Flickr Plugin for WordPress

Recently I decided to take an ajax widget I made for a wedding website and turn it into a wordpress plugin. It turned out to be alot easier than I thought it would be!

The plugin goes something like this:

  1. The user must specify some information in the backend, specifically a username from which to grab photos.
  2. When the page loads, use a library called phpflickr to access the flickr API and grab some photos.
  3. Once we have the data, load in the thumbnails attached to each image, and link to the larger images.
  4. Then output everything on the page and include a simple yet robust pagination system for accessing new images.

Hooking the plugin up to prettyPhoto was a bit of a task…but wordpress makes ajaxifying widgets so easy now that it became my only real hang up in the entire process.

I’m currently in the process of cleaning up the code, commenting and registering it as an officially distributed wordpress plugin.

Here’s the end result:

Facebook and Wolfram Mashup

Recently Joe Corr showed us an example of the facebook api he’d been playing with. It allowed users to login via the facebook login button, then grab interesting information with the return data. In class we were playing around with several ideas:

  1. What if facebook could predict who you’ll be hooking up with after you break up with someone?
  2. What if facebook could predict who you’re most likely cheating with?
  3. What if we could predict how has a crush on you?

I came up with an idea to simply take the numbers that represent you i.e. your birthdate, facebook id, age etc. and run them through the Wolfram API to see what interesting information we might extract.

As it turns out, some of the most interesting information has nothing to do with numbers but rather information regarding your name.

Anyway, check it out!

John B. Winsor

I tweaked WordPress a bit and built a custom theme for John, a writer, who required a very intuitive backend interface. John’s goals were to crowdsource a novel and needed something more than a simple website/blog. He had a social media plan but also needed users to be able to submit their portions of a story that would be later published as a crowd sourced novel.

His target market are current/aspiring writers age 55 and up. He wanted a space where he could give advice, blog about writing/storytelling and allow other writers to submit their short stories. Among other things, he also wanted to promote his books on amazon.

Site design: Chris Znerold

Social Media: Denise Horton

Hosting: knownhost

Backend CMS: WordPress

Gluten Free Pantry

I made this site for my girlfriend to blog about gluten free living. She about everything from gluten free restaurant reviews and products to recipes and even health related products like skin care. She loves the site and the design works quite well with the overall tone.

Design: ivanov

Backend: WordPress

Hosting: Knownhost

Alice and Will get Hitched!

I was delighted when my good friend Alice asked me to do her wedding website. Of course I did it for free (what are friends for?). I chose a simple design to draw attention to these two lovebirds. The colors are more traditional Hawaiian (Since Alice is a native) and the font was chosen to convey a simple and fun aura. It was also a great learning experience.

I found out quickly that not building a backend content management system was a bad idea. Since launch, I have spent many hours doing back end maintenance to the site that could easily be done by the wedding party. In the future, I will remember to build a backend interface so I don’t have to manage content.

I also used this site to experiment with a bunch of jQuery plugins like sliders, lightboxes and timers. I feel all the technology I used were pertinent and add functionality rather than adding superfluous design elements and interaction. Additionally, all the information on the site exists in a single page served by several backend php functions, so it has wonderful SEO!

Design: Mike Newell & Indonez

Backend: Custom

Hosting: Knownhost

High Mountain Garden Club

My girlfriend belongs to a local gardening club and they wanted to have a website for newsletters, information, blog posts about their gardens and bylaws. However, they didn’t have a budget for the website and didn’t know anyone who would make it and host it for free. I offered to make them a website as a way to help give back to the community.

The site is fairly straight forward and took minimal theme alteration to allow the garden club members to modify and update their site.

Design: Mladjo

Backend: WordPress

Hosting: Knownhost

Targhee Music

Motivation

My marketing budget for promoting Targhee Fest (a reasonably sized 3 day music festival Grand Targhee Resort holds every year with names like Michael Franti and ) was next to nothing. We needed a strategy that could generate buzz around the music festival but also have long term implications for raising awareness about local music in Teton Valley. There were a couple opportunities also available for us as low hanging fruit. At the time, Teton Valley did not have a social hub. Blogs existed that mentioned local activities, but it was more of a side note. We also had some great lineups schedule for the summer and wanted to provide customers an opportunity to plan  around some of the events.

Execution

I built the microsite at targheemusic.com and helped fill it with content. We managed to drive traffic by becoming a hub of information about local activities and live music schedules in the valley. We also launched the site with a bang by starting an online battle of the bands competition that translated into a physical battle of the bands competition. In a sense, the bands involved ended up doing most of the promotion for us by motivating their loyal fans to go on the site and vote. In order to vote, users had to click through a small piece promoting our Targhee Fest lineup. The site is still used when enough staff exists to keep it current and it has generated over 22k of new traffic.

Learned

Online voting is hard to implement. We had trouble with some fans “spamming” the vote in order to help their band win. In the end we had a wonderful response and actually walked out of the situation with an opportunity for some of the bands to contribute to the content of targheemusic.com in order to start an online music community.

Targeting leaders of small tribes with engaged users and producing real value is key. We didn’t have the budget to promote this festival in a standard way and so we needed something viral. The band leaders already had email lists and sets of engaged users all we had to do is provide real value to the band leaders and the rest was taken care of.

Microsites take a ton of maintenance. Micro is a bit misleading in this sense because it implies “easy” which isn’t the case. It took hard work and long hours in order to fill the site with content and keep it relevant.

Tech

WordPress with a custom built theme and custom backend administration windows to manage voting and calendars.

Youtube direct API

Targhee Mobile Site

I had the opportunity to make a mobile site for Grand Targhee Ski Resort. The experience taught me not just about making site for mobile browsers, but about how our user experience of the web is changing. We expect to have information available to us in a friendly format almost anywhere!

I was prompted to make a mobile site after I had tried to access the regular Grand Targhee site from my phone as I was driving to work one day. I wanted to check how much snow we had to see whether it was worth turning around to go back and get my snowboard. After waiting a while for the regular Targhee site to load I gave up and just continued on to work. When I got to the hill, there was about a foot of light fluffy powder on the ground. I was so mad that I vowed Targhee would have a mobile version with the most valuable information on it within a week.

It turns out mobile sites are their own animals, I wrote Targhee’s mobile site without any javascript, and a very light version of valid xhtml + CSS. I paid extra attention to making the site as light and quick to load as possible, so even in the mountainous regions of the Tetons, one can still check Targhee’s powder scores!

Ride Habitat

I built this site for Grand Targhee Ski Resort after they acquired Habitat (a lifestyle gear company) in Driggs, Idaho. Habitat had recently moved to Driggs, ID from Victor, ID and the goal was to promote its new store location and to showcase their new selection of good.

The idea was to create a platform for the employees to blog about new gear, local town happenings and give advice on everything from ski repair to mountain bike maintenance. They needed a custom designed theme with a backend interface that would accommodate beginning bloggers.

Design: Maximus

Backend: WordPress