Dashboard.io Startup Metrics for Pirates WordPress Plugin

I’ve been working with a good friend and colleague, Paul Singh, Founder of Dashboard.io to beta test his new analytics tracking solution for startups/founders/investors which is based on the metrics standard AARRR from Dave McClure, Founder of 500startups and the guy behind Startup Metrics for Pirates. Dashboard.io allows startups to see how they rank against other startups while investors benefit from it the same way.

I threw together this blog post and WordPress plugin based on Dashboard.io tracking integration and AARRR standard to save time on applying the code on wordpress sites and to eventually make the plugin seemlessly integrate for all stages of the conversion funnel proposed by AARRR.

So far Dashboard.io is working well for me on my sites like Music.com and is helping people understand relevant metrics and conversion goals for their websites.

If you’d like to fork this plugin or download it for now I just have it on github. I’ll publish to WordPress.org CODEX if there’s demand for it.

I welcome feedback and kudos to Paul Singh for releasing this analytics app.


Free Spreadsheet – Rackspace Cloud Infrastructure Hosting Budget Planner

As a web developer and software entrepreneur I often come to rely on Rackspace to support my hosting and infrastructure needs. I’ve also been tweeting and discussing Cloud Computing and it’s benefits.

For the benefit of any nerds, admins, developers, entrepreneurs and CTOs alike, I’ve put together this Google Spread Sheet template to help you forecast your potential hosting budget impact as it relates to your hosting configuration and metered usages.

If you’d like help with this template applied to your business or with your hosting solution, let me know and I’d be glad to help. Also I’ve made this a free template at Google Docs but I welcome feedback and suggestions on improving it.

I hope you will find it as useful as my clients and I do to help forecast costs for your shiny new, contract-free cloud at Rackspace 🙂

Check out the template and feel free to modify and use it as you please — Rackspace Cloud Infrastructure Hosting Budget Planner


Mind Map : Cloud Computing for Non-Profits

Over the last few months, I’ve been quite preoccupied with research and development and one of the most common tools I use in my work is Mind Mapping. I was also recently asked to be a guest for #nptalk to chat about Cloud Computing for Non-profits. For the benefit of non-profit leaders and to further my evangelism for non-profits and #nptech, I decided to share this mind map on the very same subject.

This particular mind map may not make sense to every #nptech person out there, regardless I hope you will find it useful.

If you would like any help or advice on cloud computing for your non-profit or business including government, I’d be happy to help, just reach out to me through the blog or contact form.

[iframe http://www.mindmeister.com/maps/public_map_shell/83454752/cloud-computing-for-non-profits-by-omar-uddin?width=600&height=400&zoom=0&live_update=1&no_logo=1 700 600]

I plan to release more mind maps on variety of topics for the benefit of interested audiences. I also welcome your feedback and suggestions on mind maps you’d like to see or consider for discussion.
Continue reading “Mind Map : Cloud Computing for Non-Profits”


PHP vs whatever debate – don’t be stupid – create value from your tech

There are countless articles, forums, blogs and other sites that try to either defend or blast PHP for use as a professional language for web development. There are a ton of PHP developers than ever before and there are many great options to choose from in terms of your web development technology.

A good example of these debates are like this one — which I will warn that you not read too much into as well!

Considering PHP is dominant due to it’s default installation with Apache on Linux web servers – the most dominant server distro on the web — this debate could greatly be ‘closed’ if these folks look through a magnifying glass for specific scenarios, or if they look to people that have worked on both sides of the debate — such as me.
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Multiple Domains or sites on a single WordPress mu instance at Rackspace Cloud Sites – when no wildcard needed

After talking to my friends Robert La Gesse from Rackspace Cloud and @vidluther from ThirdPartyCode, I decided messing with domain alias feature of Rackspace Cloud Sites so I could save money from getting a Cloud Server, VPS or slicehost.

If you need to run multiple-separate domains and one base master WordPress template theme with multiple children themes (like what I needed was a product site, 2 blogs, a community and a corporate site) without the need for wildcard subdomains or subfolders per blog/site then running a single instance of code and database on Rackspace Cloud Sites is possible using their domain alias feature.
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WCF / .NET 3.5 on the Rackspace Cloud

For those of you folks who are considering a cloud hosting solution for your ASP.NET web apps with or without WCF services, I strongly recommend you test out Rackspace Cloud.

I had some trouble getting things working but found an excellent article that should help you .NET developers looking to use Rackspace Cloud Sites as solution to host your ASP.NET web sites, web apps or WCF services.

Since cloud hosting has different conditions for security and reliability, there are some other considerations that you should check out at the Help support area of the Rackspace Cloud:

Cheers to the folks at Rackspace Cloud! PS When can I expect Cloud Servers to run Windows in a vm 🙂 ?


User Interface Testing/QA Tool for Web Developers

A good friend of mine, Vid Luther from PHPCult / Linuxpowered.com, Selenium IDE screenshotshowed me Selenium, a nifty Firefox extension, today for developing test cases that you can play back into the Firefox browser including pauses, delays, keystrokes, form values, and link clicks.

Selenium IDE is an integrated development environment for Selenium tests. It is implemented as a Firefox extension, and allows you to record, edit, and debug tests. Selenium IDE includes the entire Selenium Core, allowing you to easily and quickly record and play back tests in the actual environment that they will run.

If you find yourself repeatedly running the same user flow tests on a website or web application, try out this extension today!


Data Visualization – Oh So Pretty!

Have you ever been into a meeting with a presentation being shown by some techie or project lead that attempts to describe some kind of trend or probabilistic projection and been bored by the visualization? Well many sectors of the economy rely on very simple visualization tools that aren’t at the fore front of data visualization and mining techniques that are available nowadays.

In the recent past I’ve posted about Google Maps mashups with heat map technology but there are many powerful tools out there (some web based, others not) that intrinsically yield powerful trends that may not even have been discoverable with simple charts, graphs and basic visualization tools of the past era.

An article in SmashingMagazine.com has catalogued and captured screenshots of the most amazing and beautiful data visualization models out there including everything from 3d heatmapping/contouring, content clouding, to mind mapping.

One of my favorites is a 3d visual population hill/spike density map from Time Magazine:
Time Magazine uses visual hills (spikes) to emphasize the density of American population in its map.

If you are in the business of analysis of any kind, you should definitely read this article and check out the screen shots. You might find the technologies that these companies are creating useful to your endeavor.