Remove the www from URLs

axe.jpgAwhile back, I did a quick tutorial on how to remove the index.html and index.php files from your urls.  I did it because having both in my stats was driving me nuts and causing dupe urls within Google as well.  That splits apart any SEO benefit from inbound links and makes dealing with stats numbers a royal pain.

Another problem is with the www bit in the urls.  I know I’m infamous for point out how folks misuse the www bit this all the time as some networks still have problems resolving urls when an extra layer is added to the domain.

The problem though some people have when setting up such a feature is that they make the with-www or without-www not resolve.  That’s an issue because you’re losing half of the folks don’t use domains the same way you do.

Another problem is that you’re splitting in half any SEO benefit you may get from inbound links.  Some folks will link to your site with the www included, some will not use the ‘www’ bit.  Better to get benefit from all of the inbound links.

Best solution is to redirect visitors to one or the other.  For me, it’s easier to strip out the ‘www’ and try and force it.  You can do that with the following code added to your .htaccess file within root:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.domain.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://domain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

The domain.com bit needs to be replaced with the correct domain for your site of course.  And you may already have the first line in your .htaccess file.

It would be easier (and require less server load) to make this change within the Apache configuration files but not everybody has access to the root files on a server.

Of course now we’ll have to deal with the no-www and yes-www crowds.

Organize Your Books With LibraryThing

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I know I’ve complained about my local library previously but I’m a big book person if you haven’t guessed.  Heck, my very first blog post way back when was about cats in libraries.  When Angie left, all of my books disappeared as well.  I had a lot of books back then (I worked for Waldenbooks for a few years until I realized that I was going to make less than $20k a year as a store manager.) and I have to admit that I missed them. 

Anyway, through the magic of the Internet, I’ve been slowly rebuilding my collection.  I read mostly science fiction although I have been know to read other things a time or two.  Most of what I’ve obtained I have saved on my laptop’s hard drive and I read it from my iPod Touch with Stanza.

The biggest problem besides trying to convert those files to something Stanza can read is trying to keep things organized.  I find myself using Windows search function just to find out if I have a certain book or if I have to go looking for it.  Some folks have suggested different organizers to keep things sorted but all the ones I’ve tried either didn’t work the way I liked, converted the books into weird formats or made multiple copies killing the space on my drive, or just didn’t work at all.  Right now, I’ve got a directory labeled Books on the hard drive, the 26 letters of the alphabet underneath that, and a separate folder under each of those for each author by their last name.  Not the best of solutions but they’re sorted.  The problem though is there’s no easy way to tell what I have, what authors I have, and what I’m missing. (Some of the files are corrupt as well which makes me check each and every one but that’s besides the idea of this post.)

Having a few extra bucks at the end of this month, I’ve gone ahead and paid for a year’s subscription over at LibraryThing. (I feel bad that I only had left six bucks left in my Paypal account instead of the ten that they ask for but they took it.  Hopefully I can add more to that later on someday.)  LibraryThing is an online category system that allows people to organize and catalog their book collections.  I’ve only got a single book cataloged so far (They have a limit of 200 books for free accounts.) but now I’m going to try to get more of what I have in there. (edit: Oops, got two in there now.  Been reading The Black Unicorn lately so I went ahead and added it.)

Anyone care to show off their own collections and give me another reason why I need to get organized?

edit: The image is from the LibraryThing website.  I don’t see the legal information there though so I can’t give credit besides that. 🙁

Google AdSense Payments Team Wants to Hear from You

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We all love Google Adsense, don’t we?  Ever want to let the Adsense team know how you feel about the program?  Well now you can.  Adsense is currently running a survey to learn more about their publishers’ satisfaction
in regards to the available payment methods that they offer. So if you hate getting a check every month and for whatever reason can’t hook up your bank account to your Google Adsense account, now’s the time to let them know.

The survey has been available for quite a while now.  It’s still active although it doesn’t always work and doesn’t always work for some.

Buy your own WordPress Multiuser site

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Ever want to buy your own WordPress Multiuser site already installed and up and running?  Girls’ Coffee Table is up for sale for a Buy it Now price of $60.  The site already has BuddyPress installed and Google Adsense stuck in a few places if that’s important to you.

Some work has already been done on the site.  The main blog has a custom theme that’s nice and pink. (Having flashbacks of Monkey Island 4 to be honest. “It’s pink!”) Right off I don’t see support forums or help pages and we all know how important that is to me.  Has some nice themes though.  Only has about 50 members so some marketing will be required.

As I write this, there’s no confirmed bids.  Bids start at $25 if you feel the need.

And in case you’re looking for some exceptional WPMU sites to steal ideas from, keep an eye on this thread over on the WPMu Premium site.

Got My First Project Wonderful Payout Today

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As you may remember, a few months back I signed up for Project Wonderful.  You can see the boxes over on the left here in the sidebar as well as at the bottom of the Download Youtube Videos site.  Yesterday I requested my first payout and I noticed I received $13.50 as a deposit into my PayPal account this morning.

Hmm, $13.50.

Now I’m not complaining about the buck charge for processing.  I don’t have a problem about that as it says on their site and a couple of times during processing that there’s a fee. (Although I do point out that there’s no mention of it on their external FAQ page.)

And I have to admit that I’ve spent a few bucks on advertising a couple of my sites.  About ten bucks I believe.

So let’s say that gives me a total of $25 earned over a period of about ten months.  Just to round the number out and to be a bit generous.

That gives me a total of $2.50 a month or a little over 8 cents a day.

Hmm, 8 cents.

Even my Google Adsense take is better than that.

Clearly I need a new source of revenue.

edit: I will mention that I’m amazed how many Etsy folks I see need some instruction on how to do a link though.  Seems like half of their links are either broken or lead to some rather strange pages within their Etsy stores.  My favorite so far was the one who linked to their checkout page and bypassed their entire store. *sigh* She never understood when I emailed her about it.

How to Update iPod Touch to 3.1.1 Firmware For Free

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Well, I’ve been using my iPod Touch for quite some time now.  I’ve had to upgrade the software every once in a while and that was a bit of a problem.  As noted earlier, the upgrade files are huge and it’s not something that I can do over my local library’s wireless network.

So anyway Apple announced the iPhone & iPod Touch Firmware 3.0 upgrade awhile back.  Only one problem: For the regular iPod’s and the iPhone units, the upgrade was free.  For those with an iPod Touch, the upgrade was ten bucks.  Few folks upgraded, especially considering that some said it wasn’t much of an upgrade.

Anyway, after recently getting a few “You need to upgrade your OS” messages when trying to install or upgrade new iPhone applications, I decided to finally go ahead, bite the bullet and get the upgrade.  Especially since the OS is now up to 3.1.1.  Still though the poor wireless connection here in the library was a factor.  Like before, I had to work out a method to grab the files via a different method than the iTunes interface as the upgrade file tops out at about 245 megs or so.  Again, my only choice was a manual upgrade to the 3.1.1 firmware.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Download and install iTunes 9 and whatever version of Quicktime that comes along with it.  I’m stuck with doing that through the web which isn’t a good solution for me.  The complete download was about 70 megs and it took a couple of tries.  I wish Apple would do a direct download for that software.
  2. Grab the restore firmware file you’ll need for the specific generation of iPhone or iPod Touch that you have.  Last time I posted links but I’ve discovered that Apple changes them every so often so instead I’m going to link you to this website: iPod and iPhone Firmware Download.  Make sure you grab the correct file for the specific generation version of iPod that you have.  The iPod Touch links are after the iPhone ones.  That confused me the first time.  Don’t know what you have?  There’s a form on that page where you enter the last three digits of your unit’s serial number and the site will tell you.
  3. Connect your iPod to your computer.
  4. Start iTunes (Remember: This is after you’ve upgraded iTunes in the first step.) and select your iPod unit from the Devices List along the left.
  5. While holding down your Shift key, press the Restore button on your screen within iTunes.  That’s important as you’re telling that you want to use a local restore instead of downloading one.
  6. You’ll get a popup asking for the location of your iPod Touch ipsw files that you downloaded in Step 2.  Gotta be there somewhere. 😉
  7. Let it run.  Don’t disconnect anything.  It’s going to take a while and reboot the iPod a few times. 

I’m torn on if I like the upgrade myself.  For me, the new Search page is actually an annoyance as I don;t have the need to search that often.  Plus I’m used to flipping with my thumb back to the first page of icons.  Now doing that brings me past the icons and to the search screen so I have to flip backward if I flip too many times.

Make sure you do a backup first of your files.  Some of the videos that I had on my iPod were not accessible after the upgrade.  Had to reinstall them afterwards. 

I hope this helps someone.  Please let me know how things work out for you.

Are Your Twits Worthy of You? Find Out With Tweetworth.com

I’ve talked about Twitter in the past a couple of times. Have to admit that I don’t use it that much. Really only when I make a new post here. Occasionally I go looking for new post ideas there as well.

Anyway, it looks like what little Twittering I’ve done has provided some value. (Edit: Hey, I’m on page 6 of the highest ranking Twitters with worth.) A passing mention on the Digitalpoint forums let me know about Tweetworth.  The site lacks some polish (Actually, let’s be honest, it lacks a lot of polish.  For example the link in the footer to their own Twitter account doesn’t work and their about page lacks correct layout.) and there’s no mention on how the worth of a Twitter account is judged.  The site is still new and will hopefully become more filled out later on.

I actually prefer Twitter Grader myself.  They give you some description on how they judge the worth of an account and seem to do a better job of ranking folks.  They even break down rankings based on your location against other Twitter users.

Which tool do you like better?

BestBuy Sells 52 Inch TVs for Ten Bucks. How Many Did You Buy?

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Yes, it’s a pricing error. 😉

I read this morning over on the Demonoid support forums that Best Buy was selling a Samsung 52″ LCD HDTV for $9.99.

That’s right.  Ten bucks.  Picture to the left.  In case you can’t read it, it’d model #LN52A650.

You would still have to pay a flat $70 for the delivery, a buck in tax and a $25 recycling fee but that still only comes to a total of $106 total for the first one and about eleven bucks ($9.99 for the television and the buck for tax.) for each additional one.

From looking at the timestamps of the threads, it took BestBuy no less than 6 hours to notice the mistake and pull the advertising.  Some posters ordered upwards of a dozen before the advert disappeared and then wondered if they would actually get the wide screen televisions.

After pulling the error, BestBuy issued a correction and refused to honour the price.  They also locked the thread to prevent people complaining I noticed.  Didn’t stop anyone though.  There’s no less than three other threads on the topic. (edit: Oops, found a fourth.)

So what do you think?  Should BestBuy honour the price?  Amazon sells the television for just under $1,300.  BestBuy would lose over a thousand dollars per unit sold.  But if they don’t, they’ll probably lose the business of all the customers who bought those televisions.  I didn’t get one but will think twice about shopping there again.

edit: Looks like it made the news.  Even the Christian Science Monitor picked up the story.  Some folks feel that maybe this was just a marketing stunt to draw folks into the site.

How to Filter Unread Email in Gmail

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I have hundreds if not thousands of emails saved in my GMail account.  Every so often, I get an email that I look at the header or who it’s from and just bypass it.  I don’t need to read it but, for one reason or another, I still need to save it.  Since I get hundreds of emails every day, I now have hundreds of these unread emails sitting in my inbox and assorted folders within GMail.

A quick Google pulls up hundreds of blog posts and how tos on how to do this.  Unfortunately many of these are actually incorrect or missing a step. Hopefully I can show you how to do this correctly. (And maybe remember myself since I have to look this up myself every so often.)

  1. Log into your GMail account. Boy, that’s easy. 🙂
  2. In the “Search” bar, enter the following: label:unread. Click on “Search mail.”
  3. You’ll get a listing of the first 20 emails that are still marked as unread.  That’s where most other sites get it wrong.  You have to flip through the pages to see all of the posts.

If you want to mark the emails as read like what I wanted to do this morning, click on the All link within the Select line.  It’ll tell you that the shown 20 emails are marked and give you an option to mark all of the emails matching your search pattern.  I click on that option to mark all of them.

I hope this helps other folks.