Writer, Christian, SEO/Social Media Marketer, Book Reviewer, Deaf and Loud.

Monthly Archives: November 2012

My website, despite going through drastic changes and having the feeling that it’s beginning to “come together” more is still a bit of a mess. There is still much left to do to make it look like a professional, responsive, emotional website that I can be proud of. With that being said, here are some questions/issues I would like to work out:

 

1. The text in the  boxes. Some of it is overflowing a bit and some of it is running over the pictures. I’m wondering if I should increase the width of the boxes, increase the height of the boxes, or so something to the text to fix it. I found a website that mentions for text overflow you may need to add some tags to css to prevent overflow such as :

 

<div id="myDiv">
    stuff 
</div>

#myDiv {
    overflow:hidden;
}

 

but I’m not really sure which one to tweak with.

 

2. Navigation bar. It’s beginning to be broken into a double-bar, which is a mess. I think I should adjust the size of the buttons or possible see about removing some of them to fix this.

 

3. Over-all layout on the index page. I want the feature articles to stand out more and the Twitter and GoodReads widgets to be more even and balanced with the rest of the page.

 

4. Writing Samples page: I need to do something about the Suicide and Avant articles to make the page more even. I need to either resize them or link to them on separate pages or something.

 

5. Contact page: Still debating on whether or not to keep this.

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My website at the moment is a bit of a mess. There is still so much work to do to make it look more professional and responsive. The whole coding thing is a new, sometimes overwhelming experience for me. It’s a very complicated task and I want to not only have it right, but have it done well. With that being said, here’s a basic overview of what needs to be done:

 

1. Adding feature articles to front page: This has been one of the biggest challenges for me so far. I think I want two feature articles, unless I can’t find a Good Reads widget, then I might do three feature articles. I intend on including The Effects of an Unstable Household: Cutting Into Suicide and Infect Your Home With Flesh-Eating Monster Zombie Gnomes for my feature articles. I want to include header images in the smaller boxes on the page with text from the article in the bigger boxes.

2. Find a Good Reads widget. This sounds like an easy task, but I haven’t had much luck with it so far. If I can’t find one then I think I’ll just add a third feature article as mentioned above.

3. Adjust either widths of containers or font size. I’m having a bit of trouble keeping text in the containers especially for the Twitter widget. Something with that needs to be adjusted.

4. Add my name to the index page. Basic thing to do, but important nonetheless.

5. Add CSS to About page. For some reason it’s missing.

6. Possibly add an image to about page. Still debating on this.

7. Write a new Writer’s Statement. The one I have now is more of an autobiography. Might keep that, but I still need a writer’s statement. I’m debating on whether to post them both in the About page or separate them.

8. Tidy up the Writing Samples page, particularly for the Avant and Spotlight on Recovery articles. They need to be resized or linked elsewhere or something I think.

9. Figure out what to do with Contact page. I’m debating on whether I need it or not. I could list things like my email or possibly even post a direct link for that, my twitter, address, etc. I’m also considering adding a ContactMe.com button but that could be posted just on the main page.

 

There’s still so much work that needs to be done on my website. It will take quite awhile to get through everything but I know that in the end when I have a professional, responsive website it will all be worth it.


I met with Professor Wolff last week to go over my website. It’s a mess. Well, it was, but I’m going to be fixing it. The main problem with my website is that it didn’t really say anything about my writing or work. I have a hard time identifying myself as writer or figuring out how to let my work speak for itself. I feel like I need to tell someone who I am and what I do instead of showing people what I’ve done.  However, through the help of Professor Wolff, I was able to come up with an overall plan that will make my website look much more professional and show who I am as a writer.

Updated-WireFrame-Number-3

 

The new plan will have a Good Reads widget on the left side (if I can find one…haven’t had much luck with that so far…), two feature articles taking up the most space in the center, and a twitter widget on the right side. Using a 1200 px grid with a 1180 px content width, The Good Reads and Twitter widgets will each take up approximately 15.254% of the website leaving the rest of the space for the separate feature articles. The feature articles are the main point of focus, as they should be.

Professor Wolff also helped me to understand the grid system a bit more. Together we broke down the 1200px grid with an 1180 px content width.

break-down-of-grid-system

 

 

I’m still not sure I have a 100% grasp of how to use grids. Web design is a very complex thing and it might very well be impossible to fully understand everything 100%, but I definitely have a better understanding of the importance of it. The grids will make things more organized and flexible so that my website can adhere to web standards and work better on a variety of platforms. If I can’t find a good reads widget or decide that I don’t want one I can use that extra space to add in another feature article. I will need to re-do the math and re-configure the width settings though in order to keep it flexible. Likewise, I may decide to make my Twitter widget wider. This is something that I’m very likely to do as I currently have content pouring out of the container. If I do this I will once again have to adjust my other width settings with mathematical equations to keep it flexible.

Web designs, especially grids, is not an easy thing. However, I have a greater sense of confidence and better understanding of how it works and what needs to be done to make my website more flexible.


On Thursday morning I made a big decision that was not easy for me to make, but one that I felt was necessary: I deactivated my Facebook account.

I felt like deactivating my Facebook account was something I had to do. I’m going through some crazy things in life right now and feel a need to disconnect with some people. I have nearly 700 “friends” on Facebook from the three different high schools I attended, my community college, Rowan, and then those random people that I met well, randomly. The thing with Facebook is that it allows you to know SO much about a person. It is also easy to spill your guts into that inviting little box that constantly asks you what’s on your mind. I’m not allowed to discuss some things I’m going through now unless it’s with a handful of specified people. Facebook tempts me, though. On Facebook I just want to literally say everything I’m thinking and feeling…every little thought, every little emotion. But I can’t (or at least shouldn’t) do that now. Doing so could get me in trouble or cause a headache at the least.

Twitter is different. On Twitter you get 140 characters — not much room to spill too much information. You’re connected with people, yes, but it’s a different form of connection. I don’t know the “gossip” of my followers. That stays off of Twitter. On Facebook, it’s like a driving force. And it’s so addicting! You say you don’t like gossip or drama…yet you get addicted to it on Facebook. It’s amusing. Take it away and it’s well, weird.

I have tried to go back on Facebook many times. It’s always the first website I go to when I turn my computer on. Then I’m like “Oh yeah, don’t have that anymore.” I did re-activate it for a few minutes to get a friend’s address that was in a message. When I did this I noticed I still had new notifications and my Twitter was posting to Facebook. In a way it was barely like I left — which was creepy. I have since tried to disable my Twitter postings from Facebook.

I’m beginning to realize how much Facebook controlled my life, and it’s sad. I mean, yes I’m into social media…I’ve worked as a social media coordinator for about 2.5 years in the past, but I feel like I was living my life entirely through Facebook. I knew everything about everyone. Now without Facebook I have no idea what everyone is up to, and you know what? There was really no reason for me to know this information before.

Communicating with others is becoming a slight challenge. Not everyone has Twitter. I’m texting slightly more than before…but I don’t have many numbers. The only way I can think of to get the numbers would be through Facebook. Oops. Maybe I should’ve thought of that before. If I have a question about a writing-arts related assignment I can usually just ask someone on Twitter — no problem. However, English majors have not been required to use Twitter. If I have a question about an English related assignment I have to email the professor or ask someone in person. I don’t have most phone numbers of my classmates and without Facebook, there’s not much of a connection with them, which, ironically was exactly why I didn’t want Facebook anymore.

A benefit of no Facebook is that I can focus on more important matters. I have more time. I’m putting more effort into my schoolwork and I’m not quite as behind as I was before. I have a little more time to sleep. I have more time to live, I think.

I am planning to reactive my account in a month or so, but if I get used to the whole living without Facebook thing, I might just change my mind….


kimberly-erskine-professional-letterhead

 

 

 

Designing my letterhead turned out to be a lot more challenging than I anticipated. I wanted it to match my website but didn’t want it to be too cluttered or too “loud”. I chose to limit the colors to just two and not include all of the social media things (just Twitter). I feel like it’s kind of too simple or plain, though. I’m not a graphic designer or artist at all so I didn’t really have the skills to make the design pop out much and I didn’t really know what to do with it. If anyone has any suggestions at all please let me know!


kimberly-erskine-new-website-wireframe

 

 

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I have been reconsidering my website design. I want it to be more simple than I originally planned. I created a new wireframe to reflect on my ideas, but I am finding it a bit challenging to put my ideas on paper. One of my biggest struggles is figuring out what to do with social media buttons (along with where to get them and how to implement them). I think I want them underneath my navigation bar. I just don’t want them to look too cluttered or random. My original idea of putting them in a box on the side seems cluttered to me now. I also considered adding them to the contact page, but I’m not sure if that’s a good idea or not. I want the fact that I do social media to be obvious and to stand out and if I put the buttons on a separate page it might hinder the effect.

I’m also afraid that the first page might be too empty. I’m having trouble finding the balance between keeping it free from clutter, but not oversimplifying it. I’m trying to just put a twitter widget and good reads widget along with a navigation bar, social media buttons, photograph, and short quote about my work on the page. I figure the other pages will be where the main, big pieces of information should go.


Designing a business card turned out to be a bit more challenging than I originally expected. It’s tough to throw yourself out there on such a tiny space. I want my business card to match my website and to say a lot about my skills. I want it to stand out from all of the other business cards employers are bound to have on hand. One of the ways in which I am attempting to do this is through the use of images. I debated on whether or not to include my own image. I have heard arguments for both sides, some saying it’s good others saying it’s tacky. In my mind I think it can help an employer put a face to my name…literally. I also think it helps to add to the social media effect I’m aiming for. I included social media buttons on my page with contact information for the same purpose. I’m a little unsure with how I placed that, though. It’s hard to put that much information on such a small space.

Anyway, here is my design. Please feel free to let me know what you think of it!

 

Kimberly-Erskine-Professional-Business-Card



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