As I stare out the window, I see that Vancouver is undergoing yet another massive snowfall. It’s on days like this that I am particularly thankful that I work from home, avoiding the merciless attack of Mother Nature and dodging the inevitable bad drivers that populate our roads. This is also why it’s fun to take a look around the blogosphere, hearing the views and opinions of people from all around the world. The blogosphere is one giant community, so although I haven’t met most of these folks in real life, I almost feel like I know them already. That was kind of the case at CES 2008.

Anyways, seeing how it’s Wednesday, I might as well get on with the speedlinks. There’s some new stuff to see, exciting new prospects to contemplate, and even some money to be won. Enjoy!

A bad thing happened to Derrich a while ago, resulting in a blog that lacked a proper theme. Although he continued to post quality content, visiting his blog wasn’t so fun, because it lacked a professional appearance. Default WordPress themes tend to do that. Thankfully, is now featuring a new and improved look. The facelift comes courtesy of Nate Whitehill and the team at Unique Blog Designs.

I talked about the single greatest key to happiness some time back, and I still believe that keeping it fresh is of paramount importance to your mental health. Etienne Teo seems to agree, because when he compiled his list of 5 factors that lead to blogging satisfaction, the number one factor named was “mentally challenging work.” When you test your skills and abilities, you inevitably experience something new.

You’ve probably noticed the rising popularity of video blogging. Shoemoney, Problogger, and John Chow are all doing it. Israel from Fat Man Unleashed has now jumped into the video-blogging (“vlogging”) arena with his first video post. Video blogging is meant to be spontaneous, so Israel’s first attempt takes place shortly after one of his workouts. That would explain the huffing and puffing.

Speaking of videos, Stephen Fung decided to bring a new Samsung HD camcorder to our weekly lunches last week, giving everyone a glimpse in the quirky world of dot com pho. Yes, we are usually that loud. Yes, we are usually that talkative. And yes, Ed and I argue over something almost every week. On a related note, Stephen might be stepping in front of the camera soon, taking over a role at The Lab with Leo. Good luck!

Do you like money? I know I do. Derek Semmler has devised what may be the most ingenious contest to date, because he’s offering a prize of $106.34 to the blog/site that refers the most traffic his way during the month of February. He’s even helping you out with some free banners. Maybe I should have used this traffic referral strategy for my free video game contest (which ends next week).

So there you have it. That’s what’s up this Wednesday, February 6th.