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Netscape for Breakfast – What were they Thinking?

June 30, 2006

I got up this morning and checked my email and low and behold I had a bunch of comments waiting for moderation on my Netscape vs. Digg post. The comments sounded as if Netscape’s social bookmarking site wasn’t beta anymore. So I took a trip over to the Netscape home page and sure enough they went live with it. Now that was a bold move!

I thought for sure they would make some tweaks based on user feedback. Nope, they just went live with it, pretty much looking the same way it did when they announced the beta was out.

The funny thing is that I was going to write a post next week that compared Netscape with Digg. I had never used Digg before so I signed up for an account this week and tried it out.

Much like Netscape’s sign up, the sign up for Digg was fairly simple.

Then I went to look at couple of articles and I voted (dugg) one of them that I found interesting. That was an easy process and I could easily find it.

I brought up Netscape’s beta in a new browser and looked at both objectively. Both interfaces are extremely similar. For some reason, I found Digg’s interface a little more intuitive. I am not sure why, but I think it might have something to do with the fact there are less graphics cluttering the scheme. Also, I don’t like the fact that when I click on an article in Netscape I don’t go directly to the site the article is from.

The one thing that I do like better in Netscape is the tabbed window at the top of the screen. You can easily switch between some of the top stories under a heading by going from one tab to another and I think that is very nice.

Overall, they are very similar. I have to give Digg a slight edge in useability over Netscape, but only slight.

That said, what I should have compared was the new Netscape with the old Netscape. Regular visitors of Netscape are definitely going to be comparing the old with the new. Instead of comparing Netscape with Digg, I should have done a comparison of Netscape with Netscape.

I personally don’t care a lot for social bookmarking sites. They are interesting to visit sometimes, but my browser’s homepage has been set to Yahoo for a long time. I like to see headline news stories, not news submitted by the site visitors. At least that’s my current feeling on the topic. I may change my mind at some point, but my homepage won’t be changing from Yahoo to Netscape (or Digg) anytime soon.

So what do you think of the new Netscape? What do you think of Digg? What do you think of social bookmarking in general?

Quick Business Update for The Last Week in June 2006

June 29, 2006

With a long fourth of July weekend fast approaching for me (at my 9-5 job we have to take the third off as vacation and get the 4th off as a holiday), I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and post about this past business week.

This week has been busy from the start. I have been working on our new wiki, our concrete sealer site. Not to mention, the other day Joel Comm of Adsense Secrets fame, gave me the chance to sneak preview his new Instant Adsense Templates. How could I say no to that? Sure I was busy, but I had to take a look at them.

Anyway, things have been very busy this week. I plan on focusing most of my attention on the new homeschooling wiki and the concrete sealer site for the next couple of weeks.

That’s it for now, for those of you in the US I hope you have a Happy Fourth!

Business – Life Balance

June 28, 2006

I was just doing my almost daily read of ProBlogger, when I saw Darren’s reference to an excellent post on LifeHacker. Click here to go read the post and then come back.

We all need to have balance, it is one of the things I constantly struggle with in my life.

How do I make money online and still have time for my family and other obligations?

Wendy Boswell’s post on LifeHacker gives some excellent insight into finding ways to balance business and family life. It reminds me a lot of my all time favorite blog post by Alice Seba. I think one of the most important things to do when running an online business or any business for that matter is to find a way to live a balanced healthy life.

I have written about this before (here, here, here, and here). But Wendy’s post reminded me of how important it is to keep a good balance between work and play, so I thought I would write about it yet again.

Instant Adsense Templates Sneak Preview

June 27, 2006

Joel Comm contacted me the other day and gave me a special sneak preview at his soon to be released Instant Adsense Templates. They are really awesome…

I bet the price is going to be very expensive. Unfortunately, Joel (like many Internet Marketers are doing these days) is limiting the supply. So once I know the price I won’t have that much time to decide.

As far as the product is concerned, I was very happy with the quality of the templates that I got to download. I also really liked the fact that there were templates for all kinds of content based sites, including blogs, and forums. Most importantly I was happy with all the pre-developed content that Joel is giving away. In fact, the main reason I am considering buying the templates is for the content. Anyway, you may want to sign up for Joel’s advanced notification list to find out more about the templates.

500 Dollar Contest on Our New Wiki

June 26, 2006

We just started a contest for our new Homeschool wiki.

Starting July 10th 2006 12:01am CST and ending August 10th 2006 11:59pm CST our new homeschool wiki will be holding a contest to give away $500 in a random drawing.

To enter the 500 dollar drawing an individual must visit http://knowhomeschooling.com, register, and submit a major edit. More details are available here.

The site has already recieved a lot of attention from the homeschooling community (of which we are part). It has been a very eye-opening experience.

What is great about this drawing/contest is that it will:

1. Drive a good amount of viral traffic to the site.
2. Add content to our wiki.
3. Allow us to give back to the community by awarding someone 500 dollars.

It’s a win/win/win situation for all in invloved.

The homeschooling community seems very excited to have a homeschooling wiki and we are very excited to be helping out the homeschooling community. Plus we get the side benefit of making money with Google Adsense along the way.

I can see now why so many people say “Do what you love, the money will follow.”

I will let you know how things go as the contest progresses. I really think the 500 dollars will turn out to be a great investment. Time will tell…

My week – Week of June 18th

June 23, 2006

This week was busy. It started off with Father’s day on Sunday, which was great. We celebrated both Father’s day and Joseph’s birthday (who turned 4 on Monday) by going to Chuck E Cheese’s. It was a nice restful day.

My 9-5 job was busy, which left less time to work on my online ventures than normal.

As I reported earlier I worked on making my wife and her brother’s concrete floor sealer site more search engine friendly. It still has a lot of work before it is ready for prime time (mainly I need all the sales text).

I also did some work with my wife on her new homeschooling wiki. Some influential homeschooling bloggers have found it over the past few days and blogged about it. It is starting to get some decent traffic and good contributions. Next week we plan on revealing something we hope to really get it headed in the right direction.

Have not done much blogging this week, except on this blog (which is one of my favorites to write on).

That pretty much sums up my week business wise. This weekend I will probably take it easy business wise, but there are a couple of factors that could change that.

Hope you have a nice weekend…

How To Change the Way WordPress Displays Your Title

June 22, 2006

One of today’s post by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger prompted me to figure out how to change the code on my blog so that my titles were more Search Engine friendly.

I have never liked the way wordpress displays the title by default. I wanted my blog to display only the title of the post in the title bar when you were on the post page. So I decided to change that.

NOTE: If you don’t know what the title tag is, go back and look at this post on my other blog.

To change the default title tag in wordpress you need to edit the header.php for the theme that you are using.

The line of code you want to change will look something like this:


<title>< ?php bloginfo('name'); ?> < ?php wp_title(); ?> </title>

Replace that code above with the code you want to use. Here is the code I am using on this blog (and will be soon using on all my blogs):

< ?php if(is_home())
{ echo '<title>'; echo bloginfo('name');
echo '< /title> '; }
else
{ echo '<title>'; wp_title(' '); echo '</title>'; } ?>

The code above displays the name of my blog as the title if you are on the home page. Otherwise, it only displays the post name if you are on a post page, the name of the archive page if you are on an archive page, or the category name if you are on category page.

It’s kind of funny how long it took it me to figure this out. I made it much more complicated than it needed to be. At one point the code looked like this:

< ?php if(is_home()) { echo '<title>';echo bloginfo('name'); echo '< /title> '; } else if ( is_category() ) {echo '<title>'; wp_title(); echo '</title>';} else if ( is_archive() ) { echo '<title>'; wp_title(); echo '</title>';} else { echo '<title>'; the_title(); echo '</title>'; } ?>

While it did the job, it was overkill.

Fortunately, I found the WordPress wiki and was able to quickly find the code changes I needed to make from there.

Another option for changing the way your title displays in WordPress is to use the Optimal Title WordPress Plug-in. But I prefer making the code change above.

Free blogging with Adsense Ebook Available Until July 5th

June 22, 2006

I thought I should write a quick post to let you know that Joel Comm of Adsense Secrets is giving away a free ebook called “Blogging and Google Adsense” if you sign up to be on his Instant Adsense Templates advanced notice list.

I have only given the book a quick scan, but it looks like it would be of value to beginners. Prior to now, Joel has only made the book available to his paying Premier club members. It includes sections on how to add Adsense to Blogger, WordPress, and Movable Type, along with Adsense optimization tips and more.

The book is only free up until the July 5th launch of his new product. So if you are interested you should click here and go download it before July 5th, 2006.

How much money do you want to make Online?

June 21, 2006

Here are the results from my last poll:

How much money do you want to make every month from your web business?
0-100 dollars: 0% (0)
100-1,000 dollars: 12% (10)
1,000-5,000 dollars: 32% (26)
5,000-10,000 dollars: 7% (6)
10,000-20,000 dollars: 9% (7)
20,000 and higher: 37% (30)
Don’t know.: 0% (0)
Don’t Care.: 2% (2)
Total Votes : 81

It wasn’t too surprising that 37% of the vote went to making 20,000 dollars a month or higher. This tells me that a lot of you are like me and have very high aspirations for your web business.

What was interesting is that the choice with the next highest vote total was 1,000-5,000 dollars with 32% of the vote. For most people 5000 dollars a month would be enough money to live off. When you add the two top choices together they accounted for a whopping 69% of the vote! What that tells me is that most of you, either want to learn how to make tons of money on the Internet or you want to learn how to make a living on the Internet.

Nobody chose to vote for 0-100 dollars a month as a goal, which is not surprising. 0-100 dollars a month isn’t going to pay any bills.

This poll gives me insight into your goals, which will help me make this blog into a better resource for you. Thank you so much for taking my poll and please take my latest poll, because it is going to help determine the future direction of this blog as well.

Site Revamp

June 21, 2006

I am considering revamping this site towards the end of the summer. While I will continue to provide you with details about my online business success and failures, I want to make some changes to this blog. I am doing this for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is that I want this blog (and eventually all of my websites) to be remarkable. I have been reading Seth Godin’s book called the “Purple Cow” and it really makes sense. If I want to make big money online, I need to have a “Purple Cow”. My websites need to stand out and be remarkable.

I am starting with this blog, because it is one of my favorite blogs to write on. I will continue to discuss things about making money online and Internet Marketing, etc. But I want to find out from you what you would consider to be the most remarkable change I can make to this blog. Feel free to let me know in the comments of this post and/or by voting in my new poll.

Here are the choices in my poll, but feel free to add to this list in my comments section.

  1. Change the Layout and Design
  2. Highlight Most Popular Posts
  3. Add Video Blog Entries
  4. Add Beginner Level Tutorials on Various Topics That I Write About
  5. Add Beginner Level Video Tutorials
  6. Write More Detail About my Businesses
  7. Write more series like “Ways to Make Money Online” Series
  8. Post More Frequently 2-3 Times a Day
  9. Post Longer More Detailed Posts
  10. Add More Writers
  11. Review more Internet Marketing Products/Ebooks
  12. Add Guest Interviews

I would love to hear from you, so please let me know what you would like to see added to this blog. Your opinion will definitely affect the direction of this blog.

Netscape Traffic

June 20, 2006

I was curious about Netscape’s Beta traffic which is one of the big reason’s that I wrote the post about Netscape vs. Digg.

I expect that once this comes out of Beta it will give a lot more traffic to websites. That said, the extra traffic wasn’t awe inspiring.

I posted my article Friday around lunch time and have had 173 visitors from the link as of early this morning (Tuesday). My blog post still shows up as a related article on the home page on the Netscape Tips tab (up at the top of the page).

All in all, the extra traffic wasn’t bad for a Friday. But it would be a lot better if Netscape didn’t host the content on their site with a very small “visit this site” link to your site. To quote Darren Rowse of Problogger:

but the internal links really bug me as do the ‘visit this site’ links which take you to the source of the news but with an annoying netscape frame on the side and still with a netscape URL. I’m not a fan of this type of strategy to keep users on a site and doubt I’ll be a regular at Netscape as a result.

If the links took the reader directly to my site, my traffic would have been much, much better. Due to this annoying practice the post on my blog has 0 comments, whereas Netscape’s copy of my post has 14 comments. This shows me that most people only read the article on Netscape and never come to my blog.

Anyway, it is interesting to see that my article still shows up on their home page. We will see how long that lasts.

What are your thoughts? Would you have expected more or less traffic from having such a visible link on Netscape?

OSCommerce Plug-in Install – I finally Reveal the New Site

June 19, 2006

I have mentioned in the past that I am working on creating a new site based on OSCommerce for my brother-in-law and wife. Well, last night I installed an OSCommerce plug-in (called Header Tags) that makes OSCommerce more Search Engine Friendly. It is a really nice plug-in, but it is more complicated than I would have expected.

Anyway, the next couple of weeks we will be working hard on getting up their site. I was hesitant about sharing any information about the site before we were done with it, but I am going to go ahead and share some of the site details with you. The site will be selling industrial strength concrete floor sealer.

It’s not exactly a business anyone can get into. My brother-in-law happens to have close ties with the manufacturer. I feel very blessed that we have been given this opportunity. We are going to be targeting a market that the manufacturer doesn’t market this sealer to. We will be marketing to industrial builders, and the government. The floor sealer is used on floors for warehouses, malls, hospitals, aircraft hangers, and the like. The name of the business is Extreme Sealers LLC and we hope to be opening the store in the next month.

Anyway, I can’t reveal any of the details of our contract, but the business has the potential of being highly lucrative.

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