What Is Blogging? Blogs Explained in Plain English

For those of us that have been blogging for awhile, the term blogging is probably taken for granted by most of us. The term has become incredibly popular, but a majority of people still do not understand what it is, how it works, or what the appeal is. Do you ever get funny looks when you mention that you are blogger?

I’ve always found that it is difficult to truly explain blogging to someone. I have had a lot more success just showing them a blog so they get the idea. I did, however, find this video on YouTube that does a great job explaining blogs. If you know someone that is wanting to know more about it, I recommend you have them check this out.

(Feed readers may need to click through to view)

Best of: YouTube Greasemonkey Scripts

Over the past year and a half, YouTube has really came out of nowhere and developed what could only be described as a bit of a cult following.  It never fails to amaze me just how much time people spend on this website.

If you find that you spend a significant amount of time on YouTube, there are a few Greasemonkey scripts that you will probably find can make your video viewing experience a little better.   

As always, you’ll first need to make sure you are using the Firefox web browser and already have the Greasemonkey extension installed, then download any of the following scripts that sound useful:

YouTube Greasemonkey Scripts

  • Coralized YouTube – Uses Coral’s cache servers to allow videos to load faster.
  • Download Video From YouTube – Adds a link to download the video in FLV.
  • Link to YouTube video from an Embedded Video – Places a link below embedded videos that will take you to the videos page on YouTube.
  • NewTube (YouTube Cleanup) – Removes a lot of useless elements from YouTube in the hopes of making it cleaner to look at.
  • Remove YouTube Comments – Will remove all YouTube comments.
  • YouTube Better Embed – Adjusts embed code to be XHTML 1.0 compliant, which will help with embedding YouTube videos into websites and blogs.
  • YouTube Better Titles – Automatically adjusts YouTube video titles to help differentiate from multiple videos with the same titles.
  • YouTube Comments Next to Video – Puts YouTube comments in a scrollable box on the right side of the video so that you can read them without scrolling away from the clip, similar to Google Video.
  • YouTube Googler – Makes the YouTube page look like Google Video (much larger video screen).
  • YouTube Prevent Autoplay – Stops videos from automatically playing. You can then click on it when you are ready to view it.
  • YouTube Resizer – Allows you to move and resize YouTube videos to meet your needs. 

Is there a YouTube Greasemonkey script that you rely on that isn’t on this list?  Let me know in the comments below and I’ll get it added!

Starting a New Blog? Pick Popular Keywords

Whenever I’m about to launch a new blog, I always try to do a little research first. I’ve learned from experience that I need to have some interest in the blog’s subject matter, or else I won’t spend enough time on it to truly make it worth my while. The other thing I always factor in is whether or not people are searching for the keywords I plan to use. You’ll probably have more competition, but there is also a lot more traffic to go around.

I’ve always found the best way to find high traffic keywords is to track Google’s rising search terms list that they release regularly. By going after rising search terms, you are more likely to find a decent keyword-rich domain that is still available, rather than established ones that have been picked clean.

Center Networks recently posted a list of Google’s Top 10 Rising Keyword Search Terms for both the United States and worldwide. Unsurprisingly, you will find the iPhone topping both lists. You’ll also find the keywords you’d expect to find, such as YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace. Some other popular terms include Webkinz and Second Life.   If you want to set yourself up for success, using one of these keywords is a great way to set yourself up.

When you go to launch a new blog, what research do you do first?  How do you pick the blogs subject matter?

Technology Talk – 12/09/2007

Yet another week of great stuff happening around the blogosphere. Here are a few of my favorites and ones that I thought my readers would enjoy:

  • Brown Baron has done another batch of YouTube’s greatest hits. I don’t spend much time on YouTube (otherwise I would never get anything done), so I love running across these types of posts and seeing the creativity of people out there.
  • Mark of MeAndMyDrum shares his domain hunting secrets with his readers. I spend a decent amount of time domain hunting, so I love seeing what methods others use to find their domains.
  • Karthik has listed his favorite WordPress plugins, broken down into categories for easy reference. My only complaint with this post is that it makes you want to go out and install a bunch of plugins!
  • CyberNet News explains how to find the best auctions eBay has to offer.  eBay definitely has a strong fondness for subdomains with their Best of: eBay subdomain.
  • A guest post on Tech-Buzz lists 10 must-have software for bloggers.  There are a lot of these lists around, but this is the first one I can think of that focuses on software for bloggers.

Check Out 12 Of YouTube’s Greatest Hits

Today while checking out Brown Baron’s site, I ran across a fun post covering 12 of YouTube’s greatest hits, which was originally covered by PCWorld.  There were a ton of great videos included, but I figured I would just feature a few here and let you click over to check out the rest!

These are listed in no particular order.

Chad Vader

‘Thriller’ Dance Video – Performed by inmates of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines.

South Park Mac vs. PC

(Feed readers may need to click through to view the videos)

Firefox Extension: Better YouTube

Several months ago Lifehacker came up with a great idea for a Firefox extension that gives the user the ability to use a bunch of Greasemonkey scripts without installing Greasemonkey.

You can see my review of Lifehacker’s previous extensions here:

  1. Better GMail
  2. Better GCal
  3. Better GReader
  4. Better Flickr

Despite the potential of other “Better” Firefox extensions, Lifehacker seemed to be done making these popular extensions until now.  It looks like they have released Better YouTube, which combines a bunch of popular YouTube Greasemonkey scripts into one handy extension.

There are other possible extensions that I imagine Lifehacker will get to eventually.   In the meantime, if you are interested in checking out some scripts, I’ve compiled a list of the best Greasemonkey Scripts.

Top 10 Greasemonkey Scripts for YouTube

It is truly amazing at how quickly YouTube became not just a household name, but also something that all types of people can use. This service can appeal as much to grandparents as it does to teenagers with all of the possibilities. Heck, my weekly poker group has even started to film our poker games, load them on YouTube, and display them on our poker groups website!

Anyway, I decided that it was about time to throw together another top 10 list. This time, with the focus on YouTube, I decided that it would be neat to feature a bunch of the incredible YouTube Greasemonkey scripts that are available for people to use. You can get Greasemonkey now for IE7 and Opera, in addition to the Firefox extension, so pretty much anyone should be able to find some use for these:

  1. YouTube Prevent Autoplay – Stops videos from automatically playing. You can then click on it when you are ready to view it.
  2. YouTube Resizer – Allows you to resize YouTube videos. Great for making videos bigger and easier to view.
  3. YouTube Cleaner – Eliminates the extra junk from the YouTube page that you never use.
  4. YouTube Video Only – Removes everything from the page but the YouTube video itself. You can also move the comments next to the video.
  5. YouTube Googler – Makes the YouTube page look like Google Video (much larger video screen).
  6. YouTube Embed Video Downloader – Displays a link to download FLV movies.
  7. YouTube Better Titles – Adjusts titles to help differentiate from multiple videos with the same titles.
  8. YouTube Better Embed – Adjusts embed code to be XHTML 1.0 compliant, which helps with embedding into sites.
  9. Remove YouTube Comments – Removes all YouTube comments.
  10. Coralized YouTube – Uses coral’s cache servers to allow videos to load faster.

Technology Talk – 10/28/2007

Another busy week around the blogosphere with a lot of great work being done by my fellow bloggers. Here are a few posts that I really enjoyed this week:

  • Tech Magazines writes about 70+ ways to make money online. I’ve covered many of these services here in one form or another, but there are a few that I wasn’t aware of.
  • Madhur explains YouTube’s new copyright features that is currently in beta. Its good to see YouTube get improvements, but where is Google Video? I don’t think they have received an improvement since YouTube was purchased by Google.
  • Speaking of Google Video, Garry Conn whether he should use Google Video or YouTube to upload vidoes. In his case, I recommend he use YouTube videos, so he can take advantage of his own UTubeSkins.
  • Aaron Wall of SEOBook has posted a YouTube video about unique meta descriptions for your posts.  For those that don’t want to get to advanced with SEO, you can setup your WordPress blog to auto-generate meta descriptions with the All-in-One SEO Pack.

Convert and Download Online Videos With ConvertTube

If you’ve been looking for a way to download online videos directly to your computer, your iPod, PSP, iPhone, or even your even mobile phone, ConvertTube now has you covered.

ConvertTube is a free online application that allows you to easily convert your YouTube (or others) videos to one of several formats, including .mpg, .mov, .3gp, .flv, .mp3, and .mp4, and then download them directly to that application.

In order to convert and download your videos, all you need to do is get the URL of the video and click Convert and Download, then you are done!

Firefox Extension: Block YouTube Advertising with TubeStop

Yesterday I talked a bit about YouTube adding advertising, and what that means for YouTube users. Now it looks like the creator of the popular Firefox extension TubeStop was pleased to figure out that his extension actually already stops YouTube’s new advertising feature.

This extension was actually created to allow Firefox users to have videos open in several tabs by stopping YouTube’s auto play feature, so users can view the video when they are ready. The happy side effect is that it prevents all video overlay advertisements.

It’s nice to see this Firefox extension creator was able to foil YouTube’s advertising plans before YouTube even announced their advertising!

Download the TubeStop Extension