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Animated characters for your website

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Have you come across websites where, as soon as you load the page, you have some animated character speaking to you about their services? If you want your own website to also have something of that sort, you can have it from SitePal.

I pretty much guess it should be effective, though it can be highly irritating as well. I have myself muted my volume when I encountered websites with such talking characters sometimes. But then, the visitor atleast gets the message: that there is such and such a product, which is essential for the next stage of purchasing.

And so will I buy it if I were a web marketer? I don't know. $10 a month looks like a pretty high sum for such a service, though if it is going to be really effective in increasing sales, I might be happy. A McAfee case study on the website claims that way atleast!

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Google's double game

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One thing Google has so well managed to do is capture the top market share in any side of web technology they get into. Blogger was a top blogging platform and Google got themselves to the top by acquiring it. YouTube was the most favorite website for a majority of internet users, ahead of even Google Videos, and Google has acquired it.

In doing so, Google has, no doubt proven it's leadership in the Cyber industry. But it has also resulted in double-management for similar technologies.

Take for instance YouTube and Google Videos. Both offer the same service of personal video uploads and sharing. In fact, Google Videos is still in beta version. Now, that YouTube has been acquired, this has now resulted in Google managing two products, of the same category. I do not know if Google will, if it were to merge both of them, make Google Video You Tube, or the other way round.

I speculate on Google Videos giving way to YouTube primarily because YouTube is simply much more popular given that Google Videos was popular mainly because of Google running it. Another factor is that Google has stopped showing Google Videos on its homepage. Google users would remember Videos( with a new tag) being displayed on the Google search page till sometime back. But now, it is not seen even when you click on more and view all Google services.

This is not the only double game that Google has to play. One another is that of blog search. Blog directories like Blogosphere, Blogorama are already getting hugely popular. Technorati is famous for all the latest entries made by bloggers. In this situation, Google has the challenge of managing two blog search engines, one of Blogger and the other of Google itself.

Now, Google should be looking at merging one onto the other. But then, is Google looking at claiming the number 1 and 2 position in every segment that they are running two products in every segment. Or is Google apprehensive about not exploiting the brand value of its acquisitions that it is not talking about merging its own products in a segment with its acquired product.

It is not going to affect Google's revenues anyway, though such a merger would avoid duplication of resources and more cost-effectiveness.


Microsoft Expression Web designer

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Dreamweaver, I guess is now facing serious competition. Microsoft has come up with a beta version of its own website designing software under the name Expression. The most important thing about this is that it can do all that the Dreamweaver can do, and sometimes much more efficiently and effectively.

If you are new to CSS and want to try it out on your new page, this is the best place to try it out as the previews of the layout come as good as it would in Internet Explorer or any other browser, where you can still edit details. This gives you a lot of freedom to decide what to edit and how.

I have only used it in bits. Have not tried it out fully to write a full fledged review. But if you want to try the product, check out the MS Expression page for download.


New way to buy links

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If you are a webmaster or a SEO expert yourself, you will know the extent of influence a high ranking website's link to your website does. I recently had this experience when Wonkette.com linked to one of my article and I was taken aback to see the sudden huge increase in the number of visitors to my other blog.

Websites are coming out with new innovative ways to buy links from other websites. But, really high ranking websites demand a fortune for a link to your website. The better way is to get links from many lesser ranking websites by providing them an incentive.

This is the methodology under which PayPerPost works. This website targets bloggers to write a review for the advertisers with one or more links to the specific URL. Bigger websites which offer bigger revenue per review also demand decent PageRanked blogs but these are few and far between.

I haven't thought about joining it yet. Probably I shall make use of one other blog which I have given up writing on for that purpose. It is nice to review products, especially if you get paid, right!?

I have received quite a few emails after my blog post on Orkut last week for invites. If you too are one of them, do send me an email to s.anand1[-at-]gmail.com . I do not use the email in my profile for any communication.

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Free Skype Minicards

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Moo the printer website is offering 10000 Skype minicards for free. Just customize them to display your Skype details and anythings else that you want to display. They look real cool. I missed it out last time when they offered free flickr cards.

I myself got it done late. Do check out Moo as soon as possible so that the 10,000 freebies do not run out.

I have designed my card to show the Cyberita URL at the top and my Skype details at the back. This shall help me more in my blog promotion than anything else.


Editing your CSS templates

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Do you like the changes that I have made to my blog? I have now set any links to be highlighted with an orange background whenever you take the pointer over it. I have also changed the font to Arial Narrow.

All this is thanks to ProBlogger. If you also like the settings that you observe in some blogs, you can view how it is done by viewing their CSS template file. To do this, go to the website that you want to view, click on View -> Page Source.

Here, if you scroll down, you will find a file (with extension .CSS) that has been 'imported'. This file contains information on how the fonts, color, background etc should look like. For my case, I checked with a{......} and a hover{....} settings, and opened my Template from Settings tab and incorporated the changes.

But remember that sometimes the CSS file can be made hidden. So, you can view a CSS page only so long as it is not hidden.

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Inserting Adsense ads inside blog posts

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Many of you have Google ads on your blogs. But, most often it looks pretty out of place, either on the sidebars or above or below the blogs. I do not know how effective the ads are at these places, since visitors, especially those for blogs are there only to read through the content. So, an ad at any other place other than inside and with the blog content sometimes looks out of place.

This post might get you started in trying out the most effective position of your ads. The simplest way to get your ads in between posts is to look into the template and place it at the right position.

On the template you will find tags(those that are enclosed inside angled brackets) such as BlogDateHeader, BlogItemTitle, BlogItemBody and BlogItemComments. These tags are self explanatory as to what they are supposed to display. Now, if you want to see your ads after the Item title but before the content, paste in between these two. Or otherwise, you can try out the other ways.

There are other different things that you can try out. You could probably use the DIV tags to align the ads to the left or right or center. Try the different attributes of the DIV tag for this.

Now, as far as what I think, the most effective ad might be somewhere along the sides, standing close to the actual post in contrasting color. To achieve this, use the TABLE tag. Create two columns and place the ads on one column, either left or right, and the content on the other. You could achieve something similar to what I made here.

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Getting indexed in Google - the shortest way

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Getting indexed in Google can be hard and tiring. Sometimes it takes months before you can see your blog appear in the Google listings, let alone moving up the rankings to get traffic. But a proper understanding of Search Engine Optimization techniques can help you get indexed in Google quickly, sometimes as soon as under 24 hours.

Have you observed that news on the frontpages of CNN and BBC appear on the Web Searches hours after they are first published? Why does that not happen to your website or blogs? The answer lies in the PageRank of the website. The Google indexing robot is programmed to continuously or atleast more frequently index pages of higher PageRank. So, that is the reason your website is not indexed so fast.

But then, it is not only with the PR of that particular page. It is as much dependent on the PR of the pages linking to your website that is to be indexed. So, the bottomline is that if you can get your website links from high PR webpages, you can get indexed as much faster. So, while a PR6 can get you indexed in two days, a PR9 can do that in under 24 hours. Remember that more links, the faster.

How do you get these links?

Here comes the most interesting part of getting such high ranking webpages link to you. Have you seen something like 'Links to this post' below blog entries? This list on blogs gives you a link to all blogs that carry a link to a particular blog entry.

Now, you need to find out those blogs (that have the 'Links to this post' feature) that write on subjects on the same topic as your website and then link to the most high ranking pages on those blogs.

If you are lazy to do that as well, then doesn't matter. There is one more way out. Google publishes a whole lot of blogs on its numerous products. The main one being Googleblog.blogspot.com. You can visit the blog to look at the other blogs available. Now, visit some of the oldest pages in each of these blogs (so that they have high PRs) and after choosing quite a few among them, link to 3-4 highest ranked pages among them.

This is a sureshot way to get indexed in Google.

NOTE: There are other factors with regarding your blog content that will hamper your site's ranking if you would continue to have the links to the Google's blog even after getting indexed. For a long term measure, find out blogs in your category that provide this feature and link to them. But do remember to remove all the links to the Google blogs once you have been indexed.

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Multi-lingual Chatting made easier

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There was a recent post on Digg about an American Skyper who was skyped by a Chinese girl. She knew a bit of English and this chap did not know anything in Chinese. So, how did he converse? Well, he made use of a translator in Babelfish and manually converted every message into the other language to both type in as well as understand the message.

This was indeed intelligent, but then not the first time somebody thought of a thing like this. In fact, there are so many tools to help you in multi-lingual chats. I chanced upon this tool called IM Translator. This tool is for the Europeans and is helpful for chats in ICQ, AIM, MSN, Yahoo etc.

And the work to be done is not the mammoth copy-paste that the American had to do. It is simply choosing the right language in the combo list that appears and it becomes very easy to convert the received and sent message to the appropriate language.


Blogroll - For traffic, Not for Search Engine ranking

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Ever since I started blogging, I have noticed that many people have taken to the concept of 'blogrolling'. If you have not come across this previously, let me explain what it does.

Blogrolling is a website that offers to manage the 'reciprocal links' on your blogs. Simple Search engine optimization suggests that the more inbound links you have for your website, the better it is indexed by Search Engines and hence more traffic.

Since most of us have problems with editing the default templates that come with blogs, Blogrolls help in managing the links to other blogs from your blog (which you do after agreeing to the other blogger to get a link to your blog from his own).

But, before you proceed, here is something you need to look at. Understand if your reciprocal links are for search engine traffic or simply links from your friends. There are numerous blogs of personal lives and the bloggers prefer to link to all their friends so that it is easy to navigate between the blogs of friends. Blogrolling is very useful here.

But, if you blog on a subject and you want to have traffic from the search engines, let me tell you that Blogrolling does not help.

PHP vs. Javascript

The basic reason for this is because of the language used to write the code. Basic blogrolling code that you use on free blogs like Blogspot or Wordpress have to be in javasctipt. Javascript is a client side code which is not read by search engines. So, it does not actually consider a blogroll link from a free blog, that has the code in javascript, a link ,and hence no points; which means no improvement in search engine ranking. Whereas a PHP code is a server side language which is read by search engines and hence a link in this improves search engine rank.

What should I do?

If you have been on blogroll, you would have seen that they also offer a PHP code for providing the links. If you have your blog hosted on a paid server, you will most probably have PHP support. Use the PHP code provided by Blogroll for linking.

But,it still does not help as you are only providing links to others' blogs. To help your blog, make sure you get blogrolled by bloggers who have hosted on paid servers, and who have the PHP code version of blogroll on them.

Finally, if you understood nothing of what I have written above, do not worry, get your friends to use conventional HTML anchor text to link to you. Don't go for blogrolling at all!

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Nothing is for passion on the internet

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Do you make money from your blog or website? Or atleast do you have them simply to make money? Don't revert the question to me as I have no answer, but it is my guess that most people out here on the internet are simply here for just that.

For example,talk about blogging. Blogger lets you blog for both passion as well as put in Adsense ads and make an income. But this apart, there are quite a few blog sites like Blogcharm, Writingup which exist simply for the bloggers to make money from what they already have been doing; i.e blogging.

It is not just blogging. Even a simple news-bookmark site like Digg or Reddit have got something more to them. A report I came across recently made very much sense to me. What drives some people to spend something like 2-3 hours everyday submitting news on such websites. Probably they get paid to do just that.

In fact, there are websites like UserSubmitter that exist simply to exploit what is on Digg. Advertisers pay them to find 'diggers' so that they can take their news to the front page of Digg which gives them the necessary exposure.

Now, let us get to the top of the website hierarchy and talk about Google. Ok, they might not seemingly doing something that is polluting the web. But as I talked about Googlebombs sometime back, it is very much a reality that many results you get are also manipulated. And Google has not and cannot do anything to stop that.

So,the bottomline is that the web is clogged and polluted with people who are trying every possible way to make a buck out of the system. It is upto everyone of us to see that we do not choke the system eventually.


Invitation only Orkut opens up

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I was kind of surprised when I logged into Orkut today. It was not just the new pleasant looking logo of orkut on the left. There seemed to be much more...in the sense there was much more things written near the login box.

Though there seems to be no communication about this, as far as I know, from Google, I realize that Google has taken orkut out from being an invitation only website. That meant that you no longer need to have a friend in orkut to open an account yourself.

This means that we can now see a lot many more orkut profiles who have '0' friends in their friend-list. Not that it is any significant as even previously, you could delete your friends, even the one who referred you to orkut, so it was possible to have zero friends.

So, what is the implication? I see two. One, is that a lot many more duplicate and fake profiles will arise.and two, there could be a lot more of spam, since now any spammer can open a new profile and start his work straightaway.

Now, let me speculate on what has caused Google to do this. Primarily because I feel Google now wants to see the number of gmail accounts growing. At the end, the success of an email company is gauged by the number of accounts and less on the unique users.

The much more critical thing that I see Google benefitting from are the Google ads. If you have been following things on orkut, you will know that they introduced Adwords ads on orkut recently. But the clickthru rate is naturally low since people come there to gossip and network and not to click ads. But in opening up the community to the group of people who are looking to spam, the company can expect a much higher click-thru rate. Also, the spam threads on communities will garner much more relevant ads(since a 'Make money from Internet' spam will generate more interesting ads than a discussion on lifestyle).

This is all very speculative and could also be terribly wrong, but I see there could be a little truth too in this.


After a comment from one of my blog visitors(Sorry, I do not have his name...) that Orkut has not seemed to have made this new feature available in all countries, I had to relook into this issue. I used the features of kProxy to access Orkut from a random server across the world. I thus noticed that the visitor was indeed right. Old Orkut still continues in some parts of the world. You can verify this with two links from KProxy.While this link from Server 6 got me the old screen of Orkut, Server 8 gives me what is available to me here in India.

Probably I should have had an inkling on seeing the Orkut logo which kind of resembles the tricolor of the Indian flag that this is not a worldwide introduction. Anyway, thanks again for pointing this one out :)


Providing a bookmarking link for Blogger

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If you had already visited my website previously, you will notice this new bookmarks that I have added at the end of every post in their individual links. Hereon, if you like any of my blog posts, you can automatically add the link to Del.icio.us,Digg, Reddit or Google bookmarks. It helps both you in bookmarking your favorite link, and especially me, since a good post of mine gets to be recognized by visitors of these bookmarking sites.

So, let me help you out in setting your own bookmarks on your blogs. I am sorry I can only help on Blogger templates.

Ok, for a blogspot weblog, here is the step by step instruction. For others, just make a note of how I have used the hypertext and try them out in a similar fashion.

Step 1: Go to your Blogger dashboard, click on templates. You will now see the HTML page of your template.

Step 2: Now, keep scrolling down till near the middle of the page, where you can find some texts as these

< $BlogItemControl$>
< /mainorarchivepage>
< $ItemPage$>

Stop here.

Step 3: Now type in these.
Assuming your Del.icio.us login name to be abcd, I have put in this:
Add to: <.a href="http://del.icio.us/post?v=4&partner=abcd&noui&jump=close&url=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$">
&title=<$BlogItemTitle$>" target="_blank">Del.icio.us<./a>

For Digg,
<.a href="http://digg.com/submit?phase=2&url=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$">&title=<$BlogItemTitle$>" target="_blank">Digg<./a>

For Google,
<.a href="http://www.google.com/bookmarks/mark?op=add&title=<$BlogItemTitle$">&bkmk=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>" target="_blank">Google<./a>

For Reddit,
<.a href="http://reddit.com/submit?url=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$">&title=<$BlogItemTitle$>" target="_blank">Reddit<./a>

*I have inserted a dot in front of the anchor text syntax "<.a>". Please remember to delete the dot in case you are copy-pasting.

* A note of thanks to WashingtonPost. I had learnt to make these links from the source page of one of their webpages.

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Wannabe Music bands get the going interesting with Podcasting

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I had recently blogged about why podcasting is not for everybody and how podcasting can actually backfire on non-native English speakers.

But I recently came across a few profiles on Myspace that have been using podcasting in an entirely new way.

So, if you are also a wannabe singer or musician, you could follow these simple few steps, that can hopefully make you great someday!

First, make professional recordings of your collections. This was obvious as you cannot market your song without having one.right?

Next, use free softwares like Audacity to edit and 'professionalize' your songs.Remember that if you want to make it big, it is only songs as these that can help you do that and so, keep tuning your song till you think it is perfect.

By this time, also open an account on Myspace, visit all the music profiles as yours, make friends there, and also add anyone and everyone who want to add you as a friend. The point is to have a large enough launchpad for your songs.

Now, make an interesting blog on the 'making of the songs' in your blog so that people actually remember you, when they probably listen to your songs.

Finally, post your songs to all your buddies on MySpace. Post a link to it on your blog. Make a music video too if you have the resources. Keep passing this to all the music groups on the list so that you get to become atleast locally famous.

Now, isn't that a great easy way to get recognized?


Find who is spamming you

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We will never share, sell, or rent your personal information with anyone without your advance permission.

How often have you come across this line. If you ask me, I would say that I see this almost everytime I register for something online. But still, I doubt if each one of those people getting your personal information ever stick to their word. If they had , there would never exist anything called spam.

Ok, there is one way you can find out who is spamming you, or rather who leaked your info. All you need is a gmail account. If you already have one, here is how you proceed.

Gmail offers the facility to use multiple email addresses. In the sense that suppose my email id is example@gmail.com, any email of the form example+xyz@gmail.com also reaches my inbox.

So, each time you register to a particular website, provide your email address as yourid+websitename@gmail.com.

Now, all these mails from all the sites get into your inbox. You need to classify the mails according to the source. To do this, go to settings inside your account. Here, click Filter. Set a unique label for all emails that are delivered to that one particular yourid+websitename@gmail.com email id.

Now, you only need to keep track of whether all the emails delivered under one label are from one particular website only. If there is another website sending you an email from a label that it is not supposed to send to, then you can very easily make out that it is this website that leaked your information to the spammer!!


Googlebomb and SEO

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Googlebombs are of late proving to be the biggest of SEO headaches. When it first started, it was primarily meant for fun, and even I remember how I was amazed to see George Bush's page as the first link when typing in 'Failure' in Google.

This has now been taken up as the poorman's route to optimize his pages. If you do not have enough resources to advertise on other sites, if your site is not quality enough to get inward links from other sites, or if you only have a dumb article and are mainly relying on traffic to come and hit your Adsense ads; there is now one shortcut way in Googlebombing.

I did not give too much thought to this until I 'hacked' into ebook sometime back. The writer(who claims to be making $300 a day through affiliate marketing) claims to have used googlebombing as a technique to get an amazing number of hits to his blog. He has not made it an explicit statement about this, but he suggests that his blog got all its traffic only from such a technique.

Now, this ebook has been bougtht or atleast 'hacked'(or cracked, whatever it is) and so there has been an amazingly huge number of people who have access to this material. And obviously, he is not the only person to have written about this. People who cannot afford hundreds of dollars on SEO go to purchase such kinds of ebooks. So in short, successful men on internet have been advocating Googlebombing as the way to go if you really want to make it big here with your online business.

Leave the ethical part, it is personal; but the fact to ponder is what is Google going to do about this. The first time Bush was on top for the wrong reasons, Google dismissed it saying that it is a one-man's prank which does not require attention. But with so many resorting to bombing Google, Search algorithms are in grave need for attention. Obviously Google cannot penalize such links, as there are millions of genuine links too..For example, if I have to link to Google, I will obviously put 'Search Engine' as the anchor text. Penalizing will prove counter-productive. I did give a thought over this. There seems to be no good way to counter this.

But then, if you need a genuine quality link to show up next time you search, make sure you or other friends of yours are not bombing Google.


Digg Vs. Reddit Vs. Del.icio.us

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I have been a long time user of Digg. This is the reason that I primarily started my 'interesting' category of blogs on Digg stories. But then, of late, I have been following three user-added news content services : Digg, Del.icio.us and Reddit. I thought, I would hence make a comparison of all three.

Well, the basic difference I can find out between Digg and Del.icio.us is something similar to the difference between Wordpress and Blogger(beta) blogs. While Digg offers to choose a category for your blogs, del.icio.us only lets the user choose the tags appropriate for the story. This is in a way disadvantageous to a visitor seeking for information. Suppose I am looking for football, and all those who have saved a particular story have tagged it under soccer, then I might possibly miss out on that story. Reddit is worse. It has no way to categorize the news. It is simply posting news. The closest to having a category are the subreddits.

Another important aspect is the usability of information. It definitely helps if you know what to expect before visiting a link. Digg is much more superior in the sense that it provides a brief note on what the story is so that the visitor may decide for or against visiting the link at all.

Third is community building. I find the users on Digg are much more knitted than those in the other two. One straight simple reason: the ability to communicate. Del.icio.us has simply no way for users to talk to each other. Not even a comment on an article. Reddit allows commenting, but I find the Digg comments much more sensible and fit for finding online buddies.

Fourth is SPAM. Digg has a strong backup to spam. In fact, not all posts that you want to be pulled down are spam. Duplicate and senseless stories are also one. Digg has a good range of reasons you could choose for pulling a story down. Reddit offers to report the story, but then, it is much more work for the people at Reddit to go through each and every link reported. Well, at del.icio.us, life is cool..there exists no provision to even report a genuine spam.

Fifth on design. It is simply a study of the navigation and user-friendliness. Digg no matter looks good. The only factor that goes against Digg are the ads, which I believe is the reason Reddit and Del.icio.us look the way they are. Absolutely no ads.

So, based on these info, here goes my ranking:
1. Digg
2. Reddit
3. Del.icio.us


Google for education

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Google probably sees a major potential for its products in the educational industry. It is probably for this reason that it is now inviting ideas from people like you and me to discuss all the possible ways in which Google products like Blogger, picasa, Book Search etc can be used to provide an interface for learning.

A pilot program on this is being conducted with the WestEd academy, and in fact, applications are being invited for those interested in being a Google certified teacher.

If you are one for passion and with the relevant experience, do not forget to apply.


Google Toolbar's 'Send to' option

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There is an easy and short way to send the internet pages you are viewing to your Gmail account or blog it or even amazingly SMS it. For this you have somthing called the 'Send to' option on the Google toolbar.

When you click on this, you are given three options: Gmail, Blogger or SMS. Remember that you should already have a Gmail or Blogger account to do either of these. In fact, simply having a gmail account itself will do as Blogger beta requires only a gmail email account to sign in.
When you click on this, you get a short notice on this feature from wherein you can proceed. SMS, I believe is at present only available for American users as I was not able to check the facility from here and all the user networks available were American ones. Yet, this looks like an interesting feature that is easier to pass on a link, rather than copy pasting the link onto a text file and then forwarding it through your email.


Hacking e-books. Tips to prevent theft

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I was recently searching for tips related to adding traffic to my blog. Here, I came across a blogpost regarding how to hack( or rather crack ) a Clickbank ebook related to blogging. It was unethical on part of me, but I proceeded to download the ebook.

While I will not divulge either the name of the ebook or the method to crack into the ebook without having to purchase it, let me tell you that this method actually helped me to get hold of over 20 such ebooks. But, no, I have downloaded them.

Rather, if you are planning to write an ebook for yourself, let me give you a few musts that you must ensure to prevent an ebook theft. If you are smart enough, you can track the method that I used to crack the ebook from this.

Tip 1
If you have a website that you are marketing your ebook from, then try not providing the secret link to the downloadable ebook also from the same website. Atleast upload your ebook from a free tripod page, but never from the same website

Tip 2
Make the link to your ebook rather long and boring. Like, use a lot of numbers and randomized text. I mean to say that, suppose your ebook is 'Internet Marketing'. Have the link somewhere in www.example.com/as887ijk867jsjh9.pdf rather than www.example.com/internetmarketing.pdf

Tip 3
When a purchase is made, send the link through email rather than displaying it on the webpage. Remember that if the webpage is accessed from a public computer, then the information stored on cache can be very easily exploited.

Tip 4
Avoid using stereotyped words that come with thanking the customer on his purchase. This can be very easily used to crack a lot of ebooks. If you did not understand by what I wrote here, never mind, atleast read and follow the next tip very carefully.

Tip 5
This is the most important point of all. Never submit the website where you have uploaded the ebook to search engines. But if your position is such that you cannot have two different websites for marketing the ebook and providing the link, then atleast make sure that the Google bot does not index your link. To know more on this, learn how to remove a webpage from Google


What next for Google

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Over the past eight years, Google has simply transformed our lives. It first came up with a way to actually see what are the websites that exist on internet apart from the ones you knew. You simply had to search with a keyword to find out a site with that name. From that point, Google has come to play such a passionate part in our lives.

As it has seemed to conquer one part of the internet to another, I begin to think of what more Google can move on to from here. But this is when I stumbled upon one crappy spyware site and got hit with a spyware. Luckily, as of now, nothing bad has happened. I don't seem to have any data till now. But then, this has atleast made to think on what if Google moves into the security side as well.

I just checked into the Google site to see if there is anything cooking about this in their labs. I guess not. So, what if they actually move into anti-virus, anti-spyware providers. One thing is for sure - they are going to provide this for free, and all you have to do is get yourself a gmail account. Google gives you the whole world for free if you have an account with them.

Now, what is going to become of the established players like Norton, McAfee etc? I guess it definitely means serious problem for them. As of now, even AOL provides free security software for their account-holders. But Google coming into the arena now can prove to be real serious matter for the oligopolists in this field. Ok, even if Google is going to come, they definitely would want to buy one of the existing products, as they did with YouTube recently. So, all that the securitymen at Norton, McAfee and their ilk can hope is Google does not enter; and even if they do, they decide to buy their own company.


I got a Spyware!

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Ok..I will give you a website. But, I warn you..DO NOT OPEN THE LINK. I came across this one on Orkut. Some Pakistani guy had posted this on a community called 'INDIA' and this was meant to be a spyware to hack the info of whoever clicks on it.

The link is at
http://www.mohsinwebsite.co.uk/indianfacts.html <--DON'T CLICK
I might sound pathetically cautious, but then, I have never had a spyware on my computer, nor do I know what all ways they can attack us.

Just checked on a site for spyware..It says that the easiest way to remove spyware, or rather minimise the effect of it is to clear the cache of your browser, which could be exploited by the spier. Anyhow, make sure you scan your system for spyware immediately. And that is exactly what I am doing right now.

Also, in future, you can detect existence of spyware on your system if you detect anything abnormal happening on your system. By this, I mean, something like, search history different from what you expect your history to be, abnormal number of pop-ups. But then, pop-ups and stuff are okay, and are the kind of harmless spies doing it to advertise by spam. But if it is a spyware with an intention to hack your personal info, you are doomed. So, make sure you scan your system.


Utube loses its tube to Youtube

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Imagine how it is when you lose your bandwidth to over 64 million visitors, who simply came to your website 'by mistake'...

Well, this is what exactly happened to Universal Tubes, a firm that sells used tubes to machinary in Ohio. But people looking for YouTube, the video sharing site, recently bought by Google have very often stumbled onto UTube, thus even getting the website offline for sometime.

Well, this is what happens when a video sharing site gets itself such a weird name, and in an age when everyone uses 'U' for 'You'

Read More


Have this :20100 email ids of coders

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A codeline search in Google has resulted in a list of over 20100 email ids, all of coders who, usually make it a practice to put it in the source code.

This is simply hilarious. People find out a way to each and every kind of thing!


Application to view Digg

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Ajax is at work, yet again. You can download this AJAX application to constantly view which stories are making to the front page on Digg.

This also gives you a bird's eye view of the digg's queue stories.To download it, unzip the download file locally and launch diggGraph.html

It is not that this is the first of its kind. Digg itself has developed applications to track such info on its website. But I thought viewing such an application will help you, if you were a web programmer looking for how the application for Digg was developed.


Mashups - How internet grows from here..

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Got a forward of a video from my friend. Shall upload it soon on You Tube..In it, David Berlind from ZDNet talks about how internet is moving ahead with what is called mashups. Mashups are being talked about for sometime now.

However, for those who do not know, Mashups are basically using the Application Programming Interface(APIs) from different sources of the internet to create your own mashup which can provide a unique service. For example, have you heard of Wikimapia? It uses the services of Google Earth and provides a service where you can edit info about different places on earth;something which Google Earth(the API here) does not itself provide.

Same way are those applications that help you find the singles available in your locality, crimes in your area,etc. It is indeed an interesting trend. Next time you plan to take up computer programming courses, take something in the direction of Web 2.0, and do not stop with the traditional C++ or Java.


Want to make money!?? - Virus

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I am posting it so that you can avert something that my friend caught up with today. Today, as he opened his Yahoo messenger, he had a message from his friend. His friend had referred him to a URL to make money from Internet.

My friend usually hates SPAM, but since this was from his friend, decided to click on it. And here it goes, his computer got infected with Trojan. When I checked my account after this, here it was - a message from this friend with a referral to the same URL.

If only I had clicked it(which I would have, had I not known it in advance), the virus would then be spreading to my friend's computers as a message from my account. This virus seemingly disables task manager and other activities. Get your computer anti-virus updated immediately and do not click on any link from your friends in Yahoo messenger.


Podcasting for non-native English speakers

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I recently was involved in an online debate with a podcaster about the merits and demerits of having a podcast for your website publicity. The Podcaster was like podcasting is the best thing to have happened to Internet next to blogging and was talking about the great value it enhances to a website. Maybe, he just wanted people to buy his podcasting software! Or probably, he was indeed speaking the truth.

One of my contentions was that Podcasting was not for everybody. I say this, because, I am myself an Indian and so my accent(though better than most of them here) is still not what native English speakers would want to hear. So, I might shoot myself on the foot if I go for a podcast, since in a conventional website, nobody cares about how I speak. But if I podcast, listeners might be put off, if they cannot understand what I am speaking.

It was just then that I thought about any software that might exist that would help in transforming my voice and accent to American-like or Englishman-like. Maybe, I can talk in my own sweet English, and at the click of a button, I can transform my speech to that delivered by an American speaker. It is not impossible. While, I was not able to get this exact requirement over Google, I was able to locate something that did something of a similar function.

This software, called AV Voice changer is designed not just for such podcasters, but also for online chatters, own audio message producers etc. It polishes your voice, improves quality, and while not changing the accent and dialect, helps a voice makeover that is better understood by a Westerner.

The software maker actually claimed that ninth graders from India actually made use of the software to make their voice over and take mathematics classes to junior school students from the west and make money out of that. While I doubt Indian parents actually spending $100 on a software of this sort(trust me, school children of that age are quite busy in India, and would not actually be taking classes to make money!), I think it does make a nice business sense for professional webmasters who want to podcast to check out on similar softwares that helps in improving your voice quality over a podcast.


Visit a random website or webpage

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Blogger provides an option at the top of all blogspot pages where you can click and visit a random page each time you click. Blogger does this in order to provide an extra amount of traffic to blogs and also for those bored ones checking on blogs at random.

I found this link at URoulette. Here you can visit random webpages by simply clicking on the link. This is much better since you get to visit other websites and not simply Blogger blogs.

If you want to have one such link on your website too, then include it with the hyperlink to http://uroulette.com/visit

If you do not want your visitors to get out of your page, then ensure that the random link opens in a new window. You can do this by coding the anchor link as

< a href = "http://uroulette.com/visit" target = "_blank">Random< /a>


Google Music Trends - Make your vote count!

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Have you used Google Music trends? It is a wonderful way to make your favorite album on top of charts. If you have opted in for Music trends, Google then reads your chosen music player like iTunes, Winamp, Media Player; and the songs you play are immediately used to make an anonymous vote to the particular song. You can view the current top charts here.

If you also want to opt in, all you have to do is follow these simple steps.

1. Download and Install Gtalk
2. Click Settings -> Audio -> Share music listening history with Gtalk
3. Click OK to apply your change.

This way, when a huge number of people actually make their choices known, we shall be able to make an accurate judgement of which song is hot and which is not.


Categories for Blogger

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Let me kick off my first post with something about myself. Well, I am not a newbie blogger. I already maintain the blog on Digg Stories. And I have been blogging long enough to contemplate moving to a domain of my own where I can talk on all the topics of my interest.But after discussing with other fellow bloggers, I have decided against it.

Here are a few reasons. Basically, the reason I wanted to move to my own domain was because I wanted to turn a pro blogger, which means I shall be writing a lot more and on a variety of more subjects rather than just discussing what is on Digg. To do that, I wanted to move to Wordpress since it provides the facility of categorizing the different posts.

But I find some basic disadvantages with this kind of a blog. The problem is both in Search Engine Optimization as well as in Adsense.

SEO requires that pages that link to your one particular webpage are of similar content to yours. So, if you were talking about widgets, the more incoming links you get from webpages talking about widgets, the higher your page will rank. Your page will be adversely affected if pages on various topics link to you.

So, if I have different category topics on my single blog, all of them inevitable link to each other; and so I might lose on my rankings.

Another aspect is with reference to Adsense. Though I do not intend to use Adsense in the near future, that is also an aspect to remember. Adsense displays ads based on what it perceives your page to talk about. If your links talk of varied topics, then chances are high that ads are not targetted enough. So, your clicks suffer..

So, what I have basically done is get myself different Blogspot pages for different themes. And even if I do link them together, my rank will improve since they are from different subdomains(which Google sees as those from different websites). So, page ranking will improve higher compared to one from a different category from inside the same site, which will be the case, if I were to go for a Wordpress blog on my very own domain.

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