Share Any Myspace Artist playlist!

Check out this myspace artist sharing tool at, Its designed to take an artist’s Myspace page, grab their artist playlist and make it easy to share to your Myspace page, without having to know how to get the code from their site. Clearspring is providing the distribution platform, check it out and push your favorite artist play list to your Myspace page or any other social network supported by Clearspring’s sharing tools.

If you have any questions or comments about the myspace sharing tool, feel free to post them here!

Virtual assistants, a newbies guide

JeevesAfter reading the post by author Timothy Ferris on his blog, I decided to take the plunge and try the world of virtual assistants. I knew nothing about virtual assistants until I read his book entitled “The 4 hour work week”. The title is what caught my attention and everything within its pages described exactly what I thought impossible. Ever since then I wanted to apply his principals of lifestyle design but just never got around to it. I don’t know what it was about his post that made me feel more comfortable with the notion, but here I am.

At first I tried looking at a few web pages that specialized in Virtual assistants, which seemed way to complicated and I didn’t feel there was enough recourse if the company tried to screw me! I decided to check out elance, its one of the sites Tim recommends looking at if you needed someone to do your evil bidding :). The process was as simple as posting my request for service and verifying my credit card account. They need to verify this to make sure you are going to pay of course.

Within an hour I had bids and messages to read and approve. Each stating their level of service and expectations as well as providing links back to their profiles and portfolios, which I took some time to read over. Since this was my first VA, I decided that my deciding factor would be cost as I have never even worked with a real assistant before let alone someone on the web. We settled on a trial period of 15 hours to see if they were a good fit and would go with 4 per hour there after.

I felt pretty secure in my transaction because of the escrow service provided by Elance. At least I will have some recourse if they decide not to provide the level of service that I expect.

Yesterday I sent them their first task. Its a very basic research assignment, the ones that you HATED to do in school. I gave them some specific constraints and time requirements to see if they were able to follow directions even if it didn’t seem logical. Since it is a trial period, I don’t think they have assigned me a dedicated VA yet. Im hoping that one will be provided after my trial because this person is going to need to know my habits and moods if they expect to work well with me. The next day, much to my surprise, a nice cheery message was awaiting for me in my inbox.

I was very happy with their research on the required topic, they followed directions exactly as I had directed, and I was excited because I believe this is going to be the start of something quite fun and interesting. At first glance I thought that they had done somethings wrong, but after looking over my directions it was me who made the mistake. I will be a bit more careful to review my directions next time.

Follow up with my next post to see how tonight’s tasks unfold. I will also fill you in on my recent experience hiring programmers on Elance. Ive also noticed, having an assistant, i’m actually starting to think of more tasks for them to do. Where as in the beginning I had no clue what sort of tasks I would assign an assistant. Its not until you actually start, that you realise how much of your life can be outsourced to someone else.

Its a vast world, 5 useability tips for developers

I’m excited to see that there is a new and untraveled world of blogging out there! So many things to learn, overcome and excel at! Its quite amazing that there is this untapped world of exploration I never knew was there… Until my position at Clearspring, my IT experience dealt primarily with the back end maintenance and server deployment. I never cared much about what was going on with the products or people that used them.

Now that my focus has shifted from back-end support, to customer-facing, social network, and web development, I have come to know a different kind of internet. One full of opinionated people, voicing themselves from all angles. Whether it be blogging, to journalism – both are not always intertwined because blogging is not always the best writing but is a medium non the less. Ive seen journalists bitch about bloggers and bloggers laugh at journalists mainly over who thinks their medium is the best and most “Credible”. Who cares, each his own I believe and what is the definition of credible anyways?

frustratedI was going to go into a citation of the definition of the word credible when I realized that a plug-in was in order. However, after about 45 minutes trying to figure out both cite-this and blockquote cite with no success, I decided that to give up on the whole thing for today and continue my troubleshooting tomorrow. Deciding to better use my time by talking about assumptions.

Its something that all of us do, especially those who know a great deal about a topic. Assuming that one knows how to do something based on some prior knowledge of the topic or problem at hand. This is most seen in the development and engineering community and is why positions like mine exist. If developers or engineers gave good directions there would be no need for technical support positions, but then again if the latter spent enough time thinking about the little things the larger developments wouldn’t be reached, hence the synergy between the 2. That still doesn’t excuse someone developing a tool online without actually trying to get someone who knows nothing about it try to use it first. Its quite easy, grab your mother or father and have them see if they can 1 understand your direction and 2 know what the product is even supposed to do without ever having used anything to do with your product.

Not everyone is a 300 level programmer – Wow reference – especially end users, and if you want to put out something that other people are going to use, a quick AND painful use study should be in order.

5 Useablity tips for developers:

  1. Have someone who knows nothing about your product walk through your documentation and make it work as expected. 95% of your documentations issues can be solved with this step.
  2. Pictures are worth a thousand words, everyone loves Sunday comics because of their simplicity and usage of pictures to convey and majority of the story.
  3. Assume your customer knows nothing even if the product is marketed to people who know everything. This will cut down on your “Help me” questions.
  4. Formulate a FAQ section that consist of not just frequently asked questions, but any question you think might be relevant. If its been asked one time then at least 10 more people have wondered but never asked!
  5. Lastly, drop the ego. We all know you are a magnificent and almighty programmer, but lets face it that attitude isn’t going to put $$ in your pocket and time back on your watch.

Sadly, the programmers of both plug-ins didn’t take some of the simplest questions in mind that many other great WP plug-in developers have. To those that did, Cheers!

Blogging tips, hints, and writing techniques

Looking over my past few posts, I have realized that writings is not as intuitive as it may seem. I have decided that this blog will have to be a canvas to sharpen my writing skills and eventually I can look back and see how far I have come. I ask all who read – please – critique me, good or bad, I want to hear it.

On that note, I decided to search for what others had to offer on the subject of blogging and the skills necessary to create something more. To my surprise there are a lot of resources, that teach new bloggers some of the pitfalls that many seasoned bloggers have already experienced. This helps tremendously when trying to discover your niche writing style and also with what sort of topics that you are going to cover on your blog. I started with and their article titled “101 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger”, what a quality article with many references and to-dos for every new blogger, from SEO to Adsense and more.

The number one tip that I can recommend to any new blogger is, Never publish your first draft without proof reading it first! This is crucial if you want anyone to take you seriously. Better yet, save your blog post without publishing then come back to it a few hours later and read it aloud preferably with a friend. If it doesn’t sound good to you then it’s defiantly not going to sound good to your readers.

Share your Myspace artist playlist

Its great that MySpace allows you to put a single artists song onto your myspace page, but what if you could share your myspace artist playlist instead of a single song to a users profile!

Its completely possible and very easy to do, check out the play list below, try sharing it to your page. Its easy and not only can you share it to your myspace page but you can share it to any social network on the net. Blogger, iGoogle, and many others simply by using the viral sharing tools provided by and Clearspring.

Check out Share Myspace Playlist dot com that allows you to share any myspace artist playlist to any social network on the net. Its quick and easy, just type in the url of any myspace artist playlist into the search box and share the playlist using Clearsprings launchpad tool.

WordPress Update

I installed wordpress directly from my server’s control pannel, which was version 2.3.1 of WP. After logging into the admin section I found that there was a critical update WP and I would have to upgrade to the newest version. My normal experience with web software upgrades have been very painful in the past and I thought this was going to be another one of those scenarios… I decided to back up all my data first, then over-rite all my files.

To my surprise, the only thing I had to do was upload the new files. I didn’t even have to run the install.php file! I’m amazed to say the least.

Blogging and a free image mapping tool!

It has become very apparent to me that information in my head will either by useful or completely useless, however, that is for the readers of this blog to decide. Many of the topics posted here will be information that is useful to me in someway shape or form. The internet is about spreading information to those who aren’t as fortunate and can’t surf the net for hours on end each day. I think of the bloggosphere as thousands of my own little data miners, collecting on the best information for me to consume. This is my outlet to contribute such a cause.

While rummaging through the digital clutter that is sometimes the internet, a very interesting tool crossed my path. For months/years I have been using demo versions of the popular Alcohol image mapping software, but switched to mac and never really had to worry about mapping ISO files. Never the less here is an “unofficial” “unsupported” free image mapping tool from our pals, Microsoft.

Tool of the day

This find is something too good to keep to myself, a free image mounting tool. You are able to mount anything from ISO to IMG files and the best part is that its totally free. Brought to you “unofficially” by Microsoft here winxpvirtualcd

Here’s the readme:

Readme for Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel v2.0.1.1
System Requirements
– Windows XP Home or Windows XP Professional
Installation instructions
1. Copy VCdRom.sys to your %systemroot%system32drivers folder.
2. Execute VCdControlTool.exe
3. Click “Driver control”
4. If the “Install Driver” button is available, click it. Navigate to the %systemroot%system32drivers folder, select VCdRom.sys, and click Open.
5. Click “Start”
6. Click OK
7. Click “Add Drive” to add a drive to the drive list. Ensure that the drive added is not a local drive. If it is, continue to click “Add Drive” until an unused drive letter is available.
8. Select an unused drive letter from the drive list and click “Mount”.
9. Navigate to the image file, select it, and click “OK”. UNC naming conventions should not be used, however mapped network drives should be OK.You may now use the drive letter as if it were a local CD-ROM device. When you are finished you may unmount, stop, and remove the driver from memory using the driver control.