Last weekend, I decided to tempirarily change phone to a BlackBerry (since my HTC Touch Pro’s space bar was broken) which I had mannaged to get for free as it was supposedly broken. Apparently it would not charge and it was also missing a trackball. Well the charging issue was easy enough to fix as it was not a problem for me and the trackball I was able to fix by spending £1.99 on eBay – admitedly, I bought a purple trackball over a white one, as it was cheaper and not only was the phone missing a trackball but a plastic ring that goes round it.
Once I had the BlackBerry all up and running, I wacked my SIM card in and started using it – to my releif the web browser worked and – thought I wouldn’t have to give in to giving RIM £5 per month to get BIS.
Obviously a person like me who is an avid tweeter would need to download twitter as their first app. After doing this, I then realised using BlackBerry App World to download all my other stuff would be easier so I downloaded that.
After downloading an array of other apps I then tried to set them up. I started with twitter and facebook. Neither of which worked – both stating connection errors. I then tried some other and most gave connection error with the odd exception!
I spent absolutly hours baffled by the anomily that resulted in some apps (including Blackberry App World).
It was only later when I tried to set-up my gmail that I realised. To add an email account on a blackberry you must integrate it and it was when I tried to do this that I realised how RIM have made it almost imposible to use your BlackBerry to the most of its capability without paying £5 per month.
To use email on a BlackBerry, you must first purchase £5 to get BIS enabled. This is fair enough in the corperate scenario where they are trying to access email through a BES as it is like purchasing a user CAL for your server, but when you just want to add your free webmail account you should be able to do this through standardised and open protocols like on most other phones. For someone who has been using Microsoft Push Email for years, this was an outrage!
I personally need access to my emails on the go and if I was going to use this blackberry as my temporary phone, I would need to get BIS! After 3 phone calls and eventually getting through to the T-Mobile retentions deppartment and mannaged to haggle 350 minutes in return for BIS – which was much better than the origional offer of downgrading from 600 to 350 minutes, Unlimited to 300 texts and the loss of my standard ‘always-connected’ internet.
It didn’t take long for the BIS to become active and after it was, what do you know? Oh…. All the apps that I downloaded that could not access the internet and were all ‘coincidentially’ made by Research in Motion started to work! Convinient how you pay them £5 per month and suddenly all standard services that you’d be able to use on any other phone using normal ‘always-connected’ internet start to work!
In my opinion, this is totally outrageous. You are basically paying £5 per month for the privilage of owning a BlackBerry and do you know what the worst bit is? The majority of BlackBerry owners don’t even realise they are paying this premium.
The amount of people who own a BlackBerry because of the BBM feature, really are very naïve. They all say how with a BlackBerry they get BBM which allows unlimted chat to their friends but it only works if your friends have BlackBerries. For the £5 they are paying for that privilige they could be getting more minutes and unlimites text which they could use to anyone on any network; not just BlackBerry owners!
For those who then have the argument that BBM gives more funtionaily than text messaging, then unlimited internet would allow you to use social networking, instant messaging and push email. All of which would provide an experience that surpasses the features of BlackBerry Messenger.
In my opinion BIS only makes sense for companies that have BES!


Lie this video at the end of a Facebook Video

Lie this video

Despite Facebook’s reluctance to allow us to dislike things they are quite happy for use to lie. Either that or they just can’t spell like!


As of version 0.3.0 there have been some changes to the syntax of the Flatr Shortcode Widget so I have rewritten this guide accordingly! There are still the 3 methods that there were before for inserting the widget however for this guide, I have simplified it down to two!

Simple

The simple method (as the name suggests) is the easiest way to add a widget to your blog posts and pages! It will use all the default settings and all you have to do is insert the code!

[flattr /]

When you use this simple widget, here is how your widget will be configured:

  • The button type will be set to large
  • The User ID will be set to the author’s flattr id (if it is set and enabled in the settings), failing that it will be set to the default flattr ID set on the settings page or through the official Flattr plugin.
  • The title will be set to the Page/Post title
  • The description will be set to the Page/Post excerpt
  • The category will be set to text
  • The language will be set to English
  • Tags will not be set
  • The url will be set to the Page/Post’s permalink
  • The thing will not be hidden from listings on flattr.com

Advanced

You can also customise this code so that you can manually set the variables when calling the shortcode.

[flattr uid='{uid}' btn='{btn}' tle='{tle}' dsc='{dsc}' cat='{cat}' lng='{lng}' tag='{tag}' url='{url}' hide='{hide}' anc={anc} setanc={setanc} qty={qty} /]

All variables are optional (defaults will be used if left blank). If, for example, you wanted the default url you could exclude all “url=’{uid}’ ” and the default would be used. Leaving a variable empty will also result in the default being used but it is probably best practise to remove variables you are not going to be using.

To use edit the shortcode you should change the parameter values (indicated with curly brackets surrounding them). The parameters are:

  • btn – This is the type of button you would like to display. To get the compact button use ‘compact’ otherwise the default (large) button is displayed.
  • uid – This is your personal user id. If not defined, it The User ID will be set to the author’s flattr id (if it is set and enabled in the settings), failing that it will be set to the default flattr ID set on the settings page or through the official Flattr plugin, otherwise the widget will fail and return an error!
  • tle – This is the title of the thing you want to submit. This is typically the title of your blog entry or software name. If undefined the title of your Post/Page will be used.
  • dsc – This is the full excerpt of the content. Some blog text or information about your song you’ve written or so forth. If undefined excerpt title of your Post/Page will be used.
  • cat – This is the flattr category the content belongs to. You can choose between the following: text, images, video, audio, software, rest. If undefined text will be used.
  • lng – Language of the submitted thing. List of available languages. If undefined Enlgish (en_GB) will be used.
  • tag – This is the tags of the thing, to help people finding your content easier on the Flattr website. If you want to use multiple tags, separate using a normal comma (,) sign. If undefined no tags will be used.
  • url – This is the URL of the thing, if this is not always the same on your site. Maybe you have multiple domains with the same content. This is to lock the content to always be recognized as the same content for Flattr. If undefined the permalink of your Post/Page will be used. If you have an anchor that you want to append, it would be best practice to append it using the ‘anc’ parameter.
  • hide – Use this to hide the thing from listings on flattr.com. The value ‘true’ or ‘t’ will hide the thing. If undefined the the thing will be shown on listings on flattr.com.
  • anc – Appends an anchor to the url (saves you having to write the whole URL just to add an anchor). If a unique anchor is used on each widget it allows for multiple widget on the same URL. This must be unique otherwise 2 widgets with the same ‘url’ and ‘anc’ they will be the for the same flattr. Default is blank.
  • setanc – This value is ignored if no anchor is set, if it is set then it will add a code to the top of the widget so that the defined anchor redirects to the widget’s location. This means that when people follow the link from flattr.com, they will be taken to the location of the widget on the page. This is good if you want to have multiple flattrs for different sections and you put the flattr widget at the top of each section. Set to ‘1’ to set to true, ‘0’ to set to false. Set to false if you want to manually input the anchor code (if for example you wanted it elsewhere rather than at the point of the widget or you just wanted the backlink from flattr.com to go to your page as normal)
  • qty – Allows for you to have as many Flattr widgets as you want. Whatever number you set the value to will be the ammount of unique flattr widgets that will be created. Uses anchors to make them unique and is compatible with the ‘anc’ variable – it may cause problems if an anchor is set in the ‘url’ variable. Default is ‘1’.


Sorry for the dellay in posting an accompanying blog post to the recent update of the Flattr Shortcode Widget! I must say I am very excited about this new build as it is the start of a lot of great new features that will be coming soon so watch this space!

Click here to go to the download page.

New Features

Flattr Shortcode Syntax Modified

This is not a new feature but is certainly something any existing users should be aware of! The syntax for the shortcode has changed! It is only a minor change and the widget is still backwards compatible but I do plan to eventually remove backwards compatibility all together so it would be best to update to the new syntax. The new syntax stops a lot of common bugs that was happening and makes it all a lot clearer. To find out more about the new syntax view the new syntax information.

Flattr Shortcode Widget Settings

There is now a Flattr Shortcode Settings Page which can be found under the settings tab of your WordPress administration. From this page you can edit/set the default UID for the blog. Currently this is still linked to the official flattr widgets setting however this will soon become independent! The main advantage of this new feature is that you can now set a default flattr UID to be used even if you do not have the official Flattr Widget.

On this page you also have the option to enable/disable author specific UIDs. Having this feature enabled adds a new option to the profile page for a user’s flattr ID. When users who have set their flattr ID make a post their UID will automatically be used for shortcodes they use within their posts! This makes it great for use on multi-author sites!

Change Log

0.3.0

  • NEW: Flattr UID option for induvidual users allowing each user to have their own default Flattr UID
  • NEW: Options Page to set the default Flattr UID for the blog
  • UPDATE: Flattr Shortcode modified – new uid tag added

0.2.3

  • UPDATE: More tags added

0.2.2

  • BUG FIX: Feeds would try and render the javascript button.
  • NEW: RSS displays a Flattr this image in substitute of the js widget but this links to the flattr home page due to Flattr API restictions
  • BUG FIX: Default widget size is not reset to large after creating a compact widget if the Official Flattr Widget is not installed.
  • BUG FIX: Name change was not fully migrated

0.2.1

  • BUG FIX: Anchor now set when used with multi-flattr feature
  • BUG FIX: Anchors <a> tag is now closed properly
  • UPDATE: Additional flattrs made by multi-flattr are hidden from listing on flattr.com to stop spamming
  • BUG FIX: Further whitespace removal to all variables

0.2.0

  • NEW: Anchors added so that multiple flattrs can be used on the same URL
  • NEW: Your backlink from flattr can link straight back to the widget rather than just back to the page (uses anchors)
  • NEW: You can define how many flattr widgets you want to be generated and each work independantly (allows multiple flattrs)
  • NEW: You can use multiple flattrs and anchor features simultaniously
  • UPDATE: All true/flase values must now be set to ‘1’ (true) or ‘0’ (flase)
  • BUG FIX: Hide not always set to true
  • BUG FIX: Default language now works
  • UPDATE: Arrays now used instead of lots of independant variables
  • BUG FIX: Whitespace in variables that would cause the widget to fail is now removed

0.1.4

  • BUG FIX: Decription was not filled in if not manually set and was therefore required

0.1.3

  • BUG FIX: Problems with svn sync fixed
  • BUG FIX: Version numbers corrected

0.1.2

  • UPDATE: Widget name changed from “Flattr Widget” to “Flattr Shortcode Widget”

0.1.1

  • UPDATE: Major updates to readme.txt
  • NEW: Added to WordPress Plugin Directory
  • BUG FIX: Bug that interfered default size of widget for official plugin has been corrected

Bugs

Please report bugs in the comments

Known Bugs

  • None

Features

If there are any features you would like then please request them in the comments

Features in development

  • More development on the Settings pages to allow default setting for the shortcode widget to be set
  • Separation from the official widget
  • Graphical shortcode generator

Download

Click here to go to the download page.


For a long time now, I have been using the YOURLS WordPress plugin to post updates to my twitter feed when I create a blog post. Since I am the only person who posts on this blog I could quite safely set the Tweet message to “%T” by @flungo – %U but I now want to experiment and see if I can link this with the Twitter User plugin. The Twitter User plugin simply adds a field to the user’s profile for their twitter name so I now want to see if setting the Tweet message to “%T” by @%A{twitter} – %U will output a tweet automatically using my twitter username.

In the case of my blog this is not important as there is only one person who posts (me) but for other people who have blogs with more than one poster this could be useful.

UPDATE: It worked as can be seen here. I will make a full guide to setting this up and configuring it soon!


Click here to vote or register yourself as a contender (to vote no registration required, just click and wait – waiting may not be necessary, but I would wait to be safe!)

Currently ranked 2584 out of 18,836 which I dont think is bad at all considering my late start (there were over 18000 entrants when I registered), I am running to be 2010’s Most Influential Person Online! This is a project being run by Fast Company and everyone who enters will be featured in the November Issue of the magazine! The more influence you have though, the bigger your picture will be!

[cb type=”company”]Fast Company[/cb]


Earlier today I released the 0.2.0 build of the Flattr Shortcode Widget and it includes a whole bunch of new features as well as a couple of minor bug fixes!

Click here to go to the download page.

New Features

New features include Anchors and Multi-Flattr which bring extra functionality which can be timely to manually set up and are not yet offered by any other widget.

Anchors

The main purpose for the anchors feature is to allow you to enable users to flattr sections of a page individually. Previously this was difficult as working around the limit of one flattr per url is tricky. The new feature adds an additional variable, ‘anc’ that can be set to easily give each a flattr widget their unique identifier. When you have set the ‘anc’ variable, you are also then able to define the ‘setanc’ variable. If this is set to true, then an anchor will be placed before the widget that is inserted. This will mean that when the backlink from flattr is followed, they are taken straight to the widget. If you want to set the exact location of the anchor by manually adding the code or just want this disable then make sure ‘setanc’ is false.

Eample:

This feature also allows you to create (and be given) multiple flattr’s allowing (if you feel you deserve it) for people to give you more than one of their flattrs. You could manually set up lots of widgets with different anchors but whether you are setting lots of variables in each or just lots of basic widgets this will become time consuming and difficult to manage so I created the created the Multi-Flattr feature.

Multi-Flattr

This is a very simple new feature that allows you to generate more than one flattr widget that exploit the anchors feature to make each unique so that each is unique. If no ‘anc’ is set then the ‘anc’ will be set to a range of numbers (however the first widget will have no number so to avoid problems with any other widgets you may put on the page you can set the ‘anc’). If you have set the ‘anc’ then  the unique number will be appended to the end of it.

This feature allows you to generate unlimited flattr widgets, that are all unique meaning you can give users the option to flattr you as many times as you feel you deserve! To use this feature all you have to do is define how many widgets you want with

Example:

Change Log

0.2.0

  • NEW: Anchors added so that multiple flattrs can be used on the same URL
  • NEW: Your backlink from flattr can link straight back to the widget rather than just back to the page (uses anchors)
  • NEW: You can define how many flattr widgets you want to be generated and each work independantly (allows multiple flattrs)
  • NEW: You can use multiple flattrs and anchor features simultaniously
  • UPDATE: All true/flase values must now be set to ‘1’ (true) or ‘0’ (flase)
  • BUG FIX: Hide not always set to true
  • BUG FIX: Default language now works
  • UPDATE: Arrays now used instead of lots of independant variables
  • BUG FIX: Whitespace in variables that would cause the widget to fail is now removed

0.1.4

  • BUG FIX: Decription was not filled in if not manually set and was therefore required

0.1.3

  • BUG FIX: Problems with svn sync fixed
  • BUG FIX: Version numbers corrected

0.1.2

  • UPDATE: Widget name changed from “Flattr Widget” to “Flattr Shortcode Widget”

0.1.1

  • UPDATE: Major updates to readme.txt
  • NEW: Added to WordPress Plugin Directory
  • BUG FIX: Bug that interfered default size of widget for official plugin has been corrected

Bugs

Please report bugs in the comments

Known Bugs

  • Anchor’s <a> tag is not closed. (Fixed in update 0.2.1)

Features

If there are any features you would like then please request them in the comments

Features in development

  • Configuration page with custom default settings
  • Graphical shortcode generator


Just thought I would quickly sum up how to use the Flattr shortcode for a ‘thing’ that you have already added to flattr.com. It is really simple, all you need to do is set the “url” variable! Nothing else needs to be set (unless you want to customise the btn type).


Okay so one of the previous builds (0.1.1) might have been a little unstable. It was all caused after I got into the WordPress Plugin Directory. I was having difficulty getting used to how the svn system worked and it resulted in me uploading an unstable build without testing it! This latest build has been tested and double tested for all the previous bugs I had and I am now happy to say that I just updated to build 0.1.4 and that it is bug free as far as I know!

To also help reduce future problems I am going to set up a private testing blog that I can use to test plugins without giving this site downtime!

Click here to go to the download page.

Change Log

0.1.4

  • BUG FIX: Decription was not filled in if not manually set and was therefore required

0.1.3

  • BUG FIX: Problems with svn sync fixed
  • BUG FIX: Version numbers corrected

0.1.2

  • Widget name changed from “Flattr Widget” to “Flattr Shortcode Widget”

0.1.1

  • Major updates to readme.txt
  • Added to WordPress Plugin Directory
  • Bug that interfered default size of widget for official plugin has been corrected

Bugs

Please report bugs in the comments

Known Bugs

  • None

Features

If there are any features you would like then please request them in the comments

Features in development

  • Configuration page with custom default settings
  • Graphical shortcode generator
  • Add a unique ID system so that multiple Flattrs can be used for the same URL