The Digital Photo Guy Blog Gets a Facelift
This is the 6th year for this site. During the first 4 years, it was a static site that was rarely updated because making changes was excruciatingly slow, complex and costly. In 2008, I resolved to fix the problem and commissioned a web developer to develop a new site that I could easily and quickly update myself. He recommended WordPress and the initial implementation took just 6 weeks. As soon as he was done, I started making changes and quickly learned how to do just about everything by myself. I’m no rocket scientist but WordPress makes everything simple and straightforward.
Now, a year after the initial launch, a new static home page has replaced the previous dynamic home page. A dynamic home page was fine in the beginning but, now, with so many articles and posts, it was quickly becoming unwieldly. Readers couldn’t easily find the information they sought. A static home page can act as “street signs” to help point readers in the right direction. As you can see, some of the signs are still not working. That’s because all the MMTs, posts and articles weren’t always correctly or fully tagged.
Tagging the material at this time would be counter productive because each update would generate an e-mail notification of an update and readers wuld be innundated with e-mails.
Starting in 2010, I’ll be more careful about tagging each MMT, post and article so readers can quickly find all material pertaining to Cameras/Lenses/Gear, Photo Editing and Photography.
In the meantime, the existing tags (right side of main blog) can help you find specific articles or MMTs. You can also use the Seach box along the right side of the main blog.
A website is a never-ending process. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment here. Good light, good memories and good luck in 2010.
Holy mackeral! Can you believe that it’s been nearly 2 weeks since my last update. I deserve 30 lashes with a roll of Kodak Tri-X.
I meant to update every night during my recent IPT (Instructional Photo Tour) with Artie Morris at Bosque del Apache. However, taking a workshop with Artie is a bit like boot camp. We were up at Oh-Dark-Thirty each morning and on site by 0600 (that’s 6AM for non-bird photographer types). We shot until about 1030 and then retired to the motel conference room for lunch and critiques or Photoshop sessions. Afterwards, it was back to the refuge from about 3PM until past sunset. Dinner was another marathon critique or lecture session. By the time I got to bed around 10:30PM, updating my blog was low on my list of priorities.
As I said in a previous post, if you can keep up, you’ll learn more from Artie in 3 days than you’ll learn from any other photographer in 6 months. I’ll post some photos as soon as I recover and have a chance to review about 1200 photos.
In the meantime, a former student asked about removing an object from a photo and replacing it with a similar texture. I said I would develop the steps and post them here but that plan obviously went by the wayside. I’ll try to get to it ASAP when I get home. (I’m posting this from a truck stop in Eloy, AZ).
The Comments still aren’t working because I haven’t had time to harangue my developer. I’ll get on that also when I get home.
Obviously, there was no MMT this past week while I attended Artie’s boot camp.
On Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 4:15AM PST, my new WordPress blog-based website was launched. The Name Servers at my registrar (the guys who took my money and told ICANN to save thedigitalphotoguy.com for me) were updated to reflect the new host (the guys who took my money in exchange for disk space and computing power on their servers). Now, I have to wait 1-2 hours for my DNS change to propagate (spread) throughout the Internet so anyone typing my URL into their web browser will be directed to the new site. Think of this as changing phone numbers and waiting for the new phone directories to be printed and delivered.
My greatest concern is, of course, that my e-mail links won’t work. In 2009, anyone who can’t communicate via e-mail is “out of the loop” and most businesses live or die by their communications. Therefore, anyone reading this is requested to go to the Contact Page and send me a test message. Thanks.
While I was writing this, my new web site has come up in another tab so it’s working as far as directing people to the correct server. My test e-mails to myself haven’t yet shown up so I’m a bit concerned but hope that mail server propogation is just a bit slower.
You can’t the swamp out of the animal. Just another way of saying a leopard never changes it’s spot or, in this case, once an engineer, always an engineer.
Earlier this week I was frustrated, annoyed, irritated, upset and generally mad about the complexity of modern software tools. Today, I am in harmony with my environment, my wa is at peace and the timbre about me is as still as Waldon Pond at midnight. For a brief, shining moment, I was transported back to those good old days of yesteryear when I was a 25 year old engineer on a mission! For just a few hours, I was that laser-focused, computer-for-a-brain engineer who could solve any problem created by another human! For half a day, I was once more an unstoppable force, powering my way through a problem on pure brain power!
I figured out how to put PayPal buttons directly on my workshop pages so a student only needs to click once to be taken directly to PayPal with all the infomation already in place and ready for his credit card. Over the past 20 years, I’d gotten rather lazy about solving technical problems. As a sales and marketing executive, my focus was strategy and tactics, not the minutia of bits and bytes. I was “The Big Picture Guy” and left the details to my staff to handle. But, deep down inside, I was still that geeky engineer who once told a customer, “This is what it will cost. If you want warm and fuzzy, it’ll cost you more!” as my manager sat in the back of the room and died a slow, agonizing death.
The point to all this is that, A) I feel great and B) Anyone can make this stuff work with a little patience and determination. Of course, all this effort has extracted a price. I feel like I just ran a marathon. I’m wiped out from the mental extertion and my brain will probably be mush for a few days. By next week, I’ll be back to my slug self and whining about dis ‘n dat.
Years ago, I read a Wall Street Journal article about successful Vietnam vets. The reporter had been following all the stories about Vietnam vets who had fallen on hard times due to alcoholism, drugs, crime, divorce, mental illness and a host of other difficulties blamed largely on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He decided to find and interview Vietnam vets who were successful and happy and learn what separated them from those who failed.
One story stuck in my mind and has been my mantra for the past 30 years. I suppose I’ve known this ever since I returned from Vietnam but this fellow cut to the chase in one sentence. He said, “No matter how bad things get (in life), I just remind myself that it’s better than getting shot at.” That pretty much sums up how I try to stay focused on the task at hand.
Why am I babbling about this? Standing up my new WordPress blog has been an exercise in frustration and, at times, despair. Sometimes, I feel like web developers and business people speak totally different languages. In fact, I probably would have had the same results if I had hired a web developer who spoke Farsi. He’s interested in the techie, geeky side. I’m interested in the business side. He wants to take hours to understand how a piece of code works, I just want it as cost-effective as possible. Sometimes, I feel like he’s the Viet Cong on the other side of the wire. I just want to get the concertina wire strung and he wants to blow holes in it!
Currently, all I want is to get PayPal integrated with my Workshops page so a visitor can simply click on a PayPal button and be taken to a page to enter their credit card info and register for the class. On one level, this is pretty trivial stuff but, on another level, it’s like using pieces from Erector sets, Lincoln Logs and Legos to building an airplane. Now, where the heck did I leave my screwdriver so I can attach plastic blocks to wooden struts?