While I’ve Been Gone!

Since I left for China back in February I cut myself off from the internet and, save for a few skype calls with my mom and girlfriend, kept my computer use to an absolute minimum. While that really benefited my language learning, I have missed big developments in the tech world and have also found I am not satisfied with a WYSIWYG approach to writing posts and working the web around me. As it has been forever since I have blogged, I will be taking some time to get back into the writer’s seat.

Since my graduation from My CET 哈尔滨 Program I have been pondering over different projects to start publishing. I unfortunately am still in the planning and brainstorming stages, but hopefully I can start putting up some concepts for others to pick apart and critique.

Now while all of that is nice, I found that Word Press came out with a major upgrade while I was gone, namely Word Press 3. The big features for this upgrade is the addition of custom posts and custom taxonomies. To me, and perhaps I am mistaken, wordpress is moving away from pure blogging to developing a solid CMS. No longer are we restricted to the division of posts and pages or the markups of tags and categories, an awesome move. However WordPress 3 does not come out of the box ready for this type of work. First you have to dig into the default template (the snazzy twenty ten) to start adding functions. Cogdog does an amazing job at providing step-by-step instructions to bringing out the full potential of a much more powerful wordpress blog. Unfortunately, being a layman in the blog world, I felt a little bit overwhelmed looking at the coding to add all sorts of customization. I am sure that in no time there will just be a quick plug-in to take care of all the extra work.

But this got me thinking…

Why aren’t I really diving into the messy world of ripping open templates and playing with WordPress? I’m just not satisfied with using a template or settling with the out of the box product. As a student aide of DTLT, my own work philosophy should reflect the sort of edgy and groundbreaking work of my colleagues.

So I’ve started at the very basics like I should have years ago and am working with HTML. I say all of this rather reluctantly since I feel like I should be embarrassed for starting HTML so late in the game. Well, everyone starts somewhere, and I can’t really complain. So my main resources are O’Reilly’s HTML Definitive Guide and the A W3 School’s Chinese HTML guide. So after a little bit of readings I am finally more comfortable with doing basic work like adding my own links and hand writing a few things here and there. What’s even better about this process is I am learning it in Chinese. It’s nice knowing that 浏览器 is browser and that 链接 is the word of link. If nothing else it is fun knowing that my language has reached a level that I can learn slightly more difficult information.

Aside from my HTML work, I’ve been looking at lynda.com to start doing some audio and visual work with Andy Rush. What I am really gearing up for is a project involving Chinese recordings to work on those terribly monsters we language learners know as tones!

Lastly! Since this is my first week back at the illustrious DTLT office I can’t help but drop a line about our recent set of talks about the iPhone debacle. In our office, I sit right next to New Media guru Andy Rush and have been consistently pestering him about Apple’s recent upsets with their iPhone 4. While I don’t have the cash to get a hold of a defunct product, our talks about the company’s response to the problem have been very stimulating. You can check out some of our topics over at the Rush Headquarters.

Let’s see if I can’t get myself back on the blogger boat and come up to the forefront on this whole educational technology thing.

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