A few important “editorial” items. Thursday, Mar 26 2009 

Item #1

thief_in_the_nightI just want to clarify that while I do grab a lot of images off the Web to use here, I am extremely careful to credit the source and/or creators, owners, copyright holders, etc. I can’t exhaustively research things, but I also worked in the publications department of the St. Louis Art Museum several years ago, and I understand the issues of permissions, etc.

I started out putting copyright info in the caption of the graphics I use here, but that is sometimes a problem with copyfitting on a smaller image, so now I put that info at the bottom of the post. Sometimes I let artists know I’ve used their work, and ask them to check out the blog. Other times, artists have contacted me, and everyone seems okay so far with the exposure they get vs. charging me to use their graphics (something for which I have a “$0” budget.)

I also have an account with iStockPhoto.com, and I will buy a $1 photo (like the one on the front page) that doesn’t need crediting, according to their agreement.

Since we all deal in intellectual property, I just wanted to be sure and say that!

Item #2

If you are a subscriber, you get a digest of any new posts here in a daily e-mail. Please use that digest as an excuse to visit this site, if you have the time, and see the original post. The digest is great, but in the translation from here to the feed service and then your e-mail service provider, my original graphics and text can get wonky.

1800197457_a79955c53a1I put a lot of time into trying to get the layout right on this, and as a subscriber, myself, to my own blog, I hate it when I see text all bunched up, and weird characters in place of copyright symbols, and images that have migrated from the right to the left—all digest issues.

So come to the site, and please (PLEASE) post a comment, so I know if you’re enjoying this, if it’s helpful in any way, or if I’m staying up late just amusing myself. I’m not looking for compliments, particularly, although that’s always great, but I’m looking for good ideas on content, etc.

I’m very happy to do a “Spotlight On” post about YOUR work if you’re interested, so just shoot me a post, which nobody will see except me. Nobody will see it, because I have to approve every post before it goes public. If you just want to talk to me about a Spotlight feature, I will contact you back, directly. We can keep it between us. The approval process keeps you from getting tons of spam that is sent out by spambotsto blogs, but it serves another purpose, too, as a buffer on content, generally.

Sometimes I think people don’t leave a comment because they’re afraid they will look foolish. I’m a great editor, and I’m not going to let anyone look foolish on here. So post away, and if I see something that raises a red flag, or that you tell me you don’t want posted to be read by anyone but me, just say that, and I will honor your request.

Let’s get some dialogue going!

Item #3

dove-with-olive-branchSpeaking of editorial skills, it’s a good thing I have them, and have this site set up for my review of and approve or delete privileges for all incoming comments, because the person who sent me the hate mail apparently thought s/he was writing directly to MoveOn. I believe we got things sorted out, although I have no idea who this person is (could be someone I work with, or someone on another continent, and I could easily find out, but really, at this point I don’t want to know), and even though we had a rough exchange initially, I’ve offered the olive branch in peace, and I’m sad that I lost a subscriber over it. I hope s/he comes back. I offered to start fresh, if s/he will.


Lessons to be learned?

Schoolyard Bully

Schoolyard Bully

First off, don’t use the Web to send anonymous e-mails that are pure rant to an organization or its Web site. There are people behind those organizations, and if they have the courage to post their names as contacts, have the courage to post yours and say something intelligent. Say something constructive vs. just venting spleen and savaging the character of the person who gets your e-mail. This is true especially if you disagree with what you think the organization (or person) stands for. Spewing venom is for playground fights and schoolyard bullies, not creative grownups—and if you attack someone, they likely will push back hard on you in return. You won’t like it. And, as in this case, you could be wrong.

Secondly, I will watch out for people who post here and not let ridiculous or deeply offensive stuff rise to the surface for all to see, as they can be misdirected posts (as in this particular case) that would, in fact, make a person who normally appears rational and civil to us look like a rabid dog. (You’re welcome.)

Item #4

This site has been up fewer than three weeks, and it has already had 1,292 unique “hits.” That number doesn’t count repeat visits, or my own visits to this site. Yesterday I had 173 unique “hits.” The day before I had 229 unique “hits.”

The 1,292 “hits” are not just confined to St. Louis readers, not just US readers: This site has attracted an amazing number of readers from other countries. These are readers who may be interested in what you do, what you produce. Please use this as a platform to get out information about that. If you want to develop an international awareness for your creative work, you can get it here for free right now.

Here are some stats from this morning based on the info collected by ClustrMap, which I use to track this info:

Running total of visits to the above URL since 28 Feb 2009: 1,292
Visits on previous ‘day’: 173.

Here is a map showing the hits and the legend for what the dots mean.

St. Louis Design Community Connections, 3/26/09

St. Louis Design Community Connections, 3/26/09

Dot sizes:    Largest = 1,000+   Medium Large = 100 – 999   Medium = 10 – 99   Smallest = 1 – 9 visits

Here is where those readers have come from:

United States (US) 991
Germany (DE) 26
Canada (CA) 25
United Kingdom (GB) 23
Italy (IT) 19
Netherlands (NL) 16
Turkey (TR) 15
Brazil (BR) 15
Hungary (HU) 13
Romania (RO) 13
Australia (AU) 11
Ireland (IE) 11
Belgium (BE) 7
Sweden (SE) 6
Jordan (JO) 6
Slovakia (SK) 6
Norway (NO) 6
Spain (ES) 5
Greece (GR) 5
Austria (AT) 5
United Arab Emirates (AE) 5
Denmark (DK) 4
Finland (FI) 4
Israel (IL) 4
France (FR) 4
Slovenia (SI) 3
Georgia (GE) 2
Bulgaria (BG) 2
Portugal (PT) 2
Singapore (SG) 2
New Zealand (NZ) 2
Colombia (CO) 2
India (IN) 2
Morocco (MA) 2
Panama (PA) 1
Cambodia (KH) 1
Czech Republic (CZ) 1
Macedonia (MK) 1
Indonesia (ID) 1
Iran, Islamic Republic of (IR) 1
Botswana (BW) 1
Latvia (LV) 1
Peru (PE) 1
Luxembourg (LU) 1
Philippines (PH) 1
Mexico (MX) 1
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA) 1
Bahamas (BS) 1
Kuwait (KW) 1
Serbia (RS) 1
Dominican Republic (DO) 1
Honduras (HN) 1
Argentina (AR) 1
Jamaica (JM) 1
Moldova, Republic of (MD) 1
Egypt (EG) 1

Image of thief in the night from http://www.usalarmofnfl.com
Image of cat and text is credit as a sketch by American artist Louis Wain, done during the time he became mentally ill with schizophrenia and found on Jane Diamond’s photostream on Flickr.com (this image may be in the public domain)
Image of schoolyard bully from theamericanjingoist.com
Image of dove with olive branch from dreamstime.com


Leave a comment if you visit: It’s easy, and you can remain anonymous. Tuesday, Mar 17 2009 

For blog newbies, I want to go over a few things to make you feel comfortable about posting a comment here.

Venetian Mask

Venetian Mask

First, if you visit and like or don’t like something you see, or have news you’d like me to post, please do leave a comment. I have this set up so that your comment goes through my personal filter, meaning I have to approve each comment before it hits the blog, and, therefore, I can accommodate a request for not displaying your name, if you want to mask your identity, or whatever is your need

Your e-mail address will be in your comment, but visible only to me, unless and until I approve it for the blog. Of course I honor all requests for anonymous posting, and sometimes I even remove personal info that the person may think is just in an e-mail to me, and then I approve the rest of the comment. So, for your safety, I will edit that stuff out.

I filter the comments, because (1) I get tons of spam, which I just delete (if you want to “increase your manhood” or any of those kinds of things, by how you’re in the know, and don’t need me to post that here); (2) I do have a few rules, posted on the About page, and I wanted to be sure I have some editorial control over inappropriately snarly comments. Interestingly, I haven’t had one inappropriately snarly comment. I’m impressed by that.

I’m especially intrigued and gratified by the number of visitors I’ve had to this site, since it first went live on February 28, 2009. I can track unique “hits” a couple of ways, one of which is the ClustrMap in the my sidebar. Check that out, if you haven’t done that yet. Click on it, and you can see every country where I’ve had readers and the number of hits from unique readers (not repeat hits from the same readers). Here are today’s stats, which measure from February 28 to this morning at midnight:

United States (US) 324
Australia (AU) 3
France (FR) 2
Canada (CA) 2
Germany (DE) 2
India (IN) 2
Israel (IL) 2
Brazil (BR) 1
Ireland (IE) 1
United Kingdom (GB) 1
Sweden (SE) 1
Italy (IT) 1
Indonesia (ID) 1
Philippines (PH) 1
Botswana (BW) 1
Singapore (SG) 1
Bulgaria (BG) 1
United Arab Emirates (AE) 1

Editor’s note: Venetian mask image from a Google image search hit on an article titled “The History Of The Venetian Mask, By: Steve Gink.”  Copyright of image, unknown.

St. Louis Design Connections goes international! Wednesday, Mar 4 2009 

This is what is tres cool about blogging: In just four days, we’ve had visitors from the following countries, including three in Europe.

United States (US) 85  | Sweden (SE) 1  |  Bulgaria (BG) 1 | Italy (IT) 1

ClustrMap for Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ClustrMap for Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My “Burgarian connection” is Stela, a former co-worker at Lawrence Group, who went back to her homeland last year, but still keeps in touch. She may have forwarded the link to the Web site & blog onto friends in other countries. Networking at its finest.

You can follow the visitors on a daily basis by going to the sidebar here, to the ClustrMap, click on that, and then check out the dots on the map.

The default navigation/display is “map with larger clusters”. Under the map in that view is info on number of total visitors and number of visitors on the previous day.

Total visitors (since the site went live last Saturday, February 28, 2009) = 88. This count doesn’t include my own visits; it also doesn’t include repeat visits from readers. It counts the number of visits from unique, individual URLs.

Number of visitors yesterday (Tuesday, March 3, 2009) = 24.

There is a “navigation” line above the map, and if you choose “map with smaller clusters” you can really see what’s happening. Scroll down on that same page and there is a list of countries and visitors/country in a list that also is updated on an approximately daily basis.

This ClustrMap is a free widget for blogs. I love checking it every day!