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January 2007

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I was playing around in various test beds today and noticed that a blog I installed via Dream Host’s One-Click Install was messing up the PhoenixBlue Theme. I’ve noticed this happening on a lot of different blogs (and I’m pretty sure they were all hosted on DH because DH automatically installs themes with WordPress and they install a previous version of PB). So I was trouble shooting this problem and not finding the cause. It looked fine in IE 7, but not Firefox. It was happening on Dream Host and not my other host. I couldn’t figure it out, but I knew it was a CSS issue somewhere. Then I tested it on a self-installed instance of WP on DH and it was still messing up. Okay, it wasn’t the one-click install that was causing the problem. So let’s try installing again on the host it was never broke on. Installed and the theme was broke. Hmmm… Why would it work on one blog and not the other. Same files, no changes. I found a style.css from the previous release and uploaded that. Bingo, everything is fixed. So now I just have to find what code was changed between the two and figure out why it’s breaking the theme. For anyone that wanted the theme and was having the issue of the sidebar being below the posts and the posts shifted too far to the right, this new style.css should fix that and you can download the WordPress theme PhoenixBlue here. Let me know if you are having any problems. Also, to see it in action, check out mikeschepker.net

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I’ve been using Trillian for a while now. It is a great instant messaging program. It combines all the major IM clients in one, AIM, MSN, Yahoo, IRC, Jabber (and Gtalk) and more. The only complaint I’ve ever had with it is that it has been a bit heavy on resource usage. That doesn’t bother me anymore because if I used all the alternatives I’d be using way more resources. I do use AIM, MSN, and Yahoo so that would be three IM clients open and running. My computer couldn’t handle that with all the other things I have going, especially since the new AIM and Windows Live Messenger have become bloated pieces of crap. Yahoo is the least bloated of those but I feel like a 12 year old when I use it because it has all these stupid kid-friendly features and icons.

Anyway, enough with my rant. The real reason I was writing this post is because there will be a new Trillian coming out soon named Trillian Astra. I’ve not used it yet, though I am signed up to be a tester whenever they draw more names and add more testers. This program looks very promising. Astra will have faster loading times, improved memory usage and memory leaks plugged, widgets, a web interface to stay connected when you are away from your computer, and overall interface changes. I can’t wait for this program to come out.

Reading a certain person’s blog I can’t help but wonder how they were accepted to the 9 Rules Network. The only conclusion I can come up with is that some of the rules have been rewritten. I will try and explain these new rules to you.

In order to have a wildly popular blog, you must use one of the more well-known blogging software packages such as WordPress or Typepad. Bonus points if you use WordPress.com and pay to have it styled your way. Double bonus points if you use Habari.

The next step to having a wildly popular blog is content. Now, it used to be you had to have great content in order to have a great blog. Not anymore. All you need to do is post a quick blurb of your own thoughts then blockquote some other article and link to it. Usually, the other article is from a more popular site than your own. Send out a trackback or a pingback to the more popular article. If you do this, you get visitors without having to do much thinking of your own.

If your site covers specific topics and your goal is to have people read your blog, then one would assume you have a target audience. Do you know who your target audience is? Target audience at 9 Rules

That leads me to the next one.

Along with linking to posts on other websites you should link to posts on your own blog. While writing a new post is a surefire way to get people to your site, linking to older posts on your site helps ensure that they stick around a bit longer to browse other pages of your site. Not only does this practice allow visitors to find out more about you, but it builds your ego because it looks like people are genuinely interested in what you have to say. After all, you are a genius because you are blogging on the particular topic, and might have blogged about this topic before.


Did I forget to mention ads? ^

Creating what I call Captain Obvious posts is another way to generate more traffic. An example of this kind of post is one that talks about something that is very obvious, such as saying that a WordPress plugin is still doing what it is designed to do. How bout that?!?! This plugin that was written to perform this specific task is still performing this task, even months after it’s release. Amazing! Of course, these posts can cover any topic with any headline such as United States located between Canada and Mexico or Chicago won the football game because they scored more points.

The next rule to make sure you have a popular blog is having a really annoying signature at the bottom of each post.
This ensures that the post was, in fact, written by you and not some impostor. This could be anything from typing your name or a tag line, parting words of wisdom or a quote to an actual digital signature. This will make the reader think, “Oh wow, they must be important!” ensuring that this reader will come back time and time again to see how important you are. After all, you must be. You tell us as much as possible.

Now, if you follow these rules, and then constantly hound people to Digg your post, you will be on your way to blog stardom.

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday. – George Carlin

Why do I feel like an All Star? Because I’m preparing myself for 2009. What’s up with 2009? Well, that just happens to be the year the great city of St. Louis hosts Major League Baseball’s All Star game! It will be great for St. Louis, Cardinal fans, and sports fans in general. 2007 just got here and already I can’t wait for 2009.

“There can’t be a better baseball town in America,” Commissioner Bud Selig said.

I agree Mr. Selig. read more here