iPhone 3G with Wordpress Support!

Wow, I really don’t have any excuses about neglecting my blog! This WordPress application allows me to write, tag, categorize and even save drafts!

If it isn’t already clear, I am actually writing this post on my iPhone, and soon as I master memorizing 100 character URL’s I’ll be able to use it’s HTML editor to embed photos. 🙂

I have a lot to catch people up on. There are my 2G & 3G iPhone experiences, Scotland (check out Flikr for now), an AppleTV, GTA4, and a TON of books I have read in the past while.

More soon!

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Singapore


Originally uploaded by Adrian F1

Hello everyone,

I have been fighting a bad cold for most of my trip in Singapore, so I have been using what little energy I have had to focus on the travel and picture taking!

I have been good about uploading the pictures I have been taking, so if you are interested, have a look at photos.bashford.ca.

Even with the cold, I am really enjoying Singapore and have visited the financial district, the tourist quays, Little India, and yesterday the island of Sentosa.

Today Laura and I travel to Bangkok for the weekend, so looks for pictures of our trip there soon!

Adrian.

Creating an RSS Feed and Why?

This is just a quick post for some of my friends who have blogs and don’t have an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed set up.

It is super easy to do, just go to Feedburner and set up an account.

Why?

  • It allows people to subscribe to your blog
  • It allows people to read your posts from RSS readers, which can expand your audience, or just make it more convenient for your existing readers.
  • Some devices, like Blackberries and mobile phones, actually prefer the more simplified RSS feeds, making it easier for people to read your blog from a mobile phone or ‘Crackberry’
  • RSS provides the content in such a way that the bandwidth used is also limited, which is good for people with slow internet connections or using mobile devices
  • Haven’t you always wanted to be ‘Syndicated’?

Once you have set up your account on Feedburner, you can track how many subscribers you have.

Also, it is worthwhile to add a button to your site that allows people to subscribe. This is also easy to do, but differs on each site (so I guess I can say on WordPress it is easy to do) so I won’t post instructions here.

Depending on what kind of browser you are using, this will look different, but here is a link to what this blog looks like as an RSS feed.

Geez, I Have a Boring Blog!

Reviewing my posts lately, I think I am giving the wrong impression of my interests; you would think that I only trade stocks, and only AAPL at that!

I have to get on to some more interesting topics, like what albums are worth listening to, what car you should drive, how you should vote, what is the best religion, or how great Starbucks really is. 🙂

Fact is, I have been spending my time experimenting with another blog, but I am going to keep it under wraps for now because I want to see how it pans out without any impact from my friends on the site statistics. So far the site traffic is pretty impressive, but working on it has negatively impacted work on this blog. Also, it looks like I am going to be doing a blog at work as well (I have recently started a job in ‘Business Intelligence’), so perhaps my interest in blogging will wane as I become blogged out.

So, what is ‘Business Intelligence’ you might ask? It sounds like a euphemism for sure, but no, I will not be getting into the cement-shoe business as many of you have long expected. Rather, it is an umbrella term for things like competitive intelligence, market intelligence, customer intelligence, just a lot of intelligence… I hope I have enough. My previous role involved creating a road map for our products, but that has been less than satisfying! I can now say ‘I told you so’ for a living, instead of just as a byproduct.

The best part is that I get to help start a new team, and help create all the support mechanisms to collect and disseminate information. My experience doing this blog has been a very valuable contributor to that. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to use WordPress, instead, some sort of ‘safe for corporate use’ garbage. But hopefully it will be workable.

By the way, did you know WordPress is up for a ‘Bloggers Choice‘ award? It definitely deserves it!

[Insert Catchy Title Here!]

The point of this post is based on something I learned from my weekend post “Rats, My Startup Just Got Googled!”.

That is, perhaps more than ever, the headline is the most valuable part of the story.

With the overwhelming number of blogs, many dealing with the same topic, you have to catch your reader quickly so they will invest time on the rest of your post.

I can’t state this with absolute certainty, because I have no way of knowing why people clicked on my recent post, but I saw an instant jump of interest when I (admittedly accidentally) gave people the impression that I may own a startup that just got acquired, or maybe killed, by Google. There was a pool of internet users that were, for some reason, interested in this topic. It was either that, or the lawyers online thought I was addressing the article to them in particular: Maclean’s – Lawyers Are Rats 😉

My previously most successful article had views in the order of 10’s. With the “Rats” post, I have seen 900 hits in the last two days! It was rated on WordPress as the 7th most popular post of the day, and as high as 3rd (that I saw) on http://news.ycombinator.com/ which contributed most of the referrals to my blog (hey thanks!).

So, can you use any title to attract attention? The challenge is to make sure that people don’t feel ripped off when they then take the time to read your post. Did they learn something? Did it make them laugh? Did it point them to other valuable places? If yes, then cool, and you can get away with catchy, but perhaps not relevant, titles.

With newspapers, the headline on the front page could sell the whole paper. This means that a newspaper or even magazine editor could just focus on one key message to get the readers to buy. Or rather, it was the product of the paper’s brand (say “Globe & Mail”) and the headline (“Internet collapses due to Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in HD”) that would impact sales.

On a blog, it is the product of the blogger’s reputation, and the headline. On the “Rats” post I got lucky on the latter, and hopefully increased the prior.

Using photos from other people on your Blog…

If you are a blogging noob like myself, you probably didn’t give much thought to adding photos to your Blog that you might not own. It was only in retrospect that I realized that some of my posts included photo’s which I did not check the usage rights on! Yikes!

In searching for the best way to add photos from others, I came across this great post which shows some easy ways to get good photos on your blog, without any legal issues!

The easiest approach is to leverage a photo site that allows you to search for items that are posted with a Creative Commons License. The advanced search feature of Flickr offers this feature (go down to the check box that says “ “).

Read more about Creative Commons licenses on Wikipedia, but the gist of it is: make sure you give credit to the creator, do not edit it, and you must use the work for non-commercial purposes. In the Fickr search you can actually even specify and search CC-licensed items that allow commercial use and editing.

The Creative Commons website also offers a simple tool to create some nice HTML code for you to add to your own photos based on what type of license you would like to apply.

Thanks to Andrew Ferguson for the post and the free education!

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