Wow. The five minute install that is really more like a two minute install

I finally found some time (and resources) to experiment with having WordPress on my local machine so I can play around with WordPress themes. The goal is to eventually create my own theme that I can use for more experimentation.  I also want to propose running WordPress on my local work servers so we can use P2 for internal communication.  During one of our mini-meetings, communication was brought up and I really think P2 would work for us if they give it a shot. They don’t want to get rid of meetings and I have no problem with that but I think a central area where we can post our projects, invite people to participate, add files, and keep documentation in one spot would be wonderful to have.  We rely heavily on e-mail and you would not believe the size of our archives. (Wish me luck trying to convince the big bosses to embrace something new.)

So back to WordPress running smoothly (for now) on my laptop. Wheee!

I really want to polish my html, css and learn a bit of php and I find that I learn better if I have an actual project that I am working on as opposed to passively reading help files. I am using code academy as well (love the presentation of that one) Although I am currently working on two actual sites right now (on top of my day job), the “clients” wanted me to use specific themes for the site so it’s more about customizing the pre-made themes rather than creating something from scratch.

I found a great guide for beginners at wpmudev.  The codex will be my guide fo most of this but there are a lot of other resources I can use too. I guess the bulk of my next few posts will be about this little journey of mine. (I wish my body doesn’t need sleep. So much to learn, so little time.)

CALVIN_TIRED

I love www

Ilovetheinternet

Yes I do.

I was trying to look back and remember when I started using technology. It’s very interesting how I had no hot water growing up (not really THAT necessary living in a tropical country), had a one burner gas stove for a family of four but I had a computer. And internet. Granted back then it was just dial-up, it was still neat to have that technology at home. For someone who resisted owning a cellphone for the longest time, this was a big step up.

Careerwise, I never really had the nerve to pursue the path that I really wanted to take. Certain routes were strongly ingrained in me (healthcare, education, business degrees only)  and the fear of poverty always kept me from taking any major risks earlier in my life. So while I thoroughly enjoyed almost every job that I had and did quite well for myself, a part of me felt that something was missing. Thankfully, the web offered me opportunities to learn skills to dabble and have fun with that is not related to my job at that time. It was just a matter of squeezing some “play time” for me.

Right now, I live in rural midwest which means that without connectivity, I will probably shrivel up and die a slow painful death.  I get my books online, streaming for shows, even diapers and wipes for the kiddo. If there is something that I need to learn for work or play, all I have to do is look for it online.

May one day I can be involved in a career involving something online. 🙂

“Nope” intensifies, diversifies grammatically

Sentence first

Remember the transformation of fail and win 5–6 years ago? Fleeting online slang phrases like bucket of fail and made of win may sound dated now, but terms like epic fail/win and FTW (“for the win”) and the words’ use as tags and hashtags remain popular. Fail and win have firmly, if informally, extended their grammatical domains, having been converted from verb to noun, interjection, and other categories.

A word undergoing comparable change is nope. Its metamorphosis over the last few years has in some ways been more impressive, but it seems less remarked on than fail and win – maybe because of its more limited distribution. For instance, this cartoon on Imgur (pronunciation note here), which shows Spider-Man shooting spiders from his hands, drew comments that use nope as a verb, adjective, and noun – mass and count – as well as duplicating, lengthening, and…

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How to Help your Helper Help You

Littlemisshelpfulbook

I was thinking about Amanda Palmer’s talk on “The Art of Asking” on TED as well as her expounding about it in her book.  Of course it mostly dealt with artists and the asking/giving dynamic that happens but it made me want to write this post about helping but more specifically, asking for help.

Helping others is a part of most people’s day.  No matter what they say about this being such a big bad world, just jump online or look to your neighbor and you can see little gestures and someone lending a helping hand. Of course there will always be those who have nothing better to do than to be nasty but for the most part, I have been very fortunate because most of the people that I have met online and off have all been nice, normal and helpful people. Some folks even do it professionally as support people, as tech support or customer support.

What I want to focus on is how to ask for help (and yes it took two paragraphs to get there) more effectively.  People WANT to help but we have to equip them with enough tools to allow them to use their expertise to help us.  There are only five things that I feel we have to keep in mind:

1.  Be specific – Details! If you are asking for tech support, try to remember the steps that led do the “error” that you have, or perhaps even supply screenshots and if you remember, tell them how often it happens. Links are helpful as well. Outline things that you have already tried to fix the problem so they don’t waste time trying something that won’t work.

2. Be nice and polite. Always. There is absolutely, NO reason to be rude.

3. Be patient. Sometimes, the person helping us need to look some stuff up, or ask a resource person, or have to do a  bit more troubleshooting.

4.  Be persistent. A nudge here and there wouldn’t hurt to help with follow through.

5. Pass it on! Someone helped you? Perhaps at some point, we get to help someone else too. 🙂

Note: I just started reading Amanda Palmer’s book and pretty good so far. 🙂

Relieve the ennui

“I need the drive and energy to do something productive. The monotony of my days breed dissatisfaction and boredom. Most days I just want to crawl into bed and hide from the world. Preferably with a good book of course.”