Category Archives: Web Stuff

Verify Your Home Directories

Last week I was creating a blog for one of my web clients. A quick down and dirty for informational purposes is that what you do is go into your host and create an area for your blog software to be uploaded to. If you’re domain is going to be your blog then you’re pretty much set. However, if you’re going to add your blog to your existing domain, then you need to create a subdirectory within it.


by Niels Hiedenreich

I went into her host account, which is also 1&1, and created the subdirectory. When you do this, you have to make sure you’re creating the subdirectory within the original domain as opposed to creating a subdomain outside of the main domain. No, I’m not even going to try explaining that because it looks and sounds stupid no matter how I might try to clarify it. lol

After 10 minutes I went to check and the new folder was there, all set for me to upload the software. I did all of that, using WordPress of course, and it took just over 5 minutes. I had already prepared myself by going into MySQL and creating a database for the blog, so I opened the wp.config.sample.php file and put the proper information into it, then uploaded it as wp.config.php, as you’re supposed to do.

All seemed to go fine. I went to the link for the blog, created a password, signed in and all looked pretty good; normal, I’ll say. I had gone searching for a few different templates for my client to select from, but I chose one to start with because I know she likes colors. I had to do this conversion thing to switch it from PHP 4.4.9 to PHP 5.2, and once I completed that I installed just a few plugins that I thought were important to start with.

Everything looked pretty good, but I had noticed when I was looking at one of the themes I was considering that there was some error code showing up. I had planned on sending her an email telling her about the blog, but decided to wait until the next morning.

Next morning comes and I try to find her blog; it’s not there. Neither is her website; ouch! Actually, her website was now showing up as a skeleton of what her blog would look like without any pattern or background. Nope, this wasn’t good. I thought that maybe I had done something wrong to the .htaccess file so I went in and deleted that; nothing happened. I reloaded all the blog software; nothing. As a matter of fact, I was now getting one of those Error 500 messages; things seemed to be getting worse.

I decided to delete all the blog files and start again; this was taking forever. When that was completed I tried to go to the main website and now I was getting Error 403. I wasn’t quite sure about that one so I did what I should have done in the first place. I went to the host site and then to their FAQ. I looked up Error 403 and it said that meant the site was being directed somewhere that didn’t exist as the main directory.

Suddenly it all made sense. I went into the domain settings and I had made a mistake. I had created the new directory, but inadvertently told the site that the new directory would be the new main directory instead of a subdirectory of the one already existing. Ugh! Had I checked the stupid FAQ first I’d have saved myself an hour’s worth of headaches. I went back into the domain area, told it that the original directory was the main directory, waited 5 minutes, and the website was back, proud as anything.

After that I reloaded all the blog software, et al, and the new blog is back in service, looking great, and the original website is back as well; whew!

As I look back on this I realize that I wouldn’t have found the error if I hadn’t started deleting some of the blog files. After all, I had that Error 500 thing, and I’ve seen that before. I put in all the tricks I knew of to get rid of it, the simple stuff, and none of that worked. Not a single reference I found even mentioned checking out the directory first. So, if I can save anyone a little bit of time by writing this post, then it’ll all have been worth it.

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Facebook Applications – How Trusting Are You Of Them?

I’m probably not the only one who gets invitations to sign up for Facebook applications. There are tons of them, and I know I’ve opted out of almost all of them that have come my way. There were a couple I signed up for before things really exploded, since I’ve been on the site for awhile, but since that time I’ve been reluctant to add many of them.


by Beth Kanter

The reason for my worry? I don’t like when an application is ready to load and it gives you all those disclaimers. The first one is always that it’s an independent application and has nothing to do with Facebook. I’m not sure I like that, but I guess it’s the same thing Apple tells people who have the iPhone about their applications. Sure, they’ll allow it to be used but if anything goes wrong they absolve themselves of any blame. I don’t quite like that, but we’ll move on.

The second thing is that the programs all say they’re going to access every single thing you have on your Facebook page. That’s bothersome to me, moreso than anything else, because they also let you know that they might share that information with someone else. In other words, you sign onto any stupid little game application and you’re basically saying to the world “spam me”.

Not that I really expect all that much privacy from Facebook anymore. Sure, they’ve added filters that allow us to protect some information, but they added those filters after they had already made changes then put your information out to the world, when the backlash came. Not that any of that targeted marketing is working anyway; my page says I’m married and I’m still getting ads for dating services. I also get ads for weight loss, other types of computer games, and strangely enough some kind of special new vitamin water; yuck!

All of this comes up in my mind as I’ve been debating whether or not to allow the upload of one application in particular, that being the Family Tree application. Telling more than I need to, I had pretty much gotten my mind into the reality that I probably was never going to see or hear from most of my family members again after some significant members have passed away, and was surprised when a couple of cousins connected with me on Facebook.

Suddenly family members I knew and didn’t really know were coming out of the woodworks, and then this Family Tree thing came up. Part of me thinks it would be really interesting to load it and see just how I’m related to a few of these people. Another part of me sees it as just another application that’ll get my information and sell it off.

What to do, what to do? Well, I still have lots of time to ponder this one out. How do you handle all these Facebook applications, if you’re on the service? How much do you trust them to do the right thing with your information?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Top 5 Online News Sources

This used to be a much more difficult thing to talk about. As more and more news sources moved online, it seemed like it was going to be pretty easy to find news that you wanted to read. However, what’s happening now is that you’re finding that some of your favorite sites are moving to a paid model. What this has done for me is taken me back to many of the news sources I used to check out before I got more specific with news.

I’m probably not the only one who looks at news online. Local news is also online, but I tend to want to watch that when it’s live. This is for all that other news, including news you never even thought you wanted to know about. And none of these sites cost you a thing; those are excluded. These aren’t necessarily the people who put out the news; just a place where you can go to get the news you want.

Excite is my favorite place to go for customized news for only this reason; it doesn’t require you to go to an extra page before you can see your news. At one point they had created a sales page that used to pop in before it took you to a news story but those days seem to be gone. You can select from tons of choices, select from hundreds of colors and backgrounds, and it’s a lot of fun. The best feature for me is the TV listings at the bottom, which no other news site, even my local sites, don’t give me. You can customize it based on the type of service you have, and then customize it to see only the channels you want to see; neat! The only gripe I have is that you can’t get rid of their own advertising content along the left side and at the top, but truthfully, I don’t even notice it anymore, and only noticed it when deciding to write this post.

My Yahoo is my number two source of customized news. It’s not the first place I go, but I love that it has more news sources to select from than Excite. It also has all the customization that Excite has. My one gripe is that many of the links you hover over have a plus sign come up, which means you’ll either have to click on that to go to a preview page and then the news, or you can hold down on control and click on it and go to the news story. It’s a small irritation, but one just the same.

CNN is always the first site I go to for my news. It’s clean, efficient, and at least the headlines are always up to date. I’ve customized Firefox so I see it differently than most people do. If I have a gripe, it’s that it doesn’t update the minor news stories as often as it updates everything else. Still, it’s quick and easy access to current news.

MSNBC is another great news source that allows for minor customization of where you get your news from. Very minor; for instance, the closest local news I get is about 30 minutes away. But they have lots of content and change it more often than CNN does.

Reuters is a great news choice and has lots of coverage of overseas issues, which for some of you makes it more valuable than my truly American slantings. Still, it looks like it customizes itself based on your location, which probably means I’m seeing a much different front page than someone would in another country. It also offers a different slant on the news that, for me, is sometimes enjoyed and hated at the same time, but always intriguing.

And there you go; now, go learn something!


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

Adbusters; What The Hey?

I always figure I’m in trouble when I don’t understand something, go to research it, and still come away scratching my head. That’s the story with an organization and website I just discovered called Adbusters.

Adbusters is an organization that says it’s anti-consumerist. I had no idea what that meant so I went to Wikipedia and it said this: “Anti-consumerism refers to the socio-political movement against the equating of personal happiness with consumption and the purchase of material possessions.” Uhhh, isn’t that communism, or am I just simplifying it?

No matter. That’s what the group is against, and their website… well, I haven’t quite figured it out, I must admit. It actually looks like it might be a lot of fun if it didn’t make me have to think quite so much, and I usually love thinking. It’s almost as if it’s working too hard to be funny or clever; I don’t quite get it. Having said that, I did kind of like this image I found; click on it if you’d like to see it larger:

As I said, I don’t get the group, and I don’t get the website. It quotes people like Flaubert (major league pervert & nasty guy who got lucky to write one famous book) and Solzhenitsyn (Nobel Prize winner for literature who told it like it was about the USSR back then, before being deported), seems to campaign against capitalism and the rights of people to own things while asking people for donations; seems there’s something to needing money to fund one’s weird thoughts. They have both a magazine and a newsletter, and they sell the magazine; that would seem to go against their principles as well. They have some videos that highlight things they don’t like, a blog, and something they call Spoof Ads; I only found one of them funny. And they hide their PR and Alexa rank; at least they tried, as I found their Alexa rank sitting around 67,000, and they have a bounce rate of 81%; seems I’m not the only one who doesn’t get it.

You know what; just take a look at the site and let me know what you think. I’m not quite sure why it’s bothering me, but it is. I’d like to know if you can figure out why, because frankly I’m stumped.

By the way, I’ve watched the movie below 8 times since I bought it Saturday, and I’d seen it twice at the theaters; buy this! 🙂

How To Train Your Dragon



Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell

Are You Often Disappointed By “Free”?

I think I give a lot of advice on this blog, as well as a lot of commentary. I’ve helped a lot of people by showing the results of research, or testing things so they don’t have to. I don’t believe I’ve ever really held back on a topic when I’m writing about something unless it was personal.


by Andrew Steinmetz

With that said, I’ve also sometimes wondered why none of the products I’ve created sell here. I know I said that I don’t expect this blog to make a lot of money, but I do expect it to make some. Many comments indicate that there are some relatively new folks who visit and glean information from this blog, yet I’ve never sold any of my books or my webinar from this blog, though luckily I’ve sold them from other places.

What’s leading me into this conversation? The other day someone who I follow on Twitter posted something that said you could learn how someone else made $8,000.00 while on vacation through membership sites, and if you followed the link you could learn how. Well, I thought that was intriguing, as I’ve thought about membership sites, and so I followed the link and got to this page that I’m not going to advertise right now. There was a short video which said if you gave your name and email address, there would be 5 videos that would explain how she’s able to make great money through membership sites. I figured that within 5 videos I might glean some pretty good information, so I gave up the information to one of my rarely used sites; that’s how I subscribe to many things.

I got immediate access to all 5 videos, and I started watching them; took me an entire day, as I had other things to do as well, but eventually I got through all of them. And when I was finished? The only thing I got out of it was that she’s got all of her membership sites set up for recurring billing; that’s it. She talked about concepts, about statistics, and showed a lot of other people’s blogs, but never got to what I wanted to hear, which was just what someone might put into a membership site.

For instance, she mentioned a website where people could get together to talk about autistic children. Okay, that sounded good, but is there content in there? Are there videos or podcasts? How much? Is any material original, or gleaned from other sources? See, to me that’s pertinent information; that’s the type of thing that would help me decide if I wanted to not only create a membership site, or even to join one. I’ve actually joined a couple here and there in the past, only to be disappointed by one thing or another.

Now here’s the thing. Within hours of getting the link to the videos, the emails started coming about a course on how to create a membership site. At that point I pretty much figured I probably wasn’t going to get anything out of the videos, but I found it amazing that, in total, the videos were about 80 minutes long. How can anyone talk for 80 minutes and not say anything, and not be a politician?

The strange question to ask then is are you ever disappointed in free things, and do you deserve the right to be? I’m of two minds. One, if it cost you nothing and it didn’t work quite right, then you got what you paid for. Two, if something took up a lot of your time and at the end you got nothing out of it, then that’s something entirely different. That’s like sitting through an entire presentation geared to get you to pay someone thousands of dollars to create multiple websites for you by telling you how much money other people make and not telling you how other than “they sold cat brushes and made $100,000 in a week!”

What are your thoughts on this type of thing? Do you like the tease to buy, or will you buy if someone can at least offer you something up front that maybe you didn’t know?


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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell