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The Blah, Blah! Technology blog evolves…

Friday, 26 September 2008 — by

Blah, Blah! Technology is evolving, albeit gradually and with purpose. Some of you may have noticed the changes, other may not have. Either way, your interests are the first and the last thing I kept in mind as I made every single change…

Like all blogs, Blah, Blah! Technology is liable to change from time to time. Over this past week, I’ve made some very, very subtle changes and additions, which I shall outline.

Trade Magazine Subscriptions & Technical Documents in association with TradePub

Before I embark on any money-making schemes related to Blah, I think long & hard about the different aspects of how they will affect the blog. Most importantly, the very first thing I ask myself is: “Will [advertising / affiliate scheme X] annoy my readers?” All too often, the answer is in the affirmative.

Most recently, after a brief dalliance with Text Link Ads, I had to ask that my account be cancelled. I could not in good conscience allow irrelevant adverts to appear semi-randomly atop words within articles. And since I had almost no control over their content or placement, despite the possible (and by all accounts considerable) financial benefits to myself, Text Link Ads had to go.

Some time last week, I received a message via my blog from a representative of TradePub. After some thought, and listening to some of the sage advice of science writer and fellow blogger David Bradley, I decided to sign up.

Right now, in the left-hand column of the blog, you’ll see a banner advert for my TradePub magazine page, which is a rich resource of IT white papers, technical documents and free downloads. Some of these publications are sources I read myself from time to time, so I was more than aware of their quality.

There’s no place like a Home Page

Over time, the Home Page on Blah is going to evolve into something much more useful. For now, the changes are subtle, but very much a step in the right direction.

At the top of the page, I’ve shifted the brief introductory paragraph out into the top of the page, giving it more room to breath. The long-term plan is to use this area to feature articles, specific categories and offers.

I’m particularly impressed with the ZD Net website, which has a large, but clear header areas, full of excellent resources. That’s the kind of thing you’re going to see here, once I’ve established a deep collection of evergreen articles (articles that remain useful for a very long time) and resources, similar and in addition to the articles sources at the footer of the Home Page, as well as the About Page, too.

In the Tag Cloud

Also in the left-hand column, below the TradePub banner, you’ll notice the new Tag Cloud. This will help people dig down to specific articles in ways that falls somewhere between choosing by Category and using the search tool.

Also, at the bottom of all articles, you’ll now see a list of Tags just below the previously available Categories list.

A new Plugin for WordPress

I’m currently testing a new Plugin that I’ve written for WordPress. Ask Me! is a solution to a very vexing problem I see when people visit my blog. I say problem, but it’s more a habit, really.

When people visit the Blah, Blah! Technology blog via a search engine, they often flit in and then out and then in again. Or, they shift between various articles in a pattern reminiscent of someone who’s unsure of whether they’re looking at the right information.

I use Google Analytics for deep analysis of my blog, but it’s hard to beat real time data. This allows me to see visitor habits taking place in real time. How do I do this? By using Clicky, the web analytics web application.

How does Ask Me! work?

After a predetermined number of number of pages have been viewed on the blog, the visitor is shown a small caption, which displays the search they used to find my article and then asks if they’d like to ask me a question, offering them the option to visit my Contact Page.

The potential of Ask Me! is amazing when you consider all of the different activities that could be tracked. So I am understandably very pleased with my new Plugin. However, since there’s much more thinking to be done, for now, Ask Me! won’t be available for download.

And finally, thanks to all those that subscribe to Blah and to all those that shall in the coming months and years…

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Kyle James → Friday, 26 September 2008 @ 19:36 BDT

I had noticed the Tradepub link earlier and the week. Interesting idea. I understand how nice as it is to have some sort of revenue coming in for all the hard work that goes into blogging. New Plugin sounds really interesting. Can’t wait to play with it.

Sorry Comments are close. Quite possibly for a good reason. Share your thoughts on some of my other posts or contact me directly.

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