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Tips, news, and thoughts about design, development, content marketing, social media and everything else that goes into building and maintaining a great web presence.

…and the occasional post that is completely unrelated to any of that.

How not to use social media

A recent LinkedIn post by Fortune Magazine editor Adam Lashinsky has garnered quite a bit of attention. Oh, it’s good attention—if you subscribe to that “all publicity is good publicity” thinking, anyway. It’s also a great study in how not to use social media.

Google prefers intent and semantics, not keywords

For years, content creators and SEO specialists have focused on keyword-related tactics for improved Google search result rankings. Those days are ending. In yet another algorithm change, this one named Hummingbird, Google is devaluing the focus on keywords in favor of a semantic search, and driving more toward user intent. What do Google’s changes mean for website owners? The Hummingbird update doesn’t seem to have had the same type of effect as did Panda back in 2011. But if you’ve only been focusing on keyword-based content, you may eventually feel the impact. What it means is that you must do what you should have been doing all along: provide valuable, engaging content that’s of interest to your target audience. It’s time to get social . . . no, really Many B2B and small business site owners bemoan the thought of maintaining an active presence on social networks. The B2B crowd generally doesn’t see the value in it. And when they do, there’s too often no clear content strategy to guide the work. If their ROI perspective is too short-term, they deem the effort a failure. Small business owners, already wearing too many organizational hats, don’t have the time to take on another task. But despite what reluctance you may have, social media marketing will play a growing role in determining what content gets read and, in turn, what traffic comes to your site. Google wants to know more about how real people engage with your content, who follows you, and who reads your content. This engagement is likely measured across various social networks, but you can guarantee that Google+...

Magento installation database connection error

Installing Magento has been an uphill battle. Even the simple things are a pain. When installing most applications that have file permission requirements, you get a list of what needs to be changed. Magento doles them out two at a time.

mcrypt not loaded

I installed php on my Mac using Macports. I guess, at this early stage in my Mac experience, that it’s the equivalent of APT on Debian-based systems. It installed without a hitch, and php was up and running. But when I began installing a web app that required mcrypt, I noticed some problems. I used the ‘port’ command again to install the mcrypt package. Once again, no errors reported. But the web app (Magento) continued to complain that the “PHP extension ‘mcrypt’ must be loaded.” Running ‘php -m’ from the shell told me that the package had indeed been installed. So why was the web app seeing mycrypt not loaded? How to make dumb mistakes Here’s the long-story-short of it…set up a phpinfo() test page and make sure you have a value for the Loaded Configuration File other than ‘none.’ Apparently, when you install php via the ‘ports’ command, the php.ini file is not copied over automatically. I assume that’s by design, so you can go through the provided php.ini.default and edit before using it. The crazy thing is that I had already opened the default file to add the extension. Hey…new OS, some things are different. Gimme a break… Summary cd /private/etc/ sudo cp php.ini.default php.ini sudo vi php.ini In the Dynamic Extension section, add: extension=mcrypt.so And finally, restart apache… sudo apachectl -k graceful This is one of those moments where you feel like you’ve torn the whole ceiling fan apart, trying to figure out why it’s not working…when all you needed to do was reset the breaker switch. I hope there aren’t many more of those....