Archives for July 2006

TDavid Makes me go Hmm

I recently participated in a bit of a review swap with TDavid at Make you go Hmm.  In the end, I feel that I shorted him in that my review was short and sweet, while the review that he ended up sending me is several hundred words and really quite useful.  I’ve asked for and received permission to quote his review a little bit while I cover some of the things that were included.

I’ll save you having to read the entirety, not because it’s bad, but because by the time I add my comments, it could become the longest post ever.

His points: in bold

My response/thoughts: below the bold blockquotes

leave commenting open on older posts.

This is actually something that I struggled with quite a bit when I closed the comments on the older posts.  The fact of the matter was that I was getting enough spam messages that they very nearly made up for 1/3 of my traffic.  I don’t have a lot of traffic, but that certainly is alot of messages for me.  I’ve given some thought to the subject since the review and have turned comments back on.  TDavid makes a very valid point.  “As search engines will pick up on older posts and you will find new comments and readers if you allow them.”  I’ve turned on Akismet instead and am happy with it so far.

favicon would be helpful

Done.  I’m no designer so they are fairly simple.  But they are there.  In fact, I thought that thatedeguy had one.  The file was there, but at somepoint the code in the index file was removed during a template change.

too much screen real estate used by header image

I would have never really noticed it.  I haven’t made any changes to that just yet, but I’m thinking on it and most likely will.  Again, TDavid makes a valid point.

would like to see more images and other non-text media

Me too.  This is actually something that I really, really need to work on.  Most often, I just don’t take the time to find something viable for the post.  I don’t do a lot of reviews and such, so screenshots are most often out of the question.

little to no advertising in the posts themselves but an above average amount in the surrounding sidebars

This again brings me back to the forest<>trees arguement.  I happen to find advertising in the post themselves to be extremely annoying.  Perhaps at some point I’ll put something between posts.  As for the above average amount, I agree.  I have both Chitika and Commission Junction running on my site, and for the life of me, I’m not sure why anymore.  Neither is converting very well at all.  The CJ stuff is nice for inserting into a post once in a while when relevant, but the Chitika doesn’t perform the click throughs.  TDavid also mentioned something about the “cheap car insurance, online florist shop and gift ideas will leave a negative (splog/spam) impression with some visitors.”  Unfortunately, those ads that he’s speaking of are the text-link-ads that I have running.  Based on the revenue that they are bringing me, they aren’t going away anytime soon.  I do slightly agree with TDavid on his point, I just can’t give up the highest revenue stream on the site.

don’t care for the long icon Social bookmarks bar after each post.

At the time when he wrote the review, there were about 10-15 of the little buggers at the end of each post page.  I’ve cut that down to 4.  After I read the review, I realized that not only was TDavid right, but I didn’t even know what half of them were.

search is more useful to readers than your current design promotes

I’ve since changed this, but the search did only appear in the footer of the page.  It now appears front and slightly to the right in the sidebar.  TDavid made mention of using something other than the google search bar, but again, revenue streams.

2005 have some broken supergeekblog links

Hmm…  I’ll do some looking.  I’m not sure why there would be any broken links to that site.

liked how you intermingled a little personal life stuff like the birth of your new son (congrats)

Thanks! was always meant to be my personal blog, but with all things there comes change.  I’ve intermingled a lot of tech and news and even a little politics in too. 😉

good amount of linking out to other interesting content

I try.  Credit where Credit is due and soforth.

the most popular posts links isn’t highlighted/spotlighted enough

Hmm…  I’m not entirely sure how to do any better than what I have done.  It sits over on the right sidebar and gives out a count.  Anyone out there have any good ideas on better ways to promote my Popular Posts?  My ears are open to suggestions.

Also, If you come here regularly(or this is your first time), and you have a suggestion, please feel free to use the handy-dandy contact form that I added yesterday.

My sincere thanks go out to TDavid.  It must have taken a fair amount of time to read through my archives and even longer to formulate a well thought out review like you did.  If any of the rest of you are still reading this, please go and visit Make you go Hmm.  It’s well written and pretty darn interesting most of the time.

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Review: The Long Tail

The Long TailThe Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More

By Chris Anderson

It’s been just a hair over a month now since Chris gave away 100 of his soon to be published book(it’s been published since). I happened to be one of the lucky few who was first in line to receive a review copy. The deal was, Chris will send you a copy of The Long Tail and in exchange you must do a review on your blog. Well, Chris upheld his end of the bargain, so now I’m holding up mine. I must add a disclaimer here. While I did receive my copy of The Long Tail for free with expectations of a posted review here, I was not told what the review must contain or even that it must be a favorable review. The following thoughts on the book are my own and are an honest review of the book.

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Finale: If I had to start my blog again

If I had to start my blog againThe Group writing project is officially over.  The master list has been updated.  Now it’s time for us all to take a look at what some of our fellow writing projecters did.  In all honesty, I just haven’t found the time to read them all.  Maybe I will this weekend.  So, for now, I’m gonna have a little fun with it.

Starting with the top 10 8 titles.  The title of your post is very important.  It’s what drags the readers eye in to the link and makes him/her click.

And of course, a shortish list of titles that reference songs…

Plenty of music listeners out there.  And before anyone mentions it, yes, my entry also made reference to a song.  My title was Poor Michael Finnigan, Begin again if your curious.

Make sure you take a look at that list.  Read a few, you’re bound to find a few fun tips.

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Poor old Michael Finnigan, Begin Again

Darren has gone and done it again. Yet another group writing project. I certainly hope he continues to do these. If they serve no other purpose, they help me to do a little navel gazing as well as develop my skills as a blogger. I strongly suggest that if you want to make yourself a success in blogging, you read Problogger and participate in his group writing projects. They serve as a great writing prompt.

If I had to start my blog again...This time around, Darren has expanded the series he ran during paternity leave and created the group writing project, “If I had to start my blog again…“.

It’s hard to believe that it’s very nearly a year since I started this blog. There have been so many things to learn and are still so many to learn. More on that later.

The first and biggest thing that I would have done differently is to immediately get my own domain and hosting.  I began thatedeguy on blogger/blogspot on August 7, 2005 and quickly came to realize that I just didn’t have the creative control over the design and execution of the blog that I would like to have had.  By August 24th, I had registered the domain for it and procured hosting as well.  Luckily, I did this early and as such there are very few people who will even realize that it happened that way.  Still, my first suggestion for anyone beginning a blog is to find a domain and hosting instead of using a service like blogspot or

Secondly, I would have like to have begun with more of my own voice than I did.  At first, I was very much a follower blogger.  I basically posted on things that others had posted on.  I now realize of course that while it’s nearly impossible to not post on things that others have posted on, it’s important to add twice as much content as the original has.  I still fail on this occasionally but I have gotten much better at it.

I would also have like to have participated more in the conversation than I did.  In growing a new blog, attaining readership is the hardest part.  By participating in comments and forums earlier, my readership would have grown much faster than it has.

Lastly, I should have been much less snarky than I was.  In attempts to linkbait, I grew ever more snarky in the early months of the blog and felt consequences as a result. One of which, I believe, was my blacklisting in techmeme.  Of course, I can’t prove it and Gabe will swear that there is no blacklist, but I really do believe that there is and I’m on it.

Hindsight being what it is, it is easy to see back to my beginnings and see the things that I should have done differently.  I made mistakes along the way and continue to make others even now.  The best I can do is learn from those mistakes and hope that others will as well.

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