Comcast Voices: my new gig

ComcastVoices.jpg When I was a kid I wanted nothing more than to be a scientist. I blame that on a healthy dose of Star Trek and Quantum Leap (plus a liberal dusting of popular science books). I went off to Lehigh with the intention of majoring in physics and then going to getting a PhD and then doing some hard science.

My dream was crushed in calculus class. Math always came easily to me, but I found calculus to be completely alien. I couldn't wrap my mind around it (though looking back at it, I'm pretty sure I was just too darned lazy to do the required work) and so I did what any red blooded college student would do: I gave up.

It was clear that the hard sciences weren't for me, and that meant I needed a new major. There were two lead contenders: Classical Studies (i.e. Ancient History) or English. Since I always enjoyed reading and writing (and I was fluent in English at the time; Latin was all Greek to me) I figured I would opt for English (though I ended up taking enough Ancient History classes to minor in Classics, but I didn't fill out the paperwork for the minor, so that isn't on my academic record). That turned out to be a great decision, even though for the last ten years or so it looked like writing would always be a sideline to my 'real' job (i.e. being an IT geek).

Over the last few years I've been lucky enough write about lots of stuff and get paid for it (first at TUAW, then at Macworld and MacUser, and then I wrote a book, which I still think is super cool), and as I was doing all that writing there was a voice in the back of my mind that kept saying, "gee, wouldn't it be fun if I did this full-time?"

I'm no John Gruber or Jason Kottke, so I knew that making a living off of Blankbaby would be difficult at best (the market of people who are intensely interested in what I am doing at any given point just isn't large enough to monetize... plus whenever I hear anyone use the word 'monetize' I want to punch them in the throat). Freelancing seemed like something that might work, but all my friends who are indies (mostly working over at Indy Hall) seem to be working all the time (on what I have no idea). Plus a large amount of your time as an indie is spent making sure your clients pay you. I hate paper work, and talking to people isn't really my forte so being a freelancer just doesn't appeal to me (though I would like to work from home and not wear pants).

My business cardAs you all know (if you're been paying attention) I am now a happy Comcast employee. When I wrote that post (has it already been 4 months? I've been telling people I've been at Comcast for a little over 2 months! I'm bad with dates) I wasn't at liberty to give out the URL for the blog I was working on. Now that it is public knowledge I can present to you Comcast Voices.

Yep, Comcast Voices is Comcast's corporate blog and I spend my days managing it, thinking about what we should post on it, and generally making a nuisance of myself. Check it out and let me know what you think (I hope you don't think it sucks... well, it sucks as little as any corporate blog can realistically not suck)!

It is pretty funny that while I was in college I wanted nothing to do with computers. I hand wrote all my term papers until my professors, one by one, refused to grade them unless I started typing them up (no one, including me, could read my handwriting). I didn't own a computer until a year after I graduated college, and now I spend most of my time (and make all of my money) on computers, thinking about them, and writing about them.

What a world.

I'm on Peachpit TV

scottpeachpittv.jpgThe publisher of my book (Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read), Peachpit Press, asked me to make an appearance at their Macworld booth last month. Being the amicable fellow that I am I agree (though I did very little in the way of prep, as is my wont).

Not only did I thrill and delight a small crowd in the booth, those geniuses at Peachpit were recording the whole thing and are turning it into a series of podcasts (I assume it is a series, but it might just be this one). Point your peepers at How To Configure the Dashboard in WordPress 2.7. I made Marisa watch it and she learned 2 things about the Dashboard (and she has been using WordPress for 4 years!).

Check out the podcast here and let me know what you think. If people like it I might be inspired to create some WordPress screencasts of my own!

When I watched the podcast I thought I did I pretty good job, but for some reason I thought I came over as really angry during the intro (before I start talking):


That's Cliff Colby I'm standing next to, the editor of my book and the reason my book came about. I think he is a great guy and he in no way angers me. Not sure why I look like I'm ready to punch the next person that walks up to me, but I must have been in 'the zone' mentally preparing myself for the hordes of people that were going to hound me for an autograph during my presentation.

Want a copy of my book?

Lots of copies of my bookIf you're been paying attention you know that I am real live published author of a book called Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read, which is all about WordPress (shocking, I know). The book is getting some good reviews on Amazon, and it seems to be selling well. However, since this is my first time writing a tech book I'm interested in a little more feedback.

One of the little known facts about writing a book for PeachPit Press is that they send you 25 copies of your book to do with what you will. I'm keeping the first one the sent me (which I like to think is the first copy ever printed though somehow I doubt that is true) and I've given out a bunch of copies to friends and family (at least those who are interested enough in the book, but not so interested that they would buy a copy themselves), and I still have 16 copies of the book taking up space in my office. While these books are sitting on a shelf in my office they aren't helping anyone learn about WordPress, so I thought I would give them away.

Here's the deal: the first 16 people to comment on this post get a copy of my book. I'll email you for your address and then I'll send you a copy of the book at no cost to you. All I ask in return (nothing is free, people) is that you share with me your thoughts about the book. You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Blogging about it on your blog
  • Twittering about it
  • Sending me an email with your thoughts
  • Leaving a review on Amazon or some other online bookseller

The goal is twofold: get some people talking about my book and find out what people think of it. Everybody wins!

Get to leaving those comments, people!

Update: Woah! Who knew so many people would want a copy of my book? I do believe I'm out of copies for the moment. Sorry, folks!

I was on Attack of the Show for some reason

Above is the video from my appearance on last night's Attack of the Show. They had me on the Loop to talk Apple rumors before Apple's WWDC event that starts on Monday.

Luckily for me my segment was only a couple of minutes long since I seemed to have lost the ability to form coherent thoughts. I even called OS X 'the OS X,' like some sort of crazy old man ('Isn't your Apple MAC running the OS X or something? Where's my soup?').

Having seen Attack of the Show before I figured I was going to be one person on a panel during the Loop, which they often do. Imagine my surprise when I was on air, live mind you, and I figured out that it was just little old me and Kevin Pereira chatting about Apple rumors. Kevin did say he was a big fan of TUAW, which is always good to hear.

Thanks to the wonders of technology I didn't have to board a transcontinental jet to appear on AotS, but I did have to walk 5 blocks from my apartment to VideoLink, which has a satellite uplink thingie. I then sat in a green room for a few minutes (there was free candy, but I didn't have any) while I waited for my close up. One of the VideoLink dudes let me know I was ready to go, and I walked into another room with some bright lights, a camera, a table and chair, and a screen on which they would magically show Philadelphia's skyline. I even got to wear one of those in ear mics things, so I that the people on the west coast to talk to me.

A few minutes later and my second television appearance was over. (Note to John Gruber: I was wearing a Daring Fireball T-shirt under my 'ready for TV' shirt.)

When I was all done I walked into the green room to retrieve my umbrella and I was greeted by an older gentleman who was wearing a suit, though his coat was off. He was very busy looking into a mirror and applying makeup to himself. Looking up at me, with a sponge full of makeup in his hand, he said, 'How'd it go? You didn't shoot a booger out your noise or scream fuck, did you?' I acknowledged that I had not, in fact, yelled any profanities and anything that was in my nose at the start of my segment remained solidly in place until the end. He explained that he was a lawyer in Philly and he often appears on CNN to talk about legal stuff. I asked about the makeup and he said, 'I learned long ago if you don't do this you end up looking like a vampire on TV.' Since I hadn't applied any makeup to myself before my appearance I can only imagine I looked like a vampire (though vampires don't have reflections, so they can't be caught on film, right? Take that, Mr. Lawyerman!).

All in all, I had fun and I don't think I came off too badly. Here's to being on TV more often!

Higher Education Web Symposium

It is one of the worst kept secrets on this blog that I work at the University of Pennsylvania. It is a great place to work, which might explain why I have been here for over five years, and they seem to like me around here so that's good (and they are ok with me blogging like a mad man, and doing Fork You, and running TUAW, and doing other freelance things which is nice). Anyway, I was at work the other day and one of my co-workers told me that my name came up during a planning meeting for the Higher Education Web Symposium which Penn Medicine is hosting (being driven, one assumes, by the SOMIS Web Team).

I thought it odd that my name would come up during the meeting, since I have nothing to do with Web Design in general nor do I have anything to do with this Symposium. It would seem it was requested that I blog about the Symposium, so blog it I am. Now, I don't know if this was an actual request or just a joke (I mean, who really wants a mention on Blankbaby? Not too many people I would wager) but I figured why not post about it?

If you're in Philly on July 15/16 and are interested in Webby stuff, you should check out the agenda. Looks pretty good to me, though there isn't a session on blogging. What's up with that?

The Daily Scott: now a part of Blankbaby


Awhile ago I had the bright idea of posting a picture of myself everyday, and The Daily Scott was created. Sadly, it wasn't so daily but I think the idea is still sound. I announced that the Daily Scott was moving over here and now it is complete. The dailyscott category now contains all the posts (and comments) from the old Daily Scott as well as the new additions. It makes much more sense for it to be here, I think.

Anywho, why not highlight some of my favorite Daily Scotts? I knew, dear reader, that you would be excited by that! Let's get started:

Update: Bah! It looks like something went a little screwy with the importing. I'll fix it at some point tomorrow, but until then just imagine what I look like.

Fork You: Brine! Fire! Turkey!

Another Fork You is available for your viewing pleasure. The good folk at Orion were kind enough to send us one of their cookers and produced the best damn turkey I have every had. Seriously, if you have an outdoor space you need one of these cookers.

This episode is the first in a 3 part series about Thanksgiving, so stay tuned for the second installment on Tuesday.

Blogging Heroes: there must have been some kind of mixup

bloggingheroes.jpgAnyone who has known me for any length of time can tell you I'm crazy about blogging. I've been blogging for a little over 7 years now, and I am sure that 7 years from now I'll still be blogging (and I bet I'll still be doing it right here at Blankbaby).

A few months ago I got an email from Michael A. Banks. He was doing a book about blogging, and he wanted to talk to me (thanks to my TUAW blogging duties). Never the one to turn down talking about two of my favorite subjects (myself and blogging) I gave Michael my details. He called me one Sunday afternoon, as I recall, and we spoke about blogging for awhile. I also took the chance to ask him about writing for 'Old Media,' i.e. in print. He gave me some things to think about, and I hoped I had given him something with which he could include in his book.

His book is called Blogging Heroes, and I am one of 30 interviews with the 'World's Top Bloggers' that make up the book (my interview is chapter 19) along side such bloggers as Steve Garfield, Robert Scoble, Gina Trapani, and Steve Rubel (to name only a few). If you want to read my interview Wiley said I could post it on my blog, so here is the PDF. I don't really say anything that should come as a shock to anyone. I only have two rules that are keys to success in blogging (or in anything, really):

  • Never say/write anything that you are uncomfortable standing behind.
  • Write about whatever you are passionate about, and success will follow.

Nothing earth-shattering there, but I said it with my rapier like wit. Plus, I'm a blogging hero so that means I am better than you are (but you knew that already).

New Fork You, and announcing In the Kitchen with Slashfood

This happens when I must entertain myselfI've been a busy, cranky man of late. I've been staying up way past my bedtime for the last few days cranking out video podcast after video podcast.

Last week we posted not one new episode of Fork You, but two (meatloaf, and the one that proves I have better taste than Marisa). Today comes two more new episodes of foodie goodness, but only one of them is a Fork You.

First, the Fork You crew paid a visit to The Spring Gardens a few months back, and we have finally had time in our production schedule to get the episode up. This one really showcases our great new camera. Doesn't that footage just make you long for a garden of your own? Thanks to Stephan for taking time out of his schedule to talk to us:

The other video Marisa and I posted today was over at Slashfood, Weblogs' food blog. Some of you might know that I'm the head honcho over at TUAW, a Weblogs Inc blog that covers all things Apple, and Marisa is a Slashfoodie. It would seem that Brad Hill, the big Man at WIN (that's what the cool kids call Weblogs, Inc) had caught wind of Fork You (mostly from my Tweeting I would imagine) and he liked what he saw. Thus began a very long discussion about Marisa and I making Fork You for Slashfood with a couple of key differences:

  • It wouldn't be called Fork You

  • We would get paid for it (instead of it costing us money

We were hesitant for a few reasons, but it mostly boiled down to the fact that we like having complete creative control over Fork You. We can say or do whatever the hell we want, and we don't have to ask anyone (as long as we both agree, that is). Brad suggested we do 2 episodes of Slashfood in the Kitchen (that's the name of the podcast) and we figured what the heck. And so I give you the first episode of Slashfood in the Kitchen:

At the moment it is only available via AOL's video sharing site, Uncut. I hope to get the QuickTime file up soon so that it will be an actual podcast.

Oh, and the picture up above has nothing to do with either of these episodes, but I think it is a good picture of me.

Two Fork Yous in one week

I haven't been blogging here on Blankbaby much in the last few weeks for a few reasons:

  • Leopard, Apple's next flavor of OS X, is coming out soon and I'm blogging like a mad man over at TUAW (if you want to just read my posts, you can by subscribing to this feed).
  • Fork You continues to be a fun, and rewarding, way for me to spend lots and lots of time!

That's right, for some reason Marisa and I decided that October and November would be Forkful months! A new episode of Fork You every week, and so far we've delivered. In fact, this week we posted two episodes:

The Meatloaf episode (QuickTime version):

The Super Taster Test episode (QuickTime version):

I've also agrede to do another video project (that pays some dough), so that's taking some of my time. It is like I have 3 jobs now (though I am pretty happy about all of them):

  • My fulltime job (which is including more and more Mac stuff and blogging, so that's cool)
  • My Blogging
  • My podcasting

It is a wonder I have time for reading, eating, and going to the gym! Oh, and I am working on launching another blog shortly because I still have an hour of unstructured time every other Thursday.

How have you been, dear Blankbaby readers?

10 Zen Monkeys asks Is The Net Good For Writers?

Is The Net Good For Writers? is a pretty dumb question, if you ask me.

The question is built upon the thought that since online publishing has made it easy for anyone to get their writing out there it must be bad for people who consider themselves 'writers.' Just because it is easy to get your writing online doesn't make the act of writing any easier, trust me I should know. It seems that every reader of TUAW thinks that blogging is super easy ('That Scott McNulty does it, so how hard can it be?'). Judging from the 500 or so applications I have read from people wanting to blog for TUAW (that's roughly 1500 sample posts) I can tell you that most people can't write worth a damn. Most of the applications are well meaning, but horribly written and if you take that and a nickel you won't be able to buy a pitcher of warm spit (though why you would want a pitcher of warm spit is a matter best left between you and your clergyman).

Do I consider myself a good writer? No, but I do consider myself a good reader, and as such I can tell you when writing is good and when it isn't. The Net has simply made it easier for talented people to find their audience (but it still ain't easy, buster!).

Yes, I have an iPhone

Thanks to the powers that be I have an iPhone (so I can test it with our systems at work, of course). The evidence of my iPhone happiness can be seen in the increase of random pictures posted here. I realize that not everyone wants to see every frickin' picture I take with my iPhone (though the camera in the iPhone puts the one in the Q to shame), so I have decided to post most of my iPhone pictures to Flickr. You can find them here, if you're interested.

Worry not, though, I'll still be posting the best to Blankbaby (and Thad Being a Jackass will look better than ever!).

Where will you be on September 1st?

September 1st, 2007 is shaping up to be quite a day. Colin, of Viddlerfame, asked Marisa and myself, of Fork You fame, if we would be up for doing some contest judging for Viddler. Since we are like BFF's with Viddler (like, totally) we said sure! Soon we learned that the man, the myth, the guy who is shorter than I thought he was: Gary Vaynerchuck of Wine Library TV would be judging with use. He's been on TV, and profiled in lots of magazines (even John Gruber watches Wine Library TV, something tells me Grubs doesn't watch Fork You), so we were pretty excited.

We then found out that not only would we be judging the MealToday Contest (best video wins an iPhone or a camera) but we would be doing it live at Indy Hall's grand opening on September 1st. If you aren't familiar with Indy Hall it is Philly's hot new coworking space and it is super cool (or so I have heard, I haven't actually had a chance to check it out myself, but watch Alex's tour).

I know what you're thinking, "How can I get in on all this fun?!" Head on over to Upcoming.org and RSVP (by the way, Upcoming.org sent me a tshirt many moons ago. When I got it, it didn't fit because it was a XXL and I was a XXXL kind guy. I now wear that shirt to the gym... yeah, I'm all kinds of awesome).

One final note, Colin asked Marisa and I if we would be up to filming some video for a promo for the event. Being the media whores that we are, we said sure! After the Philly Blogger meetup we set the camera up, sat on the stoop outside my building, and did whatever it is we do. Above you'll see the 1:40 minute highlight reel that I put together for Colin. Originally it was just meant for Colin's eye, but it would seem I can't hide anything from Alex and before I knew it the video was on Twitter. Luckily Marisa was OK with it, and so it is available for everyone to watch! We did many variations of this same promo over 30 minutes with no prep, because that's the kind of podcasters we are. It has been viewed 1113 times at the time of this writing. What is wrong with people?

Anyway, hope to see you on September 1st!

8 Random Things about me

The latest meme is making the rounds on the Internet and I haven't been tagged once, or twice, but thrice! By the laws governing silly blog memes, I must participate now, and so here we go:

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged write their own blog post about their eight things and include these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged and that they should read your blog.

  1. I don't wear a watch, and I haven't for 3 years.
  2. People say I'm funny, but deep down I don't think I am.
  3. I am a little neurotic about being on time. I hate being late, and would much rather be an hour early (I am usually way, way too early for flights).
  4. If I need to think of a celebrity's name on the spur of the moment invariably the first one that pops to mind is 'Mary Tyler Moore.' Strange but true.
  5. I'm shy. Some might not believe that, but I am very shy by nature. I have gotten more outgoing as I have aged, but I'm still just a shy dude.
  6. I have always thought that I will die alone, just like Capt. Kirk (look! I can be depressing and geeky all at once!)
  7. I am starting to enjoy going to the gym (but don't tell anyone because that would ruin my whole,'I hate the gym' routine).
  8. I overthink everything: relationships, future plans, people's offhand remarks. You name it, I overthink it.

So there you have it! Now I need to pass this on to 8 (!) more people:

BlogPhiladelphia rocked, and rocked HARD


The first time I heard about BlogPhiladelphia I was doubtful. This had nothing to do with the people behind it, rather I am just naturally a stick in the mud (which might explain why I am not an entrepreneur. I would have been the one friend of Henry Ford’s who would have said, ‘Eh. Who wants a mass assembled car?! The people want something hand man, sir!’). Luckily, despite my reservations and thanks to the charms of Alex and Annie I signed on to not only attend but to lead two sessions (give me a roomful of people and a microphone and I’m a happy man. I’m the most extroverted introvert you have ever met, I tells ya!).

As with most things in my life, it turned out to be a very good decision (I should always do the exact opposite of what I think I should do, but that’s another post entirely, and a Seinfeld episode to boot!).

Simply put: BlogPhiladelphia was a kick ass time, and I hope to do it again soon.

Annie, Alex, and the whole Uwishunu and the Philly Tourism Board did a fantastic job putting on this great unconference. The unconference format really highlights the best part of conferences: the conversations you have in the hallways. Instead of making people whisper during panels, the people in the audience are the real experts and they get fools (like me) to facilitate the conversation and try and keep it on point.

The thing that really surprised me was that people wanted to meet me. Me?! Why are these people interested in meeting me? Strikes me as a little odd, but hey I’m an egomaniac so I’ll take what I can get.

Rob Sandie, President of Viddler, has a great post up recapping all the reasons that BlogPhilly rocked (and I am not just saying that because he starts off with me and calls me the funniest person imaginable… though that doesn’t hurt. Thanks, Rob!). Check it out, and I’ll be posting another thing or two about BlogPhiladelphia in the coming days.

Yes, that's a picture of me leading a session. Thanks to Tony for taking it! Check out the BlogPhiladelphia Flickr pool for even more pictures from the event.

BlogPhiladelphia in the Philly Metro


I'm back at Blog Philadelphia for the day (yesterday was a hoot. Check out the pictures on Flickr, to which I'll be adding my own soon enough). While I was here Mark Maurer from the Philly Metro was wondering around talking to folks about negative comments. Since I was leading the 'Dealing with negative comments' session he chatted with me for a few minutes. I figured I wouldn't even get in the article, but lo and behold I'm the lede (that's the first sentence of an article, for those of you not in the journalism know). Check it out.

The lovely picture that accompanies the article features John and Bart. What more can you ask for?

Thanks to Fishbreakfast for letting me know about this article.

Where have you been, Blankbaby?


I haven't been blogging here on Blankbaby much as of late, a fact which my mother brought to my attention this afternoon so I thought I would post an update of sorts.

This is what I have been up to as of late:

  • I registered for BlogPhiladelphia, the blogging unconference that will be taking place here in Philly on July 12th and 13th (I wonder if I have to take those days off of work, or if I can finagle them into letting me just go). Not only am I attending the unconference, but I am running two (that's right, two) sessions:

    • How To Deal With Negative Comments, or On the Internet no one can hear you cry

    • Blogging: Is It Better In Groups?

  • I decided to cancel my Match.com membership, and as soon as I did a few ladies contacted me. I went on a date the other night, and I'll be going on another one at some point this week (with a different lady). We'll see what happens.
  • I went to SF for WWDC, and I was on TV. The folks from work seemed to be impressed. I wonder what this means for my 'Influence' levels...
  • Filmed three episodes of Fork You on two different days. The above pic was snapped by Thad, whilst Marisa and I whipped up some pesto in his kitchen. Look for this episode on Tuesday.
  • I gained some weight while I was in San Francisco (damn you, Jack in the Box! I know that I should have went to In and Out Burger, but Jack in the Box was so very close to my hotel), but I've been working out like a mad man (I did 4.9 miles on the elliptical in 30 minutes, that's sooo close to 5 six minute miles in a row) and I managed to knock off 2 more pounds. I am now wondering what I should do to celebrate 100 pounds lost (which is only 7 pounds away). I'm thinking of arranging for a bunch of folks to go out to dinner with me to celebrate. Doesn't that sound like fun?
  • The Daily Scott has been suffering because of the new camera I got, and the fact that the built in camera on my MacBook is being flakey. I'll write more about the camera, but I really want to get back to posting on the Daily Scott.

Now you're all caught up!

Typepad stats takes a page out of Measure Map


Six Apart has positioned Typepad, their hosted Movable Type offering, squarely at businesses. I am not a business (yet) but I am a pro-blogger (I am the Lead for a little Apple blog you might know) so I know a thing or two about problogging.

Stats was the one area in which Typepad was seriously lacking. Notice I said, 'was.' It would seem that the Typepad web elves have rolled out an updated version of the stats page (as seen above) that is a huge improvement.

hoverstats.jpgThe biggest, and flashiest (Ha!), change is the use of the Slider from Measure Map (which is licensed under a Creative Commons License, neato!). The Slider lets you see traffic in intervals from the last 4 months at a glance. Depending on the time frame you choose you get more or less detail.

One month:


Two months:


Four months:


typepadsummary.jpgYou get the idea, I take it so enough with the graphs. Another new addition is the 'Summary,' seen to the right. As you can see it lists your lifetime page views, average per day, last seven days, and the visits for the current day all in one convenient place. The best part, for me, is the prominent positioning of this data on the screen. The old version of the stats page made you look for this information, it was there but it wasn't obvious.

downloadstats.jpgFinally, you can now download a .csv file that contains all the pageview information for your blog. Sadly, the file only has the date and the pageview count, but it is a start.

There changes to the Stats screen are more than welcome, and a long time coming. Congrats to the Typepad team for rolling them out! That being said, I won't be uninstalling Google Analytics (which has recently been redesigned with Measure Map having a huge influence on its new look) any time soon.



A blogging unconference in Philadelphia? Could it be possible? Why, bless my britches, not only is it possible but it is going to be happening. That's right, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and uwishunu (a blog that they run/sponsor) have just announced BLOGPHILADELPHIA (which I am guessing is supposed to be capitalized). I'm excited, and I wonder if they'll ask me to sit on a panel. I mean, I'm probably one of the few Philadelphia bloggers that is a real live Pro at it (I can think of a few others). Oh, and BLOGPHILADELPHIA folks, if you need help planning this shindig, let me know.

Though, if I were in charge of the event I would have called it Blogadelphia, and not just because I own Blogadelphia.org (though that is a point in the name's favor, however, I would gladly donate the domain).

What the heck are those orange links?

amazonlink.jpgChances are that if you read Blankbaby you probably don't actually visit blog.blankbaby.com that often (I assume most Blankbaby readers use the RSS feed), however, if you do visit the website you might have noticed an orange link here and there (like the one pictured to the right). What the heck are they?

I'm so glad I asked myself! They are built using Amazon's beta Context Link program (though I really think they should have called it 'Contextual Link,' but what do I know) which, as the name might tell you, scans your content and automatically places Amazon Associate links for you. This is all kinds of awesome, since I am an Amazon Associate, but I always forget to actually link stuff using my code (if you click on a link with one of those codes embedded in it, the Associate gets a little cash). Sadly, when Amazon calls this a beta they mean it. It doesn't seem to be working reliably, but when you see an orange link and you hover over it you'll get this:


Which I think is kinda cool. When you click on the link, you are shuffled off to Amazon where you can buy whatever product the link suggested.