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Blogging Is All About Community and Self-Expression

Hi there Blokesters. March is upon us and change is in the air. Spring is just around the corner and already I’m seeing flowers beginning to bud.

Woohoo! This is so exciting and I can’t wait for winter to be over.

In the Blokester household we are also making changes to our environment. We decided to move our dining room furniture out of the smallish room where it was and into our large living room where we had extra space to put it.

So we now have an extra room that we are making into a utility space for all kinds of things such as our music where we have a piano, an electronic keyboard and my guitars set up.

I can also easily set up my Total Gym exercise equipment to work out (do I ever need it) and fold it away again when I’m not using it. It’s also a nice play area for my 11 year old daughter and her friends, a space for her home-schooling and anything else that we can think of.

Sweeet!

As for my blog it’s time for a change too. Although you probably don’t notice it, I’m constantly adding refinements here and there to make your stay more useful and pleasurable.

One thing in particular that I’ve decided to do is to make minor changes to my ‘Top Commentators’ plugin. I use it like a blogroll and you can see it in action under the tag cloud in the right-hand column.

Instead of the usual blogroll like everyone else does, I like the idea of using it as a reward to those Blokesters that make the greatest contribution to this community.

I think most of you probably know by now the benefit that your blog can get with an incoming link from a prestigious blog. Believe you me it will do wonders for your pagerank and blog authority with the search engines.

You might also have noticed that I’ve changed the menu title to “Top Performers” for two reasons. First off, I’ve been getting a lot of spammers who are hijacking your links. All they have to do is make a comment with your name, change the URL and oilla - they have effectively stolen your coveted position.

These spammers search for the term “Top Commentators” so that they can cheat you out of the Google juice you deserve.

I have spent a ton of time keeping an eye out for this nuisance and correcting them when I find it, but I suggest that you not rely on me to do all the work and watch for it yourself. After all, it is you who is reaping the reward — not me.

All you need to do to fix it is to write another comment with your blog address and you will get it back again.

Secondly, I’ve noticed that comments are down again and I think that some may have been resting on their laurels because they were ahead of the pack.

For me what is most important for my blog is to see a thriving community full of comments and conversation. So I’ve made a small change to the plugin that I hope will encourage you to participate more.

From now on the “Top Performer” links will automatically reset itself back to zero every month. I’ve also removed the count number so there will be no way of knowing how far ahead or behind you are from the rest of the crowd. (Sneaky eh)?

That way I think it will be more fair and hopefully encourage y’all to keep those comments coming.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I live for your comments. I don’t make any money off this blog and my greatest pleasure (besides writing) is to read your comments and let me know if my hard work is paying off.

Thanks so much for helping this blog be the success it is and please remember — blogging is all about community and self-expression. It is the closest thing that we have to direct democracy.

But most of all this blog is not just my blog, it’s yours too so please use it.  

Think of me as just the moderator.

Cheers!

Written March 1st, 2008 by | 196 Comments | Filed under: Featured Tips, Search Engine Tips , , , , ,

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There are 196 Comments so far to “Blogging Is All About Community and Self-Expression”

  1. Sorry Bloke, I am confused about several statements.

    How do we know when we need to fix our comments being spammed by others?

    Like most readers, I generally see the comment conversation between you and me! What clues do we look for when our address is spammed? How do we know a spammer has used our link when the URL address is covered by a (their?) name?

    Doesn’t comment moderation prevent spam?

    I have not seen improvements in page rank and / or blog authority in the search engines from a incoming link due to commenting. How do we measure this improvement?

    Debbie Dolphin’s last blog post..To the Lighthouse Excellent Award

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  2. Debbie, when you leave a comment the plugin creates a link under the “Blokester Roll: Top Performers” menu like you see on the right sidebar. That is a do-follow link that the search engines will rank. Comment links also help if your blog is a do-follow blog like mine is.

    A spammer can leave a comment using your name/alias but with their own url, hence hijacking your link(s) in the sidebar.

    There’s no way to completely eradicate this problem except through manual manipulation and avoidance.

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  3. Hi Bloke,

    If I understand you, spammers are spamming our link in the Blokester Roll not our comments in the post?

    Manual Manipulation again? Thank you for reminding me of the missing 6 Ms: Manual Massage, Manual Makeover, and Manual Manipulations! ;)

    Seems to me, a lot of blogs would need to install a ‘Top Commentators’ plugin before improvements are noticed in Pork Rations (oops, Page Rank)?

    Are you using the plugin from here: http://www.pfadvice.com/wordpress-plugins/show-top-commentators/
    so we can test drive and promote the plugin.

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  4. Hmm, I guess “manual manipulation” or “avoidance” might not be the best choice of words. Sounds a lot like high school health class doesn’t it? But you got the drift and the link is also correct.

    Pork rations? Golly, I never thought of it that way but in some ways it does seem appropriate. I guess it depends on which side of the food chain you happen to be sitting.

    P.s.: It also occurs to me that you and I share the same sort of directness and warped sense of humor. :-)

    Cheers!

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  5. Hi Bloke,

    Thank you for confirming the link!

    Speaking of humor, Warp 8 after you Beam us up, Scotty! ;)
    Debbie Dolphin’s last blog post..To the Lighthouse Excellent Award

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  6. Bloke — I’d be interested in this plug-in, but I have such a long, crowded sidebar as it is. This goes back to my theme problem. I love the colors and like the right sidebar, but it’s just not wide enough and I don’t understand how to make it wider (or if it even can be made wider without screwing the whole thing up). I want a custom theme, but it’ll be months before I do it. I want only one more theme change. It has to be perfect.

    Thank you for always make a visit here educational and useful.

    Kathy’s last blog post..Next Step, Restraining Order

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  7. Yep, blogging is a thankless job but thank you that you do it!
    I’ve been busy and miss reading your blog. Glad all is well and you’re still tapping along. I can’t get over how different you blog looks now. Very smart! Teri

    Tica Macha (Teri)’s last blog post..Church on Sunday

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  8. Debbie, I met Scotty (James Doohan) when he was filming a movie in my home town. I was really surprised how tall he actually was and his hair was white as snow. It was not long before he died.

    I was visiting the location where he was filming and the director let me go upstairs to the office just before they were going to make a shot. As I was coming down the stairs I was watching my footing because there were thick wires for the cameras all over the place.

    Half-way down I heard a voice shout “STOP”. I froze and looked up only to find myself staring nose-to-nose with Scotty. He was doing the same thing watching his feet coming up the stairs and if the director hadn’t shouted to stop I’m sure we would have butt heads.

    So what do you think I said? Naturally I said “Beam me down Scotty!” ;-).

    True story.

    I got a chance to shake hands with him afterwards. He was a gentleman and I told him it was my privilege to meet him. I’m sorry that he’s gone now. I miss him.

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  9. Kathy, all you have to do is remove the bullets formatting. That’s what I did and now it sits neatly in my sidebar.

    You have plenty of room to widen your sidebar. Instead pf paying someone to create a new theme, if you like yours just get someone to fix it. That would be a lot cheaper.

    It’s really easy. It’s controlled in your style.php file. It’s just matter of finding the right settings and fiddling with it. From what I can see it would be basically just two settings you need to change. Widening your right sidebar and adjusting the left margin.

    It shouldn’t be difficult for someone who is familiar with CSS. Or why don’t you contact the person who made your theme?

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  10. It’s good to have you back Teri. The place isn’t the same without you.

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  11. Can’t I just pay you, Bloke? I did contact the theme designer, but not about that issue. He was very helpful with my other questions, so I’ll go ahead and pose another. Or I could just pay you to do it.

    There is another tweak I wanted, too. I like how the background color fades from green to creme, but I would rather it be a solid creme. With a widened sidebar and different background, I’d stick with this theme.

    Kathy’s last blog post..It Rained Ice Cream

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  12. Hey Bloke, this is a little off topic but have you ever heard of “RegCure” - “Scan, repair and optimize your PC”?
    I’m getting error messages with my new computer lately.
    It flashes on the screen as I sign the computer off.
    Puzzled in CR.

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  13. Off topic? Not really. We’re a community of helpful bloggers aren’t we?

    From what I’ve heard stay away from it. It could kill your computer if you run it!

    From my personal experience I’ve never found any so-called registry cleaner programs that don’t cause more problems than it supposedly cures.

    Please tell me that you haven’t installed it? Check your list of programs and see if it’s there. If you haven’t installed it maybe someone else has.

    Check also your systray in the bottom right-hand corner of your Windows taskbar and see if anything resembling it is running.

    If it is already installed I would just leave it and don’t try to uninstall. That could cause even more problems. Just don’t run it, and if you see it in your systray stop it from loading up in your memory when booting-up.

    You can do by clicking Start, type “msconfig” (without the quotes) and press Enter. The System Configuration Utility dialog box will then appear.

    Select the “Startup” tab to see a list of all the programs that are configured to load when your computer starts. Simply remove the check mark beside any programs you do not want to start up and click OK. In this case you will be looking for “RegCure”.

    You will have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect. You can find more info here.

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  14. Kathy, let me tinker with it when I get the time. If you don’t hear from me within the week then give me a gentle reminder.

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  15. Hello Captain Bloke of the Starship USS Bloke Enterprise VBC-2008-E!

    Did Scotty beam you down? :)

    Maybe, Denny Crane can beam us up and hopefully, we will not land in Alan Shore’s bed! ;)

    Speaking of beaming electrons, my test of the Top Commentators’ plugin appears to be working well!

    Debbie Dolphin’s last blog post..Message in a Bottle at Seguin Island Lighthouse

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  16. WOW, I did click the button to run a scan on my computer and the icon is on my desktop. I checked programs and it’s there.
    So, to be clear, do not hit the “uninstall” or it will screw everything up? I will check the misconfig. Why does it all have to be sooooo complicated.
    I read my ebook today - A New Earth. I really enjoyed it.
    Eckhert Tolle is from Vancover!

    Tica Macha (Teri)’s last blog post..Church on Sunday

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  17. Oh yeah, thank you for all the links. I read them all just to make sure I understand. I know this took a lot of time.
    Thanks for you helping me (and others) as always, Teri

    Tica Macha (Teri)’s last blog post..Church on Sunday

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  18. Teri, these programs usually keep a backup before making changes. If you are having problems you should be able to undo it. However, if you can’t boot back into Windows you are screwed.

    I’m not trying to scare you but please use these programs at your own risk. They can be dangerous and can really mess up your registry. Whatever you do I would NOT use it again.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

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  19. Ahoy Ensign Debbie! I tested your link-love plugin but no love for the Bloke. :-( Perhaps you’ve only enabled 4 users, like maybe? (SOB, as the Bloke walks slowly into the sunset crying his heart out). Sniff, boohoo…

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  20. Hi Captain Bloke,

    The Beacon Beams up your name and link onto the USS Sidebar Ship after your comment has been approved by Captain DD of the HMSS Under-the-Cover Secret Blog Ops!

    Ensign DD in the Comment Communication Tower signing off! :)

    P.S. Where I have seen this comment before? ;)
    Debbie Dolphin’s last blog post..Message in a Bottle at Seguin Island Lighthouse

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  21. Roger that … over …

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  22. RegCure is present under “programs” but doesn’t seem to be in force. I think it search for registry errors but I needed to pay first before they were fixed.
    It’s not on the startup (msconfig place) or systray.
    So I should not ‘uninstall’ it under the RegCure program?
    Is there a program that can check my registry?
    I do get a error message when I turn off my computer every
    now and then. I’ll take a photo of the message for you next time.
    I have been using Spybot to check my computer for hidden “whateveryoucallits”. Thanks again. Teri

    Tica Macha (Teri)’s last blog post..Church on Sunday

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  23. Teri, I would just leave it and not run it again. If you decide to uninstall be sure to make a System Restore point beforehand.

    So-called Registry Cleaners are the most dangerous software out there and can cause catastrophic damage if you’re not careful.

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  24. Captain DD of the HMSS Under-the-Cover Secret Blog Ops has examined the bizarre food chain of PR as noted in this
    Example of Pork Rations:

    lighthousestars.com - PR3 - 409 GB
    ??www.blogbloke.com - PR3 - 1,150 GB
    ??(site link*) - PR4 - 36 GB

    GB is the number of Google Backlinks indexed.

    Obviously, you and I received Google Pork Rations with higher backlinks while some sites are receiving higher PR for low backlinks!

    Is this another Black Hole mystery of Google Manual Manipulations? :)

    *The site link is real yet, the ethics of publishing the site link of a Blogger who did not comment at this post is unclear…best to err on the side of caution.

    Debbie Dolphin’s last blog post..Message in a Bottle at Seguin Island Lighthouse

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  25. I don’t bother much with pagerank like I used to since Google recently fudged it’s algorithms again. Most authority blogs agree with my assessment. The funny thing is I was once a 7, and only just the other day I was a 4, so go figure. There’s no consistency in Google’s ranking system anymore and your odds are better Vegas.

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  26. Hi Captain Bloke,

    I hope we are on the same track with Captain DD explaining the humor of Pork Rations in the food chain? :)

    For fun, Captain DD spoofed the Marshmallow Fluff authority of Technorati also! :)

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  27. The same page? I would say you’ve torn a page right out of the Bloke’s favourite rant:

    http://www.blogbloke.com/is-technorati-biased-irrelevant/

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  28. Hilarious! Your Sep 19, 2007 post was before I discovered my long lost brother hiding out in Blogtopia! :)

    Great minds think alike must be a genetic trait! ;)

    Cheers!

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  29. BB and DD - should I be calling you sis perhaps?

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  30. Will calling DD sis keep Big Brother BB happy? :)
    Debbie Dolphin’s last blog post..Message in a Bottle at Seguin Island Lighthouse

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  31. Works for me.

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  32. Awesome article man!
    I’ve been getting deeper and deeper into blogging ever since I started reading ProBlogger and some of your articles

    It concerns me at times how many blogs seem to be concerned mainly with making money… and you can see the evidence, with the top fold devoid of any content (except ads)

    Zander Erasmus’s last blog post..Tips for 3D Students: Interviews

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  33. Thanks Zander and welcome to the community. Please drop by again soon.

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  34. Holy cow. Get delayed a day or so from reading your regular blogs and what happens? The rules change, the prize values go up, and everyone else gets a jump start and you can’t catch up!! :0)

    Teri: It kind of sounds like you may have gotten hit with a Trojan. I highly recomment StopZilla to get rid of spyware and adware problems. I got clobbered about three months ago and StopZilla solved the problem when McAfee failed.

    Lee’s last blog post..The Rising Blogger

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    Reply by: Jim at 11:37 am said...

    I used stopzilla and it cleaned up my box, and I havent had a prblm since!

    You can find it here!

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  35. That was initially one of my concerns Lee and you may be right, but after Teri told me she had RegCure installed what I think is happening is the program has put something in her startup file to keep heckling her (nagware) to buy the software.

    I could be wrong and it’s always a good idea to check your computer regularly for malware and software like McAfee or Norton are not as good as they once were. I haven’t used StopZilla but when I consider purchasing software I always check the user opinions at download.com first:

    http://www.download.com/Stopzilla/3000-8022_4-10104765.html

    But it didn’t get a very good rating. There are a ton of free software programs out there and two of the better ones that I use are a-Squared and Spybot. Of course I have also installed a security suite and the one that I use is by F-Secure.

    There are also a ton of free online scanners and some of the better ones are:

    http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
    http://www.bitdefender.com/scan8/ie.html
    http://www.eset.com/onlinescan/
    http://www.ewido.net/en/

    I like Trend myself.

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  36. I have been away from my feed reader and computer for a couple days,. Wow, I missed so much.

    Curtis’s last blog post..Planting some seed

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  37. hi bloke, great post. blogging is more and more about interactivity. thanks to little sweet multi-functional plugins and widgets, the blogsphere is uniting everyone…

    Kurts last blog post…Blog Profits Blueprint Review

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  38. awesome site brotha http://bit.ly/1jshln

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