Cybernet icon 300Howdy! You may or may not have noticed that we haven’t posted here in a couple of months, and wanted to give everyone some idea of why the posts suddenly stopped. A lot of things have changed over the last few years so lets rewind back to 2011 so that you get an idea of the events that lead up to today.

2011

This was a good year for CyberNet. In 2011 we hit traffic records with our best month bringing in around 550,000 pageviews. Late that year Google made some changes to their search algorithm that negatively affected us quite a bit, but we decided to keep on going anyway.

At this point Ashley had been a teacher at a private local middle school for several years, and really enjoyed working with the kids. Before the 2011 school year began she tried to get approval for taking a few weeks off in December 2011 for  jaw surgery that she had scheduled to correct a misalignment that could later lead to arthritis in her jaw. After the surgery she would have her mouth banded shut for weeks, which as you can imagine would make teaching difficult. The principal of the school wouldn’t provide the approval, and instead of trying to push harder for the time off I just told her to take the year off and look for a new teaching job the following year. That way she’d have plenty of time to recover.

During her time off she was looking for something to do, and she wanted to start her own recipe site since she enjoyed cooking. We spent time working out the details and developing the site, and in December 2011 (about a week before her surgery) we launched CenterCutCook.com.

2012

By the end 2012 CyberNet’s traffic had leveled off to around 200,000 pageviews per month, which is quite a bit less than what we had just a year prior to that. We weren’t really all that disappointed though because we had a really good run with CyberNet, and in just one year Ashley’s CenterCutCook.com really started to take off. She ended 2012 with about 1.2 million pageviews over the course of her first year, and was already bringing in about 175,000 pageviews per month. So after a year she stood about equal in traffic to CyberNet which had been around 7 years.

The dilemma we ran into was that I was doing all of the development for her site, and we had so many ideas for features on CenterCutCook that we couldn’t get everything done that we wanted to. Since I already have a full time job, I needed to figure out where I wanted to focus my weekend efforts, so in December I decided to direct my attention at CenterCutCook. That’s when the articles stopped on CyberNet.

2013

And here we are in the present. It’s been over a year since Ashley had her surgery, and she got a little cosmetic dental work done as a reward for everything she has been through. The results actually turned out so remarkable that the company behind the veneers wanted to use her in their ads. They flew a team from Los Angeles to Chicago (where we live) to do a professional photo shoot. It’s only been 6 weeks since the photo shoot and they already have her in several national magazines, and more to come. This is what the ad looks like for those of you curious:

Ashley

GOING FORWARD

So where do we go from here? That’s something we’re still trying to figure out. We’ve learned a lot of lessons with CyberNet that we are determined not to repeat with Ashley’s CenterCutCook. One problem we noticed over the years with CyberNet was that it had a major flaw… much of its content was so time sensitive that it takes a lot of upkeep to keep it going. For the most part almost all of our content on CyberNet becomes useless after a year or less. News becomes irrelevant, and software changes making any guides or reviews inaccurate. So we wanted something that would be more lasting, and recipes seemed like a great market to enter into.

It’s obviously a crowded market with the thousands of other food blogs out there, but we have an added advantage that most other recipe/cooking blogs don’t have: we’ve already built one blog from nothing to having served tens of millions of visitors. Both Ashley and I have learned a lot over the years, and we both believe CenterCutCook’s success will be several times that of CyberNet. Heck, CenterCutCook has already seen days equivalent to those where CyberNet was fortunate enough to grace the front page of sites like Slashdot (example).

One thing I also learned is that people loved the CyberNet WrapUp posts. This summary of news, tips, and updated software really piqued the interest of many of our readers. You may not have expected that since it never showed up in our most visited articles found in the sidebar, but that’s because the WrapUp articles were always our most viewed items in the RSS feed. We always liked doing the WrapUp posts because they pushed traffic to other sites, and we’ve seen upwards of  1,000 clicks to other sites from a single post… which doesn’t even count the clicks from people through our RSS feed (we don’t do click tracking in RSS so we aren’t sure how many outgoing clicks there were).

At this point I’m not quite sure what will happen to CyberNet. I’ll probably post here periodically if I come across anything that I’m really excited about (like with XBMC last year). Other than that it may stay a bit quiet, or I may open it up to guest authors that want to contribute. We have some options, but there probably won’t be the same posting schedule that we had previously.

Thanks to everyone for the support over the years! You’ve all been awesome! If you get hungry though, feel free to jump over to CenterCutCook.com and peruse the nearly 200 recipes Ashley has posted.

December 14th, 2012
View Weather in the Mac Menu Bar

Keeping up with the changing weather conditions can be quite a chore, but if you're using a Mac you can have the current conditions as well as a 9-day forecast just a click away. Meteorologist is a free Mac app that provides a compact weather display from the Mac Menu Bar.

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December 13th, 2012
Bulk File Renamer for Windows

We've covered numerous file renaming utilities here on the site, and many of them have their own strengths and weaknesses. What I've found with a lot of them is that most tend to be difficult to use, but I found one called Rename Master that is both easy and powerful.

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December 12th, 2012
Create and Edit Windows 8 Libraries

Starting in Windows 7 Microsoft introduced a new feature they called libraries. The libraries are designed to give multiple folders a single unified view that can be used to manage your media and documents. This is especially useful for anyone with files spread out across multiple hard drives and network locations because it will all appear as a single folder on your machine.

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December 11th, 2012
Map SFTP to a Drive Letter

A few years ago we wrote an article that offered up a solution for quickly accessing an FTP site from Windows Explorer, but things got a lot more complicated if you were trying to work with an SSH/SFTP site. A couple of weeks ago a commenter, Shawn, mentioned a new application that recently came to fruition which lets you assign a SFTP connection to a drive letter in Windows Explorer.

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December 10th, 2012
WrapUp: Google Apps No Longer Free, T-Mobile Getting the iPhone, and More

Welcome to the WrapUp by CyberNet. This is a collection of news stories, downloads, and tips that we have collected over the last few days, but never got around to writing about.

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December 7th, 2012
PinDroid: Pinboard for Android

I'm a pretty big fan of the Pinboard bookmarking service, and even though it is a one-time fee of about $10 I'd say it's well worth it. I originally jumped over to Pinboard after being unhappy with the privacy settings in Delicious about two years ago, and haven't looked back since. There isn't an official Pinboard app for Android, but the free PinDroid does just about everything I could ask for.

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December 6th, 2012
Awesome Online Markdown Editor

It took a little while for me to get into using Markdown text editors, but once I did I really started to like them. For me it combines the simplicity of Notepad with the formatting options offered by rich text editors. Markdown syntax definitely won't be for everyone, but for some situations that's my go-to method for jotting things down.

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December 5th, 2012
Twitter Extension for Chrome

If you use Twitter a lot you probably already have a repertoire of apps at your disposal for accessing and managing your tweets. Chrome users have another one that they can add to the list called Silver Bird, which simply installs as an extension in the browser.

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December 4th, 2012
Simple Drag and Drop File Sharing

There is no shortage of services that want to help you store and share files, and many of them all have the same clunky feel. When I came across Droplr, however, it immediately felt a lot more polished than other services I've used.

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December 3rd, 2012
WrapUp: Microsoft Surface Pro Pricing, Amazon and Google Drop Cloud Storage Prices, and More

Welcome to the WrapUp by CyberNet. This is a collection of news stories, downloads, and tips that we have collected over the last few days, but never got around to writing about.

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November 30th, 2012
Free Wildcard DNS Service

If you've worked at a web development company with many clients I'm sure you've had a bunch of different domains for each of the various sites. Creating the DNS entries for each of the different sites can be a pain, and after a while I'm sure you get to the point where trying to cleanup unused DNS entries would be a nightmare.

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November 29th, 2012
Google Maps Chrome Extension

Over the years I've come to rely on Google Maps quite a bit, and I'm always looking for ways I can quickly access everything it has to offer. That's why I was pretty excited when I came across the slick Mini Maps extension for Google Chrome. The extension is designed to put a lot of the data offered by Google Maps just a click away in your browser.

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November 28th, 2012
Best File Explorer for Android

One of the nice things about Android is that you can get access to the filesystem if you want to, which is something a lot of geeks like myself tend to want to do. If you are using a non-rooted phone, however, the files you have access to will be quite limited, but users who take the extra step to root their devices will gain unrestricted access to all of the files on the device.

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November 27th, 2012
Increase the Windows 8 Taskbar Thumbnail Size

When you're using the desktop view in Windows 8 things won't feel all that much different than they do in Windows 7. Something I thought Microsoft might change in Windows 8 was the size of the thumbnails displayed when you hover over running apps in the Taskbar, but unfortunately they are just as small as they always were.

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November 26th, 2012
WrapUp: Linux Mint 14 Available, The Evolution of Windows 8, and More

Welcome to the WrapUp by CyberNet. This is a collection of news stories, downloads, and tips that we have collected over the last few days, but never got around to writing about.

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November 23rd, 2012
Free Mac RSS Feed Reader With Google Reader Sync

I know a lot of people have migrated away from using RSS feeds to keep up with their favorite sites, but for me using services like Twitter to follow news on hundreds of my favorite sites just doesn't seem efficient. If you're in the same boat as me and are a Mac user there is a free app called Vienna that you might like.

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November 22nd, 2012
Android App Price Drop Notifications

On Android I've never felt that there is a great way to watch for specific apps that drop their price, or a way to watch for app updates for apps that you don't have installed on your device. I wish that the new Google Play Wishlist feature could also provide notifications, but it isn't good for much more than bookmarking apps you don't want to forget about.

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November 21st, 2012
Disable Hot Corners and Boot to the Desktop in Windows 8

I've been using Windows 8 regularly ever since the pre-release versions were offered up to the public early this year. Initially I wasn't a huge fan of the new tile interface, Charms Bar, and other areas in Windows 8 that altered my experience so much that it hurt my productivity for a little while. [...]

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November 20th, 2012
View Weather on Chrome’s New Tab Page

For some people the new tab page in Google Chrome isn't necessarily the most useful thing. I tend not to click on the thumbnails for my most visited sites because they all appear in the bookmarks toolbar that I have visible at all times.

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