Archive for the ‘ Blogging ’ Category

A cool example of crowd sourced content – OSU Club of Erie County

I stumbled upon the picture above while doing a vanity search for my name (because who in search doesn’t do vanity searches at least every once in a while!) and thought this was a cool example of crowd sourced content.

The Erie County chapter of the Ohio State University alumni association lets members submit photos of them doing the O-H-I-O around the globe. The above picture was taken in a remote stream outside of Cody, Wyoming after a great day of fly fishing.

Brands, organizations, and yes, even universities can leverage UGC to show personality and build brand enthusiasm.

Cool stuff!

Why I got Banned from AdSense & An Open Letter To Google On How They Should Fix It

The short answer is – I still don’t know why my Google AdSense account was disabled.

All I got was a series of automated emails explaining why they can’t tell me why my account was disabled.

I started using AdSense in June of 2009, and at the time of being disabled, I had AdSense ads appearing on four sites, and in a good month would make maybe $50 in revenue.

A simple review of the AdSense policies makes it clear beyond a reasonable doubt that my websites fall well within Google’s guidelines. Each site had 100% unique & family friendly content, and I was by no means tricking or encouraging anyone to click my ads, I never clicked on my own ads, and as far as I can tell, I was 100% compliant with their tips & guidelines.

After a month or two of thought, here are my best guesses as to what might have happened:

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Now Posting on the iCrossing Great Finds Blog

I haven’t been posting as much here – but still actively blogging… Check out my latest posts on the iCrossing Great Finds blog:

So, if you’re looking for some fun SEO related reading, I suggest you go check out http://greatfinds.icrossing.com or add the RSS feed to your preferred Reader. And as always, I’m tweeting away at @nickroshon as well :)

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I’ve Been HACKED!

Hackers (film)

Image via Wikipedia

I really need to get off a shared server. It’s cheap, but then you could be sharing your server with someone up to no good…

Also, time to install a boat-load of security plug-ins. My blog was hacked by accessing the wp-config.php file, and this site has a good tip on how to lock that down, as well as encrypting passwords and other stuff: 18 Plugins & Hacks to Protect Your WordPress Blog

I’ve deleted any information about the hacker since he told me how he was able to hijack my blog – luckily, he only got into the wordpress admin and not the server or any of the backend. I will be moving everything to a new server soon – stay tuned, and pardon any interruptions in the meantime.

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My Review of Posterous in One Word: Lacking

I recently decided to launch a new car-themed blog and wanted to try a new platform. After hearing buzz about Posterous, a mini-blogging service that lets you email posts and specializes in being extremely user-friendly, I decided to give it a shot.

I get what they’re going for: Simplicity. But Posterous is simplicity to a fault.

Posterous_head_in_hands

Designed for those who want to “life-stream,” or simply micro-blog daily events, sometimes of trivial significance, it does well at providing an easy-to-publish-on-the-go platform. I posted several times from my BlackBerry Pearl without issue, and my Pearl isn’t exactly high-tech anymore (although, if you forget to change the subject line, your post might be called IMG00007.jpg, doh!). It also automatically posts to Facebook, Twitter, and other common services, which isn’t really unique but I suppose it’s a feature Posterous does have and does well at. It also has very easy Google Analytics integration, but that pretty much wraps up everything nice I can say about it.

Now the downside, or all of the features it’s missing:

  • Customization: I know Posterous is a relatively new service, founded in May, 2009, but still….it took until mid-September to roll-out very basic theming like changing your background color, much like Twitter’s theming customization.
  • AdSense: Zip, Zilch, Notta. If I build up my blog or website, I want to put Ads on it. Not possible, no widgets whatsoever for this service. They don’t even put AdSense on their own stuff to make money (apparently start-ups don’t need to generate revenue anymore, right Twitter?)PosterousBlogroll
  • Blogroll: You can make a pseudo blog-roll called “My Other Sites” which will display links to Facebook, Picasa, Twitter, etc, but it’s really limited to about 6 services. No other links or text that you can get to carry over to individual post pages, etc. I have other blogs and websites I want to link to throughout my blog, and I can’t. So if I want to generate traffic to my other websites, I’ll have to link in every single post (spammy!)
  • Editing Photo/Video Galleries: You can’t. Once they’re posted, they become cryptic pieces of code you can’t do anything about. Want to change the order of the images in the Gallery? Tough.

Posterous can (and should) implement features like those above and they wouldn’t lose any of their simplicity. Users can setup their blog to include widgets, adsense, blog rolls and custom photo/video galleries if they feel like it and are technically inclined, or they can continue to post without them for as long as they want (much like WordPress out-of-the-box).

As a professional SEO consultant, my job is to help websites gain more traffic, which leads to more impressions, conversions & revenue. If you can’t display ads, can’t do e-commerce, and can’t have a blog roll linking to websites that do, it’s pretty tough to see any benefits, other than to exercise your ego by emailing your blog about the cool things going on in your life. If I’m going to build up a site to include a lot of great (or at least interesting) information, I want to be able to do more with it than simply email it…my blog isn’t my penpal, it is my website.

i-heart-wordpress

So, you won’t be seeing much at Nick’s Car Blog for a while, as I take the time to switch it over to WordPress. It kind of suprises me WordPress doesn’t implement a “Post from Email” feature and completely squash Posterous, as it’s really the only unique feature Posterous contains. Perhaps I should have given Tumblr a shot, given its better array of features and customization, but I have a feeling I’d be left with the same impression: it’s no WordPress…

Photo Credit:  Photobucket

A New Blog – NicksCarBlog – Powered by Posterous

Fullscreen capture 9132009 52015 PM

Part of what I’ve learned through SEO is the importance of relevancy – if you have a blog about SEO & tech (like this one) – you should keep your posts related to that topic. Not that you can’t have fun and post off-topic every once in a while – but you don’t want to be a schizophreniac and post on a different topic every time either…and this isn’t just for the sake of search engine relevancy – your readers subscribe to your blog because they are interested in X topic. If you start jabbering about Y topic too much, you’re going to turn off your readers who feel they were duped into reading a blog that wasn’t about what they thought.

With that in mind, I’m a HUGE car freak. I’ve found myself wanting to tweet and post about my modified Audi A4 and cars in general a lot – but my followers on twitter and my (very few) regular readers on this blog probably wouldn’t appreciate that or at least find it wierd.

I’ve also been wanting to try new platforms and I’ve heard a lot of people that are vocal fans of Posterous. Since I don’t want to put too much effort into a second blog (its hard enough updating this one 1x per week), Posterous seems like a good choice. Here’s how it works:

  • There is no web form to post – you simply send an email to post@posterous.com with your latest post and it uploads within a few seconds. It even converts images to galleries, embeds videos, and does everything for you. Since I have a BlackBerry, I can pretty much post anywhere, at any time.
  • It’s pretty common for posts to be short. I don’t need well thought-out articles or anything – I can basically say “oh look, a cool car [pic]” and that’s sufficient
  • It integrates with Twitter, Facebook, etc. and can automatically feed into these streams when you post something new. I setup twitter.com/nickscarblog and it is updated whenever I post letting my followers know there is a new post to check out.
  • It gives you 1 GB of free storage and is super easy to setup
  • You can use your own domains

I registered my domain through GoDaddy using a Coupon Code I found on SlickDeals that gave me an awesome discount with free private registration, so this whole project set me back about $20 bucks for a 3 yr registration.

So if you’re interested in cars, or seeing a Posterous blog in action – go check it out at http://nickscarblog.com