This week’s guest is Ariel Sanchez, recorded live from the VTUG Winter Warmer. Ariel is a Costa Rican native who has a man crush on Tom Brady. This crush isn’t the type our wives may have on Brady; however, it is more his work ethic and drive that Ariel respects him for. Like our two other guests the vBrownbag is represented yet again on Tech Stand UP, sorry guys we are not renaming this the vBrownbag podcast.
Ariel has his own way, the Ariel Way much like our beloved Patriots. Ariels passion to share what he learns and give back not only the knowledge he learns but his time. Not only is he part of running a VMware User Group and the vBrownbags, Ariel contributes many hours on his multiple blogs. As well he focuses on being a mentor to other Latin community members.
Have a listen as Ariel and I discuss getting involved in the community, and more importantly as he said it best “Don’t be afraid”.
Twitter – Get involved and meet and interact with people
Tom Brady man crush
Community Commitment and giving back
New England Patriots
Monday September 19th things are going to be a little bit different on Twitter, the much anticipated change to tweets is happening! Back in May Twitter announced some changes and they are finally happening! I for one thing it is long over due, for me the Twitter handles not counting is the best part of this update. I have longed for this feature since I started tweeting.
If you are a regular user this change will be minimal and you will most likely go about your tweeting as usual and not really notice. However if you are a business this impacts you the most as you now will have more characters for creating those social posts.
I know I have been wanting this for awhile and am excited that it is finally here! It has only taken 6 years, but it will be here soon! Those group tweets are going to be better now and you can include others, I’ve been in many chats that have multiple people in it and limited the conversation.
What are your thoughts on the changes?
Social Media, love it or hate it, can actually be very use even if you just useful it as a learning tool. Right now, from a VMware community perspective, Twitter is pretty much the center of universe. However getting started on twitter can be a bit overhwelming. If you search for the term vmware on Twitter and look at all the users, you will find a mix of VMware official accounts for various groups and influential, smart, and sharing people affiliated with VMware and virtualization. You can find that search here: https://twitter.com/search?q=vmware&src=typd&mode=users – giving it an eyeball test you couldn’t go wrong following roughtly the first couple hundred users in that search, though you may chose to ignore some of the vendors or VMware specific accounts that don’t apply to you…then again maybe you could learn something from those!
While you can likely rely pretty well on the native Twitter clients, I certainly prefer their mobile apps over any of the 3rd party apps, I do like to use TweetDeck which is a web app they acquired that allows a multi-column layout. In it I have a column for everyone I follow, people who have interacted with me so I can respond and engage easily, a search column for any “vmware” related tweets (that gets a little spammy but I’ve found some cool things) and columns for specific accounts such as the VMware official KB account (@VMwareKB) and the PowerCLIBot account (@PowerCLIbot) which sends out various PowerCLI commands.
Lists are useful for finding people with similar interests, for example here is a list I have created which includes all of the #vBrownBag crew: https://twitter.com/jfrappier/vbrownbagcrew/members. List are useful both for finding people and viewing their activity. For example, I follow a little over 1000 people so keeping up with that stream of activity can be quite challenging, however I can see all activity from people I have added to a list. I could then add that list to a TweetDeck column for easy access. You can also subscribe to other peoples lists, for instance I subscribe to a vExpert list from Maish Saidel-Keesin (
although he apparently forgot to add me! For shame apparently I am and can’t read! Sorry Maish!). One of my favorite vendors, ClearPathSG, also publishes and maintains several great lists.
On Twitter, you will also find several podcasts and recordings from various members of the community like the #vBrownBag podcasts of course. Some of my other favorites include:
There are also great local meetups to be found to connect in person with other geeks, err VMware enthusiast…lets be realistic we are geeks and nerds. For example there are local VMUG groups such as the Toronto VMUG and Boston VMUG, other groups such as the VTUG or even vBeers meetups. My last tip is to follow the vendors you work with on a daily basis, and branch out into new news to see what they might have to offer. Vendors like Veeam, Unitrends, PernixData and Infinio are all very active.
If you do nothing else to start with, just sit back, watch and learn. The people on the various lists share a great deal of knowledge. I’d be shocked if you didn’t learn a few new things every day just from watching.
So I have been asked a couple of times how I am Tweeting out my older posts. I have been thinking of this for awhile and had thought about creating my own plugin or hoping WP-Twitter plugin would add this feature. I did a search and found a plugin Tweetily, now this plugin does exactly what i was looking for. Not to mention it was free! I love free plug-ins that do what I need then too.
So Tweetily simply picks a random post from the database and tweets it out. now you can take it a couple steps further and automate it to some other social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook by using If This Then That website.
Why want this feature?
Pure and simple more traffic, I know many bloggers out there are sitting there with old posts that are still effective and timing is everything on posts and things get overlooked and forgotten about. This plugin allows for those older posts to become more relevant. I use a personal Bitly url shortener Blu-rt.me and the great thing about bitly is ability to track links being clicked. As you can see in the image below 463 clicks have come from new and old posts.
That’s just clicks in last 30 days. I haven’t checked since I started, but I average 10 new links a week. I know by adding up the old posts that I have had over 200 more clicks through to old articles. Even if this number was less and it got only 20 I think it adds value to site.
The plugin is very straight forward. Despite it not showing compatible for latest version of WordPress it works.
As you can see in the image above pretty simple. Connect you Twitter account and you start selecting through the options. I have it set for every X amount of hours to post one post. I also add the hashtag #ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) you can put whatever you want. You can see when the next post is scheduled to post.
Say you want to exclude certain posts or categories, well it can do that as well.
Just choose the Exclude Posts option and there you can select certain categories or individual posts.
That’s it. Enjoy your old posts bringing some more life to your blog.
I love this tool and recommend it. I do wish it was being updated more though. A few features I would like is on a post or page there is a check box to exclude the post this way when writing the post you can select to do it then. Overall it is pretty low key and a great addition to any bloggers tool set.
I know this all to well as I under went chemotherapy personally and have had positive results thus far. I don’t hate many things but I have lost family to cancer and have friends fighting this with loved ones or themselves. If you are reading this and have never had cancer impact your life yet, I hope it stays that way.
So you are probably wondering what sparked this movement? Great question.
Community member Gaberial Chapman aka Bacon_is_King sent a tweet
“Just a year after losing Dad to cancer, Mom’s has now spread from lung to other areas. Too soon for this shit.”
The community reacted and quickly came to our friends side, the Podcasting for Cancer event was organized. I am here to share that with you all and in hopes you all will partake in the event and give a donation or spend time with someone going through the battle with cancer.
After this unfortunate tweet an idea was bounced around the vBlogging community: vExperts and vBloggers will get together with vBrownbag and VMUG folks to put on a series of top-notch podcasts on relevant upcoming technologies that affect the virtualization industry. We would stand up a fundraising site with the proceeds going towards a cancer donation in the Chapman family name.
The response to this idea has been overwhelmingly positive.
I try and support cancer awareness initiatives. I hate cancer. Let’s help a great cause and hopefully this is the 1st of many of these events.