This is something different, but very helpful… especially if you like using Firefox.
Old technology but still cool…
One of my biggest gripes is that it’s sometimes hard to get things working after some of your computer programs make updates. I’ve had lots of issues with Windows 10 updates over the past calendar year, and luckily I’ve been able to fix some of them. The latest problem I had concerns Firefox, which is my preferred browser (I don’t trust Chrome because I don’t totally trust Google). Continue reading →
Last week another of my favorite plugins died. It’s called Compfight, and it’s what I used to pull in images for all of my blogs from Flickr’s Creative Commons. If you look at the first image on a post from two weeks ago you’ll see that it shows the name, and if you hover over the first link below the image you’ll see it goes back to Flickr.
Since last Thursday is I’ve been getting this particular message on all of my blogs:
The Flickr API returned the following error: #100 – Invalid API Key (Key has expired) Continue reading →
I have some pretty good friends. In this case, my friend and fellow consultant Jesan Sorrells introduced me to Flipboard… even if it took me a couple of months to go back to. I’m not sure why I was curious, but eventually I was, and man, I’m glad I went to the site, set up my account, and them added it to both my smartphone and my Nook.
In essence, Flipboard is kind of a news aggregator and RSS feed reader. When you sign up, it already has a couple of things for you to look at, such as news stories. You get to select specific subjects, some which the program will recommend to you once you select a couple of things, and then you’re pretty much ready to go.
Once you start reading different stories, if you want to share them in different social media formats you can set up your devices with your usernames and passwords to those sites you want to share to. If you use an alternative application to access those sites, you have the option of selecting them without having to worry about signing in (I use different apps to access Twitter for instance), but you can go either route. After that, the process is easy to do.
For the longest time, that’s all I was using it for. Then I was talking to my buddy Yasmin Shiraz, and she clued me in on many other uses for the program.
For instance, the RSS part. I now follow a few blogs, including my own (I want to see what others see), because you can add the RSS feed on either your devices or the Flipboard website. If you wish, you can also comment via the platform, although when you’re done you’ll have to back up a couple of times to get back to Flipboard if you’re on your device. No biggie there.
It’s the magazines feature that makes you a publisher of another kind. Not only can you decide on subjects you want to read, but you can decide to create what they call “magazines”, which are categories of things you’re interested in that you either want to share with others or save for yourself to access whenever and wherever you wish. You can always delete what you decide you don’t want anymore, which is a handy feature if you put it into the wrong magazine. You can also leave a note on whatever you save in a magazine. Why would you want to do that?
Because you can subscribe to other people’s magazines, and they can subscribe to yours. That’s the fascinating part if you ask me. I’ve subscribed to Yasmin and Jesan so far, and as I find other people I’ll probably subscribe to them as well. If you look to the right —-> you’ll see where you can subscribe to my magazine. That gives you access to any magazines I’ve created, and then you can set up your own magazines as well.
You can also comment on whatever I share on my magazine, which is pretty cool, which includes my own blog posts if I happen to pop something in one of my magazines. I won’t abuse it, and so far I haven’t seen many other people abusing it also by putting all their own content into a category. But I will do it from time to time; after all, I write most posts about things I’m interested in, so why not share more right? 🙂
One last thing to share is a link to a browser plugin they call Flip It, which gives you the ability to add any article you see to your magazines by clicking on an app that you can have located on your toolbar. I believe it works for all browsers, but you can check it for yourself; it works great on mine, as I’m on Firefox.
The best way to show you how this stuff works is to share a couple of videos with you. The first is a very brief introduction of what it’s all about:
The second is how to create and use magazines:
Trust me, this is pretty cool. Now I have something to do if I’m away from home and have some time to kill. Check it out, check me out, and create your own magazines.
By the way, you didn’t think I was going to forget to pimp my latest book Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy did you? If you haven’t heard about it, check out the link. If you have, check out the link and think about buying the package… 😉
Okay, I’ll own up to this; I have a massive password file on my computer. Sure, we’re not supposed to do that but come on, how the heck am I supposed to remember every single password from just about 20 years on the internet?
Smartphones are a bit different though. Sure, I could upload my password file via either Evernote or Dropbox, but I’m not quite that trusting of it. Not only that, but I don’t need every single password on my phone. I do need certain passwords though, such as when I go to restaurants that have wi-fi and I don’t want to keep asking them what the password is.
Keeper is a smartphone app for, I believe, every type of smartphone that’s out there. What it allows you to do is put all of your passwords in it and then you only have to memorize one overall password to open the program up. If you pay for it, which is only $9 or so a year, you can add the application to any of your other laptops, tablets or computers and sync the information so that no matter what you’re carrying around with you, so that you can use each item to add passwords.
I have to admit that I think it’s pretty fantastic, but there are a couple of small downsides. For one, you must, and I stress MUST, remember your password to Keeper. If you forget that you only get 5 shots at getting in. At that point it disables your account and erases everything; ouch!
You also need to make sure that, if you’re deciding to change email addresses, you get in there and update the email address before you change up. It’s not something most people would think about since, once you have the app on your smartphone, you’d ever have to deal with. So far I’m lucky to still be able to get into my app without it asking me for an email address; whew!
Anyway, not only do I recommend this app for your phone, but look, I can write a short post! 🙂
As many new visitors to the site have noticed (at least those who are real), they’re not getting a message mentioning their lack of a gravatar, and some of them are going straight into the spam filter. What’s going on?
The title of this post tells it all. It’s the new addition to my plugins called Anti-Backlink, and it’s a free download available to anyone who’s purchased the CommentLuv Premium plugin from Andy Bailey. It adds way more functionality to trying to reduce the amount of spam blogs get while trying to encourage more people to take the time to go get a gravatar, or avatar for the uninitiated. If you’re going to be online and participating on blogs it’s a must.
Of course the plugin does so much more. Something you can do, that I don’t do, is set how many comments one has to have approved before they start getting CommentLuv link automatically. You can also make the determination that certain people’s posts you want to screen first, thus putting them on a moderated list via their email address. I like this one because there are a few people whose comments seem to vacillate between being okay and being horrible. Sometimes you just don’t know, and as much as I’m against initial moderation, I do believe if someone stops by and they seem slightly dodgy this isn’t such a bad idea.
You can also decide to whitelist email addresses so that they’ll never pass through moderation… as long as they pass any other rules you’ve set up on your blog, since mine has a hold on any comments with a link on them. However, it seems that whitelisting doesn’t take care of those few folks who keep using a particular browser that sends them to spam for whatever reason. lol
One other thing I activated, which will put a stop to something that’s irked me to no end for years, that some bloggers have recommended people do that’s sneaky, is to shut down folks who put more than just the root URL of their blog into the main area when they’re commenting.
Some folks try to get two links to articles on their site by being sneaky. What they’ll do is start off with the regular link, wait until the CommentLuv link comes up, then add a second article link. This plugin catches that and automatically holds that comment in reserve so that we can decide whether to remove it or blacklist the comment in its entirety.
The only minor problem I encountered while testing is that sometimes what it perceives is a sneaky backlink is actually where the blog is. For instance, my business blog is on my main business site, so after the link I have to add /Mitchblog for the link to the blog.
The real test? I used to have comments closed after 180 days, basically six months. Using this plugin along with the GASP pugin, also by Andy, I decided to see what happened if I opened it up to 365 days. Using both plugins, the amount of spam increased very little; almost everything else is being bounced so I’m not seeing it at all. Matter of fact, I just opened it up to 500 days as a further test.
Soon, the faceless will be less prominent here. At least I’ll still accept some folks if their comments are pretty good; not everyone is as nice. 🙂