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Ever needed custom formatted sample / test data, like, bad? Well, that’s the idea of the Data Generator.
It’s a free, open source script written in JavaScript, PHP and MySQL that lets you quickly
generate large volumes of custom data in a variety of formats for use in testing software,
populating database….

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7. May 2008

Monthly update

As my weekly updates are hardly working out for me, I am switching to monthly updates from now on :) The switch to the new design is almost done, with only minor details missing. Will be adding some updates to the project pages in the coming weeks, as I have rewritten the project section to provide full wiki standards.

Working as a PHP / Javascript Programmer for a n new client, which includes the usage of my own PHP Framework.

I am also doing a lot of design lately. A really welcome change from all the programming in the past.

I have also been doing alot of backend coding for portalZINE TV. Updated my Jabber server and currently finishing work on a Realbasic plugin.

Cheers
Alexander

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Simon Willison gave a jQuery talk at XTech called Unobtrusive JavaScript with jQuery.

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Debug JavaScript, inspect CSS and the DOM, and view any errors –
Opera Dragonfly makes developing using Opera easier than ever, both on your computer and mobile phone.

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“The people behind ExtJS are funny. First they have changed their license to the LGPL, without understanding it in any way,
now they’ve changed it to the GPL without understanding it in any way.
They claim that server side code which creates HTML pages which contain
ExtJS must be GPL, wuahahaha.”

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Codeplex is a new code sharing site from
Microsoft, aimed at programmers who are using tools available under its Shared
Source licenses.

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When you distribute your videos across different video distribution platforms, you try to keep up with all the comments or views your videos receive.

Not all platforms provide a nice Webservice / API, allowing to aggregate all of those statistics in one place. I do not understand why some services distribute the standard video information via RSS, but leave the views and comment count out of the equation.

In the past weeks I have been building a complete stats package for portalZINE TV, pulling in all required data.

Here is how I accessed each of the services. I added a plus for those that are prepared to share the stats data, a minus for those that made me work a bit more :)

  • + Blip.TV (XML via RSS)
  • – Mogulus (PHP / Curl)
  • + DailyMotion (XML / RSS / multiple pages)
  • + Youtube (XML / RSS or Youtube API)
  • + Vimeo (XML / Simple API)
  • + Metacafe (XML / RSS)
  • – Sevenload (PHP / Curl )
  • – MyVideo (XML / Rest API)
  • + Revver (XML / XML-RPC)
  • + MySpace (XML / Open Social API)
  • – Yahoo (PHP / RSS / Curl)
  • – Google (PHP / Curl )
  • – Viddler (PHP / Curl / multiple pages)
  • + Veoh  (XML / Rest Api)

I am currently optimizing the daily updates, so that not all calls are done at the same time. Some of the services will be deactivated, if nothing notable really happens there. In my case shows are in German, so not all services provide the right viewership. This current exercise really allows me to decide which services are important upload hubs.

Really hope that APIs are getting more common among those services.

Cheers
Alexander

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13. March 2008

Weekly Update

I have not written one of these for some time now. Its not that I  am
not working, but hardly have time to sit down and comment about it.

2008
has been really busy so far, with me also spending 4 days at CeBIT this
year. Really enjoyed the tech trip.  I have started working on a
fitness website, dealing with trainer schedules, trainee subscriptions,
training progress, motivation notification and a lot more. Really fun
project that will be following me until April.

Have
restructured a lot of stuff within my php framework, to finally comply
with current standards and make updates a bit easier.

I am also
working on internal stuff that will ease the work on the portalZINE TV
setup, as advertisers require extensive statistics and I need to pull
those from at least 6 different video platforms ;) Sadly every platform
uses different web services.

Will try to write more regularly about stuff in the coming weeks :)

Cheers
Alexander  

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29. February 2008

Pownce API v2.0

Pownce has finally released its API 2.0. which allows posting to Pownce from your applications. I am currently updating my PHP API Wrapper and should have a downloadable release after I am back from CeBIT.

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The Top10 of promoting your new website.

  1. Create Good Content
  2. Create Good Content
  3. Create Good Content
  4. Create Good Content
  5. Create Good Content
  6. Create Good Content
  7. Create Good Content
  8. Create Good Content
  9. Create Good Content
  10. Create Good Content

You think this is a bit generic, well it is, but it is the best way to promote your website ;). There are 1000 of websites out there, that tell you that they have the ultimate solution to drive traffic to your website and make you money. None of these are really helping you much, as it will always drill down to the TOP10 above :) So the goal is not to promote your website as it is, but the content that is delivered from it to your visitors.

How do visitors find you?
Not by guessing your domain name! I am sure they start by using a search engine like Google. They use the search engine to look for related websites that fit the keywords they have entered.

So is your content properly listed in search engines?
No! Well you have either no content on your website or your setup just does not confirm with proper search engine requirements. So if you have good content, but it is hard to index, users wont find you. Your main concern is to make sure that your content is presented in the correct way.

The title of this article should say :  TOP10 – How to promote your website or even better how to promote your content! :)

Here is my TOP10 of relevant points, when taking care of your search engine presence:

  1. Use creative and informative website titles.
    Write a descriptive title for each of your content pages. Make sure to reflect your website main keywords and related content keywords. Do not overdo it, use between 5-8 words maximum. Remove as many “filler” words from the title as possible, such as “the,” “and,” etc. The page title will appear hyperlinked on the search engines when your page is indexed.
  2. Setup a meta description for your pages.
    The meta description describes the document.This meta tag consists of a short, plain language description of the document, usually 20-25 words or less. Search engines that support this tag will use the information to publish on their search results page, normally below the Title of your site.
  3. Setup meta keywords for your website and pages.
    Keywords define the content of your site. Keywords are used by search engines to properly index your site in addition to words from the title, document body and other areas. This tag is typically used for synonyms and alternates of title words. Use this tag with caution. Make sure to only use keywords that are relevant to your site. Search engines are known to penalize or blacklist your site for abuse. This tag also exposes your keywords to your competitors. Five hours of keyword research can be hijacked within just a few minutes by your competitor.Goggle is not activley using the meta keywords anymore, but Yahoo does.
  4. Include your keywords in header tags (H1, H2, H3).
    Search engines consider words that appear in the page headline and sub headers to be important to the page, so make sure your keywords and phrases appear in one or two header tags.
  5. Make sure your keywords are in the first paragraph of your body text.
    Search engines expect that your first paragraph will contain the important keywords for the document — where most people write an introduction to the content of the page. Do not force keywords, more is not better.
  6. Make your navigation system search engine friendly.
    Do not use frames. Even if search engines can find your content pages, they could be missing the key navigation for the rest of your website. Make sure that the navigation is accessible when JavaScript and Flash is turned off.
  7. Optimze your website for speed.
    Make it easy for spiders and visitors to access your content. You can also develop special pages that deliver special crafted content for search engine spiders, removing any clutter they can not handle anyway. Not talking about gateway pages, but stripped down version of your default design, which focus only on the content.
  8. Use a service like Google analytics to observe your website.
    See how people access your website. Remove anything that makes it difficlut or confusing to reach any destination on the webpage
  9. Make sure to update old contentif needed and produce new content in a steady intervall.
    Show your visitors that you care about your website and the topics you write about. One post per month will hardly promote your website.
  10. Provide interactive tools for visitors
    Interactive tools promotes an open exchange with your visitors. It can also help to push popularity and crosslinking with other sites, that relate to your content.

This is hardly a complete list and there are other things you need to consider when dealing with SEO scenarios. I often forget to stick to some of the points myself, at least when it comes to my own websites, but its worth the time to work on each of them. No websites are perfect from the start, all paintings in development ;)

Do not give up so easily. It takes time to promote a website and you will be tweaking things again and again. If you have a fair amount of content, things will be evolving alot faster. Hard to say what the critical mass is, as that depends on your content and the visitors. If you cover a unique topic, little content might drive your webserver nuts, more popular covered content, may take longer to make you website shine :)

The search engine traffic is often only the first wave coming your way, additional traffic will result through others linking to your content, you promoting it and playing an active part on other websites that link to the content / topics you cover.

Key is to enjoy what you do and not feeling forced to do so :)

Cheers
Alexander

 

 

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