Websites that rock by Evan La Ruffa

Over the past 5 years, I've worked with Wordpress (and now Squarespace) to develop websites for my projects and for clients. I love the feeling of coming up with a creative idea and making it so. With some practice, it has become a really fun way for me to build things - and I love that process. I recently finished a site for an incredible baritone opera singer and am super proud of it.

You can check it out here.

As with every site I've built recently, it provided learning opportunities, frustration, turning points, communication practice, and a really cool end result.

While the tendency can be to get overly precious with our websites, articles, social media posts, and blogs, the reality is that everything is an iteration. What's more, the world of web development and design is flattening, creating better solutions that take less time, and allowing us to pivot without a ton of angst.

That said, building websites that rock is constantly a reminder for me to keep learning and taking things from idea to reality.

If you need a new website, feel free to give me a shout. Helping creatives and small businesses put their best foot forward is a blast... especially when it provides me an opportunity to learn and create.

It's important that we feel activated. It's important that we have fun.

Our digital selves own real estate by Evan La Ruffa

In a world that's increasingly digital, it's been incredible navigating the creation of avatars. Join Now. Enter your email. Enter your password. (Don't forget to update your profile!) Upload a jpeg that 'best represents you' and all of a sudden our digital selves own real estate.

In a world where a parallel universe exists inside the flat box on our table or the mini computer in our pocket, new rules are created, etiquette evolves, and we get to pick which version of ourselves we want to be.

Critiques of the internet say that it allows people to front, put on their makeup, and only show you the good parts of their lives. But for the most part, people do that in real life too.

That's not the internet's fault, but it does bring up an interesting point with respect to who we are online versus who we are in the world. I believe that we should only ever be as vulnerable, honest, raw, fake, fun, happy, crass, or silly online as we are in person.

No need to magnify or amplify, we can all just be ourselves.

We'll find more power in social media by showing more than just the glossy sheen. By sharing our insights, doubts, forks in the road, and our uncertainty, we do more for each other than the superficial version of ourselves could ever inspire.

I'll (try to) take my own advice.


Duplicate content, digital etiquette by Evan La Ruffa

When Facebook, Twitter and every other social network started letting you post the exact same content to other places, many of us were fooled into the more is more paradigm. I'm not saying I've never been guilty of the duplicate content error, especially in the early days of social media, but things change and it's up to us to shape digital etiquette. Toggle a few boxes and now the (beautifully taken) photo of your brunch is posted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Tumblr, and more.

The problem with duplicate content is that if we follow someone on multiple networks, we end up seeing that brunch  photo 5 times. It feels like someone telling you the same thing repeatedly without pause.

I just posted a photo, I just posted a photo, I just posted a photo, I just posted a photo, I just posted a photo.

We really don't have to share the photo 5 times, we also don't want to subject our friends to a barrage like that. The sentence above kinda shows how ridiculous this is. If you have entirely different follower bases on each network there might be an exception to the rule but that's rarely the case.

If spaced out over weeks and months, it makes sense to post root content with new copy on multiple networks, especially if you're a brand, firm or freelancer. Another worthy exception. That said, if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Linkedin, I promise not to blast duplicate content.

Whadyasay, shall we all make that promise?