Archive for: September 2008

September 28, 2008

The Presidential Debate

Filed under: Politics — Les Bain @ 4:51 pm

A most important debate: Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain.

  • Which one looked the other one in the eye?  Which one did not?
  • Which one swore quietly while the other was talking?
  • Which one called the other by first name? Which one addressed the other as Senator?
  • Which one wore the flag lapel pin?
  • Which one wore the inappropriate tie?
  • Which one had the authentic smile? Which one had the forced smile?

Got to know the important stuff.

September 27, 2008

From the RSS Tutorial

Filed under: Technology — Les Bain @ 5:16 pm

The RSS Tutorial:

RSS can deliver current information from the Internet in our areas of expertise or interest.

RSS comes close to fulfilling the promise of a custom newspaper or magazine that is delivered to our desktops.

My RSS reader delivers to my desktop a custom mix of articles on news, technology, the Law of Attraction, personal growth, web 2.0, website development, information technology… and of course, RSS.

I continually refine this daily flow of information, dropping those feeds that get stale, and picking up new feeds for current events like the Presidential Election.

Some RSS feeds are updated hourly (Associated Press and BBC news), some RSS feeds are updated daily, and others are updated weekly or irregularly.  RSS reduces my web surfing time and gives me more reading time.

September 23, 2008

State of the Blogosphere / 2008

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 9:26 am

State of the Blogosphere / 2008 results.

The Blogosphere is the universe of all blogs.

  • 133 million blog records indexed by Technorati
  • 7.4 milion blog posts in the last 120 days
  • 1.5 million blog posts in the last 7 days
  • 900,000 blog posts in 24 hours

September 21, 2008

Google Maps

Filed under: Marketing — Les Bain @ 3:29 pm

Google Maps is used by many to find businesses.

“Millions of people search Google Maps every day. A free listing on Google Maps makes it easy for them to find you.
Use the Local Business Center to create your free listing. When potential customers search Maps for local information, they’ll find your business: your address, hours of operation, even photos of your storefront or products. It’s easy, free, and you don’t need a website of your own.”
 

Every business should take advantage of this free service to make sure people have the best information when search on Google Maps. You do not even need your own website.

September 20, 2008

Blogging Organization

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 1:26 pm

Blogs and blog posts are organized serially by date, latest one first.  So how are blog posts organized.

Most blog services allow blog posts to be tagged or categorized.

Tagging is a way of organizing blog posts into topics.

There are two basic ways to organized webpages: Heirarchies and Tagging

Heirarchies are top down organizations of greater and greater detail.  Think of the folder or directory structures of most computers.

Tagging is more free form.  Each blog post can be assigned tags. 

  • A Blog post might be about the IRS, taxes, and personal finance.  Each one could be a tag.
  • Another post might be about personal finance and savings.
  • Blog Posts can be retrieved by tag. 
    • The personal finance tag would retrieve both posts.
    • The taxes tag would retrieve only the first post.

September 19, 2008

Blogging and RSS

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 10:52 am

Blogging and RSS grew up together.

Blogs and RSS are a natural fit, so it is understandable that there is compatibility between Blogs and RSS.

  • Blogs are created an entry at a time; RSS feeds are created an item at a time.
  • Each blog entry becomes an RSS feed item showing “what’s new”.
  • Most blog services automatically create RSS feeds.

Instead of checking for blog posts, RSS feeds provide automatic blog surfing.

RSS feeds can be full or partial text.  People feel strongly both ways.

September 18, 2008

MicroBlogging

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 7:36 pm

MicroBlogging is a new type of blogging.  Users can write brief text messages up to 140 characters and publish them.  They are read using the microblogging service.  The services can be accessed using text messaging, instant messaging, email, MP3, or through the web. 

Twitter is the most popular service.  Users can sign on to twitter, leave a short message called a tweet, and read messages from other Tweeters. Tweets can be read using RSS.

Twitter recorded 2.3 million unique visitors in August of 2008, and increase of 422% over the same time last year.

Twitter is open, so there are a number of support products like TweetDesk, TwitterBar, and TwitterBerry.

Many of the articles that review Twitter

  • Cannot figure out why it is so popular – until they try it.
  • Find it addictive and have to take Twitter breaks.
  • Are trying to figure out a way to use Twitter to market.

September 17, 2008

The Blog Business

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 8:17 am

70 million blogs generate business opportunties.

  • Blog Directories list blogs by categories to help people find blogs in their area of interest.
  • Blog Templates define the look of blogs.  Change the template: change the look.  Some templates are free.  Some templates are not.
  • Technorati is the leading source of information about blogs and blogging.
  • WordPress and other blogging services create the opportunity for individuals and companies to create addons.  Addons add functionality to the basic packages.
    • Addons can help add video, audio, and photos.
    • Addons can enhance tagging or blog rolls.
    • Addons can enhance comments or linkbacks.
  • People write books about blogs and blogging.  People blog about blogging.
  • People sell advertising on blogs.  Advertising companies create ad systems for blogs.
  • Companies create widgets and gadgets for blogs.

September 16, 2008

Blogging Notes

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 1:36 am

Blog as often as you like, there is no set time for blog posts.  As a general rule, posting more attracts more readers however.

Blogs can be successful with just a few readers.

  • Sometimes only close friends and family read a blog, but that is the intended audience.
  • Sometimes a blog is for members of a club or organizations.
  • Sometimes a blog is just for personal expression, and no readers are required.

It is customary to leave blog posts unchanged.  If there is a correction to be made, then a new blog post is created to make the correction.

Bloggers are becoming mainstream.  Bloggers attend the Democratic and Republican National Conventions and report on their blogs.  Bloggers do not have editors, so sometimes their posts have radical or unusual opinions.

September 15, 2008

What is a blog?

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 3:04 pm

A blog is a journal, log, or diary that is online on the web.  Web + log = Blog.

It is characterized by sequential entries in descending sequence by date.

Blogs can be written by one person.  They can be written by teams of people. 

There are many types of blogs.

  • Personal Blogs are closer to diaries and are often very personal.
  • Photoblogs are blogs with photographs.
  • Linkblogs contain links to other online articles and blog posts.
  • Vlogs are Video Blogs
  • Blogs with audio are called Audio blogs or Podcasts.

Blogs can be organized by topic. 

  • Political Blogs
  • Technical Blogs
  • Sports Blogs

September 14, 2008

Blogging Services

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 11:06 am

There are many blogging services, many of them free.

Blogger from Google is free, easy, and getting better.  It suffered for a while because it was used to create many spam blogs called splogs.   After Google acquired Blogger, it was stagnant for a while, but now there are regular enhancements.

WordPress is another free service.  WordPress was written so that there are lots of opportunity to create addon products, and there are many.  It makes WordPress popular and easy to customize. WordPress has features that put it in the category of a content management system.

TypePad from SixApart is the largest paid blogging service.  It is considered to be a very solid blogging platform for professionals.

MSN spaces is the new blogging service from Microsoft.

Many of the Social Networking systems also include blog functionality.

  • Vox from Six Apart
  • MySpace
  • Yahoo 360
  • AOL Journals

September 13, 2008

Blogging Conversation

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 8:03 pm

Blogging is often considered a conversation.  The conversation includes the following:

  1. Blog posts and comments.
    Blogs as a default have comments.  Blog readers can post comments about each post.  Blog comments can quickly degenerate into advertising, profanity, and viciousness, so blogging commenting is generally moderated.
  2. Linkbacks.
    Linkbacks are a way for the original blogger to be notified when another blogger links to one of their blog posts.  Blogging software supports linkbacks in a number of ways.
  3. Websites that gather blog posts on related topics.
    Techmeme is just one of many sites that gather up blog posts and other websites into topics, bringing blogs posts on the same topic together.

September 12, 2008

Reviewing the Blogosphere

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 3:53 pm

Technorati publishes regular reports on the Status of the Blogosphere.

I reviewed the numbers getting ready for a presentation:

Blogs:

  • 70 million weblogs.
  • 120,000 new weblogs being created worldwide each day.
  • 1.4 blogs created every second of every day.

Postings:

  • 1.5 million postings per day.
  • 17 posts per second.

Languages:

  • 37% Japanese
  • 36% Enlish
  •   8% Chinese
  •   3% Italian

September 11, 2008

East Bay Business Leaders Audio

Filed under: Marketing — Les Bain @ 12:54 pm

This morning I spoke to the East Bay Business Leaders introducing myself and Wizard Creek Consulting.

[audio:EBBL 2008 09 11]

September 10, 2008

Treo

Filed under: Technology — Les Bain @ 6:06 am

The more I use my Treo 700P, the more I like it.

I have used Palms for years, so I like the Palm OS, but I also like the way the Treo works.

Each month I add a new feature or two.  This month was a Bluetooth headset.  I got a very basic and inexpensive headset, but it works just fine.  And it satisfies the new handsfree California law.

I also got a Secure Digital Card.  It is just a 2G, but it enables me to start doing a few other functions.

I like the idea of adding something new every month, it keeps it fresh.

September 8, 2008

Sarah Palin

Filed under: Podcasts — Les Bain @ 2:31 pm

This is my suggestion on what Senator Barack Obama should do about Sarah Palin. Damn her with faint praise.

Sarah is one of the bright young faces of the Republican party … BUT

  • John McCain got her on a National ticket ahead of her time
  • The campaign will help season her for when the time is right.

Sarah got off a supposedly good zinger about community service in her speech … BUT

  • Then John McCain undermined her and called for community service.
  • Jesus did community service, Pontius Pilate was the Governor
  • All those that do Community Service were unfortunately offended.

Sarah supported the Bridge to Nowhere and then changed her position … BUT

  • That is just the process young politicians go through to learn
  • At the time, earmarks were OK with Republicans.

Sarah wants to teach Adam and Eve in science class … BUT

  • She probably knows better but had to satisfy the the Religious Right
  • She only meant for that to be done in Alaska and Alaska does not have that many people

Sarah does not have that much foreign policy experience … BUT

  • She does live close to Siberia and that should count for something
  • She wanted to make a separate country of Alaska: then the USA would have been a foreign country

September 7, 2008

The Presidential Campaign

Filed under: Politics — Les Bain @ 8:02 pm

The news reporters were joyful today.  The polls show the presidential campaign to be very close.

One news reporter crowed “we have a horse race”.  

We all know that if a sports game is one sided, the viewers turn it off and those in attendance leave early. If the campaign is not close, we tune out the news reporters.

So now we have a contest, and I just hope it not only inspires the new reporters, but inspires the electorate.

September 5, 2008

Browsers

Filed under: Technology — Les Bain @ 7:09 pm

Google Chome has opened up the browser conversation again.

People I am talking to are chatting about IE, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Chrome.  The new entry into the browser world has caused us all to reassess what we really want in a browser.

I have talked to several who have taken a hard look at their FireFox addons to see which ones are really desired and not just “nice to have”.  Many of us now have a hard list of what would have to be in Chome to switch.

This is my list of FireFox addons that I will not give up.

  • All-in-One Gestures
  • Firebug
  • FireFTP
  • Google Toolbar for FireFox
  • Pronouce
  • Web Developer

September 4, 2008

Watching the Political Convention

Filed under: Politics — Les Bain @ 7:52 pm

Tonight was John McCain’s speech at the Republican Covention. 

He was brutal in his assessment of the Republican party and its record in Washington, and he certainly tried to separate himself from the current Republican administration.

But:

  • He used the old George W. Bush line about “education being the current civil rights”.
  • He outlined a very typical Republican platform. 

But Governor Palin got some nice applause.

September 2, 2008

Google Chrome

Filed under: Technology — Les Bain @ 6:55 pm

Google Chrome is causing system problems.  When I try and view Flash Videos, it takes 100% of the CPU, and then does not really show the flash video.

Screen captures show the results of trying to watch a flash video using Google Chrome. Because all the CPU was being used, I could not stop the video and had to cancel Google Chrome.
Chrome Results

Chrome Results 2

Chrome Results 3

Governor Sarah Palin

Filed under: Politics — Les Bain @ 4:55 pm

Governor Sarah Palin was picked by John McCain to be his running mate.  It is the first time that the Republicans have picked a woman to run for the Vice President of the United States.

There have been a series of stores about Governor Palin after she was nominated, so the question is how she was vetted.  How she was investigated and picked.

The word vetted comes from the word vet.  According to Wikipedia:

To vet was originally a horse-racing term, referring to the requirement that a horse be checked for health and soundness by a veterinarian before being allowed to race. Thus, it has taken the general meaning “to check.”

No matter how much or little research is done by the politicians, the media (including bloggers) seems to uncover new information.

The conservative right was pushing Senator McCain to pick Governor Palin, so I wonder why the press did not investigate her earlier.

If Governor Palin was a potential NFL draft pick, everything would have been known about her.

September 1, 2008

Google Chrome

Filed under: Technology — Les Bain @ 3:49 pm

Google Chrome is the new Google browser.

http://blogoscoped.com/google-chrome/ is the comic book that introduces the new Google browser. 

It might be the most important technical comic book ever published.

For me, they should turn it into a video and put it on YouTube.  In fact, I would guess that someone will do that shortly.

Tomorrow, Google Chrome will be available.  Any bet on whether there are Google server problems tomorrow?

And for those of us who work with Browser incompatibilities every day, I wish Google would address basic HTML and CSS issues also.

Internet Explorer

Filed under: Technology — Les Bain @ 12:09 pm

Firefox got so bad I switched to Internet Explorer, and I thought I would never to that.  I cannot switch to Opera, because many of the addons I like to use, like Google toolbar, do not run with Opera.

Firefox runs well enough to use FireFTP and FireBug which I now find essential, but Internet Explorer (gasp!) is now my default browser.

It is probably some combination of add-ons that I have put on Firefox, or some corruption, but Firefox is no longer stable.

Bring on Google Chrome!