Monday, August 17, 2015

Umbraco + Windows Live Writer

Distraction free writing is pretty important when putting together blog posts and I find live writer a pretty good tool to achieve this, means you don’t have your web browser open and aren’t inclined to jump around to other tabs.  You could use another text edit but with being able to publish directly from live writer to Umbraco is pretty neat, also with the ability to upload images it's my number 1 choice for writing blog posts with Umbraco.

Please head over to MatthewSkilton.Me to follow my step by step tutorial on how to setup windows live writer with Umbraco.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Facebook removing default landing page

Wow... Last month we finally got around to creating a default landing page for our facebook fan page (OHbaby Fan Page) then just 1 month later we've been upgraded to a "timeline" layout and lost the ability to show gated like content.

At first this was quite frustrating because we had great success with the default landing page, the old default landing page would ask people to like our fan page and if so they could then enter a draw to win an ipod tocuh in exchange for joining our website. This resulted in lots of new fans to our facebook page and new members to our website.

The solution to the problem was to create a promotional post (and link it to our facebook tab page) on our timeline and then "pin to top" in the post settings.  This results in the post staying at the top of timeline and any new visitors will see this post.  This does mean the new user will have to make an extra click, however we have found that if the post has the right message then the click through ratio will be quite high anyway.

Good Luck :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pay With A Tweet

Yesterday after watching a video on SEOMoz I noticed them talking about way to get more back links.  They were talking about "paying with a tweet" a method in which you give something away but only if the user links to your site via a Facebook Post of Twitter Post. This sounded pretty intriguing to me so I quickly Googled pay with a tweet and found the website  Went through the process of creating a button which was pretty simple and at the end gave me some iframe code which I could place on my website. is a popular New Zealand Baby Magazine which has articles that are only available to members who subscribe to the print magazine.  We decided to add a pay with a tweet to some of these articles in an attempt to get some more back links from social media.

You can see an example by going to Natural Labour Preparation.  If you're a "max" member you'll be shown the full story otherwise you will need to subscribe or pay with a tweet.  Quite impressed how easy it was to setup, however one issue discovered is that after paying with the tweet the full article is displayed in the pop up window, not ideal because there are no scroll bars, you could paste the address to another window but for the average Internet junkie this might be too hard especially with the address bar greyed out. 
Also it would be really cool if the website had an api so we could generate the code on the fly and apply the methodology to all our "max" articles so we could have a special weekend where all articles were free with a tweet or facebook post.  I presume an api is in the making.
Pay with a tweet a service that I presume might become quite popular.

Anyone else using it? Thoughts/Comments?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Using the Umbraco Object in a Umbraco 5 Template

If you want to use the Umbraco object in Templates then you need to add @inherits RenderViewPage to the top of your template (View).  Its best to do this on a Master Template so you only need to add it once. 

If you don't do this you will get an error like CS0234: The type or namespace name 'Field' does not exist in the namespace 'Umbraco' (are you missing an assembly reference?)

Umbraco 5 Hanging on Install IIS7

First chance today to look at Umbraco 5. Unfortunately I haven't looked at many of the previous versions of Umbraco 5 so was really keen to get into it and start a new project so I could all the new cool features.

Unfortunately I got stopped at the first step, created a new database, created a new site IIS 7 and browsed to the new site. The install just hang with the wait cursor just going round and round. After going insane for a few hours I discovered the fix was disbale Link Scanner in AVG. You can disable this by opening the AVG user interface goto tools > advanced settings > link scanned then unticking the 3 options. Hope this gets you on your way. Hoping to bring you lots more Umbraco 5 blog posts in the weeks and months to come.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My First Facebook Application

Recently I have been exploring the Facebook Graph and API and was asked to create a Week By Week Pregnancy application for OHbaby!.

It basically does the following
- You enter your babies date of birth (Due date calculator) found here.
- OHbaby! sends you a week by week account of what your baby is up to.

We are using to schedule the job which seems to be working pretty well so far (When we get 1000's of user we'll see how it goes)

So far I am pretty happy with how its going. Posting messages to Facebook seem to be working pretty well thanks to the Facebook C# SDK.

Check out the application at to see the flow.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Jquery Validate Form Submit Before Opening Popup Window

Sometimes you want to open a form submit in a new window.  Think facebook extended permissions popup window.  To achieve this you would do something like the following.

<script type="text/javascript">
    $(document).ready(function () {
               if ($('#myform').valid()) {
      '', 'formpopup', 'width=800,height=600,resizeable,scrollbars');
       = 'formpopup';

However you wouldn’t want to open the popup window unless the form being submitted in valid.

If you are using jquery.validate then its pretty easy to update the above javascript to this:

<script type="text/javascript">
    $(document).ready(function () {
        $('#myform').submit(function () {
            if ($('#myform').valid()) {
      '', 'formpopup', 'width=800,height=600,resizeable,scrollbars');
       = 'formpopup';


Hope this helps someone.