Saturday, March 31, 2007

More tedious and annoying scraping

Ok, I find my content being used all over (explosion recently?) but this place really takes the cake.

www - foodmall - dot - o r g

The thief even took the time to download my images and host at their blog and took my entire post.. then this tiny link at the end.

Would like to menace this person, well, in person but 1) thats not REALLY my style, and 2) the whole lot of them are in India.

You can be absolutely sure that a lot of this content will be "sourced" from elsewhere.

You might wish to take a peek around and do your own reportage. I am focusing on their advertisers now and then their ISP/domain registrar thingie people.

This Post was written by Nika from Nika's Culinaria

UPDATE: An Instablog admin has emailed me an apology, saying that post has been taken down. The offending contributor has apologized at that entry on my blog but demonstrates that she doesnt understand what she did wrong.. go figure.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

[splog] Recipe Reports "borrowing" your content?

This morning I noticed inbound traffic on my WordPress dashboard coming from RecipeReports-dot-com (I'm intentionally not linking to them here to avoid raising their GoogleRank). Turns out, it's a massive splog.

In a post I put up just last night, I also see plenty of "borrowed" content from other food blogs, including Simply Recipes and Serious Eats. You may want to head over there and see if any of it is yours.

This Post was written by Anita from Married ...with Dinner

[Blogger] Disappearing Comments

I am certainly not paranoid or anything but something really weird happened to me yesterday. Some of you may know that brief references to me were plonked in an article about how unethical amateur online restaurant reviewers are in last week's SF Chronicle. As if that wasn't enough attention from the press for one year, The Chron's Food Critic picked on me again in his blog on Monday, highlighting one of the comments I had made in my own post about Sunday's article.

His blog was then picked up and commented on Serious Eats which I read and noticed the following line:

"1 The comments section of Breach's entry taking the story to task seems to have been removed. Here's the cached page from Google."

"Huh?", I thought to myself? I haven't removed the comments. I hadn't touch the post for several days and hadn't myself noticed the comments were missing because I tend to read them through email. I edited the post and sure enough, both the comments and backlinks had been switched off.

How is this possible. I know with 100% certainty I did not turn off my comments. It's very strange that it should happen on a post where the comments were slightly controversial - it makes me look like I was trying to hide them on purpose. I just can't understand how this could possibly have happened. Has anyone else ever encountered something similar?

This Post was written by Sam from Becks Posh

[Blogger] Comments Feeds for FTP Blogs

I just thought I'd post this for anyone who uses Blogger on a remotely-hosted blog. I finally managed to get a comment feed enabled yesterday after having selected "Full" for the Comments feed months ago. It didn't work until yesterday, when I got the bright idea to change the No button by "Show Comments in Pop-up Window" to a YES. Once that was changed, my comments feed miraculously was published.

I'm not sure if this is an issue for blogspot blogs, but it definitely made the difference for me. I couldn't find this problem addressed anywhere else.

Just in case, I'll back up a little and set this out step by step:

1) Go to Settings, Comments, and select Yes by "Show Comments in Pop-up Window."

2) Go to Site Feed, and if you haven't already, choose Advanced Mode (or whatever isn't Basic Mode).

3) Choose Full by Blog Comment Feed.

4) Republish your blog.

5) Your comment feed will be at . You will need to replace YOURBLOGID# with your blog's ID, which you can find in the URL anytime you are in the Dashboard. (You can also get it by looking at the comments on your blog and checking the URL in page info.)

Once you have the link to your comments feed, you can go to Feedburner and burn your new feed. Post a link to it in your side-bar or email it to all the readers who have been begging you for a comments feed!

This Post was written by SusanV from Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Volunteer Need to Help Food Porn Watch

Are you a food porn kind of blogger?

Do you use the site to keep track of other blogs or rely on it to direct traffic to you? If so, Food Porn Watch needs help, here's the (edited) plea for assistance from the coordinator.

FOOD PORN WATCH NEEDS YOUR HELP! So, I'm sure many of you have noticed that I have been less than responsive in adding new sites, fixing mistakes in old ones, etc. I humbly beg your forgiveness. FPW is HUGE. I mean, ginormous, with about 5-6 new sites being added every day. I personally check each one to make sure it's not spam ... But, I am a graduate student - in marine biology (oh that I were a culinary anthropologist). I started this site during my first year, when there were only a handful of food blogs. But lo, the internet did its thang, and my dissertation is simultaneously reaching its crecendo, so, I have paid way less attention to fpw than I should. So I'm asking for help. If any of you out there are interested in being a co-maintainer of FPW, I would seriously appreciate it. Largely, you just have to add links and modify the links sidebar as you see fit. ... With more than one head looking at new incoming links, perhaps we can catch up with the back log. If you're interested, please email me and lets chat. Thanks for all of your understanding, everyone.

Contact food porn watch if you are interested. The email address is redbeard[a]arrrDOTnet
(FYI - This community service message has been approved by the Headmistress of Food Blog Sc'ool.)

Expanded Comments

Does anyone know how I can get the comments to expand on posts so they show on the same page when you click on them like they do on this blog, rather than a pop-up box or new page?

This Post was written by Julia from A Slice of Cherry Pie

[Tech + Spam] Captcha + alternatives

Hi all,

We're publishing using WordPress, and we've had great success with Akismet for spam-comment filtering. But a handful of spam comments slip through each day, and I worry about the implications of having close to 60,000 comments in our database (even though 99.9% of them are tagged as spam). At this rate/capacity I fear we're taxing the limits of what WordPress was designed to handle.

I've shied away from Captcha and other verification methods in the past, because I don't want to put up any barriers for our readers to comment. But I'm sick to death of dealing with the spam comments, and I realize more and more that nearly every site where I comment has some form of user validation in place. Maybe my readers won't balk as much as I fear?

I'd love to hear from any of you who've added Captcha to your site about how it affected your (legitimate) comment rates. And also, any Captcha alternatives that you've used and liked -- I know I've seen sites that ask commenters to enter a simple check-phrase, but I can't seem to remember where.


This Post was written by Anita from Married... with Dinner

Monday, March 26, 2007

My comic titles stolen

First, thanks to Kalyn and Faith for helping me figure out how to create posts. (Wow that was confusing for a non-Blogger account person!)

Anywho--I have a problem. I have created some "comics" ono my blog called Rookie Cookery. One of my comics is titled "Attachment Issues". The comics are accessable via links on the left hand nav bar on my site.

Recently I Googled my blog name and was surprised to see a LINK with this title: "Rookie Cookery comics attachment issues" , and with an unfamiliar url attached to the link. I clicked on the link and was taken to a completely different comic by someone else. Essentially it was "bait and switch". It was especially annoying because the link goes right to the comic, not their web site. I had to mess with their url to finally get to their site, which of course does not allow comments and my emails are rejected.

Do I have any recourse? It's maddening! It would be like if someone called their site Food Blog ScHool, knowing that adding the H would confuse and draw people away from this site to theirs. Only it is worse because the link loads a comic and I don't want people think it is my comic.

My blog url is

If you Google "Rookie Cookery" , about the eighth link is the fake one that says rookie cookery comix attachment issues-- ripping off my comic title.

Am I railing against the wind?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Newspaper View of Web Restaurant Reviews

While the San Francisco Chronicle article on food bloggers affecting restaurants with "amateur" reviews does feature our own Sam, the rest of the article kind of gets my dander up -- take a look at it here. It makes no distinction to posters on something like Yelp vs. food bloggers who work hard to be responsible and responsive in their write ups.

I will say that the changing scrunity restaurants are getting is probably a good thing. Maybe being concerned about possibly smarmy posts or looking for trends in the comments (one example is a restaurant owner who increased portion sizes after he saw it was a big issue with reviewers) will help food businesses bring their A game to the table all the time. On the other hand, I personally have a healthy skepticism about non-food blog restaurant comments and posts on Citysearch, Yelp, etc. I read them but don't rely on them. So often they are unreliable as to the larger experience to be had.

Flickr Badges Broken

All over the web, bloggers' Flickr Badges appear to be broken.
I haven't had time to work out why, or do anything about it just yet, but just thought people might like to be aware there is a problem.

This Post was written by sam from becks & posh

Flickr Photograph Limit

I use Flickr to store and publish my photographs on my blog and I recently got a notice saying that I'd reached my limit of 200 and, whilst all my photographs would still be there, I would only be able to view the last 200 I'd uploaded.

This does seem to be the case when I go into Flickr, but the earlier photographs are still showing on my blog.

I just wanted to know if anyone else had experienced this and if it's caused them any issues at all? Am I going to have to upgrade my Flickr account at cost?

This Post was written by Julia from A Slice of Cherry Pie

Saturday, March 24, 2007

apologies for repeat post

Sorry for the repeat posting today; Blogger kept telling me it couldn't post, but it was posting all along.

Kristen in London

Switching from Typepad to Wordpress

Has anyone had any luck or major problems with switching from Typepad to Wordpress ? I am looking to switch in the next month or so and was looking for the pros and cons of it. My blog is less than a year old so I do not have a lot of content to switch but I would hate to lose any of it.

This Post was written by Michael from Chicken Fried Gourmet

Thursday, March 22, 2007

[Photography] How can I ID my photos?

I am wondering if someone can explain (in really basic language) how I can put a watermark or other identifier on the pictures I post on my site. (Like Mae does. Or Sam. Both of whom seem to be really photo-savvy.)

Since my pictures show up on other sites with some frequency, I'd like to have them identified as mine.

I am NOT tech savvy, and don't have Photoshop. Is there any other really basic (PC) method I could use to do this? I edit my pictures with Picasa.

Thanks in advance...(and sorry if this was discussed before...I did a search, but for some reason with new blogger, the "search" function doesn't work for me anymore.)

This Post was written by Rachael from Fresh Approach

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Why a correctly phrased copyright notice is important

Copyright issues crop up here's an item in the news about why the proper copyright notice for your blog content is pretty important -

Why's my free ebook for sale on Amazon?

(unless of course you are okay with someone else packaging your content and re-selling it for profit, as long as they say where it's from, as Seth Godin seems to be. I'm not as generous myself...)

This post was written by maki from Just Hungry.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

[Blogger] Domain Change & Internal Links

After changing my tea site from a Blogger address to my own domain, it appears that most of the links that refer to my own site are redirecting correctly. Is there any benefit, as far as page rankings and whatnot, to updating those internal links to reflect the domain address?

This Post was written by Bill from Food Book News

Friday, March 16, 2007

Feedflare/Tags Help

Hi all,

This is a followup to my previous post:

I have begun to add the tags/feedburner stuff to my blog but whenever I click on say, , it would not immediately put my blog post's permalink and title in the respective fields. Instead this turns out:

This is the code I used:

I've also tried uing the instructions Feedburner provided but to no avail.

Can anyone help a frustrated and lost fellow blogger out?

This Post was written by Celine from black.salt

Thursday, March 15, 2007

[SEO] Quick and dirty way to improve the search position of your pages

Prompted by the post by Sarah about the position in which her page was appearing, I thought I would relate the results of some experimentation I've been doing. I've been reading up a bit on search engine optimization and such for my work, especially when it comes to Google search results. One thing that jumped out at me was that the way you title posts, and in what HTML tag the title is wrapped, is very important. Since I use my food blog in part as sort of a blog experimentation platform (I write about my experiences occasionally on my low key personal site, btw) I decided to do some tests.

Previously I was titling my posts at whim. For instance my post/recipe for Rhubarb Crumble Pie was titled something like 'I love rhubarb' (I forgot the exact title), and my post about how to make tofu was titled "Milking the Soy Bean, Part 2: Tofu". As an experiment, I tried renaming those posts to "Rhubarb Crumble Pie" and "How To Make Tofu (Milking the soy bean part 2)" respectively - in other words, to titles that plainly described the contents. Previously, both of those posts weren't appearing on page one of the search results for "rhubarb crumble" or "how to make tofu".

Results for the change to "How to make tofu blabla" - it's now listed on the front page at position 4 or 5, depending on the day or something.

Results for the change to "Rhubarb crumble pie" - the post is now listed no. 2, right after the BBC Food recipe for rhubarb crumble!

Note that both posts are quite old - the rhubarb crumble one is from 2004 even.

Another thing: if your blog is in English, don't use accented characters in the titles. Example: I had a review for a restaurant called L'Espérance in the village of Saint-Père-sous-Vézelay in France. Previously, my title was correctly accented, but it seems that the search engines skip the accented characters or something, so if your typical English speaker typed in L'Esperance my post didn't even show up at all. I changed the title to non-accented, and now it at least shows up on page 2 of Google results. I don't like to do this since it isn't correct, but there you are. (Same goes in my case for several posts with Zürich in the title - I make the u-umlaut a plain u.)

For your front page, it really helps to have your mission statement or something on that page, that explains in plain language what the site is about, positioned fairly high up on the page. Example - my previous mission statement or site slogan was "Why do you write about food, and not about wars or love?" (yes that is taken from MFK Fisher). While that was closer to my heart, when I changed it to what it is now my search ranking for people looking for Japanese food, or better Japanese food blog, did shoot up remarkably.

On the HTML level there are two important things:

- if you have control over this, make sure your blogging software puts the individual post title in the <title></title> of the page, preferably before your blog name - especially if you have a long blog name. (mine looks like Post Title | Just Hungry)

- Make sure your post title is wrapped in <h1></h1>, or at the very least <h2></h2> header tags. Headers are more important for search engines than regular text.

Anywho, this got rather long, but I hope this will help someone.

Oh, and one very important thing: if you change the title of an older post, make sure your blogging software doesn't change the URL (or permalink) of the post itself automatically, or old links to that post will break!

written by maki from Just Hungry

Anyone know about TasteTV?

Does anyone know about the TasteTV website or dealt with them? They appear to be a fairly big multimedia food-oriented site with reviews, videos and other information.

Last year I noticed they linked to my blog on their "Blogs" page but thought nothing much about it. Then they e-mailed me asking if I would like a copy of their new book. I agreed, received the book, thought it was of fair quality, and placed a link to the book's Amazon page on my site but did nothing else.

A couple of months later I get another e-mail from Taste TV which began with this one line: "No review yet? What a disappointment, Anita."

At no point previously did TasteTV ask me to review the book. Perhaps this was an implicit agreement made in my accepting the book, and I admit it was my mistake for taking a freebie without checking for strings attached - lesson learned. Still, the harshness of the e-mail took me aback.

Further confusing me was that right after this admonishment was an announcement of a chocolate salon in SF in July, with a line in the middle about contacting TasteTV if you wanted to attend or be a speaker. I assumed this was a generic mass-mailing attachment and ignored it, thinking if TasteTV was not happy with me, they certainly wouldn't be inviting me to an event!

Two days later I get an e-mail from them saying, "Don't you want to be a speaker? Let us know."

Perhaps I'm a novice at dealing with the media, but their behavior strikes me as a little strange. At this point I'm thinking I should just end my relations with TasteTV (such as they are) but I'm curious if anyone has had a similar experience (I noticed a lot of well-known blogs listed on their page).


This Post was written Anita from Dessert First

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A few months ago, I published a review of a restaurant in my obscure little corner of Queens. Aside from Chowhound and a couple of other fleeting references, my write-up was pretty much all the Web presence this place had, and my review was always the second or third listing to pop up on Google searches (after Chowhound). Suddenly, as of yesterday, my post has dropped dozens of spots on Google, so it's several pages in--even for a very specific search, like "danny brown wine bar queens new york." Before, I could Google just "danny brown wine bar" or "db wine bar" and show up two or three from the top.

I'm perplexed, especially since no other reviews or commentary have been published online about the restaurant, as far as I can tell. I've dropped far below things that I was ahead of before, and below things that have nothing to do with the place. With other search engines (I've tried Yahoo and MSN) I still show up near the top of the listings.

This is particularly vexing because, since I had the only review of this restaurant on the Web (aside from Chowhound), the post brought me lots of traffic. And it just seems odd how it would drop so precipitously for no apparent reason. Does anyone know what the problem might be and if there's anything I can do to fix it? I'm so grateful for any help you can provide. Thanks! Sarah

This Post was written by Sarah from Avenue Food

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

(Blogger) Anyone Else Having Problems?

Replace this line of text with the main body of your post

This Post was written by MYNAME from BLOGNAME

Federated Media

I just got a query from Federated Media. Can anyone tell me anything about them?

This Post was written by Kevin from Seriously Good

Using an image as a link

A short and probably embarrassingly silly question: Could someone please explain to me how I can make/transform an image into a link to be clicked on?

This Post was written by Ilva from Lucullian Delights

[How To] Add a Second Sidebar to Your Layout

I've been working on adding a second sidebar for a long time to my template. Before I switched to the new blogger I almost had it and then came the switch. I am sure many of you feel that way too.

I wanted to share the way I did it with everyone who might be interested in adding a second sidebar to New Blogger. I did it with the help of the wonderful person at Beautiful Beta. The Adding A Second Sidebar Tutorial is easy to follow and very nicely explained. Furthermore, Hans (the beautiful mind behind the blog) answers all comments promptly.

Hope it helps.

This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Gi'us a Job?

Ok - this email I just recieved is a new one on me. I actually feel very sorry for this deluded person, I wish I could give them a job.

"...I'm eager to find a permanent position where I might challenge myself while becoming a valued part of an editorial team. I'm familiar with your blog and think my background and experience would be a good match with Becks and Posh.
I've attached my resume and hope we can set up an informational interview.

But I had to laugh. Me? Pay someone to work for me? (But I didn't laugh quite as much as this via Stephanie of The Grub Report writing for Chow).

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Go Daddy hosted blogs down

Just a quick FYI that blogs hosted with Go Daddy seem to be down. Thought I would save you the research if you're trying to figure out the problem, as it took me a few minutes to figure out that it was not a blog software issue (typepad for me) but that it's Go Daddy. Uff.

Status message.

this post was written by jen from life begins at 30

[Layout] Banner Positions

Hi everyone.

I've been wanting to add a second sidebar to my layout for a long time now. I finally managed to do this by widening the entire content wrapper and inserting the second sidebar. My issue at the moment is with the banner and how it is displayed on different browsers and on different sized screens.

After widening the entire content wrapper I needed to get the banner to fit across the page too. However I was having trouble with this as each browser (Safari, Firefox, IE) rendered it differently. So I made the banner shorter and got it to look good in IE.

If you look at my test in IE:

You will see it looks OK (this time I worked to make it look good on IE first as I always have trouble with this gem of a browser). So, guess what? When viewed in Safari or Firefox the banner does not render itself properly. If I move it more to the right so that it looks good in Firefox/Safari then on IE it is pushed off the screen.

Is there a way to get the banner to render itself correctly on all three? Ideally I'd like to have my to fit aligned to the borders of the content wrapper for the browsers and also for different sized screens. Is there a certain piece of code for this?

Thanks in advance!

This Post was written by Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Blog for sale

No, I'm not selling my blog, but someone that I've never heard of contacted me today asking to buy my domain name and all my blog content. Here is the email:

>I have seen your website ( and I like it.
>I also have similar-subject website and want to purchase your domain name and website >content you have
>to join them together. Say your price if you are interested.

The return email address is richardmalcolm AT

I was quite taken aback and frankly I am not considering selling my domain or my blog content. I am curious, though, if any of you have ever been approached by someone who wanted to buy your blog, perhaps even this same person. Any similar emails floating through the blogosphere?

This Post was written by ANDREA from ANDREA'S RECIPE BOX.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Yahoo Stealing Food Blog Content

Indira, at the extremely resourceful Indian cooking blog Mahanandi, has been bringing to light the abuses Yahoo has been dishing out on Indian food bloggers.

In particular, Yahoo has recently launched an Indian portal that has lifted recipes, word-for-word with no credit and no links to the food blog they came from.

Surya Gayathri has outlined the instances of Yahoo being caught red-handed via screen shots on her blog, kariveppila.

Yahoo's "apology" this week points the finger at a content provider middleman Webdunia. Indira points out that Yahoo has yet to apologize to Ms. Gayathri and more unreported instances of stealing are still coming to light from more bloggers.

I urge us to not dismiss this as an issue only of Indian food bloggers. These are instances of Yahoo stealing content from foodbloggers- something that we are all concerned with.

Please voice your concern to Yahoo*.

By mail:
Copyright Agent
c/o Yahoo! Inc.
701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

By phone:
(408) 349-5080

By fax:
(408) 349-7821

By email:

*provided contact points are for Yahoo's Media Relations Dept.

Blog Posts:
Dining Hall: Is It a Joke
Mahanandi: Yahoo ~ Fight Is Not Yet Over
Mahanandi: Indian Newspapers, Yahoo India - Stop Stealing from Food Bloggers

This Post was written by McAuliflower at Brownie Points Blog

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Hi Everyone,

I've run into somewhat of a deadend and was hoping you could give me pointers.

I've been meaning to add tags to my blogs (like, digg and magnolia) but have been struggling to find a way to do so - I can't seem to locate any code on the delicious/digg/magnolia websites for me to add to me individual blogs so that links directly to the "subscribe/submit"(?) page on the respective webpages. So how exactly do you add those tags to your blog posts?

On a similar note, I was wondering how many of you still put technorati tags into your blogs, especially on Blogger/Blogspot. Because as far as I know, the blog automatically pings technorati when we put up a new post. Is putting technorati tags superfluous then?

Appreciate any insights on these.

Celine from black.salt


When I was in retail there was a rule of thumb that every three to five years a store should be completely redesigned. Regular customers tend to get into a rut and although a store's merchandise mix is constantly evolving and it's appearance is constantly being tweaked, many of those changes go unnoticed. A redesign forces customers to look around again and see the store with fresh eyes. As a store manager (at Pier 1 Imports) I went through two redesigns and saw sales jump significantly after each event.

Thinking the same thing applies to Web sites, I started thinking about revamping Seriously Good last fall (the old design had been in place since July of 2005). I've just completed the redesign and I'm interested in any comments, observations, or suggestions.


This Post was written by Kevin from Seriously Good

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Sitemeter seems to be acting hazy. Not just for me but for a lot of people. It seems to have slowed down counting hits or stopped counting all together. Sitemeter hasn't made an announcement but just a general Technorati search seems to show a lot of blogs noting this problem the last few days.

My own proof is that today my hit stopped at 12 and has not changed all day (I normally get around 350 a day). Plus the referrals, out click, and in clicks keep updating every few minutes, but not the actual number. So activity is happening, just not being recoreded.

Anyways, just letting people know. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

This Post was written by Garrett from Vanilla Garlic

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

[ethics]Affiliate Programs


I wonder what everyone's view of affiliate programs are with respect to ethics. Some of you know that I spend far too much time thinking about ethics, and it struck me about nine months ago that affiliate programs are basically kickbacks for promoting a product. I discontinued my affiliation links at that point. What are other bloggers' thoughts?

This Post was written by Derrick from An Obsession with Food

[Advertising] Getting Paid

All the talk about Google Adsense got me thinking. I've never been crazy about the idea of how the ads are hosted on our sites for free and we only get paid for a click through - that is if Google doesn't think that there is some fraud going on. Does anyone think that is how Google is getting paid, on click throughs? I think not. And a click through is a two part ad in itself, it's an ad for an ad and it's also an ad for Google, which for the most part we give away for free.

I'm just thinking out loud here, but food bloggers as a group are quite large and very specific in what we write about. Has anyone thought that if Google was approached in a unified way that we might be able to get paid for actually hosting click throughs, rather than paid per click, for which there is no way of ascertaining volume levels. It is the click throughs that are leading to allegations of fraud which makes them most unsatisfactory on three counts - advertising space is free until a click through, there is no real auditing and the possibility of being called a fraudster.

Anyway, this is just an idea to get the ball rolling, what does everyone else think?

This Post was written by Neil from At My Table

Blogger labels -- now how do I make an archive

I've been waiting for blogger to implement categories (what they now call labels) for over a year. Finally they are here, but I am a little stumped at how I can use them to create a recipe archive. Say I have a category called "appetizers". If I got to

I get to see all posts with that label in their entirety. This is not practical at all if I have 20 appetizers and I am just trying to scan the post titles. I have to scroll through these posts one by one to find the one I am looking for.

Has anyone used blogger labels for the purpose of creating a recipe hierarchy/archive? Any tips?


This Post was written by Helen from Beyond Salmon

Monday, March 05, 2007

Backdoor in Wordpress 2.1.1

Apparently, last week someone gained access to one of the servers at Wordpress and used that access to modify version 2.1.1 of their software, introducing a backdoor exploit. Wordpress has shut down the server, and made available a good version of the software, which is available as version 2.1.2, and they're strongly advising anyone who downloaded the previous version recently to upgrade to the new one.

Here's their statement

This Post was written by Charles from Bi-Coastal Cook

Sunday, March 04, 2007

[Transparency] Blogger Relations 101 - Suggestions, please?

Hello all

Sam suggested I post this here. Here's the story...

I found out about a panel discussion on pitching to bloggers. Fine. I usually see emails like this--panels of bloggers and marketing people 'teaching' marketers how to target us for...well...whatever.

What struck me about this panel was it consisted entirely of corporate or sponsored bloggers and I didn't see any hobbyists/independents on it. I sent them a note asking about this and, well, you know what happened next. I'm on the panel, the only one really representing those of us who aren't paid by an organisation to put forth a corporate line.

I was told that there wouldn't be any hand-outs and all they want me for is to sit for a couple of hours and talk about blogger relations. I've come up with a quick list for myself, based on the *lovely* emails I get, but I'm wondering if there are other points that I've missed or should keep in mind. I have seen some posts here
, along with Elise's post on the subject, and I think I've captured similar sentiments.

The event is Wednesday 7 March, so any pointers you can give me is very much appreciated, including if I'm out to lunch on any of it...Here's my list thus far:
  • Bloggers should be approached similarly to journalists:
    - Your pitch should be akin to a media release: 5Ws, contact information etc.
    - The blogger decides what to do with the info, including how to present it.
    - If we're interested, we'll contact you. If we contact you for more information, get the back to us quickly.
  • Personalise the approach
    - Most bloggers have a name or a screen name. Use it in your salutation, instead of just "hi" or "Hello Confessions of a Cardamom Addict"
    - We can tell if you've just read one post...or half of one post...
  • Do your research
    - Just because we mentioned your product or company once doesn't actually mean that we *like* your company/product/client. Find out what was said about you before you send the email.
    - Many bloggers are specialised (food, knitting, cars, etc): make sure you are pitching something that's in keeping with the blog...
    - Many bloggers have a policy that outlines what they will and will not do...
  • Blogging Events
    - Know how blogging events work before you agree to do one; ask questions and get all the facts first.
    - If you decide you want to do an event, chances are you will need to provide items free of charge to participants
  • Watch your tone, mister
    - Don't presume because you've sent us an email (or worse, left us a comment), we'll fall all over ourselves to make you happy...we're nice, but not that nice.
    - Leave the arrogance and pompousness out of your communications...many of us can smell smarmy marketing copy a mile away...and we don't like it at all.
    - Don't leave comments that plug your product or your site.
  • Things not to ask for:
    - Email addresses of readers or blogging contacts
    - Blog roll links
    - Don't assume that we'll do reciprocal links (for free) for a commercial or corporate blog...
    - Don't ask us to do your research for you

  • We're human beings
    - Many of us have day jobs or are in school or lives, so although it's nice to be invited to a product launch that takes place Wednesday at 2pm, chances are we won't be able to take time off of work to attend. Be prepared to send media kits or supplemental info to people who can't attend.
    - We hate spam. We aren't thrilled with being inundated with bad asks and pitches. We don't think much of being put on mailing lists without being asked.
    - We talk amongst ourselves.
  • Product Issues
    - If you want to send us something. Just send it, no strings attached.
    - If we think it's worth blogging about we will. Don't tell us what to say or how to say it. Once you do that, you are in advertising territory.
    - Not all bloggers are American, or North American. Make sure the product you're pitching is normally available in the blogger's home country.
  • Really big no-nos
    - If you ask for links, buttons, or text blocks that link back to your email or web page, you are asking for advertising. Be prepared to pay for this.
    - Don't use our content without our permission. This includes photographs, animation, text and anything else we've come up with on our own...many of us check to see who's stolen what.

When I'm done, I'll probably have a Blogger Relations 101 post on Cardamom Addict...Thanks so much in advance.

This Post was written by jasmine from Confessions of a Cardamom Addict

Blogger Publishing Spam Lock

My blog publishing rights were blocked by Blogger. I attempted to write a new post and was greeted by a message that my blog was locked because it contained a lot of links and that is suspicious to their robots as a spam site. I replied to their link where they then responded that since I replied that indicated I was a "real" human and not a spammer. However, it would take approximately 2 days for someone from blogger to verify the authenticity of my site.

I do have the priviledge from Blogger of being able to write draft posts but the below message is listed on my edit post page.

Your blog is locked
Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What's a spam blog?) Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.

We received your unlock request on March 4, 2007. On behalf of the robots, we apologize for locking your non-spam blog. Please be patient while we take a look at your blog and verify that it is not spam.

Find out more about how Blogger is fighting spam blogs.

Just an FYI to those of you using Blogger.

This Post was written by Sylvie from Soul Fusion Kitchen

[blogging] Blogging On The Road

Later this year I will be starting a working tour of Europe. I expect to be spending a few months at a time with different employers in several different countries as I gradually build up experience as a chef over the next few years. I'd like to hear from anyone who has real practical experience of blogging under these circumstances. I'm reasonably familiar with the technology I will need to use in order to blog on the move and communicate effectively with my family back home. But what I really want is help and advice from anyone who really understands the logistics of blogging with such a lifestyle and can offer me tips on what to do and what not to do based on practical experience. Obviously this is not the forum for lengthy dialogue on the topic, so links to articles or other useful references, short responses plus private emails to me would be very much appreciated.

This Post was written by Trig from Aidan Brooks: Trainee Chef.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Google ripoff?

ZenKimchi recently reported some shifty Google Adsense behavior, to put it mildly. What are your opinions on Google Adsense? I use them myself but don't make enough from it to experience this kind of alleged misbehavior. Now I'm worried that I may eventually have to.

This Post was written by Annie from Bon Appegeek.

Friday, March 02, 2007

[blogger] word verification?

Whenever I visit someone else's blog the word verification isn't showing so I can't leave comments anywhere. Anyone else having similar problems? I am logged in through my Becks & Posh gmail account as usual.

This Post was written by sam from becks & posh

Thursday, March 01, 2007


What do people think is the best stat counter? I have recently started using StatCounter, but I've caught it out a few times, and I'd like to switch to something I know is reliable, but which gives some good details too.

This Post was written by Joanna from