My UX / UI skills suck. That is why I need you!

Here’s the deal.  

I am working on a new startup idea for 2012 in the job market / hiring space (I know it doesn’t sound sexy, but trust me it will be) now that TwapperKeeper is behind me and Hootsuite is in charge of archiving tweets for the world.  

I have a set of mock-ups close to being done (using Balsamiq).

I have a domain name lock and loaded (though I am sure I will change my mind a few times…).

And I am getting close to beginning the late nights of coding and 5 hour energy shots… 

But let’s face it.  My UX / UI “designer” skills absolutely suck. suck. suck.

I mean, look at this screenshot from TwapperKeeper and look at this hacked together logo .. even if you got past the hard to say / often mispronounced name you had to look at a terrible UI… 

So I am looking to hire a freelance designer.  

What am I looking for in a designer?  

Hell - I am not sure b/c I have never worked with one - so I probably need a lot of hand holding. 

But here is what I think I need… :-)

Someone who can take my shitty mock-ups and turn them into kick ass page layouts while also handing me the CSS / containers to build into the product.  

Someone who can recommend potential UX ideas.

Someone who can handle logo / icons, web (7-9 unique pages at this point but I am sure that may change) and mobile (phase 2) layouts.

I need the design to look f’ing awesome so that if I ever get a chance to show it to Dave McClure he doesn’t start screaming at me about UX / UI / etc. and make me go to Warm Gun: Designing Happiness bootcamp.

If you think you can handle it and are willing to hold my hand through the process, I would love to hear from you!  


Jan 4

This has got me thinking... "Forget Lean Forward and Lean Back - It's Curl Up"

Interesting write up by Jason Calacanis.  Worth a read…

Jan 3

How to install yourTwapperKeeper on a Rackspace Cloud Server

Here is a quick step-by-step on how to install yourTwapperKeeper (https://github.com/540co/yourTwapperKeeper) on Rackspace Cloud servers.


Create your server

1. Go ahead and setup a Rackspace Cloud account.  It does require a call back from them to validate you exist, so it may take 30 or so minutes to complete this step.

2. Login to your Rackspace account.  Goto Hosting | Cloud Server and click Add Server.  

3. Pick Centos 6.0 and name the server (i.e. yourtwapperkeeperserver), pick 256MB / 10GB option (this is usually enough for most people) and click Create Server.

4. Write down your password and IP address.


Login to your new server and change password

5. Secure shell to your server (using Terminal, Putty, etc).

ssh root@xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx 

where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is your IP address.  Type in your password when prompted.

6.  Change your password


and follow the prompts and write down your password


Install Pre-requisites

7.  First lets update your new Centos 6.0 server.

  yum update

  when prompted select [y] to install

8.  Next, lets install MySQL.

  yum install mysql-server mysql

when prompted select [y] to install

9. Lets install php and some other stuff.

  yum install php php-gd php-imap php-mysql php-pear php-xml phpxmlrps curl libxml2php-mbstring php-mcrypt

when prompted select [y] to install


Lets do a few misc things like setup DB password, etc.

10. Lets start MySQL, set password, and create database.

  service mysqld start

  ensure it shows “Starting mysqld: [ OK ]”


  mysql> USE mysql;

  mysql> UPDATE user SET Password=PASSWORD(’your_db_password’) WHERE user=’root’;

  mysql> flush privileges;

  mysql> create database yourtwapperkeeper;

  mysql> exit;

write down your_db_password

11. Lets start apache and turn off ip tables (yes, I know this isn’t the smartest thing, but trying to make this install as simple as possible).

  service httpd start

  service iptables stop

12. Install git to help download

  yum install git

  when prompted select [y] to install


Install yourTwapperKeeper

13. Download yourTwapperKeeper

  cd /var/www/html

git clone git://github.com/jobrieniii/yourTwapperKeeper.git

  cd yourTwapperKeeper

14. Create necessary db tables

  mysql -u root -p -h localhost yourtwapperkeeper < SQL

  enter your_db_password when prompted

15. Make sure db and webserver auto start

chkconfig httpd on
chkconfig mysqld on
chkconfig iptables off

Configure yourTwapperKeeper Install

16. Login to Twitter with the account you want to use for archiving, and [Register a new application] - http://dev.twitter.com/apps/new

  - Application Name = Change to your liking

  - Description = Change to your liking

  - Application Website = Your URL where the site will be hosted (i.e. http://yourtwapperkeeperexample.com/)

- Organization = Change to your liking

- Application Type = Browser

- Callback URL = Your_URL/callback.php (i.e. http://yourtwapperkeeperexample.com/callback.php)

- Default Access Type = Read & Write

- Application Icon = Change or leave default

17. After application is successfully created, write down: Consumer Key, Consumer Secret

18. Select “My Access Token” on right hand side. Write down: Access Token (oauth_token), Access Token Secret (oauth_token_secret)

19. Edit the /var/www/html/yourTwapperKeeper/config.php file on your server. Make sure to change the following:

/* Host Information */

Change the host information based upon your host.

/* Administrators - Twitter screen name(s) who can administer / start / stop archiving */

Users in this list are allowed to start / stop the archiving processes on the server. Must be at least one. Recommend using the same twitter account used to create application.

/* Users - Twitter screen names that are allowed to use Your Twapper Keeper site - leaving commented means anyone can use site*/

Users in this list are allowed to create archives and edit / delete archives they own. Leaving blank means anyone can create archives and edit / delete ones they own.

/* Your Twapper Keeper Twitter Account Information used to query for tweets (this is common for the site) */ 

This should be the account information for the user who created the Twitter application. Also, use the oauth information captured in step 5.

/* Your Twapper Keeper Application Information - setup at http://dev.twitter.com/apps and copy in consumer key and secret */

Update with the information captured in step 4.

/* MySQL Database Connection Information */

Update with your DB information

You are now ready to archive.  You can access your installation at:


If you have any questions or issues when running thru the install, please leave a comment.  

Also, you will see throughout the documentation I have turned off iptables.  This will leave your web server somewhat exposed- but I did this to simplify the install.  

If you want to further protect your install, you will need to configure iptables to allow for port 80 traffic in / out and re-enable iptables to protect other ports.  Also, the use of root to install things / etc isn’t exactly best practice… but trying to keep it simple for folks.

Jan 3

2012 is the year I start a blog! Wow, talk about being late to the party.

- me