Monday, April 25, 2011

I Don't Want my Links to be NOFOLLOW!

LiveJournal was taken down by DDOS in 2006.Image via WikipediaI'm feeling very frustrated by the idiots people at LiveJournal right now.  Apparently they've been having problems.  So one of the 'fixes' is:
Spam: In an effort to reduce spam on LiveJournal, the text string 'rel=nofollow' will be added to URLs for entries and comments posted from Plus and Basic accounts. This will help reduce visibility in search engines and make spam commenting less attractive to spammers.
I missed this when they announced it, but I wrote a paid blogsvertise post last week, and it got rejected because my links were nofollow.  Well, I knew I didn't post nofollow links, but I checked the code anyway, and the links looked fine.  So, I re-submitted - and had it rejected again.  They said to check my blog settings, which I did, along with the code again, and I couldn't find anything that would have made my links nofollow.  But then I checked this NoFollow Link Checker, and sure enough, those links came up as nofollow.  What in the world?

That's when I went searching and found the above announcement.  And now I'm just frustrated with the whole thing. I'm thinking it may be time to abandon LiveJournal for once and for all...
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

CloudMagic - Intergrated Search for Google Services

A friend of mine shared this on facebook today, and I definitely want to try it out.  I installed the Firefox add-on, but since I have to restart Firefox to be able to use it, I have yet to check it out.  From watching the video, I think it definitely looks like it can make things easier.

CloudMagic is a browser add-on for Firefox and Chrome that provides fast, integrated search for these Google & Google apps account services:
  • Emails
  • Contacts
  • Documents
  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentations
  • Forms
Basically, it looks like you can easily search for and find anything in your email, docs, or contacts and use information from any and all of your services while working on an email or document, or whatever you are doing.  I'm all for anything that can make my life easier and more organized and that can save time!

Twitter and Facebook support is coming soon, too.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011


I've got a couple giveaways going on my other blog.  I'm giving a away a tie (up to $20) from, and I'm giving away a coupon to try the new FRESCHETTA® By the Slice Pizza for free along with a six piece storage set.  Entering is easy - all you have to do is visit the giveaways and leave me a comment telling me which tie you'd like to win, for the tie giveaway, and which variety you'd like to try for the pizza giveaway.

Click the links below to enter.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Intense Debate for Better Comments

Go to IntenseDebateI've installed Intense Debate on this blog and my recipe blog. Now, every time you guys comment, your comments will automatically be better!  OK, it doesn't work exactly that way, but I do think it will make comments overall more relevant.

While I am mostly satisfied with Blogger, the comments have left a bit to be desired.  Not that people can't comment with the Blogger system, and there are options that allow anyone to comment - provided the blogger sets it up that way.  The problem is that there has never been a way to actually have a conversation through these comments.  Commenters can subscribe to comments, but then they end up getting every single comment on that post, whether it's relevant or not.  Either that, or they have to remember to check back later to see if there are any relevant comments.  And all the comments run in a linear fashion, making it hard to actually see which ones are relevant to which other ones.  Well, you get the idea.

So, when I saw Intense Debate being used on another (Blogger) blog, I had to check it out.  It was really easy to install.  They give you two options - widget or template.  I chose the template because they say it provides better integration with the blog.  They also said it was a bit more complicated to install than the widget, but they walk you through the whole process so it's not complicated at all.  Don't let that worry you.

Once installed, there is some customization you can do, but it seems to work pretty well with my theme without any need to customize anything.  It's nice to know there are options, though.  Now, with Intense Debate, I have all these great features for the comments on my blogs - email notification, comment threading - you can reply and carry on an actual conversation, the ability to reply by email, comment moderation, and more.  Commenters can subscribe to the replies to their own comments, so they'll know when someone says something relevant - or at least when someone says something that's supposed to be relevant.

I really think it can add a lot to the comments, so everybody start commenting so we can try it out!  Talk to me.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Aurora over Norway (Time Lapse)

This is absolutely, totally, completely amazing!

The Aurora from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

More info at Astronomy Picture of the Day:
Explanation: Sometimes, after your eyes adapt to the dark, a spectacular sky appears. Such was the case earlier this month when one of the largest auroral displays in recent years appeared over northern locations like the border between Norway and Russia. Pictured in the above time-lapse movie, auroras flow over snow covered landscapes, trees, clouds, mountains and lakes found near Kirkenes, Norway. Many times the auroras are green, as high energy particles strike the Earth's atmosphere, causing the air to glow as electrons recombine with their oxygen hosts. Other colors are occasionally noticeable as atmospheric nitrogen also becomes affected. In later sequences the Moon and rising stars are also visible. With the Sun expected to become ever more active over the next few years, there may be many opportunities to see similarly spectacular auroras personally, even from areas much closer to the equator
Someday, I really want to see these in person!
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New Look

I decided it was time for a change around here.  It's not a drastic change, just a bit of freshening up.  I've been wanting to play with the new Blogger Template Designer for a while, but just haven't taken the time to do it.  Mostly I was putting it off because I knew I'd need to re-do the header.  It really had to have rounded corners to look right.  And that ended up being the hardest part of the process.

Re-doing the blog design was really easy to do and means anyone can have a nice looking blog.  If you can click, you can do it.  So, with some clicking and some dragging and dropping, I got a fresh, new look.  I love that you can try everything out and actually see how it's going to look on your blog before committing to anything.  The best part, at least for me, is that I can still get into the html and add/remove/tweak things.  I like easy, but I hate sites that just offer the 'easy' ways to do things but take away our control to do anything else we might wish to do.

I like that Blogger gives us all the options.  Beginners who don't know much about design can still have nice-looking blogs, and people who have more knowledge of html and css and design can use that knowledge.  I'm kind of in the middle.  I like a place to start, a template, and then I like to tweak little things to make it exactly (or as close to exactly) how I want it.
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Amazon Cloud Drive and Player

I'm really liking the new Amazon Cloud Player.  I've had a weakness for Amazon MP3s for a while.  Seriously, what a perfect way to buy music - when we buy CDs, we always rip them to MP3 anyway, copy them to carry in the car, and store them in a CD binder.  We don't need or want the plastic case.  When I buy MP3 albums from Amazon, I don't have any of the extras - just MP3s I can burn to CD to have in the car, MP3s I can play on my computer or MP3 player, and they cost much less than buying a CD in the store.

Anyway, with the new Amazon Cloud Drive, when I buy an MP3 song or album from Amazon, I can immediately save it to my Cloud Drive.  (All Amazon customers automatically get 5GB Cloud storage for free, so if you're an Amazon customer, you already have this, just accept the terms to get started.)  I can then listen to it immediately with the Amazon Cloud Player.

But what I'm liking best about this is that all my Amazon MP3 purchases are automatically backed up for me.  Before Cloud Drive, if you downloaded MP3s from Amazon and something happened to those MP3s - hard-drive crash for example - you were just out of luck.  If you wanted to replace them, you'd have to purchase them again.  Admittedly, I never lost any, but it was always a possibility.  I made sure to burn to CD or back up to an external hard-drive every time I downloaded an MP3 album, just so I'd have that back-up.  Now, with Cloud Drive, I can store all my Amazon MP3 purchases and download them anytime and anywhere.  Amazon MP3 purchases don't count against my storage quota, either so I can use my space to upload anything else I want - music, photos, video.  I'll probably end up uploading music so I can use the Cloud Player to play it from any Internet-connected computer.

Through the end of the year, Amazon is offering a free upgrade from 5GB to 20GB with any MP3 album purchase.  That includes even this one - The 99 Most Essential Opera Classics - which only costs 99¢ and I almost bought a couple weeks ago.  I'm glad I waited.  I bought it last night, saved all 99 songs to my Cloud Drive instead of having to download them and got 20GB of Cloud Drive storage for a year.  Can't beat that!
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Friday, April 1, 2011

Get Up and Check Your Email

I'm watching this video explaining the new Gmail Motion, and I just can't stop laughing. Can you even imagine?

I know some of you are thinking this looks like fun and you want to try it.  Be sure to get your printable motion guide so you can get started!  I'm thinking something like this wouldn't work for me.  I'd never be able to check or send email without worrying that everyone was watching and laughing at me.

What do you think. Would you try Gmail Motion? Will Google do for email what the Wii did for video games?
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