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!

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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

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.

The Origin Of April Fools’ Day



      Today I learned the origin of April Fools’ Day.

      In the 16th century in France, April 1st was New Years Day. Pope Gregory changed the calendar in 1562 so that New Years Day was on January 1st instead of April 1st. Lots of people didn’t know about this new calendar. Because they didn’t know, these people were called April fools by those who did know about the new calendar. Pranks were played on them, too.

      Today many countries do things for April Fools. In France, April Fools’ Day is called Poisson d’Avril, which means April Fish. On this day in France, children tape paper fish to eachothers backs, and when someone finds out what was done to them, the prankster yells Poisson d’Avril!

      In England, pranks can only be done in the morning. If a prank is done to you, you are called a noodle. In Scotland, when a prank is done on you you are called an April gowk, which is a name for a cuckoo bird.

      For April Fools’ Day I’m going to have fun pulling pranks on a lot of people. I will probably tell my mom there are ants in the kitchen, or I might yell, “There’s an 1,000 legger on the wall!” which I did last year. I will also probably tell some other people that I saw a UFO in the sky, or that there was a huge bird that almost picked me up. I also might say something like, “I reached 500 Pinterest followers!”

      To learn more about April Fools, visit:
http://www.kidzworld.com/article/593-april-fools-day

How to get your first 400 followers on Pinterest



      Pinterest is an online pinboard with over a million users. After being on Pinterest for over a month and getting 420+ followers, I have learned the 6 most important things to do to get so many followers on Pinterest.

1. Follow lots of people.

      Sometimes the easiest and quickest way to get followers is to start following some people and not wait for people to follow you. Look for people who are following more people than they have following them. These people are usually the best people to follow because they most likely will follow you back.

2. Follow your followers back.

      If you haven’t already, you should follow your followers back. Sometimes your followers will unfollow you if you don’t follow them, like other social media platforms. This is because sometimes people only follow people for followers, although some follow you mainly for your content.

3. Pin original content.

      I’ve noticed that when I pin a photo that looks creative to me but has already been re-pinned hundreds of times, it usually doesn’t get re-pinned. Those photos are already all over the Internet and have already been seen by lots of people. I’ve noticed that boards with my own original, unique photos have had the most followers. This doesn’t mean not to re-pin anything creative at all. It just means not to pin a creative photo that has already been seen a lot. I noticed that one of my boards which I said would just be my original content got over 100 followers instantly before I even pinned more than two photos.
      If someone pins original content, they’re probably OK with your re-pinning it. If you repin content from a website, by using a browser plug-in, for example, then you might have to worry about copyright violations.
      Pinterest recently changed its terms of service to make it clear that it has no intention of taking your original photos and selling them. Read my post here for more about that.

4. Think of a creative board name.

      Thinking of a creative board name can sometimes help with getting followers, although it’s not always necessary. I noticed that when you create a board with a name that most boards don’t have people are very likely to follow it. The content has to be useful to them, though.

5. Make your board content useful to its followers.

      This is one of the most important things to do. Some people are only on Pinterest for useful content. For example, some people might go on Pinterest just for information on graphic design, or on cooking recipes. If your board isn’t all that useful, your followers won’t think it’s all that necessary to follow, especially if you’re not following them back.

6. Stay active on Pinterest.

      If, for example, you pin even 50 photos and don’t pin anything else for over a month, you’re most likely not going to get a lot of followers. I’ve noticed that people who are constantly pinning useful and creative content get followers quicker than those who do the same except not very often.
      You can’t be on there 24/7, but don’t just leave your boards empty and sad and lonely!