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Still Alive and Kicking

June 24th, 2012 . by Anup



I’ll be the first to admit … its been ages since I posted. You’ll be happy (or not) to know that I’m alive , well and kicking.  I’ve made quite a few discoveries on my travels and quests for ultimate programming knowledge. I’ve also come to realize that the topic is way too important and big for one site alone to cover.

This time around I’ve opted for the non impressive and much simpler method of typing words into WordPress way of doing things in this post but please do take a leap of faith and try the links. I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised. That being said a little bit onto what I think readers of ServingNiches would find useful –

http://www.codeacademy.com -> A completely interactive way to learn coding especially in Javascript. My advice would be to tackle this before dabbling in any of the javascript frameworks (client side or server side) you’re likely to come across these days.

http://www.codeschool.com  -> Similar to code Academy but more inclined towards Ruby, Rails, Html5, Node.js, Backbone,js etc. (Highly Recommended)

http://www.safaribooksonline.com -> Every programming book I’ve come across in my life is here , readable online. This is a mother of a resource. (Highly Recommended)

http://www.udacity.com -> Stanford’s FREE online Course site. Great for a variety of topics like Statistics(Quantitative Analysis, Big Data etc.) , however you want to call it. Although not as highly established as the other sources, it still is worth checking out.

I very highly suggest the ridiculous amount of content the above sites put at your disposal. Do check them out.

Smashing Newsletters You Must Know About

July 19th, 2011 . by Anup



Smashing Magazine recently put out  “Email Newsletters Worth Subscribing To” . The attention to detail and the graphics in those newsletters are simply superb. But that’s not why you’re reading about it here on serving niches. They also happen to be the leading publications in their particular industry. So enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe to them . They’re worth your time and really do deserve your attention.

I’m not going to mention all of them, just a few of my favourites. A link to the entire original list has been posted at the bottom of the post.

The List :

  Brain Pickings
Random Interesting stuff put in a very interesting and graphical way. Simply superb I say.“culling and curating cross-disciplinary curiosity quenchers  and separating the signal from the noise to bring you  things you didn’t know you were interested in until you  are.”
 Daily Good Morning
Quality motivational advice in your inbox every day of the  week. Seriously fun stuff to start off your day with. If you  have any intention of being happy, then this is a good  thing to have in your inbox.
   Newfangled
New fangled discusses web design , development,  business , culture and design.
   Springwise 
“Springwise brings you the most promising business ventures, ideas and concepts that are ready for regional or international adaptation, expansion, partnering, investment and cooperation. It promises to inspire you instantly by getting the world’s most promising new business ideas and young ventures right in front of you. Choose between the daily newsletter, which features three exciting business ideas, or the weekly one, which rounds up the best of the week’s finds.”— Smashing MagazineAmazing stuff .
  Userfocus
Usability like design is one of those things people simply assume they know. There are conferences , workshops , countless books and experts with usability design in their job title and yet people assume there is nothing to know. This site discusses what’s hot in the world of Design.
   H&FJ Typography
All about typography. Simply amazing.
   Hacker Newsletter
This is not about security or penetration testing . Its about startups , technology , programming etc. Great Stuff.
   Javascript Weekly
All about Javascript. Stay on top of what’s happening in the javascript world by subscribing to this newsletter.

 

   wpMail.me
News , Articles , Themes and tutorials on WordPress. WordPress is growing in popularity fast and this helps you stay on top.

 

   Yoast
Yoast keeps you in the loop on various topics like SEO , WordPress Plugins, Theme development , Site speed etc. Run by the author of WordPress SEO Plugin.

 

   Django Weekly
Keeps you in the loop about Django. Django is a python based framework . If you haven’t already do check out the django framework.
   IBM Developer Works
You get to choose to receive info on a number topics. A number of top notch freebies that are well designed , structured and have brilliant content.
  Ruby Weekly
Save yourself hours of research on the Ruby programming language by subscribing to this newsletter. This is a sister publication of Javascript Weekly.
  Sitepoint
Sitepoint offers a number of newsletters. It covers everything from PHP, javascript to marketing and profiting from your online presence.
  Email Inspiration
One image to inspire your designs and get your creative juices flowing everyday. Can’t be explained really. Must be experienced.

The orginal document can be found here. Have fun and be inspired with these.

Accessibility , The Disabled And You

February 27th, 2011 . by Anup



I was devouring (not literally) one of Sitepoint’s books when I came across the Accessibility section. Accessibility and usability are very important. It is not simply about being politically correct anymore. Not everyone gets into trouble because they discriminate quite openly . Simple negligence or laziness in coding could end up in a lawsuit . You don’t want legal action been taken against you. Legal action is an expensive affair. Obviously this is something we’re all aware of . But this section really opened my eyes and really drove home this very important point.

The Very Important Point :

I’m paraphrasing here when I say this. The web breaks down so many barriers to communication. You can develop a relationship with a wheelchair bound blind customer just as easily as an able bodied person. We need to make sure we develop our sites and apps to accommodate disabled people . It has surpassed social conscience and good business practice. It is illegal to discriminate against disabled people in many jurisdictions. You leave yourself open to legal action if you fail to accommodate disabled people on your website.

Fret not. Accommodating disabled people will not take much effort.

One solution is to follow the WAI. The WAI stands for “Web Accessibility Initiative”.

The Web Accessibility Initiative – WAI

WAI (created by W3C, in 1997) is a set of guidelines intended for web developers, authors, and designers- about how to make the web content accessible to people with disabilities.

For more information on the WAI and how to apply them to your own site click here.

Resources worth reading:

http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/PWD-Use-Web/
http://www.w3schools.com/quality/quality_accessibility.asp

I also recommend books by Sitepoint.  They are written with best practices in mind.

Video Marketing And Fear Of Public Speaking

January 26th, 2011 . by Anup



V

ideo marketing is an efficient way to share content and reach people. A video on Youtube could get you considerable traffic for very little effort. But of course there is something that comes in the way. Fear of public speaking.

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

— Seinfield

Here is a cure for that. Check it out.

http://courses.sitepoint.com/fearless-public-speaking

Keyword Research 101 From Copy Blogger

January 24th, 2011 . by Anup



Keyword research is an extremely important part of Online marketing. In fact it is the first and a rather excruciating part of building anything on the internet.

That brilliant idea for a niche or anything else could be disaster if not researched properly.

It would have been so much easier if you could just jump on the internet and put up a website. Make some content and enjoy large amounts of traffic and money. Unfortunately that does not happen. Loads of traffic does not come gushing in without proper keyword research . Your posts will not reach the right audience or worse may not answer the right questions. Keyword research helps answer what they’re looking for.

Imagine having a list of potential buyers , their needs , their pains, where they hang out, where they go shopping for your products, what they’re looking for etc. . That would make your job a whole lot easier. Keyword Research is the internet’s equivalent of real world market research. Researching competitors , their backlinks and the probability of ranking on the first page of Google .

For a good guide to keyword research  check out copyblogger’s guide to keyword research . Click on the link below or the image to go there.

http://www.copyblogger.com/keyword-research/

Keyword Research

Ruby On Rails : RoR

January 13th, 2011 . by Anup



You no doubt would have heard about Rails or RoR or Ruby On Rails.
They all refer to the same thing.If you’re wondering what that is or if
it is for you , you’ve come to the right place. Ruby on Rails is huge these
days . Read on to know what its about.

Ruby on Rails, often shortened to Rails or RoR, is an open source web application framework for the Ruby programming language. It is intended to be used with an Agile development methodology that is used by web developers for rapid development.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_on_Rails

What that means is that Ruby On Rails helps you write Web apps Fast.  These days interactive websites are also referred to as web apps. Web developers would have had to code the whole app by hand. A lot of it would be commonly used functions. Needless to say this used to take time , energy and brain power. Brain power , energy and time better spent elsewhere like testing and thinking out the important sensitive functions of the site. Frameworks like Ruby On Rails reduce the time and complexity of writing up something like a Web App.

“Ruby on Rails is a breakthrough in lowering the barriers of entry to programming.
Powerful web applications that formerly might have taken weeks or months
to develop can be produced in a matter of days.”
–Tim O’Reilly, Founder of O’Reilly Media
Taken from http://rubyonrails.org/

This is a list post. Instead of trying to fit everything about RoR in one post, I thought I’d share links to some seriously great resources on RoR.

Sites running on Ruby on Rails :

Shopify: E-commerce made

Penny Arcade: Comic

Sortfolio

http://twitter.com/

43things

Geni

Scribd

Inkling Markets

A List Apart

Free Resources :

http://tryruby.org/ –  Learn ruby from the convenience of your browser. This is meant to be a quick and dirty short   tutorial. Not like the others.

http://guides.rubyonrails.org/ – Guides on rails from the Official Rails Site.

http://articles.sitepoint.com/article/learn-ruby-on-railsLearn Ruby on Rails: the Ultimate Beginner’s Tutorial from Sitepoint . Check out the related articles column too.

http://netbeans.org/kb/docs/ruby/rails-quickstart.html – NetBeans Tutorial on using Rails

http://railstutorial.org/ – Ruby on Rails Tutorial

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/03/19/getting-started-with-ruby-on-rails/ – Smashing Magazine’s getting started with Ruby on Rails.

http://thinkvitamin.com/category/code/ruby-on-rails/ – Thinkvitamin’s tutorials on Rails.


Not So Free Resources :

http://www.lynda.com/home/ViewCourses.aspx?lpk0=835 – Lynda.com’s tutorials for RoR. They’re not free but worth it if you’re looking for short , easy to understand tutorials.

http://www.sitepoint.com/books/rails2/ – Sitepoint’s book “Simply Rails 2” . This book is perfect for the beginner. You need to know some HTML and CSS. But nothing else.

https://www.packtpub.com/building-dynamic-websites-with-ruby-on-rails/book – Packt Publishing’s building dynamic websites with ruby on rails.

8 Rules You Must Know To Prosper In The New Economy Now

May 25th, 2010 . by Anup



Came across a very good report the other day . Its called “The New Profit Rules” by Charlie Cook. You can get it here. Quite honestly you could use this book to turn your business around. Internet Marketing included. Well thought out, to the point , practical and applicable, supported with facts ,is based on experience and what works.

You need to check this report out to survive this lousy economy.

http://www.marketingforsuccess.com/profitrules-ns.html

As always

Have fun with it.

“The part I like about Charlie’s writing is every plan ends in action steps the reader can take to reach closer to achieving success.

Unlike most of today’s pundit writers and endless bloggers with no agenda other than to hear themselves ramble, Charlie outlines a clear path to success for entrepreneurs. I also enjoy his succinct presentation that I can read without wasting time.”

Jeff Dobkin
Direct Response Copywriter, PA

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