How To Combat Culture Of Fear Online?

It sticks in the craw when you get to hear that bloggers, especially women, can be abused online with impunity by the perpetrator.

The case of
prominent blogger Kathy Sierra who was intimidated by a series of abuses and death threats has prompted much of the blogosphere to rally round in support of Ms Sierra

I'm sure we're all behind Ms Sierra and should condemn the bloggers who issued those threats.

We must acknowledge that her blogging ordeal is not an isolated incident. It can happen to anyone if the blogosphere continues to be like the frontier days of the Wild West.

Now bloggers are beginning to wake up and some of the high-profile web experts are calling for a code of conduct in the blogosphere.

Tim O'Reilly, regarded as one of the web's most influential thinkers, told BBC Radio Five that it could be
time to formalize blogging behaviour.

Robert Scoble, who authors the popular technology blog Scobleizer, also condemned the campaign against Ms Sierra.

The culture of fear and abuse online has become a stark reality. It's a disturbing situation in the blogging world and I'm sure a lot of decent folks would like to see that this dark side of blogosphere is never allowed to propagate itself.

It's not uncommon that some bloggers have experienced some kind of cyber-bullying and sometimes it really sucks. Some may say it's harmless feuding that's part and parcel of being a blogger.

But when it takes on a sinister tone, it's time to act.


The A-Listers: Myth Or Reality?

Imagine if there were no different shades of bloggers - from A-listers to Z-listers. ..from baby bloomers to baby boomers...and what have you. How dull the blogosphere would be.

Everyone would be patting each other's back and uttering monotonous platitudes to all and sundry. If that kind of situation exists then I might as well pack up and go home.

So it stands to reason that a vibrant blogosphere is where folks are able to enjoy the freedom of expression, to be able to rant and rave about anything conceivable in the human mind.

Recently, there was an interesting debate going on at Deep Jive Interests where Tony Hung referred to a specific group of bloggers who could "make, change, and report news and opinion on a different scale by virtue of who they are, who they know, and what they are actually doing."

About two months ago, he wrote a post decrying how "A-Listers" were slamming PayPerPost as "evil incarnate." Hung was, in my opinion, sympathetic to those "blue collar bloggers" who did not have the kind of clout as that of the A-Listers (You should know some of them).

Hung had explained it wasn't an issue of their blogging success, but "many bloggers took that to be the substance of my beef."

According to Hung, his own thoughts were basically that ...

  • "The A-List wasn't about having bongo amounts of traffic"
  • "It's not about your Adsense earnings"
  • "And it's not about being highly regarded."
  • "It's about their ability to be so close to The News..."

So Hung's post sparked reactions that brought up some interesting points by those who posted comments.

I don't think this is the end of the issue about the so-called A-List Bloggers and the Blogging Proletariat (that's my term for Blue Collar Bloggers).

But we'll have to wait for the next episode.


Should We Be Running On Empty?

What is a "running entrepreneur"?

I guess it has got something to do with... well, running and becoming successful in some kind of business.

I was asked by Bryan at Bryan Baker Dot Com to give my thoughts on what he's planning to do. He said he was inspired by another friend.

So what is he up to?

He's starting a series that's gonna deal with Motivation...for the entrepreneur.

I must say Bryan did a good write-up about his intention to get his concept up and running.

He wrote about his first cross-country runs and thought that it was speed and endurance that count. As a runner he began to experience "transitions that closely mimic the larger changes I've experienced in my life."

He tried to run faster. Next, he tried to run farther. Finally, it dawned on him to accept himself, his limitations, and to appreciate the joy and meaning of running.

My thoughts: In life, I guess you got to keep going in order to reach your destination. As we all would discover, sooner or later, that your true competitor is your ownself.

If you can be better than your ownself, then you don't need to worry about others.

There is a quote in Bryan's post that says...

BlockquoteDon't bother just to be better than
those around you,
but strive
to be better than yourself."

Yes, that quote sums up what it's all about.

I learned this from somewhere that we have only two choices:

  • Become an entrepreneur but don't jump in on impulse. Weigh the pros and cons carefully. Look at your own talents and the resources available to you.
  • Don't do it...and maybe spend the rest of your life wondering "What if I had..."
And finally, here's another quote...

BlockquoteThe distance is nothing: It is only
the first step that is difficult."


Hey, Where Did You Get This Great Idea?

Guess I gotta write a follow-up to yesterday's "Link Love Day" post.

Some of you would be wondering where I got this "great idea" as queried by Bryan of Bryan_Baker Dot Com who writes a blog spotlighting "entrepreneurial motivation."

(Hey Bryan, did you notice I got you linked? You don't have to wait for "Link Love Day" to get it! It's no big deal giving a link here and there, so long it's done seamlessly as you write your post.)

Well, Bryan, I was just sitting here checking on a few "big-time" blogs and marvelling at the massive tide of comments flooding into those blogs...and wondering why bloggers have a tendency to target so-called celebrity blogs.

And for the rest of us, the blogging proletariat, we are left with crumbs!

I don't have to elaborate but most of us know why. As far I'm concerned, I just see that the Blogosphere is not a level playing field.

Yes, I originated this linking idea. And it's all right for others to follow suit. There's no copyright to this thing.

Those who are not so savvy at blogging or they are just newbies are always at a disadvantage to gain link popularity. Like they always say: The rich keep getting richer.

The pundits keep saying your blog must have good content and be authoritative if you wanna move up the hit parade. True, it's up to the individual to write a good blog and keep on progressing.

They also say you must have that green PR thingy showing up so that some advertisers would then recognize that you've got a "good blog."

Have you ever seen some blogs with a PR2 to 4. And these are blogs with Alexa ranking ranging from 900,000 to 4,000,000. How is that so? Because they have many bloggers linking to them? All right, you may say don't read too much into those figures. And rightly so!


When A Little Link Can Go A Long Way...

I'm gonna change the pace here today and surprise some of you, good folks, who took the trouble to come a-visiting here.

Currently showing on MyBlogLog Who's Here? List are 9 visitors and they're gonna get a link back to their blogs from yours truly. Yes, just for visiting this blog.

Whether I'm bonkers or not, I think I'm gonna feel good after this. I'm not asking for anything in return. That's up to you.

And you guess what? You don't need to trouble yourself to write a review on this blog. But if you wanna do so, perhaps one fine day in the future, I don't mind. No obligation here.

Oh, by the way, I realize one just can't do this everyday. "Link Love Day" will be picked at random as and when I fancy it. So here are the lucky 9:


$100 In Free Reviews Offer

Hot on the heels of the Monday official launch of SponsoredReviews, the new kid on the paid-review block has started to dangle another carrot to win over advertisers.

As stated by SponsoredReviews in an announcement today, they have to thank blogger Maki at DoshDosh.com for coming up with the idea.

And what's the deal?

To celebrate their launch, they are offering $100 in Free Reviews to the first 10 ADVERTISERS to do the following:

  • Sign-up for SponsoredReviews
  • Post an Opportunity to have bloggers bid to review their product/service. They must post an opportunity in the system and make it publicly available to qualify. The opportunity must be posted before Friday March 16.
  • Spend at least $100 on reviews.
  • Send feedback to SponsoredReviews on the experience.

To quote SponsoredReviews:

BlockquoteWe are looking for honest feedback. We want to improve the experience for the advertiser. We would like to hear what you liked about it as well as any changes you would like to see made."

And surprise, surprise....

SponsoredReviews will refund the $100 to your credit card on file once they have received your feedback.

Sounds like a good deal.


Cool Site: The New Thinking Blog

Oh boy, I'm back. I was under the radar the last few days. And also somewhat under the weather, too.

One of the surprises I've noticed is that the ever-popular The Thinking Blog has got a new URL. Our dear blogging buddy, the ever-thoughtful Ilker Yordas, has finally established a "proper domain name."

Now, I must say, the site is looking real neat and cool. No longer do we see the side column that used to hang loose way down the page (but that was probably due to some technical issues then). So, this has been resolved.

I'm happy to see that the charismatic header has been retained. It has always being one of the strong points of Ilker's blog. Many visitors have commented on it, and so it stays.

It seems the brushed metal look is a favorite. You can see nice touches of it in the post modules and on the side column, too. It blends well with black and white.

Overall, this is a great, charismatic blog that has everything going for it. It's almost as close to elegant minimalism in design as you can get.

But visual appeal is one thing. A blog with crappy content can only pull it down even though it has the looks. I would like to believe that bloggers keep coming back not because of the avatar showing that striking face with a come-on look but for the "content of value" that represents The Thinking Blog.

This is not the case with Ilker's blog. When I first stumbled upon The Thinking Blog last year I discovered that this blog was full of good read. I became a fan and I'd thought the thinking alien fetus avatar was kinda cute to look at.

The Thinking Blog is rich content-wise. It has a kind of savvy when dealing with certain topics which, obviously, indicates that Ilker always do the homework first.

BTW, Ilker has swapped avatar again. So it's goodbye to the hibiscus lady who, Ilker admitted, is Uruguayan pop singer Natalia.

By now, The Thinking Blog is a celebrated site. It's link popularity has soared to over 43,000 after I did a check.


Ain't You Gonna Get Link Love?

Suddenly people are reviewing each other's blog and getting link love in exchange for the job done.

That seems to be the craze right now. Thanks to John Chow who has staked the claim that he was the one who started the ball rolling.

As I write, he has reached his "batch 29" of reviews. Being John Chow has its advantage. With a blog that's enjoying great success, who wouldn't want to link up with the dot com moghul?

It's a runaway review train that's gonna garner John a zillion links!

In John's own words: "That is just insane!"

Okay, I've done a review for Paula Mooney's blog and she has returned the favour. I must say we've been very honest about our reviews and that's good. I'll mull over some of her suggestions and see what action I should take.

I also noticed that Ilker Yoldas of The Thinking Blog, one of my favorite sites for a good read, is thinking about spreading some link love as well. Read "Free Design Contest and Lessons To Learn."

Well, it'll be interesting to see how this link love fad catches on with other bloggers.

And what about me? Oh well, you know...!


Revamped FuelMyBlog Launched

The new-look FuelMyBlog is up and running and, I think, the site looks quite impressive with its clean look. Finding your way around the blog seems to be easy.

As promised, the revamped site launched on Friday. The FuelMyBlog team celebrated last night.

BlockquoteWe opened the champagne last night! We really love the site and hope you do, too...This is the first phase of many and we are sure you will agree it has been worth the wait! "

Everybody on board...enjoy yourself!

Careful, Don't Be "Hasta La Vista"!

Can't blame Bill Gates for being passionate about Vista, Microsoft's latest version of its Windows operating system.
Launched on January 30 under the glare of media hype, it was hailed as "a huge milestone" for the technology industry.

I was contemplating on upgrading but usually I'm like a tortoise trying to get from point A to point B.

Well, bless my soul, I AM A TORTOISE!

If I'd make haste I would have regretted my action. Being the type who usually check things out first, I'm now getting feedbacks on Vista. And it's not the kind of news that would make you jump for joy.

PC users who had made the switch are telling sob stories. Vista is causing some hiccups for them.

People are discovering that Vista is a demanding operating system. Many PCs do not have the capacity to upgrade to the operating system.

As Tim Weber, BBC News Business Editor, pointed out, Vista "comes with plenty of pain."

Tim admitted he's "a sucker for technology" and took the plunge and found himself "caught in the Vista trap."

But to be fair to Microsoft, Vista is, according to Tim, slick, fast and very user-friendly. Only if you can iron out all those wrinkles in the first place.

So, should you dive in now or hold back for a while? Tim's advice is to "wait for half a year until the driver issues are settled."

Vista PC Specs:
Vista capable - 800MHz processor, 512MB memory, DirectX9 capable graphics processor

Premium ready - 1 GHz processor, 1Gb memory, 128MB graphics memory, 40Gb hard drive, DVD-ROM, Internet access.


Roll Out This Blog Widget

I've just installed a blog widget that's called Autoroll. (scroll down the sidebar and you'll find it). It will automatically display the top ten links to blogs that your readers should like. It's something new recommended to me by a blogging friend.

Oh, oh, that word "links" is popping up again. This is the third consecutive "links" posts I've written and readers here must be thinking this guy is going nutty on links!

Well, maybe. When somebody shout "links" I couldn't stay cool as a cucumber. I just go cubercum!

But seriously, I'm giving Autoroll a try-out to see what sort of benefits I'll get out of it. I have not seen a lot of this widget on other blogs. Perhaps it has not caught on yet. I don't know.

From what I had gathered, this widget had been tested and works on blog platforms such as Blogger, TypePad, WordPress (not wordpress.com), blogSpirit and DotClear.

Here's how it works: Cookie information helps trace the number of visits of each unique reader on every blog that has installed AutoRoll. This information is then fed to a "Recommendation Engine," which computes blog affinities in real-time. The more often a reader visits a specific blog, the greater his affinity is with that blog.

Cool benefits: It's claimed a blog will receive highly qualified incoming traffic because other similar blogs display your blog on their AutoRoll. Last but not least, you will also get a complete private reporting module that contains valuable statistics on impressions and click-through rates (CTR) to and from your own blog.

I won't get to see the actual results yet. It may take several days before I start to see some changes on the Autoroll. If you think you wanna go nutty on links like me,
you can sign up for free and get this widget now.

BTW, if it ain't what it's cracked up to be, we can happily dump it on the roadside!

P.S. Mar. 13 - Almost two weeks later...I've to admit this widget didn't really set this blog on fire. It was acting funky today causing my layout to go out of shape. So I have to drop it...yeah, on the roadside!