January 31, 2012

Google Blogger Platform To Be Censored In Certain Countries

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Google Blogger

Less then a week after Twitter announced the censorship of Tweets in certain parts of the world search giant Google has announced a similar program targeted at the company’s blogger platform.

To reach the company’s new censorship goal GOogle will begin redirecting Blogger users to country-specific URLs for example instead of a Google.com blog in France the content would direct the users to Google.fr.

By adding country specific URLs Google can censor a blog post in one country but leave it untouched for example in the United States. read more

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January 30, 2012

Then and Now: What Your Favorite Blogs Looked Like in Their Infancy

As we all know, every blog has a beginning. The beauty of the web is that websites can be stored in a permanent cache; effectively taking a virtual snapshot of the way the blog exists at that moment in time and storing it for later retrieval. Wouldn’t it be neat if you could go back in time and see what certain blogs looked like then? Well, it turns out you can. Archive.org has a public cache that stores snapshots of websites at regular intervals. It is called the Wayback Machine, and works just like a regular search engine; I tapped into it to bring you some blog history. You punch in the URL of the blog/site you want to look up, and they show you what dates they have stored in their database. The tool is not flawless, and many searches turn up corrupted pages or missing images, but it is really cool nonetheless.   I did quite a bit of poking around on the database, and here are some of the snapshots I found:

The Blogs I Looked Up

From left to right, down the list in order, the blogs covered were Blog Herald, Boing Boing, Copyblogger, Engadget, John Chow, and Problogger. The thumbnails are in sequential order, so that you see the earliest snapshot of the blog to the most recent. To view each snapshot, just click on the thumbnail to load the full-size version of it. If you roll the mouse over each thumbnail, it will tell you what blog the snapshot is from and which date as well. This project was a lot of fun, and I could have gone on forever with it.

One thing that we can all take away from this example is the amazing amount of hard work and dedication the owners of these blogs have committed to their sites. We sometimes forget that everyone has a starting point, and everyone at one time was a nobody. Even Google. Now, I am gonna bet that after you read this post, you are going to head over to the Wayback Machine and start looking up all kinds of sites! Go for it.

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Top 10 Craziest Things I’ve Heard from Editors

When you blog as much as I do, you feel like you’ve heard it all. I have never been offended by something an editor said, but I have certainly had those “did they really just say that?” moments. I think that one of the greatest parts about being a blogger is getting to meet a variety of different editors. You never know what to expect, and that’s what keeps the job interesting.

I would like to preface this list by saying a few things: First, I do not write for most of the editors that I have quoted below, so no use looking up my articles and trying to figure out which editors said what (I know you have a lot of time to do that). Second, the majority of these quotes were not taken out of context; in most cases, this was the only thing written in the email. Third, this is all completely true and was in no way exaggerated or made up (I couldn’t make this up if I tried).

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Using InstaBG To Make Your Photography Based Twitter Account Shine

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InstaBG ExampleInstaBG is a simple to use program that allows users to pull in various Instagram photos to create awesome Twitter backgrounds for their personal accounts. By simply giving the program access to your Twitter profile you can not only create a nice background but have it auto-updated with fresh picture content each day.

I personally find that InstaBG is great for photographers who want to showcase their most recent digitally stored photographs with very little effort.

To get started you’ll first visit InstaBG.com where you will be greeted with the following display: read more

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January 27, 2012

Blogger’s Email Marketing Resource Kit: Don’t Leave Home Without it!

Email Marketing Resource KitEven with the advent of social media, digital newspapers, smart phones, and tablets, targeted email marketing is still the most effective form of marketing online. We shouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon, so in the meantime, it would be a shame to pass-up email marketing as a revenue source. To help you capitalize on it as a blogger, I put together this resource kit that lists everything you need to get up and running with your own targeted email list and campaign except……..

Opt-In Incentive

Let’s face it; people aren’t going to join your mailing list because they think you’re a swell person. You see, people have been programmed to be automatically suspicious and reluctant to give out any personal information; including their email address. So, for them to give a total stranger their email address, it would be going against what they think is the safe choice, and if you want them to do that then you have to motivate them. The best way to do that is to give them something for free. EBooks work great; templates too, short reports as well, and even software. Creating a free product to giveaway is out of the scope of this email marketing kit, but it is something you will need to do before you will see any decent amount of opt-ins.

Email Marketing List Management Services

The first thing you need is a way to manage your list and automated bulk mailings. There are third-party services that can do this for you. Some people call them autoresponder services, but today’s services handle a lot more than just managing your autoresponder. Most of them handle list management, web forms, multiple lists, social media sharing, free scripts, and more. Nearly all of them have a free option that is limited to a certain number of subscribers, which can range from 200 to 2000 depending on the service and fluctuating terms. If you are just starting out, then build up your list until you max out your limit, and then upgrade to a paid plan as you go.

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Using Pinterest To Promote Your Business [Infographic]

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Pinterest ScreenshotPinterest in a very short period of time has become a go to destination for millions of users. In fact in December 2011 there were 11 million visits a week, that’s 400% growth over just six months.

Realizing the success of the program LinchPin SEO has created an infographic that shows users exactly how to market their items on the interest website and they created their unique infographic using the Pinterest setup.

As the infographic rightfully points out Pinterest can be used for a variety of things suck as promoting sales and promitions, offering coupons to readers and even answering questions such as “how much should you spend on an engagement ring?”

Because Pinterest is almost exactly like a giant infographic for readers a business can easily create a visual flowchart that not only sells a product but also provides tons of information about that product at the same time.  A business can easily post information about a product, pin photos to a page and even offer video accompanied by a coupon.

Here’s the Pinterest business marketing Infographic: read more

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January 26, 2012

Plink’s Facebook Loyalty Program To Be Tested By Major Chain Stores

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Plink

Facebook has nearly captured the market for 1 billion social media users so it only makes sense that some of the countries top brands would want to turn that loyalty to the network into a rewards program and that’s exactly what’s happening at Dunkin’ Donuts, Red Robin, Taco Bell and Quiznos.

Those company’s have signed deals with loyalty marketing start-up Plink who will announced a new quick-serve brand test for partners on Thursday.

The program works by tracking how much money Facebook users spend at each location and then rewarding them with Facebook Credits which can be used to make in-app purchases in such games as CityVille and FarmVille.

To get started users simply register their credit or debit card at Plink.com and then when they use that specific card at participating locations they receive Facebook credits.  read more

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January 25, 2012

Facebook Suspends Secondary Market Trading, IPO Could Be Around The Corner

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Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

Facebook on Wednesday suspended secondary market sharing of the company’s stock in what is very likely a sign that the company plans to go public with an IPO in the near future.

A letter was sent from Facebook’s law firm, Fenwick & West  stating that shares of the company would stop trading immediately although a reason for that decision is still not known.

A recent report said Facebook would release its IPO in May and in an interview with Bloomberg Sam Hamadeh, CEO of PrivCo. said:

“Facebook and companies who do this don’t want to expose themselves to lawsuits related to the fact that some people had it before others and were able to trade on it,” and “The best way to protect yourself is to have no one able to trade.” read more

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January 23, 2012

YouTube Now Streaming 4 Billion Videos Per Day

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YouTubeOver the last eight months video views on popular video streaming website YouTube have jumped 25% to 4 billion online videos each day.

Video views continue to increase particularly in the smartphone and Smart TV market where users are able to download YouTube videos faster and with better display quality.

YouTube has also revealed that uploads to the service have greatly increased from 48 hours each minute in May to 60 hours each minute at the current time.

While YouTube users are watching more videos through the service YouTube users only spend 15 minutes each day watching videos on the site while American TV watchers consume four to five hours watching TV every day on average. It’s that low level of engagement that has led investors to question YouTube’s earnings capabilities.  read more

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SOPA Clearly Isn’t the Answer to Online Piracy

I honestly don’t fully know the best way to combat online piracy; but I do know that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) isn’t it. The bill would create a plethora of problems if it were passed. Let’s be real here, copyright infringement and piracy are real problems that need real solutions, but when you spot a weed growing in your front yard, do you dig up the entire lawn to get rid of it? No, you pull that weed, and ONLY that weed, out of the ground and you do your best to monitor the lawn for any future weeds.

User-Generated Content Sites and SOPA

Censored by SOPA

One of the complaints that you’ll consistently hear about the SOPA bill is that it is way too generalized and all-encompassing. For instance, under SOPA, a site will be considered dedicated to the theft of U.S. intellectual property if it is “primarily designed or operated for the purpose of offering services in a manner that enables or facilitates copyright infringement”. Well, take YouTube for example; the online video site serves an average of 100 million videos every single day. The majority of it is uploaded by users, who can remain anonymous with minimal effort if they so choose. Under SOPA, YouTube can be considered a site that is primarily designed in a way that enables copyright infringement because of those reasons. Totally nuts. Blog owners might find themselves harboring illegal content through RSS, and pay the price for it; who knows anymore? read more

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