Google Reader's improved subscription notice

One of the first things I did when I started using Google Reader was finding the bookmarklet to make subscribing to feeds easier. Unfortunately the first few times I used it I didn’t realise I had to click the “Subscribe” button in the Reader interface. It was hidden away in the top right of the page. I was too busy looking at the feed contents to notice it.

Tom and others have pointed out that Reader added a search feature but this “You are not subscribed yet” warning is a nice usability improvement that I haven’t seen anyone mention yet.

Google Reader Subscribe notice

Blogline's new interface is beta

Bloglines beta screenshot

Bloglines have announced a beta of their new interface, just after I jumped ship to Google Reader. The new interface looks snazzier than the old one and they’ve adopted some of the conventions of Google Reader. Clicking on a subscription doesn’t mark all items as read for example.

The same accelerator keys still work, and “s” still jumps to the next feed, but they don’t have the star and sharing features of Reader. If you’re reading this through a feed reader jump to the front page of and you’ll see an “I like these” list on the sidebar. Those are my shared items. Damn, I found something sticky in Reader that I can’t live without.


Bloglines now has 3 views of your feed. Like Google Reader you have the Quick and Full views, but a third view, the “3 pane view” looks more like an email client or news reader. Nice, but I’m too used to the full view to switch now.

If i hadn’t already moved to Google Reader I’d be disappointed. The new 3-pane-view is nice but not enough to make me jump back to Bloglines. It’s beta, so hopefully it’s not too late to add a few new features.


My life through Google

  • A large part of my online income depends on Google Adsense.
  • I filter my email through gmail and since this morning I’m feeding a backup gmail account with a copy of every single email I get. Thanks Matt for that idea.
  • I use Google’s search engine to find solutions to my problems.
  • Like Tom and Matt I now read my feeds through Google Reader. Not being able to hit ‘S’ to go forward a feed still sucks but my workflow has changed to accommodate it.

It’s a bit scary how much I use we use Google.

PS. I’m testing a new WordPress plugin. It needs comments to work on, so please leave a comment! It’ll hopefully see the light of day tomorrow! 🙂


Oh Facebook! I feel so dirty!

I finally joined. I’m always the last one in. I haven’t even got a myspace or a bebo account, but that’s probably a good thing. Apparently Facebook is a popular site. Bah! Where’s my Orkut login?

Anyway, thanks Nicole for the invite!

I’ve been really adventurous today. I also took a peek at Tumblr and set up an account to track Holy Shmoly!, In Photos,, (not sure if that’s working), and it might finally make me use Twitter again as my Twitter account is added too, with friends. (Which leads me to another problem, do I have permission to post twitters from other people there?)

Blame Damien for blogging about it in the first place.


Stumble upon

Nice! I just noticed that Stumbleupon support by adding the favicon to the SU taskbar.


Of course, it’s not the only way to browse, you can always use the Next link to jump to a random blog. The beauty of Stumbleupon, is that someone recommended the link. I’ve found some interesting blogs including the Doorways Around the World blog which is errr, full of photos of doorways.

Here’s my stumbleupon page. You’ll notice I’ve stumbled some of my own posts. I don’t want to spam my account and stumble everything, but if I’ve spent longer than usual writing some posts, it’s a good way of driving a few extra visitors to those special posts. Stumbleupon is definitely my favourite social bookmarking site. Install the plugin and start stumbling!

PS. I’m not the only one who likes Stumbleupon!

Apple Web

Porn on your iPhone

Acting on what Matt blogged, I searched my logs for “iPhone” and found a few interesting entries. Looks like iPhone users are using the Internet for what everyone else uses it for. Searching for nice boobs: – – [08/Jul/2007:03:49:05 +0000] “GET /tag/nice-boobs/ HTTP/1.1” 200 7786 “” “Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CP
U like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A543a Safari/419.3”

I wonder how well that small screen will display them?

blogging Web

Dofollowing links in comments and trackbacks

I’ve just installed the Do Follow Trackback and Do Follow Comments plugins so now the links in your comments and trackbacks will be stalked followed by Google and any other search engine or service that know about the rel='nofollow' link attribute.

It’s not a completely free lunch though. Any spam comments will be deleted, legitimate comments with spammy urls will have their URLs mangled. Check out this comment and this one. Those _ characters in the urls make them pretty useless.

There are 7,457 comments on over 4,500 posts here. That’s a lot of URLs to get some PR loving.

The change is active here on Holy Shmoly! and In Photos dot org.


Do Text Link Ads use Text Link Ads?

The front page of Text Link Ads doesn’t have any text link ads, and neither does their blog. The blog has “Auction Ads” adverts there instead.

Matt Cutts warned that sites selling links would be penalised by Google. I wonder if that has anything to do with it?


Google just killed the ad click tracking industry

It would appear that Google stopped displaying the “Go to ….” message in the status bar when someone clicked on Adsense adverts.

What’s the big deal with this? Unfortunately it means that it’s impossible to track what adverts are being clicked, with the aim of removing low paying or MFA adverts using the competitive ad filter.

eCPM is up today, possibly because Google stopped arbitrage accounts. I hope it’s a sign of better things to come and Google will improve their filter to the extent that it would make the competitive ad filter redundant except for filtering out competitive adverts, like it was supposed to!


Dump Javascript at the end of your page

You’ve seen it plenty of times before. A website loads but only the sidebar appears. The loading graphic in your browser is still spinning and there’s that “contacting …” or “loading …” message at the bottom of your window. Why?

The most common cause of this is because the site uses a chunk of Javascript loaded from a remote site. Think of those fancy chat widgets, popups and even hit counters. If those sites are slow to load, they could make your site slow too. The best place to put that code is right at the bottom of the page, after all the content, if you can and it’s appropriate.

I just noticed this happening on Pro Blogger a few minutes ago. Darren’s stats are loaded just below the sidebar and because that site was responding slowly the main content part of his blog didn’t display immediately. This may be a storm in a teacup because the next time I refreshed it loaded fine but remember, first impressions count. You don’t want to keep a new visitor to your site waiting.

The ever pervasive seems to suffer this sort of problem on a regular basis so be extra careful when you use their Javascript applet. If it takes a while to load, so will your blog.

To further confuse matters, there’s also a bug in Firefox that makes the “Transferring data from …” message appear longer than it should. The guys at Sphere noticed this after complaints their Javascript was loading slowly. It’s all a bit of a mess really!