Monthly Archives: January 2011

Anything you say (on Facebook) may be used against you in a …

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We all know the Miranda rights which are given at the time of arrest or even detention in criminal proceedings and investigations. Even if you have never been on the receiving end you have heard them out of your television speakers. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”

What about in civil litigation? Read this article from today about Facebook photos, posts and comments (along with those from other online sites) being used in court to convict or defend. From Reuters – Atlanta actually, right here at home: Facebook posts used in court.

Question: Should Facebook now contain information in it’s Terms of Use, and other sites where posting of photos, text, video or audio are permitted, warning users that their content is subject to easy access from even local courts of law even in civil trials?

Reverse a short URL before you visit

UPDATE: 14-Dec-2011 sometime during the last few month the site featured in this article went bye-bye. However, here’s a great replacement at http://longurl.org/

I am the first to admit I love short URLs. In fact I have a project I play with which creates short URLs and generates a matching QR code which can later be edited. However there are times I want to know what I’m going to before I click. There is a way. In fact I’m certain there are several ways and you are invited to share the ways you know so the other readers can be informed as well.

While plugins are either already available or coming for every major web browser and multiple sites to handle this task we’ll look only at the web based one and a Chrome extension I like to use.

How do you leave a Meetup group?

There you are, trapped in a litany of emails, invites and communications from your fellow Meetup group members. Only thing is you really want to get out.

There is only one way I know of to get out. Even though you would think this should be easy to find it’s somewhere between difficult and impossible. This is probably by design to keep you stuck in groups you’re tired of being in. Thanks to the friendly designers.

One way out

What are hashtags “#” on Twitter?

The topic came up this morning at Social Media Breakfast Atlanta in a round about way. During a discussion about how to “organize” tweets and streams on Twitter we tackled hashtags. You know – the pound sign. Number sign. Tic tac toe sign – #

I love “mind pictures” or “object lessons” and they are most valuable when speaking of an intangible but interactive event. A la Twitter.

One of the most common ways I speak of social media in general and Twitter in specific is like going to a party or to the mall. For this example let’s use the image of a party at someone’s large home. At our party there are hundreds of people all chatting, dancing, singing … a major cacophony. Entering the mansion where the party is being held it is difficult to separate out individual conversations from all the commotion.

You see a friend with whom you would like to speak across the room. While you certainly could shout to her from across the room the conversation would likely be a very short one and details could be missed because of all the noise in the room.

You work your way across the room until you are standing in the smaller group with your friend and you can now exchange pleasantries and engage on a more personal level. Although you can hear the other chatter and noise from the party you can still converse.

Easy way to break in to your WordPress

… or not.

Okay, the title was a little rambunctious to make sure you read this. Why? Because the fix is really easy.

First, check to see which version of WordPress this site is running by clicking this link.

So you got a 404 page. Stuff not found. Yer lost. Cool, and that’s what you will get on your site when you delete your readme.html file. Are you still here? Oh, you don’t know why this is important!

Using .htaccess to shorten or redirect links

It happens. You create a page buried deep in your directories like http://www.yoursite.com/data/new/articles/automobiles/new/ford.php – makes an okay link to click on but a little difficult to share in a print or broadcast ad. If, instead, you could have http://yoursite.com/ford you’d probably increase your sales.

This tip can be accomplished a few different ways depending on your available applications, server configuration and perhaps even operating system. This article assumes you are familiar with FTP and are hosting your website on a Linux machine with Apache. If so this is simple and quick.

Step One

FTP to your www (public_html) directory or whatever your web document root folder is called.

Step Two

Locate the .htaccess file. If one does not exist you’re make one in any editor that can save in plain text.

Step Three

Make a backup copy of your existing .htaccess file.

Step Four

Great plugin for managing page/menu order

Page Order Plugin

Page Order Plugin

While many WordPress themes have built in capabilities for managing the order of your menu (pages) some barebones ones do not. There are word arounds, certainly, and it’s not too complicated for the advanced user to create an add_action script. Even then you may not end up with something as simple to use as a plugin by Jake Goldman called Simple Page Order.

Blocking game requests on Facebook (Updated March 2013)

UPDATED 28-MAR-2013 – see the video at the bottom of the page on “How To Block Game Invites on Facebook”.

If you’re like me you don’t want to block or delete your friends but you really don’t want to play Potato Bug or Window Seal on Facebook. You also probably don’t want to block all invitations because you (a) want to know what your friends are into and (b) you may be up really late one night and decide to join.

How To Block Game Invites On Facebook

How To Block Game Invites On Facebook

If you haven’t known what to do just do this:

Log in to Facebook. Go to https://www.facebook.com/appcenter/  look in the left sidebar and find the word “Requests”. It will look somewhat like Figure 1.

While you are there you can remember all those invitations you just deleted from your Notifications or you wall and revisit the dismay at your boss inviting you to play Twinkle Toes. Shiver. Once you block the app in the next step the invites are gone and you will not get further invites to play the game (or use the app).

Once you click the “Requests” link you will see all of the apps you have been requested to authorize (see the video). Click the “X” to block the app then follow the logical steps. That’s it, you’re done.

Each invitation comes conveniently packaged with an “Accept” or “Play Now” button. Should you want to accept you simply … accept.

You can also see who sent you the invitation to play and go to their wall and hound them with threats of “Don’t you EVER”. (Yes, I actually got one of those from someone and I never invited anyone to play Drunk And Disorderly. At least I’m pretty sure I haven’t.)

How to turn off Google Chrome autofill

Some of you will say, “but why? That’s such a cool feature!” Okay, if you fill out forms with the exact same information all the time I’ll admit, it’s cool and useful. I run the lead generation division for my company and often transfer leads manually to a separate online database which means all of those fields from address to phone number and more.

The way the auto-fill works makes filling in a complete form a snap. If you only ever complete your own information when you fill in a form this is really time saving. Basically you type the first letter of your name and any matching fields from previously completed forms automatically populates. My wife, for example, loves to complete online surveys (yes, she actually gets paid for doing it, that’s not always a scam) and for her purposes it is beautiful.

What if you, like me, complete forms with several different people’s information? It really becomes a major hassle when do so if you get to the end of the form and you accidentally overwrite the entire form with the wrong information. Trust me, it happens. And it’s frustrating.

Why every small business needs multiple WordPress sites

The answer is obvious: because Ken feeds his family and pays his mortgage by doing websites and he specializes – and has for many years – in PHP/MySQL the language of WordPress. Then again there are some actual reasons to have a WordPress site even if you do not ever engage Ken for business. But wait Ken, you said “multiple”. Please explain.

Before we get too far into this let’s briefly explain WordPress. Many years ago I would have clients call me and tell me, “We want a website but we want to be able to update it ourselves.” This was not a problem because I knew Perl and could pretty quickly code a site that let users update the content of their site. They could add and edit text, upload a few pictures and even make a few minor changes to the formatting of the text on their pages. Cost (on average) about $5,000 for a simple website.

Attack of the nOObs

Pretty soon Dreamweaver and FrontPage came along and convinced everyone they could “do their own website” or their son, nephew, neighbor, etc., could do so. This resulted in years of some of the most hideous looking and horribly designed sites around. (Given, in the hands of a skilled craftsman some decent works could be turned out – but not about 95% of them!)

The need for a template driven site with easy add-ons and simple-as-email updates has existed since day one of the web. I created a few for a few people at pretty high costs and even eventually developed a very crude version of a template driven site which allowed for theme updates etcetera by a novice used. Cost was still in the thousands. Many of you or your friends used the sites and they became minimally popular in the real estate net. Still, too expense and not powerful enough.

While it is not the only DIY, theme driven solution on the market it is the simplest to use and most widely supported by developers, WordPress is the choice of solutions for nearly everyone looking to get online at all levels of the game today. WordPress sites, like this one, can be robust, powered by dozens of plug-ins (mini applications) and present everything from online catalogs to real estate listing to video hosting sites and even dating sites. There really is no limit to what a WordPress web site may be used for.

Ken, you’re boring me

Oh, right – the cost? Essentially $0 up to whatever you want to spend. WordPress, the core, has a cost of zero. You may pay for installation, customization, hosting, support and maintenance but you should NEVER pay for WordPress itself. In fact the latest version is always free and you can install it yourself on your own hosting account with most WordPress hosting services like our preferred one.

But why multiple?