What Did “Ross Goodman” Do?

Ross Goodman
Ross Goodman

Is this the Ross Goodman you are looking for?

I don’t know what happened but yesterday this blog saw a spike in traffic. It normally averages less than 80 views per day but yesterday – 539.

Screenshot 2015-06-11 at 11.42.39

I have done some quick analysis:
Most of the traffic is coming from Google.
About 200 views hit my home page rather than a specific post, the others are on a variety of posts – no hotspot there.
The search terms used are no different from other days.

All I can surmise is that either another Ross Goodman (there are a few of us) has done something and lots of people have found this site or Google have changed an algorithm somewhere and I’m benefiting from it.

Let me know if you have any ideas!

How Old Are My Google Contacts?

It may be a sign of old age but, I’m struggling more and more to remember how old people are. I have addressed this by having a review of my Google contact data and making sure, where I know someone’s birthday I have recorded it there.

This has the added advantage of creating a Google calendar showing me their birthdays.

I have now created a script which scans my contacts to find their birthdays, does some arithmetic to work out their age and store this in a custom field. I have set up a trigger to run this once a week.

Here is the script that I created:

Continue reading How Old Are My Google Contacts?

Review a random Google Contact every day

I have all of my contacts loaded into Google Contacts but the problem is, I’m never convinced that they are up to date or even sure if I should still have the person’s contact details listed.

To address this I created the following script which will send me an email every day with a randomly selected contact.

I can then review the contact’s details, compare it with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and then either update their contact details or send them an e-mail to catch up with them.

Continue reading Review a random Google Contact every day

I’m Back – And Faster !

Well it’s September now and this is my second post of the year!

It’s been a busy year but no excuses – I have neglected my blog. To make up for this I treated my blog to a new host. Gone are PlusNet and in are TSOHost.

I can’t recommend TSOHost highly enough. Within hours of me sending my backup to them they had migrated my blog and it was up and running and it’s MUCH faster! More importantly it’s back onto a supported software stack and it’s patched and up to date !

I have stacks of ideas for blog posts; specifically a series on using Tasker on android phones to send data to web forms , collating and analysing data in google spreadsheets then using web services to send data back to tasker to display a dashboard on your phone!

As an added bonus – previously some of my posts were password protected – these are now free and open!

Enjoy

Contacts – Keep In Touch or Update Details

One of my New Year resolutions was to keep in touch with more people.

I also need to clear out my contact list as there are lots of “old” and incomplete entries in my Google contacts list.

Ever the productivity geek I wanted to automate this. I ended up writing the following Google Apps Script:

Continue reading Contacts – Keep In Touch or Update Details

InBox Zero And Quantified Self

I’m a huge fan of keeping my inbox empty, but not very good and keeping it that way.

I’m becoming more interested in the “Quantified Self” concept i.e. you can only fix things that you can measure.

The obvious answer is to monitor what my GMail inbox looks like on a daily basis. Continue reading InBox Zero And Quantified Self

Social Media – How I Make It Work

Social Media – there are so many sites out there all wanting my input.
There are so many other web sites that produce content that want me to read their content.

You can see what my plumbing looks like here.

Continue reading Social Media – How I Make It Work

Google Spreadsheet & SQL Queries

Learning SQL
Creative Commons License photo credit: therefromhere
I am a big fan of Google Spreadsheets, they give you most of the features of a desktop “office” based spreadsheet but your data is stored online, no more need to carry your data on a USB stick.
I’m also a huge fan of databases, SQL is a fantastic tool for querying data.
Now you can combine the best of both worlds: store your data in a spreadsheet and then summarise the data using SQL.
Continue reading Google Spreadsheet & SQL Queries

Google Calendar Sync – Auto Run

A nice quick hint.

I kept forgetting to start Google Calendar Sync when I started Outlook. I don’t always start Outlook when I start my laptop and I’m not always online when I run Outlook so puting it in my Startup folder is not really an option.
My solution, a macro that runs when Outlook starts that gives me the option of running Google Calendar Sync if I feel it’s appropriate.

Private Sub Application_Startup()
Dim response As Integer
Dim RetVal
op
response = MsgBox(prompt:=”Do you want to run Google Calendar Sync?”, buttons:=vbYesNo)

If response = vbYes Then
RetVal = Shell(“C:\Program Files\Google\Google Calendar Sync\GoogleCalendarSync.exe”, vbMinimizedNoFocus)
End If

End Sub

NOTE: WordPress seems to “prettyfy” the quotes so when copying the code above it is better to delete and retype the quotation marks in your code editor of choice.

Google Reader – Send To GMail

I’m a huge fan of Google Reader.
They recently introduced a “Send To” feature to allow you to share items with other users.
The one that was not included by default was Send To GMail !

Try This:
https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&view=cm&cmid=0&fs=1&tearoff=1&to=&su=${title}&body=${url}
Whoops, just noticed there is a big “EMail” button at the bottom of every article that does just this!

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