Are we being more rude online?

Came across an article that says people are getting ruder on social media, and two in five users have ended contact after arguing online.

I guess it’s easy to lose your manners when half the time the other person doesn’t even know who you are or what you look like, but especially if you know the person in real life then the fact that you’re typing them from far away instead of talking to them in person might make you a little bolder…intentionally, or unintentionally.

I’m sure a lot of people have experienced this, especially if you’ve been online for over a decade. There’s a lot of talk about children cyber-bullying, but even more and more adults decide to get into online arguments even if they know one another in person.

For most people, online altercations are little more than a waste of time and things might fizzle out, but for certain people in certain positions, fines can be imposed, employees can be fired, and business deals will either fall through or be terminated depending on how high the tension escalates.

Will our manners in person be able to keep in touch with our online communications? Only time will tell, but it’s always best to treat people the way you would want to be treated…online, as well.

Posted in Internet, Social Media | Leave a comment

You may or may not notice this, but…

The browser you’re using right now is running one of a few different rendering engines. Internet Explorer uses Trident, Firefox uses Gecko, and the majority of other browsers use Webkit. You’ll find Webkit in Safari, Chrome, and the default browsers of all iOS and Android devices. So why am I talking about browser rendering engines?

It is the job of a web designer/developer to make sure their website gives the same experience across all browsers, if feasibly possible. Some style elements, especially if they’re from CSS3, might require being called out multiple times under different names (ex. rounded corners or gradients), or else they will appear correct in one browser and not the other, or they might not appear at all. There used to be a time when all this stuff was standardized, but it seems that as soon as it appears that we’re getting there, we get hit with a “fork” in the road.

Webkit is an open-source project that has been a collaborative effort by Adobe, Apple, Google and a few other contributors. Yesterday, Google announced that it’s going to fork Webkit and use it as a platform for it’s new rendering engine, called Blink. A project “fork” happens when taking a copy of source code from one software package to start independent development on it, creating a distinct piece of software. Google claims that the reason behind the switch is the fact that WebKit has grown too complicated, and making the switch to its own rendering engine will benefit projects such as the Chrome browser and Chrome OS. They also say they can eliminate some 4.5 million lines of code from Webkit when developing Blink. This will make the Chrome browser faster, and mobile devices should benefit from this the most. Another web browser, Opera, is strongly considering making the switch, and Blink could have a host of it’s own contributors as well, as the project will also be open source. It seems as if Google and Apple are even further distancing themselves.

It remains to be seen whether this will directly affect web design or not. Technically, Blink should mainly be a streamlined version of Webkit, so things SHOULD hopefully remain the same…at least in the short run. We’ll find out for sure once Blink is released and implemented.

Posted in design, Internet, Mobile, Websites | Leave a comment

Another reason why going mobile is important.

One of my old classmates posted an article which shows that searching from mobile devices is booming. The total number of searchers in this country using mobile phones grew about 26 percent between March and December of last year, from 90.1 million to 113.1 million searchers. On tablets that number grew to 19 percent, although some tablets are counted as phones as well based on the OS and how the browser is setup. Meanwhile, searching from a traditional desktop computer or laptop went down 6% from November 2011 to November 2012.

This is significant because more and more people are not locked to their home or job to get to a search engine, the main source of revenue for companies like Google and advertising for businesses. People with emails linked to their smartphones check their email much sooner, so that’s another thing to take into consideration. Also, folks on mobile devices are more inclined to use map apps either for directions or to simply find something nearby, and reviews and ratings will most likely be attached to these locations (either in the map application itself or linked from a third party website).

Looking at all of that, it would make even more sense to make sure your website will work and function properly for everyone and everything.  Definitely have a clean, polished and dynamic main website, but also make sure it’s responsive or redirects to a format better accessible to those on the go.

Posted in Analytics, design, Email, Internet, Mobile | Leave a comment


They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Well, as long as you don’t get sued for copyright infringement.

I’ve recently read a few articles that say that Facebook is taking a page from one of it’s biggest rivals, Twitter, and is testing out the use of the hashtag to group conversations.  Or rather, their reason could be because the feature is also used by the photo sharing social network, Instagram, which they acquired last year.  I was one of the main people who got annoyed with people using hashtags on Facebook, where it just shows up as plain text.  Since I’ve recently started using Instagram, I’ve been guilty of this crime as well, lol

For those who don’t know, a “#hashtag” is a quick, but efficient way to link a phrase, link, or picture to other people who have used the same thing.  If your social network or blog supports it, just throw a “#” in front of a word that’s in the post you’re trying to share (2 or more words have to have the spaces taken out, so they appear as one big word) and you can connect to everyone else who had the same idea as you.  It’ll be interesting to see how this will be implemented, if the feature is ever released to the public.

Speaking of Facebook, I hope everyone is prepared for yet another layout change coming soon.  I guess it’s about that time.

Posted in Internet, Marketing, Social Media, Websites | Leave a comment

Harlem Shake

I have NO IDEA where THIS Harlem Shake came from, who started it, or why, but it’s everywhere.  The “Harlem Shake” I know was an actual dance performed by Diddy (a.k.a. P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Sean Puffy Combs (I think he finally settled on a name)) and other New York Hip-Hop artists over a decade ago.  It just goes to show what can happen when you’re given a camera, some editing software, some random music and a random idea.  Put that together with some internet and a very popular video sharing site, and you just might have a marketing tool.

Again, I still haven’t seen the original, but I think it’s crazy how businesses, organizations, schools, professional sports teams, first-responders, and even an army have made their own version of this video.  I think with the times we live in, conventional approaches to some things, like marketing and advertising, will sometimes take a back seat because of how the internet has changed.  Tons of people post their thoughts and ideas online in various formats, but sometimes those small ideas turn out to be a crazy short video clip that goes viral.


Posted in Internet, Marketing, Websites | Leave a comment

Parks Tout Upgraded Websites through TXAD

Port O’Connor RV Park in Texas and America’s Best Campground in Missouri are among the growing number of private parks across the country that are starting the New Year with newly upgraded or redesigned websites, according to a news release.

“We just went live this week,” said Donna Watson of Port O’Connor RV in Port O’Connor, Texas, who hired TXAD Internet Services to redesign her website at so that she could better market her 46-site park. “I had to totally rebuild the site.”

But while redesigning a website can be a daunting task for park operators, Watson said TXAD Internet Services made it easy. “I told them what I was looking for and they took care of it,” she said.

In addition to making her website pleasing to the eye, TXAD Internet Services developed new written content for the site to make it search engine friendly, said Chris Brailsford, TXAD Internet Services’ website developer. “We also created a Facebook page for them and added that to the sidebar on their homepage,” he said.

Sue Alkire of America’s Best Campground in Branson, Mo., was similarly pleased with the work TXAD Internet Services did on her website at, which she uses to market her 160-site park.

“I like the format,” she said. “It’s different and very updated. It looks more contemporary. They captured the feel that I was looking for.”

In addition to giving the website for America’s Best Campground a new look, Brailsford said TXAD Internet Services made it so that it scales down for mobile and tablet devices. “We have the technology now to make it so that a single website will conform to whatever device you’re using, so you no longer have to have different websites for different devices,” he said.

Courtesy of Woodall’s Campground Manager.

Posted in Customers, design, Internet, Marketing, Press Release, Responsive Design | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Well, that didn’t last long…

The battery on my HTC Radar 4G is definitely not lasting as long as it used to, and the phone doesn’t realize that it’s charging the battery (I’ll eventually have to restart it before it shuts itself off thinking that the battery is empty. It’s full when it turns back on, though!)  I do still enjoy this phone, as well as the Windows Phone 7.5 operating system.  Nowadays, ‘One does not simply’ replace a battery in a phone (say that with Mordor’s voice, lol). I found out that I actually have to take the phone halfway apart with a Torx screwdriver just to get to the battery.  Considering many things, such as the fact that I’ve had it for about a year and a half, that I won it at an event (Thanks, Microsoft and Klout!), and that currently my only other alternative is a 2 1/2 year old Samsung Vibrant with worse battery life, I think it’s just time to upgrade.  What should I get next?  A Windows Phone 8 device? Go back to Android? Or join the millions of iPhone owners? Not exactly sure what I’m going to do, but I’m really liking that Google Nexus 4.  I hope they have a full stock when I’m fully ready to make a decision.

One thing is for certain: whichever device I go with will not have Adobe Flash.  At one time, this was a feature that I was definitely looking for when purchasing a phone.  I was late to hear the news that Adobe decided to pull the plug on any further development of Flash for mobile devices, and that Google has removed it from future versions of Android.  They even recently removed it from their Play Store.  This is even more significant because Flash was once a selling point for getting an Android phone (it was highlighted in the Motorola Droid commercials).  You could truly run almost any website on an Android device. That was something that couldn’t be said for Apple, which completely disregarded Flash in the first place for iOS.  Steve Jobs’ main argument against Flash was that it was buggy and used too many resources, which used up too much battery power.  Looking back to about 2009 or 2010 when Adobe Flash appeared in the Android Market (now the Play Store), it could only be ran on newer and powerful devices.  My T-Mobile G1 with it’s 528 Mhz processor was not given the option to run it, while the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant I bought the following year had much faster hardware and was allowed to run it.  Although more mobile operating systems from various companies were coming and going, Android was the only operating system that fully and widely supported Flash, and they were still second to iOS (who refused to adopt it) in terms of sales and devices in use.  That being said, Adobe made the announcement late in 2011 that it was ending support of Flash for mobile devices.  That explains my title to this blog post.

The reason mobile Flash is dead is not just because of performance reasons.  In 3 years, we have much more powerful and longer lasting devices.  One reason it’s gone is because of better and more widely used technologies in HTML5 and Javascript. Some websites are slowly adapting to this change and sending Flash content to desktops and laptops that have it, and HTML5 content to others.  Again, another reason to blame for Flash’s departure is Apple choosing not to support it.  Apple devices sell like hotcakes, and when a major player decides not to support something, sometimes their competitors follow suit.  The latest version of Android, Jellybean, won’t give you the option to download Flash, although you may or may not be able to install it by other means.  Flash was never factored into Windows Phone 7 and 8 to begin with, and it’s very doubtful that it will appear in the new Blackberry.  Factoring all that in, it’s best to keep that in mind when building or updating a website since more and more people nowadays are away from the conventional keyboard, mouse and monitor when accessing the internet.

Oh, and don’t worry when embedding Youtube videos.  They switched to HTML5 years ago.

Posted in design, Internet, Mobile, Websites | 2 Comments

The Next Big Thing

Have you ever sat around and wondered what would be the next big trend in regards to the internet?  We seem to have come a long way in the past decade…maybe even the past couple of years.  It used to be that you had to go home and turn on the TV to catch the news or your favorite TV show, or you had to go to the library to do research online for a project.  Speaking of books, you had to either check them out from a library or buy them from a store, and depending on the size of the books, you didn’t want to carry too many.  Cell phones were mainly used for talking, although you might feel like sending a text or picture every now and then.  Video game systems were just used for playing video games.  If you wanted to watch a movie, the best thing to do was to buy or rent the DVD.

Of course, things started to pick up with the invention of the iPhone, which caused makers of smartphones to step their game up and branch out from just business consumers and geeks.  The invention of YouTube allowed people to share their own content and reach out to others, and now it even allows for you to make a decent income if enough people like what you’re doing.  Social media evolved and allowed people to have a voice online whenever and wherever; sometimes in 140 characters or less.  If you missed your favorite TV show or wanted to watch a movie, all you have to do was pull out one of many devices and press play, assuming you’re connected to broadband internet with that device.  Oh, and you can now buy a video game system and do all of the above before you go off to win a race or save the planet from an alien invasion.  Phones, computers, tablets, and video game systems have now gotten more powerful and smarter, and web technology has had to adapt to these changes.  A couple months before the year 2012 ended, my Xbox 360 informed me that I could now run Internet Explorer and even use my Windows Phone 7′s touch screen as both a keyboard and mouse to control it.  My, we have come a long way!

So, what will be the next big thing to come about in 2013?  There isn’t a clear answer just yet since the year just started, but my manager told me the other day that CSS4 is well on it’s way.  Adobe is slowly but surely trying to phase out Flash in favor of HTML5.  Phones, computers, and video game systems keep evolving.  The Xbox and Playstation replacements should be out just in time for the holiday season, along with new features.  Now TV’s, appliances, and even cars are becoming web browsers and more.  One thing is for certain: TXAD Internet Services will definitely be on the look out to make sure we bring quality websites to our clients, their customers, and all of their devices.

Posted in Internet, Mobile, Websites | Leave a comment

TXAD Helps The Vineyards Improves Website to Promote Cabins

The Vineyards Campground & Cabins is finding growing demand for its fully furnished park model cabins, even in winter, according to a news release.

“We were sold out over Christmas. We were tremendously busy,” said Joe Moore, general manager of the 93-site campground, which has 13 cabins, several of which are featured online at

But while consumers have always had the ability to reserve these cabins online, they haven’t had the ability to rent specific cabins based on the photographs they see online — until now.

Thanks to a recently completed website enhancement by TXAD Internet Services, the Vineyards Campground now has a separate cabin page on its website that gives consumers the ability to rent the specific cabin they like most, based on the photographs and floor plans presented online.

“This way, people can see what they’re getting and there are no surprises,” Moore said.

The website previously had a selection of cabin photos, but there were no descriptions or floorplans which raised more questions than they answered. “People kept asking, which cabin is cabin 3 or cabin 4 or cabin 10. People want to know what they’re getting,” Moore said. “They want to know where the bedrooms and bathrooms are located, where the kitchen is and where the front door is and if there’s a view of the lake.”

But with the new website layout, consumers can now see that the Vineyards Campground offers seven different cabin floor plans. They can see a series of photos for each cabin and also check out the views from each cabin’s front porch. The website’s reservation system also helps consumers select the units that meet their needs, based on their lodging requirements.

Moore said the new system has simplified the online cabin reservation process for consumers, while reducing front desk staff time on reservation questions.

The cabin section upgrades are the latest improvements TXAD Internet Services has made to the Vineyards Campground’s website. The company previously developed a scaled down version of the website to make it compatible with mobile devices.

Based in Crowley, TXAD Internet Services is a leading provider of marketing, advertising and website design services for the campground industry with a national client base of more than 800 privately owned campgrounds, RV parks and resorts.

The Vineyards Campground & Cabins was recently named Small Park of the Year by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) as well as the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).

The Vineyards Campground & Cabins was also one of only 44 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across the country to earn an all around “A” grade in the fifth annual satisfaction survey of independent parks. More than 30,000 camping and RV enthusiasts completed reviews in the online survey, grading their experiences at 3,200 independent RV parks and campgrounds.

For more information about The Vineyards Campground & Cabins, visit its website More information about TXAD Internet Services is available

Courtesy of Woodall’s Campground Manager.

Posted in Customers, Internet, Marketing, Press Release, Websites | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ahead in 2013

As we approach the new year here at TXAD Internet, it amazes me to see where we’re headed, with technology as well as on the internet. Many people now realize that one helps shape the other, and vise versa.

Recently, we spoke about responsive design, and how using it in websites not only assists in easier changes and maintenance, but also allows your site to be accessible to all manners of viewing devices (i.e. smartphones, tablets, desktops). However, responsiveness has some setbacks to be accounted for, especially as the technology used to see websites continues to evolve.

  1. Responsive sites are typically built with a fluid width, allowing the text and content to shift around. To accommodate the different devices, we set “breakpoints” in the design where the elements shift around.
  2. The breakpoints are based on existing device widths and pixel-aspect ratios. But, with new devices being released everyday, new breakpoints will have to be included and accounted for.
  3. With technology ranging from smartphones to tablets, all the way to refrigerators and even glasses, finding a happy median will become intrinsically more difficult.

As the internet grows and develops further, we strive to stay on top of the latest ways to keep your audience engaged and connected to you. Whether it takes learning the software for optimizing your website’s code, or researching devices to make sure your website is always seen in the best possible way, TXAD Internet will follow through!

Posted in design, Internet, Websites | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment