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WeblogsInc Network Hacked

WeblogsInc was hacked in the last few hours. ScottKidder.com has the news and screenshot.

Their sites now seem to be up and running again. Not a nice experience to go through I’m sure for the WeblogsInc team.

Yahoo! Health Expert Blogs

I wondered how long it would take for the Search Engines to get into blogging themselves as a commercial endeavor and it seems that Yahoo! have decided to get in on the act with Yahoo! Health Expert Blogs.

As Steve points out this is probably a strategy that they’ll roll out on a larger scale which could be seen as something of a threat to many entrepreneurial bloggers (especially the networks).

I always did wonder what the ethics were of a search engine having it’s own content sites to drive traffic to are – any thoughts?

Changes at Gizmodo

Megablog – Gizmodo – is going through some changes at the moment with the leaving of editor Joel Johnson who is leaving to pursue a freelance career and plans to find a new Gizmodo team (apply via that link).

It will be interesting to see how the changes impact the blog. Joel is a great blogger who has built Gizmodo up incredibly over the past couple of years. I wonder if the new team can build on his success.

Good luck Joel – it’s been a pleasure interacting with you over the past year or so – best of luck with the new ventures. Joel will be able to be contacted through his own site here (currently down as he’s moving servers).

Responding to Blogging Criticism

Thanks to Robert for linking up to ProBlogger.net while I slept last night. It’s always nice to get a positive link from a larger blogger who sends an influx of new readers into your blog.

It’s been an interesting week here at ProBlogger for this reason – after the exposure I had in the Aussie Press and a few link ups from bigger bloggers I’ve ridden the roller coaster ride of publicity. With it comes some amazing opportunities but also a few hard knocks.

I’ve been on the receiving end of a few critiques of my blogging style this week – some of which have been quite valid and helpful – others of which have been quite scathing and verging on personal attacks (and of course quite a few of these are anonymous as per usual).

So what is my response to an ‘unfair critique’? Firstly I’d say don’t ignore it – I like to see every critique/threat/attack as an opportunity to better your blog and to win over more readers. How do you do that? Over the past couple of years I’ve developed the following type of process in responding to them:

1. Take a deep breath and give yourself a little space from the criticism – One of the worst things you can do when getting a critical comment or email is to respond in the moment out of the anger, fear, confusion and hurt that you might feel as a result. Go for a walk around the block, have a coffee, ring a friend or just take a few minutes to cool down before responding. At times I’ve even left responding until the next day when I’m thinking clearer.

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Blogging Tools Compared

Susannah Gardner has written an article comparing blog tools that is a good read for anyone considering starting a new blog and wondering which platform is right for them. Accompanying the article is a very useful chart that compares the features of some of the more popular tables.

This is a chart I’ll be recommending clients take a look at.

Read more at Time to check: Are you using the right blogging tool?

Google currency converter

Why didn’t anyone tell me about Google’s ability to do currency conversions before? I just learned about it at Geeky Info and think it’s a feature I’ll be using lots.

All you have to do is enter an amount that you want to convert into a normal Google search field and it’ll do a current conversion for you.

So to find out what one US dollar equals in Australian dollars (down to 8 decimal points!) you just enter:

1 USD in AUD

and here’s what you get when you ‘search’

Google-Currency-Conversion

Don’t know the country code? No problem try entering:

currency of Britain in Australian money

or 5 British pounds in Australian money

Handy stuff for a blogger wanting to convert their earnings into a local currency.

Google Page Rank Explained?

Many of ProBlogger.net readers are reporting in comments significant changes in their blog’s Google Page Rankings in this latest update. Those sites that are reporting the largest changes tend to be new sites (which is understandable) with older more mature blogs reporting only minor (if any) changes.

Every time Google updates like this I find my email inbox full of questions about Page Rank – questions like”

  • what is Page Rank?
  • why is it important?
  • how do I improve my blog’s Page Rank?
  • why isn’t my Page Rank changing?
  • how do I check my blog’s Page Rank?
  • why has my blog’s Page Rank gone down?
  • is Page Rank still relevant?

The questions are many and varied so I thought I’d attempt to answer a few (keeping in mind that on many of these questions no one (outside of Google’s inner circle) really knows the answer to some of them).

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T-Shirt Design Competition – Prize Review

I’ve decided that the $100 at Amazon first prize in my ‘design me a T-Shirt’ competition is just not good enough. So here’s what I’m going to do:

1. You’ll still get your $100 (USD) worth of products from Amazon
2. You’ll get the very first T-Shirt free (worth around $20)
3. I’ll offer you 1 hour of blog consultation free for your blog – you choose what you want me to work on (worth $60+)
4. I’ll link to your blog on my side bar for free for 1 month after the prize is announced (priceless – well not worthless)
5. I’ll highlight your blog in a ‘winners’ post (another not worthless give away)
6. I’ll add your blog to be the number one blog on my RSS feed which will mean I’ll check it multiple times per day and become your blog’s number 1 fan! (ok it’s not worth much – but you’ll get yourself a new dedicated reader)

So get your butt into gear, put your creative hat on and design me a T-Shirt! If you can’t do one yourself tell someone who can and split the prize with them.

I’ve had a few good entries so far, but I just know there are more creative design genius types out there. Show me what you’re made of. If you’re short on inspiration – head to the t-shirt page at cafepress.com for some ideas of what other T-shirts are popular.

Google is Page Rank Update – July 05

Forums are reporting that Google is doing a Toolbar Page Rank update – I’m yet to notice any significant changes but have chatted to a few bloggers who noticed big leaps and falls in their blogs. Is it impacting you yet? As per usual it’s too early to tell where everything will settle – but share your initial observations if you’d like in comments below.

Living high on the blog

High On The Blog

Today’s online edition (I don’t think it’s in the print editions) of the Sydney Morning Herald and Age newspapers have featured an article of me Living high on the blog (also here). In it they largely talk about how I came to earn a living from blogging and have a rather large photo (left) of me reclining on the stairs in our last house.

The article highlights ProBlogger.net as well as a couple of my other blogs – so welcome to those of you who’ve surfed across to check this site out. If you’re interested in blogging and/or making a living from it, please feel free to surf around.

Most of the articles on this blog (there are 1300 pages in all) are hidden away in the categories archives which can be accessed through the menus at the top of the page and through the menu at the bottom of the left side bar (Archives).

Also helpful are the pages About ProBlogger and About Darren. Lastly you may wish to subscribe to a weekly email newsletter which gives a summary of what I write about here.

I hope you enjoy your stay at ProBlogger – if you need any more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.