Tag Archives: General

Got .Web? Alternatives to .Com Domains

“All the good domains are taken!” is one of the most common exclamations among new bloggers. They’re partly right. You have to be real creative when you register a .com or .net domain these days. Domains are taken for legitamate reasons most of the time, but millions of domains are in the control of “domainers.”

Domainers, for the uninformed, are people (or groups of people) that register large quantities of domains with the intent of reselling them for substantial sums of money. Have you run into a domain owned my a cybersquater (domainer)? Usually the page displayed is generic, and contains ads. Most of the time there’s also a link to make an offer to buy the domain. Yeah, it sucks that the domainers┬ taking half of the good domains and not utilizing them, but they’re not about to stop anytime soon. They’re making hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars off the domains they sell.

So how can you get a good domain with all of this going on? You have three options:

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The Battle Against Scraping

Yesterday (September 23), I logged into my WordPress Admin panel to tweak something in my theme. In the “Recent Links” area on the dashboard, I saw a link marked “Is Web Design an Art?” I knew I’d previously written a post by that name before, so I checked it out. It was an exact duplicate of my post on a blog located at “webmaster-source.blogspot.com” (I’m not linking for obvious reasons). Upon further inspection, I found that they’d copied huge quantities of my posts (over the course of a day). I’d found a “splog” (Spam Blog) that had been scraping my feed. Making matters worse, the site was loaded with AdSense ads.

Since then, I’ve contacted Blogger and AdSense, requesting that they take action. I’ve not received a response from AdSense yet (just an autoresponder saying that they’d received my message). Blogger sent an email back though. They say they won’t do anything unless I send them a DMCA takedown notice (through snail mail). I guess I’ll have to prepare one then. :( Google isn’t very helpful in the anti-splog department, are they?

The splog scraped my content about 11 days ago, and hasn’t come back since. Though with a name like it has, it’s probably only a matter of time. What’s the best way to stop them? I can’t find an entry in my Feedburner stats, nor in my server logs. I have no idea what IP is scraping the feed either. I assume it’s automated, but I’m not quite sure.

If anyone has anti-splog tips, feel free to post them in the comments.

Overselling: Web Hosts’ Little “Secret”

You’ve probably seen the amazing web hosting deals offered by companies like BlueHost, HostMonster, and LunarPages. The claim to offer something like 300GB of storage, and 3000GB (3TB) of bandwidth for the low price of $7/month (or similar).

Do you really think that’s possible? Looking at storage space alone, a 500GB Hard Drive costs $150. Do the math, no one can afford that. You’re paying $7/month for your hosting account ($84/year), right? Now, you’re buying what’s called shared hosting. For $7/month you have access to a small slice of a server’s resources. There are probably 100 other websites hosted on the same computer as you. So, that would mean that computer would need 30000GB of storage (300GB x 100 users). That’s 30 Terabytes, or 60 of those 500GB hard drives! There’s no way any webhost could afford that, and there’s no way their servers would accept that much storage.

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NorthXEast Up For Sale

The blog NorthXEast (which I read) is, unfortunately, up for sale. It’s a great blog, with a cool layout, and some strong stats. It has

  • 75,000+ unique visitors a month.
  • 103,000+ pageviews per month.
  • PageRank of 4
  • $175 current monthly revenue
  • 2000+ RSS subscribers, growing at a rate of 100 per week.
  • 33 Posts
  • Technorati Authority of 704 (rank of 4000)

The blog is listed for auction at SitePoint, and the bid has already reached $5,500. Unfortunately I don’t happen to have an extra $10,000 on hand. :D

NorthXEast is a great blog with an interesting style. I hope whomever buys it will

I’m one of those 2000+ RSS subscribers who wants NorthXEast to keep going as a great blog. So, if one of you bloggers has some extra cash, and feels up to the responsibility, how about buying NxE?

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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The Top (Known) Linkbaiting Techniques

Linkbaiting. The art of grabbing people’s attention so they will link to you. What are some examples of linkbait?

Linkbaiting is basically writing/making something that people are sure to notice, come back to, link to, and tell others about. I probably don’t have to tell you that this benefits you a lot. Incoming links are worth a lot in the blogosphere, especially from bigger blogs. You get traffic from the other blogs, and you get PageRank too.

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Combat Blogger’s Block

Out of blog post ideas? It happens. Other bloggers will tell you to “look through your archives” and to “read other blogs.” While they’re both good suggestions, I have a better strategy: Don’t run out of ideas in the first place.

It is possible to avoid Blogger’s Block, but my strategies aren’t infallible. It is still possible to run out of ideas if you’re not careful.

Get a Blog Notebook

My theory is that if you have enough ideas on file, and you keep adding new ones, you’ll always have plenty of things to blog. So head over to your local office supply store and buy a 5-subject spiral notebook. How you use it may vary. Personally, I have it segmented between my various websites, though it is perhaps better to do it more like this:

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Are You Obsessed With Blogging?

Take the test and find out!

For the past few days, I’ve been working on a multiple choice test. Answer the questions and it will give you a percentage of how obsessed you are. It’s only twenty questions long, so it won’t take more than a couple of minutes to complete.

What are you waiting for? Go and test your blogging obsession level (answer truthfully).

7,076 Unique Visitors! The Power of StumbleUpon.

Yesterday (around noon) I posted an article called Don’t Block Firefox! I wrote it after reading about an annoying site called WhyFirefoxIsBlocked.com on Reddit (and later on Digg). I submitted it to StumbleUpon, and posted comments on Digg and Reddit (including a link to my post).┬ Within two hours, it was the most popular post on Webmaster-Source. I looked at the “Popularity: 100%” in disbelief. How did that happen? I immediately opened a couple of tabs and logged into Google Analytics and pMetrics.

The pMetrics “Spy” tool (the main reason I have a pMetrics account) showed a steady stream of people coming in from StumbleUpon. SU has been the top traffic source on Webmaster-Source for a couple of months now, so I wasn’t too surprised about that, though the amount of people coming in was a lot more than usual.

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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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