Category Archives: Meta

Bye-Bye Google Ads

The Google ads are gone on this site for the forseeable future. I did it mainly as an experiment, firstly in doing some server-side hacking on the javascript, which was later negated by them offering color choices, and secondly to see how they would do. The response was good, but the ads never seemed really relevant to my content, they slowed down page loading, and they wrote semi-invalid markup to the browser, which is violating standards but through javascript so the validator couldn’t see it. I am tempted to leave them up until I hit the $100 mark and get a check (I’m about halfway there now) but the response has been waning as I suppose my audience has gotten used to them and/or the relevancy of the ads has decreased. All of that, and I’d much rather put the Photo Matt endorsement on items I have personally reviewed and recommend, such as the two books that have returned to their place at the top of my page.

What I’ve decided to do is when I get a new CD or electronic toy that really strikes my fancy, I’ll make a small banner for it and put it at the top there. That way you get home-made “ads” of things I use myself and enjoy. This seems like a much more personal approach, and one that seems better suited to a personal site such as my own.

A Tweak Here

If you have a sharp eye you may have noticed a few changes to the site. The big change is we now have publicly accessible archives. I had removed all archive links because I didn’t (and still don’t) like the URL structure they currently use, but I was getting enough emails requesting them that they are now back up in all they’re ugly query-based glory. Besides, having a weblog without archives is a little funky.

The other biggie is that all the external links have moved to a portal page, which is currently just the same lists as before but will become brutally optimized and reorganized as I begin to use it as my home page, the most revered status any page can aspire to. Anyway I considered simply hiding the links through some sort of toggle mechanism but upon further consideration that would just give me all the added code and generation time of having the links on every page without the benefit of having the links handy. They are mostly for my personal use anyway, though Joe has mentioned to be he has used the list as a launching point on several occasions. We shall see how this works out.

Finally, the Google ads are no longer quite as ugly. Unfortunately aesthetically consistent ads seem to get less clicks. Either that or the ad’s seeming obsession with TiVo for the home page is less than effective. (Of course I probably didn’t help matters much with that juicy keyword there.)

Adsense

Giving it a trial run, it actually doesn’t look that bad on my site. I’m glad they got rid of that ghastly grey. However at the moment Google seems to think “coconut monkey purses” are particularly relevant to visitors of my page. Go figure. Anyway if an ad looks interesting to you check it out.

Update: The ads are starting to appear more relevant. Maybe this’ll work. They really should allow you to style it to match your site.

Who Let the Blogs Out?

Woof. I had definitely noticed it, and Christine pointed it out as well, but the links on my sidebar haven’t updated since the end of June. Obviously I broke something, but I haven’t quite figured it out. That list is how I navigate the blogworld, so if I haven’t been by your place lately or left any comments that’s why. I feel so out of touch! I tried out Feed Demon but it seemed as unintuitive to me as all the others I’ve tried. All the different websites I visit, each with its own unique design and navigation scheme, all that is more comfortable to me than any aggregator I’ve tried.

Back in Town

Vegas was great, but I don’t even know where to begin. I didn’t have internet access save that one five minute session the entire time so I’m a little more behind on things than usual. There are hundreds of great pictures to go up but for now I’m going to relax a bit and see if I can catch up with my email.

First Step Toward World Domination

Before I finish getting ready to leave (and yes it’s 4 AM) I would just like to point to this search. Google is a harsh mistress; weeks ago I was on the fourth page (after skirting the first page a while back) and now somehow I’ve been bumped up to 8, 7 if you take out the duplicate.

I can’t think of a better birthday present for this blog from Google. (This domain turned one year old a couple of days ago. I’m working on a year recap but it’s taking a while. Loving the new WordPress draft feature though.)

XML Back

At some point I broke all my RSS feeds, sorry about that. It was not a ploy to get you to visit the site, really. So get your piping hot Are-Ess-Ess in the syndicate section. Thanks to Mike for pointing out to me that things were funky.

More Updates

The new release of WordPress is out and kicking, so get it while it’s hot.

The photolog is also back up, but it’s ugly. An attempt to make it standards-compliant with some help from Gerrit Kaiser crashed and burned when I realized that I was overwriting files with older versions and that was breaking a lot of things. So right now it’s in a very half-baked state but as Kevin said the other day, any update is always preferable to nothing. So I’ll save face by calling it “public redesign” of the photolog.

Upgrade Day

Just finished upgrading the server to address a mod_ssl vulnerability and get PHP 4.3.2. It went swimmingly, which is always nice.

In the process of upgrading about half a dozen sites to WordPress .71 to test it out before the code is released. It’s a good process because the sites need updating (security problem again) and it’s a good way to find any bugs that may have made it through so far.

I’ve always remarked that people tend to write about bad things more than they write about good things. Journals, blogs, diaries, all tend to be one-sided, at least in my experience. As is such though yesterday started quite badly, after I emerged from my migraine-medicine–induced haze I had a pleasant evening with my family.

Today has been great too; been hanging out with Mike and Christine at Kaveh Kanes (where the chai is tasty and the music is grooving) getting Christine set up in email utopia, where spam is like the distant buzzing of a fly you think you heard but you’re sure it’s really just in your head. Back to work! There looks to be some frisbee in the plans this evening…

Update: Mike has a meta moment.

Summer Showers

I woke up this morning to a delightful storm outside, which I think is the best possible way to wake up. It’s also the best time to stay in bed, which I did for a while and just enjoyed the storm from the comfort and protection of my semi-slumber. Houston really needed the rain.

There have been a few changes around here, for one I decided that wider is better, and content now stretches like it used to. There have been a few tweaks here and there, and I was hoping to bring the photolog back up but some WordPress work is going to prevent that today. Also you’ll notice that the endorsement box at the top is a little nicer and it has a new extra touch. If you visit this site using Internet Explorer, which is a satisfactory product but looks dead from an upgrade point of view, you will see a small promotional message extolling a virtue of the official browser of PhotoMatt.net, Mozilla. It’s the browser so good I installed it for my Mother. Yes, it’s that easy. If you tried it before and it didn’t suit your fancy I highly encourage you to give it another go, as it has progressed by leaps and bounds and is hardly recognizable as the slow dinosaur it used to be.

There are new shares of PhotoMatt available if you’re into that sort of thing. BlogShares finally figured out I’m worth something and adjusted my price accordingly, so I thought a few extra shares out there would spice things up. I’ve decided to take a very passive approach to the whole game. Besides, Brad has made me rich enough to retire to a small island and relax. Thanks Brad!

Updated Updated

The updated blogroll on the sidebar is now powered using WordPress Links instead of Blogrolling. It’s always nice to use your own project. One more thing knocked off my very long list of things todo this early Monday morning. Speaking of things to do, Alex’s Tasks might be just what the doctor ordered for organizing me a bit. In the past the most sucessful system I used was my Palm, but that’s relatively inflexible and I can’t forsee a situation where I wouldn’t have internet connectivity anyway.

While I’m on this meta post, I should let you know that PhotoMatt.net is seeking a summer editor. Rebecca Lammons, who has edited almost from day one, is not going to be online very much for the rest of the summer. So if you have a keen eye for proofreading and visit the site when it updates drop me an email and let me know why I should give you administrator access to this blog. What do you get in return? Well, you will be less frustrated by the errors that crop up occassionally (okay, frequently) in the posts. I can also promise fame, fortune, prominent linkage, and something from your Amazon wishlist at the end of the summer.

Photolog Down

I’m working on some things so the photolog is going to be down for a bit, so don’t go there. Hopefully some very exciting things in store there.

Hiatus Reloaded

If you glance over at the sidebar, the photolog is now italicized, which can only mean one thing. It’s back! Over two hundred new pictures, eleven new albums, and more captions than you can shake a stick at. Go check it out, and be sure to leave comments. It’s going to be another summer of photos, so be sure to check the photolog regularly. I’m going to see now if I can do anything about the horrid HTML there.

Double You

Just a reminder: I love all the links that have been coming in recently, but if you link to something here, save yourself four keystrokes and leave off the “www.” It’s three months now, all the useful search engines (except Blogdex) have figured it out, why are two thirds of the HTTP responses from this site still 301 Permanently Moved? It’s going to take years to shake that thing.

Blogroll Updated

The blogroll on the menu has been seperated into Pingers and Non-Pingers. People under “Updated” ping Weblogs.com when they update and float to the top of the list, which I check umpteen times a day. Those on the other list ping very inconsistently, or not at all, so I just check them every now and then to see if anything new is going on. If you’re on one list and think you should be on the other, let me know because there’s probably a problem with the URL I have for you not matching whatever you ping with. I also came up with a much, much simpler way to parse blogrolling lists into semantic lists, and I’ll update the script and article accordingly later this week when I have more time.

Moving On Up

I feel ashamed posting this, but #10 on Yahoo. Not sure why I’m 10 on Yahoo, and I’ve moved from 13 to 12 and back on Google, but does it matter? I get these things from my referrer stats, honest! You can insist on my quest for search engine domination by linking to me with the Matt. Slight variations like “Matt Mullenweg,” “photo matt,” “I love Matt,” and “Matt is a _____ (fill in blank)” should be alright as well.

Vote It

You know you’re bored anyway, so go vote for PhotoMatt.net on Blizg which I used to not be crazy about but has me ranked consistently in the top 15 for a while now so I guess I can’t complain. Just click the plus sign above and right of the title and I’ll let you have an island when I rule the world.