You’re An Attention Whore And You Know It

Attention Whore Svetlana Gladkova from Profy posted about “Blog Day” and some of the dirty little secrets bloggers hide/neglect/refuse to share with members of the non-blogging world.

One point that stuck with me was Svetlana’s reasoning behind why people blog:

Bloggers will usually claim that they blog for all kinds of reasons, including willingness to share their unique knowledge and experience with the world or hoping to make the world a better place. But I’ve been working in the blogosphere long enough to know that only a very small percentage of bloggers actually have some big reasons for blogging while the vast majority only blog hoping to get money, fame or some professional recognition – and more money eventually. I don’t like the fact that I’ve lost my idealism months ago and I’d really want to believe all the bloggers that claim they only want to do good but my experience shows I only know a couple of people who actually want to do good and do something good instead of only claiming so – out of hundreds of bloggers I’ve met.

Svetlana has it almost right. I’m going to go one step further and say that the real reason we blog, twitter, podcast and vidcast is because we are all narcissistic egomaniacs / attention whores / desperately seeking recognition.

Yes some of us are driven to make money but the medium through which we do it belies our need to have our ego’s stroked and inflated.

If you tell me that you write for yourself and don’t care who reads it, I’m going to tell that I can smell what you’re shoveling from 10 miles away. If you don’t want it to be read, or have a desire for it to be read, why put it online? Why not just type in a word document or makes use of dead trees and graphite and get it on paper?

If you’re telling me you’re doing it just to make money, I’m still going to tell you that what you’re shoveling isn’t smelling any sweeter as we all know that blogging is not the right racket to truly make money off. A side income perhaps, but a true income, well that’s beyond the capabilities, writing skill and personalities (face it most of us are just boring) to achieve.

Tell me that you’re sharing you’re experience and knowledge to help others and I’ll agree that it’s noble, while flipping you off and telling you that you’ve gone beyond offending my nasal passages at this point.

If you want to help others get involved with an after-schools program, get off your fat arse and go out and help the needy, teach, do youth work, but don’t try to tell me that your 2 hits a day site (you and your mom) is a selfless attempt to help people. You’re just boring, not worth of traffic and are trying to justify the existence of your pinprick of cyberspace.

So what does that leave? Fame, recognition, boasting rites among our peers? Can’t think of many other reasons myself. Attention Whore!

Exploit Your Child (Robot)

From Gizmodo comes this video documenting the systematic abuse of child like robots in the Philippines as they are forced to haul little kiddies around the mall in plastic rickshaws.

The future of robot benevolence towards human kind may be in the balance when they become our overlords but I can’t help but find watching these goose stepping, metallic munchkins eerily hypnotic.

Old Skool Pirating

I’ve seen a number of posts today about the poor RIAA / MPAA and how they’re not making any money, losing billions to illegal pirates and bit torrent, yet when the movie industry alone is on course to have yet another record summer season, I must confess to having no sympathy for them.

U.S. Box office reports of earnings in excess of $3.99 Billion so far this season put them well on track to beat last years record summer of $4.02 Billion.

The beleaguered music industry is also continues to make claims of impoverishment while Warner Music reports profits increases of 70% in Ireland.

With that in mind, it obviously came as a bit of a chuckle to see this image of a cassette released by the Dead Kennedys 28 years ago.

Pirate Tape

Social Media Usage Explained In One Simple Diagram

If you’re new to the social media world it can be difficult to get into it due to the vast array of people you are likely to encounter. Many / most of these people are pushing their own agenda and have their own ideas of what it’s all about and what you should be doing in the social media world.

Thankfully this diagram exists to help you easily figure put social media and peoples reasons for using it.

 image

Via Kevin Kelly.

Where’s The Damn Subscribe Button?

RSS Subscribe OFlaherty Really I don’t care if you’re not concerned about how many people read your blog. I couldn’t give a monkeys arse about your super minimalist design. I fart in the face of your need for the ultimate in minimalist aesthetics.

If you don’t have a clear and easily located RSS or subscribe button on your blog I won’t be subscribing anytime soon.

I’ve run into this “little issue” twice in the past 24 hours and as a result, two blogs which I feel I really could get to like are each a subscriber short.

Lets be honest here, we all blog because some part of us is an exhibitionist at heart, we want people to read what we write or we wouldn’t go to the trouble of posting it to the internet in the first place. So with that in mind, why make it difficult for people to subscribe?

While I Was In Limerick…

Recently I was down in Limerick enjoying hotels that happened to have patrons who decided it was cool to swipe the cable to the wireless router (thank you so very much) and in which you could clearly hear a mouse fart from across the street, that just happened to situated across a narrow road from a night club.

While I was enjoying the “best” accommodation that Limerick had to offer I made it on to a rather unexpected list – “50 Irish Influencers To Follow on Twitter”.

The list, compiled by Niall Harbison of Simply Zesty (an Irish company doing PR and Social Media), covers 50 of the most influential Irish people on Twitter from across all forms of media.

The list is not based on follower count, but is based on influence and as such includes newcomers to the Twitter world from TV and radio who have not yet accumulated a large Twitter following – heck knows how I made it on to this list but I’m very happy I did :)

Check out the complete list over on Simply Zesty and while you’re at it, check out the details of their upcoming summer camp which is being held in Dublin on the 27th of August for a chance to see how you can use social media to improve your business.

You can follow Niall (@niallharbison) and Lauren (@laurenfisher)from Simply Zesty on Twitter and of course you can also follow me too @pauloflaherty.

Wolfenstein Official Launch Trailer

Wolfenstein 3D

Wolfenstein 3D

I’ve been a Wolfenstein fan since the very beginning, way back in 1992, in fact I’m sure I still have the original knocking around here somewhere.

With that in mind, it goes without saying that I am very much looking forward to getting my hands on the new Wolfenstein when it’s released, which should be next Tuesday, August 18th.

You can check out the trailer for the new Wolfenstein below and i’f you’re feeling a little nostalgic you can download the original Wolfenstein 3D and have some “old skool” fun kicking Nazi butt!

The Ages Of Social Media

It’s a true sign of the changing face of social media when my 13 year old sister messages me on Facebook to get me to tell my Grandmother to accept her friend request (because my little sis is impatient that way, as most kids are with a new toy).

Social media is no longer the domain of the geeks & nerds. It’s truly become universal.

Crawled To Death – Why You NEED To Use Google Webmaster Tools

PaulOFlaherty Crawl I thought it was bad enough when Tim Burton and a poorly configured WP-Super Cache teamed up to kill our sites last month, but I never thought that Google would be responsible for killing 2 of my sites in 1 day.

Yesterday two of our sites simultaneously started throwing 500 errors every time we tried to access them. Last month we had a similar problem but it happened across 3 of ours sites due to a poor cache configuration when Daily Shite was having a massive traffic spike. That issue was resolved and steps were taken to ensure it didn’t happen again. I knew we weren’t having any unusually high traffic so my first thought (after checking the cache was working properly) was that the MySQL server was on the fritz.

How wrong I was.

After some work and some back and forth with the ever helpful Dreamhost, it was determined that the culprit was an incredibly industrious Googlebot (66.249.67.198) which had taken it upon itself to go ape and crawl our sites with the zeal of an axe murdering maniac at a naive virgin convention.

If this is happening to your site there are ways and means to stop Google from hammering your site into oblivion.

The first and easiest is to disallow all bots from crawling your site by adding the following to your robots.txt file, which goes in the root of your site:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

That will work but the problem is that it may also prevent your pages turning up in the search engines over time as your pages will not be indexed.

What you really want to do is slow down the crawling to reduce the load by placing something similar to this in the robots.txt (Lots more information on on robots.txt here):

User-agent: *
Crawl-Delay: 3600
Disallow:

The “Crawl-Delay” command will slow down most good bots such, as the crawler used by Bing, but Google ignores the command so will continue to hammer your site regardless. That is why is is imperative that you sign your site up for Google Webmaster tools today (it’s 100% free).

Once you’ve signed up with Google Webmaster tools you verify your site by either adding a meta tag to header of your sites pages or by uploading a specific HTML file to your server which Google then checks to verify your ownership of the site.

Once your site is verified you can then go in and lower the crawl rate of your site to reduce the load, get your site back up and give you some working room.

PaulOFlaherty.com Webmaster Tools - Settings

The reason why you need to sign up now, besides being able to register a sitemap to improve crawling and SEO, is that if your site is being hammered and your server resources are stretched to the limit, then Google won’t be able to verify the site as you’ll probably be serving cached files without the meta tag in place or your site will crash trying to generate a new page with the tag in. Either way – not good!

No matter what kind of load your site is under the HTML file verification should work, but it didn’t for us yesterday when attempting to verify Daily Shite (PaulOFlaherty.com was already verified) as Google kept throwing an error.

Google Webaster Tool Error

If we’d had all of our sites registered with Google Webmaster tools, we would have been able to reduce the crawl rate across the board straight away, stopped that Google bot in its rampant tracks and had considerably less downtime.