Category Archives: Services and Tools

Google Ad Manager

Google’s Ad Manager is now out of beta. It looks like my WP125 plugin has some competition now. :D Okay, okay, it’s not really in the same category as WP125. Sure, they both manage ads, but mine does so from within WordPress, and is designed to make 125×125 ads as easy as possible, while Google’s service is designed to offer as much power as possible, while keeping the interface clean.

Google’s offering is more advanced, at the expense of usability. Google Ad Manager is intended more toward the audience that OpenX has. For people who want to manage CPM/CPC ads, or ads simply with a start/end date. Google Ad Manager allows you to define various ad zones, with a wide variety of ad dimensions (including 125×125 and custom sizes).

Overall Google’s offering looks like a very good way to manage ads. It seems powerful, and the interface is clean and reasonably easy to use. If you’re looking for a full-scale ad server to handle ads across a medium to large site, this is an option well worth considering. It’s overkill for an ordinary blogger looking to sell 125×125 ads.

If you have a Google Account, all you have to do is go to google.com/admanager/ and login to start using the service.

Collis Ta’eed is at it Again: Introducing Theme Forest

Collis Ta’eed’s company, Envato, is in the process of launching another FlashDen-style site. Known as Theme Forest, it will be a marketplace for web templates. Straight XHTML/CSS, or built for specific CMSes, the themes will sell from $5 to $75 (the staff set the…

SiteMeter and Internet Explorer Break the Internet

Internet Explorer users (versions 5.5, 6, 7) have been unable to access a large portion of the internet since Friday. Essentially users of Internet Explorer have been unable to access sites that use the SiteMeter analytics tool, and are recieving an error message instead.…

Cuil, The New Search Engine That Isn’t… Yet

Over the past few days, the blogosphere has been, well, blogging, about a new search engine developed by a couple ex-Google employees. Known as “Cuil,” which is apparently a Gaelic word for “Knowledge,” the search engine is attempting to be “the next Google.” (Side…

Why Not to Use Blogger or WordPress.com

If you’re serious about blogging, I strongly advise you to avoid using Blogger, WordPress.com, or *shudder*, LiveJournal. The first thing you should do when you start a blog is get a domain name. At $7-$10 per year, it’s not going to empty your bank…

Akismet for SMF

My favorite software for creating forums is Simple Machines Forum, or SMF for short. It’s a free PHP forum script that I believe surpasses phpBB in quality and feature set (though I haven’t tried the latest phpBB version yet). One problem, however, is spam.…

Crazy Egg – Visualize Your Visitors

Crazy Egg is one of the most useful tools you can add to your blogger’s arsenal. Have you even wondered what your users do on your blog? Crazy Egg can tell you that. Crazy Egg is a service that generates heatmaps showing the most-clicked…

Add Gravatars to Your Site

Gravatar is a service that allows you to have an avatar image that follows you around the web. Sites that support Gravatars (Globally Recognized Avatars) just ask Gravatar.com whether your (encrypted) email address has an image assigned to it. If it does, then it…

Gravatar: Globally Recognized Avatars

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could have an avatar image, like you can have on a forum, that follows you around the web? With Gravatar you can. You just sign-up, upload an image, and assign it to your email address(es). From then on,…

Little Known (and Insanely Useful) Google Analytics Tip

Google Analytics is one of the most popular, and most comprehensive, web statistics services. It’s not the most user-friendly site in the world though. I’ve spent plenty of time digging around in its interface, and I’ve found a killer feature that should really be…