Tag Archives | Internet

A new portfolio solution in more than one place.

Ever since I started to focus on Berchman.com I realized that my former “company” website, HamiltonBerchman Design Group, Inc., was no longer maintained, correct, or relevant. However, at the time I was fortunately too busy to even think about doing anything to the site.

Then one day I was doing research on a project and stumbled across a free portfolio template that stood out to me in more than one way. The template is called medifolio, by Dirk Leys who generously posted it online. I was particularly drawn to the “sliding” action when you click on a portfolio thumbnail image, and the return to the main page. There was a simple elegance to the whole thing. I looked at it and thought, “how can I do this type of page in WordPress and Thesis?” The original medifolio is a single, flat html page. How could I generate all the content, in the right order, with the right tags and syntax? I thought about it a while. A long while.

In the time since I first saw medifolio I was working on a client project requiring the listing of individual portfolio pieces, complete with images and text. It required a complete custom solution. By creatively using categories as parents I created blog posts that then occupied specific categories. I could then create custom loops to not only create a listing of the portfolio pieces at the top of the page, but I could have them link to the actual full description and image display further down the page (by using custom generated anchor links). You can see the work in action here on the website ckwrites.com. There are four custom lists generated across the top of the page after introductory text. All done within WordPress and Thesis with categories and custom page templates, and custom loops.

Since I had completed design and development of ckwrites.com I looked back at medifolio and the previous experience lent itself directly to making medifolio a reality. After some long nights tinkering with custom php and css solutions I got the basic page to work as the original static medifolio page. All the content was being dynamically generated from individual posts for each and every portfolio piece. All the tags, divs, etc. were being dynamically generated as well.

Once I had a basic working model the next thing to do was to implement. I’ve done this right now in two places where it lives, live on the Internet. The first implementation was at HamiltonBerchman Design Group, Inc.

I set out to rework, or basically remove, all the non-relevant content from the website and was left with a stripped down, single web page that tells what the current state of affairs is, and shows a sample of work that I completed in my time operating HamiltonBerchman Design Group, Inc.

Once I had this complete, I wanted to take it to another place and that was on the Dennison+Wolfe Internet Group website where I am a partner. This implementation allowed me to refine and rethink some things to how the portfolio is implemented.

I think both of these came out looking quite nice.

It will be a part of the new, upcoming Berchman.com redesign.

My next step, I think, is to clean this up, write a tutorial on how to implement this, and release it on an “as-is” basis. What does that mean? It means if you want it, download it, and figure it out.

That is what I had to do. 🙂

Let me know what you think.

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A Website Realignment: Day 0

Here is the beginning of what I hope to be a great series of posts. This series will chronicle—in as much detail as I can provide without driving myself or you crazy—the process of reinventing my brand and transforming this website in form and function.

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WordPress/Thesis Tutorial: Custom ‘Coming Soon’ Page

WordPress-Thesis Image

One of my frustrations when developing WordPress websites (separate from Thesis) is trying to have a “coming soon/under construction/under development” page so that the public gets the message that things are coming while I and the client can work away in the background. Why would you need this? Well in most cases you have a domain name purchased and parked somewhere. Many times you get a lovely, unsightly, generic ‘coming soon’ page that looks very unprofessional.

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Thesis Tutorial: Sidebars However You Like Them


One of the things I learned from creating multiple custom page templates within the Thesis framework was how to create and modify sidebars. WordPress and Thesis provide you with a simple an effective way for implementing sidebars on your website with the use of simple syntax, options, and widgets. Continue Reading →

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Recently Published on BizNik


Was just notified that my “Part 2 of 6” series on Internet communications for small business. By small I’m talking less than 10 employees. Perhaps its micro business. Anyhow, here is the scoop.

Breaking Down The Multi-Headed Monster-Email Marketing

Something we all do in the modern business world is email. It is a staple to getting things done. Are you using email marketing as a tool in your marketing mix? If not, you are missing a high-return opportunity.

Here is the article on BizNik.

Looking forward to my new business blogging that will be coming 2009.

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So much to say, so much to say…

The empty speech bubble.

Yes I have had so much to say these past few months. Really. Seriously.

I have had many good blog topics pop into my head. I have come across many good blog posts this year that have prodded me to respond either by replying after the post, or posting my own retort on this blog—alas, neither happened. There are many things I can point to and say, “that was the issue,” or “that was in my way,” but basically it comes down to one simple concept.


The management of time, the use of time, the juggling of time, the lack of time. ( I know that last sentence is a fragment but who cares, it’s my blog). It all boils down to time.

In 2008 the one thing that has sucked for me has been the management of my time. I’ve sucked at it for years, but this past year the chronic disease developed pustules that popped and started oozing goo that was stinky and foul to many people around me. OK, enough of the gross visual examples.

In some respects this may be a considered a ‘New Year’s Resolution’ or whatever—who cares. All I know that time management is something for me to tackle in 2009. I need to work on it and maybe, just maybe I might be able to post some more to this blog.

But really, who cares?

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PayPal Money = Monopoly Money


Yes. Using money in your PayPal account can and does feel like playing with Monopoly money. For those of you who have done enough online transactions to take the dip and get a PayPal account you will know what I mean.

If you have a PayPal account setup to you allow people to pay you for products or services–a ‘merchant’ account–you may have at one point actually received money into your account. This has happened for me a few times with a few clients of mine. It is a great service to me and to my clients. PayPal takes a little something–but hey they have to cover their costs–I understand.

Where the Monopoly money concept comes into play is when you spend the money you have in your PayPal account. For example, you go to another e-commerce website and they take PayPal as a payment method. You jump through the appropriate hoops and voila! You have paid for your transaction. The feeling is different than credit cards because they come back to remind you that you still owe. It’s different than cash because your pockets get lighter. It feels like pretend money. You received the money, but never really ‘had it’ in your hands. And it does feel a bit different than direct deposit too because you could walk into the bank and make a withdrawl, or hit the ATM. There is no PayPal ATM (hey wait a minute, that would be cool).

Unlike Monopoly money–which can only buy you plastic houses–PayPal money, if you have enough, could buy you a real house. Now if I could just stop the impulse e-commerce purchases…

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Perspective From South of the Border


I am presently travelling abroad and writing this post from an Internet cafe near the beach in Mexico. I have been outside the U.S. for 7 days now. I have been reluctant to post while on my “vacation” but I have the time to make a brief post now.

This trip has been enlightening for mulitple reasons. It has allowed me the opportunity to see life outside the states, and see how people in another country right next door work and live. The opportunity has also given me a renewed apprectiation for the things I have in my life. My wife, my children, and my life working and living where I do. I can appreciate it all so much more with just a little time away.

I had not taken a vacation in a very long time and I think that I was feeling very bitter somehow. I was not taking time to see all the good things around me, only the negative. I would let those closest to me know about all the negative too, perhaps too much. I can see now that taking more frequent vacations, even small ones, can help with the perspective and energy one brings to everything you do. I know that next week when I do return to my “routine” that I will definitely be looking at it all with a fresh set of eyes.

I now have a renewed commitment to taking more time away from work to refresh and recharge. I knew I needed a break, I just didn´t know I needed it this bad.

When was the last time you took some time off from work or your “routine?”

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15 Minutes A Day


I was thinking about the whole idea of having a blog and writing in general. Just like any exercise humans engage in one needs to “use it, or lose it.” In other words, you need to work the muscle whether that muscle is writing, designing, selling, making, or doing. Without use the ‘muscle’ will atrophy and your ability to use it efficiently and effectively will diminish.

So, in hopes of helping build my blogging and writing ‘muscles’ I plan to take only 15 minutes a day to write something relevant to the things that I am working on and things I am passionate about. To do this all I need is an Internet connection, WordPress for blogging, a copy of Mineteur to keep me on time, the free stock image website , the ideas in my head, and my fingers to type. With those elements I plan on posting once a day during the business week and perhaps on the weekends should time permit.

Here is my first resolution of the new year.

Ack! New years resolutions—perhaps that will be Mondays post.

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The day the iPod died.

iPod 3G

It is a sad day indeed. My iPod 3G has died. It served its master dutifully and kept my rear in gear on the treadmill, stairmaster, eliptical (take your pick) for many a day. I received it long ago when it was the new hot iPod complete with custom engraving on the back.

Sad iPodAt the end of last week the iPod took a spill and since then I have not been able to get the hard drive to boot properly. I have scoured the Internet looking for all sorts of hacks and home rememdies only to find myself at a point where I need to make a decision.

The decision is whether to roll up my sleeves, buy a new Toshiba hard drive and resurrect my iPod from the ashes, or forgo the cost of time and money and just spend more money and get a new flashy iPod with a color screen. What is a mobile music starved dude to do?

Perhaps I just wait for the 2nd generation iPhone and get a new phone and iPod in one?

That just may be the ticket.

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