Meandering about the internets this morning I happened upon something so awesome it actually made me come out of hiatus to share with everyone.
As a developer, loads of my time when building out a website is spent throwing in filler content until I or the client actually adds the sites final copy. Copying and pasting from Lipsum.com or another generator over and over and over and over again. Time consuming, right?
Ever wondered how long it would take you to drive from New York to China? Just ask google maps! Interesting bits are highlighted in the image with yellow.
I edited the image for size. :D
So, just in case you wanted to know, it will take 38 days and 17 hours in total to “drive” to China, from New York, NY. The total miles traveled: 12,207. Oh and you will have to kayak twice across the Pacific Ocean for a total of 6,636 miles (34 days and 5 hours) and jet ski for a total of 486 miles (13 hours and 2 minutes). You better be in tip-top shape.
I tried this with other countries (Ireland, Australia, Puerto Rico England, Russia, Mongolia, France, Greenland, Iceland, etc), but Google says it cannot find directions for those. The only other country I was able to make it work for was Japan, and the directions were similar. The walking directions are amusing as well.
Every once in a while we have to take our site down for upgrades, or god forbid something breaks and we have to fix it and we don’t want to leave the broken version for our users to see.
I was inspired to write this after seeing the funny Technorati maintenance page this morning:
Maintenance pages are important for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons is to make people remember to come back. If someone is visiting your site for the first time and you are currently working on your site and have placed it in maintenance mode typically you will replace your index with a page explaining the downtime and encouraging users to check back later (giving a specific time frame is good practice).
Anyone who blogs consistently knows how hard it is to come up with fresh content all the time. And when you do, it can take hours and hours to perfect that article before it’s ready to go live.
Say you work on a post relentlessly for two or three hours one day, and a few days later you go back, make your final edits and set it up to publish next Monday. And then the Friday before you see that someone else has gone and posted their spin on the exact same idea that you worked SO hard on.
You run into a fork in the road – do I publish my article as is no amendments? Do I delete it and cry over the hours of hard work? If I publish it are people going to think that I saw XYZ’s blog post and copied the idea? Do I include a link to XYZ’s post to show camaraderie?
I’ll be honest, when I have experienced this (and it happens at least once every other week to me!) I get so angry at myself. I kick myself when I’m down. I scold myself and question why didn’t I just post it when I first had the idea. Why did I put SO much work into it, and not publish right away. Than I usually sit on the post for a few weeks before I put it live, unless I think it’s really, really good and want feedback and to share it right away. A few times I have gone back and reworked the post to be a little bit different that what XYZ published and often included a link or reference to XYZ’s post as well.