Sunday, December 7, 2008

Google Friend Connect - Consolidating social networks

A few days ago I was pleasantly surprised to receive an Email from Google titled:
You have been whitelisted to use Google Friend Connect.

I registered my interest in Google Friend Connect several months ago, I became interested because I liked the idea of turning my html website into an interactive site, where people could join, rate/review and comment, without the need for me to know or do any programming whatsoever (A godsend for a PHP Spaz like me).

I set up a test page on one of my websites the night I got the email, it was as easy as downloading two html files, uploading them to the websites root directory, copy and paste a few snippets of code to the page I was testing, and Ta-Daa! Just like magic I had a Members gadget on my site.
People are now able to Join and log in using there existing Google, Yahoo, AIM or OpenID account.

The Members gadget allows visitors to join your site, sign in and out, see other members, and use other social features. You may also use a more minimal, simple sign-in gadget, on multiple pages on your site to ensure that visitors can sign in and out as desired. Once you've installed one of these, visitors can start joining your site.

I have now set up "Google friend connect" on my busiest site, the site is avaliable in eight languages and I was able (because of my sites structure) to set up a different members gadget for each language.
So far two people have joined the site... Me and my alter ego :|

I have not done any promotion, and there is very little on the site explaining exactly what Friend connect is. I Will wait a few days and see if curiosity can entice people to join up and start participating, if not, I will write up a brief explanation about friend connect and ask people to join in :)

If you would like to check it out what friend connect is all about, then you can see it in action (or non action in my case) at


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Government adopts mandatory internet censorship

The Federal Government is set to introduce mandatory censoring of the internet.

Imagine a government proposing an internet censorship system that went further than any other democracy - one that made the internet up to 87% slower, more expensive, accidentally blocked up to 1 in 12 legitimate sites, and missed the vast majority of inappropriate content.

This is not China, Saudi Arabia or Iran - this is the vision of Senator Stephen Conroy for Australia. Testing has already begun. The community must now move to stop this plan.

The system that Senator Conroy wants is a mandatory filter of all internet traffic, with the government of the day able to add any unwanted site to a secret blacklist. Already, the wrangling has begun for the inclusion of material relating to anorexia, euthanasia and gambling. It isn't difficult to see the scheme is open to abuse.

The protection of our children is vitally important - that's why we can't afford to waste funds on this deeply flawed system. We should be concentrating on solutions that are more effective and won't undermine our digital economy or our democratic freedoms.

This must rank as one of the most ill-thought decisions of the Rudd Government's first year in power. We need to act now to tell big brother the mandatory internet filter is incompatible with the principles of a modern democracy and modern economy:

Our government should be doing all in its power to take Australia into the 21st century economy, and to protect our children. This proposed internet censorship does neither.

The proposed scheme will pass all internet traffic through a government filter - it's like asking Australia Post to filter every letter sent in Australia.

All concerned Australians should sign the petition to save the net


Monday, November 10, 2008 - Auction Alert for Premium .ME Domains

Sharing My Opinion

You can now register your interest in premium dot ME domains.

All premium .me domains have been given a landing page, and on it is a "Domain Auction Alert" form, so you can register to be alerted when that domain is scheduled for auction.

This will come as great news to those who have been keeping a close eye on www.Domain.ME, and wondering when a schedule will be released.
All that is required now is to visit the domain you want to be alerted for, fill in the Domain Auction Alert form, and your set!

When you visit a premium dot ME site such as you will be welcomed with:

P R E M I U M D O M A I N S is a premium domain and has not yet been scheduled for release.

Followed by

Domain Auction Alert

Please inform me when domain is scheduled for auction.

Set and forget :)
(Until you are reminded by email)

Here is a link to the full list of premium dot .ME domains (Over 2,500)

Below is a sample of the premium dot-me domains you can set alerts for... (the only LL.ME avaliable)

Full list of premium .ME (Dot-ME) domains.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

The potential of .ME

With the world slowly becoming aware of Dot-Me. Domain investors, businesses and the general public alike are starting to realize the potential value of this catchy, very brand able domain extension.

With the record breaking momentum it has gained in such a short time, coupled with the countless meaningful ways "ME" can be branded and promoted into new and existing markets, makes this the most exciting TLD to ever be globally released.
The nice thing is about "ME" is that it is still a relatively unknown extension, so there are still plenty of great domains available.
The true value may not be fully realized for some time yet, but the potential future value of a catchy, easy to remember, brand able Dot-ME is enormous.

When it comes to domain extensions, Dot-com is the preferred and most recognized extension, and is by far the leader in terms of value. This is because dot-com has been there from the start and has become synonymous with the internet.
But with the global release of extensions such as .net, .org, .info, .biz, .pro, .us, .tv and now .me, I feel people are slowly starting to accept the fact, that dot-com is not the only address on the internet!

As the years pass, and all these newer domain extensions gain a bit of age, I think less value will be given to the extension of a domain and more value will be given to brand ability. In terms of brand ability, dot-ME wins hands down, and in a lot of cases outshines dot-com already.
EG: Which sounds better, catchier, easier to brand and remember...
"Wrestle com" or "Wrestle me"?
"Accepted com" or "Accepted me"?
"Insure com" or "Insure me"?
"Hug com" or "Hug Me"?

In my opinion Dot-ME is the catchiest, most personal, memorable and brand able domain extension ever to be release. And going by the record breaking sales of Dot-ME domains, so do a lot of other people.
It might pay to grab the Dot-ME's you want now, before there all gone.

Sharing my opinion


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Article rewrite tools: Worth there weight in excrement? Or are they just crap?

Recently I was reading a thread about duplicate content on a popular webmasters forum.

The thread starter wanted to know if Google would "punish" him for posting someone else’s article on his blog, even if he had permission and linked back to the original article.

The replies to his question, as you can imagine, were varied and speculative suggestions and opinions, as no one really knows how the Google algorithm works.

Glancing through the replies, filtering out the speculative from the informative, I came across the inevitable shameless self promotion, this reply "Warned" the thread starter that Google "DOES" punish duplicate content and then went on to recommend a/his? Article rewrite tool.

I ignored it at first, but something in the back of my mind got me thinking about how these tools work, and if the content they rewrote was any good and I also wanted to know how the content was delivered to you.

I noticed that the thread starter had quoted and thanked this person, saying that he would give it a go and what a great looking tool it was.
So out of curiosity (and nothing better to do) I decided to have a quick look and run an article through it to see how it performed.

So I headed over to Ezine and grabbed an article, found my way to the "recommended" rewrite tool and pasted in the article, clicked "generate" and just like magic! An article appeared before my eyes.


Here is the first paragraph of the Original:

Is your Xbox 360 freezing up? Before you resort to the infamous towel trick to attempt to fix your broken Xbox 360, please take a moment to inform yourself. The Xbox 360 towel trick is only meant as a temporary fix that does nothing to permanently fix the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 towel trick is dangerous! Very few people have had lasting success with this method and you can actually end up causing further damage to your system. I also do not advocate that you blindly follow some random forum poster's advice the next time you notice your Xbox 360 freeze.

Other things to consider before you tinker with your Xbox:

After using the re write tool:

Is your Xbox 360 freezing up? Afore you resort to the abominable anhydrate ambush to attack to fix your burst Xbox 360, amuse booty a moment to acquaint yourself. The Xbox 360 anhydrate ambush is alone meant as a acting fix that does annihilation to assuredly fix the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 anhydrate ambush is dangerous! Actual few bodies accept had abiding success with this adjustment and you can absolutely end up causing added accident to your system. I additionally do not apostle that you blindly chase some accidental appointment poster's admonition the abutting time you apprehension your Xbox 360 freeze.

Other things to accede afore you boggle with your Xbox:
Well it worked! I even checked the re-written article in copyscape, and yes, it passed copyscape, I was expecting it to, because I don't think anybody in there right mind would actually publish it to there website.

All it seems to have done to the original article was replace some random words with words that have a similar meaning; I was actually quite amused albeit confused at some of the chosen words.

I then began to wonder what would happen if I copied the re-written article back into the rewrite tool, would it replace the same words it replaced the first time and turn it back into the original article? Let’s try :D

After running the "re-written" article back through the rewrite tool:

Is your Xbox 360 freezing up? Afore you resort to the abhorrent anhydrate ambuscade to advance to fix your access Xbox 360, charm anatomy a moment to accustom yourself. The Xbox 360 anhydrate ambuscade is abandoned meant as a acting fix that does abolishment to actually fix the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 anhydrate ambuscade is dangerous! Actual few bodies acquire had constant success with this acclimation and you can actually end up causing added blow to your system. I additionally do not advocate that you blindly hunt some adventitious arrangement poster's admonition the abutting time you alarm your Xbox 360 freeze.

Other things to accept afore you amaze with your Xbox:
ROTFLMAO. What an absolute shocker.

I laughed so hard I spat coffee all over the floor... excuse me while I go and get an anhydrate to wipe it up with.
Well, was I surprised at the results? Nope, not at all. Was I amused? Hell yes! Funniest article I have read in a long time.

To sum it up, If you decide to rewrite an article with one of those article rewrite (more like regurgitate) tools, then if Google does not punish you, I am sure your visitors will ;)

I do not think Google will punish someone for adding the odd previously published article to there site, as long as you have permission to do so (and link to the original).
Some article directories let you do this.

Sometimes you can use other articles to give you inspiration, direction and/or ideas on what to base your article on... you can even quote paragraphs from other articles (with a link back) in your own and write why you agree or disagree with the author.

Always remember to give credit where credit is due.

Sharing my Opinion.