A Quick Note on XMLSearch.

For a long time, we have considered the use of XMLSearch slow compared to working through an xml object as a standard ColdFusion structure. However, recently we have discovered that XMLSearch is actually comparable in speed to the structured approach and it was just our way of using it that was causing the slowdowns. It turns out that that we were using the “//” XPath operator at the beginning of our calls to XMLSearch regardless of where the XMLDoc object that we were supplying was pointing to.  This would cause the search function to go to the root of the document and search the whole tree.   Removing the “//” operator from the XPath portion of the call forces ColdFusion […]

NFL.com Ruins Monday

I am a Lions fan. So I suffer a lot of grief. They hadn’t won since 2007, but I keep watching and rooting for them. Yesterday their game was blacked out because fans had mostly given up on them, however the NFL said they would put the game online today for people to watch. So I avoided the news and looked forward to still seeing the game. Then I visted NFL.com to try to watch the video. Suspecting they would show the score I Googled for the video section of the site Game Rewind and found a pay registration page for watching games, but no mention of being able to watch the Lions game for free. So I went to […]

I Like Digsby

Digsby has opened its doors to the public and while there is clearly work to be done I’m pretty impressed with the software. Digby is a desktop application that puts all your instant messaging, email, and social network updates in one spot. The interface is nice, with some basic themes you can choose form. I like the simple system notifications as well. The IM one is really cools since you can respond from the notification bubble. They also offer a nice embeddable chat widget you can add to websites. I’ve the one below to our Contact page. It took me about 5 minutes to customize and add to the site. I love that it lets a visitor instantly interact with […]

Eat Your Books (And Read Your Vegetables)

My best friend Tom has enlisted us to help promote his new musical endeavor. MrSeley.com is now online promoting his music that kids really like. There are free ringtones via Myxer and you can hear 3 songs off the upcoming album Eat Your Books (And Read Your Vegetables). Tom is a really talented musician and writes songs for kids without veering into the moronic songs and huge bowties realm. Design wise we stuck with a more sophisticated and understated color palette that suits his style. You can sign up for the email list and he’ll let you know when the album is released and when he plays concerts you can attend.

Internet Filters Continue to be Stupid

I got an email today from a teacher friend of mine telling me that the Mandy & Pandy website was blocked by the internet filter at his school. They apparently thought that the nice site selling children’s books to teach kids Chinese contained sexual content – the official categorization from the Websense Enterprise filter was “Sex”. Now, having built the site I’m pretty confident that is a pretty wildly inaccurate categorization of the site. In fact, I don’t see how anyone who looked at the site or even spidered the content of the site could find anything even slightly sexual on it. It’s about a little girl and talking Panda who do such things as walk in the park and […]

Set Them Free

Scott Karp wrote an interesting piece about online journalism. In it he makes a good point about what is often referred to as “stickiness” or how much you do to keep people on your site. Stickiness is important to site owners for a number of reasons, the biggest is often so that visitors will see lots of ads or buy lots of widgets. Mr. Karp makes the point that it is okay to direct people to another site. His example of site that is brilliant at making people go away is Google and yet you never hear Google criticized for not being sticky. People leave Google over and over and come right back. Being good at sending people away has […]

Mandy & Pandy Site Launch

We’re pleased to announce another new site launch. Mandy & Pandy’s new website is online and taking pre-orders for Mandy & Pandy Say Ni Hao Ma?, the first in a 12 book series. We worked with the books author and illustrator to launch the site as well as creating a complete identity system including business cards, postcards, letterhead, order sheets, and banners, all in time for the Toy Fair 2007 in New York City. We’re glad to be a part of this project. Mandy & Pandy books teach kids Chinese quickly and easily, rather like Dora the Explorer teaches Spanish. We’re glad to be able to offer not just our web design services but also to help with the marketing, […]

What Would Jesus Build?

Jesus was a carpenter. He built things out of wood before he got into the whole Son of God / Prophet / Messiah thing. He was known for being relaxed and groovy and exceptionally forgiving and fault tolerant. If the Church is to believed he befriended Mary Magdalene despite her being a whore, if the Da Vinci Code is to be believed he married her. I imagine that when he built a staircase he built it to work even when someone jumped up and down on it, slid down it on a rug, stacked scrolls on it, or used it in some way other than walking up and down the middle of it. He built it to be resilient. I […]