Writer vs Writer

The only thing better than one opinion…is two opinions. Now, a user can choose to write an opinion article against an article already written. For example, the article below expresses an opinion, and just like before, that article and its author collect points based on the up (or down) votes given by other users. But now another user can choose to write an article with an opposing viewpoint should one not have already been written (see below).

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This is essentially a digital version of a head-to-head newspaper editorial accept that anyone can post them! You may have also noticed the new Twitter Bootstrap template with a new side bar menu. Most don’t work but it’s a sign of things to come!

Day: 18  Budget: $?  Spend: $0

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Workspaces and updates

Workspaces have become a growing trend in the technology and startup space. A few years ago after I started my now defunct online dry cleaning startup I didn’t even know that these even existed. Now they seem to be sprouting up everywhere along with incubators and accelerators. A workspace is slightly different as the latter two options may require an application process and a very specific startup concept and plan to be accepted in as well as likely being funded by the government or by private investors (ie. Mars).

With construction at my condo working at home was just no longer an option, so I decided to rent a desk in the lounge space at a workspace called Project: RHINO (my project name is an ode to this space). The lounge space means I don’t leave any of my belongings after I leave for home. Almost daily you get the opportunity to meet someone new working on a unique startup or project. The founders themselves are working on their own startup, Clayza, and in fact, started Rhino completely by accident as they had only rented the space to start a previous startup a couple of years ago. Now, the Rhino boasts over 70 members and growing daily.

What is truly remarkable about the place is that, exactly as they state on their site, Project: RHINO is a community. Members are always interested in discussing everyone’s projects and more importantly, everyone helps everyone else out with their problems. Many of the people I have thanked on my blog are Rhino members who have generously donated their time and knowledge to my questions. Also, breaks and socializing are often taken over heated games of foosball or hanging out on the lounge area couches. So, if you work from home and you find that you need a great place to work, give a workspace a whirl, I guarantee you won’t regret it!

Updates on Project Blackfish:

1. Authors now receive points for comments made on their articles.

2. Articles now have tagging available.

3. All articles now have a topic to be filled out by the author.

The reason I’m not going into too many details over this blog is because I’m hoping to make a fundamental change and differentiator to the site over the next couple of days. I just have to figure out the right way to design and code it. So stay tuned!

Day: 13  Budget: $?  Spend: $0

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:

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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):

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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:

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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:

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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: www.lucaslu.com

Budget: $?     Spent: $0

Amazing! Meetups are a great place to meet people!

Just got out of my third meetup. For all of those who don’t know, Meetup.com is a site that allows users to organize groups meetings based on interests. It’s a great way to meet like minded individuals and chat about a common interest. So far I have never seen any cost associated with any group meetup or any pressure to buy any products or services related to the organizers. In fact, all of them have offered free coffee or refreshments! But most importantly, everyone is there for friendly discussions. It’s about networking and exchanging ideas with like minded people.

My first group was the Job Seeker & Career Transition Group. The organizer, Heather, did a phenomenal job of facilitating the conversation and keeping it on track. New strategies on how to go about your career search and what has and hasn’t worked for everyone were huge takeaways. Hearing other people’s perspectives can really change your focus and maybe shed some light on what you were doing wrong. And most importantly, meeting new people could be that connection to the new career you were looking for!

I also spent some time at a  Toronto Business Leaders meeting and the Lean Coffee Toronto meetup. The former was a good place to interact with people afterwards but as an entrepreneur, I believe I was looking for something different in this group. Still, that doesn’t mean I didn’t meet some fascinating people afterwards.

The Lean Coffee meetup is a group of entrepreneurs and startup founders getting together to discuss topics related to the growing pains of starting your own business. This consisted of a much younger audience base (20s and 30s) than the Toronto Business Leaders (mostly 40s). This actually worked out far better for me because I fit into that younger age group, which may make the average member age something that Meetups should mention.

All-in-all, these are three great experiences where I have been able to get into some quality discussions and meet some interesting people. So stop sitting on your couch or your office chair and go Meetup!

Just signed up for Twitter and all my followers are spammers! What gives?

I just signed up for a personal twitter account last night  (take a look at my side widget) and through the night I gained 10 followers without doing anything. At first I thought: “Cool! I’ll return the favor and follow them, too!” But once I started checking out their posts I started to notice a disturbing trend, SPAM!

Some examples:

Bill441 says:  i find a new site which we can buy WOW gold,if you input ‘seo’ in coupon, you will enjoy 10% gift,the site is…
SebastianSoul63 says: Generate as much income as you want to… Get started with Zero Cost and Experience: link
Great! Thanks Bill and Sebastian! By the way, Bill is apparently an Asian girl, at least that’s what his pic resembles.
Let’s just hope my future followers have more interesting things to say.