Category Archives: Projects

Updates concerning projects I’m associated with.

New at @chswx in December 2015

I’ve made some updates to the @chswx maps and website to get ready for 2016. Here is what will be the first in a series of changelogs for @chswx in an overall effort to better document the product:

  • Website at Steph and I have been holding onto the domain for years, but I have just now finally pointed it at the website. So, use that going forward. will still work, too, if you like one less character in your life.
  • Map branding reflects new site: I’ve added the domain to the map branding. Reasoning should be obvious.
  • Radar branding has changed: I’m calling GRLevel3 just “Radar” now, and am calling GR2Analyst “HiRes Radar.” The longer “Doppler Radar Super Resolution” title for GR2Analyst in particular was causing a lot of collisions with background elements and was overall just a smidgen obnoxious.
  • Velocity tables standardized on the RadarScope defaults: This will help with consistency in the velocity products when I switch between platforms. This table is also widely adopted at the National Weather Service and thus helps keep consistency with their products as well. I’m less concerned about reflectivity; I can handle some variation there (and the RadarScope table starting yellow at 30 dBz just doesn’t fly with me). For GR, reflectivity will remain appearing in a broadcast-like look; I reserve the right to make on-the-fly adjustments to reflectivity colors as situations dictate.
  • GIS: Interstates darker blue, city font sizes up to 17pt Open Sans Semibold: This change will help radar data shine and make cities easier to read on smaller screens.
  • Upgrades to GRLevel3 and GR2Analyst 2.30: While these releases primarily seek to improve HiDPI support, I like to keep things current. One consequence is that I’m temporarily back on the default hail icons until I can spend some more time with the new icon format.

Return of the #chswx blog!

An issue with nginx rewrite rules would not let my image uploads be great, but that’s all settled now. I’m looking to transition away from so much reliance on Twitter and switch to more of a live blog format during events (though weather Tweets won’t go away). The P2 theme lets me create a fully integrated environment to receive storm reports on a thread, which is awfully nice. Keep this page bookmarked as I’m going to try out a few cool things there. (Eventually, the whole site will run on WordPress — stay tuned.)

What I’ve been working on for the last several months

Here’s what I’ve been working on for the last several months: BoomTown’s WordPress-based buyer’s site. Our team is doing amazing work and I’m thankful to be a part. I’ve been working a lot on the behind-the-scenes stuff, getting things optimized and performant. It has been really cool to infuse BoomTown with a healthy dose of open-source software, too.

There is still lots of work to do, but hearing our clients’ reactions to the alpha at the Unite conference has been a shot in the arm for all of us. I’m really excited to see how our efforts translate to success for our clients.

What do you want to see from Social Media Club Charleston?

The Social Media Club Charleston steering group is meeting in a few days to review 2009 and look forward to 2010. It’s been a great kickoff year for SMC (at least from my perspective), with a core of great engagement and a fresh helping of new faces at each meeting. If you’ve attended one of our panels or networking events this year, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you! You’re making Charleston’s technology and social media community stronger by participating.

Here’s another chance to participate — I’m interested in what kind of panels and events you might want to see next year. This is what’s on my drawing board so far:

  • A frank discussion about disclosure online. Social media’s nature is driven by disclosure — but are we giving away too much? I’d love to see a local privacy expert or two come out of the woodwork to help us with this discussion. Privacy is a big part of our culture, and a discussion about how much privacy we’re ceding using tools like Twitter, Facebook, Brightkite (and, in some cities, Foursquare) and the like could be incredibly enlightening.
  • A panel about crisis communication in the age of social media. After last week’s AdFed U panel, Lyn Mettler, Mike Haskins (Executive VP for Marketing at College of Charleston) and I got to talking and crisis communication — and how it’s changed — came up. One of the high points of my college career was a seminar on crisis communication put on by CofC’s Department of Communication Advisory Council, in which we had to generate a response to the Firestone/Ford Explorer incidents in 2000, where faulty tires caused a number of traffic accidents, some fatal. (I blogged about it shortly afterward if you care to read more and don’t mind my awful 2006 style.) Three years ago, we talked about stalling the press with refusing to comment and waiting for a statement. With social media, everybody’s the press, and it’s very hard to stall a tidal wave. This would be an incredibly beneficial panel.
  • And, of course, the networking events people love. We like to put the “social” into “social media,” and we’ll continue to do so.

The floor’s yours now — what do you want to know about? Sound off in comments.

The reviews are coming in…

…and the verdict on Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress is largely positive! See reviews at, Free Software Magazine, and a great review from the founder of Drupal. We also got a bit of a nastygram on Amazon, as well, but that’ll happen.

If you’ve read and used the book, please share with me and the Internet at large by writing a review on Amazon or other pertinent Web development sites! I’m constantly looking for sites that have reviewed our effort, and I’d most definitely like to keep tabs.

Via Robert Douglass. Launched!

I’d like to announce the availability of, the official website for my friend Mel and his Christian rock band. I’ve known Mel since 2nd grade; “bruthas from another mutha,” so to say, so it’s pretty awesome to do a website for him and hope it takes off. :) This project has been more than a few months in the making. It’s a simple WordPress 1.5.2 installation retooled a tad to be a bit more CMS’y. I’m holding off for a little while on migrating him to WordPress 2.0. What we’ve got right now is working pretty well, so that may wait for a little while.

Please stop over to his site and feel free to say hello! :)

Post-Christmas Excitement!

I hope everyone out there had a fantastic Christmas or first day of Hannukah (take your pick)!

The book I co-authored, Building Online Communities With Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress should be available today, December 26, according to Amazon. So, while you’re doing your returns tomorrow, or perhaps looking for that outstanding after-Christmas sale, please feel free to drop in your local bookstore and look for it. It’ll be shelved in the Web design/Web development section of your local bookstore. If you see it, please tell me where you saw it!



Now available on Ablog

Look out for my posts concerning phpBB and the world of forum communities in general from time to time on Ablog, the official blog of Apress, the publisher responsible for Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress.

I’ve Seen It!

I’ve seen the book! I got seven advance copies via UPS today. It came out wonderfully well, and I think I’ll find it a fantastic resource for my recent forays into Drupal and WordPress. My co-authors, Robert Douglass and Mike Little, have done excellent work in their respective sections. Preorder it now so you can save bookoo bucks on it. It’s out on December 26, so when you’re doing all your holiday returns, please stop in a bookstore and think of us. :)

Side note: I’ve been very busy the last week or two, hence the minimal blogging. Additionally, nightwind went down this weekend (bad power supply) and I need to get that running soon so my Windows logon doesn’t expire. (This is why most sane individuals have redundant domain controllers.) I can’t say when it will ease up but I’ll hope to resume a more regular schedule soon. :)