'Blogging' Category Results

Stop And Smell The Roses

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

“He emerged from the metro at the L’Enfant plaza station and positioned himself against a wall beside a trash basket. By most measures, he was nondescript: a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money, swiveled it to face pedestrian traffic, and began to play.”

This scene is all too familiar for those of us that work in an urban downtown area. Do we stop and listen or just hurry on about our business?

But wait, this was not your typical panhandler. No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall was one of the finest classical musicians in the world. In fact, the musician was Joshua Bell. Whom just three days before he appeared at the Metro station, had filled the house at Boston’s stately Symphony Hall, where merely pretty good seats went for $100. The very violin that he played was worth more than most of the passer byes would make in their lifetime. The violin was handcrafted in 1713 by Antonio Stradivari and the price tag was reported to be about $3.5 million.

Joshua Bell, one of the worlds top classical musicians, equipped with his million dollar Stradivari violin played one of the most difficult violin pieces ever. AND THE WORLD WAS TOO BUSY TO NOTICE…

This experiment arranged by The Washington Post struck a cord in me. Probably because I fear that I would be one of the many that was too busy with life to see or hear the beauty that was right there in front of me.

This is one of the reasons for the less frequency of blog post these days. The other reason is the birth of my second child. In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

The life of a software developer is fast paced for sure, maybe that’s why they call them sprints in the Agile dev methodology. Make sure you are stopping from time to time to smell the roses or hear the music. Work to live. Don’t live to work…

Be sure to read the entire Washington Post experiment here. It’s well worth your time.

Blog Blazers Book Review

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Stephane Grenier was kind enough to send me a copy of his new book Blog Blazers – 40 Top Bloggers Share Their Secrets. I’m glad he did, it’s a very enjoyable read. It’s a lot like what the Random Bits podcast offers its listeners. In fact the book interviews both Jonathan Snook and Yaro Starak which have been interviewed here before on the Random Bits podcast. You’ll also find interviews with notables like Seth Godin, Neil Patel, David Seah and 35 other top bloggers.

The books main goal is to provide you and your blog some insight into what it takes to be successful. Reminding you that “A new blog comes online every 1.4 seconds” it sure doesn’t hurt to learn from some of the most successful bloggers to date.

In Blog Blazers, you’ll learn the secrets of 40 top bloggers, as they all weigh in on such questions as:

– What’s your best tip for writing a successful blog post?
– What are your main avenues for marketing your blog?
– What was your most successful blog post ever?
– What’s the most common mistake new bloggers make?
– What turns you off most when visiting a blog?
– What’s the best way to make money from your blog?
– Which books and websites do you recommend to new bloggers?
– Which five blogs do you regularly read?
– and many more!

It’s a quick and easy read and well worth any bloggers time.

Links for the Weekend, 9-13-2008

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

Thinking Outside The SEO Box

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

I met with some people last month that run an e-commerce website. Their story is an all too familiar one. They’re not selling as much product as they had hoped to and want to see what can be done to change the situation.

In this article I’ll share with you what I shared with them. It may surprise you to hear some of my suggestions.

The beginning of our conversation was your typical SEO talk. It started with an explanation of how Google (and others) ranks web pages. The typical reader of this blog will be familiar with this, so I’ll skip it. But if you need a refresher, read the article Google’s PageRank Explained.

After explaining to them the significance of inbound links to their site it didn’t take long before they asked the question that always gets asked at this point, “How do we get people to link to our website?”

I deflated their spirits be telling them that it’s not easy. You see, e-commerce sites, like theirs, don’t typically attract people wanting to link to them. Nobody, naturally, wants to link to a website that sells jewelry or Hungarian food condiments and trying to get people to link to a site they don’t want to can be an Lose Weight Exercise in futility. I know, because I’ve done it many times.

But hope is not lost. There is a way…

The short answer is you have to give people a reason to want to link to you. But how does an e-commerce site do that?

That’s what we’ll look at in this article. No, it’s not your typical, “How to acquire links” article so read on.

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WordPress Plugin: Comment Info Tip

Monday, May 5th, 2008

WordPress Plugin: Comment Info Tip

Introducing the Comment Info Tip Plugin

You asked for it – now you got it!

This WordPress plugin provides you and your commenter’s a bit of information on their posting stats.

How It Works
When you mouseover a commenter’s name you will see a tip appear displaying some information about that given commenter. The tip will display 1 of 4 results:

  1. If the commenter has only posted once then it will say so in the tip (see number 1 in the legend below).
  2. If the commenter has posted more than once we will look up the last three posts they have commented in and display links to those posts. This allows you to see which type of posts this user is interested in and easily navigate to those posts (see number 2 in the legend below).
  3. If the commenter has posted more than once we will attempt to search their RSS feed and show an excerpt from their last post (see number 3 in the legend below).
  4. If it’s a pingback or trackback the tip will indicate so (see number 4 in the legend below).

legend

DOWNLOAD THE PLUGIN HERE

* Please give it a shot and return here and tell us where you installed it. Let me know how it’s working for you and of course if you have suggestions or advice please let me know.

New – Comment Callouts

Monday, April 14th, 2008

As you run your blog you may find yourself building relationships with some of your visitors. I know that when someone puts in the time to be a repeat commentator to Search-This I often find myself wanting to investigate that person a little. I may visit their blog and read a handful of their posts. I then usually look for an about page to get a brief bio of the person. I guess we all like to know who we’re inviting into our homes…

One of the problems I had at Search-This was that I could never easily tell how many comments a given person contributed. It would be nice to know who our top commentators are, not just for a given month but overall.

In addition to satisfying my own curiosity, I thought you guys might also like to know how many comments total you have logged.

Now we both can tell!

Simply mouseover the dude representing you for your comment and it shows you your total comments. It also displays links to the last three posts you commented in. See the screenshot below:

How to Promote Your Blog – So What?

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

In this, our third lesson of the How to promote your blog series, we will look at two characteristics of the blogging audience. It doesn’t really matter what your blog is about: internet marketing, fly fishing or your love for pets. We can pretty much assume that your blog’s readers share some similar traits.

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