Halfblog: Now AdFree

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I’ve finally decided to remove the ugly WordAds from this site, and upgraded to AdFree. I asked WordPress.com support about the possibility of spending the $30 I had accrued with WordAds on AdFree, knowing that they insist on paying out only when a user has accrued $100 of funds but reasoning that since I was spending money with them they might be able to make an exception. Nope:

Our finance department isn’t able to do it. One challenge is that our ad partners like Google Adsense don’t pay until a site has earned over $100. So if our finance department paid out accounts less than $100 we’d always be losing money on those.

I did appreciate the honest and frank answer though. Continue reading

The best Google Webmaster videos

Dear Matt Cutts I thought it might be useful to bring together ten of the most popular videos from Google’s Webmasters YouTube channel.

I’ve taken the liberty of filtering out the marketing videos and have just focused on the freely given SEO advice. Most of these feature Matt Cutts answering user-submitted questions or Maile Ohye giving general advice. These are pretty jargon-free and are clearly intended for webmasters without much working knowledge of SEO.

Learn what Google has to tell us about SEO →

Some very cool WordPress plugins

This Wednesday is the next WordPress Users Wales meet-up, and the theme is something that every WordPress user loves to talk about:

Plugins!

Plugins are shiny toys to a WordPress geek. We love to play with them, share our favourites and learn about any new cool ones that will make our old blogs perform new tricks.

Now seemed like the perfect time to list some of my personal favourites. Most of these I have used, and the rest are on my list to try very soon.

There is also some opinionated advice near the end of the post on what kinds of plugins are best avoided.

Enough waffle, show me the list! →

Stylish cyclists of Cardiff, my contribution to #CardiffMakeaMag

I’ve broken away early from efforts at the Cardiff School of Journalism to produce a cycling-themed magazine in a day for the Cardiff Arts Festival. You can monitor the progress of those who are still toiling away on Twitter by following the hashtag #cardiffmakeamag.

For my part, I teamed up with an aspiring magazine journalist called Lucinda who attempted to chase down cyclists who caught her eye. She would then quiz them on cycling in Cardiff while I took pictures. Typically I make great efforts to keep humans out of my pictures, so these aren’t exactly my best work. Still, it was nice to try something different.

Update: Here is the final spread as it appears in the magazine Off The Chain.

Cardiff Cycle Style

I think it looks fantastic! Well done all. See my photographs →

Wales Blog Awards 2010 and 2011: A call for information

Note: See bottom of this post for updates.

Wales Blog Awards logo Last year I wrote about the blogs that were shortlisted for – and won – the Wales Blog Awards. I had an idea for a follow-up post this year that would give a more detailed analysis of the Welsh blogging scene. I would measure things like post frequency, average comments attracted per post, image use, age of blog, social media followers etc.

In addition, I wanted to go back and look at the blogs shortlisted for 2010 and 2011. This is when I noticed that much of the history of the Wales Blog Awards has already been deleted.

Do you have any record of this information? Please read on… →

Magazine in a Day – Cycling

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Update: Bicycle by Simon Child, from The Noun Project As I mentioned previously on this blog, I’ve signed up a photographer for a fun project called Content: A Magazine in a Day, which is going to be taking place at the School of Journalism this Saturday as a part of the Cardiff Design Festival.

Since then a loose theme has been announced: Cycling – a theme that is running through many of the Design Festival events.

I’ve no idea who I’ll be working with or what direction the magazine will take, and I assume that’s the idea. Personally, I just hope the rain takes a break as I’ll be making use of my bike.