Anyone remember this book about blogging?

blogging_monkeysI thought I talked about it once.  I had a digital copy of it but I can’t find it.  It was like a 100 ways to be a better blogger type work with each page on a different topic.  The first one was about not blogging about your everyday life. (ie “I got up in the morning, had breakfast, etc.”)

Does this ring a bell with anyone?

It’s bugging me that I can’t find it.

Image from here.

Cough up a few bucks and get a slightly used username over at Livejournal

livejournal.pngI was poking around my sister’s LiveJournal site (Side note: She’s started one of those A Picture A Day sites as well) and noted that Livejournal allows their endusers to get previously used names that have been recently “deleted and purged.”  You can change the URL of your site for $15 bucks. (As I read it, you may have to cough that up if you get one of the used names.)

Gotta admit that I don’t know how I feel about that.  While I may gripe about WordPress.com and their lack of respect for their volunteers who provide the first line of support in their forums, one of the pluses I’ve had for the service is how they don’t reuse usernames.  Allowing such a feature may lead to problems with personal identity theft, confusion, and the like.  Livejournal will only keep a name around unused for 30 days. (At least that’s how I read it.) That seems like too short of a time in my opinion.

Six Improvements to Your Blog

Chris Brogan gives us six suggestions on how to improve your blog. All of these work on even blogging sites like wordpress.com where features are limited. Even the mention about having comments. Sure, I’m making you jump thru hoops to leave a comment but the blogger (meaning me) has more of a feel who visits their blog. It also cuts down on the amount of work I’m having to face since I haven’t yet had to clear out Akismet this morning. Also, why not be asked to register at a site? I mean you do it when you want to post to a forum you come across. You had to do it when you created a blog over at wordpress.com. It takes all of five seconds and most of you already have your email program or site up and running.

Comments are good. I hate going to these blogs where comments aren’t allowed. How are you supposed to reply to a blogger when you hit that? When I come across a blog without comments, 99.9% of the time, I’m not going back.

The rest we’ve talked about before.

One thing I want to add to that list is organization. I’m sitting here at a coffee shop and someone just poked their head in and asked where the nearest BestBuy was. Took all of two seconds to pull up their store locator and find it. You’ll note that on my main blog, the page list goes off along the right and hides behind the search box. I’ve got to fix that.

School Web Site Sends Readers To Porn Page

Why you should always check your links on occasion:

From here:

STONE MOUNTAIN — School administrators were shocked to
discover that a DeKalb County middle school’s Web site included a link
to a porn site, Atlanta TV station WSB reported.

Readers using the Stone Mountain Middle School’s Web site could find the link on the site’s student resources section.

The section includes links to educational sites such as the DeKalb Public Library, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and NASA.

Among the 36 links was a link to a porn site called Black Girl Magazine.

Black Girl Magazine was a legitimate magazine aimed at middle- and
high-school girls, according to founder and publisher Kenya Jordana
James.

James said it never contained any pornography.

James is a senior at a local high school who has won numerous awards for her magazine.

But she allowed the rights to the domain name to lapse.

Earlier this month, someone on the Caribbean island of Curacao picked up the rights to the name for a porn site.

School officials said they immediately removed the link from the
school’s Web site when the television station alerted them to the
problem.

“In the future we will monitor (the Web site) a lot closer,” DeKalb
County School District spokesman Dale Davis said in a statement.

Is nofollow worth it?

I’m flipping through some of the posts about Google’s recent broken PR update (All of my new sites have PR0s still.) and came across this suggestion of removing the “rel=’nofollow'” bit from the comments.

I’ve got to admit that I’m kind of torn. While I can understand the
need to have the tag in the links, most bloggers monitor what appears
in their comments. I know I do. Anything that’s spam gets removed.

I’m going to remove it from my WordPress setup and see what happens.

Post Videos from Grouper on WordPress.com

Andy lets us know that blogs over at WordPress.com can now post their videos from Grouper.
This is, if you notice in the article, backwards from the provious methods used with YouTube and Google. Using Grouper, you actually tell Grouper to post the video to your WordPress blog.
Riva does suggest, and I agree, that choosing autoplay is not a good idea since not everybody is on fast internet connections. I would also suggest modifying the post where the video lands and plaing a ‘more’ tag above it would also be a good idea. That way the visitor has to click through to the article to load the video. Also no more than one video per post would also be a good idea.

Getting people to your blog

Ever sit looking at your statistical information and wonder why folks aren’t visiting your site? Ever wonder how folks find you on the Internet? They find your site via links. They could be links that you have created for your visitors either directly or indirectly. Let’s cover the two different types of links.

    Direct links – These are links to your site that you have created yourself. Ever seen a forum that contained a section for links? How about a post in a forum pointing to a specific page with your site while the poster is trying to explain something? These are what I call direct links where you have made a direct appeal to the reader to visit your site for a specific purpose.
    Indirect links – These are links that, while you’ve set them up yourself, are automated in some way. Ever seen the links folks list with signatures in forums? Sure, the user had to set them up themselves but, every time they make a post, there’s another link to their website. Usually these are in place more for search engines but readers can visit your website using them as well.

Let’s discuss now how to get these links and how they’re going to be used.

    Forum Signatures – This is the method I like the best. In the last ten years or so on the Internet, I must have nearly a hundred thousand posts on hundreds of forums. If I want to promote a new website or change the link in some way, all I have to do is log into the forum’s control panel and do a quick edit. You also have control over the keywords used within the link and can change it between websites.
    Email Signatures – Send email? Takes two seconds to include a link in your signature. Just make sure though that if you use your email for business, the link that you provide is appropriate for the business that you do.
    Ask for a link back to your site – Proud of your blog? Put a lot of time into it? Then let it be known and ask for a link back to it. You can even come up with a small button or banner for use. You can make up a banner here -> Button Maker and create a simple banner in MSPaint. If you discover someone linking to your site, it would be polite to link back to the other site of course.
    Feedback Comments – Just read an interesting Blog Post or an article on a news site? Take a few seconds and write a comment. Granted, most search engines won’t follow these links anymore because most comments now have a ‘nofollow’ tag attached to any link included but other readers will see the links and can click on them. Want to do into further detail about the article? Write your own response about it and link back to the original post. Usually you’ll get a trackback back to your site. Again, the link created will have a ‘nofollow’ tag baring any search engines from following it but that won’t stop other readers.
    Website Directories – Does your site cover a specific topic? If it does, you may want to submit it to one of the many directories on the Internet. Places like DMOZ and Yahoo Directory are where you want to do this. Just make sure you give them a good description and catalog your entry correctly.
    Business Cards – Add your URL to your business card. Be sure though that the site is appropriate for your business.
    Blog Directories and Ping Services – This is another indirect method that takes two seconds to set up. When you make a new Post on your blog, why not let anyone who’s interested know about it? Most blogging softwares are set up to send out an announcement or ‘ping’ to these directories, like Technorati to announce that you’ve gone ahead and updated.
    Categories – This one goes hand in hand with the previous one as it’s what the Ping Services are going to pick up on. Here’s a test post that I made on one of my blogs. This it’ll get listed with that single category tag? Probably not. (And, since it was a test post, I’m not real worried about it) Here’s another Post that has seven categories attached to it, all of them having something to do with the Post in question. And, just because you have a keyword in your website’s title doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tag your Post with it as well.

What not to do:

Let’s now cover what not to do. This list is, of course, not perfect nor complete but it’s a good start. Hopefully, with the suggestions listed below, you will understand my train of thought.

    Do not submit your website to those “List my site with thousands of search engines!” sites – Most of them just submit your URL to link farms or spam sites. You may think it’s a great idea to get these links but so do others and Google and the other search engines have already blackballed most of these. In fact, listings at these sites could actually hurt your listings as it may get your site labeled as a spam site itself.
    Avoid hidden text and font color choices close to your background colors – This just makes the search engines think you’re hiding something.
    Don’t spam – Sure, it’s a great idea to throw a link or two into a forum post or elsewhere but if you’re doing it just to get a link or if the place you’re pointing the reader to has nothing to do with what’s being discussed, then it’s spam and you’re just pissing folks off. Think they’ll be back? Doubt it.
    Pay for the link – I’m going to go out on a limb here and not suggest this method. Why? Because search engines are getting smarter everyday and beginning to recognize these are paid links. Sure, you can do it but it may not pay in the end.

In other words, don’t try to cheat.

Hope fully this article will help you.
drmike

Supporting your Favorite Blog – IndieKarma

A sort of cool idea, first read about it hereIndiaKarma.

Each time you visit a website or blog on the indieKarma network, your account is seamlessly debited just one cent. It’s the smallest of micro-payments, directly supporting the blog or website you’re enjoying.

Granted they get to keep 25% of the take which is a bit much, you don’t get any credit for signing up other people and it appears that they only pay out via PayPal but we’re going to give them a try. You note a “dock” along the bottom of the site so you can sign up right away. The first 5,000 clients get a free dollar and they’ve only signed up less than a grand so I got my dollar. 🙂
*shrug* We’re getting something like a thousand individual views a day here. Maybe it will kick me some bucks my way.
Thanks again for visiting,
-drmike

Where did the Archives go?

See that View Archives button to the upper right? That’s where they went.

I found a tutorial over at Asymptomatic
on how to create a shelf. Got the one working under the banner. Still
working on the one in the sidebar to the right. It doesn’t want to
close.

Lots of fun.

While Owen
includes sample code, his site uses a different version so it kind of
threw me off for a bit. As he puts it, it’s a case of “do as I say, not
as I do.” Oh well. It works now.

Now we get to slide it over to the webcomic.