Category: Internet

December 12, 2008

All in one SEO Pack

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 12:20 pm

Installed.

Some features:

* Automatically optimizes your **titles** for search engines
* Generates **META tags automatically**
* Avoids the typical duplicate content found on WordPress blogs
* For WordPress 2.3 you don’t even have to look at the options, it works out-of-the-box. Just install.
* You can override any title and set any META description and any META keywords you want.
* You can fine-tune everything
* Backward-Compatibility with many other plugins, like Auto Meta, Ultimate Tag Warrior and others.

November 7, 2008

Google Local

Filed under: Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 12:29 pm

Google Local is a service to help people find local businesses.  I recommend everyone go to Google Local – maps. google.com and search for their own business.

  • Search by your business name
  • Search by your business function

Then try and find your business in the neighboring towns or cities if they are close.  Are you satisfied with the results? If not,

Find Add or edit your business and follow the directions to add your business.  Some suggestions.

  • Add a picture of your logo to make your business stand out in the results
  • If there are nearby cities, add them to your website so you are found in neighboring cities
  • Consider adding the county to your website if you have the kind of business people search for my county.

November 2, 2008

RSS and Newspapers

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 1:22 pm

When I discuss RSS and the fact that they can be used to create a virtual newspaper, one reaction I get is that people are used to newspapers.  They read them over coffee.  They take them to the bathroom.  They use them for their pets.

Hewlett-Packard has created Tabbloid, which takes RSS feeds and turns them into a PDF in newspaper format.  The PDF is emailed to you every day at a time you select.  One supposedly could print out the PDF and have a custom printed newspaper.

I am comfortable reading my RSS feeds online, but it is an interesting idea.

October 30, 2008

Internet Presence

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 3:24 pm

Presentation to the East Bay Business Leaders on how to build your Internet Presence.

[audio:summary.mp3]

Outline:

Content:

  • Create Branded Content
    • Register Domains for your business name
    • Consider Blogging
    • Manage your RSS feeds
    • Add Audio, Podcasts, and Audio Blogging
    • Add Video, Vlogs (Video Blogs), etc.
    • Consider a Content Management System
    • Add an internal system to keep track of everything.
  • Load your Content to other sites 
    • Load Video out to Video Sites using YouMogul or Traffic Geyser
    • Load Text to an Article Management site or Squido
    • Load your photos to Flickr
    • Load Presentations out to slideshare.net
    • Load Data to swivel.com

Social Systems:

  • Social Content       : YouTube, Flickr
  • Social Networking : MySpace, FaceBook, BeBo, LinkedIn, Friendsters, Okut
  • Social Bookmarks  : del.icio.us,
  • Social News           : Digg, Newsvine, Netscape
  • Social Reference:    Wikipedia, Yahoo Questions

Footprints:

  • Comments
  • Forums
  • Twitter
  • Directories
  • Sort Engines
  • Mahalo
  • Personal Information
  • Google Local Search
  • Reputation management with Google Alerts

October 28, 2008

Building your Internet Presence

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 2:37 pm

Building your Internet Presence means far more than having a website and blog.  There are so many ways to build an Internet Presence, that the idea is to pick the ones that are right for you and ignore the rest.

Do not go and get a Facebook account, a MySpace account, a LinkedIn account, join multiple forums, and try and use Twitter, Ponce and Jaiku.  It is too much.

  • Create a branded presence – with a webpage or blog.
  • When you create content, load it out to the content sites.
  • Join one Social Networking site like LinkedIn and pay some attention.
  • Manage your reputation.

June 22, 2008

New Web Hosting

Filed under: Internet,Technology,Website — Les Bain @ 3:07 pm

So what did I learn while moving to a new web host.

  • The HTML and PHP code was well organized on my local computer with both a local and remote backup.  It was uploaded to the new webhosting with no problem.
  • The .htaccess files did not work the same on the new web hosting site, and had to be tweaked.  It was a simple change, but a significant impact.
  • The most significant impact was the email accounts being down.  I should have given the email a higher priority.  But it is all working down.
  • Restoring MySQL databases was smoother than I had anticipated.  I wanted to control backup and restore with PHP, but so far that has not worked.
  • On the new webhosting, I moved everything to PHP 5 and MySQL 5.  That might have caused some problems.  I have one vendor PHP routine that is not working, but instead of trying to debug it, I am going to download another PHP script.
  • Moving the WordPress blog took some time, because the problems were not apparent.  I finally just installed WordPress fresh, and reinstalled all of my theme and plugin changes.  That went quickly.
  • The wordpress database restore worked just fine.  I lost two posts, but I remembered them and posted them again.
  • Blogger blogs were very easy, I just had to republish.
  • In testing everything on the new web host, I found problems that I did not know about.  I have a task list of things to fix going forward.
  • Finding the right webhosting vendor is a crap shoot.  Basically, I decided to pick one with no setup and monthly fee so I could check it out and make good notes in case I had to move again, which I did.
  • Bottom line was that even though there were system wide problems to start, usually one parameter fixed many problems.

May 16, 2008

Unsubscribing

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 11:47 am

I continue to unsubscribe from all email newsletters and ezines. I want to move all subscriptions to RSS so that they are under my control.

The process has been most interesting.

I received this email:

If you are receiving this email, it means you are NOT signed up to receive our weekly … newsletter. Don’t miss an opportunity of wealth as we will make the website only available to subscribers soon. Subscription is free.

The spam was so blatant it took me a minute to understand.

I have also had to do this process a number of times.

  • An email newsletter arrives. One that I subscribed to some time ago.
  • I click the unsubscribe link in order to stop the newsletter.
  • I am taken to the website where I am asked to login, but I do not remember my password.
  • I follow the instructions to reset my password, which means I get another email.
  • I read the email, follow the instructions to retrieve my password, logon on and unsubscribe.
  • I receive an email notifying me that I changed my password.
  • I receive an email notifying me that I unsubscribed.

That totals 4 unwanted emails to stop the newsletter, but at least it worked.


I have also had this process.

  • I receive an email newsletter to a specific email account.
  • I follow the unsubscribe link to a website.
  • The website asks me to logon to change my subscription, but I do not remember my password.
  • I follow the link to retrieve my password, but the website says I do not have an account.

Here is another one. I received one today that said:

If you want to unsubscribe to this email, simply block the following email – xxx.domain.com

I want to block it before it gets to my computer of course.


I should have kept a log of my adventures, but I did not think it was going to be so interesting.

May 4, 2008

Listening to the Gillmor Gang

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 4:08 pm

Listing to the Gillmor Gang discuss the Microsoft – Yahoo deal that fell through. There is the standard list of pundits on the call. They do not agree.

I cannot help but think of the political pundit shows. There we know what position pundits are going to take depending on their party and the candidate they support. They are spinners.

With this crowd, you never really know who is going to take what position, but there are certain perspectives that are predictable.

  • Robert Scoble will talk about the employees at the companies involved.
  • If Jason Calacanis was on the call, he would say the deal can be understood by looking how much the deal would add to search & online advertising.
  • Mike Arrington will call out someone else on the phone call.
  • Dan Farber will have the broadest industry view, and include in the analysis companies that are not directly affected.
  • Doc Searls adds the humor.  Are you on Twitter, or “some other drug”.
  • Steve Gillmor makes it happen – enough said.

April 23, 2008

No more ezines or email newsletters

Filed under: Internet,Personal — Les Bain @ 10:00 am

I am unsubscribing from all my ezines and email newsletters. I am only going to subscribe to RSS feeds from now on. If they ask for a reason, the comment is “RSS or nothing”.

There might be a newsletter that I enjoy so much that I will not unsubscribe, but so far I have unsubscribed as each one has arrived. Sometimes I have immediately subscribed to the same material using RSS.

People think differently about clicking on the unsubscribe link in a newsletter.

  • One school of thought assumes that if there is a unsubscribe link, then the sender is following the rules and the email is probably not spam.
  • Another school of thought says that it is just another way to encourage one to click on a link that either downloads malware or validates the email.

I am examining the ezine, going to the site, signing in, and unsubscribing to avoid any danger. It will take weeks to get through them all because many are monthly, but each time I unsubscribe I feel better.

Then I suppose I will have to go through my RSS feeds and trim them.

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 10, 2008

Researching a spam blog

Filed under: Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 10:56 pm

A colleague reported that content was being stolen from a Yahoo Group and placed on a Blogger blog. I did some research.

Blogger has a function that allows posting to the blog by sending email to a certain email address. The email address has the @blogger.com domain.

The person had subscribed to the Yahoo Group using the Blogger email. Any time an email went out to the Yahoo group, it ended up on the blog. The blog of course had lots of Adsense and other ads.

It took a while to sort it out, but once we figured out how it happened, the Yahoo Group moderator looked through the member list until they found a email with @blogger.com. To make sure they had the culprit, they sent an email and it popped up on the blog.

At this point, it is always a question of what to do. Of course, the person was dropped from the Yahoo Group. If it was me, I would crank up a script and send a whole bunch of messages to the blog. The messages would not be complementary. I would try and make them clever. But of course, if it is too clever, it might go viral and the guy would make money for a large number of ad impressions.

But I am done. I did the research. The Yahoo Group moderator will decide.

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 22, 2008

RSS Tutorial

Filed under: Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 9:30 pm

I wrote and maintain an RSS Tutorial. I save RSS articles, products and services into an RSS link blog. Periodically, I review the articles and update the tutorial. I do not claim to be an expert; I wrote the tutorial so that I could learn RSS.

I am going through the update process now. The tutorial was written in 2005.

In 2005, the RSS issue that everyone was writing about was:

  • How to get people to use RSS.

In 2008, the issues are different.

  • How to control the influx of information that RSS provides. The products and services are RSS pipes, filters, and mashups.
  • How to expand RSS to multiple platforms. Products and services send RSS to Instant Messengers, iPhones, SMS, and email.
  • How to use RSS for more types of information. Use RSS to subscribe to calendar information, books, and friend information.
  • How RSS being used to increase Internet spam. Products and services scrape websites into RSS feeds to create spam websites. Ah well.

March 13, 2008

Eliot Spitzer and the Internet

Filed under: Internet,Politics — Les Bain @ 5:42 pm

The Internet is such a part of our lives, that when a story like the Eliot Spitzer scandal breaks, the Internet parts of the story are just the normal background.

  • Of course Google news and other services had the stories.
  • Of course the bloggers wrote about the story. Podcasters talked about the story. Hundreds of videos were uploaded to YouTube.
  • The wikipedia entry for Eliot Spitzer was updated. An entry for the alleged prostitution ring named in the story, the Emperors Club VIP, is created.
  • The website of the escort service, The Emperors Club, is taken down. It is rescued from the Internet Archive WayBack Machine. Webmasters review the rescued website and find it is not very sophisticated, proving one again that a good product is better then good marketing.
  • Eliot Spitzer supposedly was called Client9. Someone immediately registered the client9 domain name and put it up for sale.  The speculation about Client1 through Client8 started.
  • The alleged prostitute is named Kristen. People searched the Internet looking for Kristen. Women named Kristen went on record as saying it was not them.
  • Fox News created a blog post where anyone could leave a comment for Eliot’s wife Silda. Most offered prayers and advice. A few men offered a chance for revenge.

In other words, business as usual on the Internet.

March 11, 2008

Jason Calacanis and the Affiliate Summit

Filed under: Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 10:11 pm

I had a chance today to listen to the recording of Jason Calacanis giving the keynote address at the Affiliate Summit. Then I read the blog posts from those that were there. Jason generated a lot of controversy. That is nothing new. I think there are times when the heat obscures the light Jason shines on a topic.

I pay attention to Jason Calacanis.

  • I read Jason’s blog.
  • When Jason was at AOL, Netscape was my homepage.
  • I listen to Jason when he is on TWIT.
  • I listen when Jason is on the Gillmor gang and the other gangs.
  • I follow Jason on Twitter.
  • I pay attention to Mahalo.
  • I listen online to his keynotes at various summits.

Understand that this is not an obsessive following, I just think he is right a good deal of the time. I lived in a major East Coast city before I moved to California, so his style is very familiar.

Here is my little secret. I take what I learn from Jason and use it in my business and with my clients. I have a much different style than Jason, so I am seen as insightful but not controversial. There is of course a downside also; I do not have nearly the publicity. But I am ok with that.

Thanks Jason.

March 7, 2008

RSS Tutorial Work

Filed under: Internet,Personal — Les Bain @ 6:49 pm

I am working on my RSS Tutorial.

  • Set up the htaccess file so that each .htm file processes as a .php file.
  • Change all the includes to PHP server side includes.
  • Enhance the page footer.
    • Set automatic update of copyright date.
    • Set page footer is a server side include.
  • Enhance the header
    • Set the title as a PHP variable to be used in both the title and header information
    • Add Google adsense to header
  • Clean up the CSS. Make sure the pages will print correctly.

After the standard code is all set, I want to through the Tutorial and make all changes and updates.

March 5, 2008

A trip to the library

Filed under: Internet,Personal — Les Bain @ 8:01 pm

My daughter and I went to the local library.  She and I both spend a significant amount of time online, and had lost of habit of going to the local library.

It was fun to be there, to browse the books, to see the people, and to chat with the library workers or volunteers about book selections.

It is slightly amusing that the book I checked out is one that is about the Internet and is freely available online. It is a book I wanted to read with my feet propped up without the laptop cooking my lap.  The book is The Cluetrain Manifesto.  

March 3, 2008

Affiliate Program

Filed under: Internet,Marketing — Les Bain @ 3:17 pm

I am continuing to research affiliate programs. To be a good affiliate marketer, it takes a wide range of skills, including

  • Website planning, design, construction, promotion, and maintenance
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Keyword Research
  • Copy writing

When I read the blogs of affiliates, most of them have a team of people, because it is so difficult for one person to have all those skills. I think perhaps the most important skill of all is process improvement. The ability to understand that what you are doing is a process, and that a process needs constant improvement. Most of the affiliate marketers I read have this skill because they talk about improving their processes and techniques.

February 28, 2008

My Son had surgery today for a broken collarbone

Filed under: Internet,Personal — Les Bain @ 10:35 pm

My son broke his collarbone while riding his bike about 2 weeks ago. It was not healing properly, so today they screwed and wired all the pieces together in the right way so it will heal.

My son is off to college and takes care of himself, but today was parents day. We drove to Berkeley and took him to the surgery, talked with him, waited for the surgery, drove him home, got him all set with pain meds and cold packs.

My son is a typical wired college student. On the way to surgery he was entertaining us with the text messages he was receiving. The tone of the messages was pretty much .. be cool .. don’t die … and text me back when all is done.

We had to take pictures before we got him up from the recovery room bed, and they were immediately posted on the Internet.

On the way home, he answered text messages, updated his blog with the latest information including pictures, and updated his Facebook profile.

Wired.

February 19, 2008

Search Keywords – What is Hot?

Filed under: Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 4:08 pm

Wordtracker reports on what keywords people are putting into search. I know this is just a sample, but I looked at the top 100 search key phrases from the last 48 hours.

So what are people searching on?

  • 49 were searching for sexually oriented content. Some key phrases are problematic. I included Carmen Electra in this list. I did not include Madonna or Britney Spears.
  • 24 were searching for music or musicians. I included Queen, Beatles, Madonna, and Britney Spears in this category.
  • 12 were searching for a popular website like google, ebay, yahoo, myspace, facebook, or hotmail.
  • 7 were searching for information on video or computer games.
  • 8 were searching for a miscellaneous set of terms including “fun presidential facts”. I counted “Obama girl” here, but it might fit in the first category.

I have looked at the reports at various times, and the percentages stay pretty consistent. The top 500 terms is almost always 50% sexually oriented. It is a tribute to the Internet searchers that they can find 250 search keywords and key phrases to search for sexual content.

February 15, 2008

Explicit Spam

Filed under: Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 12:18 pm

I receive the standard spam.

  • Get rich quick schemes
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Member enlargement

The member enlargement spam added a new twist in todays email, explicit before and after photographs.  Way too much information as far as I am concerned.  My spam filter missed them because with the photos it was “go from this to that”.

I wonder if this signals a new direction for spam.  Come to think of it, the pharmaceuticals where already doing it with spam that was just pictures of pills with prices.

Too much information.

February 11, 2008

44,339 Spam Messages

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 7:52 am

I cleaned out my Outlook Junk E-Mail folder. There were 44,339 spam messages. That was over about 30 months.

I use the SpamBayes spam filter, which I am very happy with.  It learns over time what I consider to be spam, and adjusts accordingly.

I am unsubscribing from ezines and email lists whenever I can find a comparable RSS feed.  There are some Yahoo groups I really enjoy that do not have RSS feeds.  The next step might be to use one of the products that turn email into RSS feeds.

February 10, 2008

Microsoft and Yahoo

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 11:34 pm

Microsoft made an offer to buy Yahoo.  One part of the conversation is to try and identify other players who might buy Yahoo.  Google is usually mentioned, with the quick disclaimer that it would not work.

There are other Computer and Information Technology companies that have more revenues than Microsoft.  Two of them are Hewlett Packard and IBM.  It is a sign of the times that an Information Technology decision is being discussed with IBM not being a part of the conversation.

I know there is a distinction between Information Technology companies and Internet companies, but Microsoft and IBM both have revenues from both.

Twenty years ago, IBM would have been a part of the conversation.

February 9, 2008

Keywords, Tags, and Categories

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 9:56 am

What is the relationship, if any, between and among Keywords, Tags, and Categories.

Keywords are those terms that are entered into search engines to search for websites, webpages, and blogs. From the perspective of a website, it is those terms that are used by others to find the website using a search engine.

Categories are typically used to organize content like blog posts. The wordpress blogging software allows each blog post to be identified by a category. People looking for specific blog posts can product a list of blog posts by category.

Tags are terms used to identify various kinds of content, including blog posts, bookmarks, photos, articles, and video. Both the content creator and the content consumer can add tags to the content to identify it or qualify it.

Each of these terms that are identifiers that can help find content.  They all help in trying to filter out the signal from the noise.

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.

February 5, 2008

Votes and Links

Filed under: Internet,Politics — Les Bain @ 12:51 pm

Today is Super Tuesday, or Tsunami Tuesday. Many of the states are holding primaries. The candidates have worked to get votes. I voted today. It is a very quick process to vote, and it is impressive how hard the candidates have worked to influence my vote.

On the Internet, links are somewhat comparable to votes, and some seem to work just as hard to get them as the candidates have done. If you have many links, then you win the Search Engine Page Results election, you get traffic, and you have a change to influence or make money.

Working on some classes

Filed under: Internet,Personal — Les Bain @ 1:22 am

I am preparing a set of classes on how to improve your Internet presence.  The first class will be on Keywords.

January 26, 2008

Password Managers

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 9:57 pm

After some time, I decided today was the day to implement a password manager.  We all know the issues.  There are many websites we sign up for and that creates many passwords.  We cannot remember every  password.  We do not want to use the same password.

Password Manager services and software address this issue.  There are many approaches.

  • Some are downloaded programs with on site databases of URL, user and password.
  • Some are completely online and the information is stored online – excellent for those that travel and use different computers.
  • Some are Firefox extensions which does not help with other browsers.
  • Some are only for Windows.   Some are only for Macs.

I have looked at several, but decided on RoboForm.  It had the features that matched what I wanted.  There are a couple of things that are confusing me, but in fairness, I have not gone through the help files carefully.

I will continue to research functionality and see if I can make it fit everything I want.

January 24, 2008

The Internet

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 9:43 pm

When I talk to different people and tell them I work helping people build their business using the Internet, they often tell me how they see the Internet.   We all know the Internet is massive enough where people see it differently, but I am surprised how much the difference is.

  • For some, the Internet is where they search for information on various topics.
  • For some, the Internet is where they go to participate in one club or forum.
  • For some, the Internet is where they go to participate in their social media site – either Facebook or MySpace.
  • For some, the Internet is where they go to participate in a chat room.

The surprising thing is the number of people that I meet for whom the Internet is very narrow.  It is where they go to do one particular activity or participate in one site.

January 23, 2008

Amazon Astore

Filed under: Internet,Website — Les Bain @ 3:34 am

I created an Amazon AStore today. I am not sure whether I will ever make any money from the store, but it was so much fun creating it. It is a powerful system, and with server side includes to roll it out on the website, it was all very quick to implement.

It is a fine affiliate program.

Website Changes

Filed under: Internet,Website — Les Bain @ 3:31 am

After I moved everything to server side includes, I had to do some website maintenance. It was so sweet to change a server side include and have it take effect immediately.

January 22, 2008

Keywords

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 6:19 am

I am working on a tutorial for keywords.  It is a simple enough concept, but it is so very important to understand and get it right.  The tutorial will cover

  • Identifying keywords from the business plan and the marketing plan
  • Brainstorming keywords
  • How search engines use keywords and set relevance
  • Where to put keywords in your website and blog
  • Tools for researching keywords

I thought at first it would not be a long tutorial, but the more I think about it, the more there is.

January 20, 2008

Twitter

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

I am going to try Twitter yet again.  There are just so many people that I respect that are using it in a positive way.  It just has not impressed me so far, much I am going to try again.

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.

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 11, 2008

Complete conversion to PHP

Filed under: Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 6:05 pm

I finished the process of converting my website code so that every webpage is PHP.

  • I changed all files to .php files
  • I changed all client side includes to PHP server side includes.

Because everything has been changed to PHP, I was able to do the following:

  • Change the copy write end year to be dynamic
    Copyright © 2003 – < ?php echo date('Y'); ?>
  • Randomly show different photos

Positioned the website to be more dynamic and include more Data Bases.

January 6, 2008

Website Errors

Filed under: Internet,Website — Les Bain @ 11:31 pm

Part of doing a well crafted website is doing error processing. When someone keys in an invalid webpage name for example, a 404 error is returned.

It is considered good practice to replace the system generated error message with a tailored error message that matches the rest of your website. There is a cottage industry around the 404 error, and there are websites with examples of all the creative things that people have done with 404 errors. See 404 Research Lab.

It can a little unwieldy to do lots of error message programs, so I refined my process today. My website is on a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP) environment.

The process now has two parts

The htaccess file with a set of Error Commands –
ErrorDocument 404 /error-page.php?404

The error-page.php program itself that captures the error code and generates the message.

I like the approach because it is all contained in two places.

This is the description.

December 30, 2007

“Children of the Jihad”

Filed under: Internet,Politics — Les Bain @ 3:28 pm

Jared Cohen wrote a book describing the children of the Islamic countries.  He noticed they used the Internet and Cell phone technology to connect to others.  That sounds familiar.

December 18, 2007

Working on the Website

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 4:12 pm

I spent the day working on my website.  I really enjoy working on the website. I probably need to find a way to make money by working on my own websites.  I just do not enjoy working on other’s websites as much.

December 12, 2007

Web Based Office

Filed under: Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 3:10 am

Microsoft Office solved the problem of having incompatible products to do the standard office functions.  There was one “look and feel” and data could be easily moved from one product to the next.

There is now some excitement about having web-based products to replace office.  We need web-based central data storage more than web-based systems.

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

Tutorials

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 11:35 pm

I wrote an RSS Tutorial.  It was great fun to research and write.  There is no better way to learn a topic than to teach it.  It is the one thing that brings the most traffic to my website.  I want to write another tutorial.  I think I will write it on how to improve your overall Internet Presence.

December 5, 2007

Internet in the News

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 9:08 pm

Bill O’Reilly and others now have Internet News segments on their national programs.

September 22, 2007

One Web Day

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 4:38 pm

Today is One Web Day.  “The mission of OneWebDay is to create, maintain, advance and promote a global day to celebrate online life: September 22″.  The website is www.onewebday.org.

August 27, 2007

What died this week?

Filed under: Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 12:36 pm

Office is Dead. Steve Gillmor.

TV is Dead. Bill Gates.

Google is Dead. Robert Scoble.

Internet is Dead. Mark Cuban.

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.

July 5, 2007

Google Local Search

Filed under: Internet,Personal — Les Bain @ 4:16 pm

I love the new feature on Google Local Search.  When you get directions from one place to another it shows as the blue line on the map.

The new feature allows you to drag and drop that blue line to change the directions to take a back road, avoid traffic, or to go by the coffee shop.  It is very cool.

Gadgets and Widgets

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 1:31 pm

Gadgets and Widgets are light-weight single-purpose applications that can sit on the user’s computer desktop, or are hosted on a web page.   The two words describe the same thing.  That seems redundant.

We should have one word – maybe Gidgets or Wadgets.

July 1, 2007

Shopping Carts vs. Stores

Filed under: Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 9:29 pm

Shopping Carts vs. Stores is a blog entry written by James S. Huggins.  James has posted this in Yahoo groups and perhaps other places.  It is an astute description of the differences between Shopping Carts and Stores.  It is helpful to think about when picking software in these categories.

I use this information when I talk to clients, so I am happy to give James some credit.

I add two things.  I separate the checkout from the shopping cart.  So in the analogy, I talk to clients about the grocery store and what the store does, the shopping cart and what the shopping cart does, and the checkout and what it does.

And just to make it more interesting, I also have girl scouts sitting outside at a table selling cookies to give a contrasting transaction.  The transaction at the girl scout table blends everything into one transaction.

June 27, 2007

Audio / Video Icon

Filed under: Internet,Personal — Les Bain @ 11:34 am

Does this happen to everyone else?

I will be reading a blog post that discusses a video. The blog post will have lots of links, but it will not be clear which link is for the video.

Text links are usually clearly marked with color and/or underline. I think audio / video links should have a clear designation.

May 29, 2007

Search Engine Results should be numbered

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 1:56 pm

Google should number their search results. Yahoo does.

I get lost in trying to remember which sites I have looked at when searching.

OK, what I really want to know is the number of the Google result without counting.

May 22, 2007

Google Trends

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 3:42 pm

Google Trends – Hot Trends is a new Google feature. As people check out Google Hot Trends and search to see whats going on; it reinforces what is hot. A self fulfilling prophecy.

May 19, 2007

Web Development

Filed under: Internet,Personal,Website — Les Bain @ 8:05 pm

I was updating the client list on my website, and looking at various websites I have worked on over the last couple of years and months. I have learned a lot.

I guess it is human nature to think about all the things you do not know (for example Ruby on Rails) than to remember all the things you do know.

April 12, 2007

Internet Presence

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 12:09 am

People that use the Internet create lots of accounts, registrations, blogs, and email accounts.  Does anyone ever try and clean it all up?  Does anyone ever go and delete all the accounts?

What happens when someone dies?  Does it all sort of diminish over time?

I keep track of accounts and passwords, but it would be an onerous task to try and clean it all up.

February 22, 2007

Google and Offsite Storage of Corporate Data

Filed under: Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 1:34 pm

Mary Jo Foley discusses the new Google Office for Business proposal and thinks offsite storage of corporate data might be a deal breaker. She sites the Microsoft Hailstorm project as a precedent.

In the corporate world, it is more instructive to look at outsourcing. EDS and IBM do in excess of 20 billion dollars worth of outsourcing where they store corporate data at offsite data centers. Google should look to that model.

February 10, 2007

Search Engines

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 3:31 am

I looked at some alternate search engines today. I like the ones that cluster. My test cases:

Saturn – the clustering search engines divide up the results by planet, the car, and the Roman god.

Cardinal – Stanford University, bird, Catholic Cardinal, Arizona Cardinals, and Cardinal Health.

February 9, 2007

Web 2.0 and Social Media

Filed under: Internet,Personal — Les Bain @ 5:50 pm

I have two members of the Millennial generation in my household. They do not understand the big deal about Web 2.0 and Social Media.

They were both on the Internet at a very early age, and they always experienced the web as a read/write media. They were never passive on the Internet. They were in chat rooms, forums, groups, and bulletin boards from the start. They both have long term friends they met online.

And of course there were aggressive household safety rules. They helped define those rules by their participation in various Internet safety forums and groups.

When we discuss Web 2.0 and Social Media, they just do not get it. For them, it is their parent’s generation finally figuring out what the Internet was all along.

February 4, 2007

Repurpose vs. Splogs

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 2:02 pm

Check out the new Website at Yahoo about WII.

Yahoo takes the information about Nintendo’s WII from Flickr, del.icio.us, Yahoo Answers, Yahoo Maps, Yahoo Shopping and other Yahoo properties and creates a website. It then adds advertising.

That is repurposing. Is it also a splog?

January 24, 2007

Get a Human

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 11:21 pm

Get a Human is a website with a list of major corporations with instructions on how to get through the “voice mail jail” and find a human.

I used to work for a guy who knew a whole series of things to try to get through voice mail. He would certainly like this list.

Creating Websites

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 11:02 pm

There are now over 100 million websites.

More and more tools are available to create websites easily and quickly, including the blog services like Blogger and WordPresss.
At the same time, high end websites are getting more expensive as more Web 2.0 options are available, including AJAX and methods of participation.

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 17, 2007

Internet Skill Sets

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 8:34 am

I am compiling a list of skill sets required to provide Internet services. The purpose of the exercise is to create a visual representation of how many skills it takes to maintain an effective Internet presence.

It will include everything from Graphic Design, Copy writing, and Photograph manipulation skills to HTML, CSS, and PHP coding skills.

January 16, 2007

Podcasting

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 9:31 am

Mike Hughes and I do a daily podcast on the convergence of Media and Technology.

Mike has worked in media as a producer and reporter for NBC and CNN.

I have worked in technology for 40 years including at the CTO and CIO level.

In the podcast, we discuss the convergence of media and technology. That is sometimes call Digital Media, New Media, or On-Demand Media.

The podcast is called BizIII. The III is the roman numeral for 3. It is pronounced as Biz-3. The three I’s are Ideas, Information, and Inspiration.

Check it out at BizIII.

January 15, 2007

Web Hosting

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 10:04 am

The term Web Hosting is often used to describe the service that hosts a website. It usually is more than that.

It can also host any of the following:

Email – Web Hosting Servers can provide Email service.
Blog – Web Hosting Servers can host the Blogs created by Blogger or WordPress.
FTP – Web Hosting Servers can provide FTP functionality.

Content and Nontent

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 9:58 am

The 2007 CES (Consumer Electronic Show), according to the website, was defined by New Convergence of Broadband, Content and Consumer Electronics.

Content has been such a buzzword in the industry, that a colleague of mine has chosen to use the term nontent as an antidote to content. Sometimes when I watch a video on YouTube that is particularly inane, or see certain photographs on Flickr, or read some blog posts (perhaps even this one) it amuses me to think of them as nontent vs. content.

January 11, 2007

i-Date Conference

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 2:39 pm

The i-date conference is next week. The Internet Dating Conference focuses on all business aspects of the online community markets. It covers management and marketing for the Internet Dating and Social Networking industry.

It should be an interesting conference.

The age gap in technology

Filed under: Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 1:37 am

I have been working with computers for almost 40 years.

I have two children. They started using computers at a very early age. They have been on the AOL or the Internet as long as they can remember. They are now 18 and 21. We still discuss technology, computers, and the Internet, but woe be under me if I am behind on any thing related to technology in our discussions.

And you know, I do not mind. I like the challenge, and I like that the teaching goes both ways.

January 7, 2007

Internet Presence

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 4:14 am

I do website development, but that does not really represent what clients want. They want to know how to get build their businesses using the Internet, they want to know how to get known on the Internet, and they want a prominent Internet presence for their niche.

I wish I knew what to call it, helping businesses and professionals build their Internet presence. It it is more technical than Internet Marketing, more comprehensive than website development, and includes the alphabet soup of SMO, SEM, SEO, RSS and others.

I am a generalist. I know a bit about all of it. I am making a list of all the specialties that are included. It is a long list.