NAFSA HI/Pacific Spring Conference 2011

I present to you the slideshow I used at my first ever presentation at a conference.  Overall I felt I should have practiced a little more and focused my topic better but it seemed to go over well. I think I had around twenty-five people come see it which is not bad for a regional conference that really only had attendees from Hawaii.  I think what made it go well was that rather than fully devoting to lecturing from the front of the room I went for an approach that I had seen one of my committee members use at a conference where questions were not a deterrent or interruption but rather a part of the overall presentation itself.

I submitted a proposal at the end of May for the upcoming NASFA Bi-Regional I/XI Conference in November.  I hope I get in because it would be great for the CV for the coming year when I reenter the job market moving back to the mainland and make my bid at getting employment in a higher ed program in student affairs, preferably a study abroad office.

A fresh start

Well I must say after over a year of saying I will get a new theme it’s finally happened.  I think my new job definitely helped in getting me motivated to sit down and do some coding. First I have to say I had help along the way. Smashing Magazine, Digging into WordPress, the WordPress Codex, and Forrst all proved to be valuable resources that without I would’ve taken even longer. But most of all is the FreelanceFolder‘s The Client Machine which this theme is based as a child theme. It’s back-end makes using this site as a freelance center much more easily. Also if you came here from I’m sure you noticed that the url now reads as I figured it was a good time to change and pick up a more professional tone in my web presence as well as to tie in with my twitter handle @donbwhite.

This blog will take a more professional tone as well with more focused post topics related to highered, student affairs, web development and design and less on ranting about stupid Hawaiian drivers and other stuff like that.

Plants vs. Zombies arrives on Android

I’ve long been a fan of Plants vs. Zombies and finally it has arrived on the Android platform. It retails for $2.99 but for today only on the Amazon AppStore its today’s Free app. So if you had an Android device get on over there and get it before the deal is over.  The game is large though requiring a wi-fi connections to download the game but that’s not too much of a problem.

I played the first few levels after installing the game and it feels very similar to its iOS brethren which is good as I felt the iOS version was an excellent port when it first came out.

I’ve found that the Android system does tend to fall behind iOS in terms of defense style games so this is definitely and positive step in the right direction. Either  way, great game and glad to have it on my HTC Droid Incredible.

Plants vs. Zombies

A Song of Ice & Fire

A great of deal came to my email the other day. For those who subscribe to Audible the first book of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series A Game of Thrones which is normally a two credit purchase is currently on sale for one! It was a well spent credit for me. I had the book in my Wish List for a while and the audiobook itself clocks in at a little over 32 hours total. The book itself is long so that fact is not surprising but still is impressive.

The reason for Audible’s kind generosity is due to the upcoming release of the new Game of Thrones TV series on HBO. From what I’ve seen it looks pretty good. They apparently released a nice long video showing the first 15 minutes of the first episode. I haven’t been able to watch it though because it seems so many people are trying to watch it that the buffering is really bad at the moment. Will check it out later.  The series premiers on April 17th. I hope it does a good job of presenting the books.

I have a friend who can….

Jumping into the wild and exciting world of web design and consulting does not come without its challenges. More often than not prospective clients don’t even realize that they are making major mistakes which hurt their business. It amazes me that websites that would’ve been hip and cool in the age of GeoCities (roughly 1995-1998 give or take) are excellent websites that represent their company in a professional manner. There is a valuable lesson that many businesses need to learn:

  1. Comic Sans is not a professional font choice and should be avoided at all costs.
  2. Never use background music. It’s just kind of pathetic
  3. User Experience on your website is very important.

If I were asked what the importance of the website for a company or business with a physical location I would have to say number 2. Why not number 1? Well if your business looks like crap and smells as bad then no amount of web magic can help. Thus it’s number 2. Yet as it’s number 2 it means it’s very important in the grand scheme of things. And as such you need to involve someone who’s knowledgeable even if it requires an extra dollar or two.

I have a friend who knows how to make websites for cheap/free is one of the most annoying comments I hear.

I’m not here to sit and judge that and firmly believe that this “Friend” knows nothing about web design. Heck they may even be a professional web designer doing it on the side for you But the problem is the job is free so they might not be giving you the best product available cause it’s a side project and not a job. You’d be low on their priority list for help, repairs, and advice as you would be placed after their actual jobs and responsibilities.

These are important things to consider when designing, re-designing, or doing whatever with your company’s website.