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)

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SMCSLC: All About WordPress

WordPress LogoJust wanted to pitch the Social Media Club of Salt Lake City’s September get together. Thom Allen, Joseph Scott and I will be presenting on WordPress, BuddyPress, and a host of other blogging tools and applications. From their site:

Many of us are past the question: To blog, or not to blog.

We know there’s value in blogging.Some of us have used WordPress, Moveable Type, TypePad or Blogger. Perhaps all of us already have a favorite blogging platform.

For our September Social Media Club of Salt Lake City meeting, we’re focusing on WordPress. We think it’s one of the more popular blogging tools. We have structured the program so there’s something for everyone regardless of your WordPress familiarity.

About WordPress

First of all, thank you to Joseph Scott — an Automatic employee and WordPress programmer who’s official title is bug exorcist — who has agreed to put together September’s program. You know you’ll learn valuable information when one of the software programmers is our lead presenter.

Networking will begin at 6 p.m. and our program at 6:30 p.m. Joseph will provide an introduction to WordPress, its history and where it is today.

WordPress Breakout Sessions – Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Around 6:45 p.m. we’ll break-out into smaller sessions to focus on WordPress in more depth. The three breakout sessions will be geared toward WordPress beginners, intermediate and advanced users.

Thank you to two very talented bloggers in their own right, Thom Allen and Jake Spurlock, who will lead the beginner and intermediate breakout sessions, respectively. Joseph will lead the discussion in the advanced user group.

Jake’s session will also include an overview of BuddyPress, a comprehensive social networking tool which can be installed as a WordPress plugin.

Breakout concepts will include discussion items like:

  • Why you should use WordPress
  • How to most effectively install and customize WordPress
  • The best URL structure for searchSEO optimization of your WordPress blog
  • Plugins for WordPress
  • 10 steps to installing and setting up a customized WordPress blog

Breakout sessions will go until approximately 7:30 p.m. or whenever we decide to quit.

Details

Date: September 17, 2009

Time: 6 to 8 p.m.

Place: University of Utah | Fine Arts Auditorium with breakout sessions at the neighboring BEHS Building, Rooms 106-108 | map it parking instructions included in map link

Special thanks to Andy Thompson in the University of Utah’s Marketing and Communications department for arranging for our meeting space.

RSVP: on Eventbrite

Twitter hashtag: #smcslc

To learn more about our presenters, please visit their respective sites:

Joseph Scott

Jake Spurlock

Thom Allen

via Sept. 17 meeting: All About WordPress | SMC of SLC .

My bags are packed… I’m ready to go….

FYI, I am headed into the semi remote backcountry of Yosemite California today. Going to be hiking this thing:

Half Dome

I will be back on Monday, September 7th. See ya soon!

Skulls…

Skull WordPress Theme

So, in the last few weeks, I have been doing a lot of WordPress theme development. When I see something cool on the web, I want to implement it a new a cool way. Skulls is basically the end result of some tinkering on the web. Here are some of the methods that I used in this theme.

1. Font Replacement

I read a great article on CameronMoll.com called Exploring Cufón, a sIFR alternative for font embedding. Cufón is this rad javascript library that will exchange text with a font resides on your server. A friend of mine, Tyrel Kelsey showed me an example on a site that he designed using the script, and from there, I was set. Immediately, I  knew that I wanted to create a grungy WordPress theme that I could use this on.

2. Fixed Footer

Nothing terribly revolutionary, but after staring at Facebook everyday, I wanted to put a persistent footer, that would have a couple of quick links in it. To create a fixed footer, simple add the following code to your div.

Make sure to add some bottom-margin to whatever div is going to be above it. You want to make sure you do that, so when you scroll to the bottom, you can see all of your content.

[css]
#footer {
margin:auto;
position:fixed;
margin:auto;
left:0;
bottom:0;
height:40px;
width:100%;
background:#242424;
z-index:1999;
}
[/css]
There are a couple of issues that in IE6 (Go figure…) But they can be resolved by adding this:
[css]* html #footer {
top:expression(eval(document.compatMode && document.compatMode==’CSS1Compat’) ? documentElement.scrollTop +(documentElement.clientHeight-this.clientHeight) : document.body.scrollTop +(document.body.clientHeight-this.clientHeight));
position:absolute;
}
[/css]

3. SUPER-ULTRA-RAD GRAPHICS

I mentioned already the font replacement. I found some cool vector packs that had some skull designs in them. The post headers have a banner that overlays the other divs due to some negative margins. One thing to be aware of, if you follow a similar design, is to make sure that links have the coverage that they might need. I had them squeezed a lot tighter, but it was hard to click on the post links.

So, all in all, I think that it turned out to be a pretty cool theme. Not for everyone, but I think that someone will get a kick out of it.

Demo

Download

So Fresh…

and so clean…

Well, another day, another WordPress theme. In my head, I wanted to design a super clean and simple WordPress theme.

The result is So Fresh…

So Fresh...

Demo

Download

A Daring Inspiration

I am excited today, to FINALLY release a WordPress theme that I have been working on. In all of it’s glory, A Daring Inspiration.

Daring Inspiration

Daring Inspiration is a theme that I have had kicking around in my head for a long time. For those unfamiliar, there is a great site on the internet run by mac pundit, John Gruber called Daring Fireball. John write simple text posts, and shares them in a link style that lends itself to being more of a link style blog then a traditional one.

With that being said, this theme is GPL licensed, XHTML valid, and rocking in its simplicity.

Demo
Download Now

How to tell the difference between Helvetica and Arial

I like to think that I love good design. Part of that, over the years has evolved into a fair bit of font snobbery. I may have even blogged about fonts before. So, when I saw this comic today, I had to pipe up about a battle Melissa and I have been having. I am totally unabashed in my love of Helvetica. I use it in design, on the blog, and even have watched entire movies dedicated to the typeface.

Melissa, (whom I would also call a font snob) doesn’t like it much because she said, and I quote, “It just looks like the default Excel font.”  (Arial) I mentioned that I liked it still, told her that Arial was a ripoff, and Helvetica had been around for a long time. I followed that up with how I couldn’t tell the difference, but great designers use Helvetica, and accountants use Ariel, because they don’t know the difference.

Well, this has caused a bit of a debate, so I want to pose a few tidbits of information about how to tell the difference. BC, everyone needs to know.

From Wikipedia:

Generic versions of Helvetica have been made by various vendors, including Monotype Imaging (CG Triumvirate), ParaType (Pragmatica), Bitstream (Swiss 721).

Monotype‘s Arial, designed in 1982, while different from Helvetica in some few details, has identical character widths, and is indistinguishable by most non-specialists. The capital letters C, G, and R, as well as the lowercase letters a, e, r, and t, are useful for quickly distinguishing Arial and Helvetica. Differences include:

  • Helvetica’s strokes are typically cut either horizontally or vertically. This is especially visible in the t, r, and C. Arial employs slanted stroke cuts.
  • Helvetica’s G has a well-defined spur; Arial does not.
  • The tails of the R glyphs and the a glyphs are different.

Nimbus Sans, another similar font family that incorporates fonts designed in 1940 (Nimbus Sans bold condensed, Nimbus Sans bold condensed (D)) and 1946 (Nimbus Sans Black Condensed, Nimbus Sans Black Condensed (D)), is produced by URW. Nimbus Sans L fonts were released under the GNU General Public License.

“Helv”, later known as “MS Sans Serif“, is a sans-serif typeface that shares many key characteristics to Helvetica, including the horizontally and vertically aligned stroke terminators and more uniformed stroke widths within a glyph.

When you get to know this font, you really start to see it everywhere. Snowbird, the bank down the street, American Airlines, NASA, and many others.

What are some of your favorites?

Dirt Jumping

Went biking with some friends the other day so we had to bust out the camera and take some pics.

full_cropped_squuezed

josh_layers

josh_drop

jake_wide

dsc_0408-copy

dsc_0386-copy

Had fun editing these. Would anyone be interested in a screencast about how to make sequenced photos like this?

April WordPress Meetup
WordPress LogoWanted to invite everyone back down to my house for another WordPress Meetup this week. We had a great turnout last time, and though my basement might be busting at the seams, we will do it there again.
Details:

When: Wednesday, April 15th, 7:00pm – whenever
Where: My house, 549 W. Goldenrod Way Saratoga Springs 801.376.6898

Topics: Like last time, anything that you want to talk about. I just got a new TV that we can hook up laptops too, so bring your lappy, and examples of what you are working on.

Below are a some of the people that came last time, I hope that you all come again, and bring some friends too!

Feel free to bring a snack to share, I am thinking about looking for some exotic beverages… If you want to RSVP, just leave a comment letting me know you hare coming. Then I can know how many chairs to steal from the church… Spread the word!

PhotoCamp Utah WrapUp

I have to give a major digital pat on the back to all of those great people that put on PhotoCamp Utah this last weekend. The event was huge, exceeding my expectations with membership, the quality and caliber of speakers, and the interaction with fellow photographers. Well done all.

With that great event, I had the great pleasure of sharing some thoughts in a presentation that I called PhotoBlogging with WordPress. From the course description:

Do you take awesome pictures and want to show the whole world? Learn more about how to showcase your photos with using blogging software by WordPress.

This will showcase tips for anyone from beginner to advanced. No need to understand photography, just a basic knowledge of web tools. General overview of topic will be presented, with a few ‘hands on’ examples.

With this topic of blogging, I was a little nervous that: 1. a lot of people might be blogging, but not using a hosted version of WordPress making themes and plugins difficult. 2. Might be using other software like TypePad/Blogger/Tumblr.

So, with that being said, at 9:30 Friday night I started to build a new site that would remedy both of those problems. I built a custom tailored WordPressMU/BuddyPress/bbPress site that had themes and plugins that would appeal to a photographers that were looking to get into blogging.

So, here I am announcing Photo-Bloggers.com. If you have wanted to get a rich, photoblog, and wanted to tie into a network of other photographers, now you can. There is a rich gallery of themes, some premium photo themes, and plugins to improve the experience. If you have  a theme or a plugin that you would like to see added, let me know and I will toss it in the pot.

If you are interested in WordPress development, integration, or have other questions, feel free to contact me through the comments here, email (whyisjake {at} gmail dot com) or through Twitter.

Once again, thanks to all of the conference organizers, volunteers and sponsors for making this a great event.