Be Good Not Bad by Brian Warren

Recent pages from the journal

25 July 2007

Be Good Not Bad Reviewed by Openswitch 

As number seven in his 100 Blogs in 100 Days series, Ben Gray reviews yours truly. I’m honored! What a great idea for a series. I know I get stuck in a rut at times. It might be time to weed out the old stuff from NetNewsWire and get some fresh sites in there.

23 July 2007

Unearthing the History of Be Good Not Bad

I find it entertaining to look back at my old stuff, especially the stuff I made for myself. Oh, I so wish I had archives of my first websites. I’m sure they would be pretty entertaining. When I started blogging though, I made a sincere effort to keep better archives of my sites, and so have archived the front pages of each of my blog designs. As I link to the archived pages, note that few of the links on these pages still work. I simply archived the source of the page, not the entire site.

Screenies of the Blogs

The Blog

Looking through the old blog designs is like revisiting old friends. I was struck by a few different things. One is that my first blog design still holds up pretty decently. It’s pretty clean, minimal, and doesn’t try to be anything more than a blog. Gotta love that.

Blog design number two was the longest running design to date, having lasted about a year and a half. It launched the classic table-top woodgrain and coffee cup design that has in some way been a part of these sites ever since. In the end though, this design suffered from too much clutter. It didn’t start out that way, but more and more stuff creeped in over time. I was glad to see it go.

Thus, I launched design number three in March 2006. It was definitely more of a realign than a redesign. I kept the tabletop look; however, I ended up having to reshoot the photo to get the espresso cup placement right. I stripped out the cruft and moved things around to get it all more crisp and clean. I still like this look a lot, and I definitely think it was the best of the bunch.

Screenies of the Portfolios

Be Good Not Bad

Back in 2005, as I started to ramp up my freelancing efforts, I finally found a good use for the begoodnotbad.com domain I had purchased on a lark. How did I get the name? My cat was attacking me while I was working one day. I lifted him to my face and spoke firmly, “Be good, not bad!” I then hopped on GoDaddy and registered the domain name.

The first design was nice and simple. I had built it on the Textpattern, the same engine that was powering my blog at the time. I had grandiose plans of publishing a bunch of work to the site. The problem was I realized that I really wanted to showcase only the best work, as elegantly as possible.

Thus I launched a redesign of Be Good Not Bad. I used the amazing SlideShowPro to make a simple gallery of my work. I also added a bio and contact page and called it good. (Note: this is one case where the entire site is archived.)

Finally, we come to now; I’ve already written about this most recent redesign. I really like this one; I definitely spent the most hours on it and am excited about where things will go from here.

 

19 July 2007

Simplify Media 

Listen to your friend’s iTunes library from timeszones away. Amazing!

I posted this link on Twitter and in minutes I had a half dozen other people’s iTunes libraries to listen to. It’s like my iTunes library just increased tenfold. Nice! I think we have a hit on our hands.

Thanks to Vance for the find.

18 July 2007

Around America Project 

Matt’s going to try to use the goodwill (and couches) of people around America to travel around the country and make a film. Pretty sweet. I sent him a note offering lodging and a ride.

16 July 2007

My Hive Office

My Office at the Hive

I enjoy seeing how other people work, picturing them in their work environment hunkered down, creating amazing things. Given that I enjoy that mild amount of voyeurism, I figure maybe you do too, so here’s a shot of my workspace at the Hive. This is a cropped shot of what I submitted for Airbag around the world.

If you have any shots of your office space up on Flickr or something, link to them in the comments, would ya?

13 July 2007

Xyle scope 1.2 

A great update to a super-useful tool. Definitely the best app for looking under the hood of a webpage to see what’s going on in the CSS. New update includes editable CSS.

6 July 2007

Being Good Never Felt So Sweet.

byebye.jpg

Welcome to the fresh new Be Good Not Bad! I’ve moved all the content over from my old blog, and have everything in one tidy spot here at BeGoodNotBad.com. I’ve had the idea for this redesign for awhile now. Ever since I started Be Good Not Bad, it’s made less sense to have my blog on a separate site.

The other thing that was really missing from this arrangement was a good logo. Granted, back in April I fake-redesigned the logo, but what I really wanted was something I could use over and over, in business cards, laptop stickers and the like. The woodgrain + coffee cup photo was just not up to the task.

I consulted with longtime friend Vance Reeser and brought him on to do the stylized coffee cup you see in the logo now. I have to say he did a fabulous job. I’ve gotten lots of feedback from friends about the cup and the stylized foam. Some think I’m trying to look like a fierce tiger. I’ll let you decide for yourself.

I also wanted to simplify the stream of information with the site. On the old blog, there was a sidebar for my linkblog, and in the footer was my selected music finds. In this redesign I brought those into the main content stream, integrated with blog posts on the home page.

On the technical side, I switched from the amazing Textpattern to the super-powerful Expression Engine for this project. The switch went really smoothly, thanks to Jon Hicks’ import trick. I still like Textpattern a lot, but it made sense to switch as Expression Engine was well suited to the task and, and I do a lot of work in it.

Check out the portfolio while you’re here and leave a comment to let me know what you think. Lots of hours went into it, but man, it sure was fun.