Sunday, September 26, 2004

Blogging Platform Survey --

I am conducting a survey on blogging platform usage. If you wish to take part in the survey, follow this link --> Blogging Platform Survey. The survey options include:AOL Journals which became available to AOL subscribers about a year ago, is not listed as a survey option.

An earlier, more in-depth survey was performed by BlogSearchEngine.com. Their findings are available at: BlogSearchEngine Findings.

Friday, September 24, 2004

News, Software, & Java -- And Recipes?

I have solidified the main discussion areas of the forum, "News, Software, & Java". The topic areas include business, technology, and news categories with one or two general or personal discussion areas.

The recipe area "What's Your Dish", is a personal favorite... In my off time I enjoy cooking, and have found some really great recipes. My Cheesecake recipe is one of my favorite desserts... you really should check it out -- if you are a cheesecake connoisseur. The "What's Your Dish" area on the forum is open to all with no requirement for registration. Post your favorite recipe, or rate a recipe that you have tried. [This forum has a neat polling tool.]

Though this forum allows polls to be created by registered members, in any topic area -- the News area has a special topic category specifically defined for "News Polls". Pulse the community on current events, or any topic in the News, whether timely or not.

For the technology and business folks, there are a myriad of topics available. Submit questions, give advice, provide feedback, or if you are in business, add to your networking reach.

These areas of the board do require registration to post, however, all may read and view any topic area on the board. You will need a valid email account -- the board allows members to email each other and a valid email account will be required at sign up to facilitate this service. Registration is easy...
  1. Read the terms, and agree... [mostly about age, and offensive issues...]
  2. Pick a User Name...
  3. Select a password...
  4. Input your email address [twice]...
  5. Optional to fill in personal information for registration...
  6. Hit the Submit button....
  7. Open your email ... click on the link, and voila you are a member...
Avatar [a small icon that accompanies your forum posts] selection is optional. The Show Gallery button on the bottom of the profile configuration page, allows you to select an avatar in our gallery or link to an existing icon at the url you specify. If the url is not yours... please have permission to use the image.

Sports fans I am working on avatars for this category. To date I have the NFL teams covered... Can anyone guess my favorite team?

Well that's about all for now...

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Speaking of Browsers...

I added a "Browser Links" button to my side panel and rearranged some things [see diagram below]. For those of you familiar with my sites this button is not new to you. It is the same button found on the Wired Pages Home and Technology pages. It provides a central location to obtain the latest add-ons and plug-ins for your browser.


Mozilla distributes several browsers, so check to see if the browser name you are looking for is one of theirs. Let me know of any I missed.

Other useful browser tools include the BrowserHawk and JavaScript sniffers. Both of these tools provide extensive information about your browser.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Let's Talk Mac --

I recently downloaded the Macintosh (Mac) version of Firefox. I have had an on going issue with the mixture of Java and JavaScript I use on certain pages of the Wired Pages site and Mac versions of the Mozilla/Netscape browsers, including the new release of Firefox [It is fast...].

The problem occurs when the user requests something from a Java interface [for example the weather for Madrid, Spain on the home page]. The page is never refreshed but returns the weather information requested. If the user then tries to insert something into a JavaScript text box on the same page he will be unable to do so. The Java interface will not release the focus for JavaScript but will refocus for another Java interface on the page.

The work-around is so invasive that I only implemented the fix on the home page. It involves refreshing the page if the user clicks on a JavaScript text box after using a Java interface. An extreme measure. Safari has a similar issue, however I was able to correct the problem without refreshing the page.

You can test this for yourself... As I have already mentioned the fix was integrated on the home-page of Wired Pages. Pages without the fix include Real Estate, Business, Reference, and Technology and once again only for the Mac versions of Netscape and Mozilla browsers.

Anyone with other ideas for work-arounds or if you wish to weigh in on whether the correction is too extreme -- I would love to hear from you.

This discussion is also posted on the forum, "News, Software, & Java" under the JavaScript topic area -- here is the link: JavaScript/Java Issues.

Oh and by the way, if you want to see what your site/page/url looks like in Mac platform browsers, post your url at the following forum link -- Mac Screen Shots and I will send screen shots of the urls as rendered by the Mac browser you specify. All requests must be made via the forum link. Requests posted here will be refused.

Transparent attempt to get users on my forum... Okay -- but, also a useful service, for concerned webmasters.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Calendar Deployment Issues --

I have had several inquiries about the Blogger Calendar. I am providing a list of FAQs and the corresponding responses.
  1. May I have the code?
    Response -- The short answer -- No...
  2. What if I started my blog before 2000?
    Response -- The calendar years can be set to whatever years you specify.
  3. My blog is on the blogspot.com server, will it work on this platform?
    Response -- The blogspot.com servers do not allow the read access that my application needs to harvest key information. I have contacted blogger.com in hopes of coming up with a work-around. Still waiting for a response.
  4. My web-host does not support Java Servlet classes?
    Response -- The ideal situation for my package is a site that supports Java Servlet classes. Absent that, I will host the software package, however the server where the blog is maintained must be read accessible by my program. [This is the same problem addressed by the blogspot.com servers.]
  5. How much does it cost?
    Response -- There is a cost for the software package. Because the package is custom developed -- the cost varies from client to client. There is also a fee if the package is hosted on my server.
  6. Will one application work with all of my blogs?
    Response -- Each calendar package is anchored to one blog site. I offer a discount to anyone with more than one blog.
  7. What happens if I move my blog(s)?
    Response -- I will provide a free software update.
  8. Do you need a test user?
    Response -- I used the blogger.com framework for the initial package, however it can be adpated for other blogging platforms. I am testing the blogger.com platform [hosted on qisoftware.com]. The difference between blogger.com and other blogging platforms may be how archive files are handled.... The short answer-- I am not offering demonstration copies of this program.
  9. Your blog is relatively new, will program performance be affected by an older blog with more archive files?
    Response -- No, the application is a program and may have performance issues due to server log jams. There should be no performance degradation because of the number of archived posts.
Refer to the earlier post -- Dating Your Blog for an introduction and usage guidelines for the Blogger Calendar.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

QiSoftware Forums --

I have just implemented a forums board on the QiSoftware site.

I am still adding topics, stickies, and announcements, however since by its very nature -- a forum is a work in progress, I thought I would invite you all to stop by and leave your suggestions for topics that should be covered on the board. If you would like to leave posts for any of the topics already existing on the forum, feel free to do so.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Office Blogging Versus Business Blogging --

An alarming trend has found its way to the workplace and I wanted to weigh in on this issue. At issue is whether your day at the office should be considered appropriate material for your personal blog.

I use the following definitions in this assessment:
  • Blog :: A public hashing of issues one may want aired -- operative word here public.
  • A Business Blog is a blog sanctioned by your employer and meant to provide an informal look into the business practices of the company. In general this is a positive narrative which enhances the business position of the company.
  • A Personal Blog is a journal of events or stages in your life. To the extent that your employment is concerned -- if discussed at all, it is only lightly touched upon.

I have read some personal blogs recently, which also discuss employment issues. In my opinion, these blogs provide too much in the way of detail about [or prospective] employers -- which in most cases does not reflect positively on the company.

That said -- why does it appear as if I am providing a lot of detail about my own company in some of my posts?

My response:
  • I work for myself
  • This is a business blog
  • I want a public record of everything that appears abnormal
I call this Business/Legal Blogging 101...

Well -- enough said... thinking about adding a search function to my blog... Now where was I?

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Dating Your Blog...

I finished development work on the Blog Calendar. See the sidebar to take it for a test drive.

The calendar was developed for the blogger.com environment but can be adapted for use with most blogging community frameworks. The application is a combined Java Applet/Servlet package.

The calendar features several navigation tools including month and year selection menus. Each of the "red" calendar dates can be clicked to retrieve posts for that date. The "Last Post" button will retrieve the current blog entries [otherwise known as the blog's homepage].

The calendar is configured to reset to the current month and year when the "Last Post" button is selected -- even if the current month contains no entries. This is also true when the page loads. Each archived page will reset the calendar to the month and year of the archived post.

Retrieval of all posts for a given month is achieved by clicking on the first day of the month. Clicking on other days within the month will only retrieve that day's post(s).

For anyone requiring a more technical explanation of the Calendar's inner workings or for an assessment as to whether the calendar can be integrated into their environment -- drop me a line at blog@qisoftware.com.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Affiliate Reports - End of August Report...

No sales were generated for the month of August and there were a total of 5 click-throughs. If my affiliate reports are delayed I will report the update.


A Click Through is defined as:
Number of times, in the date range selected, that site visitors clicked on your links and were taken to the merchant's site.

My blog made over 12,000 referrals versus receiving about 3000 hits. These referrals are for links on qisoftware.com which include the Wired Pages redirect links. Another example -- I cannot measure how many times the Guide to Grammar and Writing link was clicked from the previous post. Giving you the numbers for the Wired Pages site would have no meaning because these numbers only reflect the redirect totals. [AOL does not provide stats.]

I also had over 2300 unique site visitors for the month of August which averages out to about 74 unique site visitors per day, this according to the report summary information. According to the daily unique site visitors [adding all the daily numbers for this category] the new total for the month is - 3450 with an average of about 111. I am not sure why the discrepancy. Both of these figures -- 2300 and 3450, reflect totals for the main domain and do not include the sub-domains counts.

For these types of posts -- I will always leave comments on... To date I have received no email nor comments from the blog audience and there are quite a few of you...