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PayPerPost Featured Blogger – Amy!

Posted on: October 27, 2006 I Written By

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Well, the people at PayPerPost have been super busy and so I decided to take up on their great idea to have a featured blogger. I hope PayPerPost gives some love to the featured blogger since they deserve it.

PayPerPost Featured Blogger - AmyMy first featured blogger is Amy. She has two blogs that we know about: Whatever I Feel Like and Feel Good! I guess you can tell her mood by which blog gets more posts.

What do you do when you are not doing PayPerPost?
Are you kidding me – when am I not doing PayPerPost? It’s taken over my whole life! Wink

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An actress or a model … that didn’t quite work out, obviously.

What are the top 3 songs on your iPod?
I don’t have an iPod. Ha! But some of my favorite songs are Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”, Bob Seger’s “The Fire Down Below”, Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life”, U2’s “Yahweh”, Chicago’s “Saturday in the Park”… I like an eclectic mix of stuff.

The best movie ever made was …
Oh geez, the inevitable “best movie” question. I don’t know the answer to this one… one of my favorite movies of all time is Forrest Gump, though.

If you could recommend one book, it would be …
Wow, just one? That’s hard. On short notice, I will say Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz”.

What are some of your favorite websites? (duh!) (love me some forums!)

Did you ever think you’d make money blogging?
Never in a million years. It still blows my mind that I’m getting paid every day just for writing on my blog!

It’s your last meal. What are you eating?
Oh my goodness. You know I’m a food addict, right? Well, I guess I would go with a steak cooked on the grill by my dad, a freshly baked potato with just the right combination of salt, pepper and butter and a fresh garden salad comprised of dark leafy greens, red peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and carrots.

Favorite toy as a kid?
Something that had to do with Barbie – probably my Barbie makeup head or whatever that montrosity was called. It was basically a life-sized Barbie head that you could use to put makeup on and play with her hair. I spent hours playing with that thing until the day I got the brilliant idea to give her a hair cut. I was so disappointed with the results of that, I had to banish her to the bottom of my toy chest.

Favorite place on the planet?
On a typical day this would be my house. There’s no place better than my own home. But I also have a strong affinity for Virginia Beach and South Dakota’s Black Hills … hard choices!

Favorite Postie? and why?
Now you know they’re *all* my favorite. I couldn’t possibly pick one. Wink

One story you don’t want to tell us, but you’re going to tell us anyway:
Sheesh – I usually save this stuff for my blog. Somehow I end up telling embarrassing stories on there even when I have no intentions of doing so – they just spill right out from my fingertips!

Anyway, a story I don’t want to tell you would be about how mean I was as a teenager. I swear I’m nicer now. A bunch of us were hanging out in my boyfriend’s room, partying, having a good time, etc. when my best friend left the room to go to the bathroom. I knew my boyfriend had picked up some cigarette “loads” as pranks to play on his friends in the Navy and I was anxious to see how they worked… so I asked him for one to put into one of her cigarettes.

As luck would have it, when she got back to the room, she took a cigarette from her pack, placed it in her mouth and before lighting it said, “Remind me to quit smoking.” Five seconds later, the whole thing had mini-exploded in her mouth. We laughed and laughed and laughed. My friend didn’t think it was *quite* as funny as we did. I know it’s mean, but that story still makes me chuckle when I think of it. Ahh… to be a teenager again.

Protect Your Child Online

Posted on: October 24, 2006 I Written By

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I could do to protect children online. My son isn’t old enough yet to really use the computer, but my little sister is at an age that my parents absolutely need some way to monitor and help my sister from doing inappropriate things on the internet. I’ve thought about even more because my idea called Spoil My Spouse has been battleing with an idea called Kids Chat Watchdog. I think that Kids Chat Watchdog is built on a good concept of monitoring children. However, I think it’s already been pretty much done. A company called SpectorSoft has a Keylogger.

Not every keylogger would actually help parents to monitor their children. However, I think SpectorSoft finally got their keylogger setup in a way that it will actually help parents. Besides tracking keystrokes it also monitors websites, chat logs, IM activity, programs launched, Peer to Peer file sharing, and even does screen snapshots. I’d say that’s pretty much a keylogger on steroids. It could pretty much tell you when you’re kids go to the bathroom.

One other major reason that SpectorSoft’s keylogger is better than any other I’ve found is that they can actually monitor activity.

I think the best deterrent for children is them knowing that you care. Just letting your children know that you want to know what they’re doing online could be the best way to protect your children online. Your children will invariably tell you that by monitoring them you are showing you don’t trust them. That’s poppy cock. Tell your children that you trust them so much that you know that you won’t find anything inappropriate on the computer.

PayPerPost Mentioned in SmartMoney – The Wall Street Journal Magazine

Posted on: October 23, 2006 I Written By

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I don’t know if any of you read or know of SmartMoney Magazine, but there is an article in the November 2006 edition where they quote me talking about PayPerPost. Page 94 and 96 if you find the magazine. It is funny because on the cover it is called “WEB RIP-OFF Retailers Fake Rave Reviews”. However, inside the magazine the article is titled “Romancing the Bloggers.” The things they do to get you reading their magazines.

I can’t find the article online. I don’t think they’ll be putting it online. I’ll see if I can scan it later if someone wants to see it. I’m just not sure how copyright works for it.

The article gives a nice statistic, “Six million Americans over the age of 30 keep a blog, and the majority write about companies or products at least once a week.”

This is exactly the principle of PayPerPost. Bloggers are writing about products already. Why not get paid to write about things you would be writing about anyway? When I started PayPerPost I was able to turn 2 of my existing blog posts into paid posts. Cha ching!!

The rest of the quote from SmartMoney Magazine says, “Meanwhile, 57 million American adults read blogs, according to Pew Research Center, and 32 million post comments to online forums.”

Now I’m thinking that the $3 million investment in PayPerPost i spretty small. Ted, I’ve got a couple thousand dollars I’ll throw on the table next time you need a little funding.

I was a little disappointed that the article treated forums and blogs as the same thing. I guess it was ok in the article for the purposes of exposure and marketing. However, the inset was called Best of the Blogs. However, there were a ton of forums listed and not many blogs. I was excited to find other blogs and ended up with a bunch of forums.

I was also happy to see that the SmartMoney Magazine article used my quote to end the article. Here’s what I said:

“If the product is bad, you’ll eventually read about the bad stuff.”

The quote didn’t capture my full idea, but wasn’t bad. My point is that if a blogger trusts one post on my blog to purchase something, then they are crazy. My blog should be just one piece of the online research that’s done before making a purchase.

Thanks Anne Kadet for writing the article. Too bad magazines don’t have hyperlinks. I wonder how much traffic this could really generate for PayPerPost? It doesn’t even give the address for my blog so I guess I’ll have to be happy with just seeing my name in a magazine with Warren Buffet on the cover.

Search Engine for Short-term, Ready-to-use Office Space – Executive Suites, Shared Office Space

Posted on: I Written By

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Everyone that reads my blogs knows that I’ve talked about the great benefit of short-term flexible office space that’s great for budding entrepreneurs. It really is a great option for those interested in starting their own business and yet they need to get out of their home.

Well, is doing The Home Office From Hell contest that all you work at homers should enter. The Grand Prize winner will receive 12 months of rent (up to $12,000) at any location posted on plus a paid trip to New York City to have lunch with Donald Trump’s right-hand man and former Co-Star of The Apprentice – George Ross (although isn’t George getting booted off in favor of Trump’s son? Still a good prize).

All you have to do to enter is post your 10 reasons you should win and upload a picture or video of your home office. Go ahead and win. Just remember to share the office with me if you win.

Riding a Scooter

Posted on: October 17, 2006 I Written By

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I recently purchased a scooter to get me to and from work. I’ve always loved scooters. In fact, I first purchased one when I was 17 and since then I’ve had a scooter except for a couple years when I lived in Hawaii. However, there are a few things people should know when purchasing a scooter.

1. There is absolutely nothing COOL about riding a scooter. You have to be able to accept the fact that when riding a scooter you are not doing it to be cool. The coolest thing you might be able to do with a scooter is get a hot girl to ride on the back. The first time I hung out with my wife I took her to a restaurant on my scooter. However, I’m pretty sure she didn’t marry me for my scooter. In fact, I’d probably say that she married me despite my scooter.

2. Remember and repeat to yourself over and over that while there is nothing cool about riding a scooter, you are getting 100 miles per gallon while everyone else is filling up their SUV’s with thousands of dollars of gas each year. Cost is the BEST reason to ride a scooter. The savings are fantastic.

3. Parking’s not a bad second reason to have a scooter.

4. If you ride a scooter then you have to realize that you can’t go as fast as everyone else. In fact, even if you are going over the speed limit, cars that see a scooter are going to speed up. People who see a scooter on the road think that they have to go faster than a scooter. There’s some internal need for people to feel like they are going faster than a scooter. Speed goes out the window and passing the scooter is people’s only objective. I know it’s true, because when I’m driving a car I do the same.

Before you buy a scooter, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Some people just can’t handle the power of a scooter.

Shared Hosting Services

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I’ve talked to a number of people recently about hosting their website at home or on their own server in a data center. I personally think that doing so is a pretty big mistake. I think that getting a shared host is the best option for 90% of consumers. In fact, most businesses wouldn’t need more than a shared hosting service like Hosting Zoom either.

Here are a couple reasons you might think about when deciding to use a shared hosting service or not:

High Availability
A shared host often uses clustered failover to handle the failure of the server. If you have your own server your more than likely don’t have this level of reliability. If you do have clustered failover then you should stop reading this blog post altogether. It’s not designed for you.

Improved Performance
In a shared host environment they have designed these servers to handle high volumes of traffic. Their netowrk pipe is designed to handle large amounts of traffic.

Patching the Server
Patching and securing a server is not a trivial thing. Let them take care of that while you just take care of driving more traffic to your website.

Much more could be said, but that’s a start.

Hosting Zoom is an example of a company that’s using this clustered failover hosting technology. Pricing starts at $7.95/mo. It still amazes me how low such a robust technology costs these days. For that price all website data including email, web, and databases are mirrored in real time and in the event of a server failure our system will route all traffic to the available server within the cluster keeping your website online until the problem is resolved.

Why then did you want to host your own server?

Stats Software and My Stats Addiction

Posted on: I Written By

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I’m a complete and utter stats addict. I admit it and I’m proud of it. When I get to a computer the first thing I have to do is check the statistics on at least 10 different places. Each of those places requires me to change at least a couple filters to know how it has changed over time. Most importantly, I want to know how people have found my various blogs and if someone has written something about me recently.

BAStats is by far my favorite stats program. BAStats is a wordpress plugin that gives the best wordpress stats I’ve seen. I think there are some pay plugins that can compete, but of course I’m not going to pay for something that isn’t any better than BAStats which I get for free. The referring pages it lists are invaluable to me as a blogger.

I also love checking AWstats from my host. It is a great way to get a broad overview of what’s been happening with your website over time. It’s a great filler that I check probably every couple weeks or so. It amazes me how referrals to your website can add up over time.

Google Adsense is next on my list. It isn’t a stats package in the standard sense, but it has some great statistics on how well your Google ads are doing on your website. It’s a must check to keep track of how much money my website is making me and also to see how many people are clicking on the ads and relatively how much each click is making me. Thankfully, I’ve been seeing a little higher pay out for my standard blogs recently and so I haven’t had to rely on my Electronic Medical Record blog for all the revenue.

I’ve also been messing around with eBay’s affilliate program on commission junction. The stats in commission junction are a pain in the butt to navigate, but I do like to see the total amount people have purchased on eBay from my site.

Well, there are plenty more, but I think that’s a good place to start. Feed your stats addiction. You’ll like stats. I know you will!

Sometimes When I’m Bored I Browse Real Estate

Posted on: October 16, 2006 I Written By

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Every once in a while I get bored on the internet. Since blogging this has happened less, but even blogging has been leveling off for me recently. Sometimes when I get Bored I start browsing the various real estate websites out there. Well, today I found an even better option. It’s called Lila Delman Luxury Real Estate. The keyword there is LUXURY!! They’ve got some great real estate options on there. I love to dream about what it would be like to have for example some waterfront real estate. Yes, you got it right. That is a live webcam of the beach.

Well, one day I’ll own a home. At least for now I can look at luxury real estate and enjoy the view online.

Craigslist Owner Won’t Sell Out

Posted on: I Written By

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Craig Newmark of the wonderful website called Craigslist made some really interesting comments in a recent article. Here’s my favorite part:

“Who needs the money? We don’t really care,” Craig Newmark said in an interview at the Picnic ’06 Cross Media Week conference here.

“If you’re living comfortably, what’s the point of having more?” Newmark said.

I think this has to be one of the most impressive things I’ve heard out of someone. I still don’t understand how craigslist can afford to function at no cost to its users. Where’s the revenue to pay for the site. That is amazing to me. I’m sure there’s something out there that I don’t know about. Anyone want to fill me in? I don’t feel like searching google right now.

I must admit that I agree with him completely. I recently interviewed for a new job that would have paid a lot more money. I decided against it because I love my current lifestyle. It’s great. I think that money will come. All in good time. For now, I’m happy with where I’m at. Spending time with family is so much more worthwhile right now.

Another PayPerPost Viral Marketing Technique

Posted on: October 14, 2006 I Written By

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If you’ve read my blog you’ve already seen about PayPerPost doing another viral marketing using their own PayPerPost product. Essentially they spread pieces of an image throughout blogs and then bloggers have to search the web to find all the puzzle pieces and put them together. Of course if you’re the first to put them together then you get $500. Not bad.

I thought it was a fun thing, but now it is just irritating since the pieces come out slowly over time. I wish they’d alll just come out and then you have to go find them. Maybe they could have been posted by PayPerPost in comments or something. Well, I’ll keep watching, but I hate waiting. I’m a fast action kind of guy.

Here’s what you’re really looking for payperpostbluemonster fans: