Category Archives: Nerdy

Bookmarklet to Send To Do Items to Basecamp

I have been developing a sub-site on an existing WordPress installation. This includes creating templates based on designs from our art department and developing a plugin to display recipes. After I got the design and code working, I began entering all the recipes by hand. Then I passed the test site URL along to my team members to let them do some quality control. I then received an email saying that I had to-do items on Basecamp. Some of the to do items were hard to track down because my coworkers simply put in a title. We have ~50 recipes and so I had to scroll through the recipes to find the offending one.

So I started thinking. What if there were a way to streamline the entering of to-do items and add the URL as well? Originally, I was going to use a page with frames but I couldn’t keep track of the URL after navigating away from the source page. Then I started thinking about the Evernote bookmarklet. It can copy a URL and even an entire web page. So I did a few searches on “bookmarklets” and came across an article by John Resig about using a bookmarklet to insert jQuery and then modify Digg.com. So I took the idea and began to got a basic jQuery dialog box loading into my page through a bookmark. Then I wrote a separate page to pull the relevant info from Basecamp and then populate some dropdown menus.

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What is Empire Avenue

About a week ago, I saw an acquaintance post a link to Empire Avenue on Twitter.  I tried the link but the page asked for a login so I just moved on.  Then yesterday I saw another post about it and decided to check out their home page.  This is how Empire Avenue describes themselves:

Empire Avenue is the Social Stock Market, where you can Grow your Social Capital online. Here’s how it works, you get to discover valuable, interesting, cool, fun people online and then based scores or share price, invest virtual currency in their profiles by buying shares in our Social Stock Market. It’s boatloads of fun, and that simple act of buying shares in someone you think is worth your currency, you will create new connections and as people invest in you, grow your own social capital and get more value in and out of your networks!

So I jumped in and started using the game mechanics.  I bought shares in people I knew personally or knew of from Facebook and Twitter.  They give you the option of selecting interests centered around locations, activities or personal groups set up by other users.  I joined the Fort Worth group and then realized the real potential of this site.

In the post Getting Past ‘the Game’, the creators state that the site is about connecting.  The game mechanics are just to get you in the door.  That’s what I saw happen.  There were people from the DFW area that began investing in me.  There were social media consultants, graphic designers, and the list goes on.  I might run across these people on Twitter.  It’s very unlikely I’d meet them through LinkedIn.  So now I have the opportunity to get to know people in related fields with varied experiences.

I’m interested to see what will transpire over the next few months.  I’m hoping to make some connections that will lead to some side work.  Also because of the game mechanics, if I want to keep my share price up, I will probably end up writing more.

The Lengths I Go to Organize My Books

A few years ago I installed OpenBiblio on one of my websites to keep tab of all my books. I wrote a Perl script that uses a book’s ISBN number to retrieve the bibliographic information from Amazon and then enter the book into my library.  I can now search all my books  as well my DVDs and I have a complete list for insurance purposes.  Also, now if someone wants to borrow a book, I can check it out and know who borrowed what and when.
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