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Maintanence: Trying out FeedBurner

Piping the RSS Feed through FeedBurner.

Mediabistro Course

Social Media 201

Social Media 201Starting October 13Social Media 201 picks up where Social Media 101 left off, to provide you with hands-on instruction for gaining likes, followers, retweets, favorites, pins, and engagement. Social media experts will teach you how to make social media marketing work for your bottom line and achieving your business goals. Register now!

Your Comments on Commenting using Disqus

Y Combinator‘s Disqus launched today. The form to add your comment below is constructed using Disqus. How do you like it?

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Polling Software for Blogs – Top Picks

Polls are great easy widgets to add to your blogs. We love all sorts of polls.
We are looking for a new, sexy and easy-to-use poll widget or software. Help us choose one.

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Sprint Says Thanks But No Thanks

sprint_logo_small.jpg For around 1,000 of its customers at least, Sprint Nextel has grabbed the “customer is always right” motto and taken it into the alley for a thorough beating. A few days ago it was reported that the company notified problem customers that they were being relieved of their contracts, or in relationship terms, “it’s not you, it’s me.”
“Our records indicate that over the past year, we have received frequent calls from you regarding your billing or other general account information,” the letter reads. “While we have worked to resolve your issues and questions to the best of our ability, the number of inquiries you have made to us during this time has led us to determine that we are unable to meet your current wireless needs.”
“Therefore after careful consideration, the decision has been made to terminate your wireless service agreement effective July 30, 2007.”

Ouch. Is this a slap in the face to customers or the best break-up letter in history? In the spirit of corporate transparency, what Sprint did was pretty intriguing, and dare I say refreshing. Companies that deal in products and services have “problem customers.” They’re never happy, no matter what you do for them. Complaining is what drives them, and joy is their enemy. They’re the kind of people that fill up the notes field of a CRM application in a single phone call. But they’re just a small part of a customer base, and companies begrudgingly attempt to make them happy. For all the great customers mediabistro.com has, there are a few that drive us up a wall. For us to deny their existence would just be silly.

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Wild Safari

safari.gif While most of the Mac-heads are recovering from their weeks-long iphone-gasms, there’s some other Apple-related news at mediabistro.com that isn’t quite as sexy as the latest Steve Job’s special, but still just as vital to western civilization the mediabistro.com community (the ones who are on Macs at least). It’s all got to do with that cute little web browser called Safari.
Recently we rolled out a new registration form on the site. It features some nifty programming technology called AJAX (the non-bathroom cleaning kind). Ironically it’s a non-Ajax portion of the registration form that’s causing a few Mac users some issues, specifically when using the Safari browser.

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Cryptic Error Messages Exist in this Dojo

mb_programmers.jpg If you think of mediabistro.com as a bad-ass, 80′s dojo (and who doesn’t?), you know full-well that fear does not exist (in this dojo). That means we’re not afraid to admit when some technical stuff on our site induces acts of head-scratching, or dare we say, hair-pulling. While our programmers (seen above) work hard to sweep the legs from under our bugs and other little site quirks, I thought I’d share one in particular that seems to annoy our senseis members.
A big annoyance members let us know about is the cryptic error messages they get when entering data in their personal home pages or freelance marketplace profiles. Logic and website law should dictate that the error should specify exactly what you entered wrong. But the legends that built mediabistro.com millions of years ago felt that it would benefit our member’s mental skills if they just got a message that read “errors occurred,” and leave it up to their Kojak-ian instincts to figure it out. That type of error would annoy even the most mild-mannered folk. And let’s face it— you’re on mediabistro.com for the killer editorial content— not to decipher messages that should be reserved for episodes of Lost. Still, there’s an insider tip I’ll share when you get that vague boo-boo error. Nine times out of ten, the problem usually lies with how you enter your dates on your Personal Home Page or Freelance Marketplace profile. When you assign dates to your work samples, make sure that you use the proper date formatting, as shown by the example next to the date field (mm/dd/yyyy). Another tip: you don’t even need to use dates for your clips. Or you can use dates for some and not others. Just make sure that when you do use them, they are formatted properly.
And of course, Cobra Kai never die!

Hey Man, I’m Supposed to be on the @*#&!! List!

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It’s no secret that our newsletters are quite popular with the bistro braintrust— there’s nothing like that IGF (instant gratification fix) when you open up your inbox every morning and see of the Daily Media News Newsfeed, or Revolving Door, or one of our fabulous blogs. They’re such a big part of your day, not getting them is like being deprived of air, water, or another one of life’s necessities.
At least a couple times a day I will get a freak out email from someone who hasn’t gotten the newsletter they subscribe to. This can happen for a couple reasons. For one, maybe you’re not wearing your glasses, and the newsletter is right in front of you. Another reason may be that it found its way into your junk mail folder. Even if it hadn’t gone in there previously, always check the junk folder. Especially if you’re receiving your newsletter at work where all of your mail is likely checked at a higher level (server, not Jesus) before it makes it way to your inbox. The easiest way to make sure our emails don’t go to your spam folder is to add mailer AT mediabistro.com to your safe senders list. Where is that you’re asking? Every mail client has a different method for adding addresses to your whitelist. Luckily, we have instructions for some popular mail clients on our FAQ page.
When you’ve exhausted all these possibilities, and maybe a few others, there’s another trick you can perform that almost always does the job. If you log into your account, go to Login and Email Lists. From there, go to the email lists that you subscribe to. For each one that’s checked off, uncheck it, and then click the submit button. This will temporarily remove you from getting those newsletters. But settle down, chief— just simply re-subscribe by checking the ones you want and click submit again.
And just like that, you’re popular back on the list again.