WordPress Wednesdays: iPhone Optimized

Published on Apr 30, 2008   //  WordPress

As you may or may not have heard, it was officially confirmed yesterday that the Apple iPhone is coming to Canada. Rogers didn’t provide any further information, but we can fully expect the iPhone to be pretty popular around these parts, just as it has been in the United States and other parts of the world. Even where they don’t sell the iPhone officially, people have been jailbreaking and unlocking the touchscreen mobile phone for some time now.

Given the rising popularity of Apple’s phone, some blogs are starting to notice another web browser in their Google Analytics accounts, seeing that people are surfing to their sites not only in Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer, but also through the Safari browser in the iPhone. Most sites are not optimized for the smaller screen of an iPhone, so what is a blogger to do?

I came across this post on the blog of Miss604, highlighting a unique theme and plug-in that creates a secondary version of your blog specifically for iPhone users. Called WPtouch, it automatically recognizes when someone is viewing your blog from an iPhone and then it renders a version of your blog that is easier to read and navigate.

In a nutshell, what WPtouch does is strip the site of a lot of images and heavy text, replacing it with a simple single-column design that is more easily read on an iPhone. You can find the plug-in over at Brave New Code, along with some supporting documentation.

Community Poll

Published on Apr 30, 2008   //  Polls

Weekly Community Poll

Last week we asked if Microsoft will buy Yahoo and 48% of you said yes. This weeks question is…

{democracy:29}

WordPress Camp Vancouver

Published on Apr 29, 2008   //  Events

Vancouver WordPress Camp

Come share and exchange tips and how-tos on WordPress and blogging in general. You will also learn how to reach a larger audience by using a WordPress blog in conjunction with other web services and Social Networking websites such as Flickr, YouTube, Slideshare, Facebook, and Google Calendar.

WordPress is perhaps the most commonly used Blogging web application on the web. We blog to express ourselves, share our thoughts, or promote our businesses. WordPress is one of the simplest forms of Social Media Content Management Systems where one or few people write blog posts, and many readers are able to provide feedback through comments. The social aspect of a blog makes it a very effective Communication and Marketing tool. WordPress is an Open Source software released under the GPL and many aspects of it relies on the wisdom of the crowds. WordPress comes with a large list of plugins developed by community members. Many successful blogging techniques and methods have also been created as a result of community members who have collectively built on each other’s ideas and creativity.

Many WordPress users are coming from a non-technical background, so a group of community members on Tazzu.com suggested we have a WordPress Camp event to share tips and learn more about this great Social Media CMS.

When is the event happening?
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Where is it happening?
The Network Hub – 3rd floor – 422 Richards Street – Vancouver

Registration
To register for this free event you need to RSVP in the Facebook event.

Business 101: Home Office Expenses

Published on Apr 29, 2008   //  Business Topics

In case you haven’t noticed, the deadline to file your income tax forms is tomorrow. When going through all the numbers associated with your home-based business, don’t sell yourself short when it comes to home office expenses. This applies not only to people who actually work from home — like freelance writers and web designers — but also people who use their homes as a “home base” for their business. The latter group could include plumbers, electricians, and general contractors, for example.

It is best for you to consult a tax professional on the manner, but here are a few areas that you can consider when tallying up your home office expenses.

1. Equipment and tools. Did you buy a new computer for your home office? How about that executive chair, printer, and digital camera? If you use these items for the purpose of running your business, they serve as a perfectly legitimate expense. You may or may not be able to “write off” the entirety of the price paid, so consult with your accountant to be sure.

2. Communication charges. No matter what kind of business that you run from your home, there is a significant chance that you use your phone and Internet service in some way for work-related matters. Assume a fair and suitable percentage of these costs for business expenses.

3. Rent, utilities, and other fees. You will obviously not be able to expense the entirety of your monthly mortgage payment, but a portion of your mortgage interest can be written off as a home office expense. The easiest way to do this is by square footage. If 10% of your home is used as an office, then you can write off 10% of the interest portion on your mortgage payment.

Part of the appeal of starting a home-based business is that you are able to write off expenses that you would be paying anyways. Keep an eye out for things around the home that you use for work and you may be able to reduce the amount of income tax you pay by a considerable amount.

Community Evolved Hosting – Puppet Mascot?

Published on Apr 28, 2008   //  Development

Evolution

Our BlueFur mascot has been a representation of our business since we opened. The lovable character has been one dimensional with our logo and has served us well. I feel it is time for our mascot to come alive in the form of a puppet. I have been working to find a good puppet maker to design it and have a few possible solutions.

The idea I have is that we can use the puppet to make weekly video’s for our blog. Something like BlueFur TV where our mascot would comment on the state of the hosting industry in a humours manner. I think the idea would be both entertaining, viral and educational for our current and future customers. The owner disagrees and feels that it is not a good idea.

As a leader in community evolved hosting we have decided we will throw this question out to you to help us decide…

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{democracy:28}

500GB LaCie Rugged Portable Drive

Published on Apr 28, 2008   //  Gadgets

It might not be the most aesthetically pleasing portable hard drive on the market, but this offering from LaCie appears to outdo many of its direct competitors on two fronts.

First, this is a rugged portable hard drive, being able to withstand a lot of pain and abuse. According to LaCie, the shock-resistant orange rubber bumper will allow the drive to survive some nasty drops and spills. There is internal shock protection as well, because shock and vibration are two of things that can seriously damage a hard drive.

Second, this portable hard drive comes with a whopping 500 gigabytes of storage capacity. That’s half a terabyte in the palm of your hand and LaCie is saying that this is “the most protected 500GB you’ll ever hold.” Use that space to store pictures, videos, important documents, or whatever other digital information you need to stow away and carry around. The LaCie Rugged Hard Disk connects via USB 2.0 and is completely plug-and-play.

The retail price on the 500GB LaCie Rugged Portable Hard Drive is $339.99. The same drive is also available in 80GB, 160GB, 250GB, and 320GB capacities.

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