Harry Potter Book Covers Released (U.S. and U.K. Versions)

Publishers Scholastic in the USA and Bloomsbury in the U.K. have released covers for the seventh and last book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. From left to right are the U.S. version, the U.K. adult version, and the U.K. children’s version. On the front of the wraparound cover of the U.S. version, 17-year-old Harry reaches his left hand toward an orange sky. On the back, spidery hands reach for Harry. Only when they open the book can readers see those hands belong to Potter’s enemy, Lord Voldemort, whose glowing red eyes peer from under a hood. Harry is wearing an amulet in a pouch around his neck.


New WordPress Plugin for Full Text RSS Feed

One quirk of WordPress (starting at version 2.1) is the interaction between the ‘more’ tag and the RSS feed. Even if you choose ‘Full Text’ under Syndication Feeds | Reading Options and then use the ‘more’ tag, your post gets cut off after the tag. There are no options to disable this ‘feature’. Why is this a problem? Social sites such Technorati and myFeedz index your site via the RSS feed. Your site will only get indexed partially and tags appearing after the ‘more’ tag will be missed. Yahoo! also uses RSS feed for indexing – although as an option. If you use Feedburners Email Subscription Service, your readers only get part of your post.


Amazon Contextual Links for Associates Blogs and Websites

Amazon [[AMZN]] has just announced beta release of contextual PPA links. Dubbed ‘Context Links‘, the new feature will automatically identify and link relevant phrases within page content to Amazon products. Setup is via the Associates admin panel, Associates Central->Build Links->Context Links. After you embed one simple JavaScript in your pages (usually placed in the WordPress footer template), Context Links will identify and link contextually relevant phrases within your content to the correct landing page at If you enable the preview functionality blog/website visitors will see a preview of a product relevant to the phrase that was selected. Clicking on the link will send site visitors to the product detail page on allowing Associates to earn referral fees just as with any link created manually.


Become an eBay Affiliate with AuctionAds

If you are like me, you’ve probably wanted to link to items on eBay – but found the eBay affiliate program too complex to deal with. Well, now there is AuctionAds! Auction Ads (aka, AuctionAdsAuction Ads is jointly owned by ShoeMoney and MediaWhiz (the owners of Text Link Ads).) allows you to run eBay ads on your site without signing up directly with eBay. Bloggers get a portion of the revenue generated when someone clicks through their site to either purchase something from eBay or sign-up for a new eBay account. Actions are defined as a Winning Bid, a Buy-it-Now or a confirmed user registration. The way AuctionAds works is that all publishers in their system come under one affiliate at eBay which means the earnings for everyone will be a lot higher than if any one individual became an affiliate (see eBay’s sliding pay out scale). For a limited…


Google AdSense Combo Text/Image Ad

I saw this AdSense ad on my sidebar earlier today. It appeared in my prime 200x200px ad spot. The add code for that spot allows either image or text ads. To my surprise, [tag]Google[/tag] served up what appears to be combination text/image ad. The image is reduced in size leaving room at the top for a lengthy hyperlink. Most image ads have had text in them before – but nothing that looked so blatantly like a hyperlink. The link in the ad does not follow the colors that I selected for the text-only ads. Also, there is a small arrow (middle right) inviting a ‘positive response’ from a viewer. What do you think? Is the ad more interesting that either a pure [tag]AdSense[/tag] text ad or a pure Adsense image ad? Is the little arrow perhaps a bit too inviting? Update (May 15): Looking back, I now think Google was…


Creating an Alternate Ad for Google AdSense

Google [tag]AdSense[/tag] ads are a great source of income for many web site publishers. Google delivers the ads live relevant to the content of the web page. The ads are delivered from the inventory of ads they have available. What happens when no ads are available at the time? AdSense delivers non-profit (non-paying) ads. Or, lets you choose a filler color for no ad. Most publishers choose the later option. The end result is lost income and ugly white space on the web page. Google, however, allows you to specify content to display whenever they don’t have sufficient relevant ads in their inventory. Instead of their ads, they display your alternate ad(s).