Personality Based On Blog Text

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I stumbled across this site out of the blue the other day called Typealyzer. When you submit your blog URL to the site, Typealyzer analyzes the text on your blog and then provides a personality report based on that text. Just for fun, I submitted my blogs URL just to see what the site had to say about me.

According to the analysis, Typealyzer thinks I’m of the following personality:

The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.

The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.

If that weren’t enough, the site also provides a graphic that highlights which sides of the brain you use most based on the analysis.

Brain Activity

Amazing that I have any brain activity at all! With regards to my supposed personality, I find it to be halfway accurate. It is true that I enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people but I don’t like to seek out excitement.

Submit your blog URL to the service and let me know what your personality is and if you agree with the results

Interview With Steven Hodson Of WinExtra.com

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This week, I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with Steven Hodson, author of the WinExtra.com blog. WinExtra is one of those blogs that I continuously find myself reading within my feedreader. Although Steve is a cranky old man, he makes a ton of valid points that I think a lot of bloggers would steer away from posting. I want to thank Steve for taking the opportunity to answer these questions and I hope you guys enjoy the interview.

Jeff: Steve. Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you chose the name, WinExtra for your blog.

Steve: Myself – well I’ve been involved with computers and technology for jeez it has to be going on to pretty well close to 15 or 20 years now. when I first started serious computer type work Windows was nothing more than a stub used by programs like PageMaker and Corel both of which I used to create a small downtown magazine. From that point I got involved with programming with Clarion for DOS as my first language and then progressed (or some would say digressed :) ) to Visual Basic.

During this time I also got involved in running a BBS (Bulletin Board Service) as part of FidoNET. My first and longest used BBS software package was called Maximus and that was all configured with Notepad .. there were no such things as graphical interfaces then unless you counted ASCII color codes :)

As for WinExtra. It first started out as a set of NNTP newsgroups that was originally intended as a backup in case the newsgroup I hung out in at the time got pulled by it’s temperamental host. Which in the end it did and I saw WinExtra slowly grow into a very tight knit community which is what you see even today in our forums. The blog part of it came afterwards as I really wanted to have a platform where I could express my own opinions without alienating so to speak the newsgroups which by this time had for various reasons been moved to web forums software.

The name WinExtra came out of the fact that pretty well everyone in our fledgling community were Windows users and I wanted to be able to add something extra in the way of a helpful community.

Jeff: What is your definition of a blog?

Steve: Wow .. hmm … the term blog has changed so much over its relatively short life span. In the beginning it was just a way for folks to have a place to bitch about their lives and the things going on in it. Then is was discovered to be a great way to quickly share news and ideas but for me blogging is a way to be a part of a larger conversation; whether it be the post itself which maybe was prompted by another post or from the comments that go along with a post. I am a strong believer that the comments can be just as important as the post they are a part of and that a blog that doesn’t allow comments isn’t a blog. In those cases it is no different than some soapbox in the town square with people walking by either ignoring what is being said or just shaking their heads as they walk by.

Blogs are an incredible way for us to learn but learning is a two way street which is why comments are important as they add to the learning experience. by shutting them off all you are doing is preaching.

Jeff: Why did you decide to use WordPress versus the other Blogging platforms that are available?

Steve: I looked at several others and for awhile when I was running my own server I was using dasBlog; which is an excellent ASP.NET based blogging package. But when I was forced to shut down my server due to finacial reasons I had to find something that could run on a Linux system as that was the cheapest hosting I could afford at the time. So I looked at MoveableType, WordPress and a couple of others. WordPress won out for two main reasons – ease of setup and the incredible themeing and plugin support system out there for it.

Jeff: Do you make a sizable income or any income at all from blogging? If so, is this income generated by ads?

Steve: The truth of the matter is I only just recieved my first AdSense check two months ago and that was after 11 months of blogging. I have tried many of the other types of ad networks out there but unless you are getting 1,000’s of page views a day you can forget making a living at it in the beginning.

I don’t agree with doing pay for post type stuff so I don’t see any income for that type of work. I’m not saying that it isn’t a viable way to make money – it just isn’t something I am comfortable with.

The one thing that I will say regarding making an income from blogging is this – if you are expecting to make a good living from blogging within the first year you can forget it. The only people who can do this are people who already have a name recognition factor walking into the blogging world. The rest of us – well it is going to take working at it day in and day out .. it will take time and a lot of work in order to build up enough of a reputation so that advertising can bring you in a viable income and the sooner you can lessen any reliance on AdSense by selling ad spots yourself the better off you will be.

Jeff: Do you believe as a blogger, that other bloggers can make money via their blog while still maintaining an avaenue of trust with their readers?

Steve: It depends entirely on how they are making that money .. but in general I believe so. However the true judges of trust factor will be the readers themselves and to a lesser degree the other bloggers within your area of blogging.

Jeff: What do you think is the best part of blogging?

Steve: The learning and sharing. It’s a simple as that.

Jeff: Who do you think is crankier? Yourself or tech pundit, John C. Dvorak?

Steve: John who??? :)

Jeff: For those that don’t know, could you tell us what this term “A-List” represents in the blogosphere?

Steve: The A-List first originated as a term for the top 100 bloggers as listed by Technorati. while Technorati has slowly been falling out of favor the term A-List still hangs in there as a way to identify the so-called blogging elite and the mover/shakers of the tech blogosphere.

Jeff: I see you use FeedDemon, as do I. Why do you use FeedDemon as your preferred RSS reader over something like Google Reader?

Steve: I actually have two favorite readers. FeedDemon is my main one but it is followed closely by one called FeedGhost. As for my preference of using a stand-alone reader over something like Google Reader it boils down to a couple of things. Besides the fact that I just don’t like Google Reader; and I have tried it a couple of times, I also am not comfortable with any third party knowing what my reading habits are or being able to use my reading habit as part of any database used to feed their advertsing money machine.

Jeff: How do you feel about RSS and what sort of impact has this technology had on the blogosphere in general?

Steve: RSS; or even XML, has had an incredible impact on our ability to share information in a true cross platform manner and I don’t think this is just regulated to blogging. I think we have only begun to scratch the surface of what things like RSS is going to bring to the technological table.

Jeff: You’ve been blogging for quite some time and as I see it, you have a good following of loyal readers. Based on your experiences and your knowledge, if you were to take a TOP-DOWN perspective on where blogging is heading, what would it be?

Steve: I think we are going through a shake up of the blogging world as we speak. It may only be the beginning but it is a shakeup all the same. We are seeing the creation of new media (blogging) conglomerates that are growing to equal many of the old media corporations. This part is were we will probably see the most changes whether it be through mergers of competeing blog networks or the purchasing of smaller popular blogs. Secondly we will see successfull independant blogs that are able to financially support the owner of the “brand” – which is really what will set the successful independent apart – they will be the ones who have understood the whole concept of becoming a brand of which the blog is a part of. And lastly we will always have those who blog for nothing more than the pleasure of blogging – this is what I would call the foundation of our blogosphere because without those who write for the passion of writing the rest of us wouldn’t be here.

Once again Steve, thanks for taking the time out of your day to answer these questions. I ended up learning a thing or two and I bet the readers of this blog will have done so as well. If you haven’t already, please visit http://www.winextra.com and make sure you add it to your feed reader. You’ll be glad you did.

Letting Spam Loose For A Day

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Mark your calenders because on December 15, 2007, WordPress user’s across the blogosphere will be turning off Akismet. Ok, not really. But Jesper Rønn-Jensen has decided to do it. He calls it, Spam Filter Free day where he will disable the Akismet anti spam tool on his blog for 24 hours to figure out, just how much work Akismet does for him. It’s an ambitious project and I can only imagine how much time it will take to clean up the mess after the event is over with.

I’ve seen numerous bloggers writing posts which state that Akismet is asking for us to disable our spam filter on this day and then report back to them with the results. This is not the case. Akismet merely brought Jesper’s post to the forefront and asked if anyone else would be willing to go through with it. If so, Akismet would love to hear back from you.

I’ve decided not to go through with the project. Like so many others that commented on Lorelle’s article, (Are You Willing To Go Naked For One Day For Akismet) I can see just how much work Akismet has saved me from doing by looking at the spam filter statistics. So far, Akismet has protected this site from 4,528 spam comments. I’ve left my blog alone for more than 24 hours and when I come back, I have to sift through over 100 or more spam comments to see if Mike was flagged as a spammer. Akismet is not perfect, but it does a damn fine job of blocking a lot of spam.

So will you be going naked on December 15?

Blogger Adds Slideshow Support

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Blogger has added a new tool for their user’s called the “Slideshow Page Element“. This element adds a slideshow to your page that displays photos from your Picasa Web Albums, Flickr, Photobucket or any site that supports Media RSS. The photos will appear in your blogs sidebar, fading into one another. The slideshow supports navigation and each photo links to the albums home page. According to Blogger,

Like all page elements, Slideshow requires that your blog is using Layouts templates. Still need to switch? Read our help article on the topic.

Seems like a cool new feature to add to your hosted Blogger Blog.

Tumblr Awakes From Its Slumbr

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Back in August, I wrote an article that speculated the fact that Tumblr may have been on its way out (Is Tumblr Dead?) but apparently, November 1st will be a big day for both Tumblr, and its users. According to Mark Rizzn on MashableTumblepedia has been updated to describe new features, optimizations and bug fixes.

Looks like Tumblr is still alive and kicking. Hopefully, Tumblr will add all sorts of features that make this service just shy of being a killer.

Bloggerplay Releases iGoogle Gadget

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Blogger has developed and released an iGoogle gadget for those that enjoy Blogger Play. Blogger Play is a real-time slideshow of photos Blogger users have recently uploaded to their blogs. Blogger has also added some additional functionality to Blogger Play. The keyboard can now be used to control the flow of images. The space bar plays and pauses while the left and right arrow keys move backwards and forwards.

Just sitting at the Blogger Play page watching all sorts of images go by is yet, another productivity killer to add to my list.

Why CLIQ May Kill BlogRush

When BlogRush was released to the masses, it became the next best thing for bloggers since Akismet. BlogRush claimed it would provide it’s users with a RUSH of traffic from relevant blogs through the use of a widget. This widget would display your blog posts via credits earned by displaying posts from other blogs through the widget on your own site. The truth is, neither I or many others witnessed the RUSH in traffic that was almost guaranteed to those who used the service. If you’d like to see my results that came along with BlogRush, please read an earlier post I made called Is The BlogRush Over With?

After reviewing CLIQ and what that service had to offer, it dawned on me that this service could potentially wipe BlogRush off the map. Here are the reasons why.

Full Control:

With BlogRush, you have no control over which posts are displayed on the widget. You can only control what DOESN’T show up. You also have no control over who displays your blog posts.

With CLIQ, you have full control over what will be displayed in the widget. You also have the ability to make your group private so that members can only join if you accept their request, or if you manually invite them.

Relevancy:

BlogRush does provide a FILTER list that allows you to create WORD or PHRASE based filters so that you can sort of control which posts are displayed or not but when you think of all the posts your going up against within a widget that only has 5 spaces, the filters become less of a factor. BlogRush maintains a category based organizational system. Without knowing how many blogs are actually within this category, it’s hard to judge how much competition you’re actually up against. BlogRush also uses an algorithm to detect relevancy between the blog, category and blog post title.

Because CLIQ provides you with an option to make your CLIQ invite only, you can essentially control how relevant the content will be within the widget. That is, if you only invite members that post similar or close to similar content, your going to have a relevant widget that contains blog postings that your visitors and the visitors of your member blogs will have a higher probability of clicking.

Creating Your Own Niche Network:

Users have no way of creating networks within BlogRush. Your essentially at the mercy of the BlogRush algorithm to determine when your blog post fits the right criteria to be displayed next to 4 other entries.

By creating your own CLIQ, you have the ability to invite high traffic blogs into your group. Each blog that joins your CLIQ is a referral. CLIQ administrators can set unofficial TRAFFIC requirements for CLIQ memberships meaning, you can determine what amount of traffic a blog has to gain and refer in order to maintain membership. This produces competition amongst the members to drive up their own traffic which in turn, benefits the group as a whole.

Conclusion:

If you haven’t picked up on the theme yet, as a user of BlogRush, your essentially at their mercy versus CLIQ which gives you total control. Why rely on BlogRush to provide you with a lackluster rush of relevant traffic based on algorithms when you can do it yourself and reap the benefits? Sure, the CLIQ method revolves a little more in the way of work, but hey, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Bloggers won’t be benefiting from BlogRush anytime soon unless your JohnChow. So do yourself a favor, ditch it and go for something you can control and manage yourself.

CLIQ is what BlogRush should of been and I’ll leave it at that.

Do you agree or disagree? Let me know by leaving a comment and contribute to this conversation.

MyBlogLog Buzz Tracker Explained

MyBlogLog LogoThe What’s Hot In My Communities section of your MyBlogLog Profile is an easy way to track buzz worthy info but, how does MBL decide what’s hot and what’s not?

Simply put, the links you see within this area of your user profile represent the most popular links within YOUR MYBLOGLOG COMMUNITIES. If you are seeing links to porn sites or sites you deem unacceptable, the only way to remove them, is to find out which community your apart of that is posting that link, or information related to that link and leave that community.

If your thinking that tracking down the culprits within your large number of communities would be nothing more than a hassle, your in for some great news. MyBlogLog has added an interesting feature to their buzz tracker in the form of a question mark. This question mark will finally give MyBlogLog users the ability to figure out where those buzzworthy links are coming from.

Figure Out Where Those Links Are Coming From

For instance, let’s say you don’t want links such as Fox.com to show up in your list. You would simply click on the (?) and figure out which sites are posting this link and leave their community.

Search And Destroy

According to the question mark, the site Casual Keystrokes, is the culprit behind this link. As an MBL user, you would look for that community within your list of favorites and click on the LEAVE COMMUNITY button.

It’s really neat to see how this all works and it’s nice that Robyn Tippins has finally published an article that easily explains the process. I have to agree that, clicking on these questions marks is half the fun in trying to figure out why they are creating so much buzz. Give it a shot and let me know what you’ve discovered.

You Comment I Follow

You Comment I FollowI just wanted to let everyone know that after reading Brad’s post on getting rid of the “No-Follow” attribute within comments, I have installed the Do-Follow Plugin.

This plugin removes the No Follow attribute that is usually attached to links that commenter’s leave. Since that is no way to treat a commenter, those links can now provide you with a few more drops of Google Juice. If your a fellow blogger, do your audience a favor and install the Do-Follow plugin, which gives people one more reason to stop by and leave a comment.