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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

RSS feed of delicious user

The new delicious application is up and running for a little while now. Users have seen big changes in the service over the years and the last set of changes were almost a complete overhaul in my opinion, I use it most days and have found most of the changes positive. 
Since delicious's introduction all that time ago I have stuck with the service even though there are others out there, mainly because at the time it started I thought it was a great idea and they had the best implementation of on-line bookmarking. I believe and they still do however others may disagree.

Anyhow on to the problem I was having that I thought someone might find useful. One thing I noticed with the new delicious application is that the RSS icons don't seem seem to be easily accessible, so it is hard to find the RSS feed for a particular user, users tag etc.. This makes it a little hard if you are using something third party to aggregate the delicious feed. 

Well here is the Syntax that I could not find on the delicious website.

http://feeds.delicious.com/v2/rss/<>/

If you want to just get the RSS of a users tag then use the syntax;

http://feeds.delicious.com/v2/rss/<>/<>

The reason I wanted an RSS feed of my latest public bookmarks is to feed my Facebook business page and give show users some activity and information about what I am looking at the time.. I do think delicious should should re-introduce the old RSS button somewhere on their application. I honestly looked everywhere on the homepage and all sub pages and could not find one RSS icon.. A shame in my opinion. Hope this tip helps someone.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

HTML sitemaps (and importance)

HTML sitemaps are an important part of a website as they provide your users will a page that enable them to access any part of a website from one page and also provide search engine spiders with a definitive list of all of the main pages that your website contains. Not only does it help confused and lost users find their way around you site but it helps the search engines work out all of the main pages of your website. Please note that I am not talking here about Google XML sitemaps the service Google have to enable you to submit your site structure to them to index. I am talking about a page that contains links to all of the main sections of your website.

A successful site map will aim to achieve the following;
- Show detailed quick access to all site sections.
- Provide search engine spiders with more information on which pages to index.
- Include descriptive links and "alt" tags for each of the links, including keywords, to improve search engine ranking for your keywords.
- If you can provide a short description of what you will expect to find when each link is clicked this really does help the user to navigate your site.

I have found that a site with a site map generally has more of its page indexed in the main search engines and allows users to access your site through individual pages rather than straight from the home page. I have also found that when I visit a site and can't find what I want straight away busying the site navigation or search then the sitemap is where you head, which points out to me that if the site did not have a sitemap and I hasn't found what I wanted at this point Ii probably would have left the site. This means that they have their roll in retaining users on your site.

One thing that is a pain with site maps is that unless you are driving the links out of a database then you have to make sure that you keep these pages up to date as should any 404 messages appear on this page down the track then this can have negative affects on your search engine ranking.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

WildFire - post Social Network updates to all networks from one place!

As a Lotus Notes head I am happy now to find that I do not have to fumble through multiple social networking sites in my browser or continue on my ongoing search for the perfect all in one solution for posting to multiple networks. Now I have the ability to post updates from the environment I spend most of my day in with more control than I have found in many of the web based applications that I have tried (and believe me that it most of them)


WildFire is a Lotus Notes 8.5 Sidebar Application to Update Status's across a wide range of Social Networks including Sametime, Connections, Socialtext, Facebook, GTalk, PingFm, Plurk, Tumblr, Twitter, Wordpress and more!


Best of all the application is available to deploy for free and the website provides some fairly comprehensive instructions on the set-up process so developers as well as most savy users will be able to get it up and running in no time.


Please check it out. It is great to see such and innovative product come from an Australian IBM Partner too.. Keep up the good work guys..



Download - http://www.openntf.org/Projects/pmt.nsf/ProjectLookup/WildFire
Developers - http://www.isw.com.au/wildfire

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Button Design - Creating Call to Action Buttons

Over the 11 years I have been developing and designing websites I have noticed many changes to the ways in which websites have been designed. With the recent driving force of Web 2.0 applications and social media website design, I have found websites have become less complicated, cleaner and simpler for users to interact with. Designs have gone from trying to blow the user away with impressive graphics to simple layouts with minimal colour usage and larger more clearly defined areas, rather than over cluttered websites with too many options for a standard user find easy to use. 

Why I am talking about this is because I want to highlight how you should be creating “call to action” buttons on your websites. You will find if you follow these guide lines you will start attracting users to interact with your website more frequently and also increase subscriptions and ultimately improve the performance of your website overall.

When creating buttons that are to sign up users or are to gather user information these buttons should follow these few rules;
1. The button should be of a reasonable size, larger than any of the other navigation buttons or links on the page. A large button has a greater impact.
2. Use a unique font to the rest of your website so that the users eyes are drawn to clicking this “call to action”
3. Use contrasting colour to the rest of your site on the button; something brighter or darker than the rest of your site to help direct the users attention to this button.
4. Positioning of the button is very important. Place it just under some copy that describes the key benefits of your service or product or in an area where the users eye is drawn to based off the rest of the websites design.

Here I have included some links to some websites that have the sort of “call to action” buttons that I am talking about;
http://transmissionapps.com/ - The “Download Now” & “Buy Now” buttons
http://www.filesharehq.com/ - The “Sign Up for Free Trial” button
http://paramore.is/think/blog/ - The “Continue Reading” button on blog

Let me know if you have any other ideas on how to get more “call to action” from button methds that I may have missed..

Friday, February 18, 2011

9 Ways to Instantly Code Faster

There are a wide variety of tools and techniques which can drastically improve the speed at which we code. Particularly during time-sensitive settings, even a savings of a few seconds per iteration can add up substantially over the course of the month. Here are 9 ways to save time coding;

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Looks great from first impressions

Can't wait to start making good use of this service and add tips hints and additional information using Sidewiki....

in reference to: Share : Master advanced features - Toolbar Help (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Multiple domains pointing to the same website

Multiple domains that point to the same site. This is something that allot of people want to do or think will benefit them in some way when they start playing with URL's pointing to their website's. When it comes to attracting more traffic to your website it is something you often hear people talk about. The truth behind that remains to be seen is the fact that domains that contain 'specific keywords' can be a positive SEO factor when it comes to overall exposure of the website for those particular keywords, but this is simply only one factor in determining rankings when it comes to the search engines.
This post explains however how Google looks at this practice and what is the best way to have multiple domains coexisting out there that point to the same website. The truth is you should only have one primary / preferred domain that resolves directly to the website and that this should be getting a 200 response which basically means "The request has been accepted for processing, but the processing has not been completed.". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_HTTP_status_codes All of the other domain names should only point to the primary domain using a 303 redirect.(standard URL redirect).
Here is a link letting you know how to post 303 redirects for each of the major platforms;
http://www.webconfs.com/how-to-redirect-a-webpage.php
The reason for this being the acceptable practice is that should all of the domains finally resolve to the same website files/site then you are technically visiting the same website for each URL and this is labelled as 'external duplication' rather than the sticky 'duplicate content' term that we all hear of when first implementing domains for the same website. The 'duplicate content' rule is there for one reason, to prevent people from duplicating their website's and reproducing all of the internet. It is acceptable though to have multiple domains pointed to the same website should you let the search engine indexing bots, be aware of this fact, or if you are not attempting any sort of trickery when it comes to multiple domain use.
There is something I am yet to mention and this is the use of what is called the link 'canonical' property now supported by all of the major search engines. It is basically a format which allows you to publicly specify your preferred version of a URL. It is for use if you are using website URL's to point your users to the same or slightly different pages via the same URL's and will show the search engine bots that you are not trying to trick them into believing that there are two separate website's at the different URL's and works as a notification method almost that there are multiple URL's to be indexed for the same location. It is highly recommended when you have multiple domains pointed to the same website. Here is a great blog post from Google that covers this topic and the syntax.
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/02/specify-your-canonical.html

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Inbound linking strategies explained + Tool to help out

Inbound linking explained..

Almost every website owner wants high organic rankings in Google, Yahoo and Bing for specific keywords, relevant to the content on their website. When taking on the task of building quality inbound links to you website, apart from having to have the most relevant and interesting content on your site, it is extremely important to have links from a balance of paid directories, industry specific websites as well as blogs and from social network user profiles of people, or businesses, that are specialists or experts in the area your website. Search engines aren't silly and the guys that work on improving them aren't either. Using services that claim that they will add a link to your website in 1000's of directories, may create inbound links to your site, but if the majority of the directories are barely relevant to your websites content, then they are of little benefit to your websites ranking and in some cases can be of detriment, most probably due to the fact that the search engine will pick up a sudden huge surge in inbound links from the same old directories and work out that these inbound links are not links to a website with valuable content but an attempt to try and push your website up in the organic search results by using an automated service.

Generating inbound links to your website / blog from other industry related websites and from people in your industries social media pages is in reality something that is not going to happen overnight. Realistically and ultimately promoting and creating inbound links is an ongoing task that is going to be something that will need to be considered for the life of your website, should you wish to obtain high organic search ranking for your relevant keywords.

What I want to get across in this post is that a search engines aim is to provide the most relevant content for the keyword the user has entered. The service / script that I stumbled across today is an excellent concept, which I can't see why wasn't thought of earlier. I believe its development was inspired by the concept that approximately 6% of page views generate some sort of user interaction. This interaction could be leaving a comment, copying some of your content for reference or 'retweeting' your latest post. Now if a user is copying and pasting some content from your site, this obviously tells you that what they have copied is something this user is interested in and most probably going to end up on a relevant page somewhere on the web. The user may just be copying the content for a document of theirs but in the social web culture that we are current living in there is a big possibly your content is going to be pasted on a blog, in a comment on someone else's blog or on a social networking site that will generally relevant to you website industry and quite possibly a resource of information relevant to your website. Now this type of inbound link is one that will make a difference in your search engine ranking. From tests I have done over the years with search engines and how there complicated and sensitive algorithms work, this is why as soon as I saw this service I got excited. Having a script that can automatically create an inbound link to your website from a website that is relevant is going to take at some hours I spend building up relevant inbound links to my website and implementing this script on your site can help you out too! In my opinion this little bit of script has made my day.. hopefully that doesn't sound too sad..

Here is the link to the service called "Tynt" - http://tynt.com/ - It literally takes a couple of minutes to create an account and about the same time to install the code on your website if you know web programming languages. If you don't it's not a huge problem, it may take a bit longer to get working on your site, but there are instructions of how to install the script provided.

If you want to see how it works just select some text in this blog post, copy it, open up 'notepad', or better still 'tweet' the selected text and you will notice that under the pasted text is a link to this blog. Enjoy any SEO enthusiasts out there. Hope you will share the same enthusiasm I had when I first stumbled across this service. Please stay posted if you are into SEO as I have a few more posts in coming weeks that reveal some further SEO strategies I use.