In all the aeons we have lost nothing, we have gained nothing – not a speck, not a grain, not a breath. The universe is simply a sealed, twisting kaleidoscope that has reordered itself a trillion trillion trillion times over.

Each baby, then, is a unique collision – a cocktail, a remix – of all that has come before: made from molecules of Napoleon and stardust and comets and whale tooth; colloidal mercury and Cleopatra’s breath: and with the same darkness that is between the stars between, and inside, our own atoms.

When you know this, you suddenly see the crowded top deck of the bus, in the rain, as a miracle: this collection of people is by way of a starburst constellation. Families are bright, irregular-shaped nebulae. Finding a person you love is like galaxies colliding. We are all peculiar, unrepeatable, perambulating micro-universes – we have never been before and we will never be again. Oh God, the sheer exuberant, unlikely fact of our existences. The honour of being alive. They will never be able to make you again. Don’t you dare waste a second of it thinking something better will happen when it ends. Don’t you dare.

Caitlin Moran

New Food Integrity Campaign Website

I am very excited to announce the launch of the new Food Integrity Campaign website. I developed this site in conjunction with Vernal Creative, based on designs by Ben S. Johnson.

The Food Integrity Campaign is a branch of the the Government Accountability Project, which supports a community of whistleblowers, truth-tellers and advocates to safeguard our food.

This is an area I am very passionate about, and I’m proud to help this organization spread their message.

Facebook Share Dialog No Longer Accepts Custom Parameters

The Facebook share dialog is a service that Facebook provides which makes it easy to share links from a website on a user’s timeline. Essentially it is a webpage hosted by Facebook, which loads the link to be shared, and allows the user to add a comment before posting.

The share dialog URL is: https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php.

To share a link, you append a query parameter “u” as follows: https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=http://okaypl.us/

Facebook Share Dialog

You can see in the screenshot above that the dialog pulls in the page title, description, and thumbnail image automatically.

In the past, web developers were able to customize those elements by adding additional query parameters to the share dialog URL:

  • p[title] = Custom Title
  • p[summary] = Custom Description
  • p[images][0] = Custom Thumbnail Image

There are still many page online that describe how to use these additional parameters to customize the share dialog. However, earlier this year Facebook began ignoring all additional parameters beyond the URL to be shared.

All of the shared content is now pulled from the page’s Open Graph tags. For instance if you want to change the title or description, you must edit the page’s og:title or og:description meta tags, respectively.

For example, take a look at the Open Graph tags for this site’s home page, and you can see how they correlate to the content pulled into the Facebook Share dialog above:

If you are a developer, you should double check that your pages have proper Open Graph meta tags. For WordPress website, I highly recommend the WordPress SEO plugin, which will do the heavy lifting for you, while still allowing you to customize the tags on a per-page basis.

New Offices at the Karma Bird House

We moved into our new office this week at the Karma Bird House in Burlington, otherwise known as the Burlington Grocery Co. building.

The new space is bright, wide-open, and inspiring. Excited to be sharing the building with so many local creative forces like Ursa Major and Budnitz Bicycles.

Onward and upward!

Today In AZ Microsite for Expect More Arizona

Expect More Arizona is an organization working to ensure a world-class education system for all students. They raise public awareness, mobilizing Arizonans to support the building blocks of education.

Today In AZ

They recently launched their “Today In AZ” campaign, which suggests small steps you can take every day to further their mission of quality education in Arizona. I had the opportunity to work on this project in conjunction with Park&Co.

The concept for the site was a yearly desk calendar, and we were able to bring the design to life using 3D animated page turns, and full screen background images that change to reflect the context and audience for each post. I leveraged the HTML5 History API to update the URL and maintain state between pages, while the animation provided a quick distraction as we load new content dynamically with AJAX.

Photo: Vee-O

Burlington Writers Workshop

This past weekend I had the opportunity to speak to a local group of writers, artists, and small business people about the benefits of WordPress. It was a great experience, and I really enjoyed sharing my knowledge with this passionate group from my community.

I was joined by Alexis Dubief, who gave an excellent talk about “Being Awesome Online”, which included practical advice for building your audience, and marketing yourself.

My presentation gave a high-level overview of the WordPress open-source Content Management System, and highlighted some of the differences between a self-hosted WordPress site and and the “freemium” service WordPress.com.

Facebook Paper

Paper is a new app designed to “Explore and share stories from friends and the world around you.” That sounded awfully similar to Facebook as a whole, so I wondered what set this app apart from the social network that it belongs to?

Content

In addition to a revamped view of your News Feed, Paper provides a variety of other “Sections”, such as Planet, Home, and Ideas. It’s not immediately clear how these channels are curated or by whom, but there is clearly a big focus on promoting content from outside your social circle.

Publishing

You can also use Paper to post to Facebook, and there are some differences in the interface as compared to the regular Facebook mobile app. The option to select an “I’m Feeling” status, as well as the ability to create and add to Photo Albums is missing.

When posting in Paper, you can see how your post will look as you add text photos and video. While there aren’t any layout tools, I feel that Paper is taking a cue from products such as Storehouse and Exposure, which focus on crafting visual stories.

Interactivity

Paper has a very fluid user interface that’s intuitive and fun to use. Clearly great care and time have been invested in this app, with many of the features and interactions prototyped beforehand with software of their own design. Facebook has opened-sourced this toolkit, called Origami, which works in conjunction with Apple’s Quartz Composer.


I can picture using this app to access Facebook while on my phone, but as much as I like Paper, I can’t help but feel like it’s a Facebook branded version of Flipboard, albeit with an arguably more advanced UI. Maybe Paper is just an avenue for Facebook to explore new design directions, and ways of expanding their reach. But I don’t see the logic behind separate Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook Paper apps all availbable on the same platform, with largely overlapping feature sets.

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