Many question marks

Right now, I have more questions than answers.
I will build around the twentythirteen theme and it is going well but implementing other features and options can be daunting. So far I was able to change the post layout without breaking the theme. This allowed me to widen the theme even more and place the post thumbnail next to the post title instead above it. Which i like better. In my test environment I was also able to create and enable the post excerpt, showing only the first 55 words of a post followed by a “Read more” link below it. The long posts, if many are present require to much scrolling and i believe that an excerpt is plenty for a reader to know if they are interested and want to read on.
I am working now on implementing an image slider and I am kind of torn between the Nivo Slider and the Flex Slider. They both seem almost the same, with only slight differences. I would also like to implement tabs and accordions as well as Google integration. The most difficult part for me right now is making those things optional. Yes, the options framework. Not an easy thing for me to wrap my head around. I have yet to find a good place to see what options are even available, so you are left with only creating your hoping not to collide with any that already exist. I wish there was also more information available on the markup. If you know of a good place, let me know. What I found on WP is very general but I am working my way through it.
Alas, back to the books .. 🙂

Starting my WordPress experience

So here I am, starting my journey with WordPress. I have used WordPress before but not very intensive. I actually hand coded my previous website, literally from the ground up. It was mainly HTML practice and helped me out a lot on enjoying to learn HTML and CSS. With WordPress I hope to take my skills beyond the basics and beyond HTML and CSS. I am very interested in JavaScript and hope to make good use of PHP. I purchased a Synology DiskStation which allows me to create an easy worry-free test environment. I am currently coding with Microsoft Web Expression but am making the jump to Sublime 2. I wish i could use Coda but I am not willing to change platform to change my entire technology ecosystem here just to be able to use it, since it is only available for Apple. Yes you guessed it, i am a PC guy. To be honest, I would switch to Linux before I would switch to Apple. I am already not happy with the pricing and infrastructure of Microsoft.
Anyways .. moving on. I already started with WordPress and have a couple sites going including this one. I enjoy it so far and already started working on the theme and have plenty more ideas for more. In my next few posts I will go a little bit more into detail about what I am doing and what I am planning to accomplish.

“This is for everyone”

Free Internet, Google Fiber and why this is for everyone.

by Tim Berners-Lee aka TimBL
founder of the World Wide Web Foundation

Free is free. Free is good. Is it still that way? Reading many blogs and speaking to some more people it sometimes seems as either free is not free enough or free is overrated. inet_for_everyone
Google, yes this is much about Google. Again you might say. Google has been amongst one of the companies named in support of a new organization called the ““The Internet Association“. The organization has been established as a communications and lobbying tool. The Internet Association is dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect an open, innovative and FREE Internet.
Free, here it is again. That little word that seems to make such a huge difference. For some it’s on a positive note and for others on a negative. Not everything can be free and not everything should be free but there are some things that were born free, born to be free and were meant to be free and should remain free. The internet is one of them.
If you have watched the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Summer Games you would probably have seen Tim Berners-Lee’s message he sent to the world. “This is for everyone”. Tim Berners-Lee’s is the founder of the World Wide Web Foundation which is deemed to be the origination of the Worldwide Web (WWW). It is clear as day. Free is implied in this message here. A view shared by many around the world. It resulted in the formation of “The Internet Association supported by many mayor internet players as well as many other groups and movements like the open source movement.
This is for everyone!
Google has recently released Google Fiber. With this Google enters not only the ISP market but also the Television Service provider market. The project is ambitious and currently still in test and is only rolled out in Kansas City but it has already seen some great successes. Despite the fact that the program has only been live for a few days the competition is not sleeping and has kicked off big campaigns to lock subscribers into long term contracts before they can take advantage of this opportunity.
So why do I mention Free Internet, Google Fiber and “This is for everyone” all in this article and in one sentence here? Because it all is in conjunction with information about FREE. It is because the roll out of Google Fiber could significantly impact the landscape of the internet. Google’s offer with Google Fiber could still be better received then it currently is. In some of the less wealthy neighborhoods in Kansas City, it seems adoption is slower then in others. The wealthier neighborhoods have almost all met their goals or are only a handful away from meeting their goals. This is somewhat surprising to me as the service absolutely caters to a very broad income demographic. Adoption is somewhat critical to future roll outs of the service as it largely depends on how well the program is received.
Vast majority of Informatio, articles and blogs you will find and read about the Google Fiber rollout and it’s adoption and implementation will not only mention the amazing 1000 Mbps speed which should be a selling point by itself but also the possible inclusion or exclusion of television service. If you read the better articles and blogs you will also hear about the inclusion of 1TB, yes that’s 1TB of Google drive storage plus you will receive a Google Nexus 7. Did I mention that there are no data caps? Enough said? You need more convincing? How much will all of this set me back, you ask? All-in-all $120 Dollars. It drops to $70 Dollars if you leave out the TV package.
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This is more then what you probably pay now for internet service. Yes it is. Even if you go with Verizon’s FIOS service you will probably pay about $25 – $50 depending on which package you choose. Broadband cable service can now be had for as low as $20 Dollars and DSL as low as $15 Dollars. Would be nice to have 1 Gbps but the price is not justifiable, right? Here is what I didn’t here mentioned by any of these blogs and articles. If you can’t or don’t want to afford the 1 Gbps super dooper speed internet, Google Fiber will provide you with a 5Mbps download, 1Mbps upload speed • No data caps connection for FREE. Yes, here is this little word again that can change everything. All that is required is a $300 Dollars installation fee and you will receive FREE internet service for a guaranteed 7 years with still faster speeds then your DSL and close to many broadband cable services.
FREE is the new free. How can you beat free. You can’t. The $300 Dollar installation fee comes out to be about $3.58 per month if you keep the service for 7 years. An insane offer that could not, should not be refused. I just hope that folks in Kansas City are aware of this. This is the best offer you can get no matter how small your income is. I hope that there will be a better responds from the lower income neighborhoods as a lot of what is going on in Kansas right now will layout the path of the future of Google Fiber and/or the lack thereof.
In my opinion Google is not just pushing the envelope with this roll out but it has the potential of completely disrupting the landscape of ISP’s and Television providers or really just about any Internet and Media providers. It could help connect even more people. People that have previously not been able to chime in and  contribute to the internet and it would push and further solidify the Free with internet.
This development and the possible future outcome could not only spark an internet service and media service revolution but effect many other service and infrastructures. I already pre-registered and if you are in support, so should you. The more people sign up, the faster the roll out.

“Money Can’t Buy Everything”

Yesterday, I have been browsing the web as usual. Looking for what’s new out there, something interesting when I stumbled upon this article on TechCrunch. The article was called “For the Single Founder Who Can’t Code”. I am in the market. Single Founder and want to code but I am still rather noobish, maybe I can learn a thing or two. Of I go to read.
It is not “A hitchhikers Guide to Coding stardom” which is what I expected and hoped for but rather some well thought out words of wisdom to entrepreneurs. The article was written by  who is a guest host at TechCrunch but that’s not all. Mike Hagen is also founder and CEO of Undrip. He was previously the founder of Zinch which was acquired by Chegg last year.
The article was insightful and informative so I kept reading. About the 5th bullet down this header came up “Money Can’t Buy Everything”. Now how often do you hear this phrase? Frequently touted as a myth and idealism this phrase is often quickly dismissed as crazy talk. Like Mike, I urge individuals as well as enterprises to rethink the strategy. Don’t be so quick to dismiss this idea.

Money Can’t Buy Everything

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When you can’t inspire people to join you, it’s very tempting to use that cash in your piggybank to hire a contractor/freelancer to do the work. You want to pay to play.
That rarely works.
I was a design freelancer in college. I would ask for as much money as possible, and I would try to spend as little time on it as possible. That was the name of the game. Contractors just aren’t invested in the long-term success of your product. They’re gypsies moving from one thing to the next. The lack of ownership and commitment will cost you more money, more time and more heart ache in the long run.
What happens when your freelancer is “done”? We all know products are never done. So soon you find yourself back at square one, having to pay someone to fix bugs, tweak features, etc. That hole in your pocket gets larger and larger.
For most that’s just not sustainable. Sooner or later you’re gonna need to inspire people to join you. You’re gonna need partners, owners, motivated team members. A little contract work is never bad when you’ve got people who can maintain, manage, and build the product where it leaves off.
Something struck me in these words. I have been working for a few enterprises, fortune 500’s and cooperation’s and explored the self employed realm as well as the small business side of things. I certainly noticed that the larger an organization gets the less this idea is valued.
Why is it that primarily the small players actually care about what is going on in their business and how it’s is run?
Because they still have a vested interested in their business and product and it is not always money.
It has almost become custom for large companies, growing small business and fast growing internet companies to outsource everything for the sake of growth. To give people the the power to make decisions about your creation that have no vested interest in your business other then capital. A lot of capital, preferably with as less effort as possible and with a as large as possible return on investment. Don’t expect them to remember what the actual product is.
Now this is a very general statement and certainly does not apply to every business and company out there but there are many of them. I also noticed that companies that are rather established and have history are more likely to return to this “Employee value” concept and understand that someone who is not only working for you but also can see his/her life improve and plan for a future will be more likely to provide quality work and won’t mind to go the extra mile every now and then to give your product the little bit of extra “humph” that makes it stand out from the rest.
By employing someone to do the same job that would otherwise be outsourced and by reimbursing that person properly and with adequate benefits you create not only a healthy work environment and a good relationship but also a team with vested interest in your organization and your product. Keeping somebody happy, healthy and secure can be a very impressive motivator.
At the end of the day, it is about covering someone’s basic needs.

“Money Can’t Buy Everything” | “You get what You pay for” | “You receive what You give”

Big business and growing business do not believe in karma it seems.

Diggnation live, coming to an end

Yes you heard right or if you haven’t heard it yet, you know now.

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Diggnation aired it’s last live show on 01/18/12. The show will go on but in a recorded setting which softens the blow just a little bit. This is according to the diggnation team.

Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht, the hosts of the show for 7 years have decided to change the pace of the show. The beer drinking internet host duet had a great deal of success and recognition with the show “Diggnation” which was kicked off shortly after the famous websiteDigg.com opened it’s doors.

I first became somewhat of a fan when I saw “The Broken”. The show “The Broken” was Kevin and Double D first self-hosted show which was a good deal more “underground” or how Kevin liked to call it “shady”. Kevin and Revision3 have completely abandoned the “The Broken” project and moved on to bigger and better things which turned out to be Revision3 and Diggnation.

Revision3 was born a short time before Diggnation by Jay Adelson and was essentially the platform for the show which almost immediatlly started to take off. Today Revision3 has a wealth of shows running and even more stored in it’s achieves. Revision3 transformed from a media startup into a internet media platform. Shows such as Tekzilla, Hak5,HD Nation, Geekbeat, Lifehacker, The Totally Rad show and now even TheSoldierKnowsBest amongst other are now on the menu.

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I very much enjoyed the last couple of shows which took a winding road down memory lane for the show and the two hosts and in times even allowed the two “cool geek factor” hosts to become a little bit emotional. It’s always a good time watching the show and these two last episodes are no exception.

I hope you will enjoy this Part 1 of the last LIVE show.

I hope you will enjoy this Part 2 of the last LIVE show.

If you like it, Digg it. Get it