Saturday, February 27, 2010

Crazy Domains advertisement controversy

If you live in Australia there is a television ad that you've almost certainly seen, since it's shown pretty regularly. It's the one for Crazy Domains and it stars Pamela Anderson. Lately it's fallen foul of the censors.

I've seen it many times, and I never thought it was offensive. Actually, I got the impression that the makers of the commercial went out of their way to make Anderson and her equally sexy sidekick seem empowered and businesslike in much of the ad - while also taking advantage of their abundant sex appeal in the geek's daydream sequence. Because of this "bob each way" approach it always struck me as being overly politically correct, if anything. Clearly, the Advertising Standards Board doesn't see it that way.

A side note: The ad was filmed in Los Angeles - and of course stars a major US celebrity. It must have cost a packet! Crazy Domains is doing pretty well for a Perth-based company.

That state does seem to becoming something of a mecca for internet related businesses. The popular ISP iiNet started there as well.

Doomby, a French Weebly

I just found another free website builder that looks pretty good. It's called Doomby and the company is based in France.

It looks a lot like Weebly, with similar tools included, and an option to upgrade. The name is derived from the Pulaar (a language used in Senegal) word for "mice". It is kind of catchy - and also apt, since you would be using your mouse to build a site. However, I do think it might have negative associations for English speakers because of the inclusion of the word "doom". I suspect some people might be turned off using it for that reason.

Still, it looks like a useful tool for the newbie webmaster.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another Facebook horror story

Negative stories related to Facebook are appearing frequently. And here's another one: A bloke murdered his ex-lover after seeing photos on Facebook of her with another man.

Of course, jealous men killing their ex-partners is nothing new, unfortunately. But in the past, these men had to follow them around to learn about their new relationships! Facebook makes the discovery much easier because pretty much anyone can log in and see how another person's personal life is developing.

And with Facebook now becoming so huge it's overtaken Yahoo to become the second most popular site on the web, horrific events like this will happen even more often.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ezine Articles review process

One of the major criticisms of Ezine Articles is that they take so long to review and accept your articles. This is definitely true at the start, when it can take a week or more to see your article go live. But the process speeds up a lot after they've accepted 10 articles from you. It usually takes a couple of days, maybe a bit more once you've reached that number.

And what I've found is that when you've written quite a few more than that, the process speeds up even more. I've got over 30 articles on the site and most of the ones I've been submitting lately are being accepted within 24-48 hours. I might just have been lucky lately, but I don't think so. I suspect that there is a bit of fast-tracking for people who have that many up or more.

So, my advice is: Only submit good articles that are grammatically correct and have been thoroughly spell-checked. Also, be careful to observe their link rules (see the site for details). Then be patient and cooperative. And just keep submitting your best work to them.

This is worth doing because articles there do get a lot of views, and deliver strong SEO benefits to sites they link back to in the author bio-box.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The names of the famous can be good keywords

People often search for information and opinions about well known celebrities and political leaders, so putting their names in the titles of blog posts is often a good tactic. Of course, you can't compete for the really big names like "Beyonce" and "Obama". But you might be able to corner the odd long tail search for names like theirs if your title includes other often searched for terms, including the names of other famous people.

And if you lower your sights a little, you can quite easily rank as number one (or at least very high up) for searches for minor celebrities and political figures - or even just everyday folks who have made the headlines for whatever reason.

If these people are from your country or area, you can pull in some good local traffic, too. So it's a good idea to read the papers and look for people who are not hugely famous, but repeatedly appear in your city's newspapers.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Affiliate links ranking highly in search engines

It's widely accepted that Google will penalize you somewhat if you have too many affiliate links and banners on your blogs and sites. I doubt that the effect is very great, though. Many of the big dogs of blogging, who continue to receive monster search engine traffic, have a lot of ads on their blogs.

In any case there are advantages in doing this. Obviously, you'll eventually make some sales with this method. Also, in some cases, your unique affiliate link can start to appear in the search engines. If it's ranking for a reasonably popular search term, you can get a nice flood of signups and sales that goes for quite some time, until it eventually slides off the first page. This has occurred occasionally with a few of the programs I've been promoting. As far as I can tell it resulted from having those unique affiliate links on blogs with good page rank.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blogging, social networking and age

Age seems to be a crucial factor in one's choice of online medium. Older people prefer blogging, while younger people are deserting that medium for social networking sites like Facebook.

Makes sense. You tend to get more thoughtful as you get older. And you've got more to say. So a medium in which you can express yourself at greater length would have greater appeal.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Yola versus Weebly battle hots up

Of the many free website builders and hosts on the market there are two that stand out from the pack: Weebly and Yola. They are clearly the most popular and user-friendly.

Up until now, Weebly has been leading the field. But Yola is making a major challenge. It has tripled its user numbers recently, now boasting 3 million, and has had a massive injection of venture funding.

I have sites with both of them, and I think they're both great. Weebly does seem a little more user-friendly, though.

One advantage that Yola has over Weebly is that its upgrade option delivers more value for money. For about 50 bucks a year Yola gives you 25 sites, whereas a Weebly Pro user gets 10.

It will be interesting to see how this competition plays out, and whether other companies become major players as well.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Woman tweets while in labour

Here's yet another example of the all-pervasiveness of social networking: A Geelong woman posted updates on Twitter while giving birth.

I have to agree with the writer of this article about the event, who says that she couldn't help feeling it was a case of "too much information"".