LEGO Brand Retail
Aug 242008
 

I just found out my current web host is going to be raising their pricing soon so next year my services will be costing me more. I don’t want to lose my blog or my other pages just because I can no longer afford the hosting. So I am on the search for a new hosting provider. Looking not just for cheap web hosting but also added bonuses like high storage and traffic bandwidth plus mySQL databases, PHP, and other resources as well so I need some help. That’s where the folks over at WebHostingGeeks.com come in handy. They have reviews and ratings for many hosts. So I get to do my research all on one handy website. Now just to figure out which one I’ll be going with. Thanks to this site that should be pretty painless.

With needing to host my blog that should not be any problem either, they have a review of the best blog hosting site too. Lots to look over and lots to think about.

Aug 192008
 

I was just reviewing my website stats and it looks like 70% of the people are still using Windows XP instead of Windows Vista. Could it be Vista sucks? Vista is pretty much the updated crap of Windows ME. Remeber ME? Yeah well, don’t feel bad not too many people do except those poor folk who made that horrible upgrade. Just like ME people are downgrading back to the older Windows version. XP, while not perfect is better than Vista hands down.

 My stats also show that people are not rushing out to download IE7 either. With MSIE8 coming out soon there is no reason to move to version 7 now. I for one will move on to Firefox and drop Internet Explorer altogether.

Aug 132008
 

Okay, so I guess Bela and I are not the only ones out there questioning whether the Chinese girls were of the minimum 16 years old for Olympic gymnasts. Here is a list of what the world is searching for on this matter (not like it matters as we’ll never know the truth. The Chinese government says they are 16 so therefore we must all believe them to be 16 even if they are only 14 or younger). Besides they did an amazing job and have the gold medal to prove it.

Top 50 (or so) Searches on the Chinese Gymnasts here at whataslacker.com

  1. deng linlin teeth
  2. deng linlin smiling
  3. missing tooth chinese gymnast
  4. are chinese gymnasts old enough?
  5. deng lin lin missing tooth
  6. chinese gymnasts
  7. deng linlin photo smile
  8. chinese girls are not old enough
  9. chinese gymnasts old enough?
  10. deng linlin and tooth
  11. are the chinese girl gymnasts 16 or older
  12. chinese gymnast not old enough
  13. deng linlin missing tooth
  14. deng linlin smile
  15. are the chinese girls old enough
  16. teeth and deng linlin
  17. are china girl gymnists old enough
  18. chinese gymnast missing a tooth
  19. chinese gymnast missing tooth
  20. how old are the chinese gymnasts
  21. deng linlin missing teeth age
  22. how old are china s gymnasts
  23. linlin official documents
  24. are the chinese gymnists under 16
  25. chinese gymnasts not old enough
  26. chinese girls gymnastics cannot be 16
  27. how old are the chinese girls on the uneven bars
  28. are chinese women gymnasts old enough
  29. how old are chinese gymnasts
  30. chinese gymnastics old enough?
  31. age of chinese gymansts
  32. olympic minimum age for gymnasts and chinese girls
  33. china girls old enough
  34. china gymnasts not old enough young
  35. “Deng Linlin” tooth
  36. chinese gymnastics and teeth
  37. are chinese gymnasts really 16
  38. are the chinese women gymnasts old enough
  39. chinese gymnastics – are the girls old enough
  40. chinese girl gymnastics leave home
  41. chinese documents Deng Linlin
  42. lives of gymnast chinese girls
  43. chinese gymnasts under 16
  44. chinese gymnast teeth picturebig smile from Deng Linlin
  45. young chinese girl gymnast
  46. Deng Linlin, tooth
  47. how old were china’s gymnasts
  48. are all the chinese gymnast old enough
  49. how old is chinese gymnast deng linlin
  50. china gymnasts old enough
  51. deng linlin tooth

Well it looks like Deng Linlin’s teeth have given them away. The Chinese really should have instructed her to keep her mouth shut so we wouldn’t see them. If this is happening on my little site I would like to see what is happening on Yahoo or Google right about now. I am just having fun watching this whole thing unfold. It really all seems to be about the teeth. 🙂

Jun 202008
 

What the hell is wrong with Microsoft? Why in the world would they change the default file type of one of the world’s most used office programs?

Microsoft Excel 2007 (as well as Word and Power Point) now have an XML based file format. The new Excel file extension is .xlsx, which of course cannot be opened with any of the older versions of the program.

Thank god I remembered we had one computer in our office that was new enough to have the latest version of the software on it. (I forgot because I never use the Microsoft Office 2007 products because I simply don’t like them.) At first I wasn’t sure that it would even be able to save it as the old version as the company that sent me the file could not figure it out and told me that was the only available file format.

I really hate the new tabbed browsing with in the new office programs and where the heck did they go with the good old fashion text menus?!? They hid them is what they did. I finally figured out how to find their help file (tiny little question mark was eluding me). The text menu where you have the option to choose SAVE AS is now hidden behind the little office logo at the top of the screen on the left-hand side. Who would have thought to look there? Not me. Can you make it any harder folks?

For those of us that do not have access to a brand spanking new version of Excel Microsoft has kindly [insert sarcasm here] created a tool (not sure if this is available for Word or Power Point) for us backward people who cannot upgrade every time they release a new, improved [insert said sarcasm again] version.

You can download this lovely little Excel 2007 to 97-2003 conversion tool at Microsoft.com. Even though it is free it does come with a cost. You will have to install all the updates for your version of windows before installing the converter. Which can take you a few hours, if like me, you are a little behind on your XP updates (who know they were up to XP Service Pack 3, not me).

For those of us with little time there is also an online converter, but this might not be an option if you too have a confidential file you need to convert like I did. However, unlike the Microsoft compatibility pack you do not need to have Microsoft Office installed on your PC to convert the file.

I am pretty sure that if I am going to have to continue to use the newer versions I am going to have to pick up a copy of the book Office 2007 All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies.

May 282008
 

As bloggers we all become relatively aware of the nofollow tag. We might not know what it means or why we use it but we know about it. For most of us the nofollow attribute is automatically added to the links people post in our comments. This is to help us stop comment spamming. (I know you know what that is. What blogger hasn’t opened their admin to see a ton of nonsense and links to gambling, insurance or porn sites.)

Well, the rel=”nofollow” added to the html of a standard link tells a search engine not to follow that link. By not following the link they will not count that link towards that sites link popularity. Has this knowledge stopped the spammers? No. Does it hurt you or your blog? No. It does, however, hurt the people you would like to be linking to. Therefore I do not recommend using the nofollow tag in your posts if you wish to give that person some internet props and help out their link popularity and ultimately their page ranks.

It seems all the major search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN) have agreed to honor this new tag. Although it appears that is not the case and it is largely ignored.

My advice to you is to make sure all your hard work in getting reciprocal links is not destroyed by those two little words. Be sure you request a link back to you that is does not contain that particular little snippet of coding. Why anyone seeking links or articles to drive traffic or exposure would choose to use that tag is beyond me.

NoNoFollowsCheck out the Search Engine Journal’s article 13 Reasons Why NoFollow Tags Suck for a better explanation why you don’t want or need this tag clogging up your html code. But as a blogger the best defense against comment spamming is to moderate your comments carefully to keep that junk from even hitting your site. Your readers will appreciate being able to actually read the comments instead of all the ping backs and scrolling nonsense text.

May 212008
 

Do you think you’ve got what it takes to impress the blogosphere? Well then prove it. Write your best post and then head on over to YearBlook.com.

Yearblook.com is a contest to find the best blog posts on the net. Each day a winner will be chosen. All the winners will then be compiled into a big book of blogs. Yes, an actual book will be published. That’s right your work will actually be published in the real world. Go figure.

As a blogger you can go over and submit your own posts or your friends can do it for you. Once you are nominated you’ll want to have all your online friends head over and vote for you.

Fear not you won’t be losing your rights to your own works. If you win they will contact you to work out the licensing for inclusion into the finished book.

Okay, so being in a book isn’t quite enough for you. How’s about money will that satisfy? Each month the winner for top blog that month has a chance to get $100. Not too shabby, huh?

Well there is one more reason to submit your blog. Free advertisement for you. That’s right drive traffic and increase your audience. Really, I am not seeing a negative to being a part of YearBlook.com.

May 142008
 

ScifiSlacker.com Business Cards from Vista PrintWell I have finally given away the last of my business cards. I had some made up last year for my website over at Vista Print. Since they are completely gone now it is time to head back over to their website and reorder some more. The site is so easy to use and you really do get professional quality printing at an amazingly low price. I also had matching magnets made at the same time. I couldn’t have been happier, but I guess that goes without saying since I will be reordering more.

They have tons of special offers, even free merchandise, but I opted to upload my own graphics and then I got a high gloss front, which looked so cool with the black background. I just logged in and reordering couldn’t be easier. They still have my cards on files and all I had to do was hit a button and review my cards. If I hadn’t uploaded the card design as an image I could have edited it during review before finalizing my purchase, which I did not do just yet.

I still have to go back and find my original artwork. They have so other items besides just business cards and magnets. They have invitations, cards, rubber stamps, and promotional items just to name a few.

Speaking of promotions during check out, if your order is over $15, you’ll be offered a free magazine from one of their partners. Well if, like me, you choose to decline the offer be sure to click the link to get a rebate form. Fill that out and you can request rebate for the stated value ($10) of the offer. Not a bad deal.

May 132008
 

I have been a member of SocialSpark for two weeks now and I see many possibilities and a few drawbacks.

Of course the biggest plus is the chance to make money from your blog posts. That’s a no brainer. It’s really all about the networking; making connections. Increase your link popularity by taking the blog u back offers from other users.

SocialSpark.comWhat’s a blog u back offer you ask? Pretty self-explanatory really. You take someone up on their offer and write a post or review linking back to their blog and they will in turn do the same for you. It is a win-win situation.

The SocialSpark Code of Ethics is clear and concise. Making SocialSpark a pleasure to deal with and search engine friendly unlike other paid post opportunities out there.

So what are the drawbacks? As I mentioned before all the bells and whistles on the site do not allow for users with older browsers. So update your browser or forget it.

Even more annoying than that is the fact that the opportunities are generally not available and you need to wait for a slot. Not too bad as long as you can get to your email ASAP and write the post within the 12 hours allotted to you once they send you a reservation. In my case I get these emails at 12am Eastern Standard Time. Being on the east coast I lose 8 hours right off the bat and cannot always read my email or log into the website before lunch time so I miss out completely. Personally, I don’t think this is fair. They should send these reservations out later giving people 12 usable hours. (The only reason I was able to get this opportunity to write about them was because I just so happened to be up tonight when the email came in, but that is a rare thing for me.)

Then once you get a reservation what do you do with it? The email does not tell you how to proceed. There are no instructions on how to get to the opportunity nor is there a clear indication once you log in on what to do. I had to search to find the opportunity then take a wild stab at what to do next. They don’t seem to want to make this easy on a person do they?

May 112008
 

JustTellMeWhy.com I just found a fun site where you can post your point of view on many topics in a very unique way. Just Tell Me Why offers up dichotomies to be solved by the general public (that’s me and you). There are lots of hot topics to choose from entertainment to politics.

Stop by JustTellMeWhy.com today to voice your opinion on The Simpson vs Family Guy or Coke vs Pepsi. They’ll even listen to your ideas too so if you don’t see a topic you’d like to talk about on the site just drop them a note and request it.

Believe me once you get started telling people why you might not be able to stop. This site is very addicting.

May 062008
 

I signed up for this new service called SocialSpark about a week ago. To some degree it is a cross between MySpace and PayPerPost. You get to meet up with merchants and other bloggers on a more personal level. Signing up is easy and free.

Just know you either have to be using FireFox or MSIE 7 (I hate internet explorer 7) or you won’t be able to access the site at all, which is a big draw back since about 50-60 percent of the folks coming to my sites are still using MSIE 6. I assume you folks are like me and don’t like the way the new internet explorer handles webpages and how Microsoft appears to be pushing us all into redeveloping our previously working websites. Enough about them, back to SocialSpark.

Head on over and sign up. You’ll be able to find opportunities to make money with your posts (like PPP and other services), make new blogging buddies, find ideas and topics for you to write about and one of the best features get and request blog backs. That last one is so important in improving your page ranks that it alone is worth signing up. But I am sure you will find other reasons to stick with them.

While your there stop by whataslacker’s SocialSpark profile and give me some props, request to be my friend or just let me know you posted a blog about my site and I’ll be sure to do the same. I am always looking to increase those links back to my blog.

You can thank SocialSpark for this post.

Jan 182008
 

Sometimes email just isn’t good enough and you need to resort to snail mail (also known as the United Postal Service). Believe it or not it is just more reliable sometimes. What am I talking about, you might ask. Well, I had some friends move and I never got their email. If they had followed it up with nice little postcards with their new address I would have had something to stick right in my address book, but they did not so I did not. So my Christmas card I sent to them came back to me making me a sad little Santa thinking I lost touch with a good friend. Lucky for me I have a back up friend who gave me the address. But if she had simply gone to VistaPrint.com and made some cool and funky postcards and sent them out this could have all been avoided.

But VistaPrint offers so much more than postcard printing. You can make business cards, magnets (both of which I have made for my website), notepads, invitations and loads more. They are great for not just business but also personal uses too. You could use their postcards for announcements, invitations, business marketing and so much more. The cost is very reasonable too. So my question is why didn’t my friend go there and print out some postcards with her new address?

Made possible by VistaPrint.com. They have free stuff there too.

Jan 152008
 

When I first heard the term pay-per-play I thought it had to do with online videos or games. It doesn’t. It has everything to do with making money from your website.

If you are like me you are not making enough money off those Google ads you have all over your website are you? People just don’t seem to be clicking through on those any more, do they? What would you do if I told you that you could get paid for every visitor to your site and not just the few who actually click through and leave your site? Most people wouldn’t believe it. I didn’t until I checked out Net Audio Ads.

What’s that? Well, it is pretty much what it says it is audio ads on your website and you get paid every time one of them plays for one of your visitors. The ads are short, only five seconds long and each visitor only gets one ad so they don’t hate you while they are on your site. Five seconds is hardly enough time to annoy anyone. You see or should I say hear them all over the place these days so why shouldn’t you benefit from them too? Like those Google ads everyone is ignoring these days the pay-per-play ads are related to the content on your website by spidering your site. I see this as a great opportunity for publishers and advertisers a like.

By the fine folks who bring you Net Audio Ads.


Jan 082008
 

When I think of Spock my mind Immediate goes to Star Trek’s most famous of Vulcans, Mr. Spock played by the venerable actor Leonard Nimoy. From there my mind wonders to the Star Trek themed pop bank called S.P.O.C.K. (their music is pretty good by the way). I don’t think I would ever think search engine, but that’s exactly what Spock.com is, a search engine. It is a people and information search engine. You can search for your friends, co-workers, models, singers, or even your favorite Star Trek actors like Mr. Nimoy.

Spock says they are not a social networking site yet it certainly acts like one. You can use the site to make your searches without signing up, but if you join you get to contribute to the site and hopefully help improve those search results. You do that by inviting friends to “trust” you and then vote on your tags, any one can add tags to any profile so there is the potential of misguided results due to abuse by the users. I can only hope that people that do sign up and claim their profiles have control over the content people add to their profiles. I would hate to come up in the top results for some thing I am not like republican. The site is still in beta so hopefully all the concerns people have will be addressed. Until then enjoy the new search engine and behave yourself.

The hope is that Spock could become the Google of people searches. But do you think you will be hearing the term “have you Spocked yourself” in place of the now familiar “did you Google yourself” any time soon? I don’t think so. Personally, I have not Googled myself in a long time, but felt the need to see if the Spock results were similar to theirs. And they are pretty darned close especially since the web result portion of Spock.com is pulled directly from Google. So head on over to the site and run a search or two on Spock.com to see where you and your friends stand.