Archive for December, 2006
Steve Rubel pointed out an article that the Wall Street Journal has put up that has a strong negative opinion of blogs.
The blogs are not as significant as their self-endeared curators would like to think. Journalism requires journalists, who are at least fitfully confronting the digital age. The bloggers, for their part, produce minimal reportage. Instead, they ride along with the MSM like remora fish on the bellies of sharks, picking at the scraps.
Pretty harsh don’t you think? I guess time will tell though. Steve suggests we drop newspapers like the Wall Street Journal (if you haven’t already), and continue to feature the great voices of the blogosphere, which I wholeheartedly agree with.
The new blogger is finally out of beta, and it seems the Blogger staff are excited about the transition.
The new version of Blogger is metaphorically bursting with features, from the big guns like drag-and-drop template editing and post labels (which are perfect, by the way, for indexing the 131 historical figures you may have written about), to little polishes like a better-designed Dashboard or that you no longer need to solve a word verification CAPTCHA to post a comment on your own blog.
I admit, it is a huge update to the Blogger system, but it is still not as good as WordPress.com in my opnion. Closer though now than ever before.
Charles and I cover a bunch of topics in episode 14, our last “real” episode before the holidays.
Things like mistakes we made in previous episodes, more localized web server setups, ala web server on a USB stick, gravatars, and their development, or lack there of, and some people that are trying to replace gravatars and as usual some interesting plug-ins.
Check out episode 14, and don’t forget to Digg the podcast please. Thank you to everyone that already has, when I went to bed we had only 6 Diggs, and now we are up to 20. Your support means a lot to both Charles and myself.
Frontpage is being replaced by a new project called Expression Web.
Expression Web will hopefully do more with web standards and XML, XHTML and style-sheets, CSS and XSLT.
Q. How does Expression Web compare to Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 and Visual Studio as a Web design/development tool?
A. Expression Web is a new product for professional Web designers that combines the best of both FrontPage and Visual Studio technologies in a new user interface for creating XHTML, CSS, XML, XSLT, and ASP.NET 2.0. Where appropriate, the user interface and features of Expression Web and Visual Studio are identical (such as for ASP.NET control properties).
I am not a big fan of WYSIWYG developments, but if it seems like they gave Expression Web a bit more thought, and there is a built in panel that will test webpages for CSS and HTML compliance.
Funny though that Internet Explorer still has problems with compliance.
With Digg’s recent addition of Podcasts, I figured it would be a good time to mention that the podcast I co-host, the WordPress Podcast, is trying to get a few votes to crawl up the site’s listings. Currently with only six votes, it is no where near the top ten pages of the podcast listings, and I hope that the WordPress Community finds that unacceptable.
So as a small holiday gift to me and Charles, please Digg the WordPress Podcast.
For those that use the Adsense Beautifier plugin for their WordPress blogs, they might find themselves a little disappointed, as Google has changed the rules when it comes to images next to their advertisements.
The two most important points are:
Can I place small images next to my Google ads?
We ask that publishers not line up images and ads in a way that suggests a relationship between the images and the ads. If your visitors believe that the images and the ads are directly associated, or that the advertiser is offering the exact item found in the neighboring image, they may click the ad expecting to find something that isn’t actually being offered. That’s not a good experience for users or advertisers.
Publishers should also be careful to avoid similar implementations that people could find misleading. For instance, if your site contains a directory of Flash games, you should not format the ads to mimic the game descriptions.
What if I place a space or a line between my images and my ads? Would that work?
No. If the ads and the images appear to be associated, inserting a small space or a line between the images and ads will not make the implementation compliant.
Interesting problem for advertisers and something that many are going to have to change. And to think I was thinking of trying to use images to increase click through rates on my sites…
Check out the full details at Inside Adsense.
Over on the new Workboxers, David Krug has posted his system for making money off of blogs and websites.
He mainly flips them for a profit, which isn’t how I like to see people making money online, but is a reality of the business that sometimes the only way to make any money is in the sale of a site.
Hereâ€™s the Readers Digest Condense Method On How I make money online:
- Buy solid domains for my content.
- Avoid saturated marketplaces.
- Develop around 75-100 Articles.
- Build Links.
- Build Income.
- Sell for 12x Income.
It is an interesting way to go, and again not something I recommend, but it is always interesting to see different points of view.
Darren has started another group writing project, and day one is already over. This one is rather short, but could end up winning you a nice little prize just in time for the holidays.
The concept is that we should write, podcast, videocast about our Reviews and Predictions. It can be as serious or silly as you like.
After day one, there has already been more than fifty entries, making the competition fierce, but still worth joining in on.
I have put my submission in, and there are many others.
Top 10 Sports Predictions for 2007
To Think a Lost Cell Phone Started it all
Reflections on a Self Made Blogger
Ben, the creator of the Tarski theme system, has posted on his experiences thanks to his Tarski theme system.
[I] vowed to fix it at some point. But you know how it is: life is full of happenings, and there are bugs to fix and clients to please and exams to take, and some things get pushed to the back of the queue, or worse yet, forgotten entirely. Which is precisely what happened. Fortunately, at least for my conscience, Tarski has a reasonably big userbase and some amongst them came forward about it.
Itâ€™s important to say that they did two things: they raised the issue, and they volunteered to help. This is a game where everyone can win: by bringing up localisation, they put pressure on me to make it easier for them to do something they wanted to do anyway (namely translate the theme). They can then reciprocate by providing their translation to everyone else, which costs them very little effort and gains them the appreciation of their peers (a reward one would do well not to underestimate the value of).
I am so happy to see that a theme creator has had positive feelings from his experience. I have heard others nagging that the community that wants the changes never does anything to help, rather they complain to the creator to fix things. I hope to see more theme creators expressing positive experiences thanks to taking the time and effort into creating a theme for the community at large.
Tarski is one of my favourite themes, and I hope that the community surrounds Ben with more help than he can handle.
On Make Easy Money with Google and AdSense there is an interesting idea in one of the recent articles that asks if you have an AdSense Will. An interesting idea, and while a bit depressing, it is something that more and more people have to think about.
what happens to my AdSense sites when I die?
The sites keep running, of course. They’ll keep making money, though over the long term I’d expect revenues to go down, especially those tied to (by then dormant) blogs. That’s the whole point of creating a passive income stream with AdSense and/or embedded affiliate links.
The problem comes in managing it all. If I dropped dead tomorrow, my wife would have no clue what to do with my sites. Currently I use two different domain registrars and four different hosting service. I have umpteen different affiliate accounts. No one else understands any of it but me, and a lot of it isn’t written down anywhere, just buried in various email folders. Even getting access to my email would be challenging because my mail client uses SSH tunnels exclusively to connect to my mail servers.
Something we should all be concerned with. This has prompted me to burn a CD with all of my information on it, placing it in a fireproof cabinet, and then I told the important people where to find it. I will go ahead and try to burn one each time I do my data backups, every month.
Check out the full article, and while I hope no one will worry about such things too much, it is great advice to keep in the back of your mind.