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Three Must-Have Icons for Better Branding

I am going out on a limb here, but my guess is that most bloggers are not taking advantage of Gravatars. Most of the sites that I visit do, however, take full advantage of the opportunity to sport a favicon. Understandably, favicons have been around for much longer than Gravatars and therefore are much more prevalent. Still, I can’t help but wonder why more people aren’t taking advantage of the free personalized avatar service provided by gravatar.com. For every Gravatar-enabled site there are many opportunities to build brand recognition. And there are many Gravatar-enabled sites from which to choose. Just […] Read more »

Serve Yourself: Why Feedburner Needs a Feed Fix

If you are using Feedburner to deliver your feeds, chances are high that most — if not all — of your loyal readers have subscribed to the Feedburner-specific version of your feed’s URL. This is not a good idea for a couple of important reasons: Complete content-delivery failure if/when the Feedburner service goes down Cohesive branding strategy impossible because visitors see Feedburner’s name in feed URL instead of your own At this point, millions of feed subscribers have Feedburner-branded feed URLs listed in their feed readers. If/when the venerable Feedburner service should ever fail, the results would be disastrous. Feedburner […] Read more »

A Moment of Clarity

Finally, after seven years of working online.. a moment of clarity. It all seems so clear now: your blog is an extension of yourself, a digital representation of your very being. Online, your site is you, revealing your interests, personality, intelligence, wisdom, and anything else that may be deduced from various levels of inquiry. Whether you realize it or not, your website is more than a well-presented database, it is your virtual self, your virtual existence in the infinite realms of cyberspace. Read more »

Do You Have a Year-End Maintenance Ritual?

Over the past several years working online, my year-end maintenance routine has evolved from simple website backups to a robust strategy involving many important and useful tasks. Some of the items on the list have indeed been performed multiple times throughout the year, but are included here to emphasize their importance. Additionally, many of these tasks are great for helping bloggers gain a clearer picture of their overall online empire, while attaining a sense of annual “closure” concerning the work of the previous year. So, let’s dig into my personal year-end strategy for cleaning things up and preparing for the […] Read more »

Are Adblock-Plus Visitors Seeing Your Content?

As Firefox continues to grow in popularity, it is inevitable that more and more users will install plugins such as Adblock and Adblock Plus. As we know, such extensions work by filtering site contents through a list of predefined wildcard directives and other rules. Users may also customize the block-list by right-clicking on unwanted images or even subscribing to an automated filterset updater (404 link removed 2017/01/14). Apparently, a significant number of Firefox users employ these extensions to help control the relentless flood of unwanted advertising around the Internet. This concept works great when advertisements are blocked, but what happens […] Read more »

Focus on the Details: Optimizing Images for Humans and Machines

In this article, I discuss how to get the most out of your site’s images by optimizing them for both people and search engines.. For many sites, images play an important role in the communication process. If used correctly, images have the power to make your articles come alive with clarity and vibrancy. Some visitors may merely notice the image and continue reading, while others will want to know more about your images and dig deeper. While checking out your images, inquisitive guests will explore any clues available to them: alt tags, title tags, and captions, for example. Likewise, when […] Read more »

How to Fix the Wonky Windows XP Clock

I don’t know about you, but ever since the 2007 change in daylight savings time, my installation of Windows XP has had a difficult time (so to speak) maintaining consistently accurate time. Ever since the change, Windows XP has been randomly resetting its clock (as indicated via the Taskbar) to display time incorrectly. Specifically, WinXP will automatically (i.e., without user intervention) set the time to be one hour earlier than the actual time. For example, if the time is actually 3:00pm, Windows will suddenly display the time as 2:00pm. This has caught me off-guard on several occasions now, as I […] Read more »

An Inside Look at the Hectic Schedule of an Internet Addict

Sure, I’ll admit it, I am addicted to the Internet. I am connected at work, at play, and at home. When access is unavailable, I go through withdrawals — headaches, nervousness, hallucinations — the whole bit. Over the years, I have learned how to take advantage of periods of Web inaccessibility, however, in general, my schedule pretty much revolves around the Internet. Thus, in the name of “everyone else is doing it,” here is an inside look at my hectic weekly schedule: Read more »

Bloggers Toolbox: Strategic Elements for a Perfect About Page

As a quasi-reclusive introvert with paranoiac-critical tendencies, one of my least favorite aspects of blogging involves creating those dreadful “About” pages that reveal unknown things about you. About pages are important to many people, providing a way to learn about and connect with the person or people “behind the blog.” After all, websites are relatively impersonal, as viewers are required to extract meaning and personality from behind a large, square piece of machinery. Regardless of the type of site or blog you happen to be creating, the About page is your primary key to connecting with your readers. In fact, when […] Read more »

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Favicons

Fifty Favorite Favicons If you have a website, you need a favicon. For those who may not know, favicons are the small, square icons that frequently are associated with websites. Favicons appear in many places, including browser toolbars, bookmarks, tabs, and address bars. Favicons provide immediate visual identification of their represented sites, enabling super-easy navigation for Web users. While surfing bookmarks with fifty tabs open, finding and clicking on icons is far more efficient than reading through piles of link text. Yet, beyond making it easier for people to identify and locate their favorite websites, favicons also play a critical […] Read more »

Meditation on the Details

You want people to visit your site. Even better, you want people to stay awhile and enjoy your content. The more time visitors spend at your site, the more likely it becomes that they will notice the little things that make your site unique. As your guests scan your pages, you want to reassure them that you have accounted for everything. When I notice that a blogger has addressed the subtle nuances associated with running a site, I feel more confident that their blog is a source of authoritative content. If, for example, the posts are riddled with spelling errors, […] Read more »

Conversationalisms

I don’t know about you, but I have been fascinated with the fine art of interpersonal communication for many years. Specifically, I am intrigued by the complex subtleties involved with human conversation. Although I fail miserably at small talk, I enjoy following its unfolding and continually look for opportunities to lure the conversation into deeper, more relevant territory. Frequently, such attempts are met with unenthusiastic mockery, as conversing parties prefer to revel within the safe corridor of idle banter. I have to admit, jovial sparring and padded laughter have proven entertaining on a number of occasions, however I often find […] Read more »

Critical Thinking Excercise, Part One: Just Do It

An excellent way to exercise your critical thinking skills involves critically analyzing corporate slogans. Company slogans such as Nike’s “Just do it,” Budweiser’s “King of beer” and Fruit Loop’s “Follow your nose!” are ubiquitous in contemporary capitalistic culture. So, as you journey through your day, keep your eyes and ears open to the various business taglines that you will inevitably hear, and pick your favorite for further analysis. Read more »

You Know Nothing

One of my favorite things to do involves reading and listening to the opinions of others. This is great for me, because people and their opinions are everywhere. I derive pleasure from considering alternate points of view and even enjoy arguing against my own ideas. Whenever I think that I honestly know something, I try questioning it until I prove myself wrong or decide to try again later. It usually doesn’t take very long to realize that I don’t know what I am talking about. Read more »

Hello, I Hate You.

I have been fairly nervous about starting mindfeed.org*. Like you, I fear ridicule, rejection, and criticism. Although I don’t understand exactly why, I find myself differentiating between the criticism of others and the criticism of myself. Perhaps the reason involves the perceived intention of the criticism. I know that when I criticize myself, it is done with the purpose of improving or bettering some aspect of myself. However, improving myself is not the result of every personal criticism. During certain periods of my life, self-criticism nearly cost me my life. Nevertheless, in general, I employ self-criticism for beneficial purposes. Read more »

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