Tag: blogs

Skribit is a web based startup company that helps bloggers cure writer’s block by giving users an easy way to make suggestions. Pushed forward by Paul Stamatiou — whose blog I highly recommend — it works as a blog widget for the popular hosting packages.

After reading some more about it, and its implementation, I’ve decided to join. You’ll now notice that beneath every post on the main pages, there is a Suggest via Skribit link. This will take you to my Skribit profile where you can make suggestions and vote on current ones.

Why join Skribit?

I signed up for Skribit because I like what it is about, and it could help me think up posts during the brief time no one asks me to fix their computer. Despite the fact that my current design does not have a sidebar for the recommended widget implementation, I still want to give it a try. Maybe I’ll be overwhelmed by suggestions, or maybe I’ll have nothing, but either way I’ll have experienced what most startups go through at the beginning.

Suggest away!

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I’m a regular reader of the Mac news blog MacUser.com and today I noticed an interesting ad on the sidebar.

The ad (shown above) was for a company called Psystar, which sells computers preinstalled with OS X, Vista or XP and is currently in a legal battle with Apple to continue selling these particular machines. I understand that administrators of the site have very little (if any) control over the ads their site contains, but this image was just to amusing to pass up.

[tags]Apple, Psystar, legal, advertising[/tags]

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You may have noticed some changes on the blog in the last day or so. After seeing the sidebar vanish from its designated placement once again, I decided to change the WordPress to one that eschews the sidebar in favor of more data on the About page. Of course, this also means that I can’t display my Most Popular Posts plugin on the homepage, but it has now been moved to the About page as well. All this rearranging gives more room to the blog content, which can now be used more effectively.

Let me know what you think, and check out these other two designs since the blog went online in December of 2007.

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If you visited the site in the last 24 hours, you’ve probably grown familiar with that nice 404 Not Found error page. That was because I was moving hosts and basically botched the transition.

In December 2007 I started this site with webserve.ca. At the time I had no problems with the cost or package they were offering, and the fact that they could register a .CA domain name was great. Within a few months, however, I needed to open many support tickets with them. Their service was quite good, but the fact that I needed to ask them so often wasn’t. The biggest problem was that they blocked Googlebot in the firewall. This meant that for 2 weeks Google had no idea what was going on with my site, and my rankings suffered. Fast forward to last week, and an unannounced control panel upgrade left my with an inaccessible site. Even after the site came back, my statistics weren’t available, so I had no idea what was happening. That was the last straw, so I began looking for alternatives.

After a few evenings surfing the hosting review sites, I found bluehost.com, a popular service out of the United States. I read some reviews, opinions and comments, and decided it was a great fit for my blog. It’s all available on the Bluehost website, but here are the features that caught my attention:

  • Host multiple websites — link multiple domains to the same hosting account. Different domain, websites, databases, same account.
  • FTP users — give people select access to your disk space. My other provider didn’t give me this ability out of the box, and I’m really going to use this often.
  • Anonymous FTP — no password access. Similar to the above item, give someone access to a folder without having to share a password.
  • Per-domain stats — view stats based on single domains. This is a big one for me, as I use multiple subdomains, and this is very easy to view them separately.
  • Custom preference panel — Bluehost’s custom preference panel is the easiest way I’ve seen to modify databases, domains, everything related to your account. All the options are available from a single page.

I’ve now transferred everything over to Bluehost, and my Webserve account has been cancelled. During the transition, I had to remember to save all data from the site: MySQL databases and FTP files. Once I had double checked the connections and paths, the site was good to go, and I changed the domain name servers over. Badda bing, new host. Of course, I’d definitely do it differently during the second time around, but that’s another story.

So, after all this work, we now return to the regular blog programming.
[tags]websites, hosting, ISP, blogs[/tags]

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You might notice in the footer of my blog that there is a small item that says My MacBook has been on for 4 days, 20:18 hours. I thought that this might be an interesting thing to share with people.

If this is something you’re interested in putting on your site, here is how I’ve automated the entire process. I’m going to assume that you’re running OS X, and that you have a standard text editor to write basic code.

While originally I made it happen with Automator and an Appescript, helpful commenter phalkunz created an even more efficient method that I will build on.
Read More »

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