A Fresh Attempt to try and Write More

Over the past few years, I’ve tried several times to “restart” my blog. I want to write. I often find myself capturing ideas, but I got out of my workflow of making the time to write.

All of it is my fault. I screwed up my platform when I left the AndyDarnell.com blog for another domain name. Looking back, it was a dumb idea. I brought all the content from the reboot back to this domain and with the switch, I lost all the images. Whatever. The content is there. I guess years from now I want my daughters to be able to read through and see the struggles and the victories that came with my life. I want to write mostly for them. I want them to be able to have a glimpse and reminder of what was going on in my head at various times.

I’ve been writing over on wingspanmarketing.com more recently, but I really do need to have a place for personal thoughts. So… here we go again. For the 4th or 5th time?

Life is great right now. My family is in a great phase right now… although now more than ever I want it all to slow down. Tabitha and Phoebe are growing up so quickly. Gina and I often pause and look at each other knowing that time is our enemy and that soon we’ll be discussing driving, dating, college. Every moment is definitely a phase that we don’t want to miss.

Work is awesome. Challenging at times for sure, but great. I’ve stretched so much in my role at Howard Brothers. I’m excited for the next 5+ years. Really cool things are coming. I’ve been spending much of the past 30+ days thinking about 2017 and what goals I will have for myself and Howards. One of the things which I am drastically changing will be my day to day priorities. I’m gonna focus more on stories vs traditional marketing strategies. I’m looking forward to story telling and what that can do to build our tribe of fans.

Wingspan feels like it is on the edge of so much more. I often feel like I’m holding everything back. I guess it is the one place where I can force some margin in my life, but it also feels like it could grow a whole lot more if I wanted. I am planning on doing more strategic communication to my clients friends who are clients in 2017. Part of why I upgraded the website is so that I can more easily have a hub for this communication. I often forget that small business owners aren’t marketing experts and don’t have time to learn about best practices for online strategy. I can share more than I do. That’s the new goal.

Church is great. I love the role that I am in right now. I’m kids pastor at Cross Pointe Mill Creek. Every job that I’ve ever undertaken, I’ve given it all I can. This isn’t a job. This is a ministry which the Bible is pretty clear on the consequences for getting it wrong. I’ve definitely felt the weight of responsibility, but when I see the eyes of kids on Sunday mornings and hear stories from their parents about how they enjoy what we’re doing… it makes the “work” so worth it.

Busy. Yep. I’m busy. Most people are busy. We busy ourselves with stuff. We make it seem like we’re overworked and have no time to do anything… but God created us to work. Wait, what? I thought work was a consequence of sin… nope. Wrong. We were working and taking care of the garden before the fruit. That work was intended to be constantly connected to the creator and take care his creation.

We’re no different. We need the constant/consistent connection with God. We need others in our lives who we stand shoulder to shoulder during the care of creation. Sin just made the work more difficult. We’re not as connected to those around us which makes the work seem like we’re all on our own. Getting back to how it was intended is where we need to be. We’ve got to work together to share the load. We have to see the work through the eyes of God. We have to celebrate the wins of the work. We get to worship God for the wins.

Well… Let’s see how this work of writing continues. Maybe someone will read this. If you do, leave a brief comment to let me know you’re here.

-Andy

 

 

WordPress Installs From Here on Out

These are my notes. Ignore them if you’d like. They’re just for my reference. But if I’m gonna get in the habit of writing… Might as well write. This will be a post i come back to often and update. Not final.

  1. Fresh Install of WordPress
  2. Plugins Necessary
    1. Add SUCURI (iThemes Security)
      1. Allow File Updates
      2. One Step “Secure Your Site”
      3. Setup Login Lockouts
      4. Enable local brute force protection
      5. Enable the hide backend feature
    2. Add ManageWP client (establish scheduled backups to Amazon Cloud)
    3. Add Jetpack
    4. Set up Akismet

See You Tomorrow!

There’s a new coffee shop in downtown Duluth called Espresso Theory. I stopped by yesterday to check it out and to get some work done. The first time I drove past and saw the sign outside, I didn’t expect much. The location is kinda weird, but one step inside, I realized that this place is gonna be great.

How to Manage / Upload Multiple Instagram Accounts on One (apple) Device

I’ve been looking for a workflow solution for managing Instagram accounts for years.

I have found it!

Why was it so difficult to find? I am not really sure. I’ve tried a few hacked together apps and tried to figure out a way to make magic happen, but alas, Instagram would not work. Apparently the answer that I kept running into was that they didn’t allow an API for app builders to do this. I’m not sure what all that means, and I’m not sure why this particular solution that I am going to lay out works… but it does.

First, why would you want this solution in your life? Well, if you have EVER tried to manage both a personal instagram account and an instagram account for a small business or ministry (or perhaps a fake instagram account for Tom McFarlin or Chris Ames) you would quickly realize that it was very difficult to switch between accounts. What other apps like twitter or facebook (gasp… yes even Facebook who paid 1 BILLION dollars for Instagram) did well with their apps, is allowed users to easily (or without too much pain) switch from one user to another.

But the official Instagram App? Nope. The only option on it is to log out from one account, then sign back in with another user.

But wait, that’s not all!

I’m confident that I’m not the only one who knows of the bug that would change your ‘share settings’ in the app. Even though you are now logged out of your personal account which had its own share settings, when you shared your business account’s picture, it would SHARE  with your personal social media profiles like twitter and sometimes Facebook!

UGH

So not only would you have to log out of your instagram acocunt, you would have to remember to re-establish your share settings (even though they looked correct) and then you’d feel (somewhat more confident) about posting the picture and that it would share with all the correct accounts.

And then, you had to do that over and over if you wanted to maintain a presence on both accounts. 

But you’re not hear for the soap-box session. You’ve come for the magic. Well, bear with me a little longer.

First you need to have Instapload. It is only available for apple devices at this point (as of 1/12/15) but they (I say they, because I can’t tell if it is a company or an individual owned app) say an android version is coming.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 3.54.01 PM

Don’t get caught up with the reviews on the app. These people who reviewed the app obviously have no idea what gold they have missed. I think they must be YouTube commenters when not reviewing apps.

Who are these people who reviewed Instapload. They've no Idea.

Who are these people who reviewed Instapload. They’ve no Idea.

You see the app clearly states what to expect!

  • Multiple Account Upload
  • Add Multiple Instagram Accounts
  • Easy upload of multiple images to multiple Instagram accounts based on selection

Yes. The Interface is lacking. It isn’t as intuitive as some apps. But we’re looking for a solution… and this solution only costs us 99 cents!

IMG_1885OK. Enough. Let’s get that workflow working. Install the app, and you’ll see that you can add 5 separate Instagram accounts to the app. I assume that this was hardcoded for a reason by the developer and can probably be changed sometime in the future.

This is sufficient for me at the moment. I know that there are some folks who manage more than 5 Instagram accounts, but you’ll just have to figure out a way to make this work.

As stated above, you are not able to comment or like pictures from Instapload. The point of this app is to UPLOAD pics to multiple accounts. Do your liking and commenting on one of the MANY other options for managing Instagram comments and community.

You ARE able to see the latest pics in your 5 accounts’ feeds, and you are able to switch back and forth between feeds VERY easily.

IMG_1887 IMG_1886

IMG_1888Adding pictures is EASY in Instapload.

Click the + button in the top right to add a picture, Add a comment in the “Multi-tags” section (I don’t think this is what the developer intended, but I use this section for my Instagram Caption. It works) select which account you want to add the image to and then here’s where it gets a little tricky. Press the Upload Images button.

If you want to use your Personal Instagram Account… Select that account and upload.

If you want to use your Business Instagram Account… Select that account and upload.

If you want to use your Ministry’s Instagram Account… Select that account and upload!

I’m telling you. It works.

NOW, the IFTTT magic that I added to my workflow.

Do you know what IFTTT is? It stands for If This, Then That.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 8.03.44 PM

 

Up until now, I’ve been trying to use IFTTT to trigger something posting TO Instagram. Can’t be done. But, Now that I have my image added to Instagram, I want to share it with other platforms like Twitter or Facebook.

There’s a little extra work you need to do to make this work. Create an account. It’s free. Each account can be associated with individual accounts on a variety of platforms. BUT, you can only associate 1 platform with your IFTTT account. So, I created a Howard Brothers IFTTT account, and then I can add Twitter, Facebook pages, Google+ (still working on this, because Google+ has it’s own complexities and will require another post) LinkedIn, etc.

Then I created a few quick recipes on IFTTT. It’s fairly easy, you just select what your trigger does. I set it up so that If ANY new photo is uploaded by my Instagram account, it will trigger two separate recipes and activities. It will post that picture as a native picture (pulling the caption also) to twitter and will also upload that picture and use the caption on my Facebook Business Page.

IFTTT recipe to post to twitter and facebook from Instagram

IFTTT recipe to post to twitter and facebook from Instagram

This is far from done, but this is absolutely going to save me time and make me post more often to my Instagram accounts. IFTTT has MANY MORE options that you can choose from. If you want to only trigger an action if it has a specific hashtag, you can do that. You can create dozens of other actions and connect to MANY platforms. It is VERY powerful indeed. You can probably simplify your workflow in other areas as well.

Here’s my hope for Edgard Chammas, the developer of Instapload.

  1. PLEASE DON’T KILL OFF THIS APP! You have GOLD here. I fully expect Instagram to eventually figure this problem out on their own, and allow users to manage multiple accounts more easily, but until then, you’re gonna sell A LOT of 99cent apps of this thing if you can keep it up.
  2. Usability and design on your app is weak. I hope that there is someone who can step up and help you out with this, but even if that does not happen… you don’t need to change a single thing as far as I am concerned.

Edgard, I promise that I will be leaving you a positive review on your app, and I hope that everyone who uses this information will do so also. We all know how difficult it is to manage our multiple accounts. Give the app some review love and let’s talk it up to our own individual tribes.

(This blog post has not been edited for grammar or spelling. I wanted to get this out as soon as humanly possible)

UPDATE – 1/12/15 9:45PM

Hat Tip to Missy Purcell to letting me know that AS I WAS WRITING THIS POST… there was a version update to the app. Version 1.8 now offers:

  • iphone 6 support
  • improved interface (looking forward to seeing it… updating now)
  • now you can add up to 8 accounts
  • multiline captions!
  • improved image quality
  • added the ability to like images!
  • App will now show image Caption!

Boom. Awesomesauce. Woot.

Kidney Stones – The Reason to Drink Less Dew?

So, I got Kidney Stones over this past weekend.

Anyone who knows me, and there have been a bunch of them who’ve given me their advice, was that I should stop drinking as much Mountain Dew as I do.

 

Yeah, I thought it too as I was sitting in the fetal position at Gwinnett Medical Center, Duluth… I thought that perhaps I had seen my last Dew, but saying that I’ll never have another Mountain Dew is impractible and probably not true. 

 
What I need to do is just limit. Limit all sodas. Drink more water in general. Look at my diet as a whole and see ways that can just make me healthier. 

 

This incident has made me a little more aware of my health. I’m not yet 40, but heading that direction… Why would I ignore any signs of what goes in is important to my long term health.

 

So, I’ll be less likely to pick up a can or bottle of Mountain Dew and more likely to drink water instead, but from all I see online, the myths around what causes Kidney Stones are great. 

 

And the other thing, is I have had so many conversations with folks who have had Kidney Stones. Many of them had them once… years ago, and have not since. When I personalize the experience, I realize that it is just one of those things that happen. That being said, I will take this and concentrate on some lifestyle changes that will make me healtier overall.

 

Written with DESK app. Trying to write more. Check it out and see if it will work for you.

Move The Archive Again

Almost-ReadyWell, I’ve done it again. I decided to ‘deboot the reboot’

What in the world does that mean?

Well, I had this other website that I moved all my content to (from this blog by the way) it was rebootblog.com

I had started it up with this post (now archived here)

I had this great Bible in 90 day series going. (I made it through day 75 and never finished the last 15 days… that’s horrible)

But I had no connection to it.

So I’m back.

And the content came with me.

Reboot has officially been debooted.