Short URLs to Social Services Using Own Domain and .htaccess Redirection

These days, there are many social services we use. I use some of them. Bloggers or websites also provide some links on their blogs/websites to those social service. If links to our profile is easy to remember, that should be great. For example, it’s easy to remember my Flickr photostream using http://flickr.com/orangescale, or Twitter account (http://twitter.com/thomasarie).
But, what about Facebook, Technorati, or LinkedIn? My Facebook profile page is located here: http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Arie-Setiawan/695771665. There is a Facebook application to create more memorable Facebook profile, page or group. They will be something like profile.to/thomasarie or groups.to/AnyGroupName.
Few days ago, @mahadewa and @huda mentioned about this. Anyway, there is .htaccess for redirection. So, why not using it to produce more memorable URLs for our profile? It’s easy. Now, I can have https://thomasarie.com/facebook (Facebook profile), https://thomasarie.com/linkedin (LinkedIn profile), and more.
Since [added later: I have my own domain name,] my web hosting uses Apache and supports .htaccess, it’s very easy to do it. I just put these lines in my .htaccess (in the root folder).

Redirect 301 /facebook http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Arie-Setiawan/695771665
Redirect 301 /flickr http://flickr.com/orangescale
Redirect 301 /linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasarie
Redirect 301 /openid http://openid.orangescale.com/thomasarie
Redirect 301 /technorati http://technorati.com/people/technorati/thomasarie

“Redirect 301” means permanent redirection. You can add as many redirection rules there. Just see the patterns there, pretty easy to understand, right? And, I think it’s easier to remember. It also nice if we use it for our business card :)

Videoblogging, anyone?

I decided to start a videoblogging now. When I am with my camera digital, sometime I capture videos and photos. So, why not bring the videos online? I know it is probably not popular — especially in Indonesia. But, why not?
After doing comparison steps among some video hosting providers like Vimeo, YouTube, blip.tv, Yahoo! Video, Google Video, etc, I decided to host all my videos to Vimeo and embed to my videoblog. I capture all videos using both camera digital and my mobile phone Nokia. Just in case you find a low-quality videos, you know the reasons. :)
My videoblog is built using WordPress and Viper’s Video Quicktag plugin with template modifications — also some other plugins. Right now, not every video has a story/descrption, but I will add some later. Okey, here is my videoblog URL: http://video.orangescale.com

Google Reader New Design. I like it!

I just logged in to Google Reader to read new updates. And I saw something different. Well, not just small changes, but huge changes on its design. Google Reader is redesigned.
google reader new
I like its new design. It’s cleaner, no rounded corner there. Square is the new round? I like it!

TwiTip

TwiTip is a blog about using Twitter. Some tips and other information on how to use Twitter more effectively. Anyway, Darren Rowse is there.

Yahoo! Web Analytics

Yahoo! Web Analytics is designed to enable you to view, in near real-time, the experiences of visitors to your website. With Yahoo! Web Analytics you can understand how visitors come to your site, what they do while there, how many convert from visitors to customers, and why some of them don’t. (hat tip: William)

IDrive for Data Backup Solution


Today, I tried a service called IDrive. It’s an online backup service. Why I need this? The reason is simple: I want to keep my data, just to make sure that I have backup for important files. IDrive data provides many options to choose. For example, if I only need less than 2 GB of backup storage, I can get if for free. But, if 2 GB is not enough, I can upgrade it easily. For example, I can get 150 GB for personal use only for USD 49.50. Or, if I want to subscribe monthly, I only need to pay USD 4.95. Just do the math. :)
To make my computer “connected” to IDrive server, I only need to download IDrive software. Currently, it support Windows and Mac. So, after I have a registered account, I download and install the software. Run the software, fill in the account info and voila! I’m connected. Now, I want to prove whether the backup and restore process is easy or not.

Resnooze: Email Reminder Service

resnooze
There are many options we can use as reminders to make sure that we will not forgot something — appointment, paying bills, etc. Right now, for the web-based service, I use Google Calendar to manage some schedules. Most of them are sent by email.
Besides that, I also have some of them set on my phone. If you want to have a web-based service and want to have reminders sent to your email, you can try Resnooze. It’s a simple, but I think it’s pretty useful too.

Zero Subscribers on Feedburner

feedburner-logo
I just logged in to my Feedburner account and found something strange. Some feeds got no subscribers at all. Currently, I do not only manage feeds for my own blogs, but some other blogs. In total there are more than 30 feeds. I hope it’s only because a short maintenance.
Added later: It seems that everything is back to normal now.

MyBlogLog Redesigns

I think it has been a long time since I logged in to MyBlogLog homepage. Today, when I went to MyBlogLog website, I found that they already come up with a new design.
MyBlogLog Redesigns
MyBlogLog Blog has some details on this.

Don’t worry, we still got all the features that you can’t live without; your stats, your widgets and, of course, the New With stuff. Only now everything is framed with shiny shadows and rounded edges! Also notice that on your profile we have moved the most recent visitors module, up on top, not down below the fold so you can quickly see who’s been checking you out…
We went and completely upgraded the featured blogs by scrolling through the top 20 sites (based on number of members), and displaying a more straightforward message about what we offer; Discover, Broadcast, and Connect. You’re going to hear these three words more often from us, I’d love to hear if this description it resonates with you.

Overall, compared to the previous design, it’s better.

Indonesian Railway LLC's Web Domain Expired

Anyone notice that the Indonesian Railway LLC‘s website (kereta-api.com) is inaccessible? Well, when I tried to get some train schedule from its website, I could not open the site. At first, I thought the problem was on the server. So, I waited.
I tried again after few hours. But, still… inaccessible. I whois-ed the domain name (kereta-api.com), and… surprise! It’s expired. Isn’t it amazing?
kereta-api-com
Added later: The domain had been renewed.

Google Alerts

google-alerts
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. We can use this to:

  • monitor a developing news story
  • keep current on a competitor or industry
  • get the latest on a celebrity or event
  • keep tabs on your favorite sports teams

Anyway, remember about Yahoo! Alerts?

Google Ad Manager Invitation

Today, I got an opportunity to access the beta release of Google Ad Manager. I got this because I applied for this program in last March. I just activated my account, and it seems good.
gadman
The interface is clean, but there are some terms that I do not understand easily for the first time. I just browse in to pages inside the Ad Manager, and after some moments, I can figure out about how it works. Basically, if you’re familiar with advertising script like OpenX, for example, it should not be hard to understand.
There are more detailed information about using this ad manager. Luckily, there is already a brief tutorial about setting up Google Ad Manager on our site or blog. Very useful article! Right now, I am setting up some ad slots here in my blog. Let’s see how it goes. If you want to get invitation, apply now.

Get Information About Web Hosting Before You Buy One

I have been blogging for about 7 years. During that period, I experienced different types of situation — especially about dealing with many technical stuff. Let’s take the technical aspects of blogs. In my early years, I tried many blog services. And, when I wanted to move forward, I decided to get my first domain and hosting account. But, sometime I was unlucky because I got a bad service — bad uptime, not-responsive support staff, expensive service, etc.
These days, there are many hosting providers out there. Each of them offers many great features, discounts, and the price — sometimes — does not make any sense. The whole idea is that we — as customer — get many options of hosting providers. If we want to buy domain or hosting account, the process is very easy. The difficult part is getting the best service. Sometime, it’s easy. But, it can be tricky at the same time. Reading as many information about webhosting might be the best practice we can do. Just to make sure that we will make the best decision. For example, get the difference between Linux web hosting and windows web hosting.
There are many resources about web hosting articles, one of them is Web Hosting Articles & Tutorials. This site is provided by Web Hosting Rating. There are many useful articles, and those give us answers on common situation in choosing web hosting service. For example, we have a limited budget. A cheap web hosting account might be our solution. There is an article about finding reliable cheap web hosting. The article gives good information to consider:

When looking for a good web host, see if they provide 24-hour support and then proceed onto checking the response rate by sending a ticket with a question and seeing how long it takes for them to reply. The reason for this is simple – you want to get help as quickly as possible if you encounter any problems, or if the host has any problems.

If we question ourselves whether cheap web hosting is good or not, there is another information about this. Sometime, cheap web hosting can be good. Again, choosing a web hosting can be very tricky. It’s always good to spend few hours reading references. The website I mentioned offers many useful articles and it’s not only about choosing cheap or expensive web hosting. It also has articles about cPanel tutorials, domain names, etc. What makes it better is that it is using blog-like design. As bloggers — or even non-bloggers — this should be good because the articles are well-organized.

PANDI accepts two-year domain renewal

I have been using .id domains for quite long time. And, it has been a year since PANDI hold the domain registration service. Last year, PANDI only accepted domain registration for one year only for each domain. Now, they said that we can register and also renew our existing domains fot two years (read the press release).
My experience with PANDI is nice. I mean, I never got big problem on domain registration. Well, there was a little problem, but it seems they are improving their service. When I registered a domain for my client last few weeks, the only problem was because of incomplete documents. I thought it was fine, but PANDI needed more requirements. I was fine and told my client to send me some other documents. So, basically, as we go with the procedures, it should not be that difficult to get .id domains.

It works, and let's make it better

Currently, we’re working on a site. I will tell you about what site it is. This time, I want to share our ideas about how we build it. It comes with a membership features. You know… registration, login and password reminder. For the password reminder feature, the current site — we actually redevelop the current site — has the feature, and it works fine.
BUT, we think that the process can — and should — be improved. Here are the scenario (from the current site) for the password reminder:

  • A user fills in the email field with the his/her account’s email address.
  • The system will generate a randomly-generated password.
  • User can login with the new password.

It works. But, there are some other situations:

  • Other people can see other members’ profile.
  • On the profile page, the email address is revealed (readable).

So, other members can easily bug each other. Of course, only when they want to. The point is: it can be done. If someone put other members’ email adress, he/she can reset the password. “Hey, I have someone changed my password without my permission. I need to change it again now…”