Search Engine Optimisation: Beginners Guide

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short is complicated stuff but this is a great place to start. Webmasters in particular are interested in this fine art. In short it is optimising your content on your site for indexing by search engines. That means that your site or blog is returned with search results for a given topic. You want that it is a good thing. How high up in the search you are is another. The quest is to be the number one result. That drives traffic and for businesses money. So it is important.

I don’t fully understand SEO, nor claim to. That is why I found this article called The Basics of Search Engine Optimisation to be excellent. I also thought that for most bloggers it had some good suggestions and ideas about how you can get a higher search rank. This basic guide is probably enough for most bloggers that use a service to host their blog. For new site and content creators it is a great place to start.

A great article and worth spending the time to read and do a few Wkikipedia searches on the terms that you don’t understand.

The Best iPod Case

Some of you might know that I recently purchased an iPod. I look after my gear, period. I believe in cases for everything. It should look as good today as it did 12 months ago, or close to it. It can be done if you get the right accessories! One thing that there is a lot of for the iPod – accessories… and how. But I found by far the best case you could ever want for your iPod.

When I took possession of my iPod I got a fairly inexpensive silicon sleeve for it. Just until I found what I wanted, because the one you get with it is crap. There was nothing in the shops at the time being straight after Christmas. The silicon sleeve was and is okay. But there are a few things against it.

  • Have to remove the cover to dock the iPod
  • Absolutely minimal to zero impact protection
  • Zero screen protection

A permanent solution was required. It had to be functional and yet provide great protection. I plan on lugging it to work each day and I do have children, anyone that has kids knows where I am coming from.
I was in the Apple store today looking a few options for cases and a dock. I saw one case that looked good but the price caused me to think twice, $45.00 AU is a lot to pay for a case. So I went away and thought about it. I went back later in the day and I am very pleased I did. The iSnug case is the holy grail of iPod cases by a long way, for me anyway.

iPod Video Case by iSnugThis is a complete package and the cost is well worth it even cheap. I purchased the “iPod Video Case” which includes:

  • “Bullet-Proof” Shield
  • All leather iPod Case
  • Travel Case
  • Lanyard
  • Micro-Fibre Cleaning cloth

All of these items work together to provide total coverage for your iPod. The whole front of the iPod is covered with the bullet-proof shield. Clear and dead easy to apply, use the cleaning cloth to smooth out the application, worked a treat. Second the leather case can be used on it’s own. It has a belt loop and an anchor point for the lanyard. The only thing exposed is the wheel and the screen. But remember the shield has that covered as well. Now the absolute knock-out. The travel case has a recessed space for the iPod, leather case and all. Plus a cut out for your headphone lead. On the flipped lid there is a compartment for accessories, bonus.

So basically, it is a case in a case with a cover. You can use them separately or combined for travel or throwing in your bag for work. Knowing that the whole lot is protected. Base what you use on where you are and what you are doing. Very, very cool. Also great is the fact that the bullet-proof cover does not impede placing the iPod in a  Universal Dock.

On the negative side I can only think of two. One is the fact that being leather it is a bit more bulky than otherwise. But hey it is leather! The second is the fact that the cut out for the phones does not suit right-angled plugs. I bought a nice pair of after market phones for my previous mp3 player that cut out most ambient noise. But some handy work with a razor blade should fix that problem and it is not that bad in the first place so I might not bother. A third might be that it is black, for the white lovers out there. But my iPod is black and so are my headphones, so suits me.

I would highly recommend iSnug cases for your iPod. These same cases are available for the Nano series and your accessories, plus lots of other great products from the Handstands Company. That is if you are as fussy as I am about keeping your stuff in good nick. the $45 bucks (AU) was a steal. One last point, I am pretty sure that the “bullet-proof” cover won’t stop a bullet…

Handstands iPod Accessories Screenshot

This is a glowing review, that is because this product is the best I have seen and I am very impressed. I have not been payed or recieved goods to write this review.

FeedDemon Available at a Discount

FeedDemonI use FeedDemon as my default Feed Reader. It is a great reader and has some great features. I noticed that the good folks over at NewsGator have made available their entire line at a discount as a holiday special.

As of today take advantage of the special by putting the promo code NGHoliday in the shopping cart. That would make a copy of FeedDemon $19.95 US, bargain! There are also products for Mac. I can not speak for how good the Mac products are as I am not a Mac user. Please comment if you are aware of how the Mac products perform. Twenty bucks is a great deal for such great software. Definitely worth a look if you are after a great standalone (as opposed to online) RSS reader at a good price. Also check out their other products, you might find something you like.

Please note this is not an advertisment, I do not work for nor am I paid by NewsGator. I do however genuinely highly recommend their software and service.NewsGator Holiday Penguin

Omnidrive to Launch in a Few Hours

Omnidrive LogoJust noticed that the Australian Company Omnidrive is about to move out of private beta and go live. The service has attracted a lot of attention over the last couple of months and being an Aussie myself I am proud to give it a mention here.

Omnidrive is an on-line storage solution that offers a free 1Gig account with more storage available for a fee. 10Gig will cost you 40 bucks a year, not bad. Larger storage is available on application for what is described as a reasonable price. The latest on the company blog says:

“… give us a bit more time and we should have the sign up link there for you in a few hours, we will keep you posted on the blog here.”

Nothing so far, but the word is that at 0001hrs PST the site will go live.

The service offers a web interface as you would expect and also a client that will be available as a drive on your system. Correct, right along side “My Computer” (cool eh.). This sounds exciting. Seamless integration with your operating system. There is a client for Mac as well. The uploading and downloading of files works in the background and you can control the bandwidth so that your system resources are free to do what you need to do effectively.

All your data that is stored on Omnidrive is encrypted and safe. However, there is the ability to share your stored content in the space of two clicks of the mouse with anyone you choose.

There has been a lot of buzz recently about on-line storage solutions with the launch of services such as MediaFire, box.net, and Badongo. Omnidrive is the latest in a series of products that offer a similar service. There are a few things that set Omnidrive apart. However, this space looks like one that is going to be very hot over the next twelve months as the best of them float to the top. Expect to see some very competitive pricing and expanding services and feature sets. Competition is what will make the best of these services attractive and effective solutions. Watch this space.

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch describes the service as:

“a product that I and millions of others really need… as good or better than anything else I’ve seen out of silicon valley recently. It has been in development for 12 months.”

High praise and I look forward to giving the service a spin myself. Perhaps you are looking for a superior online storage solution and might want to try it, looks like you could do a lot worse than Omnidrive. Plus the logo is cool.

Storage Mash-Up

Riding the Line

Line Rider LogoI noticed that a few blogs were carrying this flash website as a story today and after about the 3rd one I thought “I” had better check it out. I am glad that I did. It is the absolute biggest time-waster that I have found to date. The “toy” as it is described is called “Line Rider
The reason it is the biggest time waster is that it is only a toy, in other words there is no point to it, there are no scores, there is no goal. Other than to draw a line that a toboggan then runs down and along. Ideally it does this without crashing!

The author of the game states that it was a project that he did for illistration class. The usual beta tag is attached and there has been a swell of suggestions for ways to improve the game. Inclusions for future versions include:

  • Eraser tool – would be very handy, you spend five minutes making what you think is a great track and make a bump in the wrong spot and you have to start again.
  • Line drawing tool – maybe but I think half the fun is getting it right. Maybe handy for the tricky bits you want to add.
  • Rider falls less easily – good, it doesn’t take many bumps for him to plough into the snow.
  • Physics engine mods – cool, adding some funky accelerate, decelerate functions. Jumps here we come.

I had some fun with this and a big warning: It is highly addictive. I stopped playing when I had wasted half an hour but ILine Rider This is bad... think you could waste a whole morning without trying.

I am really looking forward to the next version and I can see it having a cult following. Very cool and it just goes to prove that the best games or “toys” in life can be the simplest.

This is bad, face in the snow and all busted up is not a good look. No that is not blood, but it should be. This was a major stack and I am sure the little bastard reached terminal velocity. It was fun but.