Bling bling from Silicon Valley

I’ve always wanted to get my hands on some serious schwag from the tech companies in the states. Badges, stickers, t-shirts, USB pens etc. The only stuff I’ve ever managed to collect was from Microsoft’s Dev days and their Visual Studio 2005 launch – which were both awesome – the amount of money Microsoft spend on marketing is really scary! Anyway, as I was saying, to get your hands on these things, you either go off to Google’s Store or have loads of cash to go and attend SXSW in Texas every year.

ValleySchwagBut now there is another way! Valleyschwag has opened up and will send you some really awesome schwag from silicon valley every month. Best of all is they deliver to SA! The price is also not that bad aswell, considering you’ll be getting a t-shirt every month. $23.95 per month, including shipping. Thats around R144.

I’m considering signing up for a month to see if the hype is all worth it. (A guy actually is selling a valleyschwag bag minus the t-shirt on e-bay. Wierd.)

BTW, check out their blog for a couple of hints on what to expect in a schwag bag.

Jason, what’s up with this new design?

Well, all of it! My previous design was put together very quickly, as I really wanted to start blogging. As a capable designer (well I think I am!) there was no way I was going with a free template. So the lime green design was born. It couldn’t display images very well, hated blockquotes and completely forgot about lists. But it worked. It got me a couple of hits a day, and I was happy to be blogging.

After being one of the first people to read and comment on Adam Howell’s post on this idea of a standards based reboot, I immediately knew I wanted to reboot my blog along with the many others that expressed their interest in the idea. Although I missed a whole 2 reboots before actually signing up, the Spring Reboot on the 1st of May seemed like a deadline I might be able to meet. I missed it by a day.

So what’s new and cool, you say

Half the code I used the last time around, was more hand coded links, lists of categories etc. I never delved into the WordPress API much, as I didn’t have time to. This time around, almost everything is generated from template tags. Pages, categories, featured posts. Knowledge is power mate.

Along with pages comes my very first About me, Archives and Contact me pages. I’ve never had any of these before, so these are a first for me. =) (Not that exciting hey?)

One thing that is still in development is my footer. Footers these days seem to be the norm – or the “in-thing”, so purely by peer pressure I’ve created one. I’ll be listing the latest things I’m doing, from books I’m reading, to web projects I’m working on, to sites I’ve visited. It will give you a little more insight into where my interests in life and the web lie.

So where to now?

Not sure really. More regular posting, that’s a definite. WordPress 2.x is so awesome, it almost makes you want to write! So look out for more posts on marketing, web design, web 2.0, me, the internet, sport etc… etc… etc…

See you around.

I’m a day late…

and I’m sorry. Being a public holiday in South Africa really didn’t help my cause as well, since my dial-up at home seemed to really bum out on me yesterday.

Anyway, the wait is over! Ive rebooted this blog, so for any people that read my blog via a feed reader, please pop round and have a look. I’ve redesigned this blog along with hundreds of other designers as part of Spring’s CSS Reboot. Let me know what you think! Also, one other favour – please go and vote for it over at CSS Reboot – link to my reboot here. =)

I’ll give some more detail about the reboot, changes here and so forth, soon. =)

Rebooting this blog

Just a quick note that the 1st of May is around the corner, and along with that comes a re-designed / re-aligned blog! There are still a number of tweaks and design issues that I have to cross before I’ll be ready, but everything should be ironed out by the 1st. Well I hope so!

More info on my progress can be found here.

There are going to be some really awesome redesigned sites on the 1st of May at CSSreboot, so get on over there on the 1st and have a look.

7 tips for better email etiquette

Email. Goes hand in hand with “The internet”. Everyone has to have an email address, right? Everyone knows how to write a letter, right? Everyone knows how to construct an email? Wrong.

One of my biggest irratations of late, are emails that I receive that people haven’t taken more than 3 seconds to type and click send. It sometimes feel that the person that sent the email, is being extremely rude, but in actual fact, just doesn’t care much about the tone of their emails. It comes down to knowledge. If a person knew better, than more often than not, do better.

So for anyone that uses email, these tips are for you. For those that already know better, if you have any email ettiquette tips, please add them to the comments.

  • 1. Address someone specific. When sending an email to a company department, or a grouped email address, use “Hi So-and-so”. More often than not, the person emails asking for help, but there are many people who recieve the email, and invarably no-one responds.
  • 2. Write an email like you would a letter. Start with an opening paragraph, write all the content in the body, and end off with a closing paragraph. Paraphrase your email aswell. It makes it easier to read. Obviously if you sending a one line email, then no need, but common courtesy is always nice.
  • 3. Use decent signatures. Have your name, job position and contact details in your signature. Also, 2 colours and 2 font size changes max! Thats it. No funny quotes, jokes, wierd pictures, 5 colour names, 3 different fonts etc. If its a personal email, no problem, rainbow style your email, but with business email, keep it professional.
  • 4. Make use of the From address field. In your email’s account settings, fill your full name and surname in. It makes it easier for people to recognise where the email is coming from immediately, without having to sift through the entire email to read your name in your signature.
  • 5. Use the subject field for the email’s subject! Use a descriptive subject in the least amount of words possible. Do not ask or answer questions in the subject field and especially, NEVER leave the subject blank.
  • 6. Make proper use of the Importance field. (The “!” button) The importance of a document should only be set to high, if the email should be brought to the recipients attention immediately. Jokes or simple requests or emails that only need to be opened when the recipient has a free moment, should never be flagged.
  • 7. Never delete email. You never know when you are going to need the information or prove that you sent or recieved an email. Make use of mail folders, email sorting and archiving, so your email client doesn’t get clogged, but the simple rule is… never delete.

I hope you’ve learn’t a thing or two from these tips. So why not practice them and send me an email! jason[at]jasonbagley[dot]com :-)