Power of Blogging for Business – 1 Article Created 6 top 10 SERPs

Trying to evangelize the concept of why a company should communicate through the blog medium with anecdotes is a fool’s game.  Companies either get it or they don’t with a description like a college kid getting a business lesson out of a text book.

small fishing net I have understood the merits for several years now working as a blogger, ghost writer, web designer and more.  I’m not only in the choir, but I’m a part time choir director.  If you are like me, I’m not trying to preach to you.

However, if you are looking for an example of why blogging can be fruitful for business and you DO NOT understand the need to get closer with your existing and potential customers, then consider this.

Your company website is essentially a foot print on the web.  Make a small website and you have a small presence.  Grow that website and make it bigger and bigger and you have a larger presence on the web.

Each blog article you write increases the size and more importantly the reach of your website, like a fisherman using a larger and larger net.

image

Last night I wrote a single blog article and created a YouTube tutorial video to accompany the article making it stickier and more useful for the people that might actually come see the article.

Optimize Artisteer WordPress Theme’s H1/H2 Title Tags for SEO

A video & written tutorial to optimize a Artisteer WordPress theme h1 & h2 title tags to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) results and SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Placements)

Single business blog article generates 6 top 10 Google listings

Within 6 hours this new article had garnished me a position in Search Engine Results Pages within the top 10 of 6 different keywords that I felt were important for business.  I was indexed in at least 10 somewhere on Google covering other keywords that were not as important, but might not hurt either.

Not only is my website larger, stickier to hold a visitor, but my presence on Google is also expanded and positioning me for even better things!  All from a single article and a video.

Is there money in writing a single blog article for your Own Business?

Yes!  I’ve already made a sale as a result of this article and its only 6 hours old.  It will now go on to live on the internet for months if not years, where it can help people learn a useful skill (video tutorial) and find the right tools (products I offer) and possibly choose to hire my firms services (after learning a thing or two about us and developing a relationship).

What do I do with that Article now that it is built?

imageI’m not done with it yet.  I still have further work to do to market the article, push it out even further on the internet, work to attract back links to the article and my site.  Optimize that blog article to perform even better, searching out other related and important keywords that I didn’t originally consider and track my way up the rankings on the keywords I already have.

Deleting WordPress Tag Creates 404 Error – Watch Out!

Quick WordPress Tip about deleted Tags Creating 404 errors in Google Webmaster Tools

If you delete a wordpress tag, it will create a 404 error if a visitor or possibly as important, Google Bot comes through to re-index your site.

Sure you can redirect that deleted tag link, but if you later create it again on the fly with a new post, your redirection will drive people away from the tag.  :(

Solution – Don’t Delete WordPress Tags!

If you have already deleted a WordPress Tag, think about adding it back in again so that you don’t get nicked by the Search Engines!  :)

Good Picture Trumps Good Content-Exception Proves the Rule

Fast Company knows their graphics

Fast Company recently repurposed some good content about ad money.  The original content was relatively boring, and as displayed in an informational teaser on the original site of Outsell, where they are essentially trying to sell a research report, one has to wonder how or if Outsell will stay in business.

Fortunately, Fast Company came along to save their Outsell’s bacon and possibly help Outsell sell more with a better graphic about ad sales.  Crazy!

The great graphic above shows the total money, and breaks out how it flows out to the various different channels that get to take that money home.  That should be important information for any marketing company, any corporation curious about benchmarking their own marketing budget percentages at a generic level, and if you are a blogger or a newspaper, you either see a yellow brick road paved in gold or a cobblestone mud path off a cliff.

Here’s Outsell’s lackluster sales pitch for their own product  It only costs $1295 so if you have some extra coffee money lying around, knock yourself out.  The authors, Chuck Richard, Vice President & Lead Analyst; Sheila King, Director of Primary Research, may be great researchers, but either they or others at Outsell have just been schooled by Maccabee Montandon of Fast Company.

Outsell shows people how not to sell research reports online

Its your standard teaser article about industry stats.  That’s going to get people buying like nobody’s business.  Not.

Makes you wonder why Outsell doesn’t hire a groovy graphic designer or two to compete with the graphic from Fast Company.  Maybe Outsell just isn’t that fast, or maybe this will be their wake up call.

In general, there comes a point these days where a research company is just a blog.  If you are not selling your reports anymore, then you are just a blog, that happens to do research.  If you are a site that only sells a research report or two per year, then you are still just a blog, a blog that sells linkbait.  If you sell lots and lots of research reports, well then maybe you are a research company, but if so, you better have a blog and you better hit it out of the park when you are prompting your own goods.

Centralized Social Network Participation May Kill Your Content

Kill Content with a blow to the head

On April Fool’s Day, Izea will be shutting down their forums.  The forums were setup back in September of 2006 just a few months after the company launched and served as the primary social networking platform for the first couple years.

Important Boards Information- PLEASE READ

Postby BrightGirl on Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:06 pm

Image representing Izea as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Hi Everyone!
Due to falling participation, the rising costs of hosting and our expansion into other support avenues, we have made the decision to close down the IZEA Boards effective April 1, 2010.
Many of the same topics posted here are currently being discussed at http://getsatisfaction.com/izea and we encourage you to visit us there to post any questions you may have or to participate in the discussions there. We will also still be posting major system updates on the IZEA blog, http://blog.izea.com.
In addition, we will still be available by support ticket and through Twitter
@izealove
@izea
@PayPerPost
@SocialSpark
@spontwts
@Sponzai
Finally, I think I speak for the entire team when I say what a pleasure it has been working with you and learning from you all the past few years. The interaction of this community is what makes the job we do fun, challenging and exciting and leads IZEA to better products and services.
And one last shout out to our Boards Mods, past and present who have worked tirelessly in providing information and support. It has an honor to work with you all!
All the Best,
Carri

Carri Bright
Communications Diva
Izea Customer Love

This forum post is followed by a member named RealityTVFan who has had a long technically challenging series of difficulties making it virtually impossible to communicate with anyone through the Get Satisfaction social media network.  766v1-max-150x150[1]

Ergo he can’t even talk to people about not getting satisfaction through Get Satisfaction!

Now, I don’t have near the issues that RealityTVFan has encountered, but Get Satisfaction has always been very problematic for me as well to the point that I just don’t use it/go there/ provide feedback there.

LESSON LEARNED (again) Giving Content for Free to a Network that Voids your Control of Said Content is a Mistake

I started working with Izea about 6 days after they launched back during the summer of 2006.  They set up their forum or boards later in September as their rapid growth dictated that they needed the ability to communicate with bloggers on the web, efficiently and in an area where they could control the message.  Even more important, they needed other bloggers to help each other, benchmark off of lessons learned, and grow together, so that the same lesson could be taught and retaught more efficiently.  This was one of the most successful aspects about what was PayPerPost back then.  It not only accelerated the growth of their blogger network, enabling them to get a second round of venture capital, but it helped them improve their business, and create a sense of community.

The boards themselves were getting thousands and thousands of hits and visitors a day, generating hundreds of forum posts on a forum with no advertising or as we say today, no monetization plan.  So from Izea’s perspective it was a cost center, with a value add that was difficult to measure.

Years later they did eventually ad advertising after the recommendation of many members on the boards, including yours truly.  This apparently might have minimized the cost (bandwidth maybe?) but not enough.  More importantly through Get Satisfaction they were finally able to run with a ticketing process that worked for the company better than the home grown coding they had relied on in earlier years.

But there is a lesson to be learned here for both Izea and Bloggers and it has nothing to do with cost control or even customer satisfaction. :)

It is a flawed approach to host a conversation in a centralized social media environment (whether it be a forum like this, Get Satisfaction, Facebook, Twitter etc) when you are engaged in a business reliant on the blogosphere.

Sure there are indirect benefits from being part of the conversation and siphoning eye balls away from a centralized social platform, but it is INDIRECT at best and there isn’t much money in that.

When you write on a centralized platform you DO NOT own your content. You have no control and that content is subject to deletion, editing, or worse. When you play with the long tail, that is bad for business too.

Plus, just as a personal example, when this board goes dark on April Fool’s day, I’m going to loose upwards of 1800 backlinks to my site. Also bad for business considering those backlinks are a small factor in promoting my blogs in the SERPs.  Izea may not sell links so much anymore, but that still translates to reduced traffic and influence, which is something they do sell these days.  So by closing down the boards they are going to devalue their own product line just a bit.  

SOLUTION – At Least for Bloggers

 =

Fortunately, there is an open source solution that is almost available. Very soon, none of us will have to rely on centralized social network systems. The days of Twitter and Facebook (and Get Satisfaction too) playing a role as the dominant social platform are likely to go the way of Compuserve, Prodigy and AOL playing a role as the dominant email system and internet logon portal.

What’s that solution called?

Ironically its WordPress and the new 3.0 version combined with other components of WordPress will conceivably give every blogger, writer, business site the means to turn their website into a decentralized social network.  Now we just have to figure out how to inter connect with each other all over again!

:) 

You can follow me on twitter ( http://twitter.com/brettbum )if you like, but its kind of a silly place. ;)

Tweexchange – Almost Useful for Searching out a Domain Name and a Twitter User Name at the Same Time

Blast Applications BLAP Launches Tweexchange.com

image PLAINVIEW, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blast Applications, Inc. (OTC: BLAPNews) announced today it has officially launched newly acquired and fully developed website, www.tweexchange.com.

Tweexchange.com is the fastest and easiest way to search Twitter Usernames and Internet Domain Names at the same time. Tweexchange.com also unveiled a new integration with GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain name registrar. Through the Domain Name search, users can Backorder and Register Domains using GoDaddy. If a name is taken and is currently listed for sale on Sedo.com, members can also try to purchase names through the site using the Sedo API.

This is one of the first sites to launch with this functionality, to ease and reduce the time to action to secure the right name for branding purposes. With domain name investment an established industry, consumers can conveniently secure a Twitter ID to match. Cross-referencing Twitter and GoDaddy with Tweexchange.com also enables their members, for a fee, to be notified when Twitter Usernames and Internet domain names become available from being in a suspended state. Tweexchange.com provides Blast Applications with several different revenue streams contained within one site.

Dino Luzzi, CEO of Blast said, “When you think about Blast, our newest web portal, Tweexchange truly fits the bill. This one stop shop for users to acquire and reserve user names and domain names through two of the largest providers of branding elements on the web today, Twitter and GoDaddy is truly a blast.”

About Blast Applications, Inc.

Blast Applications, Inc. (“Blast”) is a premier creator and developer of applications for iPhone®, Twitter® and Facebook®, that allows users to have more fun, be more productive and make social media sites easier to use and more intuitive than before. Social media sites are growing fast all around the globe. Blast Applications has a unique opportunity to monetize the web surfer’s dedication to sites such as Twitter® and Facebook®, and through direct advertising programs tied to the Company’s tools and applications. For more information visit www.blastapplications.com.

Editors Note:

We have covered several different web applications, typically focused on twitter from Blast Applications over the last few weeks.  Almost all of them did not appear terribly useful, but hey the team is at least coding something and trying to make a buck.  This particular service combines the search process of looking for a twitter username and an available web domain into a one stop shop.

In reality, it is not difficult to perform either of these steps separately, but I suppose if you are trying to buy and set up a whole bunch of sites and twitter usernames for some reason (I can only think of spammy reasons why you would even contemplate this, but if you can think of something better, let me know because I’m curious!)

Regardless, this is minutely helpful, but probably not that much of a jump past the status quo.

In general, my advice is only to perform domain searches at EXTREMELY trusted primary domain selling sites, and only run those searches when you are prepared to buy.  I’ve seen too many domainers pull too many tricks snatching domains up from under prospective buyers to let my guard down when I’m serious about setting up a site, and I recommend the same practice for all my clients, friends and family.

When I tried this myself, it seemed a little buggy at the search level, things did not refresh automatically, nor even when I hit the clear button, prepare to hit the refresh button on your browser.

If Googling Something is To Difficult, You Can Hashtag a keyword on Twitter and get an Ad Served to you too!???

image Blast Applications BLAP Launches Twuition.com

PLAINVIEW, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blast Applications Inc., (OTC: BLAPNews), a premier creator and developer of iPhone, Twitter and Facebook applications, announces today the official launch of www.Twuition.com.

Twuition.com is a corporate branding and advertising application which responds automatically via Twitter informing Twitter users of translations, weather reports, product pricing, locations and even the national debt by typing in the hashtag “#whatisthenationaldebt”. The tweet platform, generates an advertisement for each response sponsored by businesses for brand awareness via our Twitter profile. This advertising application gives corporations the ability to sponsor answers while building awareness to millions of twitter users, also providing them information without leaving twitter.

“Find out the weather report, shop for a product best price, find the restaurant of your choice or translate while visiting other countries, on your iPhone via Twitter, make sponsors proud of our innovative way of communications,” says Dino Luzzi, CEO of Blast Applications.

About Blast Applications, Inc.

Blast Applications, Inc. (“Blast”) is a premier creator and developer of applications for iPhone®, Twitter® and Facebook®, that allows users to have more fun, be more productive and make social media sites easier to use and more intuitive than before. Blast Applications has a unique opportunity to monetize the web surfer’s dedication to social media sites. Through direct advertising programs tied to the Company’s tools and applications. For more information visit www.blastapplications.com.

Editors Note:

While some of Blast Applications other products do seem relatively useful, this one really seems to be a stretch.  If you absolutely can only access twitter for some information, this might be useful, but this same type of service didn’t really take off in the 90’s with 2 Way Pagers either, somehow I doubt it will go far here. 

That said, sometimes you have to work outside the box a little in order to make a break through.  :)

For all that this is not likely imho to be useful, the advertising that you can purchase through this same channel is not likely to be very robust either.

How to Delete Mass direct messages in Twitter – $6 bucks a pop

image

AUTOMATICALLY DELETE DIRECT MESSAGES ON TWITTER WITH OFFICAL LAUNCH OF TWEDEMPTION.COM

Save Time and Get Redemption Through Twedemption.com

PLAINVIEW, N.Y. – February 9, 2010 (OTC: BLAPNews) – If you ever leave on vacation, step away from your computer for a few days or been on Twitter for a reasonable period of time, it’s easy for your direct message inbox to get full quickly. Blast Applications, a premier creator and developer of iPhone, Twitter and Facebook applications, announces today the official launch of Twedemption.com.

With the new launch of Twedemption.com, a PHP script that allows Twitter users to mass-delete direct messages, you can participate in the latest innovation developed to enhance your Twitter experience. For a one-time fee of $5.99, you can safely and securely delete multiple or all DMs from your inbox on the go.

“If you’ve been receiving a lot of auto generated-direct messages or are building quite a following, this type of program is invaluable for Twitter users,” says Dino Luzzi, CEO of Blast Applications. “What we wanted to do with Twedemption.com was focus on a very talked about problem on Twitter and bring a bit of internet attention to it.”

Going through one-by-one to delete each DM is very time consuming; however with Twedemption.com you can delete all the messages from one Twitter id.

About Blast Applications, Inc.

Blast Applications, Inc. (“Blast”) is a premier creator and developer of applications for iPhone®, Twitter® and Facebook®, that allows users to have more fun, be more productive and make social media sites easier to use and more intuitive than before. Social media sites are growing fast all around the globe. Blast Applications has a unique opportunity to monetize the web surfer’s dedication to sites such as Twitter® and Facebook®, and through direct advertising programs tied to the Company’s tools and applications. For more information visit www.blastapplications.com.

Editors Note:

I typically try to keep the number of new services that require my twitter login information to a minimum and after I have used one, I change my twitter password right away.

Personally, I don’t have so many DM’s that I need a mass delete option, was even aware that you had to delete them at all, but I suppose if you are a bit of a clean freak and can’t stand to look at a bunch of DM’s any more, $6 might set you free.

Quick Tips on Getting New Long Tail Value out of Old Sponsored Posts on a blog

Let’s say you have 50 or 100 or 1000 old blog posts on one or more sites that were sponsored articles.  You were paid up front for a short time advertorial essentially.  That was years ago and those posts haven’t brought any revenue to you since.  :(

Plus, the FTC has changed the landscape of online marketing and now you have to go back and consider adding some new form of disclosure to an advertorial.  Lots of work for no revenue, all cost, no profit, plus if you don’t you risk who knows what from the FTC.  :(

QUICK TIPS (ok not so quick) to get those old articles earning money again!

There are several things you can do in conjunction with each other to get those old deep links earning you some money.

  • First, realize that what ever work went into those articles in terms of copy, research, writing etc, is long sunk.
  • The risk of FTC issues is as real as your geographical address if you reside in the US (If you live in Canada, the UK, the Pacific Rim, feel free to laugh at the FTC all you like.)
  • Now, go over to Skimlinks.com and sign up for an account. 
    • They essentially turn old deep hyperlinks going out from your site in to current working affiliate links if there is an affiliate program through their collection of multiple networks traversing the world. 
    • They aggregate affiliate links through multiple networks at commission rates that are often higher than you can get individually. 
    • Get your account up and going and load the javascript onto your site. 
    • If someone clicks on one of your old deep links and buys something, you get a commission.  $$$
    • Pretty easy for just copy/pasting some javascript in your footer!
  • Skimlinks is a good option, BUT for advertorials, it will likely only convert if you had kick ass copy on a page that draws a lot of natural search results. 
    • If your copy was written for 2006 and not 2010, it might not convert so well no matter how good it was. 
    • If your page hasn’t drawn a new hit in 2 years, well then its really not good for much of anything, almost.
  • SO, identify your articles that you want to target.  For example, I recently went through an old blog, I filtered for all articles that still had a CountTrakula.com link in it, an old PayPerPost tracking mechanism, then I further filtered for articles from 2006.  THESE WERE OLD AND TIRED! But some of those posts still have some power,
    • Some have lots of incoming links
    • Some generate traffic!
  • So next, you need to install the Redirection plugin into your wordpress site. 
    • Don’t have your blog on WordPress?
    • Move your blog over to WordPress and stop fooling around.  :)
  • Now, start redirecting those old links to either your home page or a category that is relevant for the post.
    • Essentially you are salvaging those backlinks.  yes they are over 18 months old in my example, but a backlink is a backlink.
    • I had a few hundred to do myself, not a job for one sitting.  So make sure you have a good audiobook to listen to or TV show to partially pay attention to, and then start copy/pasting/clicking away
  • Once your redirects are set up in full or either in a batch, go back and check your redirection logs. 
  • image
    • Look for old posts that are logging actual redirects to your home page or categories. 
    • If you have an old advertorial bringing traffic to your blog for ‘drug rehab’ and you don’t have a better destination for that traffic on your blog,
    • then log into one of your affiliate programs and search for a new affiliate program that has a high conversion rate for ‘drug rehab’. 
    • Get the link for the program, then go back to your site, and replace your redirection destination link with the affiliate link! 
    • Now all that traffic that was coming into your blog for an advertorial and likely bouncing away, screwing up your stats, and not doing anything for you is getting pushed to a high converting affiliate program where it might actually do that Google searcher some good and
    • make you a commission!  $$$
    • Pay attention to your redirect stats.  If it stops bringing people in, then change that redirect to a new 301 redirect back to your home page to salvage backlinks.  This puppy is harvested!
  • If for some reason you like the traffic on that particular topic, but don’t want to send it to an affiliate landing page cold, then write up a NEW blog article that covers that topic or category
    • Then change that redirect from over to your new article.
    • If you are smart, make sure the article includes an affiliate banner to something useful, or at least some chitika or adsense ads or something.  I don’t want you to starve!  :)
  • Sometimes a Rewrite may work too…
    • You will not want to rewrite every article, but every now and then your original article may be pretty damned good and still relevant.  If so, polish that puppy up, and republish it with a current date.  Remove the old sponsored/advertorial references and OWN that new article yourself.  Find some new way to mix advertising on that page for that article, especially if it is pulling in traffic! 
    • Plus, if it is pulling in traffic, do something on that new re-written post to really try and lock in those readers to subscribing with you.  You already know that it is bringing people your way, do something good for them, and try and get them to come back or stick around.
  • A large percentage of your old advertorial articles from years back will not be relevant, will not have traffic and will only bring you minor backlink boosts.  That’s ok, don’t sweat it, at least you removed the liability stemming from the doubt over the FTC’s poorly conceived and executed new rules.  :)
  • For that 10% that can do something for you, well more power and a little extra revenue to you!  :)

Bonus – if you do leave old deep links in any old article, make sure you put a rel=”nofollow’ tag on it if you hadn’t already.  Might as well please Google while you are at it. 

Does a PHP integration of mod_php or FastCGI or suphp have an Impact on CPU Usage?

Since July, I have been experiencing CPU usages on my Virtual Dedicated Server.  In July, my host InMotion Hosting, whom I have had an excellent relationship with for over 3 years, recommended that I should move to a ‘new faster server’ and they would migrate my accounts for free.

Sounded good, I asked a few questions, hoping to make a relatively informed decision, but I know next to nothing about servers and hardware, which is the reason why I turn to them for hosting and Virtual dedicated hosting specifically.

They upgraded me and within about 2 weeks, I started having problems with my account using up too much load on the CPU of the server.  My sites and the server were crashing every couple weeks, and InMotion Hosting started telling me that I would have to upgrade to a dedicated server, a price difference of $150 per month!  (Currently paying about $50 a month, prepaid for a year, Dedicated costs about $200 per month).

Frankly, I couldn’t afford the move.

At the time this first started happening, I was traveling in NYC for Affiliate Summit, and I didn’t have the time to completely figure out what was going on.  Twice over the years, I’ve run into CPU load issues and it usually involved a plugin that was broken or not working right.

I searched through my cpanel accounts, checking the error logs on each.  I found a few little errors but nothing significant.  I fixed those, checked with my host, and that didn’t seem to phase anything.

I did some heavy lifting in robots.txt to insure that I wasn’t being indexed by bots that were driving up the CPU (there was some indication that a bot masquerading as the cuel (cool) search engine was causing a bit of a problem.  I worked to eliminate bot access to every folder that wasn’t essential.

I triple checked my largest sites to insure that my images were optimized too.  (they were already, but I wanted to double check)

I was already running WP-Super Cache on my largest 2 sites, so I started loading that up on all my other sites.  Then I added DB Cache and even Widget Cache and DB manager so that I could routinely optimize my DB.

That seemed to make a small bit of a dent but not enough.

My biggest problem was really the lack of information at a domain level.  On a VDedicated account, I have absolutely NO TOOLS to help me identify if one domain/cpanel account is causing the bulk of the problem or if all domains are.  I thinned out the herd and eliminated/suspended/moved some cpanel accounts.

Again that helped just a little bit, but not enough.

Finally towards the end of September, I spoke with a admin at Inmotion who was able to install a script or a program to monitor my account.  I couldn’t view this program, but she was able to tell me the top domains or directories that were using the most CPU at the time.  She was also able to point out a couple plugins, that were not creating errors but did seem to be consuming to much of the cpu resources.  I deactivated and deleted them.

A couple days later, I got a message from Inmotion saying that that action had fixed the problem!

I sent back a message saying terrific! I can’t believe we finally solved this.  I was very happy and relieved.

But 20 minutes later, the same person replied again and told me that actually things weren’t fixed and we’d have to continue monitoring.

:( Uh, OK. :(

Four days later, I get an email saying that things were still bad, and my account would be shut down tomorrow, the original deadline given several weeks earlier.

So I called in, got filtered through hold for 20 minutes, got a low level representative on the phone, who was nice and polite but frankly jerked me around for 14 minutes because 1) he couldn’t do anything about the issue 2) its his job to make sure that people like me no longer have direct access to the admins 3) their own internet connection was apparently down 4) when he tried to transfer me, it didn’t work a couple times, maybe internet down related.

So I finally get on the phone with the admin who had sent me the latest message.  I mentioned to him, that when I had spoke with the helpful representative that had set up the monitoring script, that she had indicated the next thing to trouble shoot would be whether my Apache configuration on the new server was not optimal for my sites as compared to the Apache configuration on the old server.

I asked the new guy if we could look at this.  I had done some quick research that had indicated:

mod_php Vs. FastCGI

How you integrate PHP into Apache has performance implications. The two most popular options are:

mod_php

The PHP interpreter and all it’s linked in libraries are compiled into a loadable Apache Module (mod_php) and this module is loaded into every running Apache process at startup time. This is generally the simplest way to run PHP and is supported by most hosting environments. It also introduces memory overhead because of the monolithic Apache processes which you have running, and because the PHP interpreter is included in the web server binary which services non PHP files.

FastCGI

An alternative method of using PHP is to have the PHP interpreter running external to the Apache process and to use the FastCGI API to interface between the web server (mod_fastcgi) and the PHP interpreter. The advantages of this method is that you don’t load the full PHP stack into Apache, you can call upon PHP only when your web server needs to run a PHP script (not images, or HTML/CSS etc) and you also get security benefits of running PHP as a user other than the web server user. This setup is slightly more advanced, and usually requires custom compilation of PHP. One other possible advantage here is that you may be able to run the threaded Apache worker MPM when using FastCGI, since technically any non threadsafe PHP libraries are not being run inside Apache, but inside an external process.

I also found this useful description in a forum post that broke down a few additional settings from someone with the username ‘till’:

2nd April 2009, 10:42

The php option depends on traffic that you expect for the site and if the site e.g. uploads or creates images or files on the server.
mod_php:
- fast
- runs not under admin user of the site
- well suited for low and high traffic sites, but not for cms systems like joomla.
suphp:
- not so fast
- script runs under web admin
- secure
- well suited for low traffic sites
fastcgi
- fast
- script runs under web admin
- secure
- well suited for high traffic sites
so basicalley the decision is, if a site is low traffic, use suphp. suphp spawns a new cgi process for every page request, but it does not use resources when no pages are requested. On the opposite fastcgi, the php processes are running permanently even if no page is requested, this is faster and fine for a high traffic site but for a small homepage with 100 pageviews per hour you would waste resources.

So he agreed to try an alternative, and later sent me this message after it had been set up:

Just to follow up with you I have made two major changes to your VPS platform. The first being php was upgraded to the latest (from 5.2.10 to 5.2.11) and no longer uses suPHP. Also I have recompiled apache to use the MPM Worker instead of MPM Prefork which may help to
reduce load used by apache.

So now I’m in a new holding pattern, hoping that this change might be the magic bullet that gives me back my happily functioning websites and vdedicated account.  I’m heading to BlogWorld next week, so I expect that my account will likely take a crap on me while I’m traveling, not a traffic spike or anything, just a Murphy’s Law issue.

Some Good Things that Ellen Does with Her Newsletter

Last week I signed up for the newsletter for the Ellen Show. This Monday around 3 am I received my first copy and was pleasantly surprised to see that Ellen does a number of things very well with her newsletter (no surprise, she runs a ning social network on her site, as opposed to the locked down forum thingy that Oprah has as a contrast of a billionaire doing something wrong).

So here’s what Ellen has, what can you spot that is good?

image

Notice, on the left her show is branded well.  Even better she’s using a great picture of herself to re-emphasize both the branding of the show name and keep her image fresh in people’s mind. 

Hard to feel negative about ‘just another’ newsletter email when you’ve got a smiling face right in front of your own.

Then there are the easy access social media buttons, both twitter and facebook, which should be standard, but ALSO the link to her own NING community.  Smart, let people talk to you where ever they want to talk to you, but don’t forget to make it easy for them to come into your (ning) house and chat for a while.

Even better yet, is that short little message from Ellen.  Reading the silly little joke, it sounds like something Ellen would say (probably has said too many times), but that’s perfect here.  You DO think she’d say it and not some flunky or automated geekish gimp in a cubicle somewhere.

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I’m the first to admit that I SUCK at newsletter’s myself.  Its something I drastically need to improve, but you know what?  I could learn a thing or two from Ellen and her team on this one.  It wouldn’t hurt me and probably not you either to benchmark a little from Ellen’s example.