Thursday, February 07, 2008

What I Mean About the Web - Part 1

I have been asked to explain what the Hell I was talking about two posts ago with the candidates websites. I will spill what I know. This image is a screenshot of that bar below every post, expanded, as well as part of my toolbar. *Click the image to see it big.*

#1: This is the "StumbleUpon" toolbar, directly below the Google toolbar that everyone should be using. I do mean everyone, there is a version for every single browser. Personally, I use Internet Explorer 7.05 because it is the most easily protected by most common internet security packages and I have a bunch of data on my laptop that I cannot afford to lose. Yes, I have it backed up to a portable drive, but that is a pain in the ass to plug in, damn, it's one whole usb cable! It is much easier to be completely innoculated. And if you find pr0n important, maybe you shouldn't install F-Secure Firewall. I have not seen nudity in three months. Well, except my own, how much fun is that?

Stumble is like Facebook without the morons, My Space without the online predators and hideously bad music. With that bar installed, you can pick your favorite topics and then just click the button and "StumbleUpon" a site that falls into your chosen catagories. I have clicked that button on my toolbar about one bazillion times since I installed it and never have I received a link to a site that did not interest me. Not once, it does exactly what I asked it to do. It is the exact opposite of a woman. Aw, shut up, you know I'm serious kidding.

#2: This is the flyout for submitting articles to the social networks. No, no one has used it but me on this site and I have received less than moderate traffic from most of the links that I have submitted. Maybe my content/titles is/are a little abrasive for most people. I have realized that most people that use it are already very much into the program themselves. My Space was on that bar just yesterday, but now it is not and I do not care. You cannot visit a single My Space page without having to wait for five minutes for all the front page stuff to load and there is a dearth of intelligent folks on it. Let the kids enjoy their fun, they can't do too much damage sitting there waiting for the latest My Chemical Romance video to load in every damn page they visit. Yes, we were stupid when we were young, too, and you know it.

Anyhoo, if you enjoy something that you read, you can submit it to the social networks that you are a member of and perhaps increase traffic to the people that you enjoy reading. I blog for the feedback from return visitors, but others blog for the money and either way, you prove to folks that you like reading, that you like reading their stuff, so everyone is happy. And you let other people know how smart you are by linking smart stuff. Or vice versa.

If there is one thing that I have realized after three years of serious and not-so-serious blogging, there are a bunch of sites that I like to read, too many in fact. I run into interesting people anywhere I visit and notice the commonalities in pretty much every area of the country. The interaction that I experience is positive pretty much all of the time even if there are disagreements in opinion. It is fun "meeting" people from other places that I would never run into otherwise.

You will notice that on IE 7, there are tabs and there is a "Feeds" link right in the header. Click on it when highlighted and you can subscribe to any site that has a feed. Then you can go to your reader and view all of your subscriptions. My subscriptions in Google Reader aggregate pretty much all the sites I read through RSS and Atom feeders. Then it simply delivers them to me. I read all of those sites in one place and if I see a post that I want to comment on, I simply click the title of that article and I am magically propelled to that page. It cuts my surfing time in half and allows me to go read new content whenever it's there. I can read twice as much in the same amount of time because I do not have to keep clicking and loading, it's all in the reader. There are a bunch of free readers online, but Google is my girlfriend, so I use that. I highly recommend it for folks that are busy, but still like to keep abreast of their online friends.

Oh, and subscriptions count as traffic every single time that someone posts to their site. Every time, let's say, Herb publishes, he gets a hit from me because I get all of his stuff. There are some people that do not have feeds, Beej, but they should get one. Feedburner allows you to do it. And it is automatic!

That is the extent of my knowledge regarding this topic, soon I will know more. And you will too.

Please take the time to comment.