Category Archives: Blogging

How To Fix Access Denied Error On Twitter Follow Button

If you haven’t installed the new code, it’s here: https://twitter.com/about/resources/buttons#follow

Even if you have already done that, you may still get that error message instead of the button. What you need to do is clear your browser cache, and it will show up fine.

On Chrome on Mac you click the Chrome menu button and select “Clear Browsing Data”, another menus will pop up, “Empty the Cache” should already be checked, but if not check that one.

Some Blogging Advice: Continually Update Your Old Posts

I haven’t given any ‘blogging’ advice in a long time. And whom and I to give it?

But I have noticed one little thing that can help get your posts a little edge. Maybe it’s this increasingly ‘real-time’ World, or maybe they’ve always done it, but Google is so much constantly crawling, that when your content changes, even on an older post, the Google ‘bot’ almost immediately notices and comes running to check it out. So in this ‘timely’ World, it could get you a spot on the top or at least on the front page of results, for your particular topic. In other words, one gets the since that ‘timeliness’ is increasingly an ingredient in the secret ‘sauce’ of Page Rank.

Also I’ve noticed another benefit: It sort of gives you a sense of continuum and wholeness to your ideas if you’re keeping them alive in this way. In other words, if you add to them when some new material arises, simultaneously your subsconscious goes to work, ‘effortlessly’ bringing you some new creativity and synthesizing your main ideas, perhaps by doing it’s own ‘crawling’ in the otherwise overlooked areas of your mind.

Google+: A Threat to Tumblr?

In response to John Battelle’s blogpost: Google+: If, And, Then….Implications for Twitter and Tumblr, I wrote the following: (Note such posts harken back to one of my blog posts about blogging itself: That is, if you find something you are interested in, and read blogs about the topic, often times your replies become long enough to qualify for blog posts. Also, by replying and leaving a link to your blog, it drives a little traffic as well.)

That was one of my first thoughts when I experienced Google+ that Tumblr was in trouble

Still they have a community. I’m on it. My impression of it is more of photo and gif sharing, but not personal photos as much as interesting photos, magazine like photos, that people are posting from somewhere else. To get attention on a Tumblr to post, the photos need to be striking, extremely funny, or otherwise “headline” grabbing.

Like Twitter, not a lot of personal feel to it, but fun, and I like Fred’s attitude that companies don’t kill other companies as much as companies kill themselves.

But my main takeaway from Google+ is not so much the service itself, although it is great, as like you say, it’s integrated with all of Google’s other services. Google may be Germany, but the seem to be the one company of all of these that has all the pieces. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And that will be a powerful value proposition.

It almost reduces Twitter and Facebook to applications on this vast Cloud OS, rather than platforms in and of themselves. And Apple, for all it’s wonder, doesn’t have a Cloud Syncing OS, much less a Social Network. I think Apple should buy Twitter and Facebook should merge with MSFT.

The deep integration of Google+ with Android will be compelling and I don’t see the “app” for the iPhone as being as robust an experience as it will be on Android. This could be a long term threat too Apple as well if they don’t get their Cloud Offerings together.

Another Step to Increase Your Blog’s Exposure

Update: I totally didn’t expect this because this particular blog post isn’t about Qualcomm specifically, but IT’S actuallys showing up on the Google finance page for Qualcomm! I feel a little guilty about that, but I guess that it’s because I have either the name or Symbol within the post. So I guess you don’t necessarily have to have in the blog title. But I’ve already got about 20 hits from it this morning. Weird. Exciting, but as I said, I kind of feel guilty and didn’t intend that. Still it’s interesting to note.

I noticed a little “Easter Basket” type unexpected thing that can get you “free” traffic. If you are interested in stocks and you blog something about that stock, use the stock symbol in your headline and it will show up on Google’s finance page.

The other day I saw and insight by George Gilder on his forum about the company Qualcomm (QCOM) and it wasn’t a very long statement, but it was too long to be tweeted. I even tried FriendFeed which allows more characters but it still wouldn’t fit. So I went ahead and blogged it. I wasn’t thinking about getting exposure. I simply wanted to remember this statement, but I thought in the back of my mind that if I tweeted the headline with the tag $QCOM that it might show up on the sight Stocktwits.com.

Then I noticed I was getting a lot of hits from Google. I went to the link and it was to the finance page for Qualcomm. Halfway down the page theres a list called “As discussed in blogs” and there my post was right on top! Now Qualcomm is a big company with almost 20 million shares traded daily. So you know that page gets a lot of traffic. So if you write about a smaller company, then it might not do as well.

But of course I wouldn’t write just to get traffic. Only write about a stock or anything if you are truly interested in it and have something to say. And if you are an individual investor its a good idea to spend a couple hours a month investigating the news, press releases, and quarterly statements.

I just happen to be interested in individual investing and of course the companies I’m invested in. If you’re not, then obviously this tip isn’t right for you, but I do think it demonstrates the upside surprises that can come by writing something your are really interested in.

And it really impresses me more and more about Google and how it surfaces good blog content. I’ve heard before that Google likes blogs. And this demonstrates it’s true.

Also Google has recently updated its algorithms to get rid of the junk and content farms. This is beneficial for the individual voices who are publishing things they truly interested in.

The iPhone Could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (9).

Update 10/07/10 – It definitely could be just a bad USB port causing it. That same port that was causing this error for me is also crapping out every few seconds when I plug in a mouse. So that’s definitely what it was for me. I don’t know why or how USB ports can go “bad” or what to do about them, but I see that it can happen.

Update 9/20/10: Well I just successfully updated to 4.1 without a hitch (But not without some fraying nerves, mind you!) so in this case it looks to be like solution 1 below, simply changing the USB port that the phones chord is connected to is the ticket. I learned this from Joseph Thornton @jtjdt on Twitter, so if you run into further problems you might try to contact him. Which begs the question: Why isn’t such a simple solution not mentioned on Apple’s website? And what’s the difference between one USB port and another that would cause this problem to begin with?

If this situation happens to you try:

  1. Simply hook your USB chord to another USB port. Simple as it sounds this solution worked for me for the 4.02 update, and I assume it would have worked for the 4.01 update a month ago, but I didn’t know about it.
  2. If that doesn’t work, try the solution mentioned in this MacRumor’s forum post. This is what I did when I initially had problems with my 4.01 update, and it did work.
  3. Before you Update your iPhone always make sure that copies of your photos, notes, videos etc. have been transferred over to your desktop. Because by the time you get this error message, although you will be able to fix it with one of the solutions above, all data is wiped out on your phone. You’ll have to restore from the most recent sync.

Days, after I got my iPhone 4 in July, Apple came out with an update 4.01. So, while the phones is tethered to iTunes on the Mac, I click the button to update. It goes through the process, everything’s looking fine. The little meters that show progress are humming along. The Apple Logo comes on the phones screen, then the white update meter on the phone is updating. Then when everything’s almost finished, it stops and in iTunes a pop up message says, “The iPhone “iPhone” could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (9).

So then your phone gives you an image like so:

Then it says that because of this error I needed to restore the phone from its last good backup. But trouble was, when I attempted this, the identical thing happened. It gets almost to the end and says the same thing, “Unknown Error (9).”

So there I was, first day I’ve got my iPhone and the thing is bricked with seemingly no way out.

Well, I googled and found a solution in a forum that worked for me. Ah, it was a MacRumors forum. Here’s the link to the solution that worked for me in unbricking and successfully installing 4.01 onto my new iPhone 4: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=969080

Now the only bummer is that I lost all the photos and videos I’d taken on the new phone because I hadn’t transfered them over to the desktop. It was only a few, because I literally had only had the phone a day, but still, just enough to get under your skin. So definitely lesson 1 is to never update your iPhone before you’ve transferred all your media to your desktop.

I think this also highlights a weakness Apple has around data. They’re just not good with data. They don’t treat your data with the kind of respect it needs to be treated. This is an advantage that Google/Android has.

So fast forward to last week. New 4.02 update after the Apple announcement. Every time I plugged my phone into my computer I became wary. There was a pain in my stomach. Didn’t want to do the update. Felt like something bad would happen.

Anyway, I felt like since I had downloaded the RecBoot to solve my first upgrade problem that that same program would keep me immune from another one. Still, I made sure that I copied all my phone’s photos and videos over to the desktop before I did.

Sure enough the same problem and error message happened again. And sure enough I wasn’t even able to restore it. AGAIN!. GRRRRRRR!

So I Google,  but I couldn’t find that same solution that I had found a month before.

I had tweeted the solution, feeling like I was being a good ‘netizen’ to all the other souls with the same problem who may be searching for it in ‘real time’ on twitter.

But here’s a good lesson when it comes to social media. I’d been better off blogging that information. Because with Twitter, I couldn’t find the tweet through a search. If I’d blogged it, inane as the post may have been for those who read blogs expecting original content, it would have been in my own repository of information that I could have easily retrieved (with the search function in WordPress and I assume that’s also in all the other blog platforms.)

Twitter doesn’t treat your data with much care either. Although they are coming on strong with new features, and I’ve heard that searching your data base of tweets is one of those features coming. Still, you can never completely trust a third party with your data. You need your own copy of your data at your fingertips at all times. And the blog is the best solution for that. Also the blog has two more salutary effects: Writing about something helps you learn more about the topic, expand on it, and so become more educated in general. Writing, in fact, ironically, is more important to learning than it is for teaching, for broadcasting a message of sorts.

Then of course, when you blog about a solution. Its searchable in Google to others looking for said solution and you also can create more links, images, meta information around it and also have a place where folks can comment and contribute to the conversation.

So I’d say, score one for the blog. Of course you can tweet it too, but make sure blogging it is your first priority.

After the post is done, then you can tweet the post itself. Remember Twitter, Social Media in general, are yesterdays newspapers, and your tweets are like ads in those papers.

Oh, anyway, back to my 4.02 adventure. How did I resolve it. I had seen in my initial searches that some had solved this problem simply by changing USB ports. At first I thought that sounded too simple, but then after I had tweeted about my problem using the hash tag #iphone an Apple employee reached out to me and advised that solution.

Turns out it worked. So I’d definitely try that first before downloading some software like BootRec. And I was pleasantly surprised that 4 or 5 knowledgeable people reached out to me on Twitter. I had almost gone into a phase, like Leo Laporte that Twitter had become a vast echo chamber and no one was listening, certainly not personally engaging.

Also, I was pleasantly surprised that not only an Apple employee reached out to me, concerned about my problem, but that an Apple employee was even on Twitter itself, seeing how the company seems to feel about Social Media in general.

Well my phone did get updated to 4.02, and I didn’t lose data because I took precautions, but the state of the phone was not the same. All kinds of apps weren’t on it that had previously been on it, etc. So it was still unnerving. Of course, I simply had to drag those apps over from iTunes onto the phone again. But still my folders structures that I had spent time setting up were gone. Stuff like that. Just a pain. And unnerving that your data can so easily, and quite often does, disappear, as well as “meta” data such as your folders, etc.

Great Resources for How to Use Twitter


Update: 6/23/11 – How To Answer The Question “How Often Should I Tweet?”http://j.mp/kyTYGR

http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/how-to-answer-the-question-how-often-should-i-tweet_b10529

I saw a tweet today by Chris Brogan called “50 Power Twitter Tips.” I want to remember this post and go back and read it often. As a side note about blogging: A lot of times I think of my blog as a self serving tool, a second “brain” if you will, for storing stuff that I may need months later. I had this happen twice today. I was trying to network my Linux machine to my Mac to transfer some files. I had dug up the techno info months ago and made it a blog post. I can’t keep that stuff in my brain all the time, especially when its something I use a few times a year, and its not a task that’s in my everyday profession. So today, using WordPress’s search function, I easily found the post and got my task done quickly and painlessly, because I had done the painful leg work of finding the info months before. Now, yes, I could just as easily store that same info on my Computer, no doubt. But the additional benefit of the blog platform is that it makes the information available simultaneously to anyone in the world who may have the same problem. The blog becomes a “scaling” solution as well as a self serving one, simultaneously. The great benefit of computers and the internet is not only in processing mundane work, but offloading mundane but necessary information onto your “second” brain, so as to free your organic brain to be more spontaneous.

I’ll keep adding to this list as I discover more great resources. Do you have any of your own you would like to recommend? Leave a comment. I’d love to read it.

  • 50 Power Twitter Tips – ChrisBrogan.com – I need to read this list every day, or at least every week. These tips are succinct (they are all short enough to be “tweeted” individually) , and they can be put into practice immediately. These tips will not only help you to get the most out of Twitter but also make it more fun and additionally increase your “influence” in the Twittersphere in a natural, authentic way. Chris Brogan is a special guy. He’s a bonafied internet, blogging, twitter “celebrity” but he has no hubris. He really likes people. He really likes to help them. He’s genuine, down to Earth. He’s not trying to impress or be part of some “elite” class of individual, although as a by product of his activities he has become part of that group, maybe even at the top of it, through acting in a way that’s the exact opposite of most of the Twitter “illuminati.” A genuine “Trust Agent” as his book goes. And one of the most enjoyable speakers you’ll ever watch.

Update: 09/17/10:

Just saw this blog post by Brian Solice: “The Science of Retweets on Twitter” It’s a very interesting post about how to construct tweets to give them the most chance of being re-tweeted. Interesting read. I just tried it myself on a tweet I just did: I wrote a blog post and tweeted:

“Please Retweet: New Blog Post: The Best Way You Can Use Twitter http://bit.ly/d9bgUi Stephen Pickering”  (link to tweet)

I asked for the Retweet. I used the words Blog, Post, and You in there. I used a bit.ly shortened link also. But judging from the post, I should have waited until about 4pm EST to tweet it, instead of 6:30am. But according to the report Friday is the best day, so I did get that right. We’ll see if I get any retweets.

Update 9/18/10

Ran across this today. It’s a similar topic as Brian’s but more quixotically taken on by Tim Ferris:
Blogging by Numbers: How to Create Headlines That Get Retweeted
It’s mostly about how to write headlines, headlines for blog posts, but then as those headlines also become Tweets, it fits nicely into this study.