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Get started making money with Kontera contextual ads on your site

Can you actually make money with a contextual ad network? This article explains exactly how one popular site added Kontera ads and is seeing a boost of over $50,000/year in revenue, through simple, inoffensive, Web 2.0-style pop-up ads. Includes a discussion of the style of advertising and an actual earnings report for the last week.

Check it out here: Get Started with Kontera.

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How Angelina Jolie figured out the latitude/longitude of her children's birthplaces?

Angelina Jolie has a tattoo on her arm that shows the latitude/longitude of the birthplace of each of her four children. If you wanted to do something similar, here's how you can figure out the lat/long of any given location, converting it from a common decimal format to the more traditional minutes/seconds value. Jolie's tattoo cracked within too:

Angelina Jolie's latitude/longitude tattoo explained.


How to create an "Add Me As a MySpace Friend" button for your site

If you are a fan of MySpace you already know that the easier it is for people to be your MySpace friend, the more friends you will have. This article shows a simple and fun way to create "Add Me As A Friend" buttons for your email, blog or Web site, to help you get more friends.

Read it here: Create "Add Me As a MySpace Friend" buttons



Should films be censored and do the MPAA ratings actually work?

I received an interesting set of questions from a student about film censorship: Do you believe that censorship is a good or bad thing and why? Do you believe that the current rating system is effective in controlling what people see? Should older movies be remade, edited for content or should they be left in their original form?

I've tackled all three of them in detail, including talking about the re-release of Star Wars, why director's cuts are so popular (with commentary on Blade Runner) and why there were two versions of Saturday Night Fever, one "R" rated and one "PG" rated. Finally, I also talk about whether the MPAA rating system works and why HBO and TiVo have kicked the legs out of ratings.

But why not just read my article? Check out On Censorship, the MPAA and the Movies and hopefully add your own two cents too.


EU decides all bloggers now liable for fake comments?

In case we don't have enough to worry about as bloggers in the blogosphere, it turns out that the European Union is passing a new directive that makes it illegal for businesses to falsely masquerade as a consumer. Not just with fake blogs (also known as "sock puppet blogs") but with comments on blogs too. This will extend out even to reviews on and other review sites.

It all sounds good in theory, but in reality this could prove to be a nightmare for bloggers if we are then liable for verifying the identity of everyone who adds comments to our weblogs. Indeed, that's impossible to verify anyway, and even if you could, the nuances of identity are such that the system is trivially defeated anyway. For example, if my sister works at a company and I write a blog comment on someone else's weblog that defends that company, do I need to disclose that relationship?

It's a curious law and I surmise that the EU won't be able to enforce this new directive. But that's just me. What's your opinion of the new law that's just starting to surface in the online world?

Tip: More background and details can be found here: EU makes fake blogs and comments illegal: are all bloggers liable?


Does deleting weblogs break the Web?

Apparently, IBM has been deleting the blogs of former employees, something that has gotten some of the weblog luminaries in a bit of an uproar. The issue is that these purists are claiming that companies deleting weblogs is somehow defacing history, somehow violating the sacrosanct nature of the Web and the blogosphere. I can't see it, because in my view once you leave a company there's no reason why they should keep a historical record of your works or writing, particularly in as personal a venue as a personal or business weblog. After all, companies are liable for the material on their sites, whether from current or former employees.

Anyway, it's an interesting debate and one worth checking out: Erasing Blogs Does Not Break the Web

What's your opinion on this topic? Do you ever go back and edit your blog entries or even erase entries completely? Have you ever started a blog - or web site - just to delete it later when you find it isn't relevant to your current efforts?


Wikiasari to compete with Google? I don't think so!

If you've been following the exciting world of search engines (only said slightly in jest) you know that Google keeps increasing its market share, and that the only way that wanna-be MSN Live is even getting any traction is by forcing everyone to upgrade Internet Explorer to IE7, which conveniently resets everyone's default search engine to the Microsoft solution. Hmmm... okay.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Wales, the founder and creator of Wikipedia, has come out with news that he's building a human-powered search engine called Wikiasari (I have no idea what the name means, sorry) with funding from Amazon, you might recall, have a failed search engine of their own called A9, and even with the offer of special discounts on purchased for A9 users, they still can't get anyone to use it. No wonder they're interested.

But should we be interested in Wikiasari?

I don't think so.

The problem isn't that the search engine might not be interesting or useful, the problem is that to even compete in the world of search engines you have to fight the incredibly strong powers of momentum, of people just not wanting to bother with something different. Regardless of how wonderful Wikiasari might be (and I'm skeptical it'll work at all because of spammers and other cons) (recall that they killed DMOZ, for example), the only way people will try it is if Google really starts failing as a search engine.

The weird thing is that the media is writing about it with the sort of hype usually reserved for Google itself, talking about how Wikiasari might be a "Google killer" and a "serious threat to Google's marketshare". I just don't see it.

What's your take? Would you switch search engines "just because", or do you find that your favorite search engine is hard-wired into your fingers at this point in the evolution of the Internet?

I have a longer article on this subject available on my Business Blog too: Wikiasari threatens Google? I don't think so. if you'd like to engage in a discussion on this topic too.