One of the interesting things about my job is that I never know what’s around the corner. Last week I was approached by a guy (who I’ll call “Bob”) to come up with a vehicle sticker design. That wasn’t so unusual, but the design is for his son who is handicapped and is an avid hunter living in Maine. My understanding is that there is permission granted to certain disabled hunters to hunt from their vehicles- if they can’t easily get through the woods. This is one of those situations that I’ve never bumped into and thus have never thought of.
I guess “Bob” and his son were taking some heat from people who saw someone hunting from their vehicle. They were even reported to the authorities for doing so. While it’s good that there are those that look out for law breaking citizens, it’s also good not to jump to the wrong conclusions in doing so.
The result is that “Bob” wanted a sticker to put on his vehicle that portrayed what the situation was. The design, based on “Bob” and his son’s suggestion is shown below.
What do you think? Does it get the right message accross?
While I’m sad that there are disabled people in the world, I’m glad that some can still get out- with limitations, and enjoy some of the activities that others enjoy.
Hopefully, others will pick up on this design and accept it as a symbol for disabled hunters so that they can enjoy the activity hassle free.
Embedding video is getting more and more commonplace with websites. More sites are showing video as a way to engage and instruct users. One of the easiest ways to get video on your site is to sign up for a YouTube account, upload your video and use the embed code available under the video on YouTube.
You can just go with the default settings, or there are some useful parameters that can be added to the embed code. I’ll mention a few of the commonly used ones- you can find a more extensive listing here.
autoplay – set to 0 your video will not play until the player is loaded and the play button is clicked. The default setting is 0. Set to 1 and it will start playing once loaded.
rel – set to 0 and related videos won’t load when your video is done playing. Do you really want other people’s videos loading on your website? The default setting from YouTube is 1!
loop – do you want your video to play over from the beginning? Set loop=1 to keep going around! Default setting is 0.
theme – if your website would look cleaner with a lighter control bar set theme=light. Otherwise go with the default setting of dark
autohide – this parameter will determine whether the video control buttons will automatically be hidden once the the video starts playing. Set autohide=0 to force the video player controls to be visible throughout the entire video.
I hope that these tips are useful for you when you add video onto your website. Below I’ve put some sample code with some of the parameters highlighted so you can see how they would be in an embedded iframe code block.
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/ys_jgE_EF4I?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen autoplay=”1″ rel=”0″ theme=”light”></iframe>
Choosing keywords is one of those areas that can cause confusion when optimizing your website. What I discourage is the “shot in the dark” approach to picking out target keywords appropriate to your site and goals. Unfortunately this is what a lot of small companies do- rather than researching and measuring according to their business goals.
One great tool that I’d like to mention is Google’s “Insight for Search“. Using this search tool you can do search comparisons for your target keywords. If your site is only geared towards certain locations you can filter out the irrelevant areas. You can also search using different dates to gain “insight” into how searches have changed. This can show you help to steer you in the right direction for targeting keywords and keyword phrases for your site.
Results. Put in a couple of keywords, choose the year, location and look at the results. You’ll find that there is an index shown for each keyword. If there’s enough volume for the given results, there will be related keywords shown as well as ‘rising’ searches. I would pay attention to the rising searches because that can indicate the direction that certain keywords are heading. It may add insight into certain keywords that you’re missing similar to “keyword suggestions” found in pay per click(PPC) advertising programs.
Using Insights for Search is indeed insightful not to mention fun! compare related words, see what region has the highest searches, what phrases are moving up in popularity, and then tweak your site accordingly!
OK, so the first challenge for a blog is to come up with a name. Like most people a blog is a combination things going on in their life. In the future, I’d like to write about:
- Web design and optimization
- Graphic design
- A more personal note- including Maine places and interesting things happening around the state!
So, what’s in a name? That’s the challenge. So here are some thoughts.
- Choose a simple name
- Make it memorable
- Have a name that relates to what you’re blogging about
- Use your name or a variation of your name
- Eliminate the common and overused names
I chose this name to get this blog started but don’t hold me to it. It may change in the future!