Google Makes Internet Explorer Behave

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design

Dean Edwards Squashes IE BugsOk, why haven’t I heard of this until now? Apparently Google Dean Edwards has put up a javascript library that makes IE behave like a normal, standards compliant browser. Add a link to the file in your header, and BOOM, you code like you would normally. Except no hacking for IE! You can view the entire list of fixes over at the Google Code page for the project. Naturally, this is in beta, so don’t expect everything to work perfectly yet.

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Web Designers, Design Your Content!

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design

I’ve noticed a trend lately among websites I’ve visited that seem to win all kinds of design awards and such. First of all, they look beautiful. Web design has come a long way in the past few years. But I get this nagging suspicion that the designers kind of stop once they get the shell of the site designed. Then, when they get the content from the client, they copy, paste and call it day.

So what’s the big deal? Well, I’ll tell you what the big deal is! Content is important! In fact it’s probably more important than your design. I tell my clients all the time, “I don’t care how pretty we make it, if your content isn’t compelling; if it doesn’t reach out and grab the user, they’re not going to stay on the site.” And it’s true. Don’t get me wrong, it works both ways…I mean, if you’ve got great content, but your site is ugly as crap I’m not going to trust you simply because you didn’t put the effort to be professional.

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Auto Navigation Highlighting in ExpressionEngine

by Jonathan Longnecker in Tutorials, ExpressionEngine

We’ve been using this technique for a while now and it works great! We always take the most used parts of a site and put them in templates for easy access when putting together a site. But what happens when you want to highlight the navigation to show the user where they’re at? Enter this cool trick! And yes, you have to be using ExpressionEngine smile .

Alright, say this is your navigation code:

Notice the current class. I’ve styled that in my CSS to show that I’m on that page (for this site it would be white with a star to the left). I’m going to use Expression Engine’s if and loc tags to automate the process. In my navigation template, I setup the code like this:

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Stylegala Reviews FortySeven Media Site

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design, Business

Stylegala. A publication about web designs and standards.We are honored to have been listed on Stylegala’s gallery this month. In addition to seeking out the raddest designs, Sylegala also has a nice newsfeed with relevant and useful info for web designers. Kick awesome for sure. Ty Gossman wrote a very nice review on the new 47m site, and people are giving us pretty darn good ratings. We are super excited to be so well received by the web design community. Check it out if you get a chance via the link below.

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Designing to Create a Response

by Nate Croft in Design


Objectivity is often like a dog’s head on a car ride, it goes right out the window. It can be easy to lose sight of your goal sometimes. Keeping your efforts focused on creating the right response is key to a successful design. Let’s take a look at designing to evoke a positive response.

When you boil it down, a designer’s job is to communicate. If we can create a work of art as well, that’s great, but not at the expense of the message. Start with the two most important questions before beginning a design: “Who is this for?” and “What is it intended to do?” As a designer, sometimes it’s easy to just start designing something. Resist that urge! Take a moment to wrap your head around it.

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Custom Webclip Icons for your iPhone or iPod Touch Home Screen

by Jonathan Longnecker in Tutorials

iPhone with 47m WebclipSo some of you may have heard about the iPhone, iPod Touch update yesterday that lets you add shortcuts on your home screen to webpages. My iPhone does a nice job of taking a screenshot of the page I’m on and making a pretty little icon that looks like my other icons on the home screen. But wait! I want my logo and not a tiny version of the whole page! Turns out it’s super simple to have your custom icon show up.

Ready? Make an icon that’s 158x158. Save it as “apple-touch-icon.png,” and put it in the root folder of your website. Wow that was easy.

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Making Your Footer Stay Put With CSS

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design, Tutorials

One problem I run into pretty frequently when coding a site in to XHTML and CSS is making my footer dock to the bottom of the screen. It’s especially annoying if you have a page that’s short on content and the footer, which happens to be a different color that the body background doesn’t stay at the bottom of the browser window. I can hear you say, “But why don’t you just do a fixed position on it. That’s easy enough.” True, but if you do that then it’s always at the bottom of the screen no matter how tall the window is. So if I have a page with a lot of content that footer shouldn’t show up until the content is done. How do we fix this? Let me show you. Here’s what the problem looks like:

Footer is broken

This tutorial assumes a few things: 1. That you know basic HTML formatting, and 2. That you have a pretty good understanding of CSS.

So first we need to make sure that everything except the footer is inside a container div. So your code would look something like this:

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Lessons from the Music Industry

by Jonathan Longnecker in Business, Personal

Music IndustryI’m a frequent reader of Seth Godin’s blog, and his recent entry “Music Lessons” is mostly right on the money.

I think everyone is in agreement that the music industry has been ripping us off for years; their business model from 1950 is dead, and they’re floundering around trying to figure out what to do. Copy protection; while a decent first tackle at the problem; should have been dropped years ago. Suing your own customers. Stupid. Yeah, yeah we’ve heard all this before.

What makes Godin’s entry so interesting is that he reminds us that it can happen to any business.

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What’s Your Thing?

by Nate Croft in Personal

Years ago while I was in college, I worked for several different major retailers over a period of about two years. I did a stint at The Home Depot loading cement bags and heaving potting soil. I survived a Christmas season as your friendly neighborhood consumer electronics consultant at Best Buy. And believe it or not, I even worked a desperate couple of months at Bed Bath and Beyond.

It was great time in my life, but I wasn’t aware of it until much later. At the time, I was miserable.

The purely logical, problem solving part of my brain must have been put in charge for a while because I was looking at things from a very narrow perspective then. I needed money. To get money, I needed a job. So I got one. Now I had some money. There was a very “*happy word* and Jane” sort of simplicity at work here. For various reasons, (none of which included being fired, thank God) I switched from one job to the next, trying to find one that I could stick with. I really wanted to work, to do a good job and enjoy doing it. But that wasn’t happening.

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Welcome to 2008!

by Jonathan Longnecker in Business

So technically I’m writing this in the latter portions of 2007, but no matter. As you can see, the ol’ 47m site is looking a bit different as of 2008. That’s right, we’ve finally given ourselves a proper website. It was becoming apparent that we needed our own site to “live up to” the standards we were setting for out clients. Of course we always wanted it to be that way, but finding time is another matter.

See that big “Subscribe” button top right? Use it.

The more we thought about it we realized that we just needed to make time. It’s funny how easy it is to loose track of what’s important. Granted, there are some days that getting money in to pay the mortgage is priority, but as a business we have to look beyond day-to-day tasks. Setting up a true portfolio and blog to share our thoughts with the world will likely have a much farther reaching impact long term than finishing up that magazine ad today. But anyway…

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