Get ‘LinkedIn Answers’ notifications about your area of expertise

If you use LinkedIn, you might also know about their Answers functionality. It’s a place where you can post your own questions, or to help answer questions from other people. I also use LinkedIn and I like to help people with their questions but for me, the way LinkedIn helps me helping others isn’t really helpful.

In Answers, you can add certain categories in which your an ‘expert’ (or claim to be one) but these are very general categories. For me, LinkedIn suggest the categories Blogging, Web Development , Computers and Software , Internet Marketing and Viral Marketing. That’s going in the right direction for sure, but there are many many questions asked in those categories that I can’t answer. And even if I could, I wouldn’t have the time to do so. Another big problem here is that I have to go to the LinkedIn website to find out if there are any questions asked which I might want to answer instead of getting a notification when an answer is being posted that I might be able to answer.

So the problems are:

  1. I’m not served with answers specific to my area of expertise
  2. I need to go find the answers instead of the answers finding me.

Find yourself having the same problem?

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Meta Research: The Ultimate Magento Extensions List

It is nice to have a list with top extensions to consider when you start a Magento store. Since Magento Connect now has 2450+ extensions I can imagine it’s hard for Magento newbies to get started. But instead of making my own list or referring you to other top lists (there are many out there) I thought it would be nice to do some meta research to create the ‘ultimate’ Magento extension list.

What I did was quite simple: I collected all Top X Magento lists I could find (7 to be exact). Every time an extensions is listed I gave it one point. In the end I counted the points for every extension and the extensions with the most points ended up in my ‘Ultimate Magento Extensions List’.

Here’s an overview of ‘Top X’ lists containing Magento Extensions.

The Ultimate Magento Extensions List

1) 6 points:

2) 5 points:

3) 4 points:

After the Top 3 there are a bunch of extensions getting 3 points:

All other extensions got 2 or less points.

Congratulations to Aheadworks for making it to the top of the list with their Blog Extension (they also just made it compatible with Enterprise 1.8, nice work!).


Source Top X Lists:

(If you know about any other lists that are published after July 1st 2009, let me know and I’ll include them!)

Free Magento Extensions

Web Design & Development (December 7th, 2009)

Network One (March 2010)

MyHosting.com (October 26th, 2009)

EvoHosting – 10 of the Best Free Extensions for Magento (July 21st, 2009)

Visionwidget – 30 Essential Free Magento Extensions (September 12th, 2009)

Richard Castera – The Best Magento Extensions (August 14th, 2009)

10 Great Magento Extensions For Your E-Commerce Store (August 27th, 2009)
This list also contained several commercial extensions which I removed.

Notes:

  1. Most of the ‘Top X’ extension lists I found listed the extensions in no particular order so it wasn’t quite useful to assign points based on the positions in the several  list.
  2. I based my research on previously published Top X lists on other blogs which means that the list is biased towards older extensions. Older extensions have been available for a longer period so more people will have had the chance to come in contact with them and put them in a Top X list. I couldn’t think of an easy way to compensate for this so I left it this way. I did however only used lists that had a maximum age of 1 year (published between July 1st 2009 and now).
  3. Since most lists only contain free extensions (I only found one list including commercial ones) I only included free extensions.
  4. I only looked at General list of extensions, lists on a particular subset of extensions (such as ‘themes’) are ignored.
  5. Some website will have more ‘authority’ then others. I’m not the one to judge so no compensation for this.
  6. I have listed my source Top X lists at the bottom of my post.

iPhone/ iPod/ iPad iOS4 Update review

Today I updated my iPod Touch 3G to the new iOS4. It promises ‘over 100 new features’ so I was looking forward to some new cool features. Of course I know some of the new features will only apply to iPhone/iPad users and not on my iPod, but still…

Features to look forward to:

  • Multitasking
  • Folders
  • iBooks
  • Custom playlists
  • Faces and Places in Video
  • Home Screen wallpaper
  • Spell checking

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Goodbye Foursquare and Gowalla

A couple of months ago I started trying Foursquare and Gowalla: two geolocation services that let you easily update your current GPS location (if you have a GPS/location aware device like an iPod/iPhone or Android phone). I used the apps from both services on my iPod and my Android phone.

At first it was quite fun. Foursquare lets you earn points for checking in, you can become ‘Major’ when you’re the one checking in somewhere the most often and earn badges when you check-in at special places or with a amount of people at the same time. Gowalla sometimes gives you goodies when you check-in, you can collect them or drop them at another place for others to find.

So this ‘game’ component was fun for some time, but after you have earned some badges, became the Major of some places and have gathered several goodies, the fun went away pretty quickly and I stopped using the services altogether.

In my case, the thing that it should be about (meeting, finding and sharing with friends, a.k.a.: the social stuff) didn’t happen. The thing with social networks is that they only work when there are enough people/friends on it. Guess I’m a bit of an early adopter and because the services aren’t big enough in The Netherlands (at the moment) to have enough friends to make this work.

I can see how these kind of services could be fun and social together, but for now: goodbye to Foursquare and Gowalla. Maybe see you again somewhere in the future.

PS: It amazed me how many friend request I got from people I have never heard of. No I’m not going to be friends with you if I’ve not even met you and definitely not going to share my location with you.

Google Maps Navigation: Don't use while driving!

Today, Google Maps Navigation became available in The Netherlands. Since I have an Android phone (a G1 with Android 2.1 which is actually really slow, but that’s another topic) and because I think this will be a hit feature for Android I was eager to give it a try.

When you fire it up for the first time though, you get a pop-up agreement shown here on the right. I have a Dutch version of the software, but the translation of the second sentence is: “Don’t use this application while driving”…

Added some Facebook goodness to the blog

Last week I added the Facebook ‘like’ button to all post pages. Actually I use the ‘recommend’ version because it’s a broader term. I think you could still want to recommend a good article, without liking or agreeing with the content.

I also added the Facebook box you can see at the bottom of the right column. There you can see the latest message from my Facebook page and you can become a fan :).

The next couple of weeks I’ll be monitoring the Facebook activity to see how this will work out for my blog.

If you use one of the Facebook plugins on your blog, how is that working out for you?

Apple (does) allow selling products with iPhone Apps!

Today I posted a blog about Apple not allowing to sell physical products through an iPhone app.

Gladly, I was wrong.

I was looking at the Getting Started with In App Purchase on iPhone OS guide which refers to the ‘In App Purchase system’. It’s true that you can’t use that to sell a physical product because of Apple regulation. But you don’t need the whole ‘In App Purchase’ in the first place! So really my bad, but that means there’s nothing holding you back from selling huge amounts of clothing, hardware, shoes, lawn mowers (or whatever you sell) through an iPhone app!

Great thing to be wrong about :)

Update: 101 ways to optimize Magento for speed

Less than two weeks ago I did a blogpost about ‘101 ways to speed up your Magento e-commerce website‘ that made my blog stats skyrocket. Guess Magento and it’s speed is a hot issue :).

This blogpost is a quick update about two things: more tips and a Magento site to prove to you Magento can be fast.

To begin with the first: thanks for all the great reactions to my list. I know I cheated a little with the title (I only started out with 30 tips), but with your help the list is now up to 43 tips and some additional bonus tips. That’s great! Thank you guys for sharing and showing all those people complaining about Magento speed that there just plain wrong. Read more