Well it’s that time of year again folks. Thanksgiving is gone and Christmas is almost upon us again. As many of you probably remember I took a vacation last year to the north pole and was dancing with Santa’s elves about this time. I’m not going to have time for all that vacationing this year, however I did decide to go ahead and get an early start on the holiday season and get a Christmas tree on the first day of December. I took this short video clip of me getting the tree. I hope you enjoy!
The real time web is one of the hottest areas of the web right now. The reason why is that internet users want to know what is happening right now. With the advent of user generated content, there is real time data out there and real time search engines can show you what is happening right now.
Below is a review of Sency – one of the up and coming real time search engines.
Sency allows internet users to navigate the real time web from two angles. First users can search for what is being said about a specific term. So, if users want to see what people are saying about an athlete, celebrity, or other news event, they can get that information in real time. Sency also shows users today’s most popular link for a specific keyword. So, users can search to see which links are the hottest right now.
In addition to a search engine for users, Sency also offers two widgets for publishers. The first widget gives websites and blogs access to real time content. The second widget gives publishers access to today’s most popular links for a given keyword. Each widget is easy to customize, and free to use. Also, there is no Sency branding above or below either widget.
Many startups, such as Sency, have begun to navigate the real time web. It will be interesting to see which ones emerge and also, it will be interesting to see the new tools that these real time web companies create.
WordPress is so versatile that you can use it as a blog, static business website, community, or CMS (content management system), pretty much anything you need to do, you should reach for WordPress. Lately, I’ve had a lot of requests for information on multi-author blogs. Using the leverage of multiple authors is a great idea, but you should plan out your strategy before you begin. You will leverage the time of more people for both content and promotion. When you start a website like this, the website owner assumes the role of community manager and has to keep the blog running smoothly. Don’t expect the blog to just take off because you have more content then before, you still have to run it like a professional blog. What platform to use, how will you find bloggers, How to reward your bloggers are a few good questions to start with.
What community blogging platform to use?
Worpdress (WP) and WPMU (WordPress Multi-user) are both great platforms for a multi-author blog. I have found that a if you want to create a WordPress website it is good for a close knit group of bloggers, that communicate regularly and understand the overall strategy for the website. Examples on this type of website is Mashable.com. WPMU on the other hand is better for a blogging website where the bloggers don’t really know each other, but all have similar interests in the overall blog topics. WPMU powers wordpress.com.
A WP website is much easier to run compared to a WPMU site, but the WPMU site can grow to be much larger because a WPMU site creates subdomains for each author. Each subdomain can use different themes, plugins, etc, they are each individual webistes. You can think of it as each website made by WPMU is a normal WP website. WPMU will always be under attack by people trying to make a fake blogs and game your system, but there are many plugins and strategies to stop this.
An example of a WPMU structure will be as follows. maindomain.com will be main website and all sites built under it will aggregate to it. Now as authors start blogs, each one will have a subdomain. Let’s say this is a car site. honda.maindomain.com, toyota.maindomain.com are examples on subdomains.
If you really want to make your WPMU community take off, you can offer Top Level Domains. Besically the author that made honda.maindomain.com, can upgrade to hondacars.com… Now that author can have subdomains under them. CRV.hondacars.com… As you can see it can go on forever and can offer much more benefits that a normal WP install. Again, it will take more effort from the community manage to keep things running smoothly.
This is a guest post by Gloson. Gloson is a talented 11 year old blogger from Malaysia. He also has written a poetry book, and is officially the youngest published poet in Malaysia. Be sure to follow him on Twitter!
Commenting on blogs is a great way to get yourself (and your blog noticed). If you type in your site address in the comment form, you will get a little link on your name in the comment.
If your comments are noticed, chances are some people might click into your website and you’ll get some traffic.
But now popular blogs receive about 50 – 100 comments on each post. And people usually miss most of them.
Here are 15 ways to get your blog comments stand out from the crowd and catch the attention of people.
1. Write longer comments if the rest are short ones
If most of the comments happen to be short ones, then write long comments to make yourself stand out. Don’t forget to format it though, for no one likes reading long comments.
2. Write shorter comments if the rest are long ones
Do exactly the opposite if the rest are long ones. Of course, don’t write two word comments or that will backfire.
3. Be one of the early birds
But before you do that…
Make sure you are leaving a useful comment, and not two-word comments. So being the 10th commentator with a useful comment is better than being the 1st with a two-word one.
But note that doing this too many times on the same blog can be annoying.
4. Use formatting to dress up your comment
If you are not familiar with HTML,
a = <strong>a</strong>
b = <em>b</em>
c = <u>c</u>
Formatting a comment is as easy as a b c . People like to read tidy and formatted comments, and that should stand out from the crowd, if there are not many formatted comments.
For example (My comment on 15 Ways Of Getting (Free) Traffic For Your Blog),
Before I start this post, I want to make it clear that I like the SEO Hosting Blog. In addition to being a regular reader and commenter, I also have a professional relationship with two of the SEO Hosting writers. However, with that being said, I have to admit that I was quite disappointed with a post that I came across on Wednesday.
The post that caught my attention was titled “Why Does a Blog Help SEO?,” and was written by Garry Conn. Since I am a blogger and own an SEO company, I thought this post was going to be right up my alley. However, my opinion of this post changed once I reached the second half of it. In the spirit of fairness, I’m going to quote the entire section of the post that I have an issue with:
“Last item is gaining inbound links to your site. Now, this part is something that not many people do very often. If you have a website and you’re trying to get it to rank for top rated keywords, the blog itself is what can thrust your website into top rankings. The key to doing this is to make sure that you’re blog is completely separate from your website. Meaning, if your website is YOURBUSINESS.COM, don’t make your blog YOURBUSINESS.COM/BLOG or BLOG.YOURBUSINESS.COM.
Instead, make your blog something like YOURBUSINESSBLOG.com. Additionally, your blog and website should be different IP addresses, in fact, maybe hosted by different companies. The purpose of doing this is to have the ability to point links back to your website and have search engines credit these links as true external inbound links.
This part handles a portion of inbound links to your website, which there should also be other link campaigns going on as well. Perhaps a second or third blog as well.”
StumbleUpon is a great place to discover interesting things randomly online. Once found an awesome page, you can share it to all your friends just with a few clicks. The thing is that your inbox is usually flooded by many shares and in order to discover new things, you have to wade across them. Some of them are great content from real stumblers, but many are crap shares from spammers. In this post, I tell you a small trick to free your StumbleUpon inbox from these shares.
First, download AutoMouseClicker and run it. It’s a portable utility and was designed to automatically click on a specific position on the screen certain times.
Ok, I have my Digg account, now what do I do? Get an Avatar! It is so lame when people don’t take the time to put avatars on social media sites. That would be step number 1. Then, hunt down a few diggers that you like because of the content they submit and digg and comment on their submissions. RSSfeed their submissions and stick on them like a pig on shit. The whole point to Digg, is digging so you need to build a network of people that Digg. Typically, active submitters are also active diggers. If you plan on becoming an active submitter then you will need the help of other active submitters. Read more >>
Chances are you’re familiar with both StumbleUpon and Digg. Have you ever wished it would be as easy to Digg posts as it was to Stumble from site to site? Well, now it can be. Sub Digger Plus wasn’t created by Digg (so it’s uncertain if using it will get your Digg account in trouble), but it’s a great way to make keeping up with your friends’ Digg submissions. Not only is this tool helpful, it’s not difficult to use. In fact, if you know your Digg username, that’s all you need to enter to start using the tool (which works on Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome browsers.)
With no plugins to download or software to install, Sub Digger Plus makes it simple to easily check out Digg submissions from your friends. After entering your Digg username, you’ll go to a screen with a toolbar on the bottom. Your friends’ submissions will load in the top of the screen. All you have to do is click one button to see the next submission. There’s also a handy list view that’s sortable. Depending on your personal preferences, you can choose to sort the list by Date, Diggs, Title, Submitter, Topic or Read (and any of these options can be sorted in ascending or descending order). This makes it super easy to see what your friends are doing at Digg, and provides you with the opportunity to create a really personalized Digg experience.
WordPress is one of the most popular open source blogging platforms. Unfortunately, this also seems to make it a popular target for hackers. While keeping your WordPress installation up to date can prevent a lot of potential security breaches, that’s not a guaranteed way to stay safe. Today, I’m going to cover a few steps you can take to give yourself extra layers of protection against hackers and evil robots.
Although these first steps may seem extremely basic, it’s always good to be reminded of the fundamentals. A great example of this was the Twitter happiness fiasco that occurred a couple of months ago. While it did have some entertainment value, it also served as a reminder that even the most basic security measures can be overlooked if you aren’t proactively taking steps to be more secure. Here are a few lessons that can be learned from that fiasco:
Don’t use words from the dictionary for your password
For example, passwords like password or happiness.
Most brute force attacks attempt to gain access by trying a prearranged list of dictionary words. If you choose a password that is not a word from the dictionary, you won’t leave yourself open to this type of attack.
Don’t use passwords that aren’t strong
For example, all lowers case with no numbers or other characters.
What exactly makes a password strong? Strong passwords have the following characteristics:
- Lengthy: Each time you add a character, your password becomes exponentially more difficult to guess.
- A combination of letters numbers and symbols: The more characters the better
- Uses both upper case and lower case letters
- Use a password that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess
Microsoft has some more detailed tips on how to create strong passwords that are easy to remember but difficult for others to guess.
Whatever you do, don’t allow UNLIMITED login attempts!
In the case of the Twitter fiasco, the hacker actually launched an automated brute force attack which ran overnight while he was sleeping. The WordPress Limit Login Attempts Plugin is an ideal way for WordPress users to protect themselves from such brute force attacks. It works using both IP addresses and cookies. It can be set to notify you via email when someone has been locked out due to four failed login attempts. The first time four failed attempts occur the user or potential hacker is locked out for twenty minutes. After the next four failed attempts, the lockout last for twenty-four hours. These are the default settings, but they are fully customizable.