Technology Bloggers has two types of community members, those who read and those who write – some people do both.
For a long time now, those who contribute articles to the blog, and those who read those contributions, have seen the blog in the same way.
Thanks to a clever bit of coding and a plugin or two, logged in users, now see a different blog to those who are logged out.
One of the major differences is advertisements. As you know we sometimes host advertisements on the sidebar or in the footer of the blog, in order to help fund the maintenance of the blog – someone has to pay the bills!
Logged in users still see sponsored editorials and writers personal AdSense units, however they no longer see sidebar/footer promotions. Also, logged in users get ‘behind the scenes’ information an updates that normal users don’t need to see.
For an example, see the image below.
What Technology Bloggers homepage footer currently looks like for normal readers and logged in users.
For search engine optimisation reasons, I have been trying to remove links from the blog’s design (specifically sidebar and footer) as too many links can look spammy, and throw PageRank in all directions. Fewer links means those pages that are linked to (both internal and external) carry greater authority.
So, if you are a writer, check out your sidebar and footer, as it is different to when you are not logged in. Even if you don’t have an account, take a look at the sidebar and footer, as there is some really interesting stuff which you might find useful there!
On a slightly different note, our prodigy (well he did win the 2012 ‘Rising Star’ community award) Jonny Hankins is currently learning more about our commenting systems, via Technology Bloggers Progression Academy – a new initiative I am developing – with the aim to have him modifying comments, and therefore being promoted to the status of Editor (Level 1), in the very near future.
Hopefully we can get more writers moderating their own comments too soon. Technology Bloggers Progression Academy material is currently being tested on our guinea pig – also Mr Hankins!
Advertising is a key element in the operation of a business. People learn about new products, special item sales and clearance sales through advertising. Entrepreneurs know that the key to selling products is to let buyers know that the products they need and want are available at reasonable prices.
Since many people sell similar products, advertisers realise that the best chance for selling a product is to find an interested buyer. Therefore, some advertisers specialise in compiling lists of targeted customers. They know that sending advertisements to uninterested people is a waste of time and money. In addition, if they can guarantee a targeted list, they can charge more for advertising.
Finding a targeted buyer is only the beginning. It’s true that if the product is really good, it will sell itself. However, with many competitors trying to sell to the same buyers, advertisers must be more innovative. They must have more than a picture of the product, and a sign that says “Buy this!” to succeed. They must use their imaginations and modern technology to present their products in an engaging manner.
Two technological events have made the advertisers’ dreams come true, by revolutionising advertising. They are the Open Internet Exchange and Phorm Technology.
Open Internet Exchange
Modern technology has created the perfect showplace for the computing and electronic industries. The Open Internet Exchange places the buyers and sellers in an area that belongs to them. It is the perfect place to introduce new products and sell old products at a reduced price. In addition, it is the businessman’s dream because it offers the opportunity to reduce costs of manufacturing and purchasing. It increases the efficiency of supply chain management.
Phorm Technology Targets Customers
Advertisers who insist that their targeted customer list be valid have the perfect guarantee with u-phorm.com. In order to access this site, you would use the site name. However, if you are randomly searching for sites related to education, schools, training, types of learning and other similar subjects, your profile suggests that you are interested in education.
Since u-phorm.com specialises in kinesthetic learning, you will discover the various ways that they combine learning with physical activity. Without knowing it, you have become a member of the targeted group. With the presentation of their ad, you may decide to take advantage of the training, or you may ignore it.
How it Works
Phorm has contracted with Internet Service Providers to offer a program that tracks a user’s browser to compile user interest content for advertising. The program is free, but the user must choose to use it.
When the program is chosen, a random number is attached to the user’s browser and used to track every website that the user visits. After the user’s interest content is compiled, the user is given the latest information about his search. The web is searched for news stories, blogs and videos so that the user may access the latest information available.
Technology Bloggers is getting bigger and growing day by day. When the community was founded in April last year, our readership was just a few hundred people a week. We now have tens of thousands of visitors a month.
With size comes opportunity, and recently we have been gifted a fantastic opportunity by British Gas. In the past Technology Bloggers has been British Gas’s blog of the month, demonstrating that they understand the work we are doing.
A few weeks ago I was offered the chance to step into the future of smarter living, becoming one of the first people ever to have a Remote Heating Control system fitted. How could I refuse such an amazing offer?
On behalf of Technology Bloggers, I am to test and review an innovative new technology which is going to be making its way into all of our homes very soon.
British Gas’s Campaign
There have been some great technological advances in the last few years in the energy sector, like for example smart meters and Baxi Ecogen boilers which can ultimately help us to be more efficient in the way we use energy.
British Gas are now starting to offer these innovative new technologies to me and you – the consumer, and in order to give the consumer an unbiased view of the technologies, they have asked a handful of bloggers to test out the technology. This handful of bloggers (including me from Technology Bloggers) will then blog about their findings, in order to help people better understand the new technologies available, and the potential implications of upgrading/installing the technologies.
Here is a television ad British Gas have launched, to raise awareness about smarter homes.
Testing a new technology is a journey, and therefore I feel as I am going to be writing about my journey and experience of the technology, it would be appropriate for me to write in the form of a series. Our blog has had two series before, making this its third. If you are unsure what a series is, please check out our writers guide to writing a series, which gives an explanation.
I feel that if I write the posts in a constant flow (i.e.) a series, it will feel less fragmented then were I to write the posts individually.
The series will post fortnightly on a Friday, meaning that every other Friday, you will get an update as to how my experience and understanding of the technology is progressing.
The next post will go live on Friday the 7th of September.
About The Technology
The technology I am to test and review is known as Remote Heating Control, and really it does what it says on the tin. It is an innovative new technology which gives you better control over your heating, whether you are in the house or a remote location.
Controlling your heating via a smartphone – Android and iPhone
The technology is programmable via three methods: on the device itself; via smartphone; via an online account – accessible anywhere you have an internet connection.
The technology also has a very advanced and programmable timer system. You can set exact temperatures that you want your house to be at, at exact times. From what I understand it is very easy to set up a reasonable complex heating scheduled, to make sure your comfort is maximised, whilst you potentially save money at the same time, by reducing unnecessary heating.
More to come on the technology over the course of the series.
If you have been a loyal reader for sometime now, you probably know a lot about me, my views and the way I like to operate. If you don’t, below is an extract of my profile on the British Gas user reviews site, which can hopefully help you understand a bit more about who I am.
I am a techie at heart and love to follow the latest innovations and developments in the industry. I specifically take an interest in green (sustainable, efficient and renewable) technology, and always consider the environmental implications of new innovations.
I have always thought heating systems are inefficient, and this ultimately leads to big waste of resources. Therefore I am really pleased to be testing a technology that could potentially revolutionise the way we control our heating.
I couldn’t refuse the opportunity to test a new technology which is set to revolutionise the way we all use energy in the future, ultimately changing and hopefully improving our lives!
I really look forward to having better control over my heating, by having Remote Heating Control installed in my home and am really excited to test and review this new, innovative, green technology!
As British Gas want to get the word out, the have said that they will be promoting the content myself and the other bloggers involved write via their website and social media. This means that the content published on our blog, could potentially help hundreds of thousands of people (maybe even millions) in formulating their opinion on these new technologies. My hope is that this should also help speed up the growth in our readership ever further.
As a community blog, we are very used to analysing who benefits from a given activity, but who will benefit from this project?
Me – I will get Remote Heating Control installed in my home, giving me better control of my own heating
Technology Bloggers – I hope that the promotion British Gas can offer us will boost our readership, helping us grow the community further
The consumer (you) – The information and reviews of the technology I provide, I hope will benefit anyone who is a potential install candidate, make their mind up about whether or not to embrace the new technology
British Gas – British Gas will be getting impartial reviews which they can show to consumers, potentially boosting their sales
What are your thoughts on the campaign? Do you think it will be beneficial for the blog? What sort of things would you like me to mention/discuss in my series? Are you interested in getting a smarter home?