Since we started this site in March 2008, 2009 was out first full year of operation, and we thought it woul dbe fun to take a look back at which posts were the most read of the year.

Yes Virginia, Social Media Can Cost You Your Job

This was the story of an employee who complained about their job on Facebook … and forgot that she was friended with her boss on the social network.  According to the story, she was fired for her comments, and I can’t say as I blame her boss.  Take a valuable lesson from this one folks.

Can Social Media Destroy Your Relationship?

Social media is a wonderful thing, but if you devote too much time to it, you could possibly cost you your real life relationships.  Always take into account that you need to spend some time with those you love and care for in real life also, and not spend all of your time online.

Hudson River Landing Game Sweeps The Internet

After the amazing landing in the Hudson River last Jan., there was a Flash game released, and apparently everyone wanted to see if they could do as good a job as Capt. Sully.

Judge Orders Google To Deactivate User’s Gmail Account

This was a fascinating story about how a man received an email not attended for him and it led to legal problems for him even though he had in no way been involved in the email being sent incorrectly.  A very sobering story that makes you wonder about the safety of information you store online.

Twitter Cartoon Explains It All

Twitter was every where this year, and leave it to a cartoon to be potentially the best explanation of what the service is and what it does to people that live outside of the tech blogosphere.  And for those that already use the service, it was just darn amusing.

Here is to a great 2010, and more posts that we hope you will all enjoy!

Categories: Blogging, Site News   
 

wordpress-logoWordPress, the software that powers the vast majority of blogs in the world, has released version 2.9 of its software.

It’s been six months since WordPress 2.8 was officially released, and now the crew is back with 2.9.  Why is this new version exciting?

  • Trash – Deleted posts now go to the “Trash”, meaning you can recover them if you delete one accidentally.
  • Image Editing – You can edit images inside of your blog.  Sure it isn’t as fancy as say Photoshop, but it gets the job done.
  • Batch Plug-in Updates – YES!  So much nicer than select-update-return to the plugin page-repeat.
  • Built-in Video Embeds – Just copy the address of the video, WordPress will handle the rest.
  • Many more things!

If you’re using WordPress, get the to the updates!

Categories: Blogging   
 

ftc_logoThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for bloggers took effect this week, but yet we still don’t have answers as to how we’re supposed to disclose any thing.

Enter the twisted humor of bloggers.

As we reported on the 1st, the new FTC guidelines still aren’t completely clear, but yet we are supposed to disclose any relationship we have to a company we write about.  Luckily bloggers are known to be a snarky lot, so some of them have started coming up with their own disclosure rules, and as one should expect, they aren’t exactly kind to the FTC.

Louis Gray got the ball rolling with his set of 8 badges bloggers can display on their posts.  While they’re humorous, they actually do fulfill the requirements to the best of anyone’s understanding them since the FTC seems to have no interest in clearing up things for anyone.

Secondly I added another batch of badges which are pretty specific, but boy did they have me laughing.  Enjoy, and make sure to save the ones you want.

ftc1 ftc2 ftc3

Feeling Guilty from Cover to Cover?
(500 px | 250 px | 150 px)

Are Your Stomach and Conscience Both Full?
(500 px | 250 px | 150 px)

Did You Make Out Like a Bandit?
(500 px | 250 px | 150 px)

ftc4

ftc5

ftc6

Are You On the Take?
(500 px | 250 px | 150 px)
Sporting Some New Geek Cred?
(500 px | 250 px | 150 px)
Watching the Market A Bit More?
(500 px | 250 px | 150 px)
ftc7 ftc8
Are You Shacking Up With a Source?
(500 px | 250 px | 150 px)
Did You Do Time for A Crime?
(500 px | 250 px | 150 px)

SiliconANGLE’s Contribution to the Meme

My good friend Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins, with whom I work with over at SiliconANGLE, came up with a few more that are pretty darn specific, but still darn amusing.

Journalistic Integrity
Most sponsored tweets for people who have less than 10,000 followers are under $5.00.

Is it going to affect my judgment? No.

Will it buy a happy meal for the kid? Yes.

ftcmark1
Half-assed Endorsement
There are about ten companies who pay me residual affiliate checks of less than $30 a month because I recommended them once years ago.

Again, this doesn’t affect my judgment on the company, but it does help pay the cable bill.

ftcmark2
Social Media Expert Guru Evangelist Whatever
In general, bloggers make a lot of money being hired as advisors or consultants for companies that are in industries they know stuff about.

This does not equal hanky panky.

ftcmark3
The Robert Scoble Disclosure
Sorry Robert, but under the new FTC regs, every time you cry you’ll hafta display this badge.

:-)

ftcmark4

Categories: Blogging   
 

wordpress-logoIf your blog gets hacked, who do you point the finger at as the culprit for this pain?

Yesterday we wrote up about how if your WordPress blog was not running version 2.8.4 that you needed to upgrade immediately to patch a security hole that was being exploited by hackers in all older versions of the software.  While most people headed the warning and did the upgrade, unless they had already done so as 2.8.4 had been out for a little while, there were still some holdouts who did not heed the warning.

Robert Scoble, a well-known blogger and video host, was one of those people who not only failed to upgrade, but decided to blame every one but himself for the hackers getting in.  In a blog post entitled “I don’t feel safe with WordPress, hackers broke in and took things“, Mr. Scoble admits that he had not updated his blog since one of the minor updates to version 2.7, and also admitted he had not backed up his blog data, so he lost two months worth of posts that the hackers deleted it.

Mr. Scoble goes on about how he no longer feels safe using his WordPress blog, but he will soldier on, but he feels violated like when his childhood home was broken in to.

I don’t normally use this site as a soap box, but this time I feel I must:

wp upgrade notice

As you can see from the above image, WordPress makes it very obvious every time the software requires upgrading. While upgrading used to be a pain in the backside, the system is now fully automated and all you must due is click one button to have your software updated inside of just a few minutes.  There is really no excuse any more to have not updated, and especially if you hadn’t done since 2.7.x.  Notifications go out just about everywhere when it is a serious security fix, so those people who claim they didn’t know they needed to do it are also full of BS.

The rule here is always upgrade your blog and keep a backup on hand, and if you fail to do those things, then don’t cast disparaging remarks towards the software for not doing its job when you were the one who chose not to update.

Categories: Blogging, Security   
 

wordpress-logoIf you are running a self-hosted copy of WordPress, and you have not yet upgraded to version 2.8.4 of the software, you need to do so immediately.

According to Lorelle on WordPress, a site dedicated to all things WordPress, it has been discovered that hackers have discovered a way to enter all versions of WordPress prior to version 2.8.4 and gain control of the site’s database and create a fake administrator account that will allow the hackers to totally take control of your site.

If you have a WordPress blog upgraded recently, there is an automatic way to upgrade your site right from within the admin section.  Older blogs will need to be updated via FTP file transfer, or by using SimpleScripts or Fantastico provided by your web host.  Some people hesitate to upgrade their copies of WordPress due to it potentially breaking their theme, or killing off a favorite plugin, but this attack is serious enough that all of those concerns should be ignored immediately.

Again, we can not stress this enough, do not delay doing this upgrade, this threat is serious enough that it should be your number one priority for today.

Categories: Blogging   
 

WordPress, the software that powers the vast majority of blogs in the world, has released version 2.8 of its software.

While we don’t normally cover WordPress updates here, this one was a bit different for us as it was the first time we could use the automatic upgrade that they built in to version 2.7.  I have personally been using the software since around version 1.5 or so, and I have always dreaded upgrade time because it was tedious and nerve racking to do it by hand.  It was never a good time and one I would put off as long as possible.

Well, it was do or die time with the new version, so I clicked on the banner at the top of my blog admin section that took me to the update section, told it to go ahead and start, and… that’s it?  It was over so fast that I was shocked.  It was painless, fast and over before I could even blink.  This of course doesn’t mean it would always be painless, but boy was this ever a lot more pleasant.

Categories: Blogging, News   
 

one year oldIt’s difficult to believe, but StarterTech.com is already one-year-old!

In the midst of all out other blogging this week, we totally missed our own birthday!  StarterTech launched on April 12th, 2008, and what a quick year it was!  In celebration of this we thought we’d do a little variation on our usual “Top 5 Posts Of The Month” posts, and take a look at what the five most read posts of the past 12 months were.

What Is Remote Backup – So glad to see this post as #1 because everyone should back up their systems in some way, and remote backups are our favorite method!  This is also the type of post we created this blog for as we feel everyone should be able to understand the ever changing world of technology.

The Second Ad With Jerry Seinfeld And Bill Gates For Microsoft -This could have also been named as “The Last Ad With Jerry Seinfeld And Bill Gates For Microsoft” because they dropped the ad campaign after this one.

What Is Google Desktop -This is another one of those pieces of software out there that you hear people talk about, but you aren’t quite sure what it is, or what it does.  There is no shame in that, and that’s what we’re here for.

Twitter Privacy Breach Found -It is never comforting to think that your private communications are out there for the world to see, and it happened on Twitter not all that long ago.  Luckily they fixed the problem fairly quickly, but it was still pretty unsettling to think about.

Hudson River Landing Game Sweeps The Internet -Everyone should take time out to play a game once in awhile, just too bad this one was obviously so rushed.

Here is looking forward to many more years to come, and, as always, if you have something you would like to see us cover here, make sure to drop us a note!

Categories: Blogging, Site News   
 

google reader logoGoogle Reader just got a lot more interesting for those people who share a lot of stories.

In an interesting move by Google, users of their Google Reader product that share stories with other people can now hold conversations about those stories via built-in commenting.  Up until now, only the person sharing the story could make a comment, but with this new additional feature, anyone who is in your sharing circle can join in on the conversation.  All one needs to do to participate is look for the “Add Comment” link at the bottom of each share story.  The discussion will then appear below the story for others to see.

google reader comments

According to the Official Google Reader Blog, you will also be able to use this new feature from your iPhone so you can even comment on the go.

While it is an interesting idea, I have to agree with Adam Ostrow of Mashable and Duncan Riley of The Inquisitr when they express concerns of how this may steal comments and click-thrus away from blogs. Mr. Ostrow worries about the fact you can not currently import these comments into your blog, so it is like lost conversations. Mr. Riley also has a valid point in that if something impassioned you enough to make a comment about it, why should you bother clicking through to the site now to make it when you can get just as much satisfaction from doing it right there in Reader?  There is going to have to be some way for comments to move and back and forth between your blog and Reader, or else you will see a lot of full text feeds being cut down to snippets to get people encouraged to visit the blogs again.

This is an interesting idea, but I’m just not sure if it was completely thought through on how it might impact the bloggers who create the content that is the life’s blood of Reader.

Categories: Blogging, Google, Opinion   
 

sharethis2ShareThis has launched version 2 of its popular social sharing widget.

As we described it in What Is ShareThis, this widget has become a popular way for web sites to ease the shaing of their content around the web on their users.  Well, the redesigned widget seems to have eased it even more, and streamlined the process. Now you can import your contacts which will allow you to have more ease in emailing the item to other users, a scrolling window for al of the different social networks, will remember the last three email address you used and a whole lot more.

For right now the new version is only rolling out slowly to select site, but will be out to all partner sites within weeks, and webmasters need to do nothing.  The changes will take place automatically, and then you can go back and customize it in any way that you would like.

Categories: Blogging, Web Browsing   
 

Blogs all over the world today are participating in something called Blog Action Day, but what is it exactly?

Blog Action Day is a nonprofit group that came up with the idea of getting bloggers all over the world discuss one subject on the same day each year.  The theory is that this will increase the conversation around the chosen subject and make people more aware of the issue being addressed.

For the first year the subject was living a green life, and this year, the second for the movement, the subject is poverty.  As of this writing there are 11,735 participating sites this year, with an estimated reader base of 12,551,800, there is no denying that this is certainly a way to get a subject out to a large audience.

While major blogs are involved, there is certainly nothing wrong with a small blog with only a few readers also participating.  Not only are you writing about a good cause, but you also gain some exposure for your site.

It may be too late for you to jump on this year’s cause, sign up for their mailing list to receive notification of when they prepare for 2009!

Categories: Blogging   
 
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