Google's pages flooded

Google’s new Page Creator tool has had that many traffic that they’ve shut down new signups.

Thank you for your interest in Google Page Creator! Google Page Creator has experienced extremely strong demand, and, as a result, we have temporarily limited the number of new signups as we increase capacity. In the meantime, please submit your email address and we will notify you as soon as we are ready to add new accounts. Thank you for your patience.

What does it say for the development of online tools when Google can’t handle the load?

Update: They’re back up again

How to confuse your customers

The National Australia Bank, who have decided to follow KFC‘s lead in turning themselves into an acronym (yes I know KFC is only an abbreviation), have also decided that confusing their internet banking customers is also a good idea.

NAB HomepageOn their homepage the links to internet banking & online trading has been moved from a large bold link up the top of the page to the right side of the page in small font. Why this was done is a mystery to me. It doesn’t really affect me, as my eyesight is fine and I’m fairly comfortable with navigating web pages. However, for the less web-savvy and those with poor eyesight it’ll be making things just that little bit more difficult. Sure, it’s not a big issue, but why make it more difficult than it needs to be. Remember the user’s mantra is “Don’t make me think!“. And making internet banking harder to find will just push more people into the branches, which is something all banks are desperately trying to avoid. I can only think that it has been moved for design reasons, that is, their designer (or agency as I assume it will be) has come up with a design that has the login box over there. It really is a strange decision, becuase as this eyetrack heatmap study shows, the top-right position is possibly the worst place to put anything as it’s the last place people look on a page.

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Image Replacement Plugin version 1.0

The Image Replacements WordPress Plugin has just moved out of beta and into its first release version. A number of bug fixes have been done, but the major change is the ability to control the caching options, i.e. Whether to use the cache and where to put it. See the ‘General Options’ section on the plugin’s page for more details.

I’m currently playing with a new plugin in pre-pre-alpha stage that will help manage statistics services (hence this earlier post, yes I had an ulterior motive). Anyone who’s interested in testing, please contact me.

As with the earlier post about this plugin (and all posts from now on about my plugins) comments are disabled to keep all comments on the plugin page. Thankyou.

[tags]WordPress, WordPress Plugins, Graphics[/tags]

Blog statistics tools

I’m interested in hearing what stats programs people use for their blogs (assuming of course that you have one). I’m using Measure Map & Google Analytics, which is working quite nicely, but I know that there’s heaps of other systems out there. Do you use a JavaScript-based external tool like Measure Map and StatCounter, or do you use a log file analyser like Webalizer and AWStats. Or are you so hard-core you just read apache log files straight?

Enquiring minds (well mine anyway) want to know, because we all know that bloggers are all really self-obsessed narcissists who watch their log files all day long :)

[tags]Statistics, Log Files[/tags]

Internet marketer wins gold for Australia

Begg-Smith wins first Aussie gold at Turin Winter Olympics

Australia’s first gold medal winner at the Turin Winter Olympics is not only an outstanding moguls skier but a hugely successful entrepreneur as well. And he’s only 21.

Dale Begg-Smith is originally from Canada, but he came to Australia seven years ago to pursue his sport.

He left Canada because his coaches weren’t happy when he started missing training camps to work on the internet business he began as a 13-year-old.

That enterprise is now worth $40-million.

Interesting. When the commentator on Channel 7 mentioned that Dale had said that his company has no name and no website, I started getting curious. Call me cynical, but I immediately suspected that he was a porn marketer or a spammer. Unfortunately, the truth is that I wasn’t actually too far off the mark. A bit of digging found that his company is called AdsCPM, and it in fact doesn’t have a website. Any more.

Google has a bunch of hits and the Google cache has some of the pages without images, but the wayback machine was more helpful, showing that the site existed until at least March 06 2005. So why didn’t he want to talk about it? Because his company is in the pop-up & pop-under business. On this geekvillage thread you can see Dale (or at least someone claiming to be Dale) discussing CPM rates and ad structures.

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Google buys Measure Map

Official Google Blog: Here comes Measure Map

Another web-stat company absorbed by Google. One wonders what they’re going to do with all this, combine them or use Google Analytics to target the corporate customers and Measure Map for the bloggers. If nothing else hopefully Google will put Measure Map on faster servers. They seem to have done so, Measure Map is responding much quicker & I’m not having the loading problems that I’ve been having over the last few months. Good stuff & congrats to Jeffrey

FeedDemon 2.0 Easter Egg

FeedDemon 2.0 easter eggNick Bradbury once again reinforces his position as the coolest developer on the planet by showing how to run an easter egg in FeedDemon 2.0. A great little egg it is too, a game where you have to catch the falling news items (in the FeedDemon’s hand no less) while avoiding the blog spam.

You’ve gotta love easter egg games, especially ones that are actually entertaining too! It’s a bit like Arkanoid without the ball, you’ve got to catch the good falling items & avoid the bad ones.

New WordPress plugin – Image Replacement

I’ve got a new WordPress plugin in the works, you should be able to see its effects here (assuming the browser you use displays images). It replaces the HTML tags you specify (in options) with an image of the text. So if in you template you have your post titles set as a h3 tag, & you’d like all your titles to be images, you go into the plugin’s options and create a new replacement for h3 tags and set the font, colour, size, etc. There is provision to limit to certain classes too (i.e. only replace h3 tags with a class of storytitle). An option will be coming that will allow you to replace any tag of a certain class, but that’s not working just yet.

The obvious question is: Why create a plugin to do this when a perfectly good one already exists? Firstly let me say this is in no way a disparagement of the Image Headlines plugin, which is very cool, I just wanted a different way of doing it. With the Image Headlines plugin, you need to edit your template files to set which template tags you wanted to replace, which I’m far too lazy to do. Also, if I disabled the plugin it broke my template because it left -image- in front of the text. I also could have fixed this, but as I said, lazy. The other reason was that if people have images turned off then they see the ugly alt text (in IE anyway, Firefox just displays it as plain, styelable text, but IE seems to need to highlight the fact that there’s a broken image). My Image Replacement plugin will not run if the user has either images or javascript turned off, it will just leave the tags alone as plain text that will be styled with CSS as per normal. Credit goes to Peter-Paul Koch for his script to check if the user’s browser can display images.

This plugin isn’t for everyone. A lot of people don’t like using javascript, so for them, the Cold Forged plugin would be much better.

I’ve turned off comments on this post because it would help me greatly if you left any comments / question on the plugin page.