The Power Of Being An Active Twitter Member

The Power Of Being An Active Twitter Member

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This morning I woke up and found this error message on my site:

Fatal error: Cannot redeclare security_update() (previously declared in /home/justcrea/public_html/index.php:28) in /home/justcrea/public_html/index.php on line 53

It was there for about 5 hours which I apologise for but I found this extremely bizzare as I had went to bed about 7 hours earlier with the site being A-OK so something mysterious happened while I was sleeping. Anyway, the point that I really want to make in this post is the real value of being an active member of Twitter (follow me) which I will do by showing you my experience this morning.

Site Down

As usual, in the morning I check my email, twitter and website while having breakfast, however, this morning I totally forgot about eating my breakfast… I awoke to about 15 messages spread over Twitter, Email, LinkedIn & Facebook letting me know that my website was displaying an error message. The first thing I did without thinking was write a message on Twitter asking for help… PHP is not my strongest forte.

Anyone able to help me out with some PHP? My site is displaying an error. www.justcreativedesign.com

Twitter To The Rescue

Within 1 minute I had over 10 responses, which lead me to upload my index.php (the file with the error) onto the web so people could have a look at what was wrong and within 3 minutes of doing that I had so many people trying to help, I couldn’t even keep up with them!

I decided to talk to owenj2o on Skype, who kindly requested to add him (so did many others) and within 4 minutes he had sent back the new php file with the changes. I uploaded the new file to my server and it was fixed just like that… all within the space of 10 minutes.

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The Problem

No one seems to know the reason behind this strange occurrence (a function was defined 4 times for some reason) which mysteriously happened overnight but I am glad there is a community out there that can help when something like this happens.

Update: Just Creative Design Hacked

There still seems to be some problem with a javascript that has somehow installed itself onto this site, which in some cases creates a popup or in some reported cases, crashes FireFox… some of my twitter friends believe it was hacked… I am doing my best to get this sorted.

The script has been removed and we are in the process of going through the logs to find out how this script was installed. My host has let me know of the problem:

The javascript insert happened due to a number of reasons, mostly however due to a permission based issue on the account.

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Sorry for any inconvenience it has caused.

Thank You

Thank you to those who have helped this morning, in no particular order:

Anyway, this was just one example of the true power of Twitter. If you need some more followers check out this huge twitter list of creatives / geeks / designers or Naldz’s list of 150 most active designers on Twitter.

29 thoughts on “The Power Of Being An Active Twitter Member”

  1. Totally agree with the Twitter-loving! I just had an emergency with a project and within minutes had advice from other designers! It’s such a powerful tool for getting involved in a community.
    I only got into Twittering about 10 days ago, and I’m already a full convert and addict!

  2. Hi Curtis,

    That is also true in some respects… obviously with the larger amount of followers, there is going to be more people to reply, but if you are an active Twitter member that provides help and promotion to others then it will come back to you.

    It is about finding the right people to follow and directly messaging them if you have to… most people, I find, will be more than willing to help.

    Liam,
    Haha, yeah a bit like that. I used to use forums a few years back however I found the replies to be slow and the strength of the replies were usually not as accurate as you would wish. I too haven’t been on a forum since Twitter.

    Rob,
    10 Days and an addict… that has got to say something, not too sure what though.

  3. That’s awesome, I noticed the problem this morning and wondered what was up, glad you were able to fix it so quickly.

    On a side note, the second I loaded your site (the main page) just now Norton Antivirus popped up saying it had blocked an attack on my PC, apparently some sort of virus masquerading as a pdf was trying to download itself to my PC. There is a very good chance that this had nothing to do with your site as I have about 50 tabs open in firefox, but your site was the only one I was loading at the time so I figured I should let you know anyway. It’s always worth triple checking that your site wasn’t hacked when you have weird code popping up or you have someone you don’t know that well modifying your index file (nothing at all against ownj20 – don’t know them from adam). Just figured I would mention it.

    Have a great week!

  4. George,
    Hmm, some very valid points. That is not good news about the attack on your PC, I hope it wasn’t JCD.

    Regarding hacking, I will change all my passwords just incase. I am also going over some of the files now and comparing them to my backups.

    I did obviously check the index file before uploading but a good point. Thank you George.

    Doug,
    Personally I would be guilty of not responding to many people directly unless they are very active and Twitter often which means there is more chance of me seeing their Twitter… the reason behind this simply being because of having so many followers, I get 20 new tweets every minute so it is hard to keep up as you can imagine however I do try when I see something that I could help with – I retweet often.

    Regarding the 1000 followers, I see these posts as milestones and a good way of self promotion if done appropriately. For example, just yesterday I had 999 fans in my Facebook Group and I twittered “Who wants to be my 1000th fan on Facebook?” – Doing this is a good way to get some new fans as the message is posted on Twitter and Facebook which in the long term, results in more visits and interactivity on my web site and more value for the end user.

    Regarding your interaction on Twitter that way would work with the majority of users however personally, I am taking the more is more approach as this works better in terms of promotion for my blog, brand and overall marketing… all while benefiting the people I retweet as my message gets out to more people whenever I retweet.

    I suppose there is many ways of looking at it but it all boils down to what you want to achieve in my opinion.

    Robert
    Thanks for the tip regarding the attack. No idea what this is and I will look into it but it is nothing I have implemented. I will also ask others on Twitter if they are getting the attack.

  5. Glad to have been of assistance to you. As for the virus warnings, this function contained in index.php adds a few lines of js to the beginning of the page. The js has been hashed/encrypted so it might be wise to look at that and see if that is the cause of the problems.
    Owen Jones.

  6. Robert, Owenj20,
    Thanks for the notification. It is strange because I haven’t got any of those attack messages on my university computers and all of this happened overnight while I was sleeping which is the strangest part. I’ll do what I can.

  7. Jacob,
    go for that security_update() function. The WordPress documentation knows nothing about that, so that would be my first suspect 🙂
    Cheers

  8. That’s great that your problem was fixed. Some of us with less followers don’t always have that same experience though. I know a number of times I have asked questions and had no response ever from people that I know are on and could answer the question. It seems to me that people like yourself with a few thousand ‘followers’ find this to be the truth but most of the rest of us don’t have that experience.

  9. Sweet, that’s great. It’s like having a little colony of ants all looking out for each other. I never realized just how useful twitter could be till i started using it.

    I used to love forums, but I haven’t been on a forum since I’ve used twitter!

  10. I can relate to what curtis said. I joined Twitter with the intention of making connections with people. Out of the 136 people I follow I would say on average maybe five of them ever respond to me directly – and I mean personal responses, not just replies like ‘Thanks for following me’ or ‘Thanks for Digging my article’.

    I have to shake my head every time I see someone tweet, “Wow! I just reached 1,000 followers! Wo-hoo!” I mean, honestly, what’s the point? To have a thousand followers is like rejoicing over having a thousand posts; to me neither one makes any sense.

    My advice on Twitter is to follow only those people you may have something in common with and then start interacting with them. After a while you can ‘weed out’ the ones who never respond. That’s what I do, because the whole point of Twitter (at least for me) is to meet and interact with people not just see how many followers you can amass.

  11. I just had an emergency with a project and within minutes had advice from other designers! It’s such a powerful tool for getting involved in a community.

  12. Twitter is great, since only actively using it for the past month I have really enjoyed it and people are always readily available to help and share links with.

    Glad you got your website fixed!

    Cheers,
    Matt.

  13. The twitter design community is one of the most helpful and friendly groups I’ve been a part of. Anyone not yet using twitter doesn’t know what they’re missing out on!

  14. I’ve become so much more aware of the power of twitter as well, theres so much you can do with just as long as you don’t go all spammy. But your method to try out twitter was a fantastic idea.

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  16. Howdy Jacob,

    This was a wonderful post to read. It really cements in my mind the real why we get social: we are a big community of great ideas, mind, laughter and insight. We work better together. It was a joy to help out in any way I can. Got your back J!

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  18. Kudos to people like Own Jones, they really are the true friends!

    Jacob, its smart of you to act so quickly and use Twitter as your tool to get quick help. Very good move, am glad it worked so fast for you. The power of social media and I believe, this makes lasting friendship too 🙂

  19. Outstanding post, I believe people should acquire a lot from this website its real user pleasant. So much great info on here :D.

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