Tag Archives: Professional Bull Riders

First Post of New Year (2010)

Sydney New Years Eve Fireworks 2007
Image by Christopher Chan via Flickr

It’s 2010?  Already? 4 days ago?

Yeah, Yeah I know, it’s already January 4th and I am just now posting my first post.  Get over, I have – :-)

I was extremely ill last week with a stomach bug, and was in bed most of the day January 1, worked everyday since and as I write this at 11:20pm I have just finished working for the day.

Pertaining to Work

Speaking of work, we recently debuted the updated Live Event Center at the Professional Bull Riders – much smoother user interface, much better updates and runs much faster than before.  It will be bringing live updates this weekend as the PBR invades New York City!

In additional working news, I am working with the fine photographers from Bull Stock Media, the official photographers to the PBR.  I am helping them update and maintain their web site, which is going to be pretty fun considering what great guys Andy and Matt are.

Nikon D5000 Digital SLR with AF-S DX VR Zoom-N...
Image via Wikipedia

Did someone say photography?

My awesome wife, knowing how hard it is to decide on items for me for Christmas, went out on a limb this year and simply gave me a Visa Gift Card.  How cool is that?  So cool that I am in the process of listing a bunch of items on eBay that I have had laying around for far too many years so that others can enjoy watching them collect dust as I have these years.  Why?  My next goal is to get me a beginner to intermediate Digital SLR camera and begin taking more and better photos.  I have always wanted one, and it appears I may be able to see that dream happen – so yeah, my wife ROCKS!  I am leaning towards a Nikon – either a used D40 or a new D5000 – yes big price difference, but we will have to see how fast and how much I can earn on eBay, which if you click the eBay link you can see what I am trying to sell ;0)

Speaking of photography I think I will be starting a photoblog to go along with the camera once it has arrived.  Yes I know I hardly update this one (or any of the other 4-5 blogs I write on), but hey, lofty ideas sometimes come to fruition, right?  Right.

If you didn’t know….

In case you didn’t know, I launched a new blog some time ago.  Yes it only has one post, but I believe it will become part of the photoblog and will become a more personal blog – for posts much as these.  You can find it at: billynab.com – pretty easy to remember since it’s my name.  It launched November 27, 2009 and has one post, another one going up tonight and maybe more soon.  Or….maybe in a month….my blogging schedule is low priority right now.

If that wasn’t good enough to know that you can still find my occasional tweets on Twitter – @southplatte – where I send a few tweets here and there.  I used to tweet much more, of course that was before I got extremely busy making the Interwebz work.

Speaking of making the Interwebz work

One of my goals for 2010 is to get some “industry” certifications. You know the piece of paper I can use to claim I know what I am doing on making the web work.  Actually I nearly have my B.S. degree finished so I may finish that as well.  However, in the mean time (simply because time permits quick study and quick tests) I will be trying to obtain my ColdFusion certification, PHP certification and possibly my Java certification this year.  I could be real lofty and try for my C# as well, but we’ll wait and see how many of the three I get done first, okay.

For many of you that might read this, you may not remember the prank I pulled on April Fool’s day last year.  It was one of the biggest traffic days I had all year – so be on the look out in a few months for something else fun, mimicking, or full of gimmickry.  Why?  Because we all need a laugh, and we all need some fun in life.

Laughter? How about the final laugh?

One of the goals I have for 2010 is to laugh more.  I feel it is a gatekeeper of all that is good, and can mend many things that drag us down in our daily life.  Often I am so serious, so intense on what I am working on my sense of humor is fading and failing.  No more of that.  My sense of humor is actually rather dry – so I try not to joke to much because so many people think I am serious – but oh well, if they truly know me, then they know me.  So lets laugh this year, share a joke or two.  Let’s take some photographs, work on some web sites that kick ass and get together on social networking, shall we?

Why not.

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Old West Meets High Tech

Professional Bull Riders
Image via Wikipedia

What do Cowboys, Computers, the Web and Social Media all have in common?

They are joining forces to bring high-tech into the daily happenings of the Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series. Through the use of social media, the web and computers (and by computers I mean desktops, laptops, netbooks, smartphones and more) they are expanding their reach into new markets, new genres and opening up the sport to a much wider audience than ever before.

The 2009 season has seen quite a few changes at the PBR – from the main web site (http://www.pbrnow.com) getting a complete face lift early on, to the event information pages being completely redone to provide more information and better timed, to using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to not only communicate with fans, but provide more pertinent information even faster, the PBR has expanded its high-tech offerings to the world at large in the digital age.

You can follow @teampbr on Twitter to get behind the scenes photos in real-time from the events, including the currently happening PBR World Finals. They also provide some scores as they happen in real-time, along with photos of riders, bulls, opening ceremonies and more. They also run some trivia and other fun items during the events to engage followers even more. The same can be said for their MySpace and Facebook pages, with information going out faster and through more outlets than ever before.

One of the late offerings of 2009, which debuted two events prior to the PBR World Finals, was the addition of the Live Event Center. What the Live Event Center brings to the fans is a real-time, live updated ride-by-ride scoring system viewable in their web browser. Within seconds of a rider either riding a bull or bucking off, fans have the ability to see the rider score, buck-off-time if the rider bucked off and in all cases the bull’s score. The fans now have the ability to see the scores and other information at times they cannot watch it on television or the broadcast is delayed rather than live.

Additionally, one of the staff writers, Keith Ryan Cartwright, is “live blogging” – sending updates every few rides with information about the riders, their rides, the bulls, their bucks and behind the scenes text commentary with the riders, and others. This has been placed on to the live score page, so that visitors not only can see the scores, but then get a flight-by-flight “blog” update of all the action that gives some perspectives behind the scores. So now visitors to the PBR site can not only get live scores, flight-by-flight commentary, but they can follow the @teamPBR team and get some photos from in arena as well as other updates in regards to the rides, riders, bulls, bull fighters and more.

If that were not enough, for the debut of the 2009 PBR World Finals, visitors to http://www.pbrnow.com can click on the live photo page and get a very special treat. Andy and Matt from Bull Stock Media, the official photographers and stock provider to the PBR, are posting real-time live in-arena photos. These are in-your-face photos of the bulls, the riders, the rides – all the dirt, grime and hustle that makes the PBR THE Toughest Sport on Dirt. The photos are posted from the start of the show, including the rider introductions, the bull introductions, during the presenting of the American Flag, all the way through to the round winner circle, and eventually at the close of the 2009 World Finals World Champion ceremony.

Combine all of that with a mobile powered web site with the latest news and feature stories, http://mobull.pbrnow.com, blogs from some of the best in the businesses, including 9-time World Champion Ty Murray, and a complete online Audio podcast and Video archive located at http://pbr.tv – it is easy to see how the Toughest Sport on Dirt is fast becoming a high-tech sport – reaching new fans, new avenues and generating more content for viewers than ever before.

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Why clean code and markup matters on a web site

A graphical despiction of a very simple html d...
Image via Wikipedia

I work for the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. in the capacity of Web Developer (Visit the PBR Online. Recently we have been looking at making changes to the site, adding more content pages, restructuring the layout on some of the internal pages to be more modern looking and reviewing search engine optimization and marketing.

All of this is necessary for growth, sustained visitors, enhancements and general creating forward motion on any given web site, especially for one that is in the top tier of sports entertainment. The issue happens, as it has happened at countless other enterprises, the code base is getting older, has been touched by many programmers over the years and is nearing point of needing to be completely rewrote to be modernized. That happens. No question.

The discussion here is, does clean, well commented code help sustainability in an application, including a web application? Short answer is yes. Does valid HTML markup do the same? Again, the short answer is yes. If the code base that exists is written using proper and valid HTML/XHTML markup, and is commented properly or document properly to give other developers a decent idea of the logic behind any given subset of functions, routines and other logic to understand what was being done and why. It also helps for the same developer when he/she needs to go back and make changes on code that may have been written months, even years prior.

As we move forward at my place of employment, we are looking at various platforms, ideas and methodologies to create a platform that is extensible, pliable and can be built upon in the future. This platform, as it will become, will be something that can be built upon to create the best possible presence, as any enterprise should have a goal of accomplishing.

So does clean code and markup matter? Yes it does, and if your enterprise, business, or site is lacking in that area, shouldn’t it be about time to correct that situation?

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