davidairey.com hacked and hijacked!

What is the world coming to? Someone just stole David Airey’s url. Can you imagine that? Now, if you go to www.davidairey.com, you see a “parking” page rather than his highly popular blog!

David has moved his stuff over to a new url: http://www.davidairey.co.uk

Somehow, the hacker managed to contact David’s domain reseller and got the url switched. He got into David’s Gmail too! Well, this sort of highlights one of the dangers of using free webmail services to run important things like your business dealings.

It would be interesting to see how Google will deal with this or will they simply blame it on the end user’s “weak” password? It would also be good to follow this and see how the authorities are going to deal with this domain theft.

David is known to many of us (online) and we share his ire at this. What a way to celebrate Christmas.

Alternatives to Google’s Page Rank

Well, there are lots of alternatives to Google’s Page Rank. We have the Alexa, then there is Technorati’s much talked about ranking, and of course there is RealRank.

RealRank has finally been adopted by PayPerPost, which is quite a good thing as it is a flat ranking system. What this means is that it simply calculates the scores for all the blogs and web sites that they track and then puts them into a flat line. The rank is nothing more than a percentile cut off from 1 – 9.

Well, being ranked among your peers could be interesting. But then again, this means that it is not a ranking against the full gamut of blogs and web sites. How useful this is in the long run is debatable. But if considered in the context of PayPerPost, it makes a lot of sense, since advertisers are looking for posts within the universe of blogs who write for PayPerPost. So, a ranking within that group itself does make sense. But for the general public, it might not be as relevant.

No system is perfect. In fact, the fact that Google has been fiddling with their page rank system shows that even THAT is not perfect. There are people who try to abuse it, those who try to “game” the system and so on. We all try our best to navigate within the sea of change and opportunities. Hopefully, this will solve the dilemma for bloggers who have been slapped by the Google Zero.

[tags]google, page rank, paid blogging, realrank[/tags]

Blogger You Helping Google Shoot Yourself?

For the past few months, I am sure many of you have been reading about how Google have been going around “downgrading” the Page Rank of bloggers who do paid blogging, in particular, PayPerPost.

Well, I guess that is life. Things happen and other things happen. But the irony that I see here, is the fact that PayPerPost actually uses the Google Page Rank as a way for their advertisers to select and pay for bloggers. Talk about a vicious cycle! Advertisers pay more for a blog with a higher page rank. Google looks at these high page ranks, discover that they have PayPerPost, downgrades them, so PayPerPost loses revenue. Now, the question is, WHY would PayPerPost want to use Google Page Rank at all? Is there no other way?

I guess for most Internet Marketers, the discussion is pretty much a circular one. Google is NOT a public-service company. It is a commercial concern and it is very concerned about making money. The fact is that it’s doing a darned good job as a search engine. That is why everyone uses it. Now, think about this for a moment. That Google has so much power is because everyone is using it. Yet, there ARE other search engines around. Now, if Google’s new policies negatively affect the reliability and perceived neutrality of their search results, people will start using alternatives. But if the users feel it is still OK, then in reality, it will be “ok”. Just because a Blog has “paid posts” does it mean it is not a good blog?

In the end, bloggers blog because they have things to say. If they get paid because some people value their opinion, then they are like the many other writers who write for various publications offline. If Google feels that this somehow challenges the value of their search results, this is their prerogative. If users continue to feel that Google gives them the best search results, then all power to them. Others can use alternatives. That is the way of the free market.

Unless you are paying Google or you own Google, don’t expect a huge company like that to harken to the small still voice of a few bloggers. After all, you are just “content”, while they are the “engine”. There have been many arguments extended about how paid bloggers who blog intelligently and add value will not negatively affect search engine results. But I guess in the end, it is just a case of the Big Guy begrudging the crumbs, or it’s just me being sore about dropping a rank. I actually like what Rob wrote in his “no paid ads” post…

[tags]google, page rank, paid blogging[/tags]

DIY: How to Make Your Own Playdough (Play-doh)

After all the posts about toxic toys, massive recalls and other exciting developments, here is a nice little post about how you can make your own play dough that is not only non-toxic, it can actually be edible. But of course, no sugar, so I doubt if you would eat it. But I thought this would be a nice post to share, after all the negative news about toxic toys. For those who are not aware, you can read the other posts on toxic toys.
[tags]mattel, toys, thomas the tank engine, play doh, play dough, non toxic toys[/tags]

This post is for the kids!

read more | digg story

Is this Good Marketing?

Here is something that you can think about. Many times, when we are in marketing, we promote stuff. We use hyperboles and we cajole and flatter. We paint pictures with words and convey meanings with pictures. We communicate. Sometimes, we do smoke and mirrors. Sometimes, we distract. Sometimes, we mislead…?

Take a look at this post by Charlene about “Crocs and Escalator Dangers” and you tell me whether you think that what the Crocs company is doing is a load of crock or clever marketing.


[tags]crocs, crocs shoes, crocs accidents, marketing[/tags]

The Big Promise, The Big Danger!

In advertising and marketing, we have been told over and over again to have a big promise as our headline and to build up on that throughout the copy. But here is an interesting incident that I hope will help everyone to understand that promises, as big as you want to make them, have to be within your means to deliver.

5 Layered Ball by Amateur PotterOver at Lorla’s blog, she had this very interesting post “You Boasted, Now Gimme Your House!” where a 53 year-old potter created what he believed to be a unique creation. That is all fine. Until he got carried away while participating in a television documentary and boasted that no one could duplicate it, AND that he would give away his house and all it contained to whoever could. Well, Murphy is as active in China as anywhere else. Within 6 months, an amateur potter re-created the “unique” five-layered ball and claimed his prize. The court has upheld that his publicly issued television challenge amounted to a contract and since the terms were fullfilled, he was to ante up and hand over his house!

Valuable lesson here for us marketers. While we want to make big promises, be sure that we can deliver on those promises to our customers.

[tags]marketing, headlines, big promise, advertising, beware[/tags]

Photo Organiser and Enhancer

For those of you who are “PhotoShop-challenged” like me, you might want to take a look at this post by Kailani where she introduces the PicaJet Photo Organiser. Seems like a good and lazy way to get photos organised and have them be enhanced automatically. Of course for the professionals, they will be glad to know that whatever “auto” adjustments done, will only apply to the display of the image, the original remains intact. There are powerful features for sharing and photo management. So I would guess this to be having something for everyone. Have fun!

[tags]photographs, photo enhancement, photo management, photo sharing[/tags]