Woot! for Dummies

Bag of CrapI find myself often explaining to people what Woot! is, and it’s not always easy. People can’t seem to grasp the idea of a store only selling one item per day, occasionally selling more (Woot-off,) and especially trying to explain what a Bag-of-Crap is.

Woot! finally released “If You Don’t Know Woot By Now.” A great, quick explanation of what Woot is, what they do, and how they work. Now all I have to do is reference this page when I try to explain it to someone.

If you aren’t familiar with Woot, visit the page. You’ll likely become addicted to their awesome deals, catchy podcasts, weekly contests, and great sense of humor in each post. Not to mention become very frustrated when trying to buy something during the next Woot-off, especially if it’s a Bag of Crap. Last time they sold one they had a peak of 30,000 requests PER SECOND! I’d love to see their data center.

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Google.com to be a Page Rank 8!

Ah, that wonderful time of the season in which Google updates their displayed Page Rank. For some, it’s a great time. Filled with rejoice as their Page Rank increases by one or two points. For others it can be terrible if they lose a number or two, decreasing advertising profits, traffic, and egos as Google tells them to “suck it.”

Want to jump ahead of the others and see what your Page Rank will be during the upcoming update? Visit PageRank Predictor. It’s a tool by iWebTool.com, which any webmaster or SEO’er should visit frequently.

After running my sites and a few others, I was a little disappointed by the results. I decided to see how accurate it was, so I checked out Google.com and Yahoo.com, both of which have the coveted PageRank 10. To my surprise, these were the results:

Page Rank

Either Google and Yahoo are losing their touch, or something is inaccurate in the PageRank Predictor. I’ll assume the latter. Does this mean all the tests are inaccurate? By no means. Considering the enormous amount of power of Google and Yahoo, it’s probably difficult to assume a Page Rank prediction just from back-links, which I believe is the only thing this tool uses.

In other words, use this tool all you want, but don’t assume it’s right. If you see your predicted page rank as higher than the current rank, it probably will be. If you see it fall, it might. Have you been slacking? The predictor might be right.

Kevin from BloggingTips.com did a few tests of his own and will compare the results to the real update in about a month. We’ll see how accurate this tool really is.

No More Joost Invites

JoostEver since I started offering Joost invites, I’ve received an unbelievable response. So far I’ve sent out 125 invites, all by hand, one at a time. The time has come to an end. Not because I feel like being a jerk, but because Joost completely stopped working on my computer. Every time I opened it, it crashes on me right away. I really don’t feel like trying to install it again; I didn’t really use it very often anyway.

It’s a great service, but I’m going to wait until they fix the obvious major bugs, and complete their partnerships with some of the major networks they’re working on. Right now they really don’t have that many channels available.

I still encourage you to find invites and try it out, you might find that you love it. It’s still better than all the other TV-on-Your-PC programs I’ve tried. I believe the folks at TechCrunch still have some. Go get a Joost invite from TechCrunch.

A Note to Internet Explorer Users

No IE7Please, PLEASE stop using Internet Explorer, if for no other reason but this: You won’t see all websites the way they were meant to be seen. Internet Explorer (from here on out refered to simply as “IE”) does not support many features that other modern browsers support, and what it does support, it does badly. The most recent release (IE7) fixes some issues that previous releases had, but for some reason, Microsoft still refuses to support what other browsers have been supporting for years. For example, check out my most recent post on the new Safari browser. If you view the post in any other modern browser it looks fine, but if you view it in IE, the image has a strange gray background (PNG transparency,) and the list items don’t look right.

Using IE puts a strain on web developers, and they often have to create and use “hacks” and work-arounds just for IE. This is simply unacceptable. It creates non standards-compliant websites, and often forces webmasters to leave out features they would otherwise include. Many web developers also live by the “Screw IE” philosophy, which means that web pages will look silly to you only because you use IE. The same page will look great if you’re using another browser. Is it really worth it?

Many people are afraid to switch because they don’t like change, and they’re afraid to learn a new piece of software. Modern browsers have a very small learning curve, and only take a few minutes to get the hang of. In fact, switching to IE7 will be more difficult to learn than changing to Firefox. What are you waiting for?

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Apple Updates Safari – Is It Safe Now?

Apple recently made Safari available for Windows users…and webmasters rejoiced. Within 2 hours, critical security flaws were found, and many put off downloading the browser promising 2 times the browsing speed and application launch speed of current browsers. Safari also offers several other features including (of course) tabbed browsing, easy bookmarks, pop-up blocking, resizable text fields, private browsing, auto-fill, a beautiful interface, and SnapBack, a nifty little feature that allows you to “Instantly snap back to search results or the top level of a website.”

Safari 3 Beta
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