Thursday, April 26, 2007

Blog contest

Blog contest
JohnChow is running another blog contest, this time for a Microsoft Zune. Here is the required text link to qualify for the contest: make money on the internet.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Use a link in your comments or replies!

Post comments on other blogs
Many website owners and bloggers visit their peers or other websites that are related to their own site. Posting relevant comments to articles on other sites is a great way to get some attention and give your website some exposure. Most commenting systems ask for your URL and will automatically link your name to your website, but there is another often under utilized resource that many people are missing out on.

Use a link inside your comments!
The default settings for WordPress allow one hyperlink before routing a comment to the moderation queue. Use your available hyperlink! You can do this via a signature style entry as you are accustomed to seeing on forums or by slipping it into your reply in another way. If you have an available hyperlink, why wouldn't you use it? This commenting strategy could bring in some highly targeted visitors to your website and can be very beneficial. You probably want to incorporate this in with the threaded comments trick.

Thank you,

Friday, April 6, 2007

New Blogger Datestamp bug

New Blogger Datestamp bug
The new blogger system allows you to type out a post and "Save As Draft" before publishing. This feature is very helpful as it allows you to work on upcoming, future posts, reread your posts, preview posts and fine tune posts before you set them live for the world to see. Unfortunately, if you publish one of your drafts days later, the article will retain the date stamp of the first time that you saved the post.

Just take this post for example! I started writing this post on April 6th, 2007 and saved a draft. I did not publish the post until April 7th, 2007, but it still retains a date stamp of April 6th! The new blogger system definitely has some bugs and nuances that the Blogger development team needs to work out.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Threaded Comments Trick

What are Threaded Comments?
Websites like,, and others use a threaded comments system to show user replies to articles and posts. These threaded comments allow "conversations" to be grouped together and allows users to reply to a specific comment that has already been made (instead of generally replying to the article). Some WordPress blogs also use threaded comments systems via the Brian's Threaded Comments plugin or another modification.

Threaded comments: Always reply to a top comment
If you are leaving comments or posting replies on a website that uses threaded comments, you can make sure that your comment gets the most exposure and stays as close to the top of the comment list as possible by following a few simple strategies. If the article already has some user comments present, always reply to a specific comment instead of using the "general" reply feature. If comments are already present on an article and you use the "general" reply, your comment will be thrown to the very bottom of the comments section. But you don't want to be at the very bottom of the list! If the first, already present comment has no direct replies to it, you should reply to that comment. This will ensure that your comment stays as high to the top of the comment list as possible, even if others reply to the top comment after you.

Threaded comments, theoretically speaking
Let's say you do not use my recommended strategy and you are the second person to reply to an article, posting a comment to the general article (and not in reply to a specific comment). You might be thinking, "Sweet! I got here quick and I am the second reply to the article, everyone will see my comment!". WRONG! If threaded comments are enabled, multiple people would be able come in later and explicitly reply to the FIRST comment on the article, bumping your comment lower and lower down the page and out of view. The higher your comment is on the website, the more likely it will be read.

Use Threaded Comments Strategy
I use strategy when replying in a threaded comments environment. This allows me to get to an article hours after it has already been published and still post a comment that will be retained near the top of the article, for many people to view. Do you also use threaded comment strategies? If so, let me know by replying to this article and leaving a comment (sorry, no threading here). Thanks!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

AdSense code and New Blogger bug

AdSense code and New Blogger bug
Yesterday when I was posting about the Google Toolbar for Firefox, I came across a very strange bug that occurs when you attempt to embed JavaScript AdSense code into a Blogger post. Normally, if you attempt to enter JavaScript code into a post, the JavaScript elements will disappear when you publish the post. However! If you try to enter Google AdSense JavaScript, even if it is for one of their referral programs such as "Get Firefox with Google Toolbar", an entirely different behavior occurs.

After pasting in my Google AdSense referrer JavaScript code for the "Get Firefox with Google Toolbar" program and hitting publish, I found the distorted Google AdSense Ads displayed above on my post. Pretty weird eh? I promptly removed the malfunctioning code as I already had three Google AdSense Ad units running on this blog and letting another one remain would violate the Google AdSense TOS (Terms Of Service). This behavior occurs on blogs that run on the "new" Blogger system. The old blogger/blogspot system is probably not affected in this manner.

Google PageRank with Google Toolbar

Google PageRank with Google Toolbar
Today I finally caved in and installed the Google Toolbar for Firefox. You might be asking "Caved in? What's wrong with Google Toolbar?". Absolutely nothing. I have used the Google Toolbar a few times in the past and it is definitely an excellent browser add-on that provides tremendously useful capabilities.

Why did it so long to install Google Toolbar this time?
I have been using Firefox for quite some time now and it has a Google search built right in to the top of the browser! This is probably the #1 reason why I have not installed the Google Toolbar until now.

Display Google PageRank Information
The #1 reason why I decided to install the Google Toolbar today: PageRank information. Now that I am focusing on Search Engine Optimization, running websites and all related topics, I need to be able to identify the PageRank of a given website. A PageRank is a value that Google assigns to each website, which signifies a particular websites' importance and affects Google search results rankings. Running the Google Toolbar enables an easy display of any websites PageRank value at the top of the browser. If you are a webmaster and are learning about Search Engine Optimization and related topics, you NEED the Google Toolbar!

Click my banner at the top right of this website to download the Google Toolbar.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

1and1 Web Host Review

1and1 Web Hosting Review
Choosing a web host can be a daunting task for any website owner or web publisher. With hundreds of hosts to choose from (maybe even thousands), how do you narrow the field down to a reliable host that charges the least amount of money? 4 years or so ago, a new player entered into the USA web hosting arena. That company is 1and1 web hosting. 1and1 landed in North America running, with aggressive advertising campaigns in offline print magazines and with online advertising.

Three full years of free web hosting, for real?
When they first entered the North American market, they started off with a bang by offering 3 FREE YEARS of web hosting. Skeptical? I was too until I signed up and got my 3 free years of hosting. After that, I've stayed on with 1and1 due to their excellent products, pricing and server stability.

Website Availability Monitoring Results
Last year, a friend and I were hosting numerous websites on various web hosts and we decided to setup URL monitoring for all of our sites. If a site was ever unavailable or down, we would receive an email notification to let us know that there was a problem. We were monitoring sites hosted by 1and1, GoDaddy and DreamHost. The results? After about 6 months of monitoring, the 1and1 sites had the LEAST amount of monitoring alerts, followed closely by GoDaddy. DreamHost came in last place, with the greatest amount of unavailable alerts. What does this tell me? 1and1 is the most reliable.

Traffic surges
But what about traffic surges caused by social news sites such as Digg, Slashdot, Fark or others? I am happy to report that my 1and1 hosted sites have stood up very well to very large traffic surges being sent from the front page of Digg, Slashdot and others. I have only noticed one problem with my first digg frontpage hit, where a site produced a server error on some requests, but a page refresh was able to fix the issue and serve up the page. The next time my site hit the Digg front page, I saw no problems. I also had no issues when my site was linked from, a tech news site that will send thousands and thousands of visitors.

In conclusion, I have absolutely no trouble in giving 1and1 web hosting my highest recommendation. I am currently on the cheapest plan, paying less than $3 per month and hosting approximately 10 websites. Do you want a more reliable web host with more features? If so, try out 1and1 web hosting.


Monday, April 2, 2007

Wells Fargo Customer Service is retarded

Wells Fargo CD accounts opened
Last week I opened two higher interest baring Certificate of Deposit (CD) accounts over the phone with Wells Fargo. After discussing the various options with the representative, she informed me that I was "prequalified" for the CD accounts. I asked if they were going to run a credit check on me due to the new account requests and the Wells Fargo representative responded by telling me that NO, they will not run a credit check because I am prequalified.

Credit Monitoring
I have a credit monitoring service in place and the next day I received a credit alert for activity on my credit record. I logged in to the credit monitoring website and what do I see? A credit check performed by Wells Fargo.

Customer Service is often worthless
The next week I called in to complain because Wells Fargo had lied to me. I was also inquiring about a "service fee" that should not have been charged to my Savings Account, but alas it was there. The Wells Fargo customer service rep credited the Savings Account fee back to my account as a "courtesy". Afterwards, I discussed the credit check and the fact that the Wells Fargo representative had misinformed me. The rep gave me a few different options at that point.

1) She could relay the information to her Supervisor.
2) I could write a letter in to Wells Fargo with my complaint.
3) She could transfer me to a higher level rep that could discuss my complaint.

I asked her if there would be any action taken if she simply relayed the information to her Supervisor. The representative then told me that she had no idea if any action would be taken or if any follow up would be performed in this circumstance. I take this to mean that absolutely nothing would be done.

I figured I might as well give the "higher level rep" a try since I did not feel like writing in a print letter at this precise moment in time, so I asked to be transferred.

Higher level rep = lower intelligence level
I was quickly transferred to the "high level" Wells Fargo customer service representative who was alleged to be able to handle my complaint. I explained that another Wells Fargo employee had lied to me when I was opening my account, and the "high level" customer service rep apologized to me numerous times. She then explained that all customers that apply for a CD account will be credit checked, regardless of their prequalification status.

I said okay fine, I understand that you are apologizing but can you please at least have someone followup with the Wells Fargo rep that opened my account to let her know that she is providing incorrect information to customers regarding credit checks. The "high level" rep then told me that they do not have that capability at this time. I then told this rep that I am sure that Wells Fargo has the rep ID documented somewhere in the system. The "high level" rep then told me again, "We do not have that capability at this time". At this point I was starting to get very annoyed and frustrated, so I asked,

"Are you telling me that a large bank such as Wells Fargo does not keep records of the accounts that each specific employee opens or creates?".

The high level Wells Fargo representative then regurgitated the same reply, "We do not have that capability at this time". At this point I was pushed over my limit and I ended the conversation with the representative. I wonder if a traditional print letter would result in any type of action on Wells Fargo's part...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

You need to think big to make it big

You need to think big to make it big
I joined the AGLOCO get paid to surf service on March 5th. I realized what an amazing opportunity the service provides if a person does a little bit of work by building their member network. Due to this, I set myself a goal of building a network of 100 members in my first month of participating in the service. A large goal? Yes, but you need to think big to make it big. Make a goal, set a date and work to achieve your goal, even if it seems like it is a large feat or a daunting task.

Now that March is over, I am looking at my AGLOCO network stats and I see that I now have 57 members in my network. Did I meet my goal? No, but I am still very happy with my results. I own multiple websites that promote AGLOCO and I have also done some "manual" work by hanging up flyers in PUBLIC locations.

What is AGLOCO?
If you don't know what AGLOCO is, then you are missing out on the billion dollar internet advertising industry. AGLOCO gets the end users a piece of the internet advertising revenue. All you need to do is sign up for the free service and run a tiny toolbar at the bottom of your browser while you surf the web. You can not find a better deal than that. Sign up for AGLOCO today.

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