About Norm

Currently growing iTwixie.com for tween girls. Organizer of @PCPGH, playing Magic: the Gathering, and enjoying life.

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).

Digital Hibernation

It’s like I wrote that last post and then hibernated for the rest of the winter. Sure felt like it to me. After that last post I started two huge jobs that didn’t wrap until the end of February and now I’m finally caught up.


The iTwixie relaunch was probably one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done. Starting with the database learning in November and ending in PHP development – juggling WordPress plugins and theme wrangling. An extremely rewarding process that has brought on all kinds of skill growth for me. Especially in the MYSQL/WordPress database environment.

Anyway the site is up and check so check it out. As a unregistered member you can checkout the main blog and get a great feel for the site. Or register your daughters and explore the site with them. We are going to be adding tons of exciting features over the next few months.

Print Projects

I enjoyed working on a 152 page booklet in January that was fun because there were no elements of the design process I didn’t understand. Meaning as a master of indesign I didn’t have to research how to make every pixel go where I wanted it. The main challenge there was the tight deadline. I had about two weeks to the first draft done. Printed and delivered now, you can view it on AiP Self Study.com.

Other News

Uploading a Creation Rex archive is on my to do list. I was able to restore the blog but I lost all the pictures from 2010. Due to my WordPress management incompetence at the time. Way back machine does have a copy of the most recent posts but I’m not sure how far it goes back. When I have a free night I’ll pull what I can down and add them back.

fist-trinity-podcastI’m managing a podcast again, sort of, for my church. Getting the weekly sermons online and making sure the website is in order. Podcasting is where I started to really get into web development and I always feel good about serving new audio on the web.

Homebrew! Check out my homebrew blog. Mainly a journal for Brian and I but we like to keep it real with our antics while documenting the homebrew process and our path to master brewers.


Adding Existing User Database to BuddyPress

One of the things I’m learning about BuddyPress is that by default it only wants to add new users to your site through the BuddyPress registration process. Never mind that you might have a bunch of existing users on your blog or need to bulk add users. I spent a good part of yesterday and today figuring out how to activate users so BuddyPress would all them to login to the site.

My situation is that I imported users from another database on our server via mysql. Which is the best and fastest method to do this. Once I have all the new users imported there needs to be a record of that user in the wp_usermeta table. So I bulk edited their user roll in the admin dashboard. Changing their roll from “none” to “subscriber.” (that step might not be necessary for bp to view them as “active.” The key step is in the wp_user table you need to make sure that the user status is 0 instead of 2. Apparently 2 indicates that they are an inactive user. I used a mysql script to update that field in the table.

UPDATE wp_users SET user_status='0' WHERE user_status='2';

I had some help figuring this out on the wordpress.org forums. I was originally looking an Pending Activation plugin to make the change, but unless the user registered through BuddyPress the plugin wouldn’t see inactive users.

Bubble POP

The devil is in the details. The details.

I was able to bribe a friend into helping me out for some beers. After taking one look at my mysql script he removed one comma and the it worked perfectly. Half a day lost to a comma.

Next step. While I can now move the data from one table to another it doesn’t mean I’m in the clear. I need to register my users and custom post type with the respective wp_usermeta and wp_postmeta tables. I’m not sure exactly how to make this happen but I’m glad that I know what the next part of the process will be.

In non tech news our Red Ale is going to awesome.

mysql Bubble & New Music

I hit a wall today moving the Joomla Database to a WordPress structure. Basically my lack skills in the mysql scripts department is the reason. I tried to hack a few scripts but they didn’t run, basically because I have no idea what I’m doing.

All the quick searching I did led me to sources that assumed I understand how other mysql commands work.

All in all it was a productive week and I have a really good understanding of where all my content is the database and where it needs to go. Next week I hope to get our subscription tool configured and working. Which shouldn’t be as much of a brain drain as moving databases.


I found some great new music on bandcamp recently.

Adebisi Shank – I found these guys two weeks ago actually. Basically I needed something energetic to get me through friday afternoon. They hit the spot.

Childhood, by Pearl River Sound – Pretty chill and I really dig track 3

88:88, by Makeup and Vanity Set – Unique band name. Pretty chill electro.