8 things I will do before 2010


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I just read “8 Things Every Geek Needs to Do Before 2010,” and think the ideas are great and worth repeating (I have put in bold the words taken from this post). Here is how I have modified the post to let you in on how I will be using the advice:

  1. Edit your privacy settings and friendships. I have gone to my Facebook account, reviewed, and adjusted as needed my privacy settings. (To do this, click “Edit My Profile” and then look at your basic information, personal information, and contact information.) You can now allow items to be viewed only by your friends, by everyone, friends and networks, friends of friends, or even customize this setting. At this point, I’ve set my profile so that only friends can view my information.
  2. Change your passwords. I signed up for a free account at Passpack and am using that to create passwords and keep track of them, for my email accounts and online banking, brokerage accounts. This seems like an excellent tool and system, so check it out and see if it will work for you.
  3. Own your name. Okay, I’ve already done that, but I’m sure there are a few more domain names I will need. I would highly suggest getting a domain name through Google, which will automatically include the Google Apps suite of tools to help you get started. It’s a very inexpensive ($10) and efficient way to get started using the web, with your own domain name. Plus, you will have the added advantage of having your own email domain!
  4. Prune your feeds. Again, I’ve done this and really like feedly (http://feedly.com), a Firefox plugin that creates a very pleasing-looking, newspaper-like interface for my feeds. I am purposefully keeping my feeds to a minimum. That way, I might actually read through them!
  5. Find a better mobile. I have an iPhone, which I like and would highly recommend. However, there are some times when Internet access is difficult or non-existent, and I need to work. If I were on the road more, I would probably invest in Verizon’s Intelligent Mobile Hotspot which allows you to take your Wi-Fi hotspot with you and connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices.
  6. Update copyright notices on your website. Yes, a very important and helpful reminder. I have seen some of my websites with old copyright notices, which is embarrassing. Here’s a blog post that provides snippets of code depending upon your type of website script: http://thenextweb.com/2009/12/26/years-resolutions-update-copyright-notices/ I will be trying out the PHP snippet on my drupal sites to see how/if it works. This should be a great timesaver.
  7. Revisit your blog. Yeah, something I always need to do. I post to three blogs simultaneously, using another great Firefox plugin, ScribeFire. This handy tool allows me to write my blog posts anywhere, without an Internet connection, and then publish to as many blogs as I want. This increases my exposure and makes it much simpler to post, since I’m writing it in the bottom pane of my browser. I’m also using another neat Firefox extension called Zemanta, which will find related posts based upon my blog post as well as images. This tool allows you to enrich your writing, which should get you more traffic. 

    If you are using WordPress.org or a content management system like drupal, you should always check the status of the modules and the files, doing an update as needed. I just did a drupal version update on http://nrmera.org site I maintain. It takes a bit of time, but is necessary to maintain security on these types of dynamic sites and to keep them functioning at their top level. Read more about drupal and how easy it is to set up a drupal site: http://drupal.org

    I’m also going to be working on our EDTECH Moodle site (http://edtech.mrooms.org), adding Google Analytics to the front page theme and following up on some improvements and fixes before the spring 2010 semester begins.

  8. Back up your data. Seems like simple enough advice, right? I use the lazy backup method–put just about everything on Google Docs and online systems. If I have important documents I’m creating for a project, I use the excellent Zoho Projects online service (you get one project free). I also highly advise using drop.io to easily share and access files. However, this year I also plan on purchasing Time Capsule to use with Time Machine on my Apple computer. This really cool device will backup your data however you want it and will also backup multiple Apple computers on your network. It operates off of a wireless base station and is $299 for the 1TB server-grade hard drive. Sounds like a lot of money until your hard drive crashes.
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