10 things every startuper must know about e-mail marketing and will not find anywhere else.

This mini-book has been staying for at least 2 months in my backlog waiting to be pushed online. It’s time has finally come. I know there are millions of mini-books like that, but this one is different, because it shows things that I’ve learned from my experience working in startups and with communities from 20 to 1.4M e-mail holders.

Let’s get started!

 Email marketing is not dead

Continue…

How to simplify the WordPress development processes which involve clients

I had a period in my life when I was working for different employers like a freelancer developing wordpress plugins, themes enhancements and some integrations.

Back then I didn’t realize how much time I was spending in communication with the clients or the middle man (project manager), because, let’s be honest – time is money, right. I didn’t mind to spend 3-4 hours talking to a client about how to make the red button, even more red or why the image is not aligned with the little horse. They would pay me anyway. You know what I mean.

After I started expanding my business portfolio I realized that “spending time” from the previous paragraph is actually losing time. Instead of working for many clients and getting more opportunities (more money) I was working just for a few.

This was one of the reasons for which I decided to move to another segment of my professional life. True story!

Continue…

Developers Will Never Need To Leave Vim Again, especially under Fedora

As a proud Fedorian, vi user under Fedora and as a developer (well from time to time) I  must share this news that combines my two worlds.

The problem

The truth is everybody needs to do multitasking today. The real cost of it  is hidden, but you’ll definitely lose at least 40% of your productivity if you are constantly switching between apps. Let’s try and do some other stuff in between. :)

40%: This is too much!

The solution

Developers keep on switching between their editors, emails and bug trackers. What if you can get bug reports right where you will fix them? Imagine the immediate gain in productivity!

Continue…

Help a freelance journalist in #Crimea. He needs urgently a laptop.

THIS is important: A friend of mine Jan Husar (freelance journalist and a good guy) is in #Crimea and he needs a new laptop to continue working and spreading the word live about what is going there. If you respect transparency and care about independent news, please help him.

If you can provide the laptop for him, please contact him directly via Facebook.

If not a donation will be an option too:
PayPal: rejden@gmail.com
BitCoin: 138rcMV11TUc3dpnRVvEdwqM9HudZr8xsV

 

See here some of his recent work

The SEO Is Not Enough.

It’s not a secret, I am one of the few guys left on the planet who do not believe in the magic of SEO.

I believe SEO methods are good, but they must be combined with user prediction models and utilizing user behavior for better content serving.

WThe SEO is not enoughhy am I writing this? Well I think it’s time now to talk about it. I am sure first position on Google or other search machines is something good, but is this what the user is actually looking for? In most cases, probably yes, but this will change soon.

For example: I needed a Firefox addon today for taking sreenshots for one of my projects. Of course I wrote “addon screenshot” into Google and of course it returns all SEO-ized results for …Chrome, not seeing that I am using Firefox and most probably I don’t need results for Chrome

I think search machines must be smarter than that. I don’t want to see results that others, SEO ninjas for example, want me to see. I want the results that will give me the answer I am looking for. I don’t have time to scroll and browse.

This opens another story, about privacy and about giving the companies your preferences, but I do think this can be done in a way to make everybody happy.

What say you?

Bulgaria Web Summit 2014 with GitHub, ElasticSearch, SmashingMag and more friends

I think it’s time to write something about Bulgaria Web Summit – the event I am organizing since 2004. Of course the name back then was WebTech but this is just a formality.

Why Bulgaria Web Summit?

Honestly I don’t know, it was like … how we will name it .. Bulgaria Web Summit. The funny story is I talked 2 days ago with Florian from Usersnap and he asked me “I was wondering if Paddy Cosgrave already sent  you an angry mail (about the name)” and today I’ve got a call from UK-ish number and I thought here it is, the angry Paddy is calling me.

Let’s go back to the event. It will be amazing, as usual. We will have speakers and friends from GitHub, ElasticSearch, eCommera,Smashing Magazine and even more and more. We will have of course a prime minister talking …well not the Bulgarian one, we don’t really like him, but the one from the Ministry of World Domination, no kidding.

Developer track

In short: JavaScript, Development Workflows, ElasticSearch && Python, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Embedded Devices hacking and more

Designer, UX, UI, VDT track

Responsive Design , Visual Design Thinking, CSS, Fonts, UX and UI, Firefox OS

Business track

Product Ownership, Social media marketing, Kanban for Marketing, Showcase of successful products, Job fair and much more.

3 rooms, 30 speakers and a party!

Danish Knan from GitHub is introducing his talk at Bulgaria Web summit in Sofia

@Geeksphone e-mail campaign is …not for geeks

I just opened an email from Geeksphone. They are trying to sell “Revolution”.  Revolution is not something you can sell, and it should not be something you should be able to buy – terrible name for an e-mail campaign subject. I’ve opened it just because I like Geeksphone products, but after that booom!

Yes it’s Revolution:

  • No text on the visible part of my screen. Nada! I am not scrolling, sorry!
  •  Of course alt =” ” <- this is so geeky  and it’s a standard now :) Who will need them, right.

I will unsubscribe.

geekphone

Mission Possible: Teach your clients to give you a perfect bug reporting, especially for design issues.

Let’s start this story with another story:

CLIENT: There’s a strange symbol after the company name – can you remove it?
ME: Hmm… I don’t see anything. Does it come after the exclamation point?
CLIENT: The what?
ME: The line and dot after – wait, you mean the exclamation point?
CLIENT: I guess. Is that what that’s called?

I’ve borrowed the story from http://clientsfromhell.net but let’s be honest all developers have to deal with clients even worsе than this guy.

The problem (as we know it)

The client see the website in a different way and if there is a problem, they will describe it to you with the words they know. Don’t tell me that you haven’t spent at least 3h per project talking or chatting or even worse, exchanging emails, with a client who wants the work to be done, but cannot explain what he needs exactly the way a developer/designer can understand.

It’s not easy, indeed, for users to report bugs. Let’s not open now any bugzilla or other bug tracker to see “the wisdom of the crowd” collected from the clients, starting with the magical words “It’s not working” or “there is something wrong with my website”

You know what I am talking about.

How to solve it?

I think I have found a way to solve this and to translate the clients’ way of thinking to the language of a designer. There are couple of ways, actually, but now I want to show you how to do it by giving the opportunity to your users/clients/visitors to annotate bugs and to show you what is wrong – the visual way.

Show me

I will use usersnap to help me with that. Now, in order to reproduce the “original’ problem I have to find a “wrong logo”.

(spending 20 min searching, trying to avoid Yahoo!, no luck there.)

Usersnap requires a small widget to be installed on the website, so you can give valuable feedback. Now let’s imagine that the problem in this case is on their website and let’s make them eat their own dog food. I don’t have a chance to install it by myself on Yahoo (or can I?)

Now let’s find an “!”  and report it, just for a demonstration.

See, it’s easy. Now you can understand what the problem is, where it is and how it looks like on your clients’ computer, because from time to time a browser can cause the problem and you are not able to see the problem as you client does.

You will receive an annotated screenshot on your email, complete with notes, arrows, highlighted zones  and even pixel rulers and you will be one step ahead in the communication.

Is that all?

Of course it’s not, next step is to teach the client to use the tool, instead of sending you screenshots pasted in a doc file or wore, acting like guys shown on ClientsFromHell.

Wips My Browser

Do you remember MTV’s Pimp My Ride? It was a show about a bunch of guys who came to your home and magically transformed your old car into a modern-looking vehicle. I remember the passion of the crew and as well as the face of the “client” when s/he saw the “pimped” ride. The show often ended with: “oh my goooood!!!” and: “aaaaaa iiii ooooo”… Search for the show’s archives to watch it.

Amazing!

Why am I telling you, dear reader, this story from the past? Because I want to introduce you to a way to do this, at home, with your……..browser? Yes! Your browser is your web car. You are driving down Internet highways, sitting comfortably on your cozy chair or on a bench in the park and here we go. Vroooom!

A website!

So I assume you are happy with your browser? You probably are, but let me show you what else you can do with it. I can show you how to “pimp” your browser and make it unique, like you. For me personally, using a web browser without extensions is impossible.
Extensions? What are those? Come on! Tell us!

All right, all right, extensions are small pieces of code, designed to do something that your browser doesn’t. For example: What about making your browser show you the latest weather information without going to a different website?

Need more? All right.

You can make your browser look and feel like your favorite sports team… Manchester United?…Sparta?… Green Bay Packers?…[insert favorite team here]. It doesn’t matter, they are good when they win and they suck when they lose. Right?

One more example, for the road?

Imagine you have a website, and you want to keep in touch with your community by making them aware that you have published news, a blog post, or even a new deal – you can make it possible for them to download an extension specially designed for their specific needs.

Great, isn’t it? Yes, you can have something small just for you and your visitors. However, if you have 1 million users it can’t be so small, right?

“…er.. I don’t know. Don’t I have to code or something?”


Relax.

I remember the days when you had to be really tech-savvy and have a computer science degree from a big ass university to create extensions. I remember the days when you had to learn technology that was so strange you felt lost, but all that is in the past.
You don’t need anything like that now – you can Wips your Browser and create a extension without writing code, just by clicking some buttons and menus. How cool is that?

Growth hacking workshop in Prague, Czech Republic

If you visit the startup job portals in the Czech Republic, you will find a lot of open positions, but nobody is looking for a “Growth Hacker”.Waaaat?

If you do the same for Berlin you will feel the difference. This is one of the reasons I am organizing this 1-day workshop: to show the value of the “Growth Hacker” and to teach digital startup warriors why this person is so important.

Topics include:

  • What is this animal – a growth hacker? Where do they keep it?
  • How to mix channels to get your first users. One of the approaches to get visitors without spending (a lot of) money
  • How to keep them on your website. Freemium model, Content model, more.
  • …..

More, more

Alrighty. If you want to attend and/or if you know someone who can be interested, please click here to learn more.

Warning! A Mozilla scam

I just got this message into my mailbox. Beware!

From: Mozilla Firefox [mailto:mozwin@outlook.com]
Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 4:34 AM
Subject: 2014 Promotion Reward.

Sir/Madam,
Good News !!!!  Mozilla Foundation is rewarding people all over the world through its online promotion recently conducted which your email has been selected as a winner.

Your E-mail Address has won (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds only) GBP750,000 in the Mozilla Firefox Online Promotion. To claim the prize, email us for confirmation at: mzwin@inmail.sk
Reply now only through: mzwin@inmail.sk

Congratulations!
Yours faithfully,

Steve Jef.
For:  Mozilla Firefox Online Promo Team
Mozilla Foundation © 2014  English (UK)

Facebook doesn’t like QR codes?

I just got this message from Facebook:

Your ad wasn’t approved because the image includes nonexistent functionality such as a play button that suggests video capability or a close buttons that doesn’t close.

And the image with the “nonexistent functionality” is… a QR code.

facebook-ad

I really don’t get it.

FirefoxOS, Internet of things (#IoT), the future

A note: This is a serious post, couple of months ago I wrote an article as a joke saying that I am leaving Mozilla project by some reasons, umh, it was April 1st. After that I was insulted by several people “you have left the community”, “we don’t want to work with you”, “we are working only with active people” and even more, not appropriate for the web, so I want to make this clear, this is not a joke, this is something I want to develop in the future and this is how I see it.

IoT (from bottom up)

Police alert.

Imaginе. The future, 20xx. Driving from city A to City B on the highway. Rock music. Loud. something beeps. Beep! Beep! The driver looks at the screen and there is a message:

iot1

Slowing down.

The damn traffic jam


The future again. Driving back from city B to city A. Hard Rock! Slowing down! Traffic Jam! No information! Waiting and wondering what is going on.

Beep, beep! A message:

iot5

 The sender


All these messages has been send by a passing car to your car. Of course in the beginning they will be set from the driver via usable interface (see below), but I think it’s just matter of time to teach the device(or the thing) how to learn and to do some of the tasks without human interaction. Crepy? Not!

carstalk

Vehicle2Vechicle Communication

We will develop small devices that will be able to exchange and store simple data packages without need of connecting to the Internet.

Vechicle2 Device Communication

We will develop simple FirefoxOS app to communicate with near devices via discovery. Like:

  • Reading the messages that your car receive from other cars on the highway
  • Set the privacy setting
  • Find nearest devices and communicate with them – discover what the can “talk” about and enter the conversations.

IoT with Firefox OS

I believe we can create an interconnected network of devices that can be able to communicate with each other and with us using a special protocol.

Let’s call it TTM (Talk to Me).

  • Alll devices will be powered by Firefox OS
  • All apps will be developed using web technologies.
  • You will not need Internet access to be able to communicate with one or more devices, but they can still connect to the Internet to exchange data.
  • Privacy first – you can set what you want to share and with whom.
  • An open platform where everyone can contribute.

 

Oh, one more:
Early Morning. Monday. Enter the tram with TTM sticker on your way to work and the tram asks you “how do you feel today”, you said “It’s monday” and the tram offers you a nice selection of music while traveling just to be make your day better.

The interface.

Since clicking and double clicking is dead and I think ‘touch’ will follow soon we will implement 2 more interacting interfaces – Voice (Remember my Fosdem talk in 2010 when I made the the demonstration on how to control Firefox with your voice?) and Gestures.

More to follow. #IoT definitely is the future for me, but I really don’t need a “smart” fridge, I need “smart” things that make my life easier and save time and money and of course powered by Firefox OS and Web Technologies.

What do you think?