Meet Khevan, the San Francisco street sax player

Today was yet another wonderful day in the beautiful city of San Francisco and as I have done a few times already before, I’d like to continue to post different things, places and people who seem to catch my interest as I do my day-to-day thing here at HubPages Headquarters.

One thing that I love about being in a big city like San Francisco is that if you’re willing to chat it up with complete strangers(which I love to do), you can meet and get to know some truly amazing and interesting people…which brings me to Khevan, the street sax player.

I met Khevan today as I was walking back from grabbing some drinks at the 7-11 that’s a few blocks away and as I walked up to him he was already jammin’ out some sweet-sounding jazz to everyone who was walking down 2nd Street. Of course I had to stop and see what he was up to, which led me to grabbing a quick video of my chat with the slick-dressed street hustler.

Here are a couple things that you can check out after watching the video:

  • He was rocking out some ostrich skin shoes, which I didn’t even know existed
  • He was playing music from a jazz legend named Bobby Timmons
  • I gave him $2 for a tip and he gave me a CD of his jazzy goodness – great deal if you ask me

Robin Good helps us spread some HubPages love

As I mentioned yesterday, I had the pleasure of getting interviewed by the always entertaining social media master, Robin Good. Despite the online video delays, the choppy sound and the fact that I obviously can’t sit still I think that it turned out pretty well. I had a lot of fun chatting with Robin and hopefully I’ll be doing many more of these video interviews as time goes on. Until next time…enjoy!

Blog Post:
How To Publish Your Content Online Without A Web Site – Video Interview With Ryan Hupfer Of Hubpages.com

Video:
http://blip.tv/play/Ac+4c4UO

Funny-looking Image That Robin Created:

Just another morning ride into the office

I love working in San Francisco, but one of the first things that I had to get used to when I began commuting from Palo Alto on the train was riding my bike through traffic. It’s pretty amazing how comfortable I’ve become with weaving in and out of cars, buses, trolleys and homeless people while pedaling up and down the infamous hills of San Francisco. Obviously I’m getting pretty used to it considering that I was riding while shooting the video that’s posted below from my cell phone and even though it’s probably not the safest way to travel, it definitely wakes you up in the morning.

Robin Good of MasterNewMedia.org loves my job title

Today I had the great pleasure of getting interviewed by an Italian social media fanatic /slash/ video blogger /slash/ DJ /slash/ news publisher Robin Good who is the founder of MasterNewMedia.org. It was a super high-energy and fun interview and one of the first of many video interviews that I’m sure I’ll have for HubPages.

Now even though I’ll sometimes still find myself getting just a liiiittle nervous before going on camera, I actually really enjoy it and I seem to always have a blast with whoever is doing the interviewing. When I lived in Indianapolis, IN(where I’m originally from), I was actually on TV for a local morning news show which even included me doing quite a bit of live broadcasts, so this stuff is nothing too new to me. I just try to have as much fun with it as I can any time that I’m on video, while still making sure that I get the right information out to the people who may potentially watch it.

I actually just got word from Robin that the full interview will be posted around 1:00am tonight San Francisco time and he seems to think that the interview went great, but I guess we’ll all see. He posted a quick wrap-up video from his Qik account that’s posted below. I must admit, the job title of ‘Communicator Evangelist Goddess of Awesomeness Communication Mother‘ that Robin gives me is pretty sweet, although it might be hard to fit onto a business card.

http://qik.com/swfs/qik_player.swf

Oh, Robin also wanted me to let you all know that if you need some great music to chill to, check out his DJ skills over here at Mixwit.com. I’ll be sure to post the full interview tomorrow after Robin gets it all posted and ready to watch.

Behind the scenes at the San Francisco HubPages HQ

As you can probably already tell, this blog is going to have a very wide range of post topics ranging anywhere from new HubPages features to Hubber(members of the HubPages community) spotlights to random bits of information that we’d like to share with the world. But, as a whole, this blog will help you build up a great all around feel for who we all are and what we’re all like to be around. Well, that’s the goal at least.

For this post in particular I wanted to share some videos that I recorded on my phone over the last week or so. These videos are simple, short clips of different types of people and situations that I found interesting, odd, funny or weird as I work day-to-day here at the HubPages HQ in the beautifully unique city of San Francisco, CA. I’ll add more of these as things stick out to me…which they seem to do quite often.

A Man and His Penny Whistle
This video is of a man names Maury who was playing a penny whistle on the corner by our office as I was walking back from lunch. I had to stop and see what he was up to. Oh, and if you’re wondering, he wasn’t even asking for money – just playing for the fun of it.

An Impatient Trucker
I shot this video early in the morning as a driver of a semi truck was obviously impatient and had somewhere to go. When he realized that he was stuck and had no where to go he started laying on his horn for about 5 minutes straight. If you listen closely you can hear some people yelling SHUT UP! out of their office windows.

A Noisy Day in the Office
There has been people working on an elevator in our building for a couple months now and today they decided to fire up probably the loudest machine that I have ever heard in my life and it was right underneath our office windows. I’m not even sure what this crazy contraption is used for, but my guess would be that it’s a type of pump or something. All I know is that it was loud ALL DAY long. Not that I’m bitter.

The New Text Capsule

Early this morning, HubPages released our new text capsule that uses the TinyMCE 3 open source library.

We kept the look and feel pretty much the same as the old capsule.  The new features are now available for everyone.  To activate the new features, you will need to edit your profile and set the editor version to 3.  You can always switch back to the older version, if you like, by editing your profile and changing the version back to 2.

Once you activate the new features, here’s what you will see when you next edit your hub:

Screenshot of the new text capsule

Screenshot of the new text capsule

There’s now an “HTML” button and a status bar at the bottom that indicates the status of your network connection and the last time a draft was saved.  Green means that the connection is good.

The New Autosave Feature

Once you open the editor and start typing, autosave will now automatically save a draft of your text every 2 minutes.  After the first autosave, a new link appears that says “recover draft.  This link won’t appear unless there’s at least one draft saved.

Each time that an autosave is done, the following message appears: “Draft saved at … on …!”. To recover a recent draft, you click on the “recover draft” link.  Now, you will see a list of the last 5 drafts saved.

A screen shot of the new draft recovery window.

A screen shot of the new draft recovery window.

You can select on any of these drafts to review it. In this way, you can check to see what was saved before you recover.

When you click on a draft choice, you will see a new tab pop up with two additional buttons.

Screenshot of preview draft window

Screenshot of preview draft window

You can now scroll through the preview to make sure that the draft is the right one to use for your recovery. Then, you select the “use” button to update the editor text. If you are unsure, you can select the other tab button and return to the list of drafts.

If you choose not to recover an old draft, then you hit the “cancel” button to close the window.

The New Link Pop up

The updated link pop up is used in the exact same way as the old one. Select the text that you would like to use for your hyperlink and then click on the link button (the button that looks like a chain). The link tool now includes a quick link to your hubs.

The links are in alphabetical order.

Screenshot of link tool

Screenshot of new link pop up

You will also notice a link that says “show advanced options.” If you click on it, you will see two additional options:

Screenshot of link tool with advanced options showing

Screenshot of link pop up with advanced options showing

The first one “target” is the same as the previous version of the link pop up. It allows you to link in the same window or in a new window. The second option is “Tool Tip” which allows you to specify tool tip text that appears when a mouse goes over the link.

New HTML Editor

If you look at the top of the new text capsule, you will see an “html button” on the far left. If you click on this new button, you will load the new Html Editor.

Screenshot of the new html editor

Screenshot of the new HTML editor

The new Html Editor allows you copy and paste html directly or to make changes to the existing html. For now, in order to keep the editor simple and reliable, we are limiting the supported html tags. You can see the list of the acceptable tags at the top of the editor.

We html editor supports word wrap. If you select this checkbox, the html will wrap to fit in the html editor window. If you unselect it, you can see how the html looks to the browser.

Because of the limited tags supported, I recommend that you use the “clean up html” button. The clean up button does two things:
1) It reformats the layout into a more human friendly layout which will make it easier to edit the tags
2) It replaces unsupported tags with supported tags.

For example, <b> is not supported so it would get replaced by <strong>. <h1> is not supported so it would get replaced by <h2>.

When you hit the “clean up button”, the unsupported tags are removed.

Keep in mind that the html does not get saved until you hit “Update the Editor”.  The html editor does not get autosaved until you hit “update to editor” so make sure to click this button.

If you decide that you want to abandon the changes made in the html, you can hit the “discard changes” button.

When you hit the “update to editor”, unsupported tags automatically get cleaned up.  if a tag get removed, a pop up box will confirm that you are ok with the changes being made. If you are not, you can hit “cancel” and manually remove the tags yourself.  You can also use the “clean html” button.

Tell Us What You Think

I hope that you enjoy these new features. Please keep your comments coming on the features that you would like to see and your opinions of the current features.

Also, thanks to everyone who sent me the friendly e-mails! I am very glad that you approve of the new text capsule features.

Twitter officially hits the bigtime with some CNN love

 

There I was in Las Vegas, just chillin’ in my hotel room when I saw this come up on the TV. Apparently CNN has integrated Twitter as a new way to get some real-time questions on air. The Twitter account that CNN uses is @Issue1cnn and they seem to be using the micro-blogging tool more and more as time goes by.

You can see more thoughts on this Twitter/CNN lovefest over here on Mashable.

Also, it’s probably worth noting that Twitter was very deeply rooted in this past weekend’s Blog World Expo. Many blogs have been mentioning the great application of Twitter at the event, such as the Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid blog who thinks Twitter is the news stream of the future by saying, “These days, I find stuff out fastest on Twitter.”.

Hmmm, where will Twitter end up next? I can still remember back in the day when SXSW was pushing Twitter via plasma screens all around their event. My how our little web app has grown the past couple of years…if I could squeeze Twitter’s cheeks I would.

It’s All About The Connections: Thoughts, Highlights And Lessons Learned From Blog World Expo 08

After being to exposed to as much blogging as I could ever possibly handle in 3 days out at Blog World Expo 08 in Las Vegas, I have now had time to digest what all I saw, what all I attended and most importantly who all I was able to connect up with while I was there. You see, although the days are jam-packed with keynotes, panels and parties the number one thing that a majority of the attendees noted as their most memorable part of the conference was a little more simple and something that we all should be shooting for – real world relationship building.

Now, I must admit that although I’ve been to my fair share of tech parties and meetups around Silicon Valley, I am practically a newbie to the whole tech conference scene which is a whole other beast altogether. Hanging out with a few fellow computer geeks for some cocktails while exchanging business cards in San Francisco is one thing, hanging out with some of the most passionate bloggers, new media entrepreneurs and evangelizers is totally another.

Having all of these different members of the online ecosystem in the same place in an approachable way is practically a dream for any type of marketer that’s in the new media/web 2.0/digital space. So much of a dream in fact that it’s practically overwhelming, which initially resulted in me thinking about ways that I could get HubPages in front of them and grab their attention so that they all knew how awesome we were and what we were up to and why they should all tell everyone who reads their blog about us. It sounded totally doable and a goal to shoot for the time that I was going to be at the conference. Simply put, I was going to get the word about about HubPages and all of the fellow bloggers were going to love it!

Damn was I wrong…WAY wrong.

Yep, my initial plan quickly went to hell as I soon realized that this conference was not something to be ‘milked’ for HubPages sake and if I was going to get something valuable out of these 3 days then I had better start meeting people as a lover of new media, blogging and all things web first and a marketing manager for HubPages a distant second. Basically I realized what I already knew, but somehow forgot as I began to roam through the halls of the conference – this group of bloggers, business people and entrepreneurs are different. They’re real people who have somehow figured out a way to turn something that they love into something that pays the bills, which surprisingly doesn’t make any of them less approachable or any less likely to drink a beer with you at a roulette table in Vegas. You see, it ended up that this wasn’t just some other marketing opportunity, this was an opportunity to create a real relationship with some of the best bloggers and fellow online addicts that the web has to offer.

Luckily I figured this out quickly and make a sharp turn towards getting to know some of the attendees before telling them what I was there representing. You want to know what happened after that? Simple, I ended up meeting and getting to know some of the most inspirational, successful, creative and friendly people that call the online world their playground and it turns out that they all do a pretty damn good job playing in it, too.

I took some time to make a video of some of the more interesting people and things that I noticed during Blog World Expo 08 and I thought that I should also list a few of the people who made a memorable impression on me as the conference cruised along.

Logan Kugler – an 18 year-old high school dropout-turned uber-successful freelance tech writer and soon to be best-selling book author. Watch out for this guy, he’s on the fast track to success and he even helped me fill up some of my Hubpages Bags O’ Vegas Fun! that I was handing out all weekend.

Angie A. Swartz – an amazing woman power blogger and all around awesome chick. We met at the TechSet party on Friday and ran into each other many other times as the weekend went along. She helps six figure moms get back into the swing of things after they have there little bundle(s) of joy.

Darren Rowse (in video) – the founder of ProBlogger.net and B5media and one hell of a cool Aussie. Darren joined me for a free steak dinner one night after I somehow was chosen to one of the three lucky winners. He always seems to be super helpful to anyone who is willing to ask for it.

Jessica Berlin – this woman might have one of the coolest gigs there is, she manages all of the social media for the crazy successful and Vegas staple Cirque du Soleil. Jessica sat down with me, Chris Brogan and a few others between sessions and was very, very curious to hear the ideas that we all had. She was also very willing to offer us all tickets to a show of our choice, which I ended up taking Saturday night as me and my friend Chuck Burke went and saw the amazingly produced KA. Jessica is slowly pushing the Cirque du Soleil brand into the social media world and from what I can tell she’s already got a pretty solid start.

Betsy Weber (in video) – a slightly shorter than me, but probably more energetic woman who was preaching the TechSmith (who created the super awesome and free tool called Jing) gospel from the conference floor. I had a lot of fun with her and her crew as we were putting together some interviews for the video below. Also, it’s probably worth mentioning that she has a picture of her and Eric Estrada on the back of her business card. A little creepy, but pretty sweet.

Rick Calvert (in video) – the brains behind the Blog World Expo, Rick is super-passionate about the blogging industry and is an expert at creating conferences and trade shows, so when there was no big blog conferences out there he did it himself. Rick is a guy who you can tell has a ton of fun putting these types of events together and someone who is truly dedicated to putting Blog World Expo on the map. I could tell that he was like a little kid in a candy store when I interviewed him for my video and he said, ‘You know that it was a good conference when we start pulling up the carpet and people don’t want to leave…’.

Eric Romer – this guy is a fellow Indiana-born tech geek just like me. He runs the business development for Compendium, a corporate blogging software that was founded by Chris Baggot who also founded the very successful email marketing platform Exacttarget. It was great to see some of my Indiana guys representing the Midwest well at the conference and it was really great to party with Eric after the long days at the convention center.

Paula Berg (in video) – when you think of most airlines, you don’t really ever think about them in terms of utilizing social media. But, from what Paula told me in our interview, Southwest is definitely doing their fair share of tapping into the social web. From utilizing YouTube for contests to Twittering for customer service, Paula is blazing the social media trail for all of the other airlines to follow. It’s probably also worth mentioning that Paula had incredibly bouncy hair and that Southwest still actually gives you a free drink and peanuts during flights. It’s the little things that matter, right?

Frank Eliason (in video) – better known as ‘the Comcast Twitter guy’, Frank is a really great guy who has been pushed into the spotlight as a leader in the social media world as it applies to businesses. He has been featured in the NY Times and is just now getting into the world of public speaking, which he seems to really enjoy. He commented to me that his panel with Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos who is also a huge Twitter fan, was an awesome experience and something that he really looks forward to doing again.

Bruce Christensen – this guy and his Cart-Away concrete mixer made an appearance at the event as a way to see what social media can do for their business. They got a lot of chatter on the conference floor and hopefully some of that will translate into them getting some interesting conversations going online as well. They were really nice guys and you had to love their homemade neon shirts.

Wow, so that’s actually the short list of people whom I actually met and had some time to chat with while I was out in Vegas this past weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing them all again sometime soon, but until then I guess that the web will just have to do.

The HubPages Bag O’ Vegas Fun!

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 12.41.28 PM

Hubpages is officially leaving it’s mark out in Las Vegas at Blog World Expo 2008 with the HubPages Bag O’ Vegas Fun! These bags are filled with 3 different things that are all related to HubPages and to surviving a weekend in Vegas – a $1 poker chip(HubPages helps make you money), Vegas cab numbers(HubPages can hep you with traffic) and last but not least some Hubber-generated Vegas tips(HubPages has a helpful, active community).

if you get a chance, check out this post in the Forums for some of the Hubber-generated Vegas tips that were added. So far the bags have been a hit and everyone seems to be having a lot of fun with them. I’ll update more later on what’s all happening here at Blog Expo and let you all know about some of the amazing people that I’ve been meeting.

New Tag Suggestions feature takes the effort out of tagging

Tag, you’re it. No really, you’re it. Now you try to tag me as I run away from you, ok?

Ah, the game of tag. It’s an age-old pastime for generations upon generations of kids that have eventually grown up over the years(like yours truly). The game of tag has become such a popular game among kids for all of thee years for two main reasons: it’s easy and it’s fun.

Now, let’s take a look at something that’s fairly similar, but still quite a bit different: tagging content on the web and more specifically, tagging the Hubs that you publish on HubPages. When it comes to tagging a Hub there’s no doubt that tagging it with the appropriately related tags is a very important process, but unfortunately sometimes it’s basically the opposite of the game of tag that I described above. Although the actual act of tagging Hubs is a piece of cake, coming up with the tags to enter and actually entering all of them in can be a challenging and not-so-fun process. There’s no sugar coating on this blog, it’s just a basic fact that tagging can really suck sometimes, but it’s something that when done correctly can really boost your Hub’s visibility both on HubPages as well as out there on the web.

Here at HubPages we have seen this trend with tagging and have decided to see if we could do something about it, which led Fawntia, one our awesome engineers, to creating an entirely new feature that rocks called Tag Suggestions. Basically what Tag Suggestions does is take a look at the content in each of your Hubs once they’re saved into different capsules and magically suggests new tags that could be added quickly and easily.

The ‘Give me suggestions’ link now appears in the Tags section

Once clicked, the suggested tags appear and with one click they are added

Also, one really cool thing about the new Tag Suggestions feature is that it’s not just for new Hubs, meaning that you can go back to the Hubs that you have already published and update them with new tags as well. This has already had some positive affects for some Hubbers such as gamergirl who posted in the Forums that after she added the new tags her traffic to the updated Hubs had nearly doubled. I’m not sure if this will be typical, but it’s definitely proof that the new tag suggestions are working pretty well. If you get a chance, give this new feature a test drive on your own Hubs and let us what you think over here in the Forums.

Until next time, happy Hubbing and be sure to join the HubMob if you feel like becoming a HubMobster this weekend.