Catching Up

Haven’t been blogging in a while but I wanted to mention a few things, and try to get back in the swing of it.

Work

Since October I have been working at Stevens-Henager College. Had some great experience teaching there. Due to the four week class schedules, I got to teach a lot of different classes namely: Web Design, HTML+CSS, Flash, Logo Design, Package Design, and Flash Animation.

A few months ago, I started working at the WordPress HelpCenter. The HelpCenter is a great facility helmed by Alex King and a child to his company Crowd Favorite. At the HelpCenter, we do WordPress theme support, and plugin support. After almost three months, I have worked on a ton of projects, everything from plugin support, theme hacks, all the way to theme design and full site builds. If you are a WordPress developer, if you are ever in a pinch, the HelpCenter is a great place to go for help. One phone call gets you years of WordPress experience and likely a quick fix to whatever ails you.

I have wanted to be able to work both jobs, as I really like teaching but something had to drop, (either my sanity, or one of my jobs…) so this week I will be leaving Stevens-Henager. With much coercing, I am going to stay at Stevens-Henager on an advisory board that will assist the faculty in developing curriculum in the web program at Stevens-Henager.

Family

Last Friday was my five year anniversary. Hard to believe six years ago I met my wonderful wife. I feel so blessed, happy, and fortunate each day that I get to spend with her. And everyday that she puts up with me. 😉

Rush is doing well, growing everyday and finding new ways to test his Mom and Dad about what is right and wrong. Over the last few days we have seen some big advances as he has started walking more. What was a cautious shuffle of the feet has moved into multiple big steps. He loves the attention that we give him, and will be running in no time.

Colosseo

So, I didn’t win an iPad as part of the SEO contest but Cameron sent one of his Colosseo prints as a gift anyways. Namaste to you Cameron.

Cameron Moll’s Colosseo Letterpress Poster

Just wanted to take another opportunity to talk about Cameron Moll Colosseo iPad Martian Giveaway.

Cameron has created a stunning work of art out of typography. For those that look at text as letters, rather then an art form, these typography posters will knock your socks off.

Of note, if you are interested in the glyphs (the individual letterforms) of the Colosseo, you can purchase an .eps version from Cameron here.

These glyphs are based on the work of master Italian calligrapher M. Giovambattista Palatino (ca. 1515–1575),as featured in Libro di M. Giovambattista Palatino Cittadino Romano, published in Rome around 1550 AD.Several of the glyphs featured in the book were recreated by Cameron through hand-tracing, then as vectors, and then incorprated into the Colosseo.

So, thanks for sticking around with me while blathering on about the Cameron Moll Colosseo iPad Martian Giveaway. It has been a fun little test to see if I can try to work some SEO magic. Kudos to Cameron on building such a successful marketing plan with hundreds of inbound links… 😉

Cameron Moll Colosseo iPad Martian Giveaway

Well, now that I have your attention… 😉

Just wanted to let you all know about the Cameron Moll Colosseo iPad Martian Giveaway.

Salt Lake Temple - In TypeCameron Moll is one of my favorite designers, creating the prominent typeset edition of LDS Temple that I am proud to hang in my home. In addition to hanging this in my home, it has also made the rounds at Stevens-Henager college to all of my classes, all the while sharing the video of the creation at the same time. (embedded below)

I first met Cameron two years ago at a dinner for speakers and sponsors of the WordCamp Utah. I had been following the blog NorthTemple.com for a while and new some of the names of the authors. After doing a little bit of digging around, I stumbled on to Cameron’s site, Authentic Boredom and became an active reader. It was exciting to get the chance to have dinner with him that night.

I didn’t think that our paths would cross again, but I was excited to see that he needed some help done a WordPress site last October. I jumped at the chance to help. I was chosen, and as a result, I can claim that I did the WordPress theme for AuthenticJobs.com/blog/. It was a fun project, one of the coolest designs that I have ever done.

So, now that the pitch is over, I wanted to mention colosseotype.com. This is the new letterpress poster of the Roman Coliseum. It was modeled from a photograph that was taken while on a trip there with his wife. I don’t own this yet, bet already have a spot reserved above my desk for it.

On a slightly nerdy note, I love the design of colosseotype.com. It is built using HTML5 and some kewl things using CSS3.

Love it…

So, if you looking for a smashing gift that will really leave an impression, check out Cameron’s fantastic letterpress posters. You will be amazed at the craftsmanship.

The Loop

Had a great WordPress Meetup tonight at SEO.com. I gave a short presentation about the WordPress loop, and how to integrate different content into theme templates.

During my presentation, I mentioned my secret weapon in WordPress theme design, and that is the WordPress Cheat Sheet. Great tool for designing, lots easier than digging through the WordPress codex.

Thanks to Ash Buckles and Thom Allen for also presenting and for all those that attended!

WPMU Missing Link

For the last year or so, I have been heavily invested into the WordPressMU platform. For those that are unaware, WordPressMU is similar to WordPress, but allows the creation and implementation of literally thousands of other blogs all under the same domain. This software is what powers blogging networks like WordPress.com, EduBlogs.org, and projects that I have built, like Petomundo!, Photo-Bloggers.com, and UrTur.

WPMU,orgWhen you are building around the WordPress platform, you get the benefit of the thousands of beautiful themes, robust plugins, and dedicated community of the platform, but WordPressMU, sometimes you need a little more, and that is where WPMU.org fits in. WPMU.org, and its premium version Premium.WPMUDEV.org which I am happily paying member are priceless tools when developing around the WPMU platform. Here are some of the essential tools for building a WordPressMU community.

  • The Support Forums – Great place to get help when you need. They are always quick with a response, and happy to help.
  • Training Videos – When creating a blogging network, some people are going to need some help. These videos were such a help when people needed help on Petomundo!.
  • Google Analytics for WordPressMU – Able to be used for site-wide analytics, and for individual blogs. Great tool.
  • MailChimp Newsletter Integration – For a project that I haven’t announced yet… Able to rapidly manage users and create email marketing campaigns.
  • Rebranding WordPressMU – Remove and modify all of the images and links to WordPress. Sometime you want it to be your own! Part of the beauty of using Open Source Software…
  • Terms of Service – Simply shows a terms of service box during signup that must be agreed to during signup. Great simple plugin.
  • WordPressMU Affiliate – Create your own affiliate tools via this great plugin. Have your users help you in developing membership.
  • The Premium Themes – Beautiful WordPress and BuddyPress themes with enough customization options to keep anyone happy. The themes alone are worth the price of the membership alone.

If you are developing around WordPressMU, membership to this site shouldn’t even be question. Every tool in the box is worth an annual membership, especially considering the robust support given.

WordPress Meetup October 14th

wordpress_miniWell, it has been a while, but we are going to hold another WordPress meetup in two weeks. For those that haven’t been before, the format is pretty simple:

  1. Show up
  2. Mingle
  3. Couple quick presentations
  4. Share problems
  5. Bask in a sense of childlike wonder about the intricacies of WordPress
  6. Go home a better individual then you were before.

All corny jokes aside, these meetups are a great way to meet fellow bloggers, designers, developers, and social media types from the area.

At the October event, we are going to have a loose format where anyone can take the podium. If you have something that you would like to share, please leave a comment here proposing a 5-10 minute presentation. Proposed topics currently include:

Myself & Tyrel Kelsey: WordPress theme developement

Thom Allen: WordPress Backup and Recovery

Ash Buckles: WordPress SEO (Plugins/Permalinks/etc.)

Nate Bagley: WordPress in use for UVU school newspaper

Details

Thanks to Ash, we are having the event at the newly minted SEO.com. We have room for about sixty people, so tell your friends to come too.

  • When: Wednesday Oct. 14 from 7-9 p.m.
  • Where: 14870 S. Pony Express Road Ste. 100, just off Interstate 15 at the Draper/Bluffdale exit near the point of the mountain.
  • What to bring: Bring your questions, your problems, something to share intellectually, and something on a plate to share physically. (i.e something delicious, perhaps cookies, crackers, seven-layer dip, etc.)

Please leave a comment here if you plan on coming so we can get a general count of who is going to be there.

Thanks and RT!

Birds of a Feather: BuddyPress

Just wanted to invite everyone to the Utah Open Source Conference that is being held October 8-10th at the Miller Campus of the Salt Lake Community College in Sandy, Utah. I have been asked to present on BuddyPress, the robust social networking plugin for WordPressMU. The session that I am runnong is a Birds of a Feather, meaning that it will be an open presentation, so I am hoping to have an open discussion on usability and implementation. If you are looking to implement BuddyPress, or want to see how I have used it on a few sites, drop in. Lots to learn about.

Utah Open Source Conference Website

BuddyPress Presentation

Details:

October 08, 1:45 pm

Room 123 (Map)

How to: Point your post permalink to an external site

This was originally posted on ClearSkys.net, but it seems that Barry is going to be shutting down the site. So, that it lives on, I am posting it here. Of note, this is the plugin that I had in mind when I designed that Daring Inspiration WordPress theme.

Any visitors, or subscribers, to John Grubers’ Daring Fireball blog will notice how he uses the post titles as direct links to the sites and information that he refers to within the posts body.

Earlier today WP Recipes posted a quick tutorial on how to set this up on your site (based on work by Vlad Grubman) by adding some code to your themes functions.php file and then changing all the permalink calls within the theme to use the new permalink code instead of the standard WordPress loop function the_permalink().

Whilst this is a perfectly workable solution, it is dependent on modifying your themes functions.php file and all of the pages that include the WordPress loop every time you switch themes (which if you are anything like me, is quite often).

I have modified the code into a small plugin, that when activated, will replace the standard permalink with an external URL without any need to modify your sites theme. I’ve also added an extra filter so that it will replace the permalinks within your RSS feed as well.

The code for the plugin can be found below, and can be downloaded from here: Eternal Permalink. To install, just change the .txt to .php and upload to wp-content/plugins.

`

[php]
<?php
/*
Plugin Name: Enable External Permalinks
Plugin URI: http://jakespurlock.com/2009/09/how-to-point-your-post-permalink-to-an-external-site/
Description: This plugin will allow you to change the post permalink for your posts/pages to an external sites URL
Author: Barry at clearskys.net
Version: 0.1
Author URI: http://blog.clearskys.net/
*/

function cs_external_permalink($permalink) {
global $post;

$thePostID = $post->ID;
$post_id = get_post($thePostID);
$title = $post_id->post_title;

$post_keys = array(); $post_val = array();
$post_keys = get_post_custom_keys($thePostID);

if (!empty($post_keys)) {
foreach ($post_keys as $pkey) {
if ($pkey==’url1′ || $pkey==’title_url’ || $pkey==’url_title’ || $pkey==’external’) {
$post_val = get_post_custom_values($pkey);
}
}
if (empty($post_val)) {
$link = $permalink;
} else {
$link = $post_val[0];
}
} else {
$link = $permalink;
}

return $link;

}

add_filter(‘the_permalink’,’cs_external_permalink’);
add_filter(‘the_permalink_rss’,’cs_external_permalink’);

?>
[/php]

`

To switch a post from using the standard permalink to an external one, you simply add a custom field to the post with a key of url1, title_url, url_title or external. The value of the custom field should be the complete URL you want to link to (including http:// ).

SMCSLC: All About WordPress

Just wanted to post my presentation from tonights event so that if any one wanted the slides, they would be available. These slides were largely borrowed from lead BuddyPress developer Andy Peatling. (Thanks!)

Social Media Club of Salt Lake City: All About WordPress (PDF)