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 or

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.

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?

Marvel Comics arrive on the iPhone

View the Marvel Comics app for iPhone and iPad in the Apple app store
Image courtesy

Capes, masks and laserbeam-projecting eyes. Super strength, shape-shifting and characters from throughout history and the future. All this and more exists within the Marvel Multiverse. Yes, you read correctly… multiverse. How could all of this fit into one small device? Believe it or not, the tech geniuses at Marvel Comics have managed to cram all of this and more into the pocket-sized device that is the Apple iPhone.

The new Marvel Comics iPhone app arrived in the iPhone app store in early April of this year. The app allows users to download free and paid (approximately $1.99) comics for reading and archiving on their iPhone. Zooming, rotation and easy navigation between panels are just some of the features that make the comic reading experience on iPhone truly unique. The app was also released for the iPad, which boasts a significantly larger screen than the iPhone, more than likely better suited to eBook and comic book reading.

Categorized as Technology

Foursquare enables check-ins from… everywhere!

Popular geo-social website, FoursquareEarlier this week, popular geo-social website, Foursquare, enabled their “Foursquare everywhere” feature. Since it’s inception, the company has offered their service (allowing users to “check in” at places and to discover new places in their area) in a select few cities. With the growing popularity of geo-social websites such as Foursquare and Gowalla, the demand for access to Foursquare in non-support cities has, over the last few months, grown substantially.

Twitter introduces new Lists feature

So, I just logged in to my Twitter account via the web interface and saw a notice mentioning a new “Lists” feature that Twitter have just launched. The notice read:

New! Lists. A great way to organize the people you follow and discover new and interesting accounts. (BETA)

Lists are timelines you build yourself, consisting of friends, family, co-workers, sports teams, you name it. You’re part of a small group receiving this feature, so don’t tweet about it yet!”

I got an iPhone

First weekend down, and I’m engulfed in iPhone mania. Having used Symbian and Java based phones prior to this, the iPhone, app store and overall approach to the mobile device is quite new and, although there’s nothing wrong with Symbian based phones, it’s a welcome change if pace.

I had one or two things to sort out with the phone when I got it. I’ll write another post listing those and how I resolved them.

P.S Written on my iPhone. 🙂

Categorized as Technology

Tumblr is the next big thing

Tumblr, the popular blogging software, is a hosted blogging service that enables users to post notes, audio, video, photographs, quotes, links and conversations all in one place. Not a full blogging system like WordPress or MovableType and not a micro-blogging service like Twitter, Tumblr is, I believe, a middle-ground between the two. I believe this to be the next big thing. Here’s why.

Internet users of today are part-taking in a social web, connecting and interacting with other internet users on a global scale. This has caused users to want to write more frequently, letting others know what they are up to via status updates on various social networks. In addition to writing more frequently, users seem to be writing less in many respects. Shorter snippets of content, designed to communicate in as simple a way as possible (140 characters, as a popular example) the message that they are wishing to share. Due to this shortened nature of content, users are also sharing more photographs and content of different types, enabling the same level of communication through an alternate medium.

Create your own Wordle

This is awesome. I was just emailed a link (thanks to The Ham) to Wordle, a “toy for generating ‘word clouds’ from text that you provide”. You can either provide it with text of your own, a website that contains an RSS or Atom feed or a Delicious username. Wordle will then take the provided text, the text in the feed or the tags of the Delicious username and generate a word cloud. The more frequent the word, the larger it will appear.

How often do you type “www.”?

In a world where simple, clean and compact are becoming more desirable, and we pride ourselves on having short and simple website addresses, how often do you type “www.”?

To briefly explain “www.”, it is what is refered to as a subdomain on the domain you are visiting. It has become the accepted convention for “” and “” to point to the same website. In theory, however, “”, “” and “” could all point to different websites entirely.

Knowing this, I ask; How often do you type “www.” or “http://” in your web browser?