Category Archives: Blogging

How To File A DMCA Notice

It seems that I’ve had to become practiced in the art of filing DMCA notices against people who are stealing my content. DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and it was created to protect online content. Of course it wasn’t for those of us who blog specifically, but what you’ll find is that most hosting companies won’t do anything about a complaint of yours unless you put it into a specific form which is laid out in the Act.

I have seen where some other sites recommend going after a person through the pocket book, aka filing one with Google to get their Adsense accounts removed. However, even doing that the content stays on the site. I’d rather it not be there at all.

There’s a step by step process of information you need to file with the host. The best way I know how to figure out who the host might be is to go to GoDaddy, put the name of the domain in the name search, then when it comes up saying someone already has it there’s this link that will let you go find out who the person is. Look to the nameservers near the bottom and that will tell you. I did find there was one strange one, “domaincontrol.com”, and it turns out that means the account is hosted on GoDaddy’s servers; interesting. There’s always the possibility that someone has paid to remove most of that information, but I believe the nameservers are always there; I’ll have to confirm that.

Before you go right into the DMCA notice, you should send at least one email to the offender to give them a chance to do the right thing. I hate to say this, but so far I’ve only had one person willing to do the right thing before I had to take the next step; shame. So here you go, the steps as listed in the law, and an explanation if needed.

(i) A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

This is where you put your name.

(ii) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.

This is where you put your original link that the material was stolen from.

(iii) Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material.

This is where you put the link where your stolen material is showing.

(iv) Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.

This is all your contact information, including address and phone number and I also add the link to my domain name. One host sent me something back saying they had to have the ability to call me, which is why I know you have to add your phone number.

(v) A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

This is where you basically write an oath of some kind saying that you know it’s your material that someone stole. Here’s what I have for mine: “Not only do I have a good faith belief, I know it is stolen content from my site, as I was the author of the post and am the owner of the blog it was taken from.”

(vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

This is where you write an oath of, well, honesty that you are who you say you are and fully take notice that you’re reporting someone stealing your content. Here’s mine once again: “I affirm that this statement is accurate to the best of my ability, and the proof is that all the other content on the site is stolen and scraped as well. Since I’m the complaining party, I am authorized to act on my own behalf.”

And there you go. That’s all you need, and you can send that to the contact information you find on the host’s site. Now, the same people who made me put a phone number on it also said they only accepted DMCA notices via fax; weasels. Luckily, there are a number of online sites that will let you send a free fax as long as it’s not longer than 2 pages.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

5 Areas You Should Know More About In Your WordPress Admin Area

This post is kind of a request, but in actuality I knew I was going to be writing something on it anyway. In the last 10 days I’ve created 2 blogs for clients, and so far neither client has done anything with the blogs because they said they don’t know what to do. I took to it like it was nothing, but I’m starting to recognize that it’s obviously not as simple as I think it is for everyone. And even if you know how to use it, maybe I know some things you might not have thought of. So, let’s get started.

1. Users. I’m betting most people thought I was going to start with Posts. That’s number two. Users has its own category on the left menu. Click on that and you’ll see all the names that are registered on your blog. Most probably it’ll only have your name or “admin” there, but if you see other names don’t panic, as some people like to subscribe to your blog that way.

Click on Edit under your name and you’ll be taken to the area where your settings are. The first choice you have is whether or not you want to use what they call the Visual Editor or not. This means do you want the site to add coding to certain things such as when you want to bold something or put a link in so other can just click on it or not. If you don’t know how to do any of that stuff via HTML, leave it alone. Next, decide if you want either blue or gray, as the default is gray. After that, you can change your Nickname, so if all your posts are going out under “admin”, which is the default, they don’t have to. You really don’t have to do anything else here unless you want to. Don’t forget to click Update Profile or else nothing you did will be saved.

2. Posts. Click on the Add New link. If you’ve been writing you know that this is where you write your posts. What you may not have known is that all the other things you see on this page can be moved around. All you have to do is go to the top of any of the boxes, such as categories or Publish or whatever and you’ll see your mouse arrow become a 4-way arrow. Hold down your mouse key and drag it wherever you want it to be, and you’re done. That’s neat to use if there’s something you do all the time and don’t want to have to jump around a lot. Many plugins you might decide to add later on will show up in here. I have 5 things that you may or may not have that show up here, and I’ve moved things around for my benefit.

The Publish area is one you should know about. I’m not going to rewrite a post I did called Future WordPress Posting, but I will say this is where you can change the date for posts if you want to write some ahead of time, make a post private so no one else can see it, or make it sticky so it’s always at the top of your main blog page. You can also click on Preview and it’ll open a new window so you can see what your blog post will look like before you publish it. I do this often to check my links and images beforehand.

Finally, this is the area where you can decide if you want comments or trackbacks on an individual post or not. This will override global settings. I have gone and turned off comments on old posts where it wouldn’t make sense for anyone to comment on anymore, and thus it blocks spam from finding those posts. Same with trackbacks; if something was time sensitive and we’re past that time, a trackback can only serve to tell you someone tried to steal it.

3. Comments. Some people respond to comments on the actual blog post. Others respond to the few comments they see in the dashboard. I always respond to comments here because sometimes you want to do some other things to them. For instance, in my comment policy, I mention that I don’t accept keyword names unless I know someone’s first name. Most of the time those comments are spam, but when they’re not, I edit the names. If you notice, under every comment there’s a menu of things you can do. I hit Edit, then go in and alter the name based on my policy. Strangely enough, I’ve never seen any of those people who I’ve edited come back; think it’s me? lol Also, this is where you can see your counts for how many comments a post received; depressing if you have none, I’ll admit.

4. Discussion Settings. Go to Settings and click on Discussion. This sets how you want the flow of your posts to go once you’re written them; this is where the global settings are (that means the normal rules for posts you decide not to override later on). For instance, you can determine whether people have to have a name and email address to leave comments on your blog; I strongly suggest you do that. You can set how long you want a blog post to be live to accept comments before you turn them off; I don’t use this, but many folks do (Rummuser, I’m talking about you lol). If you want comments to be threaded you can do it here; I’ve found, though, that some themes don’t offer this choice, so if you don’t have it, your theme might be old. Look at all the choices and determine what fits you. Especially look at the gravatars thing at the bottom and determine how raunchy an image you’ll accept on your blog; mine is set to PG.

5. Links. Yesterday I talked about blogrolls a little bit, but whether you want it for blogs, business, information or whatever, this is where you’d put those things in. You might already have some here that you want to delete; WordPress gives you about 7 when you first set up your blog. To add a new link of some kind, obviously click on Add New. The four important things to know here is to put in the name, put in the link to go to, put in the category you want it listed under (it allows you to create new categories), and finally what you want to happen if someone clicks on it. I always click on _blank so people go elsewhere and my blog is still sitting there.

That’s it. A very brief tutorial, but if you didn’t know all that stuff, now you do. And if you want to know more, then make sure you check out my post called 5 More Things To Know About Your WordPress Admin Area.

Black Faux Leather Charging Station by Richard’s Homewares






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

5 Most Important Things Your Blog Should Have

I’ve been blogging for a long time now, and I’ve also seen lots of blogs. I’ve come to the opinion that not everyone has a good understanding of the most important things their blogs should have for them to be successful in some way.


by cambodia4kids

I’m not talking about making money. What I’m talking about is offering your visitors access to information that they might want that can only help you in the long run. It’s the overall combination of certain things that make your blog user friendly, and I’m all about being as user friendly as I can be when it comes to accessing information. So, here’s my list of the 5 most important things your blog should have.

1. Search function. I know that not all themes come with a search function, but I believe it’s imperative. Sometimes your topics might not fully indicate everything you’re talking about, and allowing people to search for certain terms or subjects helps them find what they’re looking for. It benefits you because you spent all that time writing those posts, so you might as well help people stay on your blog longer. If your blog doesn’t have the search feature then add the one from Google, which means you have the opportunity to make money and still offer something good to your visitors.

2. About/Contact page. Mine are separate, but you don’t necessarily need two separate pages. Showing people a way to contact you shows you care for people as consumers of the information on your blog. If it’s a business blog it’s imperative that you have this information, with at least an email address. If not, if you want to be taken seriously and not have people think you might be a scraper or have something to hide you should have that contact information somewhere. Adding it to your about page is a great way to do it, but if you want to say something more about yourself, which I obviously did, then have two separate pages.

3. Categories. No matter what your blog is about, having categories gives people the opportunity to lock in better on the content they want. For instance, I have lots of categories, but they’re specific to what I talk about. If you want social media you can get all articles in that category. If you want writing, the same thing goes. It’s definitely reader friendly.

4. Archives. This one might be debatable by some, but I think it’s an imperative. Your visitors can come by and see just how long you’ve been blogging, and if you’ve been blogging a long time it enhances your authority for others on your subject matter. It might not be as important for brand new blogs, but once you reach six months worth of material, no matter how often you write, it’s great to have this widget on your blog.

5. Blogroll. This one is definitely controversial to some, but I see it a different way. If you want to highlight blogs you like and want your visitors to see that’s fine. If you only want to use it to link to your other websites that’s a smart business decision. Many people miss this opportunity to always have a link to their personal websites. You get to set up the titles of the categories on your blogroll, so you can have blogs, business, information, etc.

Those are my top 5 most important things. Do you disagree or agree?

Professional Tool Kit






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

A Story Showing The Power Of Blogging And Twitter

Yesterday turned into a very interesting live lesson in the Syracuse area. In the end, it showed how powerful both Twitter and blogging can be, and how important reputation management is in today’s social media environment.


Twitter Unfiltered
by Creative Carrot

Here are the quick points of what happened; if you want to see more details on it, here’s the link. Someone went to a local grocery store which is part of a major chain in the area. That person saw something that irritated them enough that they decided to send a quick post on Twitter about it along with a picture of what they were complaining about. A representative from said company decided they didn’t like it, and went to the extreme position of calling the employer to complain about what this person had done, saying that it could affect relations between both companies. Strangely enough, turns out there weren’t any business connections between the two, but can you imagine someone trying to get you fired for complaining about something at their business?

When the person who had complained to begin with found out about it, he contacted a friend of his to ask for advice. Turns out the friend is not only a professor at the local university, but also has a lot of connections. The friend wrote the blog post I’ve linked to above, and then that post showed up on Twitter.

From that point, if you know anything about Twitter you know what happened. Many people retweeted the post and it pretty much went viral. I retweeted the post as well, but I included the company’s Twitter account in mine, trying to make sure the company saw it. Many people went to the blog in support of both the writer and his friend. Oddly enough, there a few people who supported the company, believing that the writer of the blog had jumped the gun without knowing all the facts. Of course he knew all the facts, as any educated person would, and some of us defended what he did as a legitimate thing.

Eventually someone from the company contacted the person who wrote the blog and they started a dialogue. The company then posted something on the blog saying that they had no idea that anyone from the company had done such a thing and that they were going to investigate it. Later it turned out that someone who worked at the company but didn’t have the authority had done this act, which confirmed it had been done, and both the company and the person who did it apologized on the blog. They even wrote me and probably a few other people who had sent them the message to ask us to go back to the blog to see their response. If the company hadn’t been on Twitter, who knows the damage that could have been done to their reputation before they had a chance to address it.

All in all I found it very interesting study, even if it wasn’t supposed to be one, of the power of Twitter in getting a message out, the power of blogging in explaining what the issue is, and then the power of Twitter in addressing something that’s known as “reputation management”. Though this company is a local chain, they’re the number three company in the area, and could ill afford alienating a whole group of people with the knowledge of social media. This campaign even drew the attention of a couple of local media celebrities, although it didn’t end up on TV; I know because I looked for it. It did make the newspaper though.

At a meeting today where I had the opportunity to showcase my business, I mentioned this story without naming the company. A few people gasped when they heard it, and I had some people come up to me after the event who wanted to talk bit more about it. If folks didn’t understand how social media marketing could help them in some fashion, including the concept of blogging, they got it now. Also today, the person who wrote the blog used it in one of his classes as an example of the power and dangers of social media.

The power of blogging and the power of Twitter; it can be an amazing thing.

Acer 24 Widescreen LCD Display

Acer 24″ Widescreen LCD Display






Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 Mitch Mitchell

Count Per Day Plugin

One of the people I write for had this WordPress plugin on his site that I hadn’t noticed until relatively recently, and I thought it would be interesting to run it at least for a little while to compare it to Google Analytics.

It’s called Count Per Day, and it’s creator, I believe, must be German, since you initially will see German on the site, but if you scroll down you’ll see it in English as well. Anyway, what it does is give you all sorts of stats about your blog, similar to Analytics, except it’s real time. In other words, if I left the blog for 3 hours and came back to look at the stats, they’d be different, even if only slightly. Well, that’s assuming I had visitors of course.

I wanted to see if the numbers I got from Count Per Day would be much different than what I get from Analytics. Strange as it always seems to me, you get different numbers from different places even though they’re supposedly looking at the same thing. I stopped looking at the numbers from my host because they just seemed, well, overwhelming when compared to that Feedburner box you see on the right side there. Analytics seems to make more sense, but every once in awhile it goes wonky; no idea why.

Since I installed it on September 9th, I decided to do a comparison from that point. Since it’s a live plugin, I know the numbers won’t match totally, but if they’re close then it’s all good. Count Per Day, which I’m now going to call CPD, shows I’ve had 6,211 visitors since September 9th; Analytics says I’ve had 1,119. I’m thinking that’s a pretty drastic difference. CPD shows I had 516 visits yesterday, Sunday; Analytics says 80. Already this isn’t going all that well.

Let’s look at some individual posts. Both show that my post on cleavage is still my most visited post, but CPD says it’s been visited 845 times since the 9th, while Analytics says it’s been visited 460 times. After that there’s no agreement on the rest of the top 10 at all, and I mean which posts have been visited the most by whom.

Am I confused? Absolutely! But who do I believe, and what to make of it? Man, I wish I knew. My mind tends to believe Analytics more than CPD. I keep thinking if I were actually getting the number of visitors the plugin tells me I’m getting that I’d almost have to be generating more income from this blog than I do. At the very least I should have way more subscribers to my RSS feed than I have with those kinds of numbers.

I’m not sure how long I’ll keep the plugin, especially if I’m not believing the numbers. My ego loves them, but the logical part of my mind doesn’t trust them. If you want to give it a try and see if your numbers are closer to reality, go for it.

Money Machine







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