Teacher Websites Training Followup: How To Improve Your Classroom Website in Less Than An Hour

Created a one-page follow-up to extensive training materials for teachers who have yet to make the most of their TypePad publishing system.

I’ve found that as time passes after training, the people who did not immediately start publishing need a spark. The 24-page, customized publishing manual is of little use to people who forgot their password.This short, breezy page helps people get re-engaged with their websites.

Potbelly Email Marketing System

Created the first email marketing system for Potbelly Sandwich Works, a fast-expanding, Chicago-based sandwich shop opening stores at a fast clip.

  • Researched the email marketing software market
  • Chose Lyris ListManager because of it’s easy-to-use admin interface, built-in statistics, and powerful audience segmentation features
  • They use Lyris to manage their Inside Scoop newsletter and “Potbelly Pioneers” program to generate interest in new stores
  • Also allows them the reach out to the “business card in a fish bowl” customers who signed up for a free lunch.


Falk-PLI Website

Created website for northern Indiana engineering and surveying firm.

  • Client’s existing promotional video placed on homepage inside Flash
  • News section based on TypePad, allowing client to easily update the site and leading to improved search engine optimization
  • Trained client on how to update website
  • Project included copywriting


Fabrile Gallery E-Commerce Site

Sourced, set up, and launched the Fabrile Gallery Webstore for retail glass art gallery based on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.

  • Met with client to determine needs, interest, skills, hardware, and software and researched leading e-commerce packages
  • Site is completely based on the Yahoo! Merchant Solutions e-commerce platform,  making it easy and inexpensive for client to learn and maintain the system
  • Highly recommended if you want a non-technical person to maintain the store after launch
  • Set up all product categories and populated the store database with products from client’s FileMaker Pro
  • Created custom, easy-to-follow documentation and trained the client onsite until they were comfortable with the system
  • Used the built-in weblog tools from Yahoo! Merchant Solutions to create an artist  weblog for search engine optimization, including info on Fantasy figurine artist Amy Brown

Andy Kane Art

Created a simple, quick website for a friend and a great artist, Andy Kane Art.

  • Site is built on WordPress and uses the Hemingway theme. Using flexible, feature-filled WordPress themes allows you to stand on the shoulders of giants and still make custom sites that meet specific needs
  • Uses the WordPress Contact Form plugin– very simple to configure, but places in-line styles on every site page. Great for a quickie site like this
  • Installed the FAlbum WordPress plugin,  which uses the Flickr API to deliver images from a specific set in my Flickr account. The result are easy-to-update photo albums that are embedded into the main website but served offsite.
  • Encourages people who’ve purchased art from Andy Kane to upload to Flickr and tag with “andykane“– using free, offsite tools to develop community, build interest, and increase search engine optimization
  • Uses a free TypePad weblog to publish Andy’s poetry book, American Radio Waves. TypePad design mimics color, font, and other styles of the main site w/o needing a new WordPress install. The right tool for the right job

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Catherine Cook School Teacher Websites, Moodle Installation, and All-School Calendar

Created a complete website system for the Catherine Cook School in Chicago. Includes:

  • Over 50 teacher websites based on the TypePad weblog content management system.
  • All of the teacher sites run off of the same template, which reduces admin maintenance while assuring that each website has the CCS website look & feel
  • Teacher sites allow for customization at the blog level– teachers are able to put in the own header, subhead, “my links”, categories, and so on
  • RSS feeds automatically served by FeedBurner, making it easy for parents to understand RSS and subscribe through various services
  • Installed and configured the Moodle Learning Management System with the school’s look & feel
  • Set up Google Calendar so that everyone can keep up with the many events from Pre-K to 12
  • Created OPML file of feeds for all teacher sites for easy importing into RSS readers so that parents, teachers, and administrators can keep up with the whole school


St. Benedict Schools Websites

So recently I helped launch a large-scale weblog system for a preschool, elementary school, and high school in Chicago.

It was an interesting project for a number of reasons: