Blog Design

Lindsey asks: ‘Are there any web designers out there who specialize in custom design for blogs? Or have you worked with a designer that did great work on your blog and whom you’d recommend? I’m artistically challenged, but really want to do something other than the Typepad defaults.’

anks for the question Lindsey - you sound a lot like me - when I started blogging I knew absolutely nothing about blogging at all - in fact it took me a couple of weeks to work out how to make text bold, to add pictures and to even make a to another blog.

Despite this I decided that I didn’t like the look of my blogger templated blog and set out to tweak it so that it was more individual looking. My first attempt at blog design was laughable - I actually based the theme on my wedding invitations (which were not laughable) - but I learnt so much in doing it that I would recommend that every blogger at least attempt it.

Having said that - my blog designing skills will never win me any awards, or impress anyone but my mum - so I would actually recommend that if you are a little artistically or technically challenged that you invest a little money in either engaging a blog designer or in buying a unique (or semi-unique) template.

There are many blog designers out there. I exclusively use Rachel from Cre8d design who did the basic design of LivingRoom, Digital Photography Blog and the Breaking News Blogs basic templates (which I attempt to tweak). I find Rachel’s designs clean, clear, logically laid out and up to date in terms of vibe. She is also very easy to work with and no where near as expensive as some of the designers that I’ve seen out there.

January 21st, 2005 by Darren | No Comments »

Oak Tree Interview Q8: Highlights of 2004

Today we are featuring questions and answers from an interview that I’ve done this week with Rebecca Monson from Oak Tree Foundation (the recipients of donations that you our wonderful readers will give through this blogathon).

DR: What is the best thing that has happened with OT in the past year?
?RM: The continuing growth of OT is amazing – we constantly have new people turning up, and we’ve had people as young as SIX get involved!! It’s so exciting for me to see young people feel like they really can make a difference – Oaktree is unique in that young people are actually getting to do the real, hands-on work. Young people manage the accounts, the website and our media; identify new projects and liase with our partners overseas; and attend meetings with the CEOs of multinational companies. It’s wonderful to be part of an organization in which I see young people attaining a greater understanding of social injustice, feeling empowered to do something about it, and actually seeing some positive outcomes.

January 21st, 2005 by Darren | No Comments »

TLD Link Dump V

- (.za) - South Africa - Surf Photos - some amazing shots from the surf

- (.zl) Zambia - Kabwata Baptist Church

- (.tz) - Zanzibar International Film Festival

- (.va) - Vatican city

- (.gy) - Guyana’s Poverty Reduction

- (.nu) - Simon World

- (.tr) - Tourism Directory - Turkey

- (.ca) - CopNet

- (.gh) - University of Ghana

- (.es) - Spain Learn English with Idioms

href=””>TLD Challenge Links

January 21st, 2005 by Darren | No Comments »

TLD Link Dump IV


- (.tc) Turks and Caicos Islands - Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association

- (.to) Tonga - a classic article and photo (left) about an 80 year old Tongan man running for parliament

- < .ro) - My World -

- (.tz) Tanzania -
Anglican Church of Tanzania

- (.ws) -

- (.pt) -

TLD Challenge

January 20th, 2005 by Darren | No Comments »

Before and After Images of Aceh Indonesia


Similar to some of the satellite photos in the last post are the ones on this site which show before and after images that are truly frightening.

January 20th, 2005 by Darren | No Comments »

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog is a blog that I’ve watched ever since the day it first began. They point to a load of good information on the after effects of the Tsunami including some saltellite images from some of the areas impacted (links below). Take a while to look through their archives for a bit - pretty challenging stuff.

- Sri Lanka Maps and Satellite Images

- Thailand Maps and Satellite Images

- Indonesia Maps and Satellite Images

- India Maps and Satellite Images

They also link to a number of articles from around the web that speak of some of the other after affects being suffered by survivors of the Tsunami.

‘The World Health Organisation today warned that the problem of psychological trauma among the tsunami-affected might be more serious than what was so far believed. Unless urgent action was taken, the long-term effect on the victims could be “terrible.”

Citing reports from health workers who had been in the tsunami-hit areas, the WHO said that virtually everyone who had been affected by the natural disaster appeared to be suffering from some form of psychosocial trauma or other and needed support.’

Read more at Psychological trauma a serious problem in tsunami-hit areas: WHO

January 20th, 2005 by Darren | No Comments »

Oak Tree Interview Q7: Partnerships

Today we are featuring questions and answers from an interview that I’ve done this week with Rebecca Monson from Oak Tree Foundation (the recipients of donations that you our wonderful readers will give through this blogathon).

DR: What other organizations does Oak Tree partner with?
RM: The Oaktree pilot project is in the KwaNgolozi valley of the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. However the Oaktree’s work is by no means limited to South Africa. A major component of our job is education within Australia about the issues of poverty that exist within the developing world. Although our current international project involves a partnership in South Africa, we have the desire to partner with communities throughout Africa and other parts of the developing world. As a relatively small organisation, we would view the quality of the relationship with our partners to be more important than the quantity of relationships developed.

In Australia, we take guidance and support from more experienced members of the aid community. We have strong links with many schools, universities and churches through our ‘branches’. We appreciate the support of the businesses and individuals that sponsor us (see our website at for more information).

January 20th, 2005 by Darren | No Comments »

Canon PowerShot A510

Canon-Powershot-A510-1Just added a brand new digital camera on the Digital Photography Blog - Canon have just announced the Canon PowerShot A510.

‘The Canon PowerShot A510 is a new 3.2 megapixel camera with a 4x Optical zoom and 20 shooting modes. It will be in shops in February.

January 20th, 2005 by Darren | 1 Comment »

Setting up a Photo Gallery Blog using Moveable Type

Stopdesign has a great tutorial on how to put together a photo gallery blog using Moveable Type. Its a great tutorial, especially because they are Mac people like me. Check out the results of the tutorial - his photo galleries and you’ll see why I’m so excited by the tutorial. Beautifully designed and great photos.

January 20th, 2005 by Darren | 1 Comment »

Worst Webpage in Existence

Ugh1This site is vying for the worst webpage in existence.

It’s pretty close to it although I’d like to see a few more tacky graphics - especially some more animations. Oh and perhaps a musical track - maybe jingle bells in chimes.

Any other suggestions of how we could make it worse? Do you know any that are more worthy of the title of ‘worst webpage in existence?’

January 20th, 2005 by Darren | 2 Comments »

Canadian Wilderness

Img 3406Kel (who has been amazingly supportive - getting up at 3am to be my first commenter today and still up now having been my proof reader, copy writer, researcher, editor all day) just emailed me this amazing picture taken by friends in Canada (Click to enlarge).

Its a pretty different picture to the current one in Australia where its summer time! Hot, sunny and lots of blue skies.

January 20th, 2005 by Darren | 2 Comments »

Sound Search Engine

Just found this excellent site called FindSounds which is a search engine for sounds! Wow - this could provide hours of fun with the guys.

Right now I’m feeling a bit like this, this, this and this.

January 20th, 2005 by Darren | 2 Comments »

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