A few entertaining and useful links this Halloween

It’s been a while since we did a weekly round up and I promised Tim a suitable game so here goes.

If you use WordPress you need to sign up for Joost de Valk’s free email newsletter (top right of page) and if you don’t use WordPress you need to download it here.

On the subject of newsletters another couple that are well worth reading are those from Patrict Altoft and Shoemoney’s, they both feature useful content that is not available on the respective sites.

Google Tutor reports on an interesting update to Google Reader, writing trends (probably doesn’t look that healthy for SMM at the moment).

At recent meets and conferences I’ve been asked a few times what tool I use for automatic affiliate links, I’ve covered it here before (and is still available) but I’d advise doing a search on Google for a more polished script.

Jamie Harrop has released his “One Killer Interview With 10 Killer Bloggers” as a free eBook.

Cool interview with Richard Millington about building online communities (if you like, Sphinn here).

Courtesy of Red Save I’m giving away 5 digital picture frames to CG readers and another $100 in this week’s coolest gadget.

If you’re a programming or enjoy logic games check out Light Bot whilst if flying and shooting stuff is your cup of tea then give Dogfight 2 a go (I’m stuck on Level 19(?) where you’ve got to guard your bombers).

That’s all folks, have a great Halloween and weekend.

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.


  1. I think I may need to hold you personally responsible for a lost weekend as dogfight is taking up all my time!

  2. Hurrah finally completed Light Bot, took a while…great game!

  3. Regarding the affiliate links – besides trying to make them more visitor friendly, have you found it necessary to use any sort of masking (such as tinyurl), so that Google doesn’t ignore them?

    Justin Cook’s last blog post..What to do when you’re dropped from Google’s index

  4. I like your affiliate link tool best because it shows the target link to the user instead of masking it blindly like http://mysite.com/goto/productname.

    The only thing I dislike about your tool is that after adding a few links, it becomes hard to go back to match up the links between the two boxes in the control panel, especially when the affiliate links take up 2 lines.

    Jeff’s last blog post..Diamond Studded Cellphone from Tiffanys

  5. @Justin, I did block the file in robots.txt but it didn’t seem to make much difference whether G sees them or not, I am adding quality content and not just the affiliate link

    @Jeff Yeah the 2 box approach is certainly not the best way of doing it, was just the quickest (and dirtiest) to write like that. I am doing a more in depth version for myself so will look at changing that.

  6. Al,

    I totally understand why people hide their affiliate links but I’m wondering if long term, using a wordpress plugin is the best way?

    The reason I say this is because we’ve seen where developers stop support of a plugin and should that happen with whatever affiliate plugin you use, there is a potential with large sites that you would have to go back and recode those affiliate links with either another plugin or find some alternative means.

    I’ve read some sites suggesting not to use plugins but rather creating redirect files, one for each affiliate link and point your link to this redirect file.

    Just wondering what your thoughts on this would be.

    Mike’s last blog post..Floppy USB Drive

  7. Thanks for the link to your Affiliate plugin Al, I’ll give it a try. I’ve been researching this recently and there’s a lot of plugins out there, many of which charge a fee. It’s hard to know which one to pick!

    Cheers, Jon

    Jon’s last blog post..Salon Marketing – Another Christmas promotion idea

  8. Blogger interview and the update to Google Reader is interesting – thanks for the links, I’m hopping over to them now.

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