Monday News: Winners, Downloads, Carnivals and my new project

It’s Monday, the first day of a new week, and lots of things are happening! So keep reading…

And my favorite post in the last few weeks:

In Competition News

We’ve had two competitions recently: one of which was a rip-roaring success with lots of submissions, and one of which wasn’t.

The winner of the “Guess the Floor” height was in fact Michael Turton who won that week’s prize: a free blog review. It was interesting to read his blog, and interesting to write the review. I did receive some follow up on my comments about Blogger vs. WP. Seems Michael is getting ready to move to WordPress soon. Looking forward to that.

The other competition only generated one response: of course, it was correct. Skeet’s blog is well known as a blog, and has a great design. In fact, I buzzed her blog last year ! So, she’ll shortly be winning a keyboard! Do drop me a line, Skeet, with your snail mail address!

The New Download

I’ve created a new download for my favorite feeds, I’ve called it my Top Ten Twelve (ed. plus five more!), but then I realized that I’ve omitted some great feeds, so I will be revising it shortly. Can you guess who’s in the feeds currently? I wonder who is missing! If you can’t stand the wait, just download it NOW!

New Blog Carnival

I have launched a new carnival for the website coming shortly, it’s called “dot com carnival“. Do check it out and submit any good articles! Submissions policy is on the linked page. We’re definitely taking submissions NOW!

Making REAL Money Carnival

There’s the 13th edition of this carnival available now, with some good stuff, do take the time to read it over!

My New Project

Having been asked to help consult on a blogging project, I’ll be revealing soon what I’m working on. It’s quite interesting but it’s going to be a lot of work to bring the project upto speed for my client! Still, we’ve made a good start with the install, plugins and base theme. We’ve just down the first post or two. I’ll let it mature a little before I say more here.

Monday News: A Carnival, Tidying Up, Chinese New Year and our 1st Martian Reader

What you’ve missed here…

  1. Saturday Bytes: WMV to FLV and FireFox’s Causing Me Frustration
  2. Technorati: Why you should bother, how you do it, and the ‘dark side’
  3. NetWork Solutions: How YOU can gouge your customers in 10 steps or less – a case study
  4. and our new Advice Column: Your House Is Not YOUR ATM Machine

For the advice column, simply drop your email to us (anonymously, if you wish) and I’ll write InvestorBlogger’s response with some suggestions.

And now the news…

Monday is here, the first day of our holiday at Chinese New Year! Yesterday, we spent the whole of yesterday reorganising the school offices. I had to finish rewiring the computers, too. But it’s done, and the new network will work nicely, I think. One PC will be devoted to running the printers, another to running the network, another to running the photocopier, and another to running our IntraNet Blog, I hope.

So, though we use a local network at school, we’ve distributed services across every PC except the notebook to maintain as much of a system as possible should one PC die. I had intended to network everything to just one PC, but then thought perhaps that wasn’t a good idea if there should be a hardware problem. So our services are distributed to minimize impact of broken systems. BUT we don’t have any extra capacity at the moment which is a pity.

The New Carnival 10th Edition and the new host

New Carnival 10th Edition

Yep, it’s out on the new blog, and posted with 21 good stories, and most of the junk removed. I took a huge paring knife to cut out duplicates, irrelevant stories, popup articles, etc., But I’m glad, the edition is good. Next time, we’ll feature a new section: Chinese New Year is approaching, posts that make special reference to that will be given their own featured section!

Chinese New Year: A time to tidy up

Chinese take a lot of time to clean up before the New Year (February 6th this year!) and I’ve really gone to town to clean up my own clothes closet! But I’m so untidy and disorganised that it took me more than 12 hours to put everthing here…


into here…


and it’s done now… But it was a challenge! And it’s not particularly neat and tidy, but it is sorted out now! What is the secret to being organized, please tell me!?

Amazon’s Big News: Downloads go International!

You’ve got to read this story about Amazon’s announcement:

Amazon MP3 is the only retailer to offer customers DRM-free MP3s from all four major music labels as well as over 33,000 independent labels. “We have received thousands of e-mails from Amazon customers around the world asking us when we will make Amazon MP3 available outside of the U.S. They can’t wait to choose from the biggest selection of high-quality, low-priced DRM-free MP3 music downloads which play on virtually any music device they own today or will own in the future,” said Bill Carr, Vice President of Digital Music. “We are excited to tell those customers today that Amazon MP3 is going international this year.”

I’m skeptical, because their definition of the term ‘international’ may only include Canada, the UK, Japan, France and wherever else there is a localized Amazon site. But here’s hoping.

What’s that guy on Mars doing?

CNET is carrying this picture recently taken from Mars courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University of a 2″ man.


Nasa has finally taken a picture of a Martian: he (or she) is obviously squinting at the ASUS Eee PC with the 7″ screen while browsing InvestorBlogger dot com. What else could the Martian be doing? Suggestions in the comments please!

Upcoming Stories

These are some of the stories I’ll be posting several stories in the next few days:

  1. What I did with my money
  2. Security and WordPress: Beefing Up Security for your Blog
  3. WPBanners: A Fuller Review – Good Value or not?
  4. Blogging: Usability Improvements

Do check back this week to see which is posted.

Newsbytes on InvestorBlogger: Apple Hot Air?, Affiliate Linking, Banner Plugins for WP and more…

Well, there’s a lot of little stuff that I need to share with readers this Friday… So we’re starting off with five stories that caught my attention.

A quick review

Here are my top (I like them!) stories this week:

Do visit and comment on these stories!

Apple Air vs. Asus Eee II PC

Wow! My new friend Nam (from Nationwide and supplier for our school) and I were chatting about upcoming PC products as he was delivering my new PC Baby for my colleague. These exciting products are including the ASUS Eee II PC with 8.9″ screen (The Enquirer) and the MacBook Air. There are no real schematics on the first product yet, except it’s rumored to have WiMax support built-in and extra memory… But…

Still, this week so the announcement of the launch of the new MacBook Air priced at $1899 for the hard disk version and over $3K for the SD version. Enjoy looking at the pictures and watch the BBC video.

MacBook Air

Lust for this device, if you must! Just keep your credit card away from your computer screen…

Of course, you know which one is cheaper and which one is cooler. But Nam was saying “It’s better for companies simply to launch products with as little fanfare as possible, otherwise they risk sales as people wait for companies to launch products in the future. This means no sales now for existing products and no sales for forthcoming products either!”

NetAudioAds News: Hide those affiliate links

I got this newsletter from Charles Heflin, which is something I hadn’t considered about affiliate links and the reasons why affiliate marketers need to hide their links. I’ve bolded the important parts.

Hello Kenneth,

As the PPP opportuity grows we are seeing an increased
level of people signing up directly under the default
. has not advertised the PPP
opportunity except for the initial launch back on
December 6th. We are leaving the advertising to our
affiliates (you).

The reason I bring this up is because the only way that would get any traffic is because of you
With this fact in mind we find it interesting that we
continue to get sign-ups by the thousands under the main
account. Very little traffic comes from the search engines,
the rest is coming from affiliates.

The point I am trying to make is the only way we could be
getting that many direct sign-ups is because people are
ripping the affiliate ID off of affiliate links and just
going straight to and bypassing the affiliate
all together

This is a strong case for the fact that you should
“absolutely” cloak your affiliate link

This is just a heads-up … If you are not cloaking then
you are losing sign-ups.


Thank you,

Charles Heflin
Marketing Director
PPP, NetAudioAds Group

I’m looking at the possibility of running these ads on this blog for a short while as a test on one of my other blogs to test for acceptability and revenue. But I will consider hiding affiliate links now, I think.

Plugins: Banner Rotators

I’ve been trying different Banner Rotators over the past few months, starting off with Shylock Adsense which would actually rotate a lot of things, because you just need to paste the code. It was easy to use with Adsense because its system naturally limited you to the number of Adsense boxes per page permitted by Google. Worked nicely, very flexible and stable. But when my demands changed, I had to change the software, too.

I’m currently using WordPress Banner Rotator v2.1.3 to handle all the banners, and it seems pretty stable, though some functionality and documentation have issues. It’s commercial software though it won’t break the budget at $14.99 as a download. It’s working well in many ways, but there are some problems that I have discovered with features not working as anticipated. I’ll be doing a full review soon: active banner switch and future date expiry don’t work as anticipated (or not at all), but otherwise pretty stable. I’d like an option to weight ads, too. Some of these problems would be easily solved by setting up ‘ad management software’ and using that code within this software. Such software would manage the ads more effectively, such as OpenAds. It seems pretty stable, though.

Advertising Page

I’ve recently updated the Advertising Page with a lot more information, options and pricing. I’ve even added an ‘advertiser’s mailing list’ which will go live just as soon as I’ve figured out how to operate Zookoda.

Stories in the Works

I’m working on three stories that should come out in the next few days: including one on Technorati Rankings, Using your house as an ATM machine, and ‘E-commerce: Why are some sites so unfriendly to customers?”

Thanks… drop by again soon, will you?

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

This is an Open Trackback post. During this weekend, you can submit your posts to this site. The Open Trackback article URL is this. The reciprocal ping URL is this. You can also use Linkfests. Enjoy and have a great weekend!