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The Web Development Blog has moved to http://www.heidicool.com/blog/. Please visit me there to read the latest entries and to update your bookmarks and RSS feeds.

About the Web Development Blog

The Web Development blog was created to share ideas, tips, and advice with the people involved in creating, maintaining or developing content for academic, corporate and other Web sites and blogs. If you have any Web related issues that you would like to see addressed in this blog, please feel free to post a comment or send an e-mail to cool@case.edu. The opinion's expressed here are Heidi's and Kevin's and do not necessarily represent those of Case Western Reserve University (host of this blog system.)

Web development topics covered here include:

Content Development
Content isn't just about words, but can also include photos, illustrations, video, animation and interactive elements such as forms, comments and discussion. Entries on content development include how-to tips on writing, editing photos, embedding videos and related topics.
Coding and Related Technical Advice
While other sites offer more in-depth guides on coding, this site includes links to some of those resources as well as tips on HTML/XHTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Web Standards, tutorials on transferring files, embedding Flash, and other technical topics that may be of value to readers.
Marketing
It's not just enough to build a site, one also needs to attract readers. Marketing entries cover traditional marketing techniques such as advertising as well as search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing (SEM) and social media marketing (SEM).

About the Authors

The Web development blog was established in February 2005 by Heidi Cool and Kevin Adams.

Heidi Adams Cool

Heidi Adams Cool

Web site developer and marketing strategist.

My background

I'm a renaissance nerd who majored in philosophy at Colby College, after which I stumbled into publishing, first for a now-defunct business magazine, then for West, a leading provider of legal information resources.

Although I spent some time doing research and editing, my primary focus was marketing and communications. My experience in this area includes graphic design, copywriting, Web development, and the planning of marketing campaigns that included telemarketing, direct mail, print advertising, catalog creation (print, CD-ROM and Web) and trade show promotions.

Web philosophy

As a table is supported by its legs, a good web site is supported by clean design, valid code, appropriate content and a logical, user-friendly navigational system. I have found that if I first determine the goal of a site—whether it involves selling a new ice cream that doesn't melt below 90 degrees or promoting responsible kite-flying—that goal will, and must, drive the other elements. I discuss this approach in greater detail in the Planning your Web site tutorial".

Case history

My earliest memory of Case is from when I was four years old and was given the chance to see a neighbor's campus lab. As I recall, the lab was a sea of aquariums, each overflowing with fluffy aquatic plants and snails that were just begging to be touched. Being neurotically well-behaved, I kept my hands to myself and the experiment survived intact.

A few years later I followed my dad around the stacks of Freiberger as he pursued his masters degree, and some years after that my friends and I came down to Strosacker to see Psycho, and a slew of more current movies. Having a father, grandmother, aunts and uncles who were alumni and growing up in nearby Shaker, the university seemed an extension of our backyard.

In 1999 I became assistant director of communications for development programs. My responsibilities included editing, writing, graphic design and Web development. Over time, my Web responsibilities became more predominant and in March 2004 I moved to the Marketing and Communications team as a Web designer.

Arts, science & outdoors
What's in a name?

As far as we know, Kevin and I are not related. Oh, you meant the last name? I may be a nerd, but I was born Cool.

Kevin Adams

Kevin Adams

Kevin Adams co-authored the Web Development Blog from its inception through April 2007, when he left the university for an opportunity in the corporate world.

I come from a creative and musical background. After studying music at the University of MN, Duluth I embarked on a career in music, performing and traveling throughout the country. I refer to this period as "my previous life" since it is so very different than the direction my life has taken now. Over the course of the next decade, through 200 playing dates (mostly one-nighters) a year, I was able to pursue my passion and make it my vocation.

About ten years ago I got off the road, settled in Cleveland, and took a job at Case in the then Center for Biomedical Ethics. I took over their Web site, and was hooked! It was a perfect fit for me; at that time I was transitioning my musical background to computers, using MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) as a way to manipulate and organize sound. There was an underlying language of code in the musical sequences that I was able to control; similarly, there was the source of the HTML code that one could edit. In both examples there was the duality of visual & aural experience vs. the rules and disciplined knowledge it took to make it happen. In both cases it mattered little to the end-user what was going on behind the scenes. I realized with the Web, I had found a place where once again science and art intersected.

After further study, I applied for and was hired as assistant director of Web Development in the Office of Public Affairs. I am now Sr. Web designer in the Office of Marketing and Communications, where we focus our efforts on managing Case's main Web presence, secondary directories pages, as well as building and maintaining several other Web projects such as the WebEvent calendar. An underlying principle in all that I do (which of course extends to my Web philosophy) is "measure twice, cut once". Along the way, I've passed certifications for CompTIA's i-net+ as well as Prosoft's CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster).

That brings you up to date on my journey thus far. My wife Barb and I recently bought a new house on two acres in Richfield. Country living, a pond, and plenty of wildlife brings me right back to my northern Minnesota roots.

Outside of the Case realm, I maintain a teaching schedule by giving private trumpet lessons and keeping a more sane -- that is to say, closer to home -- playing schedule. I continue to record, write, and produce recordings for others as well as myself. My self-produced recording of "A Child is Born" was nationally reviewed and well-received. I have performed on several Grammy-nominated recordings and have been fortunate enough to attend the NARAS Grammy Awards and walk the Red Carpet in Los Angeles.

Other interests include ice fishing, perennial gardening, linguistics, etymology, Polish history and culture, and essentially anything that falls under the general umbrella category of "how things came to be the way they are."