Broken Link Contest

Help me clean up this mess — and maybe win a prize.

I’ve been building content on this site since 2003. In eight years, I’ve collected a lot of junk.

Broken Link ImageAs I revise this site, I’m going through every single post, deleting the ones I don’t think are relevant anymore, and fixing up the ones that remain. Along the way, I hope to hunt down and destroy all broken links.

But I’m only one person and can only check so many links in a day. So I’m asking for your help. And I’m willing to reward the folks who help me most with a free copy of any one of my books still in print.

Here’s how you can enter to win:

  1. Browse the site as you normally would.
  2. When you find a broken link*, open the comment for this post. (I put a link to it in the sidebar so it’s easy to find.)
  3. Check all the preceding comments to make sure your broken link isn’t already listed. I can’t give points for duplicate entries!

  4. If the broken link isn’t already listed, use the Comments form at the bottom of the page to enter the following information:
    • Your name and email address. (This might not be necessary if you’ve already commented here.) Please use your real email address; I will use it to contact you if you’re a winner. I will not share your address with anyone else or spam you. I promise.
    • The URL of the page where you found the broken link. It must begin with http://www.mariaguides.com/ — I’m not interested in rewarding folks for finding broken links on other sites.
    • The URL of the broken link. The easiest way to get this information is to either Control-Click (Mac OS) or Right-Click (Mac OS or Windows) on the broken link and use the Copy Link Location command in the contextual menu that appears. You can then paste it into the comment form.
  5. Submit the comment.
  6. Repeat as necessary. The more broken links you report, the better your chances of winning.

When I approve the comments — all comments are moderated here — I’ll check your findings. If you’ve correctly identified a broken link, you’ll score a point and I’ll note that in a reply to your comment.

At November month-end, I’ll award prizes to the top broken link finders.

Does this sound like a plan? I hope so. l could really use the help.


* A “broken link” is a link on a Web page that, when clicked, displays a “Page Not Found” error or something similar. In other words, it doesn’t display what it should for whatever reason.

Interesting Links, August 2010

Here are the links I found interesting in August, 2010:

  • Delimiter – Aussie sci-fi author David Freer on eBooks, DRM and Bass Strait internet – Science fiction author David Freer offers his views on DRM and ebooks. I find that they’re pretty close to my thoughts on the matter. On Delimiter. Thanks to @Miraz for sharing the link.
  • Would You Like Some Help? – Remember Clippy?
  • 5 reasons why people hate Apple – “Every company has its opponents, but Apple really gets people worked up. Some people hate Apple a lot, more than they hate Nazis or Smurfs. They leave angry comments on Apple blogs. Based on my extensive observations of the species, Apple-haters fall into five categories. If you’re an Apple-hater, which one of these categories do you fit in?” By Mitch Wagoner. Read more on Computerworld.
  • Google and Verizon Near Deal on Pay Tiers for Web – “Google and Verizon, two leading players in Internet service and content, are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.” Could this be the beginning of the end of net neutrality? In The New York Times.
  • Twitter’s Meteoric Rise Compared to Facebook – Here’s another infographic — this one is for Twitter stats. On The Blog Herald.
  • Facebook Statistics: The Numbers Game Continues – Interesting infographic depicting the raw numbers of Facebook. On the Blog Herald. Thanks to @plagiarismtoday for sharing the link.
  • Giving Users Some Credit – “Websites are designed to be used by people of varying backgrounds, educations and technical levels. One of the challenges we face when designing for the Web is finding a way to create sites and applications that can be accessed by a widely disparate audience while avoiding the pitfall of sacrificing the quality of our work to cater to the dreaded ‘lowest common denominator.’” Read more on Design Informer. Thanks to @AprilMains for sharing the link.
  • Technology’s Biggest Myths – “Expensive cables are better! Defragging speeds up your PC! Refilling ink cartridges ruins your printer! We put these and nine other claims to the test to find the truth behind tech’s tallest tales.” On PCWorld.

Interesting Links, July 2010

Here are links I found interesting in July 2010:

  • Apple Confesses to Flaw in iPhone’s Signal Meter – “Apple said on Friday that for years its phones had been exaggerating signal strength by displaying too many bars — indicating stronger reception than there ever was. The problem, Apple said, is a bug in the software, which it promised to fix soon.” You mean the problem ISN’T AT&T? Read more in the New York Times.
  • A War of Apps for and Against Belief – “An explosion of smart-phone software has placed an arsenal of trivia at the fingertips of every corner-bar debater, with talking points on sports, politics and how to kill a zombie. Now it is taking on the least trivial topic of all: God.” Read more on the New York Times. Thanks to @DJGrothe for sharing this link.
  • Life, Liberty, and 140 Characters – The winners of Slate’s contest to rewrite the Declaration of Independence in a single tweet.
  • iPad stealing sales of e-readers and portable game consoles – This explains the Kindle and nook price drops, but I think it’s too little, too late. On TUAW.
  • Blogging Pitfalls: Flamebait – Is your blog being controversial just to attract hits? If so, read this. By Jonathan Bailey on BloggingPro.
  • What Apple Must Do to Stop the Bleeding – Good advice from Mashable about what Apple should do about the iPhone 4 antenna problems. Thanks to @cofrenchy for sharing the link.
  • What your email address says about your computer skills – Humor from The Oatmeal. (And, in case you’re wondering, I’ve had my own domain name for e-mail since 1995.) Thanks to @mikebarish and @PilotMike for sharing the link.
  • Bad Connection: Inside the iPhone Network Meltdown – Article on Wired.com explaining the AT&T bandwidth #FAIL. Thanks to @pilotmike for sharing the link.
  • Apple Sued Because iPad Does Not Work “Just Like A Book” As Claimed – Yet another frivolous lawsuit. Why don’t these lawyers go out and get REAL jobs? Read about it on The Consumerist.
  • Time Inc.’s iPad Problem Is Trouble for Every Magazine Publisher – “Time Inc. likes to show off its iPad apps as a symbol of the company’s future. But inside the publisher, the digital editions have become a source of hair-pulling frustration. That’s because the magazine giant has been unable to get Apple to let it sell and manage subscriptions for its iPad apps — much to Time Inc.’s surprise.” read more on MediaMemo/AllThingsD.com. This is a perfect example of how Apple’s desire to control every aspect of its apps is hurting its partners and customers.
  • Redefining Empathy In Light Of Web’s Long Memory – “In an era when 75% of employers research applicants online, erasing youthful indiscretions is next to impossible. Jeffrey Rosen accepts that parts of private lives become public on the Internet, but hopes that it will lead us to be more forgiving of one another’s missteps.” Read more on NPR.org.
  • 100 million Facebook users’ details published online – ” The personal details of 100 million Facebook users have been collected and published online in a downloadable file, meaning they will now be unable to make their publicly available information private.” This is just the kind of thing that should teach people to keep their private info OFF social networking systems. As for the guy who made this available to the world, I think he should be sued from here to Pluto. On MSNBC.com.

Interesting Links, June 2010

Here are links I found interesting in June 2010:

Interesting Links, May 2010

Here are links I found interesting in May 2010: