September Suggestions

Blogtipping iconEaston Ellsworth’s Blogtipping concept is simple:   you link to three unsuspecting blogs with three compliments & one helpful comment or idea for each blog author.   Giving a few fellow bloggers a pat on the back is just a nice way to start the month off on a positive note.

So, here are September’s Blogtipping sites:

I’m an Organizing Junkie by Laura covers a topic that’s near & dear to Dede’s heart – organization.   3 (actually 4) things she loves about this blog (aside from the fact that it’s about her most favorite subject of all time!):

  1. Great pictures that clearly show how to use the organization tips discussed.
  2. Naturally, this blog is very well-organized!   Tips are easy to find since they’re arranged in categories.
  3. Laura offers ideas for organizing things that I’d never thought of organizing (like bad habits, for example).
  4. Lots of links to other sites & creative organizing ideas.
  • Tip: The pages are a bit cluttered with distracting ad banners along the side but that’s probably something that can’t be changed for sponsorship reasons.

Escape Adulthood by Kim & Jason Kotecki is a great way to keep the Summer vibe with ideas to help grown-ups escape adulthood & children have better childhoods:

  1. "Business Wisdoms" & other creative solutions for reducing the stress of Adultitis and keeping your inner child alive & kicking.
  2. The site is chocked full of Jason’s great artwork & fun cartoons!
  3. The Lemonade Stand online store has loads of cool products for the young at heart.
  • Tip: It might be nice to be able to filter the posts by author in addition to the other categories.

Cool Tools by Kevin Kelly showcases tools, gadgets, software, videos, books, websites, or just about anything else that’s useful:

  1. The range of stuff is incredible – where else can you find reviews of Kevlar thread along side a book about pre-Columbian American Indians and a primer on gel pens?
  2. Site is easy to navigate and search.
  3. Subscribe via RSS feed and/or direct email newsletters to keep up-to-date.
  • Tip: I’d like to see a few more categories – books & software, for example.

Now it’s your turn – have a favorite site you’d like to share?   Post a comment!
 

Guest Blogging

Grace over at NeonScent put out a call back in mid-July for some guest blogger articles to help fill the void while she’s away for a few weeks in August. I had a couple of ideas for blog posts that had been simmering in the pot but really weren’t a good fit here on 2Dolphins so, I submitted them for consideration…

You can follow this link to read my Blogging With Character blogging tip article that’s featured over on NeonScent.

August ’07 Blogtipping

Blogtipping iconSeems like lots of picture-snapping people we know are jumping into digital cameras for the first time or upgrading to newer, cooler equipment lately.   So August’s round of Blogtipping is, in honor of Summer vacations, dedicated to digital camera & photography sites.

Steve’s Digicams is an Internet institution that’s well worth visiting again & again because of:

  1. 10 years of digital camera purchasing advice to point you in the right direction!
  2. Camera reviews are incredibly thorough, detailed, & unbiased.
  3. Discussion forums provide an opportunity to interact with other photographers & digital camera owners.
  • Tip: Dede would love to see Steve beef up the site by adding camcorder reviews rather than just advertisements for them.

Photojojo from Amit & Kara Gupta features can’t-miss photography projects, technical tips, & gadget reviews:

  1. They showcase loads of fun & funky DIY photo creations.
  2. Twice-weekly newsletters are delivered via email and/or RSS feed.
  3. Swap stories, ideas, or questions with other photo junkies in the Forum.
  • Tip: There needs to be more cool stuff in the Photojojo Store, Amit!

Darren Rowse’s Digital Photography School offers simple tips to help digital camera owners get the most out of their cameras.   Whether you’re a rank novice or budding semi-pro shutterbug, you’ll find plenty to like:

  1. Practical & timely tips for seasonal photo taking.
  2. Easy-to-use & lively discussion forums for digital photography enthusiasts.
  3. Weekly assignments help get you motivated to learn new tricks & techniques.
  • Tip: Email & RSS subscription options bring DPS’s weekly newsletter right to you, but I’d like to see full feeds instead of the partial teasers.

Bonus:   Want a glimpse of just how incredible digital photography can be?   Check out Austin, Texas photographer Trey Ratcliff’s Stuck in Customs.   Trey’s photoblog features pics that’re nothing short of spectacular covering the topical & geographical gamut.

Now it’s your turn – have a priceless digital camera or photography-related site you’d like to share?   Post a comment!
 

Blogathon 2007 – Charity Gets a Lift

Blogathon 2007 logo

On July 28th, Blogathon 2007 kicks off across the blogosphere.   The annual grassroots fundraiser marathon founded by blogger Cat Connor has, since its inception, raised in excess of $225 thousand dollars for charitable organizations.

For his part in Blogathon ’07, Permian Basin blogger extraordinaire Jimmy Patterson will spend an entire 24-hours non-stop 30 feet in the air atop an industrial Genie scissor lift.   Yup, every 30 minutes, beginning Saturday at 8 a.m., Jimmy will write a blog entry.

Jimmy’s lofty goal (rimshot! is to raise $5,001 for Midland Fair Havens, a charitable organization which helps mothers & their children transition from bad relationships to a successful new start in life, addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, & emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings.

If you’d like to make an online donation to Fair Havens on behalf of his efforts, you can sponser Jimmy for Blogathon 2007 or you can also drop by the Midland H-E-B parking lot (at the corner of Midkiff & Wadley) during the event to make a donation in person.   And be sure to check out Jimmy’s live webcast during the sleepless 24 hours at the MyWestTexas.com Blogathon site.
 

July Blogtipping

Blogtipping iconJuly is here already so it’s time for another round of Blogtipping.   Blogtipping, coined by Easton Ellsworth, is an opportunity to say 3 nice things (& offer 1 tip or suggestion) to 3 of your favorite bloggers.   So here are the sizzlin’ entries for this month:

Webomatica from Jason Kaneshiro covers the subjects of technology, movies, music, comics, television, bottle caps, and, well, just about anything else he can think of.   Webomatica keeps me coming back because…

  1. I really like Jason’s writing style and the blend of content.
  2. There’s a constant stream of new & interesting posts.
  3. Very clean & easy-to-navigate site design.

Rory Sullivan’s hamelife is billed as a site for parents who want to be different.   Spend much time there and you’ll find plenty to like:

  1. Rory’s slant on parenting aligns closely with the Love and Logic approach that Dede & I strongly endorse.
  2. I like the conversational tone and great sense of humor that Rory lends his posts.
  3. Plenty of parenting topics are covered, but there’s a variety of other interesting stuff too!
  • Tip: I’d like to see more photos!

Fortify Your Oasis by Rowan Manahan is a recent discovery which promptly made its way into my Google Reader list because of…

  1. Rowan’s interesting workplace & career insights & advice.
  2. He seems to dislike PowerPoint (the mindset, not the software) as much as I do!
  3. He had me hooked with the Rives’ If I Ruled the Internet video.
  • Tip: Great content, lots of pics, but if I had to nit-pick, I’d say the Blogger banner at the top needs to go!

What’s Another Word For Thesaurus?

English is really quite a perplexing pickle, y’know. Consider sheer size of its vocabulary, not to mention the diverse global influences that blend into this constantly-shifting linguistic amalgam. It’s estimated that an average English-speaking college graduate’s vocabulary features upwards of 60,000 words.

A blogger, programmer, part-time researcher, & all-around clever guy who goes by the pseudonym “Cavebloggem” has been conducting an interesting study called “Which Words Do You Own?” to examine the average blogger’s vocabulary and get an idea of how many words are actually in use in the Blogosphere. Analyzing a 15k word sample of his own Pretty Good on Paper blog, he found that, after weeding out typos, proper nouns, & other non-words, he used about 3,100 unique words. Intrigued, he set out to poll one new blog about each week or so and watch the vocabulary tally grow.   As subsequent blog sites are surveyed, each adds their own set of unique words to the mix.

Fascinated by this, I volunteered our 2Dolphins blog site for inclusion in the study and now the results of Cavebloggem’s analysis of our site are in! Drawing from blog posts from September ’05 through May ’07—which, in itself, must’ve been quite a Herculean effort to compile—he found that we used nearly 5,600 different words in the sample. We added a whopping 1,024 new words to the growing bloggers’ vocabulary total! I can’t tell you how much that number warms my Roget’s Thesaurus-lovin’ heart and it’s quite an honor to have been included in this interesting experiment!

Joontipping

Blogtipping iconThe past month was the third wettest and, with an average daily high of just under 68°, also among the coolest Mays on record.   But Summer’s finally stirring and the thermometer is inching perilously close to the century mark.   With these warmer, longer days, it’s not always easy to divvy up time for being cooped indoors surfing websites.   Even so, there’s no shortage of noteworthy blogs.   And Blogtipping is a chance to give three compliments — and offer one useful tip — to three fellow bloggers:

Connected Internet from British blogger Everton Blair covers gadgets, web development & marketing, computer gaming, gadgets, and a range of general technology news has a lot to offer:

  1. Very clean & easy-to-navigate site design.
  2. Features a steady stream of new & interesting tech content.
  3. Well-connected (pun intended!) with its reader base, CI even features a message forum.
  • Tip: Everton’s a bit enigmatic – I’d like to see him join in on the Face Behind the Blog meme so we can catch a glimpse of the wizard behind the curtain.

Fire Ant Gazette from West Texas blogger, Eric Siegmund is offered as "observations from a decidedly ordinary perspective," but I’ve found it to be uncommonly good because of…

  1. The conversational tone and wry wit.
  2. Post topics vary greatly but are often of local interest.
  3. Between the blog comment banter and his meeting with other area bloggers, Eric fosters a real sense of community.
  • Tip: Earlier this year, the blog featured more photos & I’d like to see that trend make a comeback.

Life Is Risky by Susan Driggers is a relatively new blog that I only just discovered a few days ago, but immediately made its way into my Google Reader subscription list due to:

  1. Thought-provoking content about writing, technology, & just generally-interesting stuff.
  2. Her promotion of community-building blog carnivals & friendly web marketing techniques.
  3. Although a revamp is forthcoming, the site layout is already clean & accessible.
  • Tip: As with the other Blogtippees this month, more photos and/or graphics could sure spice this site up.

BlogCatalog Buzz

Back in February, I wrote "Getting Noticed" about some of the website promotion efforts I’ve been trying here on 2Dolphins.   I’ve found another social networking directory site called BlogCatalog that’s a relatively new site making some big ripples in the blogosphere, thanks in no small part, to Mona Weathers’ BlogCatalog Buzz Experiment.   While similar to MyBlogLog, it offers a cleaner user interface, better navigation, & seems to be targeted less at MySpace types and more towards bloggers.   Give it a look and let me know what you think!
 

May Blogtipping

We’ve commented often since it began that, with our Russian adoption journey, time has ceased to pass in increments of hours or days, but instead it ticks off in months.   Even so, it’s hard to believe we’re already back around at the first Monday of the month.   And with that, it’s time for May’s Blogtipping.

You may recall from my April Blogtipping post, this notion was originated (One year ago this month!) by Easton Ellsworth over at Business Blogwire as an opportunity to give three compliments — and offer one useful tip — to three noteworthy fellow bloggers.   So, here we go…

Blogtipping icon

Wise Bread is a team blog dedicated to sharing insights to help you live a savvy & fulfilling life without sacrificing your financial independence.   There’s so much to like about this site:

  1. The editors offer really diverse & relevant personal finance tips.
  2. They also include unexpected but very applicable lifestyle posts.
  3. Easy-peasy email link right at the top of the page.   (Amazing how many sites miss that.)
  • Tip: There doesn’t seem to be a list of editors or contributors, which might be nice.

The Presurfer is Dutch blogger Gerard Vlemmings’ ode to the weird, wild, wacky, & wonderful websites strewn across the Internet.

  1. I’ve been a fan of this blog for a few years now.   The interesting entries just keep rolling!
  2. Post topics range from useful to trivial, plain to bizarre, and just about everything in-between.
  3. Site navigation is a breeze!
  • Tip: Seems like none of the content prior to moving to Blogger this year made it over, which is a shame…

Things That … Make You Go Hmm is TDavid’s blog offering reviews & commentary on technology, movies, music & more.   I’ve been following it for about a year now and this blog is true to its name because:

  1. Posts cover a wide variety of stuff like other sites, but always with a personal slant, not just generic linkdumps.
  2. New entries are added often and comments responded to quickly!
  3. Hmmcast!   TDavid boldly ventured into weekly videocasts this year.
  • Tip: I’d like to hear more about how the “no TV for almost a year” project is going.

April Blogtipping

Hey, we’ve arrived at the first Monday of the month so it’s time for the next round of Blogtipping. You may recall from my March Blogtipping post that this was coined by Easton Ellsworth and is an opportunity to give three compliments & one useful tip to three fellow bloggers.   Now, I didn’t set out with "guy-stuff" in mind as the theme for April’s spotlight blogs but as I was assembling my props for the month, it just sort of evolved… Blogtipping icon

Dumb Little Man is Jay White’s collection of tips to make the everyday person more productive in life. What’s to like about his site?

  1. Jay & Mark post tips that are practical & relevant.
  2. New articles are posted often and categories make the content easy to navigate.
  3. You can subscribe to receive updates via email.
  • Tip: There doesn’t seem to be a way to email suggestions or contact the author directly.

Dethroner is Joel Johnson & Alex Colby’s head-on, two-fisted, & unflinching daily digest dedicated to men’s grooming, fashion, home life, & other toils of the modern man. What’s not to like?

  1. Useful or just plain entertaining content covering the gamut of guy stuff from TV shows to DIY projects to half-naked coffee baristas.
  2. They’ve even got manly discussion forums!
  3. Did I mention beer?
  • Tip: Some posts might make even The Duke choke up a little!   Rhino Egg Harvesting?

Toolmonger features tool reviews, commentary, news, & projects. You’ll find yourself returning to this blog because:

  1. Articles on a wide variety of stuff – not just the kinds of tools you’d find in your garage.
  2. New tool content & reviews are added continuously! (Thank goodness for RSS feeds!)
  3. I sent these guys email & they answered very quickly!
  • Tip: Needs more of those cool "’One Beer Projects" how-to articles!

As a bonus capper for this testosterone-fest, be sure to jet over to the Miller Lite "Man Laws" site to catch up on all of the latest unwritten guy rules decreed by Burt, Jimmy, & the other distinguished "Men of the Square Table."