Archive | April, 2011

Spark Crave video and MP3

23 Apr

I haven’t done a new music post in a while, mainly because most new music is shit, but also because I have been far too busy trying to ride the keyword wave and rack up some mad hits with stuff about Colonel Gaddafi or whatever.

Anyway here is the video for the song Crave by Walthamstow-based Jess Morgan, aka Spark, another of the likely-to-sell-some-records signings 679 has made as they look to fill the sales void left by recent retiree Mike Skinner.

The vid basically consists of Spark wandering around a house with some lasers. There’s not much else you need to know except Marina and the Diamonds is on board (she took Spark on tour) so we’re looking at definite probable top 40 here.

Oh BTW if you want to see what a hungover Robert Smith looks like at the breakfast table, defo press play.

Very good.

You can download an MP3 of Crave at Spark’s official website. You don’t even have to put your email address in!

What happens when you block someone on Twitter?

23 Apr

Q: What happens when you block someone on Twitter?

OK so there have been some conflicting reports as to what actually happens when you block someone on Twitter; mainly because Twitter used to have a pretty poor blocking option and a lot of the existing content on the topic relates to the old system, which basically meant blocking someone gave them the ability to read your tweets, @-mention you, retweet you, but not do any of it via their timeline feed. Which was so two thousand and late.

A: What happens when you block someone on Twitter

According to the Twitter website, blocking someone means they cannot:

  1. Follow you
  2. Send you an @-reply
  3. Send you an @-mention
  4. Add you to lists
  5. See you in their timeline

There is still some debate as to how comprehensive the system covering points 2 and 3 is. Some suggest that blocked users will still physically be able to use your @username in tweets, but that you won’t get them on your mentions tab. Others say that blockees @-ing blockers just makes the tweet disappear, which doesn’t make much sense given that this would almost instantly alert the blockee to the fact something wasn’t right.

One thing that does piss me off, right, is when people protect their tweets and accept your follow request, then after about six months or whatever you realise you haven’t seen anything from them in a bit and then you visit their page and it says @user’s Tweets are protected, which is a telltale sign of blocking. And it’s usually absolute fucking cretins who you only followed for political reasons in the first place who do it.

For your blocking purposes: iamdanielnolan

Jessica Ennis V Colonel Gaddafi V Dr Dre V Timbaland

16 Apr

As the keyword wars roll on into a second year, new contenders emerge onto the battlefield all the time. We’ve discussed previously the curious case of the miserable keyword, but while that one bubbles under, there are a slew of top terms vying to be the biggest referrer to Survivor Envy.

Let’s have a look at the top four…

1) Jessica Ennis Bum

Jessica Ennis bum

This classic post from January 2011 took a wry, sideways glance at a Daily Mail article whose appearance in the search engines seemed heavily propped up by the term ‘Jessica Ennis Bum’.

2) Gaddafi Umbrella

Colonel Gaddafi Umbrella Picture

A vintage entry from February 2011, this popular picture post offered a wry, sideways glance at the way in which Colonel Gaddafi denied he was losing control of Libya – hanging out of a minivan with an umbrella in his hand.

3) I Need A Doctor Mediafire

Dr Dre I Need A Doctor

It was a wry, sideways glance at the new Dr Dre single, I Need A Doctor (“someone banging a barrel while Eminem complains”), that prompted searchers looking for ‘I Need A Doctor Mediafire’ to start hitting the blog.

4) Timbaland Weird Faces

Timbaland: weird faces

An all time favourite: this wry, sideways glance at the number of weird faces pulled by Timbaland in his video with Katy Perry gave birth to the Google ‘SERPs One’ ranking for ‘Timbaland Weird Faces’.

Google Panda UK Update Tips

14 Apr

A Google Panda, yesterdayHow to get high rankings in Google Panda update

This week it was announced that the much-vaunted Google Panda algorithm update has been rolled out across all English-speaking countries of the Google Empire.

Since then there has been much debate as to the impact of the new algorithm. Have rankings gone up? Have rankings gone down? Where is eHow? Can anything concrete be determined?

Given that search engine results pages are prone to vary, the best advice is to sit tight for a couple of weeks and look for trends then. Who is to say that any changes witnessed this week aren’t just normal fluctuations in the rankings?

Google Panda Workaround

The best way to guarantee good rankings post-Panda is to continue to ensure that websites are coded in a way that is accessible both to users and search engines, and filled with content that is unique, valuable and not just filled with waffle about Timbaland’s weird faces or Katy Perry Mediafire links.

I think the update will have placed more importance than ever on content, potentially punishing flabbily developed websites whose code-to-content ratio is poor. It is now even more important that coding is clean and simple and pages feature as much content as possible.

Zoe off Casualty looks like Omar off The Wire

9 Apr

Sometimes this one is more obvious when you are actually watching the programmes involved, but Zoe off Casualty blates looks like Omar off The Wire.

Zoe and Omar

Pete Tong Radio 1 celebration brings back memories

8 Apr

Pete Tong#PETETONG20: Fancy some euphoric?

OK so Friday night on Radio 1 was pretty much given over to Mr Euphoria himself, Peter Tong, whose essential selections have been gracing our airwaves for an incredible 20 years.

To celebrate they did this sort of ‘top 20 dance tunes of the last 20 years’ thing in the first hour which certainly brought a lot of memories flooding back. I used to go to Ibiza a lot with my mum when I was a kid and listen to this sort of stuff, which was pretty weird but pretty good fun. Especially the hippy market at Es Cana, where you never knew if you were going to get killed or sold a bracelet.

Jaguar Skills has done an MP3 mix of the top 20 tunes which you can download from the Radio 1 website.

Peter Tong’s countdown started with the tune below, which I had not heard before Friday night but inadvertently brought back more childhood memories. I basically spent a good few years of my life listening to another veteran radio disc jockey, Stu Allan, every Sunday night on Key 103. He played literally nothing but ridiculous hardcore, which was obviously brilliant.

I sometimes wonder if things would have turned out differently if I hadn’t grown up listening to Ibiza anthems and happy hardcore.

Pete Tong top 20 tunes countdown of the top 20 tunes from the past 20 years comprising the 20 best dance music tunes from the past 20 years of Pete Tong – IN FULL!

20) Diss Reaction — Jieehaaa
19) Underworld — Rez/Cowgirl
18) La Roux — In For The Kill (Skream Remix)
17) Armand van Helden — You Don’t Know Me
16) Daft Punk — Da Funk
15) Josh Wink — Higher State Of Consciousness
14) Gat Décor — Passion
13) The Chemical Brothers — Hey Boy Hey Girl
12) Laurent Garnier — Man With The Red Face
11) Groove Armada — Superstylin
10) Eric Prydz — Pjanoo
9) Massive Attack — Unfinished Sympathy
8.) The Prodigy — Smack My Bitch Up
7) Daft Punk — Around The World
6) Robin S. — Show Me Love
5) Stardust — Music Sounds Better With You
4) Daft Punk — One More Time
3) Sasha — Xpander
2) Underworld — Born Slippy
1) Energy 52 — Café Del Mar

Newsflash: content helps attract organic traffic

8 Apr

SEO Content Delivers TrafficSo I have been running an experiment for the past 14 months. The experiment basically consisted of the following methodology:

1) Get a WordPress
2) Put 11 posts on it
3) Don’t put anything else on it for almost a year
4) Eventually put 37 new posts on it
5) Assess the impact on traffic
6) Stop blogging again and see what happens

It should be pointed out that steps 3) and 6) are definitely part of the experiment and nothing to do with being lazy or anything. I mean obviously I could have blogged loads in the past year, but if I’d have done that, I wouldn’t have been able to assess the effects on traffic. So shut up.

Anyway, the results are in. In 2010 I did 11 blog posts and got 1,193 pageviews over the course of 11 months, with a monthly average of 108 pageviews. After a lengthy period of inactivity I started adding content again on 23 January 2011. Since then I have ‘racked up’ 3,895 pageviews in a 10-week period, just by adding 37 (admittedly amazing) blog posts.

So for a 70% increase in content I have been able to achieve a 226% increase in pageviews.

But the most remarkable thing is the speed of the impact: a 10-week period of blogging made all the difference. In February 2011 alone I got more traffic than in the whole of 2010; a pattern that was repeated in March 2011.

And it works in reverse too. I have not posted since mid-March and pageviews in April currently sit at 222, with a predicted end for the month of 832 – which is 58% down on the blog-heavy month before.

So the moral of the story is: the more you add content to your site, the more likely you are to get pageviews from organic search visitors. The more pages your site has, the more freshly updated the content, the better your traffic will be.

X Factor Live Tour Pictures and Feedback

5 Apr

X Factor USA LogoA couple of weeks back I went to review the X Factor Live Tour for the paper, a job which allowed me to make the following observations:

  • Cher Lloyd is amazing
  • Rebecca really does not move much
  • Mary Byrne spends a lot of time waving and looking grateful
  • Whatsisname from Blackpool is even worse live than he is on telly

The best bit of the whole night was sitting behind these two women who came to the gig dressed as Jedward. Every time Mary came on stage they got a couple of Tesco bags out and started waving them around. You probably had to be there.

Anyway. Here are some pictures of the other best moments from the X Factor Live Tour.

1. Paige and his big logo
Paige X Factor Tour Picture

2. Cher Lloyd wore a bad outfit and sang Avril Lavigne
Cher Lloyd X Factor Live Tour

3. Rebecca and her massive blue wings
Rebecca X Factor Live Tour

4. Matt Cardle – never afraid to tackle a big bridge (HAHAHAHAHA, wasn’t funny the first time)
Matt Cardle X Factor Live Tour Photo

5. Some stairs
Steps at the MEN Arena

Altogether it was a good night. The music was good and the lights were great. 7/10

Murkage Paperweight Video

4 Apr

So this is the new Murkage tune, Paperweight. I reviewed it in the Manchester Evening News and gave it just about the highest mark I have given so far, basically because it is superior in every conceivable way to the say-nothing indie schmindie rubbish that all too often passes for ‘new music’ in this city of ours.

Obviously it is overblown, conceptual and built on foundations of solid self belief but if you can’t see that these are the things that make it brilliant then you shouldn’t bother clicking play below.

Very good. You can get an MP3 download of Paperweight at Murkage.net.