The Best of the Beast in 2007

Posted December 23rd, 2007 by Mike Cherim

I published a “Best of” list like this last year, too, so this will likely become an annual undertaking. Some of the articles were chosen because I really liked them, others because you really liked them. If you want more of the latter let me know what you’d like to see. Sometimes I get stuck for ideas — though I usually think of something — but requests help.

January: The Art of Brain Cell Domination
Understand the concept that those who market to you and show you advertising are really trying to capture a particular brain cell — the brain cell that determine what product or brand you think of in any given instance.
January: How to Write Content for the Web
A look at some aspects of writing for the time-pressed, page-scanning internet reader, and a little bit about writing in general — enough to pull it off more successfully I hope.
February: Building a Dynamic WordPress Nav Menu
Gain a better understanding of how a WordPress menu works and how you can use it to control a site. This is useful if you want to use WordPress as a content management system (CMS).
February: Failed? Fundamentally Flawed?
I guess I can’t call this article a personal favorite, not by any means, but it sure raised a lot of controversial commentary so it might be worth a look.
March: Introducing PHP AutoRun and a CSS Tutorial
I really like this application. One of my better works I think. It’s proven reliable, flexible, secure, and successful. I also really like the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) tutorial I made with it.
March: Using Compound Words on the Web
This article didn’t earn a lot of responses, but I feel it was a fairly important topic. I have adopted the practices therein ever since.
April: Blogging and Business
This is such an important topic. If you have a web-based business, having a blog is smart. Learn about the various forces at work.
April: Optimizing WordPress for Search Engines
Plain and simple, this article offers some solid information about making the very most you can from your WordPress blog or site, from mark-up to content, it’s covered.
April: Stop Writing Garbage Code, Please
There is a drive and web-wide effort just begging to be started as it concerns this topic (help). If people who distribute code write crappy code, everyone suffers. But if they write quality code, those who don’t care aren’t negatively affected and nobody suffers, and in fact everyone else benefits. A no-brainer I dare say.
May: Using HTML Lists Properly
Lists can be a bit confusing for some, but they aren’t that hard to master. Learn about list types, what to use them for, to do so properly, and learn how to exercise their flexible nature by nesting them and such can be found in this piece.
May: Avoiding Extreme Accessibility
I really like this one. Some people, trying to make a site accessible, take it unnecessarily too far, sometimes to the point of actually creating barriers instead of knocking them down.
June: Suggestions for Setting Up WordPress
I often send people to this article as I think it offers an excellent strategy for starting with WordPress properly and securely. This article includes info about plugins and even some custom additions worth considering.
July: The Obsolescence of Handheld Style Sheets?
This article was pinged several times after I closed comments. It seems it generated a lot of interest and possibly a bit of accurate speculation according to some. Only time will tell.
July: WordPress Posting and Commenting Tips
Sure you know how to write. But here you can learn how WordPress works and how you can take control over some it’s publishing features. Character conversion, forming paragraphs, and more. I think this article was read by a lot of people. I see a lot more m-dashes in my comments ever since I noted how it’s done differently in such.
August: CSS Layouts: The Fixed. The Fluid. The Elastic. « Article of the Year!
This article was just an informative piece about the three main Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) layouts and their hybrids. I figured it would be old news but it ended up being quite popular. It was translated in many languages and got really favorable reviews.
August: Adding Embedded Images to a Web Page
Adding images to a web page is really simple, but this article explains it all, in detail, including how to optimize accessibility when performing this daily task.
September: Tips for Keeping Forms Accessible
Most web sites, I dare say, have some sort of form, even if it’s just a search box. This article offers tips and insights to keeping a form’s inherent accessibility and even enhancing it.
September: Getting Clever with WordPress Smilies
If you make WordPress sites or blogs for your customers, depending on their needs, using the tips herein can really it easy to give them all sort of image-adding shortcuts using built-in functionality with a small, easy edit.
October: That Evil Accessibility Word
If I ever give a talk about accessibility, I plan to duck behind the lectern after the topic is introduced until the balcony is cleared of snipers. To some people, the word accessibility is best avoided because it’s an unpopular term some people fear while others stare glassy-eyed when it’s brought up, and in either case it just doesn’t sell.
October: Using the Break Element Properly
Talk about abused elements. This is the poster child of element abuse. I kid you not, but I got at least a dozen emails from people thanking me for writing this and promising to stop make paragraph looking things with breaks. To me, that makes this article an overwhelming success.
November: Semantic Use of Bold and Italic Elements
This is a seemingly straightforward topic that’s been discussed many, many times, but I hope lent someone a little more depth of insight by publishing this.
November: The Joys of Consistent Web Practices
By adopting solid practices you’re doing a lot of web users a lot of good, making their experience on your site a pleasant one. Using the same solid practices consistently, as an added benefit, will make your life, as a web developer, easier.
December: Passive Accessibility
Accessibility should be an integrated and passive offering. Things should be available, and they should just work. For everyone. No hoopla, no fanfare, this should simply be par for the course all over the web.

Thanks for reading. If you want to stay on top of my articles in real time, establish a live bookmark to my feed and get everything hot off the presses.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to Everyone. All the best to you and yours in 2008!

Want more? See what else I’ve been up to. Check out some of my efforts at Mike and at The latter also has some terrific articles written by some of my Team Access friends and teammates.

6 Responses to: “The Best of the Beast in 2007”

  1. David Zemens responds:
    Posted: December 23rd, 2007 at 8:29 am

    You really have had a great year of articles, Mike. I suppose each year should be better than the last, but in your case it definitely was. Many of us owe you much thanks for helping us on our journey to learn more about web accessibility, standards compliant coding and design concepts. Thanks for the ride!

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  2. Gill responds:
    Posted: December 23rd, 2007 at 10:51 am

    Happy Christmas Mike and thanks for all the help and laughs in 2007. Looking forward to 2008 and more of the same.

    ooooooo (Cyber mistletoe)

    xxxxxxx (Cyber Xmas kiss)

    Have a great time with the family.

  3. Koen Willems responds:
    Posted: December 23rd, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Hello Mike,

    Well, sorry for not kissing you under the mistletoe :-)
    I just want to thank you for writing such inspiring articles and you beeing such a nice guy.
    If you ever plan to visit Holland, i’ll buy you a beer, ok?

    Koen Willems

  4. Portland Cosmonaut responds:
    Posted: December 25th, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Happy Holidays, Mike. This is the best new blog I started reading this year. Best wishes for continued success in 2008.

  5. Sarah Bourne responds:
    Posted: December 27th, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you for sharing your insights and expertise, Mike! Be sure to let me know if you find yourself heading towards Boston so I can buy you a beer!

  6. JBVoices » How was it for you? responds:
    Posted: January 5th, 2008 at 8:55 am

    […] Best of the Beast Jack Pickard Blair Millen Molly Holzschlag […]

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