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Previous passing thoughts of a Pageminder — MindBlog Archives

MindBlog Archives
October 1 - 31, 2004

  Pool Watch 2004
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Previous passing thoughts of a Pageminder

Google, JavaScript, and Pop-Ups
10.31.04 - 3:36 pm (CT)
According to the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Forum at SmallBusinessBrief.com, "Google is now indexing pop-ups" — it seems that Google has figured out how to read some JavaScript (JS) and now it's not only following links created with JS, but also indexing the pages it finds by doing so. "Well, la-de-da", you say, no biggie, right? WRONG, as there are an awful lot of pop-ups populating the Web, of which probably a large percentage have absolutely no website identification on them.

Again you say, "la-de-da", and once again you would be wrong, as there's a lot of valuable content out there with not much if any ID on it. So, say it's your content that Google indexes and somebody wanting to spend mucho bucks runs across it, but because there is no ID can't figure out how to get to the rest of your website to buy it… OOPS, lost a sale… now you get the picture (talking money usually opens a few eyes and ears).

So, what can be done to save that sale for you? Well, at bare minimum, get busy adding a home page link to all of your pop-up pages that contain valuable content, or better yet add a link to the page it popped off of, your customers and your wallet will thank you. BTW, I lucked out, as I only had one page in all of the sites that I work on that I had to add a home page link to… well, maybe a little skill was involved… nah, it was luck.
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Too awake to go back to sleep
10.29.04 - 5:30 am (CT)
Gee, lately it's either that I'm not too tired to stay awake or I'm too awake to go back to sleep. Well, at least I'm getting all sorts of things done that if I was sleeping like a regular person, I wouldn't have time for — this time it was putting all sorts of stuff away that had been piling up in Rob's old room, so now you can walk through there without having to step over piles of… stuff. I'm now planning my next middle of the night project, which is putting Bill's room back together after… oh never mind.

So, what's bothering Jeane that makes her either not too tired to stay awake or else too awake to go back to sleep, and is therefore spending prime sleeping time not sleeping? That's a very good question, one that if you really knew me, you wouldn't have to ask, and if you don't really know me, well then you shouldn't ask — suffice it to say, "For every time, there is a reason…".
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MindBlog's Latest (and Greatest) Thoughts
10.24.04 - 10:08 pm (CT)
Straight from the MindBlog RSS Feed, you can now quick check the latest (actually the last 15) and greatest (if it happens to be one of the last 15) of my passing thoughts at a not really new page — MindBlog's Latest Thoughts — that has been sitting around here for, well, quite some time, but there were no links to it.

You can do the same thing by looking in the MindBlog Archives for the MindBlog RSS Feed in action, but I'd made this page way back when I added the RSS feed and had kept it unlinked for my own use to check to make sure the RSS feed was being displayed properly, which is how I discovered that I needed to change the Web Service for displaying it. Anyway, it was easier to quick check that page than traipse through the archives to get to the other page (which BTW I don't do, as I just Google whatever I'm looking for in the Google Search Box that I installed back in 2002 in the menu for this site).

So, since you could already view the MindBlog RSS Feed in action, you must be asking, "Why bother?" And at first thought my answer is, "Why not?" but then upon further thought, my answer would be that it's easier for site visitors, especially the occasional and/or curious ones, to have a page that they can take a quick peek at my latest thoughts for something that interests them. However, the number one (i.e. real) reason I added it… with the link on every page, checking the RSS display is now even easier for ME!
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Madame President, Linking Logs, & Dollars and Sense
10.23.04 - 8:22 am (CT)
Within the business community of Manhattan, Illinois the baton has been passed on… the gavel has been handed over… the podium has been… oh, heck, just call me Madame President, as I'm the new President of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. So, for the next year I'll be twirling the baton, pounding the gavel, or whatever happens to be within reach, to run the local Chamber meetings. And I'll be leading the troops onto… or rather into a more technology-based, business promotion campaign.

We'll be relying less on costly mailings and more on practically-no-cost emailings — whether it is the monthly newsletter or various promotional materials, we'll be encouraging our members to get it in their Inbox and to fetch more of it from not only our website, but also our members' websites. I guess you could say that we'll be playing with "Linking Logs". Oh sure, we'll still do some mailings, but by limiting those, we can get more promotional bang for our buck, and have more money to spend on face-to-face promotional and networking opportunities for our members.

Personally, I think too many organizations have gotten away from their original purpose, (some) Chambers being one of them, as the main purpose of any Chamber is to promote the business community they represent. So, the first question to ask and answer with any project that might come up is, "How does this help our members?" And, if there is a direct or indirect benefit, does cost benefit analysis say it's worth the time, money, and effort involved to make it happen? If there is minimal or no benefit to our members, then forget it and move on to something a little more promotionally "profitable" to our members — in other words, it will come down to dollars and sense.

Thank you, and may God bless America… and Manhattan, Illinois.
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Networking or Schmoozing for Business
10.22.04 - 6:50 pm (CT)
I spend quite a bit of time networking with other business owners in order to get and keep Pageminders name out there, so when they, or someone they know, needs some Web work done, they'll think of me to "mind their Web page, so they don't have to".

"…my modus operandi is to just be myself — friendly in a casual, yet businesslike, sort of way."
When I network at Chamber events, Black Sheep Business Group, Inc., or wherever, I am really "schmoozing for business" (schmoozing — "verb: talk idly or casually and in a friendly way"*), as my modus operandi is to just be myself — friendly in a casual, yet businesslike, sort of way. I go out of my way to sit with people I don't know and strike up a conversation about them and their work and/or lives — usually somewhere in the conversation it comes up what I do, but I really try to focus on them.

I've found that people like to talk about themselves and what they do, so I let them talk away and then try to find a way for me to help them with their business, whether it is someone I know that can use their services or products, or someone whose services they can use to help them with their business. I am always looking for ways to put people together, as I figure "what goes around, comes around" and at some point, it will all come back to me, and if it doesn't, well that's okay, too.
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This long cool summer
10.18.04 - 5:18 pm (CT)
"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas"… no, it's not, but the tune popped into my head… and out of my fingers. Such misplaced thoughts are the result of looking with deep regret at Pool Watch 2004, where at 4:42 pm the temperature is a mere 45°F and the forecast for the next week isn't much better, so I'm probably going to close the pool sometime this week.

This summer was a real bummer as far as the pool goes, which reminds me, did anyone else notice that there was not one peep out of the global warming crowd for the duration of this very cool summer? Hey, maybe they are switching gears back to their previous stance… global cooling… yes, that's the ticket… and it's all my fault for driving an SUV! But you know, if there is another Ice Age or just a lot of snow, I'll be getting places whereas they'll be stuck wherever it is they've hidden during this long cool summer.

BTW, there was a plus to the cool summer, as my air conditioning bills were down, but then my pool heating bills were up, so it's not really a plus at all — I think we'll call this one a wash.
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FREE Web Service to convert and display RSS feeds
10.16.04 - 10:37 pm (CT)
I spent yesterday working on the inner workings of MindBlog — there had been something bugging me in the code from the beginning, but had always eluded me. Well, I was changing the Web Service used to display the RSS feeds on this site — MindBlog RSS Feed and Google Alert for MindBlog — as the old service was no longer being offered, and had just re-coded the feeds to use another FREE Web Service to convert and display RSS feeds offered by RSS-to-JavaScript.com.

"…it's the feeling of self-satisfaction you get when you finally nail something that you knew was there…"
As always, I went to view the feeds from the new service in various browsers, one of which was Mozilla Firefox that I had installed just a few days ago, and there, staring me right in the face, was what had been bugging me for way too long. It actually was a CSS sizing error, but popped right off the page at me, so I fixed it… you can't see what I did, but believe me, I did it and now I feel…

Well… it's the feeling of self-satisfaction you get when you finally nail something that you knew was there, but you just couldn't put you finger on it, which is similar to when a word that slipped your mind, but you knew was right there on the tip of your tongue, finally rolls off your tongue into your mind and out of your mouth. It's also the good feeling of knowing that you haven't lost it… you had just temporarily misplaced it.
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Too tired to stay awake
10.15.04 - 2:21 am (CT)
Ever have trouble going to sleep because of whatever? Me, too. Some people lie there and ruminate over not being able to go to sleep, which usually makes it even harder to go to sleep — as for me, I get up and do something until I'm too tired to stay awake… like now. I did the dishes, picked up around here, and am still not too tired to stay awake, so…

I certainly ought to be able to go to sleep, as I had a rather busy day with updates, a couple of meetings with clients, and another appointment this evening, but still… hey, maybe I had too busy of a day… maybe I just need to unwind… maybe I should turn on the TV and watch whatever old cowboy movie is on the Western Channel. Actually it would be kind of nice if I could find an old episode of Rawhide, or better yet, Maverick!

Nope, I just checked and neither show is on, plus the Western Channel has a not-so-old (1977) Western with James Caan and some French actress I’ve never heard of… hmmm, I could really go for a Gary Cooper or a John Wayne classic, but I guess I'll just have to settle for the not-so-old cowboy movie… or go do some laundry… harrumph!
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Annual review of domain name contact information
10.09.04 - 9:48 pm (CT)
Another remote MindBlog, this one from the point of power of Peg's Picks — yes, I am vacationing somewhere in the St. Louis, MO area with my sister Peg, thus the shortage of online passing thoughts, as most passing thoughts have been passed on… offline to just Peg. We haven't managed to solve the world's problems, but we still have a couple of days to put a dent in them, so don't give up on us yet.

I have put a dent in my work backlog — this is a working vacation, as almost all of them are — I've just finished up the annual review of domain name contact information for all the domain names that I own and/or manage, as requested by my registrar of choice, GoDaddy.com:

"ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, requires all accredited registrars to ask their domain administrators and/or registrants to annually review their domain name contact data and to make whatever changes are needed to ensure that it's accurate and current."
"…outdated contact info is probably the number one reason owners of domain names lose their names…"
At first, I was a bit miffed at their request, just as I was last year, but I dragged my sorry self through the task as I know the importance of keeping contact data current… outdated contact info is probably the number one reason owners of domain names lose their names — their registrar can't contact them to renew their precious domain name.

So, if you received an email from your registrar about reviewing your contact data, it would be smart to humor them and check to make sure they have current info… Although, come to think of it, if the eddress you gave your registrar was outdated, then the email they sent you got bounced back… which makes my point exactly.
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Search Engine Optimization 101.5 — Not-So-Quick Tip
10.01.04 - 11:20 am (CT)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)… folks, it appears that I must further explain about using keywords/keyphrases in the title, description, and keywords tags, as well as using keywords in the content of your page. Most search engines take a gander at the first three and then check out the rest of the page, so they can index each occurrence of those words within the content of the page. So, it should go without saying, but it doesn't, that if you use the keywords in the first three, then they should also be used in the fourth.

Can I be any clearer on that? Well, yes I can — if the search engines don't find the keywords in the content, then you lose and probably don't get your page indexed, but if they do find your keywords used in context and in a relevant manner, then you win the prize of getting your content indexed. With all of that said, now to the further explanation — "in the content" means the words that you would like the search engines to index your page for must also appear on the page, and I mean that literally — if you can't see the text with the naked eye, then it does not appear on the page, now does it?

This passing thought is not aimed at text embedded in images, as I already covered not only that, but how to use the alt attribute in <img> tags to get around this not-recommended-by-me practice of having basically your whole site consist of images with next to no actual text on the pages, which brings to mind an old advertising campaign (with a slight twist by me), "Looks great, less filling"… It looks great to most of us, but quite frankly, takes too long to load, and to search engines that can't see the images let alone the text that is embedded into them, it is definitely, less filling.

No, this passing thought is most definitely aimed directly (in an indirect sort of way) at the dubious practice of making text the same color as the background behind it, which means site visitors can't see it, but the search engines can read it. This particular SEO scam was first used by the, well, let us just say, the non-family-oriented sites to lure children and the unsuspecting to their less than reputable sites. When the search engines discovered it, they just re-programmed their algorithms to cover that scenario. So, now if you get caught doing that little bit of tomfoolery, your entire website might just be blackballed by any search engine that catches you at it.

This all comes down to, why risk playing games with the search engines, because if you have a good site with good content along with relevant links in and out of your mighty good site, and then follow that up with a good job of optimizing and submitting your site, you should have a good chance of not only getting indexed, but getting indexed favorably… without playing games that could be deadly to your website's statistics.
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