I’m really looking forward to SXSW 2012!

Today is the last day to vote for proposals for next year’s SXSW Interactive Festival (though if history precedes itself, it could be extended), and I’ve spent a good amount of time promoting what I think should be a killer topic for attendees.  “Deploying WordPress:  From Zero to Ninja” will cover business-oriented subjects like developing in multiple environments, the have-to-have plugins, and best practices from the community’s experts for running your enterprise-class application on the WordPress platform.

But I’d like to spend the remaining voting time promoting some other topics I’m really looking forward to, and I’ll update this list over time as I find new panels that catch my eye:

Be sure to check out all of the great WordPress-related panels and give them your vote!  More than 3200 proposals are competing for about 350 slots, and only 8 relate to WordPress!  A little surprising, but that will translate to far greater expectations from the WP-related topics that are picked  🙂

Do you upload zip files to your WordPress site? Your Windows and IE users may be downloading corrupted files.

This issue has been floating around for a while, but I only ran up against it a couple of weeks ago.  The short of it is that if you have Internet Explorer users complaining that they are unable to download usable zip files from your WordPress or otherwise LAMP website, this may be the fix you’re looking for.  I might also add that in my own testing of this, downloading zip files from one of my WordPress sites with gzip and deflate compression enabled were also corrupted in Firefox on a Windows 7 computer, so it’s not just constrained to IE7 and IE8 users.  However, the issue is indeed resolved on computers with IE9 installed.

Microsoft has posted the description of the bug in urlmon.dll in their “Internet Explorer May Lose the First 2,048 Bytes of Data That Are Sent Back from a Web Server That Uses HTTP Compression” article, but abhorrently they’ve also listed the fix as encouraging developers and/or users (think about your mom, now) to go in and modify the registry.  Now I love to help my parents with their email password reset or their wireless printing, but I don’t want to walk my mother through modifying the registry over the phone.  Since we care about our IE and Windows users even when their operating system or browser doesn’t, we can’t just leave them out on their own.

As WordPress developers, let’s help minimize Microsoft’s urlmon.dll problem, and fix it the right way by simply disabling gzip compression on our already-compressed files, if at least for our own sites!  You’ll need to modify your Apache configuration file, typically in either the more global httpd.conf file, or the deflate.conf mod file if you’re running an Ubuntu or Debian system by adding the following code:

This line disables compression on all files with the *.zip extension for all browsers, which is ok because the files are compressed anyway.

Microsoft also references this in another support article “An error occurs after downloading a .ZIP file with Internet Explorer“, where you can find solutions for IIS 6 and 7 servers.

Tomorrow is the last day to vote for my topic, “Deploying WordPress: From Zero to Ninja“, for the 2012 SXSW Interactive Festival.

Please check out my panel proposal and give me a thumbs up, as well as leave me any questions, or comments!

SXSWi 2011: My Topics of Interest

Springbox is sending a dozen employees to this year’s SXSW Interactive festival. So we asked them: “What topics are you interested in learning more about at SXSW Interactive?” Here are Senior Developer Grant Norwood’s topics of interest.

I’m going to take the non-profit route at this year’s SXSWi. I volunteer my time and talents to several non-profit organizations because I share a belief in their causes and I support the ways in which each execute upon their respective missions. But more than that, during SXSWi, I want to narrow my focus within the almost overwhelming choices of panels offered.

I’ve spent much of my career in the enterprise and product development worlds and I’m programmed to keep an eye on increasing revenue and reducing costs within any business environment.  By eliminating the distractions of my natural interests with my non-profit strategy at SXSWi, I’ll have a comfortable and comprehensive list of panels I can attend without feeling spread too thin. Here are my overall areas of interest:

Non-Profit Branding

It’s no surprise that every non-profit needs to market itself in order to be successful. I’m looking for answers to these questions:

  • How does one take their charitable organization from a moderately successful size with loyal users to one with exceptionally rapid growth and a fully mainstream presence?
  • How does a non-profit organization build and leverage public partnerships with other successful brands and personalities to better achieve its mission?
  • How does partnering with other for-profit organizations benefit the partner, and how does one best approach those partners for their support?

Attracting Talent and Growing a Team

Whether you’re building the next great product or saving the whales, a talented team of individuals can make or break your organization and its endeavors, and how are teams of volunteers are managed differently than those made up of paid employees.

Measuring Success

How does one know when their efforts are paying off, when their message has been received and where they can improve? I’m not just talking donations and ROI here; I want to know more.

Article originally published by Springbox at http://www.springbox.com/insight/post/SXSWi-2011-Grant-Norwoods-Topics-of-Interest.aspx.

Voting has begun for the 2011 SXSW Interactive Festival, and I’d like everybody to vote for my topic on QR codes!

Ok everybody, voting has begun and I need your help!  Your voting accounts for about 30% of the decision-making process for any given programming slot.

Here’s how to help promote my “QR Who QR” SXSW panel topic:

  1. Create an account on the SXSW website at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/users/register.
  2. Click the email verification link they send you to activate your account.
  3. Go to my topic’s page at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/6768 and click the “thumbs up” button!

Also, please leave me a comment or question about what most interests you about those crazy barcodes, I’ll respond quickly and it helps to make my topic more popular!

Thanks everybody!

Vote for my topic on QR Codes for SXSW 2011!

My SXSW teaser article “QR Who QR: Exploring QR Codes” is in the works … so til then, read about how the panel picker works and how you can vote my topic on QR codes ahead of roughly 2400 other submissions!

http://sxsw.com/interactive/talks/panelpicker

QR Who QR: Exploring QR Codes

Nothing sounds very cool if it’s still in 2D, right?  Nope, there’s still one thing.  QR codes are 2-dimensional bar codes that can allow quick and purposeful communication like exchanging contact info, or effortlessly transport a perspective customer to your product website.

Wanna know more?  Sit tight for a series of pages and posts about my latest interest in QR codes, and how they apply to the everyday tasks we do while we’re mobile, being social, making a purchase, or attracting new customers.

Coming soon to an SXSW Interactive 2011 panel near you …

“QR Who QR: Exploring QR Codes” with Grant K Norwood, (hopefully) coming soon to a SXSW Interactive 2011 panel near you. In one week, I’m gonna shamelessly beg that everybody vote for my session topic on mobile QR codes so that I can be a speaker at next year’s festival!

Keep your eyes open for new facebook pages and posts, tweets and flickrs, and even the kitchen sink if I think my QR Code topic will get more votes …