Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Blog Shows Up in Google But Not in Bing - Why?

When I started blogging, all my traffic pretty much were from direct, meaning someone knows the URL to my blog and type it in the location bar. Most likely those people are myself. As time goes by, I added more content, post links in twitter,, facebook, etc, my blog starts to pick up some traffic, both from referral (someone clicks a link to get to my blog) or from search engine (mostly Google). Now, my site traffic source is about 80% from search engine results. I use Google Analytics to track my traffic.

So, when Microsoft released Bing, I tried it and I like it. I was considering switching totally to Bing as my main search engine, but one thing that saddened me was that Bing did not produce results for my blog, even when I entered partial URL of my blog address, or the title of my blog, or any keywords in it. Basically I came to the conclusion that since Blogger or Blogspot is owned by Google, they must be crawling it automatically, maybe somewhat prioritize it in their ranking. But, Bing does not crawl Blogspot - which includes my blog.

So how can we fix this?

Turns out, there is a "Bing Webmaster Center" page (here), where you can submit your site to be crawl by Bing (assuming it has not been crawled). Voila! So I went in there, click "Sign in to use the tools" button in the middle of the page. Then it asked me to sign in with my Windows Live ID (this can be your hotmail account, LIVE account, MSN account). Once logged in, I clicked on the "Add a site" button, enter my blog address in the "Web address:" textbox and click "Submit".

Then the webmaster tool will present an option to authenticate your site. You can either place an XML file in your site or add a meta tag in the homepage of your site. I selected to use the second option (add metatag) since my blog is hosted in Blogger/Blogspot and I cannot add a file - but adding a metatag just means I have to modify the template of my blog. So I went to my blog layout administration screen, copied and pasted the metatag from Bing Webmaster page and saved the template.

Now back in the Bing Webmaster page, I clicked "Return to site list". In there I can see all the sites that I have registered with Bing to be crawled and I can check the status as well by clicking on the link for each site. Wait for several days for crawling and everything is all set! Pretty easy!

Bing Webmaster Center
Google Analytics
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

AWH Has Job Openings

Need a job? Well, AWH - where I am currently employed - has several openings for .NET developers. Why work for AWH? Well, I have been working there for 10+ years - that ought to tell you something, huh? It's an excellent place to work, with good and vibrant team members, excellent leadership, relatively flat organization, cutting edge technology, and more importantly, we're growing!

So, what are you waiting for? You can see our openings and submit your resume here.

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Cheap Mini Photo Portable Studio

I had several hours of free time during the Christmas holiday and I grabbed my camera and experimented on how to make a small item shot that looks decent, with a small/no budget. This exercise is pretty useful in real life if you are someone who put a lot of stuff on Ebay or online listing (ie. craigslist, etc).

The goal is to be portable, cheap, and quick - but also produces nicely lit object. I want a fairly soft light to create a nice even light. So, I am thinking either bounced light or diffused light. I went with diffused light, since it is easier to control the power that way.

So here are items that I used, which most if not all you can find in your house or buy cheaply:

  • Parchment paper or wax paper. This is for the diffuser.
  • Open cardboard box for creating a boxed controlled environment, cut out to attach the parchment paper (see setup shot for an example).
  • A black or dark surface. Or glass/reflective surface will also work.
  • A piece of blank white paper/carton to be a reflector.

I happen to have a black dining table that is a fairly smooth surface - so I used that as my surface. I put my box above the object, with another cut-out hole on the top of the box to let the light go through.

I setup my flash about 2-3 ft above the box facing down into the box. Attach the parchment paper on the cut-out hole to diffuse the light. Place the paper reflector inside the box on the other side of where the flash is.

Setup up the max sync speed on your camera and adjust your aperture to get a complete darkness exposure - this is for making sure that your only source light is your flash, not the dining room lamp, the sun, etc etc. Now turn on your flash and adjust the power of your flash to get a good exposure. Tweak the distance between your flash and the box as necessary, or add another layer of parchment paper if needed.

Here is my setup shot:

Learn How To Light via Strobist
Overpowering The Ambient

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Some funny stuff on the web ...

There are some things on the web that you just have to bookmark ... and share. Here are some that I found in 2009 that I think are funny (or outrageous) enough to bookmark and share:
How to fix the problem in our lives with extra-ordinary creativity, extremely cheap, works, and at the end of the day you can say "There! I fixed it!"
For the record: Customer is NOT Always Right!
Have you ever posted something in Craigslist? .... And got replies from hell? Apparently a lot of people have.
Walmart is really my favorite place ... this site is a testimony of it.
Yes, they update it daily, because WTF moments happen daily!
The MODERN Far Side!
The URL says it all ... awkward indeed!

I will add some more as I remember them ... so far, that's all.

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