Wednesday’s News on InvestorBlogger: Social Spark, Kiva and Dreamhost

It’s been quite a while since I did a news type post, so today’s post is a News Type Post. I’ll be covering a number of issues, but first here’s a quick recap of the top posts since the last news posting.

Recent Posts

With these days of a heady credit crisis, I’ve focused a lot on financial issues of late from borrowing money in China via a ‘hui’ (a unique self-help scheme that CAN work), to learning more about why we always feel broke in Cash Low? Play CashFlow 101 and learn why, disclosing my own personal Credit Card habits in Mr Credit Card’s Survey: My Personal Answers… And yours?. Before taking any loan, you need to read the fine print before you sign. Shopping these days also provides its own headaches, and I’m not sure what was going on when I bought some CDs at Carrefour.

This month has not been without its challenges: Accident Prone: And it’s not April First, and April Fools: Technorati, Safari, SRG, and Analytics – all borked. Of course, I’ve been updating all my blogs to the latest version of WordPress 2.5 and I’m loving it – WordPress 2.5: Five Things InvestorBlogger loves!. But upgrading hasn’t been without its own tribulations: the blog that hosted the Carnival of Making Real Money: 18th Edition April 1st, 2008 has been experiencing trouble since I tried a manual upgrade, then an automatic upgrade. I had to revert to a previous version to get it working again. No idea why: the plugins are all the same as the other blogs.

And lastly, in my feature post, I looked at how success comes in different disguises in Making it on Main Street: Are you looking for the big kahuna?

In Today’s News

There are three stories that I would like to share in today’s news: Social Spark, Kiva Sponsorship, and Dreamhost (it ain’t so bad after all!)

Social Spark

Social Spark is now live and in Alpha. I was given a special code that meant that I could finally access it, if you’re lucky and you’re already a member of either PayPerPost or the Izea Boards, you may get a code by fnding a thread in which ‘keys’ are being given away. You may not get one, but it’s worth a try. I was surprised to get one! The whole system is very different to the current PayPerPost system, and offers new opportunities and new challenges. In fact, it’s a cross between elements of FaceBook, MyBlogLog and PayPerPost.

socialspark

There’s a lot more to do in your profile, as you can interact with other bloggers and advertisers, your profile is quite detailed, as are the stats on your traffic. You’ll also find some variations on the traditional opps that you can take: traditional type opps have bonuses for work well done, there are ‘sparks’ which can be done for free in return for some non-monetary compensation, and there is blog sponsorship which posts a large Ajax type advertisement on your blog the first time someone visits, and after it’s been dismissed, a bar at the bottom of your blog’s webpage.

bca-ss-sponsorship

This is a sample for the current sponsorship that is supposed to be on my blog, but isn’t… yet. There are a whole range of other features for the social aspect, but since this program is still an alpha preview, a lot of things don’t work properly or at all, some of the organisation seems chaotic and less than ideal for new users, but the potential is tremendous. I do also like the fact that PayPerPost has allowed bloggers to go ‘nofollow’ on in-post links, making it acceptable for bloggers who would rather not cross swords with the Big G.

Kiva: New Sponsorship

Having been a participant in Kiva for over a year, I recently doubled my ‘investment’ in the organisation and now have sponsored a new client as part of a syndicate. This is a very worthy cause, and a great way to give something back to the community. I received this email from Kiva today stating:

This is an update written by Lola Khusanova on: Nasim Nabijonov

Thank you for your loan. It has been disbursed to Nasim Nabijonov by International MicroLoan Fund (IMON) in Tajikistan. We are excited to watch this business grow. Over the next 9 months, International MicroLoan Fund (IMON) will be collecting repayments from this entrepreneur and posting progress updates on the Kiva website.

Kiva very much appreciates your responses online. …

Take a look at his story at his bio and story.

nasim

Nasim has run his business of office supplies sales for more than 11 years in the central market. He competes effectively with big stores by offering prices that are lower and more attractive. This has helped him to succeed in his business. Nasim requests a loan of $1000.00 for the term of 9 months to expand the business and purchase more office supplies to sell.

This kind of entrepreneurship and vision is important if you want to succeed in your business.

Dreamhost: ups and downs.

In recent months, Dreamhost has added a lot of interesting features for its customers. Despite my complaints, I’ve generally found that for private and personal hosting, as well as small company hosting, Dreamhost is a great choice. If, like this blog, your website is attracting more traffic, perhaps it’s time to consider more serious choices… Things I’ve noticed:

1. Google Hosted Domains are now easy –

google hosted

2. Easy Mode for some hosted Apps

easymode

3. There’s a wide range of hosted software that can be installed automatically for you at Dreamhost, including WordPress, Zenphoto, Gallery, PhpGedView, Pligg, dotProject, Moodle, Joomla, phpbb, MediaWiki, WebCalendar, and Advanced Poll. Some nice stuff there.

advancedmode

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll be looking at seven ways I’ve gotten additional traffic in recent months: what they are, why they work, and the kind of results you can or can’t expect.

Till then, happy blogging!

Author: InvestorBlogger

Investorblogger.com takes you on a 'Random Walk To Wealth' through money, investing, blogging and tech. We'll explore my insights, mistakes, and experiences together.