Feet up!

RSS adverts

Something that isn't included in the standard Blogads setup is a simple way to broadcast your adverts to the large section of your readers who consume your RSS feed and rarely see the html version of your content (and hence the all important ads).

To counter this I've written a simple kludgy Pythonic solution to take my adverts and in association with cron post them into my blog once a week.

When I've debugged and cleaned this up a bit further (there's some big content assumptions right now) and made it a little easier to use I'll post it here (under GPL or Python licence probably) so that other Blogads customers can take advantage of this.

The first output from this can be seen here, I'm considering whether to have a new post every week so I can maintain a trail of adverts through time on this blog or whether just to have a single post that changes every week. I'm opting for the latter approach right now.

[Wed, 29 Oct 2003 21:25] | [blogging/adverts] | #

Teasing the Tiger

I'm just asking for it I know...

I've posted an article on Mobitopia asking if sales of the Nokia 6600 are going to be under pressure from the likes of the Siemens SX1 and Sendo X.

Later today at the Nokia Mobile Internet Conference Nokia are expected to announce a raft of new phones, including apparantly their much rumoured series 90 communicator, maybe they'll announce yet another series 60 phone, it'd certainly put the mockers on my 6600 rant...

Update: and sure enough the Nokia 7700 is a cracking device, like the N-Gage Nokia are exploring new territory, this time without so much fanfare and hoopla. Matt Croydon has a great overview of the 7700 on Mobitopia.

[Tue, 28 Oct 2003 14:53] | [mobile] | #

SVG in Mozilla/Firebird

Tip of the day from Phil Wilson. I'd half heartedly tried getting SVG working on Mozilla a while back and failed, however this simple solution appears to do the trick.

Or as Phil said *phew*. Thanks Phil, foafnaut is just so much nicer to use from a proper browser.

[Wed, 22 Oct 2003 22:13] | [tech] | #

New iBooks look interesting, must resist...

I seem to be joining Tom in experiencing unhealthy Apple laptop desires especially since the G4 iBooks were announced today.

Still, I've got my bank balance to scare me out of the lust right now. Anyway I'd be looking at installing Linux on the device. Sure OS X might look nice, but it's just another commercial closed source OS, it'd be no better ethically than using Windows. So I can also wait for some brave soul to follow Edd's lead and install Debian GNU/Linux on the new iBook before I really start to need one.

[Wed, 22 Oct 2003 22:11] | [tech] | #

Wheel re-inventing

Spotted on Lockergnome

Kunekt Cards make your contact information available as an RSS or RDF (News) feed. Place a button on your web site so your friends and associates can subscribe to your contact information. Never again send out notifications by email, post or fax! Just make a change to your Kunekt Card and everyone who subscribes to your Kunekt Card will be automatically notified. Import your contact details from vCards and Outlook / Outlook Express.

Maybe I've missed the point somewhere, but what does this give you that you can't already do with Foaf? And if you really have to have this information in a feed, Foaf in RSS 1.0 fits the bill quite nicely does it not? Atom might do this too if and when they stop running around in circles, I wonder if they are regretting throwing out RDF yet...

[Tue, 21 Oct 2003 08:57] | [Foaf] | #

Slack Blogging

Not sure what happened last week, plenty of ideas buzzing around the old head, few/none of which made it here or on Mobi. I've got the start of about 3-4 huge rants for Mobi written, but they're all stalled, maybe it was the full moon, who knows.

Code wise I've got a handful of python scripts for doing "useful things" (tm) that might start emerging next week if I can beat them into sufficiently sane shape! I'd love to say they use exceptions properly but as they're rather lashed together they're more representative of the head in the sand approach to exceptions that some people have been espousing recently...

Blogwise, I know there's a linking problem on here if you play around with the category stuff, I think there's a problem with one of my pyblosxom flavour files, no biggie, but it'll take some hunting down.

Off to micro-post on Mobi, wish me luck...

[Sun, 19 Oct 2003 06:30] | [blogging] | #

Monthly blogroll October 2003

As with the intermittent weekly blogrolls this list is mostly hand maintained currently, but here are the people I have read in the last month (but less frequently than once a week):

Andrew Savory
Ben James
Blogging Ecosystem
Christof Meerwald

Dean Allen
Fragments from Floyd
Guru of the week
Jarno Virtanen

Jeff Porcaro
Jill Walker
Len Holgate
Niel Eyde

Nigel Harris
Pascale Soleil
Patrick O'Brien

Pete Barr-Watson
Rael Dornfest
Simon Fell
Simon Willison
Terje Sørgjerd
Yazan Diranieh

[Wed, 15 Oct 2003 22:15] | [blogging/blogroll] | #

Keeping Blaine Awake

Fellow Mobitopian Martin Little has just been invited to talk on Irish national radio about KeepBlaineAwake a comedy website he's involved with, so far it's been covered in Maxim magazine and he almost got onto the BBC's Liquid News, what a media whore :-)

Now I'm just waiting for the MP3s of the interview...

[Wed, 15 Oct 2003 13:44] | [comedy] | #

The Stig Unveiled

Maybe I missed this being announced on Top Gear, but I was always curious about who was playing "The Stig" their anonymous caricature lunatic racing driver.

Then I stumbled across Perry McCarthy's book Flat Out, Flat Broke in a bookshop and the front cover has a photo of him as the Stig, with the bold proclamation

"Perry McCarthy - TV's 'The Stig'"
I've read loads of anecdotes from or about Perry over the years in the motoring press, I bet the book is a cracker.
[Sun, 12 Oct 2003 20:51] | [motorsport] | #

Believers in advertising

Cartoon - Blogads turn heads

Hugh MacLeod (who seems to be becoming the Bloggers' cartoonist) has drawn this ad cartoon for Blogads. Hmm, an advertising solution advertising itself, I guess they really must believe in the power of advertising!

[Sat, 11 Oct 2003 07:09] | [blogging] | #

Taco time

'Hello, Taco Bell?' N-Gage-ing phone conversations

It seems to be a standing joke that you have to look like a dick whilst making a phone call on the Nokia N-Gage, unfortunately the truth is even worse.

If you see someone making a call on an N-Gage taco style remember one thing; the guy has actually chosen to look like a dick!

Did you know that a hands-free kit comes as standard equipment with an N-Gage? Or that Bluetooth the feature much touted for multi-player gaming, is also rather handy for use with a headset? Although admittedly a Bluetooth headset can make one look a little like Uhura from Star Trek!

[Mon, 06 Oct 2003 20:25] | [mobile] | #

ACCU - whoops!

I just renewed my ACCU (the Association of C and C++ Users) subscription, I'd nearly forgotten about it!

If you're even half serious about C++ you'd be daft not to join these guys. The website has a huge number of book reviews and the mentored developers programmes are great for personal development. Their really good mailing lists (some open to non members) are a great resource too.

Possibly the best bit is the two magazines every two months, both written by members, one's a good general magazine covering all levels of C and C++, book reviews, some Java, some Python and general ACCU business. The other magazine Overload is superb, written by some of the top C++ developers in the World (did I mention that Bjarne was a member?), and is full of articles on leading C++ usage and design.

[Mon, 06 Oct 2003 13:44] | [dev/cpp] | #

P900 On The Launch Pad

P900 and T610 together

I've written a quick round up of the state of play of the upcoming replacement for the SonyEricsson P800 the P900 over on Mobitopia, it's a good looking well specified phone, let's hope it's better than the Motorola A920...

[Fri, 03 Oct 2003 00:12] | [mobile] | #

Content Is King?

That tired old mantra keeps being rolled out, but is it really so?

A superb article by Martin Little on Mobitopia highlights his frustration with Three's walled garden of limited content.

Content is no use at all if it's content you're not interested in, Three don't seem to have grokked this fact...

[Wed, 01 Oct 2003 22:37] | [mobile] | #

Information for potential advertisers

As I'm touting for business, here's a little background on what this blog is about, why I blog, how much I blog etc.

I've been blogging for about 18 months, I'd like to think I'm writing more interesting, more coherant, less navel gazing content than I was 18 months ago, but you guys are the best judges of that!

I'm based in the UK, I'm a software developer who owns/runs a small consultancy, and as with all small businesses I'll happily turn my hand to a little bit of everything. This can be reflected in my blogging which sometimes has a rather scattergun approach to subjects.

I wrote a long post last November, about why I blog, what I blog about and who I blog for. At least 99% of this still holds true, although knowing that 1000s of people read this blog every month makes it a little harder to maintain the illusion that I'm only writing for myself...

In addition to writing here, I also write for Mobitopia. Some of that content also makes it onto here, some of it doesn't. There's no hard and fast rules as to when I cross post although I'm more likely to post content here when it's looking a bit quiet. Update rate, I aim to post at least 5-6 items a week here, usually on weekdays. I'd like to say I'm aiming for a quality not quantity but that's not strictly true, although I do consciously try to avoid following every latest meme.

Lastly integrity, yeah I've heard of it :-) Actually I'm unlikely to slag off your product if you're advertising with me out of politeness if nothing else. If I really don't like your product I won't accept your advert in the first place (one great things about Blogads is that I have this level of control, quite unlike Adsense). Conversely, I'm not going to spout reams of glowing advertorial about your product just because you've placed an ad with me, what do you expect for $18/month? Blood? :-)

[Wed, 01 Oct 2003 21:20] | [blogging] | #

Mamon strikes again

I've added an ad box to this blog, it's run by BlogAds and it'll be interesting to see if I get many/any ads!

Why did I choose BlogAds over Google? A few big reasons, choice, control, and transparency. Choice and control are two way, both myself and potential advertisers get control and choice over whether they advertise on this blog; the number of sites I've seen with inappropriate Google ads is very high. Transparency, my rate card is visible to all as are the traffic levels so an advertiser doesn't have to worry about alleged invalid clicks and I as a publisher don't have to worry about trusting whether a third party will accurately count my click thru's or pay me.

I'm very happy with my choice, especially as everyone I know with Google ads seems to have suffered a significant downturn in revenue. Having said that I'm not looking to make a fortune here, and I'll be keeping the adverts to an unobtrusive level, let's see what happens!

[Wed, 01 Oct 2003 15:21] | [blogging] | #

Jim Hughes
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