About the Author
Tim Griffin

GA Tech Prep – Before You Go

With General Assembly about a week away it’s time to start pulling together that list of supplies and gadgets you’ll need to insure, despite Murphy’s law, that your technology experience go as smoothly as possible. We in ITS have put together some tips on what to carry, and a handy checklist you can take with you as you run around gathering stuff for your trip. (more…)

Snippets to Save

Don’t delete this post. It has valuable code “snippets” for you to use. Click into the “html” view to see and/or copy the code snippet for each feature.

Embedding Videos

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Guest Author Credit/Byline


Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith is a Team Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA. Throughout 2010-2011, much of his attention is going toward the congregational/denominational focus on justice for immigrants and their families.

Hiding an image for use on Facebook postings

This is simply done by embedding a 1 pixel by 1 pixel image into your post. This will not be visible to your blog readers (except the visually anal ones) but it will show up as a thumbnail option when posting to Facebook. Look at the post on Blinded by Bias and try sharing it to Facebook. You should see the thumbnail of your portrait as an option to use for the FB post.

To do this you must add the following code to the end of each post.  You add this in “HTML” view; not in “VIsual” view.

<img src=”http://learnoutloud.blogs.uua.org/files/2011/08/terasa_portrait_small.jpg” alt=” ” width=”1″ height=”1″ />

If you look closely at the end of your post text you’ll see a little dot in the middle of the line after the last period. That’s the image rendered 1×1. pixels.

Stress and Stretch before GA

General Assembly (GA) is fast approaching. We are all well into our ramp-up with bulging task lists and double-booked meeting blocks. All of this circumstantial stress can compound the everyday stress we all experience. For many of us who have spent years sitting at a desk in front of a computer we have noticed the toll this takes on our bodies and minds. Maybe it’s cyber eyes or an aching back. Here are some tips and quick reads you can refer to for managing computer-related stress as we approach GA and beyond: (more…)

Adding Video to Your UUA Blog

Video, done right, is the most compelling content on the web. It draws the viewer in and can mobilize your audience to action in ways other media just can’t. Indeed, with Google video serving 143.2 million unique viewers in July 2010, most of that being YouTube, you relegate your organization to the unknown if you don’t use video as a key part of your content strategy.  In the early months of 2011, 89 million people will watch 1.2 billion videos – daily.  Most blog software makes it very easy to add video to your blog.  UUA Blogs uses WordPress as its blogging software.  We’ve setup a couple easy ways to add video to your blog. (more…)

Usability and Your Communications

How does the usability of your communications stack up against industry standards? “Why proliferate the world with useless objects [and processes]?”  This is a question asked by John Hockenberry, Honorary Chair of World Usability Day (WUD) 2010 which just happened this month on November 11th.

WUD’s mission is to ensure “…greater awareness for designs, products and services that improve and facilitate communication around the world,” says Elizabeth Rosenzweig, founder of WUD.  This years special focus for WUD is on communications. (more…)

Two Days to Done: Getting Your Web Assets Published

We are all under pressure from time to time — deadlines sneak up on us, or unexpected events crop up.  In hindsight, things that seemed an emergency in the moment don’t seem so pressing in the present.

For your sanity as a web publisher on UUA.org, allow two days for your content to go live. Multimedia files may take longer.

Here’s the snap-shot:

  • documents (DOC, PDF, etc.) – 1 day
  • images – 1 day
  • web pages – 1 day
  • multimedia (video or audio) – 3 days

Things are often live much faster but it depends on the Web Team’s current workload and priorities. Check out the details in the ITS Web Team’s SLA or feel free to email the Web Team – well in advance of your deadline of course.

Just keep in mind, “Two Days to Done” (except multimedia) and you should be good.

Accessible Video: Not Just the Law – Sound Business Strategy

Recently, new legislation, the “Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010,” takes us one step closer to universal access of content on the Web.  The new law speaks directly to UU values and urges us ever closer to offering accessible video content throughout our web sites.  Not only is captioned video the law but it is one component to a sound SEO strategy to boot.  In a recent blog post by our captioning vendor, 3Play Media, Josh Miller summarizes the legislation and its impact. (more…)