On confidence and perception

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about the role perception plays in how we respond to life and how we receive the various inputs the world has to offer. One particular thought has been around the role confidence plays in shaping our perception. Continue reading

Crafting meaningful customer relationships

When setting up a service or product-based business, there is a concept referred to as “lock in”, where the customer buys in to your ecosystem and, as they add products to their purchase history, it becomes increasingly more difficult to switch away to a competitor.

While corresponding over an email chain with friends this morning, we started talking about software licenses and how to interface between clients and purchasing software licenses for use on client projects (in particular, referring to licenses for WordPress plugins and themes). The topic of multi-site licenses came up, with the idea that the license can be purchased once and re-sold to several clients who can each cover a portion of the maintenance code. On the surface, this looks like a great idea, as each customer gets to pay a bit less than the overall fee, and doesn’t have any responsibility to maintain the license and pay the renewal fee each year.

Here’s why I disagree with this approach. Continue reading

Starve fear. Feed courage.

Every negative thought we have, or action we take, feeds our fear. When you trust in your heart and take enjoyment out of your day, this feeds your courage. I feel it’s important to include this short summary at the very beginning, rather than at the end, as it’s important to regularly emphasise this key principle.

I’m really enjoying listening to podcasts lately. While I switch from time to time, the most fun I have across all podcasts I listen to is extracting the “hidden meaning”. How to apply what is being said in an alternate context. In this case, the meaning was a bit less hidden, given the episode was about courage and listening to yourself. Continue reading

Reflections on 2014

2014 was a tough year. The toughest year for me, yet. I’ve been debating for a few days whether or not to write a reflections post. I’ve just returned from my first gym session of 2015, and feel pretty positive, so I reckon what better time than the present to write this.

This year past brought several life challenges I’ve never had to endure, until now. These challenges are deeply personal and not entirely appropriate for this blog, so I won’t go into specifics. One interesting characteristic of a challenge is how it forces you to re-examine and re-evaluate other areas of your life. Large portions of 2014 were spent reflecting inwards, inspecting myself and my lifestyle and making small, yet highly impactful, changes to how I approach the world. One of these changes was to hack myself and get my fitness lifestyle under control. While this happened from late 2013, 2014 was the year where I kicked this into high gear… and it feels great! Continue reading

On Knowledge Sharing and Being Frank

For the past few months, I’ve been following the “Advanced WordPress” group on Facebook. I joined the group thinking I would be exposed to advanced questions around WordPress development work.

What is it that they say about assumptions, again? 🙂

Through observation, it is apparent that the group is more focussed around advanced uses of WordPress for client websites, rather than development topics. I figured I’d keep following the group in any event and see what comes up. Continue reading

Shifting the WordPress Mindset

I presented at WordCamp Cape Town 2012 yesterday on the topic of “Shifting the WordPress Mindset”. The objective of the presentation was to take a retrospective look at WordPress’ history and evolution, helping everyone (both new and seasoned users) to understand where we as the WordPress community has evolved from, where we are currently within WordPress’ growth and, thus, to enable us to more accurately forecast and understand where WordPress is heading as a platform and to help us, as a community, understand the role that we play and how we can help to evolve WordPress.

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A note to The Parlotones, as they jet off to America

The Parlotones

Earlier today, Rolling Stone South Africa published an article reporting that South African rock band, The Parlotones (or, as Gareth Cliff calls them, The Par-lot-ones), are moving to Los Angeles, California, in an attempt to reach further into the international music market. While I’m not a Parlotones fan, I am a big lover of South African music, and wanted to mull over a few thoughts, here, regarding this latest move by The Parlotones.

South Africa met The Parlotones several years ago. Instantly, the nation saw something in these gents (I’ll bet even your great auntie knows who they are). Since their inception, they’ve played at the FIFA 2010 World Cup, featured on television & radio… hang, they even had their own KFC-sponsored meal. To many South Africans, this is common knowledge and The Parlotones are a household name.

When looking at the South African music scene, there seems to be an inherent divide between the independents and the major labels. Many fans of ska, punk, metal and other, less-commercially friendly genres tend to “rebel”, if you will, against commercial artists, slating them for being “same-y” or “poppy”. While I’m certainly not a fan of The Parlotones (all their songs sound much the same to me), I feel it’s important to say a few things about and to the band, as they jet off to further their careers (as a band, and most likely as musicians in general, I’d imagine) in Los Angeles:

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One-up your web development skills for free with these online services

As a developer in an industry where trends and languages grow and evolve at pace, it is virtually impossible to keep track of all the latest happenings. Thus, developers tend to specialise in certain languages or platforms which they watch. For example, while I keep tabs on developments within the PHP and WordPress communities, and I’m aware of what’s happening with CSS3 and HTML5, I may not keep a hawk-eye on CSS3 and HTML5, and certainly don’t know all the latest trends (simply because I don’t use the technology often enough). The converse would apply for a frontend designer. If this is the case, shouldn’t we constantly be striving to increase and better our knowledge in both the areas we are in touch with, as well as those which we aren’t?

I’ve been working with two websites in particular in my quest to further this goal- Code School for learning and Smarterer for testing and validating skills learned. The ways in which I’ve used them may not be obvious though. Continue reading

Writing and the lack of writing

Folks, I’d like to open this post with a question: do you ever find yourself typing too much? Too many words for what you’re trying to say/think/communicate? I do. A lot.

Over the years, through all the blogging, coding, IM-ing and e-mailing, I find I can now type significantly faster than I can write. While this does worry me somewhat (writing is an art-form that should be preserved as our generation shifts closer towards using technology for everyday communication), there is also a thought to take away from this.

How do we know what we’re really thinking if we don’t stop and think about it? Continue reading

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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