Silicon Palms New Design

Silicon Palms

The first month of 2017 has been a thrill so far, as our strategic partner for Internet technology and Website hosting, Verio was sold by NTT of Japan (world’s third largest Telcom company), to Endurance International Group of Tempe Arizona, which is also the home of Godaddy our domain name registrar.

Silicon Palms is now at home in Arizona and to commemorate our new host, we’ve launched a new design and new initiative to make the web great again.

Our new Internet Platform is best in it’s class and our technology products the envy of the web hosting industry, priced competitively, with stellar support. We’re affiliated with Aweber, Leadpages and HighRiseHQ for a WordPress Content Marketing Engine second to none.

Silicon Palms is ready to help you make a great website, or design a great content marketing strategy, with video and multi-media to market your ideas, across the entire spectrum of media channels. Then convert the traffic, first into subscribers and loyal followers, then into happy customers and clients.

With over twenty years of experience Silicon Palms has developed in-depth systems for collecting metrics of website traffic. We use Google Analytics for producing detailed traffic analysis reports, designed to pinpoint the most effective keyword terms and phrases for creation and conversion of content. This technique is known as a funnel, the core of which is the customer relationship management system; HighRiseHQ, another partner.

We are passionate about web design, development and content marketing. Reach out and contact us, if you need a second opinion on your Internet marketing strategy, or if you’re considering launching a new web project.


Wikimedia Commons and Visual Hunt

Woman female beautiful erotic sensual tree nature - wikimedia commons

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Aaron Swartz for the whole “creative commons” movement. I feel that he was somewhat unsung for his part in Wikipedia, so we must strive to always remember him for Wikimedia Commons. Imagine how much music, art, content, media and photography has been licensed and protected for the public to use, all because of Aaron Swartz’s great idea – create a license and make it free!

Often times the media has a license calling for “Attribution” but who would care about that, if someone has created a great image or sound-track (for example) and they license it creative commons, then it’s “fair use” to add value to what your own creative efforts, for free, just attribute the licensor, many of whom are professionals and want to give-away their media and ideas. This platform promotes collaboration in the most subtle and yet obvious way, people working over great distances and yet with instant communication, is creating a new renaissance of sorts. New ground is being broken in every imaginable direction, just like Ray Kurzweil describes in his future trends forecast; we’re expanding exponentially because our minds are connected through devices that enable us tremendous access to ideas and knowledge.

Before Wikimedia Commons private image archives and news media would employ teams of IP (intellectual property) experts and copyright cops yo seek-out web publishers like me, that would often borrow maps, charts, content and images that clearly belonged to someone other than me, someone who had undoubtedly paid some other person to create such media. In others words, it had obvious value and I, in some cases, did not have the express written consent from the owner of said media. One day I learned better….

For years now it’s not been necessary to go anywhere but to huge royalty free archives, none though, came anywhere close to the home page for the Creative Commons, and the doorway into some of the best images and media anywhere. Several months ago I was tipped-off by Robin Good, he’s the guru of good ideas for content collaboration and web marketing, about which is the absolute most exciting thing for me, since Yahoo was launched because it’s a search engine of 354,191,553 Creative Commons Photos. Yep, that’s right… if you can’t find an image to express your vision, from amongst 350 million, then maybe it doesn’t exist and you need to create, so you can upload it and give a “creative commons” license. Let’s all put our best something good there.

How to Design a vlog for Youtube

mosaic tile art ceramic colorful decorative - design vlog

mosaic tile art ceramic colorful decorative - design vlog

To be original – is the most important key to success for a vlog on Youtube but you must also be genuine and tell a worthwhile story in a thought-provoking style. To share your journey and inspire others to take action and improve their lives and/or the lives of others around them. This is the desired result, the purpose and the best reason to go to the effort to design and produce a vlog but can only happen with great story-telling – therein lays the challenge.

In order to tell a story that never ends, you need a vlog design which is somewhat of a format combined with an editorial calendar. The idea here is to create a cohesive story-strategy, where each new episode connects to the next but throughout the course of a month, several activities would repeat on certain days of the week. For example; Sunday’s on the bike in the Park, a weekly update with a media partner, in my case; “Peace Revolution” and one day per week in the studio, another example; “A day at the bookstore”.

As for each episode of the vlog, the best on Youtube all have a format. Some use time-lapse, almost all good vlogs have music tracks and most have custom graphics and make use of what are called “call-outs”, which is large text blocks, often made into bullet points. The trend is to provide as much added information to as many frames as possible, often sound effects are synced to match the graphics. The production quality of the very best vlog is on par with Television and/or film because many of the vloggers are using the same, or almost equivalent film editing software as the leading film studios. Many of the best vlogs are created by expert film makers, but most are people who are self-taught.

As for cameras and technology, this is what is most amazing, in many cases mobile phones are the cameras and almost any computer that can download film editing software will do. Microsoft includes a film editing software on most computers, or it’s a matter of minutes to download one of several that will do the job. You just need to know what you’re doing and that’s the tough issue because these types of software have a very steep learning curve, although there are lot’s of good tutorials and how-to guides,

[box type=”tick” size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]At the end of the day it’s all about the story and how the story is told but if it’s not consistent it’ll never get traction.[/box]


Earthships…. what’s not to like?

Earthships history - First experimental house completed new Taos, New Mexico
Earthships history - First experimental house completed new Taos, New Mexico
First experimental house completed near Taos, New Mexico using empty steel beer and soft drink cans.

It’s about a year since I first heard the curious name: Earthship, and ever since I’ve continue to learn about, what is now known as Biotecture. Never was there a concept so mutually agreed upon to be a good idea, that as hard as anyone tried they couldn’t come up with reason to not like earthship construction methods. For sure someone could still build a complete hovel in mud, worse than a cave using this architecture and also there are systems in the structure that can be poorly installed and make problems, like a normal home, but the overall concept just makes so much sense that we absolutely must promote this new way of building human habitation.

It may sound funny to some, calling Earthships new because they’ve been around since the ’70’s but it’s really just been in the last decade that they’ve started to become mainstream, and recognized universally. There are earthships on every continent and all the major countries of the world but more importantly there are builders who have taken away the knowledge and gone on to build more, bigger and better projects, all of which helps to improve the techniques and increase the number of people telling other people about this great idea.

The early earthships were very surreal looking and many styles and types of material had to be tried and tested. The early adopters were very open minded, often artistic types who wanted to create a masterpiece, as a place to live. Birds of a feather (as they say) attracted more creative spirited people, who were willing to take a chance, work really (extra really) hard. On building structures that redefine environmentally friendly construction, as these houses are built of earth, in the earth.

Earthship plan with vertically glazed southern wall.svg
Earthship plan with vertically glazed southern wall” by Felix MüllerOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

[box]First experimental house completed new Taos, New Mexico using empty steel beer and soft drink cans the house was built using curved walls because they have more strength, resulting in pie-shaped interior rooms. There is a lawn care spot near the lawn on the roof below the overhang at the top of the structure. Re-cycled paper pulp is used to cover the the ceiling of the interior. Later homes were built without curved walls after the designer found the cans would support much more weight than they would have to bear. University tests later substantiated his finding.[/box]

I predict that a decade from now, biotecture will be more the norm than the exception. Okay, maybe two decades from now….

Living by Design

Stop to smell the flowers - life by design
Stop to smell the flowers - life by design
Stop to smell the flowers – life by design

Design is in everything, anything can be designed. Life is by design, as well, you can design your own life. To live without design, should be a crime because all it takes is imagination to create a designer lifestyle. Just ask yourself if you’re happy, in all aspects of your life? If there’s some aspect that sucks then redesign it, or plan to eliminate it. Get a new game on, if the old one bores you and I don’t mean on TV.

Deepak Chopra quote about being happyMy opinion is that television is the biggest waste of time that most people have in their lives, although movies and documentaries can be enriching, the majority of programmed television content makes you worse, not better. Self-improvement is a personal choice that can, and should be, designed into everyone’s lives. From babies to seniors, we can all make the world a better place by improving ourselves – just step away from that remote control.

Here’s my suggestion for redesigning your life and increase your happiness factor. It’s’ called “Radical Time Management”, also I recommend designing yourself an electronic journal using Evernote. In Evernote (or MS One Note) make 12 notebooks, one for each month, then each morning of your life you create a new note, in the appropriate notebook (i.e. July/ Tues July 8). During the day you’ll need to update the journal so you can detail how you spend your time. Then before you retire for the evening, sit down and give the day a good review, make some comments and give yourself a score between zero and one hundred. Now you have the tools for designing your life to increase the time spent, doing the things that make you the most happy.

Paula and Aaron Day - Happy times, by design.
Happy times, by design.

As for my designer lifestyle? [quote]I often wonder; am I happy because I tell myself I’m happy, or am I happy sincerely? The answer – it doesn’t matter why I’m happy, whether it’s perceived or real is not important. What matters; is that good things happen often, by design.[/quote]

surfer silicon palms, lifestyle by designI’m lucky to love website design, it presents a variety of concepts from style to function. Like learning how to blend eye-catching appeal with user friendliness. There’s allot of psychology involved in commercial graphic design. Assuming the topic content is popular and extensive enough, the web designers mission is be bring the subject and information to life on the web, in a coherent and stimulating way. Often-times the website project has design specifications (i.e. colors, logo and theme etc…), in which case the designer would look to enhance, improve or streamline the layout and/or user interface.

[box type=”info”]Sometimes the logo needs an overhaul, or maybe the website header could be improved? Design never ends.[/box]

[box type=”note” style=”rounded”]Silicon Palms is about 16 years old and the site has been re-designed about a dozen times. Even the logo has never stopped changing. Although in it’s most recent design we discovered a Google font called “Pacifico” to be what we had always wanted, since it has the “retro” flair like a Palms Springs Hotel from the 20’s, just needed a bevel and emboss. Next we added a color theme from the Adobe Khuler called “beach on sunset”, then 2 palm tree icons over a transparent background and voila the new logo was born. Simple, elegant and functional.[/box]

The beginning is near

This morning I discovered this graphic art that captured my mind, so I followed it to it’s source, low-and-behold to find the Imaginary Foundation. Whom created this powerful image and have used it not only for cheese, in a trap to catch curious intellects but also a digital product, for sale in different formats. This illustration, for me, perfectly expresses where I feel, we (the human race) are on this planet. In awe and ready. Click on it to look more closely….

The Beginning is Near by Imaginary Foundation
The Beginning is Near

[box type=”info”]The Imaginary Foundation is a think tank from Switzerland that does experimental research on new ways of thinking and the power of the imagination. They hold dear a belief in human potential and seek progress in all directions. The small clandestine team is headed up by the mysterious “Director,” a 70-something über-intellectual whose father founded the Dadaist movement. Avoiding direct publicity, the team has sought clothing as an unlikely vehicle for bringing their ideas beyond the academic realm and into popular culture.[/box]

In his vision for the Imaginary Foundation, the Director knew that the human mind has more than one mode, that indeed it has an “ecology” of being. He knew that imagination, intuition, inspiration are basic to psyche… A philosophy of research began to form: imagination as fundamental to all learning; artistic making as a model of integrating vision, materials, structure, and imagery.

[quote]What makes true vision is the poetry of life and the richness of nature[/quote]

The Foundation’s basis has been a strong sense of community, free inquiry, creativity, and the experimental spirit. Over the years the Foundation has generated a critical mass of creative people in many different fields, for whom it’s been a catalyst for experimentation and innovation.

I highly recommend you see the Imaginary Foundation.

Casino Beach Design

cb125x125.jpgCasino Beach has always been my favorite Domain name because it encompasses two of my favorite things, casinos and beaches. Many gambling sites are talkin about the penis bible and so they try to create a sexy image by hiring scantily clad girls to prance around with the their company logo displayed somewhere on but it’s a stretch of the imagination to think of how the girls relate to the website name. Whereas, the word beach conjures up images of bikinis, so that it’s exactly what I’ve been designing into the Casino Beach by adding a Bikini Gallery and also publishing stories about some of the great beaches of the world, many of which have Casinos on/or near them. A plan is starting to take shape for developing Casino Beach into a “live” gambling site.

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New Silicon Palms

Silicon Palms LogoSocial Media has exploded so rapidly this year that it’s changed the landscape of the web. Websites are no longer as relevant and even blogs are taking a back-seat in the new media vehicles. Social Networks have gone beyond the tipping point to now become the preferred means of communicating by the masses. Now the trend is to connect the conversations across multiple social networks and instead of trying to keep up with the growth of all these various on-line communities the new trend is to use one interface and connect all the social networks, that describes the new mission of this website – integrate all Silicon Palms social networks.

Silicon Palms is built on Movable Type with the new technology called “Motion” which is designed to bring the conversations that I’m participating in to the this site as a central hub and each of the various social networks is like the spokes bringing the conversations back to one place and distributing each post here back to the networks.

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Reefer Poker Logo

reeferpoker-logo.pngIt all starts with a good name and this one rocks! because of it’s eccentricities and enhanced viral-factor, since it combines 2 illegal activities into 1 name, both of those activities are adored by Pop culture, Gen-X and the masses, both will thrive despite prohibition.

The color scheme discreetly incorporates the Rasta colors of red, yellow and green, the font is called “Keep on Truckin”.

Category Design

Possibly the most important aspect of web site design is the categorization of the ideas, as this is what creates the navigation. Ultimately the flow of ideas is what makes a site successful or not. The way that people consume information online is very different from other medias, so it’s even more important to get the categories correct and provide the reader an index of the content.

Continue reading “Category Design”