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Posted by Admin On31st December 2005

Originally posted by and mirrored by , these are directions on how to activate a account for your account. Once you activate this Beta you will be taken to Windows Live Mail rather than Hotmail when logging in.

Windows Live Mail is currently in an invite-only status, but these steps will allow you to circumvent the invite and activate the Beta access yourself.

1) Open up Internet Explorer. MSN likes Internet Explorer, and hates Firefox. (Damn Microsoft!)
2) For this to work, you must be signed out of MSN. Go to the MSN Homepage, and double check you are signed out.
3) Copy this URL to Internet Explorer: Right Click On Here -> Copy
4) You should be redirected to another URL (Another URL to login). Sign in.
5) You should see the regular hotmail once signed in.
6) Once you see the regular hotmail, do Step #3 again. Copy the same URL above.
7) Click ?¢â‚¬EœParticpate?¢â‚¬â„¢ on the bottom (Scroll down!) and walla!


Jump to the top of this page

Posted by Admin On31st December 2005

I just wanted to send everyone a real quick happy New Year. The past few months have been absolutely great for Betaflow and I am sure next year will be even better. Despite my upcoming deployment to Kuwait from January to April, I am sure I will be able to continue work on this blog as well as on the Professional Blogger’s Toolkit series of books.

Here are some of the things to look out for in the upcoming year, coming from

  • The release of the first four books within the Professional Blogger’s Toolkit.
  • Template hosting and reviews, as well as a hosted preview of each.
  • Plugin hosting and reviews.
  • The launch of several more blogs by myself to begin a new blogging network:
    • The first of these new blogs has already been launched, at and details topics concerning Future Defense Technology.
    • The third blog I am launching is currently in the planning stages and will cover mobile audio and entertainment, various car shows, and the completion (from start to finish) of my very own show quality car.
  • The introduction of new bloggers, launching their own blogs, within our blogging network.

Thanks for the dedication and kind words so far – keep them coming, and we’ll see you in the new year – 2006!

Posted by Admin On30th December 2005

Lyndon from wrote a great article entitled “Ten Tips for writing a blog post” for . I am just going to reflect on that post and list my own comments as well.

1. Make your opinion known
People like blogs, they like blogs because they are written by people and not corporations. People want to know what people think, crazy as it sounds they want to know what you think. Tell them exactly what you think using the least amount of words possible.

I really couldn’t have said it better myself. Often times blog authors forget they are a person, and try to portray this big corporate facade for their domain name, when really it’s only them. Hell, even I do it sometime by using “we” when referring to Betaflow as a whole. It’s an old habit from the pre-blog days that needs to be dropped, especially when it’s placed on a blog. Everyone knows a blog is a one-man circus, maybe a few extras on the big blogs, but primarily use “I.” No one will fault you for it.

2. Link like crazy.
Support your post with links to other web pages that are contextual to your post.

Your post means jack-crap if you don’t have supportive links backing it up. If you don’t link to reputable resources, you are just another person either: A) plagarising news articles as their own; or B) spouting off about topics you really have no clue what you are talking about. In addition to linking like crazy, remember to trackback effectively – you can never have to many inbound links.

3. Write Less
Give the maximum amount of information with the least amount of words. Time is finite and people are infinately busy. Blast your knowledge into the reader at the speed of sound.

Most bloggers are blog-readers as well, so when you are writing an article think to yourself, “Would I want to read this?” If it’s to long you are probably not going to want to. At very best you will skim over the article and possibly miss important topics within the article.

4. 250 is enough
A long post is easier to forget and harder to get into. A short post is the opposite.

See number 3.

5. Make Headlines snappy
Contain your whole arguement in your headline. Check out National newspapers to see how they do it.

There is a reason newspapers write snappy headlines – to grab your attention and make you read the article. A blog is nothing more than the newspaper of the future, treat it as such. When people are browsing through Technorati do you think they actually read the excerpts? No! They read the title and if it doesn’t catch their eye they move on – make sure you catch their eye!

6. Include bullet point lists
We all love lists, it structures the info in an easily digestible format.

Although I have yet to do a comprehensive list on this blog don’t think I haven’t though about it. Lists are easy to ready and understand and are great conversation starters (as well as trackback magnets). If you are looking for a few comments or inbound links come up with an inventive list you think others will enjoy reading, will learn from, and most of all will replicate on their own blogs.

7. Make your posts easy to scan
Every few paragraphs insert a sub heading. Make sentences and headlines short and to the point.

Once again we return to the speed reading topic. Remember, when writing articles for your blog, this is not your college thesis. You are trying to reflect your opinion and the facts concerning the topics in the clearest most consice form so your visitors can obtain the knowledge they seek and move on. Treat your content as such. Simple, well formatted sentences work best. Remember to lead into a paragraph from the previous, and don’t be afraid to use subheadings.

8. Be consistent with your style
People like to know what to expect, once you have settled on a style for your audience stick to it.

One of the primary reasons visitors continue to read your blog, or subscribe to your feed, is that they enjoy your writing style and the method in which you portray your opinions to them. Don’t go changing it! As the old saying goes, if it isn’t broke – don’t fix it.

9. Litter the post with Keywords.
Think about what keywords people would use to search for your post and include them in the body text and headers. make sure the keyword placement is natural and does not seem out of place.

As our good friends over at say, “The money is withing the archives.” The only way you’re going to make money off of those archives is if the search engines can find that particular article. Be sure to use relevant keywords, as well as Technorati Tags, to make your articles stand out from the crowd.

10. Edit your post
Good writing is in the editing. Before you hit the submit button, re-read your post and cut out the stuff that you don?¢â‚¬â„¢t need.

No one likes spelling errors or poor grammar – it just makes your articles hard to read. Always go back and proofread your articles prior to publishing them. I intentionally leave all of my Technorati Tags out until after the final edit, so I force myself to go back and proofread my work.

Posted by Admin On26th December 2005

The WordPress crew has officially released WordPress 2.0 as well as a complete redesign of their website. I have already been running RC3 of WordPress 2.0 on for a few days now, and things are working perfectly for me other than some server slowdown (I’m hoping upgrading to the final release will fix that).

I encourage everyone to upgrade to the latest release, there are quite a few new features within the administration panel you’ll enjoy:

  • Theme selection now shows preview images of your installed themes.
  • User management is based on user roles now, goodbye user levels
  • Built in caching for even faster page serving to your visitors
  • Image Uploading is built into the Post panel, as well as the ability to add a new category
  • More hooks and filters for theme and plugin developers
  • Akismet is released with it, all you need is a API key by signing up for a free account
  • Rich Text Editor, for those that aren’t comfortable with (X)HTML – personally, I turned it off

If you’re feeling slightly uncomfortable within WordPress 2.0 or you’re new to the world of professional blogging, be sure to check out my article on the release of the WordPress Professional Blogger’s Toolkit: In The Beginning.

Posted by Admin On22nd December 2005

David Peralty of Phoenixrealm took a page directly out of the Betaflow handbook and ported Andreas07 over to WordPress. He even followed our naming convention! You can see a live demo of this theme at the Phoenixrealm Book Blog or just head on over to David’s post for the download information.

I’d like to personally congratulate David on a great looking conversion and invite others out there to keep us in the loop on any of their conversions of other web designs, especially those from or Andreas Viklund!

Posted by Admin On22nd December 2005

Just a quick tip for the Performancing for Firefox extension from Performancing. If you would like to launch the blog editor via a Shortcut (not requiring Mozilla Firefox to be open), just make a Shortcut to your firefox.exe with the following command line:

path\to\firefox.exe -chrome ?¢â‚¬?“chrome://performancing/content/editor.xul?¢â‚¬A?

Thanks to Jed Brown of Performancing for sending in this tip!

Posted by Admin On22nd December 2005

The pros over at have taken their assistance to professional bloggers to a whole new level with the release of the extension.

This extension, although still in it’s early days, is a very powerful blog editor and should be included in the toolbox of every serious blogger running .

The extension adds a shortcut (F8) and an icon to the bottom right toolbar to access the blog editor in one of it’s three modes: split-screen, tab view, and windowed. Once within the blog editor you can setup access to multiple WordPress, MovableType, and/or Blogger blogs and begin work quickly and easily. A tabbed pane on the right of the blog editor provides quick access to your blogs, the categories for the specific blog you are editing, the post history of that blog, and a more than welcome note storage.

The editing window itself features three different views: Rich Editing, Source Editing, and Preview. The Rich Editing window is what you would expect if you have installed FCKEditor, or other Rich text editors, on your blog, whereas the Source Editing window is what most will be most comfortable with since it acts the same as the normal WordPress editing textarea. The Preview window I found essentially useless and saw very little difference between it and the Rich editor, with the exception of being able to click on links and not edit the content. The Preview pane would have been a lot more effective if it took the blogs stylesheet and/or design into account. Hopefully in the future we can see a full-powered Preview window showing you exactly what the post would look like if added to your blog.

Performancing has so far done an excellent job on this extension and I already find myself using it more and more often, but it is still in beta and has it’s own shortcomings. The most prominent fault among users right now is the inability to add tags easily, although Performancing is working hand-in-hand with Technorati to add this feature in the future. Excerpt editing and custom field editing is missing in this release as well, but the future looks good for these features.

Most of the other downfalls simply pertain to bugs, which are to be expected with an initial beta release. One of the bugs most WordPress users will experience is a mysterious twelve whitespace indention to the title and body of a post submitted via Performancing for Firefox. Others have reported bugs within the category selection pane and the Preview editing pane, but I have yet to experience them or they left no bad taste in my mouth. Performancing has said they intend to release an update in about a week that will address many of these issues and we can all be assured that this extension will remain up to date and have continued addition of new features for a long time to come, as the Performancing team is firmly dedicated to this extension’s success.

I encourage you all to head over to the page on and giving the extension a whirl. Also, check in to the and submit your suggestions and any bug reports you may come up with.

Do any of you have experience with other blog tools developed as a Firefox extension? What are your favorites and why?