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Stagnant Snap! Blog... Why you need to post about once a week!

Alexis Wilke's picture
Phoenix Vernal Pool, Feb 2011, Algae in vernal pool
Vernal Pool at the Phoenix Park, Orangevale, CA
This pool may look stagnant when in fact the water is
moving, albeit slowly, it remains clear. Just like your blog!

I think I mentioned that before in my Snap! Journal but wanted to strengthen the argument...

There are several reasons why you want to keep posting on your blog. First of all, your readers will continue to read your posting only if you actually post. Otherwise, well... there is nothing to read, right?

Because most people cannot handle reading pages and pages every day. Posting once a week or so should be enough for most audiences. Although at the start, to make the blog useful, posting once a day for a month or so is not a bad idea.

The other reason is that new posts tend to attract new readers. That means more of a chance for you to get that click you really want to get. Of course, this assumes you created the necessary Snap! Blocks on your website asking users to take action. There are many ways to do that, the two most important ones are:

Websites and security, big guys always being attacked!

Alexis Wilke's picture
Hackers are most often refered as Black Hats programmers.
A Black Hat—coming from black magic—is often used as a
reference to programmers hacking systems for no good.1.

Last Thursday, SourceForge.net was attacked again2.

You would think that they would be safe from such attacks since SourceForge.net offers a free service for users to offer their free (open source) software online. Yes! That's where you download many of the free tools you are using everyday. For instance, if you have an archaic type of a website, you probably need to FTP3 your data to your account. On Microsoft Windows,Mac OS/X, and Linux, this can be done with FileZilla. Although they have their own website, the download comes from SourceForge.net4.

Security is one of the area where our base CMS system is very strong at and we also ensure that our own Snap! code is secure. This starts with your password, but it includes very much more than just that. This being said, we are not looking for hackers to visit us. Well... it's not like that doesn't happen, but so far so good.

  • 1. This hat comes from a picture of Coolidge who helped the Smoki in 1924.
  • 2. Yeah... Unfortunately, that's not the first time, and it will go on and on and on, and not just for SourceForge.net. See how you can start by protecting your account using a strong password.
  • 3. The FTP protocol is notoriously insecure, but a very large number of people are still using it (if you can, at least try to use the SFTP so the data is encrypted, including your log in and password.)
  • 4. Note that if you were plaining to create a free software, that's a good place for the download because they have access to very large pipes (many T3) and thus thousands of your users could be downloading your data simultaneously.

Presentation of Snap! at the Sacramento Drupal Users Group

Alexis Wilke's picture

Sacramento Drupal Users Group LogoTonight I had the chance to present Snap! features1, concept, business model to a Drupal Users Group (DUG).

The presentation went well. We talked quite a bit about how to make use of Drupal to create such a system. Three other groups of people are doing a similar work, so it was an interesting event as we talked about the different solutions we each have.

Snap! Websites are powered by Drup CMS. A system used by more and more people as it has matured to a quite advanced system with a large number of third party modules that complement it very well.

  • 1. I'm attaching the presentation below, click on the link to view it in your PDF reader.

Tiny URLs dangers and your solution!

Alexis Wilke's picture

If you've been around the Internet for some time, I'm sure you've seen a tiny URL. The name comes from the very first website that offered tiny URLs to the world. The service has always been free and has evolved quite a bit with time. Today, we have a name for such website service:

URL Shorteners

Although many people still refer the first company name for this service.

Why tiny URLs?

The idea is rather simple, it's easier to send a URL that's less than 32 characters rather than those at length URLs, especially those with random numbers (although the numbers are randomly generated, obviously, they have a meaning in regard to your usage of the site that gave you that URL and are generally called Session Identifiers.)

For example, there is a tiny URL for this very page:

http://tinyurl.com/4994dst

Getting out of of some pages you liked and are not using anymore...

Alexis Wilke's picture

Farmer's Market Mess in Somerville, USAFacebook is a wild beast. I'm not too sure why they feel like they have to change their interface so very often, but the fact is that they do.

The current version is not so bad once you understand where the navigation is. Do you know where it is?

I'm sure most people don't find the Facebook menu practical. It's not a usual, easy to use, and intuitive website menu, to say the least. And yes, I'm not talking about the one at the top right corner which is a regular drop-down menu and works well. That one is also useful to manage your account (what email you receive, change your email address, password, or even close your Facebook account!)

What do you need for creating a new Snap! websites?

Alexis Wilke's picture

Living on the Track (from Living on the Track in Bangkok)Pense-bête

There is the pense-bête (French meaning reminder)1 I use whenever I create a new website. These are a few basic things you mustn't forget to include on all the websites you create or you will lose traffic, and everyone knows that traffic is the bloodstream of a website, after all.

So, what's important to include on your Snap website on day 1?

  • Name
  • Domain Name to correspond to the chosen name
  • Twitter/Facebook Accounts
  • read more...
  • 1. In case you try Google Translator, let me tell you that it won't work on that one. "pense" is "think" at the 3rd person. "bête" is "idiot", many translation will tell you "beast", which is correct too. However, in this case, it is an idiot reminder. This is quite similar to those Books For Dummies. So a good translation here would be: Creating a new Website for Dummies.

AddThis not working...

Alexis Wilke's picture

AddThis.com without the CSS to beautify it.Somehow, today all our websites looked like there were running very slowly...

The problem was that it was trying to read the AddThis button and attached JavaScript code and could not do so because for some reason AddThis is currently down. It has been for hours so I'm writing this blog post in that regard!

It is the first time that I see AddThis down. It may have happened before, but the fact is I have never seen it before. The site still shows up, after all the necessary connections time out and it shows up without any styling (ugly Web 0.9 or something like that.)

No shame in having your system down, especially for small companies. That's a much bigger one though therefore that's strange that they would be down for so long. Anyway, CSS problems similar to this one did happen to us as two of our caches were not properly synchronized!

Snap! SEO: Google working on their own advice!

Alexis Wilke's picture

Today, I'll be quite lazy...

There is a video from Google presented by Matt Cutts. Matt is an engineer who knows a lot of things about Google search capabilities and talks about them in videos like this one. Check his channel if you want to learn more. This is very similar to my Snap! SEO posts here.

This video talks about the fact that Google, the company, had many products that were not SEO friendly. Remember that if you want to beat competition, it is not enough to bring loads of traffic to your site. You also need something compelling on the page. Generally, Google has compelling tools (also, orkut is terrible!) But if your pages are ugly and not SEO friendly at all, traffic will be much lower than it could other be. This is why I add features in Snap! that help you with your website SEO work. Most of the things Matt talks about here are automated with Snap!

A "username" for your Facebook groups, pages and applications!

Alexis Wilke's picture
Macro picture of a spider with hairy legs and mandibles walking in its web.
Isn't that an ugly spider?!
As ugly as those URLs!

When you first create your group, business page or application its URL looks deadly ugly. It includes your page name, but it has a very large number too... A number you can be sure no one will remember. Okay, maybe one or two people, but I hope you're really looking into getting a few more than that to Like your page! Oh! And Speaking of that, don't forget to click the Like button of this very page, look up there...

Now there is a good example: the Snap! Websites page. Really, it went like this:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Snap/1522773647853491

This reminds me of those URLs sent to you by pretty much all the websites where you can create an account or download something after you entered your email address. They will include one really ugly usually random number. Actually, some of those websites will send you 3 or 4 of these long numbers. I'm still not too sure why they cannot do the same thing with one small number. When you register for Snap! I generate one very small number and you still have something like 1 billion possibilities, so the chances for a hacker to get the right number are quite slim. Okay... sorry... that was my rant about silly billies better known as website programmers.

Google Search for your Snap! Website

Alexis Wilke's picture

About AdSense

You can get an easy to install Google AdSense functionality on your website with Snap! Websites Upgrade: Google AdSense.

As you've seen, quite many websites show you advertisement and those will have a Google AdSense mark in a corner (usually bottom right.) If you do not yet have an AdSense account, it is easy to sign up. The only requirements is for you to have your own website since the point of using AdSense is for you to display the AdSense ads to your website visitors.)1

  • 1. If you did not yet verify your website with Google, you may also be asked to verify it. I passed on that part in this post, but will come back to it in the Snap! Documentation.