As I write this, the Thirty Day Challenge begins in less than a week. If you’re one of many hundreds, possibly thousands who are signing up – and you’ve realized that you have some catching up to do, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. You’ll be able to catch up.

I should stress this though – the training videos are there for a reason. Even if you’re able to refer to the notes, they’re not a substitute for the videos. They go hand in hand to reinforce your learning and serve as a handy reference if you have questions in the future.

Use this checklist to get caught up – that will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed and lost. But I encourage you to go through each of the preseason videos and lessons to insure that you know the material. If you just use this page like “Cliff’s Notes” and don’t actually learn the material, you’re only cheating yourself out of the full Thirty Day Challenge experience…


Step One: Get the browser of choice, Flock:

Once you’ve downloaded it, go ahead and install it.

If you have questions about this step, refer to this post:

01 – The Flock Internet Browser


Step Two: Set your Flock preferences/options:

On a Mac, you would go to your >Flock>Preferences Menu.
On a PC, you would go to your >Tools>Options Menu.

1) Select where Flock starts – Ed recommended the “Show my windows and tabs from last time option” – you can go back and play with this, even change it later if you’d like…

2) Enter the home page you’d like to start from, if applicable. For instance, you might like to start with news from or – wherever you’d like your browser to start…

3) Tell Flock how you would like it to handle downloads – check the “Show the Download…” box – tell Flock the default location you would like to save files to.

4) Make Flock your default browser.

Moving right along to the <tabs> section – Here are the steps:

1) Click on the “new tab” option

2) Check both “warn me…” boxes

3) Leave the “Always show…” box unchecked.

4) Check the “When I open…” box. – So far, so good…

Onward – to the <Content> Tab – I think all of these were left at the default settings, at least for me – but here are the steps.

1) Check the “Block pop-up windows” box

2) Check the “Load images…” box

3) Check the “Enable Javascript” box

4) Check the “Enable Java” box

5) Check the “Enable Digg flyout” box

Moving forward to the <Feeds> tab -THIS IS BIG!!! – It may seem like a little thing now, but you’ll see 🙂 We won’t be using the Flock Feed Reader – instead:

1) Click on the “Subscribe to the feed using” option

2) Choose “Google” from the list

Next up – the <Searching> Tab -It’s pretty obvious what this tab is going to be about – so here are the steps:

1) Select your default search engine – Ed picked Google, so did I…

2) For the “Live Results” – which is kind of a supplemental search – Ed recommends selecting the “Favorites and Recently Visited” and “Technorati” option. He does make mention of using some of the other options – particularly for US users maybe trying to find items or products.

3) For the “Include In Search Elsewhere” – Ed had Ask, Google, Amazon, Wikipedia and eBay checked off – that’s all I could see from the video – feel free to play with these.

If you have questions about these steps – refer to this post:

02 – Setting Your Flock Preferences (or Options)


Speeding Up Flock

1 type “about:config” into the address bar at the top and wait for page to load

2 in the filter type “network.http”

3 locate the strand called “network.http.pipelining” and double click it to change the value from false to true

4 Do the same to “network.http.proxy.pipelining” – double click it too.

5 Then locate “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” – double click and change the value to 30 or higher (Ed and mountainguy are using 40 – for the screen shot, I’m using 35, but I’ll probably switch it to 40 – why not?)

6 Finally, close flock and load it up again…”

If you have questions about this process, refer to this post:

03a – Speeding Up Flock


Installing Flock Extensions/Add-ons

This step basically takes you through the process of installing an add-on for Flock. In this case it’s called “PicLens.” You can click here to get to PicLens. Or just click the picture below…

Get PicLens

If you have questions about this lesson – please refer to this post:

03b – How To Install Extensions In Flock


The Flock Extensions To Install

Here’s an easy to follow list of the add-ons, complete with links to go get ‘em – so go get ‘em…

Google Global

This extension allows you to view search results from other parts of the world – this will be something you can take advantage of later in the thirty day challenge.

Go To Google Global Flock Add-on

Google Notebook

Allows you to research and make notes without leaving your browser – a brilliant way to help with niche research. Having a Google account is something you’ll need going forward – Ed will be showing us how pretty soon…

Go To Google Notebook Add-on For Flock

SEO for FireFox/Flock

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – This is a pretty deep tool. You’re able to get a lot of interesting data by using this add-on. Install it for now, but leave it off. Ed mentions the red lines-no follow tags in the video. For now, it’s not a big deal – he’ll show us how to use it when the time is right.

Go To SEO For FireFox Add-on For Flock


Another tool that is helpful in niche research – SearchStatus.

Go To SearchStatus Add-on For Flock


This one is very helpful way to let people know about great sites – and to let people know about YOUR sites. Ed will show us more about how to use it soon…

Go To StumbleUpon Add-on For Flock


This is a handy way to post to Twitter – with fewer clicks. Instead of interrupting your work flow – you can type directly into your address bar and post that text to Twitter. As a bonus, it shortens URL’s for you too.

Go To TwitterBar Add-on For Flock

Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar

The 30DC Toolbar is a big time saver for Thirty Day Challenge Members – it’s not critical that you install it – but it does give you access to a lot of well thought out tools specific to the Thirty Day Challenge.

Get The Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar

If you have questions about these extensions – refer back to this post:

03c – Extensions To Install In Flock


Sign Up For Twitter

First things first – here’s the Twitter URL:

Go sign up/create a Twitter account. People you should definitely follow:

Dan Raine:

Ed Dale:

Robert Somerville:


“IF” you wanted to follow me on Twitter:

And if you have questions about this step – refer to this post:

04 – Signing Up For Twitter


Twitter and Twhirl

First up, the steps to set up your TwitterBar (one of the extensions we installed earlier.)

On a PC click on the <Tools> menu – then <Add-ons>. From there, find “TwitterBar” in your Add-ons menu. Click on the <Options> button.

On a MAC click on the <Tools> menu – then <Add-ons>. From there find “TwitterBar” in your Add-ons menu. Click on the <Preferences> button.

Up pops a dialog box.

1) Ed leaves his in “secure mode” – so did I…

2) Fill in your Twitter username and password.

3) You can type in your own message in the “Before URL” field – the default is “Currently Browsing:”

At this point, there’s no compelling reason to change this.

4) “Open Twitter in a new tab” – leaving this unchecked helps keep you IN your work flow, that is the point, right?

5) Last option – “Hide addressbar button” – but we want that displayed. Having that button up in our address bar also helps us minimize work flow interruptions.

You should now be able to post to Twitter directly from your browser address bar.

Next up: Twhirl – Download and install Twhirl…

Download Twhirl

Once it finishes downloading, just follow the prompts to finish the Twhirl installation.

You will have to do some set-up to integrate Twhirl with your Twitter account. Here’s how:

1) Go to the “Settings” menu – it’s the little button in the upper right that looks like a wrench.

2) Enter your Twitter username (and password when prompted)

3) Make sure you’re following Ed, Dan and Bob

That’s should do it – you’re set up with Twhirl.

Bonus) Since you have Twirl open – type in a quick post, maybe something nice about the thirty day challenge – or this blog – or just answer the question; What are you doing?

If you have questions about this lesson – refer to this post:

05a – Twitter And Twhirl


Using Twhirl Part One

In this lesson we learn about our @ replies, the direct messaging functionality, URL shortening, TwitPic, hash marks, and Summize searching.

SInce there’s not really a way to condense that lesson – please refer to this post:

05b – Using Twhirl Part One


Using Twhirl Part Two

In this lesson we discuss more about @replies and direct messages. In addition, we cover archives, favorites, friends and followers, lookup, the API button, “mark all as seen” and the refresh button. There’s a lot of functionality built in to Twhirl. Again, there’s not a good way to condense this material – so please refer to this post:

05c – Using Twhirl Part Two


Creating a Google Reader Account

Assuming that you are “starting from the start,” here are the steps to take to create your new Google account:

First off, go to: – depending on where you are in the world, you may end up on or some other localized version of Google. The steps will work the same no matter where you are in the world. From the Google home page, click on the <more> menu button and select the “Reader” option.

Google Reader - More Menu - Reader

From here, you could sign into Google Reader from your user account – or – if you don’t have a Google account, you have the opportunity to create one.

If you have questions about this step – please refer to this post:

06a – Creating A Google Account for Google Reader


Google Reader Part One

Now that you have a Google Reader account – you need to add some feeds. In this lesson, we learn how to add RSS feeds. The Feeds you should add are:

We also cover a service called “Summize” and something called installable search engines…The last part of the lesson covers another service called Google Alerts.

If you have questions about this section – please refer to this post:

06b – Google Reader – Part One


Google Reader Part Two

First, we start by looking at our “All Items” list:

Next, and most importantly – we’ll make sure we’re using “List View” not “Expanded View” – this is the huge time-saver…

Google Reader - List View

Google Reader – List View

By viewing all of the items in list view, a few things happen.

1) You are able to scan the headlines, you don’t have to view the entire post. This allows you to filter information more effectively and can be a real time saver.

2) You can expand an item in your list with a simple click – view the post and keep going.

3) You see all the feeds sorted by date order, not by blog or feed order – so no feeds get neglected.

4) He shows how to mark an item “keep as unread” so he can come back to it later.

5) If a post has an active link – you can click it and Google Reader will open it up in a new tab. This allows you to go follow that link, and then come back to your Reader. A great way to minimize distractions and maximize your time.

6) After you’ve finished going through your list – you simply mark all as read , and you’re done.

Other things you can do from Google Reader:

1) You can add a star

2) You can share

3) You can share with a note

4) You can email

5) You can add or edit tags

This is covered much more thoroughly at this post:

06c – Google Reader – Part Two


Google Reader Part Three

This post basically covers several settings options for your Google Reader. Also covered, a way to import your feeds from another feed reader. In this case, there’s not a good way to condense the information – so if you have questions about Google Reader settings or importing feeds from your existing feed reader, please refer to this post:

06d – Google Reader – Part Three


Using StumbleUpon

Back in the post “Extensions To Install In Flock” one of the extensions we installed was the StumbleUpon toolbar.

If you haven’t signed up ro StumbleUpon yet, you should go ahead and do it now:

StumbleUpon - Join

StumbleUpon – Join

If you have questions about setting up and using StumbleUpon – please take a look at this post:

07 – Using StumbleUpon


Using YouTube

The first thing to do is sign in to YouTube. Ed takes us to his “channel” page at:

And guess what we find here…yep, an RSS feed – it would be a good idea to subscribe.

This lesson also covers the installable YouTube search engine, some of the Flock options, rating, sharing, and favorites.

If you want to see these functions in action – please refer to this post:

08 – Using YouTube


Google Subscribed Links

From the Thirty Day Challenge toolbar, click on the “links” drop down menu – and click on the “Dashboard” link.

Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar - Dashboard Link

Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar – Dashboard Link

Once we’re at our dashboard, go over and click on “Add my expertise to your Google web searches”

Google Subscribed Links - Add Ed Dales Expertise

Google Subscribed Links – Add Ed Dale’s Expertise

That will take us to the “Google Subscription Confirmation” page – confirm your subscription – and now you have Ed Dale’s expertise added to your Google searches. For an in depth look at how this works and what it can do for you in your niche – please refer to this post:

09 – Google Subscribed Links


Getting Started With Friendfeed

Let’s get started – click the picture below – and let’s go sign in to Friendfeed:

Friendfeed - Sign In or Create Account

Friendfeed – Sign In or Create Account

This post just happens to be one of the longest so far – if you really want the full story on Friendfeed – please refer to this post:

10a – Getting Started with Friendfeed


Friendfeed Tips

This post covers some basic usage information about Friendfeed – another long one. To make sure you don’t miss anything – please refer to this post:

10b – Friendfeed Tips


Watching The Videos

This lesson includes a lot of information about effectively utilizing the video content as presented for this year’s Thirty Day Challenge. There are YouTube videos, standard definition and high definition videos for download. You’re best bet is to review the post here:

11 – Watching the Videos


As additional preseason content is released, I’ll update this post.

There is an additional resource – a tightly focused Thirty Day Challenge Action List from Hendry Lee. He is also blogging the Thirty Day Challenge and doing an outstanding job.

Best of luck to you as you commit to completing this year’s Thirty Day Challenge.

If this has helped you and you think it might help someone else – please spread some “social bookmarking” love…

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5 Responses to “Preseason Catch Up”

  1. […] off to a great start here: My son and I have been working on a few things here: Preseason Catch Up The Father & Son Thirty Day Challenge|2008 The important thing is to watch the videos, be an active part of this community – ask questions on […]

  2. […] Day Challenge 2008 Actions List 2. On the other hand, for a longer version, use Steve’s list Preseason Catch Up The Father & Son Thirty Day Challenge|2008 Steve, I presume you’re going to create a similar page for 30DC? __________________ Nothing is […]

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