Cheap Broadband The Way To Go

If you already have an internet connection but still using a 56K modem that plugs into your phone line, maybe it's high time you look in the direction of cheap broadband.

Looking for an affordable broadband provider that's reliable shouldn't be much of a problem these days. If you're living in the UK where there are more than 11,600,000 broadband subscribers, competition is really keen and that helps to drive down prices.

Compare broadband prices for the best deals and you may find the right offer. The basic things to look out for are: Usage limits, price, connection speed, and freebies like a free modem, wireless router, etc.

With broadband internet, you have more to enjoy online. How about watching video clips, listen to music in real time, including live broadcasts, download music, software, film trailers and other files much more quickly, and play games online?

All this you can do much, much faster than before when you were using that old 56K modem.


How Cool Or Uncool Are These Widgets?

Widgets or badges may look cool - or just uncool, depending on how you look at it - on your blog. Some bloggers call them ugly! I tend to join the "ugly" crowd.

For example, by using ReviewMe or PPP widgets on your blog, you're telling visitors that your site has been approved to write reviews for a certain fee.
It may sound good and look exciting on your blog initially. But as this marketplace evolves, bloggers will become blind to these widgets and, perhaps, wiser about the worth of most of these reviews.

How they price your blog...

ReviewMe will set the price for you. It is based on your blog's ranking, traffic and popularity. And they take a hefty cut out of your fee - 50%!

At least PPP Direct give you the option of selecting your widget - one with the price on it or the other one that just says "Hire Me..." And they don't take 50% out of you. Much less.

Which widget would you prefer?

As we can see, most blogs are displaying these widgets on their sites showing the amount that they will charge for a review.
For ReviewMe: Most blogs start at $40 (There are others below that sum)

For PPP Direct:
The price can even start at $5

Incidentally, PPP allow you to specify your own price within a reasonable range as set by them. This gives the blogger the flexibility to see fit what he or she should charge for a review and indicate it on the widget.

Other consideration aside, I believe PPP Direct have got the edge over ReviewMe by providing this flexibility. But not much.

I'm not sure what other paid-to-post bloggers think about their widget display. After the initial "euphoria" of getting approval to display these widgets, I've reasons to believe that some bloggers will have second thoughts about displaying prices on them.

Well, I've seen PPP Direct widgets with price tags being replaced by those without the price. I've done that myself, not that you're going to see people rushing in asking for reviews by doing that.

I just see that there's no point in showing on the widget how much you're going to charge. All you need to do is click on it and you'll see all the particulars on a form with the price indicated there. How simple can that be?

Talk about banner-blind people...and you can see that this widget thingy will suffer the same fate.
I'm now convinced that there's no point in indicating your price on the widget.

ReviewMe's widget comes with a specified price tag based on your blog's ranking. If you don't want to use it, then just use the text link instead.

How much will you pay for a review?

For example, who will want to pay $1,000 for a review? I've seen one high-ranking Malaysian blogger asking for that price with some self-glorifying assertion placed in one marketplace.

Or for that matter, $400, or even $40?
Be honest, are you sure somebody will request a review from you for $400? I'm aware that somebody did pay for a $400 review - from John Chow. That's an exceptional case, and I believe it's not likely to happen many times over, even if you're among the top 100 blogs in blogosphere.

The majority of us are "blue collar bloggers' and dare we ask for $400 or more to write a review? Even at $40 you'll be hard-pressed to find someone willing to pay that price for a review.

As far as I know, Kumiko's Cash Quest can be considered as an exceptional case again, just like JC. She charges $40. Yeah, Kumiko is one smart cookie who really knows how to hype herself but she can write well, too. So that's her advantage. But I still think there won't be many more reviews coming her way. When she reads this she'll be more determined to prove me wrong.

And to ask for $1000 to do a review...just because you think you've got a very high-ranking blog is simply too much to swallow! No individual blogger can pay that amount. Problogger Darren Rowse can afford it but he doesn't need a review to boost his blog. So, would you?

For a cheap $10 I got a crappy review.

I tested once to have this blog reviewed via ReviewMe and I discovered it wasn't worth my $10. I had no control on whom I picked to review my blog. If I'm paying for a review I must be able to select the review applicant. Yes, let me look at that blog's content first before I made a decision on the applicant.

But having said this much, I tend to believe that the whole marketplace will continue to evolve. PPP with Ted Murphy at the helm may continue his hype to gain popularity and market share. But then, it may be a whole new ball game farther down the road.

Of related interests:
Blogsvertise are doing some cleaning up
Shocking quality of blog reviews
Time to get smart with Smorty


New 'Save & Share' Bookmarking Button

According to Wikipedia, a social network in its simplest form is a map of all of the relevant ties between the nodes being studied.

Such a network is comprised of nodes which are generally individuals or organizations linked to each other by a common value, idea, kinship and so on. You get the drift?

Based on this concept, SynergyMX.com have introduced their new web service called Synergy Shared Link Service.

This is a free signup service whereby you get their script that will generate social networking links from any site. It will appear on your site as a button that will enable visitors to share your site with more than 50 social networking sites.

I won't say it's a new idea to generate links because other parties like AddThis.com have also gone this way by providing free social bookmarking buttons for users.

But then there's no harm in trying out something new which may turn out to be useful. I have installed their "Save and Share" button and it looks pretty neat for a start! It's at the bottom of this post.

Give it some time to see how it works out.


Review: DHTML Software Tool For Websites

Ever wondered why computer games created using DHTML (Dynamic HTML) in the early days of the Internet faced differences among browsers? It was a real pain then for software developers who had to implement many techniques in code to enable compatibility on multiple platforms.

However, recent convergence towards a web standard has made the design of DHTML games more viable. Other website features based on DHTML coding such as rollover buttons or drop-down menus on a web page have also become powerful tools for web professionals.

Likno Software, who have been developing DHTML applications, have rolled out their new enhanced version of AllWebMenus PRO v4.2.654 which is a powerful software engine that allows web developers to easily create DHMTL menu cum JavaScript menu for their web sites. It comes with cross-browser support and works under new Windows Vista.

Likno's new product is claimed to be user-friendly and the intuitive interface allows for powerful customization with hundreds of combinations. To get a real feel of it, you can download the application to test drive its various features. Are you game for it?


Is The Writing On The Wall?

Photo credit: Markk

I have been found wanting in my English language usage by a blogger. His judgment is based on his critical reading of my blog posts. In his opinion "this blog's language just isn't compliant with strict grammatical standards."

He felt that The NextPost should maintain a high standard as expected from one who is involved in copywriting and editing. Although he does not mind misspellings or slips in grammar at all, it shouldn't happen here for The NextPost. He expects a high standard from yours truly.

In short, the standard of writing on this blog is rather poor for a copywriter and editor. That was his personal view.

As I see it, my blog posts were put through his 'word grinder' and it literally churned out the ominous message: "The writing is on the wall" - for me!

So what should I do when I write my future post? Should I pay greater attention on my writing style? Maybe I should...

  • make sure there's no slip-up in my structuring of sentences;

  • make sure of correct phrases, spellings and punctuations;

  • make sure the writing is not convoluted; and

  • not try to be too clever with play of words
I have to say he writes pretty good English. He mentioned in one of his posts that he's very particular about his choice of words. If he gets a word wrong, it will bother him no end until it gets corrected.

So am I offended by this revelation about my standard of English? Definitely NO. It's like a "wake up" call for me to be more conscious of the fact that there are people out there who see things from a different perspective.

Sometimes the style an individual projects on his/her blog do not resonate with another individual's taste. It's a fact of life for those who write online and we have to accept that.

This blogger's critique sparks the idea of writing this post. I was just wondering what the next post was going to be until this came along as a catalyst for me to get cracking. I'm happy for that.

I'm actually curious about what kind of writing style readers would like to read. So below here I'm showing some comparison samples of my writing style. I'll be glad to get some comments from readers as to which style they prefer.

Style A: This is my present online writing style for this blog. I've extracted some samples from previous posts just to illustrate my point. I try to write casually in an informal manner. The style is usually in conversational mode with some interjections thrown in for good measure. Usually I do my blogging and writing my stuff way past midnight. Quite often I linger until almost dawn.

Style B: This is a style I would use when writing articles or reports for the traditional print media. It's more formal and less gung-ho.

So, here are the 10 comparison samples:

Example #1
Style A:

I don't know, but from the vibes and bytes that are floating around, a great number of bloggers seem to be going ga-ga about linking up to each other.
Style B:

My observation is that many bloggers are getting "link love" mania as attested by many posts raving about this blogging approach to gain more links.
Example #2
Style A:

Prove me wrong that these money-centric blogs are just about the busiest in the business. They're so busy pumping blogjuice. If you don't step out of the way, you'll be run over!

Style B:
Those blogging for money are among the busiest in their quest to drive traffic to their blogs. If yours is not a money-making blog, they will not be interested in visiting your site.
Example #3
Style A:

My line of thinking is that if you want to read a post it has to be complete...right there on the spot. Not just a few lines and being asked to click to see the full article. No way.
Style B:
When I read a post I don't like to see a few lines of text on a page. I'm not in favour of clicking in order to read the full article. I'd much prefer to read it in full on the same page.

Example #4

Style A:
Meanwhile, the blogging Gods of Mt Olympus (aka the A-Listers) don't need to scurry around lookng for links, they sorta perch at the top and watch us little rabbits do the running below.
Style B:
Meanwhile, the A-Listers can look down comfortably from their ivory towers, enjoying the view as they watch the blue collar bloggers trying their best to get links.

Example #5

Style A:

Man, it's neat with a kinda cool elegance and the layout is better structured. It's adios to the clutter that was there in the old template.

Style B:

Now, I like the cool elegance of her blog. The layout is better structured than before. You do not see the clutter that was there in the old template.
Example #6

Style A:

I'm sure a lot of bloggers who had registered with SponsoredReviews are still tapping their fingers patiently or just getting a wee bit frustrated with the extraordinary long-waiting game.
Style B:
I'm sure many bloggers who had registered with SponsoredReviews are feeling frustrated by the long wait to get approval to do a review. Who is patient enough to wait this long for an answer from them?
Example #7
Style A:

Right on...she has just shot off a new post. Well, I happened to be at the right spot at the right time to catch it!
Style B:
She has just finished a new post on her blog. I caught it while checking my email today. I subscribe to her blog via email.

Example #8
Style A:

Maybe sometimes blogging can become boring if you keep harping on the same topic everyday. So, why not go blog wild for a change!
Style B:
Blogging on the same topic or theme everyday can become boring to your readers. You need to inject some adrenaline into your writing to grab attention.

Example #9

Style A:

It has been pumped into our wooden skulls, time and time again, that to beef up your link popularity you must have inbound links to your site to gain good standing, especially with Google PageRank.

Style B:
It has been drilled into us numerous times that inbound links are crucial for websites to gain good standing, especially with Google PageRank.

Example #10

Style A:

Also, I have observed some bloggers who are blogging like there's no tomorrow. You can say these are the ones who are literally blogging while they eat and sleep! Man, are they flogging!

Style B:

There are some bloggers who just can't seem to get enough of blogging. They'll stay online for hours, sometimes it's like an eight-hour job for them. They literally eat, sleep, and blog!


Well, I hope these samples will shed light on the way I think and write on different platforms. Yes, sometimes I like to have fun when I write a blog post. If it's still not good enough, perhaps I should take up a new profession...hmm, maybe as a cook.