All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

My Blogs Are Finally PHP 5.2!

The struggle is over, and I have conquered the beast known as PHP 5.0. Actually, the beast seems to be my host, 1&1, though it’s probably not all their fault, and they’re definitely not alone.

Some of you may remember the battle I had in trying to upgrade my business blog to PHP 5.0 back in December. In that case, I knew that blog was on 4.0 because I had created it many years earlier, before PHP 5.0 came about. The same couldn’t be said for this blog and my finance blog however. According to my MySQL admin area, both were already on 5.0. However, I knew they couldn’t be running that way because I couldn’t automatically update anything, and I was having all sorts of problems with my dashboard and plugins.

It was time to do some research, and I have to say it took awhile for me to figure things out, mainly because I had to go to multiple places to get a full understanding of what the issue might be. See, everything I needed, it turns out, was at the codex area for, but it wasn’t making any sense to me. I eventually found a blog called Gabediaz that gave me everything I needed. Now I’m going to share it here, since the information is in many places, just not easily described everywhere.

The first thing I had to do was create a file and name it “phpinfo.php”. I used Notepad and I had to pop this code into it:

(<)?php (add this part without the parenthesis; seems if I remove them it starts coding in this post and you can’t see the first line at all)

You upload that file to your server. Now, if you have multiple accounts on your server, you upload it into the one where your blog is. Then you type in your domain name and add “/phpinfo.php”. That will tell you the actual version of PHP your site is running on. In my case, it said I was running 4.4.9, which isn’t what it was saying in MySQL.

Then there’s the fix for it, and this is dicey stuff because you don’t want to make a mistake, just in case. First download your .htaccess file to your computer, and make sure you know where it is. Then using Notepad, open that bad boy up. Once you’ve done that, immediately save it using Save As, make sure you’re not saving it as a .txt file, and name it something like .htaccess_original. That will leave you two of those files wherever you saved it. Open the original file you downloaded, go to the top, hit Enter once to bring everything else down, then add this:

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

Save that file as is, then upload it back to your server, overwriting what you already have there. Then run that domain name thing again, and if you’re lucky you’ll be running something better than 5.0; in my case, I’m running 5.2.13.

I then went to take a look at my dashboard, and everything is there, all notes and the like. I went to my plugins area and added a couple of plugins that I had disabled, just to see what would happen to my dashboard; absolutely nothing. I then took the chance and automatically upgraded to WordPress 3.0; viola! That bad boy worked, my blog is now 3.0, I don’t have to manually upgrade any longer, my dashboard works fine, I can get into all posts and comments fine, and life is great once more.

By the way, the best test to do after upgrading is to see if you can get into your posts. Y’all know I write blog posts for others, and I also manage the blogs. All except one of the blogs upgraded just fine, and the one that didn’t wouldn’t let me into any of the posts. With the manual upgrade it all came back, thank goodness.

Now, I’m not guaranteeing this will work for everyone, but I think I can safely guarantee that if you’re on 1&1 that it will work. And if you’re having problems, heck, it can’t hurt to give it a shot, as long as you remember to save your original .htaccess file somewhere so you can upload it back if necessary. Good luck.

New Wave Rug: NW37 Multi

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Social Media Day Tweetup In Syracuse

I’m glad I get to write about this event this time around because I’m going to embellish it somewhat. Oh, I’m going to tell the truth, but I get to add those little things about people that I’m not sure anyone else would add, in my own way. Just so y’all know, any links to names are people who were at the event; if you don’t get a prominent part in the tale, your names with your Twitter links will come at the end of this post.

Kelly Lux & Dan Klamm

Wednesday was Social Media Day, at least in the United States; I have no idea if any other countries played along. It was named thus by Mashable, and as I read about different events in some newspapers across the country, a lot of people claimed it as a PR farce, while others tried to take the mantle of best attended. I’ll say this; ours was the best attended tweetup to date, and I bet we had as much fun, if not more fun, than those really large ones. I thought I had a hand in helping to plan the date, as I had been talking to a few people about trying to have one on a Wednesday so that people who hadn’t been able to make Tuesday or Thursday could come, but it seems that Kelly Lux and Dan Klamm put it together because they knew about the Mashable date; oh well… 🙂

This time the tweetup was held at a place called the Bull & Bear Pub in Hanover Square on East Water St. My little story about this is that, back in the 70’s, this area was where the pimps and prostitutes used to hang out. As a teenager, I’d come downtown either by myself or with a few friends and we’d park the car someplace safe and walk over to the area to watch. They even had pimps with feathers in their hats and those big Lincoln Continentals. These days the area is definitely a bit more family friendly with the fountain running, and lots of bars and a restaurant or two, with a new one coming; I’ll get back to that.

I showed up right at 5:30, which means I got to park right across the street; love that! The first person I ran into was my buddy Josh Shear, who’s just started his own web design business called That Josh on websites, SEO and social media; yup, another competitor in the field. lol I also saw another friend of mine, Sean Branagan, who owns a company called Communigration, a national marketing company, who was buying the first round of drinks. That took care of my first diet soda. He introduced me to someone else, and I hate to say this but I can’t remember who; sorry about that. 🙁

Tim Dodge, Me, Kelly Lux

I next met Joanne Capella, who’s doing something up at Syracuse University that I can’t remember, but I do remember that she and her husband are big into arts and crafts, as she told me there’s a big community in Syracuse that does that. Will wonders never cease. While we were talking my friend Tim Dodge showed up. He and I have known each other almost 7 years now, as we met as part of this writer’s group I’m a part of, and he’s a great writer as far as I’m concerned. Check out his site to see some of his writings, and I believe it will link to some of his recorded books as well.

From this point people started coming in droves, so much so that I can’t think of who came in and in what order. But there are a few people I’d like to highlight, if I may. One was Scott Severance, who owns his own real estate company, and used to ask me to sit in for him at BNI meetings whenever he couldn’t show up. Two others are my friends Kelvin Ringold, who’s a master photographer and getting serious about motivational presentations, and Jill Hurst-Wahl, who travels around the country talking about library sciences, research, digitization and social media stuff.

Twittering during Tweetup

There was also my friend Steve Borek, who’s into life and personal coaching, and a new friend, Danita Becker, who does web design and promises she’s got a blog coming at some point. And of course, one of my best friends in history, Scott Thomas, who I’ve talked about a lot around here because he’s a man of many talents, including his photography blog, and someone who comments here regularly (and picks on me as well), brought his camera, and is responsible for all the pictures you see here.

Some of what I know about other people who showed up and deserve special mentions include:

Nicole and Kevin Samolis, who put together the wildly successful Syracuse Biz Buzz conference, which I helped work on the night before and is where I met Anthony Rotolo, a professor at Syracuse University who gave a brief presentation that night, and Jenn Pedde, who was one of the people helping new folks set up accounts, which is how I participated.

Anne Messenger is one of the most prominent local entrepreneurs in the area, and I have a feeling she has no real idea who I am, even though I was in two presentations she gave and of course gave my opinion when I felt I wanted to participate (I’m known for that). She does career management & HR consulting.

Todd Engel, one of the few attorneys I know (which includes the attorney who put the will together for my wife and I, who regularly seems to have my number when I go to the casino to play poker).

Kim Brown, who many other folks knew and is a stone cold fox (see, us married men get away with stuff like that when our wives are cool) who works for WSYR Channel 9.

Rebecca Kohler, the only physician who showed up, and strangely enough, is a sleep doctor (seems a lot of people remembered I was having a sleep study done, but didn’t realize it was last week and not this week), and we talked for awhile about sleep and such.

Those are the folks I got to talk to or knew already fairly well who showed up. Everyone else I got to meet but didn’t get to talk to, and by the time I remembered I’d brought pad and pen with me to get names were still around do I could get the info. Here’s everyone else who I hope continue coming to our “little” tweetups:

Mark Britz;

Lisa Baker;

Michele Wood;

Margaret McCormick;

Evan Watson;

Greg Ketcham

Sally Swartley;

Erica Strong;

Ines Mergel;

Cathy Stevens;

Martha Ketcham (who I’m really proud of because she didn’t have a Twitter account at the event but said she was going home and setting up one with this link, and she did);

Ross Stoltz;

Sean Griffin

At this point you probably think this post is over, but it’s not. Remember I mentioned a new restaurant coming. Dan Klamm’s father is opening a new restaurant on that same block at the corner of East Water and Salina called Prime Steakhouse (no real website here yet, but it’s coming, and we got to take a tour of it. I have no idea what it used to be, but you could tell that it was something fancy at some point in history, and some of the woodwork and the design is classic. There were even a couple of rooms where Scott and I talked about hiding bodies; I’m not kidding. lol It looks like it’s going to be fantastic, and, well, y’all know how I like my meat (well, love meat, but don’t like it fighting back when I’m ready to eat). I can hardly wait.

And now it’s over; whew! By the way, the young lady working the bar at Bull & Bear was extremely attractive and friendly as well; even finally showed me a menu, though Scott had already mentioned Friendly’s by then, so if you ever want a great burger and fries, it seems to be a great place to go for one.

inside Prime

Anyway, that’s all I can remember. This is what a tweetup is supposed to be; lots of fun, meeting new friends and catching up with old friends, and hopefully being a positive experience for everyone. I even got to talk a little bit about the social media marketing event I’m putting on come June 22nd. I had a blast; can’t wait until the next one. And for those of you living in other parts of the world, I heartily recommend going to one of these, even if you have to set it up yourself.

At-A-Glance QuickNotes QuickNumbers Phone and Address Book

At-A-Glance QuickNotes QuickNumbers Phone and Address Book

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The Need To Reduce Information Overload

I’m someone who loves getting as much information as possible. Y’all know how I’ve touted that I subscribe to more than 200 blogs, and that, because I speed read, I can get through a heck of a lot of information.

Information Overload

However, I can’t get through it all, and I admit that there are times when I fall behind that I pop open the reader and see well over 500 titles in a category and think “there’s just no way I’m getting through all of that.” Y’all know that’s a bunch of RSS feeds!

What I do then is look for titles that seem intriguing, take a quick look, see what’s compelling, and if nothing is then I move onto the next one. I have no real idea what I might be missing, and my mind doesn’t care. As a matter of fact, sometimes I actually look at a high number of posts and feel like I can’t breathe.

Last night I was going through a large number once again, and came across this one titled Are You Becoming A Fat, Lazy Blogger written by Tom Sinfield of Standout Blogger. As I read the post, I saw myself in it, someone being overwhelmed by information to the point of being paralyzed sometimes. The paralysis for me is deciding I’m not reading at that moment, yet unsure just what I should do next. And that’s not a good way to go.

So, I’ve made an interesting decision. I’ve decided that I’m going to trim my list down to around 100, and that will be that. Now, some of this is pretty easy. I know I’ll be keeping almost every blog that’s in my category of “friends”, and I’ll be keeping almost every blog in the category of “folks I know”; how’s that for category titles? Those will be the first two I’ll go through because some of those folks aren’t blogging anymore, and I’ll know who they are pretty quickly.

The thing is, right now those account for about 55 blogs. I know for sure that 10 will be gone pretty quickly, but I’m hoping to eliminate at least 20 from this group. That will allow me to easier go through the rest to figure out what I want to keep. I know I’m keeping my news feeds, which don’t actually count as blogs, but I’m counting them towards my 100.

What’s my ultimate goal, other than the number? I subscribe to a ton of internet marketing blogs. The thing is, not only are there a lot of those folks, but many of them aren’t offering me anything new or substantial. I almost hate to go there, but few of them are teaching me anything new on how to make money. And, since that’s the focus of those blogs, supposedly, I need to weed through them to get to what I need.

I also subscribe to a lot of SEO blogs, because it’s something I do, but truth be told, these days it’s more about theory than anything ground breaking, and I find myself disagreeing with what I read more often than finding anything new I can use. I think those blogs are great for someone who’s new to it, but I’ve been doing it for almost 4 years now; I’m past a lot of it.

And there are other types of blogs that wouldn’t interest anyone else but me; well, I’ll add “probably”, and leave it at that. In any case, it’s time to reduce and refine.

Anyone else feeling overwhelmed? As Tom said, it might be time for an information diet; who’s with us? By the way, Tom’s wife is close to having a baby, so pop over there and give him some love.

Create your free baby web page today!

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Two New WordPress Plugins

If you haven’t noticed, there are two new things on my blog that I have yet to talk about, and I owe both of them to two guys and two WordPress plugins.

The first was recommended by our friend Sire who wrote a post titled Wassupblogs Posts Are Copyright Protected With Digiprove. Yeah, long title, but he did bring to my attention this plugin from a company called Digiprove. What it does is adds a copyright to the bottom of each post that proves it’s from you originally. That way, if you have to fuss at someone because they’ve stolen your content, which happens often, and you need backup proof that it’s yours, the digital sign is there.

I’ve noticed most people who steal my content also steal other things of mine that sometimes don’t work for them, such as my ReadSpeaker plugin. This means that my copyright thing will be at the bottom of whatever they steal. Well, at least it’s supposed to be. One, it won’t go back and update it on previous posts, although I’ve found that if you go in and make an update to any older posts that it will add the proof. Two, every once in awhile it will skip an article if you’ve post-dated it, which is irritating but easily correctable. You have to sign up for the service, though it’s free for most of us, and then you’re good to go.

The second plugin was recommended by our friend Dennis while we were talking via instant messaging. He kept asking me why I didn’t have a retweet button on this blog, which I used to have, but the plugin I was using (the name of which escapes me now) kept locking up this blog. I asked him what he was using and he said Topsy. Now you’ll notice that at the top of each post, to the right, is this little box that you’ve probably seen on a host of other blogs. It makes retweeting easier if you choose to share this article. It also makes my friend Scott happy since he’d been copying my full blog links, which didn’t give him any room to add a comment, as this plugin also creates one of those tiny urls that are prevalent all over Twitter.

Anyway, if you’ve been looking for something that can handle this issue for you, there you go; enjoy.

Travelpro Deluxe Tote 8601 in Black

Price – $51.90

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First Social Media Marketing Goal

Two weeks ago I wrote two posts on social media marketing. The first was titled Do You Have A Social Media Strategy?. The second was called Goals For A Social Media Strategy. I was attempting to start a general conversation on the topics because I kind of had an ulterior motive planned. Some of you (Scott, Dennis) wanted more specifics on those goals; I didn’t want to give them up. Now I can talk about it a bit more.

On July 22nd, in Cortland NY, I’m going to be a big part of a workshop on social media marketing. Okay, truthfully I’m doing most of it, but my friend Renée Scherer of Presentations Plus is going to be doing a part of it as well. The topic is titled Make A Splash With Social Media Marketing For Business. This is a 6-hour presentation that will talk about social media strategies, mention special social media outlets and actually help people set things up as need be. We’re also doing the same presentation on August 19th, but I really want July to be successful.

We’re charging $149 for members of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and $169 for everyone else. That’s because the venue sponsoring us is Greek Peak Mountain Resort, a new member of the Chamber (for those who are local I know they’re not in Liverpool, but I don’t ask questions lol) who’s promoting their new attraction, Cascades Indoor Water Park. And if you think that’s a high price, Renée got a flyer in the mail last week for a similar presentation being given in Hawaii for $475 for the same time frame; this is a steal! And there’s a special price which makes it inviting to turn it into an all day thing with the family; coupons if you will. Here’s the flyer to download if you’d like to check it out.

The thing is I wasn’t initially a part of this event. I was asked if I would take over for someone else, and there were some circumstances that I wanted taken care of before I consented. Those have been taken care of, so now I’m a part of this thing. And I have a lot of work to do; I’ve already started on the initial outline, but this is at least 5 hours of talking, presenting, and hands on teaching, so it’s more than the traditional presentation for me.

Now, something I mentioned to my friend Scott is that I don’t believe all goals have to have a time frame on them, and I stick by that. He is correct that most trainers will say you must have a date on it, otherwise it won’t have a chance to be fulfilled. How many of you have lost the amount of weight you said you were going to lose by the date you set? I thought so. How many of you have lost at least some weight by the date you set? I’m betting that’s a different number, and that’s kind of my point. Sometimes the effort towards the goal is more important than the date on the goal; at least that’s how I’m dealing with this thing with my health club, as I’ve yet to lose any weight but have lost some inches.

Anyway, now I can reveal the goal that I really had, which is to have at least 50 people at this event in July. Actually, some of the things we’ve tried have already been put into motion, but I’ll talk about mine, since I’m going to be trying it the social media way. Once a week for the next 2 weeks I’ll be having a post on the event on this blog; that might mean two blog posts in a day, or it might be the only post on that day. In the last 10 days I’ll be throwing a blurb on here as well, and one of the posts will be a sticky post, which means visitors to the blog that come in through the mail page will see it at the top for those 10 days. I’ll also be writing about it on my business blog; I’m not sure I’ll be writing about it more than once on my finance blog, since the topics aren’t quite compatible.

I’ve already started talking about it on LinkedIn, albeit kind of discreetly. I’ve had 3 people contact me asking me to keep them in the loop when I knew more; that’s not a bad start, and now that I can be more free, I’m going for it. How am I going to do it? I’m going to use the 120 character box on the main page to mention it and link to it, and I’ll be throwing out something in some of the local LinkedIn groups I’m a part of. In the last few weeks my connections have grown, and now I’m sitting at around 235 people; that’s not so bad.

It will become a part of my Twitter marketing. Of course the messages will go out when the blogs post, since those messages go out automatically, but I’ll be wording the campaign differently when I mention it separately. The thing about Twitter is that you can miss a lot of people if you only post something once a day, since the stream moves fast. Lucky for me, I talk about so many other things, as well as talk to people in general, that hopefully it won’t be seen as spamming the masses too much. Oh yeah, there’s also a Tweetup on the 30th that I’m going to, and I’ll be talking about it there as well. It’s an offshoot of social media marketing, so it counts; my rules. And y’all can look to the right there to see how many folks I have following me there.

As for Facebook, first I hope more of you join my Facebook business page, for which the widget is there to the right, or you can click on this FB business link. I’m going to mention it in that group, and of course I’ll create an event link to market it as well. I have almost 450 friends there, but of course I’m only going to send a specific link to those people who are local. I’m also a part of a couple of local groups there as well, so you can bet they’ll hear about it.

Both Renée and I will be doing an email marketing campaign as well, as it’s part of social media marketing, old school as it were. We’ll be getting some help with that one via the Liverpool Chamber; ah, finally something that my paying a membership for is providing me. 🙂 Renée will be using Constant Contact, and she’ll be presenting that since I know nothing about it except I market it as an affiliate.

One final thing we might be doing concerns the webinar we gave last year. I want to talk about YouTube in a bit more detail, so our plan is to take a piece out of that webinar we market and have a short video from it made so we can then create a YouTube page to put it on. I’m not sure how well that will be received, but it’s the next step in my overall social media marketing strategy, so I might as well get a jump on learning how to use it, right?

Anyway, time to end this one. As you can see, it’s an audacious goal, but we’re going to push this one hard. We have verbal commitments; now all we have to do is turn those verbals into actual paying customers. And now you know the rest of the story; thanks Paul Harvey. Stay tuned; at some point after the event I might let you know how successful we were. Oh yeah; future emails will be much shorter. 😀

Paul Harvey’s America

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