Our Bright Idea Tip: Microsoft’s Online ClearType Tuner

You’ll love this bright idea tip and online Microsoft tweak for your computer screen. It’s a ClearType tuner. Just visit this Microsoft link and follow this very simple three part online wizard to get your screen set up properly. (You must at least have Windows XP to use the tuner.)

This is what the tuner application does: “ClearType delivers improved font display quality over traditional forms of font smoothing or anti-aliasing. ClearType improves readability on color LCD displays with a digital interface, such as those in laptops and high-quality flat panel displays. Readability on CRT screens can also be somewhat improved.”

The steps are easy and you will simply be asked to select which paragraphs appear better to you as you move through the process. The tuner will work directly with your computer settings to improve your on-screen readability. You can always return easily to the default settings, so click in and tune-up today! Thanks Microsoft!

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Feedburner, I Love You

Don’t you? Are you using Feedburner? I have made the jump for this blog to feedburner. It used to be that I totally wanted all my URLs to carry my own site brand and so I have really balked at embracing Feedburner’s applications. But for Blog-World Watch I am trying out everything new.

I have to say that the ability to read some statistics on your feed is a good thing and that is one of the things that Feedburner allows you to do. Although your feed becomes a new beast, has a Feedburner URL now I am not worried about that for this blog. I am using a custom domain from Blogspot for this blog, the Feedburner URLs, and the new Blogger.com interface, so I have thrown my fixation on site branding right out the window for this test and blog.

There are a few really neat things that I like about Feedburner and here they are:

  1. Statistics – finally that you can understand. Still only 10% of Web-World is using feeds to view information. Wish it was higher, but RSS technology has still not been widely embraced.
  2. Love the integrated new Blogger.com widgets. Want to add a chicklet? Feedburner makes it super point and click easy.
  3. Make your feed automatically available for any news reader. No more RSS flavor choices. Will you go with Atom or RSS 2.0? Feedburner does it all for you with auto-sensing so you don’t ever loose anyone for a technology mis-match.
  4. Allow your blog readers to subscribe to posts via email. Get your blog information the good old fashioned way – by email. I haven’t added this feature yet to this blog, but will most likely in the near future. I use that feature for sites that I am paying my ghost bloggers to write for so that I can monitor their posts and do like it, but you know what I am ready to write and ready to stop fooling around with my template.

So if you’ve been hanging back from Feedburner due to the URL branding thing, now’s the time to let go of that and embrace some of the great new technology that Feedburner provides.

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Blog-World Watch

Well I finally have my other blog for blog topics all set up. It is called Blog-World Watch. The real reason for the set up is not to make more work for myself, but that I am doing a white paper on the use of Blogspot publishing and custom domains versus FTP publishing on www.Blogger.com with archives and posts back on your own hosting server.

I will be analyzing traffic over a two month period and am tracking site traffic with Urchin on this blog and Google Analytics on Blog-World Watch. Not only am I trying to really determine in quantifiable terms whether you do of do not get search engine benefits with Blogspot, but I am also trying out all of the very cool new Ajax widgets that the new Blogger is showcasing and will be reviewing them as well. Look for major changes in our blog section of our website as we identify what will work best for our client needs.

This should be a very interesting white paper so stay tuned. I’ll make sure to announce it here when it is ready. In the meantime, I encourage you to build my traffic :0) (hint, hint) on Blog-World Watch, by kindly going to visit it every now and then. I would much appreciate that so that I can have some traffic to evaluate.

Blog-World Watch will be focused on ghost blogging, blogging for search engines, how to make money with your blog and can you make money, new blog platforms and widget reviews for Blogger. I think that you will find it as interesting as this blog. I look forward to seeing you there!

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Solution for Blogspot Custom Domains

Okay, finally, I am a power user with Blogger and I even had problems setting up a custom domain on the new blogger. But I finally have it figured out so here’s the low-down on how to do it.

  1. Sign up for a blog on http://www.blogger.com/ and pretend that you want it to be hosted at Blogspot. Don’t click anything that asks for custom FTP settings. Do that and you won’t get any of the new Ajax tools and widgets from the new Blogger interface.
  2. Click the Settings tab and then the Publish tab. Here you will enter in your custom domain name. My Blogspot name for this blog was http://nancymccord@blogspot.com. I entered in the custom domain place http://blog.mccordweb.com/.
  3. This is where is got confusing. I thought that for my blog to show, I had to go to http://www.mccordweb.com/ and set up a subdirectory domain. You do NOT have to do that. In fact if you do that the publishing feature will not work and your blog will not show.
  4. However, this next step is crucial. You must log in to your hosting account, domain account, or whatever and add a CNAME listing tied to your domain name. I use Hostway for my hosting account. So I logged into my domain name management ine the DNS manager section and added a CNAME in this fashion on the left I entered blog (it will not work if you enter blog.mccordweb.com) on the right I entered ghs.google.com and then clicked enter. This allows Blogspot to link up the blog properly to your custom domain. Any deviation and the custom domain will not work or be visible.

That’s it. Seems simple enough, but there was not concise information on the Web and clearly from the forums and blog posts on this topic many and I mean many people have had big problems with this set up.

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Sister Blog for Web-World Watch

You’ll want to subscribe to both of our blogs! Blog-World Watch and Web-World Watch.

Blog-World Watch is my newest endeavor and will focus on blogging, ghost blogging, blogging ethics, best blog practices, how to set up custom domains, and much more. It is the blog arm of our popular blog on search engines and search engine marketing.

As I use this blog and track its traffic in the next month or two, I will be creating a white paper about using Blogspot and the new Blogger interface for my clients. It will be a white paper that you surely will not want to miss.

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