David Herron is a blogger, software engineer, electric vehicle enthusiast, and energy healer.

Many people are working alone on great ideas that could improve the way we all live

For the last one and a half years I’ve been working on launching Transition Silicon Valley. It’s meant to be the Silicon Valley branch of the Transition Towns movement. The work is paying off right now in that we’re running a movie series called “Films of Vision and Hope” that’s drawn about 50-60 people per night. The overall message is there are a doom and gloom scenarios in the area of peak oil and climate change, and it’s easy to remain stuck there and not move into positive action.

Social networking in the workplace

This evening I attended a panel discussion about “Social Networking” as it is used inside businesses. Obviously there is a wildfire like phenomenon where “Social Networking” and “Social Media” is growing very popular. Why should it stay out in the public only used for sharing with friends and family? It can and is being used within organizations for internal communication within the organization. Any organization is about getting people to collaborate together in delivering the organization’s purpose.

Keeping the social media firehose under control, keeping balance in your life

There’s a lot of people teaching that the way of success in social media is to get as many followers as possible. It’s a numbers game where if 1% of followers click on your links and take a desired action (buy a product) then to me n$’s in sales it’s possible to calculate the required number of followers. However it’s likely that making positive social change using social media requires a different approach to this game. And in any case for myself I like to actually use my social media accounts for, you know, socializing.

Creating Facebook fan pages

You don’t have to be a hollywood celebrity to have fans. All you need is a facebook account. What happens from there is up to you.

While it’s true that many of the popular facebook pages are for the usual celebrities, some are clearly not (a.k.a. “I <heart> sleep”). Clearly some people have created fan pages and through some means of manifestment they’ve managed to get millions of people to become fans of their pages.

Some critical articles to understanding implementing a CCK module in Drupal

I recently wrote a module implementing a CCK field. There is a lot of undocumented information required to be known to do so. Fortunately some people have written tutorials ...

Functions needed to define a new CCK field; Field placement module thoughts

Poplar ProductivityWare Articles: Creating a Compound Field Module for CCK in Drupal 6.x by Jennifer Hodgdon

A simple way to create a 'related posts' block using Views 2 in Drupal 6

Looking at the traffic data google Analytics collects on my web sites I see a high "bounce" rate which means many visitors leave right away. It means they come to the site, then look only at the one page, presumably to go elsewhere. I've been pondering what might be a good way to entice them to stay and look around. After all, my websites exist to instruct people, so the more pages they look at on my sites the more instruction I'm able to impart. Oh, and there's a higher chance they'll click on an ad or something.

Improving navigability of Drupal taxonomy hierarchies

Drupal's taxonomy system is wonderful in many regards, but it has major FAIL issues. One of those is the navigation of vocabulary term pages where the vocabulary has a hierarchy. By default the taxonomy system uses pages at "example.com/taxonomy/term/%tid" to display teasers for nodes having the given term. Ideally these pages would enable browsing around in the hierarchy of terms in the given vocabulary, but that's not the case. Fortunately the fix is pretty simple though rather obscure.

The ideal in my mind is for the vocabulary term page to display these items:

    How to use Mercurial to hack Drupal Core without killing kittens

    In the Drupal community there's a paradigm that every time you hack core you kill a kitten. And who would want to kill a kittens? The point is that any time you hack core (modify the Drupal core files) it becomes a nightmare to forward-migrate your changes as Drupal core is updated. The Drupal team does routinely update Drupal (about every 2 months) and it's best to keep your Drupal installation up-to-date especially as many of the fixes are for security bugs.

    Reducing bandwidth use, decreasing page load times, for better Drupal user experience

    One of my sites has a high traffic load (2000 visits per day, over 6000 page views per day) and has been using up the bandwidth allotment on the shared hosting account where it's hosted. Concerns are that a large download per page would turn off visitors due to a long page load time, and also the environmental impact of excessive bandwidth usage. Initially the only measurement tool I had was the realtime bandwidth statistics provided by the hosting provider (see the screenshots below) and it was only later when Firebug became functional on firefox 3.5 and YSlow was then usable.

    Cure for FAIL when using RedirectMatch with clean URL's on Drupal

    I've had a problem with use of RedirectMatch on some of my sites which causes a FAIL in combination with Drupal's reliance on mod_rewrite to provide clean URL's. Over the years I've used different technologies to build sites and on occasion have converted a site built with static web pages into one driven with Drupal. This has meant a web of .htaccess files listing redirects for the old URL into a new URL. The goal is to help your readers continue to access the pages you wrote even when the location (URL) of the page changes.

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