Well – it’s actually been a few days. Somebody has decided to put my “flexibility skills” to the test.

It started with my Dell Inspiron 8500 and a problem with the video card. At first, the display started to look funny. I thought it might be a virus – or a corrupted video driver.

Whether you know this by now or not. I have a full time job – normally 45 to 50+ hours a week. I’m a husband and father of 4 (with number 5 due in March/April 2009). I started this blog back in June, when my 10 year old son decided he wanted to take the Thirty Day Challenge with me this year. And, there’s always something to do around the house – my honey-do list just never quits.

Needless to say, I’m a busy guy. Oh – and I almost forgot that just a few days ago, I committed to an Immediate Edge project too. So, yeah – I have a lot of plates spinning. Normally, that’s okay – until my laptop decides to melt-down on me…

So, I finally tracked the problem down to the video card – it turns out they’re not exactly cheap – and because this computer is almost 5 years old – it might take several days to get one.

The problem? – I don’t have that kind of time. I just don’t – so, I’ve hi-jacked an HP pavilion laptop that the kids use sometimes. I had to take the hard-drive out of my Dell and put it in the HP. There are a few driver problems – for example, the audio still doesn’t work. But, I’m back up and running – I’ll watch 30DC training videos on our home desktop computer until I can track down the proper audio drivers for this laptop.

The moral of the story? – Never Give Up, Never Give Up – Never Give Up!

I felt like giving up last night – really, my other laptop looked like it was spitting out code from the Matrix. It was absolute gibberish and completely unusable. That laptop has everything on it – everything from work – all my internet marketing stuff – everything. Even with decent back-ups – it would be a complete pain in the neck to start over with new computer from scratch.

So – swapping the hard drive into this other laptop is a good short-term solution. It’s a setback – but you know what they say about setbacks?

Setbacks pave the way for comebacks. So be on the lookout…

P.S. to the SonicXtreme Team – sorry I missed our Skype call today and went MIA. I’ll try to contact you all over the next few days – now that I’m back up and running.

P.S.S. – @Ed Dale, if you’re reading this… I know, I know – I should pony up and get a Mac Book Pro – it really is next on my list of major purchases, really. I just have to get by with what I have for right now…

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Twitter has been a growing internet phenomenon over the past year or so – and it will be a critical tool we utilize in this years Thirty Day Challenge.

This video shows you some of the basics on getting the most out of Twitter…

Signing Up To Twitter Is Easy

We’ll take a break from Flock for a bit and get into Twitter.  Over the last twelve months, Twitter has become huge and a very important communication tool.  We’ll learn how to sign up and log on to Twitter, how to follow Ed and some other tips.

First things first – here’s the Twitter URL and the home page:

http://twitter.com

Twitter Home Page

Before we get on with signing up, there’s a quick little video you can watch.  It’s only a couple of minutes long, but it explains Twitter pretty well.

Watch The Video On Twitter

Did you watch it yet?  Seriously, what are you waiting for – go watch it…..

Okay, well – either you did or you didn’t, (but you know you should just watch the thing.)  Regardless, let’s get to signing up – they make it pretty easy…

Sign Up For Twitter

It’s hard to miss that big green button.  (I think that may be deliberate. 🙂 )

From there you’ll see this screen, where you actually create your Twitter account:

Twitter Account Creation

Easy enough – but what if something comes up?  Like what?  Well, what if the Username is already taken?  Then the screen will look like this:

Twitter - Name Taken

Bummer…so now what?  You could try other variations like:

  1. Put an underscore (the _ symbol) between the words
  2. Put a hyphen (the – symbol) between the words
  3. Add a modifier to the beginning or end (a short word, a letter, a number, etc.)

It’s a lot like creating a new e-mail account – the interface is pretty good at letting you know if a name is already taken.

Ed does mention the possibility of using a pen name, or a niche persona – but for now, it’s probably best to keep it simple.  You can always create an alternate Twitter account later on…

Fill in the password and e-mail fields, fill in the “Captcha” form (if you can) – decide if you want their e-mail updates and click the “Create my account” button.

BOOM! – okay, maybe that’s a little bit too dramatic, but now you do have your own Twitter page.  It will be pretty empty until you either post a “tweet” or follow a few people.  To start, try following Ed Dale and Dan Raine – here’s how.

To get to Dan Raine’s Twitter page, click here: http://twitter.com/DanRaine – it’ll look something like this:

Dan Raine on Twitter

Just click on the follow button and his updates will start showing up on your Twitter page.

Now you can do the same with Ed Dale – his Twitter page is located here: http://twitter.com/Ed_Dale

His page will look something like this…

Ed Dale on Twitter

I’m already following him – but between the video and these notes, you probably get the idea by now.

One other user you should follow is “gurubob”Twitter was experiencing a little hiccup when I went for that screenshot, so I will have to remember to come back and edit it in later. In the meantime, follow Ed, Dan and Bob – you’ll be off to a great start on Twitter and you’ll easily stay on top of any late-breaking Thirty Day Challenge news.

As you follow Twitter users, you can also set up options for your mobile phone and other instant messaging platforms.  But unless you get into this gradually, you could easily find yourself overwhelmed with noise.  So for now, keep it simple – you can always change those settings later.

Twitter allows you to have quick notifications of Thirty Day Challenge updates from Ed and Dan – it’s a great way to spread news quickly around the web.  And because each page of Twitter is also an RSS feed, you can syndicate that information in a variety of ways.  Don’t worry, Ed will explain how that works in future videos.

Go get signed up for Twitter – and then, give somebody a hug 🙂

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