27 Jul 2007

Joining the do follow blogroll

I wrote about the "I follow Movement" sometime back and how it can help us increase our PR.

Well, Tricia has created a blogroll for bloggers who "Do follow" , ie, they either have the Do follow plugin or have removed the tags from the comment section of their blogs.

Here's the blogroll:

Refer to the '
Do Follow Bloggers' post on Trica's blog for more information.

Advertising your business through postcards

Just the other day, I was talking with some guys about the importance of offline advertising to promote your online site. It may sound like a oxymoron but it's true. We may have spent a good deal of money building up a great site but it would be a complete waste of money if nobody turned up. Besides online advertising, offline advertising using various methods can help to drive traffic to your site.

One possible way could be through customized postcards. Printed with attractive designs and of course the company particulars including the website url may help in creating awareness about your company and ultimately driving visitors to the site.

If you are looking for a good postcard printing company, you might want to consider 1000s-post-card-printing.com. This full service custom postcard printing and mailing solution company, has some great deals on postcards. they also print brochures, business cards and door hangers as well.

25 Jul 2007

Get reviewed for only $5

I am really annoyed.

Haven't received a single offer on PayPerPost direct till date on ANY of my blogs. I keep reading about other blogs having received several offers.

My wife told me that I am probably overpricing my blogs. So, I want to test it out.

SO I am lowering the Minimum Offer Amount for this Blog to $5 till the end of August. Will see whether I do receive any offers after this.
PPP Direct

TV Advertising experts

Advertising via the medium of television remains one of the most popular forms of advertising. Unlike other forms of advertising media such as billboards and magazines, TV advertising is more persuasive as it is beamed directly into households of customers. It also offers a wide range of programming and advertisers can target specific consumer groups through segmentation. The effectiveness of this medium can be seen from the fact that some ad campaigns remain in the mind of television viewers way long after the end of the campaign.

Ad campaigns of TV are not limited to companies seeking to create awareness about their products and services but even individuals and non governmental organisations are keen to harness the power of the TV. Right now we cannot even image any political campaign without ads on TV. The spread of cable TV has made this media even more accessible.

In order to maximize your campaign's performance, it is essential that you get an experienced company to take care of your campaign. Some ad agencies just design and create your campaigns and leave the rest to you. If you want someone to handle the entire process of running your campaign, a company like Hawthorne direct Inc is the answer.

Hawthorne specializes in creative/production, media and integrated marketing including advertising on TV.

They will help you manage every aspect of your ad campaign right from design and creation with their in-house facilities, even funding and to market testing and campaign rollout. Since 1986, they have handled over 331 clients managing nearly 500 media campaigns.

Going through their site, I was surprised to see a list of resources - related to direct response (DRTV) industry information which they were sharing openly with visitors to their site. Tell a lot about the company.

History of logos

I was going through David Airey's blog, and reading about the importance of having a good logo. Just made me realise that I am not practising what I preach. BTW, David's logo is really cool.

While lecturing to business students in the past, I have always emphasized the importance of your logo in marketing, especially branding. The logo I have now is something I cooked up in a few minutes on a logo designing software I was testing out. I realise that a lot of business owners design their logo themselves. often it is just the name of the business written using a stylish font. Cheap but not exactly the best way to go about it if you are serious about your business. Read "The Importance of a Logo and Marketing Materials".

A good logo must fulfill three essential requirements: it must be appropriate, aesthetically pleasing, and it must reflect the company’s credibility.
- soslogodesign.com

It's very interesting to read about the history of the logos of famous companies and how they have evolved over time to better represent the business.

That's about businesses but what about blogs. I guess if I am serious about being a full time blogger and consultant, it might be worth it to hire a designer to come up with a nice logo for the blog.

Magical motivational key note speaker

If you are organising a conference or seminar, it is very important to get the right keynote speaker as he or she will set the tone for the entire conference. I have attended a few conferences and on one occasion, the politician who was supposed to deliver the key note address couldn't attend the conference because of some reason. he sent along his representative who didn't do a good job (putting it politely). I was not surprised to see several people slipping away from the hall.

The ideal keynote speaker would be one who can hold the audience spellbound while engaging them. Andy Cohen is one of those unique business and motivational speakers who's entertaining as well.

Using magic as a metaphor he ensures the full participation of the audience as well as ensuring that the lesson learnt remains memorable for a long time.

Andy is a marketing guru, innovation expert, best selling author and magician as well. His book 'Follow the Other Hand' has been nominated by the New York Times as a potential bestseller for 2007. The list of his clients include some of the biggest companies including America Online, American Express, Fox, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson and Nestle among others. This is an an indication of his popularity.

So if you are looking for someone to speak at your conference, seminar, or business meeting, look no further. However, you may have to check his schedule first as he is a very busy man.

NOTE: Picture was taken from a screenshot of his website

24 Jul 2007

$100 laptop finally going into mass production

According to a BBC report, the XO also known as the $100 laptop, is soon going into mass production 5 years after it was conceptualized. The final round of beta machines (B4) have been built and deployed.

The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is the brain child of Nicholas Negroponte (he's also the chairman). Together with a core of Media Lab veterans,he founded the OLPC non-profit organization. He is currently on leave from MIT.

Designed in collaboration between experts from both academia and industry, the machine should be in the hands of children in developing countries by October 2007. The countries that have signed up to buy the XO include Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Nigeria, Libya, Pakistan, Peru, Rawanda and Thailand.

I know that it is meant for children in developing countries, but I won't mind paying a little more to get my hands on one. I really like some of the features on it. First of all, it's water proof and shockproof. Secondly, it can be recharged by using a solar panel, a hand crank, a foot pedal or a pull-string recharger. Other features include a screen that can be adjusted to view in sunlight, wifi and built in digital camera. The laptop doesn't have any hard disk and instead has 1GB of flash memory, which can be expanded. Our nearly $1500 laptop does not have all those features.

Check out the video of Chief software engineer Chris Blizzard talking about some of the features of the XO.


My dream digital camera?

I have always loved photography and it has become more of a passion ever since I started blogging. Now my friends are quite used to the fact that whenever we go to a restaurant, I have to take a picture of every dish before we actually dig in. I never leave home without my digital camera, always by my side. You never know when you see something interesting.

This is a picture of my father. We were going for a walk in the park in Melbourne, Australia, when it suddenly started to rain and we had to take shelter in a hut. Love this picture. I edited it a bit by cropping and converting it to Greyscale for that classic look.

Right now I am using my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9. It was a birthday gift from my wife and it's a great camera. However, having tried some digital SLRs, somehow using my Lumix seems so amateurish. I console myself saying that it's not the equipment but the artist that matters but I cannot help myself.

My dream camera is the Nikon D2X (12.4 Megapixels). So far I have not read any bad reviews about this camera. It has won the best product accolades for 2005-2006 from the European Imaging and Sound Awards and was also named European Professional Camera of the Year. I guess it's only con is that it is a bit on the expensive side. Another camera I would consider is the Canon EOS 400D also known as Rebel XTi in the US, known as the ultimate entry-level digital SLR. That should take me to the next level.

23 Jul 2007

Find search engine rankings for free

Have you ever wanted to find out the Search Engine Rankings of your site or blog on the top search engines for various keywords?

After looking around on the net, I just came across the Search Engine Rankings tool. It gives you almost instant online reports of web site rankings in 9 top search engines and web directories.

Here are my rankings for a few keywords:

A "No" means that my site was not on the top 50. I was shocked with the results for “Cari duit” because my post was #4 till yesterday. That''s Google for you.

I am not sure how but my site is ranked high for bla.st


High ranked Blogspot blogs

updated: 17, Nov. 2007
Made numerous changes to the list. Had to drop a number of blogs from the PR 5 list.
This includes among others, Paula Neal Mooney's blog which is now a PR3.

My Blog ah ok lah is now in the list.

Right after I wrote my post "Don't ignore blogspot blogs", I went over to the PayPerPost boards to see what other fellow posties and advertises thought about it. I was really surprised at the response. Almost everyone who replied to the thread were against it. Not surprising as almost all posties who replied were NOT Blogspot users. I know that a lot of posties are Blogspot users and I expected them come out in support of my campaign but they didn't.

It seemed like most of those who replied had decided that Blogger (Google) banning blogs that carried paid or sponsored posts in the future, is inevitable.

One advertiser even asked:
If you're on a free host, how seriously do you take your blog?
What do you think?

Would love to hear your views on this issue. In the meantime, here are some high ranking Blogspot blogs (with PR 5 and above).

PR 5
PR 6
PR 7
PR 9

Tell me if your's is missing from or you know of others missing from the list.

21 Jul 2007

5th position for Cari Duit on Google

A few weeks back I set out to see how far my post "Cari duit - make money" would go up on the search engine charts.

I am quite pleased when I checked today and found out that it is #5 on Google for the words "Cari Duit", which literally means "Searching for money" in Bahasa Malaysia - the official language of Malaysia.

It's not doing that bad on Yahoo! either. It is #52 on the 2nd results page.

Guess that I am on my way to becoming a real SEO Expert.

Community for programmers and web developers

I don't have an IT background but I am really interested in tech related issues, especially those related to web technologies. Most of the stuff I know now are essentially self taught. I do attend a few short courses and seminars from time to time to update my knowledge. As part of my endeavor to update my knowledge, i am a member of various tech forums. In most I am just a silent member, joining in only when I find some interesting topic. Sometimes all the tech talk just flies over my head.

I am thinking of joining the Dream.In.Code community. It's popularity with programmers and web developers is indicated by size of it's membership - almost 40,000 strong. The site has over 200 tutorials, 950 code snippets, and if you are ever in trouble with some programming language, say C++, don't worry. There are thousands of programmers and web developers willing to help you on the different forums. You just have to register for Free in order to join in.

18 Jul 2007

Optimising comments on Blogger blogs

When you leave comments on blogs hosted on Blogger including mine, you have the option of either signing under your Blogger account, other (name and website url) or Anonymous.

You might recall my "I Do Follow" post, which explores a way to increase back links to our blogs through comments on other blogs. However, leaving a comment using your Blogger account may not work as the link leads to your Blogger profile.

The second option might be a better choice for a few reasons. It provides a direct link to your desired blog. I have also come across so many bloggers who have multiple blogs listed on their profile and this includes those where he/ she is only a guest blogger. And the comment says "Check out the post on my blog?" But which blog out of the 6 or sometimes 10 blogspot blogs is the blogger referring to?

Of course, if the blogger sets the option that only registered bloggers can leave comments, then you don't have any choice.

17 Jul 2007

Popup on my blogs

Last night, I was quite shocked when I was greeted by a pop-up when I opened my Freebies blog. The same thing happened on this blog as well. Here's the screenshot:

I had been using the 'recent comments' hack provided by Ramani on a few of my blogs, which are hosted with Blogger. However, they had been down for a couple of days. Ramani used this unusual way to inform bloggers using his hack, about the problem and how to fix it.

Anyway, in the meantime I had found a simpler way to get a list of your recent comments by using a simple script provided by Blogger Templates, which adds a recent comments widget on your blog.

Ramani's hack was way too much hassle - I had to edit the template html and add a script in the code beside the widget on the sidebar. Plus I didn't like the fact that he put up a link to an advertiser and then a pop-up on my blog just like that.

14 Jul 2007

Your website SEO score with Website Grader

Got to know about this great SEO tool after I was contacted by Joseph Bamber to have a look at it. I reviewed it some time back but forgot to blog about it.

The Website Grader is a Free SEO tool, which can be used to find out your website's marketing effectiveness. All you have to do is type in your Website URL and hit the submit button.

You can also add 'Related Keywords', 'Competing Websites' and your email. All these are totally optional but I recommend you do so in order to obtain a more useful and detailed report. For example, I put John Chow in the 'Competing Websites' space for comparison purposes.

I used this site for reference and learnt a great deal. First of all I learnt that the WebSite Grade For www.adamok.net is 79/100 (Friday, July 13, 2007). This means that my site scores higher than 79% of the thousands of websites that have previously been submitted to the tool.

It also give me the Google Page Rank, Alexa Rank, Technorati Rank, Google Inbound Links, Yahoo Inbound Links, Delicious Saved Count and Google Indexed Pages. Previously I had to use different tools to tell me all of this.

One new thing I learnt was that my site has a high number of meta keywords. Contrary to what I had always believed, by using a lot of keywords -
it is possible that you are diluting the effect of your most important keywords.

I even received a digg.com submission summary that told me that I have had 10 articles submitted to digg.com from this site. These articles received a total of 26 diggs (votes). Unfortunately, none of these articles have made it to the front page of digg.com.

In order to access more features, you need to register with the site. This tool is amazing. I simply can't believe that it is free. Try it out to see for yourself.

12 Jul 2007

Creating customized elearning tools

In today's knowledge based business World, there is a need to constantly update knowledge and skills. Even though, most companies are still using the traditional training methods, several are now chanting the new buzz word - "elearning". A lot of companies now see Computer Based Training (CBT) and web based training as a real practical and effective alternative to training in the classrooms.

If you are interested in creating your own customized training tools, check out the 'Resource Bridge' website. This company, which was founded in 1999, specializes in creating special custom training needs for different businesses. They provide a proprietary suite of eLearning products called ExceLearn LMS with several features. With this Learning Management System, you can thus create web based training tools customized to the requirements and needs of your company.

The site also features articles on how you can deliver customized training and information to your employees, partners and customers effectively.

Don't ignore blogspot blogs

Can't recall the blog but one blogger was saying that if you are serious in making money from your blog then you should get your own domain name. I toally agree with that but what I didn't agree was his suggestion that advertisers should ignore all free blogs including Blogspot blogs hosted on Blogger.

Also noticed that on a number of online advertising sites, several advertisers exclude Blogspot blogs from carrying their advertisements. I agree that there are thousands of Blogspot blogs that are really lousy and hardly receive any web traffic but to generalise them would be a mistake. I know of several Blogspot blogs which are highly popular. Take My Asylum for example. It is a PR 5 blog and receives around 200 visitors per day. Not much but way better than a lot of blogs with their own domain names.

Barring blogs from carrying ads just because they don't have their own domain names simply doesn't make sense. Google PR might be a better screening option.

10 Jul 2007

Video Fireplace

Have you ever wanted a fireplace in your house but decided against it because you have kids and were scared of accidents happening or maybe you were turned off by the fact that they give off fumes and may require cleaning. Well I have the perfect solution for you. Why not get a video fireplace DVD

How does it work?

All you have to do is play the Ambient Fire movie in your DVD player and you instantly have a realistic roaring, wood-burning fire in your room, complete with fireplace sounds and accompanied by Jazz music. Must be really calming.

This product comes from Vat19, which carries a range of fun and interesting products. Another unique item on the site is the Ambient Water video aquarium. With this aquarium, you don't need to feed the fish nor clean the tanks and the fishes never die.

8 Jul 2007

Google punishes John Chow

It seems that Google has punished famous blogger, John Chow for aggressively pushing his linkback promotion for the search term 'make money online'.

Not only is he not #1 on the search results for the term 'make money online', he's not even there on the front page for his own name.

I guess this is a warning for all bloggers trying to emulate the same feat.

Update: 11 July 07
It's quite funny but I am #7 on Google for 'John Chow'.

7 Jul 2007

Affordable web hosting

Now that you got your domain name, you are probably wondering where to host your site. You might want to consider Host208 - Webhosting Services. The service is provided by SC RAISERV SRL, a Romania based company with it's HQ in Bacau. However, their state-of-the-art data center is located in Fremont, California.

They have several hosting plans you may want to consider:
1. Business plan ($4.50 per month - if you pay up annually)
2. Corporate plan ($8.50/ month) and
3. Enterprise plan ($12.50/month)

Those are extremely low prices considering what they have on offer. For example, for the Business plan it works out to $54 for a years hosting. It also comes with 15000 MB Data Storage, 300 GB Data Transfer, hosting for 3 Domains, SiteStudio - website builder, 30 Subdomains, Anti-Virus & Spam protection and much more. Plus you get 30 Days money back guarantee period if you are not satisfied.

Check out their site for more information.

Malaysians crossing the $10K mark in PayPerPost

Malaysians are doing quite well in PayPerPost. First was Emily who goes by the online name of Cyberpartygal and has a blog with the same name - Cyberpartygal. She crossed the $10,000 earnings mark on Jun 23, 2007. Next on the list is Chan Lilian, who is better known as 5XMom. I thought she had already crossed the mark yesterday but found out that she is just $81 short of reaching it (when I last checked).

Another lady fast reaching the same is Amy. The PPP dashboard shows that she has earned
$7,766.35 so far (as of writing this).

A few things I noted:
1. All of them are ladies
2. All of them have multiple blogs. For example Amy has got 8 blogs.
3. They are highly productive, writing several posts a day.
4. They are highly creative and have a way with words, especially Lilian.

I too am following in their footsteps and hope to cross the $10K earnings mark on PPP soon myself.

5 Jul 2007

Track your car via GPS

In Malaysia, I was once approached by a salesman who wanted to sell me an car alarm system. My car had the original factory installed security system and I refused because I thought it was good enough. However, I was intrigued when he claimed that he could open my car in less than a minute. As I had nothing to lose, I agreed. And I was left with my mouth open as he not only opened the car without the alarm going off, he also opened the car boot and the bonnet and started the car as well in less than a minute. I was really impressed with the demonstration that I agreed to have my car security upgraded. It was costly but it was worth it or so I thought.

One year later, I was again approached by another guy at another place. He claimed that he could open my car even with the new security system installed. I gave him a chance and he did.

I didn't upgrade and even though I never had my car stolen, to tell the truth I was always scared that it would.

However, there is a solution - thieves can steal you car but they can't hide when you have a car tracker installed.

There are several type of these high tech GPS tracking devices that can be hidden in your vehicle and used to track their location. They can be distinguished into two main types, namely Past track and Real-Time. The former gives in depth information such as where the vehicle went, where it stopped and how fast it was driven. On the other hand, real time vehicle tracking device as the name suggest, displays the exact current location of your vehicle at any time. Besides tracking stolen cars, these devices can also be used for fleet tracking.

Pinging search engines

Just came across this great way to ping different search engines at one go.

Go over to Ping-O-Matic, type in your blog name and address, choose the services to ping and hit the "send pings" button.

That's it. You don't even need to sign up nor put up a link button. And it works because I just tried it out because I got a Google alert just a day after I tired it. However, don't ping the services unnecessarily or you might be penalised or something.

4 Jul 2007

PC and gaming E-commerce site

What genre of video game do you prefer to play? A lot of my friends prefer first shooter and racing games. However, I like role playing and strategy games. Recently got to know about the multi award winning music video game - Guitar Hero. I can't play the guitar very well apart from a few chords but with the guitar hero for PS2, I instantly become a rock star belting out hits like "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple and "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath.

If you like Guitar Hero, check out the range of Guitar Hero controller for PS2 on the CensusPC site.

However, that's not the only stuff that this site carries. They have an amazing range of computers, peripherals and accessories among others. This company was set up by a group of high tech engineers and their HQ is based in California, US. I am looking at upgrading my computer and their Barebone systems are quite attractive and they do ship internationally.

3 Jul 2007

I Do Follow

I am not sure whether you noticed but there is a revolution silently under way in the Blogosphere. It is called the "I follow Movement". It was started by a Lady called Randa Clay who blogs at Randa Clay Design. But more about that later.

A lot of bloggers, mostly newbies to blogging, have been asking me about ways to increase their Google Page Rank or PR. My reply has always been the same. I too am in the same boat and I am trying to get this blog a respectable PR befitting it's name. Of course, you all know by now that my target is to get a PR 10.

However, getting bloggers to link back to your blog from their high PR blogs can be a formidable task as many of us have found out.

The fact is that most people are selfish and won't link to you unless you are a net celebrity. This then becomes a chicken and egg question. How are you going to become a web celebrity unless a lot people link back to you?

I forgot to mention that you can also beg your friends and family members to link back to you and they might do so out of pity.

However, there may be a way to help ourselves after all. You notice this button below:

This indicates that I have removed the rel="nofollow" attribute from my blog comments. Wordpress powered blogs just need a plugin to turn off the rel=”nofollow” code but we poor bloggers at Blogger have to manually remove this code ourselves.

This means that comments on my site will be indexed by search engines thus improving your blog's pr, that is, if you have left a link to your blog in your comment.

So what are you waiting for?

Leave your comments on ALL MY BLOGS and any other blog that has the "Do follow "sign on them.

I have joined the "Do Follow Blogroll" that was started by Tricia.

Please refer to the 'Do Follow Bloggers' post on Trica's blog for more information if you want to join in as well.


1 Jul 2007

Sick of the iPhone hype

Are you sick of hearing and reading about a product that hadn't even come out on the market. Yes! I am talking about the Apple iPhone.

The product has been discussed, dissected and dished by admirers and critics alike, to death. For example, take a look at Engadget.com. Just count the number of stories and links related to the iPhone and you will see what I mean.

I guess all the hype helped by looking at the number of people queuing outside the stores.

However, I am so fed up with reading and hearing about it day in day out - everywhere, that I have decided never to write a post about it ...

...until I get one in my hands.

Related links: IPhone launch draws long lines, heavy forecasts