Working With WordPress And Other Cool Stuff

The more you work with WordPress, the more you start noticing the simplicity of the application makes it possibly for some really interesting innovations to occur in the plugin, widget and theme areas. The creativity of developers is never ending. Here are a few things that I have noticed recently.

Flash Fonts

For those of you out there not aware of these, take a look at my site at http://www.takeitnational.com. I purchased this theme from Theme Forest, with Flash Fonts, which for some reason has nicer themes than most places where you can buy a quick theme. You will notice the red fonts on the home page are not your normal css or text fonts. They are each individual Flash Fonts. This third party application actually converts each letter one by one. Why is this cool? Basically it allows my site to have nicely curned fonts that are very appealing compared with some of the text and css that currently have limits. Also, the real key to Flash Fonts is the <h1> and <h2> tagging are not messed up for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This means that, in the past, when Flash was used, it would hose up your SEO text on the page, since Flash was not so SEO friendly. It also meant in the past with Flash that the website would slow down. But this does not seem to be much of an issue with flash fonts. Where to get them. I am using Sifr (Scalable Inman Flash Replacement), which is an easier to implement version of this stuff. Best answer is just find a theme with them built in already and you will get them…

Amazing Ajax Graphs And Charts

Another thing that somebody pointed out to me recently is this amazing array of ajax graphs. See this article. Basically with just simple ajax and html you can pop dynamic charts onto your wordpress page. Years ago I was addicted to EasyCharts, one of the first open source chart, javascript, chart produc the market. Now it is a cornucopia of charting and graphing to go around.

When A Post Is Not A Post

Asked to give a few people advice recently about their WooThemes themes they purchased I looked carefully how the Woothemes get implemented and this seems to be a pattern. What they basically do is ask you create a post category. Let’s say we call that “Features”. Then they have this admin section in the back that allows you to select the “Features” category to show up in a particular part of the home page. It could be a calendar-like section or a middle section, sidebar left or right or testimonials. Notice that I do not use the word “Widget” in discussing this method. Because what they typically do is use posts as content in places on the home page or throughout the site. On the area where it is the full blog, the site knows to ignore “Features”, because that is how this works. Woothemes and other theme makers use posts as static content, so that is why the blog ignores it. Some use categories to do this, others use tagging. For the events area, the site uses additional fields which show up under posts, down below on the page. This way the posts are tracked as “events” (You have to go into their special admin and set events as the event category). These are part of many clever ways that WordPress is used to solve content issues.

Next time, an article on new words, that WordPress has sealed in the english language…

A Summer Of Web Discontent Or Bliss

Just when it appears that the economy is failing, the stock market is chaotic, housing prices are down, and it looks like the future is bleak, there are always people who are succeeding and working. So, I am not so sure about this horrible future.

While those of us in our 40s and 50s or older freak out as we get let go from jobs with corporations that we have been with for 5, 10 or 15 years, there is another group of workers who are working through the night on their own businesses.

This group is a variety of people. They are 21 year college kids who see that this is by far the best time to ever start a business online, with unlimited access to millions on the web with just an idea and a keyboard. Never has there been that much opportunity to do something different, get access to the world, use the tools that are out there, often free, and just do it. These young people and others (not so sure if I am one of them) are regrouping themselves for a new career after figuring out there is none out there. There are those who have been working the part-time thing on their own thing for quite a while are getting ready to launch.

Getting Ready To Launch

It seems like this new hard core group, and they may be 15, or 75, I might add, are gearing up for their big launch. I am doing it too, as we get Take It National, Inc. ready for market. This is the same conversation I have with Don from Austin, who is building a new kind of online business generator, or Jeromi from California, who has a new kind of dental floss, he is getting ready to launch. And then there is the lady we met who is starting a business of sending out young cute female models to boxing matches, wrestling, auto shows…

I guess if you don’t have the patience to go through the process of starting your own business and want a job, then follow some of these people around and when they grow their business big enough you will get a job from them, someday soon.

Where Do They Hang Out?

Now, not that I am a joiner, and even if I do join, it is only as an experiment typically for me, but my business partner and I have been hanging out at CEOSPACE. Got nothing bad to say about them, especially now that I am a member. They take in the wide-eyed, wondering if they can do it on their own crowd, entrepreneurs to be, and give them an street smart MBA like education in a weeks time. I think from our recent experience, that CEOSPACE is for the serious entrepreneur with the serious idea… My business partner has a similar type of training system for the every man called StartupBusinessBootCamp.com. This one is for the masses and it can handle any idea. Startup Business Boot Camp is running these weekend boot camp events around the country. If you are in south florida I would check it out.

Real MBAs

Finally there are those like myself, who suffer through the full MBA curriculum. In fact, I did it twice, once at Farleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ, where I did not finish my MBA. I finished my second at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL in 2006. Either way, this is a little more than a week, 2 weeks or a weekend. It is a serious academic exercise whether you go to Harvard or FAU. You do this for you mind and not for the paper, because the paper will do a little for you in a practical sense. You still have to sell yourself to make it work for you. In fact these other boot camp and CEOSPACE types of education I am finding more practical and more geared towards startups. Sorry about that, but I am yet to find an MBA with entrepreneuralism that is honest and direct. They are more like outings for professors.

Where Do The Hungry Hang Out?

Well, if you haven’t already put the words “Startup YOUR TOWN” or “Business Group YOUR TOWN” or “Entreprenurship YOUR TOWN” into google, you will find a mixed bag of groups in every town out there. There is BarCamp, an Internet Social Media Startup Group, which is for the youngest and boldest of entrepreneurs starting out mixed in with bloggers. BarCamp is in most big towns out there along with WordCamp (A WordPress Conference That Runs In Most Large Towns). I would provide a link here, but BarCamp is always so disorganized an event, I can’t find one single national link…

There are also a dozen civic, technology, marketing, social media, internet or other related startup groups in every town. Just look around and attend and maybe you can find some bliss.