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How To Make Lists Look Better In HTML, Part 2


I started this mini-series with a look at how to spread things out more easily using standard (though outdated) HTML list tags. Now, a look at my secret weapon — fake lists. It looks like a list, but it isn’t a list at all.

By the way, these tips are meant for folks who aren’t on intimate terms with CSS or are working on sites where they don’t have access to the CSS — there may be more elegant ways to accomplish this stuff, but I’m no designer/coder.

So, first, let’s look at the problem we’re trying to solve:


(Note: I’m using an example from George Aspland’s recent Marketing Land column, so be sure to check it out.)

The above doesn’t look terrible, but, for my taste, it’s kind of bunched up. I’d like some spaces between the bulleted items. And, in some cases, I’d like to break up the bulleted items into multiple paragraphs. It’s just easier to read with a bit more space.

So, what I do — and this may or may not work depending on how your CSS is set up with regard to the display of blockquotes — is cheat.

Rather than make an unordered list, I enclose all the to-be-bulleted items between <blockquote> </blockquote> tags. This indents the text (on both sides), which adds some nice white space.

But what about the bullets? Well, turns out there’s special code — &bull; or &#8226; — to create a bullet. So I add those to the front of each bulleted paragraph.

Here’s how it turned out on my edit of the above text:


You can do the same thing with ordered lists. Just write the actual numbers or letters, rather than using a <LI> tag within an ordered list. The bullets or numbers aren’t out in the white space, as they are with real lists, but I prefer that quirk over bunched up text.

Works for me. Maybe it’ll work for you. Thoughts?


The Future Of The Internet/Web/Whatever


I don’t even know what to call it. Is it still “the web” if you’re looking at it through an Oculus Rift-type headset? I don’t think so.


Anyway, Fred Wilson got my attention this week with his musings on how big Internet players are (now that they’ve dedicated themselves to mobile) looking for the new big thing.

Here’s a video he shared where Google CEO Larry Page talks about the company’s future, in a TED interview by Charlie Rose:

Gets you thinking, huh?


Back From SMX West 2014


I arrived home last night this morning after a whirlwind beginning to the conference season — starting with SXSW Interactive, which had to be interrupted midstream for a trip to San Jose for our company’s own conference, SMX West.

I don’t know what it was about this year’s show — maybe our inaugural Marketing Land Digital Marketing Summit — but I came away from the show with such a good feeling. I loved socializing with people, meeting columnists I hadn’t met before in person, and seeing long-time industry friends again. Additionally, the panelists for the sessions I moderated did such a good job and had such interesting and valuable things to share.

So I thought I’d take the opportunity to share the live blogs and slides from my sessions here.

“Life After Not Provided” explored the options for measuring success (and fixing problems) in a world where we no longer have access to keyword data in analytics platforms.

“Pro-Level Tips For Succeeding At Retargeting” covered a few different approaches and platforms (Google search, GDN, FSLA, FBX and a technique that uses LinkedIn) to successful retargeting.


With Amazon Prime memberships going up to $99 annually, I’d imagine there are plenty of folks thinking “How could I possibly get around this?” “Can I renew early at the current price?” I know I did. My attempt failed, however — so don’t do what I did.

AmazonPrimeWhat did I do? I bought a Prime Membership as a gift and sent it to myself. Only problem is that Amazon is wise to that. If you are already a member and get Prime as a gift, the new subscription isn’t added on to the one you already have. Instead, it gets converted to an Amazon Gift Card of the same value.

Oh, well. I’m sure I’ll spend that $84 on Amazon eventually — and get my purchases shipped to me for “free”.

P.S. If you happen to find a way to successfully renew your membership at the current price, let me know in the comments!

P.P.S. Looks like Lifehacker found a solution for this, after all!


SXSW Interactive: Beyond The Hype


sxsw-squareAs much as people love SXSW, there’s definitely a backlash. Some blame the conference for the ever-growing tide of immigrants to Austin, which is stressing infrastructure and heightening fears about water shortages. Others decry it as just another tech conference, or bemoan the hipster factor. (Can you tell I’m a local now?)

I see more and more people tweeting with dread (myself among them) rather than excitement about the event, so it seems we all need to take it down a notch.

Remember that, at heart, SXSW is still a “festival” — not a conference. Where else would you find panel discussions on things like: “Making More of Ourselves – Sensory & Multimodal UX,” “Unearthing the Atari Graveyard: The Search for ET,” and, um, “Orgasm: The Broadband of Human Connection“? (Heck, there’s even a Ping Pong Tournament.) [click to continue…]

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