EBay is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell almost everything. Some time ago I discovered that you can register literally anything for sale, as a baby was registered on German eBay and the price was set as 1 euro. The baby was eight months old and the description stated that it was for sale because it cried too much. EBay removed this auction and it is interesting whether the child would be actually sold if eBay would not be fast enough. While the story might scare some people, the mother of the baby assured that it was just a joke. What do you think about it? Should we be joking about such things?
Whatever is our opinion about eBay we have to admit that it is doing quite a good job removing many auctions due to the breach of their ToS. EBay does not allow any auctions, but it differs from country to country. For example, in UK and Ireland eBay prohibits the sale of knives and this includes sets of kitchen cutlery. It might sound silly to a lot of us, but this is just an example that eBay does not allow sellers to sell everything.
Sites like Flickr have been growing in popularity for the last few years. Taking photos and uploading them to sites like Flickr has been a hobby of many enthusiasts. Unfortunately, some people try to take advantage out of it, and are selling pictures taken from Flickr on sites like eBay. Usually, they claim that they are their own, which of course is not true. It is not easy to identify such people, and even if you are the one who took the pictures, it will not be easy for you to track each photograph you have made. Even if you are using some tool to detect duplicate images, it is easy to change the size of the picture by slightly cutting the bottom or right/left side of it. This way it should be impossible to track whether your photos are being posted anywhere else. Your best bet is to watermark your pictures.
Of course, if you are taking pictures simply for fun, then you are not going to lose any money because someone is selling your pictures. If would be a completely different situation if you were a professional photographer because people who downloaded your pictures from Flickr could undercut your prices very easily. That is because they would have no costs associated with downloading your pictures. I am not saying that sites like Flickr are a bad thing, but I am simply reminding everyone that it is easy for people to take someone’s work and claim it as their own.
More and more webmasters decide to implement ads on their websites. Those who make some money integrating Google AdSense on their sites have the possibility to chose the ads that they want to display. I think that every webmaster might benefit from this feature as it gives a lot power over the ads. As a result, it will help us avoid unwanted links on our sites that would otherwise appear. This especially applies to controversial bloggers and publishers that would rather not advertise contrary views. This might also apply to religious sites that do not wish to promote contrary beliefs. It would look silly if a Christian website would have many ads promoting Islamic websites. In order to give even more control over the ads appearing on our pages, Google released the Ad Review Center. It allows us to review ads placement-targeted to our websites, and this way ensures that those ads are relevant to our site.
One of the best things about filtering ads is that you can have the possibility to block ads that you might consider offensive. Many webmasters are already taking advantage out of this feature and I think that is a great thing.
There are millions of blogs out there. While bloggers communicate with their readers with written language, I am wondering how attractive it would be for readers to view videos of bloggers speaking on various subjects. Qik Video Streaming allows streaming videos from mobile phones, and such content could appear on blogs or related sites like Facebook. I am pretty sure that video streaming blogs will not replace traditional blogs. On the other hand, I am also pretty sure that some bloggers will want to integrate video streaming to some degree. Qik Video Streaming has a latency of around 1-2 seconds, so it is pretty efficient. Time will tell how popular it will become. While it may not become very popular within a year or two, I think that video streaming will gain on popularity when fast broadband connections will be even more accessible. Many Internet users have download limits set by their Internet service providers so they cannot download as much data as they would like. However, this is also likely to change and this is one of the reasons why video streaming might gain on popularity in the future. Of course, it does not mean that regular blogs will disappear.
Have you ever wondered why Craigslist achieved such a success? The site is the seventh most viewed site on the Internet. Not bad, is it not? Even though the website is originally based in San Francisco, it operates worldwide. The idea behind the website is very simple. People like to buy and sell used things, and Craigslist allows them to sell items in a very convenient way. There are thousands upon thousands of classified ads on their site, no wonder that the site has so many visitors. People will always need to be buying and selling various items, and this is why sites like this will always stay popular. These days Craigslist is so popular that almost everyone knows what it is. I remember seeing Craig the founder of Craigslist on TV some time ago. While he seems like an intelligent person, he is also in many ways an ordinary guy, which proves that anyone can achieve success on the Web. Of course, not every online entrepreneur will achieve success, but it is definitely worth trying. Do you have any ideas for an innovative website? Who knows, maybe your website will become one of the most popular sites on the Internet?
Wikipedia is currently the king of all online encyclopedias. Until now, there were no real competitors which would undermine that. Naturally, there were some sites which tried to repeat the success of Wikipedia. However, they either lacked funding, had the wrong motivation, or were simply released too late. Currently, the largest competitor of Wikipedia is Google’s Knol. I believe that Knol might achieve a big success because it is backed up by Google. Google might implement ads on Knol, and it might even share part of the revenue with the creators of pages. This could bring a lot of users from Wikipedia to Knol, especially those who hope to be paid for their hard work.
In some countries, sites like Wikipedia are very controversial. Until very recently, Chinese Internet users were prohibited from seeing some of the Wikipedia pages. This was due to the fact that they were considered to be inappropriate by the Chinese government. The site has been reported to be unblocked in several major cities in this country, including its capital city. As China was hosting Olympics in August 2008, the International Olympic Committee was urging the Chinese to give free access to Internet to everybody before the Games started. Wikipedia, as well as other sites, are still having a hard time in China. Not such a long time ago, a person who is probably China’s number one dissident, was jailed for three and a half years in prison. It was stated that it was because of publishing “inappropriate” articles on the Internet.
There are many dangerous things on the Internet and it is important to be prepared for everything. This time I would like to warn you about the danger of pyramid schemes on the Internet.
Pyramid scheme is a type of a business model that is doomed to fail. It involves the exchange of money mainly for referring other people into the scheme. Very often no products or services are actually being delivered. It has been known to come under many different forms in order to trick people. The reason why it is doomed to fail is that for people to earn money out of it, you would actually have to enroll more and more people in the scheme without an end. But there will be an end, because at some point the number of people necessary to be involved for anyone to make money would exceed the population of Earth. Usually, only those who have many referrals make money with such programs. The problem is that once news spreads that a particular program is a pyramid scheme, then it is very hard to acquire new referrals. That is why all of the other people are going to lose money.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with making money by obtaining referrals in case of programs that are not pyramid schemes. If you refer others to join services that are actually useful, then everyone involved is going to benefit from it. Nonetheless, it is important to be aware of the existence of pyramid schemes.
What are the best topics to blog about? There are thousands possible topics that a blog can have, and it is going to be up to you to choose the one you are the most interested in. You may get an idea to blog about search engine optimization, or maybe you also got a few other ideas not directly related to this particular subject. There is a chance that there are a few other things you are fascinated about that you would like to write about. Are you worried about starting a blog that would cover more than one topic? I think that there is nothing wrong about blogging about two or three different topics on your blog. After all, there have to be people who also share your interests. While staying focused on the topic of a blog is a very important factor in retaining visitors, writing about a few topics might even attract more readers that will come to a blog in order to read about a variety of topics. Of course, there has to be moderation in everything, so it may not be a good idea to blog about a dozen unrelated subjects. That is because there may not be that many visitors that have interest in all of the topics you would discuss. On the other hand, if you are going to discuss two or three topics, then your blog will be very attractive to all of those people that have an interest in those topics.
Blogging requires a lot of dedication, so over the course of time, you might have abandoned one of your blogs. Maybe months might have passed and you did not add any new content. You barely receive any visitors, and have very few RSS subscribers. Is it worth restarting such a dormant blog? I believe it might be a good idea for a few reasons:
-This blog will have an older domain. Older domains seem to be more trusted by search engines. This means that your articles might get ranked higher in search engines.
-Existing back links are another reason why restarting your old blog is a good idea. Relevant back links often lead to increased traffic. Old blogs often have a lot of links coming from various sources.
-Existing subscribers. If you create a new domain, in the beginning you are not going to have any subscribers. Even if you currently have very few RSS subscribers left, at least you will have a few loyal readers from the start. Of course, if your blog has been abandoned for a very long time, then there might not be many subscribers left.
I think that there is no doubt that there are many advantages to restarting a dead blog.
Almost everybody who watches Jon Stewart from the Daily Show knows that you cannot believe everything he is saying, because his program is a so-called fake news show. However, things are different on the Internet. With so many new websites being created, you might not realize that what you are reading is not true. There are many hoax websites on the Internet with the goal of misleading their readers. Some of them are more misleading than others. Let us look, for example, at MoonBeam Enterprise, which advertises as an ultimate place to buy your property on the Moon. Probably, you would not fall for it, but you will be surprised to find out how many people actually fell for this hoax. My advice is, whatever you read or watch on the Net, be prepared for misleading websites and scammers.
It is so easy to get scammed these days. For example, you might have received a scam email like this: “Congratulations! You are the 1,000,000th 1-800-Mail visitor! YOU WON $400! Recently, we have reached 120,000 members. 1-800-Mail has over 4,000,000 visits monthly, so we decided to give cash prizes every 1,000,000th visitor every month. This month, you are the one of 4 winners who will get $400 from 1-800-Mail!”
When you click on the link, you will be redirected to a website which looks like 1-800-Mail, but apparently has a different domain address. After I visited the site, you might be asked for your PayPal email address to “claim the reward”. You have to realize that the email could be used to spam you in the future, and that they would not pay you anything. Watch out for such type of scams, because some are more dangerous than others. You can benefit a lot from using the Internet, but you should also be aware of potential dangers.