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Archive for November 26th, 2006

Signing off, sending the wrong message

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

The NYTimes has an interesting article about the message you send with your e-mail sign off.

The sign off (think “Sincerely,” “Love,” or “Yours truly”) is something that is almost universally an afterthought in e-mail. As an often informal communication method, it’s easy to disregard the importance of that final line. But, as the article points out, doing so could inadvertently signal a brush off or be so informal it makes your recipient uncomfortable.

As for my sign-offs, I’m pretty conservative and predictable. I usually end with “Thanks, Meranda” or a simple “~Meranda.” Although the article says no ending makes you seem cold, I think the tilde softens the ending without making it awkward.

In other reading, I also took some time to skim this list of 99 tips to make your e-mail more secure and productive, which I came across on Lifehacker.

Some of my own suggestions that aren’t on this list include…

  • Use a temporary address when you sign up for access to random Web sites. There are several places that exist for this purpose including Mailinator, My Trash Mail, Temp Inbox, Mail Expire and a dozen more.
  • Don’t sign up for sites, use a registration someone else has already created. Go to BugMeNot.com and type in the site you need access to. Chances are some one else has already taken the time to register, and if they haven’t, use one of the temporary inboxes above to do the next person a favor.

What would it take to keep me in Kent?

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

So, now Kent wants to be cool. One of my professors forwarded me this “Kent Cool Cities Survey” off of the city manager’s blog.

I’m not sure what to make of it. Yes, it’s good that they are looking forward. While Kent isn’t a dying town (or if it is, the dying nature of NE Ohio makes it seem less so), it isn’t the most happening of places. But cool isn’t something you can capture in a survey. In fact, attempting to do so makes you decidely more uncool. Plus, I like the suburban feel of the city for what it is. It was a great location to attend college. But it would take a lot to get me to stay after graduation. In fact, I can’t think of anything that would make me stay.

Don’t get me wrong. I love NE Ohio. I was born and raised in Akron, and I’d love to someday work for the Beacon (after they settle down and stop laying people off). I’ve visited a lot of places but never lived outside of Ohio. There’s just so much to the world beyond this few hundred mile radius. While I’m young, single and still adventurous enough, I want to sample the culture of different places.

So, my response to, “The best thing Kent could do to make it a more appealing place for me to live after I graduate is …” grow by about 50,000 and cede from Ohio. ;)

I must be rusty

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

I’ll admit, it’s been awhile since I took on the task of designing an entirely new Web site. I figured I’m a little rusty, it may take awhile; that was why I decided to set aside time off this weekend to do so. Yet, creating the graphics, writing the HTML and coding the CSS were by far the easiest part of this endeavor…. WordPress is annoying me more than any other program I’ve ever worked with. And I can’t figure out why. I’ve never used WordPress before this site. I had mastered Greymatter, and Blogger is cake. And while my php experience is minimal, the php isn’t what’s bothering me. It’s that what should be working isn’t working. What works in static HTML and CSS isn’t displaying right. And if my MacBook wasn’t so delicate and expensive, I’d probably have kicked it by now.

So anyway, just a note to say the layout is pretty much up. But I’ll be tweaking it, and trying to figure out why the header background isn’t showing up properly for much of the night.

Despite my annoyance, I do have to say, I really did miss designing Web sites regularly. As I was trouble shooting and scanning each line for a missing quote or unclosed div, I couldn’t help but remember that my attention to detail was what made me willing and able to stay up until dawn designing and redesigning typical. Although it’s been awhile. I don’t think this layout turned out half bad.

Update: So, apparently after I worked and reworked and reworked again the code for my header and just about gave up, I got it working. I don’t know why, but re-uploading the image seemed to fix the issue. I can’t believe I just spent an hour troubleshooting something that took 2 seconds to fix. :/ Either way, my site is now up and working.