Major Music Labels Sue Project Playlist

In case you missed this on Reuters today, nine major music corporations sued Project Playlist in a US Federal Court for infringement of their copyrights on music and videos. They have gone after a major Internet player.

There are about ten million downloads from the ProjectPlaylist each day. There are a lot of people using their services, and they are on high on the curve with the file sharing software they use.

So in this corner, hiding behind their lawyers, we have: Atlantic Recording Corp, Elektra Group, Capitol Records, Interscope Records, Motown, UMG labels of Universal Music Group, Virgin Records America, and Warner Bros in several forms of its corporate manifestation.

The major music labels are setting up a battle against filing sharing. They knock down one big player, and their lawyers will have a field day on those who keep providing us a way to file share.

That puts you and me in the other corner, folks. We are hiding behind the guys that make file sharing possible. It is time to make a decision on where we stand on this, and what the issues are.

One third of all Internet traffic is now said to be file sharing. Major Internet service providers and music corporations are setting up to put a lid on this traffic. ComCast got caught trying to limit bit torrent traffic, and lost that battle in court. That was a battle, not the war.

The other day, in a post called “The Money Connection,” I stated I was getting tired of the major music labels constantly demanding that I pay for the same music over and over again. All they do is repackage it, and expect me to pay once more.

Living in a small tourist town in Guatemala, I meet travelers from all over the world. It seems everyone has a music player and shares files freely. With these folks, the mention of American copyrights, gets a blank look in return.

As we talk, I do find a very definite attitude that does get expressed. This is an attitude about the Internet that corporate America is missing. People from around the world believe that their ability to communicate and share on the Internet is their right.

Most Internet users think file sharing is important. Many use it on Facebook and uTube everyday to share blogs, videos and music. We used to call the Internet, the Information Super Highway. It still is, but I can hear the mummers of the controllers in the distance.

And yet, I wonder if this is not about more than money. If the corporations find a way to stop file sharing, they have put a stranglehold on our ability to communicate with each other, except in ways they control. That is not a pretty picture.

Seems to be a wake up and smell the coffee day. Smiles. ET

Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 12:23 pm  Comments (2)  
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Advertisements on my Dashboard?

This morning, I had problems loading my dashboard on WordPress. It hesitated for a moment, and as I watched, I thought the wrong page was loading. There was a dollar sign, an advertisement on my dashboard!

This ad on my Dashboard said I could have a domain of my own for $15. Yea, so what? I can have have my own domain name for a lot less than that other places. What’s the deal. I checked the WordPress front page and found no insight on this there.

I can’t advertise on WordPress, so who then is putting advertisements on my Dashboard? Personally, I found it repugnant. My stomach did a little roll as I realized what I was seeing.

This appears to be a major change in WordPress policy. Am I now seeing that WordPress can advertise on my blog pages, but I, and other community members can not? I sense this one is going to need some damage control.

On WordPress, I have had a break from the constant demands for my attention, and money, that I found on other blog hosting sites. I like that break, though it appears to be over. I also liked the sense of a community contributing to what was happening at WordPress.

These past few days, I have a sense of a community reacting to change being forced on them without choice. That’s a bubble. bubble, toil and trouble situation.

The “Possibly Related Posts” feature arrived on my blog without notice last week, and now I have advertisements on my Dashboard this week. Darn, what’s going on?

Sometimes I just have dreams. I just had my first cup of coffee, and darn if that ad isn’t gone from my Dashboard. Did I catch a glimpse of a test, or was I dreaming? Anyone else catch a glimpse of this? Maybe I just need to go back to bed and reload my day later.

Smiles. ET

Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 6:57 am  Comments (2)  
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Blog Search Engine Savvy, Part Three

The Registration Process

Registering with each search engine individually can take a lot of time. There a number of services out there that offer search engine registration services. One service offers to register you with 76 search engines, and then will follow-up to see you were listed.

The registration service I mentioned would like you to pay $35 for what they offer. That is a lot of money. FeedShot will register your blog with about a dozen blog search engines for only two dollars. They need very little information, and can invoice PayPal.

When I went to register my blog, I wasn’t sure what information to enter. I especially had trouble with entering the proper feed address for my blog. The FeedShot form is simple to use. On the line requesting your feed information, enter your WordPress blog address, with “/feed/” added at the end.

Screw that line up and the process won’t work. It will also cost you two more dollars to try again. When you fill out the forms correctly, FeedShot will submit your blog information automatically while you wait online.

When FeedShot completes the submission process, they send you an email that allows you to check back with each search engine to make sure you have been listed. The actual listing process may take awhile. Many of these search engines, and blog hosting sites, are smothered with new blog listings.

The follow-up form FeedShot sends, shows you the search engines they used and whether the submission was successful. You can use this information to connect with each search engine to see how things are progressing with your listing.

This list will shrink as you proceed, but in the end you will know which search engines list your blog. You will be able to use this list to create bookmarks to the pages where you can ping these search engines when you post.

Firefox has an add-on that will allow you to create a single folder of bookmarks for the sites you wish to ping. Check out “Flat Bookmark Editing 0.8.1” . It can operate behind the scenes, or with a drop down menu from the toolbar. It is simple to use, and will help you make order of your growing list of bookmarks.

Once installed on Firefox, you can find Flat Bookmark Editing using the Organize Bookmarks link, under Bookmarks. Once opened, this program will create folders that you name by the topic of what you wish to place in them. I now have six folders that hold a bookmark list that once seemed to scroll forever.

Keep it Simple

Explore search engines and blog hosting websites, but start with a simple list that works for your blog. Eighty percent of the searches on the Internet are done through two search engines, Google and Yahoo.

Become a member of several Blog hosting communities, list with Google, and handpick a few search engines related to your blog. By doing this, you will have connected with the majority of the search resources that will send you new blog viewers.

As your blog grows, the smaller search engines will pick up your blog because of its activity, especially if your blog relates to the subjects they cover. Lay a good foundation, and the rest will happen naturally as you build your blog.

Now Have Some Fun

And in the moments while you are waiting to see the fruits of your literary efforts listed on all those search engines, here is a fun thing to do.

Go to Google Search, and enter your blog name in the search field. If you have been blogging for awhile, pushing that link may show you that search engines have more information about your blog than you realized. It will start small, but your search presence will grow as your blog grows.

After several months of posting, the search term “Uduzit” now pulls up pages of results on Google. These results include posts, comments, my comments on other blogs, and WordPress search page results in multiple languages. Wow.

Search engines are amazing in what they do. They will bring readers to your blog providing you go through the process of listing with them. It takes a little time, but the results are worth the effort.

Smiles. ET

WordPress “Possibly Related Posts” Feature

This week something new appeared on my blog. The folks at WordPress have added something new at the bottom of my posts. It is a new feature called, “Possibly Related Posts.” This feature does appear to live up to its name.

The most noticeable point here is the word “possibly.” The links I now see put at the bottom of each of my posts are sometimes good, but mostly confusing. I am even more confused why WordPress wishes to take my readers off my blog, just as they are getting to the Comment Section of my post.

I realize the idea is to help folks see other posts on WordPress with subject matter related to what they just read in my post. The connections the computer makes in putting all this together are currently somewhat distant. Personally, I’d rather see the computer put together a list of related posts from my blog first. Then the “possibly” part of this feature might not seem so obvious.

If this feature annoys you, disable it. Go to your blog Dashboard and click on the Design link. Once there, click Extras link directly below Design. There you will find a box that says, “Hide related links on this blog, which means this blog won’t show up on others blogs or get traffic that way.” That almost sounds like a threat.

On the other hand, this feature may benefit your blog. You may already be seeing increased traffic. You will have to weigh the benefits and make a decision. You may wish for all this to be sorted out before you use it. Should you decide the problems outweigh the benefits, then put a check in that little box. Don’t forget to hit the Update button.

WordPress says they will soon release an update that will allow us to sort through these links and block those we don’t want. Personally, That sounds like a lot of editing after a post has been submitted, but time will tell.

Before you shut this feature off, you might wish to check your stats for the past week. Are your page views up? Do you see more WordPress tag related referrals? Maybe this feature isn’t all bad, and you just need to give time. That’s your choice.

Maybe, maybe not, that is the question. Smiles. ET

Published in: on April 27, 2008 at 10:35 am  Comments (1)  
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Blog Search Engines Savvy, Part Two

Tag Surfer on the WordPress Dashboard

By using the Tag Surfer link at the top of the Dashboard, folks have a great way to meet others in the WordPress community. By using the WordPress Tag Surfer function to search the tags you most use on your blog. The results may amaze you.

Check the Tag Surfer for your favorite tag. Go on to page two, or three, until you find your post listed for that tag. WordPress Tag Surfer search results are great. WordPress gives a mix of posts from the big blogs, and from the little blogs. Little blogs get seen on Tag Surfer.

In Google, your post must be very tag relevant to get a high listing on a search result. Even when your post is very relevant to the subject, you may be pages behind those listed first. One reason they are listed first, is because they are signed up with the search engine. That is a main point.

When you sign up with a search engine, or blog community, you become one of them. They watch for what you post and share it among their community. WordPress is a community of bloggers, and Google has a community of people searching for blogs. Those people just may be looking for what you write about.

Register your blog

Google Search, WordPress, and Technorati, now send most of my readers. I suggest you register your blog with Technorati. While there, wander around and check out the other blogs. It helped me see what other bloggers were saying, and how they say it.

Exploring other blogs, helps me find those where I might like to leave a comment. I post regularly, and I make occasional comments. I have seen my “authority” at Technorati growing.

WordPress uses Ping-O-matic to automatically notify 15 search engines when you have made a post. That works, but I find pinging search engines like Technorati directly, gets faster results. The Ping-O-matic process seems to take longer to get noticed by the search engines.

Awhile back I came across the statement that for a ping to matter, you must be registered with that search engine. WordPress suggests registering at Google and Technorati, but doesn’t mention that you need to do this with all the engines they ping.

I ping Technorati directly , but don’t seem to need to do that with Google. Technorati has a ping page that I bookmark to. It handles the ping process there automatically.

The primary point is to register with each search engine that fits your blog. Ask each one if you need to ping them when you post. Remember, Yahoo caters to business people, and that’s who they list. Google accepts about everyone, but it takes awhile.

Technorati, The Hub, and WordPress cater to bloggers they host. Each blog host has a blog search feature. Their search feature helps connect the community of blogs they host. Each community has its own features and interests. Many blog hosts allow blog advertising, and share in the revenues they help you create.

In Part Three, we will explore a simple way to locate other search engines that will list your new blog. Then, there is a simple process for following up to make sure your registration has been listed. But, that’s where we are going, not where we are at.

Smiles. ET

Published in: on April 26, 2008 at 6:28 pm  Comments (3)  
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