Thursday, January 31, 2008

De-clutter your blog, AddThis!



I read a blogger about de-cluttering her blogsite. I felt guilty that my blog is becoming a mess. Well it is fun at times to join the cyber-bandwagon of blogging. You visit one blog, see something cool, maybe interesting, then figure it out and the next thing the widget is on your blog.

Good thing I don’t need anymore to have all those badges, buttons, and widgets appear on the side bar of my blog. Instead I created a special section at the bottom or footer of my blog for a Widget Section, exclusive for widgets. I can’t get rid of them, having spent hours setting them up, then it took me an eternity deciding whether to remove them in just a click, no, not this time.

One reason for this is finding about AddThis. According to the site the widget is now being used by Time.com, TechCrunch, ABC, Lonely Planet, Freewebs, Tower Records, etc. The small button could be embedded at the comment section of a blog entry so it is easier for readers to bookmark and share it. As of writing there are at least 3 dozens of those popular and not so popular social bookmarking services that readers could make use of. So you save scheming (not reading readers, huh?) readers time scrolling your blog.

AddThis users can determine their popularity and ranking since the widget is equipped with a tracking system for statistics about the bookmarking and sharing activities going on. And the most important thing is, it is free.

AddThis have the following reasons why everyone is using their services:

• Easy Bookmarking - Makes it easy for your visitors to bookmark your content and subscribe to your feeds.

• Promotes Your Website/Blog - Helps send your content to social bookmarking services, which brings back more traffic to you.

• Increases Your Rankings - Increases your link popularity, which is a very important factor in increasing search engine rankings.

• Removes Clutter - Eliminates the need to include a different button for each bookmarking service.

• Easy to Install - Our button can easily be installed on almost anywhere with a few clicks.

• Free Statistics - Provides valuable statistics about how readers are bookmarking and sharing your content.

• Very Reliable - No matter how much traffic your site generates, our fast servers can handle it and reliably deliver the widget at all times.

So I hope you will try clicking the bookmark button below this post to try it out, just try it! But the thing is, you ought to sign-up with all these bookmark services to have your click counted, so sign-up now (at least half or a dozen). Well if you are a virtuoso blogger, I believe you must have signed up with at least 2 dozens of these social bookmarking networks. I wonder how you keep up with 'em.



Image source:http://addthis.com/


(with the last paragraph as an addition this was originally posted at Qassia)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Paulo Coelho on Copyright and Internet

Paulo Coelho is one of those great writers that I admire the most. He writes so well that it empowers the soul. You get inspired by the characters and you get to experience being engaged in the storys plot. His international bestseller The Alchemist was his first novel that I read. Not getting enough of him, it was followed by another romantic and spiritual novel "By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept". His description as Alchemist of Word is truly an apt title for all his wonderful works. His literary feat is truly of a magnificent magician.

I never thought of him as a blogger and internet enthusiast. Since it is so rare for most of my favorite authors to be seen on the cyberspace. What you could only find

online about them are the books that they've authored not even a chance to personally thank them of the inspiration and life changing influence they made to your life. But the case of Paulo Coelho is different. Thanks to the internet, particularly MYBLOGLOG for the chance of coming across him on the net and to DIGG for the video link of his keynote speech that is found at http://en.sevenload.com/videos/Pi2JT3P/DLD08-Day1-Creating-universes/sliderPage/1

Listening and watching his keynote speech made me admire him even more because of his very progressive stand on the internet and copyright. Internet should be FREE! Re-think Copyright! These are my advocacies in consonance with him. I found an ally with my favorite author on these issues.

Imagine him spending three hours on the internet to interact with his readers, he calls it sharing the miracle of meeting people, and even offline too, that he made an emphasis that nothing substitutes for an eye contact. That there still a need to meet with people face to face (an eye-ball with them) even though, as he noticed, the internet is affecting book business significantly on the aspect of language, copyright, social communities or authors interaction with their readers.

Claiming himself as a fan of the democratization that the internet allows, this statement is a cyber-shock call for big publishers and copyright holders, We need to think twice the copyright idea, let us be generous, lets share for we also get back in return. The dream of writers is to be read.


These are other links of interest on Paulo Coelho:

An hp ad for him and hp

http://www.hp.com/united-states/coelho/2007/index.html

Link to his blog

http://paulocoelhoblog.com/

A link to free download of his works in different languages

http://www.paulocoelho.com/engl/index.html


(new update 15 March 2008)

Very good review by Aftab Ahmad on The Alchemist

http://aftab2.blogspot.com/2008/03/alchemist-review.html

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Are you a blog ghost writer?

Well I came across the word through a blogger. He mentioned to me that somebody ghostwrites for him since he is so busy to do the clicking and subscribing to different sites to earn "internet money/income". I checked wikipedia and it mentioned about blog ghostwriters. I quote here:

“A ghostwriter is a professional writer who is paid to write books, articles, stories, or reports which are officially credited to another person. Celebrities, executives, and political leaders often hire ghostwriters to draft or edit autobiographies, magazine articles, or other written material. In music, ghostwriters are used in classical music, film composition, and popular music such as hip-hop. The ghostwriter is sometimes acknowledged by the author or publisher for their assistance.

One of the newer types of ghostwriters is the web log, or 'blog' ghostwriter. Blogs are websites where a person keeps a journal of thoughts and holds online discussions with other web users, typically on political, social, or cultural issues, and current events. As well, many blogs cater to special interests ranging from handgun collecting to knitting. Blogs are rated according to how many web 'hits' they get from users viewing the page, and this rating is used by advertisers considering paying for ad space on a blog website.

New blog operators hoping to generate interest in their blog site sometimes hire ghostwriters to post comments to their blog, while posing as different people and using pseudonyms. With more posts and more comments, it is more likely that a blog will have more key words which will bring up the blog during a search engine's search. Once a blog gets more traffic, eventually the number of 'real' posts may increase, and the blog ghostwriters may no longer be needed. While companies providing blog ghostwriters claim that falsely-attributed postings are a legitimate marketing tactic, the practice has been deemed unacceptable by a major US paper, The Los Angeles Times. The Times fired Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Hiltzik for fabricating postings in his blog using alternate 'identities'.

Some celebrities, CEOs, or public figures set up blog websites as a marketing, public relations, or lobbying tool. However, since these individuals are typically too busy to write their blog posts, they hire discreet ghostwriters to post to the blog under the celebrity or CEO's name. As with non-fiction ghostwriting, the blog ghostwriter models their writing style, content and tone on that of the credited author.”




I never thought that writers, who, with the advent of blogging seems to be pulled now to do ghost-technical writing for bloggers.

I thought of ghostwriters as those who write lofty speeches and highfalutin promises or words for politicians. And once these politicians get elected their promises are gone by the echo that reverberated from the sound system.

I did write speeches for presidents of a Computer Society in the Middle East. I find it awkward listening to the speech I've written improperly emphasized. But it was affirming when those written words are given voice and applauded to. Well I also told the toastmaster club I once belonged to that I’d rather write speeches than delivering them. Am still a struggling writer.

So ghostwriters have found their way to the blogosphere as well. At least they still maintain a livelihood, so the income of the blogger is shared with them. I just hope that not all writers would turn into technical writers as the internet is becoming more and more an arena of published works. It would be less interesting and wonderful cyberworld if prose is absent in writing.

So I think I need to learn how to write technical stuff more creatively, what about making the technical more poetic, hmmm...

Any writing coach available?


( The original post different from this was posted at Qassia. Will the site is an incentive now to me to do more and be regular with bloggin, hehehe...)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It passed unnoticed!


I came across this page today. It was seven long years since that fateful victory of the people was made into mockery by GMA. The mistake was - she was the constitutional and legal successor! I hope another lesson learned. But today the people have enough of People Power, but still, hopeful, that there will be changed a real revolution to happen.

I was there during the first days, going to EDSA excitedly while sending text messages along the way. We distributed food to those who stayed overnight, performed in the morning to do some exercise and awaken the people to continue keeping guard of the place. We were the secretariat assisting the command until the place was taken over by showbiz and political celebrities.

This year I have forgotten about it, I have forgotten that we put a person unworthy of People Power. But I will always remember that I will always be a part of the Filipino People clamoring for change!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Does what happens in the Facebook stay in the Facebook?

As an addendum to the previous post (post below), I'd like to quote this from a discussion about the titled article :


Does what happens in the Facebook stay in the Facebook? (click to go to the site)



"Why does everything have to be a government conspiracy?
What happened to the good ol' days when social networks were just social networks?!
Oh wait.."



by DuFace on 03/02/2007



I came across the article from my clipmark subscription and followed through the discussion at digg it with 3198 diggs as of writing.

The exchanges are very interesting with all the ideas and reactions about this article. So find out for yourself.

Blog romantic not a blog pragmatic

I am crazy having my blog visible and entrecard has proven that my blog is gaining audience. So if you want to donate those points I am willing to accept them so I could advertise in those expensive ad sites.

Blogging was my way to get rid of boredom when I worked in the Sahara, since Iam not so used to it my first entries were fotos, but looking back they really speak so much of my state then more than any words and I could still feel the sense of ennui whenever i look at them.

My concern though is that blogs these days seemed so much focused on earning rather than expressing yourself. Well tides of change, online journaling/diary writing/blogging has taken a new face.

Social network ought to be monetized so people have to have lots of networks and should belong to all social networks, quantity is supreme over quality, well that is the case now. But still I do believe that it can be made more virtually up close and personal.

Blog romantic not a blog pragmatic here!

(This is an excerpt of an article I am in the process of writing)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Prof. Katsiaficas on 518


The lecture of Prof. George Katsiaficas about the May 18 1980 Gwangju Democratic Uprising was very interesting and it provoked a lively discussion among the audience, mostly the expats of Gwangju but there were also people involved during the uprising or popularly called 518. The 518 was remarkable and unique among the other revolutions as compared to the less successful uprisings in other Asian countries. Here in Korea, their homogeneity as to language and culture unlike the diversity, factionalism, regionalism, and tribalism of other countries was a factor that made it possible for the people to assert freedom and democracy. Thus gaining people's sovereignty over the military and dictatorial rule and paving the way to the rapid economic development of the country. It should also be noted that many Koreans are very passionate when it comes to promoting and protecting their civil liberties this is due to their high level of education, awareness of social issues and involvement in addressing them.

The Gwangju International Center (GIC) is a resource center for the expat community in Gwangju, Korea It is unique because of the services it offer. It conducts a forum regularly on Saturdays and publishes a monthly newsletter called the Gwangju News. The success of its operation for the last seven years is attributed to the dedication of its expat and Korean volunteers. Click GIC to check its website.

Below is an abstract of the talk by Prof. Katsiaficas on Neoliberalism and the Gwangju Uprising in Seoul last June 2006.


Drawing from US Embassy documents, World Bank statistics, and memoirs of former US Ambassador Gleysteen and Commanding General Wickham, US actions during Chun Doo Hwan’s first months in power are examined. The Embassy’s chief concern in this period was liberalization of the Korean economy and securing US bankers’ continuing investments. Political liberalization was rejected as an appropriate goal, thereby strengthening Korean anti-Americanism. The timing of economic reforms and US support for Chun indicate that the suppression of the Gwangju Uprising made possible the rapid imposition of the neoliberal accumulation regime in the ROK. With the long-term success of increasing American returns on investments, serious strains are placed on the US/ROK alliance. Read more

Do you brag?

I've been seeing blogs with a bragster logo so I finally signed up.
This is my account and check out my bets:
http://www.bragster.com/member/peterahon


Below is an intro about the group.



About us

Have you never told a friend "I bet you can't do this"? At the office, in the pub, while watching TV... We started paying attention and realized that it's everywhere!

bragster.com was founded mainly to record all the crazy things our friends were bragging about, but never seemed to happen. They would bet for pretty much everything (a bottle of champagne, washing the dishes, going bald) but even if something did happen, somehow the settlement was always 'forgotten'...

With bragster.com, we wanted to combine the power of online communities with the fun of having dares, challenges and bets among friends. There's a competitive spirit in each of us, challenges everywhere and sometimes you just got to bet on it!

We hope you enjoy the site. Please tell us what you think and keep coming back as we continue to improve it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Again, QASSIA, on the league of the top


Now on the top 25 list, well effort is paying off...

Sharing some of my experiences here:

1) It really takes a lot of effort and time to monitor those intels to screen.

2) Intels should not be lengthy but most of mine are a bit long. I do really think that intels should be lead and not a whole of article, since most of these can already found in the web.

3) Original intels are definitely a must and should be encouraged. Well I have not created a lot of originals myself some lifted from original source but I made some introductions of them making it not the original version it used to be.

4) Tweaking the assignment of percentage to my main blog at 98% made my rank to top 25 faster, since I have 4 other blogs listed that gets score as well. But my accumulated Qassia dollars is in the league of the top that is why I belong to that group and it takes effort.

5) Maintaining my position, well it is my goal. But aside from screening I want to write original intels. And I wish I will soon be writing them with a MacBook Air... wish.. wish.. wish...

Oh by the way even Mahalo now is keeping a tab on Qassia, someone found my link and attached his link as well, hmmm.. getting popular indeed...

So folks, watch out...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Qassia=MacBookAir


If only my Qassia dollars be converted to real cash then I would have bought the new MacBook Air. So thin, so sleek...

Anyway I hope that my effort with Qassia will pay-off to pay the purchase of this new and wonderful gadget. As of writing I have Q$3,100.00 and now within the top 50 list.

How nice it would be to blog with a MacBook Air. I hope that next time around I'll be blogging with it, soon...

So you want to take a look - click...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Qassia FAQ

It gets addictive when I see my Qassia dollars increase. So I went over the FAQ and read once again why I should promote and continue with my effort here. It is interesting to note that the model of Naver - a Korean popular website is becoming a model also or an alternative to the usual search engine mechanism. So the new buzz is intel.

So sign up now and let's increase the intel on the web.

Read the FAQ.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of anticipated questions. Click on the question to display our answer. If you have a question that isn't answered here, you can contact us directly.

What exactly is Qassia?

Qassia is a site to which you can add your websites. You can also add your knowledge, in the form of tidbits of information called "intel". The more intel you add, the better your sites will rank, the more backlinks you get, and the more money you make.

Qassia is 100 percent free, and does not require reciprocal links. You can get unlimited quality backlinks to your websites from Qassia.

Who is behind Qassia?

We are an international web development outfit you've probably never heard of. Chances are, though, that you've come across our sites while browsing the net, because we've been putting out good, useful and sometimes crazy sites since 1996. Qassia is, needless to say, our far most ambitious project yet.
Is Qassia a search engine?

No, Qassia is an intelligence engine. We fuel the digitization of intelligence and make it available to those who want it. Qassia uses good content to help people find your sites; Qassia makes it easier for your sites to appear in search engine results.
Has something like Qassia been done before?

Not really, though in South Korea there is a search engine called Naver which works on a similar principle. Naver is the top website in South Korea, and unlike most other markets, Google is far from being the top site in South Korea. Naver's content is entirely original but, unlike Qassia's content, is not shared with other search engines. (See article about Naver here.)

Knowledge bases such as Wikipedia, Squidoo, Hubpages, and Knol are also somewhat similar to Qassia. Qassia, however, is the only intelligence engine we know of, and the only knowledge base to reward contributions with credit designed to improve the ranking of websites. Wikipedia gives no credit - which is fine with the academic community behind most of the articles, whereas the other knowledge bases are trying - unsuccessfully so far - to develop an effective revenue-sharing model.

We have taken a completely different approach. We ask for intel, which anybody can add in abundance, not authoritative articles. And we have the only revenue sharing model that actually works.

What can Qassia do for me?

If you are a website owner, Qassia will help your websites perform better at search engines. You can get unlimited quality backlinks from Qassia. Additionally, in the medium to long term, Qassia will drive traffic to your site as Qassia will be used for finding content.

If you are user seeking information, Qassia will help you find original content and useful information you might be interested in.


What do you mean with "intel"?

Intel, short for intelligence, is what we call any chunk of information. Intel is added to Qassia in the form of posts, which are somewhat similar to blog posts. Click here for more info.
What kind of intel can I add?

You can add any kind of information you want. You might want to upload information about a person, or a place. Neither have to be famous. Or you might want to share your knowledge about a device, a plant, or an animal. Perhaps you know about news or an event - something that happened. If it's information, you can add it to Qassia.
Does the intel I add have to be related to my website?

No, you can have a website about chess and add intel about cheese. You can have a website about rabbits and add intel about the gossip in your office. It makes no difference.
Will my intel be edited?

No, the only one who can touch your intel is you.
Can I add images and videos to my intel?

Images, yes. You can add up to 25 images per intel. Images are not resized. Videos, not yet. We are still deciding which video sharing site to partner with. For the meantime, you can add links to videos at other sites - you can add embedded and external links.
Can I add intel in French? Serbian? Russian?

No, we are English-only for now. Non-English versions will be coming in the middle of 2008, if not sooner.

What is a screening?

Screening is the initial rating of intel by a fixed number of users, prior to publishing, during which the intel may be rated, but also rejected. You are free to add any type of intel, but we don't want total garbage (for example intel composed entirely of keywords instead of sentences) getting into our index.
How does the screening process work?

When you upload intel, it is not published right away. It has to be screened by a set number of users. After the intel has been screened, it is either published or rejected. After intel is published, users can continue to rate (but not reject) the intel as long as it is available.
How does the score assigned during screening affect intel?

If several users have intel dealing with "French cheese", the intel with the highest score will be displayed first.
Do I get credit for screening other people's intel?

Yes. And if the rating you assign to an intel is very close to the final score that intel gets after the screening, you get a bonus. You get an additional bonus if you are the first one to rate the intel.

How many users can I refer to Qassia?

We currently do not have a quota on the number of referrals you can make.
Why can't I see the credit for a referral in my account statement?

This is because the user you referred has not validated his/her email address.
Which referral credit rate applies, time of referral, or time of email validation?
Time of email validation. Consequen...
Is there a delay before credits show up in my statement?
No, credits are applied instantly. ...

How can my websites get exposure and traffic at Qassia?

  1. Your websites will be displayed when users browse through our tag-based directory. We will display a limited number of websites at the top of the page, in the space other sites use for "sponsored results". (The main space on the page, below, is reserved for intel.) How do we select the limited number of sites to display? We choose those sites that are owned by the users with the largest number of Qassia dollars in their account.

  2. A link to your website will be displayed every time your intel is displayed or referenced.
How will users access the intel at Qassia?

Users will be able to browse through our cascading tag-based directory, or search. Matching websites and intel will be displayed for each tag or search.
What exactly is a cascading tag-based directory?

It's something we've developed. It's a directory, but based on cascading tags rather than categories. On the landing page, you have the 20 most popular tags. Click on a tag, and you then get the 20 most popular tags that also have the first tag. And so on.

For example, if you click on "cars" at the landing page, the next page might have a list of secondary tags such as "imported", "used", "classic", "hybrid", etc. Click on "imported" and the subsequent page might have a list of tertiary tags such as "German", "Jaguar", "Lexus", etc.

Matching websites and intel will be displayed on each page: websites first, intel second.

Will Qassia crawl my websites?

No. We leave the crawling to Google. We prefer to hurtle.

What do you mean with "credit"?

Credit is measured in a currency we invented, called 'Qassia dollars'. The more you contribute to the site, the more Qassia dollars you earn. The Qassia dollars are added to your account, and you can view detailed statements showing your deposits, just like in a real bank account. The more Qassia dollars you are worth, the better your websites will rank.
How can I earn Qassia dollars?

By referring a friend to Qassia, by screening intel contributed by other users, or by adding intel of your own. See this page.
How can I spend Qassia dollars?

Eventually we will introduce auctions for front-page advertising, site-wide links, and other novel ways for you to burn through your hard-earned Qassia dollars. For the meantime, what matters is the amount of Qassia dollars you have in your account. Your net worth determines how high your sites will rank.
Can I buy Qassia dollars?

Right now, no. We have no plans to sell Qassia dollars. However, we may eventually add a Qassia dollar account to account transfer system. That means you might be able to transfer your Qassia dollars to the account of another user. It is conceivable that, with such a system in place, some users will be willing to sell their Qassia dollars for real dollars. But we need to vastly improve infrastructural security before we set up such a system.
How will Qassia make money?

We carry advertising on the landing page of our site, and when navigation or search results are displayed.

What do you mean with "ad revenue sharing"?

When advertising displayed next to your user page or intel generates income, that money goes to you. We have by far the best ad revenue sharing plan on the Internet.
How does the "ad revenue sharing" work?

If you have a Google Adsense account, we run ads on your user page or next to your intel using your Google Adsense account number. Consequently any advertising revenue generated by your user page or intel goes straight to you. Click here for more information.
How do I get paid for the advertising revenue I generate?

That's between you and Google. The most common form of payment is check. You can find out more at Google Adsense.
The advertising revenue, is it in real dollars or Qassia dollars?

Real dollars. Google don't use Qassia dollars.

Why is Qassia in "private beta"?

We are currently testing and refining our system with a limited number of participants. We are observing how the users interact with our site and tweaking our system to make sure it functions smoothly. Once we are confident we have everything right, we'll go into public beta, and then launch.
How do I sign up?

You can sign up on the profile page of the user who referred you. Right now we are in private beta, so that's the only way to sign up.
Can you send me an invitation?

Sorry but you need to be referred by another user.
How long will you be in private beta?

A few weeks, perhaps a month or two. Not very long.
What is the launch schedule?

We launched on January 1, 2008, with private beta. We hope to come out of private beta by February, and launch with fanfare by April. Non-English language versions will follow by mid-year.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Internet Services to Check Out

Well there are several internet services that are invitational because they are still in their beta mode. These services promise to offer monetary gain. So I have signed up to the following:


YUWIE

Yuwie.com is an online social networking service that allows our members to set up personal profiles for the purpose of linking to friends and sharing information, videos, blogs, and pictures. Yuwie members can view each others' profiles, communicate with old friends and meet new friends on the service. Yuwie also pays our members for based on the amount of activity they have, and based on the activity of their referrals. To enrich our members' experience, we request and display some personal information to other members and visitors, which allows our users to identify each other and expand their network of friends. Yuwie members can change their profile information at any time and can control if and how other members and the service communicates with them, and views their information.

http://r.yuwie.com/peterahon
(Cut and paste the url since it is invitational)


QASSIA

Qassia is a credit-driven intelligence engine coupled to a cascading tag-based web directory. What exactly does this mean? It means that Qassia will change your life.

Good stuff your websites will like
At Qassia, you can add your websites for free, and without having to add reciprocal backlinks. You'll get unlimited quality backlinks (as opposed to "no-follow" backlinks). You can also add intel. Short for "intelligence", intel is a tidbit of information. Qassia rewards users who add intel in three ways.

1. Backlinks You get one backlink for every piece of intel you add. Every intel will carry a direct backlink to one of your sites. So the more intel you add, the more backlinks you get.

2. Credit When you add intel, you also get credit, in the form of Qassia dollars. Your net worth in Qassia dollars determines how well your websites rank in our directory.

3. Revenue When your intel is displayed, you get 100% of the advertising revenue generated by that page. That is not a typo, by the way: we give you ALL of the gross ad revenue.

This means that website owners have triple incentive to contribute intel. The contributed intel will allow Qassia to become a vast repository of intelligence, with unrivalled original content. And a vast amount of original content draws traffic like honey draws ants.

http://peterahon.qassia.com/
(Click link to access the site/referral system)


ENTRECARD

What is an Entrecard?

Entrecard is your business card 2.0. It's a 125x125 image which represents you and your blog. Its part advertisement, part business card. It comes with a widget you place on your blog, so that others can leave their Entrecard for you. You can also use Entrecard to promote your blog and launch free advertising campaigns.
Who is Entrecard for?

For now, Entrecard is just for bloggers who own and operate their own blog. Down the road we may open it to other internet Entrepreneurs who own and operate other websites.
Are their entrance requirements into the Entrecard network?

Yes, first you must be the owner of a blog. The language of your blog must be english. Finally, your blog must not be a spam. If you are not the owner of the blog you register for, if your blog is not in English, or if its spam, your account will be deleted out of our network.

http://entrecard.com/user/2685/
(Check out my link)

BLOG CATALOG

Entrecard and Blog Catalog are linked, I get to know those who click my ad and referrals from Entrecard through the list of viewers from Blog Catalog

Bloggers Unite In Acts of Kindness
January 2nd, 2008

When we started Bloggers Unite in 2007, it was our belief that the best social networks are born our of a sense of community — people who share common interests and experiences. We knew that bloggers could do good, and do good together. Our most recent challenge proved that to us more than any other challenge before it. Why? Because the lives you touched through Bloggers Unite — Acts of Kindness asked BlogCatalog members and other bloggers to take action first and then blog about it.

The results were amazing. Thousands of bloggers, some who are community members and some who are not came together under the banner that bloggers, can do good and do good together. Did these bloggers change the world? We think so.

Through acts of love, kindness, and compassion, they changed the world at home, in their neighborhoods, in their communities, and around the world. The did not just write about it, but took action to prove that we can make a difference in the world and that even the smallest acts of kindness go a long way. There were thousands of posts; and dozens of bloggers added links so they could be considered in our challenge. We read every post, watched every video, and looked at every picture. And while there were no losers, we are please to announce the following top 20 posts for this challenge. Thank you all for making this such a success. Together, we changed the world. And if you don’t believe me, see for yourself …

http://www.blogcatalog.com/user/peterahon

(add me as your friend)

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Personal Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 11 January 2008 until I stop blogging.


This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact peterahon@gmail.com.


This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.


To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org

Climate change

The previous night I watched The day after tomorrow. I've seen it several times and can't resist watching it again. The next day I got an email from Open Learn asking about the meaning of high albedo? Albedo what?! Well a scientific term about the environment. Anyway I signed up for the course to learn something new and below is the introduction to the course:

This unit explores the topic of climate change and global warming. We will begin by exploring how the Earth’s global mean surface temperature is determined through a global “balancing act” of the rate of energy that comes from the Sun and the rate at which the planet returns that energy into space. We will also discuss the natural greenhouse effect, and how this contributes to a balanced global climate. We will then go on to consider the human impact on the atmosphere, including the impact of industrialisation, other sources of greenhouse gases that are connected to humans and the numerous and varied means of measuring climate change that are available.


Ex-VP AL Gore of the USA even won his Nobel Peace on his advocacy on Global Warming. And I do believe the environment really matter, it is an issue that everyone should involve in finding ways to address it. Below is the message of Nobel Peace Prize Winner – Al Gore:


SPEECH BY AL GORE ON THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
DECEMBER 10, 2007, OSLO, NORWAY

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Honorable members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen.

I have a purpose here today. It is a purpose I have tried to serve for many years. I have prayed that God would show me a way to accomplish it.

Sometimes, without warning, the future knocks on our door with a precious and painful vision of what might be. One hundred and nineteen years ago, a wealthy inventor read his own obituary, mistakenly published years before his death. Wrongly believing the inventor had just died, a newspaper printed a harsh judgment of his life's work, unfairly labeling him "The Merchant of Death" because of his invention - dynamite. Shaken by this condemnation, the inventor made a fateful choice to serve the cause of peace.
Seven years later, Alfred Nobel created this prize and the others that bear his name.

Seven years ago tomorrow, I read my own political obituary in a judgment that seemed to me harsh and mistaken - if not premature. But that unwelcome verdict also brought a precious if painful gift: an opportunity to search for fresh new ways to serve my purpose.
Unexpectedly, that quest has brought me here. Even though I fear my words cannot match this moment, I pray what I am feeling in my heart will be communicated clearly enough that those who hear me will say, "We must act."

The distinguished scientists with whom it is the greatest honor of my life to share this award have laid before us a choice between two different futures - a choice that to my ears echoes the words of an ancient prophet: "Life or death, blessings or curses. Therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live."

We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency - a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential even as we gather here. But there is hopeful news as well: we have the ability to solve this crisis and avoid the worst - though not all - of its consequences, if we act boldly, decisively and quickly.

However, despite a growing number of honorable exceptions, too many of the world's leaders are still best described in the words Winston Churchill applied to those who ignored Adolf Hitler's threat: "They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent."

So today, we dumped another 70 million tons of global-warming pollution into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet, as if it were an open sewer. And tomorrow, we will dump a slightly larger amount, with the cumulative concentrations now trapping more and more heat from the sun.

As a result, the earth has a fever. And the fever is rising. The experts have told us it is not a passing affliction that will heal by itself. We asked for a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth. And the consistent conclusion, restated with increasing alarm, is that something basic is wrong.
We are what is wrong, and we must make it right.

Last September 21, as the Northern Hemisphere tilted away from the sun, scientists reported with unprecedented distress that the North Polar ice cap is "falling off a cliff." One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study, to be presented by U.S. Navy researchers later this week, warns it could happen in as little as 7 years. Seven years from now.

In the last few months, it has been harder and harder to misinterpret the signs that our world is spinning out of kilter. Major cities in North and South America, Asia and Australia are nearly out of water due to massive droughts and melting glaciers. Desperate farmers are losing their livelihoods. Peoples in the frozen Arctic and on low-lying Pacific islands are planning evacuations of places they have long called home. Unprecedented wildfires have forced a half million people from their homes in one country and caused a national emergency that almost brought down the government in another. Climate refugees have migrated into areas already inhabited by people with different cultures, religions, and traditions, increasing the potential for conflict. Stronger storms in the Pacific and Atlantic have threatened whole cities. Millions have been displaced by massive flooding in South Asia, Mexico, and 18 countries in Africa. As temperature extremes have increased, tens of thousands have lost their lives. We are recklessly burning and clearing our forests and driving more and more species into extinction. The very web of life on which we depend is being ripped and frayed.

We never intended to cause all this destruction, just as Alfred Nobel never intended that dynamite be used for waging war. He had hoped his invention would promote human progress. We shared that same worthy goal when we began burning massive quantities of coal, then oil and methane.

Even in Nobel's time, there were a few warnings of the likely consequences. One of the very first winners of the Prize in chemistry worried that, "We are evaporating our coal mines into the air." After performing 10,000 equations by hand, Svante Arrhenius calculated that the earth's average temperature would increase by many degrees if we doubled the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Seventy years later, my teacher, Roger Revelle, and his colleague, Dave Keeling, began to precisely document the increasing CO2 levels day by day.

But unlike most other forms of pollution, CO2 is invisible, tasteless, and odorless -- which has helped keep the truth about what it is doing to our climate out of sight and out of mind. Moreover, the catastrophe now threatening us is unprecedented - and we often confuse the unprecedented with the improbable.

We also find it hard to imagine making the massive changes that are now necessary to solve the crisis. And when large truths are genuinely inconvenient, whole societies can, at least for a time, ignore them. Yet as George Orwell reminds us: "Sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield. "

In the years since this prize was first awarded, the entire relationship between humankind and the earth has been radically transformed. And still, we have remained largely oblivious to the impact of our cumulative actions.

Indeed, without realizing it, we have begun to wage war on the earth itself. Now, we and the earth's climate are locked in a relationship familiar to war planners: "Mutually assured destruction. "

More than two decades ago, scientists calculated that nuclear war could throw so much debris and smoke into the air that it would block life-giving sunlight from our atmosphere, causing a "nuclear winter." Their eloquent warnings here in Oslo helped galvanize the world's resolve to halt the nuclear arms race.

Now science is warning us that if we do not quickly reduce the global warming pollution that is trapping so much of the heat our planet normally radiates back out of the atmosphere, we are in danger of creating a permanent "carbon summer."

As the American poet Robert Frost wrote, "Some say the world will end in fire; some say in ice." Either, he notes, "would suffice."
But neither need be our fate. It is time to make peace with the planet.

We must quickly mobilize our civilization with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilized for war. These prior struggles for survival were won when leaders found words at the 11th hour that released a mighty surge of courage, hope and readiness to sacrifice for a protracted and mortal challenge.

These were not comforting and misleading assurances that the threat was not real or imminent; that it would affect others but not ourselves; that ordinary life might be lived even in the presence of extraordinary threat; that Providence could be trusted to do for us what we would not do for ourselves.

No, these were calls to come to the defense of the common future. They were calls upon the courage, generosity and strength of entire peoples, citizens of every class and condition who were ready to stand against the threat once asked to do so. Our enemies in those times calculated that free people would not rise to the challenge; they were, of course, catastrophically wrong.

Now comes the threat of climate crisis - a threat that is real, rising, imminent, and universal. Once again, it is the 11th hour. The penalties for ignoring this challenge are immense and growing, and at some near point would be unsustainable and unrecoverable. For now we still have the power to choose our fate, and the remaining question is only this: Have we the will to act vigorously and in time, or will we remain imprisoned by a dangerous illusion?

Mahatma Gandhi awakened the largest democracy on earth and forged a shared resolve with what he called "Satyagraha" - or "truth force."
In every land, the truth - once known - has the power to set us free.

Truth also has the power to unite us and bridge the distance between "me" and "we," creating the basis for common effort and shared responsibility.

There is an African proverb that says, "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We need to go far, quickly. We must abandon the conceit that individual, isolated, private actions are the answer. They can and do help. But they will not take us far enough without collective action. At the same time, we must ensure that in mobilizing globally, we do not invite the establishment of ideological conformity and a new lock-step "ism."

That means adopting principles, values, laws, and treaties that release creativity and initiative at every level of society in multifold responses originating concurrently and spontaneously.

This new consciousness requires expanding the possibilities inherent in all humanity. The innovators who will devise a new way to harness the sun's energy for pennies or invent an engine that's carbon negative may live in Lagos or Mumbai or Montevideo. We must ensure that entrepreneurs and inventors everywhere on the globe have the chance to change the world.
When we unite for a moral purpose that is manifestly good and true, the spiritual energy unleashed can transform us.

The generation that defeated fascism throughout the world in the 1940s found, in rising to meet their awesome challenge, that they had gained the moral authority and long-term vision to launch the Marshall Plan, the United Nations, and a new level of global cooperation and foresight that unified Europe and facilitated the emergence of democracy and prosperity in Germany, Japan, Italy and much of the world. One of their visionary leaders said, "It is time we steered by the stars and not by the lights of every passing ship."

In the last year of that war, you gave the Peace Prize to a man from my hometown of 2000 people, Carthage, Tennessee. Cordell Hull was described by Franklin Roosevelt as the "Father of the United Nations." He was an inspiration and hero to my own father, who followed Hull in the Congress and the U.S. Senate and in his commitment to world peace and global cooperation.

My parents spoke often of Hull, always in tones of reverence and admiration. Eight weeks ago, when you announced this prize, the deepest emotion I felt was when I saw the headline in my hometown paper that simply noted I had won the same prize that Cordell Hull had won. In that moment, I knew what my father and mother would have felt were they alive.

Just as Hull's generation found moral authority in rising to solve the world crisis caused by fascism, so too can we find our greatest opportunity in rising to solve the climate crisis. In the Kanji characters used in both Chinese and Japanese, "crisis" is written with two symbols, the first meaning "danger," the second "opportunity. " By facing and removing the danger of the climate crisis, we have the opportunity to gain the moral authority and vision to vastly increase our own capacity to solve other crises that have been too long ignored.

We must understand the connections between the climate crisis and the afflictions of poverty, hunger, HIV-Aids and other pandemics. As these problems are linked, so too must be their solutions. We must begin by making the common rescue of the global environment the central organizing principle of the world community.

Fifteen years ago, I made that case at the "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro. Ten years ago, I presented it in Kyoto. This week, I will urge the delegates in Bali to adopt a bold mandate for a treaty that establishes a universal global cap on emissions and uses the market in emissions trading to efficiently allocate resources to the most effective opportunities for speedy reductions.

This treaty should be ratified and brought into effect everywhere in the world by the beginning of 2010 - two years sooner than presently contemplated. The pace of our response must be accelerated to match the accelerating pace of the crisis itself.

Heads of state should meet early next year to review what was accomplished in Bali and take personal responsibility for addressing this crisis. It is not unreasonable to ask, given the gravity of our circumstances, that these heads of state meet every three months until the treaty is completed.
We also need a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store carbon dioxide.

And most important of all, we need to put a price on carbon -- with a CO2 tax that is then rebated back to the people, progressively, according to the laws of each nation, in ways that shift the burden of taxation from employment to pollution. This is by far the most effective and simplest way to accelerate solutions to this crisis.

The world needs an alliance - especially of those nations that weigh heaviest in the scales where earth is in the balance. I salute Europe and Japan for the steps they've taken in recent years to meet the challenge, and the new government in Australia, which has made solving the climate crisis its first priority.


But the outcome will be decisively influenced by two nations that are now failing to do enough: the United States and China. While India is also growing fast in importance, it should be absolutely clear that it is the two largest CO2 emitters -- most of all, my own country -- that will need to make the boldest moves, or stand accountable before history for their failure to act.

Both countries should stop using the other's behavior as an excuse for stalemate and instead develop an agenda for mutual survival in a shared global environment.

These are the last few years of decision, but they can be the first years of a bright and hopeful future if we do what we must. No one should believe a solution will be found without effort, without cost, without change. Let us acknowledge that if we wish to redeem squandered time and speak again with moral authority, then these are the hard truths:

The way ahead is difficult. The outer boundary of what we currently believe is feasible is still far short of what we actually must do. Moreover, between here and there, across the unknown, falls the shadow.

That is just another way of saying that we have to expand the boundaries of what is possible. In the words of the Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, "Pathwalker, there is no path. You must make the path as you walk."

We are standing at the most fateful fork in that path. So I want to end as I began, with a vision of two futures - each a palpable possibility - and with a prayer that we will see with vivid clarity the necessity of choosing between those two futures, and the urgency of making the right choice now.
The great Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen, wrote, "One of these days, the younger generation will come knocking at my door."

The future is knocking at our door right now. Make no mistake, the next generation will ask us one of two questions. Either they will ask: "What were you thinking; why didn't you act?"

Or they will ask instead: "How did you find the moral courage to rise and successfully resolve a crisis that so many said was impossible to solve?"

We have everything we need to get started, save perhaps political will, but political will is a renewable resource.

So let us renew it, and say together: "We have a purpose. We are many. For this purpose we will rise, and we will act."

External Links
Open Learn Course on Climate Change

PayperPost Video

CALL FOR APPLICATION - 2008 INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

call for international intern

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Accepting Nominations -Gwangju Prize for Human Rights 2008

Now, on its 8th year, the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights is now open for nomination. Since its inception, this prestigious award has been given to 9 individuals and a Korean organization. Among the winners include Xanana Gusmao (Timor Leste), Daw Aung San Suu Kyii (Burma), Wardah Hafidz (Indonesia), Malalai Joya (Afghanistan) and Irom Sharmila...

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feedjit

Thanks feedjit for the free service! I don't need to sign-up just cut and paste their code and voila I can monitor the visitors to my site. Well I used such service before but it was removed since I can't buy their service fee to bad for them now they are taken over by feedjit.

So here's an entry from their blog:
(http://feedjit.com/blog/)


Welcome and News, lots of News!
November 30th, 2007

107 days since the launch of Feedjit we’ve finally got a blog of our own! Lots of news to tell…

Our friends at SixApart have written about Feedjit this week on Typepad’s official blog. You’ll also find all 4 of Feedjit’s widgets in the Typepad Widget Gallery. A warm welcome to the many new Typepad bloggers who installed Feedjit today!

We launched two new widgets yesterday. Our Recommended Reading Widget and our Page Popularity widget. These are both designed to help bloggers and webmasters make their sites more ’sticky’ or less ‘bouncy’ - pick your favorite buzz word.

Search engine traffic and traffic from sites like Digg and Reddit generally has a high bounce rate. Visitors arrive, they look, they leave. Our two new widgets help you show off your best content and can help reduce that bounce rate by drawing visitors deeper into your website.

Feedjit continues to grow at an insane rate. We’ve just passed 12,000 bloggers and websites using Feedjit in just over 3 months and we’re serving over 70 Million widgets per month now. Our sign up rate continues to increase, so hold on because this is going to be quite a ride.

Our page popularity widget which we launched yesterday was suggested by several of our users. We rely on your feedback to shape the direction Feedjit is going to take and we’d love to hear more of your suggestions! Either email us at support@feedjit.com or just post a comment here.

Keep an eye on this blog for new product announcements and Feedjit news.

Mark.

Entrecard

Wow this is amazing, I am receiving traffic to my blog now through entrecard. So I am posting below an article about it:


Entrecard is a blogging service that has quickly emerged (or exploded) onto the scene over the last couple of months. Entrecard widgets are popping up on thousands of blogs around the blogosphere - including here at ProBlogger since they became a ProBlogger sponsor.

I get a lot of questions about Entrecard and how to use it most effectively to promote your blog - so I thought I’d approach Entrecard’s Graham Langdon with some of the more common questions. Please note that while Entrecard is a sponsor of ProBlogger this is not a paid post. It emerges out of your questions of a service that I know many of you are curious about and using.

Click to read more...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Qassia

Well back again updating my blog and finding all these means of improving my online presence. I found Qassia from one of the members of entrecard. Ugh too many ways to advertise. Which one work is really a question. How to maintain them is another of those concerns.

Anyway it is free so why not make use of it.

So want to try it?


here is my profile welcome message at qassia:

Hi! Welcome to my profile page at Qassia, the most amazing resource ever. Wanna join Qassia? All you need to do is click on "Sign Up".

Qassia is fantastic because you get credit for sharing your intelligence. The more credit you earn, the better your websites will rank. And you get a backlink to your website for every intel you add - only Qassia gives you unlimited quality backlinks.

Last but not least, Qassia also has the best ad revenue sharing system on the Internet, so in effect you get paid for promoting your websites. Qassia rocks!

The more people join Qassia, the more everyone will benefit, so give Qassia a spin. Signing up takes less than a minute, so you've got nothing to lose. See ya around!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Signed up for YUWIE

I signed up for Yuwie, well I just hope that it will really work, that I can earn while using their service.

So sign up and join me at Yuwie...

My profile is with this link http://r.yuwie.com/peterahon


Below is the invite letter:



From: Pete Rahon [peterahon@gmail.com]
Subject: Pedro has invited you to Yuwie!
A message from Pete Rahon:
Your Personal Message From Above
----------------------------------------
You have been invited to join Yuwie by Pete Rahon. When you join, you will be instantly connected to Pete and Pete's friends. Click the link below to join.


http://ww3.yuwie.com/yuwie.asp?r=408857&vid=


What is Yuwie?
=================
First off, Yuwie is 100% FREE. Yuwie is like any other "connect with friends" or social networking site. But we have one major difference.

Use Yuwie - Get Paid!

Yuwie pays you to blog, upload pictures, refer friends, chat, hang out, etc.


---------------------------------------------
If you don't want to receive communication from Yuwie: http://ww3.yuwie.com/remove.asp

Monday, January 07, 2008

Signed up for




What is rssHugger?

rssHugger is a new website developed to help bloggers promote their blogs, and to help visitors discover new blogs that write about subjects that the readers are interested in. Through the power of the internet and viral marketing, rssHugger looks to bring blog writers and blog readers closer together. If you own a blog, you can get your own page on rssHugger for 10 years for giving an honest review of the site on your blog. If you want to join rssHugger but do not want to review our site, you can pay a one time review fee of $20. rssHugger will be the first ever quality, spam free, and viral rss directory strictly for bloggers.


The Idea

rssHugger is a unique website that aims to bring bloggers and readers together. rssHugger aims to provide blog owners with a unique easy-to-use way to promote their blogs by sending them traffic, building backlinks for search engine optimization, as well as attracting new rss subscribers if the content is interesting to the reader. rssHugger aims to help visitors be able to easily find blogs that write about subjects they are interested in. These subjects include: internet marketing, making money online, charity, sports, gambling, and many more. If the visitors find a blog that they had not previously heard about, they can easily add it to their RSS readers or bookmark it.

The Goal

My goal was originally to get 50,000 blogs signed up with a $10 joiners fee, but due to the fact that I want to support all of the great bloggers, even those who cannot afford $10, I changed this goal to sign up 250,000 free blogs within the first year of operation. With over 112 million registered blogs, with about 175,000 new ones per day, I feel this goal is possible. The money will be used to pay off college expenses, to invest in my other internet startup companies, sponsor like-minded business folk, and continue to support Kiva, who support entrepreneurs in the developing world.