Oban’s Penseive

Blogging for Blogging’s Sake

Archive for the ‘Making This Blog’ Category

Trackbacks explained (finally)

Engel’s blog addresses trackbacks in a simple, easy to understand way.

He starts out by telling us that “For a long time I had no idea what trackbacks were or how to use them. “
I felt the pretty much the same. Actually, I knew what the concept was, but had never got around to actually using them. Well, I start now!

Written by oban89

October 12, 2007 at 5:14

Posted in blog

Anything To Avoid Posting

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So, I finally decided to start posting again today, and ended up spending the last 6 hours tinkering with themes.  I still can’t find one I really like.  I should really blog about why, but I’ve run out of time! I’m seriously considering dumping everything to a private blog so I don’t have to worry about what I say and then selectively exporting posts to a public one (or two, or three). Most likely, though, I’ll just lose interest again! 

Written by oban89

October 10, 2007 at 6:38

Posted in design

Tagged with ,

The New Look of the Web

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I’ve been really getting into the “web 2.0” style lately. I never really got it until I started this blog and doing more random surfing. The new look, when done right, actually has a more current, or cutting edge feel to it.

A good example of this is the interland.com website from a year ago.

interlandpast.jpg

With a rebranding and a face lift, the site now has that distinctive web 2.0 look.

interlandnowsmall.jpg

Which one do you find more appealing?

Written by oban89

March 15, 2007 at 20:25

Posted in blog, design, Web2.0

Style conventions

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I need to do a bit of research and pick some style conventions to use. Short list of the top of my head includes

  • Capitalization of words in title
  • short to websites – is it google, Google, or google.com?
  • what to link? everyplace you can, just bare minimum, etc,
  • use of images. I like images but don’t want them to be missed if not on every post.

Written by oban89

February 26, 2007 at 2:34

Posted in Making This Blog

Journler & Blogging

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A lot of people just love Journler. I’m not one of them. I can’t really place my finger on it. The program is pretty robust, allows you to use it in a number of ways and is fairly customizable. Maybe it the design. If they hired the same graphic designer who did their website to design the application UI, I think this might be a winner.

I did use it quite a bit before my Macbook was stolen to jot down thoughts and such. I just never really got into the organizing part of not taking

Since it has a built in blog publishing feature, I’m giving it another look. Maybe I just need to tweak the UI a bit. It could very well be that I just have an deep seeded aversion to the Georgia font caused by a traumatic early computing experience.

Written by oban89

February 26, 2007 at 2:33

What a pain!

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I just spent the last half hour trying to write a post about why I haven’t been writing posts. I just locked this down to outside viewing, and that should make things easier. I need to figure out why I really want to blog.
I want to just jot down my thoughts so I can read and think about them later. This has been so helpful when I’ve done it, but

  • I’ve been so inconsistant at it. Journaling software is an option, but I’d really rather just put in a short topic specific entry whenever I feel like it. I don’t want to worry, however, about editing or what it might read like to others. These are my random notes so “piss-off”
  • I want to put together something that others would want to read. I’ve been struggling too much with this, however. For right now I’m going to stick with the original idea which was just to post. Once I actually have some content and some experience in how to write good posts and what I want to write about, I can make decisons on how to let people in. I can open up everything, export certain things to an blog(s) I write for others.

Written by oban89

February 25, 2007 at 2:28

Money For Nothing

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You’ll notice there’s no counter tracking the number of visitors to this site (at least, not yet). That’s because I’d be surprised if I get 10 in the next year. But, if I’m wrong, I’m sure going to want to make some money off the traffic.

If I’m going to allow advertising on this site, I have a few criteria that need to be met:

  1. It should be visually unobtrusive and not detract from the posts. Things like those horrendous key word links that add a double underline hyperlink and pop up balloon to every other word in a post are out! So is the type of stuff that’s just clutter like many pages have.
  2. Content should be at least loosely relevant to the posts. Otherwise, it’s just spam.
  3. Easy to use, customizable would be nice.

Since #3 said it should be easy, I chose Google AdSense as one possibility. You can define and place these adds from right within blogger. Similarly, I knew the url for Amazon’s Associates program, so I decided to check that one out as well.

As of this posting, Amazon Associates is the hands down winner. I spent about equal amounts of time with both services to check out basic offerings and try to add something here right away. My time with AdSense was spent mainly trying to register. You’re given the option to add AdSense to your existing blogger account. That worked great for me since it is also my Gmail/Google account. Instantly I was able to add the basic ad. Very easy! Too easy, I feared. I wasn’t even asked how I wanted to get paid. I clicked on over to the AdSense site to poke around, but could not log in. I tried creating a new account, but after the entire process was done, I was told my e-mail address was already associated with an account (duh, the one I was trying to access in the first place!). Meanwhile, I went back and tried to add a different shape ad box to my blog. No luck, kept getting a “client header” error. A search on that in help was no help at all.

***INSERT ADSENSE AD WHEN ACCOUNT IS CREATED, WHICH ISN’T TODAY***

Here’s what happened. When I created the AdSense account in blogspot, an email was sent to me with a link that would allow me to register my legal name, address for payments, etc. This is why I couldn’t add the account with my Gmail address. Unfortunately, no where in the process did it say I should be looking for that e-mail. Furthermore, the AdSense password requirements are stronger than the Google and Gmail ones, and instead of being given the option to strengthen it everywhere, I was asked to create a new one for AdSense. I’ve already forgotten what it was. Once I finally got registered I tried to update my blog ad again. Still no luck. Google has been nice enough to inform me that they’ll review my application and let me know within a week. Oh, and the ads, while they me be effective, look like crap. Plain text went out with pocket protectors.

Contrast that experience with Amazon Associates. I clicked to the site and was asked to create a new associates account by entering my amazon.com login. It recognized me and gathered additional information needed to pay me and had me acknowledge the TOS. Withing 5 minutes I was registered and ready to go. Now, how to add one of those professional looking banners to my site. I saw a link that said Build Links, followed it and viola, was given a easy to understand list of link options. I chose the Omakase because it reminded me of a terrific meal I once had at Nobu in NYC. Anyway, I then had a few choices of size/style which I picked and then was given the html code for the banner. Copied that to a widget in blogspot and I was set with my first real ad. Very easy. I still have some stuff to learn like how to tweak the dimensions and such, but the basic functionality was a breeze. I spent the rest of my equal-split time looking at other types of banners and playing around creating an aStore.

This round goes to Amazon.

Written by oban89

February 20, 2007 at 8:11