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Malaysia’s Top Internet Marketer Lets Domain Name Expires

March 17, 2008 by · 24 Comments 

Of all people, Gobala Krishnan forgets to renew his blog’s domain name at http://www.gobalakrishnan.com/ and as it appears, the domain has expired on 14 March 08 and now redirected to Godaddy’s domain parking page.

A similar incident happened to Advertlets.com, a Malaysian own online advertising company which had its domain expired on January 3, 2008. The case attracted quite an attention as it involved thousands of publishers who sell advertising space via Advertlets.com system.

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Anyway back to Gobala, he is a great Internet marketer and one can only wonder how he could end up having one of his important domain names expires. But I understand that he was probably just too busy with other important projects which could easily steal a considerable amount of his time.

He was recently given the privilege to grace the front page of Tech&U over at New Straits Times. You know you’ve reached a certain status level when the national newspaper wants to feature you on their front page, so more power to him!

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Anyway talking about expiring domain names, there’s a chance that you’ll never get it back. Your competitors may use this opportunity to seize that domain name via backordering and snap it up the instant it becomes available and use it as they wish once they own it.

Backorder is a service that attempts to register an expired domain name on behalf of an entity before someone else grabs it. With over 750,000 domains expire every month you can imagine there exist an opportunity to make money instantly when one can get hold of a hot, high PageRank and high traffic domain name.

Of course there would be legal repercussions in some cases but I imagined the Malaysian’s cyber law hasn’t catch up with this thing yet – correct me if I’m wrong. Any such case will be a watershed once it’s initiated.

By the way, backordering has helped me got a hold on Sabahan.com. In my case though the owner let it expired and I was the first to grab it and became the proud owner in less than one second it became available.

Currently, I am monitoring twelve or so other domain names. None of them are copyrighted of course or belongs to a particular person who has build up his brand around that domain name.

If you don’t want to end up having your important domain names expire, I suggest you register them for at least 2 years in advance. Important domains should be registered 5 years or longer in advance. Also be sure to pay attention to the domain name renewal notice sent by your domain name registrar.

100Mbps Internet Access Is Coming to Malaysia

July 18, 2007 by · 12 Comments 

That’s according to an article published in The Star Online today. Telekom Malaysia (TM) is currently testing a 100Mbps broadband access using fibre-optic connection and the electrical wiring in our house.

The first phase of the project will be rolled out in the third quarter of next year with an initial speed of 10 Mbps. Those living in high-rise building in big cities will get to enjoy the service first. Newer housing developments would probably be able to take advantage of this service as laying fibre optic cables become part of the development plans.

I don’t expect this service to become available anytime soon in my area though since I’m living in the interior division of Sabah (I give it 5 years). Anyway, I hope this is a sign that a speedier and better connection than the 1Mbps I am currently using is coming to town soon. I’ll be content with a cheaper 4Mbps connection.

Now, just imagine what you can do with a 100Mbps Internet connection.

As TM CEO said, we are heading for the digital home era where IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), VoIP (Voice-over-Internet Protocol) and home surveillance via the Net.

But before let ourselves be carried away with such possibilities, I hope TM will continue to improve the quality of our existing broadband service.


Read the full story
.

eBay Spent $26 Million Monthly on Google AdWords

June 20, 2007 by · 6 Comments 

Last week eBay pulled all their campaigns from Google AdWords to protest a party planned by Google to promote Google Checkout that was coincide with the eBay Live event in Boston.

The eBay’s event was overshadowed by Google planned to promote Google Checkout to eBay sellers who used PayPal.

Google said eBay has been refusing to offer Google Checkout as a payment option for sellers and buyers on eBay even after Google had been approached by power sellers to obtain access to Checkout.

When I read the story I wondered how much cash Google lost after eBay pulled their ads.

Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land has written an interesting post of how much traffic eBay received from Google and Google cash lost.

Without citing a source, Did-it’s Mark Simon says in this MediaPost piece that eBay spends — or used to spend — $26 million monthly on Google AdWords in the U.S. market. If true that’s $312 million annually.

I haven’t checked but I am certain that’s quite a large portion of ebay’s annual revenue.

It’s not too surprising to know Google sends the most traffic (organic and paid) to ebay.com (about 45.7% of their total traffic)

I am curious to see the outcome of their action and to what extent Google or eBay will suffer from this debacle.

Security Commission Is Blocking Access to Get Rich Quick Websites

June 7, 2007 by · 8 Comments 

According to an article published in The Star Online recently, Malaysia’s Securities Commission (SC) is going to block access to illegal investment schemes operated by some 60 websites after it received 720 complaints and queries.

However no mention on how this will be done and who are they going to work with (MCMC & Telekom?) in order to achieve the objective of preventing access to those websites.

Whether this measure will also block those who try to bypass the restriction by surfing via anonymous proxy will remain to be seen.

Check out SC’s alert list to find the list of websites which are not authorised nor approved under the local securities laws

This is an unwelcome development for those get rich schemes investors. But you still have time to act accordingly as the SC’s exercise to block the website will begin on June 11 2007.

The commission, in a statement on Thursday, advised investors in such schemes to withdraw their investments and terminate their accounts immediately.

I know some of my readers are investing in Swiss Cash, one of the most popular get rich quick schemes in Malaysia. The cheerleaders will continue their support and turn a blind eye to all the warning signs that hinted the impending collapse of the scheme. By then, it’ll be too late to do anything.

UDPATE: The SC is joining forces with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and CyberSecurity Malaysia to track, identify and block access to local and foreign websites promoting illegal investment schemes.

How Malaysian Bloggers Make Money

June 7, 2007 by · 12 Comments 

The Star Online has published an interesting article about blogging and how Malaysian bloggers are making money from it via online advertising.

The story starts with some discussion about two local blog advertising companies Nuffnang.com.my and Advertlets.com.

These companies seem to be gaining ground among the local bloggers and are worth checking out if you are trying to monetize your blog and don’t mind placing permanent image ads in there.

Several well-known bloggers are also featured in the article. This includes Gareth Davies, who blogs at ShaolinTiger.com, Lillian Chan who owns 5xmom.com and JeffOoi.com.

The article gives a general overview on how Malaysian bloggers are using online advertising to generate income from their blogs.

We still have a long way to go before we could narrow the gap between our country and the developed nations such as the UK and US as far as online advertising is concern. But we are heading in the right direction.

If you are wondering how much you could make from blogging in Malaysia, the article should give you some hints on what’s possible.

Full article here: Blogging and big bucks

TM Launches 4Mbps Broadband

May 26, 2007 by · 9 Comments 

On 20th March, I wrote about TM plan to introduce 4 Mbps broadband to TM customers in June. True to their word, the package is now rolled out and available to home users.

TM has introduced two new packages, 2 Mbps and 4 Mbps which cost RM188 and RM268 per month with modem respectively.

While those prices are not out of reach for me, at those speeds, I still find them way too expensive.

I wonder who are they trying to sell the packages to. As far as I know, I should be one of those who fit nicely into their target demographics.

I am a heavy home user and not the average one. I make a living working full time online so the new packages should serve me well. But at that price, I have to pass. I don’t usually download/upload big files and I don’t play online games.

My 1Mbps broadband should suffice – at least for now.

Offering high priced packages ensure that they are shutting off the majority of users who would love to have speedier connection.

Let’s compare this to what Singapore’s Starhub is offering. They have 6Mbps for SGD58.80 (RM117.6), 12Mbps for SGD79.80 (RM159.6) and 100Mbps for 121.80 (RM243.6)

I am not sure if these packages are capped at certain Megabyte but it looks like with the price of 4Mbps broadband in Malaysia, you can get a 100Mbps in Singapore!

Then as I suspected earlier, this service is currently only available to TM subscribers in selected areas of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor. Those of us who reside outside of these selected areas are out of luck.

Despite those complaints, I’m glad that at least they are doing something to improve the speed of our broadband connection. Their effort to add redundancy into the infrastructure after the quake off the coast of Taiwan has yielded some positive result at least from my side. I am experiencing less connection slowdown these days.

If I am not mistaken, a 1MBps package for SOHO used to cost RM418 in 2005, today it’s RM300 less. Home users pay even cheaper at RM88.

They have to start somewhere and the price for 4Mbps connection will eventually go down. But they seriously need to reduce the price as soon as possible to encourage mass broadband adoption. Without the competition, we can’t expect this to happen anytime soon.

More details about the new packages here.

Have You Got The License to Blog?

April 10, 2007 by · 7 Comments 

In case you’ve missed the news, the Malaysian Government is considering registering local bloggers in a move which they hope will prevent the spread of negative or malicious content on the Internet.

On the 5 April 2007, The Star Online published an article about the Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor proposing bloggers using locally hosted websites may be asked to register with the authorities.

Shaziman said there are about 50,000 websites registered under the .my domain and any of these websites could provide a fertile ground for the concoction of malicious content which could harm the country’s security.

Unfortunately, this statement only show the lack of understand on his part on how the Internet works locally. When I compiled the Malaysia’s 50 most influential blogs, I found that NONE of the blogs were using a .my domain. This reflects the preference for the majority of the Malaysian bloggers who mostly use the .com domain as a domain of their choice.

Registering a blogger is not as straight forward as asking prepaid mobile phone users to register unless the government has a full control on the Internet.

One thing, this move could not only hurt the local web hosting industry, but the entire local blogging and blog advertising industries because bloggers will be compelled to choose web hosting companies from outside of Malaysia to host their blogs in order to protect their freedom to blog.

Those who prefer to protect their identity could easily hide their domain registration information from those prying eyes who conducted a WHOIS search on a domain. Our local cyber law isn’t enforceable overseas and this will put a stop to law enforcement officers on their track to identify domain owners.

Also there’s nothing preventing the owners to fake registration information to protect their identity.

Perhaps Shaziman didn’t realized, of those 50,000 .my domains, it’s probably just a handful are blogs. The content of the rest could vary from a forum, a news website, an ecommerce site, and so on.

Are they going to visit all these domains individually one at a time to track which one is a blog and which isn’t? Further more, blogs are not the only websites that carry critical views of the government polices.

Another reason why this proposal will fail is that there are bloggers who prefer to use the free blogging platform like Blogger.com can WordPress.com.

These blogging platforms are owned by US companies and are located in the US. Last time I checked our local cyber law doesn’t extend beyond the Malaysian shores.

Then the next day Shaziman was forced to explain what he meant after his proposal was met with strong criticisms in the cyberspace.

In his statement he said

 

I only said ‘maybe’ we would do it (registration). I never said the word ‘censor’," he told reporters after launching PosLaju’s "Putrajaya Express", a same-day courier service to the city and Cyberjaya.

We just want to know the number of bloggers, how many are active, how often they update their websites, and what kind of info is posted. It has nothing to do with censoring."

Shaziman kept repeating throughout the press conference that the intention to register bloggers was not censorship and that it was only a possibility in the distant future. We are not certain. It is just an idea. Maybe one day, not now.

 

Whether it’s a “definite” or a “may be” proposal, the move will only make him and the local authority look dumb in the eyes of the world.

It may be just registration now but this move could pave the way to a full blown Internet censoring which violates the Government’s no-censoring policy with regards to the Internet. This is because, they do not only have to keep a watchful eye on blogs but other websites too for this proposal become effective.

While I totally agree that bloggers should blog responsibly, requiring them to register is not going to prevent the spread of negative or critical views of the government policies on the Internet.

If this proposal were to be implemented, perhaps they’ll be clever enough to develop a script to detect a blog – malicious or not – hosted on a .my domain automatically – if they ever.

Unless the government starts to build a giant firewall around Malaysia – like what China is doing now, implementing this proposal is close to impossible.

Instead of trying to stop the blogging phenomena, the government should accept the fact that the people they are supposed to represent are beginning to find a voice. As Lim Kit Siang, parliamentary opposition leader suggested, instead of coming up with ways to inhibit blogging, these ministers should be educated to start blogging themselves to invite a more a more interactive, communicative style of government.

Yahoo! Mail Is Offering Unlimited Storage

March 30, 2007 by · 8 Comments 

One of the major ‘selling points’ that Google uses to market GMail is its huge storage capacity. With 2.8GB of storage, there’s no need for the users to delete their emails to make space for new ones.

While Google’s GMail is busy adding 0.000001 MB each second to their 2.8GB mail storage capacity, Yahoo! Mail is beating them to the punch by offering a whopping unlimited email storage this May 2007.

Yahoo! Mail is breaking new ground with this move and I expect many competitors will follow suit to stay competitive.

It was interesting to see how fast things are changing. Yahoo! Mail total storage capacity was a mere 200GB for all their users when the service was first introduced in 1997. My own computer today has over half a terabyte of storage capacity – (250GB + 300GB).

If this trend continues, will my hard disk capacity for my PC double that of what Yahoo! Mail has today in ten years time? I am doubtful it will because mathematically infinity multiply by 2 equals infinity 🙂

2∞ = ∞

Anyway, I’ve been using Yahoo since it was first introduced in 1997 and I am still using it for my primary personal email to get in touch with old friends from school/university days and new friends too. With the introduction of unlimited storage, Yahoo! Mail just gives another reason for me to stick with them.

So what will prevent people from using Yahoo! Mail as their unlimited personal online backup service?

Simple – the allowable attachment size. Currently Yahoo! Mail allows email attachments of up to 10 MB only. While this file size limit is enough for most email users’ needs, it’s still limiting if you want to share or keep huge files. I don’t think this limitation will change anytime soon.

You can use Lycos Mail if you like as it allows unlimited email attachment size but you are limited to the 3GB storage capacity – still a little larger than GMail.

In reality, offering an unlimited storage capacity is not practical if not impossible. What if everyone starts filling up their accounts with tons and tons of emails, will Yahoo! be able to keep up with the ever increasing storage demand?

The good news for Yahoo! is that, this is quite unlikely to happen. Majority of the users will only use a small fraction of the storage capacity allocated to them. This leaves a lot of unused storage space.

Granted there will be several users who will use gigabytes of space but this demand is offset by the unused space left by the majority of users.

There’s a term used in the web hosting industry called overselling. Overselling assumes that the majority of your clients are only going to use a fraction of the resources allocated to them so there’s going to be a lot of wasted bandwidth and space.

Overselling involves taking a chance and selling more than you can actually handle assuming that the unused resources will cover it.

I think offering an unlimited storage is just a marketing gimmick for Yahoo! albeit a good one at that.

The Longest Domain Name In The World

March 24, 2007 by · 17 Comments 

Internet domain name allows sixty three characters maximum and six people last year registered the longest Internet addresses allowed for the European .eu domain.

The domains names range from the tongue-twisting name of a Welsh village to the first 63 numbers that make up the mathematical constant pi.

The domains include

thisisthelongesteuropeandomainnameallovertheworldandnowitismine.eu

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.eu

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.eu

Another French company has registered a French language phrase promising that its services would help Internet business grow

lerelaisinternet-com-favorise-la-croissance-de-votre-entreprise.eu.

Another tongue-twisting name is

llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochuchaf.eu

which is a village on the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales.

A German technology company has registered the first 63 decimal places that make the number pi.

141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592.eu

It was claimed that the longest domain name for the com extension belongs to

http://www.thelongestdomainnameintheworldandthensomeandthensomemoreandmore.com/

The owner tried to have it recognized by Guinness as the longest domain in the world and got this response instead

Thank you for sending us the details of your recent record proposal for
‘Registering the worlds longest computer domain name’

After having examined the information you sent, and given full
consideration to your proposal, I am afraid we are unable to accept your
proposal as a record.

This record is currently rested, which means that no one can attempt this
record and become a new record holder. It has been rested because there is
no merit whatsoever in this. It takes little to no effort and is similar
to taking the largest number in the world and then adding 1 to it.

I appreciate you have gone to a lot of effort, and we are delighted to
hear from people around the world with their record claims and
suggestions. However, given the sheer scope of the records on our
database, and the growing number of people contacting us with record
claims and suggestions, we need to exercise some editorial control over
what is and is not accepted as a record.

I appreciate this may be disappointing for you, but I hope this does not
deter you from trying again. We are always keen to hear from people who
wish to break Guinness World Records. If you should need any advice
regarding breaking an existing record, please contact us again quoting the
above reference number. Alternatively, you can contact us through our
website at:

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com

Once again, thank you for writing. We wish you every success with any
future record-breaking endeavours.

Imagine the horde of people trying to claim having the longest domain name if Guinness were to recognize such attempt as a record breaker.

Some other interesting domain names

http://www.abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijk.com/

http://3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592.com/

Registering a very long domain name is good for a publicity stunt to attract media attention but does nothing to help your visitors remember your domain name.

Nobody will type in these long domains; they are visited by clicking links or selecting from a list.

I don’t think anybody has registered a .com.my that use up all the 63 characters yet, I wonder if it’ll attract attention if I be the first to do so. 🙂

Under 30, Online and World Beating

March 14, 2007 by · 9 Comments 

The Observer, a UK Sunday newspaper has an article up about under 30 UK entrepreneurs who are shaping the future of the web.

You might have never heard most of them except one guy named Alex Tew who hit the jackpot in 2005 with his website Million Dollar Homepage idea.

With the diminishing cost of hardware, the cost of entry is getting cheaper.
All you need is a computer, an Internet connection and an idea. The profit margin is typically higher compare to what a brick and mortar shop is getting.

I am spending around RM800 on a web hosting per month and I am working from home. Renting or buying a physical shop lot will cost me around RM1000 to RM2000 or more per month. On top of that, setting up offline business is riskier and costlier.

In the offline world, your location can make or break your business. The Internet, on the other hand, allows me to attract visitors instantly using pay per click search engines, regardless of where I am located physically in the world.

I wish more Malaysian entrepreneurs will take up Internet entrepreneurship and make it as their career choice. What we need is an early exposure to the young people so that they are aware of all the opportunities available online.

When I read the newspaper recently about SPM top achievers, everybody wants to become a doctor, a pharmacist, a chemical engineer, an accountant. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud them for choosing the fine career paths but where’s our Internet entrepreneurs of tomorrow?

Young people should be made to realize that Internet is not just for chatting, MySpace and viewing porn, it’s a place where one can make a living and perhaps change the world in his/her own way.

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