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Back Up Your Blog Easily with Backup Buddy

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backup buddy plugin
This post is about the importance of backing up your blog.   Are you backing your blog up on the regular? If not, you really should be, and not just your database.  You need to be backing up your whole site!

Have you ever done something really stupid and messed something up accidentally or deleted something really important and had to re-do a whole bunch of work.  Maybe you lost things you couldn't get back?   If so, then you know how much it sucks when you have worked really hard on your blog, getting your theme just the way you want it, with all your plugins and widgets set up, working right, and looking good..and you have lots of posts, pics, and maybe even videos, and drafts of posts stored, and posts finished and scheduled to be published, and then your blog crashes, or you do something stupid and completely screw it up.

There are many things that can happen to your blog that can trash it and make you cry like a baby if you haven't been backing it up on a regular basis.  That's why it is super important to have some sort of backup plugin installed on your blog.  Preferably something that backs it up automatically on a regular basis, so you won't forget and have to go through the agony of trying to glue your blog back together when disaster strikes.

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I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been a busy, busy girl, but recently I’ve seen quite a few people in my travels around the interwebs asking about pinging, what is it, and how do you do it?

That really kinda surprised me, because I guess I just assumed everyone knows what pinging is. It’s sort of blogging 101, really, but since there are a lot of people who don’t know, I’m doing this post and a quick tutorial about pinging and what you need to do.



Ignore me talking to Daisy in the middle of the video..LOL


What is Pinging?

If you have a blog, or even a website, Hubpage or Squidoo lens, and you want to bring traffic to it so people actually see it and read all your awesome content, you have to have some sort of way to let the world know about it. You need the search engines to crawl it and index it, and you need as many people as possible shouting out to the world “Hey! Look, I’ve got some great stuff over here!” That’s what pinging is all about. There are blog directories, like Technorati, that will index your posts and services, like Pingomatic and Pingoat that will notify a few different sites, as well as Google and the other search engines that you have just posted something new to your blog so they will come crawl it and people will then be able to find it.

How does pinging happen? 

WordPress, by default, comes with a link to pingomatic, a site that will ping many different directories and the search engines all at once every time you post. You don’t have to do anything to make this happen but hit the Publish button. The problem is, it  will ping the service every time you hit the publish button, even if you’re just editing or updating a post, and  over pinging is bad. Unfortunately, nobody is really sure how much pinging is too much. To stop WordPress from pinging too often, you should have a plugin installed on your blog called Cb net ping optimizer.  It’s a free plugin that lets you control how often WordPress will send out a ping.

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What’s Hot on Google Plus

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lowercase "g"

Image via Wikipedia


It seems that every week Google unleashes more and more really nifty features for Google Plus, and they did not disappoint this week. They actually introduced 3 cool new toys this week..What's Hot, Google Ripples, and a photo enhancement suite called Creative Kit for Photos.


What's Hot


Google Plus now has it's own version of Twitter's trending topics. What's Hot shows the hottest posts across the entire Google Plus network, not just in your circles. Whatever is being shared and talked about the most can be found under the What's Hot link on the left side of your screen, under Sparks, as well as underneath new posts inside the main stream.


Google Plus Ripples


It's always fun to check and see how posts travel and how things get shared.  With Google + Ripples you can check a post to see just who shared it and visually follow the conversation.  To see the post's ripples, just click the dropdown options in the upper right hand corner of any post (where you would usually mute or block a post, etc) and click on “View Ripples”.  From there you can see how much it has been shared and by mousing over the individual circles in the diagram can see who it was who shared it. Each circle represents another share, and the arrows show a share's direction. A larger circle with circles inside indicates more resharing. It shows when someone shares a post and multiple people reshare that post from that person. There is also a draggable timeline slide bar at the bottom of the ripples diagram page to let you see the spread of the share by day.  The “View Ripples” choice only shows up once a post has been shared for the 1st time.  It even includes some metrics.  This could be a really useful tool for tracking what your followers are interested in and what gets the most engagement on G+.  There is also a scrollable list of shares on the right that updates as you zoom in and out of the Ripples, which makes it easy to find influential people.




Creative Kit for Photos


Along with the usual options for editing photos in Google Plus, like crop, edit, turn, etc, there is now the option to add Instagram-like effects, like Polaroid, sepia, sharpen and airbrush.  You can even add some text.  These new features will let you make your pictures much more fun, and without having to fire up Picasa or Picnik or Photoshop. Unfortunately, there is no red eye option, so if you have photos that need to have red eye removed, you still have to use an external software, but most other basic fixes can now be done after you upload your photos to Google Plus.  There is also a special Halloween effects option that lets you add spiders, grave stones, vampire teeth, ghosts, and all kinds of fun effects.  Here is a picture of a spider web I took in my backyard a while back.  In the 2nd picture, I used the sepia feature and added a spider for Halloween.





On a side note, Google also FINALLY added the ability for Google Apps users to join G+.  They have been, not so patiently, waiting for it to happen since the start of Google Plus, and Google has finally answered their pleas.
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YouTube Videos ..Should Netflix Worry?

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A couple of weeks ago, YouTube announced it would be adding 3000 videos to the site available to rent.  YouTube has offered videos for quite a while, that’s nothing new.  In addition to the huge number of videos available to watch within the YouTube community itself, YouTube has offered full-length movies to rent for the past year.  Now, in collaboration with a number of studios, including Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, Universal, and Lionsgate they will begin to add a lot more content, and a lot of current new releases of first-run films. Fox is possibly inline to sign on as well. This is great news for the seriously impatient among us who need to see all the latest new releases the second they hit the streets. Though I think they are more a threat to services like RedBox and the already ailing video stores, like Blockbuster. Why get dressed and go rent a video from a box that you have to bring back when you can now turn to YouTube and just rent it from there?


On the other hand, YouTube isn’t offering anything that Amazon hasn’t been offering for quite a while now with it’s Instant Videos service. Amazon also offers TV shows current and past by the episode or by the, I don’t think YouTube’s jumping on the bandwagon with movie offerings is really any thing to go all gooey over.

I would like to mention here that YouTube has been very, very gung-ho on the whole Copyright violation thing of late. Never mind that a huge percentage of their user content consists of videos with either copyrighted songs or clips of shows or movies or other things that could probably be considered copyright violations. Lots of videos are being pulled and their publisher’s getting DCMA love notes from YouTube.  Maybe they are just trying to clean up their act, avoid problems and lawsuits, and make nice with their new studio friends.  Then again, maybe they have an underlying agenda of trying to stop people from offering for free what they are now trying to get them to pay to watch through their rental service..hmmmm..::rubs chin in contemplation:::.  Not that stopping copyright violation isn’t a good thing, but being overzealous and clamping down even on things that are probably within the Fair Use boundaries is probably gonna do more harm than good.  But that’s a topic for another post.

The question here is will YouTube’s throwing their hat into the movie rental arena with new first-run movies, in contrast to Netflix’s 28-day waiting period and lack of streaming availability of most new releases, hurt Netflix’s bottom line?  This is just my opinion, and I’m not a business guru by any means. I don’t study the market share statics and all that data.  Personally, I don’t think Netflix has much to worry about from YouTube offering new movies.  Since Netflix doesn’t offer the newer videos, and their customers know this and yet signed up anyway, I don’t see people who are now paying $8 or $10 or even $15 per month to watch unlimited streaming movies and TV shows, documentaries, and all the other wonders Netflix has to offer, in addition to the many thousands of DVD only offerings, being swayed to jump ship and go spend 2.99 or 3.99 per movie. They may supplement with a rental here and there, but abandoning Netflix?  Nah, I’m not thinkin’ that’s gonna happen. YouTube would have to seriously step up their game.  While they do offer new release movies, a lot of the movies they are trying to charge 2.99 a pop for, you can already watch 24/7 with your Netflix subscription. Now,if the studios clamped down and Netflix’s offerings seriously decreased and their prices had a major hike..maybe we’d have a ballgame.

I don’t really see them putting a huge dent in Amazon’s rental business either, since Amazon also offers some free streaming movies, much more recent than YouTube’s free offerings, and Amazon Prime customers get unlimited free streaming.  It is a good move for YouTube though, they have a huge user base, and it’s a value-added service for those already spending large chunks of time on YouTube to be able to rent a movie if they choose.  If Google was smart, they might look into taking some of their hugely successful YouTube stars, like Shay Carl, Shane Dawson, IJustine, etc, and looking into some star vehicles for them to feature in.

I love YouTube, don’t get me wrong, and I do want to give YouTube props for one kinda cool thing about their free offerings. They are a goldmine for people who love really old movies and B-movies.  I had a look and, although they do have a very limited selection of newer old movies, like Ghostbusters, Dick, Supersize Me, Deuce Bigelow European Gigolo, and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, to name a few, the largest part of their library is old classics.  If you are a lover of Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne..just to name a few, you should go check out YouTube’s free movie section. I’m gonna watch this one later!  and then maybe this one!  They also have a pretty impressive documentary section that is worth checking out.


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What I’m up to On G+