VigeWeekly: Launching Sites, Libraries, and Ruby Hack Night

Congratulations to Amanda Ripley who launched her new web site this week (with a little help from us).  We always love being able to celebrate with clients, and we look forward to following up her site launch with celebrating her book launch on June 10th.

After one of our clients -- and a couple of us individually -- experienced a recent WordPress hackfest that plagued a minority of the platform's users, Jackson posted about why these security breaches happen and ways to prevent them in the future, sparking a good exchange with our good friend Gil.

Speaking of hackfests, judging from Stuart's slides (PDF) and David's photos, last night's Refresh the Triangle event down in Durham was very tech focused.  It's great to see the balance of topics being discussed by the group.

Now, onto the blogs!

Advance (Strategy)

I was a bit dumbfounded after a trip to Home Depot last week when one of the helpers whispered that I should check RadioShack for the product I needed.  Why did he whisper?  I say that if your company doesn't have something, you shouldn't feel bad for sending loyal customers elsewhere to find what they're seeking; in fact, they'll probably appreciate you more for helping them.  Jackson explored a topic -- that moderating too much can work against the goal of facilitating an active, open online discussion -- something we often help clients consider.  He gets no argument from me on this one -- comment away, free of moderation (within reason).

Inspire (Design)

Erik showed designers and developers who say, "I didn't know you could do that," how to capitalize on bi-directional Actionscript/Javascript communication that AS3 supports.  He shared tips on making this happen, plus gave readers access to the source files for more exploration.  It's this kind of sharing that helps in small bits to further the entire web design community, but particularly the Flash community that Erik argues has been disconnected from "the rest" of the web.

Extend (Development)

Ben described the solution he found to be "a real head-scratcher" in Problems With attachment_fu and a Dedicated Image Model.  After some serious investigation, he found that whenever he was calling to record.image, one of the thumbnail images was being returned instead of the parent image.  Check out his code snippets for more details.  Then, Matt announced Ruby Hack Night happening on Wednesday, June 18 (third Wednesday of the month), at 7 p.m.  The event will be an informal gathering at Murky Coffee in Arlington and any "Ruby hacker wanting to get together with other DC Ruby hackers to work on various projects (of your choice)" is invited.  I must admit that reading this post made me wish they still let me write code around here.  Clinton on Thursday announced the release of his test library, spect, as a Ruby gem.  You can check out the code (and submit patches) at our GitHub repository.  Ah, knowledge sharing.

Engage (Marketing)

Steph raved about the "crucial" user experience MINI offers on its web site; particularly that it converted her from a window shopper to a major proponent of the brand (and, theoretically, a more serious customer, if only her economic stimulus check had a couple extra zeroes on it).  Inspired by Steph's enthusiasm, perhaps, Ryan followed up with his own post on MINI. His, however, focused on the connection between the buzz MINI's site has generated with its actual sales.  He concluded, "MINI's work to engage with and support their most passionate customers online continues to have a great impact on their bottom line."  That's what I like to hear.

The bottom line at the Lab is that we'll all be relaxing with family and friends on Monday, but will be back in action on Tuesday. Happy Memorial Day weekend to everyone!

Brian is Viget's co-founder and CEO. He does everything from advising our clients to building our conference tables with his bare hands in our Falls Church, VA, HQ.

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