Thinking Of Dropping My Landline

Lately I’ve been giving serious thought to dropping my landline in favor of going cellular only as part of my efforts to reduce my bills to the point where I can actually pay all of them.

In all honesty I hardly ever use the voice phone. If it weren’t for the fact that my Internet service is part of my phone package I’d have dropped it three years ago.

Now that I have this free cellphone with a monthly allotment of free airtime minutes I am reconsidering the idea. My cellphone works good, I have never had any dropped calls on it in spite of living in a very rural area and recently I found out that the local phone company is now offering internet only packages.

That internet only package is about 50 a month where my current landline phone bill package is nearly 120 a month. so there’s a lot of savings to be had and very likely I’m going to make the switch next January.

[tags]phone, phone bill, internet, landline, internet only, cell phone[/tags]

Joey’s Christmas List

As the Christmas holidays draw closer more and more people are getting their Christmas “I want” lists in order. Joey B is no different in that respect. He’s made his list. Not only that he’s printed it out and sent copies of it to anyone that he thinks might give him a gift for Christmas.

I got a copy of that list in the mail and It’s an interesting list because the only thing on it is a list of samsung lcd tvs. A the top of the page is a brief paragraph in which he explains that he’s wanted a flat screen High Definition TV since they first came out. He goes on to say that he’s done a lot of research and has decided that the samsung models that he has listed are the best choices.

He also says that another reason he likes them is because the linkstick device that samsung sells will allow him to use the flat screen hi def tv as a computer monitor that will make browsing the interenet a stunning visual experience.

This may sound like an expensive Christmas list but believe me, around here that one is mild. I can’t wait to see Chucky’s list. Now there’s a guy with expensive tastes!

[tags]nutjob hills, christmas, christmas list, gifts[/tags]

A Youtube Epiphany

I was getting caught up on my subscription videos on youtube this morning when I saw a video titled “Rebecca Black – Friday (OFFICIAL VIDEO) – Social Media – Haters Spread Love –” by youtuber ProjectCarTV

In this video he used the massive amount of hate spawned by the Rebecca Black video to illustrate a point he’s spent several videos talking about. Ratings and comments, regardless of whether they’re good or bad are to a video what human growth hormone is to making adults out of children. Whether you hit “like” or “dislike” on a video it doesn’t matter. In the end both of those choices are one thing: A rating.

It doesn’t matter if ten thousand or a hundred thousand people hit thumbs down on a video, that’s not going to do anything but add to the count of ratings. If the pattern continues long enough, and there’s no reason to expect that it won’t, that video could easily end up being the most watched video of all time as well as the most rated of all time.

As of this morning it’s got over 64 MILLION views and millions of ratings with more coming in almost every second. That seemingly non stop flood of ratings, good or bad (mostly bad) are driving that video to the top of all of Youtube’s most popular lists.

Here’s ProjectCarTV’s video. Take a look at it and pay attention to what he’s saying about ratings and comments. After that, I’ll explain what all this has to do with my videos and what my big epiphany is.

What does this have to do with me and my videos?

As I watched this video it dawned on me that I had a (much smaller scale) example of this in my own videos. You see in December of ’09 I made a parody of Ray William Johnson’s popular Equals Three that I called Equals Pie (an Equals Three Parody)“.

I posted it as a video response to one of Ray’s videos that was recent at the time and It immediately started drawing traffic from RWJ fans. The thing is, A LOT of them came to the video specifically to post comments accusing me of copying Ray or to say a variety of things about me, many of which were pretty nasty.

A lot of them also made it a point to give it a negative rating simply because I had dared to parody their beloved RWJ. But that’s not the important part.

It is now well over a year later and they’re STILL doing it!

In terms of the number of ratings and comments this is, without any doubt, my single most successful video hands down.

What do you do when something is successful? You do that same thing again!

WHY I never thought of this before now is a mystery but I have decided that I’m going to see if lightning will strike twice. I’m going to make more of these Equals Three parodies. The one difference is that I’m going to call it “Equals Pi” instead of “Equals Pie”. That’s probably a minor distinction to most but it’s important to me. I’m certain that RWJ fans aren’t going to care. Instead they’re going to do what they do best, try their level best to get to me with their comments and thumbs down ratings.

The thing is, their comments aren’t going to bother me a bit regardless of how many times they call me Santa or how many vile things they accuse me of being. Every comment, every rating, is just another push increasing the popularity of the video. I’ll just keep making them and keep posting them as video responses to whatever of RWJ’s videos is current at the time and more and more of his 3,230,382 subscribers will do most if not all of the promotion work for me.

Like I said earlier, Why I never thought of this before now is a mystery to me. This idea might just be pure genius. Or it could be pure fail. Either way, it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out.

Oh yeah, here’s that =3 parody of mine that I’m talking about…. Enjoy, comment, rate, troll, hate, like, subscribe.

[tags]Rebecca Black, Friday, official video, youtube, haters, trolls, comments, ratings, like, dislike, popularity, increase popularity, most popular, youtube traffic, traffic, free traffic, free promotion, free advertising, viral video, going viral, viral, =3, parody, =∏, 3.14, 3.1415926535897932384626433832795, raywilliamjohnson, equals three, equals pi, losing weight, weight loss, dieting, temptations, cookies, chips, sugar, snacks, cakes, pies, fast food, burger king, mcdonalds, anus, anus burger, dollar menu[/tags]

Max-Banner-Ads Plugin Problem Fixed

After recently upgrading to WordPress 3.1 I found that trying to open the Max Banner Ads admin page resulted in this error message:

You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.

My first reaction was “The HELL you say! It’s my blog on my domain. You better effing believe I have sufficient permissions!”

In searching for a solution to this problem I saw several references to checking the wp_options table but no mention of exactly WHAT to look for.

Also, I remember having this problem a few years ago and at that time the answer turned out to be making a change to max-banner-ads.php. I wondered if it was possible that there is a similar edit needed to be compatible with WordPress 3.1 although I couldn’t find any reference to this being the solution in this case. Besides which, I’m NOT a php programmer, I probably couldn’t spot a problem there if it introduced itself.

After a LOT of trial and error I believe I’ve come up with a fix. At least so far it has worked on three blogs without a hitch.

Note: This works for me but I *cannot* guarantee anything, your mileage may vary, make backups first before you try this, if you break your blog trying this it’s not my fault, etc, etc.

Here’s the fix:

1, get the latest version (1.4) of Max Banner Ads
2. Deactivate the plugin on the blog in question
3. In your phpMyAdmin, open the blog’s database and drop these tables from the database

wp_mban_banner
wp_mban_options
wp_mban_zone

4. ftp to your site, change to the wp-content/plugins directory and delete the existing max-banner-ads directory and it’s contents.

5. upload version 1.4 of Max Banner Ads
6. re-activate the plugin

From there it *should* be working again.

The only downside is that all of your previous banner settings WILL be gone and you’ll have to set them up all over again.

On the other hand, if it’s working, who cares? Once you have your urls and images ready, setting up MBP is a breeze and shouldn’t take more than an hour at the very outside.

Meanwhile, because I believe this problem was largely caused by incompatibilities that resulted from a WordPress “upgrade”, the next time I apply such an upgrade I’m going to do it on a test blog first and make sure that all my plugins work before deploying it on my actual blogs!

[tags]wordpress, upgrade, 3.1, maxblogpress, max blog press, max banner ads, permissions, error, admin, mpb admin, fix, how to fix, fix mpb, fix max banner, fix mpb plugin, banner ads, rotator, banner ad rotator, banner plugin, plugin error, phpmyadmin, database, drop tables, drop db tables[/tags]

Bad Behavior WordPress Plugin Up To No Good

I was taking a casual look at several of my websites and blogs when I noticed that blogs that just a few days ago enjoyed solid PR3 and PR4 rankings in Google were suddenly Unranked. This coincided with a significant drop in traffic that I had noticed starting a few days before.

I logged in to Google’s webmaster tools and checked on my site’s stats and found one glaring factor for each of them. Every single WordPress blog that I have was showing HUNDREDS of crawl errors!

Crawl errors mean that googlebot has tried to crawl the site and was unable to retrieve the pages listed. On looking at several of the error reports for several sites I found a common factor. Each one of them had been blocked by the “Bad Behavior” WordPress Plugin.

Bad Behavior is a plugin for WordPress blogs that I have used for years. It’s purpose is to block automated requests to a PHP based site (like WordPress) and therefore massively reduce the amount of automated spam comments and other forms of mischievous bots trying to access your blog.

It has performed great for a long time. However when I checked the plugin’s logs on the affected blogs I found that it has been blocking googlebot, under the assumption that it’s not really googlebot but rather something else pretending to be googlebot

If you are using Bad Behavior, Go to your plugins page, scroll down until you see the Bad Behavior plugin and click “logs”. On that page, click “show blocked”. If in that listing you see a lot of entries where googlebot is blocked then the best advice I can give you is to do two things.

1. Deactivate the plugin immediately The fastest way to lose all traffic from Google is for googlebot to not be able to craw your site! I don’t know about you but I’ve been steadily getting more and more traffic from Google searches and I’d like to keep it that way!!

2. Go to the plugin site: http://bad-behavior.ioerror.us/2011/02/15/bad-behavior-2-0-42-and-2-1-11/ and let the plugin author know that it is mis-behaving by incorrectly blocking googlebot. If enough people report the error there’s at least a decent chance that it will get fixed.

[tags]Bad Behavior, WordPress Plugin, googlebot, blocking google, blocking googlebot, websites unranked, pagerank, lost pagerank, traffic, search results, search traffic[/tags]