THE MONTHS OF BER: Once More, With FEELING.

And out of nowhere, like a dreaded cold that chills your bones, The Months of Ber have fallen upon us, signalling the time to check on our affairs and tie up loose ends wherever we can.

With the summer gone, it’s time to cherish the memories, but prepare for an entirely new season ahead with entirely new challenges. Photo Credit: Justin Baisden

With summer wrapped up but a wealth of work still sitting on my plate, I looked at my desk and didn’t even know where to start. When I added cleaning my desk to The 2014 100 back in January, it was no joke — the pressed wood of my 2% stake in my home has long vanished under piles of unfinished ideas, half-read books, and a plethora of resources I got with good intentions, but ultimately used them so seldom that all they do is take up space.

It’s time to figure out what really needs doing in my life, and with luck, I can enter 2015 much farther ahead than I was a mere 9 months ago.

10 Links You Should Click

One of my bad habits is racking numerous open tabs up in my browsers. It’s something I’ve tried to curb in The 2014 100, but it still creeps in if left unchecked.

After chatting with a friend who misses the short posts I used to put out with 100 Happy Days, she got me thinking on what I could put out that was short and sweet but could still be valuable to my readers.

So in that spirit, here’s 10 Links You Should Click, a (maybe weekly) look at the stuff I come across and think you should check out. It could be things I want to make or do, or maybe stuff I just discovered that made me pause.

May these links titillate and thrill you, excite and entice you — and give me a reason to do this again!

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 71-80: Karaoke, Cards and a bit of O Canada!

Who needs sleep?

It’s the last day of the year and time to close up shop. Zach survived A Sponsored Life, Sarah begat new life unto the world, and you know what? It’s been a solid year.

How solid, though? These last few posts should tell the tale!

The Need for Themes — A November to Remember PRELUDE

Don’t judge. Though it’s a haphazard method for coming up with post ideas, it’s EFFECTIVE, damnit.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Originally, this was just going to be a review of themify.me’s Fullscreen theme and what it’s done for me so far, but with the unexpected madness that’s been November; the hoops I needed to get through in order to get my site back and running; amd the vast amounts of sleep I haven’t been getting through this entire process, a simple task exploded into one big learning experience. It’s been, without a doubt, a November to Remember.

But I digress — let’s start at the beginning — let’s talk themes.

Feeling Frumpy

 

If I could build a time machine, I’d go back to 2005 and teach 2005 Casey how to dress….

If you’re into the world of website development, there are few simpler options than building one with WordPress. Speaking from experience, I know I’d get frustrated when building sites in the past, not knowing what to include, how to structure things, whether my code was up to current standards, etc. was all a huge pain in the ass.

I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner, but eventually I moved to WordPress and everything just… clicked. Aligning strongly with my belief that we should leverage the knowledge and abilities of the many rather than constantly try to do everything by ourselves, WordPress is the sum effort of a cast of thousands of developers, making it way simpler to integrate things like security, design and functionality features.

However, when you create for mass usage, you often run the risk of everything looking the same, and that’s a hurdle that all WordPress users need to overcome at some time or another.

And thus, enter the premium theme. For a relatively low cost, you can pay for the fruits of someone else’s labour and buy a theme that’ll help you stand apart from the rest of the pack with a slicker look and additional functionality. There’s more companies puitting these themes out than I have fingers to count,but Toronto-based themify.me is the only one so far who’s been kind enough to let me review some of their stuff, so I’m here to try one out! I’ve actually dealt with Themify themes for a little bit now, but I had my eye on Fullscreen specifically since the day it came out.

Designed for people leaning toward using a site as a visual portfolio, Fullscreen lives up to its name and immediately presents your images on the front page the way you intended for people to see them — spread across the full dimensions of your browser.

Fix Up, Look Sharp

Themify’s Fullscreen is what’s UP.

Just like how sometimes we need to reinvent ourselves to keep aligned with how we want the world to see us, the tools we use to represent ourselves often need love, too.

And this includes our websites.

I’d never meant to keep my site as a blog along, but never really got around to finding a solution that’d help me get any further.

However, I think that Themify’s Fullscreen is definitely part of that solution, though!

In a world where we’re all trying so desperately to be heard — whether it’s sharing thoughts through the power of social media or making our faces known about town as local socialites — it’s important to stand out. When you have a site, you might write with the right words and tell some amazing stories, but if your site looks like everybody else’s, you’re just about guaranteed to get lost in the shuffle!

So, I think it’s all about trying something new.

Fullscreen, or — “Something New”

Fullscreen does something that a lot of themes out there don’t bother to do — make an impact the very first time you see it!

Tons of themes I see want you to be one thing or another. You’re either a writer or an artist. You either take photos or draw comics. You either write for fashion-forward women or sports fanatics. No one fits into one box so easily — we’re all a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Fullscreen helps me express this a little by including both a rotating background gallery that showcases my favourite drawings and photos, and a slick layout to show all of my blog posts.

Doesn’t hurt that they’ve included an easy-to-use interface behind the scenes for all of you out there who never learned how to code! The ability to quickly switch design and functionality elements is built right in so that you never need to code an iota if you don’t want to!

If this doesn’t help you individualize your site — NOTHING will. That is, unless you want to go code it yourself…

All in all, I’m happy with my blog’s new look. It’ll take a bit of time and elbow grease to truly master it and call it my own, but I think it helps to define a new Casey for a new age! Fullscreen has a lot to offer, and while moving from one company’s premium WordPress theme to another means that I’ll lose some functionality, it’s nothing that a little tinkering, coding and ingenuity won’t fix!

My only beef is that I don’t immediately know what dimensions of photos work best for the theme, but I’m sure some research will help me fix that.

Themify’s all about supplying cost-effective solutions to make your WordPress site fresh to death, so if you’re ever wondering why your site isn’t getting the love it deserves, maybe it’s time to give it the makeover it so sorely needs. If you want to be a step ahead of the rest, support a Canadian company and make your life easier, I suggest looking at Themify’s themes  for WordPress. There’s no way to look this fly in life for this cheap, so hey — why not start doing it right somewhere?

–case p.

P.S. In our next chapter, we discuss my best laid plans and what I actually managed to accomplish this past month other than growing facial hair and writing some words!

[Disclaimer: Post written in exchange for a free install of Themify’s Fullscreen theme, which now powers my site. Huzzah!]

The 2K11 24/7 XIII: Ideas Unrealized – Baby Steps

So I wonder how many of you are actually seeing my posts, since I tend to post them pretty late into the night (11 PM – midnight EST or so)? I should try an experiment of having my posts go up at different times in the day to see what happens. Maybe my posts will get lost in the shuffle of the hustle and bustle during the daytime. Maybe it’ll reach out to even MORE people who just didn’t know it existed! Won’t know until I try, right?
Now I know I said a thing or two about Ideas Unrealized before, but then it was an abstract thought that had flitted through my brain without really sticking. But now that Kevin’s inadvertently gotten me into the practice of wireframing for my upcoming websites, all those ideas are starting to come back to the surface.
Which is a good thing. I mean, let’s take a look at the pile of crap that I’ve had lingering around since the dawn of time:
See, it’s great to have an idea, but if you’re not arming yourself with the tools to make them a reality, you’re not doing yourself any good. I’d drop a ton of links on you about all the sites I’ve been checking out lately, but let me just tell you about some of the books I’ve been reading to give you an idea of the direction in which I’m headed:
Amongst others which I’ll mention later. Mashable’s also been a great resource for learning a lot about doing business in the digital frontier.
But yes, I promise that some fruits of my labours will be shown soon.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have toast to eat and a shower to take. Hope you’re having a great one out there, Internetland!
Later,
–case p.

13/365