Posts in Category "Social Media"

Being happy and staying that way

happiness

Why should I be happy?

Happiness is a good predictor of a longer and healthier life. If that doesn’t seem good enough, being happy makes you more productive and efficient in your personal and professional life. People around you benefit as much from your being happy. It’s so important that the Pursuit of Happiness finds a mention in the United States’ Declaration of Independence.

So, why aren’t we naturally happy all the time?

Many reasons actually. Some of us believe that being happy is a surefire route to inviting an unlucky charm work against it. We look at other people around us and constantly compare our levels of happiness with theirs. We hold on to a negative portion of our past because our evolutionary mechanisms make us not forget things that hurt us. We are curious about our future and are constantly imagining it through the negativity of news channels. Bad news sells more than the good and newspapers don’t run on charity. But we don’t consider that.

Do you know Ms. LuckyJane?

Do you know Ms. LuckyJane? Or Mr. LuckyJohn? I would be surprised if you didn’t. It’s your friend, the one that seems genetically predisposed to get the better things in life that you always craved for. Her Facebook posts read like the liturgy for an ideal life – the most expensive vacations, cars, and exotic food with loved ones at plush locales.

Of course it buggers you – you started off as equals in childhood. You did relatively better in college, and while not exactly a magnet, had your fair share of relationships before settling for one that had the most potential. And yet, somewhere down the line, the proverbial tortoise, Ms. LuckyJane beat you to the goal post.

happy1

Is your idea of success and happiness relative?

You see a post from a friend that has switched jobs – rumor has it that he will be paid twice than what he did in his previous organization. Discounting the exaggeration factor, you still believe that he got a great deal. You feel cheated at not getting your due. You get up on Saturday and browse the job listings.

You get the job, albeit with a hike much lesser than wished for. You nevertheless post your manufactured happiness on social media for the envy of those that behold.  A week into the job your colleague states in passing that your negotiation skills are poor; the HR folks got you easy. And you start to wonder, all over again…

I could tell you that you lead the kind of life most kings a century ago would envy. You don’t face the risk of war, disease, or uncertainty as much as they did. You eat a greater variety of food, have technology to assist you, and have the chance to predict your life in ways they couldn’t have. But you would still be unhappy because your reference is Mr. LuckyJohn, and you are not as lucky as he is.

The reason behind our dissatisfaction and unhappiness is because we are not comparing our success against our personally set benchmarks. We are constantly looking for external validation from people whose ideas of success are very different from ours, and keep changing.

By constantly readjusting our goals and our needs, we set ourselves for a lifelong journey of reward seeking without pausing to enjoy the journey or our accomplishments.

Why the perfect life doesn’t exist, and why that is good

You are born to rich and happy parents; you are a good looking baby and an intelligent and handsome adult; companies crave to recruit you, and you choose the best. You marry the person you love, you provide your children with the same kind of life that you had, and you die in your sleep, content at having lived your life to the fullest.

This kind of life is very rare, if it happens at all. The more likely scenario in the above case is that you would be spoilt for choice as a kid and an adult.  The choice, by itself  would be confusing and make you unhappy because you wouldn’t ever know if you picked the right option. You would always wonder if your success is because of your parents, and discount your looks to genetics.  You die wondering if your whole life was just about you being lucky.

Truth is, most of us will be born under more unfortunate circumstances, will be thrown to unforeseen winds, and will be left making sense of what we have and where to go. And while that sounds depressing, taken at the wind, these situations are what make our lives interesting. The way our life unfolds can best be predicted from our ability to maneuver ourselves from adverse situations, like any hero from any story worth telling.

We can be happy most of the time, if we try

Happiness isn’t a byproduct of something that will be attainable to us in the future, if we tried hard enough.  It’s not a permanent object that will suddenly be ours to keep because we got the best job, married the most beautiful person, or have the most amazing kids. The truth is that our brain soon gets used to new situations, however fantastical they may be.

There isn’t much difference in the happiness quotient of a person that won a lottery and the one that was injured in an accident after a period of time. Hedonic adaption, the tendency of human beings to return to a relatively stable level of happiness, holds true for both you and Ms. LuckyJane.

Want to be happy and stay that way? Try these

There’s sound logic behind these suggestions, but let’s not discuss them now. And the order doesn’t matter as long as you get started.

  • Write down things that you overcame in life; things that made you feel proud of yourself even if you won no applause for them. Imagine yourself as a celebrity being asked this question, “Tell us your story, Mr. Achiever. Surely your success didn’t come easy?”
  • Make a list of people that have helped you and stood by you. Send them a Thank You note.
  • Create things using your natural interests. Cooking, gardening, carpentry, and music are some options.
  • Invest in your physical fitness. Use bite-sized fitness goals, and maintain a healthy diet regime.

Happiness isn’t instant coffee; you have to work for it, and work a little more to keep it. And why should you believe me? These suggestions are based on expert advice, and research articles on happiness. Following them has made me more content and happy for longer periods of time, and reduced my bouts of ill-temper. At the best, you will reap much more than I have from this advice. At the worst, you will lose nothing. I bet a million on your win right away.

Dreamweaver FAQ : How do I center align a web page in Dreamweaver?

Purpose of this tutorial

Create a page in Dreamweaver and center-align the contents of the page. If you are looking for the code to center your page, dive directly to the section “Center the Content”. However, if you are new to web design and are getting started with Dreamweaver, I suggest that you go through every step of this tutorial.

Can I do it without knowing CSS?

No. If you aren’t conversant with CSS, I advise you to take a quick class on CSS and come back. You don’t have to go into a lot of depth, just read the essentials. It should not take you more than an hour or a couple of hours at the most.

How do I center a page?

You create a container (DIV) for the other DIVs on the page. When you center-align the container DIV, the rest of the content gets center aligned as well. Simple! While it is not necessary that you use Dreamweaver for the tutorial, some of the steps that are mentioned are very specific to the use of this software. If you are conversant with HTML and CSS, you will do just fine without these steps using the editor of your choice.

Create a new site

Before we proceed to create a page that centers itself with respect to the display, we will first create a site to store all the files we will be creating hereafter.

Before you proceed, create a folder or directory on your computer called FAQ_Tutorials. I am on a Windows computer, and I have created this in my C drive.

  1. Select Site > New Site.
  2. In the Dialog Box that appears, enter the following information.
    1. Site Name: Tutorials on FAQs
    2. Local Site Folder: Click the Browse or Folder icon. Navigate to the FAQ_Tutorials folder on your computer. Click Select Folder.
  3. Click Save.

lesson1_site_creation

That was simple! You now have created a Site with the name Tutorials on FAQs, and the files for this site will reside in the FAQ_Tutorials folder. Great job!

Create a new page

We will now create a web page that we will save in the FAQ_Tutorials folder.

  1. Just to make it easier to manage your files, create a subfolder called “FAQ1_center_webpage” in the FAQ_Tutorials folder.
  2. In Dreamweaver, select File > New. Ensure that the options Blank Page, HTML, and <none> are selected in the New Document Dialog that is displayed.
  3. Click Create.
  4. Select File > Save As.
  5. Navigate to the FAQ1_center_webpage folder.
  6. Save the file with the file name “centering_a_webpage”
  7. Click OK.

Create the Container and Header

For the web page, we will create a container div that will hold the contents of the page. When we center the container, all the contents inside get centered as well.

In the container, we will include three DIV tags: Header, Body, and Footer.

  1. In Title, replace “Untitled Document” with “Centering a web page”
  2. In the Insert panel, select Structure from the menu.
  3. Click Div.
  4. In the Insert Div dialog, enter container in the ID field. Click OK.
  5. Delete “Content for id “container” Goes Here”.
  6. Ensure that the cursor is within the Div. Click Header in the Insert panel.
  7. In ID, select Head and click OK.

You now have a parent container with the Header div tag inside it. Great going!

Style the Header Tag

Let’s style the Header tag so that we can differentiate it from the other Div tags that we are going to create. And for this, you guessed it right; we are going to need some CSS love.

We will style the header to give it a blue background color with white text.

  1. Just after the Title tags in the code view, we will enter the style tags <style></style>.
  2. In between the tags, we will enter this piece of code:

#head{

                    background-color:blue;

                    color:white;

                    }

  1. Click in the Design view. Do you see a blue box with white text in it? Good!

Create the body and the footer

Let’s go ahead and create the other two DIVs below the header.

  1. Ensure that the cursor is after the closing div tag for the header (</header>).
  2. Click Div in the Insert panel.
  3. In the Insert Div dialog, select After Tag and <header id=”head”> from the Insert options.
  4. In ID, enter body, and click OK.
  5. In the Insert Panel, click Footer.
  6. In the Insert Footer dialog, select After Tag, and <div id=”body”> from the Insert options.
  7. In ID, enter foot, and click OK

You have now created a container DIV with three child DIVs (Header, body, and Footer). When you center the container DIV, all the three child DIVs get centered as well.

Style the body div and the footer tag

Follow the procedure described for Header in “Style the Header Div” to add styles for the body and footer Divs. Add the styles below the style for the header.

#body{

                    background-color:yellow;

                    color:black;

                    }

#foot{

                    background-color:red;

                    color:black;

                    }

You should now see three boxes blue, yellow, and red one below the other. If you don’t, go back and see where you went wrong.

Center the content

Now that we have the contents ready, we are going to center them with respect to the browser they are displayed on.

This is what we will do: Define a width for the container, set the top and bottom margins to 0, and the left and right margins to auto. This clears the space to the left and right of the margin allowing the browser to calculate the margin.

While you can add the style for the container tag anywhere, I suggest that you put it above the style for the header because this is the parent tag.

#container{

                    width: 980px;

                    margin:0 auto;

                    }

Preview the page in a browser

  1. Select File > Preview in Browser.
  2. Select the Browser in which you want to preview the page.

The contents of the page should now be center-aligned. Some of the older versions of Internet Explorer might not work with this code. As a workaround you might have to create a class for the body and center-align text. Unless there is a real necessity to support really older versions of browsers, this step is not necessary.

body {                          

text-align:center;

                    }

 

Some useful notes on linking CSS files

In this tutorial, we have used CSS on the same page as that we have designed. However, it is not a good idea to have CSS on every web page if your website has many pages. A better idea is to create a single or few CSS files and link it to the HTML pages. That way, you can make changes at one location and have them reflected across multiple pages.

For example, you can create a CSS file called theme.css and link it to your HTML page.

<head>
<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”theme.css”>
</head>

Here, the theme.css is the name given to the CSS file. You can choose any name you want. The CSS file here is on the same path as the page to which it is linked. However, if your CSS file is within a folder called CSS, you will have to specify the path as say, “href=/css/theme.css”. See http://compugoddess.com/relative-vs-absolute-links/ for information on relative paths.

No one responding to your post? Your title could be the culprit.

Why don’t people respond to posts?

Posted something on the Internet and did not receive any response? You are not the only one. Many like you are part of what is infamously referred to as the World Wide Wait. And yet, the laws of eliciting a response on the Internet aren’t very different from that in the real world.

wait

Much like your decision to read a book from an unknown author is partly based on the cover of the book and its title, the decision for someone to read your post depends to a large extent on how interesting the title of your post is.

Before clicking on a title, a person usually asks the following questions to oneself:

  • Do I understand the title?
  • Is it interesting? Is it compelling enough?
  • If the author is inviting comments, do I have what it takes to contribute?

Keep your titles short but comprehensive

More effort must go into the title of your post than its content. Go through the body of your content and write down a working title for your post. Then keep shortening and simplifying it until you have an interesting title.

Working title:

Computer crashes immediately after updating to the latest version of Windows and opening the 2.1 version of XYZ software on my computer.

Final title:

Computer crash after latest Windows update | XYZ 2.1

Avoid generic titles like “Help”, “I am lost”, “XYZ software”

Such titles do not give any idea about the content of the post. Such titles could also be mistaken to be spam.

Do not capitalize all letters in the title, and avoid multiple exclamation marks

Even if you are frustrated, unleashing it on the whole world serves no purpose other than putting people off altogether. Keep your titles unemotional and relevant. Interested people will get to it ultimately.

And that’s it. You have all that you need to get you going.  All the best!

Socially yours…

It has been quite some time since I blogged, and in this time, I have moved from being content creator to the online social lead for web products. Essentially, what that means is that I will be responding to user queries posted on various social media platforms in collaboration with other experts at Adobe.

I will be using my blog to communicate all information about web products that I am allowed to share.  And needless to say, if I inadvertently state something that isn’t entirely correct,  it has everything to do with me and nothing that has been endorsed by Adobe. Having said that, I will stay clear of such misadventures.  I am trying to account for Monday mornings and bad hair days.

The information that I share is however, not for just your consumption but is meant to be shared, retweeted, reblogged, recycled, whatever. I will try to ensure that it is all worth your effort, time and space.

If you have anything that you want to share, please use the comments section to do that. Anything that is positive and constructive will be given immediate thought and attention.

I will try and notch up a blog post a week, and it is one of my commitments I hope to keep.

Cheers!

Preran