Friday, February 26, 2010

Blog Review: Mom Conversations

The fourth and last major sponsor of  Kaye and Pehpot's Blogversary contest is the blog:

It is written from a mother's viewpoint, and I can only assume that it's author is a mother. The focus of the articles vary from child problems to pregnancy related health topics.

This blog sports a minimal design, primarily consisting of the posts only. Accompanying the written posts are well place navigation menus, tabs,  clouds, and links to recent posts.

This is one site that does not display any ads, from any source. Therefore, the reader is not distracted nor tempted to travel on to another site.

Theme & Content
Presently, the 3 main page blog posts discuss early childhood problems that a new mother may encounter. The post Why Do  Kids Whine - The Whys of Whining discuss the irritating behavior of a whining child. Advice is given on how to cope with this frustration, and especially how to prevent it.

Writing Style & Grammar
Regardless of the topic, the author writes about 6-8 paragraphs on each topic. Thus, the topic is well covered from start to finish. Take, for example, the Training the Picky Eaters article. It begins with a statement of the problem, followed by measures a parent can follow to ensure that the child has a well balanced and healthy diet.

Did you know that the habit of fibbing is especially prominent in adolescents? After reading The Truth about White Lies you will learn the which lies are harmful and which are simply part of growing up. What many parents consider to be lies may only be the fantasy expressions of an imaginative child.

The one problem that I found with this blog was that many of the tabs and category links all pointed to a single article: How to Treat Hemorrhoids - Hemorrhoid Relief. You get there from the Photos tab, the Featured Category, the Health and Fitness Category, and more. I never realized this was such a popular topic.

If you are a new mother, or a parent of facing a stubborn child, Mom Conversations is a great place to begin looking for advice. The articles here are well written, on target, and informative. If you begin reading this blog, you will look forward to the publication of each new article!

Seiko's Diary - Blog Review

The third major sponsor of  Kaye and Pehpot's Blogversary contest is a blog titled:

It is written by a working mother who is devoted to her family. Her four children are all girls, and her husband is always helping them out.

The blog uses the "Fashionholic Template", which is fitting to a woman's diary. The background is white with black text, and the titles + links + border are pink.

While the site contains tabbed pages, two of those are RSS feeds. One is a feed of the posts; and the other is a feed of the comments. (The other two tabs are Home and Edit.)

Along the right, is a wide sidebar containing a variety of Link entries, network communities, awards, and other goodies.

Theme & Content
The theme of the site centers on Seiko's viewpoint, wishes, desires, and experiences as a women. Her latest post, Girls Talk: Me As A lover describes her devotion to her husband. From the title, one might think it's about sex. But, it isn't. It's an article about a woman in love with her husband, an touches upon her differences and frustrations.

Writing Style & Grammar
Seiko's writing style is very fluent and descriptive. The CC: Brfeakfast In Bed post shows her wonderful husband cooking breakfast for his hard-working wife.  Seiko expresses her secret desires to enjoy an hour of privacy & silence, and enjoying Breakfast in Bed allows her this luxury while her husband is cooking.

From reading her blogger "About Me" page, we learn that Seiko is in the Marketing Industry and lives in Japan.

While her blog contains a few typo's and grammatical errors, her grasp of English and written expression is extremely good.

In the official contest announcement of the 4 major sponsors, it is written that Seiko is a mom of 5 children. However, all her pictures and writings only refer to 4 children.

Perhaps the reason that people think she has 5 kids is that she is often in the pictures with them. And, since she looks so young, visitors would assume she is one of the children too.

The site has two major drawbacks. First, it contains a music widget containing a list of her favorite songs. These begin playing as soon as the blog loads, and the songs can't be stopped.  As a result, this is annoying, not only because of the noise, but  because it slows down the loading and consumes our computer.

The second drawback is the Entrecard widget. When pressed, we get the "No such user" message. (Perhaps because the music widget violated Entrecards Terms and Conditions?)

Besides the drawbacks, Seiko's Diary is an enjoyable blog to read and visit. Here, you will learn a little bit of what "women think"; watch and learn about a wonderful family; and lastly, learn a bit about another culture!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Anak Ni Kulapo - Blog Review

The second major sponsor of  Kaye and Pehpot's Blogversary contest is another blog written by Buraot called:

It is primarily written for the Filipino community and is written in the Filipino Language. Since many of our various blogging communities are from the Philippines, writing in their native language is selectively limiting to a single geographic and ethnic culture.

For this reason, I have no idea what it says, but can pick up an occasional word here and there. Therefore, my blog review is only limited to my opinion, which may be way off base.

The blog template is the "Firebug Theme by Blog Oh! Blog". It is a black background white titles and text. The comments, tags, and links are all in vibrant red, blue, and green shades. The black background provides a very effective to the illustrative pictures.

The site contains 5 seperate pages. The Home page contains the posts. This is followed by a FAQu! page, and others. Ads, Social network widgets, and links to posts are organized on the right-hand sidebar.

In general, the design is very professional looking.

Theme & Content
The theme of the site appears to be irony and humor. When visiting the main page url, the user is greeted with a number of posts on the left. Each has a picture and a description. The May Nag-Text post features a man on the side of a street trying to speak into a huge nokia cell phone. I guess that since phone booths have all but disappeared, they need to be replaced by, what else, streetside cell phones. Quite odd.

Another post titled Juice Ko Po! shows a picture of packaged buns with the brand name Jussipussi. Hmmm, regardless of the language one speaks, most men can immediately see the humor.

Writing Style & Grammar
As an English speaking visitor, I do not understand the Filipino language, thus, I cannot comment on the author's writing style or grammar.

However, the posts are littered with "Quoted" phrases, which are intended to have the reader feel as if someone is actually speaking.

Words in different languages can certainly bring a smile to the viewer. If you read the Kahit Gaano Kalaki post, you will immediately chuckle when you see the big bag of Grill Flamed Megapussi. Apparently, pussi is very big in the Philippines.

Anak Ni Kulapo is a blog that everyone should visit. If you understand Filipino, you will experience Buraot's humor first hand. But, if you are like me and can't understand this language, you will be entertained by looking at the pictures and making up your own interpretation!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blog Review: I Am Buraot

As part of  of Kaye and Pehpot's Blogversary contest's bonus requirements, entrants are asked to review the 4 major sponsors. I have chosen to review these in the order of the links they presented, and thus, begin with a review of

This blog is written by a skeptical pessimist, who focuses on a variety of antisocial topics ranging from Entrecard, blogspot, to the road to nowhere.

Many fellow bloggers are already familiar with the  Entredropper section of the blog. This is the area where one can register their blog's url, and pick up the "Entrecard generator" widget to paste on their site. It is a free service that the author provides to help folks pop-up and multiple EC sites for the single purpose of saving time in performing the monotonous 300 drops per day.

From the site, we find that I am Buraot  sports a free "Wordpress Agregado Theme". There is a menu across the top, allowing visitors to easily move from section to section.Underneath is the blog Title, followed by the content section and footer.

Of the pages I visited, each page presents a consistent format, making visitors feel comfortable and welcome.

Theme & Content
The theme of the site oscillates between Entercard dropping lists, and philosophical essays.  While the blogger's intent  seems to focus on the essays, it is apparent that the EC dropping list has dominated the content.

Writing Style & Grammar
But, don't be fooled, the author is a polished writer, with a natural gift of expression. One of the most interesting posts that I read was entitled: The Paradox of the Road to Nowhere. It is written in the "first person" and full of imagery. Quite reflective, every reader will relate to the road of life.

While it seems that a blog offering a Entrecard Dropping Widget may not be popular, many would be surprised to learn the number of lists that are currently active. At present, there are 47 lists, each containing 10 sites. Wow, that's 470 registered members!

If you haven't already visited this site, you must. The EC widget is displayed on so many blogs that you already know.  And, while you are there, you should visit the home page and read a few of the enchanting posts.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kaye & Pehpot's Contest Sponsors

As a follow up to the contest announcement, we have  listed the primary sponsors for your reference. Please take a few minutes and take a look at each of their blogs.

Below are the four MAJOR sponsors of Kaye and Pehpot's Blogversary contest:

I Am Buraot
A blog about politics, the environment, religion, philanthropy, and everything else that is life. Author is known for his generosity in sponsoring contests. The home of the famous EntreDropper.

Anak Ni Kulapo
Yet another blog of Buraot. If you want to die laughing, then go visit Anak Ni Kulapo. His life in the US and hilarious stuff about his home country are only two of the must-sees in this blog.

Seiko's Diary
The blog title says it all. This is Seiko's journal about being a mom to her five gorgeous kiddos, her take on life in general, and random musings of a woman who loves life.

Mom Conversations
A new blog about everything concerning mothers: pregnancy, health and fitness and babies are the current categories, under which are detailed articles containing tips and valuable information for moms everywhere.

Please drop by these blogs if you have the time and see why they are worthy of a special mention. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Are Blog Contests Real?

The past week, I received a comment from pehpot inviting me to join her contest! The steps are rather simple:
For this, I will get a chance to win a prize of some sort. They're giving away more than $500, and the contest runs until February 28, 2010.

Wow, a chance to win something!

My first inclination was to delete the comment, attributing it to spam. Of course, being from the New York area, I tend not to believe anyone, especially those who write in another language (because I don't know what is being said). So I thought:

Is this a Scam or Is it Real?

I really don't understand why a group of strangers are willing to give me money, but of course, it's a contest, so there is no guarantee that I will be awarded anything.

What do the organizers get out of it? Well, certainly a bunch of related blog posts that point back to their sites and a lot of comments. I guess that if you're trying to increase traffic, that's a great way to do it.

And, will they really be giving away money to those who enter? Who knows for sure. If there is a pot of cash, perhaps it will only be redistributed amongst themselves.

As I was thinking about today's post, I realized that this discussion should qualify as my first requirement. Although it's a skeptical viewpoint, it does talk about the contest and does display creativity.

So, I'll take the time to follow the remaining instructions and then wait and see. Perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised and indeed win a prize and learn that it's truly real, and not a scam!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Add Your Blog to Google Webmaster Tools

Several years ago when I created Lottery Power Picks, I added it to Google's Webmaster Tools. But, when I created my Blogger blogs, I didn't think that they could be added because they were simply blogspot subdirectories.

But after seeing the "Add a site..." button for years, I finally decided to see if I could enter them.

So, I pressed the button, and added my first blog.  Once entered, a Site verification page opened. Since I don't own the site, I knew I couldn't enter an HTML verification file, so I choose the "Mega tag". Google gave me a line of code that I then inserted in the head section of my blog (I did this by pressing the Edit HTML link under the Layout tab).  Once done, I pressed "verify" and my Blog was now added to Webmaster Tools.

It was only after I entered my 3 main blogs, that I realized that there was already a link to Webmaster Tools at the bottom of the Blogger Dashboard page under Tools and Resources.

Two different help pages that Google provides with complete instructions are:
Why would you want to add your blog to Webmaster Tools? There are several reasons. Information such as:
  • Top search queries
  • Links to your site
  • Crawl errors
  • Keywords
and more are given to you. Plus there is a Diagnostics and Labs section on the left side menu. Addtionally, the webmaster tools Home page provides a "Messages" area that Google will use to communicate important items to you.

I doesn't matter if you have a Blogger Blog, Wordpress, or a stand-alone website, you should add it (or them) to Webmaster Tools.

It's been very helpful to me, and it might help you as well!


Friday, February 5, 2010

Goodbye Dropaholics

Yesterday I read on one of the CMF Ads forums that DropAholics is ceasing operations and will be shutting down. Since I have its widget on 2 of my blogs, I wanted to make sure that this was indeed the case.

I clicked on one of the DropAHolic headers and was brought to the DropAholics website.The first line of the site states that: Dropaholics is closing down.

So it is true. The site was developed by Greg Mathews and maintained a ranking of the top Entrecard droppers. Over 1300 blogs were monitored and the Dropaholic widget would display the icons of the top EC visitors to your blog.

Apparently Greg was going to e-mail all registered blogs and let them know that he is turning off the system, but I don't know if this was done. I, for one, had not received any notification.

I know this was a very popular system and will be greatly missed in the Entrecard world.

If you have a Dropaholic widget on your site, you should remove it promptly. 

I wish to thank Greg for providing such a great tool and am sorry to see it go. However, life goes on, and I wish Greg the Best Success in the Future!


You can read more by clicking on the Dropaholic link above, or by visiting his post:  
Dropaholics is shutting down.
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