National Geographic mocks the name of God

December 18th, 2007

I haven’t written in quite a while but I thought this may be pertinent to some people who honor God. I’ve watched a documentary called “The Secret Bible” which is televised on the National Geographic channel and produced by Morningstar Productions. The episode is about the chapter Revelations in the Bible. I noticed in the closed caption portion of the show the name of God was set in lower case as “god.” There were only a couple or few references to God’s name and in all the cases His name was spelled as god. In the context of the people using God’s name referred to the God and not many gods or any god. Every pronoun such as “I” was capitalized and every name or subjective article was appropriately capitalized. Every name and every place or regional name was also capitalized appropriately. Every word was grammatically spelled as it should have been. Furthermore, I found it peculiar that the person and editor who transcribed the closed caption even capitalized “Satan.” This gives the impression that the National Geographic or whoever is responsible for this seemingly unnoticeable grammar error has purposely attempted a degradation and dishonor of the name of God by this intentional misspelling. I just thought others may wish to know.

Setting up Autoresponder Emails to Help Increase Sales

July 25th, 2007

One of the sites that I’m currently helping in their affiliate marketing asked me an important question on setting up an autoresponder series of emails to help increase sales. Upon my request to institute an autoresponder series of emails to their visitors who sign up for the newsletter, I suggested to her that a seven-step autoresponder email system may help increase sales. She asked if seven is a good number or six since six is the number that is used by one of her competitors.

I personally don’t think it will make a significant difference whether a series of seven emails are sent out or six emails are sent out over a periodic basis. I think every week would be great but it would depend on the strategy based on the objective. In this instance, we wanted to increase sales. Isn’t this every entrepreneur’s and proprietor’s goals? In this specific example, if a visitor were to search online for a solution to stop their dog from barking – a common problem for dog owners. Evidently, 30% of dog owners have this problem.

Now when someone arrives at the site by way of clicking on a Google Adwords ad then reads the headline “Stop Your Dog Barking Without the Use of Whistles, Collars, Squirt Guns and other devices…and Finally Regain Your Peace of Mind!” The visitor then keeps reading and after reading something like “Sign up for our FREE newsletter and read effective tips and techniques to train your dog –humanely. Tips offered by one of the pre-eminent dog trainers in America today! Sign up now and you’ll learn a couple of tips on dog barking!” they type in their email address and name to receive this excellent offer. A series of emails, possibly seven or six, sent automatically can be sent on the topic of how to train your dog properly, what people should avoid, why what a dog owner may be doing can work against him and some tips on dog barking. These are just example topics. Obviously, you don’t give the entire solution but enough and then within the email create a strong call-to-action to purchase the book.

Like I said earlier I like seven and I’ve read seven is a good number scientifically and statistically tested. But this is a general statistic. The emails could be tested with one email sent out every couple of days and then another set of emails to another test group of recipients going out once a week. If the objective is to make a sale then I would first suggest testing the autoresponder of emails going out every two days. This will help the momentum and the recipient won’t tend to forget about the newsetter.

A good strong call-to-action and incentive to click within the autoresponder emails to purchase the eBook is needed however. To help increase sales conversions you could try one-time offers immediately after the sign up process. This offer should be right after the visitors type in their name and email address and then clicks on the submit button. I do know one-time offers work really well especially after something like a newsletter sign-up.

For example, if the retail price is $39.97 for the eBook there could be a one-time offer discount to purchase the eBook for $29.97 at a 25% discount. But this offer will only be offered once. Or you can offer the one-time offer of $39.97 with a free membership to a membership-paid only forum or a free telephone consultation for 1/2 hour or you could offer another related book (retail valued at $20). This sales process of one-time offers after a newsletter sign-up or immediately after the purchase of some item usually has a very good conversion. You should test this type of sales process on your own site or you could even test this with offline sales. Your sales representatives at the store could offer this to your customers who purchase some particular items. So if your sales rep sells a set of golf clubs to your customer then there could be a one-time offer of selling a golf bag and golf balls at an excellent discount. Perhaps choose high inventory items that you wish to move faster. Just be creative and offer incentives to your customers and potential customers. You may be surprised at the results. As I always say, “Test, test and test.”

Block dynamic pages from Googlebot with robots.txt file

July 3rd, 2007

I’ve been trying to find out how to block some dynamic urls from the Googlebot. The search bots for Yahoo! Slurp and MSNBot use the same or very similar syntax to block dynamic urls. As an example I have this one line in my htaccess file which allows me to use static pages instead of dynamic pages but I found sometimes the Googlebot will still crawl my dynamic pages. This can lead to duplicate content which isn’t condoned by any of the major search engines.

I’m trying to clean up my personals site as it currently ranks well with Yahoo but not Google. I believe MSN Live has similar algorithms to Google but this isn’t scientifically proven by any means. I believe I have found some answers on ranking well with Google, MSN and possibly Yahoo. I’m in the midst of testing right now. I have managed to rank well on Google for a client’s site already for relevant keywords. Anyway, here is how to block the dynamic pages from Google using your robots.txt file. The following is an extract of my htaccess file:

RewriteRule personals-dating-(.*)\.html$ /index.php?page=view_profile&id=$1

This rule, in case you’re wondering, allows me to create static pages such as personals-dating-4525.html from the dynamic link index.php?page=view_profile&id=4525. However, this has caused problems as now the Googlebot can and has “charged” me with duplicate content. Duplicate content is frowned upon and causes more work on Googlebot because now it has to crawl extra pages and it can be viewed as spammy by the algorithm. The moral is duplicate content should be avoided at all costs.

What follows is an extract of my robots.txt file:

User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /index.php?page=view_profile&id=*

Notice the “*” (asterisk) sign at the end of the second line. This just tells the Googlebot to ignore any number of characters in the asterisk’s place. For example, Googlebot will ignore index.php?page=view_profile&id=4525 or any other number or set or characters. In other words, these dynamic pages will not be indexed. You can check to see if your rules in your robots.txt file will function correctly by logging into your Google webmaster control panel account. If you don’t have a Google account then you simply need to create one from Gmail, Adwords or Adsense and you’ll have access to the Google webmasters tools and control panel. If you’re wishing to achieve higher rankings then you should have one. Then all you need to do is be logged into your gmail, adwords, or adsense accounts to have an account. They make it pretty simple to set up an account and it’s free. Click the “Diagnostics” tab and then the “robots.txt analysis tool” link under the Tools section in the left column.

By the way, your robots.txt file should be in your webroot folder. The Googlebot checks your site’s robots.txt file once a day and it will be updated in your Google webmasters control panel under the “robots.txt analysis tool” section. Testing and validating your robots.txt rules with Google..

To test your robots.txt file and validate if your rules will function correctly with Googlebot then simply type in the url that you would like to test in the field “Test URLs against this robots.txt file”. I added the following line to this field:

http://www.personals1001.com/index.php?page=view_profile&id=4235

Then I clicked on the “Check” button at the bottom of the page. You’ll notice in the image below (click on the image to view the details) that Googlebot will block this url given the conditions. I believe this is a better way to block Googlebot rather than use the “URL Removal” tool which you may use. The “URL Removal” tool is on the left column of your Google webmasters control panel. I’ve read in a few cases in the Google groups that people have had problems with the “URL Removal” tool.

Add Google Adsense code to WordPress template header

July 1st, 2007

Just a quick tutorial on how to add the Google Adsense code to your WordPress template in the header section using the Adsense-Deluxe plugin.

  1. Once you download and install the Adsense plugin and activate it in WordPress, click on “Options” then “AdsenseDeluxe”. First step to adding Adsense code to WordPress header using the template
  2. Scroll down to the section “New Adsense Block”. Type in a new name such as “header”. Paste your adsense code (usually 720×90 fomat). Add in an optional description. Click the “Add Adsense Block” button. Second step to adding Adsense code to WordPress header using the template
  3. Navigate to “Presentation” then “Theme Editor” then click on the “header” file which the link on the bottom right in the right column. Third step to adding Adsense code to WordPress header using the template
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the “header” file then add in the following code before the horizontal tag which was the second last line in the WordPress default (i.e. Kubrick) template:
    <div id="center">< ?php adsense_deluxe_ads('header'); ?></div>

    If you named your Adsense Block in step two above to something other than “header” than change the name in the code. Fourth step to adding Adsense code to WordPress header using the template

iPhone features, pros, cons

July 1st, 2007

I just read an article on the iPhone and watched a video on the features, pros and cons of the iPhone by Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret of the Wall Street Journal online iPhone review.

How to get to heaven

I just wrote a quick list of the iPhone features, pros and cons list here. The iPhone I believe will the next big seller for Apple. I believe it will take a year or so before it really catches on with the masses since it’s still quite an expensive system. It definitely raises the bar for all the other phone manufacturers and this is where the cell market is headed. Kudos to Apple and Steve Jobs for creating an excellently-designed product. Maybe they should help design an Apple car. Wouldn’t that be cool?

price – $499 for 4 GB or $599 for 8 GB
– AT&T offering special monthly plan for iPhone with unlimited Internet and email use for $60 to $220 per month. AT&T plans from the iPhone is chosen when you connect to the iTunes software
– 3.5-inch display
– front made of glass that is scratch resistant
– scratch-resistant body
– three buttons: sleep/wake, volume control, mute
– weight 4.8 oz
– dimensions 4.5×2.4×0.46″
– bluetooth capable
– included accessory iPod earbud with microphone

pros
– voice calling
– iPod features (music and video playback)
– full web browser with multiple webpage browsing
– email
– synch capability with Windows and MAC using iTunes
– highest resolution of any smart phone (328×480)
– 4 GB or 8 GB internal memory
– long battery life
– works overseas on AT&T roaming
– Wi-Fi capable
– automatic switching from slow EDGE technology to Wi-Fi network when it’s available
– web browser and photo display automatically readjusts to vertical or horizontal format when iPhone is turned
– auto-word completion, auto spellcheck
– capability of connecting to most popular email services (eg. Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, EarthLink and more)
– connect to Microsoft Exchange system feature
– “push” email feature to iPhone users similar to Blackberry’s email service utilizing Yahoo Mail
– email preview; photo attachements open automatically; can open MS Word, Excel and PDF files but cannot save or edit these files
– 8 hours talk time, 24 hours continuous music playback, 7 hours continous video playback, 6 hours of continuous web browsing (9 hours according to
– displays names or number who left voice mail
– synching with iTunes on MACs and Windows to transfer photos, music, videos, contacts, calendar and browsing favourites (Outlook synching capable)
– widgets for weather info, stock info, Google Maps
– additional software add-on via the web browser
– 2-megapixel built-in camera

cons
– works only with AT&T (formerly Cingular)
– data network uses slow AT&T’s slower EDGE technology rather than AT&T’s fastest data network
– may need adapter for current iPod headphones to fit with headphone jack
– currently does not recognize all car adapters for music playback
– no cut, copy, paste feature
– need to stop music when you wish to do something else like email
– need to navigate to a different screen when typing in a comma or period
– no memory-expansion slots
– cannot remove battery for backup battery
– name or numbers not easily accessible (you need to scroll through contact list, call list or favourites)
– no weekly views with calendar
– no group emailing capability
– no real-time GPS navigation
– no instant messaging but text messaging capable
– camera cannot record video
– no support for Adobe Flash in web browser yet
– no games yet, no direct access to iTunes music store

Adding mp3 audio to WordPress blog

June 29th, 2007

I’m just testing out this WordPress plugin that allows one to add mp3 audio to my blog. There were a few caveats. It only plays mp3 files (an Adobe flash player is what the cause) and mp3 files need to be encoded at 11.025 kHz 22.050 kHz or 44.100 kHz to avoid the “chipmunk” effect which plays the sound at double speed.

It’s pretty simple it seems. Download from WordPress mp3 plugin. In vista, it automatically unzips the files and then upload the directory “audio-player” and the file “audio-player.php” to the “wp-content/plugins” directory, then set the the plugin to active in your Admin control panel plugin tab. Once that is complete, create a folder called “audio” in your webroot. You can change the default to another directory by changing the directory location of your mp3 files in the options page for “Audio Player”. Then upload your mp3 file to this directory. Now add the code:

[audio:name_of_mp3_file.mp3]

Here is a sample:

Opps. There seems to be files missing on this one. I’ll have to look into this and find out.

I realized that I simply uploaded the unzipped folder “audio-player” into the “wp-content/plugins” folder which isn’t correct. The file “audio-player” file needs to go to the directory “wp-content/plugins” and the “audio-player” folder and its contents to the same directory “wp-content/plugins”. What I did initially was upload the unzipped “audio-player/audio-player” folder and its content to the “wp-content/plugins”. Not quite sure if this makes sense to anyone though. There is no sound but it should work. I’ll upload an actual sound file later.

FTP problem Linksys router-connection error

June 25th, 2007

I just recently purchased a Linksys router WRV200 with VPN capabilities but noticed that I couldn’t connect to my ftp server using the regular port 21. I was able to connect via sftp which uses port 22 without a problem. I browsed around on Google for the solution to the ftp connection error but couldn’t find the answer so I ended up calling Linksys tech support. It did take awhile to resolve the issue but the solution is really simple.

All you need to do is set the Firewall/Port Triggering ports in the Linksys control panel. Login to your Linksys control panel at 192.168.1.1 then fill out the settings as displayed here .

Iron Road movie, CBC TV mini series

June 23rd, 2007

Just got back doing background (i.e. extra) work in Kamloops and Kelowna. It was long and arduous but the great thing is that I met a lot of great people there. We created a little group on facebook Iron Road group for those of your who are interested. The back setting is the Chinese workers who toiled under extreme conditions building the railroads in the Kamloops regions. Evidently, they were paid a dollar a day. There is a memorial museum at the Kamloops museum. Here is the premise of Iron Road.

I have good memories of David Wu, the Director. He was very encouraging with the background folks and I was surprised to see that he didn’t demand to have propane heaters for his tent. I’ve never seen that. He’s a real trooper and just an indication of his character. Tony Leung was very genial and friendly with everyone including the crew and background. He’s a big star in China like Tom Cruise here in North America.

Anyway, nice to be back and getting in the swing of things. =)

GPS microchips implanted into humans

June 23rd, 2007

This isn’t totally recent news but I was just watching a “Surveillance” series by the National Geographic Channel and there was a segment that described inmates who are now being implanted with GPS microchips in the US. Actually, there are now around younger folks in Mexico who are implanting themselves with these microchip devices in there arms to be a part of the VIP of a nightclub. The microchip is the size of a rice grain and is permanently implanted unless it’s surgically removed. Evidently, the little devices can hold an unlimited amount of data on the person. Some parents are beginning to implant these GPS devices in their children. Interesting I think. You think these are the signs of the biblical Revelations by John the Prophet? Most believe this is a sign of the future whether we want to accept it or not. I just thought this was interesting information. There is a wikipedia definition on the Microchip implants.

How to check your website’s supplemental index pages

June 2nd, 2007

Just a quick note on how to check what pages of your website is in Google’s supplemental index search results. Supplemental index results are not necessarily bad as Matt Cutts has stated but I believe that it does decrease your search rankings overall when you have too many pages indexed as supplemental. Think of that word “supplemental” and it really tells you the Google bot doesn’t really want to give it credit and it’s only when nothing else comes up will they display the supplemental index pages. In other words, the Google bot doesn’t know what to do with it or what to make of the page; however, the attribution of a page indexed as supplemental could be caused by duplicate content which I’ve discussed as well as so many other seo artists.

Herein I just want to show you how to see what pages are indexed as supplemental on your site or any site for that matter. So just type in the Google search bar:

site:yourdomain.com -view ***

Pretty straight forward. I’ll talk about what I’m doing to get my pages out of supplemental and it’s more than just utilizing the robots.txt file which every seo artist suggests using. Well, almost every search engine optimization artist. I’m running some tests on some sites right now and I’ll give a report on the results shortly.