The Last Post of this Blog



      Today is my last post on Everyday I learn Something New. Don’t be sad, though. It’s just that summer break has started — woo hoo!
      Here are some interesting facts about this blog. I have written nearly 100 blog posts, 95 to be specific. I averaged about two hours to complete each post. The longest post was more than 1,800 words in length.

      I’ve definitely learned a lot with this blog.

      One of the most interesting things I’ve learned is how to tell which side of your brain — left or right — is dominant. That post explained why some people are sooo logical, and others are not trying to find a deep reason for everything, and are more creative. It’s interesting because knowing whether someone is left or right brain dominant can truly tell you a lot about that person!

      What I liked most about blogging was when I had the option of choosing what to write about. It’s easier to write about what interests you, because you’ll be passionate about the topic, and you’ll already know what to say. If you’re writing about something you don’t know a lot about and think it’s a dry subject, you probably won’t like it so much. My least favorite thing about blogging? Writing about subjects which to me seemed dry (i. e. caves.)

      Still, you don’t always have the option to write only about what interests you, in lots of writing assignments. That’s why it’s good to write about what doesn’t interest you. It’s kind of like photography. Digital Photography School says to “get out of your comfort zone,” and learn something new.

      It takes a lot to write almost daily about what I’ve learned. But I’ve learned a way to do it, that’ll make life easier.

      First, you’ll have to create the backbone of your post, which is basically a summary of what you’re going to write about. This will help you with things like knowing what information to put on your blog.

      Also, you will absolutely need a reason for blogging. If it’s not because you’re having fun, earning money, or getting educated, you might want to drop the whole blog. So make sure you know what you’re doing.

      Finally, you’ll also have to learn how to include only details people care about — or make interesting stuff they may not care about — and wrap it up so that it’s still interesting. Blogging a lot will help you do this, and so would being a newspaper editor.

      So what’s next for me? After this I’ll probably start a new blog.

      It’ll be all about what interests me — woo hoo! — and sometimes include more photos than words. This isn’t exactly considered lazy, as some may think. Photos are just another way to display your creativity. A picture says a thousand words, remember. So I may start a blog with photos. I’m passionate about photography, even more than writing. Of course, I’ll still continue to learn about writing. Over the summer, I’ll be reading a lot of books. And when school starts again, I’ll be back to writing. I’m homeschooled, as you may have known from my previous blog posts, so I’ll be writing — and writing research papers — not just blogging.

      Before I say goodbye, here’s a summary of what I’ve blogged about. I’ve learned about Google+, cloud storage, the table of elements, Elizabeth Blackwell, the origin of April Fools’ Day, the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas, StoryJumper, tarantulas, Leif Eriksson, the Bering land bridge, and more — all posts in which you can read by visiting the archive to the right. Use the search engine on this site!

      And to all of you who have read and complimented my posts, THANK YOU! All the success I’ve received when it comes to happy readers is amazing! But I did it with hard work. And I’m glad you’ve all enjoyed it.

      And now, au revoir!

A Review of a Photo Gallery


      After visiting a photo gallery, today I’ve decided to write a review of it.
      The photo assignments were given to some high schoolers. They were told to take a photo of what they would like to do in the future, and to optionally write a paragraph about it. Most wrote a paragraph.

      What was interesting to me was that most of the photos didn’t seem to stand out as much as the paragraph about each one. If you didn’t know that it was a photo assignment, you could be easily confused and think that it was a simple writing assignment. One example was of a girl who wrote that she wanted to be forever happy in the future. Her photo was a simple, black and white self portrait, but to me, the paragraph caught my attention more than the photo:

      It was like that girl was more into writing, rather than photography.


      Most of the photos were average-looking so they did not catch my attention as much what the students wrote about themselves, It seemed as though most of the photos were just taken to complete the assignment. They were definitely not National Geographic-quality photos, but rather simple, easy-to-take pictures. You couldn’t even tell that most were taken by only high schoolers, but maybe even someone younger:



      If I were to taken one of those pictures, I would’ve done something like go to a Google office and take a picture of a slide in there, because my future is in technology and photography. To me, the photo would be eye-catching because what office has a slide in it? You don’t have to be into technology to find a slide in an office interesting. Anyway, enough of my own photo. Let me continue the review.
      One student’s photo was clearly the main focus. It was of a girl talking about her mom. Unlike most, she was working with different kinds of perspectives, and also had her mom pose and wear different outfits for the photo shoots. It also seemed as if she put a lot of effort into the graphic design, with drop shadows and everything:

      It didn’t seem as if it was really about what she wanted to do in the future, though. It could be that in the future, she wants to make her mom proud but, still, to me it didn’t really seem clear what she wants to do in the future.

      There was also another photo that caught my attention because it’s not everyday high school students get on a plane, so that it was different.


      This one slightly caught my attention, but it still looks kind of simple:

      Maybe it’s because I visit Digital Photography School, and I’m constantly reading the opinions of professional photographers. Maybe because I’m just picky. But overall, I give the whole photo gallery 2 to 3 out of five stars.

The Landing Page Is The Most Important

      When visitors visit your website, they determine whether it’s worthwhile or not in a matter of seconds. That’s why your website’s landing page (home page) is so important. If it isn’t eye-catching and useful, hardly anyone will spend their time looking at the rest of your site. Because of this, I’ve written this post, The Landing Page Is The Most Important, to share with you what I learned building a homepage.

      I have found that the most important thing you’ll need to do is get the purpose of your website across in a clear manner. You need something to summarize what your website’s content is. For example, if you’re a graphic design company, you might want to add a eye-catching image that says “graphic design” on your homepage:

      When doing this, visitors will also know right away if your site is or isn’t what they’re looking for. Images might also be best on your homepage, especially if your site is a photography website. A huge slideshow might also be a good idea, depending on the site and your audience.
      I also noticed that about three columns on your site, with a header on each, and a paragraph might also make a for a simple, clean design (see below):


      Don’t clutter your website with too many menu items. Include an “About” tab where you explain the purpose of your website.
      Also, include social media buttons on your homepage. With this, for example, readers can see how many people liked your site, whether it be via Facebook, or maybe Twitter. A “Contact” header lets visitors easily know how to contact you.
      Colors, of course, also impact your homepage and the whole rest of your site a great deal. Here’s what I mean:


      Green obviously makes sense for a landscaping site. This, plus the stone photo, and the obviously noticed headers lets the audience know without a doubt what they’re looking at. Color is indeed a major impact on what your visitors think your site is about. Sites like Pinterest and The Logo Company have great sources for color information.

      Some more homepage layout ideas can be found here:
http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_layout.asp

A Review Of Blogger

      Today I’ve decided to write a review of Blogger, after having used it for two years. That gives me plenty of experience to talk about it.

An Overview

      Blogger is a free blog builder built by Google. Lots of people use it, and it’s been around for years.

      With Blogger, you can do more than just start a blog. With it, people can follow your blog, you can create your own blog theme, view your statistics, etc. .And it’s free, which makes Blogger very awesome.

      Once you create a blog at www.blogger.com the first thing you’ll see is the dashboard. I really like the Blogger dashboard, which is shown below:

      I like the fact that you can see all your blogs, followers, pageviews, amount of posts, etc. right in the dashboard. This makes things easier for new bloggers, and for those who don’t have a lot of time to really learn anything. Navigation is easy, and I don’t find the dashboard too busy. I actually find the WordPress dashboard more confusing to navigate, and somewhat busy.

      One of the coolest features of Blogger to me is the reading list in the dashboard. With the reading list, you can add blogs you like to visit, and those blogs’ posts will show up the moment they’re posted right there in your dashboard. This is really cool. If you have a lot of blogs to keep up with, you won’t have to visit each individually anymore all the time to check for updates. Blogger doesn’t force you to choose from other blogs built with Blogger; you can get updates of blogs built even with WordPress, or almost anything else.

      I give the Blogger dashboard 5 out of 5 stars.

Posting

      I also like all the abilities you have when posting a post. You can customize your text nearly anyway you’d like. There’s different fonts to choose from, you can change the size of your text, you can also change the text color, and add something like a strikethrough or underline your text. You can also uploads photos, and even videos. There’s also an option to create a list, and add links. There’s even a spell check. All these features are shown below:


      Besides this, you can still do many other things such as scheduling a post. When you schedule a post, you choose the date and time for it to appear on your blog. This is good, if, for example, you know you’re going to be busy tomorrow, but still want your viewers to see something on your blog. You can write a blog post today, and your blog viewers will see it tomorrow.

      However, not everything is perfect when you’re posting something to Blogger. Sometimes, there are weird formatting issues, although most of these issues can be easily fixed in the “html” section if you know some code. I’ve also noticed problems sometimes when scheduling posts. Sometimes, when I schedule something, for example, tomorrow, it’ll post today. I don’t know why this happens, although I don’t see how it can be a huge problem, because it rarely happens, and is usually fixed within a few hours.

      Overall, I give posting with Blogger 4 ½ out of 5 stars.

      Tomorrow I’ll continue my review with a look at Blogger statistics and templates.

GIF vs. JPG


      Did you ever post a photo online only to get frustrated because it was blurry? Maybe your problem was the file type.
      Knowing what file type to save your photo or web graphic as is very important.
      Who wants to see a pixelated, not very colorful, or maybe even blurry photo? It would make your website or social media site look cheap. And if you’re selling something, nobody’s going to want to buy from you if they can’t even see your product. So that’s why this post should be very important to you.

      Recently, I wrote PNG vs JPG, a post about the two most-used photo files on the web. Today, I’m writing about GIF vs JPG.

      A GIF is the third most-used file type I’ve seen on the web.

      As shown above, GIFs are primarily known for animated images. So whenever you see a moving animated image on a website that’s not a video, it’s a GIF. Animated images cannot be saved as anything else other than as a GIF.

      When you see a GIF, you’re actually seeing more than one image (or more than one layer) saved as one. Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 and some other graphic design softwares let you create GIFs, and have more information on animated GIFs. For some reason, animated GIFs can’t be uploaded onto certain websites, or added to your document in Google Docs. JPGs cannot turn into animated images like GIFS at all.

      JPGs also don’t have the feature of a transparent background. Similar to PNGs, however, GIFS do have the transparent background feature. By reading this earlier blog post, you can learn more about a transparent background.

      GIFs are made up of a small amount of 256 colors, but JPGs are made up of millions. JPGs also look clearer than GIFs, which look slightly pixelated sometimes.

      Here’s the difference between a GIF photo and a JPG photo:


      Due to the color and pixel GIF problem as shown above, many people use GIFs for small cartoon web graphics. JPGs are better for most things, like photos and web graphics. This is why GIFs aren’t used as much as JPGs.

      Here’s what happens when you save a large web graphic as a JPG, and when you save it as a GIF:


      Notice how the GIF seems to have missing colors in it. Some people still use GIFs for photos and even large web graphics, because they really do save lots of storage. The above GIF is 324 KB, whereas the JPG is 652 KB.

      You can learn more about GIFs and JPGs here:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/419584/what-is-the-difference-between-jpg-jpeg-png-bmp-gif-tiff-i

http://community.adobe.com/help/search.html?q=jpg%20vs%20gif&lr=en_us&hl=en_us&l=0

PNG vs JPG

      There are many different types of files you can save your image as. The two most popular, JPG and PNG, are sometimes confusing to choose from. Today, I’ll explain the difference between a JPG and a PNG.

      The first major difference is the quality. As seen above, you can tell that when saved as a PNG, the photo looks clear, but when saved as a JPG, the photo is slightly fuzzy. The blurry fuzziness is particularly noticeable once words are added to a photo on a JPG. PNG’s are usually known to make photos look clearer than a JPG.

      PNG’s do take up more storage, and can take slightly longer to load on a web page. The JPG above is 24.2 KB, whereas the PNG is 270 KB. For some people, like me, I say a slight amount more of storage isn’t a big deal and is usually worth it. I also think it’s worth a few extra seconds waiting for a PNG to load.

      If you still think there’s a problem with the storage and web page speed, there are software programs such as Adobe Photoshop that let you change the size of a PNG. If you’re using Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, you can resize your PNG using this tutorial.

      For some people, photo quality isn’t a big deal. Those people might be thinking, “What’s the big deal with all of this? I can’t even tell the difference! If a JPG is slightly blurred, who cares?” If you’re one of those people who doesn’t care about this at all (but you’re still reading this somehow), there’s still another great feature to my favorite file type, the PNG.

      This is the feature of a transparent background. Let’s say for example, your website had something like a dark gray background. And let’s say you wanted to add text to that website with a dark gray background, except you wanted the text saved as an image. Here’s what will happen:

      With a PNG, you can have a transparent, invisible background if you wanted to, but with a JPG, you’re forced to stick with a non-transparent background.

      Think of these two images shown above with a gray background like a layered cake. A PNG with words only will only save that layer of words, but a JPG will save the layer with words, and it’ll also add one annoying white background. This can get really annoying sometimes.

      Here’s how Adobe displays it. This is a JPG:


      Notice the two “layers of cake,” the text and the forced-on-you background.
      Now look at the PNG:

      The PNG has only one transparent layer of text!

      So now you know about PNG vs. JPG, and that my favorite of the two is the PNG file type.

      Tomorrow I’ll write GIF vs. JPG. A GIF is the third most-used file type I’ve seen on the web.