Friday, January 29, 2010

A Week of Ups and Downs

This past week has been full of surprises for our blogging communities.

First, the Down. Adgitize went offline, almost a year to the day from the previous outage. Unlike last year's episode, there has been little communication from Ken, placing a wee bit of anxiety in the it's member community. While the site is back up, one forum post indicated that full functionality may not be restored until next week. If history repeats itself, an advertising extension of some sort will be credited to advertisers. As of now, we are in a "trust-me" state. As an aside, one of Ken's own site is "You Can Learn Series" which is a mainstay advertiser on Adgitize.  That domain registration has expired and brings visitors to a parked site. This seems to be quite odd since most folks who own a domain name don't want it to expire. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

For the Ups, both CMF Ads and Entrecard released new innovations to their product lines.

Entrecard opened, without much fan fare, it's membership to websites. While many do not believe this is significant, I believe it is important. Sites like my Lottery Power Picks have already joined and are receiving new visitors. Now, both Adgitize and Entrecard are open to websites.

And, CMF Ads introduced Network Ads. While this is similar to Adgitize, it is a great addition to their product. The primary reason is that it fills up the empty Ad space that many members experience.  While the payback to publishers will be relatively minimal in the beginning, I am sure that Ben and all will think of a way to make it more financially benefical for members to display the CMF widgets. And, this new product is a great complement to its newly released Spikes because when people visit, they will now be exposed other CMF member ads.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Two Rounds of Applause

This week I experienced two unexpected acts of kindness from fellow bloggers, and I wanted to provide them both with a special thank-you and round of applause.

First, I received an Alert from Ben of CMF Ads, indicating that I needed to provide a feed URL for my blogs. Since I use blogger and FeedBurner, Ben instructed me to Convert my Feed to RSS 2.0 format in order for him to read our content. I wrote back and indicated that Google recommends that we publish our feeds with Smart Feed, which will automatically send our our content in whatever format. Within a day of my reply, Ben wrote back and stated that he found a way to force the feed into RSS, thus enabling CMF to import most FeedBurner feeds. I didn't expect this speedy resolution and was impressed that Ben found a solution that is beneficial to all blogger and FeedBurner users. A round of applause to Ben!

Second, I received an Entrecard message from John of English Wilderness: Nature Photography indicating that the Entrecard chicklet that displays popularity / ad price was redirecting visitors to a parked domain. This meant that nobody could visit my blogs. This problem wasn't specific to me, so John warned others and wrote the post WARNING: ENTERCARD CHICKLET WIDGET. Additionally, he contacted the site owner and had the problem resolved before I had a chance to visit my blogs.  John suggested that I remove this chicklet from my blogs since it wasn't provided by Entrecard, and I followed his advice. I wish to thanks John for helping me and all other bloggers for his proactive efforts in protecting our micro-environment. To John: A hearty round of Applause!

Thanks again,


Friday, January 15, 2010

Blogger Users Can Publish Posts Automatically to Twitter

If you are a Blogger user who publishes your blog using Feedburner, you may now publish your posts automatically to Twitter!

To do this, you must publish your blog using Feedburner and have a Twitter account.

All you need to do is to
  • Go to your Feedburner account
  • Select your blog by clicking on the feed title
  • Press the "Publicize" Tab along the top of the page
  • Click on the "Socialize" Service link on the left
  • Lastly, Press the "Add a Twitter Account" Button and enter your Twitter account
  • Press the "Save" button at the bottom of the page.
That's it! You can use the default settings displayed on the page so you don't need to bother with anything else.

I can certainly say that this eliminates the drudgery of Posting to Twitter and definitely saves a lot of time!

So what are you waiting for? Get Socialized Now!

JL ............

Friday, January 8, 2010

Why Health Care Reform is a Bunch of Bunk

When my wife was pregnant several years ago, her Obstetrician suggested that she have an amniocentesis test. He told us that the best person to perform this procedure was a Doctor at a teaching hospital in Newark, NJ because was both a teacher and pioneer in this area.

So, we made an appointment and drove off to Newark. When we arrived at the hospital before 8:00 AM, the waiting room was filled with 11 other families. What struck us was that we were the only white family there. Once the clock hit 8, each of the other patients were called and led out of the room.

Finally, a nurse came to get us. As she led down the corridor to the examination room, we noticed that all the other patients were now sitting in chairs in the hallway. Once inside the room, we asked who would be performing our procedure. The nurse told us that the Doctor would perform ours, because "We were the only paying customers. The residents would perform the others under the Doctor's supervision".

Why I Remember
This is one memory that always stuck out in my mind. I think the main reason is because of the contrasts.
  • Black versus White
  • Paying versus Free
What I Learned
But, more importantly, I learned that:
  • The best health care available to everyone who wants it!
I always applauded those parents who visited the Hospital that day with me because they cared for the future of their child. They took the time to get the best treatment available, just as we did. Although they couldn't pay for it, it didn't matter! But, for a City of such size, very few of Newark's pregnant population bothered to obtain care. Only a very small subset of the people bothered to seek care.

Now when I listen to the politicians insisting on "Reforming Our Health Care System" so that it is affordable and available to everyone, I think back to that day and know that in my heart, America already offers and provides the best available Health Care to Everyone that Wants It!
  • You don't need to be able to afford Health Care, because it truly will be provided.
  • It is available now, but people must seek treatment!
Thus, I think Health Care Reform is a Bunch of Bunk because it will only increase costs to everyone. Those who desire health care now will continue to get it. But those who chose not to get it now won't get it in the future either. Our politicians should understand they can change laws, but not human behavior!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My 2010 Resolution: Redo the Sidebar

During the past several months, I started to take notice of the various Social Networking widgets that I had on my blog's sidebars. I noticed that 2 were not being updated and became concerned that they were just wasting space. I contacted the site owners, and received immediate replies, confirming my suspicions.

Then, 2 days before Christmas, I learned that another large provider was considering eliminating their Social Networking Service as well.

So, I for My 2010 New Year's Resolution, I decided its:

Time to Redo the Sidebars

Below are the 3 sites that I am reviewing and watching. I've provided a bit of background and let you know what my action will be.

If you do a Google Search for this keyword, you will see an article: Yahoo to Shut Down MyBlogLog that was written on 12/23/2009. The author cites Marshall Kirkpatrick's Yahoo! Will Kill MyBlogLog Next Month. Neither of these provides much detail, my concern is that many of us participate in this network. If Yahoo! does close up MyBlogLog, we would have wasted a great deal of time. Yahoo! confirms it is reviewing the future of MyBlogLog, but says it has not made any decision yet. My Conclusion: Wait & See, but Don't Waste Much Time on It.

This was launched a couple of years ago by Mel Kaye.  Many in the EC and Adgitize community became very active in the pre-launch design activities. However, after about 1 year, Mel announced that he has found another job and would simply let SlogBite flounder. Now another year later, the widgets still display, but many of the links return 404 Not Found Errors. My Conclusion: Remove Widgets.

This is a blog that featured Blogs in various categories. Every month, it would award the Best Blog in various classes. Then, at the end of the year, it would announce the Yearly Winners. The concept was great and many participated. But, since last summer, the site has not been updated. I contacted the owner and found that they are experiencing marital problems. I tried to be patient, but realize that their devotion is to their children, and not to this site. Thus, My Conclusion: Remove Widgets.

I wish all of you a healthy and prosperous New Year and would like to hear your resolutions as well!

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