January 06, 2008

Weekly Review #1

This "Weekly Review" is one of the new features I decided to introduce for Blogger Buster in 2008. From now on, each Sunday you can expect a review of news, interesting articles and resources I've discovered through my blogging week.

I hope you'll find this a useful addition to the regular content posted here, and welcome your feedback on this, including any recommendations of sites which you have found useful too!

So far, it has been an interesting start to 2008 and I have quite a collection of links to offer for this week's feature, both from my feed reader and through sites which readers have recommended.

News on the Blogger Buster front

New features added

To get the New Year off to a great start, I've introduced three new features to the site: the Blogger Template Design series began on Friday and will continue over the next few weeks with a step-by-step guide to creating your own unique Blogger template for your blog. Today, you are reading the "Weekly Review" where I will be posting blogging highlights from the past week, and on Tuesday, I will post the first of the "Reader's Questions" series, where I will answer questions from my inbox about Blogger and blogging in general.

Blogger Buster enters the Technorati Top 5000

I was thrilled to discover that Blogger Buster is now in the Top 5000 blogs in Technorati's ranking. At the time of writing, this blog ranked at 4286, so we're gradually creeping up in the ranks. Thanks to everyone who linked back to Blogger Buster, and also to those who have made this site a favorite in their Technorati profile. I hope that this time next year, we may even be creeping up towards the top 1000...

Guest posting for Blog Bloke

On Wednesday, I made my first guest posting over at BlogBloke.com: Become a more productive blogger with a ten minute workout. This post seems to have attracted much interest over on Blog Bloke's site, so check it out if you haven't already done so and let me know what you think. I hope to make guest posting a regular feature over at BlogBloke.com, so it's likely you'll see more of this in forthcoming weeks.

And finally...

I released my new blog, Techiboo.com on New Year's Day, which features more general articles about blogging, social media, web design and internet lifestyle. Please do check it out if you haven't already, and let me know what you think to my new site.

Blogging News

"Weblogs" are ten years old!

I was perhaps a little late in realizing that weblogs celebrated their tenth birthday late last year. The term "weblogs" was apparently coined on Decenber 23rd, 1997 when Robert Wisdom decided to start his own web page, logging the best links and sites he found on the internet on a daily basis. And so the blog was born!

You can read more about the tenth anniversary of blogs over at The Guardian, which lists some of the highlights in the past decade of blogs.

Technorati Top 100 suffers link spam

We all know and hate link spam, usually suffered through comments pointing to undesirable sites. Unfortunately, the Technorati Top 100 blogs became victims of this unwanted attention over the weekend, when spammers decided to overrun the Top 100 bloggers by favoriting them, including links back to their own unwanted blogs. More details over at MixedMarketArts.com who discussed this trend in detail. I do hope Technorati can put a stop to this spam soon, or we will all end up with spammers promoting their unwanted services through our blog profiles!

The Bloggies are open for votes!

The annual Bloggies are back for the 2008 showcase of the best blogs as voted by the public. You can vote your favorite blogs for a variety of awards, including Best Entertainment Weblog, Best Blog about Politics and Best New Weblog. Voting is open until Friday, and unlike other blogging awards, you don't need to register to make your votes. Be sure to get your nominations in while there is still time!

This Week's Links

Here are links to some of the best sites and posts I've come across this week in the field of blogging:

  • BlogBloke.com: Previously hosted at Instabloke.com, Blog Blokes popular blog has moved over to a new domain. Be sure to update your feeds and bookmarks for Blog Bloke, and check out the new look for this site.
  • The best of Skelliwag in 2007: Skelliwag.com is a veritable treasure trove of articles and resources for bloggers, especially in regard to blog promotion and blogging habits. This post highlights the best of Skellie's posts over the past few months the blog has been online, which I would really recommend as an introduction to this highly interesting blog.
  • Captions for images in blog posts: Peter discusses methods of adding captions to your images in Blogger posts, a highly useful feature to assist your readers in the understanding of your blog content.
  • Disqus.com (for Inline Comment Forms): Angel tipped me off about Disqus.com which offers a commenting service you could use to add inline comments to your Blogger posts. In action, these comments look much neater than the version I blogged about previously. As yet, I haven't extensively tested this service myself, though I will be sure to post about this when I do.
  • EarthFrisk.org: This is a new and rather wonderful search engine, which collects the search results from over a dozen different search engines and filters the results to find the best matches to your queries. So far, I've been really impressed by this service, which soon hopes to become a rival for Google searches (though of course we have yet to see how popular EarthFrisk becomes).

    A novel feature is that you can add your own profile for anyone searching for your specific name, including links to your sites and a profile image. Furthermore, you can choose to search social media sites like Technorati and Flickr in order to find the best results for your queries.
  • Free Business cards for your Blog (from OoPrint): OoPrint are offering a selection of free business cards specifically tailored to bloggers. You will only need to pay for postage costs for these free cards, and unlike those offered by Vistaprint, you can expect to receive your cards in a matter of days (not weeks). There are 32 designs to choose from, many of which are graphically tailored to bloggers, and all of which seem to be of good quality. These would certainly be a useful tool for promoting your blog offline!

I hope you have enjoyed this first Weekly Review. For next week's feature, I would welcome any of your own suggestions, so do send me an email if you find any interesting sites or articles you would like featured in the next review.

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All existing posts are still available to view while I'm working on the site, albeit seen in a much simpler interface. Feel free to browse through the archives to find tutorials, templates and articles to help you build a better blog:

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