Archive for the ‘website’ Tag

Dunning–Kruger Effect

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

It takes years of practice to be truly brilliant at anything, and websites are no exception. If you want to make an original website that hits it off, it’ll take you more than a few days to put together. I’ve been working on my website for months, and whilst I believe in taking risks, making things happen and learning from mistakes, sometimes I can’t help but wonder if I am in some way suffering from the Dunning–Kruger effect.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is an effect that makes people who do not know a lot about a subject think they know more than they actually know. It also makes people who do know a lot about a subject think that they know less.

In other words, am I a skilled web designer, or do I just live on mount stupid? When I look at my website, sometimes I think “this is a real masterpiece”. Other times I wonder if, like many other projects I have worked on, it will merely be a blip, or fail to achieve critical mass. Will posting a link to Reddit be enough to get my site on the map? Would boingboing post a link to its main page? Should I (in desperation, one would assume) post to Digg? Will my Facebook friends tell their Facebook friends until it gains momentum? How can I hire somebody to promote my site? And what if they too suffer from the Dunning–Kruger Effect and are, in fact a total marketing bozo?

In the end I’ll just have to launch it and see.

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Tool Bar Gradients

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Okay, so “Tool Bar Gradients” doesn’t sound exciting, but it’s an important concept, which has been grasped and used by a whole bunch of multi billion dollar companies, including Google, Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook:
Google:
Twitter:
By toolbar I mean the little bar used for navigation at the top of the page. And if we look very very closely at these toolbars we can see some reoccurring tricks which the big shots use make their websites look neat, clean and together.
Some extreme toolbar close ups:
Facebook:
Google:
Twitter:
At the bottom of each title bar you’ll notice that there is a dark line which marks the end of the bar. Just underneath this, you can see that a shadow has been drawn on, making the title bar appear distinguished from the rest of the page.
All of the cool kids are doing it. Just take a look at the wordpress toolbar:
Close up:
If you use this $5 trick, it’s a part of making your site look a million bucks.

Replacing HTML With Client Side LOLCODE

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Something which I have been working on for the past few weeks is how to run LOLCODE as a client side interpreted programming language similar to Javascript or HTML. HTML may not a turing complete programming language, but it’s simple nature make it an easy target for my first attempt.

So far I’ve managed to get a prototype parser / interpreter to parse an adapted version of LOLCODE at runtime to deliver a (semi) valid HTML document.

LOLCODE being used as a markup language for the first time

If you want to check it out, the worlds first client side LOLCODE prototype is at http://pjs.cat, and please be sure to check out the source code.

Cool TLD Hacks

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Most websites use normal TLDs like .com, .co.uk, or .org.

Legitimate. Normal. Boring. Some websites, like PJs.Cat (launch and patent pending) make use of the noble art of the TLD hack. Google for example owns Goo.gl (with .gl being the TLD for Greenland) and Youtu.be. Perhaps the most famous examples of this include del.icio.us and bit.ly.

You can even have boo.bs! The .cat TLD is under utilised, and the only site I have ever heard of that uses it is nyan.cat.

The Internet is full of cyber squatters, sitting on all the best .com websites, so using a good TLD hack is a great way to get a catchy, interesting, short and unique URL for your website.

If you want to make your own try tldhack.com, though it is not allways 100% accurate, as I found when I tried to register c.at and found there is a 3 character minimum for Austria’s .at domain.

So how did I feel when I finally registered PJs.Cat?

Meowtstanding