Want Exposure? Submit Your Blog To Some Of These Sites

When you first start up a blog, once it is up and running the first thing people usually do is submit their blog to the major search engines, as it can take awhile before most of them get around to begin indexing your website.

Once search engines know about you, what do you do next?   Kevin of Blogging Tips has compiled a list of 75 websites you can submit your blogs to.  The list includes blog communities, blog directories, paid submission sites, and even RSS feed directories.  No matter how long you’ve been blogging, I doubt you’ve heard of all of these, so I recommend checking it out.

It is also a good resource for starting up a new blog, so you may want to bookmark it for future reference.  Good work Kevin!

Best MySpace Tools And Resources

It is truly amazing just how popular MySpace has become over the past few years. Everyone wants their own corner of the world wide web, and MySpace gives anyone this for free without requiring any computer knowledge. It also serves as a great way to interact with other users and get in touch with old friends.

Along with success comes a variety of tools and resources designed to improve upon the product, and MySpace is no exception. As a result, I decided to gather a bunch of MySpace resources and consolidate all of them into a single post for people looking for MySpace tools, guides, and resources. I have broken them down into categories for easy reference.

MySpace Designs, MySpace Layouts, and MySpace Backgrounds

MySpace Avatars

  • Meez (Creates a virtual 3D animated image of yourself)
  • MySpace Avatars (Browse general image avatars by category)
  • Zwinky (Fully animated image avatars)

MySpace Blogs

MySpace Editors

MySpace Games

MySpace Images Tools

MySpace Music Tools

  • iLike (Registration required)
  • MyFlashFetish
  • Tracks Feed
  • Your Spins

MySpace Videos

MySpace Web Storage/Image Hosting Services

MySpace Widgets

Miscellaneous Other MySpace Tools

  • Geo Visitors (Get information about visitors to your profile)
  • Hotlist Maker (Create hotlists for your profile)
  • How Many Of Me (Displays the number of Americans with the same name)
  • Library Thing (Display your favorite books with thumbnail images)
  • Memegen (Quizzes or surveys for your MySpace profile)
  • MyHeritage (Upload your picture and find celebrities who look similar to you)
  • My What Space (Easily manage and edit your profile from your computer desktop)
  • Nooz (Community edited news site for MySpace members)
  • Planet Smilies (Free smilies by category)
  • Wink (Search across all major social networks)

Know of something that belongs on this list? Please let me know in the comments below (include a link). In an effort to keep this post as a valid resource, it will be updated regularly.

Firefox 2.0.0.11 Update Soon

Despite Firefox 2.0.0.10 being released in the past week, it looks like the Firefox developers will be forcing a critical update to Firefox 2.0.0.11 as soon as later today to fix a bug.  

A bug in just released Firefox 2.0.0.10 affecting an important <canvas> HTML element interface (.drawImage) has prompted Mozilla developers to rush a new update that fixes this bug that affects several web sites and extensions (FoxSaver, Fotofox) that rely on it to deliver the intended experience to their users.

Best of: 101 Lists

All around the blogosphere the trend has been to create lists.   Top 10 lists, Top 50 lists, and even Top 101 lists have been all the rage.   The fact that these lists are the ones making the popular page of Del.icio.us and the front page of Digg shows the demand for these.   People enjoy debate, and they enjoy discussions.   After all, the foundation of blogging is discussion!

Fresh Perspectives has taken their love for Top lists to another level with their post of Best 101 Lists.  Unfortunately, this post does not yet have 101 lists, but the author is updating it with new lists as they are discovered.    If you enjoy lists, I recommend you check it out!

Is That Upgrade Really An Upgrade?

It is human instinct to upgrade your software whenever a new version is released, but do you ever actually check to see what is included in the upgrade before making the update? I think especially in situations where it is considered a major upgrade (a new year, or upgrading from 2.2 to 2.3, etc.), it is definitely recommended that you comb through the upgrade information before updating.  These updates will typically contain the major changes that some users may not want.

Webware has written an interesting post showing 6 software upgrades that are actually downgrades. Included in the list are several extremely popular items, such as Windows Vista, iPod, Quicken, and the Microsoft Zune. Odds are everyone reading this post uses one of these items in some form.

The one I found the most interesting is their review of Quicken 2008:

Quicken

Ouch.

Intuit apparently believes that new users won’t buy a personal accounting product if it’s last year’s model, and it also wants to upgrade its current users each year. So it “sunsets” older versions after three years: it turns off online access to bank updates and eliminates support. Sadly, some older versions of Quicken are faster and more stable than the new versions. But if you’re a Quicken user, you can’t stick with “classic” versions without giving up useful online features.

Why it continues to happen: Intuit has locked itself into a yearly upgrade cycle on a product that clearly takes more than a year to update.

Click over to check out their reasons for listing the other upgrades.

The Importance Of Having Your Own Online Identity

What exactly is your online identity? Those that have been blogging for awhile have probably formed one, though they may not have realized it. In order to connect with your readers, it is important for any serious blogger to establish one. How can this be done?

In order to form an online identity, you simply need to create something or multiple things that are unique to you as a blogger (not necessarily unique to your individual blog). Remember, people don’t read your blog to find out what it has to say, they want to know what YOU have to say. Some things that many bloggers use to develop their own identity are a logo style that people will associate with you, a theme setup that is unique to your blog(s), a feature on your blog that you are known for, or even a style of writing you have (your bloggers “voice”).

Two Examples Of An Online Identity:

  • The first example of great branding is Daniel Scocco, who writes for Daily Blog Tips, Daily Writing Tips, and Daily Bits. If you look at all three blogs, they use the same theme with a different variation, they use the same style of logo and favicon, and you can easily tell Daniel’s writing style because it is consistent among all three blogs. Daniel has his own style, giving him his own online identity that his readers associate with him.
  • John Chow is another example that many people will be familiar with. John is known for a few things, such as writing about his expensive dining experiences, and his monthly income reports. When you think of John, after thinking of that big green dollar sign, those are probably the first two things that pop into your head.

Whether its your logo, your theme, a weekly/monthly feature you do, or just your writing “voice,” chances are you have developed an online identity that your readers associate with you. Poll your readers and find out what your online identity is to them. That way, if you don’t like the image people get when they think of you, you can work to change it or improve it by creating a better logo, improving your theme, or even tweaking your writing style.

In my case, most of you probably don’t know what I look like in person (you can see me on my About page). With some bloggers you may picture the actual author when you think of them or their site, but I’ve worked really hard to establish an online identity that is different from my offline identity. This is why I use either a logo or favicon for my various avatars (such as MyBlogLog, Yahoo, etc.).  Chances are, if you were to meet me in person, you would say “Kyle, you sound like your blog.” I’ve heard that before on a few occasions, but I embrace that as something I’m doing right. The last thing I do is try to use a consistent “style” on my blogs (except Hack WordPress, but more on that later), because I haven’t seen another blog that looks much like my blogs. I like to own that look, and have readers think of me when they see that look.  :D

When you think of Kyle, what is the first thing you think of? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

What Is Next For Firefox 3.0?

Now that Firefox 3.0 Beta 1 has been released, that leaves us to wonder what we can expect now?   Along with fixing still existing bugs, beta versions of software are also used to continue to improve new features.

Mozilla Links has written about the next steps for Firefox 3.0, now that it has entered beta.   It looks like we’ve got some continued improvements in store for Firefox users.

Reader Poll: How Is Your Google AdSense Performing?

It’s been exactly two weeks since we talked about Google redefining what a clickable area is in an effort to combat click fraud, so I figured that was adequate time to let the change soak in and examine some trends. At the time of the change, it made sense for Google and advertisers, but it fueled a lot of speculation that sites that depend on Google AdSense to generate income would likely lose out on some of their monthly income.

Something that a few publishers speculated on is that with lower fraud rates, publishers would likely be willing to pay more per click to get their advertisements seen. We are also approaching the holiday season, meaning that advertising budgets are going up and a lot of other businesses are launching seasonal advertising campaigns.  If this theory holds true, Google AdSense publishers should still be seeing consistent income.

In looking over my analytics and AdSense reports, it looks like my income from Google AdSense has dipped some, despite a heavy increase in traffic.   Is this due to the clickable area change?   Unfortunately, that isn’t something that I can be sure of.  As David points out, a lot of things can factor into a change in pay-per-click advertising.   Thats why I decided to poll my readers and find out how AdSense is performing for you over the past two weeks.   Has your income remained steady?  Have you noticed any trends?

SnagIt Screen Capture Software Now Available….For Free

For close to two years now, I have been using SnagIt for all my screen capturing needs. Despite several free alternatives, I felt that this software did a better job of giving me the tools that I needed, so I dropped roughly $40.00 on this software and haven’t looked back.

Today I noticed that TechSmith has decided to give away free retail editions of SnagIt 7.2.5 with no strings attached, which is good news for people that have not yet experienced this software. For your reference, the most recent version is 8.2.

In addition to traditional screen capture, this software allows the user to capture scrolling long web pages, extract text from windows, annotate images and make fancy borders and stuff on your images.

In order to get the software, follow these two steps:

1) Download the demo version of SnagIt TechSmith FTP servers below:

2) Visit the TechSmith website and request a SnagIt 7 Software key – it should arrive in your Inbox pretty soon. Just key in the registration details and your trial copy of SnagIt will convert into a full retail version.

This free version is a complimentary copy of SnagIt (Version 7.2.5).  You can upgrade the software to the above mentioned current version 8.2 at half of the standard price if you’d like the updates from version 8.0+.

[via Digital Inspiration]

Comparing Firefox 3.0 vs. Firefox 2.0

With the recent release of Firefox 3.0 Beta 1, people are beginning to take a strong look at Firefox 3.0 and make early comparisons to the current release, Firefox 2.0.  If you are wanting to see visuals to illustrate the differences in Firefox 3.0, I recommend you check out the review on Go 2 Linux, showing Firefox 3.0 vs. Firefox 2.0.

This post covers the following features:

  • Zooming
  • Bookmarking
  • Places
  • Password Manager
  • Add-ons
  • Page Information

This might possibly be the best illustration I’ve found so far, so I recommend checking it out!