Monthly Archives: October 2005

Got a Flock invite!

Flock was supposed to post this on my blog….but it never did, so I am just copy n pasting the post manualy.

Here is the post:

grrrr…..had written this long post, but as usual didn’t save it (darrrnnnn…..this is a preview version, it is supposed to crash)

Let me try recalling what I wrote :(

A few days ago, I signed up for flock and today I got an invite for a preview, so far it looks good (yea, it crashed on me atleast once so far)

Flickr Photo

1. They were successful in making me signup @ delicious, flock uses delicious as favs (wrote a lot of stuff b4, now dunn feel like)

2. It has a create a blog post button and you can post on ur blog thru it (thats wot am doin rt. now.) I was really impressed by the way it found my xmlrpc.php as I gave it my blog url. One dosen’t need to know rocket science to do that, you prolly need to research a bit on the common blogging platforms and you can find out a way to locate the rpc files automatically, but it was cool!

Flickr Photo

3. You can Enter Tags, along with the post. I am not sure, what will be done with the tags? I have a tags plugin @ WP, would they be posted there? I guess not. Most prolly they are for technorati, but how would they be used? Also, it is not mentioned if the tags have to be space seperated or comma seperated or somethingElse seperated. I think it will be cool to see something like this in the input field (instead of that Enter Tags) [“Enter Tags” Related Tags]. This would describe the way tags need to be formatted.

4. There is a Flickr Photos bar, which can be enabled thru the blog post. It shows all the thumbnails of images of a specified flick username. From what I have observed, it loads all the images as soon as you click “Get Photos” button, while it just shows 9-11 latest (depends on the size of ur window) images only and the rest can be scrolled horizontally. The sudden downloading of bunch of thumbnails froze my system for a sec or 2. I have abt 100 pix, may b more) but I am wondering if there is a limit to the # of images downloaded or does flock dls all the images. What if someone got 1000+ images? That would kill the comp. I think it will be helpful to download the first (say) 15 images right away and the rest, either when the person scrolls, or at a very slow rate. I was hoping to get latest images for a specified tag, but I am sure it might be under dev. as it makes more sense to get images sorted using tags, than users.

5. Don’t like flickr? there is a thing called “Blog Topbar” for you. It is a list of latest posts from your blog (the one u r posting to, I think). Initially I couldn’t understand its use…..but now I noticed that you can rite click the posts and edit/delete them thru flock’s UI. It also has a tiny button at top right (w/o any alt tag, I think it shud have 1), which is a refresh button for the posts. I haven’t tried the box called “Drop Stuff to blog it!” yet, I’ll try it once I post this post successfully.

6. Flock blog post has a few buttons for formatting. All with alt tags, except the last 2 (link and unlink). I think they were missed somehow. I was kind of upset that the blog post doesn’t have an HTML view of my post and then “by accident” I found the hidden HTML frame. Its really hidden. Its good 2 c HTML.

Flickr Photo

7. Saved my post once again now, “Save as Draft” shows a message something – publishing your post. I think it shud be changed to something like “saving draft”. Also, I would like the window, not to be closed when I click “Save as Draft”, instead it should simply save it and let me keep writing more stuff, if I need to close the wondow, I can use the X button anytime.

Random Fact: I missed it earlier, you can have more than one blogs configured w/ flock, but I don’t think that u can post the same content to a bunch of different blogs by clicking a single publish button. That would have been a boon for the spammers….

8. Flock also has a feed aggregator, which seems to show some weird results. It shows that on 12th Oct. I posted the iPod Video post, but it also shows that I posted the same post on 19th, along with bunch of other posts 😐 What I suspect is that it is retrieving data from technorati or pingomatic, wich might have been pinged yesterday, but I think it should say that. Also, the Feed Aggregator doesn’t show the url in status bar on mouseover + the links are broken. Instead of redirecting me to a particular post, it is forwarding me to the homepage.Switch to webview button doesn’t seem to work at this moment.

Random Fact: The UI seems a hybrid of FF n Opera. Ctrl+T is used for new tabs (like FF), yay!!! while each tab has the close X along with it (like Opera)

I need to sleep now, but I have a few sceenshots and a lot of other stuff to write about it. I guess, I’ll add the screenshots to flickr and link them w/ the post.

Last Random fact: It uses Y! as default SE + has a Y! search box (sad…) but the good news is, that the FF like google query works “google my query here”. Y! as the default SE and flickr photos? is flock owned (read as funded) by Y! ? BTW doesn’t flickr n flock sound like cousins.

Rest tomorrow (or whenever I get time.)

iPod Video?

I was going thru my news feeds on Google Reader (which isn’t really a gr8 thing) and came across a blog post which pointed towards something, which looks like a Video iPod. Yes, a Video iPod :D. I don’t know how to read chinese, but it certainly looks different than regular iPod. What confirmed my belief was a post iPod Video Coming to a Car Near You on slashdot.

It would be interesting to read iPod Video’s review. The iPod nano, had some screen-scratching problems. I believe that Apple or the other companies are *forced* to release new products, just because the market demands it or the competitor might launch it first. All this does nothing, but decrease the quality of the products. Google’s Google Talk and Google Reader, appear to be forced out of Google’s production to Beta version, so does Yahoo’s Yahoo Publisher Network.

If you know chinese, then do let me know what does that iPod say and if it is a Video iPod.

Why you should use Yahoo Publisher Network?

In my previous post, I suggested that Yahoo Publisher Network is evil due to its strange legal terms and the buggy code.

But now I am saying that you should use YPN atleast once, if you get approved. Why this change of heart? Does YPN pays a lot more than Adsense? Does it have a lot more contextuality to the content?

I haven’t been successful to use the Ads on my site yet, but I found the root cause of the issue. I was able to show Yahoo Publisher Network Ads on one of my test websites. Right now its just showing 0% APR for Credit Card and vonage.com Ads, but I can’t blame Yahoo for that, as that site doesn’t have any content (just comment spam)

I haven’t even observed a single impression in the YPN reports yet, but when I see my Google Adsense reports, I see a rise in my CPM, as compared to September’s CPM. The Avg. CPM from Sep. 30 – Oct 2 is 33% more than September’s CPM. This doesn’t mean that I am claiming that Adsense has increased my CPM after I have started using YPN, but pointing that it can be a possibility.

I have had higher CPM in the past than what I got in the last 2-3 days, so I can’t claim anything right now. I would suggest people using Adsense to try YPN atleast once, just to check if it affects your numbers. I am planning to rotate my Adsense and YPN periodically and get stats. I am not sure how long should that period be? Should I run Adsense for 12 hours and YPN for other 12? or should it be longer periods such as a week or a month?

I believe this scenario can be compared to the situation a few months ago, when Gmail was launched. Most of the free email providers were reducing the mailbox size and as Gmail entered the market, Yahoo and MSN increased their mailbox sizes to match Gmail. This is the power of competition…..

Here is Yahoo’s (quick) response to the email that I sent to them, followed by my explanation of the problem.

Sep 30 2005 14:36 PT
>
> Hello Gaurav,
>
> Thank you for your inquiry.
>
> We would be more than happy to help you resolve any display issues you are
> experiencing. At this time, we feel that we can better assist you by
> speaking to you directly, in order to obtain more detailed information.
>
> Please feel free to call our Support Team at (866) 785-2636, Monday to
> Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PDT, and from Saturday 7:00 a.m. to
> 4:00 p.m. PDT.

—————————————

Hi,

Sorry, I was unable to call you guys, but I did find the problem.

Here is the bug (actually a compatibility issue.) I add my YPN code in a
HTML file which is being “imploded” by a PHP file. Then slashes are added
using “addslashes($theVar)” which adds backslashes before the characters
(‘), (“), (\) and (NULL).

When the whole thing is “print”ed it shows something like \’ as compared to
‘ . However the ” (double quotes) are printed fine (without leading
backslashes.) I guess there is some kind of confusion going on with code
while it is printed.

Here is the code snippet:

$tmpl_file = “path-to-file/header.html”;
$thefile = implode(“”, file($tmpl_file));
$thefile = addslashes($thefile);
$thefile = “\$r_file=\””.$thefile.”\”;”;
eval($thefile);
print $r_file;

I’d suggest you guys to either give an option to the publisher to choose
between a single quote and a double quote, or just make it default as double
quotes.

I am using Ads provided by * another company * and they do use double
quotes, which works fine for me. If you think it is fine for me to change
the single quotes in the code to double quotes manualy, then do let me know.

Thanks
Gaurav