Monthly Archives: July 2011

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Molten Magazine

Posted on July 8, 2011 by Richard

Molten Magazine

Site: moltenmagazine.com

Molten Magazine are Ireland’s newest Hard Rock and Metal magazine monthly, getting ready to launch their first edition this August. Have to say, I really enjoyed putting this site together as there were a few challenges, being able to update multiple pages, create feature articles and have a featured image slideshow on the front page. WordPress enabled us to create advertising areas controllable by the client, full comment system, contact forms, advertising areas and share daddy goodness.

Rock on \m/

Tools used: HTML5, jQuery slideshow, CSS3 gradients and font-face title fonts. CMS was wordpress.

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Mac OSX handy keyboard shortcuts

Posted on July 8, 2011 by Richard

Shortcut

Making the move from Windows to OSX isn’t as scary as you might think. If you’re like me and you prefer keyboard shortcuts to hunting through menu options, then this list should be helpful.

Command key icon (Command key) – On some Apple keyboards, this key also has an Apple logo (apple
logo)
Control key icon (Control key)
Option or Alt key icon (Option key) – “Alt” may also appear on this key
Shift icon (Shift key)
Caps lock icon (Caps Lock) – Toggles Caps Lock on or off
fn (Function key)

Essential General Shortcuts

Text Editing

These are all similar to windows shortcuts, but use CMD instead of Ctrl.

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How to use the Twitter #hashtag

Posted on July 6, 2011 by Richard

Twitter

Twitter… maybe you have it? Maybe you’re thinking about it? Perhaps you use it for your business, to connect with friends, to follow celebrities, to show off your crazy skills, or to stalk your ex-lover.  It can be an incredibly useful tool, not just as a networking tool but to promote and communicate nearly anything. Still in their relative infancy, twitter and facebook have become the voice of communities in countries that have collectively removed governments from power, sparked protest and brought truth to the surface where it has been covered up. Twitter may well be the fastest and most accurate source of news on the planet today.

As a newbie, or perhaps even as a user who has been on twitter for a while you may be wondering if you’re getting the best from it. Perhaps you use it for your company, events, services or to promote a product. Maybe you simply use it to connect with your facebook.

If so, read on…

What is a hashtag?

A hash tag is simply any word preceded by the # (hash, number, pound sign, alt 3 on an UK mac).  It’s purpose is so that a specific word of phrase can be indexed by twitter and collectively searched and viewed by everyone else. For example, as I tweet my rage at how rude Simon Cowell was to little Percy on tonights X Factor, I may end my tweet with #xf11 or #xfactor.

Using the hashtag in your Organisation

You may like to choose a hashtag for a specific event, product or service for your company. Just remember that twitter has millions of users, and so you should check your hashtag of choice before you decide broadcast it. After all, you don’t want to discover you’re linked to something completely inappropriate, irrelevant, or a competitors company. Here is a handy tool to check out hashtag stats HERE before making the leap.

Also remember you can’t ever have exclusive rights to a hashtag – this would defeat the purpose.

How not to use the Hashtag

There are no real rules here, although I’ve observed some pointless uses of hash tags, such as a running phrase at the end of a tweet:

#somethinglikethisdoesntmakemuchsense

The likelihood of someone searching for that phrase, or that it would start to trend, are nearly non existent. So there’s not much point in doing it unless you think it’s #absolutelyhilariouslyfunny.

Twitter Updating Facebook

You may want to use your twitter to update your facebook (or vice-versa), but lately I’ve realised this is no longer a good idea. Facebook in their ever changing wisdom have hidden status updates from twitter by default. So if you’re promoting something on both platforms, the way to get the most visibility is to do it the hard way and update both twitter and facebook manually (aw come on, copy and paste, it’s not that hard).

Also remember if you are using twitter to update your facebook status, the hashtag may not make any sense to those friends. It is also of no use to them.

Good uses

A great example I’ve seen is a local trend from people here in N. Ireland in response to recent resurgence of violence. People tagged their frustrations and disgust with #notinmyname. This is where the collective volume of the voice of sensible people in this world is raised.

If one hashtag is not enough to encapsulate your tweet, then work away with as many as you want.  However 1 or 2 key words are probably going to be more effective that twenty.

So in short, here are my top tips:

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Educate the Orphans (ETO)

Posted on July 5, 2011 by Richard
ETO, Educate the Orphans

ETO, Educate the Orphans

Site: eto-ministries.org

Anyone who has talked to Bobby Moffett for more than 5 minutes will know that he runs Educate the Orphans, a charity working in Tharaka, Kenya for over 20 years. Passionate doesn’t begin to describe him!

ETO provide education, food and a lifeline for over 30,000 people. Bobby kindly gave me free reign on the design and I new immediately where I was going. I inevitably I ended up using a splash of green (if you haven’t guessed, I like green). We began with a new simple logo which then led on to the site as it is now. Bobby also needed a simple quick way for people to give so we set up a charitable paypal account (trickier than it should be – I’m looking at you Paypal) with a simple form for people to donate online and register for gift aid.

Have a read over the site for a better feel of what they do, and even better give a gift!

Used: jquery, perch CMS, some custom scripts and HTML5 contact form goodness

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PHG, Production House

Posted on July 5, 2011 by Richard

Production House

Site: productionhouse.net

Production House are fully supported by Blackdog Media for both IT and web design services. We went through quite a number of ideas before hitting the nail on the head with this one. I brought in some dynamic imagery which subtly compliments the business service offerings. As this was a dark site, san serif fonts seemed to offer good readability for the body text with serif @font-face generated headers. Great tip from my mate The Fella, the white text is really light grey, the blacks are really v. dark grey – all in the name of readability.

Tools used: jquery, css3, HTML5, wordpress as a CMS

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Blackdog relaunch

Posted on July 4, 2011 by Richard

People were always asking why my own website was just a little splash page, the answer is that I’ve been very busy building sites for other people.  So I’ve been chipping away at this new site for a few days now.  It’s a work in progress but getting there!

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