Work In Progress

After struggling to move my hosted WordPress installation onto my local pc, I have completed the theme edits that I have been wanting to make for some time now. I have moved the Chatter box from the footer of the site and to the top to see if more people will use it. Having it at the top of the site should make it easier for everyone to see if their are any new messages. This is still an experiment and if I discover it’s of little to no use to this site, I”ll remove it. However, I would really like to have some real-time conversations with you, the readers.

I’ve removed the ARTICLE SUBMISSION link from the top navigation area. Last but not least, I have added the FeedBurner Subscriber chiclet to the footer. Since I now have a somewhat respectable number of subscribers, thanks to you of course, I can now display those numbers prominently on the blog. The reason I waited so long before adding the chiclet revolves around human perception. If I were to display this chiclet while it showed a low number, say below 50, this site would automatically be perceived as a piece of trash. But now that the chiclet shows around 100 subscribers or so, people who notice the chiclet may realize that this site is somewhat interesting or worthy of their time considering 100 of their peers already think so.

Feedback on the changes is always appreciated. I’m open to all suggestions and ideas to improve the readability and functionality of this site.

By the way, would anyone be interested in a tutorial on how to install your web hosted WordPress installation to your local PC in order to change themes or text plugins?

Web 2.0 Photography Contest Winner

Jeffro2pt0 Web 2.0 Photography ContestToday is the last day of the month and so it’s time I announce the winner of the Real World Web 2.0 Photography Contest. The winning submission was sent in by vipworld The winning entry features an artistic shot of someone holding an Ipod. The Ipod features a pastel red color as well as rounded corners, two facets which make up most web 2.0 websites.

ipodaditThere were only two entries over a two month period leading me to believe one of two things. Either web 2.0 doesn’t PHYSICALLY exist outside of the internet or, I didn’t promote this contest well enough. Considering how many views this post has as well as the amount of folks finding this page via Google searches, I think it’s safe to say that the majority of concepts and things attributed to Web 2.0 are within the confines of the internet.

Thanks to all who joined the group and spreading the word. Congratulations to Vipworld. Your 1 Year Flickr Pro Membership has already been purchased. Enjoy! 

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. Wins First Blog Award

Reader Appreciation Project AwardThe gang over at the Reader Appreciation Project has handed out their first batch of Readers First awards. These awards go to those blog or site authors who display exceptional selflessness and devotion to their readers. was one of the sites to receive this award.

First off, I want to thank the guys and gals who head the Readers Appreciation Project website. These guys are always creating thought provoking articles which really make the reader think. It’s nice to know that their is a website around that is discussing the issues of reader appreciation. All too often, blog authors are engulfed in their own ME ME ME bubble. These are the types of people that believe everything they say is the right answer, everything they do is correct, and they only do things that benefit themselves or their site. Frankly, that is a piss poor attitude to have.

I think what every blogger has to realize is that, without readers, you have no audience and without an audience, your blog is essentially a waste of space on the internet. Instead of ignoring those that contribute to your site whether it be in the form of comments, email feedback, or linking to an article, be sure to give thanks. In the type of world we live in today, where the words Thank You are rarely heard, these two words can really make a positive impact in someone’s life or within their thought process.

If someone links to me, I visit their site and leave a comment expressing thanks. Sometimes, I link to them on my own blog. Other times, I email the author and express a bit of gratitude for taking the time out of their day to read what I had to say. Whatever the case may be, I always ensure that someone is thanked. This attitude and the way of handling things has allowed me to build relationships with people I most likely wouldn’t of bothered with had I not put in the extra effort.

I’m not going to repeat what the RAP guys had to say about me, but if you would like to view their reasons for rewarding me and this site the award, be sure to read Readers First Awards September 2007 To the folks over at RAP, keep up the good work. The information, conversations and ideas that can be found on their website are like BLOGGING GOLD.

If you are a blogger or a site owner, what are some of the ways you show appreciation to your audience?

This Site Undergoes Design Tweaks

This weekend, I decided to get a different perspective on my blog by sitting other people down in front of my website to observe how they browse around and which areas of the site they click. Upon initial feedback, I was told that the top part of my site seemed a bit busy. I was told that it would be nice if a reader had the ability to click on a button that would either maximize or minimize the three content blocks near the top of the site.

The three content blocks in question are the Recent Articles, Recent Comments and the Most Popular Posts. After browsing around the site looking for solutions, I came across a post that mentioned the following plugin, JS Toggle Boxes Js Toggle Boxes provided a means for me to add a plus symbol or a minus symbol to a div element that contained an unordered list. Using a combination of Javascript, CSS and cookies, readers of this site can now show or hide at least 6 different content blocks. Show Or Hide Content By Clicking On This Icon

I’ve also rearranged my sidebar menus so that site specific content is in the left sidebar while, 3rd party widgets and misc stuff is in the right sidebar. I’ve also replaced the default technorati favorite image and added a custom one within the same box which contains my subscription images. I’ve also changed the entire background site to represent one solid color, as the gradient background image combined with a background color just never seemed to work in Internet Explorer. Surrounding the entire site is now a white 3 pixel border. The black one was not viewable with the darker background color.

Although the div elements never bothered me, you now have a choice as to whether or not you want to view those specific content areas or not. They work whether you have Javascript enabled or disabled. Also, because of the use of cookies, your viewing settings will be remembered unless the cookie is deleted, in which case all of the content boxes will be open again.

Please let me know what you think of the design changes.

New Month Means New Poll

Jeffro2pt0 Banner For Site Updates

During the month of August, I asked readers if they would like me to produce a podcast based on the content that has been featured on this site. The results are in:

Should I Produce A Podcast For This Site?

  • Yes (57%, 13 Votes)
  • No (43%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 23

It was close, but it looks like I better put my podcast hat on. So with that in mind, I’d like to present to you my idea for the podcast. I was thinking of calling the podcast, AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE. The podcast would be produced LIVE every Friday Evening at 9PM EST on Talkshoe and would last anywhere from a half hour to 60 minutes. The interviews will be open to discussion on various topics such as what the blog author covers on his or her own blog, blogging in general, their thoughts and opinions on various subjects, tips and tricks for other bloggers, discussion of topics in the news, and anything else that comes to mind. It won’t be a tightly arranged format. I want guests who appear on the show to feel like they are entering a relaxed environment without all of the stress or expectations that may accompany other shows.

If you are a blog author and want to appear on the show, please contact me and tell me which Friday you would be available. As it stands, all slots are empty, but I’d love to fill them up. I’m looking to produce the first show on Friday September 21st, 2007. Who is going to be the first guest on the show?

With that out of the way, it’s time for a new poll question. I’ve been thinking about adding forums to this site, but I’m still not sure if they would be productive or counter productive to the web site. The decision is now in your hands. Vote yes if you would like to see forums attached to this site, or vote no if you could care less.

Contest Deadline Extended

It’s nearing the end of the month and so far, only one person has submitted an entry to the Web 2.0 Real World Photography Contest. I can’t seem to bring myself to award one individual the prize without some sort of competition. So, I have decided to extend the deadline of the contest to the end of September. I’m hoping that word about this contest will be spread around and hopefully, more entries will be posted before the end of the next deadline. If not, I’m going to assume that Web2.0 truly is an online phenomenon that doesn’t exist outside of the interwebs.

Disabled Hotlinking Protection And Other Stuff

I disabled hotlink protection today after discovering that the HTML email subscription emails were not displaying images. After today, all images used within an article should now show up if your viewing the HTML version of the email.

Tomorrow, I will be going through the archive and properly tagging items that haven’t received any tags due to the plugin being installed¬† after a certain amount of posts were already published. This should help make discovering those older articles a bit easier.

I will also try to figure out why the search function of this site doesn’t seem to be finding things I think it should be. I’m also going to try to get a hold of the author of the SEARCH EVERYTHING plugin, to see if I can get that to work, so users can search within comments and various other parts of the site that are not covered by the built in WordPress search.

Just wanted to pass those updates along.

Photography Contest Update

Web 2.0 Photography ContestIt’s nearing the middle of August and I’m sad to say that although there are 4 members who have joined the Flickr group, no one as of yet, has submitted any entries. Up for grabs is a free, 1 year Flickr Pro membership which will be awarded to the person who submits a photograph that best represents Web2.0 in the real world.

To enter this contest, click on the image shown above, or the one on my sidebar. The contest ends on August 31st but if there are no entries by that time, I will extend the contest for another month. Web 2.0 surely has to exist in some or fashion outside of the interweb right?

Some Ideas I Had – Feedback Needed

Some Ideas I Had I just wanted to pass along some ideas I had concerning this site. Your feedback to these ideas or perhaps some of your own would be highly appreciated. The first idea is, creating a live chat area where visitors of this site can get together to chat about the various topics this site covers.

The chat room could be available 24/7 or I could schedule chats which would occur at a specific date and time. I was going to give this a try tonight using Meebo, but I experienced an enormous amount of problems.

The second idea is attaching a forum to the site. The forum would contain sections that would cover the various topics covered on this site. It would open up yet another, community avenue for this site where like minded individuals can get together and talk about what’s going on. I’m not sure if this site has enough traffic, or if the readers of this site would have any interest in becoming a participating member of the forum, so do me a favor and let me know if you like the idea.

If I decided to attach forum software to this site, I would us Vbulletin. Vbulletin is still the best forum software in my opinion and I have a few years of experience using it. I know of an Ajax powered shoutbox which could be used by the forum members as a chatroom, which would solve idea #1. The only problem with using Vbulletin is the price. It currently costs $85.00 for a lease of one year. I’d be willing to chip in $20.00 towards the price, would anyone else be willing to donate towards the forum? If so, let me know.

Those are the ideas I had floating around in my head and I figured I’d toss them out here to see if there were any takers.