A Blog Not Limited

to web design, standards & semantics


Ramblings, Musings & Noise

Writings (hopefully useful) that are likely verbose and just don't fit into any other category.

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.
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…
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
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.
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…
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:
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.…
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).…
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.
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, 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…
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…
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…
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…
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.
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!
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…
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…
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…
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.
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…
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.)
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…
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.
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…
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.…
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, 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…
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.
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.
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."
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.

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.


I Tweet, Therefore I Am

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