Use Gravatars to Add Personality to Your Blog

January 31, 2009

In this post Jack Gamble from Babeled sheds some light on a handy service – Gravatars which is a tool that many people are adding to their blogs (I’ve got it operating in the comments section of both TwiTip and Digital Photography School at present).

An important thing to remember as you develop your blog is to build an identity that distinguishes you and your site from the rest of the blogosphere. One tool that can help to accomplish this is the use of Gravatars.

Gravatar is the abbreviation of the phrase “Globally Recognized Avatar.” In short, it is a small image, normally a head shot, of the author or commenter. The Gravatar you chose will be tied to your email address; therefore any enabled site will automatically feature your image next to your comment.

The sense of sight is relied on more so than any other. In a text dominated world, it is difficult to quickly establish an identity with readers in the short time most people will spend on any page of your blog. Think of a newspaper in the editorial column where popular columnists will feature a small photo of themselves next to their articles. This allows the readers to quickly put a face on the writer.

Choose your Gravatar carefully. Don’t pick just any picture. Make use of an image that lends itself to your blog’s identity.

Let’s look at two writers over at Babeled.

gravatar-1.jpgThe first is yours truly. I write under the pen name “Man Overboard.” This name was derived from my former job as a commercial fisherman and it is also a play on words that hints at my tendency to overreact to certain issues.

As you can see, the Gravatar I have chosen shows my ugly mug through a port hole on my old boat making a face that says “don’t take me too seriously.” This small image next to a comment or blog post immediately tells the reader more about me than a full page of text ever could. Above all, it does this while occupying only a very small amount of valuable space.

-2.jpgNext is our very own Cartoonist who goes by the name Keeks. Take one look at his Gravatar, a cartoon self-portrait, and you know everything you need to know about this guy and his obvious sense of humor.

Another reoccurring piece of advice you will commonly receive at ProBlogger is to frequently comment on other blogs. Most sites require you to enter your email and URL to comment. The Gravatar you chose will be tied to your email address, so any enabled site will recognize you and hence your Gravatar image will automatically appear next to your comment. Again, the Gravatar will help to identify you as a face with a personality (and more importantly a blog) of your own. As you make your way throughout the internet, the chances that your Gravatar becomes noticed increases with each comment.

Also, by placing the same picture on your profile at various social media outlets you will increase its visibility and effectiveness. Be sure to use the same profile image for Mixx, Stumble Upon, Reddit, Facebook, and any other social networking tool you employ. Each time you display the image it becomes product placement for your blogging identity.

Gravatars become even more important for multi-author blogs. At Babeled, I am one of many regular writers. My Gravatar, and that of my coauthors, is a useful tool that allows our readers to quickly distinguish between the many personalities that contribute to our various topics. As the comments develop, the Gravatars create the impression of watching a dialogue between two easily identified writers with different points of view.

If you don’t already, I encourage you to enable Gravatars on your site and start using them immediately. You will find this practice very helpful as you strive to separate yourself and your site from the endless sea of bloggers on the internet today.

~Man Overboard

WordPress Plugins for Google Adsense

January 31, 2009

Google Adsense is the most popular online contextual advertising program and the easiest way to monetize your blog. Many people don’t know where to start.  Luckily there are lots of plugins that can help you integrate Adsense into WordPress. thus, helps you simplify the process, provide flexibility and as well as exponentially increase Adsense earnings.

Here are some of the useful Google AdSense plugins for WordPress 2.5 and above.

Ad Integration – While it is more a tool to add advertisements you like to your posts, the clearest choice is Google AdSense. This will allow you to change ads on your site without having to constantly edit your templates.

AdSense Manager – Allows you to manage the codes of many different online advertising networks with a focus on Google’s AdSense.

Adsense Deluxe – offers advanced options for managing the automatic insertion of Google AdSense or Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN) ads to your WordPress posts. Easily switch all AdSense ads to a new color scheme across the entire site.

AdSense Revenue Sharing – If you run a multi-author blog, this is the perfect solution for revenue sharing.  It will let you easily create multiple authors and allow each of them to have their own AdSense set up so they can earn the revenue from their posts.

All in One Adsense and YPN – Allows you to insert AdSense and Yahoo Publisher Network ads in all of your posts, opt to skip some, randomize where they are inserted to lower ad blindness, and many more options.

Shylock Adsense WordPress plugin – allows you to insert Adsense ads on your blog without modifying the template. Set it up to show different Adsense ads for articles older then ‘n’ days. E.g. insert a 468×60 ad at the bottom of a new article for regular readers, and replace with higher paying 336×280 ad after 7 days for the search engine visitors.

Googmonify – Allows you to set it up so you can add AdSense to all of your posts by just using simple tags to insert the ad units as you like.

Ozh’ Who Sees Ads – Allows you to set several options for when an add gets displayed.  Some of the most interesting ones are if the reader comes from a search engine, was published between certain dates, is older than X number of days and more.

Random / Rotating Ads – By using text files and widgets, you’re able to add rotating ads to the same spot on your blog.  You can even alternate between Google AdSense, affiliate links and more.

Smart Ads – Gives you numerous options for auto inserting AdSense into your site, such as setting a minimum word count, categories to exclude and more.

AdSense Widget for WordPress Sidebar – Google AdSense widget designed for the new WordPress Sidebar Widgets plug-in.

Adsense Earnings WordPress Plugin – displays your adsense earning details within wordpress admin panel.

Author Advertising Plugin – This plugin allows blog admins to create a revenue sharing program utilising one of the many advertising programs out there i.e Yahoo, Google Adsense, Amazon, Allposters etc. It can also be used as a banner manager, author photo/website widgets.. actually it has about a zillion uses. Give it a try and lemme know if you use it for anything really groovy.

Google Ad Wrap – wraps posts and comments inside Section Targeting tags for better targeted ads.

Release: DotA allstars 6.59 AI+ 1.52 Rev. 01 by BuffMePlz

January 31, 2009
This is a port of RGB’s AI+ v1.52 (originally written for DotA Allstars 6.48b).It behaves the same as the original AI, and has only been updated to account for balance changes, new item recipes, and most new features. As such, some new content does not work fully with the AI yet.

THERE IS NO AI FOR LIFESTEALER, INVOKER, CLOCKWERK GOBLIN, ADMIRAL, WINDRUNNER, STORM SPIRIT, OR UNDYING. THEY WILL GET ITEMS BUT WILL NEITHER USE NOR LEARN THEIR SKILLS.

Known bugs with AI:
-AI don’t properly react to -nb, -nm and -nt modes
-Some exploits that should have been fixed are still in the game…just don’t use them. If you really want to cheat against AI, just use -test

Some commands have yet to be implemented properly:
-ah
-afk
-kickafk
-rd (the new one in 6.53, -rd is in the game but done the same way pre-6.53)
-cm
-switch
-er

Additionally, I have added two Fun Taverns in the lower right corner. Currently includes seventeen legacy heroes (possibly more in the future): Old Invoker (6.12b), Old Lifestealer (6.48b), Old Silencer (6.12b), Gambler (6.06), Old Morphling (5.84b), Old Stealth Assassin (5.84b), Old Pudge (5.51), Old Chen (5.64), Old Medusa (5.84b), Void Demon (3.0d), Rider (5.72), God of Wind (6.01), Flame Lord (5.51), Avatar of Vengeance (6.32b), Astral Trekker (3.0d), Bat Rider (6.00), and Conjurer (5.51).

To access the fun taverns, type -fun within the first 15 seconds of the game. Note that Fun Tavern heroes do not have AI scripts and will not buy items or use/learn skills.

To use the -tryhero command, type in -fun within the first 15 seconds of the game, then type in -tryhero before picking a hero.

Changelog:

Rev. 01
=======
-First update to 6.59

*Unofficial fixes
-Fixed Last Word to trigger on end of spell cast (instead of end of spell cast animation)
-Cleaned up the way Refraction buff icons appear to provide better feedback on when the buffs are actually active
-Fixed some typos (Storm Seeker, Eye of Skadi Ranged, Windrunner, Captain CoCo’s Rum, Recall, Courier Shield, Burst)

6.59 Port of AI+ and -fun content by BuffMePlz.

Special thanks:
—————
Tenshinhan DN
Overflow_GR
Duvon
Strikur–
Counter_Helix_axe
Catalyst
chaser02
Green_Sliche
cp6uja
Thoth-

Credits: BuffMePlz