Putting my money where my mouth is. OK, not money, but code. And not mouth, but… typed words.

On my Tools page, I tout my use of jQuery, which is true (I do use it), but up to now I wasn’t actually using it on my own site. Like the unkempt barber, I was always too busy cutting everyone else’s hair and not my own. And by hair I mean websites. And by cutting I mean building. So, sort of the opposite of cutting. But (as usual) I digress.

Before, the Web 2.0-ish, AJAX-ified, buzzword*-izationalized features of my site were kind of a hodgepodge of built-in WordPress features, homebrewed JavaScript and partially-implemented and or modified plug-ins.

Now I’m trying to streamline and consolidate it all on jQuery and, when applicable, jQuery-based WordPress plugins, dropping the last vestiges of Scriptaculous and prototype.js (oh how they’ve served me well). To that end, I’ve changed my navigation menus from my own quick-and-dirty style to something jQuery-based and unnecessarily showy. (I may drop the sliding animation once it starts to annoy me, which will be in about 14 minutes.)

I’ve also finally addressed my annoyance with the less-than-amazing new gallery feature in WordPress 2.5. Granted, it’s way better than what I was using before, but I really don’t like how clicking a thumbnail loads another blog page that just contains the larger version of the photo, with the photo’s filename as the title. Yuck. But I found a nice jQuery-based lightbox plug-in that does exactly what I wanted. Now anywhere on my site where I’ve got a link directly to an image, that image loads in a lightbox layer instead of redirecting to another page or just a blank window. (And I didn’t even have to add a bunch of rel="lightbox" attributes to my old code like before! [And even better, I didn’t have to take out the ones I had already added!!!!])

So… well, you are either a web designer/developer, in which case you are ever-so-slightly interested, or you’re not, and you’re not. But I am, and I am, and I am very pleased with the results so far!

And the last thing I have to say is, given my inclination to talk in circles tonight solely to amuse myself, it’s probably a good idea that I decided to spend the evening tinkering with my own site rather than working on a client’s project!

* I just love how the page I linked to notes that “This page may not work with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.xx.” Only on a page whose URL contains both .edu and a tilde. I just installed Multiple IE in my new copy of Windows last night, so maybe I should fire up IE 3.1 and see if he’s right.

About the (potentially weird) Amazon.com links

In my ongoing efforts to crassly monetize my website, I’ve just added a new feature that synergistically leverages Amazon.com tools to dynamically embed targeted product links within my content. (Surely someone out there has a buzzword “BINGO” by now, so I’ll write the rest of this in the voice of a normal human.)

I’m noticing some weirdness in all of this, in terms of some random phrases that are triggering links to products I’ve never heard of, along with some other things that are too arcane for me to even bother identifying, because I’m a little embarrassed that I’m so friggin’ anal that I’d even notice them.

Anyway… most of the time, I think these links are pretty accurate, and it’s a great way for you to seamlessly transition from reading my drivel to lining Jeff Bezos’s pockets, not that they’re not already overflowing. Mine aren’t, however, and if you buy things from Amazon via links on my site, Jeff might just throw a bone my way. Thanks…