Captured Technology

Buzzom/TWITin Helpful Twitter Follower Builder

Dec 16 2009
365
17


Buzzom

Buzzom/TWITin Helpful Twitter Follower Builder

I recently read a post on TechZoomIn about getting a good number of Twitter Followers within a month. The ideal is to utilize a service called Buzzom or TWITin to grow your following list by several hundred a week and then to flush the accounts that don’t follow you back. This is a good strategy and the Buzzom tool works well in accomplishing this. In fact, if you only want to flush current accounts that aren’t following you, it is a free resource for doing so.

You can enter your Twitter account and allow access for Buzzom and then set the tool to find users with similar geographies and interests that more than likely auto-follow Twitter users. You can then follow these users in large quantities, 50 at a time.  If you do this several days in a row and you can follow 200-300 new Twitter accounts per week. At the end of the week, you then ‘Flush’ or un-follow those accounts that have not followed you back. This keeps your ‘following’ to ‘followed by’ ratio decent.

The only downside to following a large number of users on Twitter is keeping up with the ones you really do want to read everything they post. But the new Twitter list feature will allow you to separate these important users out into a separate list that you can browse independently. The other issue is flushing accounts that you want to follow even if they do not follow you back. This can be overcome by ‘locking’ the important accounts with Buzzom and the service will never flush them from your list.

Transposh – Adding Translation to Wordpress

Dec 09 2009
737
10


Transposh

Transposh – Adding Translation to Wordpress

If you run a Wordpress blog then it makes sense to offer translation services when your content is not specific to one country. By adding language translation with a Wordpress plug-in like Transposh, you can increase the traffic to your site and have pages translated automatically for free. There are a number of translation plug-ins available but I selected Transposh for it’s ease of use and good reviews.

The plug-in is available from Wordpress.org in their extends area. Therefore you can install the plug-in without downloading it within the admin console for Wordpress. You can also obtain a copy from the developers at Transposh.org. At the developer’s site you will see the widget being used and can translate their page into one of 40 different languages.

Once installed, read through the settings and make your selections. I am allowing anonymous users to translate on my blogs for the most benefit for readers. There aren’t too many settings and it only takes a couple of minutes to setup. I would like to have a select all feature for the languages to support, but selecting the 40 available doesn’t take too long.

My site GotBusinessCards.info shows how I have setup the plug-in in one case. Getting the widget to appear on the site is the final step. This involves dragging the Transposh widget from the available list to one of the side panels and making three additional setting selections. I think it is worth the time to provide this feature to readers that arrive from foreign search engines.

GAControl for Google Analytics in an ASP.Net Control

Dec 02 2009
270
6

Google Code.png

GAControl for Google Analytics in an ASP.Net Control

We had the need to call the Google Analytics API directly from the code of an ASP.Net page and found this nice server web control to use. The control makes working with the Google Analytics API a snap. You can automatically track sessions outside of the current session’s domain. You can set ecommerce amounts for orders that have taken place that you want to track. And record page hits from the server code instead of the normal Javascript client code. This last feature was the one we really needed as the page we wanted to record overwrote the response object prior to the page loading.

Project Home Page Features

The software has comes with the MIT code license which you can read about on the project home page. It is hosted on Google Code which has some additional information beyond the control download. There is a Wiki with usage instructions, an issue log, and the source code. I pretty much follow the ‘How To Use’ of the Wiki without any issues. The Wiki demonstrates where to place the instance within your page markup, how to reference the control when placed on the master page, how to register a page hit with Google Analytics, and how to record an ecommerce transaction.

Here is the project home page: http://code.google.com/p/gacontrol/


HootSuite: What a nice Twitter & Facebook Client

Nov 30 2009
355
4

HootSuite Social Client.png

HootSuite: What a nice Twitter & Facebook Client

I have had a Hootsuite.com account for some time but didn’t use it all that much until this past weekend. Maybe it was the extra time over the Thanksgiving weekend but I decided to begin creating Twitter and Facebook accounts for every website that I administer. And I really needed a way to track and send messages to each account without having to log in and log out many times.

Hootsuite is a great Twitter client that now supports not only Twitter accounts but also Facebook, LinkedIn, and Ping.fm. There’s an iPhone app if you want to interact with the client that way, but I am currently only using the desktop web-based client. You can track statistics of all your messages/tweets to see how popular they become plus they now provide support for Twitter lists. I am using the standard view but each account’s view is customizable to show whatever information you want to see.

Hootsuite monitors your branding (mentions) across the social network to make sure you are not negatively being discussed around the social sites. And they have a scheduling feature which allows messages to be sent in the future so you don’t have to be logged in when you broadcast a message. If they provided an autofollow option, I could stop using SocialOomph and would be set. Take a look at the service if you think it could be helpful for you. I am not an affiliate and this is not a paid posts.

Embedding FLV Files into HTML

Nov 20 2009
460
18

Embedding FLV Files into HTML

There was a need this week to embed a FLV file into an HTML page and we had no experience in directly embedding this kind of content. I’ve embedded YouTube videos before into posts using Windows Live Writer or the embed code that YouTube provides. But actually hosting the file and finding the right embed for this kind of file and the server that is hosting the site was a challenge.

I found this great download that is super small and wraps the Adobe Media Player on the page using javascript. It is from longtailvideo.com and it’s called the JW FLV Media Player. After downloading the code, installing is just as simple as playing the contents of a folder on the server. The embed code is provided on the site:

SponsoredTweets - The New Paid Post

Nov 12 2009
279
6
SponsoredTweets hire me badge

SponsoredTweets - The New Paid Post

Remember the good old days when you could setup a blog, get a decent page rank from Google, and sell paid posts daily to earn a monthly income. Google started penalizing paid posts by reducing the page rank for blogs that routinely posted them thus causing the practice to almost completely end.

One of the main companies to provide paid posts now has a service where you can get paid to tweet on Twitter.com about a contest or a product and be paid by the advertiser. The service is available at SponsoredTweets.com. Reports by some of the more popular celebrities on Twitter are very good and the limited use I have had as been worthwhile. Some may not feel Twitter is an appropriate place to run paid ads and therefore decline the membership offer.

If you have a Twitter account that is older than 120 days and have more that 200 followers, then you can begin earning money right away. When an offer arrives you can decline the offer if you so choose. And you can specify during sign-up if you want to write all tweets or if you will allow the advertiser to write a tweet. All paid tweets have a disclosure that it is paid, to not run a foul of the FTC. I am an affiliate of the service myself and encourage you to give it a try.

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Getting the Current URL in Asp.Net

Nov 05 2009
293
7

Getting the Current URL in Asp.Net

We had the need within a custom asp.Net control this week to obtain the current URL, compare it to a value, and take action if the values matched. I found online some quick and easy code to determine the URL of the page the control is loading on and the function to take action was developed rather quickly thereafter.

Here is the basic code to get the URL:

Request.Url.ToString()

And using a combination of the Mid function and the Instr function, we are able to match values regardless of the environment the code is running in:

If Mid(strLinkURL, InStr(strLinkURL, "Pages")) = Mid(Request.Url.ToString(), 
InStr(Request.Url.ToString(), "Pages")) Then
       strReturn = "" & strLinkText & ""
Else
       strReturn = "" 
& strLinkText & ""
End If

OptinPop is a Great Wordpress Plugin

Oct 26 2009
245
24

OptinPop is a Great Wordpress Plugin

Have you seen those pop-ups on sites asking if you would like to subscribe to the site’s newsletter? Often called an Optin popup, these pop-ups are now very easy with this free plugin from the Wordpress.org extend directory called the OptinPop. You can find the plug-in here.Or you can install it right from your Wordpress admin area.

Examples

Examples of the plugin in action can be found of the developer’s website at http://www.bigsellingoptins.com/blog/download-optinpop-wordpress-plug-in/ or a different use can be seen while exiting the website http://freeacaiberry.org/. The plugin is used to show an advertisement on the second site mentioned. You will need to create a stand along html document to show in the popup window. The on exit or on enter options are very useful in addition to the light box effect used on the Free Acai Berry site. The popup will also not be blocked by popup blockers as a new window is not created.

One Fix After Installation

If you install the plugin automatically from the Wordpress.org website the plugin will not work after installation and activation. After reading through the developer’s instructions I found that the plugin needed to be installed into a directory called ‘optinpop’. This doesn’t happen with the automatic installation. After renaming the directory or the installation, the plugin will need to be reactivated and will work fine thereafter.

HelloTxt Offers One Stop Microblogging

Oct 16 2009
173
4

Hellotxt

HelloTxt Offers One Stop Microblogging

HelloTxt (www.hellotxt.com) is a nice site I found while updating an RSS feed on TwitterFeed.com. HelloTxt is now an option to feed RSS data to from TwitterFeed. So you can have TwitterFeed submit all your site posts to HelloTxt automatically. And what HelloTxt does is then submit your status updates or TwitterFeeds to a vast number of social sites and microblogging websites.

HelloTxt has 59 different microblogging and social sites that you can automatically post to from their one interface. Some of the social sites are the most popular today including Facebook, Flickr, Hi5, etc. And there are a good number of international microblogging sites that you have not heard of before.

I currently have three sites posting to HelloTxt through TwitterFeed and have not seen a big increase in inbound links or traffic to the sites but it is fairly easy to setup and establishing your presence on these newer Web 2.0 sites is a good ideal. It is still quite early for many of the sites so attractive usernames and vanity urls are available. http://ohiostate.shoutem.com/ is an example of a vanity url that was not taken at Shoutem.com.

© 2009 CapturedTech.com – Not A Paid Post

Exporting SQL Server Records To Excel

Oct 14 2009
194
5

Exporting SQL Server Records To Excel

We have a large amount of data that we want to provide to our users through Excel files downloaded from our website. We found that by using the Openrowset command in a stored procedure afforded us the most versatility and the easiest redundant execution than the other options. For a nice explanation of the process and a full listing of the variables available take a look at MSSQLTips.

The final code looks like this:

INSERT INTO OPENROWSET('Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0',
'Excel 8.0;Database=C:\testing.xls;',
'SELECT Name, Date FROM [Sheet1$]')
SELECT * From dbo.MyTable Where Date = GetDate()
GO

There was a slight error with this implementation at one point in the day where we received this error:

OLE DB provider "Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0" for linked server "(null)"
returned message "Cannot open database ''.

A number of sites point you to the temp folder of the Administration login on the SQL Server. This is a good place to check read/write privileges for the account you are logged in as. But we found that restarting the SQL Server Agent correct the issue.

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