Blogs On Matt Cooper Yesterday, Using Google, Specialised Blogging

Listening to the Last Word podcast (feed link here) from yesterday (6pm hour), looking at blogging, the web, tips for getting noticed and Google and more with Gerry McGovern. There’s a phone-in Mick Fealty of Slugger O’Toole as well.

Gerry’s three tips for Google:

  • Use words (as keywords) that people will genuinely use to search for. e.g. Who searches for ‘low fares’ when people want ‘cheap flights’?
  • Get links! Google counts your links (incoming links) as votes, so get links from other sites and get yourself seen.
  • Use a good ‘title’ meta tag. No explanation for the non-techies other than if you’re a manager, get whoever looks after your website to make sure there’s a good ‘title’ meta tag in there. For the uninitiated, a ‘title’ meta tag contains the text displayed in the title bar at the top of your browser window and is used by search engines when returning results from your page. e.g. mine starts with ‘Ken McGuire :: Creative Imagination’ followed by the blog post’s name.

Mick goes on to talk a little about Slugger O’Toole and how specialised blogging earns you a specialised audience which can potentially give you power in the market place.

Makes for a good listen. The segment runs for a quarter of an hour or so from just after the news to the 21 minute mark in the podcast.

Liking The Google FeedBurner Stats

Have to say, I’m liking the addition of Google Reader’s stats to FeedBurner. Makes me think there’s a few more people reading the blog, it didn’t actually dip to double figures at the weekend even though it was a quiet one 😀 Big tip o’ the hat to FeedBurner who provide a high quality service at their free package level.

Sure, not as many as Tom Raftery who would have been a serious shoe in for that pint at the blog awards but sure there you go. Guess now we can concentrate once again on the blogging side of things and not the statistics that go behind it!

Grazr Stylesheets

Grazr LogoHere’s an idea – custom CSS for Grazr (see the sidebar on Was looking into it last night and stopped short of going all out – I figure, download the javascript, host it yourself, download the existing Grazr stylesheet and all associated images and bundle it into your own WordPress template and then style as you so desire.

Has anyone attempted this previously? I think it would be nice to be able to style all elements of it, don’t you?

PXN8 Before I Blog (with some tyre kicking)

PixenateWalter Higgins put out a call for tyre kickers for Pixenate and I figured seen as I got the photo blog back in some kind of structured form that I would lash into Pixenate to resize the photos a bit before uploading them to the blog.

Impressive stuff. The K800 delivers a 2048*1536 shot at around 800kb average, upload was relatively quick and playing around with the basic tools was a breeze. Slight bit of cropping, cropped well. Slight bit of resizing, nice to maintain the aspect ratio. Honestly it was the first time I went to PXN8 with the intention of using the finished photo online as opposed to toying with photos there to see what can be done.

Knowing that, and also knowing that I’m extremely particular about photographs and quality I’ll say that I was impressed when working in colour but a little disappointed in the grayscale and sepia conversion as the image seemed to lose quality around areas close in colour (become very pixelated, grained out). The preview window works really well though Walter, fair play. Good to be able to check everything out without having to do the whole “apply and undo if unhappy” trick.

The final image was cropped at a width of 470px and when saved to disk clocked in at 160kb. One thing I would like to see, unless I missed it, is the ability to compress the photo further. 160kb isn’t ideal if you’re looking at ten posts on a blog homepage, each with a minimum of one image so I’ll confess that I brought the two photos back into Photoshop to drop the size to about 40kb.

Honestly, if I wasn’t a stickler for well compressed web images and I didn’t have access to Photoshop, I think I’d find PXN8 ideal, particularly if you’re blogging your photos and want to make a few adjustments to them. Usability is great, no problem doing anything, uploads well, saves back to disk well plus, the fun effects are actually fun 🙂 Let me compress those photos even more and I’d be real happy with it…

See the finished post (contains two images), here on the photo blog.

Thinking About Photoblogging?

One of my new years resoultions has been to start pumping my photography out to the web. I’ve got cds, dvds and two machines currently sharing my photo load (with over 20,000 images) at home and I’ve vowed to make 2007 a year where I can actually concentrate on getting more of my personal work online. DeviantART was great and was a good means to keep me publishing but I decided to haul out of there and relaunch the photoblog last September.

So while September and October were good months, November seriously lacked due to so many other commitments and I’ll likely backdate some images for December (that were actually taken during December) to make up for a total post count of 0 for that month. And though there hasn’t been any activity, thus far I’ve managed to spend some time physically planning the presentation and workings of the photoblog before lashing anything up this time.

While I will stick to using WordPress as the main engine to drive the blog, WordPress isn’t for everyone. So if you’re considering starting a photoblog, take a look at this wiki entry from which lists photoblog scripts and software. It will certainly give you food for thought and a nice list of alternatives to WordPress.

Crunchnotes Go Great With Some Tea

Seen as we’re finishing work tomorrow, today has been a bit of a mad one to say the very least and I’m only getting around to the bulk of blog reading over some tea. God bless the tea! What does make for interesting reading (seen as Keith has been busy posting) is Mike Arrington‘s ‘Truth About TechCrunch UK‘ which is Mr. Arrington’s full side of his story – seen as there’s been a load of hype in the past week or two about Le Web and Techcrunch UK’s holding period its interesting to read the clear of air.

Could we hire an attorney over all of this? Sure. But even though I’m an attorney, that’s not my style. And frankly, we have better things to do with our time. So in the end I had the choice between continuing to work with Sam, and possibly making a lot of money on a European event, or being able to sleep well at night. I chose sleeping wel

Or maybe not so much a clear of air but just putting the issue to bed for once and for all. Sure makes for interesting reading though.

Oh how the mighty do bicker.

So yet again, is it the end Techcrunch UK or would you say its the end of it all? With Sam and Mike now writing at Vecosys [Tracking European Startups] I’m guessing they won’t be back in any capacity. Could do with a decent blog theme though. Sure a shame if it was. Even saw a mention of Blacknight in there once!

End Of The Road For TCUK?

Goes from bad to worse really following the political fiasco in France – now Techcrunch UK is “on hold” with Sam Sethi being removed from the blog. Very disappointing as it is a great blog to follow. Reminds me an awful lot of a fiasco at the upper level of online art community DeviantART (where I have held – my account here – a paid membership since April 14th 2004, until recently) where the same stuff happened… Of course, at that point it caused a massive rift in the DA community, legal threats, new policies, cancelled memberships – does this move strike any kind of rift in the blogosphere because of Mike Arrington’s move to remove Sam Sethi, Loic publicly called Sethi “an asshole” on his blog or is it just further fallout from the deemed political hijacking of what used to be a good conference?

If you’ve got the time this morning, read down through the comments here (Techcrunch UK), here (Mike Arrington’s response) and here (the original post).

Blogging Through Comments (Bad Blogging)

When I heard that local soccer outfit Evergreen had started blogging I thought it was a great idea. Nice to see a club up and running online, the perfect way to keep everyone up to date with developments, games, results and match reports. But no.

They launched the blog in August of this year and they’ve kept it up to date since then, game scores, draw results, club news – but all through comments.

Every single update has been made as a comment on the original post (now totalling 164 comments). While the information is there, it is in no way shape or form reasonably managed or displayed and serves no real purpose for people looking for club news.

For over a year now items such as fixtures, results, goalscorers, venues, whats new, fund-raising efforts, birthdays, weddings , training schdules, meeting notices, rumours, criticism and much more have been added.

If they’re using Blogger and they’ve been pointed in the direction of blogging, why not just adhere to simple blogging ideas like making actual blog posts instead of posting comments? Plus, why not pick a slightly better user name for the blogger account… foreverandever1? Hmm…..

Is Page Rank Really Important?

Are you concerned about your Page Rank? Or do you really know what it is?

People that have been blogging for some time, or are familiar with the way websites work and Google works will have heard the term Page Rank at least once in their lifetime. In more recent times Page Rank has really become a golden currency around the web – the higher your Page Rank, the better your chances are of swapping links with someone, earning revenue from advertising, getting traffic through your site or blog.

This article that I picked up this morning looks a little at the two sides of the coin that is Google Page Rank – and if you still don’t know what it is all about then its worth a quick read with your morning cup of tea.