Irish Blog Awards 2009 Photowalk

About time I posted these. The Blog Awards took place in Cork this year, last February, and before the big night, a good number of photographers wandered around Cork City. I posted several IBA09 photos on my photoblog already but here are a few more:

BTW – if you’re in Cork next weekend, there are still places left in the photowalk! I haven’t decided where we should go after the walk but it’ll probably be The Old Oak as they have plenty of room.

Continue reading “Irish Blog Awards 2009 Photowalk”

How not to advertise a blogging event

blog advertising

Don’t search for your event topic and spam the blogs you find.

At least make the effort to look up the blog author’s name and send them an email. I would have gladly plugged Kinsale Arts Week if they had been polite. Big Bad Fail.

John, my personal spammer!

With apologies to anyone named John. Spammers are getting more clever at spreading their links. Now legitimate website owners are using software tools that allow them to enter keywords of their choice to a create a list of related blogs with comment forms. Many of these applications list blogs that pass Google Rank to the websites of visitors. That’s why I stopped doing the “dofollow” thing several months ago. Since then the number of spam comments has gone down slightly. Cookie for Comments stops the spam bots dead but the human spammer scum still get through.

Next time Akismet marks a legitimate looking comment as spam (or you get a comment from someone who was supposedly christened Austin Texas Photographer by his parents), check your logs. Look up the IP address of the visitor. You may find something like this. Note the lack of a referrer, an old Firefox user agent and then “bsalsa.com” is in the UA of the next request for a post. Bsalsa make a Windows toolkit that this software obviously uses. They’re fans of Borland Delphi apparently!

"GET /2006/11/04/cork-cinema-listings/ HTTP/1.0" 200 43366 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en; rv:1.8.1.11) Gecko/20071127 Firefox/2.0.0.12"

"GET /feed/ HTTP/1.0" 302 84 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en; rv:1.8.1.11) Gecko/20071127 Firefox/2.0.0.11"

"GET /2006/11/04/cork-cinema-listings/ HTTP/1.1" 200 12089 "-" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; GTB6; User-agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; http://bsalsa.com) ; User-agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; http://bsalsa.com) (Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en; rv:1.8.1.11) Gecko/20071127 Firefox/2.0.0.11); .NET CLR 2.0.50727)"

When my blogs were dofollowing, I’d get loads of spam comments every day. The tools used fire off a request to the blog to examine the links on that page. They highlight dofollow links so the user knows their spam comment will generate Google Juice for their site.

I was getting so sick and tired of them I contacted several spammers. Lindsay who commented on inphotos.org replied:

Hi Lindsay,

As a photographer, I’m always looking for other blogs to comment on but it’s hard to find interesting photoblogs that post anything other than photos. How did you find my blog? I didn’t see a Google search in my logs. Is it a special program?

Thanks,
Donncha

She was really helpful, even replying twice when I didn’t reply again:

I actually have a program called G-force fast blog finder. Basically, i put in some keywords and it searches ALL blogs with those keywords. THEN it tells me if those blogs do or do not have the “uComment iFollow” addon. Blogs that allow the “follow” tag are good for search engines if i post a comment with a link to my site.. SO basically, i get to look at photography blogs and comment on them while i help my website obtain some more links.

Basically, search engines rank your page based on a few things, one of them is link backs. Basically, a link from a site to my site is like a vote for my site saying it is good. So the more other websites link to my site, the better.. HOWEVER, some blogs and websites have the NOFOLLOW tag in them which does not let the search engines see it. Your site does allow the uComment iFollow.

We also created a link exchange program on our website. if you’re interested, it helps you too also have links for your site on other people’s site. If you go to my site here:
http://__________.com/catalog/links.php
You can submit your link and even a small picture to be displayed.
Let me know if you have any other questions

Lindsay

Yea. I Down loaded a program called fast blogger. They have a free trial and basically you add in search term and it searches all blogs for that term. It gives you lists of links to them and tells you if they are no follow or Ufollow IConment blogs. Basically, by findig blogs related to my webstie and blog and posting comments, it helps my website with the search engines when I post a link. It’s a win win situation. You get blog views and comments and the post gets a link back to third site.

If you are interested, I also have a blog. It’s at http://_____________.com/blog

Feel free to comment away and leave a link back to your blog.

We also have a link exchange. Basically you go to Http://____________.com/catalog/links.php

Click submit link and then we will add another link to our website. All we ask is you link back to us in return.

It’s basically everyone helping each other in order to get good page ranking for thief keywords

If you have any questions , Id be happy to answer.

Lindsay

Very helpful wasn’t she? Unfortunately it was the final straw. All links in comments are nofollowed again. Bloody spammers.

The spam comments continue but recently I’ve taken to changing the name of the person to “John”, removing their email and url and then allowing through the comment.

john the spammer

john the spammer

Thanks John!

The Irish Blog Awards in Pictures

As I may have mentioned once or twice before, we were at The Irish Blog Awards on Saturday night. Here are a few photos. They’re after the jump because there are 70 there and I’d hate to see them load every time someone loaded the front page of my site!

Gallery of shots from the photowalk to come tomorrow. Possibly over 100 shots in that. I do like to take photos don’t I?

grandad

BTW – Please Photoshop Grandad above. What’s he saying? Two example to follow ..
Continue reading “The Irish Blog Awards in Pictures”

Back from The Irish Blog Awards 2009

Jacinta and I are just back from the The 2009 Irish Blog Awards and we’re elated after the experience. If I thought I could convey half the good humour and energy and enthusiasm I’d try but I know I’d fail dismally. It was a wonderful night, full of great people and I’m only sorry we couldn’t stay longer and chat some more!

winner

Thank you Damien and everyone who helped. You pulled off a hugely success celebration of Irish blogging.

Skimming the web

The way I see it, there are three stages to web browsing:

  1. The web is new. You visit the blogs of friends and colleagues every day. You use Gmail or Yahoo mail and check in on your favourite sites a few times a day.
  2. It quickly becomes tiring visiting websites every day that may not have any new content. You discover feed readers and play around with a few of them. You find that Google Reader is a pretty good one and you start subscribing to every single interesting blog or feed you find.
  3. Not long after you suffer feed fatigue. There are just too many blogs. Too much noise, too much chaff. You discover Stumbleupon, Friend Feed and Twitter (I’m ‘donncha’ on each of those if you’d like to subscribe/follow!). Now the feeds or sites you read are recommended by your trusted circle of friends. You’ll still dig into your feed reader but it seems to happen less and less and that unread items count keeps going up and up.

Now if only I had time to check out Friend Feed properly. I find I’m skimming through the web these days. If I can’t scan a blog post and understand the main points of the page within a few seconds I’m gone. It’s a sad state of affairs.

If you’re time poor, how have your web surfing habits changed? (paradoxically, if you have time to comment here, you’re not that time poor. What a bind!)

More blog details from Google Reader

More blog details from Google Reader

Click on the “Show details” link above your currently selected blog in Google Reader and you get a nice attractive posting and reading frequency graph, as well as the old Subscriber numbers.

As you can see, I don’t read The Online Photographer as much as I’d like to!