Not At PDC? Attend NotAtPDC Instead

notatpdc1

The NotAtPDC virtual conference formed from several people on twitter talking about “everyone” that was not at Microsoft PDC.  A few of them got together and have organized the NotAtPDC Virtual Conference.  The conference consist of a lot of fun on Twitter, follow NotAtPDC and the hashtag #NotAtPDC.

The current schedule includes some really great content, and more is being added all the time, check out the full presentation schedule here.

Internet Explorer Keyboard Shortcuts

 

I have long been trying to find a short-cut that would allow me to jump right to the address bar in Internet Explorer.  You know since I don't like to take my hands off of the keyboard unless I have to, right. ;-) Well, I finally put a little more effort into finding it and today the technology gods have smiled down on me so I thought I would share it.

So, if you want to put focus on the address bar while browsing a web page it ALT-D, and it will select everything in the address bar and allow you to enter the new address you want to visit. Here is the link to the Microsoft Support that provides a good list of keyboard shortcuts in Internet Explorer http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306832.

ASP .NET MVP Award Recipient!!! Woohoo!!!!

 

It feels kind of funny posting this now, you see I have been sick for the last few days and haven’t really been checking my email like I should.  Well, today I called Randy Walker and before saying anything else he says “Congrats”, it took me a second to figure out what he was talking about.  So, I went to read my email and there it was, an email from Microsoft telling me that I had been awarded the ASP .NET MVP.  I feel extremely honored to have received such an award. 

I want to thank everyone in Northwest Arkansas, the South Central District, and INETA for helping and supporting our community efforts in my area.  It has been a joy to build the community in Northwest Arkansas and watch it grow.  I can’t wait to see what new heights we can achieve now, and hope to see more Arkansas MVPs as the result.

Thanks to everyone for the congrats and you can rest assured I will use this to benefits the community and share as much as I can.

Blogengine.net and Podcasting

 

I have recently been working hard to launch a new Podcast dedicated to the community, and in that spirit I wanted to use a community built blog to publish my new show.  I choose Blogengine.net because it supported enclosures in the RSS feed out of the box. One of the other really cool features I found was the ability to supply an alternate feed URL which allowed me to point new subscribers to my FeedBurner URL http://feeds.feedburner.com/UserGroupRadio.

This post is going to go over what I did to get it working the way I wanted:

The Requirements

  • Have only blog post that are in the Podcast category be in the RSS Feed for the show
  • Create post that had the mp3 file associated with it but not visible on the post.  We want everyone to subscribe.

The Solution

Getting the mp3 file to show in the RSS feed

It took me a few tries and a few forums post to figure out how to get the mp3 file to show up in the RSS feed.  It seems straight forward, use the file upload function when creating a new entry right?  Well, that didn’t work.

It created a URL that looked like this:

<a href="/file.axd?file=myfile.mp3">myfile.mp3 (70.00 bytes)</a>

After downloading and looking at the Blogengine.net source code I found out that  it actually parse all anchor tags with the following regular expression ‘<a href=((.|\n)*?)>((.|\n)*?)</a>’.  For some reason the auto generated URL from the file upload didn’t match.

So, I put in a complete anchor tag like so.

<a href=”myfile.mp3”>myfile.mp3 (70.00 bytes)</a>

And that worked great.  Sure, would be nice if that file upload had worked but that’s ok.  I really want to host my .mp3 files on my LibSyn account anyway, so that works out fine.

Setting up the RSS Feed

I like using FeedBurner for my feeds, it allows me to move my site and not force everyone to have to re-subscribe.  I also like to use a sing category so I can control what is in the feed versus what is available on the site. Blogengine provides a unique feed for each category, the id is a GUID so the feed for a category looks like this http://mysite.com/syndication.axd?category=7f1c7a73-7290-4637-83f0-804b8499a5345 (This is not a real URL).  Plugging that into FeedBurner allows me to use http://feeds.feedburner.com/UserGroupRadio to point to the category but the subscribers just use the FeedBurner URL.  FeedBurner also allows me to plug-in all the iTunes required tags without having to modify the Blogengine source.

Hiding the link in the post

Once I got the file showing in the RSS feed I wanted to make it so that you couldn’t see it in the actual post.  This may be a little overkill for some but I have learned from other shows I have done if I really want to know how many people are listening to the show I want them to subscribe.  I realize this might push some listeners away but it is a chance I am willing to take to get some accurate metrics.  And besides most of the listeners will be pretty tech savvy and will probably not have an issue.

So to hide the file form the post wasn’t too hard all you really had to do was remove the text between > and </a>.  My new URL looked like this:

<a href="/shows/UGR-00000.mp3"></a>

This solution was not exactly as smooth as I had hoped for but, still I was able get my show up and running without adding any extensions or having to modify the core code.

Thanks Blogengine.net for helping me get my show off the ground!

User Group Radio is ON THE AIR!!!

Over the last several years I have been involved with the developer community that has been growing in Northwest Arkansas.  After attending a Community Leadership Summit in Dallas, TX hosting by Caleb Jenkins I realized that many user group leaders struggle with the same problems, after looking around I realized that there wasn't really any resources around to help us. 

So I decided to start a podcast dedicated to the ones that keep user groups and technical communities going.  Hopefully through open dialog and sharing we can help make it easier to keep them running and maybe even take them to the next level. The new podcast called User Group Radio, as you might have guessed, and you can find out more about it at http://usergroupradio.com.

If you are passionate about community, have a story to tell, or have a question please email it to show  at usergroupradio dot com. In our first full episode I will be talking to Michael Paladino about his experience launching the Ft. Smith .NET User Group earlier this year.  Look for this episode to be released the first week of October.

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