Server monitoring site adds weekly e-mail reports

Mon.itor.us, a free service that monitors the availability of your web server, now sends weekly PDF reports on the uptime of your websites. The report provides a snapshot of the availability of your site within the week. The weekly PDF report seemed a recent addition to its already formidable lineup of services. This is still the second time I’ve received one.

web server availability report PDF REPORT. Mon.itor.us sends a weekly report on the availability of servers you are monitoring. Click on image to enlarge.

Of course, you can always go to your mon.itor.us account to view detailed statistics not only on your web server availability but also on response times. Mon.itor.us monitors web server performance from three different locations—Germany, Austria, and the United States.

Of all the free web server monitoring services I tried, mon.itor.us is the most consistent and dependable. It’s is usually the first to alert me whenever any of the sites I monitor is down. This means mon.itor.us checks availability more frequently than the other services.

Mon.itor.us also provides its users detailed records of the response times of web servers. You can view the response time of your site, from which country and on what hour of any given day since you signed up for its service.

I’ve previously written about how to use mon.itor.us to compare web hosting providers. I still continue monitoring blogs with Media Temple and Dreamhost to help me on my choice of company to sign up with. I’m currently on a shared server account with A Small Orange and I’m happy with its service. I’ve decided to sign up for another year with them, this time on a bigger plan.

Continue reading →

Track your blog visitors’ sessions with Clicky

If you’re still waiting for that MeasureMap invitation, don’t fret. A new service has opened that will more than make up for the time (what is it now? several months?) you spent waiting for the still unsent service invitations.

Clicky is a new service created “to complement” other website metrics tools. What Clicky does is help website owners “track individual users, to see where they came from, what they did, and how long they stuck around.” I signed up for the service two hours back and the stats I’ve been getting so far are really interesting.

Clicky dashboard CLICKY DASHBOARD. Clicky is a new website metrics tool that will help you track visitor sessions: how website visitors found your site, how long they stayed and the last page they viewed before leaving. Click on image to enlarge.

Clicky does the usual tracking of unique visitors and page views as well as browsers used and search engine and keyword referrals.

But what differentiates Clicky from other free services I frequently use is that it tracks visitor sessions. Not only would you know how a particular visitor (identified via IP address) got to your site, you can also get information on how long the visitor stayed and which pages he or she read and clicked.

Continue reading →

Back up your mobile phone data online

Most people today rely on cell phones for the storage of contacts and appointments. This reliance on a single device can be risky and devastating when your phone gets lost or stolen.

To prevent a disaster such as losing important contact details, you need to regularly back up your phone data. Most phones today come with PC suites that allow you to easily manage and back up these data. If you’re using a SonyEricsson phone, use Float’s Mobile Agent, it’s the best PC software for your unit.

The problem with using PC software to back up your data is that you need to regularly connect your phone to your PC in order to get an up-to-date version of your data. I don’t have problems with this as my phone is always connected to my PC when I’m in the office because I exclusively use Float’s Mobile Agent to manage it.

But for those who don’t regularly do this, there’s an easier backup option: use the free zyb.com service. Zyb.com allows you to store your address book and calendar online and then synchronize the data between your account and your phone (or phones since you can use multiple handsets with one account.) (See screenshots below.)

Continue reading →

Google Analytics now open for new signups

For those waiting for Google Analytics to open signing up for new accounts again, you can do so at google.com/analytics. The Google Analytics team has announced in its blog that they’ve removed the waitlist for the website metrics service and now allow anyone with a website to create free accounts.

Google Analytics is a comprehensive website metrics service based on Urchin, which was bought by Google. It offers website owners a lot of data on visitor traffic. One of its coolest features is the site overlay, which shows you the parts of your web page being clicked by visitors.

With the recent upgrade of blogger and the opening of signups for Google Analytics, maybe MeasureMap will be improved next. MeasureMap is an excellent website metrics service focused on blogs. For so long now, the service has either been slow or unavailable. I hope Google eventually improves MeasureMap’s performance, it is a service I’m sure bloggers would like to use every day.

For a round-up of blog metrics services I tested, you can read this article.

Version control

I can be extremely disorganized with computer files. My bare desktop hides a labyrinthine hard drive that contains files in sub-folders upon illogically named sub-folders that at times, I actually have to search for files.

I’m dependent on online drives for the centralized storage of files I’m working on. For so long, I used my online drive as repository of the latest versions of the files I’d need. Several times, however, I’d forget to upload the latest version of a file and then I’d find myself working on an old copy and grappling to remember which parts I’ve changed.

At times I’d redo the changes I did earlier but often, I’d just wait to report for work (if the files are in my office PC) or go home (if they’re in my home computer).

This can be such a downer, especially if you’ve already map out the things you’d be doing and you’re all set to pull an all-nighter.

Continue reading →

Get a second desktop and access it anywhere

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of an online desktop, a workspace that is accessible on any computer with an Internet connection. Last year, I tried to set one up for myself using a variety of free services: from free online file storage to online notes and to-do lists. I ended up with a collection of various free services and scripts, gathered in an online start page, that I continue to use today.

The problem with this is that I have to log into multiple accounts to use various components of my setup. I tried Goowy hoping to get a more desktop-like online interface but it didn’t have online storage then (it now integrates your Box.net account, which is really a great feature) and it was so slow. After more than a month, I wasn’t using Goowy as extensively as when I started with the service.

I also tried the EyeOS.info service, a showcase of the open source EyeOS program. Again, it’s a great service and an even better script (it’s on my try to install list). The service also doesn’t have an online storage, which is understandable because EyeOS.info was started to showcase the open source project.

And then I saw Desktoptwo via a link in del.icio.us.

Desktoptwo is by far the closest thing to a desktop among the services I’ve tried. (Click on screenshots to view larger images)

Continue reading →

Sign up for an excellent website analytics tool with 103bees

Occasionally, you come across a website or an online service that makes you stop everything you’re doing because you absolutely have to try it. I had that experience with MeasureMap, Crazy Egg, Wridea, Lightbox, Zooomr and now 103bees.

I read about the free website traffic analytics tool in this post in Performancing, a site that should be listed in your RSS feed reader if you’re a blogger. I read about the service shortly after the paper was put to bed early today and went to the site for a cursory browsing of its features. I was hooked.

I signed up for the service a few minutes ago to check the data it gathers and I’m very impressed with its reporting. Activating your account is very easy, you just copy a snippet of code and, if you’re using WordPress, paste it in your footer.php theme file. (click on photos to view larger images)

If you care about your website’s performance in search engines, 103bees should be the first service you sign up to, it is that good.

Continue reading →

Work on blog post ideas with Wridea

I seldom finish a blog post in one session in front of the computer. My typical blogging day starts with reading news feeds to check on updates on topics that interest me. Sometimes I get a blog post idea while reading RSS feed items and I’d write a note in my personal wiki about the topic.

I’d then work on the post in the office, right before the newsroom goes into overdrive chasing page deadlines and after I’ve finished my pages and while waiting for pages assigned to me for line-reading. I’d then publish the post at home, after my early morning meal–that’s dinner for all you morning people.

Most of the time, however, I’m working on several projects that can generate several blog posts. These projects are experiments on content management systems, blogging, wikis and anything that might be of use in a newsroom environment, particularly that of a small community newspaper.

I keep my technical notes on these experiments and my to-do lists in various personal wikis, including a txt file in my K750i. But for blog post ideas, I may have found the best notes repository, for me, in Wridea. (Click on photo to view larger image)

Continue reading →

Zooomr 2.0 now live

After days of being delayed by a denial of service attack, Zooomr finally launched version 2.0 of its service today. Apart from finally being able to try features the Zooomr team has added, I’m just relieved that I can finally use the service.

I really like Zooomr, especially with the way it promoted its service among bloggers. If you open an account with Zooomr and you blog a photo stored in its servers, you can get a free one year pro account, which gives you a monthly uploading quota of 2 gigabytes. After meeting the conditions of the promo, you can upgrade your account here.

I’m still trying out the new features of Zooomr, one of which is geo-tagging your images (click on photo to enlarge). I browsed through the photos that I’ve uploaded to enter tags and I find the service almost as fast as Flickr’s. This is an improvement because when I first started using Zooomr, it was a bit slower than Flickr, albeit not by much.
Geo-tagging in zooomr

Denial of service attack delays Zooomr 2.0 launch

Flickr competitor Zooomr was set to launch version 2.0 of its service last week and it created such a loud buzz with its free pro account offer for bloggers. That launch has been delayed by a denial of service attack.

Zooomr said in its blog that the attack has been dealt with and they’re just fine-tuning the system to make sure such an attack will not happen again. Zooomr also says that when the new version finally launches, users will “see a huge speed increase along with the new design and new features.”

You might say it is still premature to describe Zooomr as a Flickr “competitor” because of the disparity in their user base but I really like what Zooomr is offering, especially with its free accounts. Both sites offer unlimited storage but Flickr restricts the display of your photos to the last 200 images. Zooomr also offers a bigger upload quota for free accounts at 50MB monthly, more than double Flickr’s 20MB quota for free accounts.