A Blog Not Limited

to web design, standards & semantics

Emily Lewis

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

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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