CATEGORY: blog

How to gather email addresses from mail and other data to create a list

"email" by Sean MacEntee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A disclaimer, you shouldn’t just add people to a newsletter list indiscriminately. You should endeavor to get them to opt-in in every way possible. Another other option sucks. While what I describe is a bit of a special case, all the addresses that I extracted were used to solicit opt-ins.

Right, so my problem here was that a client asked needed to extract data from a few disparate sources and build a clean, usable list of email addresses. Certainly no small feat since some of this was going to have to come out of an email account itself. I wasn’t even going to benefit from working from contacts either – addresses had to come from the messages themselves. I’m going to describe what I did to get there.

Also, this only relates to work with data locally. This does not describe scraping email addresses off web sites, etc. That may be another challenge for another day.

10 Books I Loved in 2019

My list for last year was rather short at only three books, but I’ve managed to expand my reading. Reading is something I do as much as I can. That can be difficult at times. If I’m not reading every day, things feel off. I try to sneak a couple pages of reading in line at the supermarket.

Lists around this time can be a gift because it gives us readers ideas about or next book. Here are the books I’ve enjoyed this year in no particular order.

How to watch for Kijiji scams with a critical eye

Could scammers be working out of this location?

While posting a product online, I came across a well-developed scam. When I saw it, I wanted to humor the bad guys and see what information I might glean from the process. This is not something you should do, but the details I’ve gathered can help you look at these scams with a more critical eye to avoid them. Scam watching is more important today given how sophisticated they can be.

How best to store your passwords securely and safely in an offline database

“Password Day” by Worlds Direction is licensed under CC0 1.0 

Passwords aren’t going anywhere. Even though we’ve seen a rise in new type of authentication including two-factor and even Yubico-style log in options; passwords still seem to persist in our lives. If you’re online and use passwords (I know you do), you want to be as sure as possible when storing them. This mean, no more writing passwords on paper or post-it notes – it just isn’t safe.

What Makes Your Writing Valuable?

Writing" by AJC1

That writing needs to hold some value is not a new concept. Those that write have some basic intuition that what they create needs to have some intrinsic value. Of course, if I want to write a science fiction story, it should entertain and enlighten those who read it. When I write on this blog, I carefully consider what use each post is to you. 700 articles later, I know some of them have been more valuable than others.

How to Get Back to Writing a Book After a Long Time

Book Writing

I’ve been writing a book for a very long time. In fact, I think I’ve been on this book for more than two years. Two years of going away, distracted by all that life offers, and returning to inch along, trying to add to my word count. One thing I’ve become very familiar with is returning cold to a book that’s been in some form of completion. Here’s how I approach this.

Leaving the Mac for Windows. It’s Time.

"DSC_5307" by JAcKLmF1990

I’ve moved back to Windows from MacOS. As a decade-long Macbook user, this huge shift (for me) deserves some explaining. In my business, many look to me for understanding about what to use, and quite literally the computer I use every day influences other’s choices, reactions and ultimately purchase decisions.

Apple Beware

Bad Apple by hbkmano on DeviantArt

“Please send me that screenshot, I want to beat the snow”.

I’ve come to a small coffee shop ten minutes from home to connect and wait for confirmation of legitimacy almost as clandestine as “proof of life”. A gray market seller of an Apple laptop is making the aforementioned computer available, sealed in the box for hundreds of dollars under Apple’s retail cost. I get the image, it shows the serial number, it shows the warranty is active, and it’s enough for me to start the 3 hour trek through rush hour, a looming snowstorm and uncertainty.