Mar 16 2009

Eric Clapton’s New Web Site Review

Ok, so I thought I’d post something that covers two areas that are close to me… Music & Web Design. Having recently posted something on the David Gilmour site, I didn’t really find this too far off-base really. Plus, I got the notice on my MySpace page, went over to the new Clapton site and was pretty impressed. I even became a fan of his page on Facebook, so I guess you could say I’m a bit pumped about this?

The other item I forgot to mention, is that when I looked at tour dates, I noticed Eric was playing the Royal Albert Hall in London tonight (actually is now on stage as I’m writing this) & I wanted to jump on this opportunity to promote his site and his tour. The Royal Albert Hall is, for those of you that don’t know, quite the venue. It makes an appearance in the Beatles song, “A Day in the Life“. The line is, “Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall“. The hall is circular in shape and is well-known for it’s great acoustics. Many famous concerts have taken place here, so it would suffice to say that it has a bit of history behind it. It was built in 1871 and is still standing tall as one of the most sought after places for a musician to play. If you’ve played here, then you’ve pretty much made it as a musician.

Getting back to the Eric Clapton Web Site though, I’d have to say it’s one well-thought-out and laid-out site. I immediately went to the video section to find this great 1991 version of “White Room”, which is show above. Okay, so it isn’t Cream performing it, but Eric’s playing is still impressive. One of the most expressive guitar players I’ve ever heard… and that’s coming from a devout Jimmy Page fan!

I think the photo section will grow as the tour progresses and it certainly will be something else to see and hear Eric together with Stevie Winwood again on this tour. The video section also could be a little more robust, but the interviews make up for it. I always enjoyed listening to Clapton talk and this was no different. Pay special close attention to his take in the Concert for Bangladesh he did with George Harrison. Having just read his autobiography, these comments from him really hit home. I do kind of wish the music section, or discography rather, would include some small sound clips from the songs and then also have a feature to buy the song/songs from either iTunes or Amazon, but maybe that was a legal decision. The mini-player of Eric’s music at the top of all the pages is nice though… would be even nicer if while the song played and one navigated to a new page, the song would persist to play, but it does not.

A link to Eric’s enduring fight to help people with addictions is also on the site up top in the header. The facility is called, “The Crossroads Centre” and is truly an amazing thing Eric has given back to this world. All in all, a good site. It might need a little growing into and more content created or added to it, which I believe will take place soon. A site any Clapton fan would be please to visit.

So there you have it, my tribute to Eric Clapton’s start of a 10-night stay at the Royal Albert Hall starting tonight!

Visit the site and enjoy it!

Chris J. Politzki
Studio 119 Degrees


Mar 9 2009

DexKnows.com Yellow Page Site Update – New Widgets

February 24th saw the release of the new and improved DexKnows.com 2.0 web site. With it, also came the updated Free Tools page. As with the 1.0 site, I helped develop not only this page, but also the newly-branded Banner AdsSearch Boxes, Widgets & Gadgets, and Text Links. I will, for purposes of this post, only go over the Search Boxes and Widgets.

What’s New With The Dexknows.com Site, Search Boxes & Widgets?

All of us who work at Dex are really excited about the new 2.0 site launch. I’m especially excited about the new Search Boxes, Widgets & Gadgets. So what’s new about these from the previous versions? Good question! Keeping in mind that the Search Boxes are mainly used by Dex Affiliates, I wanted to streamline the code that needed to be copied and pasted to implement them into pre-existing sites. In order to accomplish this, I used div tags instead of the previous methods of using tables in the HTML. These div tags were then controlled by specific CSS to perform better across all browsers. There’s even a custom CSS rule to accomodate the Safari browser, which I think everyone should download. It’s available for both the Mac & PC and is quickly becoming one of the up-and-coming browsers people use today.

Code Implementation for the DexKnows.com Search Boxes

So how does one go about using these so-called Search Boxes? It’s as easy as copying and pasting two bits of code into your HTML. 

  • Step 1 – Paste this code below between the <head></head> tags in your HTML.

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://images.dexknows.com/logo/searchbox-files/widget.js”></script>

  • Step 2 – Paste this code below between the <body></body> tags in your HTML.
  • <form class=”search” name=”search” id=”search” action=”http://www.dexknows.com/rd/” onsubmit=”return checkform();”> <input type=”hidden” class=”dku” name=”dku” value=”http://www.dexknows.com/search/?mkt=dk20&mkw=L2Us300x250″ /> <div id=”dex_widget300x250″> <div id=”top300x250″><IMG SRC=”http://images.dexknows.com/logo/searchbox-files/300x250_top.gif” alt=”Dex is one of the leading Yellow Pages publishers. Dex publishes the AT&T Real Yellow Pages in Illinois and NW Indiana, the EMBARQ™ Yellow Pages, and the Dex® Yellow Pages (as the official publisher of Qwest®).” width=”300″ height=”70″ border=0 usemap=”#DexLogoLink”></div> <div id=”bottom300x250″> <div class=”styleWhat300x250″><LABEL for=”what”>What</LABEL><br> <input name=’what’ type=’text’ class=”formbox300x250″ id=’what’ tabindex=’1′ value=’category, business name, keyword or phone number.’ maxlength=”50″ onClick=”clearWhatData();” onKeyPress=”this.style.color = ‘#000000′;” /> </div> <div class=”styleWhere300x250″><LABEL for=”where”>Where</LABEL><br> <input name=’where’ type=’text’ class=”formbox300x250″ id=’where’ tabindex=’2′ value=’city, state, address, ZIP code or landmark.’ maxlength=”50″ onClick=”clearWhereData();” onKeyPress=”this.style.color = ‘#000000′;” /> </div> <div id=”search300x250″> <input name=”image” type=’image’ tabindex=’3′ src=’http://images.dexknows.com/logo/searchbox-files/300x250_button.gif’ title=”Begin Your Search” /></div> <div align=”center”><a href=”http://www.dexknows.com/rd/?dku=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dexknows.com%2F%3Fmkt%3Ddk20%26mkw%3DL2Us300x250″ title=”Visit DexKnows.com” target=”_blank” class=”styleYP300x250″>DEX YELLOW PAGES</a></div> </div> </div> </form> <map name=”DexLogoLink” id=”Map”> <area shape=”rect” coords=”-196,1,300,70″ href=”http://www.dexknows.com/rd/?dku=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dexknows.com%2F%3Fmkt%3Ddk20%26mkw%3DL2Us300x250″ target=”_blank” alt=”Dex is one of the leading Yellow Pages publishers. Dex publishes the AT&T Real Yellow Pages in Illinois and NW Indiana, the EMBARQ™ Yellow Pages, and the Dex® Yellow Pages (as the official publisher of Qwest®).” title=”Visit DexKnows.com” /> </map>

And that’s all there is to it to get a Search Box working on you web site. Now anyone can perform a business search on the DexKnows.com site directly from your site! Here’s how the above code looks once implemented:

The code has been stream-lined to dynamically load the necessary CSS for each separate Search Box from the javascript call within the header. And since this code and all the images are hosted on a DexKnows.com server, this means no taxing of the users server and translates to better load time and functionality. There are 8 different IAB-approved sizes for the Search Boxes, so you should easily be able to find one that fits your web page.

The New and Improved Dex Gadgets & Widgets

Not only did the Search Boxes get and overhaul, but so did the Gadgets & Widgets. There are currently 4 choices to choose from. A Dex iGoogle Gadget for your iGoogle Home Page, a Dex Google Gadget to install in your Google Desktop, a Dex Yahoo! Widget for Yahoo! Widgets, and finally a Dex Mac Widget for the Mac Dashboard. The latter three contain a version checking script which will allow easy validation for users of the Gadget or Widget to check if they are up to date on the most current version. A 5th Widget will be added in the future, but for now will be posted here for you in advance so that you can test it out. This would be the WidgetBox Widget and is shown below:

 

 

 
Thanks and enjoy the new DexKnows.com site and all of it’s new features!

Chris J. Politzki
Studio 119 Degrees