art directing the dew
It has been almost seven years since our first story. Whether the photo duties fell to Keith, KC, Ron or me, most often we would seek creative commons (many images at flickr.com) or public domain (government photos and many found at Wikimedia.org) images. Other times, we licensed stock photos. Since the Dew has no money other than contributions or my pocket, we are miserly in our use stock photos, but have paid to licensed more than 500 images since 2007.
Often there are no appropriate images to find or license. They just didn’t exist. That is my time. I can’t draw, so I build. That is what this gallery is – images that I have made by combining or altering other licensed images in Photoshop. There are many more than these, but these are my favs.
Four years ago, I was writing every day. Then we launched LikeTheDew.com. Seemed a good idea. My friend Keith was looking for a place to write. So were some of his newly former journalist pals.
We didn’t need a business plan. The last thing we wanted was for the Dew to become a job. It was organic. It would just evolve. No real guidelines. We just wanted well written and relevant stories. No fiction or poetry. And it had to be progressive.
Cry for Help
LikeTheDew.com is looking for a few smart and resourceful people to work in a convivial virtual environment helping to deliver enlightened perspectives on progressive Southern culture and content. Positions part time, for no pay, but include the benefit of knowing you are trying to make a difference.
- Community Engagement Manager: moderate comments, engage readers and poke around the site making sure everything is as it should be. Email: CEM@LikeTheDew.com.
- Author Relationship Director: reach out to new writers, contact writers who aren’t, set up and update author profiles, communicate with guest writers and manage creative commons relationships. Email: ARD@LikeTheDew.com.
- Social Marketing Guru: plan, manage, post and engage the Dew’s followers all over the web. Email: SMG@LikeTheDew.com.
- Dew Business Manager: plan and run our non-commercial, almost no revenue except from the donation of our readers, business. Email: DBM@LikeTheDew.com.
- Editorial Comrades: read, prep, art direct and post stories. We really need some help. Email: EC@LikeTheDew.com.
Right now, the Dew is just three volunteers who work 24/7/365. We have reached the limit of what we can dew and really need help. We have to get better organized and none of us are any good at that. If you have some time, we would really love to hear from you.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve made a few changes on our home page and on the site. Here’s an update:
- DewTube Slider
- Our Brick Wall
- Fewer Photos on our Home Page
- Guest Columns
- Our Future Plans
- A Note to our Writers
- A Note to our Readers
Recently, the Dew has come under an attack from presumed terrorists. The Patriot Act was useless to help keep us safe. These people are smart, motivated, well-financed and uncaring.
This was a malicious attack. We don’t have any private information or accounts to steal, so none was at risk. It was just a mean spirited bastardly thing to do. We join a long, and some distinguished, list of sites that have been attacked and hacked.
For weeks, these criminals have been bombarding the dew with site registrations – often as many as 20,000 in a single day hoping to find a weakness to exploit. We have continued to ratchet up security settings, adding layers of security and tests – sometimes hourly – hoping they would just give up. Apparently, it just made them mad. (I apologize, will you stop now? Please?)
During the past couple of weeks, LikeTheDew.com has come under increasing attacks from spammers registering on our site and attempting to post malicious code. While the site is secure, the bombardment, over 20,000 attempts yesterday, is quite a nuisance (we get an email each time there is a registration).
You may notice some additional levels of security on the site. We regret they are necessary, but attacks are part of being successful enough to be noticed by cyber vandals (tempted to write something nasty, but don’t wish to provoke them further). You will also notice that, at least temporarily, registration via social media sites (facebook, twitter, google, etc.) is no longer allowed.
All to say, new registration may be suspended for time to time as we do battle. If you wish register and have difficulty or find that registration is not available, please email: email@example.com and we will set up your account. Note on new registrations: if you wish to register and submit a story, please let us know so we can properly set up your account.
Today, we did something that feels terribly wrong, but for good reason: we suspended the comment privileges of someone on the Dew for violating our published rules of civility.
Free speech and the right to disagree are held sacred here. So are honesty, transparency and civility. The commenter was warned numerous times, and for whatever reasons, refused to comply or even respond to our requests for dialog. In almost two years, we have never banned anyone else. You may have known him as “Bob Tetley,” “Francois Lipton,” or the most recent incarnation of “Brenden.”
If you have been to the Dew the last couple of days, you’ve probably noticed that we have had some technical issues – pages loading slowly, problems with sign in and comments and, at times, no site at all. It seems we have out grown our $7 a month server. Over the next week, we will be migrating the site to new, larger, more reliable, and, hopefully, much faster servers. Servers that come with technical support who actually answer the phone and speak Southern. We have also set up a CDN (Content Delivery Network) which mirrors the Dew on servers all over the world to feed the site scripts and images from a source closer – and faster – to where a visitor is. Finally, we are converting our cache system to a more sophisticated approach to take advantage of all this new technology. All to say, hang in there with us. It will get better soon.
In the meantime, if you have specific problems, let me know. Email: Lee@LikeTheDew.com
Smart. Savvy, Sophisticated. Southern.
Of course you are. You’re a Like the Dew reader.
Let’s be honest with each other. We have a sharp group of folks in the Like the Dew community, and we’d like to offer a new way for you to contribute to the Web site and share your knowledge and talents with your fellow readers.
This week we’re introducing a “Mini Dew Reviews” department. We invite each of you
Alert Dewsletter readers may have noticed their “Sunday Dews” arriving Saturday. Oops, my bad. Our automated email system failed overnight and a manual replacement version had to be created. As I hit the send button, I yelled out to my sleeping wife, “Your Sunday Dewsletter was just sent.” With her eyes still closed, she yelled back, “it’s Saturday.”
We have a bug in our email system that has caused subscribers to receive multiple Dewsletters the last two weekends. We thought we had it fixed. We’ll work it on it some more. No telling what’s going to happen on the real Sunday. Please bear with us.
During recent weeks, we have made some changes on the Dew.
Comments – Now when you comment on a story, you’ll find an “Edit” button so you can discreetly fix typos or punctuation. In the next month or so, our comment windows will be upgraded (thanks to some generous donations to the Dew) to include a formatting tool bar and built-in spell check. You may also have noticed that comments now allow nested replies to specific commenters (just click the “Reply” link) and user avatars (automatic if you uploaded a photo when you registered or login using Facebook or Twitter, etc.).
Southern Voices – A new section on the Dew. You’ll find it toward the bottom on the right side of our home page. This section is open to all users and is designed for less formal posts – blogs, opinions, rants and such. Except for being monitored for our “appropriateness” standard, these posts are original and unedited. To learn how to post your stories, click here.
Videos & Recommended Reading – Each day, LikeTheDewers scour the Web looking for interesting videos and stories. We’ve recently added more videos and redesigned the jump pages for videos and our recommended reading. In case you missed something, you’ll find all those added in the last few weeks on the jump pages.
One more note on our Dewsletter: LikeTheDew.com does not send out unsolicited e-mails. Wish we could because we know there are millions of people who would love to read the Dew, but doing so is wrong (and illegal). However, there’s nothing to prevent you from forwarding your Dewsletter to friends and associates and suggest they sign up. Here’s a direct link for sign up, just in case you need it: http://likethedew.com/contact/subscribe/
Ads on the Dew – During recent months, we have experimented with ads, which generate the Dew a small commission when the ads are clicked on and a purchase is made. The ads haven’t been a total failure, but close (we earned less than $100 in 3 months of trying). We’ve learned that Dew readers will click on Amazon ads and make a purchase, but few others. While our Dew Shops are still open (if you are going to buy something on the Web — computers, printing, apparel, travel, books, music, etc. — please visit our Dew Shops, click on a listed advertiser and help out the Dew), we have begun removing most of the advertisers from our pages. We’ve left up a few – mostly green, fair trade, Southern or general merchandise.
Please comment and let us know what you think – and thanks, for reading LikeTheDew.com.
Post your thoughts and comments on movies, plays, concerts, exhibits, restaurants, bars, arts, events and festivals. Alert us to upcoming events, political rallies or what’s going on where you live. Comment on the news. What’s ticked you off? What’s floating your boat? Share an idea. Or just tell us what’s on your mind. Whatever, keep it clean and post it here as a comment – the most recent will appear on our home page, our Facebook page and we’ll send a tweet out to our Twitter followers.
If you have last minute holiday shopping to dew, please stop by our Dew Shops. When you click on the links from the Dew, a portion of each purchase from these merchants goes to support LikeTheDew – and it won’t cost you a dime more. Ask your friends and co-workers to dew so, too.
Apparel: Amazon Apparel • Amazon Shoes • Bare Necessities • Champion USA • Crocs • eBay Clothing • Like The Dew T-Shirts, Hats, Mugs & More • Isis For Women • Macys • Savile Row • North Face Automotive: Amazon Automotive • eBay Motors Books : Alibris • Amazon Books • Amazon Kindle Store • eBay – Books • iTunes Store Audiobooks • Simply Audiobooks Causes: Bake A Wish • eBay – Shop, sell, and donate for a good cause • Gifts With Humanity • Save the Children • Sierra Club Cell Phones: Amazon Cell Phones & Service • eBay Cell Phones Children’s Amazon Toys & Games • Baby Star • eBay – Baby • eBay – Infant & Toddler • eBay – Toys • Giggle Electronics & Computers: Amazon Electronics • eBay Electronics • eBay Computers • Microsoft • Tiger Direct Food & Drink: All Fresh Seafood • Amazon Gourmet Food • Bake A Wish • Caribou Coffee • Deliver.com • Kosher.com • Magic Kitchen • Mr. Beer • My Wines Direct • Pittman Davis • Tea Forte General Merchandise: eBay • Macys • Walmart Gifts: 1-800-Baskets • 1-800-Flowers • Amazon Gift Cards • Amazon Toys & Games • American Express Gift Cards • Chocolate.com • eBay – Gifts Certificates and not just eBay • Gifts With Humanity • Gourmet Gift Baskets • iTunes Gifts • Popcornopolis • Wines.com • Zazzle Kitchen: Amazon Kitchen & Housewares Misc: Newspaper Archive Movies: Amazon Movies • eBay DVDs & Movies • Film Movement • iTunes Store Movies Music: Amazon Music • eBay Music • iTunes • Napster • Second Spin • Sirius Satellite Radio Office: Amazon Office Products • Print Runner • Tiger Direct Pharmaceuticals: Canada Pharamacy Photography: Amazon Photo • eBay Photography • Photo Works Real Estate: eBay – Real Estate Travel: Cheap Tickets • Dollar Rent A Car • eBay Travel • Hostel Bookers
Want to write for the Dew, but get a wee bit intimidated with the post instructions? If you can send an email, now you can submit a story to the Dew.
- You must be registered at LikeTheDew.com
- Using the email address you registered with, send your post to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Put the title of your post in the subject line (no quote marks or apostrophes allowed).
- Write or paste your story, complete with links, in the body of the email.
- Add photos or videos (for YouTube’s, just include the link URL) you wish included as email attachments.
- If you wish to use photo captions, list them after your story as imagename=’caption’
- Then add a list of keywords, separated by commas.
You’ll get a confirmation email that we received it. We’ll then check out the story for appropriateness, double check how it looks, and will contact you if we have any questions or feel it needs editing. That’s it. So please dew submit.
If you need even more reassurance, contact Lee@LikeTheDew.com
The Dew is all volunteer, but we do have some expenses. If you’re shopping anyway, you can help out by shopping with some of these merchants and the Dew will get a small commission if you make a purchase – and it won’t cost you a dime more. Just click on one of the merchant logos on this page (or any of the ads on the Dew site) and you will be connected with the merchant’s web page or online catalog. We will be adding more merchants soon (proposals are pending) and you’ll find a complete and updated list on the Dew Shops page.
Each merchant was individually chosen for Dew readers based on preferences from our recent reader survey. Most are well known national brands. We have also included green and fair trade merchants. During the coming months, we hope to add many more Southern products.
Don’t be timid about clicking on an ad – no one makes money on the clicks and you won’t land on a porn site.
So, start dewing your shopping right here. Ask your friends and co-workers to dew so, too. And, please, give us your feedback and suggestions. If you have a bad experience with a merchant, we’ll remove them, forever. Thanks for everything you dew.
If you haven’t been to Like The Dew’s News & Opinion Feeds (the link is at the very top right of every page), you are missing out. In one place, you can read 2,068 different newspapers, magazines, watchdog sites and blogs, plus widgets (weather radar, stocks, recipes, latest scores and best seller lists) – updated every few minutes – and more sites are added each month (we’ve just added several dozen new sites).
Just point at a headline and you’ll see an excerpt. Click on it and you’ll get the original story. Plus, you can click on “More story feeds” and you’ll instantly see twice as many headlines for that publication. It is really cool.
Separate windows for each Southern state (just click on your state in the map) with local news and popular bloggers. Plus separate windows for: News & Opinion; Arts; Business & the Economy; Important Causes; Food, Dining & Cooking; Green Environmental Sites; Health & Wellness; Places & Travel; Politics; Popular Culture, Weird News & Celebrities; Science & Technology; Sports – Yes, even World Cup; Writing & Journalism; and Every Block – where you can get information on what is going on in your neighborhood, public records, crime, home sales and dining reviews (only selected cities, so far including: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Jose and Washington, DC).
No, we are not ripping off the work of journalists. Our News & Opinion Feeds act as a portal to promote the original site of the writers and carries no advertising.
Our News & Opinion Feeds are generated automatically from RSS feeds provided by each site. LikeTheDew readers are invited to submit comments and additional sites for listing here. Send your ideas including site feed addresses (look for RSS, XML or Atom feeds – regrettably, many sites do not provide a feed) to: Feeds@LikeTheDew.com.
As required by the official LikeTheDew.com site survey contest rules, all valid entries were printed out and placed in grocery bag (better to reuse than recycle). Precisely at 5 PM yesterday (11/30/2009), the contents of the bag were shaken, tossed and shuffled vigorously. We had no drum roll – only the rustling sounds of the bag. A hush fell over the audience (both of us). The drama built. The blindfolded hand (easier to put a blindfold on a hand) reached into the bag and pulled a solitary winner now separated forever from all the others. We inspected the entry. A voice called out, “should we draw again or is Mike okay?”
Congratulations go to Mike Williams of Cocoa Beach, Florida who won the Dew T-Shirt (click here to order yours). Here’s what Mike wrote upon hearing the news:
New Story Categories
- Southern News – We’ve long needed a place to feature news and comment on news (weigh in). Here you’ll find Ron Taylor’s Dew Drops. Southern perspectives (what’s yours?) on news affecting all of us. And from time to time, you’ll find recommend reading from other sites.
- Southern Views – This is for blogs (yes, you can blog on the Dew), views on Southern issues and shared stories that just don’t seem to fit in other sections.
- Southern Life – Stories about living, play, travel, art, coping, health, musings and some recollection (don’t forget).
- Southern Sounds & Scenes – Here you’ll find Jeff Cochran’s Song of the Day series and Southern music (what are the sounds of your life?). You’ll also find stories and photographs about Southern places (where do you live?).
Talk of the South, Southern Politics (get involved), Recommended Reading (recommend yours), Southern Food & Drink (what’s on your table tonight? surely you have a story about your favorite bar?), Southern Portraits (tell us about someone great), Dew Reviews (read a great book, eaten at a great place, or found a great product?), Shared Videos (we’d love you to share) and our News & Opinion Feeds (have you seen it? wow, you can read the web in no time) will remain the same.
One more thing, please share the Dew with your friends and associates. Forward your Dewsletter. Use the share buttons below each story to email or post on Facebook and other sites.Thanks.
Last month, the Dew conducted our first site survey – a pretty comprehensive attempt to learn what you like, don’t like and what you want to see more of. More than 100 readers, roughly 8% of our Dewsletter subscribers, took the time to complete the survey, thank you. Your feedback will be the basis for decisions shaping the Dew in the months to come.
Here are some highlights of what we learned:
- We’re doing pretty well: 97% said, their overall experience was good to excellent. The Dew also received high marks for the overall design, navigation, type size, loading speed, login and the Dewsletter.
- Favorite categories were:
- Talk of the South
- Portraits; Scenes
- Recommended Reading
- Least favorite categories were:
- 62.4% of you found us through referral of a friend.
- 93.1% of you have shared the Dew with a friend or colleague, but only 39.4% used our sharing buttons to do so.
LikeTheDew: Money-Driven Medicine http://likethedew.com/5687 # LikeTheDew: Creative Visions Foundation http://likethedew.com/5686 # LikeTheDew: War Made Easy http://likethedew.com/5684 # LikeTheDew: Another side to the story http://likethedew.com/5679 # LikeTheDew: Moth revives art of storytelling http://likethedew.com/5675 #
For those Kindle users, the Dew is now available via Amazon Whispernet. Like The Dew posts are auto-delivered wirelessly to your Kindle and updated throughout the day so you can stay current. It’s risk free—all Kindle Blog subscriptions start with a 14-day free trial. You can cancel at any time during the free trial period. If you enjoy your subscription, do nothing and it will automatically continue at the regular monthly price (we’d gladly offer it free, but Amazon requires you subscribe for $1.99 per month). Click here to subscribe. Don’t have a Kindle? Get yours here.
It’s official. Vancouver, WA-based internet hosting provider, Dotster, has announced the winners of their “Next Big Small Business” Contest and LikeTheDew.com swept third place. Dotster’s contest sought to find businesses “using the Internet to turn their personal passion into successful small business ventures, and for standing out as some of Dotster’s most promising small business customers.” Contestants submitted essays to make it to the Top 20 finalists before being invited to submit videos that described how they have used their websites to grow their businesses. Dotster’s selection of LikeTheDew as one of the “Next Big Small Businesses” is really good news. Here’s the not as good news: There’s no dough for the Dew for a third place finish — just some promotion that we expect will bring many new readers to the site. We still appreciate the applause and are clapping with our empty hands. Mostly we’re clapping for the […]
A couple of months ago, Like-the-Dewer, Terri Evans, read an email requesting entries for Dotster’s Next Big Small Business Contest. The winner would receive a modest cash prize and, more importantly, some promotion. Dotster is LikeThe.Dew.com’s internet host. Terri spent untold minutes preparing an essay describing LikeTheDew and submitted it. On July 30th, Dotster announced that LikeTheDew is one of 20 finalists* (we don’t know how many entries they received, but hope it was over 20) and all we had to do in the next step was to create and submit a two minute video about our site (that will teach Terri to read the fine print in the contest rules). The deadline for submission was midnight, Thursday, August 7th – one whole week. We blew most of the time talking about great video ideas while drinking beer. Most of the rest talking with people who would love to help, […]
Have you noticed the “Recommended Reading” section on the top left of the LikeTheDew.com home page? It is a new feature. Most mornings, LikeTheDewers get up really, really earlier (okay, at least one Dewer stays up really, really late) and scour the web for the most interesting or important news of the day. These aren’t necessarily the breaking stories. They are stories you are less likely to have seen, but we feel may be too important to miss. Often esoteric sites. Generally a couple with a Southern slant. A couple on politics. Or journalism. Take a look tomorrow. When you click on a a headline, you’ll be taken directly to the story. We also have set up an archive of recently recommended stories (some with excerpts, some not – still a work-in-process). You can view it by clicking here. Give us your feedback on this feature. Tell us what you […]
Recently we have added an exclusive new feature on the LikeTheDew.com site that you may not have noticed – News & Opinion Feeds. One page where you can view headlines and excerpts of almost 2,000 (and growing) of the most popular places on the internet – updated every few minutes with the latest posts. You get to it by clicking the “News & Opinion Feeds” link at the top of any page. More than just world or US news, you can select to view the type of news you want. Want it local? Just click your state on the map. Want it more specific? Just click on the link at the top of the page for Arts or Business/Economic or Cause or Food or Green or Health or Places or Politics or Science/Tech or Sports or Writing or Every Block (a beta feature). Then, just mouseover a headline and you’ll […]
That number jumped out at me when I saw a report on the first month of LikeTheDew.com. The Web site was not even supposed to debut until April 1. But we jumped the gun…