October 26

How to Get Free Press for your Software

press release

Have you heard of “any press is good press”?
It will make people aware of your product regardless if it’s any good when it times for them to buy.

Build credibility, get exposure, and more traffic to your website.  Forget about generating back links through bots and blog commenting.  It is much more effective doing it the following ways.

One of my first startup projects had its first sale from an article on a different website. How did I know? I had referral clicks recorded in my google analytics.  A press release is an announcement of an event, product, service, or discovery which is issued publicly.  It is important to have something unique or an angle to what you have to offer in a press release.

Here are some different tactics to get you free publicity:

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September 23

Scale HTML5 Video to Fit Screen

Fullscreen HTML5 Video

With the recent updates of browsers supporting web more W3C standards, it is easier to embed HTML5 videos than before, although you still have to provide your video in multiple codecs such as webm, ogg, and mp4.
The thing is you still have to use javascript to control the video’s functionality. So here’s the simplest way to make your HTML5 video fit the screen of your browser. For this demo I will be using the popular and free video.js open source player.  There are several ways to do this, but after testing across different browsers I found this way the most efficient. (Demo inside)
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August 27

Javascript Fluent Confrence 2013 Review

Javascript Fluent Conference

Overall this video collection of Fluent Conference is a great value with a few useless presentations sprinkled in. The good thing is that you can skip the videos that seem to be useless and this mainly applies to the sessions. If you were to be at the conference, then you would have lost time attending them. Before I mention ones that you should avoid, I will mention the noteworthy presentations. This is mostly the tutorials. It took me a few weeks, but I ended watching all the videos.

Here’s my breakdown by sections:
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July 16

Present Yourself Book Review

Present Yourself cover

Authors: Kit Seeborg, Andrea Meyer

This is a book mostly about the web service Slide Share, partly about marketing yourself or business, and a bit about making slides. You can summarize it as “make slides to get leads for your business”. The book includes several case-studies but lacks specific metrics. Some sources for proof would be great, although that’s a rarity in non-scientific books.  I can recommend this to marketers and entrepreneurs however you would want to delegate slideshare tasks to a social media evangelist.

The beginning provides a good foundation of presentations and starts about defining visual data. This is key because communication is important to share your idea and mind-mapping is very essential.

The second chapter is entirely how to use Slideshare.net including how to setup your account, customizing your profile, and the features available. It is a manual or guidebook for the Slide Share service at this point. On page 33, the note on figure 2-19 displaying analytics, states it shows “actionable data”, however that is false because it’s not really actionable. You can only view it and not perform any actions with it. References could be made linking other parts of the book to show the benefits of each feature. There’s nothing contrasting why you should upload a YouTube video versus a slideshow.

Chapter 3 is better because it explains public speaking and how to use Slideshare for events. It is a more practical approach describing how to share your presentation online to reach a wider audience integrating it with social media. It also differentiates the type of events and presentations you could make.

Chapter 4 is mainly about marketing by story-telling and research to get the best content. It suggests to curate your content to stand out from the competition which is the same as doing a metasearch and compiling the content you like. Two more tools are mentioned here (Scoop.it and Pintrest) to spread the word about your slideshow.

Reading Chapter 5, on page 92, there is no reference to the provided quote from Inside View so it is difficult to believe that claim. The chapter describes how to add call-to-actions to every slideshow and how to track leads with the PRO account. This is also the chapter the has tips on making more compelling slides.

Chapter 6 on research doesn’t provide enough details to be helpful any differently than a search engine can do. It actually suggests another software tool Zipcast.

The remainder of the book reiterates more of the previous concepts but in a different manner. It focuses more about organizations instead of the individual.

I’ve heard about Slideshare before and uploaded one slideshow months ago expecting to get leads, but it barely got any views so your results may vary.

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July 11

Flare jQuery Plugin

Optical flare plugin


This is a plugin for jQuery I developed, which renders a colored optical flare to slide across elements such as boxes, images, and containers. The flare is white in the center and has a customizable colored glow. The plugin also allows change of speed, glow radius, and event triggering the animation. The animation is performed by sliding across an element’s top-left corner to the top-right corner.  It is the first of it’s kind on the web!


  • Cool movie-style effect also used in games such as Sleeping Dogs.
  • Works in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, and IE 10 including mobile.
  • Uses modern CSS techniques.
  • Customizable glow color, speed, glow radius, and trigger event.
  • First Optical flare effect without use of images.


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July 10

Web Server Operations Review

web operations

This is a review of the Web Operations Fundamentals video on O’Reilly.

I was interested to watch this video to learn the scope of web operations and compare that with my current knowledge. Overall it is a good introduction to how the internet communicates from browser to server along with network communication via command line. The video and audio quality are excellent. It starts off with non-technical terms and descriptions of operations therefore a wide audience can understand it. However, the presentation gets technical quickly so that it assumes the viewer has general knowledge of networking. Also the MySQL section seems out of scope and should be for database administrators.

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June 15

Javascript Enlightenment Review

javascript enlightenment

This book is a good read for understanding javascript coding syntax, prototyping, scope, and closure.   Although brief and repetitive after Chapter 8, it clarifies several aspects of the language.  If you’re an intermediate to advance javascript developer, this book many not be useful to you.  The most important thing is javascript’s flexibility.  You only use primitives and objects; javascript uses wrappers automatically when needed.  The other parts are comparing, contrasting methods, instantiation, closure, scope, hoisting.  The author describes what matters is the way properties are accessed, mainly if using reserved keywords such as “class”.

The problem with NULLS (see example below):

[code]var myNull = null;
console.log(typeof myNull); // outputs ‘object’ NOT null[/code]

// Use === when comparing null or undefined, because == will not work.

[code]Foo.prototype.x = 1;
var FooInstance = new Foo();
console.log(FooInstance.x); // outputs 1
// now let’s replace/override the prototype object with a new Object() object
Foo.prototype = {x:2};
console.log(FooInstance.x) // outputs 1 not 2[/code]

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May 22

Pro CSS for High Traffic Websites Review

Pro CSS book cover

This book is as described and more. It focuses on a variety of aspects regarding front-end web development at the enterprise level. This includes team hierarchy, individual roles, tools, documentation, frameworks and methodologies so it goes beyond coding but it’s equally technical in nature. This is definitely not a beginner’s book because of the technical details so it’s possible to be overwhelmed with the amount of content. Any intermediate to advance front-end web developer will find this book useful and without doubt improve their skills even it’s just minor details. These include:
-why camel case is preferred
-why you shouldn’t use specific hacks but rather alternatives
-which tools make coding more efficient
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May 15

AB Split Testing scripts for websites


There are several big name services for split testing website and they are all services which you have to pay a monthly fee.  Would you want a script you could install on your websites that can give you metrics just for 2 pages?

This script I designed work using javascript and php.  You can have two versions of an index.php file such as index1.php and index2.php.  One of the two files is randomly rendered upon visit, a timer starts, and any time the visitor clicks a link, button, or exits the page, an entry is recorded.  This entry includes amount of time the user has been on the page and which link or button was clicked.

You can even choose to show the same page version to returning visitors which is done by a cookie.  The results page shows you two columns per day or per cumulative time with the following:

  • Click through rate
  • Total visits
  • Amount of links clicked
  • Average visit duration
  • Amount of new visitors
  • Amount of returning visitors
  • Amount of bounces

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