Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Current Event Blogs

I have been trying to find good blogs to follow and have decided to share what I find with everyone here. Just to give you some ideas on how to find blogs, here are some methods I have tried.

Blog Searching Techniques
  • Twitter - I tried looking for things that were of interest to me, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc, and found many people that were posting blogs about current events. I found this was extremely hit or miss...basically random
  • Google - As always, Google provided fairly good results
  • - I found an interesting tool on, which allows you to search twitter feeds which have urls in them. The interesting thing about this search, was it showed you how many clicks each of the blogs got on Twitter, so I was able to look for the ones that got the most clicks to find more relevant urls and that seemed to work much better than the twitter search.

Blogs Found
  • - A blog about current events as well as alternative energy and sustainable living.
  • Afghanistan Crossroads - A blog focusing on things going on in Afghanistan. This is a CNN blog so it has a lot of good video and many stories you don't see running on their main site.
  • - Great blog about alternative energy, sustainable living, and green technology. Not a lot of original content, but a great layout and good articles being presented.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Affiliate Networks - Easy as 1-2-3

In the world of internet marketing there are 2 basic parties to advertising deals.

  1. Publishers - The people who have a website and need advertisements
  2. Advertisers - The people who want to display ads for their products on other people's websites
The way a typical "Affiliate Network" works, is they will work out deals with Advertisers, so that they can publish "Promotional Offers" which will pay the Publishers on their network a percentage of the amount they are getting from the Advertisers. This works out for everyone because
  1. The Advertisers don't have to find thousands of little websites to work deals with in order to get their ads out
  2. The Publishers don't have to continuously work at finding new advertisers for their sites
  3. The Affiliate Networks make some money by doing the leg work for both parties
3 Things Publishers should look for in an Affiliate Network
  1. The best CPA because the more they get paid per lead, the more they can make on their traffic
  2. Trust - Trust that the Affiliate Network will pay them the money they say they will, and that the Affiliate Network is tracking all of their leads correctly (not accurately tracking leads for the purpose of saving money is called "shaving").
  3. Conversions - Although CPA is important, if the offers on the network don't entice the Publisher's traffic, it's better for them to run ads at a lower CPA depending on the conversion difference.
A few Affiliate Networks I have worked with
  1. MarketLeverage - I trust them, I did a lot of business with them. They always paid on time and they were in contact with me regularly.
  2. Azoogle - Only had limited experience with them and never got paid. The amount wasn't a lot, but above my minimum and I never got any response from their client services.
  3. CommissionJunction - Didn't do much business with them, but they had a lot of offers. Their offers didn't convert well though, and many people have raised trust issues about them.
  4. Google AdWords/AdSense - It's Google!
    • AdWords - This is the Advertiser's Side
    • AdSense - This is the Publisher's Side
Please feel free to leave comments on this blog and come visit and to learn about social networking.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Become a News Aggregator in your Social Network

In today's world of social networks, portal sites, and personal home pages, there is a WEALTH of news and information.  In fact there's almost too much to process coherently.  I'm writing this blog to express an idea you may or may not have thought of, and to show you how I've built some tools that can help you realize the importance of being a News Aggregator in your Social Network.

I have recently made an effort to use and understand social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.  I have found many wonderful things about both, and one that I'm particularly interested in, is the way news and information travels through these networks.  An unexpected thing happened while I have been conducting this research...I ran out of time to look at news.  But what I noticed was that, I was actually more current on things a lot of news I never would have read about when I had time to browse news on my own.  This is because there are certain people in all my social networks that post interesting news articles, videos, and pictures.  I didn't pay too much attention to them until I launched my new website RespectedOpinions.

So here is my observation.  Not only do I get to hear about things I wouldn't have otherwise due to my friends' combined interests being well outside of my own, the quality of articles to surf is usually much better.  I find I waste less time reading crappy articles, and get just the best from each category because someone else has done the sifting for me.

Ok, so what does that mean for you and me.  What it means to me, is that we should all try to contribute to this news stream with links pertaining to things we have the most interest, while using the "experts" in other fields to sift through articles in other fields to present to us the best of their field.  To me, this is a way for my friends and I to collaborate on gathering news without formally saying that's what we're doing.

So now that you understand the reason I think these tools are interesting, please visit

There you can track which of your networks value your opinions on each type of subject.  For instance, I noticed that my Facebook friends like to hear about Coupons and Politics.  People on Twitter seem much more interested in what I have to say about Games and Marketing.

Try using different types of Promotional URLs like I did to find out about your social network.  And BE A NEWS SOURCE FOR YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK.  We all benefit from well reviewed links and content.

Visit RespectedOpinions

Thursday, April 8, 2010

First Blog Recommendation

Hello everyone,

It's been a while since I've blogged here, but I'm hoping to pick it back up again.  I just dropped by today to tell you about another blogger I found through the UrgentEvoke project.  She is working to help use emerging technologies in education and is doing some really great things.  I recently found her personal blog and find her views to be well thought out and valuable, so wanted to share the blog with you.  You can visit her blog here

You can also check out the blogs she's done on the Evoke network by going here

I hope everyone is having a great Spring, and the weather where you are is better than here in Toronto :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Playing by the rules....but which set?

First let me say, I grew up in a science household. My father is a Physicist, and my mother a Microbiologist. Growing up around parents that spent their whole lives using the scientific method, I learned to discover the world in a very unique way, which was to experiment and question everything. You will often hear me say "question everything", because that is the single most important thing that I do that is different than %99.9 of the population. People find it annoying at times because I'll even admit, it will take away from a conversation or whatever we're doing because I'll just blurt it out. For instance, when the elevators in my apartment building were acting flaky, while everyone was sitting around asking why they couldn't get the elevators to work, I asked the group of angry residents....what do you suppose would be the most efficient way for the elevators to respond to calls? I was thinking perhaps the poor elevators were just confused, and they just needed someone to straighten out their thinking ;) Well, considering this was after waiting 10 minutes for the broken elevators, most of the crowd was pretty unresponsive, but the longer I thought about it, the more I realized that this was actually a really difficult problem. In fact, I did some research, and there are many ways to design an elevator in an effort to solve this exact problem! In fact, depending on what type of application you're using the elevator for, there are different ways the system can be setup for efficiency

Anyways, I've again gone off course, but you get my point, while everyone else was complaining about how easy it must be to fix, and why couldn't they fix it, I asked the REAL question which is WHY IS IT SO HARD TO FIX?

Similarly, I long ago recognized that rules were more like "suggestions". Here's what I've found:

1. Some rules have actual consequences, which I would consider REAL rules
2. Some rules have consequences which may not be fair, ethical, or right, and thus might be worked around in some way. These are sometimes the rules I like to break in order to bring this to light (especially if I can have fun proving it :)) To be fair, I have broken rules, then been told why they were there, and felt bad about do try to think about why the rules are there before deciding if they are "good". Some rules are in place to protect others who are not as smart, fast, young, old, etc as you, so try to make sure you're helping to look out for those who may not have all the same advantages as you too.
3. Some rules which are arbitrary, and really can't possibly have any consequences because either the consequence would hurt the enforcer more than the punished, or there is really no way to enforce it.

So to summarize, I'm suggesting we "break" the rules in order to find the REAL rules because I think this helps innovative people find the envelope (aviation term referring to the maximum stresses an aircraft can withstand, which is why fighter pilots PUSH THE ENVELOPE). If you don't know where the envelope is, you'll either exclude solutions because there are solutions in a space you think doesn't exist, or you'll go flying right past it because you didn't take the time to do the experimentation before (good test pilots also have experience and know about where the envelope should be so start small until you have that experience).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blackberry Curve OS Update

Well, I finally updated my Blackberry OS on my Blackberry 8100 Curve.  The upgrade was very easy to do...all I did was open the Blackberry Desktop Manager and plugged in my phone to my computer.  The software automatically recommended the update, and I just pressed go.  My phone did stop responding after all the software was reinstalled, and I had to do a reset on it, but once it came back on, the update continued by loading all of my data.

So far I'm loving the updates.  What I've noticed so far:

* Text is easier to read on all the screens due to the font change (seems bold almost all the time)
* OS responds faster in general
* Email features all started working
* Address book seems faster and cleaner interface
* Browser is MUCH  improved, with a google search bar, and a more browser like experience

I'll update this post as I find more things I like/dislike about the new OS