30 Jun 2007

Ad free almost

A little update about my blog.

Finally, decided to remove all ads from my blog - apart from the Google AdSense ads and referrals.

I haven't earned anything from them so far and feel that it's a waste of my blog's real estate. They were just plain distracting.

Might put them up again in the future when I have more visitors and I have a higher PR ranking.

Exhibits mean everything in trade shows

Some of my friends think I am crazy because I like going to exhibitions, museums, conventions and trade shows. However the ones that interest me the most are the trade shows related to technology, especially the computer trade shows. I would have loved to visit CeBIT which was held in Hanover, Germany from 15 March to 21 March. Maybe next time.

There are several reasons why I like to visit such events. I get to see the latest gadgets available in the market and most of them have are at bargain prices. And of course there are the freebies. By the time we leave the venue, you are sure to have at least a few bag full of free goodies. My most memorable event has to be the time I won a Palm handheld in a lucky draw.

Most people don't know it but the trade show industry is one of the largest in the world. When you visit some of the big ones like CeBIT, you can see that it is a very serious affair and the companies try to show off their products and services the best way they can. However, preparing your booth and the displays can prove to be an extremely costly and time consuming task. It might be wise to leave it to the experts.

If you are planning to join a trade show, you might want to consider Nimlok Louisiana. This global industry leader has over 30 years of experience, with an international network of distributors in 56 countries. They would be able to satisfy every possible visual marketing needs for your trade show exhibit, with products ranging from modular displays to portable booths. They can help you remain within budget, meet your objectives and keep to time.

29 Jun 2007

Polls added to my blog

If you look at my side bar you will notice a simple poll I put up. This is one of the new features just added by Blogger. If you are a Blogger user, you would need to go to http://draft.blogger.com/ and log in.

To add a poll to your blog:
1. go to "Template",
2. Click "Add a Page Element",
3. Choose "Poll" and click "Add to blog",
4. Write your question and possible answers,
5. You can also allow visitors to select multiple answers,
6. Click save after you are done.

Poll ready.

That's not all. Now Blogger also allows Enclosures and Video Podcasting.

I guess I can stop contemplating moving to a Wordpress powered blog.

Adsense referrals 2.0 coming to you soon

Adsense referrals 2.0 will soon be available to all AdSense publishers. Listed below are few of the key benefits mentioned on Inside AdSense, the AdSense blog:

- Expanded product inventory: Previously there were only a few Google products to choose from, now we will be able to choose products from thousands of AdWords advertisers.

- Category and keyword targeting: There will be a new option to refer products by category and keyword. Choose by specific category, advertiser, or product and AdSense will figure out which ones will perform best on your site.

- Ad unit optimization: By selecting the Pick best performing ads option, when we create a new referral ad unit, referrals 2.0 will compare the selected ads to other relevant ads, and serve the ads expected to perform best on our site.

- Better targeting for pages with multiple themes: If we have a number of themes on our page, we can now use unique "keywords" for each ad unit to narrow the targeting directly to the theme we want. Hopefully this will translate to higher earnings.

- Greater compensation for high-quality traffic: We will be able to earn more with the referrals, if the traffic through the ads posted on our site translates to completed sales or lead.

- Add your seal of approval: Unlike AdSense for content ads, Google's program policies allows us to add personal reviews of the products we refer.
For example, If you look at the top of my side bar, you will see a referral button for the Google pack. This is a pack of FREE software specifically selected by Google. All are spyware free too.

So how do we start with referral 2.0?

1. Click the AdSense Setup tab in your account
2. Click Referrals.

Don't be worried if you don't see referrals 2.0. I didn't too. Google is gradually making the feature available to all accounts over the next few weeks.

28 Jun 2007

Premier infomercial ad agency

If you are a company looking for someone to handle your media campaign, you would want someone with a proven track record in various marketing areas including direct response television marketing (DRTV).

Hawthorne Direct fits this bill exactly. This company is a leading American full service direct response television advertising agency, specializing in creative/production, media and integrated marketing. They have managed around 600 media campaigns and handled 331 clients since 1986. Some of their cable television advertising clients include entrepreneurs as well as Fortune 500 companies. Some of the big names include among others, Time-Life, Nikon U.S.A., Nissan Motor Corp., Taylor Made Golf, Apple computers, etc.

I have to say I am quite impressed with their philosophy
to openly share as much industry information as possible with our clients and potential clients.
Their "Resources page" carries loads of interesting information on direct response marketing. The founder and chairman of the company Timothy R. Hawthorne, shares his secrets for managing high-quality, successful long and short form campaigns for clients.

The company believes in maintaining long term client relationships. Some of the entrepreneurs that they helped are now today's household brands. So, if you need a company to develop and/or manage your DRTV campaigns, you might want to consider Hawthorne Direct.

All search engines in one - Dogpile

Most of my friends prefer to use the Google search engine (so do I), whereas some of them like Yahoo!, on the other hand, a small percentage use MSN Search and others.

What if we have a search engine that brings together the best results from Google, Yahoo! Ask.com, About, etc? Well, you have Dogpile.

J.D. Power & Associates named it as top consumer search engine for 2007. You might also want to learn more about Arfie, their mascot.


27 Jun 2007

Cell phone accessories store

I would have laughed if somebody had told me 10 years ago that we would be moving around with a wireless phone that can fit in the palm of my hand, with a color screen, play games and music on it and take pictures and movies. The idea was there but in sci-fi and James Bond movies. However, it's a reality now and it was reported here in the UK that, many houses don't even have a land line anymore as more and more use their mobile (or cell phone).

Along with the phones, an entire industry has developed - for cell phone cases, batteries, and other accessories. Not only are they used to express your individuality or fashion sense, they are often used to make our life much easier - the hands free kit for example.

You can find accessories for all types of cell phones at AccessoryGeeks.com. This online company has been in business for three years now, supplying cellular and iPod accessories to customers in US and Canada. With over 20,0000 items, Accessorygeeks.com is said to be the store with the most 'Complete Line of Cellular & iPod Accessories' around. Taking a look around their online store clearly verifies this claim.

Alexa rankings

All this while I have been concentrating a lot on improving my Google page rank. I do realise that Alexa rankings are equally if not more important too. Right now the Alexa rankings of this blog is not that impressive: 461,677.

Unlike Google page rank where we aspire to reach PR 10, it the opposite for Alexa rankings. Here the lower the Alexa rank, the better.

If you are a newbie to this, just check out what they have to say about 'Alexa Traffic Rankings' on the Alexa site.

Though a lot of critics say that it not a true indicator of web traffic to a site, Alexa rankings are still used by many sites for the same - this includes a number of online advertising companies.

if you are looking to improve (lower) your blogs' Alexa rankings, you might want to read Dosh Dosh's '20 Quick Ways to Increase Your Alexa Rank'.

I have already taken some of the steps listed there including putting up the Alexa rank widget on the sidebar and also have Firefox’s SearchStatus add-on installed.

Let's see how it goes from here.


Security software comparison sites

As someone who's obsessed with the security of my computer, I am quite astonished when I come across people who don't have any anti-virus software installed on their computer. Usually, these happen to be the newbies who just bought their pc. I have also noticed that even when they do have an anti-virus program installed, a lot of people do not bother to update the virus definitions. 

 I already have a firewall, an anti-virus program and two spyware removers installed. However, I do keep myself updated to compare different software available in the market. It can be a bit confusing sometimes when you have several companies advertising their security software, as the "best". 

 Visiting review and comparison sites can help us in making our purchase decision. The best ones reviews and compare different web security software along with the prices.

26 Jun 2007

HongKiat's blog hacked

Just visited Malaysian blogger, Hong Kiat's blog and I got this:

Looks like his site has been hacked.

At time like this I am thankful that I am hosted on Blogger.I don't lose sleep at night wondering whether someone will deface my site or worse still, delete it all together.

Online certification courses

I was looking through the ads in the local newspapers and I noticed that there were a lot of IT jobs available. I already did a certificate course on E-commerce in Malaysia but I am seriously considering of getting a Microsoft or Cisco certification. The reason being that that what most of jobs being advertised require.

However, I wouldn't want to sit for an exam only to fail it. Though there are a number of institutes offering training courses around here, I don't have to time to attend classes. PrepLogic's online certification training courses are something that I might take up. They provide a number of different courses for the IT community right from A+ certification, Cisco Certification Training or MCSE Certification training.

Besides the fact that they are online, I like Preplogic's training courses because they are fast and cheap. They always have the lowest price on discount VUE exam vouchers and Promteric exam vouchers. Best of all, they are offering a money-back, Pass Guarantee. This means that they will refund the money if we don't pass the exams.

If you are looking for an online certification training course, you might want to take a look at PrepLogic.

25 Jun 2007

PR checker

A lot of people new to blogging have been asking me about PR or Page Rank and how to determine their PR of their blogs. That's fairly easy for me because I have the SearchStatus add-on on my Firefox browser. It instantly tells me the pr as well as the Alexa rankings of every web page I visit.

For more PR checkers read my post on my Freebies blog: What is your PR

You can also check it here. Just type your url in the space and hit the "check pr" button.

This free page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

24 Jun 2007

Cari duit - make money

Don't know why but recently I have been receiving a lot of spam mail from Malaysians. Titles of some of emails that I have received:
- Cari duit meaning 'find / make money' in Bahasa Malaysia,
- NAK DUIT BANYAK???? HARI-HARI BACA E-MAIL DAPAT DUIT. 'Do you want (to earn) a lot of money? Earn money by reading emails everyday'. As if I have nothing better to do.
- berSADAQAH sambil menjana kebebasan KEWANGAN anda. 'Multiply your income while doing charitable work'. Somehow, that doesn't sound right.

Those are just three examples.

I have somehow become the target of Malaysian marketers (spammers) who seem to think that I am interested in dubious multilevel marketing schemes. FYI, I hate these pyramid schemes that make money by duping people - mostly by signing up new recruits, who in turn get other unsuspecting people to sign up and so on.

It also seemed like a lot of Malaysian blogs have gone "Cari Duit" crazy. A lot of people seem to be blogging about making money. I only learnt later that there was a new keyword contest organised by the Malaysian WangCyber forum.

I won the previous SEO contest organised by them, for the keywords "Melayu boleh". However, this time I am not joining in.

Would be interesting to see how far this post goes up for those key words.

> 22-07-07: I am #4 today.
> 18-07-07: Yeah! I am on the front results page and now #6.
> 07-07-07: I am #2 on the 17th results page in Google for the terms "cari duit".


Email protection

A large number of companies prefer to have their own on-premise email servers, as they believe that this gives them more control and for security reasons as well. However, this comes with a price - huge investments as compared to hosting outside, the need for constant monitoring , requirement to have a tech personal to look after the systems. One of my former colleagues at an NGO I used to work for, was that tech person. He told me that spam was a really serious problem.

Initially I had thought that spam was just an irritation until he told me that they do take up bandwidth and they contribute to the total bandwidth usage (and hence extra costs) of the company. However, there are other more dangerous threats such as email attacks and phishing e-mails that can sometimes be quite hard to detect.

If you are running an in-house email server, you might want to look at Concentric's Perimeter Email Protection (PEP), which provides complete email security and anti spam services for businesses hosting their own on-premise email servers.

As the name suggests, this complete email security solution filters and authenticate incoming email outside your email infrastructure. It blocks spam, viruses, directory harvesting, denial-of-service attacks, fraud, phishing schemes, and other attacks from reaching your corporate email server. This can reduce email load and spam by up to 90% and more.

It also doesn't matter what mail server you are using, as you don't have to purchase, download or install any software nor worry about updating them. All the hard work is taken up by their patented server cluster. If you are interested, do check out their site for more information.

23 Jun 2007

Exciting updates on Spicypage

There have been some new updates on Spicypage.

Previously it was just a place where you could share your sites (and blogs), vote on your favorites and leave comments too. Their widget is now on my right hand side bar.

Now, this social networking site has grown in leaps and bounds. They recently released two new search options, namely the "People Search" and the "Group Search". You can now search for other members by age, location, and whether or not they have uploaded a photo using the People Search. You can also search find groups of interest by keywords or by tags by using the using the Group Search option.

Another feature they released yesterday was the ability to subscribe to two RSS feeds:
1. RSS feed for daily posted sites/blogs
2. RSS feed for daily user submitted articles

Check out their blogfor the latest updates.


22 Jun 2007

Improved online event registration software

I have helped organise a few big events in the past, including an international conference. The last event was the biggest I had been involved in. Though we had a online registration ability put in the conference website, it was a simple solution where by information put in by the registrants were sent to the e-mail folder of one of the committee members. We had to hire an assistant just to put all the data in a database - names, organisation, payment method and so on.

All this could have been a breeze had I known about some of the great event registration software available in the market. This gives us the opportunity to focus on other areas of managing the event.

Feature I would look for would include the ability for the organizers of the event to find out details like how many completed the form, the time it took them and if they left without completing, at what position in the registration process they left and much more.

This would help us to further refine the form if we see that a large number of people are leaving without completing the registration process at a certain point in the form. We would also know where the people are coming from and how registrants are finding our registration form, we can see if we are targeting the right people. Thus enabling us to make the necessary changes to the form if we have to.

I cannot emphasize the importance of web-analytics as I have often used the statistical data about my visitors to further improve my blog. For example, now I am aware that visitors come from all around the World, I try not to be so Malaysia-centric but I still carry posts about Malaysian issues and events because at least 40% of my visitors are Malaysians.

Updated: 18 Sept. 2013

Advice from the ProBlogger

One friend recently asked me about the number of people subscribing to my blog feed. I joked "Fantastic! It has more doubled since January." If you don't understand why this is a joke, please look at my archives.

Anyway, today morning I was reading this post titled "10 Techniques I Used To Go From 0 To 12,000 RSS Subscribers In Seven Months - With No Ads Or Leverage" by Darren Rowse. In case you don't know who Darren Rowse is (where have you been hiding under), let me tell you. He's the original ProBlogger.

This post really answered a lot of my questions and I also see what I was lacking in. For example, #10 in the list is 'Email readers as much as possible.' I realise that I seldom do that. Thought that replying on the comments box was enough but I doubt whether the visitors will come back to read whether I replied to their comments.

Another one that really motivated me was #5 Don’t give into negativity.
At some point, you’re going to be jealous of the success of another blogger. At some other point, you’re going to believe that the game is rigged against you - that there’s no way you can become really popular.

I have heard so many people tell me that and I had started to believe it - after all I have been blogging for more than 4 years now. All the doubts were there - "maybe I am not good enough" and all the other maybes...

Rowse adds something that gives me hope:
Don’t believe a word of it.

Go over to his site and read what he has to say and maybe you can get a fraction of what he achieved in 7 months.


21 Jun 2007

Online backup service provider

If you are using a computer and I guess you are since you are reading this, there is one mantra that all of you must remember if you want to avoid a possible disaster in the future. The mantra is "backup, backup and backup".

Listen to me because I am talking from experience and one of my disasters was loosing the only soft copy I had, of my MBA thesis when my PC crashed and they will crash. All my photos, media files or other documents were also lost. This wouldn't have happened if I had backed them up.

There are many options available - on a CD, on one of those small flash drives, an external hard disk or online with a backup service provider. The last option is a good choice because of one major factor: you can access it from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This means you don't have to lug around an external hard drive anymore.

Out of all the service providers out there providing online backup, one of the best is IDrive-E. You have two options:
1. IDrive-E Basic, which gives you 2GB of backup space absolutely free.
2. IDrive-E Pro. With is option you will get unlimited storage space for just $4.95/month.

Their service is fast and secure. They are much cheaper than their competitors even though they have even more features. I definitely recommend this service.

Are you on BlogCatalog

I first noticed the BlogCatalog widget on a number of blogs and assumed that it was just another MyBlogLog clone.

You might notice the new widget that I have up on my right side bar. Now, I can see when other BlogCatalog members visit my side and I can thank them for dropping by my blog. That's what people do OK.

Joined up day before yesterday and I won't say it is better but BlogCatalog has a few extra features than the later.

It is also a blog directory. On their main page you can see the most popular tags, recently added blogs, the top neighborhoods and top discussions. The last feature is absent in MyBlogLog.

Would have liked to know more about the guys behind the site. However, unlike MyBlogLog, they don't have an 'about us' page. Also a bit concerned that they don't have a "Privacy policy". I don't mind the Google ads though.

Anyway, both are great for promoting your blog, networking or finding other interesting blogs.

UPDATED: 25 July 2007.

Learnt that the owners of BlogCatalog are Angelica and Antony Berkman (Tony). Rose had written a great review comparing the two social networking sites.


20 Jun 2007

Join other quality bloggers

If you think you have a good quality blog and want to share you posts with other quality bloggers, you might want to join BlogaboutyourBlog.com, a collaborative blog.

Besides sharing your articles and ideas with other bloggers, this site can help increase web site traffic. You can contribute on the blog (which is PR 4 when I last checked) and build links to your site.

Even if you aren't interested in contributing articles to the blog, you can participate in other ways. There are competitions with great prizes like a mini fridge. Every Friday, one lucky blogger is chosen who wins a free link back to their site.

There were some really interesting posts like the latest "Don’t be shy when promoting your blog" by Ed. I would have loved it if there were some images though. The whole site could do with a bit of colour but that's just me.

19 Jun 2007

Black Hat SEO techniques

A few people have inquired whether I use Black Hat SEO techniques. The answers is a big NO. I do not wish to have my web sites banned by Google and other search engines.

In case you were not aware, Black Hat SEO refers to SEO techniques that do not conform to search engines' guidelines. These involve rank improvement techniques in ways that are disapproved of by search engines, or involve deception.

An online friend of mine had been complaining that her blog page rank was still 0 even after a year. She was quite unhappy considering that before she moved to her own WordPress powered blog with her own unique domain name, her old Blogspot blog had a Google Page Rank of 4.

I later discovered a possible reason - she was using a redirect script to send visitors from her old blog to her new blog. This is considered as one of the black hat techniques.

Another popular black hat technique involves hiding text, by using text of the same colour as the page background, using text in invisible div or positioned off screen so that key words are in fact invisible to users but not to search engine spiders.

Cloaking is another method called that involves presenting one version of a web page to the spiders and another version to human visitors.

There are lots of other such techniques.

DON'T use them because if the search engines discover that you are using black hat methods, they WILL penalize you.

Trying out Blogger in draft

Giving the new Blogger in draft a test run. I guess I am among what they call the early adopters. It's still in the testing phase but according to the guys in Blogger
the features are almost ready for publishing, but not quite.

The only new feature I noticed was the Video Upload. Can't wait to see what they will have up next.

So here's a video:


Projector rentals

You may require a portable LCD projector for a number of reasons - a get-together, parties, a meeting, a sales presentation or any other event where you need to show a video or a presentation. However, these equipment do not come cheap and it may be a better idea to rent them whenever you need them, rather than buy one.

In case you are not aware, you can rent the latest in projector technology from Projector123.com across the United States. So if you are in Chicago looking for a Chicago Projector Rental, you might want to consider this company. They will deliver it right to your door by FedEx.

besides, CHicago, IL, they are now targeting customers in New York City (Long Island), Los Angeles (LA County), Philadelphia, PA, San Jose (Santa Clara County), CA, Detroit, MI, Indianapolis, IN, Jacksonville, FL, San Francisco (north to Santa Rosa), CA and Columbus, OH.

To order, all you need to do is complete the online order form on their site.

AuctionAds up

If you look at the side bar of my blog, you will notice live eBay auction listing. I got these though AuctionAds.

So how do I make money?

When ever anybody clicks on one of the listings and take an action on eBay, i earn some cash. By action, I mean a Winning Bid, a Buy-it-Now or a confirmed user registration.

All I had to do was register with them, generate the code, copy and paste on my blog.

However, it is not contextually based ad and you have to specify the ad keywords. This may not be a bad thing as it is not Google AdSense TOS and you can thus run them alongside Google ads.

I guess you have to play around with the keywords. For example, I got some unexpected and unwanted ads when I put gadget.

Will tell you guys if I earn anything from it, after a few months.


Animation software reviews

I once saw a documentary on TV showing how they used to create those Disney cartoons. Each cartoon used to take thousands of drawings and months to complete. Now a few school boys can create similar cartoons (if not better) in a few days ion their personal Mac or PC.

This has been made possible through the availability of various animation software programs, some with more features than the others. Now you can see animation everywhere - in websites, screensavers in ads, music videos and of course, in movies.

Using photo morphing, you can create extremely realistic animations. If you want to compare various animation programs available, go to the Animation Software Review page. They have listed various software along with the prices and features, along with screenshots. If you are looking for a animation software, you might want to take a look here.

18 Jun 2007

PR 10

Was just wondering whether there are any websites with a perfect Pagerank of 10. As I found out, there's more than a hundred of them out there. This includes Google's home page of course. However, Google UK page has only PR 8.

According to this site there are 148 PR 10 sites (as of today).

Do you want to be a PR 10 too?

I don't know about you, but that's my aim. In the meantime, I am going to wear the t-shirt shown here. There are more in my SEO Expert store


16 Jun 2007

Don't ask for link exchange

...if you are going to:

1. put the link on some page other than the home page of your blog,

2. hide the link using some fancy Javascript/ any code, or

3. delete the link after a few days or weeks.

...especially #3.

Was really annoyed when I found that a few guys go around asking other bloggers for a link exchange. They then put up the link. Everyone happy.

They then delete the link after a few days or weeks.

What they don't realise is that bloggers do click the links on their own blogs too.

Some people are really selfish.

Buying GPS gadgets on Gigaweb

I used to be quite tense driving to new places here. Normally I would download the map on the net and then take hours trying to memorise the route I would have to take, to get there and of course, to get back as well. Got lost so many times and going miles before I could find a way to turn back, was quite normal.

That changed right after I bought my TomTom Satellite Navigation or Sat Nav as it is more commonly known as. I never leave home without it anymore.

Aid to navigation is but one of the uses of Global Positioning System devices.It is now used for making maps, land surveys and other scientific uses. It is also used as a security tool for vehicle tracking. While looking for gps vehicle tracking from Garmin, I landed at the Gigaweb.com online store. They carry an excellent collection of various GPS gadgets and accessories.

Even though I didn't find one from Garmin, there was a similar "Wireless Vehicle Monitoring and Tracking Service" from Skypatrol. It costs $299.99 plus monthly service fee of $19.99 with unlimited use. Check it out on the site.

14 Jun 2007

How to PayPerPost

A lot of friends were amazed to learn that I could earn that much as I do from blogging and were interested in starting their own blogs. As you can see, money is one of the best motivators. Some already had their own blogs and were interested in monetizing them. It was interesting to note that many of them already had Google adsense on their blogs but were hardly earning anything from it.

Out of all the companies I am using to convert my creative content into income streams (monetize my work), PayPerPost has helped me earn the most. I have introduced many of my friends and relatives to this company but this proved to be quite challenging especially when it came to those who were not bloggers.

Yesterday, I cam across this excellent online tutorial, that shows you how to start earning from PayPerPost,in just 5 easy-to-follow steps - right from the creation of your own blogspot blog on Blogger and creating a Paypal account to taking opportunities (opps) on PayPerPost.

I would like to warn you guys against being too optimistic. His earnings estimate of "$50 every single day of your life" is on the high side. There may be several days when you may not being able to take a single opportunity and thus unable to earn anything, especially if you are outside the US and your blog has 0 or low Google page rank. Having said that, there are indeed some posties (PayPerPost members) who do earn more than that on an average every day.

Go over to the 'PayPerPost Pocketbook' tutorial now.

13 Jun 2007

The Porsche mobile phone

First it was General Motors who came out with their Hummer HT1car mobile phone in association with French company Modelabs. Now, you have the Porsche phone.

The Porsche Design Group and Sagem Communication (Safran Group) have come out with the first Porsche Design mobile phone, the P’9521. It was revealed at the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen, Germany.

The body of the phone is made from a solid block of aluminum with a mineral glass screen. The screen can be rotated 180° on a double hinge made from aluminum.

Special feature of the P’9521 is a fingerprint reader which will secure access to personal data. The technology comes from Sagem which has expertise in biometrics.

Other functions of the P’9521 include:

- Photo/video: It has an auto-focus video and still c3.2-megapixel camera with integrated flash and digital zoom.

- Music: It also has an MP3 player and three speakers (yes that's right, 3) for ringtones and voice playback in stereo quality sound.

- Internet access: The P’9521 has high-speed internet access enabled with EDGE technology (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution).

The new phone will be available from later this year in Porsche Design Stores and specialist mobile-phone retailers worldwide. However, it will not be sold in the US, Japan or Korea.

I guess it won't be long before we hear about a Ferrari or a Mercedes phone too.


PayPerPost Gets $7Million

I was just going through the PayPerPost blog and reading their latest post 'Get Lucky today with Lucky 7's'. They sure had some fantastic news. Clicked over to check for new opportunities and sure enough, there was this Opp and I was able to grab it.

This is part of what they call the "Lucky 7's" promotion, which will last for 7 days starting noon today. During this period, PayPerPost will release $7k in PPP Opps, and this happen to be one of them. I guess it's my lucky day.

Their new website went live yesterday and though it was not evident at first, there were several new features. One of them happens to be the blog ethics page, stressing on the importance of disclosing that we receive payment for blogging about a certain topic.
Be Honest with Yourself and Your Readers

I totally agree with that.

Initially many of my friends in academic circles (and I have a lot of them) were against the idea of sponsored blog posts on ethical grounds. However, after many debates, they have slowly come around. Disclosure on blogs that carry sponsored posts were definitely one of the reasons they did.

Anyway, here is the full press release:


The PayPerPost Revolution Accelerates, Sponsored
Blogging Marketplace Secures $7 Million Series B

Draper Fisher Jurvetson leads round and joins Board of Directors

ORLANDO, FL – (June 12, 2007) – PayPerPost, the leading marketplace for advertisers to reach bloggers and other consumer content creators, today announced it has completed a $7 million second round investment led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, an investor in the company's Series A and one of the world’s leading high-technology venture capital firms. The financing brings the total amount of capital raised by PayPerPost to over $10 million, giving the company considerable resources for further development as the industry’s leading Consumer Generated Advertising marketplace. Additional participants in the round include existing investors Inflexion Partners and Village Ventures as well as new investor DFJ Gotham. With this investment, DFJ Managing Director Josh Stein also joins PayPerPost’s Board of Directors.

“PayPerPost created this exciting new advertising space and has established itself as the industry leader,” said Ted Murphy, chief executive officer of PayPerPost. “Although we’ve only used a portion of our first round capital, this added support from investors unlocks significant growth potential. Our content creator and advertiser ROI metrics clearly demonstrate the upside for PayPerPost’s model. We intend to use this capital to build the infrastructure, visibility and professional expertise necessary to reach and retain a greater network of advertisers and content creators than ever before.”

Since its founding in June of 2006, PayPerPost has signed more than 6,500 advertisers to its groundbreaking service, which has enabled Consumer Content Creators to be compensated for their efforts discussing specific companies, products or services via blogs, videos or other media. The content creators are required to disclose relationships with advertisers on their blog, providing transparency for the end reader. Over 125,000 Internet postings, most in the form of blogs, have already earned money for their creators through PayPerPost’s innovative marketplace. PayPerPost recently released PayPerPost Direct, a disruptive new service that allows advertisers to contract and negotiate directly with individual bloggers they identify through a safe, managed system.

“PayPerPost has laid a strong foundation for the future,” noted Tim Draper, founder and managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. “It continues to attract a critical mass of participants from both the advertising and blogging communities. Analogous to Overture’s sponsored search model, we believe PayPerPost’s business model holds disruptive potential and will enable the company to thrive in the evolving paid-content arena.”

To mark the $7 million dollar funding, PayPerPost has launched a new website detailing the company’s service offering at http://www.payperpost.com. Bloggers and advertisers can easily sign up at the site and begin leveraging the self service marketplace.

11 Jun 2007

Linking to the stars

I got this Viralink from Leigh M Davis' blog "Key West or Bust" who in turn got it from "Total Web Review" blog.

It's quite unique and I like the fact that unlike others, it's quite short. BTW, my link is the 3rd star.

———copy and paste the Viralink and instructions below this line———

Below is a matrix of 120 stars, I have already added a link to my blog onto one of the stars, all you need to do is copy and paste the grid into your blog and add your own link to one of the other spare stars, and tell others to do the same!




———copy and paste the Viralink and instructions above this line———

10 Jun 2007

Have a bla.st

Just added my card to bla.st.

In case you haven't heard, Bla.st allows you to promote your website or blog or for that matter, almost anything on th site, for free. And you can have it online for 10 years.

Check out my card:
Yes! I know. It is on the bottom of the list on the"Websites & blogs" category, but I plan to change that soon.

How do I do that?

Well, payment is totally optional but but there are ways to move up the list on your category without paying anything. Carrying a link adds 1c/day for a year to your card. Better still, if you write a blog entry or review (positive or negative) about bla.st (like I am doing right now), they will add 2c/day to your card - thus moving your card up in the right direction.

You can also earn a bit of money through referrals by putting up the bla.st widget on your site. Check it out on my sidebar. So are you having a bla.st too?


How to get here

On Google, I am now:
#1 for "SEO Expert Adam"
#1 for "adam SponsoredReviews.com"
#2 for "Adam ok" (#1 is my ah ok lah blog)
#3 for "SponsoredReviews.com seo"

Now, isn't that impressive.

9 Jun 2007

Help with starting a business

Starting a business is not an easy task and often it is better to get some help from the professionals. If you plan to start a business in the states, you might want to take a look at IncParadise.com. It is part of EastBiz.com, Inc., which was started by John Vanhara, owner and president and is based in Las Vegas. They have experience with incorporation of businesses since 1996.

Their website offers online filing service to start a corporation in all 50 states. I noted that the top 5 most popular places for incorporation were Nevada, Florida, Texas, Arizona and Illinois.

One of the pages that I really found interesting was that on suggested business structures. They explain differences between different business entities, namely, Limited Liability Company - LLC, S-Corporation and C-Corporation.

Found the charges to be quite reasonable - only $89 + state fees for doing all necessary paperwork to start a corporation in any state. For example, for Delaware corporations, the total cost for incorporation is only $178.00. The incorporation fee includes filing Articles, forms for shareholders, directors meetings and stock certificates.

If you have a website (or blog) you can also join their affiliate program and earn a commission on incorporation services. For more information, click here.

Upto 3 Google link ads now

Just learnt that we are now allowed to place up to three Google link ads on a page. previously we were allowed only one unit per page.

This is really great as I prefer link units as compared to the other formats and they are definitely more user-friendly.

View sample placements here.

8 Jun 2007

Sweep away spyware

It was a few years ago. I noticed that my office PC had noticeably slowed down while I was doing work and would sometimes crash for no reason. It was really frustrating , especially when I was in the middle of preparing an important presentation or writing an article and discovering that I would have to start all over again on starting up the computer.

I initially assumed that it might be an hardware problem - due to RAM failure or overheating of the processor. However, everything was working ok when I checked. I then blamed it on the unstable Windows' operating system. We were still using Windows 98 that time.

I then handed it over to our technical people who informed me that the problem was a multitude of spyware in my computer - probably from a few of the hundreds of software that I had downloaded from the net. To get rid of it, they had to completely format my hard disk and reinstall the operating system.

I wish I had Spy Sweeper at that time. This antispyware software has won the most awards and according to Download.com:
Definitely worth the money

Spy Sweeper has one of the most advanced spyware detection, blocking and removal programs available that can beat dangerous spyware programs. It even detects spyware hiden using rootkit technology.

Unlike other Spyware detection programs which you have to run from time to time in order to clean any spyware that you may have unwittingly let into your system, Spy Sweeper has powerful new Smart Shields that block known and emerging spyware threats as you browse. To ensure that users are protected all the time, Spy Sweeper's definition database is regularly updated automatically. Plus it comes with free customer support.

Don't just believe my words - look at what PC Magazine, PC World, Download.com and SmartComputing has to say about this software. Right now the License for 1 PC is $29.95. However, they are offering the software for only $19.95 now. You save $10.

Happy ending to T-shirt contest saga

Sometime back, I had ranted about a contest I had organised on my auto blog and written a post titled: "Sponsored contests. How not to do it."

I now take most of what I said back.

Really happy to announce that in the end everything turned out OK. All the problems were traced back to e-mail problems. The sponsors of the contest never received all my e-mails using my Gmail account. In the end I had to get in touch using an alternate e-mail.

I am sure the winners are happy with their 2 t-shirts (I from my online store and a Dodge Nitro T-shirts). They also receive a $50 Gift Certificate reedemable at the online Chrysler gift store.

Isn't that wonderful. Thanks a lot Corrie.

7 Jun 2007

Your own personal plantarium

I can vaguely remember the first time I ever went to a planetarium. I was a kid and my father had taken me there as a surprise treat. It really had a great impression on my mind and even though I don't recall it, my mum was telling me that I went on about it for days.

It's been years since I went to a planetarium and I was really happy when I found out that now I can have my own personal planetarium in our house. The Meade MySky Personal Video Planetarium is a cool astronomy gadget. It is a hand-held, point-shoot-and-identify multimedia guide to our universe. The MySky features a full-color LCD screen with the added ability to control computerised meade telescopes.

This would make a great gift for kids or anyone interested in astronomy. I found cool this gadget at OpticsPlanet.com, which has the guaranteed lowest prices on a wide selection of optics and technology products from telescopes and binoculars to microscopes and flashlights. Besides Meade, other famous bands include Celestron, Bushnell and Nikon among others.

They offer free delivery by UPS on all orders above US$29.95.

Getting t-shirts made to order

A customer tells us how easy it is to have t-shirts made to order on Cafepress, the leading online marketplace allowing almost anybody to "create, buy and sell customized merchandise online".

If you are a car enthusiast, check out my store here.

BTW, I got this news feed though The News Room. Read my post about it on my blog here. If you want to carry the news, all you have to do is just click the green "Mash" button and follow the steps.

3 Jun 2007

First review on SponsoredReviews.com

Yesterday I took my first opp on Sponsoredreviews.com, another company that offers to connect bloggers to advertisers. It competes directly with PayPerPost and ReviewMe. However, the way it works slightly differs from the others.

After registering with the service and adding your blogs, you find an advertiser you would like to blog about. They have a pay range provided and you then set your bid price. This cannot be more than the price you have set for your blog.

You then wait for the advertiser to accept your offer, refuse it or make a counter offer. If both parties agree, you go ahead and do the review (normally 200 words).

The price cut they take is quite high (35%). So if you take up an opp for $30, I only get $19.50. However, it is a little bit higher than when you take an opp on ReviewMe. The latter takes a massive 50% cut.

While writing this, I got a counter offer to write a review for $5 (my share being $3.25). That's too low for a 200 words review and I counter offered to do it for $10. The initial bid was $15. Let's see what the advertiser says.

2 Jun 2007

Accidentally clicked on own adsense ads?

I accidentally clicked on my own Google Adsense ads recently. Was a bit worried that my account might be disabled because of that. On discussing with some of my blogger friends, found out that I am not the only one and that they too did sometimes accidentally click their own ads.

There were few others who did click on them purposely in the hope of increasing their earnings. That was before I told them about the Google adsense program policies, which state that publishers are not permitted to click on their own ads for any reason. It's quite funny but I found out for a fact that many people who sign up for the program don't read the policies

Quite relieved to learn that Google understands that people do sometimes accidentally click their own ads and won't be penalizing them. Read "
Accidents happen" on the Inside AdSense blog.

However, there's a warning:
However, please keep in mind that we don't ignore the clicks completely; if it appears to us that a publisher has been clicking on his own ads to inflate his earnings or an advertiser's costs, we may disable the account to protect our advertisers' interests.

1 Jun 2007

The Amazing Microsoft Surface

The Microsoft Surface is really amazing. Reminds me of the 2002 sci-fi movie "Minority Report" starring Tom Cruise.

Interaction with this 30-inch computer that looks like a tabletop, is through it's touch-sensitive surface instead of a mouse and keyboard. Users directly interact through natural hand gestures, touch and physical objects.

It is expected to cost $10,000 and will be available later this year.

Watch the clips below: