Top 10 Stars of the Week, March 31

RSS Items ReadHere are my top 10 stars of last week. For those who are new to reading this blog, this is a post I normally do on a weekly basis that I haven’t done in a while so I thought I would bring it back this week. Each week as I go through my rss reader I start several articles for future reading. I try to make this list a quick recap of the previous week’s posts from various sources around the Internet. Not always blog posts, but most of the time they are articles written by other bloggers.

I have approximately 700 feeds that I go through each week, and as always, there were some excellent articles written last week. Below you will find a few that stood out to me.

Top 10 Stars of the week of Mar 24 to Mar 31

New Owner Lays It Out There

via Blogging Experiment by Max Davis on 3/28/08

Hey there, this is Max Davis. I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Ben has sold his amazing website and many of you are interested to see what is going to happen next.

Linking To Differing Opinion

via Andy Beard – Niche Marketing by Andy Beard on 2/18/08

There is nothing wrong with having strong, even biased opinion about a product or service, as long as you provide a basis for that

Designers and Communication Skills: Why and How to Improve

via Vandelay Website Design by Vandelay Design on 3/26/08

Earlier this week I posted a group interview with several established and successful designers. One of the questions that was asked to each participant was “What do you feel are the most important skills

The Right Advertising Revenue for Your Blog

via Blogging Tips by kelbycarr on 3/25/08

If you have a blog, odds are good you’d like to bring in a few bucks. There are actually several options for doing this, but not all will work

A Step By Step Guide To Writing About Stuff You Know Very Little About

via Freelance Folder by Ram Karthik on 3/27/08

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with writing only on a handful of topics, but what if a client asks you to write on a topic you know nothing (or very little) about? Can you afford to turn down work?

10 Things You Need to Know About WordPress 2.5

via Technosailor by Aaron Brazell on 3/18/08

WordPress is about to release version 2.5 into the wild (It just hit Release Candidate yesterday so the release date, though officially

Ten Killer Interviewing Tips

via Freelance Folder by Keith Johnson on 3/30/08

As a Technical Writer, I have had to interview hundreds of computer professionals to better understand the technology that I would be documenting. Programmers, Quality Assurance, Implementation,

Goodbye 800×600?

via Blogging Tips by John Leschinski on 3/29/08

As I was redesigning my own site I debated what resolution to use. More and more sites are optimized for screens at 1024×768, and the WC3 reports 80% of users have monitors that big or bigger. Even my…

Should I Change My Website Into a Blog?

via ProBlogger Blog Tips by Darren Rowse on 3/29/08

“Hi Darren, I’ve got a website at which I’ve had for a few years and not really done much with. I’ve heard that blogs are a good way of building traffic and making money, should I change it to a blog?”

10 Things You Need to Know About WordPress 2.5

via Technosailor by Aaron Brazell on 3/18/08

WordPress is about to release version 2.5 into the wild (It just hit Release Candidate yesterday so the release date, though officially not known, is coming soon). If you’ve been using or have peeked at the demo site you will know the biggest change coming to WordPress with this release.

Major Fender Bender, Fender Guitar That Is

Here is a question for you. What do you do if you are in the thrift shop and you see a ridiculous deal on this? Well, if you are me, you grab it fast!

Opportunity almost never knocks when you are ready to receive it. It is more like a neighbor, who, having something very exciting to show you, shows up when you are in your robe and slippers. Usually, to seize the opportunity when it comes you have to act very fast. Scott and I have both wanted to learn how to play the guitar for a very long time. We were not actively searching for a guitar, but this one found us. We promptly left the shop with it, went down to the guitar shop and had it re-strung and tuned.

Viola, a beautiful, sweet sounding guitar ready for playing. My first lesson is scheduled for Tuesday, 2:30pm. Wish me luck…

Update: well it seems that Scott is going to take on the leaning of the lessons, I will enjoy listening to him play. There are only so many things we can do in our life and listening to him play will be a good one for me.

Update: well Scott lasted about 4 months and did quite well, but his photography was far more developed than he could ever be as a musician so he is sticking with photography.

Do You Participate in Pingback or Trackback?

Are you generally a user of the system or are you an active participator in the process? Using a pingback can have several benefits for you as the one who uses the link, but it also benefits the person or company you are linking to when Google comes around to index all the relevant pages.

What is a Pingback, Trackback, or Permalink?

For most of us that are not total code junkies I thought it might be good to a have a little background information first. All three of these terms are similar in nature and do similar tasks, with slight variations.


What exactly is a pingback? A pingback is method of linking back to an article or post you read on another blog, from within the article you are writing. I will have more on this below. An example of this would be linking to article related to this article that someone else wrote, like this: Linking To Differing Opinion, by Andy Beard. The link I just posted is considered to Andy as a pingback to his original article.

From this blog, to Andy’s, which then comes back to this blog.


A trackback is very similar but generally is used as a url location to link back to an article you have written, some times from an article you are writing back to another article of your own. An example of this might be a link to a previous article on my own blog. This is one I wrote last year on how to improve customer service, and the trackback would be here: Steps to Improve Customer Service by Answering Email

From this blog, to another article within this blog, which then links to this article.


A permalink is the actual permanant url location of the article in question. For example, the permalink for the same article I wrote last year as mentioned above would have this permanent url , usually a very long address that no one wants to post in full, but it works well using an anchor tag.

All of these terms can be used in conjunction with each other as one of three forms of linkbacks. All of which should be used in effectively marketing your blog or website, but be careful how you use them, they are also the tools of spammers when used incorrectly.

What Does a Pingback Actually Do?

A “ping” comes from when you would reach out to another IP address by sending a small bit of information, and in return, you would receive a small bit of information, then you would know that you actually reached the IP address in question. So, when you write an article or blog post and mention another article, and link to it, it will send out a small bit of information saying you did so, and give you a small bit in return.

It is generally quite acceptable to other bloggers or website owners to post back to an article that they have written. It is not generally acceptable to copy what they have written and just repost it on your site, even if you do give the author credit. Some of the reason for this is that they don’t get any benefit from you repeating their information, where a pingback to their site does.

Why Don’t I Just Mention the Other Article Instead?

When you post a link back to an article it will also benefit you (more than just scraping or copying their content) because many times it will automatically post a link in the comments section of their article for the article you wrote. This will bring a certain number of visitors back to your site as well.

Good for you, good for them, and it is usually quite appreciated by the other site. Scrapping content, whether done with good intentions or not, is not appreciated and serves of little benefit to either party.

Is It Better To Give or Receive a Pingback?

Well, in this case, it is probably better to receive the pingback (depending on the content of the site of course) than to give it, BUT, you probably have to give them to receive them. There are other things going on in the background with Google when you use a pingback, and most of the time, it will render the site receiving the pingback more relevant overall because the information was worthy of someone else writing about it.

This can have an opposite effect that may come into play when the site using the pingback is of questionable content, but like a political candidate, it is hard to control who recommends or endorses you and such is the case with pingbacks.


Overall the rule of thumb would be to pinback, not scrapeback. No one likes seeing their content scraped and used on another site and it gives no benefit to the site that created the original content, so use a pingback when you can.

Keep in mind that pingbacks are the tool of some spammers so use it for legitimate purposes when you want to quote another article that corresponds to your own and you will find that the other site will most likely appreciate the mention and link.

The Reddest Red Found in a Flower Bloom

Red Flower with Spider

Some images just jump out at me when I see them in nature, this one I loved because of its deep color. This will be posted as my first image of the day on this blog.  I love contrasting colors in nature and two of the best (in my opinion) is when you can find red and green together.  Luckily in nature, you can usually find green, so if you do find red, green is not far behind.  This flower was taken at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Birmingham Alabama.