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Showing posts from July, 2008

July 2008: Monthly Post Recap

Guide to Complying With W3C Validation in Blogger

Blogger is notorious in that it doesn’t usually comply to the rules of XHTML, set by the foremost authority of web scripting, W3C. Though, the SEO authorities largely assume W3C validation doesn’t impact website’s search engine rankings, it undoubtedly affects the display of the website in popular browsers. And we want all our sites to display correctly, don’t we? Also, in my personal experience, W3C valid sites tend to load faster, just because of the fact that the browsers don’t need to assume a lot. Here we will see how you can post W3C valid blog posts in your Blogger blog.

W3C Validation

W3C or the World Wide Web Consortium is the foremost authority of the Web. This is a non-profit organization headed by the inventor of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee. W3C sets the rules for all web-scripting languages, such as HTML, SGML, XML, XHTML, etc.

For a website to display in a browser, it needn’t have 100 % correct script. In such case, the browsers assume what the author meant to display the site…

Microblogging From Within Your Blog

Recently, with the advent of Twitter, Jaiku (whom Google acquired), Plurk, etc., microblogging is a sensation. A microblog is way of updating your readers on what's current about you; usually these updates are 150-character long. Everyone starts their day's schedule with Twitter opened and occasionally post a sentence as to what they are doing presently, updating their followers. Twitter continues to explode in popularity, and even many big social networks are gawking at the Twitter secret. Here we will check out a simpler way of microblogging-that through your own blog.

Advantages of Microblogging

The greatest advantage of microblog is that your readers can be current about you. Microblog entries are simple one-sentence long and can well express what you are doing now or share any article that you find interesting with your readers. Check out my Twitter profile here. I assure you, I am not a useful twitterer, at least for now.

You can promote your own site or blog with microblog…

Some Confusable Situations in Grammar: Avoid These Errors

Many a time, I found even professional writers confusing me when they trip out of the normal frontiers of grammar and punctuation, and create sentences like “John likes countryside more than Alexa.” Here, I will explore some of these confusable situations.

Double Negatives

We have usually come across double negatives in the spoken discourse. In dialogs, where that not-so-grammatically-knowledgeable character shouts, we can read sentences like “I ain’t done no mistakes!” But, when you narrate, be yourself, the author, and don’t make this mistake. You know grammar unlike your friend, the character. So, avoid sentences like these:

The students hardly found it not worthy to study.
Peter wasn’t scarcely moving at all.

Misplaced Modifiers

This is another area of confusion to the readers. When you put down a sentence, with a modifier at another place, away from the element it modifies, we get sentences like “Johnny only completed the exercise in the allotted time.”

The modifier should come right be…

Writing Tips: Lists Help in Creative Writing

A list of items, which you can build with keywords relevant to any context, can be a great aid in your writing. A list is not necessarily facts; it’s just a few keywords (words, ideas, thoughts, technologies, applications, services, names, companies, articles, websites, objects, clothes, cuisines, feelings, expressions, clich├ęs, etc.) The list can be endless containing many items.

How Does a List Help?

In creative writing, lists can be a great help. It’s a way of brainstorming. Whenever you come across an idea, you should add it to the relevant list. Let’s imagine you are writing a story about a Chinese woman, who found herself stranded in a US city street after thieves stole her things and left. Her skill in English is not up to the mark, and she hadn’t memorized her contact’s address.

To successfully write this situation, create a list each for the items she had in her luggage, the places she had in her itinerary, the ideas as to what her plan would be in the US, and the government age…

A Tiny List of Most Confusable Words

Introduction

There are words that people often mistake in writing, and it's surprisingly true that many such words found new meanings merely due to popular wrong use. A familiar example is 'alternative' vs. 'alternate'. The basic meaning of the word alternative was 'option' or 'choice', and the meaning of alternate, 'one after the other'. But people profusely started using alternate to mean 'option', and even authorities accepted it as a correct meaning in time.

Let's make sure that we don't use incorrect words, which affects your writing style. Many of the words I suggest not to use in a situation are not incorrect now, but for better style and understanding of your writing, I advise you to follow the guidelines. Here is the list of words.

Ability, Capacity:Ability is 'the skill to do something', and capacity is 'the volume of a space'. Make sure you don't use capacity to mean ability, though its not incor…

Google PageRank Update

This is a special post. It came to me as a surprise that today my CuteWriting has risen to a PageRank value of four from one. In the last PR update, my site had risen to one. Please read this article, I wrote on the last PR update (and a speculation that pictures may cause PR update).

What Is PageRank?

For those who don't already know about PageRank, let me clarify. It''s a measure of importance of a website, according to Google. Every site has one, a value ranging from zero to ten. The higher the rank, the better the site. PageRank determines the traffic to a site, the position it will have on searches, and its quality.

That means, a site with higher PageRank is a site with higher quality. Google determines the PageRank of a site after analyzing various factors, including DoFollow backlinks to the site, content of the site, the ease of navigation, etc. There are almost 200 factors that affect the PageRank of a site, and only a few of them are known to SEOs.

Why PageRank?

If yo…

Five Ways to Promote Your Book Through Facebook

Facebook is, as you know, one of the largest social networks out there (with more than 90 million active members, it is the most visited social network). And it has enormous potential to promote anything. Here, we will see how it can be used to promote your book (and anything such as your business at that matter). Please read the past post on promoting your book online, for other ways to do that.
Some Useful ResourcesBook Publishing and Marketing Secrets
Magazine publishing success methods
Publish Your eBook Here
Do Freelancing Job and Earn More
Finish and Publish a Book Fast Here
Publishing an Ebook Without Writing at all!Create a Facebook Page for Your Book

As a starting point, you need a Facebook page, such as this one here, for your book, or for your blog if you have created one to promote it.

To create a page, go to Facebook Business and then pages; click here. Choose the appropriate option from Local; Brand or Product; or Artist, Band, or Public Figure. You may want to choose the third…

Google Knol: The First Impressions

Perhaps you read my last post introducing Google Knol. I went ahead and created a bio page in Knol, and wrote a post on using commas correctly. You can follow this link to reach this article. Here, I will share my thoughts on Knol more deeply.

My Knol Profile

Knol Interface

There is not much to speak about the interface of Knol. It's just like any other Google page—simple, streamlined, and friendly, no clutter or advertisements. The page loads faster, with some featured Knols on the front page. It's still in Beta stage; we can expect many new features and modifications in the coming days.

I didn't find much trouble navigating through the home page. It, however, could be made more beautiful. The font size and background color were not appealing to me, but it's very simple; so damn simple!

However, it seems that Google gave out the project during test period only to doctors. There are only health-related articles on the front page. Many of the search terms still dont have …

Google Knol Finally Out for Wikipedia?

Yesterday, Google announced its Knol project publicly. Its a Wikipedia-ish content system, in which authors can contribute about anything and get a share of revenue generated by their articles. In this way, it can be compared to Adsense.

Moderated Collaboration

The main disadvantage of Wikipedia as a content site is that anyone can contribute to the contents without the intervention of the original author of the page. This means anyone without appropriate knowledge can add or edit anything on a Wikipedia project. So, there can be truckloads of errors on each Wikipedia page.

In Knol, each of these articles are 'collaboratively moderated'. That means, any new writer can edit or add content, but only the original author can moderate it.

Advantages

The advantage of Knol is that the authors, unlike in Wikipedia, get paid for their content. We can soon see many authors making serious money with Knols they write. This is a revenue sharing system, and any Knol you write makes money for …

Punctuation Tip: Using Semicolons Correctly

We have, in our punctuation help series, looked already at commas, colons, ellipsis, quotation marks, etc. Here, we will check out the uses of another punctuation mark, the semicolon (;), and check out how it differs from other matching punctuations, the period and the comma.

Introduction

Semicolon is used to introduce a pause, slightly longer than the comma. It's not, however, a replacement for comma. Semicolons are usually applied on two occasions: To separate related sentences (independent clauses) and as a replacement for comma in monster lists.

1. Separating Independent Clauses

Semicolons can be used a sentence separator. Independent clauses are independent sentences themselves; they have complete meaning. When writing two sentences, the usual separator is the period. However, you can use semicolon to replace this period, if the sentences are closely related. Look at the following sentence:

Jack Nicholson is a great actor; he secured the Oscar award thrice.


Here the part on eit…

Ten Tips to Write Killer Dialogs

Dialogs are the personality of a character, and the characters are the lifeblood of a story. So, in order for your story to be successful, your characters should sound natural, shouldn’t they? What’s the steps to get them to speak naturally for you? Here are ten tips to write great dialogs.

1. Go out and Listen to Your Friends

Stephen King once wrote about the dialogs of H P Lovecraft, one of the greatest 20th century horror writers. Lovecraft, though he is great in terms of writing and plotting, his dialogs are not up to the mark, according to Steve. “Loners such as Lovecraft,” to quote Steve, “write terrible dialogs, which are stilted as well as lifeless.”

For writing great dialogs you should have great ear for communication, just as for creating great characters you should have an understanding mind.

Go out more often and spend time with your friends. Be a good listener and carefully listen to the slang expressions, words, usages, etc.

2. Record and Listen

When you listen to your friends…

Complete Guide to Typing on QWERTY Keyboards

Typing is an art that can be mastered with some practice. Dedicate some time on it, and you can master touch-typing (typing without looking at the keyboard) quite fast. As a writer or blogger, ability to type faster places you at a great advantage, as we will see. Here is your complete guide to typing on a QWERTY keyboard (our normal keyboard).

Advantages of Typing Fast

1. Do you have the experience of typing something into a text box (blog entry or comment for instance), while poring over the keyboard to find the appropriate keys, all to find at last that you actually didn’t type anything at all since the caret was off the text box? When you type looking at the keyboard trying to find keys, your attention is wholly on that, wasting a lot of time. What if you can type without looking at the keyboard at all?

2. Typing without looking at the keyboard saves a lot of time, since you can concentrate on what you are typing rather than take trouble finding the correct keys. Moreover, looking at…