Twitterquette – Do U Want 2 Follow Me?

“Advances in computer technology and the Internet have changed the way America works, learns, and communicates. The Internet has become an integral part of America’s economic, political, and social life.” (Bill Clinton – US President, politician, porn star, some random guy)

So… You’ve created a Twitter account, you realize that you have exactly 140 characters in which to articulate yourself (I can shorten that to “talk”, right?), and you start getting your social networking groove on… Then it happens, you’ve gone from a college communicating level to a preschool level… “OMG tht was CUL u shud follow me & i follow u 2!” (I have 92 characters left so I can add a link to some cat pictures! Sweet!)

“But Tami,” you say, “I don’t want to sound like a stiff. Tweeters don’t follow boring people!”

Too true! There must be a balance between appearing professional and being approachable on Twitter… cough Pardon me, on the Twitters. You want to appear to be in the now, be on the up-and-up, and still appear to be intelligent, professional, and worthy of landing your dream job. So how do you tread this tightrope of tweeting?


Getting Started With Wee_CMS

Wee_ is a content management system that its creator calls a “flat-file system”. It is extremely easy to use, and takes the place of an admin panel (and all the accompanying headaches) to allow total freedom of both your content and your site design. It was created by David Turner, a developer and designer based in Northern Ireland.

Wee_ is simple for a developer to use, but requires a little explanation when used by someone without that background. To that effect, I’ve put together a little post on the basics of Wee_ as I learn how to use it for both my developing freelance site and my portfolio remake. (And eventually this blog.)


Making with the PHPs and the CSSs

So this weekend I decided to start my php training. I kidnapped my webmaster David Turner (otherwise known as the God of IMD) and together we made our way completely through this site: PHP Introduction in about 8-10 hours. He took me on a few side jaunts, but in all it was a massive influx of information to my poor brain.

Then I set up MAMP and it was off to the races. I had a pretty good idea of the “site” I wanted to create. I’ve been developing an analog card game for ages 6-12 with a few other students, and it was a perfect candidate to get cyberized. I sketched out a few rough layouts, texted out the gameplay a little bit, and we got started.

Now learning from a tutorial and actually creating something are two totally different things, and this is very well known to me after working with UDK and Maya the last few weeks. So it was no suprise to find myself staring at a blank template for the site and going “derp?” Fortunately the God of IMD is a patient one.

After that, the weekend pretty much went like this:

Me: I want it to do this… this is what I code, yes?

Him: Very close. But do this too.

Me: It’s gonna eventually have to do this other thing too.

Him: We’ll worry about that later.

Me: But I’m just sayin…

Him: Code this first.

Me: How about this?

Him: Wonderful, but also do this because blah blah blah.

Me: Look what I did!

Him: Ohhh Shineh! And we can do this…

Me: Ohhh Shineh.

And the result of all our hard work is a half completed game that breaks quite a bit, but is fun enough that we sit and play with it and giggle when we test it. That’s a mark of success, right? We have a long ways to go yet with it, but the functionality is coming along nicely.

I even learned that you can’t use // comments in the modern CSS because it causes things to break inexplicably. I have commented my rage at learning this little lesson into my CSS, actually. It’s commented correctly. Since it’s a children’s game, I’ll probably end up taking that particular comment out though… (thanks Duane, for schooling me on THAT one!)

Here’s a little collage of the site for you. Things will get a bit more shineh after the backside of the site is completed, but for now it shows what it needs to show in order for us to work. Enjoy!

To Tweet… or to find some other way to stay connected

First off, I want to say that I’m an average person with average knowledge of “how shit works” and I have no authority whatsoever. I do, however, have an opinion.

Today’s opinion is about Twitter trying to rein in 3rd party developers.

Over the last few years I’ve come to know a fair number of application developers and they all have one thing in common: they tinker with EVERYTHING. A developer is always trying to reinvent the tools they use most often. They’re always trying to create shiny new features and applications, and typically they aren’t even looking to get rich off these things. (They know better, and they just love to code.)

I’ve also witnessed the storm that is Twitter. Facebook became legend, but Twitter is on the way to becoming as standard as email. Why is that? Because developers caught hold of it and propelled it farther than the Twitter founders could have EVER done on their own. Twitter owes a large portion of its success to 3rd party developers.

When Twitter mobile apps sucked, there was a 3rd party developer to give the user the experience they desired. When the Twitter site continually goes down there are 3rd party apps that continue to send/receive tweets and keep that user experience positive. When is blocked, 3rd party apps can break through and give users a voice… So WHY is Twitter using the “user experience” as an excuse to force other developers away from their product?