Friday, December 31, 2010

My New Year Wish to All

May the New Year Bring You Health
In All that You Do
In All that You Say
Each and Every Day

Tis Not Spite that Rings in Wealth
But Compassion and Understanding

Let the World Live in Peace
May God Walk at Your Side

As We are All Earthly Tenants
In Search of Our Happiness

FireworksImage via Wikipedia
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Friday, December 24, 2010

The Football & Crystal Christmas Disaster

Beautiful crystal at Frederiksborg Slot. A lar...Image via Wikipedia
I grew up in a small two bedroom apartment along the Canadian border. The harsh New York State winters were ideal for hockey and football players. I couldn't skate, but I loved football. As soon as the fall weather turned cold, I would go outside and pretend I was a professional football quarterback.

For my 8 year birthday, which was on Christmas Day, my parents surprised me with a new football. I was thrilled! And, my Dad surprised my Mom with a new set to crystal stemware, consisting of 12 water, wine, and champagne glasses.

We were having my Aunt and Uncle for dinner, so my Mom arranged her new stemware on the dining room table. Aunt Amber loved them. I in turn, wanted to show off my new football. As the adults were standing around the table, I yelled "Catch" to my Dad and tossed the football to him.

But, he wasn't ready for it. The ball bounced out of his hands and onto the table, knocking over the new crystal glasses. Like bowling pins, each of them fell over and knocked the other ones down. Several rolled onto the hardwood floor.

Before anyone could react, many were broken. My mother was shattered and my dad wanted to kill me! So, after the day was over, my Mom had an 8 set of glasses rather than the 12 that were gifted.

And I learned a valuable lesson:

Never Throw a Football in the House!

Merry Christmas everyone  and remember this story so it doesn't happen to you.
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Blogger Goes Mobile as MyBlogLog Goes Bye-Bye

Image representing Blogger as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
As an early Christmas present to us, Santa Blogger has released their new Blogger mobile version which is available for users of Blogger in Draft. I learned about this because a little "alert" menu appeared on my Blogger's Dashboard today. To have your blog available on a Mobile device:
  •  You have to go the the "Email & Mobile" menu choice under the Settings tab. Once there, you'll see a "Mobile Template (beta)" section. Simply choose the "Yes On mobile devices, show the mobile version of my template" Option Choice; then press Save Settings at bottom.
  • Note: you have to do this for each blog that you have.

Prior to today, my blogs never loaded on my mobile phone. But, after setting this option, this blog and others were available. Thanks Google and Merry Christmas 2010!

Image representing MyBlogLog as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase
However, yesterday, Yahoo the Scrooge laid off hundreds of its workers. Besides giving these employees the "pink-slip present", they also announced that they are shutting down:

  • MyBlogLog
  • Delicious
  • AltaVista
  • Yahoo! Picks
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • alltheweb
We really shouldn't be too surprised by this move. After all, it was only one year ago that rumors surfaced, saying MyBlogLog was closing.  I haven't seen the official dates for closing, but we should all make New Year's Resolutions to remove all of these Yahoo related products from our blogs. Bah! Humbug.
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Don't Vacuum Up the Christmas Tree Lights

A christmas tree.Image via Wikipedia
This is a true story. Every year, we pack up the car on Christmas Eve and fill up Santa's sled. Then we drive off to Pennsylvania to spend the holiday with the in-laws.

This one year started off the same as others. When we arrived at the country house, we unpacked the car and had lunch. Then we started on our regular chores. The women prepared the food, and I cleaned up the living room.

I started by dusting and vacuuming the rugs. However, when I ran the sweeper around the Christmas tree, I started seeing the ornaments pop off the tree. Then the lights started flickering, popping, and sparks began to fly. Before I knew what happened, half the lights and ornaments were missing. Smoke was coming from the vacuum nozzle.

It was then that I realized that I went too close to the tree and the vacuum caught hold of the lighting wire that was plugged into the wall. The nozzle was coiling up the lighting strands, but it was still plugged in. It was sucking up the lights! I quickly turned off the vacuum sweeper and unplugged the Christmas Tree lights.

Then my mother-in-law rushed into the living room and screamed: "What happened to my tree?" I didn't have to answer as she could see what caused the damage.

Luckily, only very few of the ornaments broke, but we needed to replace 3 strands of lights. Did you ever try to buy lights on Christmas Eve? Well, everyone was sold out of the clear lights. We called everyone, and my brother-in-law offered to bring us his red lights. Grandma didn't want red.  Finally, after calling a few more people, we were able to obtain a few sets that others took off their tree.  We got everything back in order, and then I was told that:

I'll never operate the vacuum cleaner 
at Christmas Time again!

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Why AdSense Revenue Fluctuates

Many people start a blog or website with the simple intention of becoming a millionaire. As we are constantly reminded of those individuals who became extremely rich off of the internet, we are led to believe that that we too can create the next smash hit. Profiteers surround us enticing us to purchase their book or CD and learn the secret to making an easy living on the internet. Money, money, everywhere!

All we have to do is create a blog or website, place AdSense ads and a few affiliate links on our site, and the money will begin to pour in!

But for those of us who followed our dreams, we quickly discovered that earning income from our blog or website is not that easy. Rarely do we receive affiliate commissions and the the Google income is disappointing. We wonder: What am I doing wrong? or What should I do differently?

The purpose of this article is to help aspiring bloggers and site owners understand their revenue stream and to properly set their expectations of success by answering this comment inspired article.

Like Colin of ** SEXY LEGS AND BODY! ** indicated in a recent comment, he is "trying to get his blog to be cost effective and raise good money with ... AdSense", but he has noticed his revenue fluctuating and it is often disappointing. He questioned "What can be the problem?"

To answer this question, it is necessary to describe:
  • How AdSense works,
  • Click-through rates, and
  • The internet competition.

First, deriving income from AdSense is relatively easy. All we have to do is to have an account, and place the snippets of AdSense code on our site or sidebars. Like magic, Google will parse the content of our pages and display appropriately related ads. There are two basic types of ads which Google may display, and we, the publishers, do not get to choose which one.
  • CPM ads which are paid by the number of impressions shown, and
  • PPC ads which are paid whenever an ad is clicked.
Revenue from CPM ads is derived on a display basis. The typical threshold is 1,000 impressions, and each ad has its own payout structure. Some may pay $0.01 per 1K while others may pay $5.00 per 1K (or even more). This is great if you have a large number of daily visitors.

Revenue from PPC ads is obtained only when someone clicks on the ad. It doesn't matter how many times the ad is displayed. Payout for each clicking action can vary from a minimum of $0.01 to $5 or more. For the most part, the majority of ads that Google displays on your site will be the PPC type because it is most advantageous to advertisers.

The amount of money that Google assigns to each ad placement (whether  CPM or PPC) is determined through an auction process.  In general, you will be paid more when both the quality of your website or blog increases and the number of your daily visitors increase.

However, for any given site, the ad revenue will fluctuate on a daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonal basis. This fluctuation is a function of the advertisers, and not you, the publisher. For example, many advertisers establish a daily or monthly budget for their ads. When this threshold is reached, their ad may be replaced with a lesser paying ad. Further, the advertiser may have set geographic, hourly, age or gender based criteria. This means that some visitors will be exposed to higher paying ads while others see lower paying ads. Additionally, the content of your site may be seasonal. If so, you may receive high income during different seasons of the year.

This all means that, aside from the content you display, you will have no control over the revenue that is produced.

Second, click-through rates affect the amount of income you receive. In general, blogs and websites receive different types of click-through traffic.

Websites tend to provide products to consumers who are searching for an individual product or piece of information. Thus, most often, these visitors are directed to websites through site searches. Since the visitor is searching for something, they tend to follow the various link paths displayed, including the advertisements on your site.

Conversely, blogs tend to provide social information: articles, stories, advice and other reading material. Visitors locate your site through other forms of social media like Facebook and advertising networks. Once your site becomes one of their favorites, they will tend to visit repeatedly. The trick here is to create as many network paths to your site as possible.

In general, the average click-through rate for website banner ads is 0.2% - 0.4%. By comparison, the average click-through rate for blogs is only 0.08% (about 3/5 - 4/5 lower).

With such low click-through rates on the internet in general, you cannot expect to receive many clicks on your site. If your blog receives 1,000 visitors a day, you can only expect to earn 1 click per day. Thus, you will either need a lot of time or a lot of visitors to earn a substantial sum of money from AdSense.

Lastly, be aware of the your Internet competition. According to the Netcraft December 2010 Web Survey there are 255 million websites and approximately 100 million of these are active.

Similiarly, today's BlogPulse indicates that there are over 151 million blogs.

So, when you consider the size and vastness of the internet population providers, it is easy to understand that the chances of your individual website of blog becoming influential and highly profitable are extremely small.

Once you understand how AdSense advertisement earnings are allocated, the expected click-through rates, and your competition, you may become disillusioned and frustrated. However, this information is provided to help you set your earning expectations.

Owning a blog or website is fun, but it requires a lot of time and hard work to succeed. To overcome the long odds of failure, you must:
  • Establish a reliable reputation,
  • Provide a unique product,
  • Advertise, and
  • Participate on the net.
Establishing your reputation and product are up to you. You have to update your content often, respond to inquiries, stay focused and positive, verify your sources, and be truthful.

If you have a budget, advertising is a must. If you are allowed, market your site in Google AdWords or Microsoft Advertising.

You can also join various advertising networks. Both Adgitize and CMF Ads provide low cost advertising vehicles in which you can earn profitable income at the same time. Additionally, these are great networks for increasing your daily traffic. Also consider joining theBlogFrog and Facebook. Submit your content to Zemanta. By expanding your social visibility, you can increase visitor count and establish a reliable reputation

Through these measures, your site may become more profitable and your AdSense revenue more stable.

Read More
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Friday, November 19, 2010

A Thanksgiving Wish to All - 2010

The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...Image via Wikipedia
Another year has passed and the Thanksgiving Holiday is upon us. It is a day where families get together around a table. Turkeys are roasted, memories are shared, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade is watched, and everyone roots for their favorite football teams.

To some, it is a joyous time. To others, it is sad and lonely. But volunteers go out to the kitchens to help prepare and serve meals to those less fortunate.

This year, we have a lot to be thankful for. The economy is slowly improving. The Democratic stronghold has been broken. We have our health and our families.

But for me, it is a time of both sorrow and joy. My mother passed away the day before Thanksgiving two years ago in my presence. While it was hard to see her go, we rejoiced in knowing that she will be spending the holiday with my father, grandmother, nephew, and all other relatives.  But the time of her passing will always be etched in our memories when we sit at the table. Joyously, my nephew's first son was born a few days later on the day of her funeral. As a friend had told us:

One Goes and One Arrives in the Circle of Life

As we take this time to reflect on our year and prepare the holiday, our family wants to wish all our friends, readers, and associates a:

Very Happy Thanksgiving 2010

JL ............
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Friday, October 29, 2010

We The People

The Preamble of the Declaration of Independence asserts:
  • We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  • That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
And Article 1 Section 2 of the Constitution begins:
  • The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, ...

So it is that the 2010 election of the entire House of Representatives and  37 Senators will be held on Tuesday November 2nd. To the majority of the citizens, this election is their opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with their elected government.  For most of past two years, the Representatives have willfully ignored the desires of the people, and now is the time of judgment.

The House breakdown as presented by the Washington Post Campaign 2010: House Races indicates that 41 representatives are running in uncontested elections. Democratic incumbents outnumber Republicans by nearly a 2 to 1 margin; and 45 seats are open to all.
  • 10 Unopposed Democrats
  • 223 Democratic incumbents
  • 45 Open seats
  • 126 Republican incumbents
  • 31 Unopposed Republicans
From the Senate viewpoint, the Washington Post Campaign 2010: Senate Races indicate that 40 of the 101 seats are democrats who are not up for reelection. Conversely, only 23 Republicans are not facing the electorate.
  • 40 Democrats - no election
  • 6 Safe Democrats
  • 2 Leaning Democratic
  • 8 Toss ups
  • 10 Leaning Republican
  • 11 Safe Republicans
  • 23 Republicans - no election

And, America is ready to change the direction of the country. According to Rasmussen, 65% Favor Getting Rid of Entire Congress and Starting Over. Particularly vulnerable is the Democratic Party who hold the majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Worried they should be. This is the group who obeyed the Presidents orders, and ignored the will of the people by passing their Heath Care Reform, Tarp, Banking Reform, and more. These are the folks who support support Holder's indecisiveness for Trying the Detainees and paying exorbitant legal fees.

But according to many, the Republicans and Tea Party candidates may fail in their bid to capture either or both of the Houses.

Why? Because uncontrolled voter fraud, which has already been reported in Colorado, Arizona, Washington, and Texas, may succeed in stacking the ballot boxes in favor of the Democratic Party. Just review the video below, and see why we're at peril.

Concerns About Voter Fraud Video

Should these allegations be found to be true, and if the Democratic Party wins, very little judicial action will be taken by our Justice Department. We have already witnessed the actions of this department in attempting to nullify the Arizona Laws and voters.

So to leave this discussion, we provide you with dissenting viewpoints as illustrated on billboards across the country. Why yes, the American public is frustrated by: being ignored; having no jobs; forced to pay taxes to keep the elected officials in luxury; ignoring terrorists; handing out entitlements; and lastly our elected officials.

Yes, We The People will visit the voting booths next Tuesday and exert our right to abolish and/or alter the political composition of our Electorate.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

OpenSky Followup - Stocking: The Blogsters Gift Shop with Merchandise

Last week we indicated that we joined OpenSky, a new venture designed to facilitate the buying and selling of merchandise.

The concept is very simple. Suppliers, merchants, manufacturers, or designers post their products on the OpenSky distribution system.

Then, Sellers, such as The Blogsters Gift Shop, select the items from the available inventory and offer them to the public via the free Store facility that every OpenSky seller is given.

This mechanism is quite simple, because those on the Supplier side gain a diverse Sales force who can target products to their own social circles.

Since joining, we learned that stocking our individual stores is rather easy. Once you have created your account and store, you are ready to sell. First you must be logged in to the OpenSky system. Next, you search for items to sell by entering a keyword in the search box. Look down the list of items, and when you see what you would like to sell, press the "Sell This" button.

Now you are ready to sell the item to your friends. Simply copy the short URL link, and press the "Share on Facebook and Twitter" link. Type in a message and paste your link and send the message.

Magically, the item will be added to your store. Below are examples of four new products we have added for the Christmas Season.

New Products for Sale at Our Store

Jennifer Carroll Santa Gift Cards

Poinsettia Holiday Runner
Holiday Gift Box
Moncalin Flat-Cats

So, if you are jewelery designer, or maker of something you want to sell, add it to OpenSky.

Or, if you are just looking for ways to make some money, try selling the OpenSky products.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

The Blogsters Gift Shop - My OpenSky Store

After seeing a post on Blogger Buzz, I've joined Open Sky. In doing so, I created my account and a store:

Since I'm still discovering how this works, I've only added one item for now:

Start & Operate Your Own Home-Based Business DVD - Buy Now

When adding an item, we have the ability to "Grab the link", and "Grab the HTML". So I've included both. The first I defined as an image, and the second is simply a hyperlink. (We'll see if the item image displays, at present it doesn't).

Once the account is set up, you are asked to create a store. That process is fairly simple. You need to make up your store a name, a Open Sky mail address, identify the type of items you're interested in selling, and upload a picture of yourself. Next, you have to enter your real mailing information which tells Open Sky where to send your earnings.

After that, you have to add items to sell in your store. There is a search box in the upper right. You must use it to start the browsing process. For example, enter the word "Kitchen" or "Gift".

Once done, you'll see a list of items. When you see something you like, click on the image. Then, press the Sell this button on the next page.

At that point, a little pop-up will appear and you have to copy the links to your blog post.

Next, you have to publish your post, and tell Open Sky the URL of that post.

In order to make everything work, you will need to install a javascript OpenSky distributed cart. From the help page, it says this code is currently unavailable. It tells us to contact them, so that is what I'm going to do.

So this is where I am at.

Hopefully, I'll be all set up by next week and can report back to you the final steps.


Friday, October 8, 2010

A Great Week for Congratulations to Adgitize, Michael Savage, A Postcard a Day, Unemployment

Four great things happened this first week of October 2010. In order of occurrence (but not necessarily of importance) were:
  1. Adgitize begins to award points for forum posts
  2. Michael Savage's new book Trickle Up Poverty is released
  3. A Postcard a Day becomes a Google "Blog of Note"
  4. Unemployment remains constant 9.6% from last month.

Adgitize Awards Points for Forum Posts
Beginning last weekend, Ken and the others at Adgitize announced that they would award up to 100 points per day to those who wrote Forum Entries. To earn these, you have to write: one 200 word post, two 100 word posts, or a number of smaller entries. Having this ability to earn these extra points has helped many of us increase our earnings by moving into different brackets. And, Adgitize has gained by engaging dialog on their website.

Trickle Up Poverty is Released

My favorite conservative talk show host, Michael Savage, has written a new book that hit the book shelves this week: Trickle Up Poverty. The main theme of the book describes his 37 points for saving America by "Stopping Obama's Attack on Our Borders, Economy, and Security" (taken from the cover). In just days, the book has sold out at most locations and is being restocked. If you're worried about the current political direction of America, you've got to read this book.

You can listen to Michael on WOR 710 FM or on stations across the country. Other books he's written are:

Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder: Savage Solutions

The Enemy Within: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our Churches, Schools, and Military

A Postcard a Day Becomes a Blog of Note
As I was reading the CMF forums today, I found that our friend Sheila's blog: A Postcard a Day is today's Google entry on Blogs of Note. It's great to see that one of our own has made it to the Big Time and is recognized by readers across the country. We're proud you you Sheila!

Unemployment Remains at a Constant 9.6%
Many news broadcasters were predicting that last month's unemployment figures would top 10%. But in a stunning announcement, we learned that U.S. Unemployment has remained level with last months 9.6% rate. This is great news: for the Democratic Party who is facing unprecedented challengers in next month's mid-term election; and for all of us because we know that our economy hasn't gotten any worse.

With so many uncertainties in the world today, it refreshing to receive good bits of news from varying sources. To me, this surely was a Great Week for Congratulations! 
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Friday, October 1, 2010

CMF Spikes Rock!

During this past week, I decided to experiment with the CMF ads Spike advertising feature to see if I get a boost in traffic.

For those who don't know, a CMF member can purchase 50 Spikes for $0.20. Each spike is worth a single visit from a participating member. After you receive 50 visits, the spikes are gone.

In my case, a set of spikes lasted one day, so I kept buying Spikes for each of the past 7 days.

To my surprise, I discovered that: CMF Spikes Rock! Nearly 40 of the 50 spike visits were registered as actual visits by Google Analytics. By comparison, very few of the Adgitize visits are registered.

Thus, I will probably continue to purchase Spikes for a while as this advertising tool helps to increase my blog's traffic.

Thanks CMF,

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Bloggers: Join Adgitize & Place an Ad to Get $3, $7, or $14 Rebate from Us

Adgitize, a leading blog advertising network, is conducting a membership drive promotion through the month of October.

To help them succeed, we are offering all new bloggers who join Adgitize through our affiliate link and purchase a 1, 6, or 12 month standard ad a cash rebate at the end of the ad's term.

To qualify, all you have to do is join Adgitize with our link and purchase a 125x125. We suggest that you ask us to verify that you have joined properly and qualify for our rebate before placing your ad.

Our rebate schedule will be as follows for those who qualify and have purchased a:
  • 1 Month Ad for $14, we will pay you $3 back when your ad expires.
  • 6 Month Ad for $78 ($13 per month), we will pay you $7 back when your ad expires.
  • 12 Month Ad for $144 ($12 per month), we will pay you $14 back when your ad expires.
Payment will be either: a direct transfer to your PayPal account; or, as an Adgitize Gift Certificate (your choice).

Besides having your ad displayed and receiving new visitor traffic, you will automatically have the opportunity to earn a daily cash reward from Adgitize directly. In fact, most advertising members receive monthly payments nearly equal to their monthly advertising cost.

This means that after the initial cash outlay, perpetually free monthly advertising is very realistic.

Conditions for Receiving a Rebate from us:
  1. You must be a new member of Adgitize
  2. Your blog/account must be listed as one of our Sponsored Affiliate with Ads
  3. Only regular 1 month, 6 month, and 12 month ad purchases qualify
  4. 7-day, 14-day, Monster ads DO NOT QUALIFY
  5. Payment will be made after expiration your your ad.
  6. You may direct us to either remit payment to you via PayPal or through Adgitize.
Have fun and Thanks!


Adgitize your web site.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Is thebloghub Stealing Your Content? Don't Fall for the Trap!

The growth and dependency of using RSS feeds to distribute your blog's content to other publishers has been an acceptable and often rewarding vehicle for expanding your reach. Among the most popular applications of RSS are for displaying "related content". Additionally, many start-ups have relied on the RSS feeds to provide a categorized index of related blogs to help in a user search. Generally, all is well with this approach.

But, when RSS falls in the wrong hands, copyrighted data could be illegally claimed and publishers may find themselves victims of identy theft.

This article exposes the dangers publishers face when utilization of RSS is available to sites like

Are You a Victim?
Visit the site, and enter your blog's title in the search box located in the upper right of the page. Then press "search"

If the returned results indicate "No Search found", then great. You're safe.

But if your blog is listed in the returned results, your site has been compromised.

Don't Panic, and read on.

DO NOT ENTER ANY INFORMATION ON THE SITE - Don't try to login with you email address or username, and Don't enter a password. (See below).

Click on your blog's entry and you will be surprised to see that all of your content is being presented as if it is theirs. The title will be yours, and all of your recent posts will be displayed. Google ads will be surrounding your pirated posts. If someone clicks on them, thebloghub will receive the AdSense revenue.

Worse, move your mouse over the title of each post. You'll notice that the links point to their own internal pages, again, not yours.

The only place you will see reference to your site is under a header link titled: Visit Author's Website.

What's Going On?
In my opinion, thebloghub is preying you your emotional vulnerability. You see your content has been stolen and you want it back.

Further, many new bloggers enroll their sites with a variety of sites, hoping to gain instant exposure to readership, and for back-links. After a while, the blogger forgets: with whom he has registered, with what username; and with what password.

My three blogs are listed on their site. And, like most other victims, I did not join this site. I am not a member, and I did not give them permission to display my content and change my links. But, my information is there anyway.

What They Want
I believe that thebloghub is trying to obtain our various usernames, email addresses, and passwords.

With this information and your IP address, they can determine where you live. This geographic data can be used to correlate which banks and credit cards you use. Further, they can access your email and other online accounts to gain access to you finances, etc.

In short, they are trying to Steal Your Identity!

The amount of revenue they will receive from Google ads is minimal by comparison to the value of your financial data.

They don't care about your content, only your private information.

Don't give it to them!

What you Should and Should Not Do
As a victimized blogger, there are four things that you should do:
  1. Change Your Passwords Immediately if you entered any information on their site.
  2. Read the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
  3. Complete and submit Google AdSense DMCA Complaint Form
  4. Forget about it.
Additionally, you should NOT:
  1. Try to contact them directly
  2. Report your URL's to them using the "Report Content Page"
  3. Give anyone your usernames, email addresses, or passwords.
  4. If contacted by them, do not respond.
Providing any information to thebloghub will only indicate that "you are a live one", i.e. "someone who's fallen for the bait"

In summary, RSS feeds can be a blogger's best friend. They can be used to help distribute your content and help you obtain a broader readership.

But in the hands of organized criminals, RSS feeds can be used as a decoy to obtain your most private personal data.

If you have discovered that thebloghub has stolen your content, don't fall into their trap. Instead, follow the advice we provided above and let the proper authorities investigate and resolve the problem

Stay safe,


Friday, September 10, 2010

Forty Years of Love - An Anniversary Poem

On this Eve of 911, we try to find solace in Remembering our Loved Ones whether living or past. 

Several years ago, my parents were celebrating their 40th Anniversary. We were hosting a huge family party and I was asked to give a speech. I tried to find something fitting but could not find the right words. So, I decided to write my own poem.

Then as I visited the CMF site today, I read a Featured Article titled:

With that good news, I decided that now is the time to publish my Poem. It is dedicated to all parents, grandparents, partners, and loved ones who have reached an important milestone in their lives together here on earth or in heaven.

Forty Years of Love

Forty Years of Love
Together Hand in Hand
As on the Day They Met So Young
Together Hand in Hand

They Talked of Love
They Talked of Life
Together Hand in Hand

They Had Their Kids
And Raised the Kids
Together Hand in Hand

Yet Through the Years
They Faced their Tears
Together Hand in Hand

Then with a Blink
And with a Flash
Forty Years Has Past

And Here they Stand
Before Us Now
Together Hand in Hand

With Forty Years of Love

Two years ago, I modified the poem for my in-laws 50th Wedding Anniversary. You too can do this by substituting the word Forty with the word Fifty. Additionally, I believe that any "..ty" year will work, i.e. Twenty, Thirty, Forty, Fifty, Sixty, Seventy, Eighty, Ninety

Should you use this poem in one of your celebrations, please let us know. All we ask is that you always give us credit as being the author and mean the words.


PS: Congratulations Jim and Carol on your 40th Anniversary.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spottt Goes to Doggie Heaven

Image representing Spottt as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase
This morning I read in the CMF forums that Spottt, a free Link Exchange from Adbrite was officially retired. After visiting the official site, I discovered that this was indeed true. The Spottt service is no longer offered.

I feel bad about this because Spottt was the first network exchange banner system in which I became involved. It was introduced in beta in September 2007, and was officially launched in February 2008. Initially, the folks at
  were were extremely involved, but the enthusiasm waned a few months later.

While it never achieved the success of Entrecard, Adgitize, or CMFAds, I always left its widget on my blogs because I loved the cute little mascot.

If you had been displaying a Spottt widget on you site, you will notice only a void where the widget once appeared. Spottt is gone, and you should remove its code to avoid any access violation when attempting to reach the superceded url.

Bye-bye Spottt, we'll miss ya.

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Popular Posts & Pageview Stats Now in Blogger

Image representing Blogger as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
At the beginning of this past week, Blogger in Draft released two new  gadgets for your blog:
  1. Popular Posts, and
  2. Pageview Stats
The first displays the titles and snippets of up to 10 of your most popular posts. And, the second provides a graph and total page count of your visits since Stats were added in June 2010.

We added both of these on our sidebar towards the middle of the scroll down display. For now, these are only available in Blogger in Draft, but we are sure that both of these will become an instant hit when released to all.

Blogger just keeps getting better!
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Zemanta Really Does Help You Distribute Your Content

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
As a followup to my July 16th post about Zemanta, I was recently performing a Google search for this site, The results were surprising. There were numerous blog entries with a Zemanta link back to that article, and few to one or two others.

It was then that I realized that perhaps the most important benefit of using this product, which is:

Zemanta will really distribute 
links to your content 
through the Zemanta Assistant!

When I first wrote that posting, several things impressed me. First was that I received a comment from Andraz Tori of Zemanta, which thanked me for the post, and then gave contact information for the company. Second, I couldn't believe how easy the tool was to use. Simply click on an Assistant picture or link and they are immediately added to you post.

However, the best benefit was received  after I clicked on the "preferences page" link shown on the Assiatant widget. (I would have privided the link itself, but I believe the response page is tied to directly to an individual blogID).  There I found that I could submit my blogs to Zemanta, and if accepted, they would be included as as suggested sources to other authors. I did just that, and not long afterward, Zemanta was recommending my content to others!

You too can do the same by following these simple steps:
  • Add Zemanta Gadget to your blog.
  • Start writing a new post.
  • Look for and click the "preferences page" link the Assistant.
  • Scroll down to the bottom until you see a section titled "My sources". 
  • Click the "Add you blog" to Zemanta Index link (just below)
  • Enter your blog feed address and  contact email
  • Press Submit.
While they say they will contact you and let you know if you site was accepted, I never received anything. Instead, links to my articles just began appearing by Magic.

So if you're looking for ways to distribute your content,  give Zemanta a try. It's definitely working for me.
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Friday, August 20, 2010

VigLink Helps Bloggers Make Money Easily

Without much fanfare, Google Ventures and others, have invested in the startup company:

The concept is simple. VigLink associates all your inbound and outbound links with your unique identifier. Then, whenever at visitor traverses from your site to another and buys something, you will automatically be eligible to earn affiliate income on that purchase. According to the company,

Our goal is to increase your ability to
link to new merchants and earn commissions. 

You can quickly and easily join VigLink by clicking on the banner below (or on the right hand sidebar).

Once you enroll, simply add the snippet of javascript code to your blog's template or website. They provide an easy to use verification tool to ensure that you code is active. Then, just sit back and wait. Visit their site regularly to see which links your visitors use.

The great parts about Viglink is that it allows you to
  • participate in multiple affiliate programs without having to join the individual programs,
  • eliminates the time consuming management your individual memberships and banners,
  • both blogs and websites may participate,
  • you don't need to clutter your site with affiliate ads or banners,
  • their link reporting analytics are superb.
While you may not earn income immediately, you will definitely benefit by viewing and understanding the traffic patterns of your site. So give it a go as there is only upside potential for you!
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Blogger Adds Comment Moderation and Spam Filter

To help Blogger users better access, moderate, and manage their comments, Google has implemented a Blogger comment moderation management tool, which integrates an automated spam filter. Release of this new feature has been throttled to blogs, and is subject to Google's release schedule.

More importantly, this new Feature coincides with Bloggers 11th Year Birthday!

Having been an early recipient of this new feature, I wish to thank  both Google and Blogger of adding such an important tool and giving it to us!

Happy Birthday Blogger! (and thanks again)

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Friday, August 6, 2010

What's a Community Organizer?

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...Image via Wikipedia
This past year has been quite controversial for our young President, Mr. Obama. Sure, he managed to pressure the Democratic controlled House and Senate to pass his Health Care proposal, get banking reform, take over automobile business, install two liberal Supreme Court Justices and more.

But a quick look at his daily travel illustrates that he bounces all over the country, trying to sell some Socialistic system, and then heads off to a DNC Fundraiser. Wow, pretend that you're working just to have the U.S. Taxpayers pay for your lavish travel and entertainment expenses. Wish we could enjoy some of that free flowing taxpayer cash.

On TV, radio, news, or speeches, Mr. Obama is always pointing fingers, blaming one party or another, but never shouldering the responsibilities himself.

So I we wondered: Is he still acting like a Community Organizer? 

Well, I found a terrific article by Byron York entitled: What Did Obama Do As A Community Organizer? It was published on September 8, 2008, there months before the election. In it , York tells us that:

Perhaps the simplest way to describe community organizing is to say it is the practice of identifying a specific aggrieved population, say unemployed steelworkers, or itinerant fruit-pickers, or residents of a particularly bad neighborhood, and agitating them until they become so upset about their condition that they take collective action to put pressure on local, state, or federal officials to fix the problem, often by giving the affected group money. Organizers like to call that “direct action.”

So, this sounds just like what's going on now. As President, Mr. Obama: goes to the Gulf and incites the residents to blame BP;  then flies to Michigan to incite the unemployed, saying it's all George Bush's fault; next to Congress and the people saying the Republicans are uncooperative; to the black community saying white folks are racial; and so on. Yes, this truely is Community Organizing at its best.

But how does it end? The last paragraph that York wrote predicts the Obama legacy:

And what if he gets it? (The Presidency)  He’ll be the biggest, strongest organizer in the world. He’ll dazzle the country with his message of hope and possibility. But we shouldn’t expect much to actually get done.

And so far it's true.  Lots of speeches about Hope, finger pointing, and Bills being passed. But, little substance, high unemployment, and lavish vacations + entertainment are currently Obama's most memorable achievements.
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Friday, July 30, 2010

Why Arizona Immigration Law is Right - One Citizens Opinion

Arizona Capitol SB1070 Protest 4/25/2010Image by kevinbondelli via Flickr
Arizona is being overrun with illegal aliens crossing over the border. In an attempt to secure its cities and provide safety for its citizens, the State passed Arizona Senate Bill 1070 granting its law enforcement officers greater authority to assess the legal immigration status of those persons being detained during commission of a crime.

In opposition, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit seeking to block the Arizona law by claiming that the Constitutions' supremacy clause allows Federal laws to supercede local law. Further, the suit claims that local law enforcement officers would be overly burdened (Justice Department sues Arizona over immigration law).

A U.S. District Judge ruled for the Justice Department, blocking 4 key provisions of the Arizona law (Arizona immigration law SB 1070 - Judge blocks some sections). She stated:
  • "Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked," wrote Bolton, a Democratic appointee, who allowed other, less-controversial portions of the law to take effect Thursday as scheduled. 


Both the Justice Department and the Judge are wrong in blocking Arizona SB 1070. While their argument sounds valid to the layman, a review of the US Immigration Laws support the rights of Arizona and its citizens. Attempting to prevent Arizona from securing its border and enforcing immigration act could be against the law and subject to penalties.


The complete IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT is online and available to all. It was last updated on March 4, 2010 and posted in May 2010. This serves as the primary source of our argument. All references to this Act in the discussion below may be located by Section number. Hopefully, this document will remain posted for all U.S. Citizens to review.


Chapter 2, Sec. 212. [8 U.S.C. 1182] states that certain classes of aliens are ineligible for admission into the United States:
  • (a)(4)(A) In general.-Any alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa, or in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible. - Meaning if you can't support yourself, you cannot be here.
  • (a)(6) Describes Illegal entrants and immigration violators.
  • (a)(6)(A)(i) In general.-An alien present in the United States without being admitted or paroled, or who arrives in the United States at any time or place other than as designated by the Attorney General, is inadmissible. - Meaning, if you didn't arrive here through a designated location, you cannot be here.
My interpretation is that if you crossed the U.S. border illegally, and/or, you came here to be supported by the United States, you are in violation of the law.


Chapter 2, Sec. 271. [8 U.S.C. 1321] states:

  • (a) It shall be the duty of every person, including the owners, masters, officers, and agents of vessels, aircraft, transportation lines, or international bridges or toll roads, other than transportation lines which may enter into a contract as provided in section 238 , bringing an alien to, or providing a means for an alien to come to, the United States (including an alien crewman whose case is not covered by section 254(a) ) to prevent the landing of such alien in the United States at a port of entry other than as designated by the Attorney General or at any time or place other than as designated by the immigration officers. Any such person, owner, master, officer, or agent who fails to comply with the foregoing requirements shall be liable to a penalty to be imposed by the Attorney General of $3,000 for each such violation, which may, in the discretion of the Attorney General, be remitted or mitigated by him in accordance with such proceedings as he shall by regulation prescribe. Such penalty shall be a lien upon the vessel or aircraft whose owner, master, officer, or agent violates the provisions of this section, and such vessel or aircraft may be libeled therefor in the appropriate United States court.
  • (b) Proof that the alien failed to present himself at the time and place designated by the immigration officers shall be prima facie evidence that such alien has landed in the United States at a time or place other than as designated by the immigration officers.
This means that all persons, not just the Federal Government, are responsible for preventing entry into the U.S. at locations other than those monitored by immigrations officers. Failure to comply with the above regulations subjects violators to a $3,000 fine for each violation (or person).

Secondly, it states that aliens who cannot present proof that they entered at a location monitored by immigration officers are considered to be illegal.

Based on the above law, it is difficult to justify why the Justice Department and Judge would not enforce the laws that they are sworn to uphold, but instead act and rule in manners that violate the provision of the law.


Section 236 deals with the apprehension and detention of aliens. This section is most applicable to the enforcement of Arizona Law SB 1070. It covers an illegal aliens rights to continue working once detained and that the Attorney General must provide support to Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies in identifying criminal aliens.

  • Sec. 236. (a) Arrest, Detention, and Release.-On a warrant issued by the Attorney General, an alien may be arrested and detained pending a decision on whether the alien is to be removed from the United States. Except as provided in subsection (c) and pending such decision, the Attorney General-
  • Sec. 236(a)(3) may not provide the alien with work authorization (including an "employment authorized" endorsement or other appropriate work permit), unless the alien is lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise would (without regard to removal proceedings) be provided such authorization.
  • Sec. 236(d) Identification of criminal aliens.- (1) The Attorney General shall devise and implement a system-
  • Sec. 236(d) (A) to make available, daily (on a 24-hour basis), to Federal, State, and local authorities the investigative resources of the Service to determine whether individuals arrested by such authorities for aggravated felonies are aliens;
  • Sec. 236(d) (B) to designate and train officers and employees of the Service to serve as a liaison to Federal, State, and local law enforcement and correctional agencies and courts with respect to the arrest, conviction, and release of any alien charged with an aggravated felony; and
  • Sec. 236(d) (C) which uses computer resources to maintain a current record of aliens who have been convicted of an aggravated felony, and indicates those who have been removed.
  • Sec. 236(d) (C) (3) Upon request of the governor or chief executive officer of any State, the Service shall provide assistance to State courts in the identification of aliens unlawfully present in the United States pending criminal prosecution.
Most importantly, the Attorney General must devise a system to identify criminal aliens and to make it available to State and local law enforcement agencies on a 24-hour basis. Further, the Attorney General must provide assistance to State courts when requested by a Governor.

From the actions of our U.S. Justice Department and District Judge, all of these provisions in the law are being ignored and dismissed.


Who is responsible for enforcing the Immigration Act? The Attorney General is.

Sec. 103. [8 U.S.C. 1103] (a) (1) indicates that the Attorney General is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the act.
  • Sec. 103. [8 U.S.C. 1103] (a) (5) He shall have the power and duty to control and guard the boundaries and borders of the United States against the illegal entry of aliens and shall, in his discretion, appoint for that purpose such number of employees of the Service as to him shall appear necessary and proper. - This means the AG must protect our borders.
  • Sec. 103. [8 U.S.C. 1103] (a) (5) (10) In the event the Attorney General determines that an actual or imminent mass influx of aliens arriving off the coast of the United States, or near a land border, presents urgent circumstances requiring an immediate Federal response, the Attorney General may authorize any State or local law enforcement officer, with the consent of the head of the department, agency, or establishment under whose jurisdiction the individual is serving, to perform or exercise any of the powers, privileges, or duties conferred or imposed by this Act or regulations issued thereunder upon officers or employees of the Service.
Here we learn that the Attorney General is responsible for enforcing the Act, protecting our borders, and enlisting assistance from the States. Arizona has a problem, so why not support the Arizona law?


After reading the above IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT, it seems clear that the Attorney General and the U.S. Justice Department are charged with the legal responsibilities of controlling immigration, supporting states, assisting states in identifying illegal aliens, deporting illegals, and protecting our borders.

However, their responsibilities are contrary to their political agenda. Does the Attorney General have the right to enforce what he wants or wishes? Or, does he have the obligation to serve the Country by obeying and upholding the laws of our nation?

Illegal immigration is a hot issue, but that does not give our officials the legal authority to ignore their charges and disobey the laws.

So, Yes, Arizona does have a problem and it will be resolved in their favor. It's time Americans understood our laws and demanded that they be obeyed and enforced.
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