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    July 28th, 2009HARTsweet-HARTs

    These are my favorite “sweet-HARTs” that have been stumbled by me during the two weeks, since my last “Tuesday sweet-HART” post on July 14th. Last week I ran into some food poisoning, and with me also trying to finish up some offline work so I can take a vacation next week .. last week’s post never happened.

    I stumble, reddit, digg, mixx, propel, Tipd, bizSugar, delicious, and probably at least a good half dozen other social media bookmarking and voting sites and you can see all of my stumbles at petlvr.stumbleupon.com. But, for every 10-20 good posts that I come across, there is usually one GREAT POST that just makes you go “Wow” .. or “LOL” .. that you just have to smile! These are what I call my “sweet-HART” picks!

    You might want to get a fresh cup of coffee .. or your favorite glass of wine .. or light some nice scented candles .. etc .. and Enjoy!!

    This week’s sweet-HARTs

    * Anthony McCune, The Lives and Times… – The Rooftop Concert
    * Belly Fat Loser – How to Get Rid of Cankles
    * Blogging Health Careers – 50 Excellent Blogs to Learn About the Upcoming Healthcare Crisis
    * Bust Clutter! – How reducing clutter decreases your debt
    * Chef Tom Cooks! – 5 Free Cookbooks For Twitter Users
    * Holy Taco – PSA’s From The Future
    * Freelance Folder – Ten Tips To Stay Motivated — Even When You Really Don’t Feel Like Working
    * Karaoke Lounge – Favorite Karaoke Moments in Film and Television
    * Pot Politics – US Health care debate please weigh in thanks
    * Small Biz Bee – Seven Habits of Highly Effective Twitter Users
    * Starcasm – Tim Burton Alice In Wonderland Trailer 2010 Photos Gallery Part 2
    * Store Crowd – Top 25 Gadgets for Men in 2009
    * TechJaws – Eat Blueberries to Improve Sexual Performance
    * The Income Team Blog – Favorite Quotes
    * The New York Times – Apollo 11 – Mission To The Moon
    * The SciTech Journal – After 40 years of first Moon landing: Was it real?
    * Vladimir Prelovac – Incredible Wave Pictures (ps like the favicon too :D)
    * Wild Apricot’s non-profit technology blog – What Have You Done for Me Lately? – Keeping Score in Social Media
    * Winning The Web – 7 Red Flags that Reveal to Google You’re an SEO Criminal – Avoid These!

    Other Folks’ Weekly Roundups! (2 weeks)

    * Anthony McCune, The Lives and Times… – McCunications Weekend Mashup 19
    * Anthony McCune, The Lives and Times… – McCunications Weekend Mashup 26
    * Battling For Health – What’s the latest in health care, July 27
    * Kikolani – Fetching Friday – Resources Mashup, Follow Friday, & Slap Chop Remix
    * Kikolani – Fetching Friday – Resources Mashup, Follow Friday, & Back to School Backpack Safety
    * TechJaws – Feeding Frenzy – Sharks with a Big Byte
    * TechJaws – Feeding Frenzy – Walter Cronkite, Apollo 11, Entrecard Sold

    * Your Site Here (if you have a weekly roundup post of good reads that is .. let me know!)

    Around The HART-Empire Network

    * And You Will – When You Disagree With Your Teen
    * Battling For Health – Diet and cancer risk: vegetarians are the winners
    * DogLvr – What’s the Best Way to Train Pit Bulls?
    * PetLvr – Keeping Pets’ Paws Healthy

    If you like any of these posts .. please support the blogger .. participating and commenting on their blogs .. subscribe to their RSS feeds … follow them on twitter .. share the love .. etc etc.

    If you have a weekly roundup of posts and would like to be permanently included in this list – let me know in the comment section! Thanks // HART

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    July 19th, 2009HARTHome Office

    Every year I spend between $150-$200 CDN on a new office chair for my home office. Being self-employed and working out of my house, an accountant and income tax preparer, a blogger and just a general person who loves to be on the internet for 12-16 hours per day .. I go through a lot of chairs. Some years, I’m buying a new chair every 8 months and other years it’s one chair every 18 months. Time sure flies though, because everytime I need a new chair I can remember rushing out to my local Staples or Office Depot and search for a cheap replacement chair.

    Last year, I thought I found a good chair … at Office Depot. It was a little more than $200 CDN ($229.99 I believe) and was the first chair I ever bought that actually had an “ergonomic rating“. It was rated for a maximum of between 3-5 hours a day. When I purchased this chair, I told the salesmen that this was the most stupid rating system that I’ve ever hear of, having office chairs not being able to at least average a regular 8hr business day sitting on the damn chair – not to mention me, who is on the chair for about 12 hours a day or longer! The salesman (who earned his commission that day) assured me that the chair does last a good working day .. and that it’s just common sense guidelines that this new “ergonomic rating” system is really meant that you shouldn’t be sitting in front of your computer for more than 3-5 hours anyway – and should go for a walk, stretch your legs, keep your eyeballs away from the computer screen, etc etc etc

    Anyway, This is what happened AFTER 9 Months


    On June 5th, the above happened to my office chair. I was just sitting on the chair, and was swivelling left to grab some report out of my printer and *SNAP!* the back just broke in half, like corkboard. The chair wasn’t that bad actually, although the padding was a bit squished from sitting down all the time – but, I couldn’t work without a back.

    I tried to fix that chair!


    I needed a chair! So, I tried to fix it. I found some 2×4 pieces in my basement and wedged it in along the front of the back mechanism of the chair back, and tied it together with some electrical wire that I also had lying around! That wire started to hurt my back sitting against it, so I found a few old belts and a small pillow and this chair basically was ‘almost’ good as new!

    In Search Of A New Office Chair

    It was my birthday July 11th and my wife wanted to buy me a new office chair as a present. When she asked me where I wanted to go to buy a new office chair, I thought about this very hard. I thought I could “double up” on her present, and instead of buying some cheap office chair from a cheap office store chain like Staples or Office Depot .. I thought I would look around and find something that would last a lot longer than 8 months or a year! This is what we found.

    Believe it or not – we bought a USED office chair, from a hi-end furniture company. These office chairs just came off lease (2 year lease that is) and was still in great condition! Hard to believe! Brand new, these chairs were priced to sell for about $1,600 CDN RETAIL. Because they were used, the were discounted to about $800.00 range (50%). Well, that was more than just a double up on the birthday present and was more like 4x’s what we were initially planning to spend. We asked whether there was something that they can do, and he did say he could lower the price a little, and had to run a few figures. We weren’t dealing with a salesman, by the way .. we were dealing with the owner of the company! My wife’s place of work, as it turned out … is a big customer of this company, and altogether, all things considered … I could have the chair for $600 CDN!

    So ..we bought it! Meet HART’s New Office Chair


    Not bad for a 2 year old used chair, eh? And, it’s been a week IN USE that I have been testing this chair, and I can tell you 100% that I will never buy a cheap office chair from cheap factory outlets again! It pays to upgrade and I really think that this chair will last a while for me!

    Characteristics Of A Good Office Chair

    #1. Good Materials

    chair-seatSitting on this chair is an absolute delight. I’m a big guy, and the fabric of the chair material is durable and permeable that is supposed to dissipate moisture and heat. This is very important for my office, because I’m on the second floor of our Condo and there is a heating issue. In the summer it is quite hot and in the winter it is quite cold and I have to have a heater in my office to keep it warm enough to type. The seat is wide enough so I’m not cramped in the chair and there is about a good “fistful” of space between the front of the chair and my inner knees. Apparently, this is a good thing to keep circulation for those working sitting down in a chair all day. Also, this is a chair with some feathers or spongy styrofoam inside. There is an extra durable MEMORY FITTING harder styrofoam in the cushion that not only supports my weight sitting down all day (and the back too) but when I get off of the chair the seat cushion resorts back to normal position! How cool is that?! Also, there is the standard ‘Seat Pan Tilt” control for this chair. Part of the whole “ergonomics” thingie is to help get the right posture while sitting while you work and help to alleviate
    pressure on the back of the thighs. If you ever pulled your hamstring muscles while sitting down working – this is probably why.

    #2. Good Armrests

    chair-armYou need armrests when working on the computer. Because my office is an “L” shaped office, I have to be careful on the left side. Almost every chair that I have .. the left armrest always gets broken or sliced up as I rotate a lot to the left, where my Laser printer is located. I’m always swiveling and it has to be able to be a little lower on that side. The armrests on this new chair is very sturdy and well built too. It’s not cheap rubber that, if too hot in my office, my elbows will stick to it. You can move the armrest inwards and outwards for greater comfort seating and you can raise and lower the armrest to place it at the right height you need. For this chair, there’s actually a button/knob that you turn to raise and lower. Most other chairs have a button that you just push in and slide up or down. I think this is a good thing, because it’s more sturdy and doesn’t wobble. My last chair I thought the arms would have fallen off before the back would have broken.

    #3. Good Backrest Adjustment

    chair-raise-back I’m quite happy with the backrest adjustment on my “new” chair. A good chair will have backrest adjustments to help make it easier for you when you sit in a chair for long periods of time. This chair’s backrest can adjust both up and down and tilt forward and backwards. I’m 6’1″ and a big guy, and I need good lumbar support while I sit. I can sit in this chair and lean back, and if the backrest is in the lowest position, I can actually find the right position and slide up a notch at a time to get the right position while I am sitting! At the top of this setting, I would have to release a button on the backrest to revert. There is a lever under the seat for the tilt position, which is supposed to help with the lower back support. My chair has three levers under the chair in total. One to raise the height of the chair, one for the tilting of the backrest and another for the seat tilt. All of this sort of sounds silly talking about it, but in my old chair I would always have to get up and do stretches that .. well, you push your shoulders out and stretch your back (what’s that called?) Since I got this new chair last week .. my back never needs to get a stretching while I work. I think that’s good!

    #4. A Really Comfortable Back

    chair-backThis chair has the best back that I have ever had – just look at the shape! My entire office is used while I work, and I often swivel left to get something out of my laser printer, or around to get a glass of water, or swivel right to my fax/inkjet/scanner printer or to my phone, and so on and so on. You don’t really think you notice it with the larger chairs, but the act of spinning around on a chair and reaching for something behind you – with a chair that’s not so thick around the shoulder blades – is very noticeable to me now! Imagine spreading your arms out to your sides, then backwards. It is a lot easier to move your arms back as your shoulders and shoulder blades move with them as well. I have the chair’s skinniest part to fall in between my shoulder blades and have been quite mobile reaching all around my office while remaining sitting at my office chair!

    #5. Stability

    chair-legsUnfortunately .. my chair FAILS in this part. I’ve never really noticed this before . but my previous office chair had 5 legs, and this new office chair only has 4 legs. When I was researching for new office chairs, I read somewhere that a good office chair should have 5 pronged base for support. You should also have soft casters for hard surface and hard casters for soft surfaces. Currently, this chair has the softer casters. My chair is sitting on a plastic sheet on top of carpet – so, the surface is also soft. At the moment, this week, it’s not an issue because where my old chair used to have 5 legs .. there are dents in the plastic floor cover! I’m sure over time, the 4 legs will create it’s own indentation in the plastic. I’ve also noted that with the 4 prong legs, if I turn suddenly to the right, it comes a little unstable. I have to watch this to be sure that I don’t tip over and give extra weight to one side of the chair.

    All In All ..

    Well .. 4 out of 5 ain’t that bad and I’m still sure that this chair will last me a few years at least. I’ve hope you enjoyed my adventure in RECORDING of my chair purchase here in this blog .. as it is a major part of my blogging process each day (being comfortable as I write). Also, I want to see how long it will last me and give me something to search for in the upcoming years, when I need a new chair!

    How’s Your Office Chair? How many Hours Do You Sit At Your Computer? How Much Did You Pay For Your Last Office Chair?

    Feel free to let us know in the comments!

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    July 15th, 2009HARTOut Of This World

    HART-Empire Network Is Going To Mars!

    This is your chance to go to Mars!

    Drop by Nasa and fill in your name and location and your name will be included with others on a microchip on the Mars Science Laboratory rover heading to Mars in 2011! You can get a certificate (like above) that you can print and cover with saran wrap and put it on your office wall or something 🙂

    Found: via Amy Byrd at Blogcatalog

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    July 15th, 2009HARTBlogging, HART-Empire Network, Plugins

    Anaglyph-meI’ve decided to add TweetMeme’s “Retweet Button” to all my sites. I am a fan of twitter, and although I have added the Wp-To-Twitter wordpress plugin which, included with other social media buttons appears at the bottom of each of my posts, I think this is complimentary. I remember looking at this plugin early on, and didn’t want anything to do with it because I never saw the RT’s .. it was all going to @tweetmeme, but they changed that. Also, I was receiving a conflicting cron error message with my other twitter plugins (tweet this and wp-to-twitter) so I assumed having more than one twitter plugin will always conflict. This one doesn’t conflict!

    The tweetmeme button shows the number of retweets of the post, so I can see how many people LUV the post 😀 .. plus I have configured it to mention @PetLvr (me!) so I know our posts have been retweeted. It’s easy to install – just like all wordpress plugins .. go into your dashboard, click Plugins, then click Add New .. and search for “Tweetmeme” .. and install, then activate. Simple 😀

    A few things of note ..


    When I activated the plugin for the first time, the plugin appeared next to every post on the front page. Personally, I think that is overkill, because I am using the “Evermore” plugin to show only a few paragraphs of each post with the [more] link, and the button seemed to overwhelm the front page!

    So – this is what I did. I’ve edited the single.php page (or appropriate file where the single post is being displayed) and placed the following code .. just before the content is displayed:

    < ?php if (function_exists('tweetmeme')) echo tweetmeme(); ?>
    < ?php the_content(); ?>

    In the Tweetmeme settings, I ticked “Manual” instead of automatically placing the icon at the top or bottom of the post because I manually added the code to the template. I also added the RT @PetLvr so I receive notice everytime someone retweets one of our posts!


    Usually, when people RT one of my posts .. I tend to include that person in my #followfriday posts on twitter! 😀 and, naturally we will become bestest of best friends!

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    July 14th, 2009HARTHART-Empire Network

    Calm Beauty in Turks & CaicosWelcome to this week’s feature here at the HART-Empire.com blog!

    While most of you may or may not already know .. on Friday July 10, 2009 my SU account was under review. On Monday July 13, 2009 it was reinstated. All the details may be searched in BlogCatalog under my username over there if you are curious, but I feel that is all I have to say about that. Of course, I would like to add that I am now caught up with all the great stumbles in my SU toolbar now .. and with my normal random stumbling .. I think you are in a treat this week with some real “sweet-HARTs”!!

    These are my favorite “sweet-HARTs” that have been stumbled by me during the past week, ended Monday. I hope you feel compelled to go visit these great bloggers and see why I liked their post! Enjoy!

    A Few Great Stumbles This Past Week!

    * Atomic Age Cinema – The Conversation (1974) – 12 parts
    * Chris Cree TV – What is Social Media?
    * Danny Brown – Seesmic Web Ups Ante for Twitter Management Tools
    * Karaoke Lounge – Be the Music: Creating songs without musical instruments
    * Kikolani – Benefits of Blogging – Developing SEO & Internet Marketing Skills
    * Netalot – Reasons For Using Internet Explorer
    * Once A Fortnight – Starvation and Trade – poor bed fellows
    * Pot Politics – Link Building
    * Techjaws – Free SEO Analysis Tool
    * TreeHugger – In Defense of the Cow: How Eating Meat Could Help Slow Climate Change
    * Wikipedia! – List of Most Common Misconceptions!
    * Wimp – Most Talented People On Earth!

    A Few More Weekly Roundups!

    * Kikolani – Fetching Friday – Resources, Follow Friday & New Moon Parody
    * TechJaws – Feeding Frenzy Saturday – Sharks in the Bay
    * Von Pip Musical Express – Music News Week Ending 10/07/2009

    * Your Site Here (if you have a weekly roundup post of good reads that is .. let me know!)

    Around The HART-Empire Network

    * And You Will – Staying Safe At The Beach
    * Battling For Health – Another first: cardiac stem cells to treat heart attack
    * PetLvr – Why Obedience Training is Important

    If you like any of these posts .. please support the blogger .. participating and commenting on their blogs .. subscribe to their RSS feeds … follow them on twitter .. etc etc.

    If you have a weekly roundup of posts and would like to be permanently included in this list – let me know in the comment section! Thanks // HART

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    July 9th, 2009HARTBlogging, Plugins, Recommendation

    134/365 - I Was Lost In The Lakes And The Shapes That Your Body MakesOkay .. maybe “sexy” is a little overdoing it – but, I’ve been blogging since May 2005 and have many blogs and I like to think that I have some experience in selecting the right wordpress plugins for my blogs. Plugins are like the backbbone of your blog, and just like your theme .. determines the functionality and look of your blog. I thought I would share all of the major plugins that I am using around my network of sites.

    Here’s how I keep track of all my plugins .. On my local hard drive, I have a folder something like this:

    Whenever I find a plugin I like, I copy it into a folder such as this:

    If there are specific plugins – e.g. – my translator plugin configured for the PetLvr blog only .. I would do something like this:

    How To Install WordPress Plugins

    If you see something you like, I have linked the name of the wordpress plugin to its author page. Although, I recommend that you try to obtain it through the WordPress Plugin Directory or better yet .. scroll down to the bottom of your PLUGINS page in your dashboard, and use the built-in Plugin Browser/Installer functionality link … you just type the name of the plugin into the search field, and install. This way .. when plugins are outdated or, there is a new version available – you will know because in wordpress, there will be a message below the plugin to warn you. It is very possible that plugins are not updated by the author on major development versions, and if the plugin is private, paid or not in the WordPress Plugin Directory, you many never know if your plugin is out of date or not.


    Here They Are – In Alphabetical Order

    * AccessQontrol – To make your site private, or not…

    * Akismet – Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key to use it.

    * All in One SEO Pack – Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog.

    * Angsuman’s Translator Plugin Gold – This is NOT a FREE plugin. Translator Plugin Gold translates your blog dynamically to forty-one additional languages – German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Arabic, Dutch, Greek, Russian, Norwegian, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Latin American Spanish, Filipino, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swedish, Welsh, Turkish, Latin. Catalan, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithunian, Slovak, Ukranian, Vietnamese. We support blogs written in forty-two different languages – (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Arabic, Dutch, Greek, Russian, Norwegian, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Latin American Spanish, Filipino, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swedish, Welsh, Turkish, Latin. Catalan, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithunian, Slovak, Ukranian, Vietnamese) as the base language of the blog. This is an extremely versatile and easy to use tool to instantly increase your pages by a factor of forty-one, all SEO optimized, to make your blog accessible to a much wider audience. The translated pages can be bookmarked for future use.

    * Audio player – Highly configurable single track mp3 player.

    * Auto-hyperlink URLs – Auto-hyperlink text URLs in post content and comment text to the URL they reference. Does NOT try to hyperlink already hyperlinked URLs. Improves WordPress’s default make_clickable function, along with adding some configuration options.

    * Auto Social Poster Gold (aff) – Increasing Your Blog’s Traffic and Authority .. Download a selection of WordPress plugins!

    * Bad Behavior – Deny automated spambots access to your PHP-based Web site.

    * Clean Archives Reloaded – A slick, Javascript-enhanced post archive list generator for WordPress 2.5+

    * Contact Form 7 – Just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible.

    * CommentLuv – Plugin to show a link to the last post from the commenters blog by parsing the feed at their given URL when they leave a comment. Rewards your readers and encourage more comments.

    * CyStat – Statistik-Plugin

    * Datafeedr (aff) – This is NOT a FREE plugin. You can only get this plugin from Datafeedr.com as part of a Datafeedr.com membership. Never Before Has It Been This Simple To Build Your Own WordPress Affiliate Datafeed Store!

    * Datafeedr Random Ads Plugin – The Datafeedr Random Ads plugin is a free plugin which allows you to simply and easily show random ads anywhere in your template files or using widgets.

    * Evermore – Abbreviate all posts when viewed on multiple post pages. This makes all posts behave as if there is a “< !–more–>” at an appropriate spot inside the content.

    * Exec-PHP – Executes < ?php ?> code in your posts, pages and text widgets.

    * Featured Content Gallery – Used to create a customizable rotating image gallery anywhere within your WordPress site.

    * FeedBurner FeedSmith – Originally authored by Steve Smith, this plugin detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber. By FeedBurner.

    * Full Text Feed – Prevents WordPress 2.1+ from adding a more link to your website’s feed.

    * Get Recent Comments – Display the most recent comments or trackbacks with your own formatting in the sidebar.

    * Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will generate a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO.

    * Insights – Insights allows you to quickly search and insert information (links, images, videos, maps, news..) into your blog posts.

    * Lucia’sLinkLove – Where a commenter has commented at least some number of timeslinks are made “dofollow”. User interface permits blogger to do follow author link or links inside comments.

    * OIOpublisher Direct 2.0 (aff) – Control your Ad Space with OIOpublisher.

    * phpBay Pro Plugin for WordPress (aff) – This is NOT a FREE plugin. Add eBay auction listings to your WordPress posts.

    * Random Redirect – Allows you to create a link to yourblog.example.com/?random which will redirect someone to a random post on your blog, in a StumbleUpon-like fashion.

    * Secure and Accessible PHP Contact Form – This powerful yet easy-to-install contact form features exceptional accessibility and usability while still providing extensive anti-spam and anti-exploit security features. A marriage of communication and peace-of-mind.

    * Sensitive Tag Cloud – This wordpress plugin provides a highly configurable tagcloud that shows tags depending of the current context.

    * Simple Forum – Simple:Press is a feature rich forum plugin for WordPress. It fully integrates into your WP based site utilising the same user records and database and displaying on a single WP page. It is fully customisable and comes with a number of skins and sets of icons to get your started. Current users have shown it to be fully scaleable whether your site membership numbers the tens or the thousands.

    * StatPress – Real time stats for your blog

    * Supr by StumbleUpon – Su.pr is the only URL shortener that gets you more traffic and save time posting to Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon.

    * Theme Test Drive – Safely test drive any theme while visitors are using the default one. Includes instant theme preview via thumbnail.

    * Tweet This – Adds a “Tweet This Post” link to every post and page. Shortens URLs in advance through Th8.us, eating up only 19 of 140 characters.

    * Visual Recent Posts – Visually represents your most recent posts by extracting the first image from each post and displaying it along with the post title and excerpt.

    * Where did they go from here – Show “Readers who viewed this page, also viewed” links on your page. Much like Amazon.com’s product pages.

    * Whydowork Adsense – Insert Adsense code in your pages without modifying the template. Show different ads for articles older than 7 days (or as old as you wish).

    * WordPress Database Backup – On-demand backup of your WordPress database.

    * WordPress Video Plugin – (for wpMU) – A filter for WordPress that displays videos from myvideo.de, youtube, google video, Brightcove, Aniboom, 123video.nl, MyspaceTV, Yahoo! Video, Veoh, Wandeo, Glumbert, Gametrailers, Gamevideos, LiveLeak, sevenload.de, clipfish.de, break.com, Metacafe, dailymotion.com, Vimeo, videotube, blip.tv, revver, IFILM, Tu.tv, grouper, Cellfish.com, Sumo.tv, Last.fm, Vsocial, teachertube, SlideShare, Jumpcut, MSN, GoalVideoz, Guba, wat.tv, Smotri.Com..and many more.

    * WP Admin Bar Reloaded – Adds a small admin bar to the top of every page.

    * WP-Cumulus – Flash based Tag Cloud for WordPress

    * WP to Twitter – Updates Twitter when you create a new blog post or add to your blogroll using Cli.gs. With a Cli.gs API key, creates a clig in your Cli.gs account with the name of your post as the title.

    * WP-PostRatings – Adds an AJAX rating system for your WordPress blog’s post/page.

    * WP-Print – Displays a printable version of your WordPress blog’s post/page.

    * WP-RSSImport – Import and display Feeds in your blog.

    * WP-SpamFree – An extremely powerful anti-spam plugin that virtually eliminates comment spam. Finally, you can enjoy a spam-free WordPress blog! Includes spam-free contact form feature as well.

    * WP Super Cache – Very fast caching plugin for WordPress.

    Hope you enjoyed this list. If you have any useful wordpress plugins activated in your blog – feel free to list it below in the comments, with a brief description what its purpose is, and how you think it helps with the running of your blog!

    Thank-You. // HART

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    July 7th, 2009HARTsweet-HARTs

    Jump on the social media bandwagonWelcome to a new weekly (and resurrected) feature here at the HART-Empire.com blog! Every day, all week, even when I sleep .. I am always trying to promote my sites and other people’s sites too. Some call this function “social marketing” and others refer this as part of the “social media”. Personally, I like to think of it as “helping my friends succeed”. I am a pessimist an optimist, and hope that karma will come back my way – and some of my friends will remember me when they become rich and/or famous 🙂

    Here are some of “HART’s sweet-HARTs” that have been stumbled during the past week, ended Monday. I hope you feel compelled to go visit these great bloggers and see why I liked their post! Enjoy!

    If you have a weekly roundup of posts and would like to be permanently included in this list – let me know in the comment section! Thanks // HART

    A Few Great Stumbles This Past Week!

    * A View From The Other Side – The Secret Life of Inanimate Objects
    * Karaoke Lounge – 10 Awesomely Terrible 90’s One-Hit Wonders
    * Netalot – Some Amusing Internet Quotes To Make You Smile
    * PotPolitics – What role do you play in blogging?
    * Remarkablogger – Should You Write an Ebook if Your Blog is Small?
    * Small Biz Bee – The Key To Innovation And Growth Is Ignoring Fear
    * The Power Publicist – Top 5 Ways of Repurposing your Content: Audio Articles
    * WebDesigner Depot – 100+ Portraits of Iconic People of All Time

    A Few More Weekly Roundups!

    * Anthony McCune, The Lives and Times… – McCunications Weekend Mashup
    * Kikolani – Fetching Friday – Resources Mashup, #FollowFriday, & Some Tennis Love
    * Serradinho – Great reads ending 5 July 2009
    * TechJaws – Feeding Frenzy Saturday – Featured Blog Articles

    Around The HART-Empire Network

    * 1-8-0-0-H-A-R-T – How People Count Cash Around The World
    * And You Will – Urban Gardening
    * Battling For Health – Music for the heart and the vascular system
    * call HART crazy – SUMMER CLASSES – For Men and Women
    * PetLvr – Providing for Pets In the Event of Your Death or Severe Disability

    If you like any of these posts .. please support the blogger by stumbling and/or reviewing their posts .. participating and commenting on their blogs .. subscribe to their RSS feeds … follow them on twitter .. etc etc.

  • scissors
    July 7th, 2009HARTRecommendation

    HART Recommends THINKHOST For Shared Host Plans

    ThinkHost offers green web hosting powered by renewable wind and solar energy, over a world-class outsourced network. Your carbon neutral account with ThinkHost offers you top-level technology, while at the same time supporting a more earth-friendly future .. who provide unlimited domains, unlimited databases and unlimited emails.

    Click on the banner if you are looking to find hosting for your new wordpress blog. This is an affiliate link, and I may earn something from you signing up – but, you will also receive benefit. Check out their green web hosting plan!

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    July 6th, 2009HARTCommunity Spirit

    On July 1, 2009 I converted this blog to a “Do-Follow” blog .. well, that is a modified “do-follow” link to the author of anybody who comments at least 3 times! On short posts like this, it may seem that the sidebar just drags on and on but realistically .. I like to think that space is unlimited over there!

    So – I have added the “Top Commentors Widget” plugin .. umm, yeah .. there’s a lot of options but it’s not that scary 😀 I currently have it set to show the people who comment the most THIS MONTH up to 20 people. It will automatically reset each month, so if you’re trying to be my favorite and get the title of “Top Commentor” .. keep ’em comments coming! 😀

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    July 6th, 2009HARTDaily Tasks

    You know something needs attention when ..

    .. when google sends you an email letting you know that you ran out of room in your free google mail account!

    (click to enlarge to a new window)

    google-run-out-of-space-bottomToday, July 6, 2009 I have literally run out of space in my secondary GMAIL account. I have used up 7,345 MB (7.345 GIGS) of space to freely store backups of all the blogs in the HART-Empire Network, dating back to April 2008 – when the last time I had run out of space. In April 2008, the same amount of space resulted in 5,300 MySql backups (and on 6,660 MBs of space!) however, it seems that some of the backups since then have been in ASCII format and not in MIME or sent as an attachment. I probably should be concerned, but I’m not going to cry over spilt milk.

    You can never be too careful about having backups of your blog and MySQL database and I’m thankful that I have never had to restore a backup to date – except when I moved host providers that is. I think I have a good strategy though, with all my blogs that I have created.


    (1) MySQL Database Backup

    * WordPress Database Backup – I setup daily backups to be emailed to my secondary GMAIL account automatically. Before I do any major wordpress version upgrades, I do a backup and send it to the server’s hard drive and then FTP that file over to my local computer.
    * I am paying for an extra 80 GIG hard drive on my dedicated server, and have scripts to automatically perform grandfathering backups of all MySQL databases only.

    (2) Template and Files Backup

    * After I setup a blog, I do make a backup copy of the ../wp-content/. files to my local hard drive, but I never keep it current. I do it more or less to see what plugins I use when I created that blog if I ever want to compare 🙂 I do make regular backups of my template theme however. Besides backing up the files from the server to my local hard drive (a mirror copy at all times) .. I also create extra backup folders within the active theme that was copies (e.g. /backup-2009-0706/) and create an archive backup of my template at specific point in time. Let’s face it – I can have a current backup, but with PHP i could make one bad change and have two copies of crap. This way, I can always revert to a working theme anytime.


    I have deleted all of my old backups from my secondary GMAIL. I have a third gmail account, and forwarded the latest backups at June 30th for archive purposes .. but really I have no intention of every using them, so I deleted everything!


    Backups are not meant to be restored, unless you damaged them and need to restore the data. This is not the case for me (knock on wood). In case you didn’t know – when you delete any emails or spam emails, you don’t actually delete them from your GMAIL Account. They are transfered to the TRASH folder, and if everything goes well – will automatically delete after 30 days – unless you trigger it to delete everything NOW – like I just did!

    Today’s Task

    I have a clean GMAIL account once again, and I will go back to each of my blogs over the next few days to be sure my blogs have the latest plugin installed, and then set each to automatically make a backup daily. Sometimes, on old backup setups .. everything may be already set, but in the meantime I might have added a new plugin or two that creates more MySQL database tables that are not included in the automated backups. This task will force me to fix that oversight.

    How’s your backup routine? Does it exist? What are you doing to protect your database and your blog? Feel free to tell us in the comment section!

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