System Time: 03:06 20 Jun 2013 - 0 Players Online
User:Bs23669/JT Dead Blog Hunt
What is JT's Dead Blog Hunt?
The dead blog hunt is my gaming strategy on BlogShares, a fictional stock market game (It's Free!). This method makes can yield 1000-2000 chips at a short sitting (maybe 2-3 hours), which can net around 20-30 billion B$ dollars on the open market (at time of writing - the market price for chips can and does fluctuate wildly). This entry was added for two reasons. First, I have a couple of different machines, and keeping them all synced with the various scripts was a pain. So, this is a link farm for me. Secondly, I'm sure others have found some of this information useful, here is hoping they continue to do so.
I hope to provide an easy reference for some wonderful tools written by others, and some in depth, current information on easy ways to spot a dead blog.
Of course, this entire page is mostly academic since AdamF completed the Dead Blog Finder. It's nice, very nice, very easy. Go AdamF. (Note: the below adblock stuff is still very useful, as are the spaces tools, and the unicode stuff.)
First and foremost, you MUST read and understand what a dead blog is. That information is available here: Dead Blog.
Browser set-up and add-ons
Next, we need to get your browser configured. For the basis of this how-to, I will assume that you are using FireFox 2.0 or later. Then, we will need a couple of add-ons as prerequisites.
GreaseMonkey: Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension that allows you to customize the way webpages look and function. Used for Midoribe's various tools, see MSN Spaces and Blogspot sections below.
Alternate Languages / Character Sets (optional)
By default, Mac OS X and Linux contain wonderful Unicode support and fonts. WinXP falls a little short. So, this is a brief tutorial of setting up real life Unicode support for Firefox on windows (tested on XP and 2003 Server), because I was tired of all of the spaces blogs being nothing but either boxes or question marks.
For an explanation of what this is really doing, take a look at: What is Unicode?
So, first step, and really the only important one, is to install a font for windows that will display all of the other character sets. The best I have found is a shareware product called Code2000, available here: Code2000 Download Page
1.) Download the file (link is near the bottom of the page) 2.) Copy the resulting .TTF (post-extraction) to c:\windows\fonts
Next, fire up Firefox, and go to:
1.) Tools->Options->Content. 2.) Under the default font dropdown, pick Code2000 3.) Press OK
You will now actually be able to see all of the fun characters from non Latin-1 languages.
Note: there are a lot of different ways to do this. I just got a little annoyed because my Linux distro of choice comes preloaded with decent Unicode fonts, and WinXP apparently still does not.
Speeding up Blogspot (a.k.a. Blogger, a.k.a. Google Blogger, etc.)
First, Blogspot has been kind enough to include the date field in the headers, so it can be quickly parsed to find whether or not a blog is dead (or, at least thought to be dead).
Ways to tell if a Blogspot is truly dead:
1.) Last post dated 6 months prior to current date 2.) Empty blog (Navigation and nothing else) 3.) 404 Not Found error on load (Note: this is only 90% effective - be sure to check a known-good blog to make sure Blogspot is not just hiccuping)
Note that you should always, always double check, but Midoribe has provided us a script to do just that, availible directly here for the GreaseMonkey experts: Deader Reminder, or, preferably, his full announcement on the forums available here: Forum Post
Making MSN Live Spaces a Bit More Sane
First, how can we tell if a MSN Space is really dead?
1.) BLOG module empty or not configured (http://XXXXXX.spaces.live.com/blog/) 2.) Last post dated 6 months or more prior to current date. - Note, http://XXXXXX.spaces.live.com/rss.xml MAY contain dates in easily readable format 3.) "Space is unavailable or access restricted" message - WARNING: do not confuse with "temporarily unavailable" message
Much of this information is from different forum threads - most importantly, point number 1 was covered on the thread: Is This a Blog?.
http://*.sclive.net/ http://tkfiles.storage.msn.com/* http://ads1.msn.com/* http://byfiles.storage.msn.com/*
Please note that if you have a spaces blog, this will render it pretty much useless. I believe that you will not be able to add to or update your space with Adblock turned on.
General Tips / Small Hints
1.) Be sure before you click. Posting to undo your action takes more time than reporting correctly does. However, if you do make a mistake, you can post the error to the thread: Report Incorrectly Delisted/Reported Blogs Here.
2.) Did you know? The "Report Error" window will updates it's contents when you click the link again in the main BlogShares window - these is no need to close it after sending each report. This is great for wide screens or high resolutions.
3.) Persianblogs - These use the Persian calendar, with some gray area (in favor of the blogger and keeping the listing), subtract 622 from the current year to check against the blog. Also, opening rss.xml often (but not always) yields dates more familiar to most users.
Final Note: I made about $2T in about a month and a half doing nothing but this and voting demographics (plus a few odd votes I was *sure* of). [a/n: Actually, more than that, but some was from modding, and more was spent on ideas... so, I averaged]