Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How To Find Broken Links on Your Site?

Broken links are nothing more than links inside your website that point to pages that don't exist. Maybe you deleted the page because it was not relevant anymore, or maybe your simply used a wrong URL when creating the link. Fact is that when a user clicks on one of those links he will see a frustrating 404 error page. 

It is easy to see how broken links can negatively affect the user experience inside your site. Apart from annoying your human visitors, though, broken links also upset search engine bots, and if your site has too many of them your search rankings might suffer.
For these reasons I recommend that you check for broken links on your site at least twice a year.

Now if you have a large blog or website it would be impossible to check all the links manually right? Luckily there is a great tool that you can use for this purpose, called Xenu's Link Sleuth, or simply Xenu.

Don't worry you won't need to pay anything, just download it and install on your computer (it only runs on Windows).

Here is the official site: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html

The design of the site is horrible, I know, but it is a legitimate project.

Once you have the tool running, just type the URL of your website and it will start crawling all the links. Link verification is done on "normal" links, images, frames, plug-ins, backgrounds, and so on.

You will be able to follow the process, and in the end you will see a report with all the broken links, redirects, valid URLs and more.

It is really a nifty piece of software, and a must have on the tool-belt of any webmaster.

Make sure to visit again at http://www.anilkmishra.blogspot.com, for latest trends and techniques in ICT.

Monday, January 24, 2011

National Seminar on Contemporary Issues for the Information Professionals in the Digital Age (NASCIP-2011)

NASCIP 2011 was organised by INMANTEC and MANLIBNET on 22 January 2011. Many contemporary issues faced by the information professionals in this digital age were discussed by the eminent professionals. Dr. Kalpana Das of National Knowledge Commission (NKC), Govt. of India, the Chief Guest, told the professionals to focus more on the content of the services which they are giving to their patron. Dr. P. R. Goswami, the Librarian Central Secretariat and the guest of Honour, emphasises on delivering good quality services to users. He urged the young LIS professionals to come forward and deliver the best to the Profession.

I also presented my paper entltled: "Development and Analysis of Child Health Repository in India"in this seminar and highlight the procedure for developing repository.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

5 Free PC-Cleaning Downloads

Is your PC slowing you down? Try these to fasten and smarten up your comp, and live with your laptop happily forever…

    From the huge number of free downloads and tools available to tweak your PC to make it boot up faster, here are five featured free downloads which are really easy to use. Web search each title in the list and see carefully as to which tool suits your needs the best. 

   Also note that none of these are Mac-compatible.


Soluto is a freeware programme for the operating systems of PCs. Although no system requirements are specified on the website’s page,the program has been tested on a 32 bit machine and it ran flawlessly. It’s main function is to speed up you boot time – and that it does.

Smart Defrag
This is a tiny PC-compatible utility sized at only 1.8 MB. When you run the program, you can view all your hard drive partitions. Click on the partition you feel is responding slowly, and perform an analysis to see if any files require defragmentation.


Your computer comes loaded with a huge number of fonts you will probably never use. To clean up these redundant fonts, you could employ any one of countless font managers available on the web. The suggested one, however, would be Font-Frenzy – a font manager with some extra font cleaning features. FontFrenzy is a freeware sized at only 490 KB and is compatible with your PC. When you load it, the programme shows all fonts installed on your computer. 

 USB Write Protect
A flash drive virus works by writing itself onto your flash drive. If you could somehow temporarily disable the writing permissions on your drive, your flash drive would be more secure. At the same time, you will be unable to accidentally delete or modify the flash drive’s contents. USB Write Protect is a tiny utility sized at only 11KB. You download the archive, extract it, and run the .exe file in it.


 Bvckup is a programme currently in its beta that works with Windows Operating Systems. The programme has a number of interfaces and functionality features which set it apart from applications that perform the same auto-syncing tasks. 

13 Most Important Blog Post Checklist: Use Before Hitting “Publish”

How many times have you published a post, only to find out you forgot to proofread and that many typos slipped through? What about when the links you included are broken, when you used the wrong keywords, or when you forgot to optimize the post title?

As you can see, there are many things one should check before hitting the “Publish” button, and most of us forget about them. That is why I decided to create “The Blog Post Checklist,” with a list of things you should check before publishing your post. You’ll find it useful especially for those long, linkbait type articles you publish once in a while.

Below you’ll find a description of all the checks, but you can also download a PDF version to print and fix above your computer.

1. Did I read the post after writing it?

Common sense as it sounds, most people don’t read what they just wrote before publishing it. This is a mistake, because unless you read your article as an integral piece you won’t be able to tell if the whole thing makes sense, if the paragraphs and sentences are in the right order, if the arguments are solid and so on.

Before anything else, therefore, read what you just wrote from top to bottom.

2. Is the post as complete as it could be?

If you want to generate as much traffic as possible and to get as many backlinks as possible, you need to make sure that your post is as complete as it could be. If you completed the previous check you should also be able to evaluate whether or not you could add more sections and explanations.

For example, you might be writing a software review, and your post is focused on the features of the software. What about the installation process? What about the compatibility of the software with other programs? These are all aspects you could include, making the post more valuable to potential readers. If you want to read more on this topic check these 10 tips to write popular posts.

3. Did I research the related keywords?

Keywords rule search engines (and the web, as a consequence). If you want to maximize your traffic you need to use the same keywords that most people use. First of all because this will make your post easier to understand. Second because it will help with the search engine optimization.

For instance, you might be writing a post about gaming notebooks. But should you call it “gaming notebooks” or “game laptops”? After using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool you would discover that the term “game notebooks” is searched by 8,000 people every month, while “gaming laptops” is searched by over 60,000 people. This means that the latter is much more widespread, and you probably should go with it.

4. Did I craft the title carefully?

The title of your post is the most important part. Even more important than the body of the post itself, because unless the title grabs the attention of visitors, they won’t read the post.

First of all make sure your title has an emotional hook. For example, you could get the reader excited by offering something of great value (e.g., “100 Photoshop Tutorials to Become a PSD Ninja”), or you could get the reader curious by making an unusual statement (e.g., “5 Things Chuck Norris Can Teach You About Marketing”).

Second, remember to use the main keywords of your post in the title, as this will help with the search engine optimization.

5. Did I proofread it?

I know you have already read your post once to make sure the ideas make sense and the paragraphs are in the right order. However, you’ll need to read it once more, to proofread it.

This time focus on spotting grammar and spelling mistakes. Here are a couple of tricks you can use for this purpose: read your article backwards or read it out loud. Both of these methods will allow you to focus on the single words, making it easier to spot the mistakes.

6. Did I link to one or more of my older posts?

Linking to older posts inside your blog is a practice that helps both human visitors and search bots. It helps human visitors because it lets them explore your archives, possibly complementing or expanding on the information they have just read. It helps search bots because it lets them crawl your site more efficiently, and it also helps them to understand your content (through the link anchor text).

Before publishing the post, take some time to find older posts you can link to.

7. Did I link to external resources when appropriate?

Do not be afraid of linking to external websites. You’ll not lose PageRank, and you’ll not lose readers.

If your content is solid, you’ll only be enriching it by linking to relevant external resources. If you mention a particular tool in your post, for instance, link to it. If you mention a term that readers might not be familiar with, link to the respective Wikipedia entry.

8. Did I make sure all links are working?

All it takes to break a link is to omit a letter, a dot, or to add an extra http:// heading. For example, if you write http://www.siteyouwannalinkto.co the link is not going to work. Similarly, if you write http://http://www.siteyouwannalinkto.com the link is not going to work either. The impact on the user experience, however, is quite significant. If your visitors can’t click on a link you mentioned and find the website they’ll get frustrated.

Before publishing the post use the “Preview” feature of your blogging software and click on all the links to make sure they are working and pointing to the correct URL.

9. Did I credit any sources I might have used?

If your post was inspired by something you read somewhere else, credit it. Similarly, if you used information that came from a particular website or blog, make sure to mention and link to it. This will be fair with the original author, and it will also be useful to your readers, as they will be able to track where everything is coming from.

One post that inspired me to write this one was 13 Questions to Ask Before Publishing a Post On Your Blog, by Darren Rowse. Even though I had read it back in 2008, the idea probably kept wandering in my head, until I finally decided to write my own take on the issue.

10. Did I include an enticing image?

If an image is worth a thousands words, why not use one in your post? Images are a great way to entice people to read the rest of your post. They can also help with the search engine optimization, and bring some traffic from Google image search.

Check out the post Where to Find Images for Your Blog to discover the image sources I use.

11. Did I optimize the permalink?

Most publishing platforms and software allow you to edit the permalink of each post you publish. You should use this feature to make sure your permalinks are concise, and that they contain your main keywords.

Apart from making the permalink look cleaner, this will also help with your search engine optimization and possibly increase the amount of traffic you’ll get from Google and company.

12. Did I add one or more elements to engage readers?

Every blog owner should be trying to build a community around his blog, and engaging readers with your content is one of the best strategies to achieve this.

Practically speaking you could ask them a question at the end of the post, include a poll, make a call to action, use their feedback directly in your post and so on.

13. Is this a good day for traffic?

Even if you have written a masterpiece, you’ll not get the best possible result if you publish it on a Sunday. The best days for traffic are usually Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. But make sure to track your traffic numbers, so you can be sure of the best day for your blog.

Over to the readers: Would you add anything to this checklist?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cast your net wide the best 20 web apps

Everyone likes creating lists—be it the top 50 movies or the 100 greatest songs of all time. We decided to come up with a best-of-Web apps list. You may not agree with some of the apps on our list, but then who said making lists also means pleasing everyone?

1. Zoho Docs
Zoho is an online full-function office suite that lets you create and edit word documents, spreadsheets and presentations, among other things. But wait a minute, why not Google Docs? It was a tough call between our numero uno Web app and the old favourite Google Docs. The reason we chose Zoho is because frankly we're tired of the minor irritants Google Docs keeps throwing up and we value its adherence to its desktop roots in terms of UI.

2. Dropbox
Without a doubt the best file-syncing Web app out there. It's a cross platform and allows you to sync your files across multiple systems, be it Linux-, Mac- or Windows-based. The best part is that apart from syncing folders seamlessly, it also keeps a copy of your files on the cloud.

3. Last.fm
Last.fm is by far the ultimate music discovery app out there. Apart from playing similar artistes on call, this service has a social feel to it—allowing you to connect with people with similar music tastes.

4. ScreenToaster
ScreenToaster is a free Web-based screen capture tool. Registration is not compulsory. All you need to do is visit the site and click Record. This one is a clear-cut replacement of desktop applications such as CamStudio. The only trouble is the app suffers a lot of downtime.

5. Evernote
An online note-taking-cum-clipboard application is something most people have come to need. The Web app allows you to save/organize notes, pictures and reminders from anywhere on the Web. iClippy and SpringPad were contenders, but Evernote nudged them out ever so slightly.

6. Grooveshark
Online music is the only category in which we have two Web apps instead of featuring just one. Grooveshark is the best place on the Web for playing music instantly. Sure, you can make playlists and blah, but if you need a song, and need it now, this is the app!

7. Ge.tt
With Ge.tt you can share files instantly with anyone. Simply upload the file and share the link. What's unique is that there's no size limit and people can start downloading your shared files while you're uploading from your end. If you choose to register, you get stats and analytics too.

8. Pixlr
No Web apps list can be complete without a powerful image-editing application. The Web offers many choices—from basic ones such as Fotoflexer, Lunapic, Picnik and Adobe Photoshop's online version Photoshop Express to an advanced class of editors such as Pixlr, Aviary Phoenix, Splashup and Sumo Paint. After pushing at all of them till they broke, we arrived at Pixlr. If you want to get some serious photoediting done online, Pixlr is the app that truly delivers.

9. Penzu
Penzu is an online personal diary app with special emphasis on privacy and security. The UI is like an old school writing pad or journal where you can pen down your thoughts at the end of a long tiring day.

10. Bitlet.org
This is a cross platform Bit Torrent program that lets you enable your very own Bit Torrent client in the cloud. The Java-based app can load torrent files from a URL or from a local drive. You can set the incoming port and upload limit. It even supports resuming as long as you save in the same location. You can also stream audio as MP3 or Ogg Vorbis format.

11. JotForm
Need to create a feedback or survey form, but don't know Web programming? Sure there's Google Docs Forms, or paid options such as Wufoo and FormStack, but this one is just as powerful and easier to use with its drag and drop functionality. Simply make a form, embed anywhere and receive responses via email.

12. KeepVid
KeepVid is a Web app that allows you to instantly download any video you're currently streaming. It supports sites such as YouTube, Google Video, Metacafe, Putfile and more. Simply paste the URL in the Web UI or use the bookmarklet.

13. DropMocks
Sure you have Picasa and Flikr to create image galleries but what if you want to create a gallery instantaneously? DropMocks is the easiest way to create and share nice-looking image galleries online. All you need to do is drag your image files on to the DropMocks page, and the app will do the rest. Copy link to share your image gallery.

14. PDFmyUrl
Have URL, will convert! Can't get simpler than that. And the PDFs come out in good quality with minimal file size. 5,237,544 PDFs served at the time of writing this.

15. Imo.im
Web-based messengers were perhaps the first Web apps ever to exist. People used them to get around their office IT policy. There's a lot of 'em around, but Imo.im in our opinion is the simplest, most easy to use and fairly reliable.

16. PDFescape
Speaking of PDFs, isn't it difficult to manipulate them even with desktop applications? Here's a Web tool that allows you to fill in PDF forms and generally annotate and manipulate PDFs however you want—be it rearranging pages, typing text, adding links, even erasing and highlighting. The app won a place in this list by a whisker compared with FillanyPDF—another similar Web app that even lets you collect data via PDF forms.

17. Prezi
When you think "presentations", you think "slides", right? Well here's an online presentation tool that's going to redefine how we give presentations. It uses a huge canvas and zooms on important content contextually. On a side note, you will most definitely also want to check out SlideRocket for adding regular spice to conventionality.

18. Online.movavi.com
Transcoding video can be a resource-intensive task. With this app you get to transfer the load to the cloud. The app supports several input/output formats and even presets for popular mobile devices.

19. Torrent2exe
Wouldn't it be nice if you could package a torrent as an executable file that launches with its own inbuilt Bit Torrent client? This Web app does just that. Simply share the file on your blog post (or wherever) and users can download your content in a hassle-free manner.

20. Vuvox
Vuvox is a cutting-edge Web app that allows you to transform simple pictures into an interactive, motion-driven collage. It's a great tool for photobloggers, students or just about anyone who wants to showcase a subject in a fun way.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cool Presentation: 100 Things To Watch In 2011

Whenever I come across “predictions,” “trends” or “things to watch” I make sure to read or at least scan through the material, as it might contain information about stuff I don’t know yet but should. In other words, it’s way to keep my radar on for upcoming opportunities.
That is why I went to flip through the slides of a presentation titled “100 Things to Watch in 2011″ a couple of days ago, and I found it pretty interesting, so much that I decided to blog about it. You’ll find the presentation below (click on “Menu” and “View full screen” to be able to read it easily).

Keep in mind that the topics covered are very general, ranging from countries that growing fast to food that is spreading in different regions of the world. That being said there are many websites and technology trends listed. For example, have you ever thought about ads inside CAPTCHA forms?

Top 10 Ways to Get More Followers on Twitter

There are actual tactics you can use to become more popular in Twitterland, and your friends here at Anil's Information Portal (http://anilkmishra.blogspot.com) are here to help you out.
Read on to find out 10 ways you can stop twittering into the abyss.

1: Create a Good Avatar

This suggestion is for aesthetic purposes, but having an avatar that looks unprofessional will only serve to make you appear unprofessional, and that's no way to increase the number of people following you. Since the avatar is simply a small picture to represent you, work within those means. In other words, don't try and squeeze in a picture of you and Mount Rushmore in the background or you in a room with your 14 cats. The point is for someone to see your face, so stick to that for best results. Make sure you crop the photo because it will end up being about the size of a quarter. Here's another tip -- upload a large image (450 by 450 pixels) to send to Twitter and let them shrink it for you. This way, if someone wants to zoom in and enlarge your image, it won't be a pixilated mess. Now that you have a nice, professional looking avatar, people will never be confused again about who you are or what you look like.

2: Tweets During Peak Hours

How can you expect anyone to follow you if they're asleep? Sending messages, or twittering, during peak hours gives you the best opportunity to be seen, or, rather, read. And that gives you better odds of someone enjoying whatever messages you're sending out and signing up as a follower. So what are the peak hours? There haven't been any studies performed yet, but the Washington, D.C.-based Internet marketing firm Abraham & Harrison have performed some Webinars along with Twitter and confirmed that 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. see heavy use. It's also an opportunity for you to experiment with your tweets and see when you're getting the best response. If you do find that between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. in the United States, either East or West Coast time, gets you a lot of traffic and you live elsewhere in the world, structure you tweets around this schedule. It may not be the most convenient time for you, but if you're interested in gaining followers, you need to be around when the bulk of Twitter users are around.

3: Create an Effective Profile Bio

Unless you're already famous (and even if you are), creating an effective bio entry is a great way to attract followers. Nobody wants to follow someone whose bio reads, "I'm just a couch potato with a lot to say" or "I heart 'Dancing with the Stars' and that says it all." Because no, it doesn't say it all. Be creative, clever and intelligent when writing your bio. You want to sum up who you are in a short space, too, so don't go overboard with the prose. This is also a good place to plant URLs to any other sites you're looking to promote, such as your Facebook page or a blog landing page. But don't only include those links. A good mix of clever self-description mixed with your other links is a good bet to get people interested in what you have to say. If you feel like you can't sum up who you are, find a famous quote that does it for you. Someone might just be intrigued by your Timothy Leary or Ben Franklin quotation and give your account a second look.

4: Send "@Messages" to Top Users

One good way to get noticed is to send something called an "@message" to top Twitter users. Here's how it works. If you and your friend both have Twitter accounts and you both follow each other, you can send direct messages to each other that aren't for public consumption. But you can also send "@messages" to anyone you want, whether you follow them or not, or they follow you or not. Got that? Here's where it gets good -- an "@message" is posted on your profile page for all to see. So if you wanted to send an "@message" to top Twitter user actor Ashton Kutcher, anybody visiting your profile would see it. Good luck getting Mr. Kutcher to send a tweet back to you, but that's not the point. But if he does feel the urge to re-tweet your message -- or broadcast it to all his followers -- 2.9 million people will see it (as of July 30, 2009).

5: Ask Questions

One great way to add followers is to get people engaged so they'll send you a tweet back. There's no better way to get people to respond than to pose questions. Facebook quizzes have shown that people are willing to respond to even the silliest of public opinion polls. So throw some questions on your Twitter and see if you can get people talking. Ask what people's favorite TV show is or who should win American Idol. If there's a hot news item, poll your followers. For instance, in May 2009 the swine flu grabbed headlines all over the world. Simply asking "Are you worried about swine flu?" on your Twitter could generate hundreds of responses from your followers. Each response is then seen by anyone who is following the responder, and that's a great way to increase your Twitter traffic.

6: Link to Interesting Sites

It's easy to get mired down with mundane posts when you're using Twitter. Detailing what you had for breakfast may be fun for your family and close friends, but it's not a good way to get or retain followers. But linking to interesting articles or Web sites is. Many Web sites and blogs are nothing more than a collection of links to the most fascinating, unusual or ground breaking information on the Internet. The Web site stumbledupon.com is just one example of sites that are simply large collections of Web recommendations. If you spend some time scouring these sites and others like it, and you make a habit of twittering about the cool stuff you find, you'll become a reliable source of information about the latest and greatest the Web has to offer -- a great way to gain followers.

7: Develop a Niche

One sure way to get some followers is to get specific about what you want to accomplish with your tweets. Random tweets about everything under the sun can get you some followers, but having a more targeted audience in mind and playing to those followers is a better approach. If you have a lot of knowledge about something, anything, then go with that. Take knitting, for example. If you're a whiz with the yarn, make that your focus, call yourself an expert in the craft of knitting and run with it. It may be a smaller subset you're going after, but if you can become the foremost Twitterer on knitting, then you're bound to get some followers. Go to knitting Web sites and message boards and post answers to some of the most frequently posted questions. Respond to each and every inquiry you get, and before you know it, you'll be a Twitter expert and have more followers than you can shake a knitting needle at.

8: Repeat Yourself

This one may surprise you. You'd think that posting something more than once would only aggravate your followers. But if you're an avid tweeter, then chances are, your followers may not be reading each and every tweet you send out -- especially if you've disobeyed tip number nine and posted outside of peak hours. Repeat your best and most informative tweets several times during the day and see if you get an increase in followers. Who is reading your posts at the time can make all the difference in the world. Let's say you posted about a cool new iPhone application, and nobody said much. Twitter it again eight hours later and your luck may change. Don't overuse this method though. You don't want to become known for posting nothing but repeat messages

9: Post Pictures

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but in this case it just needs to be worth 140 characters. Everyone likes to look at pictures, and Twitter users are no different. Take the image of the US Airways flight 1549 that famously crashed into the Hudson River in January 2009. That image was posted and reposted on Twitter more than 350,000 times. If you were one of the early posters, then you had a good chance of picking up a lot of followers. If you're on the go and you have an iPhone, use applications like Tweetie and Twitterific to upload pictures wherever you are.

10: Link Your Account

If you're connected enough to have a Twitter account, then chances are you use all kinds of other Internet outlets. You need to use every one of these to help promote your Twitter account. Post your Twitter information on your Facebook page. Post it on your blog. If you have accounts with Digg or a resume profile on LinkedIn, use those as well. You should even include your Twitter information as part of your e-mail signature. These are all essentially free ways to advertise whatever you bring to the Twitter table. Combine this method with some or all of the other nine tricks and you'll be one step ahead in trying to lure followers to your account.

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