Link or Cross Post

I was reading some new interesting blogs and came upon a blog by Kasper. There was no was to directly add comments to his posts. So I e-mailed Kasper and told him I liked his 8 ball problem. Then I added a post to my own Black of Hat blog called Eight Ball.

Later I started an e-mail dialog with Kasper. He was appreciative to my comments. He offered to link to my blog or cross post. Now I know about the idea of linking out to another blog. I e-mailed Kasper back and told him I had already wrote a blog post and linked to his.

Then I gave the cross-posting some more thoughts. In essence, Kasper said he would duplicate any blog post from my site on his own. He would then give me credit and link to me. I asked him to cross post my Loopback IP Address post. And he followed through and did so on his First Class Thoughts blog.

So I hope that I did the right thing. What method would be better for search engine optimization? What method will give me a better page rank? In the long run it may not matter much. But I am finding more people posting comments to my own blog. And I will want to know how to make the most of every opportunity out there. What do you think?

Google Knol

Google has publicly opened up Knol. Google defines Knol as a “unit of knowledge”. Knol was originally launched in December of 2007 to a select audience. The project is headed by Udi Manber, Google’s vice president of engineering.

Knol is similar to Wikipedia. The difference is that entries must have an author that put their name behind the work. There is no anonymous posing on Knol. Readers can suggest changes to a Knol entry. However the author controls whether those changes get applied to the Knol.

Google is positioning Knol to be the first thing someone searching will want to read. That being said, Google has stated that they will not artificially give a knoll more page rank than their existing algorithms calculate. There can be more than one knoll for any given subject. Readers have the ability to rate knols they read.

Authors can add New Yorker cartoons to a knoll. They can also monetize a knoll by adding Google AdSense to the knoll. However the positioning of the ads is fixed. Authors are free to link out of the knoll to other sites (including their own web pages). By default the entries submitted to Knol are licensed under the Creative Commons license.

Currently Google has a couple hundred knolls created. For the most part the knolls are related to the medical industry. I have been wondering what effect this will have on blogging, and more importantly whether this will be a Wikipedia killer. It is very exciting to get in on the ground floor of a new system created by Google. I encourage you to create a knoll on a subject for which you have expertise. Good luck.


I continually have a problem with some Blogger formatting. Here is the scenario. I enter a lot of text in my blog post. Then I go back and want to make some text in the middle to be a list. So I select the text and click the button to make a bulleted list. However instead of turning my selected text to a list, Blogger makes my entire post a list. The entire text is made one big item in the list.

Being savvy in HTML, I can switch into HTML mode with Blogger. I got in and move the UL tags around my selected text. Then I go and insert and bunch of LI tags around each of my items. Then when I revert to compose mode, my post looks as I expect it. However this is a pain that I go through every time I try to make a list.

What should I do? I guess I could chose a list before I start typing. Then I could type in the list and hope that Blogger works correctly. Perhaps I am expecting Blogger to work like normal desktop applications. Do we do things differently in web based forms? I would think that the people who tested Blogger would have had the same expectations as me.

Overall Blogger is a good tool. The price is right (free). That does not mean I don’t wish some bugs to be fixed, or some user interfaces to be better. I blog here because it is fun. If I were more responsible, I would submit a problem report with the Blogger team at Google. It is the least I could do. If I do follow through and submit one, I will document my experience here on my blog.

My Blogging Not Dead

Previously I had written a post about the ruckus in the blogging world about a famous blogger decided to end his blog. He declared blogging as dead. I thought I would share my own reaction to this, as I am an avid blogger myself.

First I want to give a little background. I read an article about Ashley Qualls a year ago. She is the founder of Whatever Life. This site has made her over a million dollars so far. And the amazing feat is that Ashley is only 18 years old. I figured that if an 18 year old can make it large on the web through advertising, I should get in on this too.

So I started up my Software Maintenance blog. My goal was to write up daily experiences in the software development world, put advertising on my site, and get rich. Things did not exactly go as planned. I did not rich. Thus I could not quit my day job. Along the way I read that you could get a better Google Page Rank if you had a lot of separate web sites, each of them linking to each other. Therefore I have created over 20 separate blogs. They all cross link with each other. My hope was that this would boost my page rank for each of the blogs.

In retrospect, since I still have my day job, I am not avidly posting to all these blogs. The Software Maintenance one is my main blog. I do not post to it every day. But usually I post every other day. I find it a fulfilling task. Even if the big money has not rolled in from the advertising, I continue to share my thoughts with the world on this blog. I plan on continuing this indefinitely, at least until I have retired from the software development industry.

Is blogging dead? Some of my throw away blogs that I created just to achieve page rank are definitely dead. However my life as a blogger is not over. That which I care about and blog about continues. My software maintenance blog lives on. It even thrives. I want to give a shout out to Ashley Qualls. Her experience excited me and inspired me to create my blog. This initial desire was for riches. But I have found that there is more to blogging that making cash through advertising.

Blogging is Dead

Everybody seems to be writing about a controversial blog post that stated that blogging is dead. Somebody special said they were hanging up their blogging hat. Their plan was to resort to e-mailing their blog info instead. The rational behind this move was that mainstream media was starting to monopolize the blog universe. Another was that people had moved on to other mediums such as MySpace, Facebook, Digg, and Twitter.

There are some statistics which seem to indicate that the rate of new blog creation is slowing down as well. In July of 2006, there were 175k blogs being created per day. By March of 2008, the rate had fallen to 120k blogs created per day. The topic of whether blogging is dead is an interesting one I want to explore.

I think that it has become clear that blogging is not easy. It is not easy to sell a blog or create a sustainable business around one. There is not really a quick buck to be made here. You almost need to blog daily to have a shot. You need commitment. It can be very difficult to get any sort of discussion going on a blog.

The long term question is whether blogging is a fad. Will people stop updating the majority of blogs causing them to die? Some existing blogs such as TechCrunch so no sign of ever slowing down. And they seem to be profitable as well. Perhaps the authors of blogs such as these have already determined that with hard word, and with a high quality blog, that results will follow.

I have some things to say about my personal take on this topic, since I dream of getting rich by blogging. I have a number of blogs that I have started. But my story is a topic for another post.

Who Else Likes Blogger

Every once in a while I like to find people on Blogger that share my interests. So I go to my Blogger profile which is set up to list my interests. Then I click on one of the words I list as interesting. Blogger automatically shows me me a list of other Blogger profiles which also list those interests. I found 751 other Bloggers users who like "Blogger" as an interest. Here are blogs by 5 other Blogger users who list Blogger as an interest.

Check out PCWizKids Tech Talk. I think his motto is "You don't have to be geek to tweak". The blog appears to be 2 years old. And there are a number of videos that teach you how to do tech things.

There is a neat layout on Lily Yessss' Majoring in Economics blog. It looks like there is only one blog post per page. But the page itself has an inner scroll bar on the left. It looks a little weird next to the brower scroll bar.

Random Me is a blog that seems to concnetrate on pictures of animals. That may seem like a strange description. But the animals all seem cute. Some of them are pictures of stuffed animals. Do you get the picture? If not check out the blog.

If you want to see a lot of fashion models, head over to That's Fashion. There are a lot of pictures on this blog. Watch out though. Like some cutting edge fashion, there is the occasional nude picture.

Finally I enjoyed reading The Dummies Guide to Google Blogger. It has a nice layout. And it seems to try to teach you the ins and outs of Blogger.

That's all for now. I encounrage you to check out other people on Blogger who share your interest. You will be surprised at the kind of variety you will find. Sure there is some chaff. But you might discover some treasure if you look carefully. Happy blogging.

Proper Layout

Recently I opened a blog post about writing a build system. This was a very apt post as my team is working on porting our build system to use new versions of our tools. We are encountering some pain and developers are looking to improve the build system. I knew immediately after looking at the blog post that something was wrong. There were a bunch of links aligned down the left hand side of the page. This by itself is not a huge problem. However the link text appeared on top of the blog text. The effect was that I could not read the text of the blog post.

Now I am not sure why this was happening. I am running Internet Explorer version 6. Perhaps the blog author is using some complex HTML tricks that are not supported in IE6. Or maybe there are some bugs in IE6 preventing the correct display of his pages. I don’t know. But I do know that it was very difficult to view the blog text. I had to carefully copy just the blog text to the Windows clipboard, then paste it into something like Microsoft Word to read it. This author was lucky that I was so hungry for his blog topic to go this far.

I think my experience points to two very important lessons. 1. If you topic is hot, readers will go far to read your post. 2. For maximum exposure you will want to make sure that everybody can correctly view your blog.

Now I cannot say for sure, but I suspect that my blogs hosted on Blogger are easily viewed on most browsers. I will confess that I only tester my blogs using Internet Explorer version 6, and sometimes Netscape Navigator and Mozilla FireFox. But my instinct tells me my stock Blogger layouts are safe for the viewing public.