6 Tips to Maximize Twitter Event Hashtags (via Laurie McCabe’s Blog)

Very interesting post about Hasttags, proper use of hashtags can be very beneficial. Hashtags can help you “trend”. This post provides some good advice.

Thanks for posting this.

Originally published in Small Business Computing, 8-29-11. Recently, a client asked me for some tips about how to get the maximum mileage out of Twitter event hashtags. Creating Twitter hashtags for your business events is a great way to multiply conversations about what you’re doing, and there are also lots of ways to maximize the impact of the hashtag. I put a few before, during and after the event tips here together for her, and thought I’d sh … Read More

via Laurie McCabe's Blog

BlueAnt T1 Bluetooth thoughts

BlueAnt T1 Bluetooth thoughts

I purchased the BlueAnt T1 Bluetooth ear piece finally and wanted to give it a try. Originally I planned on just buying a cheap $20 piece, but opted for a higher end device. I wanted to use it for listening to music while I work and do other tasks, ultimately I wanted to be able to easily switch between my PC and phone.

The BlueAnt T1 supports connecting to 2 phones, I was able to pair it with both my PC and phone. While listening to music on my PC through the Bluetooth, a call would be announced and lowered the volume so I can take the call.

Since this was my first Bluetooth device I didn’t know what to expect out of the battery, I listened to music all day starting about 7AM through 3:30PM and then got an alert that the battery was very low. Seems like a good time, but not very practical for my purpose.

Sound quality was very good, I used it at my desk as well as in the car with my windows open with out any problems. If a call came it, the call was announced through the earpiece (attempting to tell me the name of the caller) and I simple spoke the words “answer” or “ignore”. Overall, the BlueAnt T1 is a very nice device, which  I would expect at a price of $80.

But, for me personally I didn’t feel there was enough beneficial value to justify the cost. I returned the device for a full refund at Radio Shack without any problems. I do not plan on buying another Bluetooth, I am just as confortable holding the phone to my face or putting the call on speaker phone.

Backup Buddy for WordPress

Backup Buddy for WordPress

Part of the project I am on involves moving the entire WordPress site from our internal data center to an Amazon EC2 zone. Backup Buddy was recommended by a consultant that we are working with and I tested it against a Go Daddy account first.

Well, let’s same this is a fantastic plugin, I backed up the entire site (database and files) and moved the ZIP file as well as the importbuddy.php file to the root of the new server.

Navigating to importbuddy.php walks you through a very easy wizard that will setup a migration from one server to another, changing all links to reflect the new domain.

I will be running some more tests today and will plan on a real case to EC2 tomorrow, so far it looks like this task will be a breeze with Backup Buddy!

Click here for more information about Backup Buddy.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/16443682 w=400&h=225]

BackupBuddy from WebDesign.com on Vimeo.

UPDATE: 8/31/2011

I am becoming very frustrated with backing up the full site, backing up a database is a very stable. I am getting errors inconsistently and unable to resolve so far.

Native zip function unavailable or failed: Backup file couldn’t be created without entering slower compatibility mode.

Falling back to compatibility method. Note that this method is slower and cannot exclude directories.

Hoping to figure out how to resolve the above errors, in the meantime I am going to move the files using FTP and a straight database backup. I still love the idea behind BackupBuddy, but nervous about the stability of the product at this point.

Workaround #1:

Uncheck “Enable ZIP compression” and the full backup runs very fast, I do have a 400MB file now as a backup though.

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Still, have to get this working with Amazon S3 for Disaster Recovery, that is next.

WordPress …

WordPress …

Well, let me start by saying that my background has always been in Microsoft technologies (VB, C#, ASP.NET SQL Server, etc). But, I have used others such as Java, Oracle, Sybase, PHP and MySQL; this has always been a strong point of my background that I can easily switch between environments.

A recent project at work pushed my hand to learn WordPress and like I usually do I jumped in full force. I wanted to take this time to provide my feedback on working with WordPress.I had to develop a custom plugin as well as learn to configure and add on to the WordPress site. Basically, I had to learn to to control it and manage the WordPress site once our consultants left. Our consults handled the design of the theme and offered a little development help. They offered more information on general WordPress functionality

I felt that developing a plugin for WordPress was very easy, working the the PHP code took a little be remember the syntax and find any changes from the last time I worked with PHP. But that didn’t take too long to. Understanding the “The Loop” was a major part of plugins as well as attaching to the correct events. Once I put a very basic plugin in place I made the plugin usable with a shortcode that was placed on a page. I then added a custom admin screen for managing the settings, which included importing data from a CSV file and working with data in custom tables. Once that was complete I had to modify the user profile screen to add a few custom fields that would interact with my custom tables, this took a little to understand but it came through and worked out great.

Configuring WordPress was a breeze, modifying settings and installing plugins (which there are a huge variety of) was simple.

In my opinion WordPress is a great environment for blogging and building a site upon for just about anyone. I don’t have to be involved in editing pages and update pages. This can be handled by our business and marketing people, while my development team concentrates on development of products.

I will post more details on the development of the plugin and and using WordPress in future posts.

Whitehall Community Day 2011 “Hoe Down”

Whitehall Community Day 2011 “Hoe Down”

We all had a great time at Whitehall’s Community Day, so glad we made it there. We arrived late, but had time to ride some rides. One of my daughters rode the mechanical bull and loved it! Of course there was face painting and lots of great food.

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Live country music was playing while we talked with neighbors and friends.

Whitehall always organizes nice events and I am glad to be able to participate in them.

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School’s open everyone, please drive safe.