Tag Archives: Blogging

Is AdBlock “Evil”?

Last month, some idiot decided that commercial websites should block the Firefox web browser because some Firefox users (read: 87% of Digg users) utilize the Adblock extension to block advertisements from being displayed. The arguements continue. Though most people (most sane people, anyway) agree that it’s immoral to block a web browser entirely, the debate about Adblock continues.

First of all, why do websites run ads? To make money. I, and most other people, don’t have any problem with this. We’re used to it. You have ads in magazines, commercials on TV, billboards on highways. I place ads on my websites as well.

Why do people block ads? Because some websites cross the line between making some money, and going crazy. I can tolerate some AdSense blocks, and other unintrusive ads. However, most commercial websites are so ad-heavy you want to scream. They don’t just load their pages with banners, but they employ such annoying ads that there’s no doubt why AdBlock came into existence. Here are some examples:

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Should You Have More Than One Blog?

Is it a good idea to have more than one blog? Why or why not?

  • Argument #1: No, because you’ll be spreading yourself too thin. You’ll be spending twice as much time on maintenance, ad optimization, link-building, writing, etc.
  • Argument #2: Yes, because you can write about more than one subject. You’d get bored writing about the same thing every day.

Both are good points. You definitely don’t want to get bored with your blog’s topic, but it’s not a good idea to double your workload. If you’re a serious blogger, you could already be spending over three hours a day doing blog-related things. You don’t want to double that, do you?

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Snap Shots: Should You Use Them or Not?

You’ve seen them on the web. You may even use them on your blog. Snap.com’s Snap Shots system quickly spread across the web, infiltrating many popular and semi-popular blogs. Some people like them, others loathe them. The question is: Should you use them or not?

It depends. Snap recently introduced more functionality into the Snap Shots lineup. Some of the features are actually useful, while others are just annoying. Let’s take a closer look.

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47 CSS Tutorials, Techniques, and Resources

CSS. Without it the web would look pathetic. If the W3C hadn’t put out the CSS standard, our blogs would look like this, this, or this. Is that scary or what?

Whether you’re a web designer, a PHP coder, or a blogger, it pays to know the ins and outs of CSS and HTML. Even if you’ve memorized the entire CSS Spec documents (unlikely), there’s still more to learn. CSS Maniacs everywhere are coming up with new techniques every day, and it’s a good idea to keep current on the latest methods for dodging around Internet Explorer bugs and building CSS grid layouts. Then you have a constant stream of downloadable utilities (and Firefox extensions) to aid you in your design work.

Well, let’s cut to the chase. Here are a few CSS tutorials, techniques, and resources (in no particular order):

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RSS: Full Content or Summaries?

Full content or summaries? Nearly every blogger has asked his or her self that question at some point. Which is better? There’s no answer to that. The correct question would be “which is better for you?”

Full Content

  • A lot of users prefer full content feeds because they can stay in their feed reader and avoid visiting actual websites. Some people even refuse to subscribe to summarized feeds.
  • Full feeds make it easier for people to scrape your content. What’s feed scraping? It’s when someone republishes the full content of your posts on their website (automatically) without your permission and proceeds to make money off advertisements on the site.


  • If you use summarized feeds, you force your readers to hop over to your blog to read the full content. This means the users will see your cool layout, they may post comments, and they could even net you some ad revenue.
  • Summarized feeds are smaller, loading quicker and putting less strain on your web server.

I only offer summarized feeds (I can hear the boo-ing already…), though you can offer either or both types of feeds. Personally, I, as a feed subscriber, don’t care which feed-type is available on a site. I use the MyNT RSS reader, so I read feeds a bit differently than most people.

In the end, it’s up to you (just ignore the complaints from your loud summary-hating readers :D ). Offer a summary feed, a full feed, or both.

Blogging Tip: Cheap, but great, prizes for contests

It’s not too unusual for bloggers to run contests in attempt to raise their PageRank/Technorati Authority. You may have considered this briefly, but dismissed the idea when you couldn’t think of anything good to offer as a prize. Here’s a possible solution: Refurbished iPods. Apple will sell you iPods that have been returned (and fixed) for about $50 less than the list price. There’s nothing wrong with them, so they’re a great deal.

A refurbished iPod Shuffle costs $50, and a 2GB iPod Nano $100.

A lot of people don’t know about the refurbs, because Apple buries the link on their website.

Track Your Blog’s Stats

So, you’ve got your blog up and running. Are you tracking your blog’s usage statistics? No? Then stop right there! It’s important to know how many visitors/pageviews you get in a month. Why? Well, it’s a good gauge of how well you’re blog is doing.

I’m serious, no one should be without blog statistics. It won’t cost you a dime, and it won’t take much effort to set up.

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10 Widgets For Bloggers/Webmasters (Yahoo Widget Engine)

If you’ve spent any amount of time on the web, it’s likely you’ve heard of the Yahoo Widget Engine (formerly known as Konfabulator [before Yahoo bought it]). With YWE, you get a Mac-like heads-up display that overlays your screen (activated by a hotkey), displaying your widgets. The widgets can also float around on your desktop, but generally I stow them in the heads-up display. YWE is not just useful, it’s pretty cool. Check it out if you haven’t already.

After installing YWE, you’re not-so-subtly steered toward the Widget Gallery, a place where you can search/browse for new widgets to install. A lot of people’s first thought is “Whoa, that’s a lot of widgets.” How do you sort through them all? I can help.

If you’re a blogger, or just a webmaster, I can recommend some widgets. Here are some of my favorites in the “webmastery and blogging” category.

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7 Books For Beginning Webmasters

Are you just getting starting as a webmaster/blogger? Are you a little clueless when it comes to HTML? Need a primer on RSS feeds? It looks like you should read some books. The web is a great source for information, though sometimes it’s better to read a good old-fashion book.

How did I get to where I am today? I learned everything I know about the workings of the web from books and websites. I learned about HTML and CSS in books, I picked-up a little PHP in a book…then learned the rest online.

If you’re getting started as a webmaster, I highly recommend the following books.

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WordPress Vs. Movable Type

So, which is the better blogging software? WordPress or Movable Type?

Movable Type is one of the older blogging packages. Once they were the cutting edge, and the most popular blogging tool. Nowadays, that title has been given to WordPress.

WordPress, though in development back in 2001, is officially successor to the old B2 blogging script. I don’t believe they share any code, though. Currently WordPress is the most popular blogging tool, thanks to it’s power, flexibility, and ease of use.

Can Movable Type still compete with WordPress? Let’s see.

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