So it's been a while.....& wordpress

So it's been a while since I posted on here. Ironically not because I have been inactive in terms of webdev, but just that it's all been happening on sites where privacy is paramount which, unfortunately, means I can't really post about them here.

I have actually been quite busy on the tech-front... mostly developing my wordpress & linux skills, which, I'm pleased to say, are now pretty handy :) I've also been involved in some interesting stuff re privacy and security so have learned lots there too.

Adwords ad rotation improvement \o/

Whilst I doubt it was because of my ranting in previous posts (though I wasn't the only one moaning about it by a long shot) Google seem to have responded to requests from advertisers and have reinstated the "rotate evenly" option for ads rather than only allowing the option for 30ish days and then forcing a switch to "optimised" rotation which is AWESOME NEWS.

Adwords conversion tracking innaccurate by 50-100%?? Surely not.

[Please look at the date on this - most of this post is likely obsolete by now, just here for reference]

If you've read my site you'll have no doubt heard me banging on about conversion tracking and quite rightly too - no conversion tracking means you have no idea what you spent your adwords money on and no idea whether the people you were hoping would perform an action actually did. It's like throwing money out of the window and hoping to hit a passing customer but not even looking to see if you did.

Shock, horror! Google Adwords support helpful, friendly resolved problem quickly....for the second time now.

Admittedly till I contacted adwords support myself I'd not had any first-hand experience but I'd heard all sorts of horror stories about lack of response and stonewalling, so I was quite worried when a while back one of my ads got disapproved for no apparent reason.

Video stuff

Weirdly I've been doing a lot of video coding recently. I spent a lot of weekends a year or so ago looking into this stuff out of curiosity and now suddenly it's a large part my job for completely unrelated yet rather coincidental reasons.

Here's some stuff I've been tinkering with to do with scratchable video playback with a view to trying to find a replacement for my much-loved but "abandoned" realtime video/3d software (pilgrim 3d).

Drupal Twitter update not working? Try this...

If like the rest of us, your drupal->twitter updates stopped working on the 31st August then you might want to check out the link below.

This basically applies if normally your drupal site posts status updates to twitter. On 1st Sept Twitter started using a different authentication method "Oauth" which is a bit more fiddly to set up.

I had to do a fair bit of digging till I found a working solution. Post #58 is the one to follow.

TSV Splitter - Segment your Excel/Google Docs spreadsheet data in seconds not hours.

Have you ever had to work on a spreadsheet where you've got a thousand or so rows and you need to select all the ones marked "shop payment" or something and assemble them into a separate spreadsheet for analysis? It's a right royal pain to do by hand.

I don't know if this a problem many people face but recently I've found I've been doing a lot of analysis of spreadsheets..sales figures, survey results, accounts, sorting paypal shop payments and that sort of stuff.

How to log drupal/zen download clicks to adwords as conversion info.

Here's an interesting problem I encountered the other day...say you're promoting a downloadable product which offers a free demo version.

Illustration of the "Design-by-committee" effect

Hopefully self-explanatory. It's an illustration of a principle I've encountered quite often. Should be avoided at all costs.

Handy little drupal module for tracking/counting file downloads

first I found this which looked ok:

but then found this which seems to do the job even better:

Both modules seem to require the drupal file handling to be set to "private" (admin/settings/file-system). You can tell it's working with the private files because the url changes and ends up something like /system/files/myfile.dat rather than /files/myfile.dat

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