Archive for Tech
I have a bad habit of collecting domain names and have been parking them with Sedo Parking for a while in an attempt to make a few bucks by having ads on the domains. The idea is that I would make enough to at least support my habit and have the domains pay for themselves through ad clicks. A few months ago Google made its Adsense for Domains available to regular folks so I finally got around to trying it out at the beginning of March. I took one of my domains that I had parked with Sedo and switched it to use Google Adsense for Domains. I wanted to see how it would perform before I moved all of my domains over.
Google Adsense for Domains is like all other Google products, very minimalistic. It doesn’t have as nice of reporting capabilities as Sedo and the template choices are very limited. Also, it is somewhat cumbersome to set up the domain with Adsense and could be time consuming for a large numer of domains. But the real issue is, how does it stack up as far as ad revenue? I suppose it would be better if I had more than a month’s worth of statistics, but it is probably a pretty good indication of how it will do in the future. Here is the low down:
Google Adsense for Domains:
I thought I would include three months of Sedo data for a better average. It looks like Google Adsense is the clear winner here in the money department, just as I suspected it would be since it is cutting out the middle man. The difference is pretty significant. Now I will be working on switching over all of my other domains. I know I’m not going to get rich since I don’t have any really good domain names that people would just type in on accident or domain name misspellings, but if I can make enough to have the domains pay for themselves, I will be happy. Then one day when (or if) I actually get around to developing them into money making sites, I will be glad I kept them.
Isn’t every WordPress blogger required at some point to write a post about their favorite WordPress plugins? Perhaps the title of this post is a bit of an overstatement but these are my favorite WP plugins that I use on a regular basis.
- Contact Form 7 This is a very simple and flexible contact form.
- Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu An extremely useful admin plugin. It puts all of the admin options in a handy dropdown.
- Secure WordPress Helps secure a site from hackers.
- WordPress Automatic Upgrade This plugin is a lifesaver, plugins can be automatically updated with the click of a button.
- WordPress Mobile Edition A very simple plugin for making a blog mobile friendly. Be sure to read the readme since the installation is slightly different than a regular plugin.
- WP Decoratr Pulls Creative Commons pictures from Flickr based on keywords in a post. Pictures can be inserted simply by selecting them.
- Subscribe To Comments Adds a checkbox to comments that allows commenting users to subscribe to the comment thread.
- All in One SEO Pack Makes your blog more SEO friendly by optimizing titles and meta tags. It is also customizable.
Download and try out some of these plugins if you haven’t already. The thing I love about WordPress is that someone has developed a plugin to do just about anything you can think of.
I recently set up a Twitter account for my husband’s band, 3 Days Blind. (@3DaysBlind). I think that bands should really consider creating twitter accounts, it is a great way to interact with fans and promote shows. One band I follow, the David Crowder Band (@crowderband ) is a lot of fun to follow. They post random thoughts, pictures of set lists, concerts and other fun stuff. Once they posted a pic of several fake tattoos and had twitter followers vote on a tattoo for one of the band members. They later posted a pic of him with the tattoo. Obviously the more popular a band is, the more followers they will have and can interact with more. But even small bands can benefit from Twitter and it is a great way to keep in touch with fans.
Here are my 5 band uses for Twitter:
1. Promote shows
2. Ask for feedback from fans by posting links to song clips
3. Accept song requests
4. Post random fun band facts
5. Post pictures using an app like TwitPic
Try not to put too much thought into and just have fun with it! Twitter can definitely be a band branding tool along with a website, Facebook and MySpace pages.
I am part of the web team at my church and we are currently working on a web site redesign. I read an excellent article on SitePoint.com about church web design and marketing. It’s not something that is a very popular topic in the tech world, but there are thousands of churches, many of them with websites. We wanted to go for a clean, modern look and felt that our current site was getting a bit stale. After much discussion and research, we decided to go with the open source Content Management System, Joomla. It is very powerful and relatively easy to implement and use. We hope to be able to keep the content more fresh since more people will be able to easily update it from the internet and won’t need to be web developers in order to update it.
We also had to take into consideration that our church is getting ready to become multi-campus by planting a church in another location. We needed something that is easily expandable and that can handle more potential campuses in the future. We decided on a basic layout of a home page where a person can easily select which campus they would like more information on, then there will be two campus specific pages for each location. This will provide an easy way to differentiate between the two. Most of the other content will be shared between the two sites with notations of any location specific items clearly stated. If this is something that is of interest to you, stay tuned as I will be posting more articles as we go along.
I think the mobile market is vastly under served by web sites. I am constantly amazed at how many web sites do not have a mobile optimized site. There are so many people using their phones to surf the web these days that one would think more sites would cater to them. A 2008 Nielsen survey reported an estimated 40 million mobile internet users in the United States alone. With the popularity of smartphones such as the iPhone, these numbers are sure to climb. The big dogs such as Google and Yahoo have very mobile friendly sites. I personally use my Treo 755p smartphone a lot and it is very frustrating to try to access sites that aren’t mobile friendly. Many times it is as simple as optimizing a few stylesheets to make a site more mobile friendly.
If you use WordPress as your blogging platform, there is a handy plugin that I ran across that makes optimizing your blog for mobile viewing a snap. The plugin is Alex King’s WordPress Mobile Edition and it is extremely easy to implement. It is slightly different from installing many plugins because you have to put a file in your themes directory and also activiate the plugin. The following directions are also included in the readme that comes with the plugin:
2. Put the wp-mobile.php file in your wp-content/plugins directory
3. Put the wp-mobile directory in your wp-content/themes directory
4. Activate the WordPress Mobile Edition plugin within your WordPress admin plugins page
5. Presto! Your site is now mobile friendly.
The plugin basically just strips off all of the graphics and makes the blog text only. It is a very nice plugin and something any WordPress user should use. It is always annoying to me when I look at blogs on my phone and they take a long time to load. All I want to see is the text and a lot of unceccesary files load with it.
There has been quite a bit of speculation over the last couple of months as to whether or not President Obama would be able to keep his Blackberry. It now appears that he has won the battle and will be able to keep his Blackberry. As a smartphone addict myself, I can sympathize. I can’t imagine going anywhere without my Treo 755p. According this article, it is not clear as to whether he is actually getting a Blackberry or a more secure device from Spectera Edge. Although I am not a big fan of many Obama’s policies, I am definitely interested in seeing where he takes America in the technology department.