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CommentLuv v2.9

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CommentLuv

As anyone who has ever commented on this site will know, one of the more visible plugins I use is CommentLuv. CommentLuv is designed to allow commenters to receive link backs to their own site without risking being known as a spammer by dumping in links without permission.

Since it’s first release, CommentLuv has gone from strength to strength and is installed on a huge number of sites. This is probably because the plugin is solid and easy to use, but also because Andy Bailey, the creator and developer of CommentLuv, is directly involved in the support and promotion of the plugin and is keen to help other bloggers get a leg up.

Andy Bailey wishes to make the next release a big event. To that end, there is a video embedded below these words. Please watch it and follow the link and see what comes next. Read the rest of this entry

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2 Piles of Excellent Please

As a notoriously lazy person, I like to receive free things for very little effort. It makes me almost want to exert myself. So,when  one of my satirical stops launched a competition to receive 3 free signed copies of new detective novels and all they wanted was for entrants to retweet stories, well, I was all over that. Especially as the stories were already in my Twitter feed, so I didn’t have to find them.

The NewsGrind is a satirical online newspaper. It’s updated daily, is very funny and you should be reading it. In fact, I’ll wait while you do that now.

Done? Good. Well, they ran a competition to win 3 signed copies of Nick Brownlee’s novels, Bait, Burn and Machete (available via Amazon). They are set in Mombasa (a region under-represented in fiction) and here’s some knowledge for you:

Nick Brownlee is the author of the acclaimed Jake & Jouma series of Kenya-based crime thrillers. His debut novel Bait introduced the unorthodox crimebusting partnership of ex-cop turned fishing boat skipper Jake Moore, and veteran Mombasa detective Daniel Jouma. The sequel Burn was published in 2009 and the third book in the series, Machete, which sees the two men face their deadliest opponent yet is on sale from July 1.

So that is one pile of excellent. The second is a bit rude and is below the fold. Read the rest of this entry

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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Various Twitter Clients

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

I have a Twitter address.  But I really disliked having to either open a new tab to view comments and replies or having to keep returning to the site to see what’s going on.  And I won’t be going into the various merits or demerits of Twitter as a site or function.  There are plenty of sites that are happy to do that for me.  So, being the kind of guy I am, I went hunting for a Twitter client so I didn’t have to use the browser.

There are a number of clients out there, so there’s no shortage whatsoever.  Unfortunately, most are written for Mac or for Windows and I run Linux.  So using my brain I went hunting on the web for a client that I could run.  I was running Spaz, but it became unhappy when I upgraded my distro and started running KDE4 – it just sits in the system tray and won’t actually do anything useful.  More on that later.

So, after the jump, I’ll run down the ones I tested and the one I’m on now.  Incidentally, some of my results are skewed by the fact that I believe KDE to be messing me around – some apps run once and then never again.  I am well aware that this is not the fault of the app itself, so I will not refer to the running (or otherwise) nature of the app.  Also, big thanks to the nice people at Adobe.  Many of the apps tested run on Adobe AIR (get it here).  If you remember Klik, Adobe Air is kinda like that but easier to use.  The BBC iPlayer Desktop app runs through AIR which allows it to be cross-platform.  Jump coming up now…

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