Mobile Apps TechBiz WebApps

3 Alternatives to Showing Photos on Twitter after the Instagram Yank

If you post a photo with text from Instagram to Twitter, your photo will no longer show up on Twitter. Lots of blogs have already covered this story. Some have even gone so far as to defend this decision.

If you’re looking for photo services that haven’t yanked Twitter cards. Here are 3 that are cool to use.

  1. There’s Camera+ which has lots of filters and photo editing tools. The main feature that I like about Camera+ is the light box that allows you to select and arrange which images to edit.
    Here’s an example of Camera+ embedded into Twitter.
  2. Path is okay if you don’t mind blasting your closest friends with Twitter updates. The iPad version of this app is really beautiful and lots of thought went into the UI. Here’s its embed.
  3. Via.Me* is hands down the best for power users that need to post images to both Twitter and Facebook. Your photos also show up Pinterest-like on the app’s web page for leisurely desktop viewing. Below is Via.Me in a Twitter card.

* Disclosure: I work on the API at Via.Me.

Databases How-To MySQL WebApps wordpress

How To Back Up WordPress with mysqldump

Here’s a quick how to:

1. Tar up the directory:

tar cvf WordPress.tar wordpress/.
bzip2 WordPress.tar

2. Dump the database.

mysqldump --user user_name --password --host --extended-insert=FALSE database_name > database_name.sql

I personally use extended-insert set to false because I often have to read the SQL.

Here is how to restore from backup:

tar zxvf
mysql --user user_name -p database_name < database_name.sql

Be sure to replace user_name, and database_name with the appropriate values for your system.

I hope this helps.


The 10 Commandments for Remote Team Management

“The condition of man… is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.” —
Thomas Hobbes

This is a list that I compiled during my time as a reluctant work at home coder and manager. I was working at an Ad Agency at the time and really wanted to be at the office. That was where the power to get ahead was; that was where all the invites to awesome parties later in the evening could be obtained. I was forced to work at home during the recession as part of a cost saving and political maneuver. Here are my 10 commandments for what I learned to keep my team together and in the groove for getting projects done and done well.


  1. Always have an IM status of when you will be available in 5 minutes or less, e.g. “Out to lunch until 1400 PST”.
  2. IMs have to be answered in 5 minutes or less.
  3. Use military time with a timezone.
  4. Use flowdock to track when items get finished and as a secondary back channel. Devops / Back-end people, anybody involved with 24/7 support should use IRC.
  5. Use basecamp or pivotal (depending on the complexity) for project management.
  6. Have a daily meeting, no exceptions. I picked noon when working with West Coast and East Coast teams.
  7. Do punish folks for missing meetings or being unavailable. This can be as simple as pointing it out. Or, in my case, as harsh as 3 strikes you’re out, but I don’t think this works as it did during the recession.
  8. Do not punish anybody for over-communicating. This is the worst mistake ever. I’ve seen hotheads punish folks for over-communicating, and these hotheads spend the rest of their careers saying, “Why are you telling me this now the day of the deadline?”
  9. Reward on-site visits lavishly. I used 2 hour lunches, long coffee breaks, and playing with the latest “toys.”
  10. Meet for meals or drinks in person weekly. This is a really good gauge for if they love you or hate you, or don’t care.

I found this keeps everybody on point.

startups TechBiz

End of the Bubble or Just a Correction?

I parsed the data at for startups in San Francisco. Crunchbase has a pretty easy to use API.

I wanted to see how much startup funding was coming into San Francisco. Was it close to the $20 million per day during the peak in 1999?

It turns out that the peak of this current technology boom happened last year and at current rates of investment we’re almost back to where we were 2 years ago.

	Year	                Per Day
2005	$231,850,000.00	          $635,205.48
2006	$505,934,000.00	        $1,386,120.55
2007	$762,064,970.00	        $2,087,849.23
2008	$1,320,579,950.00	$3,618,027.26
2009	$928,213,997.00	        $2,543,052.05
2010	$1,430,424,359.00       $3,918,970.85
2011	$2,807,900,000.00       $7,692,876.71
2012	$1,725,000,000.00       $6,738,281.25 (estimated year end projection)

Is it the end of the technology bubble or just a correction?

Mobile Apps TechBiz

Instagram Introduces Lower Rate Limits

I just triggered a rate limit in Instagram by liking photos. It seems that once you trigger it, you are limited to 8 likes per minute. It seems that the rate limit is at 30 per minute to trigger it the first time.

Has anybody else run into this?


What Would Really Get Me To Join Your Startup

Full Disclosure: I’m happy where I’m at because I’m getting all my needs met right now.

I’m a pretty darned good coder. I’m not the best but I’m not the worst either. I’ve taken a few apps from the small stage to the big stage when it was hard to do so. Now 10 million users is the new million. If you give me a bug list of 200 or so bugs, I am pretty sure I can bring down that list to zero in 2 to 3 months. If you have features to build, you can be sure that they will be BDD’d / TDD’d if you’re willing to work with me on that.

I’m not the best, but definitely good enough to get 100 calls a day if I were to announce my availability.

Also, right now, I’m focused more on my photography and helping out hackathons by mentoring new coders and telling them about how different tools and APIs can help them.

What do *you* need to do to get me to join your startup?

First off, I’m INFP and there were many times where I could have made money but passed on it simply because the technology wasn’t cool enough. You can quote me a number that’s high, but it isn’t worth it if the technology isn’t cool.

Ok, enough talk. Here’s the list:

1. I’ve seen your team hanging out either partying or doing group activities together. If you can keep a crew of people together for what seems like 24/7, I’m down. It also means that there’s more than just money going on.

2. Money is not important but showing that you aren’t cheap and take payday seriously is. I’m surprised that there are still companies with millions in the bank that pay their employees late or nickle and dime them. Great companies have policy of the 1st or the Friday before the 1st if it falls on the weekend, and the 15th or the Friday before the 15th.

3. Career pathing – this might seem like a ploy when hands change so fast in the tech industry, but I would rather work with a company with a clear idea of what my success will look like than not. Most folks manage by sink or swim, or micro-managing. Career pathing when done right is the middle road of these.

That’s pretty much it, and if you look at the companies that have lured talent away, they hold out the promise of one of these things.

ruby on rails Social Media TechBiz WebApps

What the Next Rails Will Look Like

History repeats itself, yet it is obscure to the very people making it: innovators and inventors. Ruby on Rails was an invention that hit the scene in July of 2004 as a revelation. There was a video that promised that you could make a blog in less than 15 minutes that left many speechless.

When Rails hit the seen, my reaction was:

1. This is something that we should have been doing all along.

Books like The Pragmatic Programmer had been preaching what Rails was doing since the 1990s. Software engineers would half-heartedly code the “Rails ways” but never got around to building something like Rails.

2. I need less people on my web team.

It seemed that you could work with just a designer and get lots done. I didn’t have to go to IT as much as database issues. I could use generators and save hours of time.

3. That startup that seemed impossible now seems within reach.

I remember a young Chris Wanstrath at a Ruby meetup I hosted saying with a tired look in his face that he wished he was working in Ruby. He was at CNET / CBS Interactive at the time. He’s built the best tool for developers out there and I use every day.

That’s the past, now what’s the future?

The tough question to ask is, “What should we, as an industry, be doing that we are not?” The Rails philosophy was loudly yelling, “We aren’t doing DRY.”

It seems that there are 4 things that need to be done in the “next” Rails:

1. Mobile ready out of the box.

We should all be using CSS media queries and have the ability to support the mobile web. There are so many missed opportunities to retain users simply because mobile is still shockingly ignored. Mobile databases can even be integrated for a better application experience; visit Couchbase for more information and options.

2. Social Sharing out of the box.

This basically means that there has to be a standard for creating an API for APIs.

3. The backend will just look like an API.

Say good bye to complex SQL joins.

4. Designing tools with deep integration into the cloud.

Languages have been designed for CPUs in non-networked environments. This means that at a core-level, the next Rails will be SSL capable, e-commerce capable and ready to scale out of the box.  Hints of this can be seen in Erlang.

rant startups

The Worst Excuse For Not Iterating Quickly: It will break production

I’ve got news for you. Production is already broken. There are already 300 bugs and 100,000 or so users with a shitty experience that are considered “edge cases.”

By not allowing me root access, or the complete access I need to get stuff done;
by putting in a process that is merely there for the comfort of managers;
by not understanding that I’m trading code quality for quality UX;
you’ve doomed our project to mediocrity.

Ya, you insist that we have to have a process in place because we can’t afford to “break things” anymore. Has it occurred to you that we can’t can’t afford to break things so that we can learn and work faster and better?

When you make us work long weekends and put us through death marches, you are merely reducing developer productivity.


A week without coffee and Facebook

I’ve quit 2 things that I really love, coffee and Facebook.

I thought about my life and how much my imagination outstrips my pocketbook. What I’ve found is that I’ve gotta stop giving Mark my data.

Here’s what I learned about quitting Facebook, and coffee.

  • There’s a bit of a hangover the first few days.
  • On Facebook some folks thought I killed myself or was in jail.
  • Unlike coffee, Facebook has ever more subtle ways of tempting you back.

Here’s how Facebook tempts you back:

  • E-mails saying that your friends miss you. And they highlight “friends” you only met once at a conference in 2006.
  • If you subscribed to mobile updates, you are not unsubscribed. You still get status updates. You have to shut this off.
  • In real life, very few friends will tolerate having to send you a “special invite,” to events.

The last bit is the real temptation here, and the real crux of the matter. Do you really want to not get invited to parties anymore. If you are a 23 year old partier who gets 20 to 30 invites per week, this is an issue. If you are wanting to purify yourself in a spiritual wilderness called an urban city of 1.2 million; ya – just cut the facebook.

Personally, I’ve found the benefits to be:

  • Better and stable mood. I don’t get trolled in IRL as much as in Facebook.
  • I don’t have to see what I don’t have all the time.
  • I use the app called “Phone” on my smartphone more.
  • I don’t worry about having to get my next fix.

Check Out My New Video Project:

Hey Folks,

Please check out my new video project called “GeekySF.” I highlight cool events to check out for geeks.

Episode 1 is available exclusively on

Cheers, Barce