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We're all in love with DaniWeb

Welcome to the February 2015 edition of the DaniWeb Digest, our community newsletter. This month as we prepare for Valentine's Day we are all feeling loved up, with DaniWeb. Why not join moderator Diafol over in the Geeks' Lounge where he has been enthusing about his favorite love poems, or how about adding your weight to this thread regarding which game you love the most? For the record, my favorite love poem would have to be Love Is A Parallax by Sylvia Plath and favorite game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare seeing as I am in the top 1000 (out of three million) players of the Kill Confirmed multiplayer game type. So come on, join in, feel the love and share yours with us. In fact, feel the love right across the DaniWeb forums; you have a question that needs answering and out community would love to help out by answering. All we ask is that you read the rules, construct a sensible question and don't expect us to do your homework without showing any effort yourself. After all, every relationship requires a bit of balance and some appreciation of the other party...

Did You Know...

...The DaniWeb search feature uses Google search results, because they do a better job of matching what is returned with what the member is actually searching for than we could manage using our own in-house engine. The results you get when using the DaniWeb search feature should therefore be similar to those you would get if you were using Google to do a search with the 'inurl' modifier of prefixing your keyword string. If you haven't used our search feature before, then why not give it a try as it really is rather good these days. Say you wanted to find some posts by Community Administrator and Newsletter Editor happygeek (that's me, hello!) then you could just type 'happygeek' into the search box and you will get more than 2,500 results. You will also see some information about me, and a link to my profile page as well as a direct link to all my 10,000+ posts on DaniWeb. At the top of the results page, however, you will see that there are tools to further drill down and refine the search hits by forum or article type. In the case of our example search, selecting an article type of 'News Story' reduces the results list to 750 and further refining by selecting the 'Hardware and Software' forum reduces the total to 500. Being more specific, and filtering the results to just the 'Windows Vista and Windows 7/8' sub-forum leaves you with only 2 articles to look at. Why not give our search function a go, you might be surprised at what you will find!

Finding the right forum

We've noticed that a number of new members have been posting their questions in the wrong forums recently, which not only adds to the workload of our already busy volunteer moderating team (who have to manually move them to the correct forum) but also means there is much less of a chance of getting the help that is being sought. Think about it, if you are asking for help regarding C++ and you ask for help in a forum manned by experts in Java, well, you just are not going to get the same level of response as you would have done had you asked the exact same question in the C++ forum.

Here are six quick tips to getting the best out of DaniWeb:

1. Search first ask second

Before you post your question, use the DaniWeb search function to check if someone has not only already asked the same thing but importantly whether the answer you seek is already sitting there waiting for you to find it.

2. Find the right forum

If you can't find the help you need in the extensive live support archive that is the DaniWeb forum database, then make sure you post your question in the right place. Clicking on the main categories at the top of the page will reveal further categories and the chances are there will be a forum which is absolutely perfect for your needs - so use it!

3. Use tags

Also, makes sure you use our post tagging system to ensure the greatest visibility for your posting. Use appropriate tags that relate specifically to the question you are asking, and not generic tags that will not bring the expert help you seek. If you have not been able to find an appropriate sub-forum for your posting then you can post in the main category instead, and use the tagging system to make sure your post gets before the eyes of the community.

4. Think about your title

The title is the first thing most people will see, and if they are quickly scanning through forum posts then a poor title that lacks any meaningful information is likely to get overlooked. Make sure that the title is concise and relevant to the question you are asking, don't be generic and don't just say 'help!'

5. Be detailed

In the same way that your post title needs to be descriptive, so does your post itself. However, the difference between the two is that your question should be as detailed as possible. If you are asking for help with code, post the code you have already so we can see what you've done and where the problem is (remember we won't do your homework for you, but we will help point you in the right direction if you've made the effort) and if it's a non-code problem then make sure you give us as much information as possible to enable us to help you out.

6. Don't spam

And finally, please do not use our forums as a vehicle simply to advertise your products or services. If you want to advertise with us, we have plenty of information about our rates here. Of course, if your product or service is directly related to the question being asked, and genuinely helps to solve the problem being faced, then it is acceptable to reference it within your answer to that posting. Our moderators are, however, well versed in spotting blatant advertising posing as a genuine response and will deal with it accordingly...

Member of the month

This month the member we are inducting into the DaniWeb Hall of Fame has something of a multiple-personality thing going on, and that's because PixelatedKarma is actually a company account which is used by a few folk and has been since joining our community four years ago now. With a 93% post quality score and ranked 800 out of 1.12 million members in the contribution stakes, there's no questioning their commitment to the DaniWeb community cause. Most often that commitment can be found over in the Internet Marketing category, in particular the Search Engine Optimization forum. Without further ado then, let's find out some more about him, her, them...

Why don't you all have separate accounts?

The answer is because a lot of online communities would see it being spammy to have the three of us using different accounts to indirectly promote our products and services (not that we do that, of course, we are here to help). Plus this also lets us all throw in input on questions we answer by tracking where we've each posted.

Where were you born, where do you live now, where would you most like to live?

Currently the people who use this account are located across North America in Red Deer, Alberta Canada; Maple Ridge, British Columbia Canada; and Boston Massachusetts US. I think the general consensus is we all love where we live and we are proud of the communities we live in but I'm sure none of us would blink an eye if we were offered a place to live on a white sandy beach with high speed internet.

How old are you?

I'm 28 and the rest of the team range from 21-35 years old. But no it isn't a pre-requisite to be young to work here; only young at heart.

What is your occupation, what's the worse job you've ever done, what would be your fantasy job?

As some might have guessed we are a start up Company. We are what some might consider a bootstrapped start up, operating with minimal outside investments. In order to afford to work on our in house projects we do contract work for outside Companies to pay the bills. We mainly focus on offering website design, web development services and internet marketing but we do dabble in creating corporate apps for some of our customers among other little random projects. We don't think that we'll ever be the next Facebook, Microsoft or Google but we do believe we can help positively change the world through our work without having to be a big silicon valley stereotype. Which is kinda the fundamental principal behind the name Pixelated Karma - it's really about doing good using pixels. One of the most enjoyable parts of this job is that every year we usually pool whatever money over and above our operating expenses and use those funds to help out a local charity; last year was the women's shelter which helps women stuck in abusive relationships. Which is really rewarding end of the day knowing that you've made a difference in someone's life. The worst job I've ever personally done; thats a tough one. I've been working since I was 12 and I've done a lot of jobs where I would stop occasionally and think to myself "there has to be a better way to make money!". Truth is there are downfalls to almost every job out there, whether your self employed or in corporate America - you can always find something to be unhappy about if you look hard enough. So instead I have always looked at the bad jobs and used them as a learning lesson for my next career move. Honestly, this might sound corny but this is my fantasy job. One of our in house projects was actually what got me into computers into the first place but unfortunately I can't talk about why I love it so much until we do a press release on it which might not be for some time.

What is your favorite OS, what do you like best about it and what stinks?

We all prefer different operating systems, isn't that the way it always goes? For me it all depends on what I'm doing; if its graphics work I prefer Apple's OS; maybe thats because that is what I first learned illustrator and photoshop on but I do find those programs seem to run better on Apple products. However when it comes down to gaming or any other activity Windows 7 Pro is my OS of choice. It's like a new and improved XP but so much better, its going to be a sad day when Windows 9 is released and they announce the death of Windows 7.

What first brought you to DaniWeb and why did you stay here?

Google first brought me to DaniWeb; I think I stuck around because people are friendly. Have you ever forgotten/refused to post code in stackoverflow? If you've had that experience then you'll understand my appreciation for friendly communities.

What one thing would you change about DaniWeb if you could?

The suggested posts when you are responding to a thread; sometimes half the suggested posts needing answers have 1 year+ old threads and my pet peeve is necroing old threads.

Do you have a favorite forum on DaniWeb and why?

Internet Marketing. Although sometimes it can be a bit redundant with the same question about what SEM/SMM/SEO/SMO is and the word Facebook being repeated as the end all be all solution for social media campaigns (its not); internet marketing is a constantly evolving beast that changes nearly every day. Unlike programming or graphics design where things stay relatively similar - one Google algo change can flip the entire internet marketing community upside down and send everyone scrambling and its great to be able to provide guidance, advice and support to the community members in that forum.

Which DaniWeb member would you most like to meet 'in real life' and why?

This is a tough one, if it was out for lunch/supper probably Dani. I've watched this community evolve quite a bit over the years and it would be interesting to see what new directions she plans on taking it or if she has any super crazy plans to majorly change it. But if it was just to hang out with; I think happygeek would be pretty cool to meet up with. Especially given his computer anti-security background (is that the politically correct way of saying it?) it would be great to talk about the future of security as we have done in a few thread topics already - but in person.

What do you think of the DaniWeb Reward Points scheme, and have you cashed out using it yet?

We have not cashed out and we probably won't either; it would be great to actually be able to gift those back to the site or to other users. We're here cause we enjoy the community.

What are your interests outside of IT and outside of DaniWeb?

When I'm taking breaks at work I'm either jumping into a quick ranked game of league of legends (I'm still such a noob) or playing an FPS on one of the consoles at work. Outside of that and in my free time outside of work its family time with my wife and kids.

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