Interesting Links: CSS trickery

CSS Image Trickery

Both of these articles come from the newest addition to my RSS feeds sohtanaka.com. First off is an article on adding effects to images with some CSS and HTML. Pretty neat and shows much of what you can do without encasing the entire effect in an image.

The second article from sohtanaka.com deals with a double repeating background image on a header. Another very good piece of CSS and image trickery to achieve a specific effect.

Photoshop Texture Brushes

A pretty cool set of Free Photoshop brushes is available from a friend over at Design by Firgs. Free to use but don’t distribute or sell them yourself.

Staying in Sync

Many designer use gmail and I also use Google Calendar cause I can sync it everywhere. Now google just released a cool tool to make syncing gcal and ical easier. Wish I had this last week when I synced up my gcal at work and my freelance and my mobile and my PC at home. Ah well the work is done.

Bit of a Dog’s Breakfast: News Round up

Today the news seemed to range all over the place, a bit of a dog’s breakfast follows.

All of us freelancers (at least I would hope) do some sort of follow up with our clients at the end of a project. For me it is usually just a ‘thanks keep me in mind’ email but if you could improve your customer service by asking some tough questions I bet you’d be willing to do it. Sitepoint has an article today on just that, asking you customers the hard quesitons. They suggest offering an online survey that asks what customers liked and didn’t like (among other things) so that you stop making the same mistakes with more clients.

Next up (and there seems to be a lot of this lately) is an article on XHTML vs. HTML over at CSS-Tricks. I’ll admit that I currently site where Chris did a year ago. I code XHTML transitional pages and honestly don’t truly know the difference between that and HTML 4.01. Ultimately in my mind if the page works in all of the major browsers I think the code is good. Read this to get a better grasp on the differences and uses of each. I know that now I am going to evaluate my reasons for XHTML.

Now lets flip into some quick marketing. Jacob Cass at Just Creative Design just posted and asked us designers for our twitter names. If you are a design professional (or hoping to be one) add your name to the list and follow someone new to make some more contacts.

Well finish today off with some inspiration. Niki has some connections that let her see cool installation art. Check out this post to see everyday objects used in cool new ways and get some ideas for future design projects.

The News — XTHML, the economy and your social blog

First up today is a reasonably technical article on XHTML myths and realities. Written by a member of the W3C this article goes over the start of HTML and the morph to XHTML. It comments on browser support and ultimately recommends that you write HTML 4.0 instead of XHTML. A real interesting article that get you thinking about your markup and the future of XHTML.

We all know that the economy is bad. Various countries are having a harder time but ultimately it has the potential to affect us all. The second article today runs through how to overcome the bad economy as a designer. The author recommends being different from your competition and providing a good ROI. This also made me think of a post over at Freelance Switch. Read through it and pay particular attention to the comment by FreelanceMan.

Finally today I recommend a post on increasing the interactivity of your blog. Lots of good ideas, some of which you will see here in the coming months, but I really think community forums are often not a great idea. It takes thousands upon thousands of people on a forum to make it look like there is anyone there. I know one forum that I frequent that has 4000 registered users and it often doesn’t see posts for a few weeks at a time. I suppose I am cautioning you in starting a forum not saying it’s a bad idea.