Thursday, August 24, 2006

Habe Axel zu Besuch

Gerade sitzt Kollege Axel hier rum.
besucht doch mal Axel in seinem tollen Musikstudio.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Every typo counts ... (my shortest article ever :-)

Just made it with "collage" instead of "college" to place three on MSN (from 47,569). Well, that's not the whole phrase, but ... James, let's start selling that SEO book ...

Copyright © Markus Merz 2006 - All rights reserved :-)

Tip: I recommend OpenBC for your business network! / Ich empfehle OpenBC für Ihr Business Netzwerk!

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Awesome touchscreen presentation

Now This is a Touchscreen I Could Get Behind…
I found this on The Unofficial Google Video Blog and thought it was cool enough to share. I’d love to know more about this video and what kind of tech is underneath this cool face. TUGVB tagged it as “Apple” and “Multitouch”. How close are we to this kind of touch interface?
Check out that Flash wrapped video in the article. Watch it full lenght. Amazing demonstration of future touchscreen usage!

Copyright © Markus Merz 2006 - All rights reserved

Tip: I recommend OpenBC for your business network! / Ich empfehle OpenBC für Ihr Business Netzwerk!

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

PMetrics - multi-blog statistics, analysis, aggregation

What is it? A server based multiple blog analysis solution. The software sits on a server and aggregates your data through some pieces of code which you have to throw in your template (Blogger, WordPress, MovableType, etc.)

I am using it on two of my Blogger test blogs and it works fine. Another great tool from the crew. First they published the awesome Performancing for Firefox extension (PFF) and now this great new server based analytics package. I am going to add it to some more blogs in the very near future :-)

They already announced a blog aggregating feature for PMetrics for multiple blogs to come in the near future!

Recommended server based statistics!

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Content recycling to increase blogging Productivity

Copyright © Markus Merz 2006 - All rights reserved
Also published in "Markus Merz's blog |" (click on article title above to get to the article)

As Chris Garett pointed out in "Do Something Different - Mix it up" there are moments when your blogging is stuck in routine and enthusiasm is going down.

Are you always more willing to create new projects instead of hanging with the old ones?
But how to get the new content?

My tip: Use valuable content you have already published and renovate it.

I am going to mix the two subjects 'motivate yourself' and 'recycle content'. I'd say that you can reach these two goals with one action. Start a new platform and use the 'old' content to speed up your new project. A speed booster factor of two or three should be normal compared to creating all content new from scratch. The result still can be doubled by taking care of two publishing platforms - the old one and the new one.

Side note - 'meta articles': If your content is 'news' or 'product' ... no big problem with 'content recycling' ... it's a question of the mix and your editorial capabilities ... old news make wonderful keyword rich 'overview' lists. Just use your archive (= old content) as the research source for new articles. Create 'meta' articles like 'what did I get for 500 bucks two years ago compared to today'. Do heavy linking to the old articles! Don't forget the title tags and the bookmarking and tagging!

The editorial and technical trick is 'content enrichment'. Let's say you still have an old PHPNuke platform hanging around with nice content but the site itself is not state of the art anymore. You are seriously motivated to switch to a new platform because YOU would like to use all that geeky new stuff (active sidebars, RSS feeds, Javascript includes, ...). Well, I'd say so do your readers! Don't try to tune your old platform to be fit for all that geeky stuff. You could do so but I promise you will not reach that 'motivate yourself' goal. It's just work. Instead of tuning the old platform just open a new system and enrich old content with new features on the NEW platform. The fresh design and the new features will attract old and new readers (like switching from PHPNuke to a more modern blogging platform).

Now you are playing around with your new system. That's a lot of fun. But how to get the 'content issue' solved? If you follow your statistics and see that you have many new readers then renovating the old content (on both systems!) is still a good and valuable editorial 'trick' (newspapers do it by publishing their archives to the web). Take content from the 'old' page and do some renovation. Let's say you have a photo blog ... the pictures itself don't get 'bad' just by hanging around in the archives of the other site. Just publish them again on a new article on your new site. You must find your own way of 'refreshing' the content!

BTW, if your articles on the 'old' site are in the archive for like six months think about to bring them back to the front page in a renovated new version and attach advertising for your new site (trap!: don't just change the article date, please see "Managing Titles and Paths For Traffic"). Call it 'refreshment', 'update', 'follow-up' or whatever ... the goal is to get changing content on your front page and to draw readers to both sites. The old page can pretty comfortably hang around online for as long as you want it. Nobody forces you to switch or migrate from one day to another.

Talk to your readers about the new site. Ask for comments. If you do it right and polite you will gain new readers on both platforms. That is a third goal which comes in handy through the back door.

Regarding the better productivity ... it should be obvious that you can't use old content 100% but you can have a ratio up to 90% old content to 10% new content. Your primary self motivation is the fun to create the new platform. Instead of solving the content issues with 'lorem ipsum' text you do some heavy copy and pasting plus the very important 'content enrichment'. I'd say that only costs you the amount of 20% to 30% of the work you would have to invest for newly created content.

Reading this article I must admit that it is a pretty rough ride 'concept wise' ... not as clear and straight forward as I would like it to be. But I just wanted to scribble a rough picture ... the 'bloggish' style :-)

Let me know what you think? Did you do 'content recycling' yourself before? How was the success?

Copyright © Markus Merz 2006 - All rights reserved

Tip: I recommend OpenBC for your business network! / Ich empfehle OpenBC für Ihr Business Netzwerk!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

My computer desktop - my personal productivity booster

My computer desktop - my personal productivity booster
Markus Merz Schreibtisch, originally uploaded by Markus Merz.

Copyright © Markus Merz 2006 - All rights reserved, EXIF, IPTC

Used to promote my working space over there at Explanation just in case you are wondering about the subject :-)

We were talking about productivity and messy Sir James started to post ugly pictures and said that the surrounding is perfect for increasing his productivity.

This is my argument for increasing productivity :-)
Bose speakers for the right boom-boom, plenty of paper notebooks for my 'from dishwasher to Internet millionaire' ideas, my good old Palm, my incredible laughing Buddha, a bottle of water and my email address always hanging in front of me ... just in case I forget it. Oh, last not least it's always good to have a hot plate with fresh spaghetti handy :-)

And the whole thing is on wheels. If I had the right house and doors wide enough I could easily change the whole location of that productivity booster desktop!

Please comment - What is increasing your productivity?

© Markus Merz 2006

Tip: I recommend OpenBC for your business network! / Ich empfehle OpenBC für Ihr Business Netzwerk!

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Blogging - How titles & archive pages influence your traffic

The fish has to like the taste of the worm ... not the angler!

This article was published on in my personal blog on 15th of February 2006 and on the main page one day later (link to original on This version is edited a little bit to accomplish easier reading.

The basic questions:
  • Do you know why some entry pages are so successful?
  • How much time do you spend to find a good title for a blog article?
  • Are your headlines and static archive filenames containing your blogs 'keyword cloud'?
If I analyze my blog statistics for the entry pages then can I see that there are always pages which are more successful than others. The first important conclusion is:
  • The article title and the filename of the archived static page are two important points beside the body keyword density and the tagging!
Many blog authors tend to be very focused on the body part of their content. But beside the main content it is very important to attract readers and search engines with a brilliant title. Just pushing the 'Publish ...' button after writing that awesome article means to give away a good chance to optimize your blog article for reader attraction. The same is true for SEO ... titles and file names are highly relevant to search engines!
  • Readers following many feeds are just skimming the headlines in their feed readers to find relevant articles. If you don't have an attractive headline they are not going to click!
  • Article titles and archive pages containing your main 'keyword cloud' means a better listing in search results!
Continuously checking your search results and analyzing the adword possibilities with a following concentration or widening of your key density is a very successful and not very time-consuming way to optimize the success of your blog articles and titles.

Last but not least your title and your archive page name and path are showing up everywhere where somebody is linking to your article. This is the easiest way to gain keyword competence and relevant links.

Lovely trap number one: Don't change the publishing date of your article because most blog systems will then change the path of your archive page.

Lovely trap number two: Blogger creates a new name for your edited archive page if you change the title of your article. (But they also keep the old version ... hmmm) So better take the first chance to generate a good page name!

Both traps may result in broken external links! I have just tested it again on Blogger and now have to update the appropriate links manually. If you lose all incoming links and trackbacks to an article because of these little traps ... well I would be angry ... and nobody to blame but myself.

Spend time on creating good article titles! As a result you will get more inbound traffic and higher listings in search results.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

New performancing version 1.1 is out ... test notes included

  • Performancing for Firefox 1.1 ...
  • every blogging author should really give it a try ...
  • it is so comfortable to edit posts in richt text mode ...
  • and to have the editor as big as you like it.
Important: Performancing (for Firefox = PFF) is for Firefox 1.5 and above only.
<!-- Give that article a little break -->
Just to spice up this article ... photo by Vlad Kenner.

Vlad Kenner from New York ... great amateur photography!
The Picture links to a whole set of great pictures. Don't miss his photostream!
<!-- Back to subject ... :-) -->

PFF 1.1 is called the technorati/ version ... with a good reason. Using a combination of the Technorati options and support you can post, tag and bookmark a fresh post all from within PFF and all in one easy operation! (see list-remarks below :-)

Result: Basic Internet marketing for your blog is already built-in!

Performancing for Firefox 1.1 note: bugs, issues (experienced during the last days):

I uninstalled the old version and reinstall PFF 1.1 again. I think this is recommended instead of just installing over the old version! I will check all the list items again in the next days because some of them might be there because I did install first over the old version.

Problems I had with PFF 1.1 after posting a recent article to
  • Technorati tags were not automatically added (only adding manually worked out)
    • bookmark was successfuly added with tags
  • Update: Pingoat is activated properly
  • Update: After a "publish as edit" (in CSS mode) at (I think it is a CMS API problem, they use Drupal) the title is in the published content (inserted once at the beginning)
Some issues and missing features in PFF 1.1:
  • Switching to the 'Notes' tab makes current article and publishing options disappear. As I want to use the notes as a source for text modules this does not work.
    • If behaviour can't be changed then it should be impossible to click on the notes tab when editing an article.
    • Workaround: have a second FF window open and copy the note from there.
  • 'Undo' add tags: (no big thing but) if manually adding Technorati tags to a post an undo with Ctrl-Z is not possible.
  • 'Publish as edit' on Blogger: does not work anymore with PFF 1.1. ... error #3 [object Object].
  • Drag and Drop of coloured text from a page to the editor does not work. I checked with coloured text from blogger.
  • Missing interface feedback ... (no big thing but) the toolbar doesn't interact with the text ... i.e. having the cursor in bold text doesn't activate the bold button.
  • right click option 'paste as ...' or 'copy as ...': (no big thing but) sometimes I want to paste copied text without the original format ... or maybe only the format ...
  • Delete all text formatting: Would be a very nice feature for the whole text or for a merked block to strip the HTML ... esp. when editing the content again for a second usage on a non-CSS or non-HTML page.
  • Clippings extension: (no big thing but) a cooperation would be great. The Clippings extension stores text modules which can be inserted in HTML forms very easily.
  • BBCodeXtra extension: (no
    big thing but) a cooperation would be great. The BBCodeXtra extension is a great tool to apply HTML, XHTM or BBCode to text. Very usefull esp. when pasting text from the clipboard.
  • Update: Spellcheck: Spellbound is installed now works like a charme. Please read my article "Make spell checking with Spellbound work in PFF" in my blog at to see how I solved that problem. It's absolutely not tricky but you should be able to start Firefox with administrator rights.
  • Search and replace: What's an editor without that function :-)
Oh oh, a lot of different points ... don't hit me for that compilation :-)

The 'test results' will be checked again when I publish the next articles.
Comments are welcome ... as always.

© Markus Merz 2006

Tip: I recommend OpenBC for your business network! / Ich empfehle OpenBC für Ihr Business Netzwerk!

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