Blog Archives

Zemanta Revisited

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Way back in 2008, I wrote a brief post about Zemanta.  I think it’s about time I updated it.

I use Zemanta every time I write a post. The artwork normally to the top left of any post is usually picked from a selection suggested by Zemanta. The tags I pick are, again, from a selection suggested by Zemanta. And that little “reblog” icon at the bottom right of every post? Yep, that’s from Zemanta too.  Zemanta is a very useful tool in a blooger’s tool kit and I hope that this will persuade you to try it out on your own site.

Let’s take a look at what it does. From the Zemanta Learn page:

Zemanta is a tool that looks over your shoulder while you blog and gives you tips and advice, suggests related content and pictures and makes sure your posts get promoted as they deserve to be. We at Zemanta are thinking hard to help make blogging easier for you. We’re engineering better creative tools to help you get the most out of your blogging time.

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So You Want to Start an Online Community…

Optical fiber provides cheaper bandwidth for l...
Image via Wikipedia

This is going to be a very non-specific post.  A thread I have been posting in over on has made me think – and you know what happens when I start thinking?  That’s right, I get sleepy.  And then I get writing.  This being the internet and bandwidth and server space being free or low cost, every day someone decides that they will start up the next killer website/forum/mailing list/IRC channel/blog.  This will be the <whatever> to end all <whatevers> and will bring in the clicks by the thousand.  These people get very excited and start to post links wherever they can find a suitable site.  And then what?

<as a fair man, this is only aimed at people who want to do something to bring in the public – starting any of these things as a personal project or somewhere their friends can hang out online means that these words do not apply>

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Married Life. Coming Soon.

Those of you who can see me on Facebook will be aware that I changed my status some time ago to “engaged”.  I have gone from saying “no way, not ever” to “let’s set a date”.  I am nothing, if not inconsistent.  So yeah, I’m getting married.

Because we are both practical people (and a variety of other reasons) this is going to be an extremely quick and simple wedding.  We have booked a local registrar’s office for next May, there will be space for us and 4 guests and the whole thing takes minutes apparently.  For anyone reading this and looking to get married and not wanting to go through the hassle of the full ceremony and wondering who will sit where can do what I did.

It really is very simple and pretty damn low cost.  In fact, I don’t think there is a cheaper option which still ends up with you being legally married.  Obviously, this comes with a massive caveat: make sure your intended is happy doing this.  Proudly saying you have organised a quick, simple and cheap wedding when s/he would like the full monty does not mean that you will be off to a good start….  Anyway, do this:

  • Find your nearest registrar’s office and phone them up
  • Ask them for the availability on 2 or more preferred dates
  • Explain that you just want the quick legal ceremony (this is the bare basics, you will be married but won’t have the expected floweriness.  Or flowers.)
  • Answer simple questions – who are you, are you British, are you free to marry, that sort of thing.
  • Pay £43.50 over the phone by debit or credit card (price correct today, it is subject to change though)
  • Put the phone down and then tell the very small number of people and your witnesses where and when
  • …..
  • Profit!

Well, maybe not the last one, but you then have lots of money (hopefully) to have an awesome honeymoon happy in the knowledge that saying that you are on your honeymoon means people may give you free stuff!!

Speaking of honeymoons, where to go??  The Netherlands, Amsterdam to be specific, is romantic.  If you like far flung and exotic places, travel to China.  You could even try Lake Powell houseboat rentals if you want something different!  And a little bird tells me that Olongapo is very pleasant…..

We’re actually spending about 3 weeks in Florida because it’s a fantastic tourist spot and we like lots of sunshine and air conditioned hotels….

So yeah, for the followers of Ray news, I will be totally off the market in about 7 months and then I’ll have just 12 months until my first wedding anniversary.  Scary stuff and I suspect this means that I’m that bit closer to becoming an adult.

So in summary: engaged now, married next year, cheap and cheerful ‘cos that’s all we need, awesome long honeymoon/holiday.

Full Facial

Today I broke down and did something I never thought I’d do. I joined Facebook.

It wasn’t my fault, honest mister. Two very old friends who I haven’t seen for a long while invited me to join their pages and I couldn’t see a reason not to.

Since I’m a (rapidly) aging rebel, I haven’t added all the nonsense on offer – it’s plain jane and very boring. I do feel dirty though….