Graceful Sidebar Version 1.0.13 Released!

Support for the popular qTranslate plugin has been implemented inside the Graceful Sidebar Plugin. qTranslate enables bloggers to internationalize their content directly in the wordpress administrative console. qTranslate has a support forum that appears to be active with some good suggestions for using the plugin on your site. Cheers to Ozden for the suggestion to support this helpful plugin!

WP Geocode WordPress Geolocation Plugin Version 1.0.0 Released!

I’ve always been fascinated by the possibility of understanding and leverage as much data as possible about a web site visitor or blog reader. The fact of the matter is that there is a lot of data available if you’re willing to dig a bit and use the tools available. You’re probably aware that information is transmitted to the web sites you visit as part of the conversation between your browser and the web server. However, what’s not readily known is the amount of data that can be derived from other sources such as your IP Address (which, incidentally is also a component of the browser-web server exchange.)

Maxmind is a geolocation server provider that publishes a database of information related to specific blocks of IP Addresses. This information is refreshed regularly and can be leveraged to provide information about the city, state, zip code and other information about your web site visitors. Maxmind offerstwo classes of product offerings – free and paid. The free and paid versions of their databases differ only in the granularity of detail.

The WPGeocode Geolocation Plugin that I just released relies on the free database and can be leveraged by wordpress bloggers to customize content based on geographic information for their visitors. The plugin can be used to incorporate geo-data into posts or pages and can also be used to display content conditionally based on these geographic details.

The plugin implements wordpress shortcodes that provide these data elements. For a complete listing of the shortcodes and additional details on the plugin, please visit WPGeocode.com. You can download the latest version of the plugin from the WordPress Plugin Site.

Graceful Sidebar Version 1.0.12 Released!

Some kind folks commented on the wordpress extend plugin page for the Graceful Sidebar Plugin requesting support for shortcodes. Ask and ye shall receive! Version 1.0.12 has been release with support for shortcodes. Shortcodes are tags that can be incorporated in wordpress pages or posts which get translated into different content. For example, I can include a shortcode which tells me what city you live in by leveraging my WP Geocode Plugin. This plugin populates a number of shortcodes that get translated into geography based information about the reader.

Your City: [wpgc_city]
Your State: [wpgc_state_code]
Your IP: [wpgc_ip]

Gantter Project – A Great, Free Way to Manage Projects

I’ve used OpenProj for several years. It’s a nice, free alternative to MS Project. The only problem is sharing the project plans with folks – rarely do people I work with have OpenProj installed. Fortunately, OpenProj gives you the option of saving as a MS Project XML file. This makes it easier but I was still looking for the ability to save the projects in PDF format. This is possible, but only with the paid version of OpenProj. This is when I found the Gantter Project.

Gantter is written to work with Google Apps. It enables you to import MS Project project plans, save them as PDF and even save them directly to Google Docs.

For me, Google Docs and the Gantter Project work best with my custom domain – mlynn.org – but you can use it even if you don’t have a custom domain. Visit Gantter.com to find out more information about this great, free tool to help you manage your projects.

Graceful Sidebar Version 1.0.11 Released

I received a note today from a user of my Graceful Sidebar Plugin. He mentioned that his theme worked perfectly without the plugin in use. However, when he activated the plugin and displayed a custom sidebar for a specific page, the footer of his theme displayed incorrectly. It turns out that I had some funky logic in the plugin which cased wordpress to display an extra closing DIV tag. I’ve fixed the code and submitted the update which is available at WordPress.org.

WP-ExtJS Version 1.0.4 – ExtJS Pivot Grid Example

In honor of Version 1.0.4 of the WP-ExtJS Plugin being committed this morning, I decided to post a new example. This example shows the powerful pivot grid capabilities in the latest version of ExtJS from Sencha.

 

Grab the Plugin from WordPress.org

 

Please note that you must upgrade to the latest version of ExtJS – Currently 3.3.1.

 

Pivot Grid Example

This example shows how to create a Pivot Grid backed by an Ext.data.Store.

 

Continue reading →

Create a Custom Sidebar for Each Post or Page on Your WordPress Blog

Update: June 27th, 2011
Graceful Sidebar Plugin Version 1.0.11 Released

If you’ve been here before, this will be a review.  However, I think it bares mentioning in a new post.  Have you ever wanted to customize your blog such that the sidebar content displayed a different bit of content for each page on your site?  Well that’s the story behind the Graceful Sidebar Plugin.

The plugin works by extending the post and page editing screens with two additional fields.  Title, and Content.  The title field stores the content that will be displayed in the title of a widget on the post or page you’re editing.

Once you’ve installed the plugin, and have dragged the Graceful Sidebar Widget to the sidebar, you’ll begin to see this content displayed on your blog.

You may edit these fields for each post or page that you want to display different sidebar details or content.

To obtain this plugin, either visit the <a href=http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/graceful-sidebar-plugin/>Wordpress Extend/Plugins; site and download, or you can install the plugin directly from within your administrative console.  Simply click Plugins->Add New->Search for “Graceful Sidebar”.

Minimizing Hacks and Spams on Your WordPress Blog

As long as there’s money to be had by gaining exposure on the web, we’ll have to suffer with the less than reputable out there trying to game the system by filling up your blog with lame comments and links to their crappy porn, drug or adult dating web sites. You can minimize the impact of these n’er do wells, however by implementing several plugins and taking certain actions in response to their attempts.

Continue reading →

A Simple Excel Decision Matrix | The Lynn Decision Tool

Here’s a very simple Excel based decision tool which I’ve used in many different forms for both personal and business use over the years. In this basic format, this tool will enable you to list work through a decision process between two major choices.

The tool lets you provide two basic choices (cell C2 and cell E2), features of the overall decision (these are typically outcomes or impacts of your decision between the two choices), weights for each feature and a grade for each decision by feature.

The tool also provides a calculated score based on your grades and weights and a nice little chart showing which decision came out on top.

To use the tool follow these basic instructions:

1. Provide your two choices in cell C2 and cell E2. eg: Join Army, and Go to College
2. List the features of the decision as a whole in column A rows 3 through 16. You don’t need to complete a rows. You’ll want to focus on outcomes or impacts of your decision when listing these features. eg: Long term impact on life goals.
3. Weight each feature on a scale of 1-5 based on how much you value this feature in column B, rows 3 through 16.
4. Provide a grade for each decision as it pertains to the feature. For many decisions, this will be highly subjective… don’t give too much thought initially to your scores. Try to record your immediate reaction.

Note: Don’t put anything in the “Score” columns… these are computed fields.

That’s it – very simple as I said. This tool can be built upon in many ways. I wanted to keep it simple initially and provide a Simple Decision tool. If you have other tools you use to help you make decisions, please use the comments field and let me know.

[download id=”9″]

Graceful Sidebar Version 1.0.7 Released

** UPDATED 01/12/2011 – Graceful Sidebar Plugin is now at version 1.0.10 **

What’s the Graceful Sidebar Plugin?

The Graceful WordPress Plugin provides a convenient way to add a custom sidebar for each or any of the posts or pages on your WordPress blog.

The plugin presents two additional input fields when creating or editing a post or page. These fields are labeled Graceful Title and Graceful Content. Edit these to create the customized widget that will appear in the sidebar when readers are viewing this page or post. Be sure to drag the Graceful Sidebar Widget to the sidebar area for your theme by viewing Appearance->Widgets from your administration panel.

Where can I get it?

You may download the plugin from The WordPress Extends->Plugins page or by searching for ‘Graceful Sidebar’ from your administration panel’s plugins->Add New screen.

What’s New?

Issues were reported with funkiness when updating and saving posts. I surmised that this was related to the fact that I was storing the values for the graceful sidebar title and content in standard custom fields – which mean the edit screens showed two fields where you could edit these values – one in my own custom edit fields and another in the standard custom edit fields.

Please backup your database before upgrading to this version as it does change the names of the storage variables for your graceful sidebar title and content.

Are you using the plugin? Let us know by leaving a comment. Also, please leave a comment with any additional enhancements or modifications you might like to see with this plugin.