Friday, November 28th, 2008
The Small Press Exchange is the most comprehensive online portal into the small press. Their mission is to provide publishers, librarians, booksellers, authors, and general book enthusiasts with the resources they need. Their users benefit from access to various tools and services.
The Small Press Exchange is an augmented social network formed with a number of questions in mind: Could writers and poets better strengthen their relationships through online communities by better connecting people to others with whom they share affinities? Could they do this so they can more effectively exchange information and self-organize? Could such a system help to redefine what it means to be a small press publisher today?
Thus, the Small Press Excange was built with the interest of the independent community in mind, in order to facilitate introductions between people who share affinities or complementary capabilities across social networks—it was intended to be a tool to help extend creativity among individuals and enhance collaboration among those who share a common interest.
The Small Press Exchange has three main objectives:
- To create a system that enables more efficient and effective knowledge sharing between people across institutional, geographic, and social boundaries;
- To establish a form of persistent online identity that supports the public commonalities and the values of the independent literary community; and,
- To enhance the ability of poets and writers to form relationships and self-organize around shared interests in order to better engage in the creative process.
Check it out at www.smallpressexchange.com.
Keep them in mind when you have an announcement, event, or title to promote. If you care to register, you may submit your announcement automatically through a form at the site.
Friday, November 28th, 2008
Gaining trusted backlinks are a very integral part of any website which hopes to gain success. Trusted backlinks are an essential part of marketing a new website because they help both human and automated visitors assess the popularity and importance of the target site—owing to backlinks on other sites. This is the single largest reason there are so many search engines and directories online.
Search engines, such as Cuil or Goole, employ a number of standard criteria to judge sites on the web. Backlinks are an important part of the way by which they judge how ‘trusted’ a site should be. Solid links are evaluated by various search engines, looking at keywords and the content of the websites in questions.
For example, if your site is about how to change the oil in a Ford, you would do better by linking to a site about internal combustion engines or general interest automotive sites than by linking to a site about cosmetics. Why? This is owing to search engines cross-checking the content of the backlink and comparing it with the actual site to which the link is pointing. They (search engine algrorithms) can penalize a webmaster if he or she attempts to gain higher ranking by doing things like running several unrelated sites at the same time and linking them together.
Gaining links is tried and true way to generate website visits, but one needs to understand that a website will not become popular to its visitors overnight—this is a long process. Gaining links is one way of driving traffic to one’s site but it has to be done correctly and intelligently.
A great way to drive visits to your site is by linking to other similar or related sites to yours. For instance, let’s use the “oil change” example again. Sites you would want to link to would be sites for other Fords, engine pol, or sites that are associated with automotive work.
By employing such a strategy, search engines will discern quality links that fit into the scope of your site’s focus.
Another way to create strong backlinks for your site is through hyperlinks on the site of focus. When you are creating your hyperlinks, don’t simply employ the expression “click here”, use “Visit our the tips page for time saving hints on how to change your oil.” This will maker certain that your links are employing similar terms to your site’s content and those to which you backlink.
Sunday, November 16th, 2008
Gadget Advisor is updated multiple times a day with articles on gadgets and consumer electronics. It also posts popular rumors about the technological world and covers tech and gadget news stories.
If you’re a gadget lover, you’re probably already reading the Gadget Advisor—either that, or your RSS feed reader is broken!
Don’t know what a feed reader is? Well, you’d be comfortable here, too—which is testament to the breadth and depth of the Gadget Advisor‘s postings. There’s a little something for everyone. Launched in September 2008, the Gadget Advisor is an all night drive through for those who obsess over gadgets and software, displaying the latest and greatest consumer electronics.
A typical week at the Gadget Advisor reveals a lot of useful advice, as well, like their recent feature on “34 Recommended Software Downloads” in which the Gadget Advisor crew provided a list of applications that they had extensively tested and found to be of the highest quality. Check it out here.
And the Gadget Advisor also includes some very in-depth reviews that even the most dedicated ‘gadget geek’ would consider worthy. Take for instance their recent piece on “Gadgets to Consider When Travelling“. After reading their article, which includes a capsule review of Envision’s “Video Eyewear” heads up display, you’ll wonder how you ever left home without any of these great ideas.
And the Gadget Advisor also includes some hardcore tech stories that only the most gadget drive could possibly appreciate or even decipher (One recent headline: “Cray CX1 Deskside Supercomputer“)! Any need for a $25,000 desktop supercomputer from Cray anyone?
Moreover, take a look at their recent piece on the “NVIDIA Quadro Plex 2200 Dedicated Desk-side Visual Computing System“, which the editors even admit “is not an average consumer platform in any sense, and you’re not likely to find it in or around many hardcore gaming enthusiasts’ vicinity”. Multiple GPUs working in unision. Can you imagine the computing power?
But in the present age, bleeding edge gadgets aren’t merely for the technology obsessed early adopters—in many ways ther are a sign of what Mom & Pop will be using in five-years time.
For instance, take a look at Gadget Advisor‘s take on Fujitsu’s “U820 Ultra-mobile PC (UMPC)“. These ulta mobiles are meant to be truly portable—in some cases replacing one’s reliance on laptops altogether. This unit offers built in GPS and is powerful enough to decode 1080p high def video. And it’s only 1.3 pounds. Yes! Under a pound-and-a-half!
I doubt however, that Mom & Pop will ever find themselves with a “7″ USB Touch-screen Monitor“. This nice looking piece of kit will be reserved for hardcore enthusiasts. They’re pretty cool looking and sport a touch-screen, a 1.3MP webcam, and microphone and headphone jacks.
The variety of equipment featured on the Gadget Advisor provides an excellent reason as to why I feel this gadget enthusiasts blog will develop a devoted (even obsessive) following.
Saturday, November 15th, 2008
Keeping abreast of the huge number of new web-based applications that are appearing every day is, frankly, an impossible job—not one that I would want to undertake. But as there are some very interesting betas around and its nice to lazily keep an eye on what’s going down.
I have recently discovered a new bookmarking service called LinkBag. LinkBag is new and is currently in beta, but is promising in its simplicity! Linkbag allows you to save and share web sites and pages of interest much the same way Del.icio.us does. Users can ‘bag’ a site, annotate it, and save it to a group of similar sites.
For example, here’s my Linkbag.
Have a taste for bookmarking and organizing a large number of Web sites? Linkbag can whet that appetite, giving you simple tools to organize those pages, access them later from any Web browser, and share what you save with other users or on your blog. Plus, you can tap into the Linkbag community to find sites that other users have saved. I find it to be a lot more delicious than some tools out there—but then maybe I’m a little biased! Not because it offers a greater feature set, but because it retains the simplicity and grace of the aforementioned website.
To get started, just visit Linkbag to create a free account, verify it, and log in. You can add new bookmarks individually within a simple form at Linkbag, or drag a bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmark/links toolbar, so that you can click Post To Linkbag without leaving the window. It’s pretty cool.
Saving sites is made simple by the use of downloadable browser buttons. An RSS feed is available for your links and a forthcoming widget can be displayed on your web site or blog, previewing your most recent bookmarks. Although very similar to other bookmarking services in its functionality, LinkBag is a very nice addition. LinkBag also has the edge on other services with its aesthetically pleasing and simple interface.
The text-and-white-space interface of Linkbag remains monochromatic with a touch of blue, which is simple in its execution. The overall lack of design means Linkbag loads in a snap, so you don’t have to wait for big images to appear if you’re stuck with a dial-up connection.
Text ads appear within the Linkbag site, but they’re pretty low-key.
Saturday, November 15th, 2008
MyHalton.com is a new forum for Halton residents to share information and post comments about their respective communities.
What has impressed me most about MyHalton is, despite the fact that it is a young forum, knowledgable moderators ensure that virtually every posting had a response in a day or so.
This has enabled anyone to find Halton-specific information from others who live and work in the area. They share information fast with a lot of collaboration—every post or question that I came across had a minimum of one reply.
Comprehensive what’s on listings for Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Georgetown and Acton include theatre, arts, comedy, clubs, music, classes, special events and more! The site also provides a handy event calendar. All members are invited to post upcoming events.
Its aggregation system aggregates feeds from multiple sources, providing updated buy and sell listings from Craigslist, job postings from Randstad, news updates from the Burlington Post, Oakville Beaver and Milton Canadian Champion. The site’s format allows for quick and easy commentary and its small but active community is an encouraging one, eliciting viewpoints from both new and old members.
These aggregated listings provide the backbone for Halton’s largest and most visited free classifieds area. Categories include buy & sell listings, real estate, jobs, et al.
Restaurant reviews are provided by Menuism, making MyHalton the only source you need to find and recommend restaurants in Halton Region. Menus, restaurant guides, reviews and more are provided for Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Georgetown and Acton. You are also encouraged to post your own reviews, comments and criticisms.
The forum also provides an area for new or visiting residents. Whether you are considering Halton as a destination for your next vacation, to come as a tourist to one of the many Halton festivals, or are a visitor currently in the Halton area this forum is designed to provide a fun, user friendly way of discussing and discovering information!
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