Needing someone to manage YOUR online reputation these days?

After giving a thorough look-through, I was quite impressed by what the site offers. Although I personally am not in need of the services, at least not yet, I believe that what this site provides is essential for a person promoting themselves as a novelist, businessperson, dentist, or any professional who relies on the www for their business.


The site has a truly unique approach that let’s customers choose a plan according to their needs and budget. The products offered have won awards, and the site itself is run by a prestigious and qualified staff in the field. When I first arrived to the site, I was greeted by immediately eye-catching graphics and words. I enjoyed that I knew what I was getting into the moment I clicked on the site’s link.

Product Offerings x3

The goal of is to help individuals to maintain and protect their online presence, which is something that is much more possible online than offline. The site offers a selection of products that come for an annual fee.

The site offers a product called “Reputation defender” whose chief features are the ability to fix results on Google, hide undesirable links, and make you visible online. This service seems like a great deal, because we all know how unforgivable the internet is.

Another product, “my reputation,” seems to act as more of a monitoring service than a fixing one. This seems like a good service especially for people who are just starting their business or online presence.

The third product, “my privacy,” seems like a good service for anyone, even if they aren’t working on an online presence. People would be surprised at the amount of their personal information can be learned from a quick Google search. This tool can help you decide what you want people to see.

Payment Options

I personally think that it might be better to have monthly payment options too. I didn’t see an option for a trial period, but that could be helpful too. Despite this, I believe there are plenty of people out there who would be willing to invest in these services right away. The nice thing is that customers can choose from a simpler or plan or a more advanced plan to fit their budget.

Site Overview: Staff, Styling, Signs

From reading the management page, it appears that your business would be in good hands with They offer a large, experienced staff who are qualified and dedicated to helping your reputation.

I found the site to be professional, stylish, and easily navigable. It was easy to find the information I was looking for, and it is all arranged neatly. It was a breath of fresh air seeing a site with great information as well as a great design.

One thing that I would take out is the little pop up window that keeps coming up asking you to register. I realize that this is pretty common with these types of websites, but I still think that people who have interest will register of their own free will.

And in the end

Overall, the site was a great experience that offers a unique and useful product. I would definitely recommend checking out this website to anyone interested in buying reputation management services, whether for personal branding, professional or business-related reputational management.

E-commerce: Why are some sites so unfriendly to customers?

Cindy, one of my colleagues at my school, has been helping us make some banners for announcements for our upcoming events and Chinese New Year Holiday. She highly recommended the software called 非常好色6是DIY美工創作的必備幫手 which translates roughly as “Very Colorful 6 is a DIY art and creative tool that is a necessary help”. The tool can be used to create pages like the ones in the image below.


In fact, she used the software to create the following Chinese New Year notice, that we are placing on our school website and handing out to students.

new year notice

In fact, she designed the funky notice. Then she exported the document using a PDF print driver called PDFCreator 0.95 (I think). The real problem came when we tried to order the software through the Interweb. I was quite surprised that the publisher called NewSoft which had an international website could run such a weird system. Rather than retype everything, here’s the email I fired off to the publisher.

Dear NewSoft…

I recently had a frustrating experience trying to buy Chinese language software from your company… Your Website for Taiwan is terrible…

1. it doesn’t work with Firefox? And that’s really not very professional…

2. when I opened it in IE7, I successfully managed to order, but the software CLOSED my browser, tried to popup a new window without my permission, and caused me to wonder why I bothered trying to order
anything from your site.

3. then when I accessed your website again, I was told that my browser (IE7) was out of date, and to download new crap onto my system… If you want customers to come into your store, do you really ask them to change their shoes and coat first… ?

I’m sorry but your e-commerce site is really awful, and I’ve done a lot of shopping online in the past: It’s not friendly to non-IE7 browsers (let’s not mention Linux!), isn’t friendly to people who can’t read Chinese fluently yet (and the buy button is so ridiculously small), and then crashed my browser, and left me wondering whether or not I had successfully completed the order.

Overall, it created unnecessary demands on e-commerce users… I wonder how many customers would bother to even try the second time, or the third time…. Like I did. Or how many would even bother to write this email… Perhaps I’ll just post it on my blog tonight…

Best Wishes

Unfortunately, in Taiwan there is a huge assumption for local websites that IE6 or IE7 is the ONLY browser in use. It’s like most companies are unaware of the need to develop websites that have core functionality that is accessible for non-IE6/7 browsers or systems. A kind gentleman called Frank that responded promptly to my email admitted as much. But he didn’t care to explain the sense of that.

Is your site browser friendly or browser neutral? Have you checked? With mobile blogging and e-commerce likely to become a big phenomenon, designing websites that are cross browser compatible is a necessity if you wish to be taken seriously in the e-commerce world. And Apple which uses Safari and Firefox as browsers is also growing its PC market share above 5% of late. Linux installs are also growing. Opera is also multi-platform as a browser, and is very standards-compliant. At the very least, functionality should degrade in a way that is not obvious to visitors.

But in the website I used, even the dropdown menus didn’t work in IE7 as well as Firefox. It just seems that if a company is serious about online business, the website needs to respect as many choices as possible, it needs to be properly tested, and it needs to be maintained. You can’t just build your website and forget about it.

error in javascript

There were other usability issues including the a javascript error, and popups to documents that can be printed out, but which may crash your browser.

So, do test your e-commerce website as much as you can before, during and after the launch. Keep it uptodate and make it as user friendly as possible. Otherwise customers will experience errors and simply close the browser, click away or enter a URL of one of your competitors, instead. All of these result in lost sales.

What should you do when you strike it rich? – 7 ways to benefit from windfalls, bonuses, and other ‘found’ money!

pennys from heavenTonight’s episode of Seinfeld was a rerun from the mid-90s when Jerry receives a large check (so large that Kramer is surprised) for his performance . It’s only part one of a two-parter. But it got me wondering about what most people do when they receive a windfall. Management of your new found resources can be a problem; and it’s a problem that I share with those who get annual bonuses or special rewards, prizes, unexpected windfalls, inheritances, etc..

It’s easy to start planning what you are going to do with the money and quickly you forget how hard it was to come by, or how long you had to wait. In Seinfeld, Jerry decides to go and buy a brand-new Cadillac for his father with the money; he doesn’t even think about other options because he feels ‘rich’. Isn’t it interesting how such income can totally shape your perception of being ‘rich’?

For those of you who have been following my progress this past year, you will have realized that I have begun to accumulate something of a cash position: currently about $7,139.05 worth actually. Of course, this is the gross amount and there have been a number of deductions from the amount for various expenses including taxes, fees, hosting, equipment purchases, etc.. So the total amount isn’t exactly that much. I didn’t keep an exact tracking of the costs either, though from January 1st, I already promised to do that.

To make matters more confusing, some of the earnings are in US$ while others have been paid in the local currency here. And the money resides in several different places as well: my broker accounts, paypal accounts, and several different bank accounts. Rather than splurge on dual 24″ monitors (though I drool), I’ve taken a very much wait-and-see attitude. I’ve been slowly consolidating the money in several places only, and evaluating options for generating additional revenue.

Currently I’m considering five different ways I could spend the money, and I’ll suggest some others that I have already ruled out.

1. Stashing it in the bank: if the amount isn’t large, and the outlook is uncertain (as it is here in Taiwan, with several major elections coming, rising oil/gold prices along with jumping interest rates, it can be quite a good choice to park money in the bank for the short term. The disadvantage is that the money actually loses value as governments tend to devalue currency over the long term via interest rates that don’t keep up with rising prices (and prices are rising F-A-S-T in many parts of the world for many products).

Verdict: For smallish amounts, it’s about the only thing to do other than spend it. I’ve definitely done this.

2. A Term Deposit: A typical bank account pays a pitiful amount of interest: in Taiwan it’s about 1/4% per annum for a standard bank account. This devalues your coin faster than you can say ‘Shinkansen Bullet Train’. Parking it in some fixed term CDs or ‘term deposits’ may be a better choice: rates are approximately 2% (yes, 2%) higher and edging up gradually as inflation is rising. With a choice of fixed rates vs. floating rates, it’s always wise in an rising interest rate environment to choose floating rates to benefit from rises. I noted that today in the bank the fixed rate vs. floating rate term deposits didn’t vary for periods longer than 12 months. Wonder what that means…

Verdict: For largish amounts, it may be worthwhile for longer terms, but don’t park it too long. I’ve also done this.

3. Money market accounts have similar benefits to bank accounts, and indeed, with TDAmeritrade I’ve parked some of the capital in their money market account, which accrues a smallish interest amount every month until the money is enough to do something with. Of course, you need to check WHICH money market account offers the best and most secure deals. (See what a money market account is ).

Verdict: A good way to earn interest payments from your broker, but has its limitations and some risks. I’m doing this right now.

4. Dividend Investing: For a little more risk, though, I’ve been looking at purchasing stocks with Dividends. I’ve always been attracted to these because they are an additional way to earn money from the total stock return ever since my days as a Motley Fool member. Of course, the question of tax efficiency creeps in, it may not be a good choice for everyone. But as part of a general stock portfolio: the triple whammy of capital growth, share re-purchasing, and dividend increases is QUITE attractive. There is the big danger though that you will LOSE money in the short to long term, if you take unforeseen risks or the proverbial s**t hits the fan for the companies in your portfolio.

Verdict: Definitely more potential for earning a profit, but risks are similarly higher. Not for the faint hearted! I’ve done this for quite a long time, with varying degrees of success.

5. Investing in your business: for businesses that are expanding, capital can become scarce at times. Even our business which has been around in various guises for 7 years, sometimes needs capital to furnish expansion. We’ve been lucky as our business really is a light business – it’s service-based – so most of its non-startup capital requirements were funded by its ongoing revenue. But it’s not hard to imagine us needing money for moving to larger premises or purchasing or setting up a branch school in a nearby locale.

Verdict: Much more risk than #5, but the benefits of expanding your profits from your business can be exponential. Of course, the failure rate of new business is high. Done it once or twice.

6. Lending Money: there are a variety of methods now in which small lenders can take on private loans as individuals or syndicates through Zopa (in the UK/US), Prosper, etc.. At the moment, I’m prevented by my residence status from being able to open such accounts, but if I were relocating to either of these countries, this is one avenue I would actively pursue to create additional income. Zopa has tiers of credit markets that would allow you to spread your risk over different types of loans, and perhaps earn interest above that paid by the bank for little extra risk.

Verdict: I’d love to do this, but I’m not legally able to yet. I’ve done lending on Kiva but that’s for a totally different reason. Done it privately both successfully and not .

7. Purchasing websites: There are many quality websites, blogs and forums available on different auction sites including SitePoint and Digital Forums that offer additional options for creating additional streams of revenue. Purchasing an active and reputable website with established revenue streams (from text ads, linking, etc..) could be a risky but exciting way to increase the returns on your investment. I had actively considered purchasing one website BobMeetsWorld when that came up for sale recently. While the actual revenue was under-optimized, it was a PR5 blog that was selling for a good price. Of course, with this active blog already, I’d have been hard pressed to find the time to write challenging content.

Verdict: I’ve considered this, but the risk is considerable. Many auctions are fraught with fraudulent information and listings, esp. as sellers try to justify the higher prices for their websites. It’s even more difficult to verify the reality unless you actually know the website and the website owner. I’ve never done this.

My own decisions: It’s all personal!

I am now preferring to invest whatever money I have to create revenue, whether it is from bank accounts, loans, stocks, websites, etc.. I’m very much concerned that too much of the retail investment market is focused on gains for tomorrow that may or may never appear, and too many employees are invested heavily in stocks, funds, pension schemes that are promising rates of return that are not feasible. So I’m focused on earning income from non-work activities right now so that I will have the skill, knowledge, and income to support a much bigger program of income generation.

In reality, what have I done with the extra income so far? About $2,300 is in a money market account, earning a little interest in my broker’s account. I have been planning to invest this money by buying some Dogs of the Dow stocks to get a better return. And there are some good value stocks that have been beaten down sorely by the current problems in the property market, including Citibank and JPM. The current dogs are Citigroup; Pfizer; General Motors; Altria; Verizon; AT&T; DuPont; JP Morgan Chase; General Electric; and Home Depot .

Some more money is now being turned into a ‘term deposit’ with a term of one year based on a floating rate with current interest rates of about 2.33% for 12 months. Some of the remaining 20% will be kept in a cash position to finance growth and expenses for the website: including finding opportunities to expand my online empire! I’ll let you know how I fare.

Tell me what you did with your bonuses! I haven’t got mine yet… Chinese New Year is coming soonish! Let me know what you did! I’d be delighted to know.