that do not. In the following speech by Dan Pink (author) the idea that people can be motivated by more than money. So, to be motivated everyone has to be paid fairly. When people approach a project without having to think about the money aspect. The performance level is increased. New and better results are achieved. Production levels are improved.

Asheville Computer Training what motivates.

"Pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table." - Dan Pink (speech)

As Dan Pink shared in his presentation (speech). When people are encouraged to be creative – they may experience autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

  1. Autonomy. The desire to be self directed.
  2. Mastery. Challenge to master a task.
  3. Purpose. Make a Contribution.

People want to do something interesting. To create. To build. To take an idea and develop it into a tangible project.

As people we create – that is something we all do (in our own way) we all create. Everyone has a task that they are simply very good at. Within this task there will always be a presence of your own creativity.  For our creativity to be of worth it has to contribute.

Hidden creativity serves no purpose. Hidden creativity does nothing to make us a better person. To be creative is to accept the challenge to master a task that directly contributes back to your community (to whatever your community may be).

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

TUTORIAL: Adobe Photoshop Quick Selection and Refine Tool

Adobe Photoshop. How to work with the Quick Selection Tool.

Step 1 Open Adobe Photoshop.

tutorial-ps-01

When I work in Adobe Photoshop – I most always have the Layers Panel open and the Toolbar in double columns.

Open Layers Panel 

Window > Layers (to toggle the layers panel off and on). Or, use F7 for the same action.

Toolbar in double columns
To toggle between the single and double column toolbar click the two small arrows at the top of the Tools panel. While the icons remain the same size, the color palette picker is larger in the double column mode.

If Tools panel is not visual. Window > Tools.

Step 2  Open file in Adobe Photoshop.

tutorial-ps-02

File > Open > Flower.jpeg

Step 3 Duplicate Photoshop Layer

tutorial-ps-03

Notice the Layers Panel. There is now a thumbnail of the photo with the title Background. 

Training Photoshop Layer Eye IconTo the left of the thumbnail is the small “Eye Icon”. Clicking the eye icon will toggle the layer off or on – a very handy tool to have.

For every Adobe Photoshop project I work on I always do one simple step (prior to making any changes). I duplicate the original image and turn the original layer off. Having the original is a great backup resource and a reference.

tutorial-ps-04

Duplicate Layer a Adobe Photoshop Layer. 

With the Layer Panel Open > Right Click Layer > Duplicate Layer > Give the New Layer a useful name. 

tutorial-ps-05

Training Photoshop Layer Eye IconOnce your have two layers . Click the small eye icon to turn the original layer off. And work on the duplicated layer.

tutorial-ps-06

NOTE: If you happen to turn all the Photoshop layers off – you will discover the checker board background. The checker board pattern in Adobe software is clever way to show transparency.

The checkerboard pattern does not print, none does it save what saving graphics for the web.

tutorial-ps-07

To begin working – turn the layer icon to on. The layer content will reappear.

Save Often – don’t forget to save your work often, after each few steps. SAVE.

tutorial-ps-06

Step 4 Using the Quick Selection Tool
The Quick Selection Tool is a very powerful tool. However, there are a few simple guidelines to follow when using the Quick Selection Tool.

tutorial-ps-07-quick-selection_tool

  1. Be Quick.
  2. Do not try to be too precise.
  3. Move quickly – yes move quickly.

What is very different with the Quick Selection Tool and the Magic Ward Tool?

  • Magic Ward uses color collections to make the selection.  Many designers use the Magic Ward tool to select large areas of the similar color – the background of an image.
  • Quick Selection Tool is less interested in the color palette of an object. The Quick Selection Tool is programmed to locate the edges of an object. Especially high-resolution digital images.

tutorial-ps-08-quick-selecl

The first thing to know about all digital photography is that objects within the photo have a fine white and black stroke around them. Sure, you have to zoom into the photography VERY close to see the fine strokes. The nicer the camera the finer these artifacts will be. This is the nature of digital and is the base of what the Quick Selection Tool is tracking.

tutorial-ps-08-selection-made

The other aspect of the Quick Selection Tool – is that this tool is QUICK. No slow motions – this is a fast tool. Yes the selections can be refined – but under good situations the Quick Selection Tool will locate the edge of objects  with ease.

The Quick Selection Tool will work on low resolution image. But, from my tests my require more refining to maintain a clean precise selection. In such cases when the resolution of the image is too low to create a precise selection, I use the Pen Tool to create the selection.

Step 5 Refine the selection.
The Refine Edge Tool  arrived in recent years. For many experienced Adobe Photoshop users the tool remains unnoticed and unused.

Asheville Computer Training - Photoshop Refine Edges

Do not be fooled by the plainness of the Refine Edge button – the Refine Edge tool is a very powerful edge selection tool.

tutorial-ps-09-refine-edges

Refine Edge Button and Settings 

With a selection active > Click the Refine Edge button.

NOTE: The Refine Edge button is only available when you  have a selection tool active.

Refine Edge – Viewing Modes. 

photoshop-tutorial10-refine-edge-selection

The Refine Edge panel has a number of different views.  I tend to like the transparent view.

photoshop-tutorial10-On-transpanet

However, when it is important that your selection is precise.  It can be helpful to view the object on either a white or black background.

photoshop-tutorial10-white-background

Refine Edge – Output Mode. 

Select how you would like Refine Edge to handle your output selection.

When I am certain that my selection is correct, I select the Layer Mask output option. Which results in the layer mask automatically removing the background.

Pros & Cons: When the selection is correct, the output to Layer Mask will save a step. However, if the selection is not correct and will require altering the mask or clean up – then the output to Layer Mask is not a good suggestion.

photoshop-tutorial10-layer-mask

When I am unsure that the Quick Selection Tool combined with the Refine Selection tool didn’t quite get the selection prefect – output to Selection is an awesome option.

The (marching ants) selection can be altered, and fine-tuned prior to creating the layer mask. Either output option works.

photoshop-tutorial-11-background-removed

Working with Photoshop Masks  

The beauty of creating Photoshop layer masks is that they are easy to change. With the layer panel open > click on the black & white mask icon.

NOTE: When the Layer Mask Icon is active, the color picker will change to Black and White. Using either a black or white brush, paint back or remove parts of your image.

 

 

 

 

 

Asheville SEO Shoutout

Thanks to Kinnear Design for the Asheville SEO shoutout.  It was a great pleasure to host the SEO class at Charlotte Street Computers.

SEO is so important to the success of a website.  SEO provides the website owner with a transparent framework to build their content on. Sure, there are website best practices guidelines that we all need to adhere to.

Successful SEO is more than ranking number 1.

Successful SEO is about providing your website visitors with quality content.

What is Quality Content?
Before the SmartPhone the concept of Quality Content was valued by the contents uniqueness or sought after pop culture content.

  • Uniqueness – the content has value due to it being new. The type of material can be varied, including reports,  interviews, exclusive footages of events in history. The point is the content is unique and can hold value on its merit.
  • Pop Culture – the mainstream media machine distributes content.  Content often has the backing to increase mainstream popularity and circulating rates.

With the easy access and small screens of the smartphone. Many users are now seeing content differently. Long page titles and run on sentences are seen as strenuous.

Successful SEO for the modern website should provide.

  • Content that is easy to grasp.
  • Content that is precise. 

Depending on your online target market – writing easy to understand content can be quite a difficult task. Write for your target market first – while present your reader with easy to follow sentences. With a large percent of end users accessing website content is now via the SmartPhone – shorter sentences simply read better, and easier for the eyes to track.

Making your content precise is key. Forget those two paragraph introduction about who you are, and what you do, and why you might use your method over other. No-one cares.

What people do care about. Having the information to their question right in front of them. And, I doubt that the readers query actually relates to the content found in the first two paragraphs of most blogs. And, lets say the query is about you – then sure “talk away” but that should be on your bio page – not the “I will help you – while skill dropping” blog.

So, what was I saying?
Oh! That is right.
Keep on point, be precise! 

Here are 5 easy to follow methods to ensure your website content is precise.

  1. 300 word minimum prior page.
  2. Keyword consideration.
  3. 8 words a sentence.
  4. High readability score.
  5. Quality or Sought after content.

VIDEO: How is Technology Transforming Education?

Asheville Computer Training - Tech for Granted

tech-for-granted
Interesting point of view on how technology is taken for granted by the era born into it. It is difficult for me to think of not being able to flip a switch and have the lights come on. However, for my grandparents, that was something new in their lifetime.

This modern idea of being able to connect with anyone else in the world (who has access to the internet) is an entirely new era of digital technology in education and life.

SEO Services Asheville

Asheville SEO services and solutions - by IRISHGUY Gary Crossey

Asheville SEO Services

Begin your year with the New Year Resolution to increase traffic to your website.

For most small businesses that have a website more than 95% of their traffic is for the phone number. If your site only service is being a modern phone book – then your business or organization is missing out.

Kinnear Designs (Asheville) – give me an honorable shout out on my SEO knowledge.

Asheville SEO services and solutions - by IRISHGUY Gary Crossey

Responsive Web Design

The internet is a funny place. First off, the internet acts as if it has always been around. And when faced with a problem (issue). The solution is presented as if that too has always been around.

Responsive Web Site Design – by 2014 is not new, though much of the older websites are still catching up. The basic concept is that responsive design can deal with all the many different devices that may access the site information. In the past, website designers simply built for a small array of browser sizes. In 2014  the top six devices had different browser sizes. 

  1. iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 – 640 pixels
  2. iPad first and second generation – 1024 pixels
  3. Samsung Galaxy Note – 1280 pixels
  4. Microsoft Surface – 1366 pixels
  5. iPad 3 – 2048 pixels
  6. Google Nexus 7 – 2560 pixels

Sure, those numbers all look great! But, what does those different pixel sizes mean? When two different customers access your website to many a purchase.

  • Customer #1 is on the new iPhone with a screen width of 640 pixels.
  • Customer #2 is on the new Google Nexus with a 2560 pixel width.

The difference between these two screen sizes is shocking.
2560 px – 640 px =  1920 pixels difference.  The difference is this case is larger than the resolution for most computer monitors. The difference between what Customer 1 & 2 will experience when they arrive at the same content will require responsive design.

Device Reliability

People like to read – and research has documented many times how people prefer to read. On a computer screen, the ideal characters per line are 50 to 75. While on a mobile device 50 characters is the top range for how many characters to include on a line. With many the lower range of the curve being 35 characters per line on a mobile device. Again another clever use for responsive CSS is to scale the width of website content to a suitable width for each device, or device orientation.

While character density is one observation. Font leading is another cross-platform concern. Typically, the typesetter was assigned 120% main value for printed material. Web designers when given the ability to incorporate leading into their CSS code settled on 140% for leading.  For smaller screens increasing the leading can significantly aid readability.

 

SEO – Valued Content Ranks Best

REALreal TO LIFE SEO EXPERIENCE:

Working with a client to improve their local website ranking for a popular product line. The product line was added to the site. All the guidelines for publishing product content was applied. The SEO ranking for the Product Keyword did not improve.

I suggested that we alter our SEO approach.

STOP MARKETING > START EDUCATING 
Rather than marketing the product. Why not, inform users on how to use the product?

What followed was a series of Educational Blogs and a new User Group Event. The first User Group event attracted  65 attendees. The second User Group event drew well over 150 attendees, along with local press coverage.  Both User Group Events were a huge success. During the events, everyone was asked to visit the website for featured App links and news on upcoming events.

Following the events, the real work began.
First of the Events were documented online, via blog posts, newsletters, and social networking status updates. The first blogs to be displayed included links to all the Apps featured during the User Group events. While most of the Apps featured were free to download, an affiliate commission was placed in the paid apps.

The photos from the event proved to be the most successful. Having posted the event shots to Facebook –  more than 50 attendees have used use a picture from the event as their personal Facebook profile shot (talk about local brand placement).

As a result: By the third day after the User Group Event. The regional ranking for the Product Line moved from ranking at #154 to ranking at #3 – a more a 151 positions in three days. Over time the domain went on to secure a #1 ranking for the product line.

In this case, the SEO impact happened when we stopped trying to sell the product online. It is easy to see that the online market was saturated when a local listing ranks on Google at #154.

The SEO improvement due to creating valued content that people could engage with. Visitors to the page had the interest to be there.

SEO Improve Ranking

"Our primary goal is to serve users with high-quality, relevant information." ~ Google

Google wants to deliver quality unique content Content that is engaging and valuable. . Without quality content Google will quickly lose value. Content still rules for ranking. Like the Emperor’s New Clothes, it is worth dressing for the occasion.

Once you have brilliant content. Then organize. Do not have hidden pages.

Every Page Deserves A Link

TRUE TO LIFE EXPERIENCE: Rather than pay the fee to create a new page. The admin user created one hyperlink in the middle of a paragraph of text. The link landed the user into a maze of 500 different documents. None of the documents were accessible via the web sites navigation system. None of the pages appeared in the index of web site sitemap. The pages were connected with a loose chain of hyperlinks – with no central focus. An amazing task – surely took days to mastermind. At first. We figured the site was hacked. Hacked! No not one of our web sites. This can’t be true! Pull the code! My first response to reviewing the hack job was,  “What type of programmer would code this poorly?” The next logical question was “how could a bad programmer ever break into the web site we built? “There had been no hack. This was an inside job. And, a perfect example of what Google begs use not to do when creating online content. “Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link” – Google. 

Web Site Site Maps

Google loves web site maps. Do people use web site maps? Maybe, maybe not.

Sitemaps are simply a good idea when handled correctly. But much like adding too much salt to a dish – an over seasoned sitemap is redundant. Make your sitemap user friendly. Yes, that buzz word again “user friendly“. If you have a small web site consider including all your pages and blog posts. However, for a larger web site, point to the important pages. Try not to overwhelm your web site visitor with too many choices. Use good design styles, and well written title to direct your web site visitor. Keep the links to a reasonable amount.

What your content should include

Publish content to your web site that can be used. Research what is already available online. Determine if you can improve the online content. Aim to have an information-rich web site. Ensure that the content is accurate. That Page titles clearly relate to the content. If you web site depends on visitors – create original content.

Improve your ranking with words

Search engines index words and phrases. Keywords that are matched to user search queries. As any SEO pro will tell you – keyword placement is just the beginning of the SEO engagement. Having the right keyword density is a guideline and should not be confused with high-quality content.

Learn to understand the importance of using the correct keywords. Consider what words your customers may use to search for your business. A few customer related questions worth asking when selecting which Keywords to target.

  • Are your customers knowledgeable?
  • Are your new  customers new to your industry?
  • Do your customers know your industry?
  • Do your customers know your industry terminology?

Refine your attributes for improved SEO index

Behind the scenes are many web site tags. Improve your web site ability to index by including clear and precise tags.

Web Site Hyperlinks: Create useful Hyperlink titles. Instead of instructing “Click Me” – add a more descriptive instruction. “Download 2014 Business Report”. When the hyperlink is user-friendly, it simply means that your end user understands the links clearly. Keep the <title> elements and ALT attributes accurate and precise.

No Broken Links

Google doesn’t like a broken link the way the rest of us hate the end of the world. Yes, it really is that bad. Check your website often for broken links. And, repair them. There is no reason why you should ever have broken links. Use the Broken Link Checker plugin to keep your WordPress web site current.

SEO Cluster Results

What are Cluster Results?

Google cluster results in group search results.

In 2008 Google patent was granted for Cluster Results. The new tech provided a more different search results. Before a domain was not limited. And could top rank multiple pages.

Cluster Results group similar pages from the same domain as one group result.

The new Cluster Results will impact your site by reducing single page exposure. Cluster analysis will group site content. SEO ranking for your site will overall improve if you have quality content and traffic to show interaction and usefulness. While sites that publish vast amounts of data online, to gain multiple page ranks, can expect less traffic.

 

 

NEWS: Adobe Beta Tester

Adobe invited me to join their beta testing team. I said yes. Got approved. And am now part of the Adobe crew. Yes, that’s right. I get access to prerelease apps. Giving me a lovely sneak peek.

What does that mean?
Adobe provide me with future apps to test drive. With access to use new tools. Prior to their release as new apps. With the 24/7 Creative Cloud. Adobe is always working on new tools. And I get my hands on them first.

How does that impact you?
With an inside scope. I will provide app insight. What to expect? And the why. There are strict rules to when I may reveal. Adobe will first launch the app, with demos. I then post my findings. Adobe does not medal with what I publish. Only that I publish after app release.

What does that mean to me?
I get access to the beta software of the future. Insight to what is coming next. Upcoming trends. Which I will share on my blog and classes.

Getting the Design Bug

Back in 1998 I entered my first computer lab. Less than a year later I managed the lab. Yes, I got the Photoshop bug. Followed by Illustrator. Premiere. Poser. Director. Dreamweaver. Painter. AutoCAD. I was there for the launch of InDesign. That was my first three months. I am a fast learner!

Fast forward all those years. Back to now. Media has changed. Back then, they still preferred print. The world wide web was a notion. AOL was trendy. No one dared use their real ID. Now with hand-held devices we have access. Right in our pocket. There is no limit. And everyone has their name and birthday posted on Facebook.

My first call to action.

Test drive the new Adobe video apps. Yes Premiere Pro is now a rocket. Adobe video apps have always had a powerhouse of easy to use tools. Tools that have improved. But mostly, tools that work.

Look for my upcoming blog posts on the New Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects features.

SEO Guidelines – What Not To Do

Google is clear on which web techniques to avoid. Providing advice on how site content is best generated. Avoid services that offer to create content automatically to improve your ranking. Stay clear of services that often to submit queries to Google.

Keep Your Page Clean

Do not include any malicious behavior on your page. Adding Malware on your website is a Google violation. Domains found with malware are the flag for all users. And may be blocked from search results. Many website owners are often unaware that their site content malicious code. WordPress website is often a target of Malware Attacks. Website owners should visit their websites often and observe manipulations that may be occurring. Including direction to click on a link, download a file, or respond to an unwanted pop-up ad. No Sneaky redirects in there – it’s not permitted.

Automated Content

Google keeps stirring website owners to create value added content. Google does not care for automatically generated content that is mainly a marketing tool. Creating pages that are high in Keyword placement, while lacking in content. For most business, this technique is easy to avoid.

However, one small element of the Automatically Generated Content that does affect most small business owners is Stitching.

STITCHING: To be a stitcher. One would have to first open Google. Search for subject keywords. Locate information from choice websites (perfect title, end of the sentence, little bits of stuff that other people wrote). The Stitcher might use Google Docs or if they have experience; will work directly with WordPress. Either way, the Stitcher real talent in witnessed in the master resort. Pasting line after line. To the perfect composition of nothing more valuable than what was already available.  Google is not saying that your can not surf the web collecting useful bits of information. Google’s request was to stop stealing content unless you can improve upon the content. Google asks that “add sufficient value” to duplicated content.

I may be the first to raise my hand as a hardcore stitcher. With 12 browser window tabs open, I can create great website content. For people like me. I now use stitching as my research foundation. I stitch my data into an outline. The outline is a tool to direct the development of the article.

What Google does support is how you add value to a topic. It is that simple. Stolen content will not improve the ranking of your website. Unique content of high-quality will increase value.

SCRAPER: To be a Scaper. You first have to be a lazy stitcher. You may also have the side habit of overly hitting the share button on Facebook. Either way. You are the most indolent of all the website content creators. For you to remain in Sacper status, you only post stolen content. You tend to love to use the embed feature. Embedding is one of your finer skills. You are the master of republishing the same content with revising a title, rewording a sentence, or include any unique viewpoint. Yes, go ahead and embed another random YouTube video, or Follow Us on Facebook badge (actually you haven’t used the Facebook embed tools.. they are quite impressive.)

The Value to Content

Make your content mean something. Granted, it may not mean a great deal to most people. But, when you reach your small target market, they will connect. In the early years of the internet, web designers would hide keyword heavy content on the internet page. The content font was either the same color as the website background or at such a small size that no one could see. However, the Search Engines would include the hidden content as ranking information. Hidden Content is something of a legend – I don’t quite recall a time when it did work, though there are stories that it might have worked. Keep the content real and to point. Don’t use irrelevant keywords on tags, links, or images. It is hard enough to tag web content correctly, why to make it more difficult. Make Keywords meaningful.

Make Good Recommendations

Google has come out and said that irrelevant website ads do not work. Google have even gone as far as to say that irrelevant marketing will reduce your overall website ranking. Make those ads count. Google’s solution is to use target ads. By now everyone has experienced target banner ads. Google thinks that having ads for products is better. Improve your ads even more – by personally selecting which affiliate to support. Adding a link to a tool from your website to another website is certainly something you can do. Including a personal review of why the tools are important to you is your value added content.

The difference between Browsing and Browsers

Irish Guy - Links to 20 tips of browser and browsing

Internet Browsing & Internet Browsing

20 Things you should know about browsers and browsing the internet.

  1. What is the Internet?
  2. Cloud Computering
  3. Web Apps
  4. HTML, JavaScripts, CSS and more
  5. HTML5
  6. 3D in the browser
  7. A Browser Madrigal
  8. Plug-Ins
  9. Browser Extensions
  10. Synchronizing the Browser
  11. Browser Cookies
  12. Browser and Privacy
  13. Malware, Phishing, and Security Risks
  14. How modern browsers help protect you from Malware and Phishing
  15. Using Web Address to Stay Safe
  16. IP Addresses and DNS
  17. Validating Identities Online
  18. Evolving to a Faster Web
  19. Open Source and Browsers
  20. Internet Coming Soon…

WordPress Portfolio Gallery

The key to making a good impression is in the presentation. With the Portfolio Gallery WordPress Plugin, it is easy to add interactive slideshow galleries to your WordPress website. Unlike other WordPress gallery solutions, this slideshow feature is included at the base of every page or post.

For art openings, the artist controls the frames, the lights, every aspect to showcase their work. If you wish to impress, the presentation is key.

Portfolio Gallery Overview

The Portfolio Gallery WordPress plugin is a mobile-friendly slideshow. Portfolio Slideshow Pro includes video support, swipe gestures, audio integration and advanced Lightbox features.

  • Install the Portfolio Gallery plug-in for WordPress.
  • Once installed, go the Settings panel and create your default slideshow setting.
  • Setting > Slideshow (select your default settings)

WordPress Gallery Plugin

The Basic License for one website is $18. The renewal rate is $9 annually.

Example of Portfolio Gallery

Install the Portfolio Gallery plugin for WordPress. Once installed, go to Setting > Slideshow (select your default settings)

Having an active portfolio gallery can make a successful website. Every WordPress gallery plugins are slightly different. Each plugin developer has a slightly different perspective on how to best deliver your image library. Momnt is a small Boston-based firm that develops fun, useful WordPress plugins. Momnt may only have 17 followers on Tweeter. But, with 298,390 WordPress downloads, this is a WordPress plugin worth a review.

portfolio gallery slideshow plugin

SEO changes you can plan for

SEO guideline changes for 2013

This summer SEO ranking will change. The biggest difference is that we have been told what to expect. In the past, an SEO upgrade would happen behind firmly shut doors. The impact of an upgrade can vary. Often the update process is unclear or mistook.

This time, Google shared the SEO upgrade plans before they took place. With the sound message, that spam is bad. Massive ad sites are on the out. And that Google remains firm with the notion that content is king.  All with a closing promise to reward key content by ranking better than spam.

SEO can help Google rank content higher

The success of the web does depend on access to good content. In 2011, Panda began to index nonspam data.  With the summer launch of Panda 2.0 expect more content hefty sites to rank higher. The brief on what makes good web content is fuzzy. What is without a doubt, ad-laden websites will rank lower than before.

For those that support their site with paid ads. Use related ads that support your writeup. Unrelated ads are deemed spam. Hidden ads are also seen as suspect. Paid ads should have a clear label.  Website guests should with ease discern between website items and paid ads.
Learn how to rank well online with SEO guidelines

SEO helps Google find subject masters

Are you the next Subject Master? The goal is to give a face to data. A subject master will rank for topics that they have a valuable online kinship to. It is not clear how paid, or unpaid traffic will differ in value. Or, how media driven traffic will measure up to user comments.

The idea is that each user search for content could esteem the author to be a Subject Master. An online trend would control the Subject Master rank, and could with ease become the most in-demand place of the season.

SEO join force with Blocker program

Malware just got easy to track and find. Google Web Master Tools members now receive an email notice for each malware concern found. Saving the webmaster from missing a malware notice in their Google WebMaster Tools account.

SEO Action Plan

  • Do not create spam
  • Do not support spam
  • Write only quality content
  • Only run ads that relate to article content (if at all)
  • Write meaningful content
  • Become a Google Subject Master
  • Rule the world.

List recent posts from another WordPress website on your WordPress website

WordPress Asheville - Service - Load live feed from another WordPress website

Do you have more than one website?

Often to keep our online message clear, we have to build more than one website.

This was the case for Beach Mountain (Farm Blog) and The Less Impact Project (Environmental Blog) websites. Both websites are informational in nature, and provide the end user with an empirical insight in the daily operations of a small organic farm, and how the same farm can operate within green guidelines.

Often the blogs on either website have over-lapping topics, making them interesting to visitors of either website. To help capture readers, IRISHGUY Web Design Studio Publications included a Live Feed from the Less Impact website to appear in the footer of the Beach Mountain home page footer. The list automatically loads the most recent blog post from another website.

Creating a Live Feed directly from another website or interest or your own website can highly increase your traffic and keyword placement.

Contact IRISHGUY Web Design & SEO Studio to have the LIVE FEED APP installed on your WordPress website.

Adobe FormsCentral

Why use Adobe FormsCentral?

Does your business need another form solution?

If it were 1995, Adobe would have stolen the show – game, set and match. Today, if you are like me, you already have an Online Cloud Solutions (OCS) integrated into your workflow – and it’s free!  Adobe FormsCentral wants you to pay for their service, roughly $200 a year – in one simple payment (each year).



What should you expect to get for $200?

Anticipate the standard form features; buttons, text boxes and multiple choice, as well as the online collaboration and analytical tools, that we have come to expect. Adobe have the basics covered, plus a few neat surprises like Page Skip Logic that advances users to their next question, depending on their previous  answer, making it easy to generate meaningful data.

Five years from now, we might very well be looking to Adobe for all our online business solutions. Presently however, the technical aspects of Adobe FormsCentral are comparable to most online form solutions. What Adobe does bring to what is typically a dull format, is design.

For our Google Form creators; that wish they could create custom branding, graphics and color options, to engage their audience, you may want to switch over to Adobe FormsCentral as they include all of these design features. For your simple forms, stick with Google Forms. If collecting valuable data is important to your business, you better have an engaging form – that is both user-friendly and attractive.

Adobe FormsCentral subcription includes over 70 easy to customize web forms or survey templates:

  • Registration templates
  • Education templates
  • Survey templates
  • HR templates
  • Marketing templates
  • Membership templates
  • Non-profit templates
  • Application templates
  • Sales templates
  • Feedback templates

Join me at the Asheville Adobe User Group for an Adobe FormsCentral demo, Wednesday March 21st 2012, 4-6pm – Charlotte Street Computers, Asheville .

Please RSVP admin@irishguy.us (sign-up form to follow)

Receipt tracker that works

One ReceiptTax season again, and time to locate, sort and total those business receipts.

With OneReceipt, the task of tracking your receipts just got easier. With your smartphone you can take a photo of your receipt and email it to your private OneReceipt account.

When you are on the road, have your expenses submitted automatically to your team with OneReceipt.

OneReceipt connects with your gmail or yahoo account to track and capture receipt information. Collect totals and payment information to your OneReceipt account.

Special Features

Some of the other great features that are included with OneReceipt that I look forward to using are Monthly spending reports – a simple tool for tracking spending patterns and discover better ways to spend your money.

Need help recalling how much longer you have to return an item? OneReceipt will track that.

Shipping, OneReceipt tracks expected shipping dates – crazy, right!

Installation is easy to do, expect a confirmation email and a few easy steps for connecting with your gmail account. The sync for with your gmail account may take some time.

https://www.onereceipt.com

 

CLASS WordPress SEO

February Class

WordPress SEO

Feb 7  – 10:45am – 12:30pm

Learn how to increase traffic to your WordPress website. We will focus on creating meaningful content that can be organized with necessary metadata, including keyword, tags, titles and descriptions.

Professional Development Class hosted at Charlotte Street Computers, Asheville NC. 

App Review OpenLabel

Okay to be honest – I give the Scandipity OpenLabel app a 5 Star Rating for having the right objective. “Converts the barcode on every product in the world into a digital label which is open to public comments”

One reviewer on the iTune’s store commented about how OpenLabel would have impacted her mum; if the app were available in 1972. And how no parent can go without having this app. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about saving the world for the children. And, in having resources and apps that will benefit the upcoming children. But, this app is for everyone – of all ages. Sure go ahead and scan for the children. But, while you are at it, scan for yourself and the other adults you provide for.

You will want a SmartPhone or Tablet to download the OpenLabel App. Once downloaded and installed – the OpenLabel will request Login information. OpenLabel are suggesting that you simply log in with your Facebook or Twitter accounts. Or, you can opt out and sign into the service directly.

ACCESS VIA FACEBOOK

I went with logging in via my Facebook account (seems easier). You will have to accept permission for OpenLabel to have access to basic Facebook profile and list of friends (I had to press the accept button twice – before getting a confirmation Facebook page).

Once you are in Facebook, Press OK.

First time around – I had a failed login.

OpenLabel APP REVIEW

Not quite sure what I was expecting to see once I had launched the app. Everything looks quite plain. There is a feed – of all the most common food movement resources, with the ability to follow them. Not quite sure why I would use OpenLabel to follow food resources that I already follow elsewhere (bit disappointed with the “Featured Users To Follow”)

Search for Facebook Friends on OpenLabel

None quite sure why the Search for Facebook Friends on OpenLabel feature is here. First of all, it is VERY slow. Second, what does it matter? Scanning food labels and Facebook connections.

Anyway, after getting bored with the welcome page, I pressed the DONE button in the top right hand corner. First of, the button says DONE. Done with what? I think the OpenLabel app developers already realize the the “Grow Community” interface isn’t working, by saying when you are DONE with this feed – hit DONE. Which results in launching the food labeling scanner app and device camera (not what you might expect from a DONE button). Eggs are done – scanning labels is doing!

Like I said, I love these guys for the objective of the app… I am so willing to see this app develop into what Scandipity hope; a consumer based database of barcoded products.

To make the bar scanner large, you may want to tap the screen of your device. You can either scan the barcode or enter in barcode manually. Tap screen to scan – you might see a FAST red light.

I scanned Andrew & Everett butter. Which resulted in zero recommendations or avoids.

As the end user I have the ability to suggest that I Recommend people use this product or that people should Avoid this product. With an included comment and profile photo (from Facebook). However, as the end user, I don’t actually know anything about the Andrew & Everett butter that I scanned with OpenLabel.

What i do know is. I pay more this the Andrew & Everett butter because the product label says the product is free of antibiotics, animal by-product etc. The point being, I buy this product because I think it may be better than the other butter options – however, I do not know anything about the product, or the company. To include anything, other than I think this product serves my needs (as far as I do not know), seems kind of pointless for an app.

Given that my first product produced only the ability for me to provide a customer review on a product line I know nothing about. I wonder how OpenLabel are going to manage their Wiki format? Are product line companies going to be able to post their own reviews? Is there any type of filtering in place?

Like I said at the start – I love the concept of OpenLabel – not quite sure if the concept has arrived directly to the app yet. They do have a useful newsfeed.

HOWEVER: if this is a sample of OpenLables

User News Feed – then I may delete the app rather quickly. Asheville App Review

 

CLASS YouTube Basics

WINTER CLASS

YouTube Basics

Jan 18th – 9:30am – 10:30am 

YouTube is a great resource for watching and posting a video. Learn how to create your own playlist of shows to watch, or create your own channel and upload your video for other to watch.

Professional Development Class hosted at Charlotte Street Computers, Asheville NC. 

CLASS iPad for Business

Summer Classes

iPad for Business

Not quite sure what role the iPad may have in your business? Let us help you visualize with our overview of the top business iPad apps in action.

Professional Development Class hosted at Charlotte Street Computers, Asheville NC.