Ryan Jones Blog – dotCULT.com Ryan Jones Blogs About Internet Culture, Marketing, SEO, & Social Media

December 19, 2006

I Finally Have A CMS

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 1:09 am

I finally gave in and decided it was time to upgrade the website. That’s right, no more using PHPMyAdmin to administer dotCULT. I took the plunge and installed WordPress.

They were right about the 5 minute install.. it’s pretty easy to do. Customizing a theme however isn’t that easy. You’ll notice this page has no theme credit at the bottom, and that’s because it’s not a standard template. If you aren’t a CSS guru, I wouldn’t reccomend trying to make your own WordPress theme. Luckily, they have many great ones avialable.

If anybody knows of an AJAXy type plugin instead of popups in the WYSIWYG, that’d be great. If not, I might have to write one. It seems all the little popup windows for links and such resize the firefox window so that the actual content is unreadable.

It looks like they have some neat XMLRPC support here that will allow me to write a post through a firefox extension. I might also play with the post by email support, but I find that rather risky. Seems like it’d be too easy to spoof a post to the site.

Also, there’s a new commenting policy. I’m not going to be one of those guys who requires users register to post comments, but to fight spam you’re going to have to have at least one comment from your email address approved. So if you use a fake email address to comment, keep using the same fake one or your comments won’t show up until I get them first. Hopefully once I get more familiar with the workings I’ll be able to implement a custom captcha like on the last blog. (yes, you weren’t typing Ryan to please my ego..it was to fight spam…sure, that’s it)

Feel free to leave me some comments about the new layout. I’m trying my best to make it not look like your typical blog. dotCULT was doing what bloggers do before blogging was a term. In fact we were one of the first sites ever to have the content on left menu on right style layout that’s become ever so common now. (don’t believe me, visit archive.org circa 2000 – 2001.) I’m trying to keep up that innovative style, so tell me what you like and don’t like and I might just change it.

December 14, 2006

MySpace Passwords Cracked

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

Wired has an article about the top 20 MySpace passwords. It seems some phisher gave them his data. Here’s the top 20:

password1, abc123, myspace1, password, blink182, qwerty1, fuckyou, 123abc, baseball1, football1, 123456, soccer, monkey1, liverpool1, princess1, jordan23, slipknot1, superman1, iloveyou1 and monkey.

The article concludes that users are getting smarter about passwords, as most of tehse passwords seem to not be dictionary words (although some are just words with numbers appended).

I’ve always felt that the best way to make a hard to guess password that’s easy to remember is to abbreviate a sentence. For example, the sentence “four score and seven years ago” from Abe Lincoln’s speech would make a good password if you changed it to “4sa7ya” It’s really secure, and easy to remember too. See how that works? (plese don’t use that as a password after I listed it here)

What’s even more amazing is what we can learn about the users from their choice of passwords. Like apparantly more myspace users like baseball than football. It would also seem that many female (I hope) myspace users think quite highly of themselves…enough to call themselves a princess. There also seems to be more bitterness (fuckyou) than love (iloveyou1).

At least the lesson is sinking in: kids are starting to make more secure passwords.

December 12, 2006

Only A Couple Shopping Days Left

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

I’m writing this post on an old 700mhz HP laptop while I lay in bed.
It’s amazing how slow this seems compared to my brand new 3.something Gig Dell in the other room. It’s also weird using Windows ME and an old version of IE. It’s actually making this PHPMyAdmin text box grow as a type… weird.

Anyway.. I finished the last of my Xmas shopping today. This is the first year that I managed to get it all entirely done online. That’s right, everybody’s gift was bought with the help of Amazon and a well timed Woot off.

If you’re looking to finish up some online shopping: hurry up! You only have a few more days left to be guaranteed to recieve your order before Christmas.

December 11, 2006

Stop Listing Religion in News Articles

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

I was reading a news article today about a man arrested in New York that contained the following line “the 25 year old muslim…” when I couldn’t help but think “is it really relevant to this story that the man was muslim?” Chances are, if he were catholic or protestant that his religion wouldn’t have been listed.

So why do we list somebody’s religion only if it’s muslim? Has the witch hunt really progressed that far?

Don’t believe me? A Google search for “year old muslim” shows almost 90,000 results. “year old protestant” only shows 900. Catholic? 76,000. Hindu? only 26,000.

If you’re a news reporter or writer do me a favor: Stop listing somebody’s religion in the story unless it’s a story about religion. You’re only adding to the fear mongering.

December 10, 2006

A Pile of Printers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

I need a new printer. I just bought a new Dell (you can read about that ordeal) and now my HP PSC2210r doesn’t work anymore. I’ve tried getting new drivers, I’ve tried getting old drivers, I’ve tried some 3rd party drivers. I think it’s fried or something.

Well, eventually with some driver tweaking I got it to print but not scan. Now I need ink. A quick trip to Sams Club shows that I can get a new all in one printer for cheaper than new ink. Which seems like a good idea.

So here’s the problem: With printers being cheaper than ink, how long until our landfills are nothing but a pile of perfectly fine printers?

December 9, 2006

Another Way To Get Rankings

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

Everybody who does SEO for a living knows that it takes some hard work to build links, write relevant content, and make a useful site. It’s a full time job for some.

So what do you do if you don’t have the time to give your cite the TLC it deserves? Simple: You write a letter to the sites that rank above you and demand that they stop doing so.

Ordinarily I’d laugh my ass off at this if I hadn’t already seen it before. Sadly, my company recieved a similiar letter this summer. It was from a Ford dealer who threatened to come after us for trademark infringement for ranking above his website. The term in question was “XXXXXXXXX Ford” where XXXXXXXXX is both the name of his ford dealership, AND the city his ford dealership was located in.

So what was our site? It had a title of XXXXXXXXX Area Ford Dealers, and was simply a list of all the Ford dealers around XXXXXXXXX. The page contained their names, addresses, phone numbers, and links to their websites. It’s easy to see why it was more useful than his page and why it ranked first.

Anyway, I love these type of emails… If anybody is looking to drum up some SEO clients, I know a good place to start.

December 6, 2006

Toy Hall of Fame

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

It’s probably not official, but a website calling itself the national toy hall of fame lists 36 of the most popular toys of all time. How they came up with 36 is beyond me.

So let’s see… of the 36 I’ve had 32 (33 if you count roller blades as roller skates.) Somehow my parents never bought me Raggedy Ann, Barbie, or an easy bake oven. Does that make me neglected?

On a site note, at one time in my life I’ve either swalled or ingested at least 6 of the toys listed. (though not at the same time). How many of these toys did you have growing up?

New York Bans Trans Fats

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

New York has become the first city to ban restaurants from using Trans Fats in the food they serve. Research shows that these fats have little nutritional value, and can lead to health problems. But should they be banned?

If you ask me, people should be free to eat whatever they want to eat. Smoking is way more dangerous, and it’s not banned. Eating the mushrooms growing in my lawn isn’t good for me either, but nobody’s passing a law saying I can’t do it. (disclosure: I’ve never eaten the mushrooms that grow in my front lawn)

I hate when politicians enact these “protect the people from themselves” laws. We can’t call ourselves free if we try to legislate common sense. Are we going to pass a mandatory “eat 3 meals /day” or “breathe” law too?

I’m all for requiring restaurants to disclose what dishes contain trans fats – then the consumer can make an educated choice. But telling the consumer what to eat… that’s just going too far.

December 4, 2006

Melissa Pierce of Tampa Florida says this post is INCREDIBLE

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

How often do you come across a product being sold on the web that you deem INCREDIBLE? Melissa Pierce of Tampa, Florida says that almost everything is INCREDIBLE. In fact, she loves every product she uses so much that she has to write a testimonial about it. Take a Look. Some products are so INCREDIBLE that she’s even bought them multiple times from different websites.

By the way, if you want your own Fake Testimonial you can use the generator I made.

December 2, 2006

I have Blepharospasm

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

Update: I did a new post about this entitled why does my eye twitch.

Remember a couple posts ago where I talk about 1/4 life crisis, being stressed out and the like? Well, it turns out I was right. I’ve come down with a case of Blepharospasm. What is Blepharospam? It’s Eyelid twitch. For the past 3 days now my eyelids have been twitching uncontrolably. It was so bad that when I was laying on my side, I could hear what sounded like my pulse as my eyelid twitched against the pillow.

Apparantley it’s caused by stress, lack of sleep, and /or too much caffeine. Hmm.. all of those seem to pretty much describe the typical computer programmer lifestyle. Has anybody else ever suffered from this and not noticed it? What did you do? I don’t see myself being able to rectify any of those causes anytime soon without giving up work, hockey, housework, or my side projects.

I guess if anybody could use a vacation it’s me. I have one coming up the end of this month through the first week of January – I can’t wait.

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