Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 6 - Chinese Take-out Name Generator

I've been sick this week so I've decided to get one of my simpler, sillier ideas out of the way.  This week is a Chinese Take-out Name Generator. I've noticed all of the places around here have the same pattern of name, an adjective (or noun that can be an adjective) and a noun.  Check it out for some smiles and if you use it in naming your restaurant remember to give me a free meal!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Week 5 - Don't Log In Facebook Game

Yay! After some setbacks with some setup on GoDaddy, the Don't Log In Facebook app is now live and ready for people to start playing!

I wanted to do something a little challenging and popular so a Facebook app seemed like the way to go.

Basically, you get points based on the number of days since your last login to the game. (n * (n+1) / 2) to be exact. But, you only get points when you log in so you MUST log in to move up in rank. It has a mindvirus sort of feel to it that reminds me of "The Game" (which, by the way, you just lost now).

Give it a try, invite your friends. Try to trick them in to logging in.

Don't Log In - Facebook

Tips for Facebook Apps

Here are a few tips and reminders for myself about Facebook apps:

  1. They are esentially your webpage in an iframe.
  2. Internet Explorer hates IFrames unless you specify a p3p policy.
  3. Some Chrome extensions break IFrames, try disabling some if you get a message like 'Blocked a frame with origin ""
  4. Facebook requires HTTPS now.
  5. Your main canvas page should do a top.location.href = authorization page.
  6. The authorization page will redirect back to your app, you will need to redirect back into your application page on facebook to get the Facebook chrome back

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 5 - Soon

So I've put in the subdomain for this week about 3 hours ago but for some reason GoDaddy is going really slow today. Normally a subdomain is setup in 20 minutes. Everything is all deployed but hopefully I can officially launch tonight.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 4 - DataJunkie, Free Surveys

It doesn't look like PayPal approval is going to happen, at least any time soon.  In the mean time, here is an interactive app written in ASP.NET MVC.

DataJunkie, a free survey creation site.

In college I took a class on data mining which was very fascinating.  Predictive analysis was also very interesting.  For my final project I used data mining on basketball stats and odds to see if there was a way to beat the odds and make a profit.  Turns out there is, if I was to bet one each game in a season it would be possible to turn a few thousand dollar profit. I haven't gotten around to actually doing this yet...

The point is I've built this site to hopefully be a platform which I can offer my predictive analysis expertise as a premium service.  To gain interest, you can create unlimited surveys with unlimited questions and responses, unlike the largest player in the market (SurveyMonkey). Basic percentage analysis is included but more detailed analysis will become a premium feature later on.

In other news, I'm still looking for an idea for a website for a non-profit organization. See the post and leave a comment or contact me another way (Google+). Also, I forgot to include the link for The Empty Plate last week.

Week 4 - Later Today

Week 4 will be up later today after I finish my day job. Everything worked great until I tried to deploy.  Apparently AutoMapper does not like the medium-trust level the GoDaddy runs on its shared hosting so I will have to manually write some mapping functions.

Monday, July 8, 2013

[Ideas Needed] Building a simple content website for a non-profit business or person!

It can be pretty hard to come by the funds to build a website, especially if you are an organization or individual trying harder to help others than help their profits.  That's why as a portfolio building exercise I'm looking to help out one such cause.


I am taking applications from individuals and organizations looking for me to build them a website.  No businesses, business professionals or those looking for a personal site, this must be geared toward providing information for your cause and organization.  Environmental groups, community groups, religious groups or individuals are great.  Scouting groups or scouts working on their merit badges/ Eagle are excellent (I'm an Eagle scout myself).  Basically, you have to need the site to help out, not to be cheap and make money.  I will choose one website to be built (but I might choose more in the future).


I will build a 3-5 page informational website and host it for a year in my content management system..  I won't provide a domain name other than (but if you have one I will set it up to direct to the website).  Nothing too fancy, nothing interactive, just a website to get people interesting in you and to tell them how to help and get in contact with you.


Week 5 or 6 or later.  Turnaround isn't guaranteed but it shouldn't be too long since I'm trying to build one website each week it shouldn't be two long.


Send me a message on Google+ or an email to business @ and include some information about yourself and why I should build you a website.  Also, have an idea of the content you will want to put on the site (different pages, etc). If you have a design in mind, draw it up or you can pick one from and let me know.

Week 3 - The Empty Plate - Demo Restaurant Site

Still no luck with Paypal approval. I hope that turns out well.  If not I think I'll still put that project on display/on sale.

Instead, for this week I have built a demo restaurant website to demonstrate how simple it is to build content with DotNetNuke.  After setting up the skin, the content took just an hour or two. While not completely full of content (since I don't actually own a restaurant), it would look awesome with a full menu and some tasty images.

For Week 5 or 6 I will be building a website for a non-profit for free! If you know of any non-profit that would like a website, check out my next post.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Groupon is getting old and big, we're building something young and personal

One of the goals of One Week One Website is to clear off my list of todos. One reason that there is a significant list is I have large goals for each project I work on and it becomes daunting.  My forcing a time limit (i.e. one week) it will help me get feedback and see which ideas are worth improving on. Start my seeds indoors before planting the good ones in the garden. I've had the idea (and partially done code) for a daily deals site. I'll likely start from scratch but getting a bare-bones working site will be the priority in a future week.

Groupon forces companies to off deals at least 50% off then they proceed to take half off the remainder. That means for every dollar of value that massage is worth, the spa is only getting a quarter.  Not to mention a sales army that has to make a new client every day for every market. Groupon also must evaluate whether or not the deal is worth enough that it will help them churn out a profit to investors. We aren't going to do that.

We'll be building a deals platform where, apart from a small processing fee, the merchant keeps revenue from the sale of vouchers.  More similar to traditional advertising, the merchant will pay for the opportunity to  advertise their business but the cost for that will be determined by the merchants based on the supply and demand.  While frontpage slots might cost a lot, we can always add more markets or categories to bring the price down for small businesses.  Conversely, if the market or category has little activity, merchants might be able to advertise for free!

We'll see how my ideas come together over the next few weeks before I get a chance to set this project as the site for a week.  If anyone has any thoughts, I would love to hear them!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week 2 - - DNN Conversion

Delayed and Still Delivered

Unfortunately the site I had planned for this week needs to be approved by Paypal so it will have to wait. It is all ready so hopefully that will be approved by next week.

Luckily, I was able to put together an install of DotNetNuke.  For those of you who don't know, DotNetNuke is a content management system. Once setup, this allows users to make content changes without having any knowledge of HTML or coding.  This is a great step in allowing me to develop sites which will be maintained by the business owners.

Just installing DNN, while not simple, didn't seem like an accomplishment worth a whole week so I also converted my business' website. This involved taking the site's markup and style and converting it to a DotNetNuke skin. The content of the site was then rebuilt in the content editor. I have archived the original site for comparison:

If you are interested in your own site in DNN or need site converted to a skin, feel free to contact me and we can make arrangements.  You might even get featured on  You can see the built-in example at You can also watch a video on how to edit content in DNN here.