ThinkComputers Updates


Usually with all of my sites there are little tweaks or things I want to change. With ThinkComputers there was been many things that I have wanted to get done, but I just haven’t had the time. Finally last weekend I took the time to fix a lot of the little problems with ThinkComputers and add a few new things too.

The Newsletter
I had a newsletter going for a while, but I took down the signup form when ThinkComputers got its new layout. I finally put the signup form back in and Justin was nice enough to write me a script that adds e-mails into a database. Since I put it up I have about 15 people signed up for the newsletter. If you want to know when we post a review, or when something is going on make sure you sign up for the newsletter.

Revamping The Reviews Section
The reviews section of the ThinkComputers has been the same since the new layout. You would see the latest 5 reviews and then icons for each review section. Each review section would contain a list of reviews of that specific section. First I switched it around and put the review sections first. There is a list of the latest 5 reviews on the front page as well as a list of the latest 10 on the side of the page so having the latest 5 reviews on the reviews page is not that important, so they are at the bottom. Having the review sections first will hopefully allow users to check out some of our older reviews. In each review section I have added a picture and description of the latest 5 reviews of that section. Before it was just a straight list, I think that having a picture and description will make more people want to check out the reviews. I also added a few new sections to the review page, Bags, Displays and Full Systems / Laptops, and the review page photos are all updated to newer photos.

Ads
There are a few ad updates. First all of the ad sections are run on OpenAds. It is a really powerful program that allows you to input ads into the system and they are stored in a database. So for each ad spot on my page I can have many ads rotating and enable and disable certain ads. The system also tracks impressions and clicks so if I have private advertising they can see how their ads are performing. I have signed up for 2 new advertising companies. I have had Text Link Ads on my blog for a while now, but haven’t had really any luck. I figured I would give it a try on ThinkComputers. I have already sold 1 link at $75, hopefully more come along. The second company is Auction Ads. I have heard some good things about Auction Ads so I decided to give them a try. It’s too early to see how well they will perform, but I will keep you updated on that.

So those are some of the little tweaks and updates I have done to make ThinkComputers a little more user friendly and easier to manage. Have a great Friday everyone!

Cooking Mama!


If you have a Wii you need to check out Cooking Mama: Cook Off! It is a really fun game and anyone can pickup a Wii remote and start playing. I’m not going to tell you all about the game, you can read my review over at ThinkGaming. If you have a chance, pick this game up for sure. Enjoy the video above of me cooking some Shrimp in chili sauce!

Brainstorming


Why is brainstorming important? I think for me it allows me to come up with quality posts and content. I see a lot of bloggers writing impulse posts. These are quick posts that they have thought up that day and post right away. Now there is nothing wrong with impulse posts, but I feel that the long though out and written well posts are better. With this blog most of my personal posts are impulse posts, I do something fun and I write about it. But when I am writing a post about business or blogging I usually take the time to think out each post and take my time writing it.

Write Things Down
The first and most important part to my brainstorming is coming up with ideas for posts. When I do any type of brainstorming I usually try to find a relaxing place in my townhouse and sit down with a notepad. The first things I write down are the possible topics I want to write about. Writing things down is always important. Sometime I think of a great idea when I’m out, but then when I get home I totally forget about it. So it is always important to write things down.

Think out the whole post
Besides just thinking about the topic of the post there are a few other things you might want to write down about the posts. I usually write down the main things that I want to point out in the post and also the post length. These sort of give me a guideline for my writing. I know when I have a topic I start writing and sometimes don’t know where to go after a certain point so having those guidelines make writing easier.

Time Management
Brainstorming helps me out a lot with time management. I know I get a lot of IM’s from fellow bloggers saying, “What should I blog about today?”. Since I have a good list of topics to write about I don’t have to take the time each day to come up with topics. Usually I take one day a week and think up about 7-10 topics that I can write about for that week. Also having the list of topics gives me some choice, because sometimes I will think of a topic, but I know the post will take quite a while for me to write so I will pick a shorter topic instead then work on the longer one over a few days. This way I will have a steady flow of posts, not missing any days.

Brainstorming is a very valuable tool in any type of business. It is always better to think things about before you do them.

Finally on Flickr


I’ve had a free pro Flickr code for some time now, well I finally cashed it in. For those who don’t know Flickr is a place where you can store photos online and people can view them, leave comments, etc. I always like to get feedback on pictures I take or just some funny comments so since I had some free time I setup my account.

I was surprised how easy it was to upload a lot of photos at once. Flickr does have a web based upload system, but they also have a program where you can just drag and drop photos and click upload and they are there. Also if I have a large photo I don’t need to resize it, Flickr will do it for me. I wasn’t going to resize 100 old photos just to upload them to Flickr!

So I have my account setup and have added a bunch of older photos. I hope to keep up with it and add a few photos each week. I used to have random photos from my ThinkComputers Gallery on the side of the blog, but no one really would comment on them so I have added the Flickr badge that shows 10 random photos of mine. Feel free to add comments on my photos and add my as a contact!

Taking Ashley to Outback


After going to Outback with Sebastian and telling Ashley about it she told me she had never been to Outback so I decided I would take her. We went to the Outback in Robinson because we were out that way. It was nice out so we decided to beat the wait and eat outside. The Outback in Robinson has a few tables outside on the patio, which is perfect for a summer day. I really enjoy eating outside, it makes me feel more relaxed. The last time Ashley and I ate outside was at Yokoso.

For Ashley’s meal she decided on the King Crab legs, which came with a baked potato and salad. The crab legs were good (I had a bite), some places you go that don’t specialize in seafood have horrible crab legs, the ones at Outback were quite good.

This time I went with the Melbourne, which is a 20oz porterhouse steak. I really think Sebastian got ripped off when we went because my steak this time seemed much bigger than the one he got. Oh well.

My meal also came with mashed potatoes and a salad. Ashley and I also shared a Bloomin Onion. I can’t find the recipe here, but I think everything with tip was around $70. Not bad for great tasting crab and steak.