Red Party

This year for Aaron’s birthday he decided he wanted to have a pun filled Communist “Party” as the theme for this year’s celebration. The theme was a huge hit for all who attended. Tons of great costumes.

Happy Birthday @tableforone go forth and conquer! #redpartyWho wants some bread? #redpartyCastro doesn't smile. #redpartyYour papers check out. Now move. #redparty

Last year I used Google hangout to stream the party to itself with multiple iPhones, iPad, and laptops. Basically letting a party goer in one room see and chat with people in another room. It was a lot of fun and throughout the night people joined in with their smartphones.

This year I wanted to do something tech oriented as well, Aaron said he wanted to have some sort of photo booth setup because everyone was going to be in costume. Except he didn’t know how to put it together or where to set it up. Tech question answered.

Instagram #RedParty

I’ve been thinking about and experimenting with Instagram lately. Pulling photos based on a tag or location is primarily been my idea. So when the idea of photo booth came up I thought, “Well everyone is a walking camera… so.”

I built a page to fit on our tv screen and pull Instagram and Twitter for all updates with the hashtag #redparty. The page would refresh every 2 minutes so new photos would appear throughout the night. I’ve deactivated the uploads but check out the Red Party page. One fun element was anyone on Instagram tagging #redparty would show. So from Miami to Pittsburgh we had all kinds of other photos in the feed.

One of the best parts was getting people to signup and create Instagram accounts at the party. I did have to do a lot of hashtag 101 that night but it was worth it.

For the people by the people.

Communist Avenger apprehended. #redparty

WordPress 10th Anniversary Party PGH

WordPress 10th Anniversary

Six years ago I registered this url and installed my second installation of WordPress. Perviously I was using iWeb to make quick sites that I needed here and there. Prior to that (and going way back), I was using Microsoft Frontpage to make wysiwyg sites and generally bad interfaces. Thank the Lord that I am now out of that dark age and have better tools at my disposal. Hey WordPress.

Next week Monday we will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of WordPress at Franktuary in Lawanceville.

In those past six years I went from blogger to, WordPress advocate, to budding developer. While I’m still learning PHP I’ve got a ton of WordPress experience under my belt and haven’t run into a web situation were I couldn’t use WordPress. Though WordPress I’ve gotten into coding, podcasting, server configuration and other random topics that I wouldn’t have dabbled in 7 years ago. What can I say WordPress has been my gateway CMS.

Coming from a print design background all my serious web creation experience lay in juvenile tools. I developed an understanding of html in high school but didn’t do much with it thought college or after. Today I’m constantly polishing my web skill set through code academy and a plethora of web projects. I’m even composing this post in text mode because it is just easier to create this way.

OK enough about me and my love affair with all these php files. I hope to see you and and hear your WordPress story next week.

Hey Facebook Enjoy Some Good Old Fashioned…

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Because your official plugin kind of stinks.

Code Academy

Code Academy

I’ve been using Code Academy for the past few weeks and it is a pretty awesome experience. If you have wanted to get familiar with code this a great free way to do it that also entices you to keep plugging away with a point and award system.

Bite Size Chunks

Because there is a lot to learn I’ve started doing a few exercises each morning. It helps get my brain in gear and I usually can do an few exercises in 20 minutes. So it’s not a huge commitment and I’ve been able to keep it up.

Because I learn through repetition, and most of coding is memorizing the syntax, I wish there were more exercises on some of the basics. Currently I’m doing JavaScript and it isn’t as complicated as I thought it would be. But one lesson on each basic concept isn’t enough for me. They do have overlapping mini projects wich is nice.

UPDATE: Sometimes I’m such a noob. Repetitive projects to get better.

I don’t think they have a friends function on Code Academy but I did see something about collaborative projects. Which I haven’t looked into yet. So if you are there let me know!

Connecting the Blog to Facebook

Note: As of right now this plugin is pretty awful. I wasted a bunch of time trying to understand how it works and it does look promising, but I couldn’t publish anything to my timeline with it. Right now Jetpack is the way to go.

Facebook Plugin
Getting my hands dirty with Facebook’s WordPress plugin.

The integration of Facebook and your blog is pretty awesome and brought to you by Facebook so it should work flawlessly. What I’m most interested is how when you publish articles on your blog they will show up on your Facebook timeline (automatically) or on a page. You can also add recommendations, the like and share button, Facebook comments, and you get insights as well. Pretty much everything you want in a Facebook app.

I’m still learning the ropes because you need to get into the developers.facebook.com area to get things setup. I found a good How to Use Facebook for WordPress post and I was able to get things configured without too much trouble.

UPDATE: The app isn’t working yet. Probably because I need the app with Facebook to be approved (which is different than the plugin).