Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks

Google Voice Feature Requests

Google Voice Feature Requests

If you’re not using Google Voice yet, I recommend looking into it. It can be seamlessly integrated with any Android phone, and while not as easy, it can be useful on an iPhone too. Having an iPhone 4 myself, I use Google Voice for 95% of my calls and texts. This post is about the improvements that I would love for Google to make, which I think would dramatically improve the user experience.

1. The option for conversation view all the way back in time with a given person. Currently, I can only see brief conversations with each person. The iPhone enables me to see our back and forth communication on one page all the way back, hundreds of texts into the past, a very cool feature.

2. Sync with profile photos from Facebook and accept high res profile photos for my contacts. I call and text people with the same name as my Facebook friends because they’re the same people. Sync their emails from Gmail, phone numbers from GV, and pictures from Facebook. Also the pictures GV stores are tiny and don’t use the iPhone’s caller photo quality potential.

3. Improve “Find duplicates.” I have “Marcus” and “Marcus #” both containing the same 2 phone numbers. I have no idea why it’s not finding this duplicate. I know I have others like this but I don’t know how many.

4. Who are these people in my “Most Contacted” list? Haha I haven’t contacted some of these people in over 2 years, yet some of the people I text every day don’t appear here.

5. Improve contact search. When I type “8620” it’s not finding Marcus with phone number “5554298620”. Of course this number is an example but you get the idea. When I type 8620 into “Send a text message” box it does find him, so this must be an easy fix.

6. Marcus uses Google Voice and I have his GV number saved with his contact info. He has a picture assigned to his Google account but when I click on his contact info link it shows no picture. Pull his picture, link to his blog, twitter handle, and any other info he publishes there from his Google account.

7. Put my outgoing text at the top of the inbox when I send it like my iPhone does.

8. Let me record outgoing phone calls. You can require both parties on the line to press a key on the phone to confirm intentions.

9. Let me create a Call ID so when I call a land line paying for the service it’ll show my name. Businesses would obviously pay for that feature.

10. Incoming Call ID. When someone calls me from a business (or anyone with Call ID set up on that line), Google should know who it is and show its Call ID in my inbox, along with links to its website, Yelp page & Google local business listing.

11. Enable MMS. When I send a picture from my iPhone through Google voice it never reaches its recipient.

12. For a fee, let businesses record all incoming calls. Before connecting the caller with the GV user, announce, “All calls to this phone number are recorded, to proceed, press one or say yes.”

13. Give me the option to connect via VoIP when connected to WiFi.

14. Let me use “in-network” minutes when calling another AT&T mobile subscriber.

15. Let me accept faxes to my GV number.

16. Enable a bunch of features CallFire has. Charge extra for them if necessary.

17. Bug test the GV iPhone app. It erases draft messages when I toggle between sand by and on, and has many other major bugs.

Greasemonkey Scripts for Dating Sites

Greasemonkey Scripts for Dating Sites

My primary complaint with all dating sites is that they make profile thumbnails too small on the Search & Match pages. This is in the sites’ best interest because it encourages users to click through to view more profiles. This gives users the sense of more activity when they look at their Visitors page, it creates more advertisement impressions, and it increases the likelihood of users messaging each other. But it’s not in the users’ best interest to click around aimlessly.

Fortunately I’ve discovered some sweet scripts from the source of my killer Facebook hacks that help correct this problem in big ways.

First you’ll need to install Greasemonkey if you use Firefox or Greasemetal if you use Chrome. If you’re using another browser I highly recommend you switch (FF ftw imo btw lol omg). Next you just install the following scripts and refresh the dating site to activate them. I’m not going to mention scripts that remove ads from specific sites because I use Adblock Plus for that.

We’ll start with my favorite dating site, OkCupid. OKC Big Pictures allows you to view the full sized original photo uploaded by a user, without the OkCupid watermark. Once installed, go to the photos tab of any user (except yourself) and click on a photo that looks like it might have a large original version. There appears to be a maximum resolution of 1500 x 1500, which is 4.3 times bigger than Facebook’s max. If you liked that trick, you’ll love this: okcupid (terrible name, I know) displays the full resolution image when you hover the mouse over any picture on the site! This is a lot more fun if you have very high bandwidth like I do (20 Mbit down at home, 80 Mbit at work). These images also appear to be stored on slower servers than the rest of OkC’s images, but it’s a very worthwhile tradeoff in my opinion. I don’t use IM on OkCupid, but if you do, try out Better OkCupid IM Windows. And finally, if you’re getting a low response rate when messaging women, plug in SuperResponse and boost it to an 80% response rate guaranteed!

OnlineWingman is a toolbar and dashboard that tracks your browsing history and response rates to help you improve your effectiveness. It doesn’t work right away, but it could be interesting to see its charts after using it for a week or two. It supports PlentyofFish and I’m pretty disappointed that nothing else useful exists for Match and POF, the top 2 dating sites.

All you eHarmony subscribers probably wonder like I do why the hell eHarmony hates pictures so much. They show you first names as your matches, but no pictures. Am I really supposed to remember 50+ people I’ve never met by their first names? The Ultimate eHarmony Matches Table fixes this shortcoming and makes a huge improvement on the My Matches page; you’ll come to realize that eHarmony is unusable without it.

OKCupid’s MyBestFace Would Be Awesome … If It Worked

OKCupid’s MyBestFace Would Be Awesome … If It Worked

OKCupid recently unveiled MyBestFace, a feature that helps its members determine their most attractive profile pictures. You have to earn the report by voting on other members’ photos, and others do the same for yours. Each photo you post requires you to vote on 20 pairs of photos. You have to choose which person you’d rather go on a date with (and skip is not an option). According to OKCupid, this is how it works: “A group of real humans compared your photos with others’, and each time your photo was selected – or not – the information we gleaned was a complex function of how well the opposing photo did in its own report. In other words, we weren’t simply counting votes. We considered all the other votes, too, and converged rapidly on your best face.” Sounds a lot like Mark Zuckerberg’s Facemash to me.

As I voted I realized I was unfairly discriminating against certain users that were not my type. I wished I could specify demographics (at least age range) of people I voted on and people who voted on me. For example, an older woman may choose to go on a date with an older man when pitted against me, just because he’s older, which in turn reduces my score unfairly.

I was very surprised by the results of my report after running my favorite 8 pictures through it, so I decided to process more of them, and more again. Still surprised I decided to run them through a second time to determine the consistency of the results. After all, to trust the results of which photo is better than another, a photo should score higher than another in both round 1 and round 2.

I ran 44 pictures through MyBestFace twice and analyzed the numbers on a spreadsheet (update 6/22/2010 more accurate Excel version). Combining numbers from both rounds, I found that the standard deviation from one photo to another is lower than the average discrepancy between round 1 and round 2. If this is always true, that means you cannot tell which photo is better than another after only one round of comparison. Keep in mind that you have to vote on 20 photos per round per photo submitted, so submitting 44 photos twice required voting on 1,760 pairs of photos, which of course took a lot of time.

My average picture rating of both rounds was 67.36. The average difference between my picture score and 67.36 is 4.3, and the standard deviation over both rounds is 5.38. The average difference between the same photo in round 1 vs. round 2 is 5.46, which is the system’s margin of error.

Since the margin of error is greater than the standard deviation between my good and bad photos, I consider the results very inaccurate in round 1. One could argue that if I compared 2 photos in round 1 and the difference between them was greater than 5 (MyBestFace rounds to whole numbers), the higher scoring picture is indeed more attractive than the lower scoring picture. However, in the worst case scenario I had one picture jump 13 points from round 1 to round 2! And only 13.6% of my photos earned the same score in round 1 and round 2.

It would take rating another 1,760 pairs of photos to determine the reduction in the system’s margin of error after doubling the number of experiments, but I assume it would still be greater than the standard deviation from photo to photo. If that is the case, then even after 4 rounds of experimentation the system still fails to prove which photo is more desirable than another.

MyBestFace is fun to try, and it would be a very useful tool if its results were accurate, but after running this experiment I think I’m better off just asking a few friends which of my pictures are most attractive.

ChatVille: Chatroulette meets Facebook

ChatVille: Chatroulette meets Facebook

Today when I opened my favorite instant messaging client, Digsby greeted me with an announcement: “We’re excited to announce the launch of ChatVille, a brand new Facebook game we created for discovering cool new people! ChatVille let’s [sic] you video chat with random Facebook users in a safe environment while earning compliments, unlocking badges, and leveling up in a race to become ChatVille Champion! PS: First one to unlock the Digsby Badge gets a free iPad!”

Naturally I tried it and quickly discovered a lot of bugs. Most of the time I click Next I get an error message: “Everyone is engaged in conversation. Chat with one of your Facebook Friends or click Next to try again.” That’s not fun! The only 10 people I’ve been able to connect to so far were all men. That’s also no fun, but not unexpected. I couldn’t figure out exactly how to improve my score and couldn’t find a guide anywhere.

Soon Adobe Flash Player began to crash my web browsers. All 3 of them. This problem persisted after uninstalling and reinstalling Flash Player and rebooting my PC. Now I can’t play the game at all because Flash Player crashes the browser immediately when the game loads, while Chatroulette still works just fine.

If this game worked, it could be the solution to the booming industry’s pervert infestation. Inappropriate conduct can get Facebook users banned from ChatVille quickly and permanently. But could this be enough of a difference from Chatroulette to achieve a lower male-to-female ratio than CR’s 9-to-1?

Try it yourself:

Switching to Disqus and Facebook Social Plugins

Switching to Disqus and Facebook Social Plugins

I recently gave my blog’s social interaction mechanisms a complete overhaul – again. I watched Facebook’s F8 conference live on Facebook and was immediately inspired to add the new Like Button on my blog. See Zuckerburg’s presentation if you missed it.

First I deactivated the outdated plugins, Facebook Connect, I Like This, and Sociable. I tried a number of new comment systems and plugins using Facebook’s new Open Graph Protocol, which intertwines Facebook connections with almost any content on the web and easily enables sharing the content with your friends through Facebook’s news feed. This doesn’t displace the need for Facebook Connect, but Connect didn’t improve my comment system’s interface like I hoped. There’s more interesting info about the Open Graph concept at

I was surprised by how difficult it was to find blogs referring me to the best Open Graph plugins, so I had to experiment on my own. My first attempt was Sprout Venture’s Facebook Social Widgets. I installed and activated the plugins, moved the modules into my sidebar and nothing displayed so I scrapped it for Facebook Social Plugins. This plugin works like a charm. It is missing one feature that I haven’t found a replacement for yet: the ability to like my blog itself. But without any post-install work, the Like button appears below all content on my blog and shows you which of your Facebook friends liked the content. It works perfectly and I recommend it to anyone with a WordPress blog.

Next I experimented with a couple of new comment systems before deciding on Disqus. It was surprisingly easy to install and customize: Register an account at Disqus, use WordPress’s dashboard’s plugin search to find “Disqus Comment System,” install and link it with your Disqus account in its settings page. On second thought, that may not be very easy for beginners, but it provides a much better result for a lot less technical knowledge than the alternatives. I’ve set up Discuss to enable my visitors to comment using their Facebook or Twitter credentials and quickly share on the mother sites. In addition to taking out the Facebook Connect and @Anywhere integration, Disqus replaced WordPress’s ugly comment system with a much more attractive one. Hey, if my favorite blog Mashable really likes it and uses it, it’s good enough for me!

How to Enable Facebook Connect on a WordPress Blog

How to Enable Facebook Connect on a WordPress Blog

Do you ever find yourself excited to respond to a news or blog post, but dread the registration process? I often begin the process and then leave the site when I discover how much info it wants from me, or when I remember that I’ll have to verify my email address and log in after I fill out 10 forms of ID.

Facebook Connect solves this problem. With it I can log in to more than 80,000 websites simply using my Facebook login credentials. It’s safe, fast and very easy to use, and apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. More than 60 million Facebook users engage with Facebook Connect on external websites every month. According to Facebook’s Developers Wiki, you can expect a 30-200% increase in user registrations after enabling Facebook Connect, and see a 15-100% increase in reviews and other user generated content. The web developer can set up Facebook Connect to prompt a user to cross-post his comment on Facebook after posting to the site, encouraging viral activity. Business Insider speculates that for each story published in Facebook, a site can expect an average of 3 clicks back to the site. The website also gains access to more user demographics, and it can provide a personalized experience by pulling users’ profile pictures and other data to the front end.

Knowing its many benefits, I had to set up Facebook Connect on my own blog. The setup is a little advanced but I figured I’d write a guide to help my fellow APOC students set it up on their blog. The procedure varies depending on your platform but my guide will assume that you’re hosting a WordPress 2.9.2 install through GoDaddy.

First, make sure your server is configured to run PHP5 rather than PHP4.

  • If you can access your server files via FTP, open “.htaccess” under the root directory with Notepad. If you see “AddHandler application/x-httpd-php5 .php” and nothing referring to php4, skip to the next paragraph. Otherwise follow next bullet point.
  • Log in to GoDaddy Hosting Control Center, and see “PHP Version” under Account Summary. If it already reads PHP 5.x, skip to the next paragraph. If it says PHP 4.x, click on Content, then Add-On Languages. Next to PHP Version, select PHP 5.x, click Continue, and confirm the warning. Click update. Then navigate to Settings > File Extension. If the change to 5.x has been completed, you’ll see at the bottom of the available extensions list, “Extension -> .php | Runs Under -> PHP 5.x” If it’s not there, stop here and come back in an hour or so, and when it is there, you’re ready to proceed. Thanks to ardamis for some of this info.

Log in to your blog’s Admin Dashboard. Click Plugins in the left navigation panel, and click Add New near the top. Search for “WP-FacebookConnect,” and make sure you install the one by Adam Hupp (who works for Facebook and quickly responds to emails, to my pleasant surprise). Install and Activate plugin.

Register a new Facebook application here: In your blog’s Admin Dashboard, navigate to Settings > Facebook Connect, and copy your Facebook application’s API Key and Secret into the proper fields and Update Options.

To test whether everything works, log out of your blog, attempt to comment on a post, connect with Facebook Connect and post a comment on your own story. Allow Facebook to publish the comment “story” to your Facebook wall, and then check your Facebook wall to make sure the comment published everywhere it’s supposed to.  Configure more Application settings here:

Deciding Whether and How to Participate in Online Communities

Deciding Whether and How to Participate in Online Communities

Research is the key ingredient in social media marketing. When deciding if and how to invest in social media marketing my company must first investigate where our consumers are conversing and participating. Out of thousands of thriving social platforms on the web, my job is to determine which ones my consumers are most engaged in and influenced by. This can be done effectively by searching for and reading posts, particularly by “influencers,” across multiple channels. For one, I can set up syndication on Google Reader to gather all recent blog and social news posts that mention my industry, brand or competitors, and then follow the discussion and gauge its influence. Similarly I can search Twitter and Facebook updates and follow their outbound links. It’s also important to study our competitors’ social media focus and speculate on their effectiveness.

I need to determine how to engage my consumers where they already converse. Bryan Wiener’s Playbook suggests that consumers will no longer tolerate being advertised at. Instead we must join the conversation where it already exists. He also demonstrates a big opportunity in harnessing consumer-generated media, where he says 20% of consumers’ time is spent and less than 3% of marketing budgets are spent. There seems to be a huge market opportunity there so I should seek out the influencers who generate media related to my industry and open a dialog with them about creating content for my company, mentioning my company in a subsequent video or app, and possibly consulting for or joining my company as an analyst or advertiser.

If my brand or industry is heavily conversation-worthy and a proper outlet does not already exist, I can consider creating the space for a new community within our own domain. I can install a forum for my core group of customers to publish valuable content for free. I can start a blog with useful information and resources my customers are after. Or I can provide a creative space for socializing and collaboration.

While Wiener argues that the greatest struggle in developing a successful online community is selecting the platform and method of engagement, Owyang suggests that growing the community is the real challenge. In his experience successful growth occurs when the members take leadership, then ownership, and eventually become caretakers. To do this the “host” of the community must involve the early members and treat them as special guests. The host should individually contact creators and influencers leading the charge at other social spaces and empower or reward them with special membership and public recognition. The community should be encouraged to share stories, problems or successes while I’m out recruiting new members with other marketing tools like email newsletters, newsfeeds, podcasts and blogs.

Ultimately, according to Mashable’s Brian Solis, the community will need to inspire transformation, improvement and adaptation from the inside out. Early on I can envision how my company might accomplish such outward influence and wireframe my site and social profiles to enable it. With the US social media audience reaching 122 million, I think the question is not whether to participate in online communities, but where and how to engage with our current and future customers.

Microsoft Releases Silverlight Beta Client for Facebook

Microsoft Releases Silverlight Beta Client for Facebook

In early 2009 a very large portion of my day was consumed by checking Facebook for wall posts, private messages, event invites, friend requests, and photo tags. I had a huge group of friends and frequently hosted parties with 100 people or more so I felt obligated to stay on top of it.

I went out searching for a desktop application to run Facebook so I didn’t have to constantly navigate my browser to the home page. I figured I’d probably save more than an hour a day if I could just be alerted when something happened instead.

The best I could find was the Facebook Toolbar. At the time it was very buggy and only gave me info that I didn’t care about, like how many group invitations and app recommendations I had. On top of that it only updated its numbers about once every 10 minutes, and that delay alone was a deal-breaker.

Soon Fishbowl was released, running on Microsoft’s Silverlight platform. I was thrilled at the thought that I no longer needed my browser to use Facebook and even more excited about an attractive new interface. I imagined the desktop app becoming a huge hit until I used it a bit and realized how much it was lacking. It used a ton of RAM, had very quirky window navigation and controls, and lacked much of what I needed from Facebook, like the ability to view and create events. It was fun to impress my friends with a Facebook toy they’d never seen but aside from that I abandoned it immedately.

Then in April Facebook developed its own desktop application called Facebook For Adobe Air (note that it requires Adobe Air to be installed first). I liked that this app was much less resource intensive than fishbowl and could sit beside my browser window as a tall slender bar on the side of my screen. At some point I changed my monitor resolution temporarily, which moved the Air window out of view. When I restored my resolution I could not get FB for Air to appear again. It was still running but there was no way to get it into view, even after uninstalling and reinstalling it and Adobe Air itself. So much for that.

Then just a week ago Microsoft released a beta development of the new Microsoft Silverlight 4 Beta Client for Facebook (note it requires that Silverlight 4 Beta be installed first). The first thing you’ll notice is a brand new, dark and sexy interface. It doesn’t look like Facebook at all, and that’s exciting. It’s simple, fast and fun to explore. It finally lists upcoming events, though viewing the event still requires a browser window to be opened. When you’re reading a conversation in the inbox you can see the person’s lifestream in the right hand pane. It allows you to quickly scroll way back into wall post histories; actually I’m very impressed by this. It seems to be aggregating stories much faster than Facebook itself does in a browser. And it has a cool photo album explorer.

But it still lacks support for my mouse’s back button and keyboard shortcuts, its scrolling lags like it always has in IE, it doesn’t support apps, and its photo viewer doesn’t wow me as much as Cooliris. On top of that it’s using as much as 320 MB of RAM in Windows Vista.

While I do appreciate that MS is presenting the same old FB pictures and stories in a unique new way to bring some excitement back into the experience, I don’t think I’ll be using this desktop client for much other than novelty when showing it off to friends.

Fortunately the new Facebook App for the iPhone finally, as of a couple weeks ago, pushes notifications so I now know exactly when Facebook needs me.

Google Docs vs. Traditional Organization 1/20/2010

Google Docs vs. Traditional Organization 1/20/2010

Google Docs is my favorite and most used web app. I have 68 documents under just one of my Google accounts. I use them to keep track of debts between my housemate and me, my internet login credentials at 32 different sites, everything needed to maintain my 42 domains and hosting accounts, prospective band members to try out, entrepreneurship ideas, a couple of to-do lists, comparison shopping for furniture and other interesting stuff on Craigslist and eBay, potential job leads, real estate clients’ tenant ledgers, earnings and payments collected as an independent contractor for tax filing and invoicing, and a lot of other things.

In the past I collected lists such as these in far less efficient ways. I organized credits and debts between housemates on paper, whose data I could not reorganize and which I frequently could not locate when needed. I kept my internet credentials stored in an Excel file on my home PC so I was powerless and anonymous on the internet when I was away from home. And I had to save receipts and keep paper trails when invoicing clients, tracking tax deductions and receiving business payments.

Spreadsheet and document organization is enough of a reason to abandon my old methods but another revolutionary advancement is my ability to collaborate. My housemate can add debts to the same Debt Log when I owe him money and we can both view and edit the document simultaneously, which allows us to see exactly what’s owed without worrying about any revisions we haven’t seen yet. My bandmates add prospects to the list when they find a new musician and we can all see our progress in real time, which motivates us all to put in work ourselves. And my real estate clients can update themselves on when and how much their tenants have paid, which saves me a lot of phone calls and headaches.

Google Docs is an all-in-one solution to my paperwork organization struggles and many other issues I never would have known existed before I used it. Because it updates on the fly I never have to worry about losing my work in a power outage or computer crash. Because of its live collaboration feature and flexible permissions settings I know that my intended collaborators and I always have secure access to perfectly current data. Because of its Microsoft Office similarity and compatibility the apps are completely intuitive and make it easy to migrate data across platforms. Because the processing power and data storage is remote I don’t have to worry about my system specs and stability. And like all well designed websites I get a consistent usability experience in spite of varying hardware, operating systems and browsers.

I do many things to organize my life now that I would have never considered doing before Google Apps made it possible. I consider it an invaluable resource and I always try to help my friends, colleagues and clients learn to make Google Apps work for them like I have.

Greasemonkey Scripts for Facebook

Greasemonkey Scripts for Facebook

I’ve always been a fan of efficient website navigation that balances the greatest usability with the fewest clicks and least scrolling. If you spend as much time on Facebook as I do, you should appreciate these efficiency enhancing tweaks I discovered a few months back.

These tweaks are scripts which only work in Firefox, and only after you’ve installed the Greasemonkey add-on. After you’ve installed Greasemonkey and restarted Firefox, browse through scripts at

My favorite Facebook scripts include:

Facebook Fixer
Description: Enhancements for Facebook: bigger profile pictures and photos, easier viewing of albums, links to download videos, showing people’s age and sign, Google calendar integration, keyboard shortcuts & more. Compatible with new Facebook and fully customizable!
IMO: This is a very powerful script. It requires a little customization but it’s totally worth it. After install, scroll to the top of any Facebook page, open Settings > Facebook Fixer. Read through the settings and experiment.

Description: Larger versions of thumbnails and profile pictures on mouseover on
IMO: Huge time saver. I no longer have to click through to new pages to see the full-resolution version of pictures. This duplicates a feature in Facebook Fixer but I prefer the way this works so I disabled the feature in Fixer.

Facebook Friends Checker
Description: Regularly checks your Facebook friends to check whether anyone has removed you from their friends. When the script detects that someone you used to be friends with is no longer one of your friends, a message will appear informing you about who it was and giving a link to their profile page.
IMO: This works perfectly. When someone is no longer my friend it could be that they deactivated their account or that they removed me from friends. I know which is the case when I click their profile link. If I see their profile with the option to Add to Friends, I know I’ve been removed from friends. If their profile link just reloads my home page I know their account is currently inactive meaning they probably intentionally deactivated their account. It’s kind of sad how often I get removed as a friend, but at least now I know who not to invite to my birthday party.

Remove “Now Friends” Messages from Facebook Feeds
Description: Remove “Now Friends” Messages from Facebook Feeds.
IMO: I don’t care who my friends become friends with. I have 723 friends and they make a lot of new friends. This doesn’t need to clutter up my Feed. Check out the “See also” section of this page for links to other feed hiders you might like, including Remove “Attending,” “Attended,” “Became Fan,” “Joined Group,” and “Now Friends” Messages from Facebook Feeds.

Facebook Show Age
Description: Adds age next to birth date.
IMO: Perfect integration and works great. Age is far more important than birthday and it’s nice not having to calculate age in my head any more.

*ONLY works after you’ve installed this app:
Description: Turn off Facebook Chat and use FBOnlineNow to see who’s online (active or idle friends).
IMO: I was a little confused at first but now i love it. After you install this you’ll see 2 chat pull-up menues next to each other. the original chat menu is between the new one and notifications; it’s confusing because there’s no icon on it any more.

Facebook URL Cleaner
Description: Cleans Facebook URLs that don’t actually take you to a new page.
IMO: It works great. Now rather than, you’ll see

By the way my other favorite Facebook add-ons are Image Zoom and Download Statusbar. Cooliris is cool too but I usually have it disabled. And the most revolutionary, game-changing add-on ever made must be Addblock Plus. ABP deserves its own blog post though so look forward to that in the future.

If you try any of these, please comment and share your experience. Do you love these tweaks as much as I do?

Welcome to my tech blog, Jesse.LA!

Welcome to my tech blog, Jesse.LA!

Hello and welcome to my blog. I’m Jesse Wilson and I’m enrolled in the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Program on Online Communities seeking a Master’s in Communication Management.

I just registered to be my new tech blog and use for my class, CMGT 534 – Introduction to Online Communities.

Dot-LA domains were originally intended as the top level domain (TLD) for Laos, but its official registry site now claims, “Los Angeles is the world’s first city to be awarded its own unique internet address: .LA”

The advantage to a Dot-LA name is that they’re still widely available and hyperlocal. If you want to register a dot-LA domain, I recommend using with coupon code “confirm10” to get the price down to $31.49 a year, excluding hosting.

Then I installed Google Apps which allows me to use a Gmail webmail interface and many other Google services under my own identity. And now I’m using Blogger to administer the site’s content, though I might later install my own CMS such as WordPress, PHPNuke, Joomla or Drupal, all of which I’ve experimented with in the past.

Thanks for your visit and I look forward to educating my readers on CMGT 534 and the world of online communities and tech news.