Help! Somebody Got My Domain Name

I used to get domain name alerts via subscription email from BuyDomains.com. Usually they track fresh inventory of interest to you by providing keywords and the category a particular domain name comes under. It's a great way to keep in touch with the domain market if you're involved in the registration of domain names.

At first glance, it's not that easy or simple just to conjure up a domain name and think that it's a great name. With a gadzillion of domain names being cooked up every day, you'll be surprised to know that there are many "great minds" that think alike on the Internet. Many times I thought I had a great domain name but only to discover that somebody had just beaten me to that name.

Sometimes when you need to look up a certain name for your personal website or for your business site, it might do you some good to use a domain name portfolio site in your search. If you are a first-timer, you might find it a daunting task to check on all those names that are swimming in your head.

Of course, if you use your own name for a domain, you will most likely get it. But if you are looking beyond a personal site, a popular name for a niche market may be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

You might be better informed by using a portfolio site like BuyDomains.com which has one of the world's biggest single premium domain collections. At last count, they have more than 800,000 registered domain names in their portfolio. That's a lot of cherry pickings for you and you might find one domain name that will be great to kick-start your site and build your brand.


10 Great Articles of 2007 & Why You Should Read Them

Old or young, bloggers are just as varied in thoughts and creativity. We come from diverse backgrounds and yet we have one common trait in us -- that is to blog and make connections with other bloggers.

In our blogging quest, we are all on common ground. When we create our very first blog we are embarking on a journey that could turn out to be a wonderful blogging experience or, at worse, land us in a minefield of uncertainties, stumbling along in the dark.

How we carry ourselves in this virtual world of bits and bytes will dictate the progress of our blogging adventure. Are we ready to explore the "wide frontier" of the blogosphere or are we restricting ourselves to our own blogging village?

I'll be a lame duck if I don't have the information. Information is the key to become a better blogger. And to get the information, I have to hit the blogging trail and explore the "wide frontier".

Like anything in life, we need guidance. We need to go through the learning curve. We need exchanges of good ideas and profound insights to become better bloggers.

Each one of us does not have all the answers, so who do we turn to for the right answers? Yes, peer bloggers. There are many of them who can show us tips and tricks of blogging because they themselves have gone through the grind and learn a lot from their own blogging experience.

So, as we head towards the end of 2007, here's a list of some of the great articles (in my own humble opinion) that I have come across this year that will give you food for thoughts and, most importantly, add as a catalyst to inspire and motivate you to become a better, well-rounded blogger :

1. The Secret to Building a Popular Blog (and Getting Tons of Readers) -- Dosh Dosh

2. The Worst Post in the Universe (Impure version) -- Courtney Tuttle

3. Five Grammatical Errors That Make You Look Dumb -- Copyblogger

This Is A Year To Celebrate! -- Goodness Graciousness

5. I Don't Write Long Posts Just To Annoy You -- Grizzly Brears

6. How to Doggedly Pursue Your Dreams in the Face of Naysayers -- Zen Habits

7. How to Stop Complaining -- Steve Pavlina

8. Your Secret Blogging Weapon Is You -- Cornwallseo

9. The Beautiful Post -- Skelliewag

10. The Three Little Blogs: A Cautionary Tale -- Bloggrrl

Of related interests:

Imagine Your USB Flash Drive Looks Like A Tyre!

Gone are the days when USB flash drives look like....oh well, USB flash drives. Memotrek have taken the concept of design to the next level with customized USB flash drives in various shapes and forms -- high-speed trains, candy-cars, car tyres or limited collection items. They have a blog for information on the latest updates on flash drive developments and new products.
You name it and I guess they can conjure up something for you. It's up to your imagination - they will turn it into reality.

And don't be surprised to know that companies are catching on to the ideas of customized USB flash drives, memory sticks, memory pens for internal use and for corporate promotional marketing campaigns. Did I say sometime back I had received one from XYZ company and it sure looks cute?

I'm sure by now most of us would own at least one USB flash drive. It's a handy device to keep digital files and take it with us wherever we go. Write something halfway in the office, transfer the file into the drive and go back home to finish the job. How convenient can that be?


2007 - Roller Coaster Year For Blogging

As we draw nearer towards the end of 2007 you can stop for a while and take a good look at the Blogosphere. So far it has been quite a rollercoaster ride for bloggers. Thousands or millions of new bloggers came into the picture. Social networking took on a new meaning as more social media sites come onto the scene. 

And there's more -- blogging soap operas, freewheeling blogging, parody blogs and dramatic turnarounds kept the Blogosphere alive with entertainment and frustration depending on which way you look at it.

The Google PR slapfest on "errant" bloggers was the talk of the town, adding fuel to the belief that the "do no evil" empire of Googleland was taking things too far with its hegemony over the blogging realm.

Bloggers of a few months are expressing themselves with elan and style, and moving forward like they have been around the Blogosphere for ages. That's like acquiring instant sophistication in blogging. They are more knowledgeable technically and well-informed with the latest trend and developments. Guess blogging is the rage among some bloggers.

Of course, there are also the "get-rich-quick" artists, the "snake oil salesmen" and the "smut peddlers" who are doing their rounds and catching some bloggers unawares.

Established blogs or even blogs of about three or four months old are literally being sold off left and right. And it seems that there's not a lack of willing buyers, judging by the recent sales of blogs like BloggingFingers for $6,000 and Blog Oh Blog for $10,000.

And just as I had written in the previous post, the samurai lady Kumiko had just pocketed a tidy sum of $15,000 after selling off her make money online blog CashQuests.com.

The sales of these blogs have triggered a new mentality that there's a demand from eager buyers who are looking for established blogs to kick-start their venture into Blogosphere. For whatever reasons, some other bloggers have come out of the closet to announce that their blogs are up for sale.
Blogtrepreneur Up For Sale!

As I was looking at my BlogRush widget, I noticed the headline that Blogtrepreneur was up for sale this morning. Clicking on it took me to Yaro Starak's Entrepreneur's Journey blog where Yaro broke the news that Adnan, the owner of Blogtrepreneur.com, had informed him a month ago that he had decided to give up blogging.

According to Yaro, Adnan has decided to first offer the blog to his readers to see if he can “keep it in the family” and sell it to someone who already reads and knows his blog. If he doesn’t get the price he wants there, he’ll move it to the traditional option of a Sitepoint sale.

While most of us may not visit Sitepoint.com that often, the recent spate of blog sales has generated enough interest for us to pay a visit there. You'll be surprised at the number of blogs that are put up for sale at the site. There are blogs that are selling at $70 and some are even asking for the astronomical price of $110,000!

The Name Of The Game

Now if you have a domain name that's generic then it would be much easier to get a buyer interested in your blog. CashQuests is a very good name for a blog that's targetted at the make-money niche. If the blog is under your own name then there might be a problem. You can get a little advice from a related post by Courtney Tuttle here.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it has also crossed my mind that it may be a good time to sell off The NextPost. Established in February this year, it's doing quite well right now and if there's an interested party, the door is always open for inquiry.
The name could fit into any niche.

Why am I putting this "evil" thought into my own mind? I have five blogs and some websites to take care of and I'm finding it tough to juggle around in addition to my real world undertakings. The NextPost is my top blog now but I'm willing to let go so I can really start to seriously build up my new WordPress blogs which have been much neglected.

Am I dreaming? Well, maybe.

Of related interest:
Sayonara CashQuests! Sold For $15,000


Sayonara CashQuests! Sold for $15,000

This news will perk up a lot of bloggers who follow the rants and raves of Kumiko. Courtney Tuttle posted early on the scoop that CashQuests.com has been sold for a tidy sum of $15,000 to "WorldBuyer".

The last revelation of a blog being sold involved a Malaysian site called Blog Oh Blog which roped in $10,000 for the owner.

CashQuests.com or better known as the "make money online" blog was recently bestowed a PageRank 5 by Google while numerous other sites suffered a downturn in ranking.

Kumiko's blog has always being unique in her own inimitable style of writing punchy and racy posts that attracted a big following of readers. Almost every post she writes has her famous catchphrase "make money online" stamped on it.

If John Chow the dot com mogul is acclaimed as the Evil One, Kumiko has never been shy to consider herself just as evil in the quest to make...oh well, make money online.
CashQuests.com has experienced rapid growth in recent months, according to Kumiko. This has been reflected in the site's revenue rising to over $1300 per month as indicated in her sale offer notice at SitePoint.com.

Now, let's see who else will be making a bid to sell his or her blog.

Clear Vision And Winning Strategies For Entrepreneurs

If you have a company, where would you want it to go? Obviously, you're not going to drag it down. The first step to take towards achieving business success is knowing the right direction of your company -- you need a clear vision.

You will visualize your company growing rapidly and making a lot of money. Having a clear vision is what separates leaders from followers. Think of Martin Luther King and his famous "I have a dream" speech.

Of course, not everyone can be a Martin Luther King, but if you have a unique vision for your company, that would be great! On the other hand, how do you go about setting up winning sales strategies for your online business if what you lack is a clear-cut vision?

If you're not satisfied with the results you are getting at present, there is Freshbusinessthinking.com, which is an online resource for small business owners, directors and entrepreneurs, to help work out sales tips for your business.

This is a business portal that provides consultancy for entrepreneurs who need to source for information and advice. Recently, they have released a new MySalesDirector email newsletter with tips and advice from Martin Driver (picture), Virtual Sales Director of Fresh Business Thinking.

The newsletter also carries articles - written by successful business practitioners - each month touching on a wide range of sales related matters. If you need to develop a business strategy and have the competitive edge, the information and advice coming from Fresh Business Thinking may be worth checking out.


Chill Out: Get Zapped By Led Zep

Oh boy, have I got the skinny on the complete Led Zeppelin remastered set. For the first time, one of the greatest bands in rock history is now available since Monday for download on iTunes.

What it means for you crazed Led Zep-pers is that you're gonna have a ball listening to all those rock classics on your MP3 player. Think "Stairway to Heaven", "When the Levee Breaks", "Whole Lotta Love" and many more. You'll be zapped!

What's the package like? It's a 165-track digital box set of the group's 13 legendary albums, including the new greatest hits compilation "Mothership".

The name, Led Zeppelin, came from Who drummer Keith Moon's idea that the group would sink like a lead balloon. Indeed they would create something heavy, but it wouldn't sink - it would set the model for the ultimate rock band in the years to follow.

Guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist John Paul Jones, and singer Robert Plant, and drummer John Bonham united to become the most deified rock band of the '70s, embodying excess, reinventing FM radio, and writing music that made you want to move your feet, shake your fists, bang your head, and basically act like a rock 'n' roll lunatic.

Apple iTunes

More news. Led Zep guitarist Jimmy Page has hinted that there may be a full-scale reunion tour. The band are set to play a one-off reunion show on Dec. 10 at The O2 in London.

The London show is to raise money for the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, which pays for university scholarships in the UK, US and Turkey.


Looking For Vegetarian Shoes and Bags?

Are you a vegetarian? If you follow a philosophy and lifestyle that seeks to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose, then you are one who practises veganism.

Vegans are compassonate towards animals, thus they do not eat meat. They adhere to a vegetarian diet. They also do not use animal products of any kind. They believe it is an ethical commitment.

Slow down your blogging, Christmas is drawing near and it's time to go shopping. As a vegan, you might encounter difficulty while shopping. For example, if you are looking for footwear then those that are made from leather or other animal skins are definitely out of the question.

If you were to live in a small town where you don't have the luxury of finding non-animal products in your friendly neighbourhood store, then where should you look to find a shop that sells vegan products?

Well, all is not lost. If you don't have a vegan store around the corner, there is one on the Internet with a wide range of 100% vegan shoes and bags as well.

You name it, Vegetarianshoesandbags.com have it. From vegan shoes to vegan bags and more. For women and men...and need I have to say it? Yes, for your pets, too.

Materials used to make their shoes and bags are from jute, bamboo, cotton and hemp. So here is your opportunity to look "fierce" with some of the latest style in shoes and bags "without being cruel".


Save Fuel Bills With Double-Glazed Windows...And Write Great Posts

There are some great benefits when you install double glazing glass on your windows or even doors. Some people are not aware that double glazing reduces heat loss and that means saving on fuel bills without sacrificing comfort.

There's more reasons to consider having a cosy room especially when the weather is cold and you're one of those bloggers who spend hours surfing the Net. And don't forget winter time is fast approaching. There's still time to make a decision on having them installed.

Double-glazed windows obviously enhance the comfort and appearance of your home but other than this, they provide safety and security. These windows are 'tough nuts to crack' when you think of break-ins and other crime. Well, prevention is better than cure.

The idea of double-glazed windows is worth considering. For example, if you're working long hours in your "computer room" you might think of fixing one for your window to enjoy a better environment - quieter and more peaceful - while you bash out your next great post for your blog.

The traditional sash window is my favorite. It glides smoothly up and down and can be tilted inwards for easy cleaning. But that's not all, home improvement company Anglian is noted for their products. 

They have a wide range of double-glazed windows and doors made of top quality uPVC material. You can choose the right style to suit your home and your budget.

For example, they also have other models like casement windows with combinations of fixed panes for uninterrupted views. 

These windows also have top opening fanlights and side-opening casements for fire escape. They are all designed to either match or improve the look of your home.

They also have the tilt and turn replacement windows. These are practical windows with modern styling. They provide easy ventilation and cleaning options.


Scratch My Back & I'll Scratch Yours!

There are widgets and there are widgets. And here's the skinny on another one that just got released from the Widget Factory. It's called Scratchback TopSpot and goes by the tagline: "The Fun, Alternative Way To Making Money Online". So who's behind this new idea that might make you a few good bucks or even more by way of people giving you TIPS to get topspot links on your blog?

Does Jim Kukral sound familiar to you? Yes, he's the online marketing guy who once started Blogkits - an ad-serving affiliate program that's now taken over by affiliate network OfferForge. So now Big Jim has just launched his new project Scratchback TopSpot under his company JFK Services.

What is this Scratchback TopSpot widget all about?

It's an online "tipping" system that allows bloggers or site publishers to accept tips and give back "links" or "images" in return.

BlockquoteYou name your price on your tips, and you earn money from every interaction through our easy-to-use automated system. It's free to sign up, and you can have a TopSpot widget on your website or blog in minutes." So says Kukral.

Here's a rundown of what you can do with this widget:

  • Accept "tips" from your readers easily & quickly
  • Offer text links or banners, your choice
  • Set your own price of your TopSpots
  • Give readers a fun way to participate beyond commenting
  • 90% payouts during beta! 
  • Make money and have fun!
  • Multiple & custom designs available

What benefits do tippers get from the blog?Well, Scratchback gives you the backlinks in return for your tips. Would you be getting a backlink by buying somebody a beer? On top of that you're getting the opportunity to display your text link or image and have a custom message on mouseover when somebody point at your text link or image.

If you're riding the widget on a high-traffic site, just imagine the amount of exposure you'll get for your blog. Is this good or bad?

Think of it as a fun thing when you throw a few bucks to the blog that is hosting the widget. Of course, you must have taken a shine on that blog to do what you wanna do!

If you're still thinking of the recent Google PR slapfest, Scratchback has assured users that their links will NOT pass PageRank. In fact, all links and backlinks to Scratchback in the TopSpot widget will have "nofollow" hardcoded in them.

What it means is that Google and other search engine spiders will not follow those links. But the good news is that those links are clickable. Did I hear sighs of relief? So we are assured that Google will not penalize us for using this widget.

Sure, I'll try it out and see how many people will tip me to have a link on my blog.


IE7Pro: Making Browsing Faster, Responsive & Sleeker

Microsoft is stirring again - they have just released Internet Explorer Pro 1.2 last Tuesday which is quite an amazing add-on if early reports are to be taken seriously.

To use a hackneyed phrase, it looks like IE7Pro comes with all the "bells and whistles" which you can add on to your present IE7 (and IE6). The add-on can be downloaded free. It's been a long time since we got some good news from Microsoft. You can read a review here.

Here are some of the features and tweaks which will make your IE a
more enjoyable browser to use:

Tabbed Browsing Management / Spell Check / Inline Search / Super Drag Drop / Crash Recovery / Proxy Switcher / Mouse Gesture / Tab History Browser / Web Accelerator / User Agent Switcher / Webpage Capturer / AD Blocker / Flash Block / Greasemonkey-like User Scripts platform / User Plug-ins...

And many more power-packed features.

With an array of goodie features, you might wonder how you ever lived without IE7Pro. While many browser users have gone over to Mozilla Firefox, IE7Pro might help to win back some fans.

But here's a little warning...

Over at ForTheClueless.net, it's reported that there's a little problem for users of IE7Pro and it involves Adsense ads.

It seems your Adsense earnings might be affected by using IE7Pro with the Ad Blocker turned on. By default, the system turns on the Ad Blocker which bars all ads from appearing on all websites and blogs you visit.

Well, this sounds like a damper. So are you staying put with Firefox?

BlogRush Enters Phase 2 With Some Clean-up

A few posts back we had the news that 10,000 plus blogs were ditched by BlogRush in an effort to "clean up" the entire network. Those that did not meet their new quality guidelines were shown the door.

As promised, BlogRush's founder John Reese has announced that their massive "Phase 2" is now active. If you still have your account, you'll now see the new-look Dashboard, new reports, and the new widget sizes that many had asked for plus a few other things.

I had dropped the old widget earlier on but I'll give this new size a shot despite a lot of scepticism among bloggers. We'll see how it goes. As size goes, you have two choices (not much though) -- one is x175 and the other is x120. I'm using the later on the sidebar.

Reese recommends that you watch a new video that explains how you can use the new Dashboard. Oh well, there are new additions to the Dashboard and according to Reese, they are "not done yet."

Take it one step at a time - and don't rush!