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10 most recent articles

Knowledge Bombs
The past eight months has been an incredibly busy time. Since Lea and I first started talking about working together last May, it's been a non-stop whirlwind. Lea got her U.S. work visa and moved to the States. I brought her on as my employee. We rebranded our podcast. And somehow found time for our bread–and–butter client services work. We learned a lot. About things neither of us ever planned to learn, but were necessary to help us during these…
Hey! Did Ya Hear?
Just over two years ago, I joined Lea Alcantara as a co-host of the EE Podcast. We had a fantastic run. Great content, great guests, and loyal listeners and sponsors. And while we didn't know it at the time, it was the first step towards the two of us working more formally together. Over the past year, though, we felt a bit constrained talking only about ExpressionEngine. EE is just one of the many tools we use, and EE is…
When I Becomes We
Today is a big day for my little company! Lea Alcantara, my EE Podcast co-host of two years, is joining Emily Lewis Design, LLC as Lead Designer! More than just my co-host, Lea has become a trusted friend and our relationship is the best professional collaboration of my career.
The Power of Community
Community hasn't always been something that was important to me. An introvert and a bit of a loner, I tend to be most comfortable in my own little bubble. Over the past few years, though, community has become a big part of my life as I've discovered how great it feels to be part of something bigger than myself. For my October contribution to The Pastry Box Project, I write about this power of community.
EE Podcast Live & Uncut
A very special episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! For episode 80, Lea and I were at EECI 2012 US! A completely different episode than we've done before, we had a ton of fun with a record 10 guests participating in trivia challenges and interviews.
Returning to My Editing Roots
I've been an editor longer than anything else I've done in my entire career. It began when I was 15 and was appointed a Section Editor of my high school yearbook. That year, I fell in love with writing and developed a passion for helping other writers communicate. I also discovered I was pretty good at organization, deadlines and details. The following year, I became Editor–in–Chief of that high school yearbook and helped the publication earn a coveted, highly-competitive Silver…
ExpressionEngine Add-on Dev with Mark Croxton
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! On the heels of our discussion about Stash with Adrienne Travis, Lea and I talk to Stash creator Mark Croxton in episode 79.
EE Template Partials with Adrienne Travis
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! For episode 78, Lea and I talk to Adrienne Travis who shares her template development approach using partials and the Stash add-on.
ExpressionEngine Search
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! For episode 77, we discuss EE search options from basic core functionality to more complex requirements that need add-ons.
My Project Management Must-Haves
I've always enjoyed project management. I did it professionally for a software company many years ago, and now I do it every day for my freelance business. Over the years, I've learned how essential project management is for just about every project. And my definition of “project” is broad. Not only do I use project management techniques and tools for my client engagements and running my business, but I use it for the projects I'm involved with such as Web…
Get to Know @mediagirl
At EE Podcast we're kicking off a new interview series to help our listeners get to know fellow EE community members who are active on the #eecms stream. Our first “Get to Know #eecms” episode introduces Anna Brown (AKA @mediagirl).
ExpressionEngine Site Themes
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! For episode 75, Lea and I talk with Leevi Graham about ExpressionEngine site themes.
Free Time? Quality Time.
Two years ago, when I decided to freelance full-time, almost all of my friends and family predicted I'd have so much more free time. I naively thought so too. With my “own” schedule, I envisioned frequent half-days and regular days off. I thought of new hobbies I could start and all the books I would read and all the extra travel I'd do. As it turns out, these predictions weren't quite right. In my July Pastry Box contribution, I discuss…
Membership Sites with ExpressionEngine
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! In episode 74, we talk with Jon Longnecker and Nate Croft of FortySeven Media about building a membership site in ExpressionEngine.
I Share Because I’m Selfish
One of my passions is sharing information. Writing, podcasting, editing, presenting, teaching, mentoring … they are all active and important parts of my life. I get excited when someone is inspired by a presentation, or when a reader learns something new from an article. It's satisfying to give back to the community, especially one that has taught me so much. But as good as that feels, giving back isn't my motivation. Neither is education. As I discuss in my June…
EE Podcast Survey Results & Listener Mailbag
While I was on vacation (a fantastic vacation), a new episode of the EE Podcast hit the interwebs. In episode 73, Lea and I share the results of our listener survey, and talk about the process of putting the survey together and analyzing the results. We also answer questions our listeners submitted via email and Twitter.
EE Framing Logic with Mrs. Flinger
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! In episode 72, we catch up with the infamous Leslie Doherty, better known as @mrsflinger, to learn about improving the user experience in ExpressionEngine.
Designer-Friendly EE @ Engine Summit
Last month, I was honored to participate in Engine Summit for the second year in a row. Hosted by Environments for Humans, the online conference was a full-day of ExpressionEngine goodness from talented folks like my fabulous co-host Lea Alcantara, Erik Reagan, Joel Bradbury and Mark Huot. For my part, I discussed Designer-Friendly ExpressionEngine, sharing some of the tips and techniques that have made working with EE even better for me, as a designer.
.net magazine Q&A
For the June issue of .net magazine, I had the true pleasure of answering several reader's questions. And I really mean true pleasure, because for the first time in months, I got a chance to write without having to research or even pick a topic. Basically, @netmag put out the call on Twitter, picked seven questions from readers, and I answered.
ExpressionEngine Hosting
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! In episode 71, we talk hosting and optimization with Nevin Lyne, Founder and Director of Technology for EngineHosting.
On Presenting
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! In episode 70 Lea and I talk about presenting, sharing some of our experiences at different types of conferences and events.
Sales Isn’t Just Another 4-Letter Word
While I have a fondness for most 4-letter words, “sales” has always been pretty offensive to me. I just didn't have alot of positive impressions of sales, both as an employee in sales and marketing departments, as well as a consumer. When I decided to work for myself, I struggled with sales. In large part due to my negative perception of it. But, as any business owner (eventually) learns, you can't avoid sales. For my May Pastry Box contribution, I…
EllisLab Q&A: ExpressionEngine v2.5
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! In episode 69 we get the latest information about the EE v2.5 update from EllisLab Chief Creative Officer James Mathias and Director of Technology Wes Baker. We also announce the EE Podcast listener survey and t-shirt giveaway!
Efficient EE Templating with DRY
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! For episode 68, John Rogerson returns to the podcast to share more tips on efficient ExpressionEngine development.
Check Yo’ Self Before Ya Wreck Yo’ Project
Since going freelance full-time (almost two full years ago, oh my!), my professional life has been a series of learning experiences. Of course, I'm picking up new techniques and attempting to master new technologies. But the most important lessons, I've discovered, have more to do with who I am (and how I handle myself) as a person and a professional. When I worked as part of a team for my former employers, the success (or failure) of a project was…
Remote Teams & Running a Virtual Company with Leslie Camacho
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! For episode 67, Lea and I talked with EllisLab CEO Leslie Camacho, who gave us the lowdown on running EllisLab as a virtual company.
Image Galleries with ExpressionEngine
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! For episode 66, we discuss managing galleries natively with ExpressionEngine, as well as add-on options and front-end considerations.
On Colleagues & Idols
I recently came across the following quote from sociologist and Harvard professor Charles Willie: “By idolizing those whom we honor we do a disservice both to them and to ourselves. … We fail to recognize the fact that we could go and do likewise.” This quote was the inspiration for my March contribution to The Pastry Box Project, which is now available for your reading pleasure!
Building a Flexible Foundation for ee-podcast.com
Script Junkie, the tutorial site I've been writing for since 2010, has been fairly quiet lately. That's because they've been making a move to MSDN Magazine. Now the move is (mostly) complete (aside from a few URL redirects they are still addressing), and tutorials should return to a regular publishing schedule. I've seen some of the topics lined up, and they are not to be missed! Speaking of not to be missed, I wrote an article for Script Junkie in…
Time-Saving Tips for ExpressionEngine
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! For episode 65, Lea and I share some time-saving techniques to help make your ExpressionEngine workflows more efficient.
Selling EE with Brad Parscale & Marcus Neto
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! And this one is already in my Top 10! For episode 64, we talk about selling ExpressionEngine with EllisLab's Marcus Neto and Brad Parscale of Parscale Media and DevDemon.
Microformats, schema.org & Freelancing with The Non-Breaking Space Show
There's a new podcast in town, The Non-Breaking Space Show! Hosted by Christopher Schmitt and Dave McFarland — with the editing and production talent of Chris Enns — the show features interviews with “best and brightest on the web.” Already the show has talked with such great and talented guests as Ethan Marcotte, Paul Irish and Chris Coyier. And the third episode is an interview with me!
Progressive Enhancement
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! For episode 63, we talk with Aaron Gustafson about progressive enhancement and his book Adaptive Web Design.
Quit Yer Bitchin’ & Get to Learnin’
If you missed my earlier announcement, I'm participating in The Pastry Box Project this year. The project gathers one thought every day in 2012 from leaders and thinkers in the web industry. My latest pastry came out of the oven just a few days ago and is ready for your reading pleasure!
CSS Selectors & Preferred “Styles”
As I mentioned last summer, I'm honored to be a contributing writer Sherpa for Web Standards Sherpa. The site focuses on best practices and web standards, offering reviews of reader-submitted sites and applications. My latest piece, What's Your CSS Style? is now available for your reading pleasure! In it, I review the reader-submitted klvn.org and discuss different selectors the author could use instead of (or in addition to) id and class selectors.
EllisLab Q&A, with Lisa Wess
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! In episode 62, we're back with another EllisLab question and answer session, this time with VP of Operations Lisa Wess.
Let’s Make the Web Better with Fundamentals
For 2012, I'm participating in an interesting (and fun) little writing/sharing project: The Pastry Box Project. Run by Alex Duloz, The Pastry Box gathers 30 people who are influential in their field and asks them to share a thought every month about their work. This clever idea results in one thought every day in 2012 from designers, developers and thinkers in the web industry. There are no rules. No specific topics are assigned. Each "baker" just writes whatever he or…
Version Control with ExpressionEngine
Version control has been on my radar for over a year, along with a bunch of other things I've yet to find time to learn and implement. But thanks to the latest episode of the EE Podcast, I'm determined to make version control a priority. In fact, it's the next thing I'm tackling after hitting "publish" for this post! In episode 61, Lea and I are joined by Adam Wiggall and Ian Pitts who fill us in on how they…
We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby
After an all–too–short break, the EE Podcast is back for the new year! In episode 60, we reminisce about our first ExpressionEngine sites … the challenges, the mistakes, how we learned and why we continue to use EE.
Thicker Skin
“To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” — Elbert Hubbard, American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher
Here’s Hoping
Outside of my business success, my life this year sucked quite a bit of ass. This may come as a surprise to those of you who don't know me very well. Maybe even to those of you who do. I suppose that's thanks to my nasty habit of pretending everything is fine, when it isn't. So, in honor of breaking that bad habit, I've spent a lot of time the past few weeks thinking about all that happened in my…
EE Podcast Year In Review
For the very last time this year, a new episode of the ExpressionEngine Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! In episode 59, we look back on the past year and discuss the news and events that affected our EE community. Lea and I also pick our favorite add-ons for the year, as well as our favorite episodes since our re-launch this summer.
It's inevitable. As every year comes to a close, I succumb to the cliché of reflecting back on the past 12 months. For me, 2011 was an important year: my first full year solo. And, even better, a successful year for Emily Lewis Design, LLC. I'm immeasurably thankful for my clients who made that success possible. But I wouldn't have those clients without my community. Every single project I worked on this past year can be directly attributed to a…
Professionally speaking, the past 12 months have been fantastic for me and my fledgling business. To be true, my goals weren't of the sky-high variety. For the first eight months of my freelancing adventure, my only goals were: Get an accountant Get a business license Get health insurance Pay my bills Avoid touching my savings as much as possible
Upgrading from EE1 to EE2
Have you been thinking about upgrading to EE2? Still unsure? If so, don't miss the newest episode of the EE Podcast! For episode 58, our friend Ryan Masuga joins us once again! This time, Ryan fills us in on the upgrade process from ExpressionEngine version 1 to version 2.
ExpressionEngine Variables
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! In episode 57, Lea and I tackle one of the most fundamental parts of ExpressionEngine: variables.
Super Committee Failure
“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” — Mark Twain, American author and humorist
EllisLab Q&A, with Marcus Neto
A new episode of the EE Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! In episode 56, we're back with another EllisLab question and answer session, this time with Director of Services Marcus Neto.
Book Review:
Securing ExpressionEngine 2
I must admit up-front that this review is waaaaaaay overdue. It has been on my to-do list for months. But I have a good reason for the delay … or rather a reason … I didn't just want to say that Mijingo and Mark Huot put together a great resource with the Securing ExpressionEngine 2 how-to booklet. Of course, it's a fantastic resource. No one would expect anything less from Ryan Irelan (the man behind Mijingo) or Mark. I didn't…
EE Speed Optimization, with Jacob Russell
Coming off the heels of EECI Brooklyn, we've got a new (and bi-coastal!) episode of the EE Podcast for your listening pleasure! Lea joins me post-EECI from Brooklyn for Episode #55, when we talk with Jacob Russell of Devot:ee about optimizing ExpressionEngine.
“If you are going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill, British politician and statesman
Multi-Language Sites Redux, with Nicolas Bottari
A new episode of The ExpressionEngine Podcast is now live and available for your listening pleasure! Episode #54 picks up from our conversation about multi-lingual sites in episode #49. This time around, we focus more on double-byte character sets and nuances with Asian-language sites.
HTML5 <audio> without all the <video>
As you may have heard, I was lucky to be asked to contribute a few chapters to the HTML5 Cookbook (early release eBook now available). One of the chapters I wrote was on HTML5 <audio>, and as I did my research for the chapter I noticed the vast majority of articles and books "covering" <audio> are actually focused on <video>. It's understandable, really, since the two new media elements share most of the same attributes, syntax and implementation strategies. But…
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” — Henry Ford, industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company
EE Polls, Surveys & Quizzes (Oh My!)
A new episode of The ExpressionEngine Podcast is now live and available for your listening pleasure! Episode #53 is all about polls, surveys and quizzes, as Lea and I talk about data gathering with ExpressionEngine.
Mobile Sites with ExpressionEngine
The latest episode of The ExpressionEngine Podcast is now live and available for your listening pleasure! For Episode 52, Lea and I discuss the distinction between responsive web design and dedicated mobile sites. We also talked about EllisLab's recent announcement to pull the official mobile theme from ExpressionEngine, as well as options for creating a dedicated mobile site with EE.
Catch the Travel Bug! Wandering EE Designers & Devs
The latest episode of The ExpressionEngine Podcast is now live, and it is my absolute favorite one so far. In episode 51, Lea and I take a slightly different approach than we've been doing. Instead of interviewing a single person, we interviewed several. And instead of a primarily technical ExpressionEngine focus, we discuss life, travel and the work-life balance.
Transition to HTML5 with the Newest Web Standards Sherpa (Me!)
I love markup. Always have. Suspect I always will. With HTML5, my love affair has reached new levels … markup + semantics = swoon. And HTML5 is now my "flavor" of choice. In fact, I've been using the doctype and new structural elements for over two years now! With no issues or problems … just happy clients and interesting, challenging projects. So, when I joined the Web Standards Sherpa crew, I knew that I wanted to write about HTML5 at…
Documenting ExpressionEngine with Erik Reagan
A new episode of The ExpressionEngine Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! And it is lucky number 50, which is just impressive in and of itself (tip o' the hat to the podcast's original hosts Ryan Irelan and Dan Benjamin for getting it all started). In the latest episode, Lea and I talk with Erik Reagan of Focus Lab, LLC about documenting ExpressionEngine for the developer.
Vote Now! Agencies of One: How Solo Creatives Work
It's that time of year again. Time for SXSW panel picking. And I want your vote! My friend and fellow freelance web developer, Brian Artka, has organized a fantastic panel about "solo creatives" (AKA, freelancers): Agencies of One: How Solo Creatives Work. If you hadn't guessed, I'll be one of the solo creatives on the panel. And I'll joined by some truly talented and successful folks: Whitney Hess, Andy Stratton and Mike Rohde.
Multi-Language Sites with Tom Jaeger
A new episode of The ExpressionEngine Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! In episode 49, we talk with Tom Jaeger of EE Harbor about his experiences working with multi-language sites in ExpressionEngine.
Multiple Site Management @ Engine Summit
Last month, I was once again honored to participate in another Environments for Humans online conference. This time around, as part of the Engine Summit, where I talked about multiple site management in ExpressionEngine. MSM: The Whys and Hows My presentation detailed the reasons why the MSM expansion is a good, affordable option for developers and clients who need to manage multiple sites (d'oh) from a single EE control panel. I also talked about some of the other benefits of…
EE Myths, Truths & Questions with James Mathias
A new episode of The ExpressionEngine Podcast is available for your listening pleasure! In episode 48, Lea and I talk with James Mathias, Chief Creative Officer of EllisLab.
Take Your Markup to Eleven
Geolocation. Multiple background images. Web storage. Gradients. Native media. Transforms and transitions. Canvas. It's an exciting time for the web. So many possibilities of what we, as designers and developers, can do for our sites and clients. But you know what gets me the most excited? HTML. But not just any HTML. Great HTML. Great markup is accessible. Great markup is semantic (and even structured). Great markup is easier to maintain (especially in a team environment). Great markup is portable.…
Add-Ons That Should Be Integrated Into EE
In case you missed the news, I'm now co-hosting The ExpressionEngine Podcast with the lovely Lea Alcantara. And we just released our second episode! For our latest episode, Ryan Masuga of devot:ee joins us to talk about ExpressionEngine add-ons.
I’m the New EE Podcast Co-Host!
After months of keeping mum, I'm thrilled to shout to the rooftops that I'm joining Lea Alcantara as a co-host of the EE Podcast! If you haven't heard of the podcast, it's a bi-weekly podcast about web design and development, with a focus on ExpressionEngine. It was founded back in 2009 by the legendary Ryan Irelan and hosted by the equally legendary Dan Benjamin and 5by5 Studios. Lea joined as co-host last year. Earlier this year, Ryan decided to pass…
Microformats vs. Schemas
Yesterday, the three major search engines announced full support of a new "standard" for semantic, structured markup: Schema.org. Now, as a microformats lover and semantic dork, this was big news for me. Big, exciting news. Of course I should write a blog post … Unfortunately, I'm busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest these days. So, since I already wasted a few hours of time chatting and Twittering (twatting?) with folks yesterday about the topic, I'm going to…
Guest Co-hosting with Web Weekly
Web Weekly is a podcast from my friend Kevin Dees and his co-host, the ever-snarky, Jonas Flint. And I guess since I tend to go well with snark, Kevin and Jonas have twice asked me to join the podcast as a guest co-host.
It’s Nomination Time for the .net Awards
Once again, I'm going to be a judge for the .net Awards! I'm not sure why they have me, but I'm glad to accept and feed my delusion that I have some power in this world. But, before the judging can begin, there need to be candidates. And nominations are being accepted now. The Categories Please take a few minutes to consider colleagues, co-workers, friends and muses who are worthy of recognition in this year's categories:
Watch Me @ MIX11
I had the immense pleasure of speaking about microformats at Microsoft's MIX11 conference last month in Vegas. And, amazingly, I'm managing to post a little recap within a month's time! HTML5 Mini-Panel But before I give you the goods on my Microformats & Semantic Markup presentation, I wanted to pimp the HTML5 discussion I had on Channel 9 while at MIX11.
Listen to My SXSW Panel
It's mid-May. That is about two months after I returned home from this year's SXSWi. So I guess it is about time I posted a follow up, no? But, unlike previous years, I won't be doing an exhaustive recap of the amazing people I spent time with (you know who you are) or the awesome times that were had (that I actually remember). I simply just don't have the time. What I do have time for is a quick recap…
Microformats @ MIX11
Not so long ago, I made a promise to myself to make sure that I was generating fresh content for this blog. Since, then, I've pretty much failed to live up to that goal because I've been focusing on other efforts. And now I find myself, yet again, with another shameless self promotion post, and my Catholic guilt is kicking in (which is probably why I'm burying the lead on this post). All I can say is that I hope…
Third Time’s the Charm
Ever since my first SXSW, it has been the conference I look forward to most. Sure, the panels can be good. The parties can rock. But, for me, the reason I attend are the people … the people I've met in previous years who've become beloved friends and the people I've yet to meet, but I know will turn out to be amazing connections. But, on this third year of my attendance, something else has me over–the–moon–shouting–to–the–mountaintops excited to attend.…
Responsive Design With CSS3 Media Queries
When I launched my freelance site, I did so with a fixed-width design. Why? Because working within the "known" parameters of fixed width was faster for me, and I needed to get the site launched ASAP. Of course, I realized that this meant my site wouldn't resize with different browser resolutions, nor would it always display in the best fashion for mobile users. I knew at some point, sooner rather than later, I would need to address these critical design…
Attribute Selectors for Efficient CSS
I'm a big believer in working efficiently so I don't have to work too hard. From time and project management, to the CSS and HTML I write, efficiency is key to me having a life outside of work. When I worked for the corporate dooshes, efficiency was often talked about during the oh–so–efficient "town hall meetings," but rarely encouraged in practice. Instead, the corporate mentality of getting it done regardless of whether it was done right prevailed. And I spent…
Get Up-to-Speed on @font-face
As part of my ongoing quest to test the extremes of self-promotion, I'm launching a new category on this here blog to promote the writing I do for other publications. I've posted about these elsewhere articles before, but never in any organized fashion. Now, I'm going to try to update my blog the same day an elsewhere article is published. Content for this blog + shameless self promotion = win for Em. And, dare I say, a win for you…
Back in the Book Business
After I finished writing the book, I swore I'd never write another book again. A few months ago, I toyed with the idea of writing another, but decided that I'm not up for the task. Today, I feel no differently. Writing a book was, for me, amazingly stressful. With the new freelance business, I've got enough stress. Not to mention, I don't have the time for that level of responsibility right now. Oh, but I do enjoy writing. And I…
Get Control of Microformats @ In Control
This upcoming February, I'm heading to Orlando, Florida. No. Not for a vacation (although I do expect to have a fantastic time). I'll be speaking about microformats at the In Control Conference, alongside some of my favorite web designers and developers in the industry.
8 Months In
This week marks the 8-month anniversary of me quitting my job and starting my own freelance business. Eight months. I can't quite believe it has been that long. In fact, this post was supposed to be titled "6 months in," until I did the math and realized the true timeframe. So yes, the time has flown. But, unlike the saying, it hasn't all been fun. That's not to suggest I have any regrets … I don't (not a single one).…
“Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.” — Robertson Davies, Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor
Microformats, HTML5 & Microdata
As I mentioned a while back, I'm honored to be writing for the new ScriptJunkie. My latest efforts have focused on microformats: Simple Semantics with Microformats, Part 1 introduces microformats and looks at XFN Simple Semantics with Microformats, Part 2 covers hCard Simple Semantics with Microformats, Part 3 details hCalendar Simple Semantics with Microformats, Part 4 focuses on combining microfoformats The last in the series, part 4, also introduces a topic I've never talked or written about (even in my…
The Beauty of Semantic Markup, Part 3: Headings
I always find myself drawn to fundamental concepts, because they can be deceptively simple. Headings are like that. You know, <h1>-<h6>. They seem simple until you take time to think … think about structure, semantics, accessibility, search engines and, now, HTML5's sectioning model. And I have, indeed, been thinking about headings lately, especially as I dive into HTML5 and (re?)consider the approaches I've taken in the past. So this series now shifts focus to <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5> and…
Know Thyself
“I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.” — Augusten Burroughs, American writer
Get My (Designer’s) Perspective @ jQuery Summit
Once again, I'm joining the fine folks at Environments for Humans for one of their fantastic online conferences. This time, I'm way out of my league, speaking alongside some of the top names in the industry for the jQuery Summit on November 16 and 17.
Book Review:
Building an ExpressionEngine 2 Site for Small Business
I always figured I'd post book reviews here. I just haven't. In fact, thinking about it, I don't think I've ever actually written a book review. No better time to start than now. And no better book to start with than Michael Boyink's Building an ExpressionEngine 2 Site for Small Business But first, a disclaimer: I know Mike personally and professionally, I've taken one of his training classes, and I was one of the "early reviewers" of the book. I…
Judging the .net Awards
Now that my site has launched, I'm back to business here on A Blog Not Limited. I know, I know … you've been missing me, and I'm sorry for keeping you waiting. The first note of business is to mention that I'm (beyond) honored to be one of those deemed judgmental enough to assess and rate the work of my fellow web slingers in the 2010 .net Awards. (Bwahahaha … I have the power!) The second note of business it…
Introducing Emily Lewis Design
Ever since I decided to quit my job, creating a new site for my freelance business was at the top of my list. As days, weeks and months passed after giving my two-week's notice, other priorities popped up and paying the bills became paramount. My site, meanwhile, became the admonishing voice in my head reminding me that it's rather pathetic when a web designer doesn't have a site. So when September started, I committed myself to getting a new site…
The Beauty of Semantic Markup, Part 2: <strong>, <b>, <em>, <i>
So, I had planned to focus the second installment of this series on markup for images with captions. The topic was a request from my friend Ian and his birthday was coming up. However, his birthday has passed, and I'm just now writing. Plus, I've been thinking a lot lately about something more fundamental: bold and italicized text. This may seem a trivial thing to be consuming my "markup mind," but after Tantek Çelik's HTML5 presentation, it's been bugging me.…
Voices That Matter Presentation & Interview
Last month, I was honored to speak at the Voices That Matter Web Design conference in San Francisco. My "Practical Microformats" presentation went well, although talking about microformats in less than 30 minutes (plus leaving time for questions) was quite a challenge. You can check out my slide deck on Slideshare, if you'd like a taste of what I covered: The deck includes tons of links to resources, as well as some DIY demos you can try to see the…
The Beauty of Semantic Markup, Part 1: Quotes & Citations
As I mentioned in my introduction, this series is going to take a close look at the fundamentals of semantic markup. In this first installment, I'm focusing on quotes and citations. Before we get started, if you'd like to know more about semantic markup — what it is, why you should develop your sites with it — check out my article, Meaningful Markup: POSH and Beyond. Now, let's get to it!
The Beauty of Semantic Markup, Introduction
Ever since I started writing Microformats Made Simple, I've been distracted … from this blog, from my career goals, from my personal life. And even though the book is long since finished, I'm still distracted. It is getting better, though. I'm gaining a bit more focus each day. I quit my job to pursue freelance work in hopes of reconnecting with what I love about my career: making great web sites. I'm letting go of some of my responsibilities with…
Doing a Little Writing for the New ScriptJunkie
In case you missed my shameless self promotion on Twitter (and Buzz and Reader and Facebook), I've been doing a little writing for a new MSDN site, ScriptJunkie. ScriptJunkie is a new site aimed at client-side developers and focuses on cross-browser information and resources. Yes. Cross-browser. From Microsoft. So far, two four of my articles are live and ready for your enjoyment: Be a CSS Team Player: CSS Best Practices for Team-Based Development Web Accessibility & WAI-ARIA Primer Meaningful Markup:…
Sonoma, San Francisco & EECI 2010
This past Memorial Day, Jason and I headed to San Francisco for a little wine tasting, sightseeing and, most importantly, EECI 2010. To say I had a great time is an understatement. I got to catch up with some of my favorite EE folks, I explored parts of the city I missed during my first trip last year, and I learned far more than I expected about ExpressionEngine. Before I get into the details about the conference itself, I must…
.net magazine Microformats Tutorial
As part of my ongoing efforts for global microformats domination, I wrote a microformats tutorial for .net magazine — sold as Practical Web Design in the US. And, in my typically verbose fashion, I wrote too much. Lucky for me (and the readers), it was turned into a two-parter. Part one of the tutorial appears in the June 2010 issue (#202). It provides a simple background on microformats, covering some of the core concepts, and then dives right into how…
Fear > Growth > Change
“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn to do it.” — Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter, draughtsman, and sculptor
Join Me At Voices That Matter & Save $150
While it is debatable whether I have a voice that matters, I'm over–the–moon excited to be speaking at New Riders' Voices That Matter: Web Design Conference from June 28–29 in San Francisco at the Mission Bay Conference Center. The conference brings together respected industry authors and thought-leaders like Robert Hoekman, Jr., Dan Cederholm, Steve Krug, and Tantek Çelik. I'll be speaking about microformats (of course). It will be a new format for me: 30 minutes to cover the essentials of…
Save 35% On Microformats Made Simple
If you haven't bought Microformats Made Simple yet (or maybe you want another copy), now is the time to do it! Purchase Microformats Made Simple from Peachpit.com, enter discount code MICROFORMATS and you will save 35% off the cover price of my book. In fact, this discount code gives you 35% off your entire Peachpit order and free domestic US shipping!
My First MIX
In the latest installment of better–late–than–never articles, I'm finally posting about my first Microsoft MIX conference. And in my typical she–must've–gone–to–Catholic–school guilt, I feel terrible this post is coming almost two entire months after MIX10. But life happens, and taking time to reflect isn't always the top priority. Yet it is always in the top 50 of my priorities, so writing this post was a must.
Microformats Profile URIs Updated
If you've read my Getting Semantic With Microformats blog series or my book, Microformats Made Simple, you should be familiar with profile URIs for microformats and hopefully you are using them. Recently, the microformats community completed updates to the profile URIs for all microformats, including most drafts. So now is the time for you to update your references!
Moving On
Just over five years ago, I started an exciting new job as a web designer for a software company. The opportunity arose after getting laid off as a government contractor and spending eight months moving from job to job in search of the right one. And there is no doubt that I found the "right" one. The work was challenging and varied. My boss was open, engaging and expected the very best from me. My skillset grew, as I learned…
Diary of a SXSW Second-Timer
As I expected, my second year at SXSW was stellar. And, just like last year, it was the people — not the panels or even the parties — that made it such a great experience for me. It's almost four weeks later (color me embarassed), and the finer details are starting to escape me. Which means it's time for a recap! Again, like last year, diary-style. This one's a long-ass post, so get comfortable. If you couldn't give a shit…
Catch (Me At) MIX If You Can
My time at SXSWi 2010 is, sadly, nearing it's end. But the fun isn't even close to being over. I'm leaving Austin and heading straight to Sin City to catch the last day of MIX10. And I'm not going alone. I'm part of the "Catch MIX If You Can" crew and we're all leaving SXSW a day early to hit MIX and have a blast in Vegas. And there is no doubt a blast will be had, because my crew…
T-Shirts! Get Your Microformats Made Simple T-Shirts!
Show your love for microformats at SXSW, and you could get one of these t-shirts! Photo by NDesigns.net If you're going to be at SXSWi this year and you dig microformats, find me! You could win a free Microformats Made Simple t-shirt! The rules are simple: Find me at SXSW (rel="met" is a requirement) Do two of three things: Answer a microformats trivia question. I will have a handful of cards with questions. You pick one. Show me a site…
Going Back for SXSW Seconds
To say I had an amazing time at last year's SXSW would be an understatement. So, of course, I'm going back this year. I'm taking the same approach this time around: flexibility. I'm not planning anything. Yes, I want to make it to Happy Cog'aoke 2. Yes, I want to be sure to catch Stephen Anderson's panel, The Art & Science of Seductive Interactions. Yes, I want to hit the frog design party. But stuff happens … hangovers, running into…
Microformats Made Simple: It's a Keeper!
It's time again for me to pimp my book, Microformats Made Simple. In case you don't know, Microformats Made Simple is 291 pages of easy–to–read explanations of and easy–to–understand markup examples for 20 microformats. It covers benefits, challenges and new developments. It focuses on semantic markup (POSH for you geeky types). But best of all, it includes my amusing, yet still pathetic, attempts at humor. It is, simply put, awesome. And you must buy it. Now. But I realize that…
“Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings.” — Miles Franklin, Australian writer and feminist
For Your Microformats Pleasure
I recently (and I use that term loosely) gave two presentations on microformats. And, just because I love you, I wanted to share the slide deck from each.
The Last Useful Tweets (#29)
Yes, you read that title right. This is the last post in my Useful Tweets series. I seriously doubt you are disappointed by this news, as these posts are my least read. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised is no one is reading this now. The series started as an attempt for me to take advantage of my "micro-blogging" on Twitter and generate content for this blog without having to do too much. But I'm getting increasingly less prolific on…
Microformats Workshop Summit
I'm honored and excited to be giving a three-hour microformats workshop next Friday, and I hope you can join me! Microformats Workshop Summit Friday, January 15, 2010 9:00 am – 12 noon, CT Individual ticket: $250.00 Meeting room: $700.00
All I Want for Christmas
It has been just over two months since my book Microformats Made Simple went on sale, and I am now calling on the folks who have purchased or received a gratis copy. I need Amazon reviews! I'm not going to beg and plead for good words about my book. I'm not going to tell you what to say. I just want to know what you think. Whether it is good, bad or indifferent, please add your two cents to the…
How Do I Love Thee
Three years ago, I made one of the best decisions of my life. I sold my house in Bowie, Maryland, hired movers, packed my cats in my car and proceeded to drive across the country to my new home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Take The Survey
I have but one question for you: Are you a web professional? If the answer is yes, then take The Survey for People Who Make Websites.
Two Thumbs Up for Therapy!
“Neurosis is simply this boring imprisonment of the self in itself, crippled by its terror of the new and unexpected, carrying its sameness with it wherever it goes, so that it has the protection of feeling, whatever it might stretch out its hand to touch, that it never meets anything but what it knows already.” — Frederic Jameson, American literary critic and political theorist
Feeling #00f
It's that time of year again. When web geeks get even more geeky. When standardistas pat ourselves on the backs. When I take to my all–too–comfortable soapbox to preach the good word about web standards. It's the 3rd annual International Blue Beanie Day to promote web standards and accessibility!
Fundamental Attribution Error
“Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.” — John le Carré, British author
Useful Tweets 28
It has been months and months, and I'm finally returning to this series. Fortunately and not surprisingly, my tweeting was significantly less while writing the book, especially tweets with "useful" links. So you haven't really missed out on much … not that you would anyways. I promise I won't make you wait so long next time, but this won't be returning to a weekly series. Maybe bi-monthly; likely monthly. It all depends on my Twitter behavior. But if you need…
Webuquerque: Introduction to Microformats
Earlier this month, Webuquerque hosted Introduction to Microformats, presented by Emily Lewis (that's me!). We were back at Uptown Sports Bar & Grill, and had a decent turnout of about 21 people. If you weren't among that elite group (or maybe you just need a refresher) here's a recap, the slide deck, video and photos.
So, I Wrote a Book: Microformats Made Simple
Seven months ago, I posted the first article in this series, announcing that I had gotten a book deal. I was thrilled and excited for the new adventure. During the months of writing and editing, the thrill and excitement faded; replaced by stress, frustration and a growing realization that writing a book just isn't something that I would ever do again. Now, about a month out from completing the book, my emotions have shifted yet again. The stress is slowly…
So I'm Writing A Book, Part 4: The Editorial Process & Design
As I write this very sentence, I am writing without stress. Without looming deadlines. Without anything more to do with the book. Yep. I'm done! Which means it is time to finish up this book writing series. In the first three articles, I explained everything from how I got the opportunity to the proposal to the contract to the actual writing. Now it is time to dive into the editorial process. I'll also give you a sneak peak of the…
Webuquerque: Podcasting & Vodcasting 101
Two weeks ago, Webuquerque — along with our sister NMAUG organization Animotion NM — hosted Podcasting & Vodcasting 101, presented by local audio/video producer Vincent Ascoli. We had a lovely turnout of over 35 people joining us at our new (to us) venue, the UNM ARTS Lab. Weren't able to join us? We've got you covered with a recap, the slide deck, video and photos! Webuquerque Survey But before I dive into all that, let me first ask you to…
It’s All About Me!
Some of the things I've been working on have gotten a bit of attention outside of my blog, so I figured a shameless self-promotion post was in order. Because, it really is all about me.
Webuquerque: Battle of Development Frameworks and Libaries
Webuquerque's recently hosted The Battle of Development Frameworks & Libraries, presented by local developer Mark Casias. We had a nice turnout of about 20 people. If you weren't able to join us, we have everything you need to feel like you were (almost) there.
ExpressionEngine in 15 Minutes Recap
In keeping with my "better late than never" theme these days, I'm happy to finally post the recap of my ExpressionEngine demo from back in May: ExpressionEngine in 15 Minutes. But since I'm already two months late in posting this recap, a few more minutes won't kill you. Let me first tell you about the event during which I gave the aforementioned demo.
Useful Tweets 27
I'm still busy as hell, but I'm also still committed to this series (for now). So, here are subjectively-useful links from the past several weeks of tweets. If you don't want to wait another month (or more), just follow me on Twitter.
Webuquerque: Search Engine Optimization
Two weeks ago, Webuquerque hosted Search Engine Optimization, presented by local online marketing expert Chris Kenworthy. We had a record turnout of over 50 people, including folks who made the trip down from Santa Fe. If you weren't able to join us, we've got everything to make you feel like you were there.
So I’m Writing A Book, Part 3: The Questionnaire, The Templates & Getting Started
I can't believe it is July already. Which means I've been writing my book for three months now. That's even more astounding to me than how quickly those past three months have flown by. July 1 also means that I have under two months to finish said book. While I would've figured that would have me even more stressed than I've been, I'm actually just relieved. It is almost over. I can do anything for seven weeks. You may be…
What I've Learned Along the Way Recap
Several weeks ago, I gave a bunch of presentations and I'm finally catching up with recaps on this here blog. Better late than never, no? One of the presentations was to a a group of UNM's inservice and preservice teachers, who were taking a Multimedia Literacy for Educators course. My talk was a personal account of my experiences as a web professional, including some of the challenges I've noticed in my field. But before I go into the recap details,…
Useful Tweets 26
With my busy writing schedule Useful Tweets has gone from a weekly series to bi-monthly to whenever I can fucking find the time. Not to mention, I've noticed I've been much less noisyprolific on Twitter these days. But I'm keeping this series going, in hopes things get back to normal after my final manuscript is submitted in late August. So, here are links from the past three weeks' tweets that referenced web design/development resources, interesting products, things that made me…
Happy Anniversary, A Blog Not Limited!
One year ago today, I started this blog. It has been a crazy year, and A Blog Not Limited has been a major part of my life during that time, so I figured a bit of "reflection" is in order. Before I dive in, I must give a huge shout-out to my buddy Chris Kenworthy who spent some time messing with my Google Analytics (and, no, that is not a euphemism) to give me some statistics about this blog's first…
Webuquerque: Web Workflows in Adobe CS4
Webuquerque recently hosted Web Workflows in Adobe CS4, presented by Jason Nakai. We had approximately 15 attendees, including several new faces. If you weren't able to join us, we've got you covered.
Useful Tweets 25
I'm still ridiculously busy, so Useful Tweets is continuing on a bi-monthly schedule. Don't like waiting? Follow me on Twitter. For you more patient readers, here are links from the past two weeks' tweets that referenced web design/development resources, interesting products, things that made me laugh and other stuff I deem "useful" according to my own definitions.
Getting Semantic With Microformats, Part 8: Value Class Pattern
Update: 2009-10-20 Tantek Çelik requested that I add inline examples of the value-class pattern markup in this article, so people working on applications to parse uses of the pattern can reference this article as a live example. I finally obliged, and you will see those inline examples below, each of which is indicated as an update. No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. It's another installment of my Getting Semantic With Microformats series (with a special thanks to Ben…
Useful Tweets 24
Links from the past two weeks' tweets that referenced web design/development resources, interesting products, things that made me laugh and other stuff I (loosely) deem "useful." Follow me on Twitter for more immediate linky goodness.
Webuquerque: Standards & Accessibility With Dreamweaver
Last Wednesday, Webuquerque hosted "Standards & Accessibility With Dreamweaver," presented by Virginia DeBolt and Emily Lewis (that's me!). The presentation had a great turnout with over 20 attendees and, once again, several folks from Santa Fe. If you weren't able to join us, here's what you missed.
Introduction to Microformats Recap
As part of my whirlwind of presentations, I recently spoke to the University of New Mexico's Information Architects group about microformats. The presentation was a huge success (at least from my perspective). There were about 20 attendees, and it was the first time I felt comfortable in a public-speaking situation.
Useful Tweets 23
With my busy schedule, it seems that the Useful Tweets weekly series has become bi-monthly. I've accepted this. I hope you can too. So, without any further delay, here are links from the past two weeks of tweets that I (loosely) deem useful.
The Next Level
Ever since I started this blog and became active on Twitter, my professional life has taken some dramatic (at least to me) turns. Before, I just had a job. A rather unsatisfying job. And while I still have that same (soul-sucking) job, I'm much more satisfied in my professional life. Why? Because I actually have a career now. Just looking for the presentation details? Feel free to skip right to them.
Useful Tweets 22
I know. I know. I've been remiss in posting a new Useful Tweets article. But I have lots of excuses: Twitter dropped (and still has yet to recover) a bunch of my tweets from my personal timeline over the past three weeks. So it took me a little extra time to find my "lost" tweets to reference here. Thank FSM for Twitter Search. Not sure if you heard, but I'm writing a book and it is taking up most of…
So, I'm Writing a Book, Part 2: The Topic, The Proposal, The P&L and The Contract
When I announced I was writing a book, I mentioned that I intended to write a little series about the process. For the most part, this series is for me: I have a tendency to forget details and suffer from a "can't see the forest for trees" syndrome. I'm hoping by documenting what happens as I write this book, it will help me remember and appreciate. But I also like to think that anything I learn during the writing of…
Excess in Moderation
“Don't eat a mushroom stem and see colors. Eat the whole bag and see God one time in your life.” — Doug Stanhope, American stand-up comedian
Findings From ALA's 2008 Survey: My Two Cents
The results are in from A List Apart's 2008 Survey for People Who Make Websites. And the findings aren't all too surprising, not only based on the previous survey's results but also just from my own experience working in this field.
Webuquerque: Interaction Design & Agile Development
Webuquerque hosted its third presentation last Wednesday, "Interaction Design & Agile Development," with the talented Interaction Designer Kevin Silver. Once again, we had a great turnout with about 15 attendees, including a bunch of folks who came all the way down from Santa Fe. It is great to see the community expanding beyond Albuquerque! If you weren't able to join us, here's what you missed.
Useful Tweets 21
Links from last week's tweets that referenced web design/development resources, interesting products, things that made me laugh and other stuff I (loosely) deem "useful." Don't want to wait for this linky goodness? Follow me on Twitter.
I Survived SXSW: The Diary
It's been under two weeks since I returned home from SXSW '09 Interactive and I'm only just now recovering …. Recovering from 6 of the best days I've ever had in my life. As I predicted, my first year at this conference was all about the people. Of the hundreds of panels I could've attended, I only saw four. And I don't feel even slightly bad about it. My dime, my agenda. If my employer ponies up the fundage for…
Useful Tweets 20
Links from last week's tweets that referenced web design/development resources, interesting products, things that made me laugh and other stuff I (loosely) deem "useful." Follow me on Twitter for more immediate linky goodness. March 22–29, 2009
“There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.” — Richard Feynman, American physicist
Useful Tweets 19
Last week I attended the SXSW interactive conference, which ended up being far more fun than I ever anticipated. However, this fun meant no Useful Tweets last week … not that I was tweeting much of anything useful while I was there. So this installment includes links from the past two weeks' tweets that referenced web design/development resources, interesting products, things that made me laugh and other stuff I (loosely) deem "useful." And if the delay had you fiending for…
Webuquerque: A CSS Survey
Webuquerque hosted its second event last Wednesday, "A CSS Survey: From Syntax to Rounded Corners." Once again, we had a great turnout with about 20 attendees. This time around, Webuquerque co-managers, Emily Lewis (that's me!) and Jason Nakai presented. Here's what you missed if you weren't able to join us.
Useful Tweets 18
Links from last week's tweets that referenced web design/development resources, interesting products, things that made me laugh and other stuff I (loosely) deem "useful." Follow me on Twitter for more immediate linky goodness.
So, I’m Writing a Book
Yeah, you read that right. I'm writing a book (holy shit)! Crazy! But so very awesome. And exactly the sort of thing I hoped would happen during the course of my career as a web professional.
Useful Tweets 17
Not so much this past week in terms of web design/development resources, but a few things that made me laugh and other stuff I (loosely) deem useful. For more immediate linky goodness, follow me on Twitter.
Poppin' My SXSW Cherry
In exactly two weeks, I'll be heading to Austin, TX, to attend the SXSW '09 Interactive conference for six days of socializing, partying and, oh yeah, probably some learning. This will be my first year attending, and I'm (finally) starting to get pretty excited.
Useful Tweets 16
I was super busy with work last week and, as such, was relatively quiet on Twitter. Still managed to post a handful of links that referenced web design/development resources, interesting products, things that made me laugh and other stuff I (loosely) deem "useful." Don't want to wait for this linky goodness? Follow me on Twitter.
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
I started the 100 push ups program back in early July 2008. It is now 7 months later, and I still haven't completed the program. Crazy, I know.
You Get What You Pay For
The other day, an acquaintance asked me to take a look at a not–for–profit site and offer some CSS feedback. I'm always willing to offer input and suggestions, but upon taking a look at the site it was entirely unclear to me what input I could offer other than the site needed a major design overhaul. As it turns out, a design overhaul is exactly what this acquaintance meant by "CSS feedback." He asked if I could create a mock…
Useful Tweets 15
Links from last week's tweets that referenced web design/development resources, interesting products, things that made me laugh and other stuff I (loosely) deem "useful." Follow me on Twitter for more immediate linky goodness.
“Happiness is a place between too little and too much.” — Finnish proverb
BarCamp Albuquerque 3 Recordings Now Available
Back in September 2008, Reid Givens helped organize the wonderfully successful BarCamp Albuquerque 3. We had an amazing line-up of talented speakers who presented on a wide range of topics. And now all of the audio recordings from the presentations are available online, once again, thanks to Reid who is hosting the following on his blog:
Useful Tweets 14
I've been publishing this Useful Tweets series for a few months now, and I've decided it's time for some changes. After looking at my Google Analytics, I noticed these posts get comparatively fewer pages views and have higher bounce rates. Rather than scrapping the series entirely (at least not yet), I decided I should try a new approach in presenting the links. In previous posts, I simply re-published the original tweet, along with date and time, and a link to…
Webuquerque: Social Media Means Business
This past Wednesday night, Webuquerque presented "Social Media Means Business," a panel-type discussion on using social media for business and communication. We had another great turnout, with over 30 attendees! If you were unable to join us, here's what you missed.
Useful Tweets 13
Recycled tweets from the previous week that included links to web design resources, interesting products, comics, etc. Follow me on Twitter for more immediate linky goodness.
Microformats, hAccessibility & Moving Forward
Last week, Andy Clarke posted a design solution for the hAccessibility issue in microformats. It's an interesting workaround, combining the current standard for marking up dates in microformats with the broadly-accepted use of skip links. But Wait, What Is hAccessibility? Before I get too far into this article, though, I should probably explain hAccessibility. As I've mentioned previously, hAccessibility was coined by The Web Standards Project to describe an accessibility issue related to the use of the abbr design pattern…
Useful Tweets 12
Recycled tweets from the previous week that included links to web design resources, interesting products, comics, etc. Follow me on Twitter for more immediate linky goodness.
Introducing Webuquerque: A Success!
Last night was the inaugural event for Webuquerque, a new Adobe User Group for New Mexico web practitioners, and it was a great success! Over 25 people attended Introducing Webuquerque to learn about the new NMAUG group and our 2009 schedule, meet some of the presenters and other attendees, and win schwag.
End of an Error
“As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” — H.L. Mencken, American journalist, essayist, magazine editor & satirist
Useful Tweets 11
Recycled tweets from the previous week that included links to web design resources, interesting products, comics, etc. Follow me on Twitter for more immediate linky goodness.
Webuquerque: A New Mexico Adobe User Group for Web Professionals
I'm excited and pleased to announce that I am co-managing a new Adobe User Group for New Mexico's web professionals: Webuquerque. While this is a post to introduce and promote this new group, this is also a personal post. So indulge me while first share some history (or jump to the deets on Webuquerque).
Useful Tweets 10
Recycled tweets from the previous week that included links to web design resources, interesting products, comics, etc. Follow me on Twitter for more immediate linky goodness.
It’s Bacon’s World. We Just Live In It.
Back in early November 2008, Chris Harrison, Jonathan DeLaigle and I launched BaconTwits, a site that pulls Twitter entries that reference "bacon."
The State of the Web: Survey Results
A few weeks ago, the folks from Web Directions and Scroll Magazine launched The State of the Web 2008, a new (hopefully annual) survey to help collect data about the industry and its professionals. The results are now in.
Useful Tweets 9
With the end–of–year holidays, which I spent in Seattle, I didn't tweet my normal (excessive?) amount of "useful" tweets. As such, and because I'm busy writing some fresh content for A Blog Not Limited, I'm combining tweets for the past two weeks into this single post. And, as always, you can follow me on Twitter to get more immediate linky goodness.
New Year’s Resolution
“Remember your past mistakes just long enough to profit by them.” — Dan McKinnon, Canadian singer, songwriter, guitarist & historian
Useful Tweets 8
With the holidays and personal travel, I've gotten a bit behind on my blog and my Useful Tweets series. Many apologies for the lack of fresh content, but I promise things will pick back up — including a few new articles for my microformats series and a new series on accessibility — after I return to Albuquerque and my regular life. Until then, here are recycled tweets from two weeks ago that included links to web design resources, interesting products,…
Useful Tweets 7
Recycled tweets from the previous week that included links to web design resources, interesting products, comics, etc. Follow me on Twitter for more immediate linky goodness.
I'm Feedburning, So Update Your RSS
I decided to give Feedburner a try a week or so ago. Why? Curiosity. I want to know how many folks subscribe to my blog. I definitely know there are four (thanks to my mom, my sister, my boss and my best friend), but perhaps there are more. Oh shit, I just rhymed. I'm a poet and didn't know it. Okay, enough. Today my friend Jason Beaird posted that he, too, had moved his feeds to feedburner, and he bothered…
My Weekend With Upgrade NM
This past weekend I participated in Upgrade NM, a 24-hour "code sprint" where local web developers and designers volunteer to build a web site for a New Mexico non-profit. (Thankfully it wasn't 24 consecutive hours, but 8am–8pm on both Saturday and Sunday.)
Useful Tweets 6
Recycled tweets from the previous week that included links to web design resources, interesting products, comics, etc. Follow me on Twitter for more immediate linky goodness.
Survival Skills
“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.” — Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist & author
The State of the Web: A Survey
One of the more frustrating things about the web industry is the fact that it is comparatively new and, as such, there is an overwhelming lack of data about the industry and its professionals. There is ALA's Survey for People Who Make Websites, which is in its second year and focuses a fair amount on the HR aspects of the industry, including salaries, benefits, job titles, responsibilities, etc. Then there is Opera's MAMA research, which focuses more on web sites…
Useful Tweets 5
Recycled tweets from the previous week that included links to web design resources, interesting products, comics, etc. Follow me on Twitter for more immediate linky goodness.
Rockin’ a Blue Beanie for Web Standards
Today is the 2nd annual Blue Beanie Day to promote the awareness of web standards and accessibility. Of course, as a self-professed standardista, I just had to participate.
Useful Tweets 4
Recycled tweets from the previous week that included links to web design resources, interesting products, comics, etc. Follow me on Twitter if you need your Emily fix now.
Reading Is Fundamental
“I honestly believe there is absolutely nothing like going to bed with a good book. Or a friend who's read one.” — Phyllis Diller, American comedienne
Useful Tweets 3
Recycled tweets from the previous week that included links to web design resources, interesting products, comics, etc. Feel free to follow me on Twitter if you don't want to wait for this linky goodness.
Getting Semantic With Microformats, Part 7: Themes & Issues
According to what I planned when I introduced this series, we are at the end of this thrilling and exciting journey into the world of microformats. And after spending all this time reviewing specific implementations of microformats on A Blog Not Limited, I didn't want to just end the series without some sort of conclusion. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I'm not ready to conclude this series. There are still more microformats that…
Useful Tweets 2
Second installment of my Useful Tweets series, where I "recycle" tweets from the previous week. These "useful tweets" are those where I've shared links to web design resources, interesting products, comics, etc. And you can always follow me on Twitter if you just can't wait for your Emily fix.
WTF Is the Big Deal? Don't Use <table> for Layout!
Yesterday, Chris Heilmann threw together Should I use tables for layout?. It gave me a nice chuckle and I shared it on Twitter. Not even 12 hours later, I stumbled across this "gem" on Twitter: Give Up and Use Tables. Yes, I do have a sense of humor and, yes, I do appreciate that CSS can be a challenge, even for seasoned professionals. But what the fuck is the big deal with learning to do one's job well using the…
Getting Semantic With Microformats, Part 6: hResume
I began this series a little over two months ago. I wanted to share my love of microformats and detail how I've implemented them, in hopes of encouraging more people to embrace them. So far, I've covered a lot: Rel-based microformats in Part 1 XFN in Part 2 hCard in Part 3 hCalendar in Part 4 hAtom in Part 5 And now, as I conclude this series, it is time to talk about the hResume microformat which is used to…
Useful Tweets 1
I use Twitter and I tweet a lot. But I consciously aim for a good "signal to noise ratio," providing links to stuff I've found and want to share. Everything from information about web standards, accessibility and design, to comics and interesting products. It recently occurred to me that this is micro-blogging (yeah, I'm slow), and that I could "recycle" these tweets to 1) share with folks who don't follow me on Twitter and 2) generate blog content, especially when…
Back on Track … Finally
As I've blogged previously, I've been doing the 100 push ups program. And, as I've also blogged previously, my progress has been slower than the program's "advertised" six weeks. Yet, I've been extremely pleased with my (slow) progress. From my first exhaustion test of 9 push ups, I've more than quadrupled my maximum with an exhaustion test of 41 push ups. I hit a plateau along the way, stuck at a max of 33 push ups for almost 7 weeks.…
“I've acquired quite a taste for a wellmade mistake.” — A Mistake, Fiona Apple, American singer-songwriter
Oomph Microformats Toolkit
I'm taking a short (I promise) break from my Getting Semantic With Microformats series because I need it, and I wanted to spend some time playing with and reviewing the Oomph microformats toolkit from MIX Online that I discovered this week. This way, you (my beloved four readers) still get some microformat goodness, and I get a much-needed break from the intense research and writing I've been doing. Let's get started, shall we?
15 Minutes
I was always suspect of this pop culture nugget: “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.” — Andy Warhol, American artist I mean, seriously, everyone? Well, perhaps he was right — at least in some regard — because I'm a "Designer in the Spotlight". Yeah, I'm totally famous now.
Getting Semantic With Microformats, Part 5: hAtom
Over the course of this series, I've discussed the various microformats I've implemented on A Blog Not Limited: rel-based, XFN, hCard and hCalendar. Now, it's time to talk about the hAtom microformat, which adds semantics and structure to web content that could be syndicated, such as blog posts or news articles.
Corporate America
“These guys could fuck up a baked potato.” — David Mamet, American author, playwright, screenwriter & director
Webmaster Jam Session 2008
I finally recovered just returned from Webmaster Jam Session 2008 in Altanta, GA, this past weekend — October 3 & 4 — and wanted to share my thoughts about this great two-day conference. WJS is a unique event. Casual, intimate, informative and overwhelmingly fun. The format is particularly nice, with sessions that encourage audience participation and between–session–breaks that are perfect for talking directly with speakers and other attendees. Other than the format, the topics covered are great. Everything from high-level…
Getting Semantic With Microformats, Part 4: hCalendar
Here we are again, delving into the exciting (for me, at least) world of microformats. Based on what I planned at the outset, this article is about mid-way through the series. So far, I've discussed three implementations of microformats on A Blog Not Limited: Specifying link-based relationships using the rel attribute in Part 1 Giving a "human face" to links using the XFN microformat in Part 2 Describing people, companies and places with the hCard microformat in Part 3 Not…
Suck It
The Bad: Eureka 2900 I have a shedding problem. No, not me. My two cats. While I've gotten things under control, cat hair is still a nuisance. A large part of the problem is I have a shitty vacuum cleaner. My Eureka 2900 sucks … and not in the good way. And it is a pain in the ass for vacuuming my hardwood laminate floors. It has a "bare floors" setting, but it simply doesn't do the job. I've been…
Getting Semantic With Microformats, Part 3: hCard
I began this series by detailing the microformats for link-based relationships using the rel attribute in Part 1. I then followed up in Part 2 with a discussion about extending the rel attribute with XFN values to connote social relationships on the web. Both XFN and the rel-based microformats are relatively simple, requiring only the addition of the rel attribute to links (<a>) and the proper value(s) to provide semantic context. Now it is time to take this microformats discussion…
“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” — Katharine Hepburn, American actress
Getting Semantic With Microformats, Part 2: XFN
In Part 1 of this series, I explained various implementations of the rel microformat on A Blog Not Limited. While explaining rel-me, I briefly touched on the XFN microformat. It's now time to spend some more time on this very cool microformat, which was one of the first.
A Great Time at BarCamp Albuquerque 3
BarCampAlbuquerque has come to a close, and it was a great experience for me. And as I posted previously, I spread the good word about web standards. My Contribution Here's my presentation for your enjoyment and edification: Web Standards Primer. I can't wait to listen to the recording to hear just how much of a total dork I sounded like.
BarCamp Albuquerque 3 Around the Corner
Yes, it's short notice, but mark your calendars: BarCamp Albuquerque 3 is this weekend. When: September 13–14, from 9am–6pm both days Where: CJW Cafe on 4801 Alameda Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113 What: A two-day event all about the web — design (visual, experience, information architecture), technology (infrastructure, programming), social and new media, and other stuff that is just plain cool. Even better, yours truly is presenting.
Getting Semantic With Microformats, Part 1: rel
As I mentioned in the introduction to this series, I'm a freak for microformats. I love the semantics, the structure, the simplicity and the potential. I decided I must share this love with the world (or at least my four readers) by detailing how I've used various microformats on A Blog Not Limited. This first installment of the series focuses on microformats for link-based relationships using the rel attribute. Let's get started, shall we?
“Procrastination isn't the problem, it's the solution. So procrastinate now, don't put it off.” — Ellen DeGeneres, American stand-up comedian, television host & actress
Getting Semantic With Microformats, Introduction
I'm an organizer with a sometimes frustrating need to pay attention to the smallest details. It shows itself in my home: my DVD collection of over 500 is organized alphabetically, as is what's left of my CD collection. I spend hours in iTunes assigning genres (because the defaults just aren't good enough for me) and creating playlists for over 10k songs. My books are organized by genre. My dresser drawers and closets are pristine. It is just me. This personality…
“The older one grows, the more one likes indecency.” — Virginia Woolf, English novelist & essayist
Web Accessibility Is Important
The National Federation of the Blind v. Target lawsuit was settled this past Wednesday on the following key terms: By February 28, 2009, Target.com will be fully accessible to blind users. Target will pay $6 million in damages to claimants.
As I posted previously, I'm doing the one hundred push ups challenge: a six-week program designed to get me able to do 100 consecutive push ups. I am now on my seventh week.
Self Acceptance
“I honor my personality flaws. Without them, I'd have no personality at all.” — unknown
Adding Social Media Links to ExpressionEngine Templates
Even though the "social" nature of the web isn't anything new (at least in web terms), I've only recently joined the masses. Yeah, I've been working in the web industry for over 10 years now, but I was a latecomer to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and (the horror) MySpace. I was even late to the social bookmarking sites like Digg, Ma.gnolia and, my preference, Delicious (yeah, I have it right: they aren't using the periods in their name anymore).…
The Best $40 I Ever Spent
I love my two cats, Guinness and Jersey. Yet there is one thing I hate about having cats: the shedding. Guinness' shedding is particularly bad. While she's a short-haired cat, she has an undercoat that leaves behind clumps of hair everywhere she goes. From the day I brought her home almost 12 years ago, I have had to brush her every day. Still, the shedding was a problem. And I end up having to vacuum every day because I can't…
Half Empty
“The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.” — George F. Will, American columnist, journalist & author
Customizing ExpressionEngine RSS 2.0 Template
Like everything with this blog, I wasn't entirely satisfied with ExpressionEngine's out–of–the–box solution for my RSS feeds (surprise, surprise). Some of the features I wanted that didn't come standard with EE's RSS: Links and markup to display properly formatted Display blog name Display author name Link to the category in which the article is published Links to the tags with which the article is tagged Tracking for links to support analytics Two feeds; one for full articles and one for…
Job Satisfaction
“Our ability to delude ourselves may be an important survival tool.” — Jane Wagner, American writer, director & producer
IE6 and Link Pseudo-Classes
While working on a freelance project a few months ago, I spent hours upon hours struggling with a bug in IE6. But a bug for which I could find absolutely no documentation. And a bug I had never seen before. IE6 wasn't properly recognizing the styles I had assigned to my navigation links :hover pseudo-class. After far too many hours (especially considering it was a freelance job), I discovered the solution to my problem.
Fellow Web Geeks: Just Do It
A List Apart's 2008 Survey for People Who Make Websites is here.
It has been three weeks since I started the one hundred push ups training program, which is the halfway point. Here's an update on my progress and what I think so far.
Existential Crisis
“I had a stick of Carefree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.” — Mitch Hedberg, American stand-up comedian
Live Comment Preview for ExpressionEngine
Much of the functionality and organization I'm implementing on this blog has been inspired by Jason Santa Maria. On his newly-redesigned blog, he provides a live comment preview that I just love. So, that's what I decided I wanted for A Blog Not Limited. Unfortunately, the built-in comment preview functionality for ExpressionEngine doesn't even come close.
Nine the Hard Way
I stumbled across one hundred push ups a few weeks ago and decided to start the program this week. Before starting, I did the initial test and discovered I could only do nine push ups … yeah, nine. I kinda feel pathetic, but nine is my lucky number, so perhaps it is meant to be.
Independence Day
“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” — Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States
The Forest for the Trees
Since my last post, my main goal was to implement comments. Simple enough, no? Technically speaking, the process for allowing comments in ExpressionEngine is simple. That is, unless you are a person who is picky or anal-retentive or has a tendency towards over-thinking. In other words: Me. For me, it has been an exercise in frustration. While I did manage to get comments working, they aren't working as I would ideally like them to work.
Turning a Corner
It has been three days actively working with ExpressionEngine, and I think I'm turning a corner. Note the tense: "turning" not "turned." Things are starting to make a little more sense to me, and I'm more comfortable manipulating the templates and admin features. However, I suspect I still have a fair amount to grasp before the proverbial "light bulb moment."
Not a Big Fan of ExpressionEngine Right Now
I'm frustrated. I am still working on getting a firm grasp on how to use ExpressionEngine. Right now, I hate it.
And So It Begins
This is my first blog post on my first blog (isn't that special?). I set up an account with ExpressionEngine in March 2008, and I am finally getting off my lazy ass to make this thing a reality.

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The Coolest Person I Know

Emily Lewis

Yeah, that would be me: .

I'm a freelance web designer of the standardista variety, which means I get excited about things like valid POSH, microformats and accessibility. I ply my trade from my one-person design studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106 USA.

A Blog Not Limited is my personal blog where I pontificate about web design, web standards, semantics and whatever else strikes my fancy. Head on over to Emily Lewis Design if you'd like to see my work or, even better, hire me.


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