Who is the Big Winner in a Web Battle?

Forgotten Movable TypeThe end of Google Reader and the rush of new Feedly accounts has caused people to declare Feedly a “big winner” in the battle for picking up the sudden slack now that Google is closing Google Reader.

I think it is early to call Feedly a big winner. For one thing, it is not so hard to get a lot of new accounts when the tide turns suddenly. Keeping them is another issue. How will Feedly manage the load on their servers? Not so well that first several hours. I began setting up an account and could not complete the process. Is my half done account one of those they have counted as a new member? Likely. How many others are accounted for mistakenly this way?

Beyond that, will Feedly keep it’s new accounts with new features, will they adapt what they have for what the Google Reader crowd will be expecting? People seldom want change, even when they make a change they really want everything to be about the same. The Google Feedlies won’t want to learn how to use a new site, with different software, different buttons to mash.

Anyway, what I really got thinking about is how small this little battle is compared to past web service/ software battles.

RIP NetscapeThe first which comes to my mind  is the browser wars between Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. At the time MSIExplorer won. Even now you could be kind and say MSIExplorer is still the winner. But, it would be a kindness. At this time Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is the web browser which has to be coddled along when it comes to web design and development. Code has to be added for it, like bottle feeding an over grown baby. Poor Netscape is gone. You may find an old version, unsupported and dusty. Isn’t there some quote about the heros of the past or the underdogs?

The other big battle was the one between the ruling blog software (not counting Blogger/ Blogspot, this was a war between the stand alones, the blogs for people who bought domains and learned how to write code, or at least manipulate and customize it).

In the beginning Ben and Mena Trott had Movable Type as the most popular, undisputed champion of the blogging world. If you had a blog, on a domain, you were most likely, proudly running Movable Type. Then, along came an upstart, WordPress. At first WordPress wasn’t even an underdog, it was just some little pretender to the throne. Movable Type was king, who needed anything else? Then… Movable Type made a change… just one change… they asked people to pay for what had been free. The utopia toppled, there were grumbling rebels and when the rubble and smoke cleared WordPress (and Matt Mullenweg) were sitting on the throne. Movable Type hung on, there were many who kept their old versions afloat, stubbornly refusing to be disloyal. But, in the end, a blog software is only as good as the community support behind it.

Now, Movable Type is a relic, still standing in some far off place, unknown to anyone but old timers. WordPress was the big winner, in that case there was a big winner. I couldn’t say the same for the battle of the web browsers. Neither of them have ended on top. Firefox and Google Chrome have a friendly rivalry, not a war, not a battle, but not quite a friendship.

What do you think were the biggest wars for turf online? There have been a lot of them, even for the people who haven’t been online for the long haul. Which one or two web battle comes to your mind and what did it change for you?

If Google’s Panda Bit you Bite Back

HubPages CEO on Googles Panda algorithm: SEO doesnt work!!! | ZDNet.

As I was reading this post I got that too familiar feeling. The one where I wonder who made Google a God. Then I remember, the spammers. Spammer being short form for get-rich-quick bloggers and others.

Google is going to do what makes money for them. They have a lot of staff with a lot of great benefits and the promise of retirement in their own mansion on Google Island. So, Google isn’t here to be nice and fix how content is produced, published and promoted on the Internet. Google’s motives are not so altruistic as you may assume. Google sells ads. Did you read that the first time? If not, read it again.

Google sells ads. Google sells ads, on your site. You let them. Every few years you might even make the $100 limit to earn a payout from Google. Wow! Quit your full time job for that one!

Why do people take Google so seriously? Sure there are a few who do make enough money from Google to become ‘professional bloggers’. The keyword there (for you keyword lovers) is not money, it’s FEW.

So, what to do… what to do… what to do…. How about finding another solution? Skip Google – Google will be fine without you worrying about them and trying to cater to them. Google will be just fine without you.

Before Google people were looking at other methods to make money online. There were an assortment of ideas out there in trial stages. Since Google rose up and found itself put on a pedestal and made a God, most of those other methods and ideas have been neglected and passed over.

I’m not going to list the ones I remember or try to track down the few which are still left. The key is to think differently. Stand on your own feet and slowly back away from the Google mentality. Consider better ideas for making money online. Go back to the BG (before Google) days and consider what you have to offer to people who are selling products and services.

For instance, have you ever contacted a business and asked if they would like to buy ad space on your site? Try it. You will need to come up with a plan, statistics and information about your publishing schedule, your readers, your commenters and how your site is distributed. Look at other publishers, offline. How do they sell themselves to advertisers?

Your site is your own microworld, which you control. There is no reason you can’t become more than yet another blogger working for Google. Stand on your own feet, take the reins of control and sell ads on your site – just like any other print publisher. Of course, there will be differences, due to your format, your web medium, the audience you can reach, and so on.

However, rather than get bitten by Google’s Panda bear, take the other option and DIY. If enough people stopped catering to Google and began to do it themselves the entire web could change. The entire way business is done could evolve, again.

Crossposting a Thing of the Past?

LiveJournal was taken down by DDOS in 2006.

WordPress › Live+Press « WordPress Plugins.

People jump and scurry so much for Google ratings I doubt the old crossposting plan will hold on much longer. (Unless you can just crosspost a link, without the content).

It was nice to be able to share across the waves when you had a few blogs, a few social media sites and so on. Now, Google has let it be known that duplicate content is bad, a bad thing. Not to be tolerated – and so mote it be.

That won’t be a good thing for sites like LiveJournal, Tumblr and other microblog sort of things. Not everyone wants to support a microglog in addition to their main sites, where they put in most of their time with maintenance, promotion, artistic and content creation. It will be the small blog sites that starve first. The people there tend to have other blogs or just be dabbling their fingers into the pond and not last a long time. The accounts on LiveJournal, Google’s own Blogger/ Blogspot have loads of abandoned accounts like skeletons in the closet.

Crossposting may have caused duplicate content… but was that really such a bad thing?

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Google+ Just Needs to Lurk in Wait

Today I’ve begun to think Google+ will end up besting Facebook if they just wait long enough.

I don’t think Google needs to do anything, other than keep the service maintained, eventually Facebook will finish crashing and burning itself out. A lot of people have already stopped using Facebook, or they keep it for Facebook exclusive people and connections. Most of the people who actually use Facebook are either senior citizens, teenagers or people addicted to Facebook games. That crowd will narrow down as the seniors want to try something new and less complicated. The teenagers will outgrow the social feed marathons. If that just leaves people addicted to Facebook games, that’s not enough to keep Facebook afloat as anything but a gambling den. (In reality, Facebook games serve no purpose and they are  a lot like gambling addicts in the way they must collect web graphics and even spend money on getting more of them).

Anyway, it really seems to me that Google+ will be the winner of the struggle with Facebook, it will just take time.

Meanwhile, Twitter take heed. Don’t try to become more than you already are. Too many features will just make it complicated and ruin the simple function of a great idea.

Good Bye iGoogle Start Page

I like having a start page when I open my web browser. I’ve been using iGoogle from the start because I liked it. I didn’t really need or use much of the features. Mainly, it was a welcome each time I started up the Internet. I could check the weather, I could use the bookmarks I had created to quickly get onto whatever I was planning to do. Or, I could search for anything on Google and open a new window to check Gmail at the same time.

I will miss iGoogle, not because it was especially useful but just because it was there.

Someone has started a petition to keep iGoogle, if you want to get in on that. I won’t. It’s progress of some sort for Google I guess. But, I think they have under used the start page aspect of iGoogle and now it’s being abandoned entirely.

Would findingDulcinea Like Your Blog?

Stop thinking about luring in Google. Consider the standards of another site, one that focuses on finding great content. How would your site stack up to their guidelines?

What is findingDulcinea‘s site selection process?
We evaluate Web sites on many criteria including credibility, usability, and design.

Credibility is a fundamental criterion of any site we recommend. When considering a source, we review who has prepared the content, what the site’s editorial policy is, when the page was last updated, and whether undisclosed biases or conflicts of interest may exist.

Usability is assessed by asking ourselves the following questions: Does the site communicate its purposes quickly and concisely? Is the site’s navigation conducive to finding information and returning to where you came from? Does obstructive advertising hinder navigation, or does the site make it difficult to differentiate between content and advertising? If a site has a wealth of information but it is difficult to find, the information may be less valuable to our readers.

Design  We always note whether or not a site’s design and layout, particularly the presence of advertising, will distract our users from the editorial content, and more importantly, whether or not ads are labeled as such. Some otherwise useful sites unfortunately are rife with advertising or distracting design elements, and when this is the case, we want you to know about it.

Other important factors:

Cost: We don’t shy away from recommending outstanding subscription-based sites, but we do evaluate the pros and cons of such sites by signing up for them ourselves. More often than not, we find comparable sites in many categories that do not charge a fee for use.

Accessibility: Does the site itself load easily and get updated frequently? Do the links the site provides access to function correctly? How quickly do page loads take on average? Does the site require plug-ins like Adobe FlashPlayer, JavaScript, or other add-ons that might hinder usability? Does the site make its customer service team, authors, or editors available for contact? Where applicable, is the “Help” section well indicated and useful to readers?

via FAQ / findingDulcinea.

SITS Girls Spring Fling

We’d like to formally invite you to our Spring Fling, completely geared at being easy, fun, and interactive. From May 7th to May 18th, here is what you can expect from us:

One entire week devoted to building your following on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. {And don’t worry a bit if you do not already have any of these accounts. We’ll be showing you how to get started too.}

Another week spent helping you to “spring clean” your blog by figuring out ways you can improve your blog design, About Me page, Best Of page, and other key elements.

Sign up for the SITS Girls Spring Fling Blogging Challenge.

Weird Email from Google/ Blogger.

I got this weird email from Blogger this morning. I wasn’t having any problem with my account, or this blog in particular. I’m not really using anything I have up on Blogger these days. Of course the email is sent from a no-reply address so I can’t ask them what is going on. No-reply is the cousin of getting a form email. It promotes non-communication. Great customer service.

Anyway, without any actual feedback from Blogger I’m guessing they want the name “Canadian” which I’m using on that account. This could be their way of checking to see if the account/ name is dormant before they take it over. Which is interesting because somewhere on their site and all that Blogger account information it says they will never delete an old account. If that’s true why the interest in this one?

I last posted there in 2011. There are other accounts which I haven’t posted to since 2009. But, those have never had a weird email telling me to access them (in the name of Blogger). Anyway, just a little interesting thing for the day. I did access the account. That “Canadian” name is worth keeping. Especially if they are skulking around trying to take it away.

RIP 9Rules

I’m not unlinking from 9Rules. My feed still goes through on the Writing section of their network, so for that, I am keeping the link up. But, I have in every way that matters, given up on 9Rules. I feel really let down, disappointed and somewhat stupid for ever believing in it.

If I had my blog in 9Rules in the beginning, when the site still had passion behind it, I would have felt very much differently. Instead, I was accepted in the one and only batch of blogs after 9Rules was bought out. Since then we had a few empty promises and then… nothing much at all. Someone logged in for awhile to update the blog, token updates. My links appeared there until someone must have protested that my links were appearing too often. I update daily so there are a lot of posts to choose from when someone updated the 9Rules blog. But, someone must have been jealous and protested about the amount of times Word Grrls was linked to. I never bothered to ask about it, I understand pettiness and jealousy. It was just one little thing that began to bother me.

I’ve been a member of 9Rules since 2009. When the site went down recently, without explanation, I thought that would likely be the end of it. Like a sudden sinking of a ship. Just gone beneath the waves, leaving nothing but a kerplunk. But, they brought it up.  Of course, it’s been unchanged since then. It would have been a nice sign of life if there were a post about the down time, or an email sent out to the members. This unchanged, non-communication, took away the last trace of hope I had for the site. I’m just waiting for it’s final disappearance now.

But, as I wrote above, I’m keeping the link up as long as my feed still gets published on the network. It used to be important, part of the agreement to having membership. Now I can find many sites still part of the network, but no longer giving the link back to 9Rules. No one cares. I don’t mean the individual bloggers, I mean the people behind 9Rules. They just don’t care or have an interest in the network. It serves them by merely existing as  a domain to stick up Google Adsense. A shame, but it happens all too often when someone sells a site to someone else.

RIP 9Rules.

Free Online Courses

Just a list I put together one day. Have a look if you have time to update your writing or web publishing skills.

  • WordPress
  • Google Blogger
  • Intro to Information Technology
  • Digital Photography
  • Visual and Graphic Design
  • Design – Applying Design Principles
  • Fundamentals of English Grammar
  • English Writing Skills
  • Speaking and Writing English Effectively
  • 21 Days to Building a Web Business
  • Entrepreneurship: Creating the Business
  • Diploma in Web Development
  • Diploma in Web Business Development and Marketing
  • Diploma in Social Media Marketing
  • Diploma in English Language and Literature
  • Research Writing
  • Advanced Essay Workshop