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Jun 13 2007

Updates and Other Fun Stuff!

Wishing everyone a happy summer – are you able to get out and enjoy the great weather? Here in Wisconsin, I welcome the 80 degree weather after a long winter! Lots has been going on around here that I wanted to give you a few updates about – it’s been a pretty exciting year, so far! Let’s see….
I am very happy to announce the arrival of two new, very talented designers to the E.Webscapes team this month!

  • Joni Ang – Joni hails from the Philippines and proves that learning on your own is never impossible. The totality of her experience within the Internet arena started with learning HTML and Web Design as just a hobby a few years back. Today, Joni fulfills the role of a full-time Search Engine Marketing Specialist which has exposed her to various matters in the worldwide web. On the side, Joni has also come a long way in cultivating her CSS and design skills to create WordPress themes to share to the world. You can find Joni’s personal blog at Tainted Song
  • We Latoga – We also hails from the Philippines. This wasn’t planned, brining on two designers from the Philippines – it just happened that way! We blogs about Playstation Portable and design on his personal blog. He is experienced with WordPress and other blogging/CMS applications, with a wealth of knowledge and experience in design and CSS. We is happy to join the E.Webscapes team of designers to expand his experience and provide beautiful design to our clients.
    You can find We’s personal blog at Stylemo

As the demand for our services continues to grow, so does our need to expand our staff to make sure we’re able to provide our clients with enough ‘man power’ to make it all happen (that is, until we figure out a way to create the 48 hour day!)

WordPress for Dummies by Lisa Sabin-WilsonIn other news, my WordPress for Dummies is getting closer and closer to it’s publish date, and I’m very excited about that! The book covers all the essential information needed for beginners – and maybe a few gems of information for those who aren’t beginners, but need a boost in their overall WordPress knowledge. What’s exciting about this book is that it covers the three different ‘flavors’ of WordPress:

  • The hosted version of WordPress available at WordPress.Com
  • The single-user, self-hosted, version of the WordPress software available for download at WordPress.Org
  • The multiple-user, self-hosted version of WordPress called WordPress MU

It was quite a large project and I had a LOT of fun writing it and can’t wait until it’s finally released in September of ’07! I do keep my Amazon page updated with some good WordPress information pretty regularly here on my AmazonConnect Blog.

I recently participated in two interviews that you may find interesting:

  • VOISD Webmaster Blog contacted me for an interview a few months back, and Mike has finally published the results. We talk about my book, WordPress for Dummies, my design company here at E.Webscapes and whether or not I think the freelance design market is over-saturated since the ‘blog boom’ (actually, since the WordPress boom has seen more and more WordPress designers pop out of the woodwork.). It was a fun interview to do, and I thank Mike from the VOISD Webmaster Blog for his interest!
  • SRD Radio contacted me to do an interview on his weekly podcast/internet-radio show. In the interview, we talk about my experiences with blogging, design and web hosting – as well as some insight and information into the process of writing WordPress for Dummies. Dave is a good friend and active client of E.Webscapes and Blogs About Hosting, and has been for many years – so it was really great to sit down and chat with him on his show!

The Sandbox Designs Competition for WordPressAnd my final bit of news is about a competition within the WordPress community called the “Sandbox Design Competition” put on by Scott Allen Wallick and Andy Skelton. It is a competition for WordPress theme designers everywhere to show off their mad skills in the area of design and CSS using the beautiful and semantic Sandbox theme.

The competition started June 1, 2007 and runs through July 29, 2007 – the judges will select a winner by August 5, 2007. A quick rundown of helpful links for those of you itching to participate:

Well, what do you think? Think you’ll participate?

As of the time of this writing – the TOP prize is $650, the second place winner gets $425 and the third place winner gets $275.. and the first three runner-ups get $50 each. I say ..at the time of this writing.. because those prize amounts are subject to change, depending on the amount of sponsorships they receive for the competition.

Which brings me to why I will not be participating in either the design submission or the judging of the competition – in the name of my new book that will be released in Sept. 2007, I made the very easy decision to support the project with great hope that we will see some amazing themes as a result! WordPress for Dummies is very proud to be a sponsor of the Sandbox Design Competition.

Sponsors cannot participate, you see – - we can only… sponsor. I can only sit and watch from the sideline.

Really, sponsoring this project is actually the way I’d like to go because its projects like this one that really showcase the different talent that’s out there – and it contributes to the WordPress community in a huge way. Of course, it’s no secret that I have a silly soft spot in my heart for WordPress themers – so sponsoring this event was an easy decision for me.

I’m in good sponsorship company, too – Matt Mullenweg has also sponsored this competition, as well.

Something else about the Sandbox Design Competition that is very exciting is that our own Becca Wei is serving as a judge for the competition. Many of you know Becca for her great WordPress themes that she has released to the WordPress community in the past, and of course through her work here at E.Webscapes. I think she is a fabulous choice for a judge in this competition!

I just want to give a huge shout out to Scott and Andy for taking this kind of project on – - its no small undertaking! BEST of luck to those two guys (better you than me..heh!).

Also, another extra thanks to Scott, himself – his theme, BLOG.TXT, is featured in the WordPress for Dummies book and he gave generously of his time and talents while I wrote that part of the book and allowed me to bug him for an interview that he provided some very in depth information and insight for. Thanks a million, Scott!

So…. what do you think? Think you’d like to participate in the competition and lay all your design talents out on the table for the whole world to oggle at? OF COURSE you will – - head on over to the Sandbox Design Competition right now and brush up on all the details – - I can’t WAIT to see what you do!

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