Collaborators Wanted – WordPress, PHP, Graphic Design, Web Development

help-wanted

I’m currently seeking one or possibly two freelance web developers for collaborating with me on a couple of different on-going projects. Here are the details of what I’m looking for:

1) Easy Collaboration

Are you available to devote a moderate amount of time (i.e. perhaps 15 to 30hrs) each month to tasks that I assign to you? I’m anticipating I’d want you to bill hourly for your time.

Being located in or near Knoxville, TN is a plus. Although I suspect we’ll want to teleconference most of the time. [Read more...]

Apple TV Tip: Take Advantage of Your YouTube Playlists

YouTube Playlists on Your Apple TV

Recently we’ve discovered how handy YouTube playlists are on our Apple TV. Whenever we find content that we want to watch in succession, I add it to a playlist on my YouTube account for later viewing. The reason why this is so handy is because Apple TV will play all items in a YouTube playlist without interruption. The utility of this becomes apparent once you consider a couple of examples: [Read more...]

Two Tips for Increased Email Efficiency

Last week I wrote about the Sparrow Mail App and how it has increased my email efficiency. Just yesterday I learned that the app is going to be mothballed because the company that makes it has been acquired by Google. However, despite Sparrow’s short-lived status as my “go to” mail app, during my time with it, I gleaned two email efficiency techniques which are applicable to any email client. Both are quite simple, and when averaged out over a week’s worth of emails, they can save you much time. [Read more...]

Sparrow Mail App – “Quick Reply” is my favorite feature

UPDATE (07/24/2012):
Google has bought Sparrow. The Sparrow Mail app will no longer be developed. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Further details from TUAW:

Back in 2007 I switched over to using Google Apps for my email. Since that time I’ve used its online interface almost exclusively. The advantage of using the same interface to check my email anywhere far outweighed any negatives that came from not using a desktop mail app. What’s more, as the Gmail interface has matured, I’ve come to prefer it over any desktop clients I’ve used in the past. So, when I first heard about the Sparrow for Mac, I wasn’t too interested, but after picking the app up on sale this past weekend, it has become my goto email client because of one simple feature: Quick Reply [Read more...]

My Kindle’s Place in an iPad World

I’ve often said that my iPad is my favorite electronic device ever. I love its utility, portability, and ease of use. Its app-centric focus and sleek design lets you forget you’re using an iPad and focus on your task at hand. Given how much I enjoy using it, you might think my Kindle e-reader would fall by the wayside, and that was true at first. But lately I’ve gotten more enjoyment out of my Kindle, and this is due in part to one positive and one negative aspect of my iPad. [Read more...]

Links of Interest: 99% Invisible Podcast

99% Invisible - A Tiny Radio Show About Design with Roman Mars

If you’re into design and architecture (even if you’re not and you just enjoy good story telling) and you’re not subscribed to the 99% Invisible podcast, you should be. If you are, why haven’t you told me about it?!

Click to Subscribe in iTunes

Having just listened to a handfull of episodes so far I’m already hooked. In a way that I would have never expected, the show’s host, Roman Mars, uses the medium of audio to vividly convey design-centered topics. So far I’ve been transported to Belgium to sample what is perhaps the world’s rarest and best tasting beer, I’ve learned about the short story which provided the genesis for the Geico caveman commercials, and I’ve considered how one might redesign our US currency and why that might not be a good idea. As Mars says, each episode is better than the last no matter which order you listen to them in. ;)

[Read more...]

Shop Once a Month for Groceries and Get Back 12 Hours Per Month

Early in our marriage, my wife and I realized our weekly and sometimes daily grocery shopping was a major source of frustration and tension between us. We were both busy with our jobs, and we didn’t have time at the end of the work day to figure out what to cook for dinner. Planning ahead and shopping for a whole week’s dinners on the weekend helped, but the time that took was frustrating as well. Eventually we solved this problem by developing a system where we plan out a month’s worth of meals and purchase all their ingredients on the same day. [Read more...]

Links of Interest: Excellent WordPress Commercial Themes

Commercial WordPress themes are an excellent solution for my clients who need a quick turn-around, low cost solution. The key to this type of solution lies in your choice of theme vendors. Good pre-built themes combine easy customization, the right amount of options, and a clean under-lying codebase. These factors work together to give you a website that you can edit and your web developer can easily customize further for you if you have additional specifications beyond the theme’s defaults.

Keeping these things in mind, here are some of my favorite Commercial WordPress theme vendors:

  • StudioPress - These guys are the makers of the Genesis Theme Framework. While the Genesis Theme is an excellent framework for building full-custom child themes, the StudioPress child theme collection is a well-rounded suite of designs suitable for a wide variety of projects.The Genesis child themes at StudioPress all feature clean code which allows me to make quick customizations for my client’s special requests.
  • WooThemes – The WooThemes collection of themes is large and always growing. All of their themes feature a consistent, polished admin interface. Plus, their WooCommerce plugin is quickly becoming my favorite e-commerce solution.
  • Themeforest – WordPress Category - The strength and weakness of the Themeforest WordPress Themes Category is the myriad of themes available. They have so many good looking themes available that it’s sometimes hard to settle on one you like.By and large, the underlying code for any Themeforest theme I’ve used has been to my satisfaction. The only drawback here is that many different developers contribute to their repository. Therefore, it often takes me a bit to get used to working with a theme that I’m unfamiliar with.
  • ElegantThemes – One $39 subscription gives you access to all of the themes available at ElegantThemes. The quality of their themes is so good, I sort of wonder how they do it for that price. The only thing I don’t like about their themes is the default font size and font color for many of them. Often the text is too small and too faint; however, that can be fixed fairly easily with some CSS edits.
  • WordPress.org Commercially Supported GPL Themes – The makers of WordPress have a listing of theme vendors on their website. It’s a great place to start your search for quality themes made by persons and companies with a good reputation in the WordPress Community.

Top News Stories of 2011

In January of this year I came up with the idea to keep a running list of the “Big News Stories of 2011″. It’s around this time of year, that I always enjoy thinking back on the memorable events of the past twelve months. In particular, I wanted to recall the news as I saw it. What were the events that came to my notice as they happened?

What follows is my list of the top news stories of 2011. It’s a wild understatement to say that it is by no means comprehensive. Oftentimes, it simply reflects the news as I saw it on the NBC Nightly News broadcast or read it on the NYTimes website. Regardless, it serves as a list which captures many stories of national interest during 2011. [Read more...]