Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 48/2008

weekly round-up KW48Another week bites the dust: and much ado is going on about something that hardly anybody understands: the global financial crisis is spilling over from bankruptcy-filing banks to the car industry and plenty other businesses. Neither Obama nor the new Austrian government (if this comparison sounds strange to you: I live in Austria) will have an easy job: and while the EU is planning coordinated measures, I keep asking myself one question that nobody could answer so far: The governments deem giving cheap credits to banks appropriate. Why don't they hand out those credits – on the same terms – directly to needy companies?

After all, this money is supposed to fuel the economic fire, but so far the amount of money parked at the European central bank by national institutes has increased! Doesn't sound like a good plan to me… but luckily, online-entrepreneurs who specialize in marketing need little to no start-up capital: and that's one of the reasons, why our businesses will bloom in the near future.

Who to follow on twitter

Dan has dug the archives and came up with a list of twitter opinion-leaders:

One of the best ways to get started is by following the

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 47/2008

obamoidaNo more denial, it's official by now: no more outdoor swimming 2k8, winter has kicked in Vienna. Yesterday, the little white thingie called snow was floating around in the air, which is nice, if you live near the Alps (skiing season!), but which sucks, if you live in Vienna: as soon as the first snow is falling, car-drivers get crazy: no matter if the streets are actually slippery or not.

Seth on Trust: I trust you, says Seth, but if you abuse my trust once, you won't be part of the inner circle next time. No need to comment on that, expect: full akk:

If I believe I'm talking on the record, to everyone, I need to be a lot more careful in what I type. Of course, there's no way for me to enforce this. No way for me to sue you or something if you start taking my words (in context or not) and post them here and there. Except for one: I just won't trust you again.

Craig's face gets redder: Obviously, Facebook wants to re-furbish its marketplace. Classified are big business, which currently is largely covered by Craigslist, MSN and eBay (via Kijiji). According to TechCrunch, Facebook chose Oodle, who probably won the pitch thanks to their previous field-experience aka Walmart Classifieds – the relaunch will take place in December. If Facebook manages to offer a better product than their competitors, this could mean some big buck: the combination of a social network with a classifieds-system sounds like a very good idea – but obviously, something was missing so far, since the current marketplace is one of the least busy areas in FB-town; let's see if Oodle will change that.

Monty Python on youtube: No more need to illegally upload MP-sketches: the British comedians are going affirmative and created their very own Channel, which not only features the well-known pieces but also rarities from the vault. I bet fan-numbers will increase rapidly! [via Laughing Squid]

A quantum of what? Glad I don't have to watch the newest JB movie, as Dan reviewed A Quantum of Solace and came to the frightening conclusion that there is actually no bond girl in this movie. Actually, his resum

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 47/2008

Blogistan-PanoptikumThe last election parties have ended by now, the USA are looking forward to a new era of fairness and social improvement. Will the new president be able to live up to his promises in times of an economic crisis? Looks like Barrack Obama has got to deal with a difficult situation, as the crisis is now spreading from the finance sector to old economy and car manufacturers start facing serious troubles. Of course advertising budgets will be cut, which will eventually lead to more and more online-money being spent for performance based marketing. A rather bleak scenario for traditional advertiser, but definitely not the worst news for affiliates.

Going against Wikipedia: In Germany, left-wing politician Lutz Heilmann started a massive discussion among bloggers: the genius sued Wikipedia and had them remove the German article which contained among other biographical data on his history with the infamous Stasi. This is the perfect example of new media misunderstood: while Heilmann obviously tried to obfuscate facts, he provoked a flood of articles that give him a worse name than any Wikipedia page ever could have. The net is changing politics faster than anybody expected ten years ago…

Movement vs. Change: I love Seth Godins simple yet very illustrative examples of “the power of the net”. And I'm not a fan of Starbucks:

Simple example: the Starbucks in Larchmont, NY keeps their thermostat at 64 degrees. And the stores in Breckenridge, Colorado keep their doors wide open all winter. If you're raging mad about energy waste, you could say something. And nothing would happen. But if customers organized and ten people said something or a hundred people said something… boom, new rules. The system doesn't know what to do with a movement.

The ugliest thing of the week: it's a mixture between a car and motorcycle, and it combines the disadvantages of both concepts in perfection. I have no clue why Time Magazine has voted the Peravces Monotracer one of the best inventions of 2008. C'mon guys, you can't be serious – even the description sounds like a joke, but it's not:

You really need the mind of a Swiss engineer to come up with a vehicle that combines the lithe maneuverability of a motorcycle with the not-getting-rained-on-ability of a conventional automobile.

This week in Online Marketing: Google started rolling out a Digg-like feature where users can “like” or “dislike” search results. It seems they are currently running a few tests – I'm wondering if this social component will be used for the general index or for tailoring SERPs to the logged-in user's needs. And Twitter still is the new hot sh*t – even though the fail-whale returned today and SMS functionality is not avaible in most European countries, users still love their microblogging service #1. One of the reasons is the large number of mash-ups: the latest one even allows you to tweet from beyond: using twuffer.com, it's possbible to schedule tweets – so if you already know what you're going to do next week or next year, twuffer might be just for you. And if not you might still be able to use the service for marketing purposes :mrgreen:

Video of the week

How do you visualize a car that doesn't even exist yet? Infinity has invested a great deal of time and money to build a flexible and impressive 3D surroundig – this video explains the whole idea:

So much for this week – I wish you great Sunday, see you soon.

Guest post by Kim de Vries: Your Friend has just tackled you

Kim de VriesBite, lick, or tackle them back, or click here to theorize about what this all means. I'm very happy to publish the first guest posting here on datadirt. Kim De Vries, who I met via Facebook, wrote a very interesting paper about the symbolic kind of communication we all know so well from social networks like Facebook. “He who never superpoked shall throw the first rock” – enjoy the reading! Dr. Kim De Vries is working at the California State University Stanislaus, you can reach her at kdevries [at] csustan.edu

Introduction

Though Facebook was initially the province of college students, it has become popular with a broad range of users since opening its door to anyone with an email address in September 2006. However, until very recently, most research on Facebook has focused on the student demographic rather than exploring how Facebook is growing into a massive online society that is inhabited by many different groups using Facebook in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons. The academics studying Facebook generally join it and use it in order to observe students; now that more faculty are using Facebook outside the classroom, to organize events and to socialize, turning the focus to our own use of Facebook reveals that our own communities are being affected as well.

As of August 2008, Facebook is one of the most rapidly growing social networks, boasting 100 million active users, translated into twelve European and a growing number of Asian and African languages. The extent to which groups of people connected on Facebook can be defined as communities is highly debatable and a useful alternative has been suggested by Rieder and Sch

Social media triX: turn subdomains into profile URLs

Profil-Redirects mit SubdomainsA couple of social networks offer nice, human readable profile URLs, but most still don't. And since nobody is going to remember a link like http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=717807375, it's a good idea to use a redirect: this way, Facebook and other URLs are much easier to remember in an offline talk for example. If you're running your own site using your own domain, it's very easy to set up a subdomain which points to your profile. facebook.datadirt.net opens my fb-profile page – here's a quick checklist on how to do that.

This kind of redirection is suitable for all kinds of links which you want to shorten and/or make easier to remember. There are no disadvantages whatsoever, as we are going to use a permanent redirect: this means that Google will not index the subdomain and hence there's no duplicate content problem. I'm using my own Facebook URL as an example for the following instructions – caveat: Your server has to run Linux and the apache rewrite engine must be enabled.

  1. Add a new subdomain: the way you set up a new subdomain depends on your web hoster. Usually it's done via some administration interface. Basically, a subdomain points to a subdirectory of the domains root-directory. In this example I added the new subdomain “facebook.datadirt.net” using the directory www.datadirt.net/facebook/
  2. This directory is going to contain just one file which you have to edit now. The name of the file is .htaccess (that's an Apache standard naming convention) and it contains the instructions that point the user to the destination URL. It takes only one line using the following syntax

    Redirect permanent CURRENTDIRECTORY TARGET-URL

    In this example, the content of the .htaccess file is:

    Redirect permanent / http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=717807375

  3. There's no third step – you're done. Don't expect your new subdomain to work right away though: because of the way the DNS system works there might be a delay of up to 24 hours until the new subdomain works. But you can instantly test your setup by entering the absolute URL, in this case:
    https://www.datadirt.net/facebook/
  4. Multiple redirects: Of course you can set up multiple subdomains (on multiple servers) and have them all point to the same profile. I added another subdomain to my personal site which also points to my Facebook profile: facebook.pettauer.net

    How to edit your .htaccess file using Windows: If you're using Windows, there is no chance of naming a file .htaccess as Windows requires at least one character before the dot. So use a name like temp.htaccess, edit the file, upload it to your subdomain directory via ftp and then rename it to .htaccess on the server. Or you can use a command-line tool and edit the file via a terminal window.

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 45/2008

Last week, photo number 3.000.000.000 was uploaded to Flickr. Yes, they do indeed have a collection of 3 trillion pictures (probably including the private ones) by now. Unfortunately, there are no additional stats or data online. What FlickR needs is a Stats Fiend as Seth puts it.

O'Bama did it

70-something days: that's the remaining time span for George Bush as leader of most superlativious nation in the world. And experts warn that the hardest-disliked president ever might do everything to leave behind a right-wing mess. Indeed, if Georgie wants to damage civil rights, he's gotta do it fast – the New York times issued a warning. I was really amazed by the latest episode of South Park: these guys tend to react pretty quickly, but this was just hilarious: Barrack and McCain working together to stage the greatest heist ever – I just love this kind of weird humor.

Wanna marry rich? Get a LinkedIn Account

Since otherland is still in the making, the rich folks are dwell at LinkedIn's [via TechCrunch]:

Nearly 60% of users have incomes of $93,000 or more. Executives with an average income of $104,000 make up 28% of the 2,000 random users polled for the study. Another 30% are self-identified “consultants” with an average income of $93,000.

That still doesn't make the network mechanics less annoying – but successful entrepreneurs kind of seem to enjoy the pleasure of connection requests.

The SEOsphere week

Twitter is raising a couple of eyebrows: the everlasting fight against spammers taking over has entered the next round, as Twitter announced that there's an internal blacklist: if your account is on the list, nobody can follow you – and it even might get deleted at some point. That's not the way SEOs like it, but whatcha gonna do? The gold rush is over, the master of the walled garden is just doing his duty.

And that's pretty much it for this week. Btw: the one-day delay was caused by my trip to Graz in Styria where Elevate Festival took place. DJ Spooky, Danton Eeprom and gazillions of other DJs rocked the floors. And Professor Lorenz, head of programming of Austrias public (and state-financed) television dropped a legendary line during the opening discussion: “I don't care about this shit-internet”, he said, and indeed he clearly did not intend to make a joke, as he is pretty sure that TV is the most influential media. I'm kinda glad that mighty Moe makes it so easy for average Joe! Thanks for watching reading, c u next week.

Fast Blogfinder: Easiest link building ever

easy link buildingBuilding backlinks to leverage your online presence can be a very tedious task – but it doesn't have to be: thanks to the social web, there are literally thousands of blogs that allow follow-links in their comments. No matter which niche you're working on, there's always a couple of matching blogs where one gets strong, free backlinks simply for leaving a comment. But the challenge lies in finding strong deeplinks with nofollow turned off, and that's where Fast Blog Finder comes in: this brilliant piece of software does automated keyword searches for blogs or other sites which allow comments. The results are grouped into follow- and nofollow-Blogs, all the important parameters like Google Pagerank and the number of outgoing links are presented in a very useful way.

DownloadFast Blog Finder Demo-Version:
Download
*.exe file, 125kB
OS: Windows XP, Vista

Fast Blog Finder is not spamming tool as there is no automated commenting feature. But the program saves every webmaster tons of time, as researching the right backlink-blogs is one of the most time-consuming tasks in online marketing. FBL automates the process up to the point when the actual comment is posted: webmasters need to do this manually anyways (after all, substantial comments have a much higher chance of not getting deleted), but they don't have to spend any time on backlinks research.

Glock sells the software for about $50,- which is basically gift considering the countless hours you are going to save. I've been working with Fast Blog Finder for a couple of weeks now and I'm completely satisfied. To me, this software simply is the best tool for quick and efficient link building: at this low price, even hobby-webmasters interested in driving more visitors to their site might consider buying FBL, but for every professional SEO it's a must. The manufacturer even offers a free trial version which is limited in its search capabilities, but it gives you a good impression of the software's immense value.

Fast Blog Finder trial version
Buy Blog Finder

The main screen

The main windows is separated into three sub-windows: the left column lists all your searches, the top middle windows lists the results which are freely sortable and in the bottom windows, an instance of Internet Explorer shows the current sites and enables the user, to leave his comment directly from within the program:

Link building in no time
Fast Blog Finder's main screen with keyword lists (left pane), active list (top windows) and built-in browser (bottom window).

Every search and user action is stored and there's an export/import function for result lists which makes customer reporting very easy. All of the feature are self-explanatory, take a look at the trial version and you will find that there's no quicker and cheaper way to build a large amount of high-quality backlinks.

Advantages of comment link

There's couple of advantages that qualify Fast Blog Finder for a large range of projects:

  1. FBL is the only link-building software I know which supports different languages. Of course if works perfectly in English, but the user can also switch to French, Italian, German and other indexes: I'm running a couple of sites in the German language, so this a killer feature for me.
  2. Almost any other link building program requires a registration and a monthly fee, which is usually higher than the price of FBL – which is a one-time flat fee and even qualifies you to receive updates of the program. (You're allowed to install the software on two computers with the standard license.)
  3. The internet offers a couple of free dofollow-Blog lists. But those are static, rarely updated and most importantly, the backlinks are not keyword-related, whereas FBL finds sites, which rank well in Google for an exact keyword (combination).

Still not sure? Try the trial version. I recommended this software to a lot of my colleagues, and I haven't heard anyone complain. Because after all, time is the most precious resource – and Fast Blog Finder helps you save tons of it.

Fast Blog Finder trial version
Buy Blog Finder

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 44/2008

Yup, I jump into your rss reader completely unexpected and start a ritual on my int'l blog that I've been diligently following on the German langue version datenschmutz for almost two years: from this very Sunday on I'll publish a weekley report on current events in the blogosphere. Of course there will be international and US news, but with a special focus on “good old Europa”, as information exchange between the two continents is not working as well as one might imagine in the era of communication worshippers. It's not a 1:1 translation of my German weekly-roundup, but the title will also include the word “Blogistan” (my kinda-Russion-sounding nom du guerre for la Blogosphere). So enjoy my first English weekly blogistan round-up, it reads a little something like this:

This week in goold old web 2.0 Europe…

Ernerst & Young teamed up with Burda Media to conduct a study [in German] on monetization/feasibility of web 2.0 services. In short, the conclusion offers nothing new: customers are not yet willing to pay recurring fees, traditional mdoels make more money than the social web and future ads will be a lot more personalized. Like I said: nothing new in here.

But this connects smoothly to the next news: Facebook might be needing money sooner than expected, as the social network is growing “too” fast while not even making enough money to cover it's monthly costs, left alone development. Good luck with that: may the hope for better times be with FB! In times like these investors favor short-term return strategies. But Dubai might offer a solution, and that's where CFO Gideon Yu travelled recently – probably not just to ride the camel.

In Other News

Consulting in times of crisis: Consulting Pulse interviewed marketing legend Seth Godin on the difficult topic of “consulting in times of crisis”. btw: you can't satisfy them all.

The MTV conspiracy: CrunchGear reports a strange case of civil un-disobedience: MTV is seriously bleeping out the names of filesharing networks when playing Weird Al Yankovich's “Copyright Song”. Hey, once you had an impact on pop culture – lighten up! Bittorrent, E-Mule, Kazaa… that was not so hard, ey?

Le video du week

Vote, vote, vote. Or don't vote? Or what the heck is Stevie Spielberg trying to tell the public in his new short movie? Work of a genius, check it out and watch till the end:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX40RsSLwF4[/youtube]

This week it was like that / and that's just the way it was. Thanks for your priceless attention, read me again on Monday.

How to finance microcredits with a fake beard

  1. Choose a beard that fits your needs.
  2. Stick it onto your face, either virtual or cut it out and take a picture.
  3. Mail the pic to couple65months@photos.flickr.com – for each fake beard, atto will pay 1$ to kiva – those guys give micro-credits to small business start-ups in developping countries.
  4. Do it!
ritchie mit bart

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Do you need a new coffee table?

This one ain't exactly cheap, but it will definitely impress any visitor, from casual mobile-user to alpha-geek: Microsoft built the “Surface” Hardware, an innovative touchscreen (which actually isn't a touchscreen but uses five cameras to track visual input) that allows for a unique user interface experience. But hardware is pretty boring with proper applications, and that's what this video is all about:

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Xsara, Diaries of a SEO Dog #9

Lately, Xsara has become quite fascinated with all the realtime podcasting buzz. “I've spent enough time as a listener, time to get my own show,” she told me recently:

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