When it comes to blogging, bloggers want to have the most interesting articles and information posted on their site. While there is a lot of cooperation between bloggers, you can sometimes feel the tension, especially when a blogger feels that some harm was done to him. This is often provoked by copying and pasting articles from other blogs and posting it on your own. Writing an article is not an easy task, as it requires time, focusing on your task, and original ideas among other things. Nobody wants to have his articles posted all over the Web without permission, and this also includes technology blogs. That is why I encourage bloggers to write their own articles of which they can be proud. Not everyone knows that Technorati has an interesting feature on their website called Topics. Topics is a way to navigate the conversations on the Web, based on the categories you select. You can visit one Technorati Topics page and see live streams of the newest blog posts about the topic you want. Topics pages are being updated very often, so they are different every time you visit, and the posts you see scrolling down the page, will keep you informed about what is going on right now. I think it is an interesting feature, and many bloggers are using it quite regularly to research any topic they are interested in.
Working on your blog is not always easy, so it is important to work on it in an efficient way. This will ensure that it will take you less time to write an article, and that the quality of the article will be higher. There are a couple of things that you can do to improve blog productivity:
• Have a list of URLs that you can visit for ideas of topics to write about. Every writer needs some inspiration. Who knows, you might get inspired and write your best article after finding some interesting topic to write about.
• Research the topic you are interested in more carefully. You may want to search for related posts about it on other blogs. Write only about topics you have knowledge about. Posts that contain a lot of useful information and reflect the knowledge of the writer are going to become popular.
• Use the best browsers. For example, your browser should allow tabbing. No doubt that Firefox and Opera are currently one the best browsers, but even IE has some useful features, although probably not as many.
• Store ideas for articles that you will want to write about in the future. There is nothing worse than running out of ideas.
Remember, whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it as your readers will be able to feel your enthusiasm or lack thereof.
There are many types of software on the market that offer net filtering services. Which one of them you will choose is definitely up to you. Analyze each one of them and decide which one suits you and your family the most:
-Black List Filters: With their help you will be able to block specific websites from being accessed.
-White List Filters: Those filters will only accessing the sites that are on the list. This is the most restrictive filtering service, because you will not be able to access most websites on the Internet. A white list filter should be only used if there is no need to browse the Internet, but rather visit just a few websites.
-Keyword or Content filters: Those filters will prevent you to access any website that has in its content a word, phrase, or image that does match the criteria from a keyword list. The only downside of this filter is that some pages might be denied by accident. This can happen, for example, if the site contained a blocked term but the term itself was used in a way that is not offensive.
As you see, there are many filters and it is up to you which one you will decide to use.
To some people it might appear that the Internet contains only pages written in English. Of course, this is not true and there are a lot of interesting and useful sites that are Spanish, German, or French. Even if you do not know these languages you can still read such sites by using translation tools. My favorite translation tool is Google Translate as it can translate between over 20 languages including the ones that I mentioned. All you have to do is visit translate.google.com, and indicate from which to what language you want to translate. There is even a feature to detect the language automatically if you are not sure what language the text is. I benefited from this site a lot, and I know you will like it as well.
Do you sometimes wonder whether participating in contests is a good idea or just a waste of time? So far I have participated in quite a few contests. Different contests have different entry requirements. I am not going to write about those contests that require entrants to pay a certain amount of money, because I do not think participants should be charged for such things.
The contests I am usually participating in do not have high requirements, although the exception was one contest where ten highest ranked posts written by ten different bloggers were winning an award. All of the winners of that particular contest put a lot of work into writing their posts.
Generally, I am more interested to participate in contests that will give me something valuable for my blog, like a link back, or directed traffic. I especially like if the organizer promises to link back to each participant just for entering the event.
I am almost always avoiding contests that have high entry requirements, and want me to do at least a few things like leave a comment, subscribe to RSS feed, write a post, and so on. Additionally, if there are many participants, and there will be only one winner, then do not get your hopes up too high.
To sum up, I would like to say that the right contests can be really great. Simply participate in contests you are interested in, and make sure you have a chance to win.
I think that it is quite easy to notice that there are more and more free programs available on the Internet. Free software is often very high quality and very often I refer people to use free software instead of paid commercial software. For example, there are some very reliable firewall software available, so why buy for something which might be lower quality? I think that this trend is a very good sign for an average consumer, because even if you don’t plan to use free programs, other companies will be forced to acknowledge competition. This may result in lower prices for paid commercial software and in the overall quality of programs being higher.
Some time ago, I heard of a website that allows sending medals to people. I wonder if you will find it as interesting as I did. There are many medals to choose from, some more hilarious like “Irritable Panda Bear”, ”Mid-Air High Five”, or “Icy Cold Beer”. There are also some more serious like “Educational Blogger Award” and “Interesting Blog Award”. There are also some rude ones like a “Dead Cockroach Award”, which I guess are good for a prank, or you could also sent it to somebody who you do not like. Visit this site, and I am sure you will find some hilarious awards, although before you send a “Dead Cockroach Award” to anyone make sure that it is really what you want to do, and make sure that the person you are sending it has a sense of humor.
You can find the medals at www.justsayhi.com/bb/awards. All you have to do is choose an award, input the recipients name, email, URL, and provide your own name, email, and optionally URL, if you are a webmaster. What I like about this site is that it is directed towards bloggers, so if you are a blogger yourself, I am sure you will appreciate it. There are not many sites like this on the Internet.
I agree that there are some general guidelines when it comes to determining the quality of content. Articles that contain useful information are definitely an example of high quality content.
However, this time I would like to share some of my thoughts about the subjective nature of the quality of content. It might have been stated before by many other bloggers, but I think that it is important to emphasize that quality is subjective. What that means is that there are many different types of bloggers and many types of readers. Reader preferences will vary when it comes to length of posts, topic of posts, and style of writing. This depends on different aspects such as education, sense of humor, general knowledge, writing style, gender, and age. High quality content simply means content that other people appreciate. However, since there are different definitions of high quality content, we cannot simply compare two blogs and decide which one is of higher quality. I would say that the only exception is if you would like to compare two blogs which try to attract the same type of readers. On the other hand, it would be hard to compare two blogs that have a completely different topics and reader base.
Email has become increasingly popular during the last few years. This, however, led to many people abusing it. Spam is an example of people abusing email. I am sure you do not want to be classified as a spammer, or somebody who sends unwanted emails. If that is the case, simply make sure that you personally know the recipient. Of course, there are also other rules that email users may wish to follow:
-If you decide to have an email box, check it regularly. Email etiquette requires that emails should be responded to after the maximum of a few days after receiving them. It is the best if you answer the same day you received an email. If this is a spam or unwanted message that you received, you do not have to respond at all.
-While composing a message do not forget to insert a subject. People like to know in advance what an email is going to be about before they open it. Make sure you are specific, but you also do not have to reveal too much information.
-Do not use capital letters in your emails. On the Internet it is considered to be the same as shouting, so try to avoid that.
EBay is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell almost everything. Some time ago I discovered that you can register literally anything for sale, as a baby was registered on German eBay and the price was set as 1 euro. The baby was eight months old and the description stated that it was for sale because it cried too much. EBay removed this auction and it is interesting whether the child would be actually sold if eBay would not be fast enough. While the story might scare some people, the mother of the baby assured that it was just a joke. What do you think about it? Should we be joking about such things?
Whatever is our opinion about eBay we have to admit that it is doing quite a good job removing many auctions due to the breach of their ToS. EBay does not allow any auctions, but it differs from country to country. For example, in UK and Ireland eBay prohibits the sale of knives and this includes sets of kitchen cutlery. It might sound silly to a lot of us, but this is just an example that eBay does not allow sellers to sell everything.