Do Not Track

My thanks goes to Twitter for highlighting their support for Do Not Track (DNT) in their latest product and policy updates email I received today. I was not actually aware of DNT until today, which turns out to be a privacy preference that users can set in their web browsers.

Twitter supports “Do Not Track”
When you turn on DNT in your browser, we stop collecting the information that allows us to tailor suggestions based on your recent visits to websites that have integrated our buttons or widgets. We also stop collecting the information that allows us to tailor ads based on your visits to our ad partners’ websites. Specifically, we stop collecting the unique browser cookie that links your browser to visits to these websites for tailoring suggestions or ads.

So I guess, like with most things, DNT is really only as effective as the entities willing to acknowledge and support it. I will have to do some more research into how widely supported it is to date.

I will also have to read up on the Tracking Preference Expression (DNT) W3C Working Draft to see where the web industry standards are at. Hope it makes for some light, entertaining reading ;-)

Project XIII

We at Project XIII have no interest in your data. We have not built any back doors into the system that allow us to see what’s going on. We refuse to do so. Your data will be safe with us. We have no idea what you are talking about and will strive to make every effort to do so. We keep your encrypted data for three days. Your friends have that much time to download your updates, messages, comments, etc. After that period of time the server deletes the data.

I have been following the progress of Project XIII and trying to get my head around how it will all work. I am by no means a developer with the kind of skills or brain power to birth a project like this so I am struggling to invisiage how it will be built and come to pass in the current ways. I guess that is my obstacle right there, perhaps it is not done in a way that I am used to seeing and that is why I am struggling!

Through watching this project unfold and following the discussions surrounding Project XIII over the last few months it has made me stop and think about what I really what of me and my family out on the web and what I want to allow to be done with the data I do share. I have made the decision to cut right back on my online presence, especially from a personal perspective.

Bad business decision? I do not think so. I already felt I was stretching myself too thin and now I am honing in on which platforms are worth my time and effort, what type of information I choose to share on each one and where I want to spend my time.

If I am to spend my time online I would like to enjoy it and be able to put my energy into making it an extension of me worth sharing.

I am excited to see Project XIII when it is officially launched and keen to jump on board and check it out, it definitely has sparked my interest!

WordPress Plugin: FTP Upgrade Fix

This plugin has saved my life!

I was getting the following errors when upgrading automatically to WordPress 3.1.2:

  • Could not create file.: /public_html/
  • Could not copy file.: /public_html/wp-admin/css/theme-editor.dev.css

Firstly I received the error could not create file.: /public_html/, so did some searching and tried the following suggestion from the WordPress forum post Automatic Upgrade Not Working:

The best solution I have found to automatic update issues like this is fixing the ownership/permissions on the upgrade folder.
To do: delete the upgrade folder in wp-content.
Recreate the folder and reset permissions to 777

After doing this and uploading my backup local files, I tried the automatic update again. This time I received the error message Could not copy file.: /public_html/wp-admin/css/theme-editor.dev.css. I was starting to get a little frustrated by now as I have never encountered a problem with the automatic updates before.

I could do a manual upgrade, but I really wanted to get the automatic process working, so I went searching again for a solution, and I found it!

The WordPress plugin FTP Upgrade Fix saved the day!

I again uploaded my local backup files and uploaded the FTP Upgrade Fix plugin. Upon activating the plugin, I tried the automatic update again and success! I am very thankful to the author aldenta, you have saved the day :)

Finding WordPress Plugins

Where does one begin to look for WordPress plugins that do all the cool stuff seen on other blogs and get the full functionality envisaged when first planning your blog?

If you know what you are looking for the WordPress Plugin Directory is your primary source of plugins.

At the time of writing this post there were 13, 817 plugins listed in the directory, so searching through all these can be a little daunting to say the least, let alone trying all the different plugins related to your search to find the one that works and best suites your needs can be very much trial and error.

Another suggestion I have is to go find and follow other blogs/websites that focus on WordPress and often write articles highlighting the most popular or latest plugins on the market.

One example of a resource I have recently found is Site Sketch 101. The article that led me to this website was entitled The 15 Best WordPress Plugins To Use In 2011 by Nicholas Cardot. It is a great example of one way to find the latest and greatest plugins, that have already been tried and tested by someone else!

Another great resource that I have used for many years now is Smashing Magazine.

If you have any other great resources for finding WordPress plugins, I would love to hear about them :)

Installing WordPress Locally

My next mission was to get a local version of WordPress up and running on my mac, so I could do some testing and implementation of new features without the fear of totally messing up my live version!

I found Installing WordPress Locally on Your Mac With MAMP on wordpress.org and worked my way through the steps mentioned.

A quick overview of the steps involved for getting WordPress working locally include:

  1. Download and install MAMP: Mac – Apache – MySQL – PHP
  2. Download and install WordPress

Obviously this is a very simple overview, so head over to the article on wordpress.org for full instructions.

I would just like to point out that I set up a new database locally but did used my live WordPress working files. All I had to do was change wp-config.php to wp-config-online.php and when I accessed http://localhost:8888, the process of creating a new wp-config.php locally automatically occurred without a hitch. Just be sure never to upload your local wp-config.php to your live site and all will be fine with both versions!

If you are on a Windows platform wanting to install WordPress locally, see Installing WordPress on your own Computer for guidance.

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