Stop Recycling, Stop Conserving Energy, Stop Ignoring the Problem

You think you’re helping by recycling your two bags of garbage every week? All that does is make you think you have the right to deflect personal responsibility. If you use services provided by any wasteful corporation, you are the problem, and you are still responsible for finding a solution. “…the vast majority (of energy consumption) is commercial, industrial, corporate, by agribusiness and government. So, even if we all took up cycling and wood stoves it would have a negligible impact on energy use, global warming and atmospheric pollution…. Personal change doesn’t equal social change.” Midnight
Creative Commons License photo credit: mpwillis1

We need policy changes that require social responsibility to qualify for subsidies and tax cuts, not random scatterings of hippies who skip a shower to save water. You want to know how to really help? Fight to end corporate welfare for those who make the world a worse place to live. If a corporation isn’t making the United States a better country, do you think they deserve your tax dollars? We need to make the world better, not just slow down how fast we make it worse. And we can, but not by skipping showers, recycling, riding a bike, and then brushing our hands off like we fixed everything.Waste Management Logo
Creative Commons License photo credit: Neubie

Jensen, Derrick. "Why personal change does not equal political change.(Upping the Stakes: Forget Shorter Showers)." Synthesis/Regeneration  1 Aug. 2009. Print.

Alphabetizing Group Directories in Buddypress

Buddypress is awesome. It is really pretty amazing. But it is far from perfect. Some things are really difficult to modify unless they’ve been expressly designed to be changed. One of those things is the issue with the sorting of group directories.

I’ve built a site where members are given access to follow a group of professionals. I use Buddypress Follow, and it works pretty well. One problem, when the members come with the intent to sign up and follow a specific professional, the group members directory is not alphabetized. By default it is sorted by sign up date (I think?), which is pretty much the last sorting method you’d want to use if you are trying to look up a specific person by name. I’ve spent the past six or seven months off and on trying to find some nice way to rectify this without any luck. A lot of people seemed to be looking for a method, but nobody was finding it. So I figured this one out on my own.

Right now, I have a custom activity loop showing only activity done by the professional members of the site, and it is the default home page for all members. This page had to be set up to look up member ID numbers, which I look up directly in the MySQL database like so:

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An Essay on Relationships

Relationships provide us with context for our lives. Every single external action we take is done in terms of a relationship. Relationships with hot water and tea leaves, potassium and oxygen, or wood and heat. But physical relationships are the obvious ones that don’t always have a significant lasting effect on us. The intangible interpersonal relationships are the ones that drastically shape who and what we are to become. Interaction between people is the only way the context of your situation can change. Those skilled in learning from the relationships of others can use that information to find the most effective ways to interact with those around them. When looking for a job or a promotion, we have to know the ways to create an appropriate relationship with someone who is in the position to give us what we seek. When finding a romantic partner, we need to have the experience to know what to say and the ways to say it to get a positive response. When buying groceries, we need to know the right ways to behave to not get kicked out of the store. The range of situations where a good understanding of the ways relationships work is infinite.

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BuddyPress avatar cropping function broken?

You might be getting two images, one smaller on the right, and a larger version on the left.  This is the typical layout for the crop interface in BP.  But you won’t be getting the crop selection tool.  In Chrome, right click on the page and click “Inspect Element”.  If you see an error icon in the bottom right corner, click on it to find out if you are dealing with Jcrop not loading.  If that isn’t it, go back to your search engine and type that error into your query to help you find the solution you really need.

If you are getting this error: “Uncaught TypeError: Object #<Object> has no method ‘Jcrop'” in a BuddyPress Multisite installation of WordPress, make sure you aren’t using ThickBox.  The ThickBox plugin is usually one of my first plugins for sites, and it works great in both basic WP installs, even with BP, but it doesn’t work on Multisite.  Something in there is leaving an open script, I believe.  If you find out a way to fix ThickBox, let me know in the comments – I bet it isn’t too hard.  A great alternative is FancyBox for WordPress.

Tricks for Writing the Ultimate E-Mail Campaign

The Basics:

  1. From Name:  Who are you?  Your recipients need to be able to recognize this in that instant when they are deciding whether or not the message is from a friend or from another company trying to sell them something they don’t want.  Does your company dominate your image, or do you?  If you run a small business, your personal name may be a better choice than your company’s.  If you aren’t sure, send half of one campaign using one name, and the other half using the other.  See how many messages are opened from each group.  Your recipients will tell you who they think you are.
  2. Subject: This is your first impression.  A lousy subject line can turn a meticulously designed message into a complete waste of time.  Make a list of the most interesting and trust-inspiring lines you can think of – if you can, ask a friend to judge how interesting and non-spammy they think they are.  Narrow your choices to two or three, and send each to 10% of your contact list.  See how many messages are opened.  The top performing one is your subject line for the remaining 70-80% of your contact list.
  3. Pre-Header: If you are using a pre-header, be sure it reflects the subject line.  It should not repeat the subject line, but it should expound on it (yet still stand on its own as a second subject line).  If your preheader is a completely new subject, your viewers are going to get a slightly dischordant vibe, reducing their confidence about the message to follow.
  4. Headline: Keep the headline short, honest, and accurate.  Don’t be seduced into using flowery excessive “hot words” if they don’t accurately reflect exactly what your message is about.

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