I had heard about the so called Internet back then but only had my first experience surfing the net in 1995 when I was in the University.
I found things via links from other people sites. Link pages were well valued those days because they helped people discovered the hidden gems not searchable by even the most powerful search engines during those days.
I used Veronica to search the web and Archie for FTP search. Then Yahoo! came along and became the dominant search engine. Other search engines followed suit including Lycos, Excite, Alta Vista, Northern Light, InfoSeek before Google arrived at the scene in 1999/2000 I think. It took the center stage ever since because of its clean homepage and relevancy.
My first website was in The Tropics of Geocities. It was fun learning HTML and coding the design by hand, never realised I would be doing that sort of things for a living later.
One of my earlier comments on the web can be found at Durian Online. It got me feel a little nostalgic just by reading it. My others foot prints seemed to have drifted off into the Internet oblivion.
How was your first experience surfing the Internet?[via Google Blogoscoped]
Hereâ€™s another reason to love Google. Following their acquisition of Feedburner, Google has made two of their paid service free for everyone.
One of the services is FeedBurner Stats Pro. This is a feed analytics tool that gives you a more details look at your readers such as the number of people who have viewed or clicked individual content items in your feed and â€œReach,â€ which estimates the daily number of subscribers who interacted with your feed content.
To turn this on, log into your account and go to the Analyze tab anc click on the FeedBurner Stats PRO link under services. Then click the â€œItem Viewsâ€ checkbox to activate these PRO features.
MyBrand is another service which is now free for everyone. It allows you to match you feed address to your domain name. So instead of using feeds.feedburner.com/sabahancom, I can now use feeds.sabahan.com/feed
The problem with using FeedBurner domain to track your feed is that if later you decide you want to use another tracking service for whatever reason, you wonâ€™t be able to take your feed with you. So, you will have to start with 0 feed subscriber count with the new service which isnâ€™t very exciting at all.
To get started with MyBrand, sign into FeedBurner, click the â€œMy Accountâ€ link in the upper left-hand corner, and then click â€œMyBrandâ€. Youâ€™ll need to change some DNS setting for your domain to use this service.
Do you know that you can get an immediate discount each time you buy a domain from GoDaddy.com? There’s really no need for you to pay the advertised prices.
To get a discount, all you have to do is search using the phrase â€œgodaddy couponsâ€ at Google.
The search will return a list of websites containing GoDaddy coupon codes which you can use immediate in your purchase.
If you don’t fancy spending your time sifting through the search results, the DigitalPoint forum is a good place to start your bargain hunting. I’ve found a handy thread where their members are listing GoDaddy coupons as they become available.
To use a coupon, just apply it during the checkout and the price will be updated accordingly. If you have several coupon codes, apply them one at a time to find the one that gives you the best savings.
Using coupon codes to get discounts online is nothing new but I was surprise to see some people still pay the advertised price each time they purchase a domain name from GoDaddy.
Now this doesn’t stop at GoDaddy, you can get a discount for almost anything â€“ all you have to do is search for it.
Life at Google – The Microsoftie Perspective
An anonymous blogger posted an alleged email circulating on Microsoft-internal mailing lists. The post compares the working culture between Google and Microsoft. Recently, Google was voted as the best company to work with in the US according to the Fortune magazine and the writer probably didnâ€™t like to the sounds of that. Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet tracked down what looks to be the author of the email.
Inside the Google Pay Per Action Beta
Shawn Collins and Lisa Picarille interviewed Rob Kniaz, Googleâ€™s Product Manager about Google Pay Per Action beta, ad formats, and whether Google considers AdWords and AdSense to be affiliate marketing.
SearchStatus is a toolbar extension that adds a new functionality to your Firefox and Mozilla browsers in that it allows you to easily see how any site is performing.
Once installed, SearchStatus sits unobtrusively on your status bar. You can view any info about a website by left clicking on the extension to access its popup menu as shown below.
The performance information includes the siteâ€™s Alexa popularity ranking, Alexa incoming link, Alexa related links, and backward links from Google, Yahoo and MSN.
In addition, you can view the siteâ€™s Google PageRank, Google related links, and Google cache.
Thatâ€™s not all; you can even view the siteâ€™s Whois information, Meta Tags, Keyword Density, robots.txt and so on.
While any of this information can be accessed in many other ways, SearchStatus makes it easier for you by making everything accessible with a mouse click rendering many other webmaster tools redundant.
Iâ€™ve been using this SearchStatus extension for a while. At a glance, I am able to determine if a website is as popular as the owner claims it to be. So if you are like me whoâ€™s checking the status of any website quite frequently to see its link importance and traffic level, this is the tool for you.
Do you know that you can ask Google to only show newly updated results by specifying the date option when performing a search?
By newly updated results, I mean those pages that were recently fetched by Google and included into their index.
Google estimated the age of a URL as the last time they fetched the page. However, the URLs returned on the search result donâ€™t always represent the recent ones due to Googleâ€™s ranking algorithm.
If you want to see documents that have been updated, say the last three months, you can do so my specifying the Date option in Google’s Advance Search.
Hereâ€™s an example. A normal search for sabahan returns the following results.
If you want more recent results, you can restrict the search to the last three months.
This will return the following URLs. Itâ€™s a great way to track how a story develops or find out what people have been talking about recently about certain issues.
Robert Scoble has a post up over at his blog about a candid interview he did with Jeff Figueiredo of Point It.
If you are running a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign, this is a great video to watch to get some insights into how the big (and medium) spenders are spending their money on their PPC campaigns.
Scoble covers many areas and asked questions that of interest to any PPC advertisers. These includes:
How do I find the keywords to advertise on?
How do I know how much to pay?
What is the difference between â€œexact matchâ€ and â€œphrase matchâ€ and â€œbroad matchâ€?
Why is Google doing so well?
And so on
I upgraded my operating system to Windows Vista Ultimate a few days ago without having to wipe Windows XP from my hard disk. It involved installing Vista on a separate partition in my hard disk so that I can still run Windows XP anytime I like.
By doing so, Iâ€™ll have an OS to fall back to in case my Windows Vista installation goes horribly wrong. But I didnâ€™t have a choice, I would have to make Vista works and I am glad it did.
This method works if you have a PC running Windows XP and you want to install Windows Vista from its installation DVD to have both OS dual boot.
For those who donâ€™t know, dual boot is the ability to boot your computer using one of two different operating systems.
First Thing First
Like everything that has to do with hard drive repartitioning, itâ€™s a risky business. You could end up with a corrupted hard drive that will render your data unusable. So it goes without saying that first thing you should do is to backup, I repeat BACKUP your data.
This is paramount especially if you are, like me, whoâ€™s crazy enough to perform the partitioning on my production PC.
For that I am using a 300GB external hard drive attached to my PC via USB 2.0 to backup my data.
Use anything you like as long as you back up all your important data.
Partition Your Hard Drive
Thereâ€™s no built-in tool in XP that could help you partition your hard drive without wiping out your data. If you happen to have Nortonâ€™s Partition Magic laying around, you could use that.
I found another way to do this for free using GParted Live CD. Itâ€™s a free partition manager available as a live CD that can be run directly from your CD Rom drive. It could create, resize, delete your hard drive partitions as well as its non free counterpart.
Hereâ€™s a good introduction to GParted Live CD from Linux.com
Now create a new primary partition with at least 20 GB in size to install Windows Vista on. Since Iâ€™ve a large empty space, Iâ€™ve created a 110 GB partition for this purpose.
Keep in mind that reducing your main XP partition size wonâ€™t create a new working partition automatically. Youâ€™ll have to set the unassigned space as a â€˜Newâ€™ primary partition and format it as NTFS filesystem.
Play around with the interface first before committing with the changes.
Time to Install Vista
Do not run the Vista installation DVD while XP is running, youâ€™ll end up installing it on top of your existing XP installation.
What you should do is insert the Vista DVD and restart your PC. The system will boot from the DVD and just point your newly created partition as the installation destination when prompted.
Your PC will restart at various stages during installation. It should take less than 30 minutes to complete.
Now Itâ€™s The Fun Part
Once the installation completed, the system will restart. Youâ€™ll be able to select whether to boot to XP or Vista from Windows Boot Manager.
Windows XP is described as â€˜An Earlier Version of Windowsâ€™. Select â€˜Microsoft Windows Vistaâ€™ and have fun.
Yesterday I wrote about Crazy Egg, a click tracking tool that could help you analyse your visitors click behaviour.
Today I came across another tool called ClickHeat that could do the same for free. ClickHeat is a free PHP script that creates a visual heatmap of clicks on any web page you specify. The script can be hosted and run from your own server to allow tracking of unlimited number of clicks.
You can use it to track clicks on as many domains or web pages as you like. You can even host the script on one domain and allow your other domains to access it from there instead of having to install it on each domain.
While the interface is not as flashy as Crazy Egg, itâ€™ll get the job that if all you wanted is to track usersâ€™ click. Unlike Crazy Egg which offers four methods to analyse your clicks, ClickHeat uses the heatmap mode only.
The reporting is rather basic, as it doesnâ€™t break down the clicks by elements or traffic sources which could offer better insight into usersâ€™ behaviour and preferences. However, I like the fact that you can view click report on any date you specify.
If the 5000 clicks per month offered by the free Crazy Egg version arenâ€™t enough, you might want to give ClickHeat a try. Thereâ€™s a demo available on the site if you want to test drive the features.
Crazy Egg is a nifty tool that could help you analyse your visitorsâ€™ behaviour and find out how they interact with your website elements and content.
Unlike other tracking tools such as Google Analytics or Site Meter which track traffic trends and behaviour, Crazy Egg maps every time a visitor clicks on whatever elements you have on your site. This should give you a clear picture of not only where your visitors are on your site but what they are clicking on.
You can test different versions of a page to see which works better. Armed with this information, you can better identify the best placement for your AdSense ads or utilise the design that could improve your pages conversion rates.
Crazy Egg offers four methods to analyse your clicks:
It shows coloured buttons with a plus sign. These buttons are overlaid on your page and appear next to each clickable element on your page. The click frequency determines the colour of the button; red is high, green is medium and blue is low.
You can obtain extra information such as the number of clicks and the percentage this represents of total clicks on that page. In addition, you can find out the origin of the traffic that clicked on a particular element.
List Mode displays the click frequency each element received in descending order. The data can be exported in CSV format for further analysis.
This is my favourite mode that displays the clicks using a heatmap display. Most clicked elements are represented by the brightest areas.
The Confetti mode allows you to identify the elements that are clicked the most by visitors sent by your top referrers. As shown below, Sabahan.com direct traffic which is likely to be return visitors, use the search box the most
Itâ€™s nice if Crazy Egg can be used to track the click paths that lead to a conversion. As far as I can see this feature is not yet available.
You can get a free account that will track up to 5,000 clicks per month. Paid users are able to analyse other areas on their pages where visitors are clicking that arenâ€™t clickable links .
I ran Crazy Egg for a week to test Sabahan.com main page. I noticed that it didn’t track the number of visitors very accurately (but keep in mind that it’s tracking a single page in case the low visitor count makes you wonder). In addition it fails to recognise how many submitted their search queries by pressing the enter key. Flash ad clicks tracking seem to be problematic as well.
Small gripes aside, Crazy Egg offers another dimension in tracking usersâ€™ behaviour that proves to be quite insightful. Such information can be useful when you are trying to convince potential advertisers that your page is worth their money.
A new service called Blogstorm was launched recently to help bloggers track the number of links each post has from other sites.
It monitors your RSS feed daily and offer free statistics so you can see which of your posts are popular.
The service is still in beta and as everything beta, this tool isnâ€™t perfect. It uses Yahoo! Explorer to obtain the number of links. Because of this, all links including those from spam blogs and advertisement are counted. This has a direct effect of artificially inflating the number of links a post has.
To use this service, you’ll need to upload a PHP file into your server and obtain Yahoo! API by login into your Yahoo! account. Itâ€™s fairly straight forward steps to follow but if your blog hosting does not allow manually uploading of PHP files, you are out of luck.
But regardless of those gripes, this service is worth checking because of the useful information it could provide. You can find Sabahan.com stats here.
CNNMoney.com has published an interesting story about a man who apparently owns the Internet. No he is not Bill Gates, or Google founder Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
You have probably never heard of him largely because of his nature to maintain a low profile. He owns the web by controlling the some hundreds of thousands of domain names. His is currently making an estimated $70 million a year and he is working mostly as a solo operator.
Read the full article: The Man Who Owns The Internet
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