CNN 2.0

Written by Verne on July 16th, 2007

I’m not an avid reader of CNN.com, but a friend of mine who is recently pointed out the redesign of the site. This may not be breaking news to you, but I found the approach CNN took in their redesign to be both refreshing and reflective of a major news engine evolving with the web 2.0 community.

CNN.com before the redesign (courtesy of the Internet Archive):

CNN.com before the redesign

  
CNN.com “2.0″:

CNN.com after the web 2.0-styled redesign
 
Not that the former CNN.com design was overly complicated, but you can tell that simplicity is a prevailing characteristic of CNN’s new online face. In fact, this site isn’t the only one to do this, as many of today’s “web 2.0″ sites are throwing away the old style guides for the latest conventions that are guided by cleanliness, simplicity, and an abundance of white space.

Perhaps this is a move to encourage the younger, “hipper” audience to be more in tune with today’s current events, and to entice them to choose CNN.com as their preferred media outlet?

What are your thoughts on the new CNN.com?ikoni

How to brand your website’s URL, Part 2: friendly URL structures

Written by Verne on July 16th, 2007

How to brand your website’s URL, Part 2: friendly URL structures
One aspect of branding your URL, or anything for that matter, is to make it as easy to remember as possible (recall Part 1′s branding discussion). A long and complicated sentence will never fly as a company’s tagline because nobody would ever remember it. If nobody remembers it, the value is lost. Likewise, a long and complicated URL makes it difficult for your visitors to remember it, and inevitably, it makes it difficult for them to access the content they’re looking for quickly. Not only that, but it looks ugly in a browser’s address bar.

For site publishers/owners looking to take an extra step in branding their website, here’s the second installment of how to brand your website’s URL, this time using friendly URL structures.

Read the rest of this entry >

Freelance goodies

Written by Verne on July 14th, 2007

A few things have caught my attention in recent days from the good guys at FreelanceSwitch. Just thought I’d share the love!

notbythehour.com: a guide to making passive incomeA Guide to Making Passive Income
Who likes making money? And who likes making money without having to do anything active? Thought so. Clearly the FS camp had similar feelings when they were producing notbythehour.com: a guide to making passive income. This goodie outlines the concept of selling stock, making stuff, selling subscriptions, and building a web business all in the name of earning a stream of passive income. The site even has quirky wallpapers (like the one you see above)! 
Check it all out here.

2007 Global Freelance SurveyThe 2007 Global Freelancer Survey
FS is taking the initiative to gather never-before-compiled statistics on the freelance industry, and leveraging its own massive community to get it done. The survey aims to compile the industry’s collective knowledge for the benefit of freelancers everywhere. This is a great way to benchmark your own standards to those of others sharing the market. Plus, they’re offering the [very valuable] detailed results of the survey to all those who participate, in addition to a random draw for some sweet prizes.
Read about it here.
Take the Global Freelancer Survey here.

Note: this isn’t a sponsored post! I have a great deal of interest invested into the freelance community, and while I’m not exactly a freelancer, I work with them enough to know a thing or two about the industry.

Update: this post has been getting tons of traffic ever since FS shared some link love. To the new visitors, I hope you’ll take some time to explore some of the other articles I’ve written.

Enjoy!

How to brand your website’s URL, Part 1: to www or not to www?

Written by Verne on July 12th, 2007

How to brand your website’s URL, Part 1: to www or not to www?

These days, everything is branded. You brand your company, you brand your products, you brand your swag, and you even brand yourself. The purpose of branding? Quite simply, to make it yours, and to make others remember that it’s yours.

Certainly, your website is also no stranger to branding. But when you think of branding your website, you’d likely first think of tailoring the site’s design, the site’s logo, or even the site’s copy to whatever you’ve decided your brand should be. What you’d least likely think of is branding your URL.

But think about it. Half the time, if your visitors aren’t arriving to your site from linked text on another site or from a bookmark, then they’re typing in your URL to get there. The act of reading your URL off your business card, or off the napkin they wrote your URL on, and then typing it into their browser is just about as direct an interaction with your brand your customers can get. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from branding, it’s that you should brand all your touch points.

Thinking about branding your URLs yet? You should be!

Here’s Part 1 of how to brand your website’s URL: to www or not to www?

Read the rest of this entry >

Music: another creative outlet

Written by Verne on July 9th, 2007

My good friend Derrick from The Music Blogger (www.themusicblogger.com) posted about some recordings him and I did a few weeks back. He’s posted a raw (or ‘unmastered’) recording of Jack Johnson’s Rodeo Clowns done in his basement studio, starring yours struly on the guitar and vocals, and him on the bass and pretty much everything else you can hear.

You can check out Derrick’s post and the song here.

It’s hard to get away from a ‘job’ that doesn’t exactly run on a 9-5 schedule, but I try to step away every now and then and jam a bit. I’m by far an amateur, but it certainly does the trick as an alternative creative outlet. Sometimes it helps to get the ideas flowing too!

I’d be interested in hearing if any of the readers here have any interesting alternative creative outlets of their own. Leave me a comment!