Invaluable CSS techniques (and people)

Here’s one for you CSS jockeys to bookmark: 53 CSS techniques you couldn’t live without. I knew about half of these, but the others will come in really handy as well.

UPDATE: If you’re looking for the best of the best CSS gurus to handle your large web project this bunch will do you proud (tell them I sent you, they’ll say "Chris who?"). But if you just need a small project doing then you could hire me (tell me I sent you, he’ll give you a good deal).


I’ve had a folder full of text files containing links to interesting stuff for months now, and I’m just not going to have time to write full blog posts about all of them. So here are a few of them, with some quick thoughts from me.

It’s pretty much all there in one page. Print it and leave it on your bosses desk.

If you’re going to get into this business, you’d better make sure you really are unique – or streets ahead of any competitors.

When things are getting you down, it could always be worse. At least you still have your trousers on. (You do, don’t you?)

Team blogs can be good, but they aren’t always the answer.

A great little solution to a simple problem.

Does what it says on the tin: search engine optimisation in a nutshell.

The right way to market…

One of my favourite blogs, and I’m sure many people will agree with me, is Scott Adams’ blog. He’s the guy that draws the Dilbert cartoons, but I find his textual ramblings just as incisive, inane and funny as anything he draws. Long may it continue.

In general Scott stays away from his “day job” as a topic of conversation, and when he does mention it it’s with a refreshing undercurrent of ‘I can’t quite believe they pay me to have so much fun’. But still he has a roof over his head to pay for, so he can be forgiven for occasionally mentioning the thing that pays for that roof.

And, let’s face it, when he does it in such a nice way, how can anyone turn him down?

Give yourselves a pat on the back…

It’s official – you lot are immensely influential. So says Time magazine, who have been producing an award for ‘Person of the Year’ since 1929, and this year it’s … you.

Yes, you. You’re ranked alongside Queen Elizabeth, Gerald Ford, Albert Einstein many other great names. You, or rather we are rightly to be praised for changing the world. Whether you did it through writing about your cat, posting pictures of your feet or videos of falling off skateboards, you’ve changed the world.

I found out about this on the BBC, right alongside the article that says blogging will peak next year, but eventually wane in popularity. Of course part of me (the stupid part) says that can’t be true, but the great thing about this current socio-internet revolution is it’s always changing. Of course blogs will get less popular – as the next thing takes hold.

But what we can’t say is that the new-found ability for people to speak with the rest of the world will get less popular. No, instead we’ll see more and more that the People of the Years to come will be ordinary Joes. Not politicians or famous scientists but normal, every day people. This is the age of the global neighbourhood.

What to get the man who has everything…

Silly Season is among us, and you need look no further for proof than the swarming hordes who are currently marauding over every retail outlet in the country searching for that “perfect” gift. Oh, in case you’re wondering, the perfect gift for me this Christmas would be to make Christmas last for just the 12 days it’s meant to, rather than the 4 months it seems to. Hah bumhug, or words to that effect.

Earlier on today I found myself in a rather up-market place which stuffily calls itself a “lifestyle shopping location“. Amongst the replica antique Japanese furniture and pricey glass vases I found…

Mr Site. No 'h' in there, no sireeThis. Yes, ‘Mr Site’ hits a store near you. Immediately my stomach lurched as I thought of the endless possibilities for hideous code, but, surprisingly, the actual website is built with standards. Things could be looking up. Until you take a look at the source code of a sample Mr Site site. It’s not so pretty.

But then again if someone is going to spend 30 quid on a boxed product that offers them the chance to have their own website with no technical jargon, full standards compliance isn’t going to be top of their lists, is it? I bet pretty much all Mr Site customers don’t even know there are international standards by which website should be made. The fact is they shouldn’t need to, but Mr Site sure as heck ought to – and they ought to be making all the efforts they can to mke sure their customers sites are build as well as they can be.

The really strange thing is that pretty much everything they are offering for a fee (£2.49 a month for the second year onward, yes: every month, which is [calculates] £29.88 per year) you can already get for free. Blogging and site content management – check. E-commerce system – check. Forums – check. You get the picture.

The problem is, while all these services us geeks know well and love, the rest of the world hasn’t. They are more likely to see and use a boxed product from a shop that offers all this in one easy package than do the legwork to find and then use all these different (but better) services.

Which brings me onto my idea. Why don’t we – the Open Source community – do the same, but better? For a small fee we could produce a website that will help people; ordinary, non-techy people; to set up a WordPress (or equivalent) website with a Vanilla (or equivalent) forum, a photo gallery, a Shopify site (or equivalent, using their WordPress theme) on a friendly hosting company. We get to increase the user base of our products, and much more importantly break out of the geek-savvy market into the real world more.

So just like Ubuntu has taken some of the best open source software and wrapped it up in a friendly OS package, we could do the equivalent for the web. Bring high-quality, open source software to the masses.