DesignFolio Plus Giveaway

DesignFolio Plus is a beautiful and highly customizable portfolio theme great for displaying logos, websites, print work and much more. DesignFolio Theme

DesignFolio Details

Perfect for the design professional with little or advanced knowledge of HTML /CSS and WordPress, DesignFolio Plus comes with the following features:

  • jQuery Slider for Portfolio Items
  • Easy portfolio uploading (create a portfolio category and upload an image for each post and the theme does the rest)
  • Museo Sans headings using Cufon text replacement
  • Theme Options page with Flickr integration
  • Colorpicker to change colors of “The Stripe” and other text and links
  • Custom Breadcrumb Trails (utilizing the BreadcrumbXT plug-in)
  • Twitter Integration (utilizing the Twitter Widget Pro plug-in)

Using DesignFolio Plus, it is easy to set up an online Portfolio using WordPress. This is one of the most straightforward and easy-to-use Portfolio-style themes out there, designed and developed by popular WordPress theme developer Chris Wallace, whose high-quality themes speak for themselves.

You can check out a live preview here or view the theme details on ThemeForest.net (currently available for $30).

Free Hosting

firehost secure hosting

Now, a huge thanks to Firehost, the deal has gotten even sweeter. For 1 of the 5 lucky theme winners, they will receive 6 months of free secure hosting with no commitment to stay from Firehost. This is the perfect combination for anyone just starting out online or looking to do a serious upgrade.

How To Enter

We are offering up not just one, but five theme licenses. So you have a greater chance of winning. Simply leave a comment below explaining why you would like this theme and how it would make your wildest dreams come true.

The contest will run for one week and the winners will be chosen and then contacted via twitter (make sure and leave your twitter name) next Friday, July 31, 2009. Details about the hosting will be taken care of through Firehost. Good luck.

Wordcamp Dallas Day 01

The day started off with my alarm at 6 am. After meeting up with my brosephs Charles and Caleb at Starbucks we set off to the UTD campus for some early registration, an hour early to be precise. But I wanted to make sure we got great seats. Plus I was excited to meet some new people and hear from all the speakers.

Speaking of meeting new people, I had the pleasure of meeting Cali Lewis, from GeekBrief.tv. Cali started geekbrief.tv a few years ago with her husband to pursue her passion in new media. She was by far the best speaker at todays session. Her energy and passion for new media and building a community was very refreshing. Below are some of my notes over her presentation.

7 Rules for Building a Vibrant Community

What is it you want people to walk away from your blog with? Cali said that for geekbrief.tv it's a smile. I think for myself it would have to be a sense of belonging or that you learn something.

Rule #1 - Know thyself... Know they Blog! * This can take a while and plenty of practice to know yourself and what you have to say. I kind of feel like I'm still getting there, but am gaining traction.

Rule #2 - Start compelling conversation! * This is what I'm doing with chatcreative.com by attempting to bridge the gap for the design community, one step closer. This is what people like Aaron Irizarry, David and Marc Perel and others are doing with their blogs and videos.

Rule #3 - Be an asset! * Add value. Start a conversation. This pretty much ties in with the previous rule.

Rule #4 - Make Friends Not Fans! * We don't want to talk "at" our community, but rather talk "with" our community. Take Gary Vaynerchuck as the perfect example. Cali talks about meeting new media stars who treat their community as fans vs. friends. We don't need to separate ourselves as "unique" and "special" but just as ourselves... ordinary people who make mistakes. And when we have a great group of "friends" then they are much more forgiving when we make a mistake.

Listen to your community doesn't mean we have to change what we're doing.

Rule #5 - Show Appreciation! * Cali really hits the nail on the head about being responsive and thankful to everyone who connects with us. Setting up google alerts is a great way you can watch what people are saying about you, and then respond.

Rule #6 - Take Breaks! * This is something that I believe in whole-heartedly. Taking time to step away from the computer and get some fresh air, or whatever, is essential to regain focus. Take today for example, if we didn't have breaks every hour I would've gone crazy. There is only so long I can sit in front of a computer before I feel disconnected and burned out on ideas.

Rule #7 - Always Be Upgrading! * We all have to start somewhere. Don't be afraid to make those first steps. But also, don't get stuck in a rut of doing the same thing over and over, especially if it isn't working. And remember, we can upgrade more than just our equipment. Think about your technique, whether in writing or designing or video blogging, and also the depth of your content. I always like to think there is room for improvement.

Some Last Words

I really enjoyed getting to meet some new people today and hear what they do. Among them were two really talented young men, 13 year-old Jackson Fall of livingdigitally.tv and 16 year-old Clay Griffiths who is working on a new theme called Headway. I was able to get a sneak peek at the theme on Friday night and have to say it's going to be a game changer for all other theme makers.

The first day of WordCamp Dallas 2009 ended on a high note at Sherlocks pub and grill with friends, both new and old, and a few beers. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and hearing from Matt Mullenweg.

Let's Be Honest

Today I wanted to let you guys know about the Dallas Wordcamp that will be going on next weekend (June 27 and June 28). Please register if you haven't already, there are going to be a ton of great door prizes and some great speakers. Matt Mullenweg will be speaking on Sunday afternoon about the state of WordPress as well as a Q&A session. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Also I touch on an all too common subject... being honest. More importantly about not being afraid to voice our honest professional opinion. We don't have to be a jerk to say how we really feel, but if we never speak up no one will know. There's no such thing as a mind reader.

Managing my client relationships is something I'm learning right now. And I have to say that I haven't always been the best at it. It's easy for me to be laid back and wait for them to contact me instead of being more proactive. But the more independent work I get the more I see how important it is to stay in touch with my clients and make sure their needs are being met. Putting just a little bit of extra effort in can go a long ways.

Please forgive the camera shaking. I was holding it by hand and didn't realize how sensitive it was. I need to use a tripod next time.

Links Mentioned

Caleb White - Thanks for lending me the Flip Mino camera Dallas WordCamp - Register now before it's too late Garth Humbert - Looking forward to meeting this guy


I know I've always valued the importance of community but today really hit home.

Saturdays are usually a difficult day for me, one because I have nothing to do and two because I can think of a million things to do. (Note: When you own a home your "to-do" list never seems to end.) So I usually try to take it easy and have no plans made. That way I'm not committed to anyone or anything, making it easier to enjoy my weekend and be spontaneous.

However, within the past few months I've started to take a more active role in becoming involved in the design community in the greater Dallas area. I started with the Refresh Dallas monthly meetings, which are a great way to learn about new and interesting technologies. And just today I attended my first WordPress meetup group. I was nervous thinking about who I would meet and what kind of people actually attend these things. Not to mention that it started to feel like more of a burden the more I debated going. My thought pattern went something like this:

  • Will there be anyone I can relate too?
  • Am I going to show up and everyone just ignores me?
  • Did I put on too much cologne?
  • Am I overdressed?
  • Thanks TomTom for directions, now where is the damn deli?

My nerves were put to rest the moment I walked in the door of the restaurant, P.D. Johnson's, as I was waved over to the table and began to make my introductions. The next two hours were spent chatting about WordPress (obviously), twitter, dogs, Plurk, servers, Ping.fm, our failing economy, the new homeless, as well as enjoying what everyone else was talking about. The range of experience from everyone brought about a nice balance to the conversations. There are those who run multiple sites on multiple servers to those who are just learning about websites. It was great to see how everyone was treated with the same respect and no one was left out.

Now I just have to be patient for WordCamp Dallas 2009.