Noticed yesterday that it’s already been 2 weeks since the last blog post. This write-up is about the past two weeks. Some personal and website stuff.
The personal stuff
I’ve been arranging almost everything for my trip to South Africa and received my vaccins this week which gave me a bit of cold during the last couple of days. Always wanted to read the biography about Steve Jobs, because of the cold I couldn’t get behind the computer or watch TV so I downloaded the audiobook of the biography. The first audio book I listened to. It’s really interesting to learn how Apple was founded in more detail then the Wikipedia information.
Still got a lot of hours to listen to but found the book till thus far really inspiring. The biography is about the ups and downs, but also about someone who doesn’t give up, who is stubborn, who is direct and does not mince words, someone who first doesn’t have good people skills and snaps to people a lot when he thinks their idea isn’t good enough.
The book also tries to give different examples about how the two Steves (Jobs and Wozniak) have a great symbiosis together. According to the book Wozniak’s dad told Jobs (when they first started the company) that Jobs doesn’t deserve a dime of the company because his son did all of the work. Steve Wozniak didn’t agree with his father because he knew that he and Jobs needed each other. Wozniak was the technical brain and Jobs more the salesman in the beginning.
Still have a lot of listening to do in the next couple of days, so who knows what inspiring lessons I come across.
The website stuff
During the last 2 weeks I have been working on the YouTube part of the Central Hub. Especially working on categorising all the videos that are displayed in the video wall. The idea behind the video wall has always been to let the visitor be surprised and just click the content randomly, by categorising the videos it’s easier to find available videos on a certain topic.
The non-technical video wall was easy to categorise and contains (for now) the categories:
- Cyber security
Categorising the technical videos is more work. At first I was a bit of reluctant about categorising the technical videos because of all the work and other things that I want to develop for the website, but sometimes you just got to do it! Tried to define categories in advance but that wasn’t working for the technical videos because of all the different subjects the videos are about, so just started adding categories when adding videos. Also writing all the categories down on the whiteboard when adding a video. This helps me to make combinations of used categories.
At some point I can combine categories so you have a main category and sub-categories. For example the categories ‘Console’ and ‘Embedded systems’ can have the main category ‘Hardware’. I noticed that all the main categories are at the moment already a lot to display, so also trying to combine the main categories. The design is not finished, but a first design looks something like this:
At the moment I’m using three different layouts for the technical videos. The chosen layout depends on the used background, the amount of text for the description and readability. Also added the ‘parallax scrolling’ effect to most of the videos, which makes it look like the text is scrolling on top of the background image and when scrolling down the image slowly disappears. A nice example of this effect is: ‘Demo – How to create a parallax scrolling website‘. The current layout looks like this:
When started with the non technical videos I downloaded the video thumbnails from the YouTube thumbnail links manually. The thumbnails are used as a ‘featured image’ in a post and show up as the image in the video wall. Adding manually the thumbnails for 50 videos is a lot of work so installed the plugin ‘Video Thumbnails‘ that automatically grabs the YouTube default thumbnail from a video in the highest resolution available (if possible HD resolution (720 or 1080) otherwise the ‘high’ quality resolution). This plugin speeds up the work a lot.
Also manually adding the Flickr photos to both the Central Hub and YouTube website is a lot of work. I’ve found an interesting post ‘5 Free Creative Commons Image Plugins for WordPress Compared‘ which recommends WP Inject and Flickr Pick a Picture. Trying both plugins at the moment, the plus for both plugins is that they automatically add the owner and used Creative Commons license to the description of the image. WP Inject does this only for the image in the post that is being written, Flickr Pick a Picture does this also for the description in the Media Library. The only negative point for the Flickr Pick a Picture plugin is that it can’t search multiple Creative Commons licenses. Maybe something that can be added in the future.
When I’ve set up all the websites I’ve added the Google Analytics code to track hits. I’ve used Google Analytics before but the thing that I forgot was that it doesn’t update the statistics realtime, most of the times after a couple of hours (if you not choose the Realtime dashboard). Therefore I’ve added the WP Statistics plugin. You can track the realtime hits with the plugin. For both methods of tracking I recommend that you exclude your own IP address so the statistics are not influenced by the visits from editing the website or adding a new post etc. For WP Statistics this can easily be done by adding your IP to the exclude box (don’t forget to note the subnetmask, 255.255.255.255 for one IP address). For Google Analytics follow this easy write-up ‘Exclude IP Address From Google Analytics‘.
Learned today (and of other days)
- Getting the vaccins for my trip to South Africa gave me cold.
- Categorising the videos for the non technical video wall was easy.
- Categorising the videos for the technical video wall is more difficult because of all the different subjects.
- Just start with categorising the videos and the relationship between main and sub categories will appear by themselves.
- Writing the categories on a whiteboard or piece of paper can help to visualise relationship between categories.
- The YouTube and Flickr plugins makes adding new content go faster.
- Don’t forget to exclude own IP address from Google Analytics or WP Statistics.
- Both WP Inject and Flickr Pick a Picture plugins are missing features that I’m looking for, but can be used for now.
Music videos of the day