Tag Archives: Content

How to create a Flickr photo feed through Yahoo Pipes

I have been experimenting with mashups, in particular utilising Yahoo Pipes as part of my studies at university at the moment, and one of our initial exercises is to create a mashup that takes 30 images from Flickr that are related to “QUT Kelvin Grove”.

The most logical way to do this to me seemed to be to simply use the Flickr module in Yahoo Pipes.

This was really straight forward, it’s basically just a matter of:

  1. Drag the “Flickr” module onto the screen from under the “Sources” tab on the left.
  2. Enter the number of images you want in the “Find” box.
  3. Enter a search query in the “images of” box.
  4. Enter a location in the “near” box.
  5. Join the pipe output from the bottom of the Flickr module to the pipe input in the top of the Pipe Output module.
  6. Save your pipe.
  7. Run your pipe.

You should have something in the pipe editor that looks like this:

The Flickr Module in Yahoo Pipes being used to output 30 images of QUT Kelvin Grove.
The Flickr Module in Yahoo Pipes being used to output 30 images of QUT Kelvin Grove.

I have entered the name of the location “Kelvin Grove, Brisbane” in the “near” box, but you can also enter a latitude and longitude, for example 1532727 will put you in basically the same area as what I used. However, just the suburb name “Kelvin Grove” did not return anything, so you do need to be fairly clear about where it is.

You can check it out at the Pipe page, or you can see the end result here:

Search Engine Optimisation for a WordPress Client

TerraMedia has recently been contracted to work on fixing up a WordPress website, specifically looking at improving usability and search engine optimisation.

There are a few key things that I will be doing on their website as part of this job.

The first thing I have done is to implement Google Analytics tracking code so that we can begin to get an idea of how people are finding the website. This will track visits while I am working on other sections of the website so that we can get a few weeks worth of results without having to wait idly for them.

There have been reported issues of the navigation not functioning correctly in all browsers, particularly Internet Explorer. As the navigation is vital to accessing website content, it is important to get this working correctly as soon as possible.

Next up I will be updating and modifying the template to help meet both of the criteria by ensuring the markup makes semantic sense, including adding in hierarchical header tags to each page. At the moment, while these are used, each page lacks its own heading, meaning that it is harder for search engines to determine the relevance of individual pages and their content, and users cannot easily see what each page is about.

Once I’ve got the code cleaned up so that is more search engine friendly and the front end more usable, we will start focusing more heavily on getting more traffic to the website from both search engines and other sources, more customers is the primary goal after all!

I will be installing a WordPress plugin called the All In One SEO Pack, which will allow us to specify page titles and meta tags for each page and blog post individually, allowing the keywords and descriptions to be optimised for each page. It also gives better control over the overall meta tags, and tags for archives, categories and so on.

They currently do not have any introductory text on their home page, this means that the root page of their domain name (arguably one of the most important pages of a website from a search perspective) doesn’t really tell search engines anything. It has photos, events, a logo and the navigation. So what we will be doing here is writing up a paragraph or two of highly optimised copy. By this point we should have about a months worth of results from Google Analytics so once this is implemented we will be able to clearly see the difference this text will make and subsequently tweak it as necessary.

To keep the home page fresh and keep the search engines checking it regularly, we will also be having the latest blog post displayed on the home page. As part of this, the client will also begin using WordPress’s blogging functionality to keep the website up to date with the latest news and special offers. They currently do not utilise this functionality, which is a big opportunity to keep their potential customers up to date.

Finally, we will be implementing a sitemap which will be submitted to search engines on a regular basis so that new blog posts and updated pages will be updated in their indexes as soon as possible.

By this point, we should be seeing quite an improvement in search engine rankings and subsequently in website traffic. In order to capitalise on this increased traffic, we will be adding in a static widget that shows the contact details on every page of the website and provides a link to the contact form. This will make it as easy as possible for potential customers to get more information or to make a booking. We will also be making the RSS feed a prominent link on each page to encourage visitors that use an RSS reader to subscribe to the latest updates and specials, and subsequently draw visitors back for potential future and/or repeat sales.

It’s overall a simple but interesting project that will pretty quickly show the difference a well optimised website that is regularyl updated can make. From here, we will start looking at building up links in directories and other relevant websites to continue to improve search rankings and visitor access points.

KIB216 Top 10 Portfolio Requirements

As part of our tutorial today, we have determined our top 10 criteria for reviewing a portfolio website. As a class, we have established that the following 10 are very important in any portfolio:

  1. Clarity
  2. Customisation / Personalisation / Your Style – In other words, it doesn’t look like a generic blog.
  3. Networking / Rabbit Holes / Professional links – Such as LinkedIn, Twitter etc.
  4. Content – Professional and correct.
  5. Usability – Is the portfolio complicated or easy to use and find your way around? Does it load quickly?
  6. Interaction – What does the portfolio do when you interact with it?
  7. Memorable / Unique – Does it stand out and make you want to send it to other people?
  8. Accessibility – Does it work on multiple browsers and platforms?
  9. Updated / Maintained – Has it been updated recently?
  10. Contact information – Are the contact details readily available and easy to find?