Sunday, December 12, 2010

Blast to the Blog Past!

It's been a long semester, and I have been making some progress on the Blogging/Web Site design front!  If you wish to see my very first post here, click the link below to see my Blogger debut on my first website page I created!

My First Post

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Categories to Blogs

Blog catagories: is there such a thing?  I thought blogs were all just mindless, unorganized rantings and chatter.  This is not true.  With the popularity and increase of blogs, they now see wide spread use.  Here's a few instances of different blogs, what they're used for, and how to identify them:

Portfolio:  blogs dedicated to showing off works of art, photography, etc of artists with contact information included to help the artist become better known and to attract potential employers.  Usually they include lots of large pictures of artistic work.

Scrapbooks:  blogs that serve as an online 'journal' to their creators.  I like to think of these as being similar to Facebook except it's dedicated to just you.  Typically you'll see lots of pictures that are not too big with lots and lots of texts, stories, rants, etc on a person's personal life that they would like to share with the world. 

Personal Blogs:  blogs that share a central theme, example: video games, politics, a hobby of the creator.  These sites are dedicated to talking about one thing or multiple things and usually the creator likes inspiring talk and conversation around the community.  You can tell you're looking at one if here's multiple blog posts about certain events and themes with a few pictures but mostly text.

Business:  these blogs are dedicated to promoting and communicating with a company and/or corporation.  Mass media has since a large change and the internet has become a critical element to advancing communication, so it is only natural for companies to advertise themselves online.  Business blogs are characterized by a neat appearance with the logos and identity clearly seen.  Usually they include posts about company products, calendar of events, and contact information. 

Blog creation:  blogs about creating blogs!  These are usually created by artists, internet savants, or graphic designers/firms that wish to offer their services of creating blogs for others.  They typically include contact information, examples of work, price listings, FAQs, the designer's portfolio, and terms of agreement. 

Tutorials:  blogs dedicated to helping fellow bloggers!  Blogs usually about tips, tricks, and how to's on making blogs.  They are characterized by lots of pictures, posts on how to create something new within blogging, design, hobbies, software, the internet, etc.  Lots of pictures are often posted to show step-by-step instruction from start to finish on how to accomplish a new ability! 

Team Website - Gorillas with Swords

This is a link to a website I co-designed with a team of students for an assignment in class.  The website is dedicated to my fencing club I created at Pittsburg State University located in Pittsburg, Kansas.  All the info on the site is fact!!  Take a look!  - Gorillas with Swords

The Ups, Downs, Advantages, Disadvantagesn of the Blogging World - Why Blog?

Why blog?

With the advent of mass media, communication, and the internet, it is easy for people to express themselves and share what they think to one another.  This also has created a rise in people wanting to be the next internet king or "Youtube" star...  But some people genuinely like saying what they want on the internet.  It can be a great thing to do!  Sharing is caring!  So, why get a website instead?  Why not go for that satisfaction of being the owner to your own domain?  Here are a couple of reasons of blogs vs. websites:

Blogs:  not formal, interactive, some people have blogs, content is regularly and easily updated

Websites: static content, formal and professional, one-way communication, almost a business requirement (graphic designers can attest to this!), more difficult to manage and update

Overall, most people will agree a blog is easier to update, create, has better interaction with readers, and shows up better on search engines.

What about the almighty WordPress?

I have to say when I first saw WordPress I was amazed at how professional it looked and just how many options there are to tweak and fiddle with.  So, what about Blogger vs. WordPress?  Here's a tad information on WordPress:

WordPress:  professional appearance, the WordPress community and developer community, LOTS of customization, easy to comment, stat tracking.

Overall, if you want a professional look rather than silly, standard Blogger, go for WordPress!  But we're not done with Blogger just yet:

Blogger:  everything is free, good starter website for amateurs (*raises hand*), more aps, simple and easy to use, good set of tools and items to customize.

Who wins?  If you ask me, and I am no professional, but I believe there really is no winner.  It all depends on what you're trying to accomplish.  If you want an average, simple look, go with Blogger!  If you want to look cooler and more business-like, go with WordPress!  You can almost accomplish the same amount of stuffs with either blogging site, but with Blogger that whole 'free' thing is mighty nice.  But remember: just because something is free does not mean it is good.

Blogs costing money?  Making a living?

Believe or not some people do try to make a living at making blogs for people.  How would I design blogs?  Well, it depends on who it's going for: a design firm, a lawyer firm, gaming nerds, etc.  Personally the idea sounds fun and I'd love to make blogs with a creative laid back look that emphasizes candidness, non-professionalism but yet getting everything accomplished while being neat, clean, and easy to use with a bit of fun!  How hard can it be to make a blog look professional?  The learning curve isn't too steep, but there are some awesome blogs out there that actually put real websites to shame.  Mostly I've seen small-time graphic design firms and independent/free-lance designers do this, so it definitely sounds like something you can do at any time if you're good at putting your name out.  In my opinion, if you're an artist just starting out and internet abilities are your weakest suit, you may want to sit back and learn a bit before attempting to even offer your services to making blogs for people.  Because the internet is full of people out there, and because graphic design is a very competitive industry, there are already many free-lancing artists out there with known reputations which can make it very difficult for an amateur to get some action.  Making a living off this?  I can't say with confidence I look forward to graduating from college to sit at home and just simply blog-off.  This is something to do on the side, not to rely on for ALL your income.  Some of the price ranges I saw were $275 for a blog website and $375 for a deluxe.  There were even blogging lessons as much as $40 per hour!  I'd have to say I'd only recommend seeking those services if you have your own company that you want to promote!  If you're an aspiring designer, don't solely rely on making blogs, add it to your ability list!

My WordPress Site!

Need more Plaidman endless blogging?  Check out my WordPress site!  This one has more about me ranting and raving about video games and why they are good and/or bad.  If you ever want to talk gaming, just message me!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Prototype Class Website

This is a design I came up with for my web site design class.  Again, it's extremely noobish looking as this was made at the beginning of the semester.  Improvement in skills still to come~

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm a Fencer!

Who fences?  I do!  Ever since being at Pittsburg State University I was disappointed there was no fencing team or club.  So, I made my own!  I love fencing!  The above picture is me decked out in gear.  Check back for more pictures of the PSU Fencing Club!

My Personal Page

This is my personal page I created in Dreamweaver.  This was one of my first assignments, so please excuse the noobish appearance!

This was created using a default template within Dreamweaver.  The only thing I'm really proud of is the background which I created myself in Illustrator using various techniques I learned at my internship last summer.  You'll figure out right away my weakness in the graphic design field is web design!  >_<  But hopefully as this blog progresses I'll get better and better~