Tutorial: Water Drop Photography

I love the photos of drops of water with images of flowers in them. Click on the photo to go to the tutorial written by Steve.

Someday soon I'll have a camera that can take wonderful photos like this. Right now my camera is in the shop. In fact, it has been broken for weeks . . . and that's another post.

Related Post: It's Still Raining in Iowa

What About Google Page Rank?

It's almost time again for the Google PageRank update. I'm like most many people. If there is a rating system, I want to be at the top.

A lot of people ask me what PageRank is. PageRank is displayed as a whole number between 0 and 10, with the most popular websites having a PR of 10 and the least having zero. These updates are published every three months or so.

There's a lot of discussion about how important PageRank is. Here are a few links to more reading:

Thanks to Kyle for pointing out the Google PageRank Prediction tool where you can see what your PR might be. Interesting! What's the prediction for your site?

I don't always take time or remember to check the PR rating for this site - that's why I put that little PR checker on my right sidebar (near the bottom). And I have to admit that I occasionally look at it to be sure I'm not dropping. The first time www.PurpleWren.com was ranked about six months ago it was a "4" and the rank didn't change last time. According to the predictor, maybe this time it will be higher!

Meanwhile, I try to concentrate on posting interesting content and figure the site will grow - or not.


I can tell by looking at these predictions that IowaBizEvents.com has suffered because of the transition we're going through and AroundDesMoines.com needs some promotion. Not a surprise, but an affirmation.

What do you think? Do you pay attention to these tools and how do they impact your actions?

Business Conference 2007: Secrets of Successful Professionals Revealed

UPDATE: This business conference has been postponed until later in the year. Stay tuned for further information.

Calling all business people!  There's a local business conference on the horizon that you don't want to miss.

SecretsbannerTopics include:

  • Brand Strategy
  • New Networking
  • Blogging for Business
  • Managing Office Politics
  • Business Mobility
  • Leveraging Technology
  • Making Work Fun Again

The lineup includes presenters from Seattle, WA, as well as Iowa.

What are you waiting for? Check out the detailed speaker info and conference updates.

flickr Feature Makes it Easy to "Blog" Photos

One of my favorite things to do each week is pick a photo for "Wordless Wednesday." I like to take photos myself, and don't always have the time - so I take this opportunity to browse through the latest submissions on my first choice for photos - flickr. It's amazing how many photo sites there are since digital cameras have become popular.  And the quality of the photos is incredible (but not all of them).

When selecting a photo to share on Purple Wren, I use the advanced search button and choose "Only search within Creative Commons-licensed photos."


That way, I don't end up finding the perfect photo, only to be disappointed when the owner doesn't want me to share it with my readers.


One of the best features on flickr is the "blog this" button that you will see above many of the photos.


You choose which blog and it automatically opens a window where you can compose the post. Once it's saved, I open the post in TypePad to select a category and add Technorati tags. (Maybe someday we'll be able to edit that before we save it, too.)


This process automatically sizes the image and puts in the name and links to the photographer. Cooh, huh?


Here's a link to the finished post with a photo inserted using this tool.

Wordless Wednesday (on Thursday): Full Moon 

Maybe you'll like this feature, too.

Do you have a favorite blogging tool?

What NOT To Do With PowerPoint

Thanks to David Airey, I found this fun video by comedian, Don McMillan. He shows some good examples of the worst things you can do when designing an effective presentation.

I've worked with plenty of people who use the techniques he demonstrates and didn't listen to advice about what might be more effective.

What's your favorite story about presentations you gave, attended, or created?

Life After Death by PowerPoint


RSS: What is it?

A common question I hear is, "What is RSS?" How do you explain it?

I also notice how graphics impact our daily lives and improve our communications. These are two popular ways to explain what RSS is and they also demonstrate the power of visuals. What do you think?

A Visual Guide: RSS in Plain English

This clever video from Common Craft quickly explains what RSS is and how it can help you. The auditory and visual learning styles are addressed - and the kinesthetic learners can follow along in a second browser and actually go through the steps to set up a feed reader.

Click to Play

A One-Page Primer: What is RSS? RSS Explained

This text-based primer is another great resource. It's short, to-the-point, with great information and links. In fact, it's a page I have linked to for some time. They did a fine job of formatting using white space and different font sizes to break up the text and make it more interesting.


Tools and techniques for business communications.

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