It's been over 3 years since I started a Meetup Group for Drupal Developers in Columbia, SC. The groups started out meeting at Richland County Public Libary (which is a Drupal site btw) and since has moved to the IT-Ology building at the corner of Sumter and Gervais in downtown Columbia.
We have met over 36 times since February 2010 and this past week we had our best turn-out so far with 12 Drupal Website builders attending. We discussed Drupal Commerce as well as responsive themes such as Omega. We had several serious newcomers who wanted a better understanding blocks and views and some other more basic concepts.
I spent some time showing people how to evaluate a Drupal module using the information on the Drupal module's project page and how to find the number of downloads for a particular version of the module.
We've had over 60 people attend these meetings representing dozens of companies, government organizations, non-profits, and educational institutions. There is a continued growth Drupal Development in South Carolina, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.
If you're interested in learning more about Drupal, please attent our Meetups at IT-Ology the 2nd Monday of Every Month. Also, I teach a Drupal 101 & 102 class every few months-- check the IT-Ology Calendar or signup for their newsletter for more information.
Diet Coke turns 30 this year, and everybody is talking about it!
On July 29th the brand launched an excellent marketing campaign, using a FREE marketing tool, twitter, to get its loyal customers fighting for a chance to win free Diet Coke for a year.
A competition via@DietCokeUS asked consumers and fans to tweet the love through birthday wishes, haikus, finishing sentences, etc. and hashtag it #DietCokeBday. The winners received a year’s supply of Diet Coke and a surprise 30 second party with the DC Crew.
With over 200,000 followers, you can imagine the number of free promotional tweets pushing brand image and awareness. Not to mention the significant increase in customer loyalty. Just hearing about the campaign (and not being a part of it) makes me want to go out and buy the diet soda, because who doesn’t want to be apart of something so huge, so unique, and so full of energy?
Watch any of the videos Diet Coke posted of the 30 second parties, and you’ll understand.
According to the Diet Coke brand page, it’s been the top diet soft drink in the world since 1984, after only two years of being on the market. Today it maintains that position as well as the no. 3 spot for soft drinks in the world.
You don’t get stats like that with a mediocre marketing strategy. No, you get it by thinking outside the bottle.
The Grocer’s recently published “Top 100 Advertisers Report” showed that Coca-Cola has cut ad spending by 6.6% in 2010 and invested more into social media.
“Coca-Cola’s social media strategy is clearly about long-term sustainable engagement, developing advocacy and encouraging brand loyalty,” says Matt Rhodes of socialmediatoday.com.
“Social media is not just about campaigns or generating buzz around a new product launch. It can be used to engage with consumers on an ongoing basis in order to deepen relationships with a brand.”
Clearly the Coca-Cola company is taking its social media marketing very serious. The company published its Online Social Media Principles, stating, “These Online Social Media Principles have been developed to help empower our associates to participate in this new frontier of marketing and communications, represent our Company, and share the optimistic and positive spirits of our brands.”
It then goes on to list the five core values of the company in the online social media community, which are
So if you want to follow somebody, (pun intended), you might want to follow the successful marketing strategies of @DietCokeUS.
I've had my iMac for probably 3 years now, and I have to say I'm still not really a "Mac Person" like so many are. I love how reliable it is, but a lot of things annoy me about it-- why can't I make a window larger by dragging the top left corner? , for example.
And so my screen saver is whatever I selected the first time I setup my Mac. It scans all the photos on my computer and displays them as a slideshow, and it's always fun to watch it, but occasionally I see a photo I would like to email or post on Facebook. I don't have a good way to find a photo like that.
One way I do that, though, is to use the iPhoto "Faces" feature, which lets you tag photos (like you do on Facebook), and then it goes out and tries to find photos of that same person. Here's what it looks like on the Faces home page:
You may notice that Ronald Reagan is my photo album, and so is Elvis, The Soup Nazi, and a few others you would recognize. The Soup Nazi's face was identified in this photo of me wandering the streets of New York looking for Seinfeld trivia:
Once I tagged his face as "Soup Nazi", iPhoto wants to find other pictures of him and that's where the fun begins. Here's the result, and it makes me laugh every time:
Happy 4th of July to everyone. I'm going to try to consistently blog. It takes discipline of which I have very little. I've been meaning for some time to try switching to Bing. Why? Because some people say it's better and I've heard some interesting things.
The thing I heard about that I like was showing me organic search results with a right sidebar that shows what my friends have said about the topic recently. When I started using Bing, it had an animation come up and tell me about that right sidebar, but then it turned it off. So I needed to learn how to turn it back on.
I googled, "Why is Bing better than Google", and within a click or two I saw an ad or a link for "Google Graveyard" which turned out to be anti-Google propoganda put out by Microsoft
How did I so quickly get directed to TNW (The Next Web). It was a cute, friendly blog about a person who built a "Graveyard of cancelled Google products by a helpful Microsoft employee." All good fun, I'm sure.
Okay, so on my other screen is the front page of TNW and the big ad says Google: part of the next web family. So this is actually Google putting out an article about these Microsoft guys who did this thing on their Pinterest page.
The reason I so quickly ended up at TNW was because the entire bottom section of the page, below the search results was "News and Notable from across TNW:"
Founded in 2008, The Next Web is one of the world’s largest online publications that delivers an international perspective on the latest news about Internet technology, business and culture. With an active, influential audience consisting of more than 5.1 million monthly visits and over 7 million monthly page views, The Next Web continues to expand its global presence on its website with the addition of new channels and content partnerships, as well as through events in North America and Europe. That's an exact quote from their home page. You can learn more at http://thenextweb.com/about/
Which one would I click on? I was on the front page of Bing and I was afraid to click on something? That's not good for business. Then I notice to the left of this, the "Search History", my search history is cab vomit fee, sliker, Usain Bolt Running, and why bing is better than google.
I will admit to searching for sliker and why bing is better than google, but the other two there is no way I ever typed or searched for. Who is Usain Bolt Running. I may have seen a web page with him on it, but I certainly didn't search for this. This should not be considered Search History, in my opinion.
So I'm back to the home page. Got to see what's up with the girl on the pole. This is Microsoft so I'm sure it's family friendly. I click on it and see that... whoops... it wasn't some woman on a pole, it was Taylor Swift holding her guitar. Man, getting old takes it's toll on your eyes, that's for sure.
NOTE TO TAYLOR: I know you search the blogosphere daily to find out what people are saying about you, so I know you'll see this some time. I hope I didn't offend you and PLEASE don't write a song about me.
'll be teaching a session of "Hello Drupal" for the Open IT Lab at IT-Ology in Columbia, next Saturday, March 17, 2012, 9:30 - noon. If you've never been to IT-Ology, you should definitely check it out. It is a state of the art high tech training facility.
Below is the content of the flyer that's being used to promote the session:
Considering a career in web development? This workshop will introduce the open
source Drupal content management system and framework, in use by about 2% of
the world's websites, including whitehouse.gov, economist.com, and
dev.twitter.com. SC Drupal User Group Leader Tom Sliker will lead this hands-on
workshop to get you going with Drupal. Drupal has both a point and click interface
to allow tech-savvy people to put together websites with no programming
experience; and it also has an API and framework for programmers to develop
unique applications. And it's all free--it's open source.
WHAT ATTENDEES WILL LEARN
Explain how a typical site is built in Drupal, and explain the page-model in Drupal.
Use Drupal specific terminology such as !elds, views, node, block, page. Determine
what skills you need to develop to reach your goals. Know where to go to !nd
I'm a little late sharing this but I just wanted to take moment to mention the very successful Bar Camp Charleston (www.BarCampChS.org).
There were dozens of interesting sessions covering everything from Linux to Web Design to Salsa dancing. There were 3 Drupal sessions. The first was 'Intro to Drupal' which was given by Nikolai Burton. Nikolai runs Charleston Drupal Users Group (http://chsdug.org/) and also presented a session called "A Whirlwind World Tour of Film." Nikolai was asked to do this session att the last minute and he filled in admirably. He presented to a packed classroom of more than forty people and it was a valuable session.
My second Drupal session was at 5 pm when most of us were approaching a brain-dead state after a full day of information consumption. The Topic for this session was 'Drupal Next Steps - an Introduction to Drush & Performance Tuning'. By this time the Drupal crowd had thinned considerably. It didn't help that the time slot put me in competition with he very popular 'How to Make Your Own Beer' session. All in all, it was a very productive day and I want to express congratulations and thanks to the team that made it happen.
We tested Boost on www.busbeetruckparts.com and a test version of www.tylerbrothers.net. Both of these sites have mostly anonymous users and fairly static content. They are both hosted on a shared hosting service. These factors make them good candidates for Boost.
Apache Bench (ab) is a performance measurement tool that comes with Apache. It comes natively on a Mac. If you are using a PC, you need to load the WAMP or XAMPP stack to get Apache and ab. Some links about ab and XAMPP:
Like most people, I started doing business with GoDaddy a long time ago, when I first started registering Domain names. Actually, my first domain—sliker.com in 1997—was done through Network Solutions, who I think had a monopoly back then. But like most people, when GoDaddy came out with $9.99 domains it was irresistible. Since then I have had hundreds of domain registrations and renewals at GoDaddy, and two different hosting accounts for my various customer sites and my own Web properties.
While I still host my domains their, I left Godaddy hosting for HostGator In 2007, when I first got turned on to Drupal. GoDaddy has a very unorthodox hosting system and does not support standard tools such as CPanel and Web Host Manager (WHM) for managing LAMP hosting. (LAMP is an acronym for Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP, which is the open source platform that Drupal runs on. At the time I left, the only way to install and run Drupal was using Fantastico, which was very limiting. Since then, they’ve improved their Drupal support—I recent did a job for [county bounty] and created a Drupal Multi-site on GoDaddy’s hosting system. It worked out fine, but it was difficult due to the odd programs and interfaces we had to use.
The other reason I was glad to leave GoDaddy was due to the company’s marketing and the general attitude of the owner, Bob Parsons. When I want to login and check on my domains, I don’t want to feel like I’m checking in to a strip club. Now granted, there is no pornography or nudity on the site, but there is a lot of scantily clad women and a general attitude that makes me feel kind of … dirty. I would just prefer not to participate, or limit my participation to a bare minimum.
Meanwhile… HostGator has been great! They have great service. Their ticketing system and engineers are top notch. Their phone support is very good. And I love the online chat support—I can talk to a tech support agent via chat at any time of day or night. The HostGator experience has been all good, and I highly recommend them for your Drupal hosting.