Blog Archives

Making your WordPress Blog social friendly


I have tried quite a few blogging platforms and it is my opinion that WordPress is one of the best platforms imageout there. You can either choose to host your blog at WordPress.com or use WordPress.org to maintain self hosted blog. I maintain two blogs on WordPress, TroubleshootingSQL and  MyeScribblepad. Last week I decided to get over my lethargy and revamp my SQL blog.

The first step was to look for a blog theme which had a flexible width and was able to utilize the complete real estate available on your display medium, desktop monitor, laptop screen, iPad, PDA/Smartphones etc. and at the same time re-size based on the device and display settings being used. I browsed a bunch of themes and finally zeroed in on a two-column sidebar theme called Andreas09. This provides me with a wide column for the body which allows me to combine my posts with in-line screen-shots which I have started using a lot in my recent posts.

Next were the sharing buttons available under Settings –> Sharing options on your blog Dashboard. This makes it easier for your blog readers to share your blog posts in case they want to. You can also use the pre-configured Widgets (Appearance –> Widgets) to add a bit of pizzazz to blog home page by providing cloud tag, Twitter feed, RSS feeds, etc.

imageI like the Text widget which allows you to add arbitrary HTML tags to create your own fancy little sidebar item. I went to work on this using old school HTML tags like <a> and <href> and a bit of Adobe Photoshop handiwork to create my own social connection options for my Facebook page, Twitter account, RSS/Feedburner feeds, LinkedIN profile and Networked Blogs account.

The next step was to customize the Facebook page for my blog using RSS Graffiti. This Facebook application allows you to use RSS feeds from other blogs and post them on your page’s wall. I currently have the following blogs being subscribed through this application:

SQLServerFAQ – A MSDN blog where common issues encountered by the Microsoft SQL Server CSS team are blogged about.
PSSSQL – A MSDN blog where you will find valuable nuggets of information from the members of the Escalation Services team for SQL Server CSS including the likes of Bob Ward and Bob Dorr.
SQL Server Release Services – The official blog of the SQL Server Release Services team where you will find the information about all the latest cumulative updates/service packs and support policy information.
Data Platform Insider – The official blog on the Microsoft SQL Server team.
SSRS Team – The official blog of the SQL Server SSRS team.
SQL Azure – This is the official blog of the SQL Azure team.
SQLCAT – The official blog of the SQL Customer Advisory Team.

So if you like the Facebook page, then all the new posts from these blogs will appear in your Facebook news feed. The primary reason for creating a Facebook page for my blog was to prevent getting hate posts from my friends on  Facebook who are not SQL Server enthusiasts or who don’t want to receive updates regarding SQL Server on their social feeds. (You know who you are!! 😛 )

Along with all this WordPress also allows you to connect your blog to services like Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and Live Messenger using Settings –> Sharing from your blog Dashboard. Once you have configured the connection to these services with your WordPress blog, WordPress can automatically post updates using these updates using the aforementioned social networks/tools. The social networks also provided various applications which allow interconnectivity between different social networks which allow you to cross-post the updates. 

WordPress now allows you to enable a mobile and iPad theme for your blog readers who use their cell phones or iPad to arrive at your blog. (Appearance –> Extras and Appearance –> iPad respectively from your blog Dashboard)

Within you a very short time, you can really increase your potential blog reach without having to manually post updates to multiple places once you decide to evangelize a blog post or article that you have found.

One of the numerous reasons I really like WordPress is their spam filter Askimet which keeps out a vast amount of junk, spam comments from my blog.

Happy blog customization!

Why some song titles cannot be used as ur FB status


This weekend I was doing a round of songs on my MP3 collection from yester years. And I posted the following as my Facebook status:

Halka Halka sa yeh nasha… (It’s a song) 😛

And then I realized that some of the songs that I was browsing through in the list would make for a very questionable list of status messages that would invite some undesirable smart-ass comments!

So here it goes (in order of status updates in ascending order):

Aap Ki Kashish (Movie: Aashiq Banaya Aapne)

Halka Halka sa yeh nasha (Movie: Chocolat)

Aashiq Banaya Aapne (Movie: Aashiq Banaya Aapne)

Dil Dooba (Movie: Khakee)

The English translations of the above phrases would be even more eyebrow raising and a good hearty laugh! Eye rolling smile So happy translating!!

Google employees using their Facebook cards


If you have been following TechCrunch (or any any other business news website) through Twitter, Facebook, Blog, RSS feeds or one/many of the numerous other obnoxious ways of following a blog, you would have noticed that some of the articles were around Google’s announcement of a pay hike of 10% across the board (Read more about it here) and counter-offers being made to people within the organization to get them to turn down existing offers from competitors.

An article on the GlassDoor website had an interesting thought:

Most people, even the best and brightest, go to work to make money. If they didn’t need the money, they’d often (even usually) do something else. Working is an economic thing.

from the article:

The author mentions that Google is in it’s adulthood, which is true. As rightly put in another article, the Mountain View company cannot just sell itself to prospective employees by claiming that it is “The Cool Place to Work”. Top talent looking to join the company would look at multiple factors like job/role description, compensation, career growth etc. While pay-hike and bonuses is a good incentive to retain people, sometimes that is NOT the only factor!

The most interesting fact is that Google (which I have heard from many is “the” place to workSarcastic smile) is offering it’s employees mind-boggling counter offers to reject offers from companies like Facebook. It’s a known fact in the IT world that attrition is an arch nemesis of growth in human resources. Attrition forecasting in many parts of the world has become so important that it is slowly turning into a business skill that must be acquired by top executives in Human Resources and the top echelons of any IT business. The TechCrunch article on the extra-ordinary counter-offers talks about Google trying hard to retain it’s top talent! But an underlying message that a lot of business analysts in the past week have pointed out is that “it hurts general morale”. Why would you overplay the importance of one employee to the point that other employees feel crestfallen. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the Google employees (even loyalists within the company) decide to use the Facebook card to cement their financial stability in the coming years.

It would be interesting to see how the company reacts in the coming years and how maturely would it handle the competition that it faces from companies who are in the same position where Google was a decade back. It’s not a piece-of-cake to fathom the fact that you are on the other side of the fence!

Change is inevitable! How one foresees the change, prepares for it and embraces it finally makes all the difference!

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