Blog Posts

I haven't posted to this thing in ages. After moving to Oak Park MI after my marriage, blogging lost it's appeal against matrimonial bliss. Divorced after a short 16 months, here I am back with my blogs. There's the one for Divre Torah. One for pop culture. Another for tech stuff. All of them tied together in a social net. I like having an online presence. This was posted from my phone.

- Friday, January 17, 2014 at 00:47:39 (EST)
I'm a little early to my new job as a Social Media Consultant at SocialUps, a firm that uses entertainment to attract and engage Facebook users, so I thought a quick post from the parking lot was in order. This site uses an imput form to update this page, so this is being typed on my ancient HTC Touch phone using the Opera Mobile browser for WM6. Another thing that makes this outdated platform work is that I figured out how to gak into the Google Exchange Server for syncing my gmail contacts and calendar events. Viva la internet.Now, off to work!

- Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 11:53:13 (EST)
Just installed the domain name on my server and pointed it to my flat-page blog. This page is v4 of my site over the years with the current site being I also got as a continuation of a long relationship with the data of Yehuda Lave. I've been reblogging his stuff for years because it is good and I want to share it. Well, gotta go cook... Good Shabbos!

- Friday, January 06, 2012 at 19:06:14 (EST)
It has been a new year for a few days now, and it's all a blur. I have a new sales gig with SocialUps selling brand awareness through Facebook likes. The company uses chat to create a personalized buzz around a game on the client's page, resulting in thousands of new likes. What's cool, is that the users of game, shopping cart, and testimonial tools on the FB page opt in to share all their contact information. What marketers do with the thousands of new leads is their own show, but SocialUps delivers the contacts every time. It takes a lot for me to pick up the phone and make calls, but it is good for me, I'm enjoying some success, and am super-motivated to make a go of it.

- Wednesday, January 04, 2012 at 18:32:29 (EST)
I spent most of the day in the new year doing what I did for all of the last year: tweaking websites to maximize traffic and social media integration. Some of the tools were pretty trick. One integrated my twitter account with my server company's blog. Another added Facebook Like and Share buttons to blog posts and a FB Status sidebar. My blogs are all running fine. The site that took a hit is Cancer Answers. Pageviews are WAY down and have dragged AdSense earnings down with them. I took a radical step and gave away all the content. Transcript sales and pricing fell over the years, from $12 in 1994 to $3 last week. I made the complete transcripts available by clicking into them to raise search relevance with limited results.

- Sunday, January 01, 2012 at 22:01:16 (EST)
It's Shabbos tonight, and by the time it ends it will be a new year. What a year the last has been! I learned SO MUCH about life and responsibility and coping strategies. I want to thank all of my incredible and patient teachers for all they have done for me. Rabbi Bloom has been a constant force of mussar and learning. Rabbi Bogopulsky and all of his congregation at Beth Jacob have helped me in countless ways. My kids have blossomed in new schools, again by the kindnesses offered by Rabbis Weiser and Piekes. And then there has been the steady personal growth of a wonderful and beautiful shidduch with the girl of my dreams. Finally, a new sales career has opened that requires more from me than ever. Hashem has been very generous with me and, for this, I am learning to be grateful.

- Friday, December 30, 2011 at 01:34:44 (EST)
Since the Panda update to the Google search algorithm, most websites are scrambling to get back to where they were with placement, popularity, relevance and pageviews. Cancer Answers, a site that runs on my server, was hit particularly hard and I have been looking into how to fix it. One key incident that I didn't even know about until my research discovered it occurred within my host environment. They made some big changes to their PHP and cgi-bin practices that caused parts of the site to simply quit working. It was easy enough to change the permissions to my get.cgi script and get the homepage pulldown menu to work again. So fine, pageviews could have been down because the site was broken. But, since the repair, traffic has not bounced back and still hovers at around 30% of where we were this time last year. My strategy to clear this up is pretty radical. I am going to give away all my content. When the site was built, the idea was to sell cancer treatment information to end users. In 1997, that idea was viable since content was slim and the need was great. Since then, information is much more available and reputable while ours has become stale. Thus, transcript pricing was reduced again and again. Now, a full transcript is only $3. If I put all that content onto the public site, that will probably go a long ways toward freshening the site and increasing traffic. Since the site is static html, that is going to be a huge GAK. I'll keep you posted on that.

- Monday, November 28, 2011 at 10:49:50 (EST)
I built the Cancer Answers site back in 1994 when there were no WYSIWYG page building tools at all. Pages were built in a static manner and each was separate, as opposed to the database approach we see in most new sites developed today. With database sites, like the WordPress stuff installed for clients on my server, a small change in the site template propagates to the site and are seen globally on every page served. The cancer treatment information site, developed in partnership with an oncologist writer, needs to be edited page by page. Thus, adding Facebook like and share buttons would have involved hundreds of pages of edits. Over the years, I have adopted a developer's toolkit. Way back when I was coding the pages I designed at Bein Logic, one of the programmers there turned me on to BBedit. With this tool, I can replace a string of text from every file in a folder. In this case, a table cell was added within an existing footer that is on every page in a singular format. Once I coded a page to work, I copied those results to all of the other files in one fell swoop. Sweet!

- Sunday, November 11, 2011 at 13:50:01 (EST)
I remember when I bought my iMac years ago, an HP PSC 1510was purchased along with it and I wrestled with the config to make the two hardware pieces see each other and play nice. Since then, the hard drive crashed and now it's the whole thing all over again. Like most things these days, the troubleshooting began with a Google search and there was a wealth of information from others with the same problem. Turns out that HP and my iMac simply don't play real well together. There was lots of funky advice about unplug, power off, uninstall, reinstall, blah, blah, blah... What finally worked was to download much older drivers than the ones on the HP website and install those. Turns out that the manufacturers improvements to the drivers broke them.

- Friday, November 4, 2011 at 2:33:50 (EST)
Launched a new site and took responsibility for my blogging in a more public forum. Also, I combined my many blogs (culture, religion and tech) all in one place under my name. It's the big thing to do and big changes are on the horizon. I am deeply involved in cleaning up my web footprint and minimizing bad press.

- Tuesday, May 5, 2011 at 07:25:42 (EST)
When I was looking for my son's Bar Mitzvah invitations online, all I saw was overpriced junk. Nothing was even close, so I dusted off the design tools and got busy. Type on a curve was fun old-school trick. Getting hebrew fonts was a bit of a grind, but there were some good ones out there. FontExplorer X from Linotype is a must-have tool for any mac user with a font library. A couple hours of work and a simple upload to FedEx Office and I had my custom invitations in an hour for $36.

- Wednesday, April 4, 2011 at 17:52:24 (EST)
I have always had to maintain a PC on my mac network to run various business softwares and this has always been a painful experience. Before getting this (sweet) new laptop, it sure was. Especially near the end there where the blue screen closed every session at some point. A perfect example is the pain from needed activesync to connect WM6 to my gCalendars. Still have to do that, but W7 made it easy (huh?) So then I pumped it up with an online install of the best insurance illustration package I have ever used (pretty strong case for a guy whos first system ran on floppy discs ALONE) and ran through a 47 member census in one standing by calculating target face amounts with blinding speed. OK. Good. But can it do graphics? Installing Adobe Photoshop CS5 (extended) was way too easy. Laughably so. Then, discovery of the fun little snipping tool (that was my idea!) made a previously complex task simple. Nothing was left but to write a rave review, and I thought that day would never come.

- Tuesday, February 28, 2011 at 15:03:23 (EST)

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