Muschamp Rd

Social Media Empire Expansion

September 12th, 2010
WordPress Logo

Another day was spent hacking away at WordPress and in particular on my WordPress theme which five years ago I dubbed “MuschampTabs”. I thought again about trying to move everything into WordPress then I remembered how many URL redirects I’d need to do, as I hate busted links. I’ve proudly stubbornly kept certain content online for a long, long, long time even though no one reads it or links to it.

My website and blog used to be more popular, but I took it down for a while. I told some readers they weren’t welcome and I probably pissed off a few people online and off. What can I say they had it coming. But now that I’m unemployed I’m dusting off my old Computer Science degree or more accurately a few hard earned HTML and CSS skills and a smidgen of PHP to tweak Muskblog.

The recent additions include greater online social network integration. Whenever I post I don’t tell the entire world, though Networked Blogs does update a few people via Facebook, who chose to follow my blog. I still prefer RSS, it’s simple and anonymous. I am unlikely to auto-sync everything (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) I plan to keep my Twitter stream fairly professional. I already have a dedicated hobby blog, so Muskblog will deal with some of my other passions, passions that are a little more main stream than Miniature Painting and Wargaming. I have a lot of interest in: cinema, music, literature, I take a pretty mean photo, and I can play the guitar. So perhaps I’ll devote more effort to blogging about that stuff. More likely I’ll try to blog more and participate in the conversations of the Digital Intelligentsia.

To that end I’ve subscribed to a bunch of new RSS feeds, I plan to revamp my blogroll, it just seems to take up space in my sidebar, who clicks on those links now a day? Supposedly site wide links have been devalued in search engines and I’m sure they deliberately targeted blogrolls. Having a heading labeled “Blogroll” basically tells a search engine that the next big chuck of links aren’t that important, maybe you did a link exchange and you know how search engines hate link exchange schemes.

Raincoaster Media had a rant about people leaving WordPress.com or WP.com, basically the free blogging platform run by Automattic for a self-hosted WordPress installation like Muskblog. Apparently some plugin which I’ve been using for years and not been terribly blown away by is the latest savior of people who think their hit counter validates their existence. The reason you have a self hosted blog is you want to use a wider variety of plugins, have a custom theme, maybe show some ads, maybe even blog about something controversial, you shouldn’t do it just for search engine optimization. You want to do better in search engines, create better content.

It’s that simple if your content sucks, no one will read it, and they certainly won’t link to it. It doesn’t matter how tweaked your meta tags are, or how many times you leave comments on popular blogs, in the hope people will notice and follow the backlink. People will read your blog if you have something interesting to say, with interesting being a very loosely defined term. I recommend blogging about celebrities if you want to become one yourself like that dude named Paris.

As part of my media empire building campaign I exported my data from Books.LivingSocial.com as no one I know actively uses that service and it seems to be just a side project for LivingSocial and moved the content to Goodreads which is recommend by the Digital Intelligentsia. I’d previously looked at getting my current reading list in my sidebar and there was no plugin or widget for books.livingsocial, even their Facebook integration isn’t that great. Last.fm works, some of the Last.fm plugins not so well, but at least they don’t badly break things as Bird Feeder did. Anyway there is a WordPress plugin for Goodreads and I’m now using it. Both services support an RSS feed of your reading, but Goodreads seems totally focused on books, rather than coupons.

I never use coupons.

I do read, collect, and even horde books. My dream house would have a library or at least a study, basically a room filled with books, a comfy chair and a desk, maybe one window. You can learn a lot from perusing a person’s bookshelf . If all you read is what Oprah tells you, what does that say about your originality and uniqueness. That said apparently the Oprah book club recommend “The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck which is a good novel that I’ve read multiple times. It is probably the best book about China written by a non-Chinese.

So besides moving some data around and categorizing it differently and installing a plugin, what else did I do? Well I went through eight years of digital photos and uploaded the best of them to Flickr. I then took the best of the best and created a set. Then I used the Flickr badge, which works quite well, no need for special plugin, to show three random photos from this set in my sidebar. This is similar to what I did on one of my hobby sites. I plan to do more social media integration with some of my other static HTML.


  • Anonymous

    “blog about something controversial”??? I blog about controversial things on a fairly regular basis, including mirroring the blogs of mass murderers, and I am much more secure having my stuff at WordPress.com than I am with any of my independent platforms. I have yet to see a WP.com blog taken down for simply being controversial. Has your experience with them been different?

  • I used controversial in the broad sense of the word. There are things you are not allowed to do on WordPress.com. I don’t remember them all but Porn, Nazism, bomb building instructions, pirated intellectual property, holocaust denial, etc. I’ve seen some of those things on Blogger but I can proudly say others I’ve never gone near some of those topics online, bomb building instructions, I mean that’ll get you on some list at the CSIS. The pirated intellectual property is the one I see a lot, just Google “UFC PPV livestream” around the time of one of their events. There is always some blogger blog linking to Justin.tv or whatever. The UFC has gone after the Justin.tv’s of the world, but they’ll knock on Google’s door someday, to go after the bloggers who post the links to the illegal streams. They went after the big MMA blogs, but these blogs pop up, show ads and links, then you never hear about them again. WordPress seems to have less scummy stuff like that.

    Security is all relative. The biggest risk to security is a bad password. If you’re password is 123ABC or “God” or Cleveland you’re asking for trouble. I think in general spam is a bigger problem then being hacked. Blogs have no credit cards stored in their databases. Spammers are more of a problem if you self host, though that problem is less than it was five years ago. I use DISQUS which you can’t on WordPress.com, I like it better then IntenseDebate. Basic WordPress commenting has improved a lot in supporting OpenID and Gravatars and all that stuff. That took a lot of hacking on your theme to do years ago. Nested comments, voting stuff up or down, all that is built into DISQUS which is like a one click install.

    I don’t know many WP.com blogs. Blogger wins in the circles I blog in, either that or self hosted WordPress blogs. Hobby blogs, even music blogs seem to be on Blogspot mostly, whereas tech, social media, and marketing blogs seem to run self-hosted WordPress. About the only WP.com blog I regularly read is yours. Well that and Greeningtheinnericity.ca and other ones I admin.

    Cheers,

  • I’ve been repeatedly threatened and ostracized for telling the truth. I took down my blog for over six months and left a vague message in its place. I told dozens of people who repeatedly insisted they were my friends to “fuck off” after years of refusing to admit they lied and turned their back on me and only hearing from them when they wanted me do them yet another favour.

    So yeah I’ve done and said stuff most people would never do, I’ve suffered for it too.

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