Blogger Arrested for Pneumonic Plague Rumors


handcuffsA medical student has been arrested in southern Russia for allegedly starting rumors that pneumonic plague, a deadly infection that can be transferred between humans, would cause the city of Saratov (POP: 800,000+) to be quarantined.

The 22-year-old blogging medical student, Ivan Peregorodiev, was publicly questioning the 17 confirmed swine flu deaths in the area, wondering ‘aloud’ if the diagnosis was correct. [Read more…]

3 Odd Reasons Why I Don’t Read Your Blog


firstBefore you judge me, keep in mind that I never claimed to be normal. My blog reading habits are probably different than yours. And that’s OK. I’m Andrew and you are, well, you are YOU.

Here’s a glimpse at how I size up a blog upon my initial visit. I’d love to hear from you in the comments on what initially turns you on or off to a blog. [Read more…]

FTC Guidelines on Blogger Disclosure, Have You Done Something About it?

Just a gentle reminder to everyone, especially if you do product reviews on your blogs that today,  FTC’s new regulation covering blogger disclosure takes into effect.  If you haven’t done so yet, it’s either you’re playing hardball or you’re not a celebrity blogger or endorser popular enough for the FTC notice your practice and actually goes after you.

In case you forgot (I personally did, except that FTC rulings does not apply to us non-US based bloggers I guess), the revised FTC guide states that

“…the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service.”

[Read more…]

Evolve Your Blog Or Die


evolveOK, you might not die, but your blog certainly will.

I don’t care how you believe the earth was created. Whether you side with theology or science, now that we are all here, one thing is clear: if we do not evolve as a species, we are destined for extinction. As humans, we have a pretty long rope (Most species get about 10 million years to get it right!). And it’s unlikely that we’ll be wiped off the planet within our lifetime. Our blogs, on the other hand, are headed straight for evaporation – unless we learn to evolve.

According to Richard Jalichandra, CEO of Technorati, the number of abandoned blogs could be as high as 10 million in 2009.

Most blogs are born with good intentions. Excitement keeps us awake at night and we truly believe that we will be able to carve out our own little spot in a given niche. In fact, a lot of energy is exhausted in choosing a topic to tackle. Part of that process is evaluating the ‘competition.’

Once we see an opening, we’re off an running. Not too far down the road bloggers discover that this blogging thing is pretty hard work – and getting noticed is even harder. Perhaps that’s why some numbers say that 80% of new blogs die within the first month.

If you are lucky enough to make it out alive of the first month, you might make the mistake of going on auto-pilot. Delivering great content is NOT enough. A key ingredient to the recipe of blogging success is being able to tweak your product on the fly. That means you are willing to make changes to tone, style and content – after the blog is born. Here are a few ways to make sure your blog is evolving. [Read more…]

WP Robot Plugin Gets Updated to 2.0 with More Auto Features


wprobotpluginFrankly, I don’t really like autoblogging. Putting time stamp to future post is alright especially if you are on a tight schedule and auto-posting is the only way you can fulfill your posting schedule.

But auto-posting using an autoblogging plugin such as WP Robot, which just released its version 2.0, is not really my cup of tea. In case you’re not aware, autoblogging is used by blogs that were created for affiliate marketing purposes or revenue-generating schemes through the use of aggregated content culled automatically from affiliate networking sites. [Read more…]