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2010 Most Surprising Fashion Trends

Who woulda “thunk” it? Not only have the 80’s oozed their way back into the average woman’s wardrobe; the 90’s weren’t far behind. We said we wouldn’t be caught dead in neon. But we ran out and grabbed juicy colored hi-top sneakers. We said we’d never wear harem pants. But those too, made an appearance on fashion runways. These trends that at one time made us gag, are back in full effect. And now there are even more semi-icky trends that appear to be gathering steam. Check out any celebrity gossip blog and you’ll find plenty of examples. Models and celebrities are tossing these styles into the mix as if they are the newest things since sliced toast.

The Rapunzel Braid

What?!? That’s what readers of urban celeb site said as they cast their eyes on singer Kelis’ (wife of rapper, Nas) down-to-there Rapunzel braid. As if the mauve latex body suit, cropped jacket, and bubble-shaped platform shoes weren’t enough, Kelis decided to add a long silvery braid that snaked all the way down to her ankles. And if you thought this style was limited to the outrageous and outspoken—think again. Singer Brandy was also recently photographed rocking a thick black Rapunzel braid when she performed at the House of Blues in L.A.

Pirates R Us: Pants in Boots

Just when you started to get used “sagging” in the hip-hop community, another trend has emerged. But instead of tucking their shirts into their pants, they’ve decided to tuck their pants into their boots, creating a “pirate” effect. The style has been trickling into urban communities for a while. But R&B singer Chris Brown donned an extreme version of the style during fashion week in Paris. Others like rapper Shawty Lo and crooner Usher have also caught onto the trend.


If you thought that plaid died along with the 1990’s grunge music scene, you’re not alone. But alas, it appears that grunge has made somewhat of a comeback. The trend appears to be more popular with today’s youth. But the style hasn’t been lost on those who actually remember the grunge scene. All thoughts of Nirvana and Pearl Jam aside, the 2010 rebirth is a lot simpler than it was in previous decades. Plaid shirts are casually paired with today’s skinny jeans, creating a casually chic dichotomy in the process. On a recent episode of the

Plaid is back??

Show, Wendy confirmed this trend by showcasing her own version of the look—complete with hot pink stilettos.

The Fanny Pack

If there ever was a fashionista who could do no wrong, it’s über-socialite Amber Rose. And apparently, she’s decided that the fanny pack (yes that fanny pack) should enjoy newfound fame. But this clever gal can’t take full credit. Louis Vuitton is actually responsible for marketing the furry contraption that Amber Rose was seen sporting. But never fear: other starlets (like Rihanna) have gotten their hands on additional “LV” versions. And they’re coming to a fashion runway near you.

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Spike In Spam Comments

Lately I have noticed an exponential rise in the spam comments I get on my website. Usually it was averaging about 10 to 20 a day. But now if I check after a day or so, I see about 150 spam messages caught by the Akismet plugin.

Fortunately, none of it has managed to slip through the Akismet but I am not sure if some genuine comment also got barred by Akismet. Earlier, I did notice that Ajay’s comment was always getting caught as spammed and I have always marked it as Not-Spam in the hope that the software would recognize it from now on and allow it through its filters.

But if you have, lets say 15-20 spam messages, then its easier to verify all of them before deleting it with one click. Same is not possible if you have 100s of comments caught in the spam queue.

I am not sure why there has been a sudden surge in spam comments and I have not seen much written about it in different blogs.

Have you noticed this spike as well on your blog?

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WordPress Plugin To Resolve All Your Plugin Issues

Started a WordPress blog on a self hosted site? Then this post is just for you. What do you do after you are all set to run your blog. Obviously besides posting, you will want to expand the features set of your blog by installing some cool pluggins.

I already have an earlier post on stuff to do after your blog is ready but this one is slightly different as it mentions the mother of all plugins.

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TechBanyan – Pagerank 4

In the recently updated Google Pagerank rankings, TechBanyan saw a jump of 2 points, from 2 to 4. For a blog that was started not too long ago, I think it is quite substantial and a positive sign of things.

What does it mean for TechBanyan? Possibly, the site would show up higher for the comparative search terms than those who have lower PR, leading to higher search hits. Only time will tell so lets wait and watch. (I’ll keep you posted if I notice an upward trend in Google traffic).

Interesting thing, all the experts decried that if you display TLA links on the site, Google is supposed to punish that behavior with lower rankings. On the contrary, even after continuing to display TLA on my site (I have a single link on the right corner of the main page) which pays for hosting, Google found it fit to raise the PR rankings of TechBanyan. Google surly works in mysterious ways.

Some of the peer blogs that I regularly visit, like Binaryday, Bishtblogs, Abhisays, Readerszone etc. saw a minor bump too, either up or down.

Sita and Abhi’s site saw the PR go down to 3 while Sanjay reported his went up to 3.

I am not sure how to explain this jump in TechBanyan’s PR from 2 to 4 (or why the other sites saw a slight ranking demotion). But I’ll take a shot at it, and analyze some things that I did w.r.t. TechBanyan. I am sure some of these tips might help your blog as well and push the rankings up.

1. Content is the king

Like the real estate rules of location, location, location, the kingdom of blogs is also driven by similar rules – Content, Content, Content. Write interesting stuff. Make the language easy to read. Insert some humor. Give a unique perspective. If you are writing about some news, don’t just dish out the news but your perspective on it as well. Those who would like your stuff, will keep coming back for more. Also they will turn to you for that stuff ‘cuz nobody else can give that POV.

2. Trackbacks and link backs

I have repeatedly gotten track backs from DesiPundit, a popular Indian aggregated blogs site. So write good stuff, but push it forward to such sites in the hope they’ll link back to you. Be sincere and don’t spam. When I wrote something, it was genuinely about what I wanted to write. But after the post was written, I tried thinking about whom else it could benefit. Be honest and sincere in your efforts.

If the content is good, you will get track backs which additionally help in telling the Google Pagerank software how important your website is. Besides Desipundit, I have occasionally gotten track backs from few other readers on topics as diverse as an India specific social networking site – BigAdda to Chinese American politics etc.

3. Blog roll links

From some of the peers, Sita and Ajay. Thank you guys. (If I missed out anybody’s name, please let me know and I will rectify).

5. Readers of your site. More the merrier. 😉

What do yo guys think, why do rankings rise and fall. You have a better answer, let everybody know.

Posted in Blogging, Wordpress26 Comments

WordPress Blog Hacked? Now What

If you still have the old version of WordPress deployed, remember your site can be easily hacked because of known exploits. The hackers may or may not have a lot to gain by injecting malware or spammy links on your website but if you own the website, it could be your worst nightmare.

A spammed website will most likely be ignored by search engine crawlers resulting in dropped rankings. In fact, Technorati is totally junking the older versions of WP from its system.

Sites like Security Focus are publishing a bunch of hacks possible on older versions of WordPress. So before you get mugged by a script kiddie, take the necessary action.

Lets say one fine day you wake up and realize your blog has been a victim of such an attack, what do you do?

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Posted in Blogging, Hacking, Wordpress26 Comments

TechBanyan Updated To WordPress 2.5

I started TechBanyan with WordPress 2.3.1 and it served me well. No major hiccups or security breaches. That is, I haven’t found myself on the receiving end yet.

Yesterday like I also posted, I came across about various posts where “experts” recommended upgrading asap because of known hacks in the version 2.3.2 and earlier. The fact that Technorati took the decision not to index those blogs as well added to the urgency of upgrading to the latest version.

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Blog Hacks – Why You Need To Upgrade

There’s a flurry of reports on the internet about potential WordPress threats and attacks if you haven’t yet upgraded to the latest release of WordPress 2.5.

If you are still running WordPress 2.3.2 and below then your website is at grave risk. From what I could make out after a couple of minutes of browsing various security websites, all the experts are saying this thing in unison – Upgrade ASAP.

What kind of vulnerabilities are we looking at here and how do you know you are a victim of this security breach.

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Craigslist: Show Me The Money

Do you consider yourself a WordPress configuration expert, can do some basic Php coding, have skills that enable you to work remotely? If yes, then why not help somebody with their WordPress driven website from the comforts of your favorite arm chair. Not to mention, earning some exotic money on the sides.

All you need is a proven track record, like your own website or past experience, and a Paypal account to literally hear money jingle in.

Read on to find out how.

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Must Do Things After Starting A New WordPress Blog

When I started TechBanyan, calculated in blog years, I was a bit of a green horn and shortsighted. To me then, starting a blog meant getting the domain name, installing WordPress and from then on concentrating on the posts.

However to maximize the potential of your blog, there’s a lot of in-between that you need to perform. For instance, there are some tweaks and absolute must-have plugins that would go a long way in making your blog a huge success.

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Posted in Blogging, Wordpress36 Comments

Adding Twitter To Your WordPress Driven Website

Twitter is a micro blogging app which allows you to broadcast tiny SMS-ish messages to your friends and contacts. I had a first hand experience of this technology when Google integrated Twitter with Google Maps during the current election primaries. I was totally awed by it’s power and concept.

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