I Was Not Looking… My Bad

Well I am still as busy as, well as busy as you can be without spontaneous human combustion. No I have not updated the blog for a few weeks.  My family and I are still in the midst of some major stuff that we have to deal with. Until that is settled then I will be putting my energies into what I can afford. I am spending most time keeping The Global Geek Podcast churning along. I am afraid the personal blog has taken a hit. It does not please me at all.

The podcast has been doing exceptionally well and we have taken on another host. But we suffered a bit of a hit yesterday and we will be telling all in the next show. Tim and I did the show this week as Knightwise could not make it. I think we did okay but Knightwise was missed. Tim is helping me out a lot on the podcast and he has become a great on-line mate. I hope I can actually meet him one day. I was planning to get to Melbourne this year. That might still be on the cards but nothing definite as yet. I am hoping to go and meet Cameron Reilly (CEO of The Podcast Network). But we will see.

Now something that I will say is that I have been unable to get around here and check in on a few things. But what did give me the absolute shits was the fact that WordPress did some coding mumbo-jumbo and stuffed the blog. It looked horrible when I arrived. None of the formatting that I had done was viewable and it was set to default! So I had to go back in and redo all of it. Yes, I have fixed it now and all is good in the would of The Rooster. But I thought it a bit rich when you turn your back for a minute and the blog is rooted. Sorry it looked like a disaster. Damn, even Nick Bradbury was here! That’s like being caught in your dressing gown with guest arriving. Arrrgh!

So I thought I would stick my head around the corner and check in. But expect on again off again blogging for the next month or so while I get things sorted out. Keep listening to the show and reading the the podcast blog as that is where I am trying to focus while my time is limited. I will let everyone know what the heck is going on when I can, at the moment it is a bit hush hush…

Plans are to blog about a few tech things over this week. I have found a great application for recording Skype and a few other cool tools that I am using with the new PC. But I am not saying when because I don’t want to jynx myself.

Advertisements

Blogging, What Blogging?

Clock MosaicJust wanted to drop a quick post while I was waiting for a download, and that is about as much time as I have had this last week!

Yes, the blog has been a bit quiet over the last week. A lot of it has had to do with the amount of time that I have had. In addition to that I also maintain the podcast blog and without fail I try to get a few things posted there each week. Precious little left for here.

This last week has also been a turning point for my family and myself. We have made a huge decision with a lot more to follow. I am not prepared to let people know what is going on right now, but in time I will. This decision will possibly mean that there will be even less time for me to blog here. But I am going to do my best to get some personal blogging done here as I can.

I know no one is likely to be hanging out for what I write here. But just to let the regular listeners know that I am still around and kicking… just very busy. I am going to try to get some things up over this week though.

The file I am downloading is this weeks podcast. I am late and very tired. Not sure that I’ll get it out by tomorrow which is a bummer. I am not about to cut corners to do it either. So bear with me!

Well I had better get into editing this show and at least get most of it done!

Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds :: Flickr

How I Read a Blog

I was reading an article about AdSence optimisation, the case at hand was about Guy Kawasaki’s personal blog, How to Change the World. The fact that his blog had traffic that ranges in the millions and yet generated relatively little revenue as a result. The entry goes on to talk about optimising layout for the best ad revenue result.

I disagree with their assessment of the typical “blog reader”. Well it is certainly not me that is for sure. Here is the description that I am referring to:

“A typical blog reader behaves in the following manner – he will first read the entire blog article [provided it interests him]. Then he will either head over to the comments section to leave his feedback or look for links [at the end of the story] to external sites where he can learn more about related products or services.”

Guy Kawasaki Still Leaving Money on the Table [Adsense Case Study]

That would have to be so far from the truth as far as I am concerned (referring to myself that is). The pattern that I take when reading a blog is this. I usually read any blog from my RSS reader. Generally I don’t open up links in my reader as it uses Internet Explorer as the shell. There are at least 284 reasons why I don’t use IE.

So I open the link up in Firefox and take a look. Lets assume it is a blog. I skim read it, never read anything in full anyway. Plus I speed read most things as I have to get through about 3000 articles a week. The content falls into one of two categories. One, a good blog worthy of further attention. Two, good for the primary reference but not going to be a source of primary information around my interests.RSS Logo Large

Any blog that falls into the first category, I will go straight for the RSS button, feed link or whatever to subscribe. I then go back to the Feed Reader. Especially, since that is what opens up now with feed support in Firefox 2. I then finish the subscribing process and continue either reading the blog or what I was doing before the diversion. I may never visit the blog website address ever again and often don’t.

So for me the whole ad placement optimisation is wasted. I can not remember when I last clicked on an ad anyway, either on a blog or in an RSS feed. In addition to this I just don’t like reading blogs from the homepage. I am used to reading RSS, I like it. RSS might be ugly but it is the useful information without the crap and yes that includes ads. Anyway they don’t call it Really Simple Syndication for nothing.

One other thing I would ad is the fact that the blog reading demographic is such that I am surprised that advertising to this group is even effective. They are usually a tech savvy crowd that are far less inclined to click on any advertising. The reputation that advertising has is enough of a deterrent for anyone in my opinion.

But then again these techniques must be effective for bloggers to be talking about and they are mentioned a lot. So who then is it aimed at? I just know that it is lost on me, I am the valued religious reader that gives your subscriptions a boost. Personally I really value these readers as they are the ones that are genuinely interested in what you are saying.

In summary, I am not your average blog reader, given the above description. I am also not saying that these techniques do not work, they must. I would also question the target audience, is it the average blog surfer or reader or is it the accidental tourist? Or does this whole thing mean that I am not average and the argument is pointless?  What are you or who are you?

Goats Rounded Up!

I posted the other day about an issue I had with some stray goats… Looks like there was some strange happenings in the tag department. But the WordPress guys have come good and fixed the problem. I do not feature in the goat tags on WordPress any more

There has been some interesting and very funny communications with WordPress support the last day or so. I am sure that they won’t mind me publishing this last email I got from them:

Hi,
We got rid of the goats  🙂
It’ll probably be some other farmyard animal soon, but for now you are a goat free zone  🙂
Sorry!

They have been extremely apologetic and helpful regarding this issue. I am sure it took them some time to get to the end of the goat problem. I had a chuckle when I received the email. I hope they know I can see the funny side. This is another demonstration of why the WordPress community is a great place to be.

Thanks guys I am glad the pesky goats are gone they were starting to gag on the transistors. Weird how this stuff happens, but I guess this is a massive database and anything is possible.

I have a Problem with Goats

So I was looking at my stats page this morning and I came across a refer tag that has me stumped. This is all about goats, something I have never said in a blog entry (until now), I have never used the tag in a post. So why am I getting referrals for the tag: mocks-goat-farm?
Here is what I see in the dashboard it is the start of the stats day so it may have slipped my attention before but today it is the top referrer:

mocks-goat-farm tag screenshot

This page has the tag references for mocks-goat-farm on WordPress. As you can see the posts listed have nothing to do with goats or farms and who the heck is “mock”? The other thing is that they are all my posts. Who is the real blogger that used the tag? This is driving me absolutely round the bend so I have started to unravel the goat mystery, so far without success.

A search for the tag on Technorati got one blog in the result. The result was one blog post which appears to have been removed. It might have something to do with a screw up in the database or something like that. Either that or someone is playing a big joke at my expense.

As everyone knows that has a blog here on WordPress the support is taking a break so right now I am hoping that some of the users on WordPress might have some answers. This problem is definitely a WordPress issue as there are none of my posts showing up on Technorati for the tag.

So there you have it, my goat problems. But this is the only post that you will find anything to do with goats so sorry to the disappointed the tag surfers that might be here looking for them.

I refuse to use the tag in this post, that would not be cool… Although in posting this I will successfully be indexed by Google, but what choice do I have? I might laugh when it is all sorted out.

UPDATE: The goat problem has been resolved.

This Blog is Part of the Beta Group to Test Snap!

I have just learned that the Rooster’s Rail is part of the beta group of blogs on WordPress that is testing a plugin called Snap, which is short for Snap Preview Anywhere™. I am very very excited about being a part of this group. I saw Snap some time ago and liked the concept a lot. So much so that I have requested that it be implemented on The Global Geek Podcast Blog. Hopefully that is happening in the next couple of months. For those people that don’t know what Snap is you are probably asking, what the heck is The Rooster on about now?

Snap is a great feature that enables visitors to your site or blog mouse or hover over a link and have a preview pop up. Yeah it is just eye-candy really. But it does give you a bit of an idea if you want to go to a site or not, what it looks like. The images are high resolution so they look great. Or maybe you are just curious and don’t want to visit but just have a peek. Tops, this is great for that. In addition to that it is just plain cool!

Anyone can have Snap on their site by signing up and placing some code in their page. Us WordPressers don’t have the ability to put this type of code in our pages, especially since this is a script. Yet again the WordPress gurus have come through and are giving us feature after feature, and now we get Snap! Woot. This is definitely a place you want to be. I continue to be impressed and pleased to be a part of this community.

For those that absolutely dislike this feature, you can disable it. Doing this will disable Snap on any site not just the one you are looking at. You must refresh the page to not see them. The good thing is that it is not permanent. Disabling it works by using a cookie in your browser. So if you want the functionality of Snap back just delete your browser cookies.

This is a great feature for WordPress users and readers and I sure hope that they keep it. I like it and I think it is useful. Thanks Matt and crew another winner in my book and I am looking forward to seeing it utilized in my posts. Readers of this blog, I would love to know what you think and I will include your comments in my feedback to WordPress Admin. I would also be interested to know what other beta testers here thought about it.

Snap Preview Anywhere Screenshot

Rooster’s Rail Milestone

Well the Rooster’s Rail reached a statistical milestone today. Nope not the kind of statistic you might be expecting.

As of just this moment in time Akismet has successfully blocked 10,001 spam comments.

10001 Spam Canned

Now I have talked about blog spamming methods before but I have noticed a distinct increase. The other thing is that this blog in this space is nine month old. Is that a reasonable amount of spam one could expect in that time-frame? Sure this blog is listed everywhere and it gets exposure due to the podcast but I am sure there are more popular blogs that get more than this blog. What about Scoble? He must surely have a heap.

I am starting to see less and less genuine comment flagged as spam and I am considering not bothering to check it for genuine comments. Sometimes I forget to do it for three or four days and I have 500+ to go through. I really don’t have the time it takes to do that.

So WordPressors what do you think, am I a target, or is this about normal? What are your experiences with spam volume? Does Akismet do the job right for you? Do you check your spam or just can it?I bet this post gets spammed.

In the time that I have composed this post there are 7 more waiting…