Alex Pope Business Solutions Inc.

Custom Software, Database Systems, and Website Design

From @SQLRockstar:

I’ve been writing (and blogging) for about ten years now. I’ve written lots of things over the years and I have learned how much better my writing becomes when I remove words upon editing. So much improvement can be found that I often feel it might have been best to have not written anything at all in the first place.

Over the weekend I came across a quote that gave me pause. It is attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and has to do with writing as well:

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

After reading that quote I started to think about data. I often see people trying to cram more data “just in case” in might be needed later. I will also find databases that are so badly abused that entire teams of people agree that “a re-write is needed”. They will discuss at great length what to do about sunsetting one system as they build another system with EVEN MORE crap than what the first one had. It can be surreal to experience, too. Some people are so attached to the old system you would think it was a family member or pet. They fight to keep someone from pulling the plug while others talk about what snacks they need to order for the wake.

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I first came across the TrueTwit Validation service a few weeks ago when I followed someone and I received a TrueTwit DM back asking me to “validate” myself. This seemed a little strange but I went through the process anyway…. and then I didn’t receive the return follow that I had expected was the purpose of the validation.

I received a second TrueTwit DM from someone I followed earlier today. After my previous experience, my first reaction this time was to be slightly annoyed. I did a quick Google search and found this post by someone who reacts the same way but states their case a little more strongly than I do:

Are you one of those who use TrueTwit Validation service? How’s that going for you? TrueTwit is, IMHO, the most annoying twitter service available. I understand the premise, stop or reduce the amount of Spam in your time line. Does it do this? No, it really doesn’t. What it does do is annoy your possible followers. One of the reasons for this service is the auto-follow feature. Now, if I am going through the process of filling out the captcha, then I basically expect a follow from you. Eight out of ten times I don’t see that. So now I have basically paid for the privilege of following you. That’s kind of arrogant, don’t you think?
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I make my decisions on who I want to follow based on a couple criteria: 1) Do they say that they are from Maple Ridge or a neighbouring community? 2) When I look at their Twitter feed, do they post at least some tweets that interest me? If the answer to both questions is “Yes” then I follow them. If the answer to only one question is “Yes” then I might follow them.

I don’t think I’m going to bother “validating” myself this time. If someone is interested in following me based on looking at my Twitter content then they are welcome to follow me.

I came across this great post on how you can lose friends and followers in the Social Media world. It is worth reading this and paying attention to what you post online.

You and ‘SuperJenn’ were once pretty good friends, online. But one day you logged in and noticed that she’d axed you from her friends list. Shocked at first, you thought it must be some kind of accident. But after a few moments of soul searching… you realize that you probably over-engaged in one of the 11 behavioral triggers that can cause people to drop friends online.
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MR/PM Social Media Summit 2011

This past Thursday I attended the Social Media Summit 2011 presented by the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce. There were several guest speakers who all had interesting information to share.
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I found a great post “How to replace 30 laptops (and $10,000) with 150 sheets of paper” about the PEI provincial general election and how they realized that using computers was not the best solution:

There’s a provincial general election here in Prince Edward Island on October 3 this fall, and over the past month here at Reinvented we’ve been ramping up the technology side of the Elections PEI operation as planning and preparation for the election is now in full swing.
In each of the Island’s 27 electoral districts there are three advance polls dates – September 24, 26 and 30 if you want to mark your calendar now – and these are held in a single central location in each district. Because votes are cast and tallied on a poll-by-poll basis, with multiple polling divisions in each district, one of the challenges at these advance polls is to route electors arriving at the door to the proper table to vote for their particular polling division.
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