The Trifecta of BlogWorld, New Media Expo & Las Vegas WordCamp 2009

Originally posted in full at Softduit Media.


Last weekend I ventured back to BlogWorld & the New Media Expo and Las Vegas WordCamp.  The great thing is that all three conferences were consolidated in the Las Vegas Convention Center.  I closed out WordCamp with a Session on How to Design a WordPress Theme in Minutes.  The video from the event is not yet available, but the slides are below:

This was an expanded version of the ‘Intro’ level presentation that I provided a few weeks ago at WordCamp Birmingham. 

The big difference is that I demonstrated how to use multiple themes in a single WordPress configuration.  Multiple themes that anyone could design and later iterate modifications themselves.  I also highlighted a few of the techniques that I utilized to build our strategic partner’s site at Grass Shack Events & Media.

Here is the basic code that I utilized to create and call a default header as well as alternate headers based on an if then else selection:

// example of using header file based on pages
// note that you can either use page ID, Page Name or Page Slug
// this one uses page title

if (is_page()){
else {


This month I will also create additional step by step video tutorials to share with people that were unable to attend this session.  Alternately, if you would like me to speak at a conference or event in your area, please contact me to discuss availability.

Note: Cross posted from Softduit Media.


WordCamp Birmingham 2009 Presentation Slides – Design Your First WordPress Theme in Minutes

Brett Bumeter is presenting today at WordCamp Birmingham teaching people how to design their first theme in minutes.

Note: Cross posted from Softduit Media.


I’ll make more more materials available later today, but here is my initial slide presentation for WordCamp Birmingham.  This is just the opening remarks for the actual mentored demonstration.  Hoping to add video of the meat and potatoes of this presentation after its done.

The main goal of this presentation is to help everyone give this a try, and if possible design their own theme, while I guide the audience through the process.


Click Here-Follow instructions to download free trial of Artisteer from CnetIf you want to follow along during the presentation, I recommend downloading the free trial software from Artisteer or Cnet

1. Go to Artisteer &amp; follow the instructions to download the free trial via Cnet (Mac users navigate to the News tab, scroll down and download the Mac OSx version of Artisteer)

*If you are using a Mac with Snow Leopard 10.6, there is a early beta (download trial beta) that is workable for most users so far, that early release by Apple has the team at Artisteer working over time like so many other companies I suspect.

2.  Install the free trial software (works on PCs or Macs) &amp; generate your theme.


For more information on the Theme Design Contest . . . see -&gt;

Enter the WordPress ‘License to Design’ Theme Contest 2.0

Note: Cross posted from Softduit Media.


Enter the WordPress ‘License to Design’ Theme Contest 2.0

Note: Cross posted from Softduit Media.


License-to-designBetween now and the end of BlogWorld in mid October, we are going to run a WordPress Theme design contest for new designers or people that want to learn how to design a WordPress theme for the first time....

Note: Cross posted from Softduit Media.


Social Media Trends & Statistics

Note: Cross posted from Softduit Media.


Here’s a very good video that shares some insights in where social media is at today, where its been, and likely where its going.

This is probably one of those videos that you will want to watch a couple times, just to make sure you understand the insights and information within. 

Note: Cross posted from Softduit Media.


Cheapest Price on Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Available Now

Note: Cross posted from Maven Mapper's Information.


I’ve been covering Dragon Naturally Speaking from Nuance for a long time but have not seen the prices this low before.

Right now you can buy Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 for $29.99!  For your average user, that’s all you need!  If you want to have the extra ability to utilize an MP3 voice recorder (I use a Sony) you can get the Preferred version for as low as $117.99 and the ‘wireless’ version for $155 (that’s bluetooth wireless, I personally use an after market 2.6ghz wireless logitech headset that will work with any version).

You could buy the basic version for $30 and an $90 logitech clearchat wireless headset for a total price of $120 or just jump to Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 bluetooth wireless at $155.

No matter what these are great prices.  Typically the lowest prices you will se are about $80 for Basic, $150 for preferred and $250 for bluetooth wireless.  The best part about this is that at $30 for Basic, this is a great price for a first time user to get in and see just how great this software is these days.

Note: Cross posted from Maven Mapper's Information.


Social Media Douche Bags Agree, Its Cool to ‘Say’ Sponsored Tweets Suck – White Paper

Note: Cross posted from TOP 10 TECH.


The Social Media Douche Bag Cabal that runs the world recently convened meetings in Las Vegas, San Francisco, LA, and NYC to confirm amongst themselves that they were all in agreement that the company pitch to be issued by Social Media Douche Bags around the world would be that Sponsored Tweets Suck....

Note: Cross posted from TOP 10 TECH.


Greatest WordPress Theme Generator Now Available for Macs!

Since November of 2008, PC User’s have benefited from the WordPress Theme Generator called Artisteer and now that WordPress Generator desktop application is available for Apple / Mac users.  The initial Mac beta was just released and people that purchase/have purchased a PC license will also have the ability to use the license on a Mac or vice versa on a PC.




I have been giving demonstrations of WordPress as a Content Management System for several months which includes a demo of Artisteer and the first question that is always asked is, “Does Artisteer work on a Mac?”

Now the answer is YES!  Artisteer does work on Macs.



Better yet, existing Artisteer users already know that when you purchase a license, that license will receive free upgrades for a year.  I have personally created almost 100 WordPress themes since purchasing Artisteer last fall, and I have significantly benefited from many many upgrades to the software.  This latest upgrade ads more Avatar support for WordPress, ads support for Dot Net Nuke and past upgrades provided support for Joomla & Drupal templates and much much more.

here’s the latest news release from Artisteer about the Mex Mac Capability

Artisteer for Mac (Beta) has arrived!
Artisteer 2.2 for Mac (Beta) is now available by clicking here. Couple interesting facts:

  • Artisteer for Mac joins the family of products based on cross-platform .NET framework known as Mono.
  • Artisteer might be the first product for Mac OS utilizing the ribbon interface first introduced in Microsoft Office 2007 for Windows.

Technical notes and known issues for beta testers:

  • Artisteer for Mac runs on Intel based hardware with OS X version 10.5 (Leopard).
  • Artisteer for Mac requires X11 which is usually installed by default on OS X 10.5.
  • Artisteer may require approx 1 minute to start the first time after installation.
  • The "Open" and "Save" dialogs display Windows style folder structure and may require additional navigation to desired Mac folders.
  • The top Mac menu bar does not offer an option to quit Artisteer. Use the Artisteer menu, keyboard shortcut 'Command'+'Q', or the red window close button to quit.
  • Keyboard shortcuts stop working after clicking anywhere within the web design preview area.
  • Certain amount of instability and limitations (as above) are expected due to limitations of the current Mono framework 2.4.
  • There is a slight chance that your Mac computer may freeze when using Artisteer (this happened once in our tests). Please save all your work often in case you need to reboot your computer.

Customers who purchased an Artisteer license can use it on both PC and Mac computers (one each) during the beta period. An official release date of the Mac version will be planned after receiving detailed  issue reports from our beta testers and determining how much work is needed to resolve those issues.
Please send feedback and report reproducible issues to our support via the Contact Us page.

Artisteer version 2.2 update
We are releasing a new update to Artisteer 2.2 to resolve a few recent issues reported in the previous version 2.2 Beta.

  • Artisteer: Added "Options" button in the export dialog.
  • Artisteer: Added DotNetNuke Skin export announced below.
  • Artisteer: Fixed a bug with the font size being altered by changing Articles -> Line Height.
  • WordPress: Improved compatibility with Avatar List plugin.
  • Joomla: Resolved custom footer not showing up.
  • Joomla: Resolved centered menus not shown correctly.
  • Joomla: Resolved a problem with the text "'30', 'height' => '30' near h2" showing on some pages.
  • Joomla: Fixed incorrect path to spacer.gif in script.js file in Joomla templates.
  • Drupal: Fixed an issue with broken image appearing instead of a logo uploaded in Drupal.

The new version can be obtained by clicking here and may become the officially released version 2.2 after additional testing.

Note: Cross posted from The LiveWriterz.


Labs on the Lake | Monetizing Blogs and Traffic Building by Networking-Week of 5/18

Note: Cross posted from Softduit Media.


This week we are kicking off two more Labs on the Lake.  This week we will hold two labs.  One today, Monday(5-18 at 2pm est), covering the topic of Blog Monetization, walking through some blog revenue sources, adding some new ones to the list and giving some advice on how to navigate these options which can be murky on a good day. [Meetup RSVP link] 

This like many of our topics will be covered several times.  Blog Monetization is definitely not something that can be covered in a single day, let alone a single lab.  Many people are looking for ways to earn extra money, raise revenue to market their companies more, or even start their own business.  We will help people get started with the process of making money with a blog (a blog is required to follow along with this lab in person or on our live show at ).

Then on Thursday(5/21 2 pm est) we are going to cover the topic of building traffic through networking.  [Meetup RSVP link]

Again this is a very deep topic and one we will revisit many times in the future, but you can tune into either lab at 2 PM est or if you are in the Charlotte area, RSVP through our Meetup group (cost $5 to attend) and spend an afternoon on the lake learning some great web skills that will make you money.

We are following up on our first Lab on the Lake last week, which covered WordPress Installation, WordPress Configuration, & WordPress Theme design with our favorite WordPress Theme Generator-Artisteer.  The video from this event (our first live broadcast) didn’t take to well, but we got the bugs worked out the next night when we held our weekly WordPress Meetup in Charlotte and do expect this weeks events to go off without a hitch.

Note: Cross posted from Softduit Media.


Zero S – Cool Electric Motorcycle Under $10k

TweetDoubler – Is It April Fool’s Day Yet?


I’m guessing this app from razorfish is an April Fool’s day prank.

Compressing text – Hah!

Limited Beta expired at midnight on April 1 – Double Hah!

The Amazon Kindle might be Getting Push Back from Authors

If free music downloads in the late 90 can provide any lesson, then you should go out and get a Kindle now, and stock up on books while things are still cheap!

image BEING president of too many well-meaning organizations put my father into an early grave. The lesson in this was not lost on me. But now I am president of the Authors Guild, whose mission is to sustain book-writing as a viable occupation. This borders on quixotic, given all the new ways of not getting paid that new technology affords authors. A case in point: Amazon’s Kindle 2, which was released yesterday.

The Kindle 2 is a portable, wireless, paperback-size device onto which people can download a virtual library of digitalized titles. Amazon sells these downloads, and where the books are under copyright, it pays royalties to the authors and publishers.

Serves readers, pays writers: so far, so good. But there’s another thing about Kindle 2 — its heavily marketed text-to-speech function. Kindle 2 can read books aloud. And Kindle 2 is not paying anyone for audio rights.

True, you can already get software that will read aloud whatever is on your computer. But Kindle 2 is being sold specifically as a new, improved, multimedia version of books — every title is an e-book and an audio book rolled into one. And whereas e-books have yet to win mainstream enthusiasm, audio books are a billion-dollar market, and growing. Audio rights are not generally packaged with e-book rights. They are more valuable than e-book rights. Income from audio books helps not inconsiderably to keep authors, and publishers, afloat.

You may be thinking that no automated read-aloud function can compete with the dulcet resonance of Jim Dale reading “Harry Potter” or of authors, ahem, reading themselves. But the voices of Kindle 2 are quite listenable. There’s even a male version and a female version. (A book by, say, Norman Mailer on Kindle 2 might do a brisk business among people wondering how his prose would sound in measured feminine tones.)

And that sort of technology is improving all the time. I.B.M. has patented a computerized voice that is said to be almost indistinguishable from human ones. This voice is programmed to include “ums,” “ers” and sighs, to cough for attention, even to “shhh” when interrupted.

In Case You Missed it Personal Privacy is Dead on the Internet

Privacy is dead on the internet.  imageThere are millions of examples of this, but yesterday TMZ found a new way to prove it by publishing pictures of the battered face of pop star Rihanna.  Her current boyfriend, Chris Brown, is accused of beating her during an argument.

The LA Police are investigating the leak of this photo, which would seem to confirm the photo as a real photo as opposed to a doctored photoshop image. 

The internet and technology in general make it far too easy to share information.  This is not a good thing and not a bad thing.  It is a reality.  In this case, someone knowingly seems to have provided this photo to TMZ for sensational value.  However, there are many technologies these days that share images, video and sound of people all the time.  Often they don’t even know what they are sharing.

Facial recognition software is even making it possible for images or video that have been posted years earlier but not tagged.  So even if a person thinks that a moment for years or decades ago is water under the bridge future technologies might re-expose what might have felt like a private moment.

Google Earth – a Monopoly Play?

Today, I installed Google Earth on my computer.  This is a task that I go through every now and then.  Its a really cool application but is all to infamous for crashing any and all of the computers in our house hold (all relatively new computers, the oldest being 2 years old, the newest 3 months).


This time I noticed that without even giving me an opt out, Google also installed the Google Chrome browser on my machine.  :(

It instantly reminded me of the problems with Microsoft Windows 95/89 and auto installing Internet Explorer, plus making it very difficult to later remove it.  Now, Google has a US Monopoly on Search, and they are trying to capture something similar world wide.  I often find myself amazed every time they make a move that helps to demonstrate that they are not only a monopoly, but a monopoly that is abusing its power.


Satellite Traffic Collision between Iridium and Russian Satellites

Two satellites had a fender bender in space.  Both satellites were totaled out and are expected to be towed back to earth by gravity. 

An iridium satellite collided with a Russian satellite launched in 1993.  The Russian satellite has not operated in approximately 10 years.  Iridium satellites are typically low orbit communications satellites, which leads me to speculate that the non-functional Russian satellite might have been in a more rapid orbital decay.

The Russian satellite weighed over a ton (slightly more than a car) and the Iridium satellite weighed in at over a 1,000 pounds or about as much as a very large Harley Davidson.

CNBC Charges to Show You the News?

I find this to be incredibly moronic or possibly demonstrative that traditional media has lost the ability to keep their business profitable through TV  broadcasts.


Paying $10 per month to have the ability to watch CNBC on your computer, just seems dumb.

  • Do they strip out the commercials?
  • Do they remove the commercials from their website?
  • What makes it worth this much money?


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