Read the latest web development and design tips at Fred Wu's new blog! :-)
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Wuit – building web applications that make sense

Okay, here is a *very* early teaser, please check out Wuit. Make sure you sign up for the notification, we will inform you about our products and services once they become available.

In a nutshell, Wuit will develop a series of open source and commercial applications, stay tuned. :-)

Meanwhile, please feel free to follow us: @wuitcom, @fredwu and @scotti3g.

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PageRank not Working – Here’s a Fix

I reinstalled my Google Toolbar in Firefox recently to check out some of the newer features that might impact SEO and brand reputation (such as Google Sidewiki). Unfortunately doing so caused the PageRank feature of the toolbar to stop working. Reinstalling and restarting didn’t help but here’s what did (courtesy of this post):

  1. Enter “about:config” into Firefox’s Address Bar.
  2. Right-click on any item in the list of preference names, select “New,” then click “Boolean.”
  3. Enter “google.toolbar.firstrun.done” as the new preference name, then click “OK.”
  4. Select “True,” then click “OK.”

Now my only problem is finding pages which actually have something written about them in Sidewiki. So far the only page I’ve seen with comments was the Sidewiki page itself… :)

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jQuery Slideshow Lite Plugin Updated (Major Rewrite)

The jQuery Slideshow Lite plugin is updated with new features!

This is a major rewrite which fixed the known issue of not being able to change slides instantly via pagination clicks.

The new version also adds automatic photo caption display.

Enjoy! :)

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Branding – Russell Brand Style

Russell Brand is a very good example of how to build a brand. In Russell’s case, his brand is being a lothario. In the last year I’ve seen countless articles in the Australian media referring to Russell Brand as a lothario. Lothario Russell Brand blah blah blah… you get the picture. I thought only Shakespeare used the term lothario but Russell has brought it back to 2009.

There was even talk that the way Russ wooed a girl while waiting for a ferry in Australia was staged. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. I wouldn’t be surprised if Russ has marketing people pushing his lothario image.

Search for lothario in Google News or Goolgle Image search and you’ll no doubt see several Russell entries on the first page of each.

So what does all this have to do with this site? Well, if you’re developing a web app, an iPhone app or some other bit of software you can do yourself a world of favours by establishing your brand.

When you’re Russell Brand you can get the media to push your brand fairly easily. When you’re Joe Schmoe software developer you have to do things a little differently. Media outlets will generally be more than happy to publish articles about your product of service provided your article has a unique and newsworthy spin to it (and isn’t a clear promotional article).

As an example, let’s keep with the lothario theme. Say you have a dating web site you want to get press coverage for. Instead of writing an article saying “here’s my great dating web site and you can join for free”, you might write an article on celebrities that have tried internet dating. Or maybe write about how the number of people getting married who met on the net has jumped X% in the last 5 years.

Whatever your angle, make it interesting, make it memorable.

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Cloud Hosting: Slicehost, VPS.net and Media Temple Comparison Review

Disclaimer: The post indicates my personal opinion, all references about Envato are not official.

The word cloud is getting a lot of attention lately, almost like web 2.0. Marketing gimmick aside, I believe cloud computing does offer a tremendous amount of advantages over traditional computing environment.

At Envato, we use a number of providers for our server needs. We currently have servers with Media Temple, Slicehost and Engine Yard.

Even though Envato was already using Slicehost for some of their applications, I still did my fair share of research before making a suggestion to move away from Media Temple.

I have eventually nailed down to three service providers: Slicehost, Linode and VPS.net.

For Envato, we decided to go with Slicehost, because we already have some servers there, and they offer bandwidth pooling. We would have given Linode a deeper look if they had offered backups (their backups system is still in beta).

Having said that, I was very very impressed by VPS.net, so I decided I should sign up anyway, for my personal projects.

Let’s compare the three services: Slicehost, VPS.net and Media Temple.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Joining Envato

If you are reading this blog, there’s a high chance you are a web developer, or a designer, or an entrepreneur. And if you are, you probably have heard of, or are a fan of Envato, the company behind the marketplace websites, the Tuts+ websites, FreelanceSwitch and other awesome websites. If you haven’t already, go check ‘em out, because well, they are awesome. :)

I am very proud to announce that, I will be joining Envato next week, as a full time software developer.

My immediate responsibility will be primarily focused on the Tuts+ network of websites. But if you know Envato, and if you know Collis Ta’eed (CEO of Envato), you *know* there will be more awesome websites/services popping out in the future.

It was such a wonderful experience chatting with the guys and gals at Envato. The Rails development team (lead by John Barton) also excels at Hacky Sack. :)

Want to know more? You can follow me on Twitter at @fredwu.

Here is a list of current websites under the Envato umbrella.

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