Thursday, August 24, 2006

Firefox Extensions

Carrying on the theme of extensions after yesterday's post on MS Outlook Skype extensions I thought I'd treat you to some of my favourite Firefox Extensions:
Never be annoyed by a Flash animation again! Blocks Flash so it won't get in your way, but if you want to see it, just click on it.
IE Tab
This is a great tool for web developers, since you can easily see how your webpage displayed in IE with just one click and then switch back to Firefox.
Inserts preview images (thumbnails) of web sites and Amazon products into the Google and Yahoo search results pages.
There are bucket loads of Firefox extensions out there, if you have some favourites drop me a comment and let me know what they are. Cheers.

Skypein' my inbox

I've seen some pretty impressive integrated tools and extensions for Firefox recently but I'd never seen any for MS Outlook, until today...

Skype, is a much loved VoIP service that allows users to chat, conference, send messages and share files for free. I've been using the service for sometime and find it really useful. As I was updating this evening I noticed they have launched a series of plug-ins for Outlook, Outlook Express and Thunderbird, that claim to allow you to:
  • Call Skype Names and phone numbers written in emails
  • See when your contacts are online
  • Start instant messaging in follow up to emails
  • Add a Skype Button to your email signature, so other people can just click to call you

It's up and running on my inbox but only time will tell how useful it will be!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Here's a site that will take the leg work out of getting your blog 'pinged' by the most commonly used Ping Services on the web.

Simply provide your blogs name, url and site feed (optional) and ping-o-matic will not only ping all their services for you but they’ll allow you to bookmark the page. You're now only one click away from getting your blog instantly pinged every time you update.

Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) Help

If like me you've done a bit of CSS but most of it is trial and error or you're just not sure how you should go about modifying your website to include CSS Manchester NTI might have the answer.

They are running an Advanced Layouts and Accessibility Course over 10 weeks that looks to cover all major CSS and XHTML.

Using CSS correctly will have real benefit and will aid you in building your website to Web Standards.


RESTORE, Manchester’s Memory Foam specialists, have launched a blog today to provide customers with information on their Memory Foam product range.

We’ve been working alongside them to help maximise their online presence. Check out the Restore Foam Blog

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Virtual Me!

I found this great site today, called Meez. They specialise in providing custom avatars to use with IM and social networks including: MySpace, Facebook, hi5, Xanga, Blogger, Windows Live Spaces, MSN Messenger, Skype etc etc.

You can design your character using a neat little Flash app, adding and changing all the facial features, clothes and accessories.

The site charge for special items using an internal currency called “Beenz” (that look more like magic beans!). They’re also charging to add Meez wallpaper to your mobile.

Meez have cleverly produced many of the features to integrate with myspace and there is even a chance for you to use your meez profile to show your youtube vids!!

Here's me hard at work... writing this blog! I need to get a chair in my office I think!

Detecting the NoFollow Tag.

We are all aware that inbound links are key to how a search engine ranks and rates your website. Good quality inbound links will help your site or blog to gain credibility.

Unfortunately some webmasters and SEO teams misuse inbound links to make them nothing more than spam. For this reason the rel="nofollow" attribute has been created to indicate to a search engine spider not to follow the link, and therefore not index the page.

So how do you go about detecting when a site is using nofollow links?

I personally use the SearchStatus SEO tool. It has a nice option that allows you highlight no follow links:

To give you an idea of what links that are using the nofollow attribute look like here’s a description of my blog - that has been highlighted using the SearchStatus SEO tool.

For more information on the use of nofollow, check out what Matt Cutts has to say on the Google Blog

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Getting POP/SMTP access to Hotmail?

I was trying to help a work colleague, Haris Ahmed, access his hotmail account via MS Outlook last night. I manage several email accounts using the MS Outlook email client and I was sure that this would be as easy as the rest... I was wrong!

Hotmail restrict the use of external mail clients for one reason alone, Advertising. You see MSN use the free email service as an advertising billboard and aren’t too keen for you to get your email from anywhere other than them.

It reminded me of a post i read about losing traffic through rss on the Virtuaffinity Blog.

I predict we'll soon see a move by consumers to services that will allow external access. As mobile devices become more popular in our information driven culture consumers will vote with their feet... I certainly will!

Measuring Inbound Links

I’ve just spotted Socialmeter on Steve Rubel's blog, a site that scans several major link-tracking sites and throws back an analysis of your URL's popularity.

They currently track links on all the major social bookmarking sites:
  • digg
  • Furl
  • Google
  • Technorati and a handful of others.
The result is an aggregate count of most of the social links to a Web site and then some. It's a pretty handy tool, not just for blogs, but for websites too. There's even a Socialmeter bookmarklet. Drag this link to your toolbar and use it on any URL.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Haris Joins The Club

As those of you that read my blog will already know, I’ve been doing a bit of work for PushON Ltd, an Online Marketing firm in the North West.

I’m always pleased to see friends and colleagues enter the blog arena and have a dabble at writing ‘something’ of interest for those of us that have too much time on our hands and spend our days surfing the net. Which is why I was so pleased to hear Haris, a fellow colleague at PushON has launched is own blog called ‘Optimize Me’.

Drop by and check out what he has to say about the world of Search Engine Optimisation

Keeping Busy

Sorry for the lack of blogging recently, we’ve been really busy lately with a few new account wins and a high level of training and research as we continually strive to become the SEO Market Leaders in the North West.

One of our most exciting account wins is with Manchester’s New Technologies Institute. Manchester NTI offers a wide range of courses to suite all your training needs.

They have some exciting Corporate Training Packages available from September so book now to avoid disappointment.