Bootstrapping the front end

In my first blog in this series I mentioned that I was looking for suggestions to implement. A friend on LinkedIn reached out to me with a suggestion to upgrade my CSS framework with Bootstrap.

Even though I mentioned that I wasn’t going to change the appearance until later I decided that now would be a good a time as any to do something about it. So, I downloaded a bootstrap template and went to work connecting it. My front end skills are even more in their infancy than my Python scripting but I managed to hack something together that worked. Here it is, in all it’s glory:



I still have some work to do on the other template views but as you can see there is a vast improvement.

Let me know what you think: is this an improvement or not?

Special thanks to Ildar for the suggestion!

Day: 3   Budget: $?    Spend: $0


To like or not to like

Project Blackfish has a new added function! You may want to sit down for this: anyone, and by anyone I mean anyone logged into my computer, can not only like a post but unlike it as well! Ground breaking stuff, I know. Here is an example of two posts (please excuse the bad language, spelling, and grammer, someone got way too excited about foosball):


Total scores of the article can now be negative. There are a few problems still: anyone, even if they are not signed in, can vote as many times as they please, and I have no idea how many votes are up or down. So there is still a lot to do on that front.

Also, users can now insert there first and last name upon registration:


Other bugs include the header sign in not working properly, which has something to do with CSRF validation and I believe something to do with it being on the base HTML file. Can’t have unsuspecting users being hacked so that is a must fix.

Lastly, I had a problem with passwords of new users not being recorded and this stackoverflow link solved everything. Memo to self: learn more about the ‘super’ function.

Budget: $?    Spend: $0

Project: Blackfish

Beginning today this blog is back up and running. I’ve been learning how to code as an addition to my website analytics skills and I think it’s about time I actually put it to good use: I’m going to build a website and do so by bootstrapping it (I will spend nothing or as little as possible). Everyday I will spend 10-20 minutes writing a short concise blog on my progress.

Today, I’ll start bringing you up to speed about this project:

I’m building a site that allows users to post their own written content and build a reputation based how popular their content is. That’s it. I have a few more ideas but I’m keeping it really simple for now. As I build I’m hoping that anyone following this blog (anyone?) will make suggestions and add insights.

The site is being built with Python on a Django framework. Here is a screen shot of the main posts page so far:


I’m not too concerned with the way it looks right now, it’s more about functionality first. Right now it includes the ability to signup, log in, write a post, and like and comment on posts thanks to these great tutorials by Mike Hibbert.

That’s it until tomorrow. Special thanks to Lucas Lu for designing my logo, check out more of his amazing work at:

Budget: $?     Spent: $0

Big Data: Maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of your online marketing dollars.

Thank you everyone for joining me at The Big Data World Canada 2013. A special thanks to Terrapinn for putting together such a fantastic event. Below is a copy of my presentation on Big Data strategies for online marketing. There will be an audio track to accompany it shortly, for which I will keep you updated.

BIG DATA: There’s something in it for everyone.

imagesThere is a lot of discussion these days on the topic of Big Data. How the growth of data has reached exponential rates over the last few years. How this data needs to be stored. How to analyze this new abundance in data. What to analyze.

The simple fact is that Big Data is more than just large sets of data, it is a revolution in information that reaches and includes anyone with access to an internet connection. The information and capabilities of Big Data are available to all organizations small, medium, and large alike. The size of these data sets may differ from gigabytes to terabytes or even petabytes but the fact is, organizations with a presence online can all begin to access the potential of the Big Data revolution. From simply installing a free version of Google Analytics onto a website, paying as little as $2000 a year for Splunk, or accessing the data already collecting on a website’s structured database, the capabilities of collecting increasingly large amounts of data insights are a reality. The difficulty now lies in knowing what to look for and having the right people looking for it.

Deciding what kind of information will help drive your organization’s success before you start mining data will save a lot of time and frustration. This can be anything from Customer Lifetime Value to email Click-Through Rates to just simply site visits. Define these initial KPIs early then experiment with new data insights as they become available. But just as important, ensure that you have the right people extracting and creating these insights because without them, the data is just another stream of endless information. These people include your analysts, developers, marketers, or anyone with access to your data stream that can provide insight.

Please join me at the Big Data World Canada 2013 Conference on March 5 as I and other speakers present this topic and other related Big Data topics in more depth.