Monthly Archives: December 2010

Does Facebook's Like button really help drive traffic?

I’ve been looking at the Facebook API lately in relation to how search in the coming years will likely be increasingly impacted by the terabytes of personal data Facebook is collecting on some 500 million of us. To that end, if you read this blog with any regularity and you’ll notice that I’ve added a like button in the top left hand corner. I want to understand the affect of the Like button on a page/site and whether it helps drive traffic to that page/site or if it’s just a piece of information useful for Facebook.

Facebook recently wrote a post expounding on the benefits of leveraging their social graph to help drive traffic claiming both astronomical increases in traffic and engagement. Unfortunately, the post neglects to mention specifics regarding things the various sites did to see such huge increases. I’m looking for examples where non-Facebook sites are leveraging the Like data and actually benefiting from including it.

My request is that if you actually like this blog can you have a Facebook account if you wouldn’t mind clicking that button. I thank you in advance.

For those of you picking this up via an aggregator I’ll stick the button right into the post so you don’t have to browse there.

Upgrading from BlogEngine.NET v1.5 to v2.0

Warning: If you’re not a BlogEngine.NET user you may want to continue looking for other interesting stuff on the intertubes.

I’ve been running BlogEngine.NET v1.5.1.28 for quite some time with a number of extensions I’ve either added or written. Additionally, I created a custom theme and including things like a ScriptCombiner and SyntaxHighlighter, the later of which is included with v2.0. In order to move to the v2.0RC I’ve been slowly upgrading in a separate directory and I’m using this post to keep track of the changes required to upgrade.

Beyond the upgrade steps here I had to make a few minor changes to some of my widgets. Primarily the problems boiled down to adding a few using clauses:

using App_Code.Controls;
using BlogEngine.Core.Web.Extensions;

As I’ve already mentioned I’m really looking forward to the improved comment handling.

I’m updating this post as I go so last night I tried to pull the trigger on the upgrade only to realize that I’d made a tweak to the BlogEngine.Core assembly to change the URL handling. Previously, when I upgraded from dasblog I needed to preserve my URLs and BlogEngine.NET uses the format /blog/post/postname.aspx which for me means I have to get rid of /post as that’s not compatible with my old URLs. After restoring my v1.5 version I’m now working to isolate the changes I made October 2009 and patch v2 so I can upgrade. I only wish I’d included a bit more detail at to exactly what I changed. 🙂

Btw, thanks to the group of people working to maintain/upgrade BlogEngine.NET.

Advice on purchase of 35mm DSLR with HD Video

I have a $l(Nikon D70) which I’ve taken +30K photos with and a few weeks ago I took a bunch of pictures of the kids hanging Christmas ornaments which for some reason were nearly all corrupt when I went to download them from the flash card. I’m not sure if the issue was the card or the camera but I’ve been wanting a new camera with support for HD video and have been since looking around.

My first thought was to stick with Nikon but since I don’t have a huge investment in lens it’s not a requirement so I’m opening it up to other options. The first two cameras I sought reviews on were the $l(Nikon D3100) and $l(Canon EOS D60). I’m also looking at the $l(Nikon D7000) and $l(Canon EOS 550D).

I know the price range here is pretty wide but I’m really interested in the addition of HD video so a good combination of still and movies is my preference. My shooting will be largely kids and various birthdays/sports/activities over the coming years. I’d also like something that can shoot video of the occasional holiday event in low fairly low light conditions.

Anyone with experience/thoughts on any of these or other cameras I should consider?

Properties of a webform causing inline errors using style markup

I’ve been looking at the latest Facebook Developer Toolkit samples and tried to add a property to the Default.aspx.cs using the IFrame sample application like this:

<%=this.MapCanvas %>

Which yielded this error:

Error    28    'ASP.default_aspx' does not contain a definition for 'MapCanvas' and no extension method 'MapCanvas' accepting a first argument of type 'ASP.default_aspx' could be found (are you missing a using directive or an assembly reference?)    C:\Users\SteveT\Documents\Visual Studio 2010\WebSites\FBIFrame\Default.aspx    38    17    C:\...\FBIFrame\

The problem is that the @Page tag reads:

<%@ Page Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" MasterPageFile="~/IFrameMaster.Master" CodeBehind="Default.aspx.cs" Inherits="IFrameSample.Default" %>

Changing CodeBehind to CodeFile gets things working.

<%@ Page Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" MasterPageFile="~/IFrameMaster.Master" CodeFile="Default.aspx.cs" Inherits="IFrameSample.Default" %>

Turning my BlogEngine.NET blog comments off

UPDATE: After updating to BlogEngine.NET v2 I’ve enabled comments on all posts 

Just an FYI for anyone interested. My blog is getting swamped with spam comments so I’m turning them off for any post older than two weeks until I can get BlogEngine.NET v2 installed. This next release adds a few nice features for managing comments better so I’m hopeful I can get the functionality restored soon. I’m curious about $l(Disqus) but haven’t read enough positive things about it to want to move in that direction.

Documenting OSX 10.6.5 Kernel Panic on a MacBook Pro

Update: The culprit was the Microsoft USB Keyboard driver for OSX. After uninstalling the driver these problems disappeared which sounds very similar to this.

While I’m not sure the exact date the first $g(kernel panic) that occurred on the new MacBook it’s been a near daily occurrence. I’m going to use this post to document what I was doing when a panic occurs. Here’s a view of the OSX Console window where you can see logs of the last 8 panic’s I’ve seen in since December 2th.


December 20, 2010
Kernel panic editing text in Visual Studio running on Win7 under $g(VirtualBox). Eclipse, Chrome, Trillian and a few other apps were running at the time.

December 19, 2010
Kernel panic editing text in Eclipse for Java Helios Service Release 1 Build id: 20100917-0705. Google Chrome was not running this time but Firefox v3.6 and Safari were running.

December 17, 2010
Kernel panic editing text in TextMate, Chrome was running as it’s seemingly the only browser that works well with Google Maps v3.

December 16, 2010

  • Latest kernel panic 9:20p occurred while editing text in TextMate. Decided to stop using Google Chrome as one application to eliminate.
  • Picked up Macbook from the Apple Store and they were unable to reproduce the kernel panic. Offered as a next step to send the machine to a lab for further testing which could take from 7-10 days.

December 15, 2010
Backed up machine using $l(Apple’s Time Machine) Dropped Macbook off at the Apple Store in Los Gatos for overnight testing

December 14, 2010

  • Panic occurred while typing into an input field on Facebook in Google Chrome
  • Panic occurred as I was editing a Google Doc in Chrome
December 3, 2010
Genius bar appointment in the Apple store in Los Gatos. The tech said they weren’t really setup to debug kernel panics and didn’t want to mess to much with the machine as it was not backed up (I made the appointment on my way home from work in order to start documenting the problems).
Hardware Overview (for reference):

  Model Name:    MacBook Pro
  Model Identifier:    MacBookPro6,1
  Processor Name:    Intel Core i5
  Processor Speed:    2.53 GHz
  Number Of Processors:    1
  Total Number Of Cores:    2
  L2 Cache (per core):    256 KB
  L3 Cache:    3 MB
  Memory:    8 GB
  Processor Interconnect Speed:    4.8 GT/s
  Boot ROM Version:    MBP61.0057.B0C
  SMC Version (system):    1.57f17
  Serial Number (system):    xxxxxxxxxxxx
  Hardware UUID:    xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx
  Sudden Motion Sensor:
  State:    Enabled

Apple Hardware Test:

  Last Run:    11/22/10 12:28 AM
  Version:    3A185
  Loop Count:    1
  Result:    Passed

Ran both short and extended hardware tests from the OSX boot disk neither reported any problems. Ran the Disk Utility, no problems.

Google Map Facebook Application written in ASP.NET

Back in April of 2009 I wrote a post about a Facebook application named SocialMine. It basically plots your social network on a map based on information for your network using $g(FQL queries). I’m writing this post because I’ve recently tweaked the application to correct a problem where the vast majority of your friends didn’t appear on the map. Initially, I was thinking the issue was related to all of the $g(Facebook profile privacy concerns) from the last 18+ months though it turns out the code I wrote to parse the results for use in a $g(Simile Exhibit) was failing. Facebook changed the results for current_location which broke my code, a problem that’s now fixed. Despite the fix a user commented that they couldn’t see any of their friends on the map and after a little digging I discovered that he wasn’t getting any geographic information back for any of his friends. Using my ASP.NET Facebook Starter Application I suggested he try few queries using the FQL page so he could debug what’s being returned. I thought I post the same steps here in case anyone wants to review their own FQL data.

  • Add facebookaspnet (another application of mine) to your account.
  • Once in that application click on the FQL link at the top which will take you to a page where you can execute FQL queries.
  • Paste this FQL statement into the edit box substituting your UID (provided on the page):
    SELECT name,current_location FROM user WHERE uid IN (SELECT uid2 FROM friend WHERE uid1 =<uid> )
  • Check the “Use JSON” option
  • Click the Execute button and check to see if the location data is null
  • SocialMine application profile page
SocialMine also makes use of this HttpHandler for processing FQL queries.