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Volume 1 - Issue 40 1-12-07

 

For those who would like to read this in HTML format, this issue of Boomer eZine is posted on the Boomer eZine website at http://www.boomer-zine.com/V1I40_011207.htm and on the Boomer eZine Blog at http://boomer-ezine.blogspot.com.  

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Table of Contents for this issue.....

1.    Authors Comments

2.    Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

3.    Results of Survey

4.    Forum S P A M

5.    TLD- What is it?

6.    Another Internet Tools (Video)


Author's Comments

 

A great week with lots of questions coming from readers.

 

(This part of the comments was written on Monday)  Not so great a week concerning the Google search engine wars.  For some reason, retirement-jobs-online.com (RJO) dropped off the radar for the main search term “retirement jobs”.  Many of the other lesser key words still have first page rank.

 

No one really knows (except Google) why Google does what it does.  I can only suspect that I may have raised red flags with the addition of too many links in too short a time.

 

I sent nine new articles to the posting service in Pakistan to post on over 100 article sites so that is 900 plus new links.  I posted the 46 pages of the RJO site on the social bookmarking services using Onlywire.com.  That is potentially 598 links.

 

I do not know the answer, but I want to tell you this since this is the only reason that I can see for the action.  I will keep working on the RJO site and hopefully Google will see that these links are legitimate and RJO will get back on the first page of the results for the “retirement jobs” keyword.

 

Even with the main key word not on the first page of the search results, the traffic stats on RJO (I check them each morning) is still growing.  The average visitor count has broken 100 per day and seems to be steadily climbing.

 

(Updated on Thursday)  RJO showed up again on the Google first page and traffic jumped again.  I guess Google was just checking out the sudden increase in links??????  As we say in South Texas , “Quien sabe?  -- Spanish for “who knows?”

 

Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

 

Let me tell tell you about Pat Angel, a new subscriber from Singapore .  He emailed me on Monday and introduced himself.  He asked about getting online.  I told him the quickest way was by creating a blog.  He asked how to do that and I lead him through the steps for starting a blog on Blogger.com.  By Wednesday morning Texas time, he had a blog and I was reading his first post.  Pat is a man of action.  Go to http://singaman.blogspot.com/ to see Pat’s blog.  Leave him a comment of encouragement to help him on his way.  The thing I admire about Pat is he took the leap of faith.

 

Ana asked about pixles.  Let’s go to Wikipedia for a definition:

 

A pixel (short for picture element, using the common abbreviation "pix" for "picture") is a single point in a graphic image. Each such information element is not really a dot, nor a square, but an abstract sample. With care, pixels in an image can be reproduced at any size without the appearance of visible dots or squares; but in many contexts, they are reproduced as dots or squares and can be visibly distinct when not fine enough. The intensity of each pixel is variable; in color systems, each pixel has typically three or four dimensions of variability such as red, green and blue, or cyan, magenta, yellow and black.  

The setting on your computer that controls the pixel size of your computer display is the display resolution.  On MS Windows, this is set in the control panel (Control Panel > Display > Settings).  The options on my computer are 800X600 for the lowest and it goes up from there.  I have mine set at 1024X768 which is the most common for most users on the Net.

 

I think of pixels when creating web pages.  Objects on the page can be specified as so many pixels wide and so many pixels high.

 

To give you a reference, the width of the text on the boomer-ezine.com web page is 700 pixels wide.

 

As a final note on pixels, the term is used in many other applications (dots on a printed page, etc.).  Go to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixels for the full discussion on the subject.

 

If you have anything for this section or you have a suggestion for a topic for an article, please go to http://www.boomer-ezine.com/Suggestion_Form1.htm and give us your input.  

Results of the Survey  

Here are the results from last week’s survey:  

Question: Do you have a website?  

50% - Yes, I currently have a website

41% - No, but I plan to have one within a year

9% - No, but I plan to have one within two years

0% - I do not plan to put up a website  

Question: Do you have a blog?  

17% - Yes, I have a blog

58% - No, but I will have one in less than a year

8% - No, but I will have one in less than two years

17% - No, I do not plan to build a blog  

Question: Have you published articles on the Internet?  

75% - No, I have not published articles

17% - Yes, I have published 1 – 5 articles.

0% - Yes, I have published 5 – 10 articles

8% - Yes, I have published more than 10 articles.  

I will let you read and draw your own conclusions.  Thanks for your input on this survey.  

Forum S P A M  

It is a shame that we waste so much of our time on the Net dealing with spammers.  The Boomer Entrepreneur forum became the target of spam robots (bots) that find a forum to attack and then start registering users with the intent of posting spam to the user’s account.  They spam to post links that point to their website so it will have a high link count and cause it to rate high with the search engines.  

I tried several things to stop this.  The sign on sequence for the forum has an image with letters and numbers that must be entered to register so I activated that feature.  It did not stop the problem so I figured that it was human spammers.  I could just see someone hunched over a keyboard in a third world country pounding out spam to the forum.  

After exhausting my knowledge on the problem, I posted a project on rentacoder.com for help.  I received 10 bids that ranged from $15 – $100USD.  I settled on a coder from England who had a great rating and lots of completed projects – Total cost $25.  

He helped upgrade the version of phpBB (the forum software that drives the Boomer Entrepreneur forum) and made several security modifications (also called mods or hacks) to the forum.  He also added a toolkit which makes it easy to mass delete unwanted users.  His work was great and he was very helpful.  

Sidebar:  For more information about phpBB, read “BUILDING A FORUM ON YOUR WEBSITE” at http://www.boomer-ezine.com/V1I4_043006.htm.  

Now when a user attempts to register, a question is posed to the user that only a human can read and understand.  Also, it sends a confirmation email to the users email address that must be answered for the registration to be complete.  Most spammers will not give a valid email address so the registration will fail.  

I am still seeing the bots attempt to register, but I get an email from the forum each time a registration fails.  And I am getting a lot of them.  Since the mods were installed, there has not been a spammer registration accepted.  Hooray!  I expect that this will be a temporary victory since the spammers are always trying to stay ahead.  

Bottom line.  Don ’t get bogged down with a problem on the Net.  Hire an expert using rentacoder.com or elance.com and get on with the project.  There is some great talent out there that will work very reasonably.  

To post a project and sign up on Rentacoder.com, link to:

http://www.rentacoder.com/RentACoder/SmallBiz.asp?txtFromURL=AId_6288648  

For Elance.com link to:  ,

http://www.elance.com/home?rid=116HU  

TLD – What is it?  

This is almost trivia.  I always thought that the letters to the right of the dot in the domain name (.com, .org, .edu) were called “extensions” like the letters to the right of the period in file names (.doc, .exe, .txt).  WRONG.  These are called top level domains.  

From Wikipedia:  

“A top-level domain (TLD) is the last part of an Internet domain name; that is, the letters which follow the final dot of any domain name. For example, in the domain name www.website.com, the top-level domain is com (or COM, as domain names are not case-sensitive)”.  

Now you know.  

Another Internet Tool (Video)  

A great website is www.statcounter.com.  I discovered it a couple of weeks ago and have used it everyday since.  The best news is that it is free.  

I created a video on how to use it.  In the video I call it “Stats Counter” which is wrong so forgive me.  It is singular and not plural. (Stat not Stats).

Stat Counter (SC) is a site that will track the activity on your site and give you extensive reports on how your site is being viewed.  I have posted a short video showing how it looks and some of the information that you can get from it.

To use Stat Counter, you establish an account on the site with a user name and password.  Once you are signed on, you set up a project to monitor a particular website.  You can set up multiple projects to monitor multiple sites.  

SC generates a few lines of java script for you.  You then copy and paste into each webpage on your site that you want to monitor.  In this case, I had to post the script on over 40 web pages on the Retirement Jobs Online (RJO) site, but it was worth it.  There is nothing on your page to indicate that the script is there.  

Each time the page loads, the script sends info to SC that goes into a database.  When you want to see the info, you log on SC and check out how people are reading your site.  

Site Build It has lots to solid traffic statistics that give you the page count of pages read, entry page and exit page for a reader, most popular pages, etc. but it does not tell you how long a reader stayed on your site and the path they followed through your site.  SC does this.  

The RJO site navigation is controlled by a study guide page that is designed to lead the reader through the various topics in the site.  Until I started using SC, I had no way of knowing if the reader had accepted that structure.  To my delight, most viewers who spend time on the site do follow the study guide.  You can see the results in the video.  

This is a great tool.  If you are building a website, I highly recommend that you install the small script on every page that you want to track.  

To view the video, click the following link:  

http://www.boomer-ezine.com/Videos/V1I40Video/Click-to-Play.html  

That wraps up our issue for this week.  Until next week, stay tuned.  

John and Linda Howe

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