Here at the Platformic blog it's a pretty loose forum. While I don't really think that anyone is going to post a blog about their cats (well, maybe Eric might ...) we post about a range of stuff that might be of interest to a client of a CMS or someone looking to work on websites and although Platformic does not provide graphic design services we do work with a host of people who might be interested in graphics and for certain who at some times might use Photoshop so I wanted to share something that I learned today which blew me away (and I have been using Photoshop for 15 years now!)
well, now it's as easy as this..... re-explained with actual steps after the images
Step 2: Open the Edit->Fill menu.
Step 3: Select "content aware fill" if it isn't pre-selected.
Step 4: Hit the button and let the machine process.
That's all! I did try a few other selection tools like the lasso after the fact with similar results - seems like you might give it a different selection if the first one doesn't work as well.
So what does Postrank do anyway? Here's a quote straight form their web site at http://www.postrank.com on the subject:
"Our platform tracks where and how users engage, and what they pay attention to — in real-time. PostRank social engagement data measures actual user activity, the most accurate indicator of the relevance and influence of a site, story, or author."
What Google plans to do with Postrank is still not know, but we can be fairly certain that the services provided will find their way into Google Web Master Tools and Analytics. The ability to see statistics about who re-tweeted a story or who facebook liked an article will open many doors to website content editors and owners. With social tracking information you will have the information necessary to deliver quality content that is more relevant than ever to your users because they just might have been part of the social tracking analytics that influenced the content in the first place.
Having the kind of social data provided by Postrank integrated directly into Google Webmaster Tools or Analytics is great, but the question then becomes what do you do with that data? The answer is actually quite simple, first you evaluate the data and prepare content based on your assessment. The next, most important step, is to push that content live to the web so it can go viral and attract more people to your business. Platformic is all about fast delivery of content to your live web site. Combine the Platformic CMS publishing ability with the speedy delivery of social engagement data provided by Google Webmaster Tools and you've got a lighting fast publishing process.
I just love Godzilla...so this 404 page spoke to me
As sure as the sun will rise in the morning, your site users are going to end up hitting a 404 error page at some point or another. But what you provide them when they hit that pages can actually tell a lot about your site, and can help turn your what is technically a fail for the user into a win, if done properly.
By definition (remember when definition was pulled from encyclopedia rather than wikipedia? I guess I am dating myself somewhat here), a 404 page is:
"The 404 or Not Found error message is a HTTP standard response code indicating that the client was able to communicate with the server, but the server could not find what was requested. 404 errors should not be confused with "server not found" or similar errors, in which a connection to the destination server could not be made at all. A 404 error indicates that the requested resource may be available again in the future."
Layman's terms, if a user try's to pull up a page that is not there on your site, the 404 will tell them that their browser can hit the site they are trying, but just cannot find the page they are looking for. Could be an old link...perhaps a mistype in the URL. There are any number of reason that a 404 page could come up.
There are a couple schools of thought about what to do with your 404 pages. But, taking a step back, the first important think is that you so something with your 404 page. Every site has different variables that lead to how frequently a 404 page comes up. If you have recently moved your site, or done some overhaul work that would eliminate or change page names, you might get a higher number of 404 pages. Depending on what your analytics tracking software is, access to how many 404 page calls you get could be in different spots, but all analytics will give you access. USE IT.
The next big question is what does your 404 page convey to your users. Some sites use their 404 pages to convey humor. From the Twitter "Fail Whale" to other clever 404 pages, these sites have decided that the 404 page will simply acknowledge to the user that yes, you are still on the site, but something is wrong, so why don't you just laugh a bit at the whole thing. Here are a couple examples:
B3ta - http://www.b3ta.com/404
Jotsai - http://www.jotsai.com/e/404.html
Jackfig - http://jackfig.com/404
The important thing to remember is that you need to take your user's sense of humor into consideration more so than yours. I have seen some really clever 404 pages...but if your site is not one where the humor fits, then you might actually alienate your users with this method.
The other stream of thought is to make your 404 page be a mini reference page. The idea here is that if your users have actually ended up on this page, make them feel like you care that an error occurred. Provide them with a couple content streams, perhaps a feedback form so they can let you know what page they were trying to access. Or create a mini site navigation so they can quickly find accurate links to the content their were searching for. This method, while less flash or entertaining that a humor based 404, really helps super server your users, which is often greatly appreciated. A few good examples:
1976design - http://1976design.com/blog/404
mezzoblue - http://www.mezzoblue.com/404
Heinz - http://www.heinz.com/404.aspx
There are plenty of good articles with examples of both kinds of 404 pages. Only you can decide which way you want to go...but if you take away on thing from this, it is that you just do one.
If you are a Platformic customer (and if not, why not?!?!) be sure you take advantage of our built in Custom 404 page setting, that allows you to make any section you want into your 404 page. Simple, easy to set up, and in 5 minutes your have yourself a custom 404 page. That's turning fail into #winning in my book
Have you ever been tasked with the burden of finding the perfect content management system (CMS) for your web site? You just might have found this blog post on the brink of abandoning your effort to select the perfect digital publishing tool. Whether your business is large or small, finding the right CMS is enough to drive any sane person insane.
How does one find the perfect tool for their web site? There are as many answers to this question as there are seconds in a minute, minutes in an hour, hours in a day...well you get the idea. Undoubtedly, you've stumbled across some of the larger content management systems in your quest for perfection. They've all bragged about how their software is on the cutting edge of technology and how their code is the best on the web. That sounds great sign me up! In all seriousness simply stating that your code is better than others is kind of like saying all men and women are created equal. True all men and women have the right to equal opportunity and privileges but not one human being is the same as another and much like humans not all code is created equal.
What makes Platformic code better than its competitors? Over 40 years combined development experience, a full service quality assurance team and the very best professional services department in the industry. There is more to Platformic code than experience and support however, there is a deeper sense of pride that comes from its creators. Platformic developers fight for their code and stand strong in the face of adversity. Never developing code just to feed their egos, clients can be certain that the code delivered by Platformic development is created with purpose and not just for fluff.
Is all code created equal? Hopefully by now you understand the answer to that question is no. However, if there is still any doubt check out some of the useful links above. Let a Platformic team member elaborate on the tip of the digital iceberg touched in this article. Best of luck in your search!
In an effort to better serve our customers, Platformic is pleased to roll out our improved customer support and inquiry system. Based on customer feedback and market research, we have recently completed the migration to a more robust customer support solution. Our new system will allow customers to track, organize and manage support requests across their entire network of websites, all from one login. Platformic's product output has grown exponentially over the last few months, and this upgrade reflects our continued dedication to a support system that continues to scale with our product growth.
One of our main goals with this new system was to keep the process for submitting support tickets as similar to the methodology used today. This means that while behind the scenes there have been many changes, current users should see little difference in how they submit support issues/requests.
The new ticket system will allow both anonymous in and registered ticket submission. Logged in requests will allow customers to view tickets/requests, as well as manage all the additional requests from across their network of sites. Communication back and forth with our support staff can still take place via email, with all communication being automatically logged within the body the specific support ticket.
Registration within our new system will also allow us to better pro-actively communicate system maintenance and unforeseen emergency situations.
For more detailed information on the new Support System Upgrade, clients can check out the system message located on their Platformic login screen.
As CTO of Platformic, I feel like I have a lot to be proud of. Our Platform delivers nearly 2 million page renders a day, distributed across several hundred websites. That simple fact sometimes blurs my own concept of what is 'standard fare' for an organization. Admittedly sadly, sometimes when our team accomplishes a feat which other small organizations would celebrate with a blowout party, including spraying champagne and a free buffet, everyone at Platformic get little more than a "Hey, great job."
Once again, the past week let one of those momentous occasions sort of slip by in a flight of "Hey, great, that's how Platformic does it." And in this blog, I want to shed just a little more light on it.
So - here's the lowdown on the news flash that slipped through. We launched a complete 100% rebrand of 14 of Fox Regional Sports sites this past week. If you were a fan of www.foxsportssouth.com and you went to sleep on 3/28/11 just after checking how Kentucky is faring after reaching the Final Four of the NCAA tourney on the site and woke up a few hours later for your morning Wildcat briefing, you would have found a brand new website waiting for you.
You might ask - "well - what does a 'brand new website' mean - did you change the logo? Change some colors? Change the layout on the homepage slightly?" Toward which the answer is really - "No, we changed the entire look and feel of every page of the entire website to the degree that while historical content in terms of text and images remained, the entire experience of visiting the site changed."
So - you might ask - when did this process start? Great launch - rah, rah! but how many years did it take to get you there?
3 months. Start to finish. Platformic met with Fox for the redesign in January (yes 2011) at which point not one piece of work had been done. The sites (as mentioned) all launched last week.
Some organizations spend a year just trying to figure out how their new site is going to work and how it is going to look. In the case of the FSN regional sites we started with the concept that the regional sites would take on most of the design from their big brother at www.foxsports.com so some of the heavy lifting was taken care of. Still, the new designs included over a dozen new features which didn't exist on the original sites which had been hosted and maintained by Platformic for the prior 18 months.
EVERYTHING was changed. Jump into the internet time machine and compare. The sites are more than 2.0. They are just "New and better - point O."
At the end of the day we sent big "high fives" internally. It was a great accomplishment but oddly for us it was just another day of work.
I've really come to understand that modesty has come to embody what we do at Platformic by default. The truth is that we produce results for our clients that other companies simply can't even imagine, and we take them as business as usual.
Because that's what we do every day.