July 26, 2007

Increase your subscriber count using feedburner redirection

This is old news but I thought I will write a small post informing about this new feature in Blogger for the benefit of those who may not know about it. Even if you burn your Blogger feed to Feedburner, some percentage of your visitors may still be reading the Blogger feed. This could happen if they had provided your blog URL (instead of your feedburner feed) to their feed reader and their feed reader auto-discovered Blogger feed. The side effect of this is that your subscriber count will not be accurate.

The first useful development of Google buying Feedburner happens to be the new "Feed redirection" feature. Using this, you can redirect your Blogger feed to Feedburner feed. You can do this by going to Settings->Site Feed and providing your feedburner feed URL for redirection (as shown below).

I did this sometime back and my subscriber count increased from 700+ to 800+ the next day. You could try this too!

Bonus news: Amit informs us of another new feature - Comment Form message with which you can show a message in the Blogger comments page. I made use of it immediately!

July 22, 2007

Update about bvibes.com

Update(7/24/07): I know that the website is down again. I am working with the hosting service on this. I will always remember the last few weeks of my internet presence :)

Yesterday, the incapable people at A2 hosting started cribbing again that their server is overloaded because of bvibes.com and disabled my account. Some of you might have noticed that bvibes.com was down again. I decided to put an end to this by cancelling their service and moving bvibes.com also to Yahoo account. I have never had any problems with Yahoo for almost an year because they seem to use a server farm and are capable of handling any load. I realize now that it was a bad decision to try these novices just for the php5 support they offer. Whenever something went wrong, they kept asking me to upgrade to dedicated server as if their whole aim was to make more money.

Thanks to the great tools like mysqldump and phpmyadmin, I was able to move over the database safely to Yahoo. From now on, bvibes.com will be redirected to anniyalogam.com. But, the redirection will only work after a few hours. Until then, you can access the website at anniyalogam.com. Your account and earlier submissions are intact.

Once I am out of these hassles, I plan to implement a useful feature. The idea is to make it effortless to share your favorite posts by integrating Google reader and bvibes. You just need to click "share" for the posts that you want to share and bvibes will pick them up from the feed provided by Google Reader. This way, you can share the posts you like while you are reading the feeds, without having to visit bvibes.com. More details on this coming soon (once I get it working :)). Let me know if you have any comments about this.

July 18, 2007

bvibes.com is up

My website bvibes.com is up and running now. Please go ahead and submit your posts.

For those who reported that faded version of peekaboo posts is not working, it should work now if you follow my original instructions in this post. Those who reported non-beta peekaboo posts not working, can you try again now?

[If you are using Neo, check out Diddy's mod of Neo called EboNeo. Nice job, Diddy]

July 17, 2007

My account has been suspended

Yes, it has happened. And they didn't even inform me before doing this. That's why bvibes.com is down and Neo template doesn't work. Neo users can pickup the entire Neo script from here, add it to your template and get your blog working. It will take some time for me to move over the bvibes database and code. So, it maybe down for a few more days.

July 15, 2007

How to get your blog posts read by 100 people?

I am glad to announce that bvibes.com has close to 200 users after about 6 weeks of it's debut. I checked the statistics of the submissions today and looks like some posts that were submitted got 80-100 pageviews. Here's the top posts that got highest pageviews (you can see this by clicking the title of the statistics module in the sidebar of bvibes.com).

For those bloggers who want to promote their posts, joining the website will prove worthwhile. At this rate, I am expecting about 2000 users after one year. The community is growing. Are you in?

July 12, 2007

Hacks broken again: here's the fix

Recently, I had relocated my script hackosphere.js. But my new account couldn't handle the load of hackosphere.js. So, peekaboo posts and other hacks won't work again. This script is used in close to 1000 blogs (my estimate) and whenever somebody accesses any page of any of these blogs, this script is accessed. That's what causes this enormous amount of traffic. Given that so many people have written about peekaboo posts in their blog and linked to my post, the traffic trend will only increase as more and more blogs start using it. My hosting provider might suspend the account if this kind of overloading continues because it's a shared server.

After thinking about it a lot, I think the only scalable and reliable solution for this is to include the script in your template itself. So, I am asking you to click here and copy all the code from that page to your template itself before the
tag. If you would prefer to upload the script to your server, use this code instead. This change is for the benefit of everybody from blogging community to make use of my hacks.

To get rid of the alert that you saw, please find and remove this line from your template (this is also important to help me retain my hosting account. thank you!).

<script src='http://www.anniyalogam.com/widgets/hackosphere.js'
type='text/javascript' />

If you are using my version of customizable recent comments widget (not Hans's), you should also goto this page and copy/paste the code before the /head tag. That should fix it.

UPDATE: Many of you have thanked me for providing a quick solution. There's a better way to say "Thanks" by adding a link to Hackosphere in your sidebar. When i visited some of the blogs using peekaboo posts, I didn't see any link to Hackosphere. Also, check out my new blog sharing website bvibes.com (if you haven't done already) where you can promote your posts and read/vote on other blog posts (it has 200+ registered users now).

July 11, 2007

Apology for the issues with my hacks

UPDATE: This won't work anymore. You have to copy the script to your template as described in a later post.

I realized the real popularity of my hacks today when my new hosting service said it cannot handle the load generated by numerous requests to hackosphere.js. Here's the email I got from them:

"Currently your site hackosphere.bvibes.com (aka anniyalogam.com) is using too many resources on our server:
Excessive HTTP daemons due to high traffic
Your public_html directory has had permissions changed to 0000. Please do not re-enable it without first contacting us with a mitigation plan for your domain. Continued overusage of resources will lead to the suspension of your account.

A shared server will not handle the amount of traffic to one domain which your site is currently drawing without severely impacting the other customers. A Dedicated or Semi-dedicated hosting package will be required if this traffic pattern is normal for your domain."

This is something I never expected. Somehow Yahoo small business account could handle it without any issue. Since this new account was also a small business plan, I thought they could handle it but poor folks couldn't handle it. They have disabled the directory which contains all the scripts. Dedicated hosting costs 70-80 dollars per month and I can't afford it. Now, there are two ways you can get my hacks working again:

1. I have uploaded hackosphere.js to my googlepages account. So, you can add this line

<script src="http://rarunach.googlepages.com/hackosphere.js"
type="text/javascript" />

and remove either one of these lines that you have

<script src='http://www.anniyalogam.com/widgets/hackosphere.js'
type='text/javascript' />
<script src='http://bvibes.com/hackosphere/widgets/hackosphere.js'
type='text/javascript' />

2. Or you can copy/paste the javascript code directly to your template. The code is in http://rarunach.googlepages.com/hackosphere.js.txt. Disadvantage of doing this is that whenever I add new features or fix some bugs in my script, you will have to change to your template.

I guess Neo template will not work either. You have to use this new location for neo.js.

<script src="http://rarunach.googlepages.com/neo.js"
type="text/javascript" />

instead of one of these lines that you currently have

<script language='javascript'
src='http://www.anniyalogam.com/neo/neo.js' />
<script language='javascript'
src='http://bvibes.com/hackosphere/neo/neo.js' />

My sincere apologies for all this trouble. As such I am frustrated with this downtime too. I hope you will support me by changing your template and continue to use the hacks.

July 10, 2007

Anniyalogam.com relocating...

As i had mentioned earlier, I am retaining anniyalogam.com but changing the name servers to point to the new location. I have initiated the name server change but it will take 1-2 days to propagate over the internet. I have confirmed with my hosting provider that there won't be any disruption of service during this time for those still accessing anniyalogam.com URLs. Just in case there's any issue, I have already told you what to change in your template. Once you make this change, hacks should work just fine.

July 9, 2007

For those using the fade effect...

Few of you are using the fade effect for peekaboo posts. If you are one of them, you will notice that it doesn't fade anymore (it will appear instantly). This is because I have made some code changes to support both fade and non-fade versions with the same javascript file - http://bvibes.com/hackosphere/widgets/hackosphere.js. This is part of the transition from anniyalogam.com to bvibes.com. To get back the fading effect, you just need to add one more line as shown below.

<script type='text/javascript' src=
<script type='text/javascript'>
var fade = true;
var peekaboo_bgcolor = '#ffffff';

I believe you won't have to make any more change regarding this :)

July 8, 2007

Please read: anniyalogam.com closing down

I have decided to host all hackosphere related files in bvibes.com instead of anniyalogam.com as I don't want to pay for two hosting services. So, I have copied all the files, scripts etc from http://www.anniyalogam.com to http://bvibes.com/hackosphere. I wanted to give you all enough time to make the change in your template, so I will keep the current hosting service till the end of this month. All you need to do is goto your template and change any URL starting with http://www.anniyalogam.com/... to http://bvibes.com/hackosphere/... wherever it appears (it won't even take 5 minutes, just do ctrl-F to find and replace). If any of my hacks doesn't work properly after this change, please let me know soon. I want to resolve any issue before the end of this month. Thanks for your understanding!

Update: I plan to retain the domain "anniyalogam.com" but change the name server to point to the new location (I believe I can do this). This is because my hacks are being used in many third-party templates (like those of Protesto) and I don't want to affect the bloggers who don't read my blog regularly. But it's always a good idea for you to make this change now.

July 7, 2007

Pownce review: Messaging for web 2.0 era

Pownce is the new brainchild of Kevin Rose and a few others. I recently got invited to try it out and I did (The video that you see above was captured using Adobe Captivate). When I first read about Kevin's cryptic definition of Pownce as "IM competitor", I wondered if there's any innovation left in the "beaten to death" concept of IM. After checking it out today, I don't think it is a direct competitor to IMs but I feel there is something that Pownce has got to offer. Inspired by the sharing spirit of web 2.0 (pardon me for the cliche), Pownce promotes a new granularity of messaging - send stuff to a "group of friends".

Traditional IM clients focussed on sending instant messages/files to one contact. Recently popular Twitter focusses on broadcasting status messages to everybody. Pownce focusses on sharing messages/links/files/events to all/subset of your friends (they could be online/offline). You can divide your friends into multiple sets and send appropriate stuff to each set. For example, you can form a set of local friends to send saturday get-together invites and another set of ex-collegemates to discuss about your common interests. Other granularities such as private (messaging one particular friend), public (shoutout to everybody) are supported too (except in the case of file transfer).

Pownce is available in the form of a web application as well as a desktop application (based on the cool-looking Adobe AIR platform). All the stuff you receive from your friends will be shown in this app (with auto-refresh) and you can send stuff too. You can also check your profile in pownce website to see all your stuff (private/public) and anybody can see your public profile which will only contain public messages from you and your friends. For example, here is Kevin Rose's public profile with all sorts of messages from his big list of friends.

Pownce has support for mass distribution like Facebook. When you receive a message/file from somebody, you can forward it to your other friends. It defaults to sending to "friends who haven't seen it" in this case (clever!). Once Pownce grows and has lots of users, I can imagine hot news spreading fast with this feature (the likes of 'Paris hilton phone hacked'). It also supports RSS feeds for following public profiles of your favorites using your feed reader. Another nice feature that will come handy if you want to find something amidst the big pile of messages is the filtering feature - you can filter and see only a particular type of stuff sent by your friends such as messages only, links only etc.

To summarize, Pownce is in a space that is complementary to IMs even though it is not jaw-droppingly innovative. If you are curious enough to try it out, I have several invites to distribute. Just send an email to and I will pass on the invite to you.

July 6, 2007

Special effects for Peekaboo posts!

Yesterday, I thought my most popular hack, Peekaboo posts, needs a makeover. A while back, I received a comment that the post expands too quickly when you click "Read more" link. I thought this could be something to improve upon. How about some special effect like Fade In/Fade Out? You got it! I have integrated the popular javascript effects library script.aculo.us with our peekaboo posts. You can see it in action in my test blog. If you click on "Read more", the full post appears gradually from nowhere and it fades in nicely if you click "Summary only".

You gotta have it in your blog, right? You can have it with very few changes to your template. I spent a few hours on this and surpassed some limitations of script.aculo.us and (bugridden) IE to get this working in Firefox, IE and Opera. Just follow these steps if you have already installed peekaboo posts in your blog.

Step 1: Add these lines before the /head tag.

<script type='text/javascript' src=
<script type='text/javascript' src=
<script type='text/javascript'>
var fade = true;
var peekaboo_bgcolor = '#ffffff';

If your blog's background color is anything other than white, you need to change the peekaboo_bgcolor appropriately for it to work properly in IE. Since most blogs have white background, it should work as it is.

Step 2: Find this portion of code and remove the line shown in red.
   <div class='post-body'>
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
<style>#fullpost {display:none;}</style>
That's it! Go ahead and impress your readers. Scriptaculous has many more effects like slide down/up, drap/drop etc which I will try to make use of in the future. If you liked this, help me spread the word about bvibes.com (which has 170+ registered users now) by adding the bvibes button to your sidebar as described here.