New Year, new beginning!

My new video blog: Code by Larry

I have decided to create a new blog and youtube channel dedicated to software development tips and tricks. I feel this blog has turned more toward eCommerce and what I do for IBM than the original developer type blog. This blog will continue to be focused on eCommerce and development around its tools. The new Code By Larry site will focus on more general programming techniques and lessons. The new blog format combined with using tools like JSFiddle allows me to also share the fiddles with my audience. So you not only get to see the tip but you get to have the code!

The Code By Larry came about when I moved my African Grey Parrot into my work area. He interrupts a lot and I figured I would create a brand around it.  Unfortunately it wasn’t until I recorded the fifth video was Larry in the room.  So I will embed that video here so you will get a taste of being educated and entertained. He doesn’t say much in this first video but I am sure it gets better. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

2015 Lunar Eclipse with a blood moon pictures

Last night my son Nathan and I used the telescope and an iPhone 6 to take pictures of the eclipse and then the following blood moon. They came out pretty good but my brother Tom (who owns Balfe’s photography) took even better ones! Check out the pictures below:

Should Facebook and other social sites implement a “graphic content” warning before auto-playing videos?

smAfter the barrage of posts about the live shooting of the news anchor and her camera man and watching videos of the shooting it made me think of a feature Facebook and other social media should consider having. There is nothing worse than being around family, co-workers, or my kids and scrolling through my Facebook feed and see videos with questionable content just start playing.

As much as I hate a big brother attitude or punish everyone for something a small percentage of people do, the world we live in is changing rapidly and the content and videos being posted about the many tragedies happening in this world are becoming more and more prevalent.

I think when posting a URL or video on social media there should be a couple of options to flag the content as “graphic” or “not for work” – which then disables auto play with a banner ad warning. I know many people, including myself, simply do not watch many of these videos at work or when the kids are around and something like this might help out just a little.

What do you think, is this a crazy idea?

Blog stats for 2014 and what I learned

Each year I read around the net how different blogs did for the year and attempt to compare myself to those blogs or just simply learn how I can do things better. I also get asked many times by aspiring tech bloggers how much traffic to expect. I always say “not much at first” but focus on “green content” – ie. content that will forever get hits from SEO and search engines, or timeless content. As you will see below, a majority of my top posts came from previous years. My average bounce rate was 1.37 for 2014, meaning each visitor viewed almost 1.4 posts on each visit. This at least tells me the majority of people who get sent to my blog look at another post for some reason or another.

This year I focused on developer and business content and cut way back on personal information and relied more on platforms like Facebook for that stuff. I also focused on what I considered better content and less frequent posts unless I had something good to share or it was time sensitive. So here are my results for this blog:

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What do you think technical eminence is?

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 11.25.02 AMThis is a very interesting topic for me as I have heard the term several times within IBM. Let’s tear apart the phrase:

Technical – obviously someone who is a technical expert or at least claims they have the capability to enter into a technical discussion about architecture and implementation.

Eminencefame or recognized superiority, especially within a particular sphere or profession. – link

Mixing these two together can be problematic in the technical world, especially if you are an introvert or someone who is not social at all. In the old days people published books, articles, or spoke at large conferences to gain “eminence“. Today, I see a very different way of achieving technical eminence through social media and social networks.

If you are reading this blog then you are most likely familiar with what I write about and what my YouTube channel is. I have often been on the fence with some of my content because I am trying to reach a variety of skills, mostly developers and users of IBM software and tooling. One could easily argue much of my material is either too technical, not technical enough, or not technical at all. This balance in my opinion is very delicate and in my experience you can potentially lose or gain readers based on this balance. With my videos especially, I do not want to get down the path of being viewed as “just a demo person” with no depth, so I intentionally write about coding, connecting, and architecting the solution. Of course many of my videos and content represent the contributions of a much larger team.

So the question is, how valuable is this “technical eminence” to companies? Should technical architects and software engineers or senior level IT staff be “out there” building their personal brand.  In my opinion, technical eminence is achieved when the individuals material or individual himself is often referenced on the subject at hand. This comes down to mentions, views, readership, and most important of all recognition as someone who “knows this” and is “known” for this. Thoughts?

Who watches YouTube videos from their TV?

I love statistics and especially love them when something new starts to happen. This year something definitely changed with what devices people use to watch my videos. I have seen a huge growth in mobile and tablet however TV has now entered into the picture. Check out the table below for my 2014 statistics, TV is at .5 percent of my views. I wonder how much that will be this time next year.

Do you watch YouTube from your TV?

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Who is watching your videos on YouTube?

I understand the types of videos I make will never go viral as it is a niche channel but I am always interested in finding new ways to have broader coverage. I have monitored things like the video retention rate and have attempted to make the videos somewhat compelling along the way to keep the retention high throughout the video however I often find the results are variable and still don’t have it down completely.

I see I have a fairly large viewership in the US and India, and not bad in the UK, Canada, and Brazil but then its starts to decline pretty quickly.

I promote the videos here on this blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Tumblr, and even Facebook. So the question I have is, how do you get more viewers in these other countries? Are there other social platforms I should be targeting to get the “word out” on? What social networks do you publicize your videos on in these other countries?

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The new share buttons in WordPress are much nicer!

I love the new share buttons in WordPress. The icons are very sharp and I love the new share/like counts for each post:

new share buttons

I am running WordPress 3.9.1 with the Twenty Eleven theme.

Need help: Why am I getting a 403 Forbidden when posting to LinkedIn?

Every other social network posting works fine but recently I get this error when posting to LinkedIn. I have looked all over the internet for a solution including the LinkedIn forums. Seems like a lot of people are having this problem with LinkedIn and many are solving it in very different ways. I attempted to disable my CDN, I checked the .htaccess file and even removed some the advertisements but to no avail. I am running WordPress 3.9.1 with all plugins updated to the latest.

Any help is appreciated!

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Here are the plugins I currently have enabled on this site:

  • Akismet
  • Amazon Reloaded for WordPress
  • AntiVirus
  • CDN Linker
  • Download Counter
  • Download Counter Chart
  • Easy Technorati Tags for WordPress
  • Image Gallery Reloaded
  • ImageMagick Engine
  • Jetpack by
  • Lightbox Plus ColorBox
  • Mobile Gallery
  • Technorati Full Feeds
  • URL Shortener
  • WP-Stats
  • WP-Stats-Dashboard
  • WP-SynHighlight
  • WP Missed Schedule
  • WP Super Cache
  • Youtube Feeder