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Chosen to Pitch at Rise of the Rest

Rise of the RestI’ve been working on a startup, Fresh Vine, for the better part of a decade. Up until this point we have kept what we’ve been doing pretty close to the chest. It wasn’t out of some grand strategy of ours. Rather its from person struggle to not be the slimy person always talking about themselves.

Reality hit earlier this summer. Fresh Vine is amazing. Yes there will always be more to do, and a future that is brighter then today. But we’ve been breaking the odds ever since we started. We’re going to have our best year, and last month was our best month ever.

I made the decision to throw our hat into the Rise of the Rest ring for their $100,000 pitch competition here in Minneapolis. To my delight, I found out earlier today that we were chosen to pitch along side 7-9 others.

It’s time we transform the way that organic non-profit communities run. It’s time to give them tools that will make the corporate world jealous. It’s time to help more of them change the world – one person at a time.

Get Tickets to the Pitch Event and After Party!

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jQuery Cache Images plug-in

I’m in the middle of migrating the Check-In application for Fresh Vine from Adobe Air into HTML5 wrapped in QT. One of the things that I love about Fresh Vine is how graphical it is, and that so many people add in their profile photos to their accounts.

One of the challenges in making the HTML5 version of the Check-In is to have it work perfectly offline – including these images. They all have unique URLs that come with the profiles when we sync, so that laid out the challenge: How do we store these locally and reference them.

Turns out making a simple jQuery plugin took care of both of those issues. We are able to reference the images by their URL (no second key) and it allows us to re-use them (since we have default images that we don’t want to download/store hundreds of times).

So maybe you’re playing around with HTML5 and want to be able to use remote images in your app, but store them offline into localStorage – then this is for you. Check it out!

http://freshvine.github.io/jQuery-cache-images/

It is pretty much where I want it at. All that is left is to add in an automated quota increaser, and to allow for binding on elements/parents. That last part would make the plugin stupid simple to use since you just attached it to your container [ $(‘#container’).cacheImages(); ] and it would take care of the rest, even with dynamically inserted stuff. But that’s for another night.

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Why I gave up my Bike Helmet – and you should too

no-more-bike-helmets

I enjoy biking into work. It is only a mile and a half, but it is all urban biking next to and in between cars. It’s a fun way to get around town, and it feels great. I also never wear a helmet. There are looks that people give me for it, but it is a conscious decision I’ve made.

Last year I stumbled across research that showed wearing a helmet while biking does little to protect you. That individuals who wore helmets ended up in more accidents than those who did not. It’s very interesting, and counter to the cultural story we are told about bike saftey. There are two articles from earlier this year that describe the issue much better then I can. I encourage you to read them here and here  (also linked to below).

A few quotes for the lazy:

If there was conclusive proof that bike helmets reduce the total number of serious head injuries compared to other normal activities, then I’d reconsider my stance. But if I’m not the kind of person who wears a helmet when I take a walk or get behind the wheel of a car, then there’s no logic to me wearing one when I’m on a bike, particularly if I’m confident in my urban bike safety ability.

Meanwhile the proof is pretty strong that vehicles give me more space when I’m biking without a helmet. In a city biking, that’s the kind of injury I’m most concerned about.

Why it MakesSense to bike without a helmet

And

Other data shows that despite increased voluntary helmet use by adults in the US and Great Britain, the overall number of cyclist fatalities hasn’t been affected.

On the whole, when large numbers of people begin wearing helmets, we really don’t see a benefit in the head injury or fatality rates.

Stop Forcing People to Wear Bike Helmets

Photo Credit: Henry

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Help me Tell Others About the Church Software Guide

Church Software Guide for DummiesThere have been pastors I’ve spoken with who have felt a bit lost when considering software for their church. With so many options out there that it’s overwhelming. It is with that in mind that we created the Church Software Guide: Everything you Need to Know.

The goal is not to dig in deep, but to explain for you the types of church software you should consider. There are nine categories that will have some benefit for your church. Check out the guide, and please pass the link along to your friends in ministry.

If you have a blog please consider writing a short post to encourage people to check it out. If you’re on twitter/facebook/google+ post something encouraging people to check it out.

Thank you so much! We’re really proud of the hard work that went into that guide.