When confronted with a creative or technical problem I search for a solution. If I can’t find one, I make one. That's why I love being a developer. Who says we don't make anything anymore?
The great thing about code is that you are working with the most fundamental of tools. Like a metal worker, I don’t do it all with hand tools.
One of my favorite tools to use is a Content Management System (CMS) to help store information in a database and display that information back to a user on a webpage. There are many to choose from, all suited for different purposes, and they can serve up most of what I need.
Many times though, the standard tools don’t always do the job.
That’s when I break out the hand tools and start the fine work. Fine work is often more difficult and time consuming, but it’s good to know that when you need it, it’s right there at your fingertips ready to use. The share tool below this article is an example of just that.
There are several social sharing plugins for the CMS we are using (called Orchard - more on that in a future post) so we thought we’d try out a few. Some were too complicated and others didn’t work at all. Jay demands elegant design and understated simplicity of operation e.g. he makes my job complicated, but the results are truly beautiful.
So we decided to write our own. Our goal was to keep it simple, share to the popular sites and make sharing easy, duh.
Through that process, I wrote a new Pinterest sharing tool because the standard Pinterest tool is horrible. It can't pick an image from your page dynamically and makes you pick the image ahead of time when you install it. What if you have a lot of images you'd like people to pin, like Ryan's pictures below from Doors Open MKE this past weekend, floor 41 of the US Bank building. You'd make a better Pinterest sharing tool.
It was a quick job but the results are just what we needed. In my version it reviews the images on the page, dynamically makes a drop-down menu based on those images and allows you to click on the image in the menu to pin.
Maybe I should give it to Pinterest. In the meantime, if you want it, just shoot me a note through our contact page and I'll send you the code. In a short while, I'll make sure to get it up on the Orchard Gallery as a module you can install.
I often use available tools to speed up development while maintaining the ability to “pull back the covers” at any time to manually give you the power you need to succeed and differentiate your company or brand.