Archive for August, 2010

Adding Feedburner Feeds to Digg Automatically Immediately

Monday, August 30th, 2010

The new Digg website has been seen as very controversial lately. I think they call it the Digg Revolt. They even suggest that it’s going to be easier for Big Blog publishers to make it to the front page of Digg (which means LOTS of traffic). I think this has always been generally the case, but I think it also opens up the opportunities for smaller publishers to get more Digg traffic too.

Time will tell, but I know I’m excited to see what the new Digg Import Feeds function will mean for my blogs. I just added all of my blogs to Digg and I’ll be watching to see what kind of traffic it generates. I expect it will be significant compared to the cost of me adding my feeds.

In fact, here’s how simple it is to get your feed added to the Import Feeds section of Digg.

1. After logging into Digg, go to: http://digg.com/settings/feeds
2. Add your RSS feed URL to the box and click Add Feed
3. Now the little bit tricky part. You have to copy a verification code to your blog. You can copy it into your RSS feed (not usually easy) or add it to your next blog post. Personally I didn’t want to wait for my next blog post. I wanted to have my feed pulled in by Digg immediately. I didn’t want to have to remember to add the code on each of my blogs the next time I posted. Here’s the trick:
-Add the HTML code they provide to your most recently published blog post. Click save and make sure it finishes saving.
4. Assuming you’re using Feedburner for your Feeds (like I am), you want Feedburner to update your feed with the code, but you don’t want to wait for it to update since it does it every 30 minutes or so. So, go to http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/ping and you can manually paste in your Feedburner Feed and have it update it.
5. Now you can click the Verify Now button in Digg and your feed will start pulling into Digg automatically.

I’ll report back on how much traffic this actually generates on my various blogs.

BuddyPress Presentation at WordCamp Utah

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

The following is my presentation on “Why BuddyPress Rocks” at WordCamp Utah. Feel free to leave any questions you have about my presentation. Feedback is also appreciated.

Cover Story of Las Vegas Business Press

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

I’m really excited that Giving Sports and Giving Square were both featured in the cover story article of the Las Vegas Business Press. Of course I appreciate the extra exposure and promotion of my websites. The press here in Las Vegas has been very good to me and found me some clients. Let’s hope this article does the same thing.

Also, a quick shoutout to Mike Stott the Las Vegas Business Press Photographer. It’s the third or fourth time I’ve worked with Mike and it’s always a pleasure. He’s great about trying to create a unique shot that really tells a story instead of just another picture of someone sitting behind a desk or at a computer.

Here’s the previous shot that Mike took of me that I think tells a good story about sports fundraising on Giving Sports:

The Value of Local Events

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

I’ll be the first to admit that I absolutely LOVE the internet. I love the power of technology. It’s always amazing to me to think about what one little guy in Las Vegas can do of influence on the internet. I love when people ask me if I’ve met the various writers on my network of TV blogs. I usually start laughing and then say, No. Does it matter if I meet them in person? It would be fun to do one day, but is it really necessary.

With this said, today I attended a local Las Vegas technology event sponsored by TBAN. The speaker was interesting, but the real value was in the networking. Sometimes I forget about the real value of meeting people face to face. Plus, these local events are interesting since they often bring together a group of people with a broad variety of backgrounds. I always find it enlightening to meet people who don’t live on the internet like I do.

I guess that’s why I’m also excited to be attending a couple WordCamps. WordCamp actually is a great place to meet a variety of people as well. At one WordCamp, I met someone who worked for the PBS documentary film company that produces some of my favorite PBS shows.

It’s always good to get out and meet people in person. Even if I still love to come back to my computer and enjoy my online world too.

Attending WordCamp Utah and WordCamp Las Vegas

Monday, August 16th, 2010

I’m really excited to be attending both WordCamp Utah and WordCamp Las Vegas in the next couple months. I’ve attended WordCamp Las Vegas in the past and enjoyed it thoroughly. I’ve always wanted to present at a WordCamp and so I’ll actually be presenting at both WordCamp conferences.

WordCamp Utah
At WordCamp Utah, I’m going to be presenting on “Why BuddyPress Rocks!” I think it’s going to be a fun session where I can talk about all the different ways that BuddyPress can be used. I can discuss where the development of BuddyPress is headed and how I’m using BuddyPress on my new sports fundraising website. This should be a lot of fun since I pretty much work on BuddyPress all day now.

Plus, hopefully I’ll be able to share how cool it is to be a member of a small niche community like BuddyPress. There are thousands of them online and it’s really fun to be part of one. Plus, hopefully I can connect with some other BuddyPress and WordPress developers that I can work with in the future. If I grow GivingSports.com and GivingSquare.com the way I’d like, I’m going to definitely need some good WordPress/BuddyPress development help soon.

WordCamp Las Vegas
I was planning to present on BuddyPress at WordCamp Las Vegas as well, but another guy was interested in presenting on that topic too. Not a big deal for me. I’m just glad that BuddyPress will be talked about at the WordCamp. Plus, I have 6 other blogs that basically feed my family so there are plenty of other blogging related topics that I could present on.

I’m going to be presenting at WordCamp Las Vegas on “From Hobby to Full Time Blogger: Lessons Learned from 5 Years of Blogging” I’ve wanted the chance to tell my story of blogging for a while, so I’m excited to be given the opportunity. Hopefully those that attend will find it interesting and useful. I’ve learned a lot about blogging over the past 5 years and I’m really happy to call myself a full time blogger.

If any of you are planning to attend these events, I look forward to meeting you there.

My Own TechStars or Ycombinator Like Summer

Friday, August 13th, 2010

I was recently watching some of the videos that they created for the end of TechStars Boulder that were posted on Brad Feld’s blog. As I watched the various founders on the videos, I came to an interesting realization. My summer had been very similar to there summer. I basically created my own little TechStars summer and built a company just like them.

I started out on April 1st when I quit my day job to work on Giving Sports and Giving Square full time. It was a big move for me, but very exciting. Similar to TechStars or Ycombinator, my goal was to relatively quickly (months) create a website and launch it. August 3rd I officially launched Giving Sports achieving that part of the goal. Woot!

Now I’m just entering the second stage of the process where I start building up the customer base and iterating the product over and over. It’s very exciting as I’m just finalizing the details with a number of organizations that plan to use the websites and I’m talking with a dozen more organizations.

Of course, my experience in some ways was quite different than those at TechStars. First, I didn’t have all the mentor ship that they received in the program. However, in some respects I feel like I have some of the same mentors. The blogs (Fred Wilson, Brad Feld and Mark Suster are some favorites), websites, videos, etc that are out there on internet startup companies are tremendous. Twitter and my Feed Reader have been pretty amazing mentors for me.

No doubt I didn’t have the same type of exposure that they have had. Nor did I want some of the exposure they get for my product. While I’d love exposure to the tech crowd, those aren’t my customers. So, it would be little more than stroking my ego to get coverage from the various tech outlets that cover internet startups.

I also haven’t paraded in front of investors for my website either. I’ve certainly built a number of relationships with investors this summer, but there’s something beautiful about bootstrapping the startup. As I grow I may change my mind on this, but for now bootstrapping is beautiful.

I guess I’m just struck by the power of the internet. First, to be able to build a product (website) in such a short period of time. Second, how it provides amazing access to resources that were never available before. Third, that some little guy like myself in Las Vegas could create his own summer TechStars/Ycombinator experience is just awesome!

Now it’s time to make sure I get the same type of results out of my company as those companies have achieved.

What is CrashUtah?

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

I figure I better start off with a post explaining why the domain is called CrashUtah. CrashUtah has gone through an interesting evolution. CrashUtah.com was the name of the first real website that I ever created back in 2001. I worked on it through my college years. It was intended to be a kind of “city search” for the relatively small college town that surrounds BYU (in Utah). The crash kind of came from the idea of “crashing a party.” So, I called it CrashUtah.com.

While I learned a ton from the experience and got tremendous benefit from building the site, as a business it was a horrible idea. However, the name CrashUtah kind of stuck on me. So, I started using it for all sorts of things including my main email address. I even built my first EMR blogs and first TV blogs on the back of the domain crashutah.com (with various extensions). I’ve since moved them off to their own domain, but CrashUtah has kind of become part of the family.

So, when I decided to officially form a company around my various blog and IT consulting entities, I figured it was only appropriate to call it CrashUtah, LLC. That way it could cover my EMR blogs, my TV blogs, my WordPress consulting, my IT consulting and whatever else people pay me to do.

I’d been wanting to start a blog like this one for a while, but it really needed a fresh blog (not one of my other existing blogs) to be able to cover all the things I wanted to write about. I tried to buy jo.hn, but you can’t buy 2 letter domains for .hn (Honduras). Or at least not at the standard price. My last name is Lynn (also 4 letters) and so I couldn’t use it either. JohnLynn.com was also taken. So, I figured, I might as well go back to the old reliable CrashUtah.com.

There you go. That’s the story behind CrashUtah.com At the end of the day, it’s treated me well. Plus, it’s fun to see people’s faces when I say it.

The Start of Something Great

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

I’m a huge fan of blogging. Blogging puts food on my family’s table. I’m always amazed by the power of blogging. So, I figured it was time for me to put together a more professional personal blog where I can talk about my experiences. This is especially true since about 4 months ago I quit my day job to be a full time web entrepreneur and blogger.

This website will be an interesting mix of my thoughts running my new internet startup company Giving Sports and Giving Square and my 2 categories of blogs.

You can see the full list of my websites and Twitter accounts below. You can also check out John Lynn’s LinkedIn profile.

If there’s something you’d like to see me blog about, then let me know. I’m always interested in satisfying readers.

The following are links to the various web entities that are run by John and CrashUtah:

Sports and Organization Fundraising Website

These websites are what I consider my day job. They are designed to raise money for sports teams and other organizations:
Sports Fundraising – GivingSports.com
Organization Fundraising – GivingSquare.com

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Websites

These are a number of my websites related to EMR, EHR and Healthcare IT:
EMR and HIPAA
EMR and EHR
EMR, EHR and HIPAA Wiki

Pure TV Network Websites

This is my network of TV related websites focusing mostly on the music from reality TV shows:
Pure Dancing with the Stars (DWTS)
Pure So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD)
Pure So You Think You Can Dance Canada (SYTYCDC)
Pure America’s Got Talent (AGT)
Pure Derek Hough – A Derek Hough Fan Site
Pure TV Network – Other TV Shows

Twitter Accounts

These are some of the main Twitter accounts that John manages:
Techguy – Technology, EMR, Las Vegas, Ultimate Frisbee, and a little bit of everything
Giving Sports Twitter – Covering Sports Team Fundraising and GivingSports.com
EHRandHIT – Feed of the best EMR, EHR and Healthcare IT related content
TV Blog – Best Twitter TV commentary
Pure DWTS – Covering Dancing with the Stars on Twitter
Pure SYTYCD – Covering So You Think You Can Dance on Twitter
Pure AGT – Covering America’s Got Talent on Twitter