Welcome to the March 2011 DaniWeb Digest, which we start with bad news and a heartfelt plea to all members of the community, young and old, newcomers and long established, beginners and experts alike: if you care about DaniWeb, if you have found help for your problems at DaniWeb, and if you would like to see DaniWeb continue to provide that help free of charge in the future then you need to act now and help us prove Google got it wrong.
Google has recently implemented a major update to the algorithm it uses to perform searches, one of the biggest changes the search giant has ever made to the engine behind the interface in fact. The motives were sound, to crack down on those sites known as 'content farms' which exist simply to churn out hundreds of poorly written articles day after day as well as 'Made for AdSense' sites which generate revenue by having millions of pages of truly rubbish content. Unfortunately, while DaniWeb is neither of these things we somehow managed (along with other support forums) to get caught in the crossfire of this new search algorithm and have seen our Google traffic drop as a direct result.
Which is where you, the community that has helped build DaniWeb, the people who know just what a useful, relevant, vibrant and informative resource DaniWeb is come in. We need your help to help us survive this difficult period while the Google search algorithm irons out the bumps and DaniWeb gets back into the top search listings where it so obviously belongs.
Here's what you can do:
Contribute, contribute, contribute. That's the single most important thing you can do right now, especially if you have been a long time reader of DaniWeb but never really posted anything. Now is the time to start contributing thoughtful, helpful, in-depth postings. Please take the time to remind yourself of the posting rules first though. If there is something IT related that has been bugging you for a while, why not take this opportunity to ask the DaniWeb community about it? As long as you ensure that your question is thoughtful, in-depth and written in proper English (rather than 'txt speak' or broken English) you will be helping the community.
Maybe you can write some product reviews or programming tutorials for DaniWeb? As long as these are your own original work and not copied from, or published, elsewhere then we'd love to hear from you. It's a great opportunity to build an online portfolio of work if you've ever fancied becoming an online writer. Please contact the DaniWeb editor-in-chief, Eyal Akler (email@example.com) with your ideas.
How about searching for and answering unsolved problems on subjects where you have expert knowledge? These are easy to find by simply navigating to the forum which covers that subject, be it the Windows Vista and Windows 7 forum, the Mac OS X forum or any of the other hardware and software related forums. Maybe you are a programmer, in which case head over to one of the many software development forums or a developer in which case the web development forums would fit the bill. Once there, just click on the 'unanswered' tab and all those questions that have yet to be answered will appear, ready for you to deal with. It's a great opportunity to make your mark on the DaniWeb community, earn some valuable reputation points and help DaniWeb get through this difficult time.
You can also help us by telling others when we help you. So if you have found a particular post or thread helpful or interesting, why not spread the word by posting a link to it on Twitter or Facebook? It's really easy to do as well. At the top right of each posting page you will see a green Tweet and blue Facebook button, just click on these to share a link to that post with your social network. You can also spread the word about DaniWeb to your friends, especially if they are programmers or web developers, and introduce them to our great community.
Finally, please help us to continue weeding out the bad content by reporting any spam postings that you might come across as well as those which make no sense, are poorly written with 'txt speak' or those which you have seen posted elsewhere on the Web. DaniWeb has a team of volunteer moderators who are dedicated to ridding the community of poor quality and spam postings, but they cannot do it without your continuing help.
To sum up then: please contribute, tell your friends and revisit regularly. We need you to give something back after all these years of DaniWeb helping others, please do not let us down now.
Help us to prove Google wrong!
The DaniWeb member of the month for March is Fbody who joined our community in 2009 and since then has risen to a rank of 54 out of 897,000 members by post count alone. When it comes to being a highly active member of DaniWeb, Fbody is right up there at number 11 in the all time charts at the time of writing. If you want to catch up with him you should check out the C++ forum where he spends most of his time. Let's have a chat with the newest entrant in the DaniWeb Hall of Fame and find out a bit more...
Where are you from and how old are you?
I'm a 30-year-old male from the region of The State of Michigan, USA commonly referred to as "West Michigan". The region is roughly the Southwest 1/4 of the state's "Lower Peninsula." I've lived here all my life. The State's climate is very unique. Because the state is, literally, surrounded by massive bodies of water, our climate is somewhat more volatile, but is always very mild compared to other states that border with Canada. We don't get the extreme temperatures and weather of the plains states, but our weather changes more often. This uniqueness makes the state extremely beautiful year-round and also makes areas of it good for wine-production. Every season has something unique about it that you have to see to believe and/or truly appreciate. I love it here and I would find it very difficult to leave.
What is your current occupation, and have you ever done anything unusual in the past?
Currently, I'm the Draftsman and Network Administrator for a $40M/yr construction company on the state's west coast. My office is only 10-miles from the Lake Michigan shoreline. I've been in the construction industry for about 12.5 years. During that time, I've filled a variety of roles ranging from "general help" to Project Manager. Before that, I was a bag boy at the local supermarket. It also wasn't unusual for me to be working on farm equipment or throwing hay bales around at my father's farm in the central part of the state.
What is your favorite OS?
Right now I'm exclusively a Windows guy. When I was very young, my parents separated (don't worry about it, I'm over it), and my mom re-married. Thanks to my step-father, I got into gaming at a very early age. We still hook-up occasionally to do some fragging together. In high-school, I used both Macs and PCs. In one class, I actually had to use both. I never really liked the macs, they were harder to use in my opinion and they were always having problems, I never really had trouble with the PCs. I currently have 2 PCs. "Daddy's Computer" (as my son calls it) is an older custom-built machine that's running 7 Pro on a Core 2 Duo and I have XP Pro on the other, even older, machine which is mostly stock (one of the first Hyper-Threaded P4s from before the memory/socket changes). I also have a Laptop that's running XP Pro. I've been considering dual-booting the Win7 machine with a Linux distribution. That's something I really should learn.
What first brought you to DaniWeb, what makes you stay here and what is your favorite forum?
Unfortunately, it's been long enough now that I don't really remember the specifics. I know that I was taking a C++ class at the time and was looking for some help on an assignment that was giving me some fits. I stumbled across the site while googling. While browsing the site, I managed to find a thread, in the C++ forum, that seemed to be relevant to my problem. After doing some more looking around, I realized that I probably would be able to participate somewhat intelligently here so I decided to keep lurking and soaking things in offering assistance where I can. Eventually, I got to know some of the regular C++ posters. I don't know how many of them would call me their "friend", but I certainly like to think of them as friends. I also pop into the PHP and database forums on occasion.
What are your interests outside of IT and outside of DaniWeb?
When I'm not at work or school, I like spending time with my wife and our kids. We have 2 little boys, 2 and 4, with a third child expected in July (don't know what it is yet). The whole family likes the outdoors, we frequently go camping and/or skiing together. My wife and I are both members of the National Ski Patrol System and are volunteer patrollers at a local winter sports park. We have many friends within the system and have a lot of fun with them.
What is the best thing about DaniWeb?
Wow, nothing like putting someone on the spot. I think the best thing about DaniWeb is the people. There are so many different backgrounds and perspectives represented that if you take the time to adequately describe your problem it's not difficult to get multiple suggestions when you have a problem then choose which one works best with your particular style. Unfortunately, I think that's also something that is a bit of a negative. Having too many different perspectives thrown at something all at once can get really confusing. I generally refrain from responding to threads that get like that, the OP is probably already confused enough, they don't need me piling something else on.
Any fascinating facts about yourself that you would like to share with the DaniWeb community?
Occasionally someone will make this connection, but not often. I really love cars and going to auto shows is a favorite activity of mine. My user name "Fbody" comes from the fact that in the summer months, I also enjoy cruising in my 1997 red-and-black drop-top Trans Am WS6. Which shares GM's "F-Body" platform with it's cousin the Chevy Camaro SS. I'm also the Crew Committee Chairman for a Venturing Crew that my Ski Patrol chartered this season. For those of you that aren't familiar with the Venturing program, it's a co-educational program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for older teens ages 14 through 21.