Category: Tech

Hiding unstyled div that shows on page load

In the spirit of sharing web development tips and techniques:

Have you come across a situation where you have a javascript carousel or accordian that is fairly content heavy? When the page loads the list items or the div content flash onto the screen until the page loads and then the whole page “pops” into place.  Very annoying effect when you’re on a slower connection.

In celebration of Ada Lovelace Day 2010

Today is the opportunity to celebrate women in tech, as inspired by Ada Lovelace the person to programme the first computer algorithm for Babbage’s analytical engine.

This year I’d like to celebrate my partner Jenni.  Besides working on her jewellery business Twinkleberry, she has steadily ramped up her involvement with SUGAR until today she is pretty much working with me full-time in delivering our web services to a growing group of clients.  In this process she has had to learn to use quite a few new applications and generally increase her knowledge of the web and search engines.  All I can say is that I am one very lucky guy to have her working with me and I cannot think of any other woman in my life who I’d like to celebrate more today.  Thank you Jenni.

Do follow the ongoing adventures in comic form of Lovelace and Babbage published at 2D Goggles. Thanks to Sydney for reminding me to celebrate women in tech.

Hide or Remove the Info Window on an embedded Google Map

nextmap01So for the last couple of hours I’ve been grappling with a small, thorny Google Map related problem.  Since I’ve spent so much time finding an answer for this, I guess there might be others who are looking for the same solution.

When embedding a Google Map into a site you often end up with the big Info Window appearing above the place marker.  This little window is useful if you’ve got the space necessary to display it, but most contact pages just don’t have the room.

On Next Communications I had limited space available for displaying a map, and thanks to a thread on Google Groups I found a quick and easy way to embed the map without the offending bubble.

Once you have your embed code copied over into your HTML, simply add the following parameter “iwloc=near” to the iframe call.

Below is an example of the complete code I used for the Next Site:

<iframe width="200" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/maps?q=next+communications&amp;hl=en&amp;sll=50.913949,-1.446842&amp;sspn=0.011932,0.01914&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;view=map&amp;cid=4627604284559683295
&amp;hq=next+communications&amp;hnear=&amp;ll=50.915426,-1.44659&amp;spn=0.00947,0.008583&amp;iwloc=near&amp;z=15&amp;output=embed"></iframe>

Note the “&amp;” separator when adding the parameter.

How do Adwords auctions work?

One of the discussions I find myself having with new and old clients, involves the auction system in Adwords. Its an intricate mechanism involving the advertiser, the user and Google. Concepts like Quality Score, Relevancy and the importance of Landing Pages can be difficult to explain.

Luckily the Adwords team have just released a fantastic video tackling these very topics:

Thanks to @avinashkaushik for the tip off!

History of the Web

Great video put together by Melih Bilgil as part of his work at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz, Germany.  The animation uses the icons Melih has developed as part of his effort to create a pictorial language for describing electronic communication.  Really worthwhile watching:

Fighting spam with reCaptcha (Part 1)

I have a couple sites which suffer from a deluge of contact form spam. This particular type of email spam attempts to use a site’s contact form to send out unsolicited email. My Cape Holiday site has been receiving a steady stream of these emails over the last few weeks.

PGL Blogging Presentation

[Post Update] Please note that I have updated the URL’s and information below for the Peer Group Learning session in Winchester on the 26 June 2008.
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During November 2007 I delivered a presentation to my local Peer Group Learning group in Fareham. My talk was an introduction to blogging and how it can benefit a small business. I’d like to thank everyone that attended, I really enjoyed the session. One of the attendees Gavin Meikle from Inter-activ has already moved his blog from a hosted account with Blogger to a WordPress Install. Well done Gavin!

PGL Podcast Presentation

I recently delivered a presentation to my local Peer Group Learning session at the Marwell Hotel. The talk was an introduction to podcasting. The sessions are run by our local Business Link team. Thank you to Wendy and the team for giving me the opportunity to talk. I hope everyone enjoyed it.