LAUNCH: AldermanicWebsites.com

Today I launched a politics/ design/ technology/ humor site called AldermanicWebsites.Here’s the launch post (Comparing Aldermanic Hopefuls Online) and two snippets:

Here’s something I worked on over Christmas vacation: AldermanicWebsites. It is a fun/ manic little Web site that “contains links to and reviews of the Web sites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and other Web referencia for each of the 349 people who filed nominating petitions to run for Alderman in one of the cities wards.”*I like the Analysis best– so far I’ve got five posts there, covering everything from good stars and bad stars to remarkable sites and popular Web development platforms. And you’ve realy got to view source to see anything.

Here’s the About page with a snip about the technology reviews:

Chicago Board of Election Commissioners LogoIf you’re interested examples in particular technologies used by particular candidates, the Quick-See pulldown menu is your best bet.For instance, you can see all candidates using the WordPress Web development platform, all candidates using PayPal to collect contributions, or everyone who uses Contact Contact to send out mass emails.Same goes for wards– just choose the ward your interested in (the 24th is super-lively) and you’ll see all candidates. The Ward list is in alphabetical order (when the ward number is spelled out). That’s a little goofy, I know– what can I say; I have limited skills.

Here’s some coverage:Gapers Block: Comparing Aldermanic Hopefuls Online

There are 349 candidates for alderman in this election, with varying levels of web savvy. AldermanicWebsites helps sort through them all. Unsurprisingly, a certain star makes a lot of appearances.

Progress Illinois: Council Candidates On The Web, Facebook, Twitter, And More

AldermanicWebsites.com is a new hub tracking the web-based battle for Chicago’s City Council. Courtesy of internet developer and writer Dan X. O’Neil, the site offers an easy way to comb through the online output of hundreds of candidates who submitted nominating petitions to run for one of Chicago’s 50 council seats. You’ll find links to the candidates’ websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and what O’Neill calls “other Web referencia.” There are reviews and discussions of their digital production too — check out O’Neil’s thoughts on the star imagery on the prospective council member pages — and a link to a set of photographs of the front page of each aldermanic candidate’s site. Browsing through those front pages is a useful way to learn how council candidates are defining the issues their communities face, where they think incumbent council members have fallen short, and why voters should trust them to do a better job.

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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Simple Story Posting Site

Developed the technology strategy for the web followup to a direct mail piece going to 35,000 people in advance of Nurses Appreciation Week. The client wanted to allow employees to submit stories about their jobs for publication. There was limited staff to review the submissions and none on the staff had any ability to edit HTML. The client didn’t want to require a user login but they did want to collect some limited user information. I developed the following strategy:

  • Site hosted on an inexpensive hosted account with PHP and MySQL installed
  • WordPress weblog system installed
  • User fills out a simple form, including their story and some identifying data
  • System sends email to the admin with "name, position, city" as the subject line and the story in the body of the email
  • Email also includes a link invoking the built-in WordPress QuickPost feature that is slightly modified so that the subject line becomes the title of the post and the story goes in the body
  • All incoming submissions are sorted to a designated folder in Miscrosoft Outlook. The admin  reviews the submissions, clicks the link in the body of the ones she wants to publish, and clicks the PUBLISH button

An easy-to-use publishing workflow from unauthenticated users to email to a publishing system to the web. Nice.