WordCamp Fraser Valley Update

Published on Jul 31, 2009   //  Events
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In the Sphere: Money and Business

Published on Jul 31, 2009   //  In the Sphere

And now we’ve reached the end of another month? How as your July? Were you able to find time out of your busy schedule to hit up the beach and enjoy some of this beautiful sunshine? Maybe you were more inclined to buckle down to get more work done in the office. For the latter, these posts on money, business and marketing may be of great interest. Have a great BC Day long weekend!

Darren Barefoot is admittedly no economist, but he’s trying to wrap his head around the HST. As you may have heard, the province of British Columbia will have a harmonized sales tax (HST) next year that combines the provincial sales tax (PST) with the federal goods and service tax (GST). There are both pros and cons to the HST and Darren provides a balanced perspective.

Raul Pacheco is an academician by trade and, as such, he has a slightly different perspective on how people are compensated for their work. He still feels that everyone that you should get paid what you are worth, but what does that really mean? For a university professor, they are paid a single salary to teach, research, participate in university affairs, supervise students, and more. Is this a fair compensation for the amount of work? How does this translate to freelancers and independent consultants?

John Bardinelli is a huge video game fan, so he reads a lot of websites that have to do with the industry. If you have visited any video game-related site in the last couple of months, you may have noticed more than a few ads for Evony. Evony appears to be a browser-based RPG or simulation title of sorts, but the marketing approach seems to be getting more erotic and less about the game these days. Is this the right tactic to improve click and conversion rates?

Neil Patel has some very sobering words to share. While he may be widely recognized as a very successful entrepreneur, Neil is also quick to point out why you shouldn’t start a business. If you think that you are getting rid of the boss, you’re wrong. If you think that you get to set your own hours, you’re wrong. Is it all worth it?

Scott Young also goes against the conventional wisdom of the Internet when it comes to running a successful business. Unlike so many other experts out there, Scott does not try to build passive income. We’ve been told that it’s best to set up a system that generates passive income, since it will keep paying you even if you put in no more work. However, Scott feels this isn’t the easiest way to make money.

Social Media 101 – Experiment

Published on Jul 31, 2009   //  Social Media

socialmedia1011Last week I wrote about not giving out your password. Did you listen and learn?

I did an experiment to find out. I created a quick little site and sent out 1 tweet about it. The tweet was…

@thinkreferrals have you seen this? http://twitterverified.com/

From that tweet 50 people clicked on the link and of those 50 people 44 of them entered a username and password.

That is right 88% of people shared their twitter username and password with a site that they should not have.

Please take into consideration that your account could be used maliciously if you give someone your password. Your followers would not appreciate you sending out porn, virus or spam to them if your account was compromised.

Do you share your password?

Do these results show a problem with social media users? or do you think all users would have a similar result?

Moving Beyond SSH: Updating PHP

Published on Jul 31, 2009   //  Development
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Moving Beyond SSH

Last month, a new version of PHP was released: PHP 5.3. PHP 5.3 contains a number of new features and bug fixes. Along with those new features, a few older functions have now been deprecated (to prepare for PHP 6.0, which will remove them). You can find out all about all the changes in the changelog.

However, we won’t be talking about the changes in PHP 5.3, rather we’ll be talking about how to upgrade our servers to it. While you certainly don’t have to upgrade your version of PHP, it is recommended that you do so. PHP 5.3 includes a number of bug fixes and potential security fixes. PHP 5.3 shouldn’t break any of your current code, although you may get some deprecated warnings (you can turn these off, although you should fix them).

Upgrading PHP is just like installing PHP. For completeness sake, we’ll go over the steps necessary. First of all, login via SSH. Next, download PHP (choose the .tar.gz file) to your server using wget. Now extract the archive and change your current directory to the extracted one:

tar -zxf php-5.3.0.tar.gz

cd php-5.3.0

Next, run the following commands to configure, compile and install PHP:

/configure --with-apxs2=/usr/local/apache2/bin/apxs --with-mysql=/usr/local/mysql --with-pdo-mysql=/usr/local/mysql --with-curl --with-mcrypt --enable-mbstring --with-gd --with-jpeg-dir=/usr/lib --with-png-dir=/usr/lib --enable-zip --with-bz2 --with-zlib

make

make install

Now, you can choose to overwrite your current PHP configuration file with the new one (then make any changes you made) or just leave your current one. If you want to use the new one, run the following command:

cp php.ini-production /usr/local/lib/php.ini

After you’ve installed PHP, you now need to restart Apache for the change to take effect:

apachectl -k restart

There you have it, your server is now running PHP 5.3. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Also, if you have any recommendations for future posts in the series, post them in the comments as well.

Marketing 101: Supplemental Truth in Advertising?

Published on Jul 30, 2009   //  Marketing Tips

You may have noticed some of the new television advertsiements for the Kia Forte sedan. This compact car is meant to compete in the same segment as vehicles like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, offering an affordable commuting solution for people who want something simple and reliable. Hyundai and Kia are quickly growing in popularity in North America and this has a lot to do with the overwhelmingly positive reviews and the significantly improved quality ratings.

In many of these new Kia Forte ads, we find people in situations that are unfamiliar to them. They’ll say that XYZ activity is not their forte, but “that” is, pointing toward their new Kia vehicle. The ads are mostly memorable and arguably do a good job in furthering the brand recognition and brand presence for Kia, but there are some inaccuracies. Do these inaccuracies hurt the ad campaign or were they intentional errors included for the purpose of irony?

For example, there is one commercial where a person is thrown out onto the street. He looks toward the camera and says that kung-fu is not his forte. However, this particularly individual is very clearly wearing a karate gi and not the traditional outfit associated with Chinese kung-fu. Ironically, Kia is a Korean company and, as such, it is neither Japanese nor Chinese. Whatever the case, the karate gi is out of sync with the mention of kung-fu. A small quibble, to be sure, but an inaccurate one nonetheless.

Must there be complete and utter truth in all advertising? We expect companies mostly to be honest and truthful with the presentation of their products and Kia is not misrepresenting its Forte compact sedan in these ads. However, the inaccuracy in the background and supplemental information may offend or confuse some audiences. What do you think? Do you expect all ads to be completely truthful and accurate?

Social Media 101 – How to Stop Twitter Updates on your Facebook Account

Published on Jul 29, 2009   //  Social Media

socialmedia1011Today for whatever reason which I am sure we will hear shortly twitter started updating my status on Facebook. I don’t remember asking Facebook or Twitter to do that so they got some explaining to do. Anyways lets get down to business. How do we fix it?

  1. Login to Facebook and click on Profile.
  2. Find a twitter status update on your Facebook profile and click on the “via Twitter” link.
  3. Then click “Block Application” on the left side menu.

That should remove it from happening for now.

Now on to finding out why it’s happening…

*Update*Techcrunch claims that an app was approved to show updates but I call BS. I never had that set up nor approved it.

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