Test your knowledge of WordPress with “The WordPress Test”

So… you think you know WordPress, huh? 😉 Well, why not test your skills and see where you rank on the world’s stage? Presenting… the WordPress test!

I blogged the other day about using Smarterer and Code School for online education. As a starting point, take the test below and see how you stack up. You never know… the results may just surprise you. 🙂

WordPress

Once you’ve done taking the test, sign up over at Smarterer and take a few other tests to verify and enhance your skills set.

Is DrawSomething a new approach to gathering Big Data?

Data is fast becoming the hot commodity in today’s society. What do we know about our customers? How can we use our customer’s habits and trends to make our product better? While this concept is not uncommon in the non-digital world (printed surveys and small inserts in magazines aren’t uncommon), filling in surveys is fast becoming a common and, frankly, boring method of collecting data about customers or users or a product.

I know, why not make them draw things instead?

DrawSomething, a popular mobile and online game by OMGPOP, has taken the digital world by storm. Worldwide, mobile users are connecting with their friends (many via Facebook) and drawing pictures of words such as “swimming”, “magnet” and “katyperry”, in the hopes that their friend will be able to guess the word correctly. This digital take on the popular “Pictionary” board game is great fun and, frankly, rather difficult to put down. Other than the fun factor, what is the real bigger picture (pardon the punn)?

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Daily blogging, what to write and who to blog for

So, now almost a month in and Project 365 is still going strong. At this point, I thought it a good idea to touch base and get some feedback from you all on this month’s posts so far.

It’s often said that one should blog first and foremost for oneself. If you like a topic or post, you should write about it of you want to. While this is true, the next question I ask myself is, why share thoughts and ideas if I’m blogging for myself and, by association, not for readers?

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How to improve web developer coding practices (and code)

Every developer approaches their day to day development tasks from a different angle. In addition to this, each developer “designs” their code to suit their own personal preferences and approaches towards specifics in a project. When developers examine code written by other developers, we’re often critical (sometimes hyper-critical) of the code itself, mostly according to our personal preferences. While there is a place for being critical of code, and it should be encouraged, there are a few aspects of this criticism that should be left at the door… namely, the personal preferences.

While we all have our own preferences, it’s important to solidify a few areas when approaching code and to, ultimately, hone the developer’s mindset into certain guidelines. Below are a few thoughts I have running through my mind constantly while developing:

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Presentations using SlideRocket

In the last week, Jeff and I presented a workshop at the GROW Academy’s BootCamp, discussing website design & development and focussing on using WordPress to do this. For both our introductory session on Monday and our more in-depth theory discussion on Wednesday, we needed a slideshow presentation to work through the various areas of website construction. Lets zoom back to Monday morning… I needed some slides… in a hurry.

As many of you know, I like to keep my computer as clean as possible. If I don’t use an application, it gets removed and everything that could go onto the machine is thought through before it’s loaded on. Thus, I don’t have PowerPoint, Keynote or anything of the sort… because I don’t need it. Suddenly, I did. Enter SlideRocket.

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Re-thinking the concept of the “impossible”

In today’s society, it seems to be a common occurrence to use the word “impossible”. For example, after climbing a mountain, one might say something like; “wow, that was impossible”. No it wasn’t… you just did it. Nowadays we seem to have a tendency to over-exaggerate (pardon the tautology there) and, in many cases, start to believe what we’re saying. Surely, this affects how we approach tasks and situations. Why should it?

Over the past few years (I’d say, since about 2008), I’ve decided to approach tasks day to day from a different angle. How can we say that a task is “impossible” if we haven’t even yet attempted it?

This is quite a common occurrence in web development… developers looking at a task, attempting to analyze it, getting “stuck” at one point and then moving on, deeming it “impossible”. Why does it have to, all of a sudden, be “impossible”, if you haven’t even attempted it yet? Why settle for the “shortcut” when you could just sit down and develop it how you envision it in the first place?

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E-mail is broken

While sitting down to write what was likely to be a completely different blog post, I found myself compelled to write this, so here goes…

E-mail, as a technology, is broken… and we broke it.

E-mail (electronic mail) was originally intended as a means of sending messages digitally in a similar form as a posted letter. A nice simple envelope with a hand-written or typed up letter, possibly to a pen-pal or maybe a notice to cancel an account of sorts… only digital.

As the internet became more popular, it became more a commonplace item in our lives. Nowadays, we almost assume that someone has at least an e-mail address, let alone a Facebook or Twitter account. E-mail is a common form of communication amongst the majority of us who are hooked into technology… so why can’t we use it correctly?

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GROW Academy Bootcamp 2012

This week, Jeff and I will be presenting at our second GROW Academy Bootcamp session. We’ll be discussing “Website Design & Development” with the recruits, running through WordPress and how to setup a website using WordPress.com or WordPress.org.

The GROW Academy is an initiative to educate and empower the youth of today through technology. The Bootcamp session covers everything from social media and setting up e-mail, all the way through to search engine optimisation and an internet super-user course, for those who wish to continue on with more advanced studies. The GROW website’s “About” page (built on Canvas and Canvas BuddyPress by WooThemes) has a detailed explanation of the initiative and it’s founding partners.

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If This, Then That- put the internet to work for you

“If this, then that” is a common logic step in programming. Most programmers see this on a regular basis, right from when they start out. It feels comfortable… familiar. While the principle is one used in programming, the concept is also a basic logic construct. Why not apply this same principle in daily Internet life?

“If X happens, do Y”. This could be replaced with, for example, “if you see a new blog post here, send a tweet out telling your followers about it”.

Enter Ifttt… simply named, “If this, then That”. Ifttt puts the internet to work for you. Offering a wide and ever-growing variety of channels to work with, Ifttt makes it possible to link various services to one another, based on various conditions. For example, when this post goes live, a tweet will be sent out, a status update posted to Facebook and a push notification sent to my phone, advising me that the post has been published.

Why stop there?

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