Previous passing thoughts of a Pageminder — MindBlog Archives

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March 1 - 31, 2004

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Previous passing thoughts of a Pageminder

03.31.04 - 8:04 pm (CT)
The other day when I mentioned search engine optimization for Flash sites I should have made it clear that my recommendations were meant for sites that use Flash files embedded within HTML pages. I was not at all addressing sites that are simply made up a single Flash file that is not embedded in any page (i.e. the Flash file IS the page, and, in fact, that single file IS the whole site), as those must be optimized by the Flash creator while in the processing of producing the Flash file itself.

Those with a single Flash file that is their website must decide how important it is to them to get indexed by search engines other than All The Web and Google — if it's important, then at the very minimum embed it in an HTML page that is named "index.html" and then follow the instructions below for their one page website. At the very most they should have a separate Flash file created for every page that they would normally have on a non-Flash site and then follow the instructions below. And for now, sorry, but that's about all they can do.
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03.29.04 - 2:45 pm (CT)
Today is a very special day for me, as it is my oldest son, Rob's 26th birthday, so without further ado, to this 6'0" tall, fine specimen of a man, who, even at my 130th birthday party when he will be a mere 104, will always be my "little" Robbie, we give, with much love, a great big MindBlog…

A great big MindBlog… Happy Birthday to Rob!!!

Rob is my "whatever" guy (he is probably the reason I use the term "whatever" sometimes too much, but hey, if it works…), as when he was growing up and I would remind him about, or tell him to do, whatever (there I go again), that would be his answer, "Whatever", then he'd go about (most of the time) doing whatever. Being the big brother he was assigned a lot of whatevers to do, from helping around the house to watching his little brothers to just about whatever needed to be done.

He was so good at handling all sorts of situations, including emergencies, that he was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the Boy Scouts of America for, as one of his scout leaders said at his Eagle Scout Award Ceremony,

"…Rob earned another Special Recognition. In October 1990 Rob received a Certificate of Merit. This is an honor no Scout really wants to receive, but this is one that we as scouts are prepared for. At that time Robís mother became seriously ill and his father was not at home. Rob remained calm, called 911, tended to the younger children in his family, and helped his mom as much as he could. All in the true Scout fashion." (Loy Layman, Assistant Scoutmaster, Boy Scout Troop 169, 09.28.96)

Gee, this is the kid who at 6 or 7 years old gave me such a scare with the bike incident, who would have thought that a mere four or five years later, he would be the one who was scared and taking care of not only me, but his little brothers. It's definitely a case of "What goes around, comes around", which is something to keep in mind as you are raising your kids — treat and train them right, as someday, if you've done a good job, they may just be taking care of you. And I'd have to say that I've done a pretty good job… no brag just fact**.
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03.26.04 - 12:29 pm (CT)
Search Engine Optimization seems to be the theme of the week at Pageminders with Macromedia Flash being involved in several projects. Flash presents a problem with search engines because, well, as of the moment, only All The Web and Google have the ability to index Flash sites, so what is a website owner to do?

Well, they have to make the most of what little they have to work with, which would be the tags within the <head></head> tags of the document — which is hopefully named "index.html", as that is the default that search engines look for when crawling a site — that the Flash is embedded into:

<title>Put a short, but great title, using keyphrases, for your site here.</title>
<meta name="description" content="In twenty-five words or less, put a great description, using keyphrases, of your site here." />
<meta name="keywords" content="Put keyphrases that real people will use in a real search for you, your products, and/or your services here." />

Actually this should be done whether Flash is used or not, but it is even more imperative for a Flash site, as otherwise most search engines will go to crawl the site and, basically, find absolutely nothing there to index and move on without much more than a "Harrumph".

Then there is the small matter of adding descriptive text, using those keyphrases, and text links to any other content on the site to an appropriate location — below the embedded Flash would be a good spot — so that search engines can read your description, follow any links to the other content, and then index whatever they find that they have the ability to index.

And last, but not least, you need to search the Web for quality, relevant sites that you can either submit your site to or will link to your site, using your great, keyphrase-rich title and description. After that, patience is what you must have while the search engines "discover" that you must have a darn good site about whatever — even if they can't see much of it — because there certainly are a lot of quality, relevant links describing your site leading to it.

For more information on optimizing Flash sites, check out these articles: Optimizing Flash for Search Engines (Search Engine Watch, Fifield, 05.06.03);
Optimizing Flash for Search Engines (SearchDay, Thurow, 02.11.03); and
Flash Sites - Optimize through link building (Linking Matters, 03.01.04).
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03.24.04 - 10:45 am (CT)
Unless you've been surfing from under a rock, you already know about Google AdSense™, so this is really for those under the proverbial rock who have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, but (hopefully) do know what Google is. Anyway, if you would like to try to make a few (extra) bucks off of your weblog or whatever website, then Google AdSense™ may just make sense for your site.

According to Google, "Google AdSense is for web publishers who want to make more revenue from advertising on their site while maintaining editorial quality. AdSense delivers text-based Google AdWords ads that are relevant to what your readers see on your pages — and Google pays you."

They have ten different ad layouts (several new ones if you haven't checked lately), twenty-four color palettes or you can make your own custom palette, and they give you the code to copy and paste into your page. After passing their site inspection, it took me less than 10 minutes to finish the sign-up*, choose a layout, and create a custom palette for MindBlog. It is so easy to sign up and use that unless you just don't want ads on your site, you'd be nuts to not give it a try.
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03.20.04 - 8:54 am (CT)
Spring sprang early here in rural Manhattan, IL, as I saw the first robin of Spring yesterday afternoon and saw two more this morning, so… "When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbing along" I'm thinking pool and naps can't be far behind, as I do have the heater that the "girls" gave me last year for Mother's Day! Well, let's get past March and think pool naps for sometime in April, so that by June we will be well rested, tanned, and ready for Summer and more pool naps with my trusty dog and pool buddy, Marie.
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03.11.04 - 7:51 am (CT)
We are back from sunny, hilly San Diego, so from the home office of MindBlog, we have a short, but sweet (just like me) MindBlog…

A short, but sweet (just like me) MindBlog… Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Yes, this Pageminder has added a one to her fifty years and only has 79 more years till her 130th birthday bash on that yacht off the coast of Tahiti! My glass is most definitely half-full and this MindBlogging Pageminder wishes the same for you!
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03.08.04 - 11:37 am (CT)
Well, this is a "twofer", as instead of sending yesterday's remote air blog online, I changed to shorts, hopped on a bike, and pedaled down to the Pacific Ocean — it was a tough decision, but somebody had to make it.

It ended up being a 5 mile walk/ride, as I'm not in Illinois anymore, where the plains are pretty much flat, and San Diego is in the foothills of the San Bernardino mountains where the uphills quickly become much harder to pedal up than the downhills are to coast down.

As for today, another bike ride is in order, maybe or maybe not up and down to the ocean, but to somewhere sort of nearby to see some cool vista(s). San Diego is a beautiful place and would be a great place to live if there weren't already way too many people living here — they are packed in like sardines here… traffic, traffic, and more traffic.
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03.07.04 - 9:23 am (CT)
Up, up, and away in a beautiful… jet plane — yes, folks, this is not only a remote blog, but it is a remote AIR blog! I'm on my way to San Diego, California — we are cruising above the clouds at a comfortable 39,000+ feet with a small amount of turbulence, and, at the moment, I see mountains, so I am guessing we are somewhere over Colorado.

We just watched a movie on my fine little laptop — we had to borrow headphones from a very generous Southwest Airlines flight attendant, as I didn't think about jet engines being so loud, but they are — and now I'm doing a quick word or hundred to you, then it's time for a nap! I'll have to put this blog online from the ground, but really, just the fact that I can do a remote air blog is cool enough!
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03.04.04 - 7:36 am (CT)
March 4th of any year is a very special day, as it is the birthday of my big sister, Peg, who is eleven years older than me — she is the oldest and I am the youngest of six kids. With six kids, my mother needed some help to keep track and take care of all of us and that job went to Peg, so she helped raise me until she went off to college when I was seven years old.

Oddly enough (or maybe it is not so odd), we are the most alike of the six and partly because of that, we are the best of friends. If one of us needs to talk to someone, or needs advice from a respected source (mostly me asking her advice), or we just want to chat, then we are burning up the phone lines or cyberspace between Manhattan and St. Louis.

We not only have the same sense of humor, but, according to our kids, the same laugh, and we share a lot of the same views of the world and life in general ó the ones that we don't share, well, we just let slide by. In fact, we are the only two (self-proclaimed) members in the Common Sense Party — we would let more people in, but have yet to come across anyone that meets our criteria.

So, to this very remarkable person, we give a great big MindBlog…

A GREAT BIG MINDBLOG… Happy Birthday to Peg!!!

With love from your baby sister and your friend!
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03.02.04 - 6:58 am (CT)
"Four months, three sizes, and 20 pounds ago…"
Four months, three sizes, and 20 pounds ago… I started a fitness program with Mary Jo Blackburn of Life Changes Personal Training Studio, well, this "ultimate computer potato" is slowly, but surely on her way to sporting that "Body by Mary Jo" outfit. Mind you, we're not there YET, however the tortoise is going to win this race — thanks to Mary Jo who changes people's lives by helping them to find that little person inside that bigger person — so, stayed tuned for more spot check-ins on my progress toward a new, little old me!
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03.01.04 - 6:15 am (CT)
Keeping in mind that I am in Illinois, the other day I got a call from a guy in Montana who wanted to put up a local economic development website and had gotten my name from another local! I don't know either person, but the other local said he knew my work and recommended me as the Web Developer of choice. That is the beauty of the Internet, as someone somewhere else in the world can find you, your products, or your services with one click of a mouse — cool, eh?

Another kick here is that the other local was a Web Designer who was retiring from the Web biz, so it wasn't like it was just anyone, it was an unknown (to me) colleague who had checked out my work and felt comfortable referring others to me — now that is really cool! So cool in fact that I'm still getting that warm fuzzy feeling whenever I think of it. It's the same feeling that you get when your Mom makes you a cup of hot cocoa (with a marshmallow melting on top) on a cold winter day, or actually that feeling of satisfaction you get with a job well done.
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