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My Google Favicon Design

I was reading this article about Google’s favicon revisions. I don’t like the new lowercase “g”; the old capital one was better and more distinctive. But Google doesn’t like the new icon either, and is accepting submissions, which ends on the 2008-06-20. I always liked the Google logo with the colored balls, but I don’t see any trace of it in their current ideas. so I made and submitted my own:

Google colored balls favicon by Richard X. Thripp

Marissa and Micheal complain that Google has no specific logo, so only their name or a derivative of it will do. Why can’t this be their logo? It’s already on Google Earth (at the bottom-left). Seems like a good favicon idea to me. The speckled green and red bars frame the balls, representing the Google spirit of courage and innovation.

If it wins, here’s what my Firefox address bar will be looking like in a few weeks:

Example of the Google favicon by Richard X. Thripp

And this will be the new Google browsing experience:

Example 2 of the Google favicon by Richard X. Thripp

Beautiful, no? I like it a lot better than what we have now:

Interim Google favicon

The problem with the small g, is that it doesn’t look like the home page’s logo, the color doesn’t match, it’s indistinct, it’s too formal, it’s no fun, it isn’t memorable, it’s confusing, and it isn’t Google. I’m hoping my icon is Google. If only they’ll listen.

The Temperature is -57, Says Google

Logging on to my iGoogle page today, I see this:

my iGoogle page

Everything looks fine, right? But wait. Zoom in on the weather.

Florida is -57 F

I didn’t notice it was 89 degrees below freezing here! My goodness, my digits should be falling off. And in Central Florida, in the middle of summer. Very bizarre. Must be the effects of global warming.

This iGoogle “gadget” comes right from the horse’s mouth, and claims to have 12,203,943 users. I wonder for how many of them, the temperature drops 145 degrees at once. But for now, I’m back to sunny Florida’s 88°F.

Switched to Google Apps Email

I decided to switch my email over from Gmail to Google Apps Email. I have the same email address (richardxthripp@thripp.com), but Google uses my domain now, so when I send out emails it won’t say “on behalf of richardxthripp@gmail.com.” And instead of just forwarding all thripp.com email to my old Gmail account, I can set up separate accounts with different credentials under thripp.com, while using a catch-all for everything else. There’s some good info and discussions about this here: What Does Google Apps for Your Domain Actually Do?.

If you want a thripp.com email account, leave a message with the name you want (the part before @thripp.com), and I’ll email your password to your old address (add it in the email field on the comment form, or if you’re logged into your thripp.com account, I’ll get it from your profile). Then you can sign on at mail.thripp.com. :grin:

Banned from Technorati

I pinged all of the thripp.com blogs on Technorati using this tool, and now Brilliant Photography has been removed from Technorati. Guess they thought I was trying to game the system (good guess on their part).

Technorati is a blog tracking and ranking service. The main ranking is “authority,” which is based purely on how many blogs link back to you. Since all thripp.com blogs link back here (in the footer of each one), my authority should have shot up from 11 to 71. My blog is still listed on my user page, with a modest authority of 17.

I’m taking the Technorati link out of the Brilliant Photography footer. Our community deserves recognition.

Everything Old is New Again

I’ve been working on the Thripp.com network non-stop over the past ten days. It’s looking great; I learned a lot and made a lot of progress with features. The next step is to move my blog, Brilliant Photography by Richard X. Thripp, over to it. I’ve done it and you’re reading it now.

The reasons are so I won’t have to maintain two separate WordPress installs, so I’ll have nice threaded comments as on Thripp.com (see comments here for an example), so people can comment while logged in at Thripp.com, so I’ll appear in lists around the site, so I’ll have the nice statistics I’ve set up, so I’m supporting my own product, etc. The challenges are implementing my WordPress install’s features in WordPress MU, while restricting many of those plugins to me, and the new URIs. The compromises are giving up caching, selling prints, Xanga mirroring, and Twitter. It’s all worth it because I’m fighting this battle to the death and I can’t be diving my efforts. I’m sabotaging myself if I don’t move here.

I couldn’t get yak to work on WordPress MU, which I used to sell my prints. It would try directing to the main site, and when I changed that in the code, there were more errors. So I’ve removed it and won’t sell my prints anymore. I only sold two in five months anyway, and this will free me up to not have to enter each product into the produce table, so it’s not all bad.

I couldn’t get WP-Cache or WP Super Cache to work for this blog, though I could’ve tried harder I suppose. So for now, there’s no caching (except the WordPress object cache). The site actually loads faster than the old one, though; I’m getting query times of two seconds instead of the usual five.

I tried mirroring to Xanga and it didn’t work, so my Xanga blog won’t be updated anymore. The Twitter display won’t work either, so it’s outta here.

2008-09-21 Update: Next paragraph is old info; I’ve fixed this since and my URL is richardxthripp.thripp.com. When I switched from richardxthripp.com to thripp.com in 2008 July, I replaced every instance of richardxthripp.com with thripp.com in every post, rewriting history.

I had to switch URI structures, from richardxthripp.richardxthripp.com to richardxthripp.com/richardxthripp, because Thripp.com requires it. I started out doing this because I can’t use vhosts on Thripp.com with my shared hosts, and I might stick with it forever. It’ll be hard to change later, and it does seem more of a community than mini-sites like on deviantART. I set up a rewrite rule with mod_rewrite in the .htaccess file for richardxthripp.thripp.com, so all the old URIs―even ones below the root―redirect here, transparently. So there’s no penalty from Google or for old links. I’ve made the decision; I’ll switch to richardxthripp.thripp.com everywhere but in the backprinting for my printed photos (which have always been with the subdomain) and the watermarks on my images here. It’ll just become traditional for the subdomain to be used there, and it won’t matter because it will always redirect to the right place. :grin:

Nothing can stand in my way―these were all small obstacles. I set up my theme to be custom and different from the main site, like my old site, but with the community modules of Thripp.com (links to recent blog entries, statistics for this blog, which I imported from StatCounter, a link to the community forum, and anything upcoming). Amazingly, almost everything from WordPress transferred to WordPress MU; the posts and comments, post IDs, times, custom fields, tags, categories, pages, comment threading order, etc. I exported the database tables from my old database, renamed them to the WordPress MU format (added my user ID), changed all instances of http://richardxthripp.thripp.com to http://richardxthripp.thripp.com, and imported them here, after getting all my plugins up. WP-Print, PostThumb, Highslide, related posts, category exclusion, Exec-PHP, the contact form, galleries, text control Facebook integration, Wordtube, customized HTML titles, top-level categories, unfiltered HTML… all these transferred without a hitch. Google Search is down till I update my AdSense account, but it’ll be back soon. I have more ads here than on other Thripp.com blogs, but they’re discreetly placed (link and skyscraper in sidebar, banner in footer).

The switch is a success, and I’m back at it. If you’re logged in on Thripp.com, you’re logged in here, and if you post a comment, you’ll automatically be emailed if anyone replies, but only to your comment, by clicking “REPLY TO THIS”. This is good, because when a post gets popular you won’t get irrelevant comments. And all the great stuff I add to Thripp.com will be here too.

It’s a milestone, I say! I have a simple, redesigned header image that says “Brilliant Photography by Richard X. Thripp on Thripp.com” (finally!). I’m reaching for my dreams.

Thripp.com: the blogging network

I’ve slaved hours away on Thripp.com: the blogging network, and it’s now open in a public beta. :grin: Sign up for your spot now. This is great step forward for social blogging, and you can take advantage of the same great scripts I use to multicast this blog to LiveJournal and Xanga. Read on . . .

I wrote this two days ago, but didn’t expect to get rolling so quickly:

People have been signing up for Thripp.com despite my lack of advertising. I’ll work on the layout and features in July. I can’t get virtual subdomains like I want without upgrading to a virtual private server, which I won’t yet pay for, so you just get a name like thripp.com/foobar instead of foobar.thripp.com (which I know you’d prefer). Sorry for that. If you start blogging for some reason, I added plugins you can activate to multicast to Facebook, LiveJournal, Twitter, and Xanga, like I do (see links in my footer). You’ll have to hand over your passwords, but they’re safe with me.

Today, 2008 May 24, it all starts. I’ve established a WordPress MU powered blogging network here at Thripp.com, complete with an integrated community forum (thanks to bbPress), log-in and blog management links right from the side-bar, the same clean design from Brilliant Photography by Richard X. Thripp, RSS links for each blog right in the footer, and PHP scripts that automatically aggregate the latest blogs, comments, and posts. I’ve gone ahead and done it with subdirectories instead of subdomains, but they are no less memorable, especially with the eye-catching Thripp.com name. 14 people have already gotten started, with fascinating blogs like OpinionSource and Wisconsin Mortgage. You can get started immediately, as this is a public beta.

Thripp.com plugins

I’ve even added some great plugins to enrich your blogging experience, which you can activate under “Plugins” on your dashboard, after you sign up, of course. Advanced Category Excluder lets you leave out any categories you pick from the home page, RSS feeds, or archives, with handy check boxes. Top Level Categories cuts out the “/category” part of your category URIs, keeping your addresses short. WP Grins lets your commenters add emoticons with ease, while Wordbook, Twitter Tools, Xanga Cross Post, and LiveJournal Crossposter (under “Settings”) let you automatically and seamlessly broadcast your blogging to Facebook, Twitter, Xanga, and LiveJournal, complete with links back to your original entries at Thripp.com.

Social commenting is actively encouraged. Gone are the Captchas, registration forms, and moderation queues you see on other networks; here anyone can contribute feedback to any post, immediately and with ease. And if you’re against unmoderated commenting, you can go to “Settings > Discussion” and suit your tastes. This is backed with the excellent spam filtering of Akismet, to stop the Viagra ads in their tracks.

This is beta because it hasn’t all been thoroughly tested, and I’m on shared hosting so I don’t know how far I can push the network. Feel free to make a donation to help keep me out of the red. I’m open to any suggestions or feedback; just add them to the comments on this post.

Cheers. Contribute, blog safely, and share alike. I’ll be reading.

Richard's signature

“No input file specified” error

I checked this site about an hour ago and got the error message, no input file specified, with a blank page. I was trouble-shooting the problem, and found that disabling the Netfirms Pretty Permalinks plugin fixed it. I blogged about this in January, as Netfirms wouldn’t support URIs without “/index.php,” without the work-around. Apparently Netfirms fixed this one month ago, but I didn’t have any clashes till now.

Now everything’s fine (it was about twelve hours that pages except the home page were broken). Also, Canonical URIs work now, so one like richardxthripp.thripp.com/index.php?p=139 (generated by yak, my shopping cart plugin) will redirect to richardxthripp.thripp.com/photo-spores-of-the-sun-139, like it should. I complained about this in my bugs list; still, www.richardxthripp.thripp.com won’t go to richardxthripp.thripp.com, and changing the title of a post in the URI will work without redirecting as long as the post ID is correct, but it’s a step.

Upgraded to WordPress 2.5

I just upgraded my website to WordPress 2.5. The administrative area is a lot nicer, though not much changes for my readers. The Printable View links aren’t working; let me know if you spot any other problems. Update: print versions are back, as the creator of the WP-Print module has updated for the changes in WordPress. I added my modifications again; it’s the same as before except with an improvement: if I link to a URI twice, it’s only displayed in the endnotes once and referenced with the same number in the text, saving ink.

Also, I’ve added more advertising to help my adventure to become profitable; there are Google link ads in the sidebar, footer, and above the list of comments for each entry. If you read my donations page, you know how unsuccessful I am at solvency, so hopefully this is a step in the right direction.

The Thievery of richardxthripp

the pain of it all

I tried to register my name at blogger.com but got the error message above. Turns out someone’s swiped the name: http://richardxthripp.blogspot.com/ is just a parked spam blog, set up just over a month ago (2008-02-20). It’s about two thousand spam link ads.

One thing that I’ve always counted with my name (Richard X. Thripp a.k.a. richardxthripp), is that it is so unique that I can go to any website and register as richardxthripp with no fear of my identity already being taken. Apparently, I’m picking up a bit of notoriety and that is changing. The only thing to do next is to launch a pre-emptive strike against the thieves.

http://richardxthripp.deviantart.com/
http://richardxthripp.livejournal.com/
http://www.xanga.com/richardxthripp
http://technorati.com/blogs/richardxthripp.thripp.com
http://richardxthripp.stumbleupon.com/
http://digg.com/users/richardxthripp/
http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard_X_Thripp/593538525
http://www.animalcrossingcommunity.com/user_profile.asp?UserID=28254 (must log in)
http://www.43things.com/person/richardxthripp
http://del.icio.us/richardxthripp
http://www.flickr.com/people/richardxthripp/
http://profiles.friendster.com/richardxthripp
http://richardxthripp.hi5.com/
http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardxthripp
http://www.myspace.com/richardxthripp
http://www.orkut.com/Profile.aspx?uid=15787114936809567549 (must log in)
http://www.photoblog.com/richardxthripp
http://www.photoblogs.org/profile/richardxthripp.thripp.com/
http://reddit.com/user/richardxthripp/
http://richardxthripp.sheezyart.com/
http://slashdot.org/~richardxthripp/
http://www.squidoo.com/richardxthripp
http://www.thoughts.com/richardxthripp/blog
http://www.tickme.com/member/richardxthripp.html
http://twitter.com/richardxthripp
http://richardxthripp.wordpress.com/
http://youtube.com/richardxthripp

How do you like them apples? Twenty-six websites where I’ve claimed my identity. Some are old, but there are sixteen ones I registered in the past few hours. Obviously, I won’t update any of these, but at least no one else will be carrying on their evil plans in my name.

These are two great articles on stopping the new-fangled cyber-squatters:

SearchRank: Securing Your Brand on Social Networking Sites
ProBlogger: When Seth Godin isn’t Seth Godin

I ran across these before, but wasn’t motivated enough to take action, unfortunately.

So tell me, is there any killer social networking, blogging, photography, or art network that’s missing from my list?

2008-03-29 Update: Added Animal Crossing Community and YouTube; forgot about those.

Registrar Transfer

Thripp.com was down from 2008-03-04T15:00Z to 2008-03-06T00:00Z. My domain name expires on 2008-03-16 and my current registrar charges $35 to renew, so I got started transferring out. I chose Triple.com because they were running a cheap special ($5.55; a loss for them), but they reset my domain’s name servers even though I said not to.

This is what I set before initiating the transfer on 2008-02-28:

Triple.com domain-transfer settings

When the transfer finally went through on 2008-03-04:

Thripp.com outage

I changed them back on the Triple.com control panel, but it took nearly a day to go through. Then, none of the dynamically compiled pages (the home page, and most everything else) were loading, for no reason on my end. It turned out to be my host, Netfirms; I called and complained, and was told they don’t support WP-Cache, but the person I spoke with reset something so my site became livid. I have to use caching so the site loads quickly and doesn’t die when more than a few people visit, so I’m keeping it on and will keep watch in case I disappear again. If I do, you can still see my work at my deviantART gallery, but I’d prefer to have no outages.

Other complaints about Netfirms:
Help needed setting up WP-Cache
WP-Cache and Netfirms
Terrible performance and technical support
Netfirms Database Network Outage
Netfirms WordPress and Pretty URLs (Date and Name)
Netfirms sucks
Netfirms Loses Power, 1 Million Sites Down

They’re not good for anything; neither is Triple.com, though I doubt I’ll have more problems with the registrar, at least. I’m going to move to Lunarpages in July, when my contract with Netfirms is up. It’ll cost me $7 every month, unfortunately. Since I’m losing money even now, I’ve opened up a request for donations, with a great summary of my mission statement for this adventure.

This post is 2 days late. I became ill yesterday, but it’s not a normal cold as I don’t have congestion or coughing; just a sore throat and tiredness. I’m mostly over it today. It was hard to make it through five hours of work yesterday and eight hours of school today (five classes including photography), but I’m on spring break now and am off school till the 17th. If I would’ve missed my classes I’d have missed an important test, plus points for attendance, so it wasn’t an option (they want you to stay while you’re sick).

I have assignments to complete, still, but I’ll have more time open than normal. I’m working on new photography, and on a computer-science article on versatility in computing, which will be the basis for my future tutorials on digital editing.

Thanks everyone! :smile:

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