Field Notes Blog
News and thoughts on UI/UX, web design, and more.
Get skills, save money, rock your future
Do you wish you were getting more from your website? Do you want to shine with your boss? Then it's time for some skill building! From free resources and classes to on-demand video lessons at 50% there's something for everyone.
Heads up to my Blue Host clients, there's a phishing email going around. I've just spoken to Blue Host and confirmed that it's not legitimate. Here's what it looks like:
Dear Bluehost customer YOUR NAME:
It has come to our attention that your site is using an excessive amount of MySQL resources on your BlueHost.Com account. This is causing performance problems on your website as well as for other customers that are on this server. It can cause our servers to crash and cause additional downtime.
Our research shows that server performance degrades when the MySQL usage is over 1,000 tables and/or 3 GB on a single account or 1,000 tables and/or 2 GB on a single database. In order to ensure optimal performance for your account and the others in your shared hosting environment, we request that you reduce the MySQL usage on your account to under these limits in 14 days.
You must confirm the current copy of our Terms of Service here:
How to fix:
Terms of Service Compliance Department
1958 South 950 East
Provo, UT 84606
Phone line: (888) 401-HOST Option 5 | Fax line: 801-765-1992
The message will use your real name and website url. The spammers collect this info from public domain name records. While it does look pretty official, it is not. If you get this just delete it. I've reported it to Blue Host. As a reminder, always be careful clicking links you receive by email when you don't know the sender and if you get something you're not sure about, forward it to me and I'm happy to check it out for you for free. Cheers ~ Ame
It's not as if there are a zillion more of those suddenly. You're noticing them because the car caught your interest. It's been lifted out of the selective blindness that keeps us from being distracted by daily life's irrelevant details. So let's put that to work. Here are 3 very simple things that I do with my website clients to help them regain the precious skill of childlike focus.
In early 2004 I stumbled across End of ze World, a brilliant Flash animation by Jason Windsor (a.k.a Fluid) on albinoblacksheep.com. In those dawning days of the interwebs, our imaginations were ablaze with urban legends and just starting their wayward slide into the rapture of cellphones. The closest thing to a meme was the Dancing Baby and we still pawed through browser download files to save Superbowl videos locally to share with friends. I was already a huge fan of Ze Frank and the power of web animation and video was just coming into it's own with increasingly better video compression methods and faster internet speeds. With the advent of Flash we were reveling in the joys of browser-based games and user-generated cartoons.
I now have three online training offerings all of which you can do any time, anywhere at your own pace. Each has a few sessions and I'm in the process of adding many more - shooting for 1 per week all this month:
I created my Website Workshops as a way to share knowledge and empower clients to do more with their websites. I can't think of a better holiday to reflect that idea than Martin Luther King, Jr. Day so in honor of MLK I'm offering a free Webinar pass to the first 5 people to sign up. The pass can be used for any webinar, although I heartily suggest you begin with the first one this Wednesday 1/18/17 which is "Holistic Approach to Online Marketing". It provides a great overview for anyone just getting started. To get your FREE pass just select Add to Cart on the Webinar Pass page and enter the coupon code MLKDAY at check out. I hope you'll take advantage of this free offer and join me online.
Following on the success of last year I'm offering my live, online webinars again this year. These 1 hour presentations are designed to quickly get you up to speed on topics like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media marketing, blogging for business, using Facebook for business, the most effective ways to maintain your website and much more. These sessions are also valuable for small business people and nonprofit professionals who need to know enough to avoid internet scams and over-priced services. For example, what are the deliverables you should get in a search engine marketing service? What is Google Analytics and why should it be a part of any SEO package? How often and what sort of content should you be posting on social media? All that's required is to be online with your favorite device, if you want to participate in the question and answer period you'll get best results with a computer and headphones (or earbuds). There are 12 sessions in all and if you miss the live session on Wednesday night you can log in and view a video replay afterwards. As with my Web Labs I'm offering a nice discount for a Season Pass. While individual passes are a great value at $15 each, a Season Pass is just $144 which saves you $34. With a money-back guarantee you have nothing to lose and as professional development it's even a tax write-off. See the full webinar list and sign up.
I'm really excited to announce that all of the details are coming together for my upcoming Pixel Lava Webs Lab series. While I got a ton of great reviews last year, students all said the same thing - that they never got around to putting their new knowledge into action. That gave me the idea of creating these live, presenter-led sessions where we work together to build up our online marketing. In the same way that services like Blue Apron deliver a ready-to-make meal, each Web Lab features a standalone project with step-by-step instructions. I'll begin with a demo and then we'll get to work. My goal is for every student to leave every session with a new, ready to use project. The sessions are also a great way to get the support of like-minded small business owners and nonprofit professionals. By working together week by week, we'll motivate each other to stay on track and provide the accountability to GET THINGS DONE. To encourage students to take advantage of the whole series I've created a super deep discount of $385 for a season pass - that's 50% off. If you run a small business or nonprofit I encourage you to join us. You CAN bring in more clients, buyers, donors, volunteers, patients, visitors, etc. and I will show you how. With a money-back guarantee you have nothing to lose and as professional development it's even a tax write-off . Get all the details!
As we near the end of 2016, here are some highlights from the past year and a look ahead to the cool new stuff that I'm working on for 2017.
More Website Workshops ... and more to come!
In January I kicked off my second year of classes on website maintenance and marketing. This time the workshops were offered entirely online using a simple, high-quality app. I conducted sessions with people in several different states and got encouraging feedback to continue and expand to new topics. As websites get easier (and more fun) to use they get more powerful. It's never been easier to run your own site and promote yourself online.
Since I got my first iPhone in 2009 I've been smitten with the amazing things we can now do with the incredible computers we carry around in our pockets. From the hardware to the software, I'm fascinated by the ways in which apps are changing the way we live. I've evaluated hundreds of iPhone and iPad apps and I've decided to start sharing my ongoing reviews, experiments and adventures. You'll find my best ideas improving the world around us and for ... better living through apps. Coming soon!
About the author
As the owner of Pixel Lava Interactive I've helped hundreds of small businesses and nonprofits with websites, graphic design and more. I hope you'll find this blog full of useful information.
~ Ame Stanko