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Matrix Dreams


Am I asleep dreaming I am awake?

Neo.. wake up

I’ve been working bloody hard for the past 13 weeks on something that still isn’t even close to being finished. It’s invaded my brain so much that even whilst on holiday, every time I closed my eyes I would wake up in a sweat thinking about it.

Seriously, almost every time I fall asleep I dream about it. Even my ever faithful friend – the afternoon nap has been compromised! :-(

The Value of Giving

That’s it, that’s the mistress my missus has become increasingly jealous over. Mrs. VoG has been driving me crazy or filling me with joy over the past few months as I try and get her to play nice with amember and pap4 (two other saucy code maidens that I’m bending to my will(y)) :-P

The Value of Giving

Click the image to see if it’s ready, if it’s not just enter your details in the form and you’ll be notified when it is. Be prepared!, this has been a mammoth task to put together and will be a brand new way to do things.. oops, I nearly let the cat out of the bag.. you’ll just have to wait and see, I’m still under a non-disclosure agreement until it’s launch time.

Tens of thousands of lines

Nope, I’m not talking about a night out with Keith Moon from The Rolling Stones! .. I’m talking about the reason this will be so good , why it’s gonna blow everyone away and also why I’m going slightly doo-lally every time I close my eyes. It’s because I’ve written over 10,000 lines of code in custom plugins, modifications and additions to existing plugins.

I’ve needed to do this because even though we’ve spent thousands of dollars on commercial scripts and 3rd party engines, they just weren’t designed to do what we wanted to do. Close, but not quite and the ‘not quite’ bit has required hours and hours and hours of discussions over skype, conference calls, sketches and ultimately hundreds and hundreds of hours at my keyboard.


Haha! it’s been a duplicitous wench of a project so far, I’ve never sworn so much at inanimate objects. I’ve torn my hair out, freaked up/down/sideways and out until , as one of the partners, Mark says, “I’ve spent all my freak”

But, it’s also been hugely fun and satisfying to venture into unknown realms of WordPress, affiliate systems, membership packages, payment gateways and PayPal IPN scripts.

I’ve learned new things about WordPress that I never knew existed, things have gone in my head that can be used forever more on a metric tonne of future ‘what if?’ projects that I’m just gagging to get started on (yes, I really am a sucker for punishment!).

This is most definitely the biggest coding project I’ve ever worked on and as much as it is painful, it’s also fun. I’m really hoping that we can get to the open the doors stage soon because, if I don’t start seeing some action and if I can’t stop saying ,”not yet” when my missus asks if it’s ready then I might just get chucked out onto the street and honestly folks, without her, no tappy tappy code monkey.

Stick with me boyshz and galshz

Stick around, keep checking in and coming back to find out more because this is one huge momma of a site and well, it’ll rock the online business / hobby / charity / social and WordPress world. If you’ve ever had a business or a website or both, you’ll see the Value of Giving on day 1.


Blog News


CommentLuvvers – Interesting sites that use the CommentLuv Plugin


http://www.jamieharrop.com is a very informative blog with some excellent resources, tips and articles on how to improve your blog/business/life. Check out his article on how to get more blog comments

http://wendyknits.net/ is one for the knitters among you (and my missus!). This is a site that attracts an awful lot of comments so it’s really nice to see it using commentluv :-)

http://www.empiredotcom.com is an excellent resource site for those wanting to make a bit of money from blogging. Great advice too, check out his post about the advantages of using CommentLuv

http://keithjameslock.com/ is a great affiliate marketing tips blog with good original articles. He wrote a great piece on how to take advantage of CommentLuv for targeted traffic. Another article to take note of is this video tutorial for your first time using Google analytics.

CommentLuv has been updated to 1.92 now, be sure to get the latest version and install it today!

Blog News, Blog Tools, Reviews, Social Networking


haha, just rewritten commentluv again!


Zhé, Image via WikipediaWe’re now up to 1.7!! I got fed up of ” characters and other punctuation characters getting turned into ? by magpie, also, no display of Chinese or Turkish characters (thanks http://blog.mukispace.com and http://blog.mavikalemler.net/ I used your sites url to test the output of foreign language characters in UTF-8

I moved the determining of the feed location to my server now so the plugin code is a little shorter and neater. Now it should always pick up the feed location from the head of the target site, if it can’t find one there, it searches through the page content for the most likely link to a feed so as long as a feed is linked in the page, it will be picked up and parsed by commentluv.

The plugin itself should be more stable, as long as your blog hosting has the ability to CURL or access external files then it should work. If your hosting wont allow external access to files from within your scripts, be sure to ask them to whitelist the domain www.commentluv.com .

I’m running it on this post from now on so please give it a test especially if you have had problems before or you have a foreign language character set on your site.

Blog News, Code, PHP, Wordpress


CommentLuvvers – Interesting sites that use CommentLuv


This weeks round of CommentLuvvers….

http://slyvisions.com/ is a nice looking blog with some interesting unique articles on how to make a bit of money with your blog and the interwebs. I love his slyguy simpson like motif, check it out!

http://www.caroline-middlebrook.com/blog/ is one of those blogs that makes me feel slightly inadequate due to the fact that Caroline has an absolute tonne of quality content on her site and is an experienced, talented and prolific writer. Just a few minutes browsing her site will increase your bIQ (blog intelligence quotient) and after you get over the feeling of “how could I possibly get to this level”, you’ll go deeper and deeper into her articles and come out feeling inspired to put just a little bit more effort into your writing. Check out one of her most popular posts about using CSS galleries for backlinks and trackbacks

http://bloggrrl.com/This is a site I have browsed by quite a few times and I’m really pleased to see it is now using CommentLuv to great effect. You can read some great stumbleworthy posts such as 8 Signs that you masturbate too much and 8 ways you can spot a real jerk which is a follow up to 8 ways to spot a psycho woman. Check her out!

http://hotfessional.com/ Is a great no-holds-barred, and funny-as-fok site from a “female executive in a mans world”. You can read real laugh out loud posts such as working from home day 1 – “Spending 2 hours trying to hook up a printer to your laptop that has no ink in it sucks. donkey. balls.”. There’s even poetry and a good haiku here and there. A blog that has been bookmarked on my work computer for brightening up the otherwise cloudy days.. definitely my current favourite blog. I must have spent hours on there today, one of the very very few blogs that I have clicked through to the next page after reading the whole first page.

Blog News, Reviews, Social Networking


The Archimedes Commentluv Principle


I had one of those eureka! moments in the bath last night, not quite as world changing as the big mans buoyancy formula but enough to get me running to the computer leaving a trail of wet footprints and risking major USB electrocution from my keyboard as I typed in a frenzy to make sure my idea got recorded before it left me like so many cheap women.

I think I might have cracked the blogspot and commentluv issue, as in, a platform independant CommentLuv plugin!! This is something that’s been filling my mind in idle moments ever since the first blogspot blogger to covet the luv contacted me to beg for a blogspot version.

I seem to get at least a couple of emails a week from either blogspot bloggers or typepad users wanting a custom version of CommentLuv so every chance I get (which, sadly, isn’t often) I think about how to make a version that could work with whatever platform it is used on and last night I came closer than ever before to doing just that!… I’ll be working on it as much as I can over the next few days and hopefully have some sort of working version soon

my geekglands are tingling! I tried some external files, javascript, jquery, ajax and all sorts of other things (after I dried myself off and got into my carebear pyjamas) and I seem to have had some small success with comment fields and DOM manipulation. It’s still too early to open the champagne yet but things do look promising!

Blog News, Code, PHP, Social Networking


Go with the flow joe! New CommentLuv version started


CommentLuv first flowchart

It seems CommentLuv is enjoying an upsurge of installs again, this usually happens when a big blogger like The Brown Baron, Revellian, Howtospoter or John Cow installs it and gives it a mention so I thought I had better address some (small) issues with it and give it a rewrite.

I’ve sketched out the first draft of the flow chart which is a good reminder in my own mind of how things link together. It’s a chart that will expand further and take up more and more space, from experience I think it will take another 4 or 5 sketches to get the full flow down on paper and then I can take that and refine and expand it to take into account the individual functions and then I can start on the coding proper!

Some things I am going to put in this new version…

  • Options Page
    • Change displayed text under comment area
    • Change styling options for last blog post display
    • Change message for last blog post display
    • Option to use external script for blogs with no curl support
    • Setting for how hard the plugin should look for the feed
    • Setting for enable CommentLuv by default
    • Timeout setting for MAGPIE
  • AJAX support for background fetching during comment entry*
  • Include MAGPIE library in plugin directory**
  • Tidy up WP_OPTIONS function for older versions of CommentLuv

* Use jquery to call the function after the comment author URL field loses focus, this will store the authors feed in the cache so when the user submits the comment, the feed in the cache will be used. This will prevent any hanging around after the comment has been submitted while the plugin searches for the feed location.

** Currently, there are some cases of the default include of MAGPIE saving each and every feed cache to the WP database in WP_OPTIONS/OPTION_NAME which tends to make it grow quite large, also some users have reported it being set to “autoload on” which can have an effect on load times. This wont happen if I use a separate MAGPIE include.

So, that’s it, those are my ideas for the new version of CommentLuv. Do you have any suggestions for things you’d like to see?

Blog News, Blog Tools, Code, PHP, Social Networking


CommentLuvvers – Interesting sites that use CommentLuv


commentluv here
I keep a track of who installs commentluv by monitoring pings that come in to the plugin page when a new blog activates CommentLuv. I do try and make a comment on each one but some slip through the net due to immense workloads that take priority.
I am taking a bit of advice from Revellian about blogging karma and having a regular spot for linking out to blogs I have seen. What better way to promote CommentLuv and reward those that use it?

The first blog on this list will be Kens Trees, he has a photo blog about his effort to grow bonsai trees from seed. This looks like a blog that has some longevity, it takes bloody ages for a tree to grow so I hope that Ken will keep his blog going for some time while he documents how Willard the Dawn Redwood grows.

Another blog I know you will enjoy is Stephen Hopsons blog, he’s a qualified deaf pilot! Among his posts are some real thought provokers like this one about not giving when you know you should

A great Philippino blog to check out is BendzG, a blog for juicy oriental gossip and much more besides! It’s great to see CommentLuv being used on so many international blogs!

If you have a blog that uses CommentLuv and want a mention, leave me a comment somewhere on any of my posts and I’ll give you a mention in the next CommentLuvvers post. If you want to see more blogs that use CommentLuv, be sure to check the sidebar for the latest people to activate the plugin.

Blog News

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Beta Testers Wanted. Only 3 places


uvme games selection
I had to fit in some games playing this weekend! all part of work of course :-)

uVme are trialling out their new games this weekend and I got invited to beta test them. They are good, better than I was expecting. The gameplay is good, back to the old days where gameplay was everything!

In case you don’t know, uVme is the company behind the next web revolution, namely 2.0, social networking and game playing. The whole thing revolves around being able to challenge someone to a simple game and you both wager 50p or more. The winner gets their wager back plus 50% and can go on and challenge more people.

It’s like msn game zone or King.com but with small wagers, there will be an integrated multi messenger application that can be accessed over the web and on the same page as the games so you can challenge anyone in your MSN, Yahoo, Googletalk, ICQ messengers to a game.

I will be able to invite 3 people to beta test the games next weekend, you get a starting bank of 20 and all you have to do is try and beat some people! There is talk of real prizes going to the best players and those that provide the valuable feedback that beta testing is for.

Here are some of the games I have just played:

Darts – uVme

uVme Darts game
I like this one, it’s a simple game. It’s ‘around the clock’ popular in pubs. You start at 1 and continue to try and hit the rest of the numbers in order, if you get a triple on one of the numbers you can miss a few, sometimes all the way up to 19 so you only need 20 and the bull. Points are awarded depending on how many darts you took, how much time was left, bonus hits.

You use the mouse to aim the cross-hairs and then click and hold the mouse button to see the line move up and down on the right, let go when the white bar is in the middle and you get exactly where the cross hair is. Sometimes you still hit the number if the white bar is one up or down from the center.

I played for Fiddy P (or 50 uk pence) , if my score ends up higher than the person I challenged then I get the moolah! (I lost though)

Bubble Trouble

uVme Bubble Trubble Game

Infuriating! One of those games that starts off looking easy, just keep the bubblel (under you mouse cursor) away from the mines and collect the power ups and avoid the red bubbles. You really do have to have your eyes everywhere to play this, it pissed me off! It reminded me of Geometry Wars on the Xbox. I was never good at that either!

21 Shots

21 shots
This is a game that can be improved with practice. You get 21 shots at the basket from various positions, click the mouse at the required height, rotate the pointer to the direction you want and then click to build up the power and click to release.

I was rubbish the first few times I played it and then I managed to get used to what power is best and what arcs to choose, I did pretty well on my last game.

Those are just some of the games, it would take me ages to explain them all! I can forsee some people getting very very good at some of these games, you only have to try and play a new game on xbox live to see how good some people are at games. The best thing with this is you can challenge your friends so you’re not going to always have to beat the best to do well.

I am really looking forward to how this goes, I have a pretty extensive network already with elottery and it’s a certainty that plenty of them will take uVme further and pay to be an affiliate so they can then earn a commission on every single play that their site and team generates.

You can still join for free by clicking here, if you’re a member then you get a chance to get a password for the beta testing, once you’re done then you can invite 3 more people. I will have 3 invites to give so I need volunteers to do some beta testing next weekend…

can you play games well enough? these are simple enough flash games so if you’ve ever played one of them when stumble’ing then you’re good to go. Let me know in the comments if you have signed up for free using the link in this post and I’ll put you in the hat to get the beta testing access details.

Making / Made Money, uVme - Social Marketing

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Its different out there, Hey! who changed blogging?


blogging around the worldI started this blog 6 weeks ago even though I had a different blog for over 3 years before that and a few others that were tiny adsense nets, I never read so many other blogs until now, it feels like new blogs that are coming up or are just a few months old are different to the ones that were around last year and the year before.

The people writing them and the reason they’re writing them seem different, a little more real life perhaps. A bit more orientated towards nice people in a nice community willing to help others, welcoming strangers to their tight knit virtual space. A virtual space that could span thousands of miles across the globe in milliseconds, the buzz of a lively conversation spread over different servers just a ‘submit’ button away.

I feel lucky that I have wandered into this community where it’s a lot less “listen to what I have to say, click my adsense but don’t steal my PR!” and a lot more “tell me what you think about this and oh, go visit these nice people”

Take for instance, Sharon of The Diva Network who was one of the first regular visitors here when I started, she followed the MyBlogLogDogg back from her site to here and comes back a few times a week to catch up, she even helps out by answering peoples questions in the comments. I see her regularly on lots of blogs, always taking the time to help or give an insight to someones post. She was one of the first to help me test CommentLuv along with Miss Mira from lalla-mira.com who seems to be able to blog in 3 different languages!. Then SmocknMamma who likes to bake and make quilts helped out with a suggestion.

There’s Chessnoid and his TotalNoid blog, his informative site can have anything on there, the stock market, UFC, MMA, Movie reviews, SEO, Technorati and more. He seems to be part of the same community too, his readers and commenters have popped up here, I’ve seen them on other blogs that had the same ‘feel’ to them and I’ve seen others too…

I’ve seen Pelf and her visitors to her blog about breast cancer awareness and environmentalism among other things, her vistors led me to other blogs where there was another crossover with a like minded bunch of people, links in comments led me to people like Dana Wallert who wants to be a twenty something Stumbleupon queen, she regularly writes informative posts on sites like Stumbleupon and Sphinn. Amongst her commenters are people like Andy Beard who writes a niche marketing and affiliate tips blog (see his post about getting penalized by google), some of her top commentators are again, the same type of people. Chessnoid is there, as well as YC who appears all over the place! he writes about internet marketing and isn’t afraid of the big bad google!.

Brown Baron is a name I keep seeing mentioned here too, he writes about blog networking and social networking, Vegan Momma who makes natural beauty products who made a very nice write up of the CommentLuv plugin.

Bobby Revellian and his lively network of commenters on his blog about ethical commenting and great tips for other bloggers, again, many of his commenters appear on the other blogs above and more! each successive comment click takes me to another part of this ever expanding web of commentluv’ers, link luv’ers, anchorluv givers and such.

And AntiBarbie who has some great short story posts, see how many people comment there! some of those led me to The Passionate Ailurophile who’s rants made me smile at how she writes just like she speaks (I imagine) . hehe, stuph! – love that word now.

you know.. I could go on all day listing names of people and blogs that have made me think that blogging has a different feel to it now.

I don’t know about you but I want to meet the person that changed blogging and shake their hand. Before, in the old days of my elottery orientated blog I would sometimes feel like writing a new post was akin to a doing a chore (albeit a pleasant one like sweeping a big floorspace).

Because of the travel I have to do for work and the (more than) occasional 60 hour week I don’t get much ‘free’ time and used to resent giving some of it up to write another lottery related post on my old blog even though it got up to PR5 and was well known among other elottery people but now it’s much more different! I can find time between projects or slip in a session on google reader at work and wherever I am in the world, whatever I am doing, there is always that same community feeling when I go-a-browsing and comment clicking between these peoples blogs. Writing a new post and responding to someone else’s post have the same feeling for me now, a similar feeling to belonging to something bigger than me.

It makes me feel good, it makes me want to create.

Social Networking

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CommentLuv is working!


CommentlurvI am really pleased that a few people have started using the CommentLuv plugin, I was over at Chessnoids place and saw that one of his commenters had a post called “7 reasons why I hate stumbleupon” under his comment and I had to click it!

I ended up visiting a site I had seen before on stumbleupon and the post is quite funny, as one of the other commenters said “Haha spoken like a true SU junkie. I feel your pain buddy :)

I saw that Chessnoid had been there in the comments too, and it confirms what I had originally thought, the people that comment on your own blog must have similar views or interests to you because otherwise, they wouldn’t be commenting on your posts and the people that comment on their blogs must also be similar to you and so on and so on. What a great way to find new blogs and meet ‘proper’ people.

I hope some more people get to use this plugin, I’m sure it can add to a community spirit amongst bloggers that use it, spread the lurv :-)

Blog News, Blog Tools, Social Networking, Wordpress