Top Ten Recent Posts on Minter Dialogue Blog

Taking a cue from one of my favourite blogs Being Peter Kim, I thought I would take a step back and write down which are the top ten posts read on this blog over the last month. As Peter says, “blog content can be both highly perishable and easy to miss.”

  1. Coffee Latte Face Art – New Level of Personalized Service (curiosity)
  2. Alain Delon on stage (not really worthwhile, sorry!)
  3. Perpetuum Jazzile Africa Slovenia Nature meets Music Storm (worth the visit)
  4. How to import Hotmail .csv into Apple Mac Mail (techy)
  5. Getting even with world’s tennis ranking systems (if you want to know your level)
  6. Wimbledon Tennis 2009 Winners – A fine vintage
  7. Tennis Wimbledon 2008 Winners
  8. Hopital Pitie Salpetriere à Paris – Du Chemin pour la Loi Bachelot (healthcare in France)
  9. Roland Garros 2009 — Recycling of tennis balls
  10. In case you didn’t know about the Woman with the Longest Nails in the World (curiosity)

What does this list tell me? I have an eclectic audience, reflecting in large part that majority of my readers are coming via Google Search. The top three posts are broadly speaking “cultural.” With 4 posts on tennis, maybe I should become a tennis writer? Anyway, tennis is probably a seasonal affair. There is only one French post in the top ten — which is close to fair representation (15% of the posts to-date on this blog have been in French).

Oye Oye! My Blog Now Talks — WebReader Application

Friends, Romans and World Citizens, Lend me Your Ears….

Listen Button

Some INSEAD classmates, at VoiceCorp*, have launched a new service (just a month old) called ReadSpeaker: a way to listen to online content read out loud. I have added the new function to this blog (see the little logo at the top of this post, and which is affixed under each post title). The sign up was incredibly fast and easy (a question of 60 seconds, excluding the 5 minute demo video). You can choose from three languages including English, Swedish and French (American and British are two different languages!). You can also select between a female and male voice. Several more languages are under work. I have selected, for now at least, a female British English voice. I have asked them if there is a way to have different languages in the same blog, according to the language of the post, since I write some posts (about 1/10) in French. Am still waiting for their answer, so for now, the function is only good for English-written posts.

If you want to know a little more about webreader, you are going to need to polish up your portuguese (Brazilian). See here. [UPDATE 10/3/09. This bug has been fixed.] The other oddity is that the site is called WebReader (screen shot above) as opposed to ReadSpeaker. Clearly, some a few little startup wrinkles to iron out.

I have not compared with either of WebReader’s competition, Odiogo and Talkr; but, I would very much like to have your feedback on this application. Can you make out the meaning? Is my syntax good enough, you ask!? Like her voice? Do you like having the option?

*VoiceCorp is the leading Software as a Service (SaaS) company in the area of speech-enabling online content for web sites and RSS feeds.

Oh Trip – A good blog resource for European Holidays

In the realm of other blogs that I have come across, if you are looking for a blog about travelling in Europe (mainly Paris, Rome and Barcelona), try Oh Trip (it’s the travel blog of the European accommodations site, Oh-Holidays). For example, if you want to know about the 10 most romantic things to do on Valentines in Barcelona, I say start with going to Barcelona, a romantic city in itself. Or, if you want some sightseeing tips for Paris, there are a few good ones here. It’s a good site with lots of resources if you want to find out what to do; it covers local scams and-tourism as well.

PostRank – Help from beyond

New URL and a new feature on the Blog

This week, in case you didn’t notice, I changed the URL of my blog to http://minterdial.com (I took out the blogspot, but the old blogspot address will continue to direct automatically). And, to accompany the change, I also added a new feature to the blog: Best Posts (top right). My thanks to Jason at IT Blood (The Secret of Technology) who helped me out to put it up [I learned specifically from here: Popular Posts with PostRank].

While I’m at it, I have a question for you: for the way these posts are configured, do you prefer single spacing (like Typing Skills & Games) or 1.5 line spacing (like this one)? Don’t hesitate to give me any other feedback you feel like giving regarding the blog’s look & feel.

Happy Blogging.

Boris Johnson voted in Mayor of London 2008-2013

Boris Johnson Mayor of London 2008-2013Boris Johnson has won a most interesting and widely publicized London mayoral race. Congratulations Boris! And, perhaps, fittingly, it was a May Day [2008] victory. This “Observers” article pitting a pigeon-on-his-head Ken Livingstone (Labour) and a baked-beans-on-toast-munching-Boris (Tory) gives quite the tone for the battle waged and the less-than-conventional nature of the candidates.

And, if his own “Back Boris” site is anything to go by, Boris Johnson’s tenure as Mayor promises to provide a very different type of administration than we are used to seeing in ANY political function, anywhere in the world. Here is what the home page said (on its last day of publishing):

“If Ken Livingstone wins on Thursday, it is another four long years of waste, deceit, scandal, cronyism, crime and congestion. He will revert to form – nothing will change and Livingstone and Labour will think they can continue to ignore Londoners real concerns.”

Talk about not mincing one’s words–of course, I would have preferred there not to have been a grammatical error in the last sentence. But, then again, maybe that’s political blogging in the modern era?? We have seen what free-wheeling can do in French politics.

Boris’ acceptance speech (on YouTube) is an absolutely brilliant, inspiring (and gracious) speech:

Hopefully, there will be enough action behind the words to allow for a strong 5 years. I certainly agreed with Boris’ Daily Telegraph article regarding the over-population issue (written Oct 2007).

Updated with blogs/articles discussing the outcome:
* A good blog post on the office of Mayor of London and background on Boris comes from US Post (not -al service).
* A fellow Franco-Anglo Hillblogger (bonjour) with “Let’s Get Cracking.”
* And a useful piece from Cow’s Blog — someone else who met Boris.
* An opinion piece from Charles Moore at the Daily Telegraph where Moore positions the Johnson victory as an indictment of Brown as much as anything else.

A man, born in 1964 (in New York), moved to London when he was five (as I did), who has lived in Brussels (my birth town) and went to English boarding schools… hum, sounds like a jumble I resemble. A man after my own heart.

Anyway, good luck Boris.

Twitter Tweet Clouds versus Blog Clouds

Tweetcloud Twitter mdial
Thanks to Greg Verdino’s post, I was inspired to find out what my Twitter or “Tweet” cloud would look like. I attach it [above] in order to compare whether my twittering is consistent or not with my blogging. Per Greg’s comments, a lot more “doing” than being…no real surprises… The differences match the different platforms. I note the presence of “reading” and “watching” and “checking” in my tweets! All good pre-blogging activities.

Blogger Minter Dialogue Cloud Label May 2008

Compare for yourself.

And, bouncing off of Joe Jaffe’s post on Cuss-o-meter, my blog came up with a no-kidding 0%! Hum. Maybe I should be getting madder, eh, Joe?

Minter Dialogue: A New Blog Title

Dialogue Diablogue Converational BloggingWhat’s in a name?

After 1 1/2 years of existence, my blog continues to be an activity of no uncertain pleasure for me. I had for some time thought that the fact that its name, eponymous Minter Dial’s Blog, was not exactly a marketing angle, or meaningful brand name to anyone else who doesn’t know me. By and large, the core audience for this blog has been and still is my circle of friends and in a wider sense, people with a similar broad set of interests (at least a few in common).

Reading Joe Jaffe’s “Join the Conversation” helped to shape the thought that made me move from Minter Dial’s Blog to Minter Dialogue Blog. My solo brainstorm came up with a second name, Minter Diablogue, for the French version of my blog perhaps (blog in Québec is blogue…clin d’oeil à Michelle). As with many ideas, I certainly am not the first to think of the link of dialogue and blog (among others, this was a one-post wonder blog DIABLOGUE). So, I stuck with the initial concept.

Dialogue Diablogue Blog ConversationSo, what’s in a name, really? At the very least, this revised name will remind me of why I am doing this blog!

Minter Dialogue will have the ambition over time to create more dialogue, and be less of a monologue as I try to improve a weak conversion rate of reader to commenter… (come on and join the conversation!)

So, what do you think of this name change? Anything? Nothing? At some point, I may have to change the url, too, the thought of migrating the blog seems like quite a challenge.

Who Links to Me?

Who Links to MeWho loves you or who links into you? This post is not for those who like links on greens, nor cuff links! It is for other bloggers or owners of websites…

This post is to let you know how to find out how many other sites are linking back to your web site/blog? This is information courtesy of Malcolm at WelcomeToWallyWorld. (Thx mate)

Two options:

1/ Go to “www.wholinkstome.com” and then input your website name (I found that writing http://www.website versus http://website makes a huge difference — better without the “www”)

2/ Alternatively, via Google, type in “Link: www.yourwebsitename.com” (you will find this number surprisingly, if not disappointingly, lower than via option #1)

Hope this helps your handicap!

Blogger Trackback for Firefox’s Grease Monkey

Grease MonkeyAttention all neophyte Bloggers using the Mozilla Firefox browser!

I have made significant strides in augmenting my Blogger site thanks to GreaseMonkey with widgets, gadgets and more, including the easy-to-use Trackback mechanism courtesy of Singpolyma. The beauty of the proposed user script (that you must install) is that it has multiple benefits, with scripts allowing for automatic tagging in del.icio.us and pinging for the trackback.

What you need: If you have a blog using the [new] Blogger platform and Firefox as your browser, then first install the GreaseMonkey add-on (via Tools). Afterwards, you can install the user script as indicated above. Then, when you create a new blog posting, you will automatically have a trackback box inserted under the line “link”. In that box, you include the trackback url for the sites you have referenced in your post. Piece of cake. wink

Many thanks to Andy Beard for his clear instructions (and it was courtesy of his site that I figured it all out).

Disclaimer: Be aware that not all GreaseMonkey scripts are safe. Please use caution when installing GreaseMonkey scripts. Not responsible for errors encountered while downloading or installing software.

Virgin America Safety Announcement

Got turned on to this Virgin America safety announcement (below) via Rohit Bhargava’s Influential Marketing Blog in his post humouristically entitled: the 12 important things he himself learned reading his own blog. The title is deceiving as Rohit invited 12 guests to post on his blog while he was away bringing into the world his new child (congrats). Rohit’s post is definitely worth a read as it’s filled with good and diverse stories and links. My favourite, Rohit (or should I say Kevin Dugan), is #6: that storytelling and marketing continue to intersect. I’d also invite you to read this post by Dugan on Rome being built by a story…

Meanwhile, back to the original reason for this post, I enjoyed this Virgin America safety announcement video (4 minutes) which the company smartly put up on YouTube (where it currently has had 50,000+ views). If you don’t watch the video, but listen to the deadpan delivery it is already an improvement over other airline messages (my favourite line: “if you are part of the 0.0001% of people that have never operated a seat belt before, it works like this…”). In the end of the day, the safety message is an obligation. But why not use it as an opportunity as opposed to a burden! Well done VA.