Detecting Fake Traffic by Fake Marketers

Ever tempted to buy a gig on Fiverr to send some traffic to your site or landing page? Just remember, if it’s “too good to be true” - it probably is. I was curious. I knew it would be fake traffic, but so many said it was a sound way of getting mentions on social media and driving traffic to your site. These were independent sources writing on reputable marketing sites too, so why would they recommend it?

Tracking Outbound Links in Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful tool. I think it’s often underrated and overlooked due to some of it’s UX challenges (though they are actively working on that). So I started investing more time with it. I wrote another post about tracking custom events and I’ve discovered ways to automatically track events with a short snippet of JavaScript. This tool I’m building is called Telepathic Black Panther. It’s open-source and completely free to use.

Web Scraping with Go vs. Node.js

It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Let’s face it, data on the web is not standardized nor is it clean. Sometimes we need to scrape this unstructured data to enhance user experience or direct people toward information and that’s a problem. Fortunately we have more APIs these days and many sites are also adapting Open Graph tags, making better use of meta tags to help this process.

Tracking Events in Google Analytics

I’ve seen some very overly complicated Google Analytics configuration in my career. I think the most complicated and labor intensive setups is when people use Google Tag Manager. It’s a “hands off” way to setup tracking in that you can have someone do it for you without access to your web site’s code base. So that’s cool…But the cool factor wears off right there. When you setup Google Analytics using the Tag Manager you have a lot of complex rules setup and these configurations get versioned.

Flexible Service Oriented Architecture in Go

I love web application architecture. It’s my creative outlet in the sea of code and I treat it as a form of communication and expression. In my mind I even visualize it, because my mind never wants the right side useless while I find myself buried in technical code. I think the most common web app architecture we see today is MVC (model, view, controller) or even refined as ADR (action, domain, responder) as Paul Jones notes.

Spotting Early Engagement for Startups

I fish around many ideas and work with people on their own startups as well and the number one question on our minds is, “How do I get people engaged and interested?” Sometimes I feel like people give up too soon or are unwilling to adapt their idea or chase their audience. It’s also difficult to spot because at first traffic is quite low. Help, I’ve ran ads but I’m not getting any signups!

Chat Application Design

Chat applications have become quite popular these days. It used to be that us developers used IRC (internet relay chat). We still do of course, but applications such as HipChat, Slack, and Gitter are starting to slowly replace that. IRC historically had robust robots that would hang out in the channel answering questions and sending notifications. The problem was, IRC is kinda ugly. Not that we need anything pretty, but style is counting for a lot these days with developers who buy into the rock star image.

How Stripe Wins over PayPal

I’ve had such a horrible experience with PayPal recently that I thought it a good idea to share. First off, PayPal’s widely known for freezing money and all sorts of schenanigans. To be clear, I’ve never had issues with this personally. Though I do personally know folks who have had their accounts locked due to silly things like “brand association” and such (which ended up in demands from PayPal to have complete access to a company’s system!).

Buying Twitter Followers

I wouldn’t do it if I were you. While many people have noted that Twitter won’t exactly ban you for doing so (unless perhaps you generate enough media attention), it’s still not a good idea if you care about growing an audience. Sounds counter intuitive right? You might tell me, “Buying followers sounds like an amazing way to grow an audience! Look at the numbers!” Well… Here’s where I ask, do they listen or care about you?

Best Postgres Mac Apps

I’m just going to say it. I can’t find a Postgres client for OS X that I like. They’re all either ugly as sin and/or have issues. Many will plain crash on you. Others will hide windows behind the main window making the UI unusable. I’d even be happy with ugly icons if the UI was decent on one. I’ve tried several and hopefully I can save you the trouble of trying a bunch.

Thoughts on InfluxDB for Analytics

So I was turned on to InfluxDB by a friend I think. Or Google. Either way I loved it at first glance. I still love it. However, I’m not sure it’s fair for them to put “analytics” on their home page under “what” InfluxDB is used for. InfluxDB is a time series database and a damn good one at that. Built with the ability to use LevelDB or RocksDB (or HyperlevelDB I believe?), it is fast.