Archive for 2007

What my blog did for me in 2007?

Friday, December 28th, 2007

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2007 was a very good year for me, if blogging is concerned. I had some great events which revolved around this blog. Last year i switched from wordpress.com to an independent blog at dynz.net. It was part of the ‘togetherness initiative‘ by the dynz. My co-workers blogs got attached to our company website and rest was the same.

Recognitions: 

In August, Smashing magazine selected my 404 page design for their ‘404 pages’ inspirational post.

site_analytics2.jpg

That’s what does when you get listed in some popular blogging directories. Almost half of my traffic have come via Smashing magazine. Thats an incredible jump in Alexa rankings, link backs, back urls etc.

One Down!
In September, I celebrated my first year of blogging (a blog post..so much for the celebration.) . It listed down some of my prominent milestones in the last year.

Redesign: Only one redesign was applied to this blog, Sed.  As I said earlier its 404 page gained massive recognition. However i had released a lot of concept blog themes which ultimately had to be scrapped off!

sed-theme.jpg

Functions: As a medium to convey my ideas , my blog has helped me a lot. It made me reassert some facts in life. It made me think and review. Some of my common incertitudes were clarified with some excellent discussion.

Well, I wish 2008 would be even better.

What do i look for in a designer?

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

I am assuming myself to be a client who is on the lookout for a good design for his blog. What do i look for in my designer?

Portfolio

Firstly, i go straight for the portfolio section in our designers’ website. It defines him in the realms of aesthetic designs, accessibility results and client lists. Portfolios should not be vague and misleading. If I have two websites with one displaying the screenshots of their work and one linking to the original websites, i would be definitely convinced by the latter. The reason simply means i get to experience what his designs would feel like.

Spiga.com.mx , thewebdesigner and WillBlackmore.co.uk are good examples of  portfolios. They give proper details of what they have done and links and screenshots wherever necessary.

Website Design

Though his portfolio gets me the maximum of his design capabilities, a good website with minimal project listings also gets my attention.

Services

Services that my designer provides is also a measure for selection. The reason is closely associated with ‘loyalty of the customer‘ and ‘future projects’. For example I get my blog done with a designer who is only offering xhtml/css design with no flash oriented websites in his services list. I find his work appealing but still I would still prefer a design studio with a wide range of services. In the future I probably will come back to the same firm for a different kind of service.

Client List

An impressive array of popular clients can be very effective. Tofslie is one such portfolio. It has a good client base ranging from popular sporting brands like Nike and Adidas to Winter X Games champion Shaun White’s official website. That is impressive! Almost all the doubts about quality, accessibility and all the other criterion for selecting a designer reduces dramatically as the result of my website will be surely a good one.

Popularity

Someone popular in the blogosphere with a large number of loyal readers will automatically qualify as a good designer. They wouldn’t have been popular if their designs were bad. Bryan Veloso’s (the message is distorted?) and Veerle’s  happen to be my favourite bloggers. And surely their portfolios show that they are talented designers’ too. Besides getting your website done by such popular blogger/designers is always good for me and my business.

 Rates

Last but not the least, the rates he charges. Obviously when ‘high-end clients’ are catered by the designer, the rates go high. If it is a blog or a simple website with minimal number of features i would select a smaller, less exuberant design house. Nowadays finding one such designer is not at all a problem.

So i ask, ‘What do you look for in a designer?”

2007: Review

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

2007 was a year of reassertion for me. The year gave me new perspectives, new dimensions of thought and identification of some unique skills. Now when i look back, like every human being, i feel an element of regret saddening my heart. “I could have done better”. Be it my decisions or be it my outlook towards life, every single line i spoke could have been rephrased to a much more sinless speech. I feel.

Below are some of my inferences about the events that happened to me this year.

Opdyne: My ‘zero rupee’ Opdyne showed little or less signs of competitiveness in the vast and talented web designer’s world. The positives i got were the improvement factor. We have come way better than the day when we dressed up as designers ourselves. We had problems working together in a group. We had problems related to communication during constructive phases of projects. It were all sorted out so that we could welcome the new year with renewed energy , a new belief and some surprise plans.

Sometimes its best if you take the lead of your group and preach new ideologies. Sometimes its best if you stay back and receive suggestions for improvement.

New initiatives are demanding. It can consume a lot of time, energy and precious social time.

New initiatives, new domains of involvement… a new stage of recognition. Still there is something lacking in my deeds. What is it? The very human side of me is refusing to allow the very perfect me. Ironically our mind wants to strive for the perfect 10/10 when in reality the end result halts before that mark.

“To err is to human, to forgive is divine”. I will use this as an excuse to relieve me of all punishments. Oh wait! Asti warned me to stop writing ’senseless crap’ but in another world this maybe great work. Someone please tell him! Promising you more sensible blog posts in 2008. Bye.

10 things to remember while working in a group

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

This post is a bit on the philosophical edge of my unintelligent understanding. Still, What i am saying is absolutely true and is well supported by reason and personal experience.

Rule 1: You do not have to flatter your teammate’s work on the basis of any emotional, personal or intimate relationships. If you find any problem in the task done by the member of your team, do make the point clear with some suggestions.

Rule 2: Its “Give and Take!”. So when the advice from rule no 1 is FOR you, do listen with all your inbuilt qualities of patience and cool stretched to the maximum. Getting worried over the advices is a big mistake.

Rule 3: When you feel you have done your job, make sure you ask yourself “Is there any room for improvement?”.

Rule 4: Probably the most important rule of them all. Respect all your group members’ advices, suggestions and take all what you think is right. Your group is one which is defined by the similarity in ideas, mindset and skills. Your teammates won’t be asking for changes which make the entire work go look so bad.

Rule 5: A leader is an essential part of a group. He is the one who is supposedly managing every resources available to the group. But the selection of a team leader should be done with the qualities of selflessness and confidence fixed as essentials.

Rule 6: ‘Trust’.A personal bond between two persons can be termed as a ‘trusty’ relationship. The word has a whole new level of importance when it comes to a group. In a group of different people with different views of perspective, it natural to develop a tense, unproductive environment. So mutual trust in the work of other team members is a requisite.

Rule 7: When you are a member of a clan, making your own decision is invalid. Every decision is to made through a meeting with atleast a majority of the members present.

Rule 8: Be yourself. Imitations will be costly. One wrong step and the way your teammates think about you will change forever.

Rule 9: Never set yourself personal goals inside a circle of professionals. It can affect your contribution to the group and finally it results in your talents being speculated upon.

Rule 10: Work is not always interesting. But if you can discover how to work for fun with the purpose of learning it sure will be interesting.

The autodidactic report

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

It has been a long break away from my role as an apprentice in the large world of design freaks. Here i am waiting again to start my new stage in my designer career. ‘Writers’ block’…well I’m not sure what got me away from the PC and my cute lil’ blog for a month or so but i am pretty sure about the return. The recent distractions included participation in some exaggerated reality shows, unexampled college activities and some personal issues (which i don’t care even now).

Stage 1: Ignition

Sounds a bit lame! Still, the influences of Japanese anime titles like ‘Stratos 4′ and ‘Sky Girls’ have made this post look straight out of a PSLV User’s Manual. Stage 1 in the life of ‘the upward autodidact’ was all about ignition. The initial inspiration, the novice student entering into unfamiliar provinces of design…It was always a challenge. Time was very little. I had to grasp the most quickest of changes, imbibe from the most controversial of incidents and feel from the rest of the professional clan, the ethics of design and code. The autodidactic mission was begun with the sole purpose of learning the art of expressing one’s creativity in a splendid flavor.

Stage 2: Launch

Now its time for me to create a base to launch myself, project myself as a professional enterprise. Having acquired some tricks, tips and tutorials need not mean i am ready to take on the big stage by absolute confidence. For whatever i  do not have a  clue about, the autodidactic run continues. But for others, i plan to mix and blend the things i have learnt with some personal style and elegance.

Firstly, I have decided to get done with my award winning blog theme. It served me well and needs a good rest. Secondly, my new theme is due in one month time and is a glorious coalesce of Wordpress and Vestec.

blockblog.jpg

The latter is quite unfamiliar to all of you as it is my first CMS venture. It includes a personal portfolio integrated right into the Opdyne’s site.

Adobe AIR vs Opdyne LF?

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Adobe has bought Apollo some ‘new looks’ from the nearest ‘icon designer’. Whatever be the introductory text given in the release website, I find AIR with some terrible identity crisis…well atleast for the users.

Since most of you haven’t used Opdyne’s Liquid Fusion (LF), there is no point in explaining about what LF can do. AIR can be used for developing applications, alright! But when it comes to quick, usable and clean ones, it is not worth the boast.The first application i tested was Snitter, straight out of the snook cookbook. It is a ‘twitter‘ing device with decent features.I was impressed by the clean and usable interface but imagine all the code that went into making this application. Vysnu tests AIR with a so called ‘quick AIR application’, a simple calculator. Well have a look inside his blog post’s code section. One hour is not quick enough.

Incoming LF’s simplicity.

tag2.JPG

Asti, the developer, experiments with LF. The purpose of the following program is get the correct names for his music album folders using google search.

The total number of code lines according to asti ::”25 lines including 3 comments”

Thats quick. Unlike AIR, the interface is a browser with the application an html webpage. So creating the application interface is very quick and easy.

Well, I can’t say more.

The date is fast approaching!

One year of blogging.

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Yay! So i complete my first year of blogging.

48 posts , 31 comments, (hundreds of spam!!), 1153 visits, 2160 pageviews.

That summarizes my maiden year in terms of figures. There are lots more than figure can say. This posts attempts to bring them out of the autodidact’s heart, sincerely.

First i started blogging through ‘theupwardautodidact.wordpress.com’, the public blog at wordpress.com. After that i moved to Opdyne server to setup a independent wordpress system.

Things i learnt:

POPULARITY

1) Rather than posting daily, a sensible post in a periodic interval would be more effective in terms of popularity and effort.

2)Blogging requires time…lots of it. I still don’t know a lot of things being discussed in the blogosphere. As a result i tend to take up many hours reading, researching on things i need to blog about. Checking comments, stats can be also very time-consuming.

3)Participation is important. If people need to know that you exist in some lousy corner of the immense gigantic blogosphere go get you ‘comment guns’ ready and discuss the latest sensational topics other bloggers write about.

PRESENTATION

1)The blog interface is never a necessary criterion for your blog popularity (except all those ones with beautiful blog themes and sensible posts.) A clean readable blog is preferred to a dark, dull theme. But then as always “Content is King!”.

2) This can go down to the posts while discussing design ethics of a blog but the most recent entry must be highlighted even if you title it “Don’t read this section“.

3)Typography: Your fonts need to be very precise and easy to read. People won’t strain a lot to make out your “a” and “z”. Font size is also important. A considerably large font may be labeled immature or childish. A tiny size would also be uncomfortable as it leads to user clicking the “Close tab” soon.

PERSONAL

1) Connecting my thoughts, musings to other people can have a no better portal.

2)<devlish>A blog is your weapon in crisis. If I have to make any point clear to anyone, I blog with all points stated clear ans straight forward and link back to the person in the article. Then follows the @#$%&&^$….. </devilish>

Blogmarks:

These are the different scars that this blog left of me since i launched it on August 30,2006 and now i proudly display them as tattoos.

1) Goodbye V2: Version 3 doesn’t signify a blog theme but it marks my change from http://upwardautodidact.wordpress.com/ to http://jacob.opdyne.com/ on July 3rd.I see this moment as one of one landmark event in the life of upward autodidact’s life this year.

2)Best Post:The best post to me was Topping the desktop on September 3rd, 2006.

3)Best Recognition:Smashing magazine’s 404 page recognition got me 222 visits and by far my best ‘traffic fattener’.

4)Best Comment:Asti’s comment on Inspiration-Rip.

The kid needs a domain.

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Kwaaaaaaaaaaa!!! [That’s what i think is the sound on a new born.]

A child is born! Dad is excited.He thinks about what all he has to do. After lots of talk, discussions and fights with Mum, the baby gets a name.

Next up in the ‘To Do List’ for Dad’s is all the municipal formalities including the ‘Birth Certificate’. Since it is the new-age of advanced ‘blah blah’ , people just don’t finish with that.

16pan.jpg

The ‘Youngest PAN Card Holder in India’ was Krishhey Thacker (aged 56 days then) but recently Akshita, 50 day old girl beat him in the record hunt.

The online identity is getting even more established as the person’s alternative identity as infants get their own domain at the age of ..err…on the day they are born.I know designers and developers getting so excited to know that their newborn is due soon.The excitement makes them do all kinda stuff. Buying them their own domain is just one in the ‘normal’ type.

In a CNN online article, It was written

“Besides leaving the hospital with a birth certificate and a clean bill of health, baby Mila Belle Howells got something she won’t likely use herself for several years: her very own Internet domain name. Still, even if the effort is for naught, $9 a year is cheap compared with the cost of diapers and college tuition.”

makenzie-pankow.jpg

Corrie Pankow, pictured with daughter Makenzie, has claimed domain names for her children.

Many of these parents believe that their child’s domain name will not be available by the time their children reach their teens. Well if people go on buying Domain names, web spaces , registering in social networking sites like MySpace or even activating a personal GMail account for their children…yep! it is not a distant reality.

Courtesy:CNN.com, Rediff News

Blueprint CSS Framework

Friday, August 24th, 2007

bp.png

Blueprint CSS Framework was a very handy tool to me when i needed to work out some quick applications.

The features include:

  • An easily customizable grid
  • Some default typography
  • A typographic baseline
  • CSS reset for default browser styles
  • A stylesheet for printing
  • No bloat of any kind

Download Blueprint 0.4

Internet Remix

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

When i was browsing through my old files, i stumbled upon this music file. The dial-up tone for connecting to the internet was remixed with a couple of softwares like Multiquence and Mp3 Remix.

The ’share all of them’ bug has recently moved into me. So here is the music file.

internet_download.jpg

Size:607 Kb

~zipped

DOWNLOAD ~ Internet Remix