Podcasters’ Emporium: Let the Revolution Begin

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I have had the most amazing few weeks in relation to podcasting. Last night I recorded the first of many podcasts that I am going to be doing with James Williams of the LifeStyle PodNetwork. The show is called Podcasters’ Emporium. But that is the end and the beginning of a journey.

James and I have been talking for a while about many things but we usually end up talking about something to do with podcasting. There has been a gradual hatching of a plan that we probably did not see coming but now that we have come this far we are glad we did.

James was struggling with trying to find a vision and a path for his show. We had so many discussions about it, I kept coming up with ideas and suggestions. My motivations were a tad selfish in that I was really wanting a podcast out there for podcasters. A show full of tips, tricks, advice and interviews. So yeah I was pushing him in that direction. The reason being is that I believed that he could pull it off! The other reason was and is that there is a great need for a podcast like that in the podcasting space. Just go and take a look at the podcasts on podcasting in iTunes.

So we decided to relaunch Podcasters’ Emporium with a difference, a podcast for podcasters with a vision to build a quality community full of podcasters from all over the globe and strive to be a “go-to” resource for the community. But James wanted me to co-host, easy decision.

Much of what else I would want to say was said at the first recording of the show together which will be episode 10. The energy and the enthusiasm for this project is huge and it comes out in the podcast. We have some great stories and ideas. I am so excited about it. So take a listen and find out why it will be worth listening to.

If you are a podcaster, you need to listen to Podcasters’ Emporium. Not only that, we don’t want a passive audience, we are committed to building this community and making it a valuable resource and not for us; for you. There are details in the first show about how you can become involved and be a part of the community.

Also check out the show synopsis before the fist show is launched tomorrow.

The Revolution Starts Now. Your going to love it!

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Great Talk from Lorelle VanFossen

I have had reason to get right up to speed on WordPress of late. I took the opportunity to have a really good look around Weblog Tools Collection. Which is a great source of news and resources for those running their own WordPress install. But in the process I found a real gem.

I have been blogging on WordPress since April 2006. I started blogging and managing my content from scratch. I had little knowledge and had to teach myself most things. WordPress.com is a great place to do that as it is a controlled environment, the tweaking is limited. But I felt that it gave me enough to do what I wanted to do.

One of the disadvantages of this is that some of the cool stuff that you can do with JavaScript for example; you can’t do here. We have to wait for these features to be added over time. Other stuff you have to hack up and make it work. Such as the Skype button here on this blog. You end up being able to make a text box do just about anything.

But it would have been nice to have got some tips and tricks earlier. Which brings me to the gem that I found. If you have not heard of Lorelle and her blog Lorelle on WordPress, make it your business to. Prominent blogger and lover of all things WordPress. Plus she has her head screwed on. I have been reading her blog for ages. Lorelle attended and presented at WordCamp Dallas 2008. She offered to talk on

“whatever was left…”

It ended up being WordPress tips. I don’t care if you are new to WordPress or an old timer, there is something in her presentation for everyone. It is packed full of tips and tricks to get the best out of WordPress.com, or as she calls it “power blogging”. If you want some great ideas on handling your comments and back end generally you will find it here.

Thankfully someone thought to capture the talk on video and share it with the rest of us. Thanks Lorelle foLorelle on WordPressr all your tweaking of the untweakable and sharing it with the rest of us. It also reminded me that WordPress.com is an awesome platform. For the most part I am pleased that it looks after itself as it means I can just use it.

So here is the presentation, enjoy it and be sure to visit Lorelle’s blog and leave a comment. I know she makes every effort to respond and be active in her community.

Just as a side note when I checked out Lorelle’s blog while writing this post I noticed that she is going to be appearing on Jeff’s WordPress Weekly Podcast. Ironically Jeff is a listener of The Global Geek Podcast and an avid supporter of the show and friend of mine. The cool thing about Jeff’s show is that you too can be on it and talk to Lorelle yourself! So off with you and check out both those guys and make sure you say hello to Jeff for me. Check out The WordPress Weekly details while your at it.

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Font Inspiration: MyFonts

Boycott Image DemoI am not big on fancy fonts and such but I came across a website this week that had a great top 10 list of what they considered the best fonts of 2006.

It is not that I am against fonts or anything like that, I like a nice font. But fancy unique ones have their limitations. For instance if you have a font installed on your machine you can use it all you like, print a letter with it without any problems. But send a document to someone and they don’t have it on theirs and it will bork. They won’t see it. Same goes for a web page. It has to be resident on the machine for the user to see it.

One way around this is to create an image that uses the font. But that changes it as well, it is now an image and is treated as such. Creating a header or logo using a fancy font is not so bad because within the html you can edit the text to reflect the content on the page. This raw html of the page is what the web spiders crawl for indexing.

I heard a podcast this week where there were open questions and one podcaster was wondering why her content was not being indexed. It turned out that the whole page of text that she referred to was an image. She wanted the page to look nice and so that the visitors could see it she made the whole block of text an image. Google does not index the content of an image as far as content is concerned. In all honesty I am after content crap can still look good and some of the ugliest web sites have the best content.

I should also mention as a side point that having a massive number of fonts installed is notorious for slowing down your machine. So be picky with what you install and maybe review them once in a while and cull out the ones you don’t use any more. Saving them to disk is a great idea as you can always install them again if you ever have the need.

So now that I have trashed fonts… I found this nice collection of fonts this week. The Best Fonts of 2006. While I am not sure what the best is based on they are a nice collection. They are from a site called MyFonts and I would suggest that these are what they consider to be the best fonts as opposed to being judged or voted on. You can see the whole collection as an alphabet and you can purchase them if you wish. Must be hard to develop fonts because the ones I looked at range in price from $19.00 to $40.00. But they have some great specials as low as 10 bucks! Cool. What is the going rate for a font anyway? Still worth it if you are after something unique in my opinion.

Looks like a great site by the way lots of fonts and styles to suit anything that you would want to do, 52,454 at last count. I really liked the “more like this” feature that selects fonts based on the one you are looking at. These fonts definitely have a place for the designer and artist. But remember that they have a place and more importantly when and where you shouldn’t be using them.

Best Fonts of 2006

Never See Another Google Ad Again

I was just posting a comment on Scoble’s Blog about advertising and I mentioned that I don’t even see Google Adsense advertisements. That gave me an idea to share what I do. I don’t know if everyone knows this but what the heck you might be interested.

I use Firefox, the new shiny 2 actually. There is an extension, or I should say “add-ons”; as they have changed the name now (not sure why, anyone know?) called Adblock which I have installed. You can customise which advertisements you do not want to see by filtering elements at the source address, or just right click and select block. You can also view all the blockable elements on a page or white list a whole page. Plus a lot of other options and features.

So to block Google Adsense ads on any site you visit put this in your filter set under options:

http://googlesyndication.com*

The “*” is a wild card that blocks the domain regardless of sub domain addresses (I think I got that right!). That is all you have to do, no more Google Ads – woot! (although I do know of someone that likes Google ads, personal choice I guess)
There is one other alternative and it too is a Firefox Extension called Adblock Plus. I have never used it so I can not comment on how good it is but it does appear on the top Extension for Firefox so that speaks volumes.

You could also choose to install Adblock Filterset.G Updater  which blocks most ads on the Internet. Adblock Filterset.G Updater is a companion to both Adblock and Adblock Plus and should be used with either. This extension automatically downloads updates every four to seven days. This is a “nuke all” approach and may be what you are looking for.

You are probably wondering why I block certain ads and not others. Well the simple answer is that I block the ones that annoy me, Google Adsense ads annoy me, a lot. Especially the sites that go overboard and have half a page of them. The rest that don’t annoy me as much I leave as they are.

The reason I do this is that I feel that ads are sometimes a part of a sites experience and feel. Sure you can go the totally sterile approach if you wish, but if an ad is unobtrusive and doesn’t cause nasty things to happen then that is fine with me. Another good reason to block ads and banners is that they save you bandwidth and speed up your surfing experience. Especially if your connection is a bit on the slower side.  The other reason that I leave a lot is because of the podcast. It is sometimes good to know who has what ads on their site so you can spot those “cash for comment” posts or maybe a bias report or something like that. I also like knowing what is going on rather than leaving it up to a filter set, I am a control freak.

I know this post has been about Firefox’s ability to install great add-ons to the browser and that is because if you use Internet Explorer you are buggered and have to look at ads if you want to or not. Choice is great, do yourself a favour and choose Firefox.

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