Monthly Archive for December, 2008

2008 Year in Review for Dawn and Plans for 2009

I gave up on a holiday letter or cards a few years ago; however, last year I started doing a year in review post, and it seemed to work pretty well. Here’s the 2008 version …

Let’s start with the negative.

What did I want to do in 2008 that didn’t quite make it?

  • Didn’t quite achieve 501(c)(3) status for Legion of Tech. The paperwork is nearly done and will be submitted in January.
  • Didn’t get the O’Reilly Art of Community book published. For too many reasons to list here, we finally decided to can the project.
  • Didn’t do anything spectacular enough that it prompted someone to write a Wikipedia article for me. :-)

Now on to the fun part.

2008: A year of change

My personal hopes for 2009

  • Grow Fast Wonder Consulting into a more successful business with a few more clients.
  • Achieve 501(c)(3) status for Legion of Tech.
  • Continue to help organize more awesome events in Portland.
  • Finish my eBook about Companies and Online Communities.
  • Learn more about Yahoo Pipes.
  • Continue mission #GetOffButt to get healthier, stronger, and in better shape.
  • Again, I want to do something spectacular enough that it prompts someone to write a Wikipedia article for me. :-)

Another thing I’m excited about for 2009

  • The Portland tech community. I rave about it almost constantly, but I do expect the Portland tech community to continue to produce exciting new companies, projects, and community organized events to become even stronger in 2009.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

CSV File Inputs: 2 Minute Yahoo Pipes Video Demo

This video shows how to get input from a list of items in a CSV file, and it introduces the loop module. A CSV file is a great choice when you want to fetch a bunch of feeds and change them frequently without having to update your pipe. If you haven’t already watched the 2 Minute Yahoo Pipes Introductory Demo, I strongly suggest that you watch it. This demo builds on the basic structure developed in the introductory demo. The CSV file I’m using also contains the same feeds from ReadWriteWeb and GigaOM that we used in the original demo plus a few others.

More Details

  • The Demo Pipe. A copy of the CSV File Input in Yahoo Pipes Demo click “View Source” to see the modules.
  • Fetch CSV Module. Enter the URL of the CSV file (make sure that it already exists in a publicly accessible location) along with information about column names and separation characters as needed.
  • Loop module with Fetch Feed. Loops through each element in the CSV file and fetches the feed associated with the item.
  • Filter Module. Filter by a couple of keywords.
  • Sort Module. Sort by date in descending order to make sure things are sorted in a logical manner.
  • Pipe Output. The final module in every Yahoo Pipe.

I’ve created many Yahoo Pipes, and most of them have been published on my Yahoo Pipes and RSS Hacks page where you can also learn more about my Yahoo Pipes Training courses.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts

Comments for One Author on Multi-Author WordPress Blog

I wanted to have a way to find all of the comments posted on any of my WebWorkerDaily posts, but I couldn’t find an easy way to do it in WordPress (I don’t have access to plugins, since it isn’t my blog). As always, I turned to Yahoo Pipes for the solution, and I made it customizable so that others could use my pipe. Since I wrote this pipe for my use, it supports the configuration I needed, and I also tested it on TechCrunch, Mashable, and GigaOM. However, there were quite a few multi-user blogs where it does not work, so please pay close attention to the caveats below before using my new Comments for One Author on Multi-Author WordPress Blog pipe.


  • Works only with WordPress Blogs
  • Works only with blogs using Feedburner
  • Will not work under non-standard URL / feed formats

I suspect that the WordPress / Feedburner combo is probably the most common configuration for multi-user blogs, so it should work for many blogs. However, if you aren’t using the configuration supported by this pipe, you should be able to clone the pipe and tweak it pretty easily to use other formats.


  1. Go to the Comments for One Author on Multi-Author WordPress Blog pipe.
  2. Enter the URL for your Feedburner feed.
  3. Enter the author’s name.
  4. Grab the RSS feed output.

Please feel free to leave any thoughts or suggestions in the comments below.

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

Recent Links on Ma.gnolia

A few interesting things this week …

Santa’s Facebook Account – ReadWriteWeb

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State of the Twittersphere – Q4 2008 Report

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DCortesi . blog » My First Follow

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Recent Links on Ma.gnolia

A few interesting things this week …

Forty Million Americans Now Contribute to Social Networking Sites: Who Are They? – ReadWriteWeb

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2009 Web Strategy Report | ISITE Design

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Here’s Who’s Getting Hired Right Now in Tech – Jobwire

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PostRank Releases Awesome New Top Posts Widget – ReadWriteWeb

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Writing for WebWorkerDaily and The Holidays

Many of you already noticed that I have started blogging on GigaOM’s WebWorkerDaily site. Thank you so much for all of the congratulations, well wishes, comments, and more. The plan is to post an article or two a week on a freelance basis. I even got a head start before I left, so I have a couple more posts in the WebWorkerDaily publish queue that should go out sometime next week.

My first post was about making productive use of my holiday time, and I am happy to say that I am off to a good start. I’m posting this from the Chicago airport (where my flight has been delayed), but at least I managed to edit and encode 2 more 2 minute Yahoo Pipes demos during my last flight, but you will have to wait to see them until I post the next one on December 29th.

I’ll also be mostly off the grid until December 27th. I’ll be in rural Ohio hanging out with family and playing scrabble, but my internet connection will be pretty spotty during the trip. They have dial up access (no DSL or cable on the farm), and even my EVDO access is painfully slow. In other words, you could be kind to my inbox and wait to email me until after the 27th *hint, hint*.

Have a great holiday season!

My Favorite Technology Blogs and Podcasts

People often ask about my favorite technology blogs and podcasts, and I was inspired by the recent ReadWriteWeb post on a similar topic to do a post with a few of my favorites. These are in no particular order.

10 Favorite Tech Blogs:

10 Favorite Tech Podcasts:

Wow, it was hard to pick my favorites. Limiting to technology helped, since I could leave all of the NPR podcasts (love Science Friday), NYT, etc. The blogs were really hard, since I could choose from the 250 feeds in my reader.

What are your favorites?

Community Manager / Social Media Jobs are Still Hot

ReadWriteWeb’s Jobwire site has been keeping up with who is being hired, while many other sites are focused on layoffs and the downturn. It’s exciting to see them publish their numbers showing that people are still hiring community managers and social media specialists.

I’ve been seeing a similar trend anecdotaly, and so far at least, I’m still getting clients who want me to consult with them to help build online communities, new blogs, or improve their social media presence.

They have some other data available in their full post, which you should take the time to read. It’s just nice to see a little good news about people getting jobs now and then.

Using The Debugger: 2 Minute Yahoo Pipes Video Demo

The debugger serves a couple of functions in Yahoo Pipes. The first one is pretty obvious – debugging. It allows you to see exactly what is happening in each component of your Yahoo Pipe to help with the debugging process when something isn’t working quite right.

The debugger also serves a less obvious purpose. You can use it to learn more about the elements of the rss feeds that you are using as input. For most blogs, the rss feeds are fairly standard, but other services store all kinds of useful information in their rss feeds in addition to standard elements like link, title, and date. The debugger can help you find this additional information in the feed.

More Details

  • The Demo Pipe. A copy of the Yahoo Pipes Debugger Demo Pipe. Click “View Source” to see the modules.
  • Fetch Feed Module. Contains 1 feed from Shizzow, which contains a wealth of location information within the feed.
  • Filter Module. Filters posts with a certain keyword out of the feed to demonstrate the debugger.
  • Pipe Output. The final module in every Yahoo Pipe.
  • The demo also spends time using the debugger to explore various elements of the feed.

I’ve created many Yahoo Pipes, and most of them have been published on my Yahoo Pipes and RSS Hacks page where you can also learn more about my Yahoo Pipes Training courses.

Previous videos in the series:

Recent Links on Ma.gnolia

A few interesting things this week …

Twitter StreamGraphs

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TweetVolume : Home

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Great seeing @marshallK @cyborgcamp. U look so different w/o … on TwitPic

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Rick Turoczy on Studio on the Square | | News for Portland Oregon and SW Washington

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