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Is Google Killing Off Plus?

If this report is true, this is huge news on the social networking front.

It sounds pretty similar to the beginning of the end of Reader, and would actually make those who considered Plus destined to turn out just like Google Wave.

We’ll see if it turns out to be true but it would be a pretty abrupt change in direction for Google, and I’m not sure where they’d be headed in the aftermath.

What do you think?

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If They Sell Advertising We Aren’t Their Customers

I found much of what Doc Searls wrote about Mozilla to be true of just about all of the services we use online these days.

By becoming an advertising company (in addition to everything else it is), Mozilla now experiences a problem that has plagued ad-supported media for the duration: its customers and consumers are different populations. I saw it in when I worked in commercial broadcasting, and I see it today in the online world with Google, Facebook, Twitter… and Mozilla. The customers (or at least the main ones) are either advertisers or proxies for them (Google in Mozilla’s case). The consumers are you and me.

This is what we’ve been seeing with Google’s pushing their users toward their social network, Facebook pushing business pages towards becoming customers and buying advertising, and we will continue to see it more and more. These companies, much like broadcast radio and the old days of broadcast television, only create products that will assist in selling advertising.

So, yes, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Mozilla, etc. have an interest in creating popular products that people like to use. After all, without the users, there’s no advertising market. But it’s not quite that straightforward. Because there’s always that third party involvement, the relationship between the user and the company is never a direct relationship. The company has another master to satisfy and sometimes, that master’s interests will be in direct contrast to the user’s interest. When two master’s interests are in competition, it’s usually going to be the one who signs the checks who wins.

You might not think that’s fair, and maybe it isn’t. There’s definitely a line that companies probably can’t cross with their users before they lose them and thus lose the advertisers as well, but we’ve gotten pretty entrenched with these products. It will hurt to walk away from using Facebook, probably more than it costs to continue using it, but there’s always a line in the sand, or at least a point where the law of the land and government agencies would step in and protect consumers.

Then again, with Google taking up lobbying the government as an arm of their business, I wouldn’t count on that.

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Simple Tags Makes Adding Tags to Old Posts Easy

Tag Cloud

It’s one of those things that I’ve gone back and forth about for years. I never started this blog with the idea of adding tags to posts. In fact, when I started it way back on Blogger, I don’t even think you could.

By the time I could, and wanted to, I had years of old posts without tags. Going back and trying to tag those items seems like a ridiculous amount of time and effort. So it hadn’t ever happened.

Lo and behold, a couple of weeks ago, I heard about a WordPress Plugin called Simple Tags. Not only does Simple Tags let you create auto tags, so even if you forget to tag a post, it can assign tags based on keywords, but it lets you go back and do the same thing for all of your posts.

Now, basing it solely on matching keywords isn’t a perfect solution, but in this case, there was no reason to let the perfect be the enemy of what is clearly better than doing nothing. So I came up with a list of keywords, and went ahead and let Simple Tags do it’s thing.

For example, if I used the word Twitter, or Facebook, in a post, let’s go ahead and add that tag. Same for Apple, Google, Microsoft, and so on. So now there’s a nice set of tags, and even a tag cloud, to help you find more posts about the same subjects, and I can continue to fine tune my tags to create some interesting ties to posts on the same subject.

Now I’m going to do the same thing over at the Child Abuse Survivor blog too, which has been going almost as long as this one.

 

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newpost

WordPress Issues Bug Fix

I knew something weird was going on. My co-blogger over on the other site tried to create a new post last week, and it disappeared on him.

I found that odd. When I logged in, as the admin of the site, there was no indication that he had created anything. We had planned to try again in the next day or two, when I saw an announcement about a Wordpess 3.8.3 release, less than a week after the 3.8.2 release. Working for a software company, I know that a quick version update means something was wrong with the release, and sure enough, in the announcement post, I saw what looked like an explanation for what had happened to Ken’s post.

The “Quick Draft” tool on the dashboard screen was broken in the 3.8.2 update. If you tried to use it, your draft would disappear and it wouldn’t save. While we doubt anyone was writing a novella using this tool, any loss of content is unacceptable to us.

As the post goes on to explain, there is a possibility that the draft is in the database, if you update quickly, since the database will only save those sorts of lost drafts for 7 days. Sure enough, Ken’s partial post was in there after I applied the update.

So go apply the update before you try and save any drafts!

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Places to See Before You Die, Or Not

BW Ice

Robert Reid has a problem with the idea of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

 

Awhile ago, I floated the question on Twitter about what it takes to say you’ve “been” to a place. Does walking across a border or an hour in an airport terminal “count”? Where’s the line?

Someone suggested using this definition: that you’ve only “been” somewhere if you had some experience there worth sharing. That, to me, seems like the ultimate point of travel. But too rarely do we hear of such experiences from bucket-listers’ jet-set cousins, what I call the country collectors.

Many of these folks wear the tally of the countries they’ve visited as badges of honor. Adding to the total in as little time as possible often means horribly ill-timed flight connections and a couple of hours spent outside the terminal, before moving on to the next destination. Guinea-Bissau? Check!

Continue reading

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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A Different Perspective on Social Networks

I can still see you

 

Let’s look at social networking from a different perspective, shall we?

As I’ve made my way around the interwebz recently, I’ve been reading up quit a bit about increasing traffic to a blog, or increasing engagement with your fans, etc. Call it a professional curiosity, as a blogger I’m always interested in the latest best practices, what’s working for others, what isn’t etc., but as I’ve made my way around, I’ve also realized that just about all of the social media advice out there is 100% targeted toward people with something to sell. While some of the advice is still worth checking out, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the commercialism of it all.

Look, I’m not against commercialism, every business has to make money, and they do so by selling things. I’m all for that. But even individuals who aren’t trying to sell something have a place in social media. In fact, as someone who’s been blogging for over a dozen years, without it being part of a business, I’d say there are lots of reasons to have a large social media presence any way.  Continue reading

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