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We’ve launched Daniel Gwirtzman’s site!

I’m happy to say we’ve officially launched Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company’s new site!

Actually, I’m quite impressed with the final product we put together for the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company. With the help of great media all around, we were able to piece together a photo gallery, a video gallery, a new subscription system, and even an SMS delivery system for his audiences.

It’s really been great working with Daniel and his company. They really did a phenomenal job in gathering their assets, organizing their content, and creating compelling videos. Congratulations, Daniel! It’s exciting to know I’ll be able to continue to help you communicate your wonderful work!

If you like this, take a look at my other work.

[screenshots follow]


About Page | Features: Large Image on each page, drop-down navigation, links to video gallery, customizable sidebar navigation


Home Page | Features: Slide show, customizable footer area, drop-down navigation bar

While launching the site, I found this guide to be particularly useful:

I initially setup this wordpress site in a subdirectory ( /wordpress ) so that I could develop things without affecting their active site. After the wordpress site was all setup, I needed to make the switch. The article above did the trick for me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts – share your ideas and leave a comment!

Great WordPress Plugins for Flickr

[via speckyboy]

Flickr and wordpress have really changed the web-0-sphere. They simply make sharing multimedia, photos, and ideas simpler. During my endless search for more great wordpress plugins, I began searching for easy ways to integrate flickr with wordpress, and saw this great article.

If you’re looking to integrate photos into your wordpress site, install these plugins and get crackin’ !

[Most of the content here is a repost. Click for the full article.]

Flickr Photo Album for WordPress

Wordpress Flickr PluginDescription: This Flickr plugin for WordPress will allow you to pull in your Flickr photosets and display them as albums on your WordPress site. There is a pretty simple template provided, but you can customize the templates 100% to match the look and feel of your own site. And if you want, you could also hook it up with Lightbox or any other number of display libraries.

On the backend, this plugin will also add a new Flickr icon to your WordPress edit screen which will allow you to easily insert your Flickr photos into your blog posts with just a couple clicks. You can either have your inserted photos link back to your WordPress Flickr photo album or directly to your Flickr.com photo page.
URL: http://tantannoodles.com/toolkit/photo-album/.

Flickr Manager for WordPress

Wordpress Flickr PluginDescription: WordPress Flickr Manager is an easy to use plugin that seamlessly integrates your Flickr account with your WordPress backend. It replaces the browse panel from previous versions, but legacy mode can be enabled through the options menu. You also have the choice between Highslide and Lightbox.
URL: http://tgardner.net/wordpress-flickr-manager/.

Flickr Tag Plugin for WordPress

Wordpress Flickr PluginDescription: This plugin downloads all of your Flickr images onto your own server and allows them to appear on your own gallery. Nice and simple.
URL: http://www.webopticon.com/archives/148.

SimpleFlickr for WordPress

Wordpress Flickr PluginDescription: This is a plugin for WordPress that allows you to embed a flickr integrated simpleviewer into your WordPress site. In addition, you are able to specify a path to a standard SimpleViewer XML configuration file to display images from a local gallery.
URL: http://wordpress.org/simpleflickr/.

Slickr Gallery for WordPress

Description: Slickr Gallery is a very fast, bandwidth-friendly photo gallery plugin for WordPress. It allows you to pull your Flickr-hosted photos into a gallery section of your blog, as well as easily add Flickr-hosted images to your posts and pages. It is especially useful for people with many Flickr albums/photos.
Slickr Gallery needs a Lightbox plugin to work properly.
URL: http://stimuli.ca/slickr/.

FlickrRSS for WordPress

Description: This plugin for WordPress allows you to display Flickr photos on your weblog. It supports user, set, favorite, group and community photostreams, and is relatively easy to setup and configure via a settings panel. The plugin also has cache support, allowing you to save thumbnails on your own server.
URL: http://eightface.com/wordpress/flickrrss/.

Flickr Thumbnail Photo stream for WordPress

Description: The Flickr Thumbnail Photostream WordPress plugin makes including and linking to photos on a Flickr account simple and flexible. The links come in the form of thumbnail images that link to their larger, normal formats within the Flickr website. The advantage of this plugin is that it does not use RSS feeds and uses the Flickr API instead.
URL: Flickr Thumbnail Photostream.

Flickr Gallery for WordPress

Description: Using the “shortcodes” system in WordPress 2.5 and up, this plugin will allow you to quickly and easily incorporate your Flickr photos into your WordPress pages and posts.
URL: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/flickr-gallery/.

Thanks to speckyboy for a great article!

Make sure to visit his site for more great wordpress tips.

Great WordPress Themes

Are you looking for great wordpress themes? Me too!

I’ve compiled the following places, where you can start your search for new wordpress themes. After you’ve found a theme you like, you’ll need to install onto your server. For help, follow these instructions.

And now – the list:

For beginners, I suggest starting out with K2.

Once you get a sense of things and become more familiar with wordpress, I suggest taking a look at the themes below.

The Thesis Theme : Flexible, modifiable, and manageable theme framework

WP Remix : A Full Blown Theme Save yourself the time and hassle of customizing a theme. This theme comes with pre-built templates, widgets, plugins, and other items, saving you time and effort. Get your site up and running with WP Remix!

The official WordPress Directory : WordPress.org has loads of resources, including a theme directory

Smashing Magazine : A great collection of resources, plugins, and themes. While you’re at it, take a look at their article, Strategic Design: Steps for Bulding Successful Websites

Graph Paper Press : Original wordpress themes, available for sale. Beautiful, elegant, customizable, flexible. In addition to the premium themes ($), there are free themes available as well.

Upstart Blogger : Free wordpress themes, for a solid wordpress themer.

Elegant WordPress Themes : Premium wordpress themes available here.

WP-Folio : A WordPress theme for artists. Developed in a residency at EyeBeam. Awesome!

If you find great themes, or theme directories please let me know by leaving a comment!

Email Marketing Resources

MailChimp has put together a great packet of email marketing resources on email marketing. There is a full packet of goodies on their site. You candownload the 64 page email marketing guide here.

Email Marketing Sites

• Email Sherpa – Great email marketing case studies and research.

Be sure to sign up for their email newsletters.

• ClickZ – Lots and lots of online marketing and email marketing news.

• Marketing Profs– Nice case studies and articles here. Premium membership is actually worth it. They also issue a Buyers Guide to email vendors.

• BtoB Online– Email and direct mail news. Check their “email marketer insight” section.

• Future Now Inc– Look for their little alien mascot, and sign up for their Grokdotcom newsletter. These guys specialize in conversion, and they know their stuff.

• Marketing Experiments– Great experiments and case studies here.

Email & Marketing Related Blogs

• Duct Tape Marketing– John Jantsch’s Duct Tape

Marketing Blog is full of quick, simple, affordable marketing ideas for business.

His book is a great read for new businesses who are just getting started.

• Seth Godin – That familiar bald head chock full of handy marketing ideas

• Tom Peters– As Tom would say, “Wow! Nice blog.”

• Tamara Gielen– Tamara Gielen’s blog on email marketing.

She posts links to news all over the email marketing world.

• MailChimp – Gotta plug the source of this good stuff: “MonkeyBrains” has email design tips and tricks, hacks, troubleshooting tips, news, and more.

• Mark Brownlow– Mark Brownlow has posted hundreds of useful email marketing articles and links here.

Setting up WordPress on your host


For those who haven’t heard, I’m a big fan of WordPress. It’s a great content management system! It’ll help you keep your site updated, and help you get blogging. If you’ve already got hosting, great! You can now setup WordPress on your own host. In fact, many of the sites I setup run on WordPress

If you do not have your own domain or hosting yet, I personally recommend getting hosting on:

Bluehost or


Many hosts, like Bluehost, have Fantastico, which help you setup great utilities on your own host. If you have Fantastico on your host, check these great tutorials on setting up WordPress on your domain.

If you don’t have Bluehost or other similar domains, there is also service that will install your WordPress blog FOR FREE – no strings attached. This is great! You must have your own domain and host already in order to use this service.

For those do-it-yourselfers, follow these instructions on how to install a wordpress blog on your own domain:

First, check to see if your host has a 1-click install. Bluehost and Dreamhost both have one-click installs. Check here for a list of other hosts with 1-click installs.

Otherwise, follow the steps below…

1. Download the WordPress Package (http://www.worpdress.org/download).
Once the file has finished downloading, Unzip the file.

2. Connect to your domain via FTP. If you don’t have an FTP program, download Filezilla. If you have trouble connecting to your site, you can contact your host for help setting up your FTP environment.

3. Create a database for WordPress on your web server. You will need to login to your host in order to do this. Make sure you keep ALL your database information in a safe place. If you do not know how to setup a database, contact your host directly.

4. Place the WordPress files in the desired location on your web server. For example, if you want to integrate WordPress into the root of your domain (e.g. http://example.com/), move or upload all contents of the unzipped WordPress directory (but excluding the directory itself) into the root directory of your web server.

If you want to have your WordPress installation in its own subdirectory on your web site (e.g. http://example.com/blog/), rename the folder you downloaded to “blog” and upload it to your web server. 

If you have no idea what the above means, you have a few options:

1. contact your hosting company
2. hire someone
3. have someone do it for free : http://install4free.wordpress.net/

For a nice visual tutorial on setting up WordPress, go here : http://www.cre8d-design.com/wordpress.html

Effective Use of Webtools

This coming Thursday, the Queens Council for the Arts will be hosting a panel for artists. As one of the panelists, I’ve been asked to address the question, “How to effectively get your message out.”

Essentially – you’ve got a website, a social networking profile, or other online identities – now what?

This past May, I gave a presentation on this very issue.

You can see the presentation here.

And I know – the very challenge we all face is “Not enough time, money, or space.” (Hint: This challenge is not unique to artists). And we also have the inevitable question – do we have to do everything like setup a facebook, myspace account, and linkedIn account?

Simply said, if you’re going to actually use these tools to communicate, then of course – use them. They are popular sites because they are useful tools. But if you’re not going to use it, don’t set it up. It’s like having an email account you never check. Why bother?

My question for you then, the reader, revolves around content production :

  • TOOLS: How do you envision producing content for the web?
  • RESOURCES: What kind of resources do you already have that will enable you to produce this content?
  • MESSAGE: What will this content communicate?
  • ACTION: What response would you like to elicit from your online audiences?
  • PURPOSE: How will this serve your mission and connect to your work offline?

Answering these questions will benefit you much better than answering, what do I do with my MySpace account? If you can answer these questions, you’ll be well on your way to developing your online presence and growing your audience – online and off.

Some Places to start:

1. Start working with a CMS (Content Management System)

If you want to be able to manage and update your website without a web programmer, invest in a content management systems.

I suggest you use one of the following:

  • WordPress (typically a blogging platform, but scalable for large sites) – easy, cheap setup
  • Drupal (open-source) – higher learning curve, large set of functionality
  • Joomla – most popular, though typically more expensive to develop
  • Plone – popular with environmental organizations
2. Create a production calendar, just like you would create for any other work you may have.
3. Start documenting your work online. We’re living in a green-conscious world. We should resuse all we can. Documenting your work online offers you a chance to reuse materials from your process.
This can mean:
  • posting your photos online (I recommend flickr)
  • writing about your process on a blog
  • posting a series of videos online
  • offering tutorials
  • revealing your process as its own art form
4. Offer your audience members a chance for feedback. Be prepared to listen and respond. By offering users + audiences a chance to submit their own content (user-generated content), you relieve yourself the responsibility of producing and uploading content. However, you still have the responsibility of making sure you respond, and participate in the community you are creating.
5. Create a place for experimentation. Your mission will not change from month-to-month. So your basic website should not change drastically from month-to-month, either. However, you do need places to try new things out. Setup a test blog on wordpress, or a personal account on flickr. Begin testing things out for yourself. See what works for you.
The most important thing in building your online presence is to remain open and responsive. With a positive and open attitude, you’ll create possibilities you haven’t even thought of yet!
For an interesting read, check out 11 Ways to Market your Site

Do’s and Don’ts of Social Networking

New Site Launch | Time Lapse Dance

With the help of many, many people and some great teamwork, we officially launched this site for Jody Sperling : Time Lapse Dance

The original redesign was put together by Paris Marashi, while the site design and content management system was executed by Sam Marx

Jody’s upcoming work, Ghosts, will feature a wearable costume assembled by ITP folk (Jenny Chowdhury & Alex Kowal)

The site features a full content management system (run on Drupal), a full media player managed through brightcove, and some nice graphic work provided by her colleagues.

Check out the customized media player here.

During the process, we spent great care taking a look at the works page.
We wanted to make sure we could feature individual photos, videos, and text – all in one area – so the content management system had to be flexible enough to handle all those elements.

During the process, we also setup a facebook page, a blip.tv page, as well as a pro flickr account. The goal of setting up all these sites were simply to allow Jody to extend her reach beyond her site, while still providing a homebase for her work, and image.

In addition to visiting the new site, make sure you check out Ghosts, premiering in October!

Setting up a Video Player in Brightcove

This is Part 1 of a series of articles to help you setup your own media player.

You’ve got videos, lots of them. Or you want users to upload video to your site.
In either case, how will you showcase all these videos on your site?

There are many options out there.
One of the more elegant + free solutions I like to use is provided by Brightcove.

Sample Media Player
Sample Media Player

To setup your own Brightcove media player and user-generated campaign, you’ll first need to setup an account.

1. Setup an account with BrightCove.tv

2. Add your information here

3. Using your newly created account, sign in here

Sign into Brightcove
Sign into Brightcove

4. After you have signed in, you can begin creating your media player.
To create your full media player, you will need to :

    a. Upload your video
    b. Create a title
    c. Create a lineup
    d. Customize your player


Importing mp3’s into Final Cut Pro

For those who need some help importing your mp3’s into your movie projects, here is a quick tutorial on how to do just that. Follow along on your own computer, and your movies will be singing in no time.

First, you’ll have to convert your mp3 file into an AIFF file using iTunes. Otherwise, you’ll get a skipping sound when you import those mp3’s. After you import the AIFF into iTunes, we’ll import that AIFF file into Final Cut Pro.

To begin, first open up iTunes.

1. Click on iTunes -> Preferences

2. Now, click on the Advanced icon. Select AIFF Encoder from the drop-down menu on Importing Options.

You’ll need to make sure your file is Imported into iTunes (you can just drag the file onto the iTunes playlist). Once your file is imported into iTunes, select your file and convert it to an AIFF file.

Now that you’ve prepped your file, import the file into Final Cut Pro

Final Cut

Make sure you select your AIFF file to import into Final Cut.
Final Cut

Once the file is imported, you can just drag the file into the timeline and treat it like any other clip, or movie file. Fade in, fade out, or even cross-fade.

Happy editing!

Rounded Corners in Photoshop

How do you take a regular square image, and give it rounded corners?
I’ve been using Photoshop for some time, but have never really figured out an easy way to do this.

For those looking how to do it . . . check out this tutorial.

This nice visual tutorial will help you give your images rounded corners and make everyone happy, apparently.

After doing this for some time, I’d like to figure out – how to do this repeatedly using photoshops actions and batch processor.

Any takers? Links? Tips?

Setup a photo Slideshow

Flickr is great for managing your photos on your site. I use flickr to keep in touch with friends, posting new content to my site, and even email marketing. If you’re using flickr for the first time, you can read Getting the Most Out of Flickr. Otherwise, I’ve listed a few tools and links below.

After setting up a flickr account, you can upload your photos via the web, through flickr’s batch uploader, or even your celll phone. You can read all about setting up a Moblog (uploading photos to your blog via your cell phone). If you’re having a performance or event, read this to help you organize your photos and collections.

Flickr will only show your most recent 200 photos, so you will definitely want to upgrade to a Pro account ($24.95/yr).

Create a slideshow with your flickr photos

You can use any one of these sites to create a slideshow using your photos’ tags and sets. As you upload new photos, your slideshow will automatically update on your site. Check out these great tools!

Check out Quick Online Tips for a full and comprehensive list of flickr tools and tips.

Reality is a Lie

Photoshop remixing reality – this ain’t news. But…there’s been an evolution. Now users can “stretch the truth” even more. with this awesome piece of software, developed by a neuroscientist.

Some of the new tools for removing tourists from photos, stretching pictures without distorting faces and making reality flexible are free and online.

Mr. Baldassi’s photo-editing tool can be downloaded from his Web site, liquidrescale.wikidot.com, and used as a plug-in with a popular open-source image-editing tool known as the GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP.

Check out this fascinating article on NYTimes.com…

(text below taken directly from article)

“We spend about 10 percent our waking life with our eyes closed by blinking,” said Michael F. Cohen, a principal researcher at Microsoft’s research division in Redmond, Wash. “If you want to take a picture of 10 people with their eyes open, you’re out of luck.”

So he and researchers at Microsoft built a tool called Group Shot, which can be found atresearch.microsoft.com/projects/GroupShot. The tool lets users identify the best parts of a sequence of pictures and merge them. It can correct for small changes caused by movement or changes in the lighting. Adobe just introduced a similar feature in the latest version of Photoshop Elements 6, which sells for about $100.

Mr. Cohen said his tool would produce photos that were closer to the reality that we perceive than a photograph.

“We’re assembling what’s really there — just not from one-hundredth of a second, but longer,” he said.

“Think of an axis from the purely objective to the purely subjective,” he said. “At one end is a photograph, a recording of what really took place. At the other end is our internal experience of an external event. There’s some place that is a little bit subjective. It’s not quite real. But if you and I looked at it, we would agree on it.”