Category: Blogging

March 17, 2013

Blank Lines in WordPress Post

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 4:14 pm

It is not good practice to put multiple blank lines into a post.

 
It should be done with CSS, or with another method.

 
However, clients want to be able to do it.

 
I am experimenting with different techniques to add multiple blank lines.

September 28, 2012

Blog Action Day

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 11:04 am

I signed up for Blog Action Day.

“Founded in 2007, Blog Action Day brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day. Past topics have included water, climate change, poverty and food with thousands of blogs, big and small, taking part.”

I have participated the last several years.

October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 3:43 pm

Today people all over the world are participating in Blog Action Day and writing about Climate Change.

I have some personal issues that are capturing my attention today, the most pressing is that my wife is in the hospital.

Perhaps that is why Climate Change is so difficult.  It is “out there”.  I know it is imminent without significant change, but it does not have the immediacy of a life crisis, or paying the bills, or looking for a job in this economy.

We think of Climate Change as important but not urgent.  Perhaps the emphasis today will help us understand it is both important and urgent.

January 3, 2009

Twitter

Filed under: Blogging,Technology — Les Bain @ 10:24 am

I am spending more time twittering than blogging these days.

  • On Twitter, the post size is 140 characters, so it is conducive to posting a quick thought.
  • Even though it is irregular, the Twitter responses are usually quicker than blog post comments.
  • Blogs are certainly conversations, but they are more deliberate.  Twitter is like chatting at a party where you drift in and out of conversations.
  • I use TweetDeck to access Twitter.
  • TweetDeck allows you to establish subsets of all the people that you follow.  I have subsets for friends and family and a subset I call Uptweet (upbeat) for people that post positive and joyous posts.  It provides lots of little inspirational thoughts during the day.

December 12, 2008

Upgrade to Version 2.7

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 11:37 am

I upgraded WordPress to 2.7 today.

I use the automatic upgrade plugin which certainly makes the process simpler.

I like the new dashboard so far, and everything looks good.

November 13, 2008

“Ask Me” Blog

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 9:23 pm

An “Ask Me” blog can create content, generate more traffic, and help build business.

“Ask Me” blogs are based on Question and Answer.

  • Questions are received in an email.
  • The Question and the Answer comprise a blog post
  • Blog post comments can generate new questions.
  • Typical plugins are site maps or search to find topics of interest.

October 4, 2008

RSS – Really Simple Syndication

Filed under: Blogging,Technology — Les Bain @ 3:20 pm

RSS is one of those great technologies that are not easy to explain.

Many people use RSS in iGoogle or MyYahoo and do not know that they are using RSS.

Many people blog and create RSS feeds but they do not know they are creating an RSS feed.

  • RSS feeds are part of your Internet presence and need to be managed
  • RSS feeds can be ignored, but it should be a conscious decision.

As people start to understand RSS, they become prosumers, which is a combination of producer and consumer.

  • They consume RSS feeds in a reader or product
  • They produce RSS feeds in their blogs, social media account, or Twitter account.

October 2, 2008

Blogging Conversation

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 3:30 pm

I belong to a networking group called East Bay Business Leaders.  This month I am doing an educational series on some tech topics.  Today was blogging.

[audio: ebbl-blogging.mp3]

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 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

August 26, 2008

WordPress problems today

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 10:27 am

I signed on to this blog today to write a blog post.  It took a long time to initialize.  When the blog dashboard came up, it said the blog had no posts.

I did the normal debug first step. I shut it down and then restarted.  Everything is fine.

I exported the blog just in case, groaned at the size of the exported file, came back and deleted all spam comments, and then exported it again.  Much better.

It seems to be fine now.  I will assume that the database did not open, or the database server was unavailable, or something else was temporarily unavailable.  I am not going to trace the problem unless it happens again.  But I am glad I have an exported file.

I think I will also go and backup the database just to be sure.

So I am blogging about blogging again.

August 19, 2008

Upgraded WordPress to new Version

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 6:21 pm

Ran the WordPress automated upgrade process to install the new version of WordPress.

  • It is a WordPress plugin and it does make the upgrade much smoother.
  • It is a little confusing running the process responding to the messages, but it does work.

The bottom line: the plugin makes it easier.

August 14, 2008

Blogging

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 2:22 pm

Helping a client blog.

  • Use the blog service
  • Send an email
  • Use Blog This!
  • Use a general purpose blog client

I like to help a client with this sort of research, it is research that I can use.

August 5, 2008

Posting Regularly

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 11:50 am

If I do not post on the blog regularly, I do not know what to write about.   There are too many things backed up and I do not know where to start.

Seems that is the way with many things.  If you exercise everyday it is a pattern and it generates energy to keep it up.  Getting started again after a period of no exercise is difficult.

It is the difference in a smooth running stream of water versus one that is jammed up or backed up with debris.  Getting the debris out the way is required to get it running smoothly again.

August 1, 2008

WordPress and RSS feed

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 12:08 pm

I wrote an RSS tutorial.  I know a little something about RSS, but the RSS feed for this blog is broken.  I have had it on the task list for a while without giving it priority.  But it is getting embarrassing to have this RSS feed broken.

I will update to WordPress 2.6 first, then fix the RSS feed.

OK:

  • Used the Automatic Upgrade plugin to upgrade WordPress to 2.6
  • Upgraded the plugins to new versions where appropriate.
  • Finished or deleted all the drafts

Reviewed the comments, which reminded me of the sixties:

  • Sex (All the porn sites, some with dozens of links)
  • Drugs (Viagra, Levitra, and others)
  • But instead of Rock and Roll – Poker and Gambling.

The RSS Feed is fixed.  Easy enough.  Feedburner was pointing to the incorrect source rss xml file.  Such a simple fix for an ongoing problem.  Oh well.

June 21, 2008

Rebuilt WordPress Blog

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 11:32 pm

I moved Webhosting provides and had to transport this WordPress blog from one Webhost server to another.  It went pretty well.  There are always wrinkles to work out, but all in all, a pretty smooth process.

The biggest problem was trying to reload the database.  The problem was too many records.  There were thousands of spam comments, once I took them out of the batch SQL file, all went well.

I did not backup over the last couple of days, so I did loose a couple of blog posts.  It is a very minor situation.

I will recreate two and the other one is better not recreated.

June 8, 2008

What to blog about?

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 4:58 pm

When I find myself wondering what to blog about on a particular day, it usually means that what is on my mind is not something I want to blog about.

It is like running into an acquaintance who asks how you are doing and answering “I am doing fine”. There is no reason to speak of the fears, the failures, the problems, and the disappointments.

I sometimes think that I should start another blog – an anonymous blog – so that I can speak about what is really doing on.

One of the things that stops me is that I am not sure what makes it truly anonymous. Seems like one can penetrate the IP address of posts and identify people pretty quickly.

Maybe I can look up Mini-Microsoft and see how he or she did it.

May 22, 2008

Write every day

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 11:56 am

That is the advice given to aspiring writers. Write every day.

I am blogging every day. It is starting to effect my writing. I am starting to think more about word choice and sentence structure.

I did not start blogging that way. I started by just trying to get some thoughts into sentences and hitting the “publish” button. Check. That task done.

I was an English major and an aspiring writer at one time. I discovered it was not for me. But I certainly would like to be able to write better.

I read some blogs that are written well. They are captivating and engaging. When I read good writing I find myself reading more intently and staying with the writing longer.

I would not mind if my readers had the same experience.

May 20, 2008

Content Ads

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 12:06 pm

I added Google Adsense ads to this blog. I was interested in the results.

  • Lots of ads for computer backups. Yep. I investigated, changed, and monitored new backup systems. That makes sense.
  • Ads for blogs and blogging software. Yep. I talk about blogging in this blog.
  • Ads for UPS systems. Hmmmm. I guess so. Backups are part of disaster preparedness.

It is like an instant summary of what I have been blogging.

May 2, 2008

Upgrade WordPress

Filed under: Blogging,Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 9:43 pm

I needed to upgrade WordPress. Today is the day.

I decided to download and try the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin.

It worked very well. I downloaded it, installed the plugin, and ran it to get a successful upgrade. I am now at the latest version of WordPress.

I ran the plugin in automatic mode, and it went through the steps quickly and successfully. I am most pleased.

April 16, 2008

Protecting Content

Filed under: Blogging,Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 7:02 pm

I worked recently with a group that was having their “content” stolen.  The email from the group was being captured and put on a Splog (Spam Blog).  They spent a good deal of time tracking down the perpetrator.  I helped them discover how it was being done.

I talked about that in an earlier post, and it is not the topic here.

It made me wonder about content and stealing content.  This is a group that is moderated, but I am sure it is accepting new members.  The posts are not public, but anyone can see them for a free sign up.  The group asks and answers technical questions.

The posts of the Splog were captured right from the emails, so it contained references to where the posts originated.

But they were very protective of the posts in their group.  I wonder why that is sometimes.  It is a fine line on the Internet between wanting to be well known and being upset when you are well known enough to attract that sort of attention.

April 13, 2008

A bit of humor

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 2:10 pm

It has been a bit of a rough time, so I took a humor break today.
One of my favorites is Blaugh, the unofficial comic of the Blogosphere.


Where is the Secret of Life?

March 30, 2008

Upgraded to WordPress 2.5

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 7:27 pm

I upgraded today to WordPress 2.5. It went very smoothly. In fact, it was incredibly smooth.

I had read posts of others that had upgraded, and they had to reactivate all plugins, but I did not even have to do that. I only have a couple of active plugins: maybe that was the reason.

No changes to the template or the presentation was required.

Everything so far seems to be in order.

The changes are significant enough to have to look for things that are in new places, but it is a clean design.

I published this post which was the last test.

I had problems with some plugins with the previous version, so I will try them again with the new version in the next week.

March 29, 2008

WordPress tables using plugin wp-table

Filed under: Blogging,Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 3:36 pm

I like to use tables. I use them in Word frequently. Word Press has a new plugin called wp-table that helps define tables in WordPress.  Table can be completely controlled using CSS.
[TABLE=1]

March 26, 2008

Readers!

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 3:33 pm

I am delighted to have any readers to this blog.  The earlier post was unclear on that concept.  I am surprised, but I am delighted.

Most people that write want readers.  There are exceptions of course.  J.D. Salinger comes to mind.  But there is a class of writers, those that write personal diaries, that do not seek readers.  This blog is the closest I have ever come to a personal diary.

I know for many that this is not even close to a revealing blog, but for me, it is revealing.

But the bottom line is I welcome any and all readers.

Readers?

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 4:11 am

When I started this blog, I did not promote it. I did not register on directories or publicize. I did not use this blog on my signature even, using the home page of my website instead. I wrote about various things, some far more personal that I would have imagined I would have written about.

Now there are some people reading this blog according to the Feedburner stats and the Google Analytics. It makes me self conscious. When I first started writing it was for myself, now I find that there are readers.

Now what do I do? 🙂

March 11, 2008

How Many Blogs do you Have?

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 8:51 pm

It often happens that when I am discussing something with a friend or colleague, they will mention they blogged about a particular subject.  If I respond and say that I read their blog and did not see it, they reply that is must have been on their one of their other blogs.

I find many people have a public blog, a more private blog, and a very private blog under an assumed name.  Some have more.  I never ask for one of the other blogs, respecting their privacy.

But it makes me wonder how prevalent it is.  Some of the popular bloggers seem to share everything on their public blogs, but they might indeed have private blogs for family, or just a blog they never share for a sort of private diary.

February 7, 2008

Blogs? How Many?

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 3:35 am

Technorati reports regularly on the State of the Blogosphere.
The State of the Blogosphere from Technorati, April 2007

70 million
Total number of Blogs
120,000
New Blogs every day
1.4
New Blogs per second
3000-7000
New slogs (spam blogs) created every day
17
New Posts per second
1.5 million
New Posts per day
1
Average number of readers per blog

Different Kinds of Blogs

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 2:53 am
Blog
Short for Web Log. A particular kind of website that has lots of posts or log entries.
Blath
A blog about math.
Blawg
A blog about the law and legal issues
Group Blogs
Blogs written by a team of writers, often a group of professionals.
K-log
Log of a knowledge worker, usually to promote company information to other knowledge workers.
Link Blogs
A blog that just links to other websites and blogs, often on a particular topic.
Milblog
Blog of someone in the military, especially of one serving in a combat zone.
Personal Blog
The personal thoughts and diary of an individual
Photoblog
Blog of photographs
Splog
A blog comprised entirely of spam.

February 6, 2008

Blogging Considerations

Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 5:25 pm

I have clients that do not have a blog. When they ask me about blogs, it usually becomes a most interesting conversation in a hurry.

When they ask how quickly they could set up a blog, I tell them on Blogger or WordPress they can set up a blog and have it working in less than 15 minutes. Then the conversation starts. There are so many things to consider after that.

  • Can a business just have a blog and not a website?
  • If you already have a website, should you add the blog to that domain? Or should you use a different domain?
  • How can you tailor the blog to look the way you want? What template should you use, and how can you tailor it to what you want or to look like their website? Can you add their logo and colors?
  • What about a blog roll? or other links? And what is a blog roll? what is Link Love?
  • What options do you have for archives?
  • What are the considerations for Search Engine Optimization?
  • How will a business know how many people are reading the blog?
  • Can people subscribe to the blog? with Email? with an RSS Reader? What is RSS? Is that the same thing as a feed? Full or partial feed?
  • What widgets or gadgets are available for their blog? and for that matter, what is a widget? What is a gadget?
  • Are there any vulnerabilities? Can my blog be hacked?
  • How do I manage comments? How do I deal with spam comments? What is a Troll?
  • What is a trackback? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
  • How often should they post? How long should a post be?
  • How will the search engines find my blog? Do I need to register them on Directories? and what is the Blogosphere? and is that important?
  • How about audio blogging? video blogging? podcasting? Moblog? Photoblog?
  • What is a blog carnival?
  • What are categories / keywords?

Each one of those considerations is a part of the conversation about blogs. Each one requires decisions. One way to make the decision is to take all the defaults, and let the blogging software make the decisions. That is certainly what many do.

It all goes back to the purpose of the blog. What is the business justification for the blog? If a business or individual can clearly define the purpose of the blog, then the decisions can usually be made in a straight forward way. To summarize:

  • It is very easy to get started with a blog, but the refinements require decisions and time.
  • The decisions about blogs require knowledge of the Internet, but they reflect the business purpose.

January 24, 2008

Google Adsense on Website

Filed under: Blogging,Marketing — Les Bain @ 3:13 am

I relented and put Google Adsense Ads on my Website.  I will eventually put code to alternate Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Ads.  It is all PHP controlled, so I will just alternate ads depending on the time of day or the day of the week.

January 23, 2008

Keyword Country

Filed under: Blogging,Marketing — Les Bain @ 10:26 pm

I signed up for a new affiliate program called Keyword Country after I reviewed their site and all their videos.  I put ads to some appropriate blogs, and to several pages on my website.  It was the first time I put ads on my main website.  I did not think I ever would, but I am seriously considering more ads.  I will test and see how it goes.

January 20, 2008

Google Analytics

Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 2:20 pm

I updated my Google Analytics as part of the process of upgrading the Blogger Templates.  I set up Google Analytics for each of the blogs.  I reviewed the Analytics reports today, and it is always so interesting to see how people find things on the internet.  Some of the Search Results are so surprising, I have to enter the Search Keywords to see for myself.

When I do the search using the keyword, I often find my listing beyond the supposed 3 page max that people use.  I quite understand that searching for the same keyword will return different results on different days, but what I see suggests more people go deep into the search results.

Blogger Blogs

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 2:15 pm

I have written several times about my project to upgrade all the templates for my Blogger blogs.  I implemented the new templates this weekend. Most of the changes were just organizing the material, but it will make it much easier to implement changes.

I still need the capability to update the template in a program using the API, but that is part of the list for version 2.

January 16, 2008

Comment Spam

Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 4:23 pm

Akismet has caught 37,595 spam comments since I first installed it.  Most of the spam comments I get are advertising pharmaceuticals – Viagra, Soma, Xanax, Phentermine, Percocet, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Ephedrine and many others.

Blogger Templates

Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 4:09 pm

I have a number of link blogs on blogger. I am updating the templates. That means looking at the code from various vendors, including Google Adsense and the Amazon Associate program.

Most of the code still works, but all the vendors have new options and new functionality. It takes a certain amount of time to stay current. One one blog I have interfaces with all the following vendors:

  1. Blogger (Google)
  2. Google Adsense
  3. FeedBurner
  4. Google Custom Search
  5. StatCounter
  6. Amazon Associate
  7. RevResponse
  8. FreeSticky

I suppose one option is just to get rid of it all. Or just do one vendor, but as I find things from vendors that look interesting, I like to add them to my blogs.

I have organized the Blogger Template code so that all the code is isolated.  I wish there was a way to use server side includes with Blogger.  That way if I could change the vendor code in one place and have it updated on all the blogs.  Server Side Includes can be used if you FTP to your own domain, but not if you use the blogger.com domain.

January 14, 2008

Blogger Templates

Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 4:17 pm

I have a number of blogs that are on the Blogger service.  I use the same basic blog template for all of them.  As one can easily imagine, the template has a number of common elements with some specific items for each blog.

I am working on a system to generate the template in order to cut and paste new templates.  Making changes and propagating them to all the blogs is time consuming.

The system is basically working now, allowing one to select a blog, generate a new template in order to cut and paste to Blogger.  The change can be made to one place, and then each template is regenerated.

January 12, 2008

Reading RSS Feeds

Filed under: Blogging,Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 8:06 pm

I had a little more time to read my RSS feeds today.  It is humbling to read and process the insights of some of the bloggers.  It makes me resolve to think and post more aggressively – but not today.

January 8, 2008

Audio Blogging

Filed under: Blogging,Technology — Les Bain @ 9:43 pm

I talked to an associate today who said he thought he should be blogging but did not have enough time.  I recommended that he consider Audio Blogging.  He is articulate and concise. He travels around during the day, and would have an easier time blogging using his cell phone.

I reviewed what I knew about Audio Blogging, especially using a cell phone, and as always, things have changed.  Hipcast is still the one to beat, but it is a paid service.  Other services are free.  I will look at the services again to get up to date.

January 6, 2008

Blogging

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 11:14 pm

I am consciously making the effort to blog more. Not for any reason other than I just want to experience what it is like to blog frequently. At first it was difficult. I kept trying to think of what I was going to blog about.

But as I start to blog more, it becomes easier, because blogging becomes a part of the day. I do something, then I write about it.

It is in fact becoming more like a journal.

January 2, 2008

Goodbye PageRank

Filed under: Blogging,Technology — Les Bain @ 1:02 pm

I have been using PHP more and more on my websites. On the Wizard Creek Consulting website, I went through and changed all the webpages from .htm to .php. At the same time I added a bit of PHP code to randomly show photos from a photo directory.

I updated the .htaccess file to do the redirect from the old page to the new page.

As I write this, I wonder if there is a way to specify to PHP to also use .htm files so that files do not have to be renamed. I will investigate that next time. (Apparently, I could have changed the parameters to have PHP parse .htm files as well. That would have worked for me, because I changed every file from .htm to .php.)

But because the files are all new names, the PageRank dropped from 5,4 and 3 to zero. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for Google to once again evaluate my website and assign a new PageRank.

I do wonder if I will lose traffic or business. Time will tell.

December 21, 2007

Spam Comments

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 7:12 am

Akismet has caught 6106 spam comments at this point, and this is not a popular blog.  I cannot imagine how many it would catch on a popular blog.  Or maybe for the spammers, it does not make any difference.

December 18, 2007

Blogging is 10 years old

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 2:26 am

Blogging is apparently 10 years old now.  There is of course controversy about when it really started and whether some of the early efforts were really blogging.  Was it blogging before it was called blogging?

Ten years ago I was working on mainframes for large enterprises.  We had a number of computer logs, some of them were annotated by humans, but that was not blogging.

December 12, 2007

Blogs, Lessons, and a Cup of Coffee.

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 3:08 am

I have a dozen link blogs on Blogger.  Link blogs are blogs where each entry is a link to other material.

I started the link blogs as a substitute for bookmarks / favorites.  Instead of setting an IE Favorite or a Firefox Bookmark, I used the “Blog This” button and created a blog post.  It gathered the links that I wanted to save in a convenient, searchable way.  Unlike using Favorites or Bookmarks, I was able to select a quote from the source or add a comment about the site that I was linking to.

I created a dozen link blogs on various topics that I was interested in, including Web Design, Web Based Learning, and Computer Support.  Every now and again, I would write a post myself.

The blogs are not popular, and do not get much traffic, but they started to get some spam comments.  I policed the comments, actually kept a few, and was delighted when Blogger added some sophistication to policing comments.

I added the code to display any links to my posts.

I considered adding a tag cloud feature, but it did not make that much sense in an organized link blog.

I could have used del.icio.us to save the links, and I do use del.icio.us to save links, creating the normal plethora of tags.  If the link is to be gathered into the dozen topics that I have selected, I use “Blog This” and add them to a link blog.  If the link is on another topic, I add it to del.icio.us.  Sometimes it is a gray area, and I add it to both.

I tweaked the blogs, changed the templates, added Google Adsense and Amazon affiliate ads, added links to my website, and added links so that each blog linked to every other blog.  It could have helped my search engine results.  I made enough money to take a friend for a cup of coffee.

I added the Feeds, and then downloaded a Feed reader to read my feeds.  My reader would not read Atom feeds, so I signed up for FeedBurner to convert to RSS Feeds.  I added ads to my feeds. I changed to partial feeds, and then changed back to full feeds.  It did not make much different because the posts were so small.  Several people subscribed to the feeds.

Once I had a Feed Reader, I subscribed to lots of other feeds. I learned about OPML and used it to add groups of feeds.

The other day I used “Blog This” to add a blog post, but Google had marked one of my blogs as a possible Splog, a dreaded “Spam Blog”.  I had to request that a Google human look at the blog to evaluate it.  The Google human was very prompt and ruled that the blog was legitimate.

It is an ongoing object lesson on Blogging, blog comments, splogs, spam, track backs, blog templates, taxonomies, folksonomies, tagging, social tagging, tag clouds, search engine optimization, ads, affiliations, RSS, Atom, OPML, feeds, full and partial feeds, and aggregators.

I saved some links I wanted to remember, I learned a great deal, I had a nice cup of coffee with a friend, and I did not spend any money.

Twitter

Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 1:39 am

Once again I am working with Twitter and trying to grok it. I am following some of the people whose blogs I read. I need to keep an open mind – which of course means that so far I do not “get it”.

December 11, 2007

Your digital world in perpetuity

Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 5:24 am

What happens to your blog, your profiles, your website, your entire Internet presence when you die? What do you want to happen?

There are bloggers and others who would like it maintained for perpetuity and are looking for a service to provide that functionality. Some suggestions are banks or insurance companies. No fly-by-night companies need apply for obvious reasons.

The reasons usually given are for a family legacy, for historical record, or just for egoistical satisfaction.

I have not decided whether I want that or not.

There are times I would like to have the destruct button. At time of death, hit the destruct button to delete everything, start auto responding to emails, and remove all traces.

December 9, 2007

Blogging Consistency

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 2:32 am

Many bloggers post inconsistently.  Some are understandable.

  • Students do not post as much toward the end of the semester.
  • People do not post regularly when they are ill.
  • Holidays seem to cause a drop in posts across the board.
  • Vacation time usually causes a major drop in posts, but not for everyone.  Some post pictures of their vacation.

I post very erratically, but sometimes I am not sure why.  Sometime I come back to post and notice that I have not posted for several months, and I am not sure why.

For me it has something to do with moods, or feelings, or emotions.  I go through manic periods when I post, then down periods when I do not.

December 8, 2007

Blogs

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 5:14 am

I maintain a number of link blogs on different topics.  I use them instead of del.icio.us to save links of interest.  One blog = one topic.  I have link blogs about RSS, blogging, website planning, website design, website construction, website promotion, and website planning.  I use the same template for all the blogs.  I can also add links to sites in all the blogs.

December 1, 2007

Expressive Writing

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

I received my newsletter from Lucy Grace Yaldezian today with the following quote: “Researchers have found that for older people and others, writing about events in your life that are causing you anxiety can lead to fewer doctor visits, better sleep and an enhanced immune system. The concept is called expressive writing.”

OK OK, I am going to start blogging again. I certainly need better sleep and an enhanced immune system.

August 12, 2007

Dave Winer and Jason Calacanis

Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 2:24 pm

Dave Winer and Jason Calacanis had a disagreement. There was apparently yelling, raised voices, a ruined friendship, and multiple blog posts (this one included).

Blogging about this (me included) is the blogosphere version of newspapers writing about Paris Hilton.

Many of the B and C list bloggers are trying to be A list bloggers so they too can complain about personal attacks (Winer and Calacanis).

When was the last time anyone said “well meaning people disagree”.

July 30, 2007

RSS Feeds revisited

Filed under: Blogging,Internet,Personal — Les Bain @ 1:29 pm

I cut my RSS feeds way down.  Now, I find myself reading more posts and thinking about what I am reading, as opposed to seeing how fast I can scan hundreds of posts.

For now, I am finding it is better to read several posts than to scan many posts.

July 18, 2007

RSS Feeds

Filed under: Blogging,Internet,Personal — Les Bain @ 12:24 am

I cleaned up my RSS Feed subscriptions tonight. I do not like the River of News approach. I like my feeds in groups by general topic. I made sure each feed was assigned to the appropriate group. It looks good so far. I took the time to delete many of the subscriptions that are no longer interesting.

May 30, 2007

Blogs, Blogs and more Blogs

Filed under: Blogging,Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 2:39 pm

I have more than 20 blogs, and I know that is not unusual. I collect blogs in all the normal ways:

  • I sign up for a Social Media site and automatically get a blog (2 or 3 including Vox).
  • I sign up for a professional service and automatically get a blog (2).
  • I check out a blogging service and create a blog with a Hello World post that then gets abandoned (Several).
  • I maintain a good number of link blogs. They are blogs where I link to articles and other blog posts on specific topics. Each blog is a topic. In serves a similar function as del.icio.us in that I save links on specific topics, but it provides additional flexibility. I save articles on website planning, website design, website construction, website promotion, and website planning for example. My link blogs are all on Blogger, which provides a button to save to the blog as you are browsing. Again, one can save a blog post with the same effort as saving a link on del.icio.us. Some would question whether these are true blogs. (14)
  • Then I have some blogs that are more traditional blogs that I write myself. (2 or 3).

It creates issues of course. No one wants to read multiple blogs from one person.

  • I could write one entry and cut and paste to other blogs. I will do that with this entry to try it out.
  • If one knew RSS, one could subscribe to all the feeds and send them to one group or folder.
  • There are RSS tools available to merge RSS feeds, so one could create one RSS feed from many. See RSS Feed Mixers.

Some people create one blog and put everything into one blog.

  • Jeremy Zawadny from Yahoo writes a blog with excellent technical perspective, but I also get his blog posts on his other passion which is learning to fly.
  • Matt Cutts from Google writes a blog on SEO that is required reading for anyone promoting websites, but I also get his vacation pictures.
  • Dave Winer pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software. He always has interesting perspectives on current technology. But I also get his posts on his lawsuits or travel plans.

Options include:

  • Do one blog and accept that it is good to get information on the person behind the blog.
  • Create different blogs on different topics.
  • Treat blogs like Newspapers and only read the articles / posts of interests. A sports fan reads the sports section without a care about bridge columns, comics, or horoscopes.

I think one of the most interesting options is to add intelligence to RSS Readers to filter by tag. That way I could filter out Jeremy’s flying posts, Matt’s vacation posts, and Dave’s naked Jen posts (I am not going to explain).

And for the one that asked – I will also post this on Vox so that I am posting there as well as on Les Bain’s Blog.

May 19, 2007

Tweaking the CSS

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 8:34 pm

I tweaked the CSS for this blog. Just cleaned it up a bit.

It always surprises me that when two people look at a blog or website.  There can be such radical differences in their opinions of the website.  It seems especially true for the kinds of small changes I was making tonight.

Thankfully, I do not have to get anyone else to approve these changes.

April 12, 2007

vox.com

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 12:47 am

My son is going to be a Student Intern at SixApart working on Vox.com.  He invited me to sign up for Vox and check it out.  I have been checking out Vox, and it is always fun to check out a new site.

Vox is a personal blogging site, and a social media type site, so there are lots of comments, responses, and trackbacks.

March 18, 2007

BizIII

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 5:39 pm

I do a daily podcast with my partner at biziii.com.  We just passed our one year anniversary.  We have done a show Monday – Friday for a year.

March 1, 2007

Blogosphere as Soap Opera

Filed under: Blogging,Personal — Les Bain @ 1:36 pm

I have been busy with clients, so I am not reading blogs as regularly.  It makes me wonder what I am missing.

I had an aunt that used to watch soap operas for the same reason.  She just did not want to miss anything.

February 18, 2007

Blogs

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 5:54 pm

If I only had a few bloggers to read, they would be in this order

  • Dave Winer
  • Doc Searls
  • Jason Calacanis
  • Eric Rice
  • Robert Scoble
  • Amy Bellinger

Very simply, they are all authentic voices.

February 17, 2007

Blogosphere

Filed under: Blogging,Politics — Les Bain @ 4:43 pm

I saw John Edwards interviewed.  He discussed the two bloggers who were blogging on his campaign until it was discovered they had written some critical posts about the Catholic Church.

He said the two bloggers resigned because of the criticism they were receiving from conservatives.

We sometimes think the Blogosphere can be rough, but it is not as rough as other media.  The issue is whether bloggers have thick enough skins.  It is difficult, because Bloggers do not have an organization behind them to support them.

February 14, 2007

RSS Feeds

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 1:07 am

There is a cycle to RSS feeds: accumulation, overload, purge, restart.

I am going into the purge phase. I am considering just reading a very few blogs and listening to more podcasts. My latest criteria is to only read blogs that require you to read more than the headline.

February 2, 2007

Bloggers: A-list and others

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 5:59 pm

Bloggers that are not on the A list, work to get attention, links, and comments so they can move to the A list.
Bloggers that are on the A-list complain about the unwanted attention and mean comments.
Makes one wish they could switch for a while.

January 29, 2007

Bloggies

Filed under: Blogging,Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 2:08 am

I voted for my favorites blogs for bloggies today. The bloggies are the oscars for blogs. I did not vote in every category. I do not read blogs in every category. I do not read any sports blogs or teen blogs for example. But I am very fond of lifehacker, and voted for it twice.

January 24, 2007

WordPress Revisited

Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 1:30 am

I transferred the Word Press programs to the Web Hosting server and the problem was fixed. I forget what Category I was trying to add, but the process is working just fine.

WordPress

Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 1:14 am

The WordPress Database is giving me errors. I cannot add new categories.

I used Database utilities to add the category, but now I need to debug the situation. I will probably just reinstall WordPress to start.

WordPress database error:
[Unknown column ‘category_licename’ in ‘field list’]
INSERT INTO wp_categories (cat_ID, cat_name, category_licename, category_description, category_parent) VALUES ('0', 'a', 'a', '', '0')

Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/wizardcr/public_html/les-bain/wp-includes/wp-db.php:104) in /home/wizardcr/public_html/les-bain/wp-includes/pluggable-functions.php on line 270

January 22, 2007

Abandoned Blogs

Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 8:59 pm

Does anyone keep statistics on how many blogs are abandoned?

January 16, 2007

WordPress 2.07

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 10:48 am

I upgraded WordPress to version 2.07. The upgrade process went very well. A clean upgrade with no issues.

Word Press Upgrade.

BizIII – Podcast Tag Cloud

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 10:17 am

BizIII – Podcast Tag Cloud

WordPress offers a Press It function to easily blog a site you are visiting.

Email Subscription

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 9:20 am

Added the email subscription to the blog. I am using the Feedburner service. I am fond of Squeet, but decided to let Feedburner do the Feed and Email Distribution for now.

January 14, 2007

WordPress Templates

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 2:31 am

Time to start working on this WordPress Template. I will start the work to make it look more like the rest of the website.

December 30, 2006

Les Bain

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 6:24 pm

I have several blogs. Most of them are link blogs. I keep link blogs instead of using a Social Bookmarking service. It is where I keep links I want to have for future reference. I write some entries in those blogs.

I have now decided it is time for me to emphasize my own personal blog.

It is also a way to start using WordPress. The other blogs I use are all on Blogger.