Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Family farm and new CSA starting in Efland, Orange County, NC

I went to visit my hay supplier, Roger Tate at Roger Tates Farm in Efland, NC today. I love this guy, he and his crew work so so hard and some years a drought or a flood or something wipes out everything.

Well, they are getting into Community Supported Agriculture under the name Harmony Hill Farm and I wanted to let you know - if you're in Alamance or Orange County and want to support locavore local agriculture, email Roger and his wife Lisa: Roger Tate's Farm in Efland NC.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Perfect gift for telenovela fans: William Levy's 2011 calendar has finally been published. Where can you get it? I'll tell you.

To read in English what the Spanish-language William Levy Calendario site says, head over to my William Levy page which has information about the making of the calendar, links for purchasing it online, and locations where it can be bought in person.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

And if you're trying to avoid Christmas, this is for you.

And now that I've sent off my almond roca Christmas presents to my brothers and nieces, I'm getting down to my toughest December task: ignoring society's desperate attempts to get me to buy stuff while listening to tired old Christmas carols. You looking to escape Christmas too? See my tips:
How to avoid Christmas.

DIY homemade candy for Christmas: Almond roca

I am a strong believer in economical homemade Christmas presents, especially in these hard times but really for always. I'm Jewish but my brothers are Christians and every year I make this 'heavenly toffee' (like giant Heath bars or Skor bars but much better): Make your own almond roca. It's fantastic!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wheelchair Umbrellas

If you are a wheelchair user and tired of getting constantly soaked in the pouring rain, you may be interested in this new Squidoo lens about wheelchair umbrellas.

There are several different types of wheelchair umbrellas demonstrated, including the Paraplis a wheelchair umbrella holder which allows the umbrella to fold down but remain attached to the wheelchair.

But probably the most innovative is this wheelchair umbrella holder that is worn on the body and has some pockets which can hold a collapsible umbrella. It is water resistant and can also store valuables as well.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Squidoo Lens In Top 10!

Ok, time to brag a bit. My footed pajamas lens has finally reached the top ten. As I write this, my footed pajamas lens is actually #10 overall and #4 in shopping. It has been flirting with the top ten for some weeks, but did not manage to reach it, usually hovering around #14 or #15. Today I looked and it was actually #10! YEAH ME!

I am very proud of this footed pajamas lens. My footed pajamas lens has been selected as lens of the day and was voted best shopping lens last year and was a purple star recipient. Not much more for it to win, so it is nice to get small achievements like this. :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I have the greatest leaf blower: Stihl BR 500 low-noise backpack blower

best backpack leaf blowerI never never thought I would EVER have a leaf-blower because I was a raking snob. However, now that I'm in my 50s the prospect of raking a whole lot of grass is just depressing and it makes my wrists hurt. So I broke down and bought a low-noise backpack blower from Stihl and I just love it. I wrote about why I have gone over to the dark side and gotten addicted to this wonderful lawn tool: here's my review of the Stihl low-noise backpack blower.

It would make somebody a great Christmas present!

Monday, November 15, 2010

My New "Sponsor A Child" Charity

Several years ago I had, what I consider to be, a disappointing experience with a "Sponsor a Child" Charity. Soon after agreeing to sponsor a child with them, I discovered that the CEO of the charity was making nearly half a million dollars a year. Now while many people are fine with this, I was devastated. I had signed up to help hungry children not to help executives to live in luxury. However, I felt that I had made a commitment to the child and decided to continue. Some years later, my sponsored child made a decision to leave the program. I immediately stopped and began a search for a sponsor a child organization which worked in a way that I was comfortable with.

This time, I did my research before chosing a charity to sponsor a child.

I discovered a charity called the Nepal Youth Foundation. The Nepal Youth Foundation was founded by an amazing woman named Olga Murray. Olga is so renowned for her work in Nepal that in 2001 she was a recipient of Dalai Lama's "Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award". Olga and her work with the NYF have also been featured on Oprah Winfrey. Olga lives part time in Nepal and to some she is known as, the "Mother Theresa of Nepal". Unlike the head of my previous charity, Olga does not take a penny from the Charity. In fact, Olga donates not only most of her life, but also much of her personal wealth to the charity. NYF is rated a "four star" charity, the highest rating possible, by Charity Navigator, one of the most important Charity Review organizations in the USA.

I knew quickly that the Nepal Youth Foundation was for me. Read more about why I have chosen to sponsor a child with the NYF.

Now I am working on getting the NYF to become a Squidoo Charity so I can donate my lens earnings to them....one step at a time.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Problem With Snipsly

I am always on the look out for simple ways of giving my websites and lenses "DoFollow" links. So, I like sites like SheToldMe and Snipsly. There are very minimal requirements and in a few seconds you can easily give work a link. You even can give these sites your adsense code and earn some money. In theory that is.

My first post with Snipsly was in August 2010. In total I have 4 posts with Snipsly. My Google statistics show me that since then I have had 8 ad views and have earned NOTHING on my 4 posts. Worse yet, two of my posts are not even indexed by Google. Ok, one of the non-indexed posts is only about two weeks old so there is still a chance. But one of the posts is about 2.5 months old and I doubt it will ever get indexed. This means that my links there are probably worthless.

The good thing is that Snipsly allows editing. So, I have added text to one of the posts and I hope that someday it will get indexed.

That is one of the advantages of giving a link from a blog like this one. Like Smipsly, there are few writing requirements. But you can almost be assured that your blog post will get indexed and thus your link will matter. In fact, I am coming to think that the BEST links you can give your website are from a blog with some PR.

So, becareful on those quick links. They may require little time, but they may be worthless too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Idea For Entrepreneurs: Exoskeleton Rental

Where I live there is a company which rents Segways for tourists. Tourists rent the Segways and tour the beautiful city center. Seems like it must be very successful. I see a lot of tourists on them and the company has been renting the Segways for several years. I

Now there is a new option for entrepreneurs. Rent an Exoskeleton. Exoskeletons are new robotic legs for wheelchair users. An exoskeleton allows a wheelchair user to walk upright. The first exoskeletons are just now coming to market.

However, with a price tag in the neighborhood of $100,000, few individuals will be able to buy an exoskeleton. Still there are 3 million wheelchair users in the USA, many of whom have not walked for years.

I can imagine that in the near future, entrepreneurial business people will be organizing exoskeleton tours for wheelchair users. Wheelchair users will soon be able to go places where it may have been difficult to go with wheelchairs. For example, imagine leading an exoskeleton tour in the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Or consider taking a group of wheelchair users on an exoskeleton tour of the Acropolis of Athens. Or imagine leading an exoskeleton walking tour across the golden gate bridge. Wheelchair users will rent them for two reason. First, they will have the chance to walk again. Second they will have access to places they could only dream about before.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Great Hannukah present: "I Can't Complain" yiddish cd

Hanukkah is very early this year - it starts December 1, right after Thanksgiving - so I'm pleased to have been able to get this cd out in plenty of time. You can listen to all the mp3s for free here: Jewish music cd for Chanukah (hear mp3s)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

5th Anniversary Of Squidoo: What Squidoo Means To Me

I just read Seth Godin's post announcing that 12 October was Squidoo's fifth anniversary. That is quite a remarkable milestone for any website. I have been with Squidoo for over 3 of those 5 years. Not since the start, but nearly so. And they have been remarkable years. I feel like I have gotten so much out of it. Squidoo is my favorite website (other than my own, of course). Why?

Squidoo combines a community relationship with a way of developing skills and earning money. In the past three years that I have been with Squidoo, I have developed a great deal and at the same time, I have seen Squidoo develop a great deal as well. We have both come a long way. I have learned mostly from two ways. First, I learn from the remarkable community at Squidoo. I love that Squidoo is, by and large, a very positive place to be and most people are very willing to lend a hand. Second, I learn just by making lenses and seeing what works and what doesn't. Squidoo is a wonderful place to experiment, learn and have fun.

But of course, that is not all. Squidoo is something like a hobby with benefits. I mean, how many hobbies teach you so much and pay you for learning at the same time? Every month, without fail Squidoo makes a nice deposit in my Paypal account. I am not getting rich off of Squidoo, but that deposit has been growing steadily, partly due to my activity, partly due to the activity of the Squidoo team. Since I have been with Squidoo, I have seen the amount of money paid for a Tier 1 lens steadily grow. I would guess that in the past three years, my top lenses earn 3 times as much as they did when I started with Squidoo. That is not bad at all.

I also appreciate that since I have become a Giant Squid, I get so many benefits from Squidoo. Probably the most important of which, the one I REALLY appreciate is the "Squidoo Concierge Approach". By this I mean, that as a Squid Giant, if I have any problems at all, I get personal attention by a member of the "inner circle". In the past three years I have communicated with Bonnie, Gil, Megan and Seth. I appreciate that these busy people have taken the time to lend a hand when I have needed it. That says alot. Thanks guys.

Are there things to improve? You bet. I do hope that Squidoo will come up with other ways to sell products besides Amazon and Ebay. For example, I would love to see Squidoo partner with an affilate organization like ShareASale and allow any of their products to be sold from a lense. I would also love to see more thematic lenses (the only one I really use is the Highlighter). Maybe there could be themes with some cool HTML modules standard such as colored text modules or Amazon modules with embedded wigits. Perhaps Squidoo will one day find a way to improve Amazon modules so that if a product is sold out or withdrawn a similar product is put in its place to reduce the possibility of having deadlinks. I appreciate that Squidoo is constantly taking risks and trying to improve. Over the 3 years I have seen Squidoo develop a great deal. Mostly for the better.

I plan to be with Squidoo for as long as they will have me and for as long as Squidoo remains Squidoo. Being realistic, I can imagine that one day some big company will come along and make Seth and Megan and offer that they can not refuse. A much better scenario would be if Seth and Megan took Squidoo public and gave Giant Squids the option of owning shares. Wouldn't it be cool to celebrate the 10th year annniversary as owners of Squidoo?

Happy Annniversary Squidoo!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

US Air Boots Passanger Because He Is Too Disabled To Fly

I came across a story that astounded me. A US Airways employee booted a wheelchair user from a flight because he was "too disabled to fly alone" as you can see from this video:

In fact, ADA rules allow airlines to do this.

Carriers may require the following individuals to be accompanied by an attendant....A person with a mobility impairment so severe that the individual is unable to assist in his or her own evacuation from the aircraft.

The carrier and the passenger may disagree about the applicability of one of these criteria. In such cases, the airline can require the passenger to travel with an attendant, contrary to the passenger’s assurances that he or she can travel alone. However, the carrier cannot charge for the transportation of the attendant.

I find this unfair and discriminatory. A Wheelchair user is then left to any airline employee's opinion about whether they can fly that day or not. How can a wheelchair user ever make a flight alone?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Tier One Challenge

Would you like to have another lens in tier one? Wouldn't we all?

There's a Tier One Challenge happening in SquidU - the thread started less than a week ago and already has more than 200 postings. Don't worry about reading every post in the thread (unless you'd like to know about all the cool things we're doing to promote our lenses). Feel free to jump in anywhere - the water is just fine!

This morning we had our first WINNER! Lynn, a homeschool mom whose screen name is eclecticeducation, reached tier one with a lensrank of #1,835 for her challenge lens: File Folder Math!

The rules are simple. Pick any of your lenses that has never been as high as tier two (10,000 lensrank). Then post it in the thread: The Tier One Challenge, stating the current lensrank and the highest-ever lensrank.

The goal is to do everything you can to make that lensrank rise higher than ever before - to get your lens into tier one!

Lynn did it! YOU can do it!

My lens, which I've been working hard to promote all week, is Top Ten Horse Movies - Perfect Christmas Gifts. I tacked on the Christmas gifts in hopes that I'd sell a few movies between now and December 25. After that I'm reducing the title back to "Horse Movies" or something like that. I've been posting in the thread about places I promoted the lens, articles I've been writing, and everything I did to change the lens (on-page SEO factors) since the challenge began on 10-10-10. The lensrank has risen dramatically - from 20,477 to 4,172 today. Getting up there!

So, come on by... even if you read this posting a year from now - you're still welcome to participate in the tier one challenge. Let's have some fun and make our lenses the best they can be!

CCGAL made a lens for our project - The Tier One Challenge... how cool is that?

These Pancakes Will Be A Hit With Your Kids

Do you want to spoil your kids? What parent or grandparent doesn't? Are you trying to get your kids to eat? We are. Our little guy is a super picky eater.

If you fall into one of the two groups above check out Jims Pancakes. You will be amazed by the level of creativity that Jim has come up with. Jim can turn a pancake into a fairy tale dream that would make Walt Disney proud.

Also, Jim is smart enough to use his "cute as a bug's ear" daughter as model for many of his pancakes. So, Jim's website combines creativity with a sweetness that will warm the heart of any parent. (My little guy is equally as adorable, but unfortunately his dad is not quite as creative as Jim).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Death Of Yahoo Email and Hotmail? Google Coversation View Is Now Optional!

I have been struggling with Yahoo premium email service for about 10 years now. Why? The alternatives were pretty bad. AOL and Hotmail are, in my opinion, poor quality. That left yahoo and gmail.

So, I have been struggling with the poor quality that Yahoo offers. I use my email several hours everyday and I constantly have problems logging onto Yahoo email. I have had many conversations with technicians at Yahoo. In a nutshell it has been bad. Why did I use Yahoo over Gmail? I could not get used to "Coversation View" that gmail offered.

Today I realized that I can now switch off the coversation view and my emails are now listed in chronological order.

How do you switch off conversation mode? Simply click "settings" and there in the middle of the page you will see "switch off coversation mode". It could not be simpler.

I predict that now that you can switch off conversation mode, many holdouts like me will switch over go Gmail. I will test both over the next year and if it is as good as I hope it will be, I will slowly phase out of Yahoo and into Gmail.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Best Reviewer: Easy Backlinks & Plenty of Potential

A lot of Squidoo lensmasters are using a new site, Best Reviewer, for quick backlinks to their lenses. Right now, Poddys is the top referrer, and Jimmie the homeschool mom is the top publisher. I'm the top commenter.

The user interface is simple so you can write quickly and easily... not a whole lot of complex thought is needed to create a page there. All the pages are "Top Ten" type lists though you can range from "Top Three" up to "Top Twenty".

To write the article, you compose the title, a short intro, and then your listed items. Each listed item has room for a link. Like I said, a lot of Squidoo lensmasters are linking back to their lenses. I made three pages with affiliate links to Amazon. Use your imagination and business sense here! An example: "Top Three Best-in-Niche Lenses".

Squidoo lensmastering is more than just making lenses. We also must let people know about them.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Eating vegetables and fruit to fortify your bones!

I heard a great show about stronger bones through nutrition on the People's Pharmacy; the guests were saying calcium supplements and our mothers' insistence on drinking milk don't really supply what we need to keep our bone density up as we get older. Fruits and vegetables are better for you than milk and cheese! You can read about it in my bone vitality through diet lens...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Triond 4 - Infobarrel 0

I posted sometime ago that I was experimenting with some alternatives to Squidoo. Not because I want to replace Squidoo. Squidoo is, for me, my best money earner. But I would like to supplement my Squidoo activities with some other sites.

Two sites I have experimented with are Triond and Infobarrel. Which do I think is better? No competition, Triond is much better than Infobarrel.

I have an equal number of five articles posted on both Triond and Infobarrel. Although I have had my account at Infobarrel much longer, to this day I have yet to earn anything! That is a big ZERO. Not a penny. Nada. On the otherhand, I have had my account much shorter with Triond, just about a month and so far I have earned $4.

Ok, $4 is not much to write home about, but for 5 articles in under a month that is about $1/article per month. Actually not too bad.

The amazing thing is that Infobarrel advertises that you earn 100% of the income from your article. Problem is that 100% of zero, is zero.

So, which site will I be submitting more articles to? Certainly not Infobarrel.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

HOT TIP: Blog Network Offers Multiple Backlinks FREE

As online publishers we are always on the lookout for free links to our websites and Squidoo lenses. As we all know, search engines love links. The more the better. I have found a way to get several quality links for free. It is called PubRocket.

PubRocket is a network of blogs. There are over 200 blogs in the network divided amongst various topics including Beauty, Business, Dating, Domestic, Fashion, Financial, Fitness, Health, Home Improvement, News, Pets, Pregnancy, Shopping, Technology.

You only have to write a 200 word article and you can get it published FREE on any three of those blogs. In each article you may include 3 backlinks for free.

It is simple to use, you just add your article to your dashboard, select the 3 blogs from a list of 200 and click on publish. You are then asked to submit different titles for each of the 3 articles. Although I am not sure if changing only the title is enough for the search engines to not consider them duplicate content, it seems like a good idea.

The 200 blogs have google PR which range between PR0 to PR3. So you will quickly have backlinks from 3 different quality blogs. Sound great? It is great, with one little catch. I published my first article yesterday and today had the thought to check the IP address of the 3 blogs I selected. Unfortunately, all three of the blogs I selected had the same IP address.

Some believe that links from the same IP address may be seen by search engines as coming from the same website. That is, that the search engines understand that there is a relationship between websites hosted at the same IP address and may treat all three blogs as though they are the same blog. So, it is possible that you are not actually getting links from 3 different blogs, but as though all three links come from the same blog. Who knows for sure? Only Google.

I love the idea of PubRocket and will be testing it in the future. If anyone has suggestions for other blog networks like PubRocket, please let me know.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Michael Jackson

52 years ago today Michael Jackson was born. No matter what you thought of Michael Jackson as a person, as an entertainer Michael Jackson was one of the best.

I can almost mark my childhood with Michael Jackson's songs. From Ben to ABC to I'll Be There, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 made hit after hit that listened to, sang along with and even danced to.

But of the many, many singers from my childhood, which ones were there from my childhood all the way to adulthood? Very few. Monkees? No. Diana Ross? No. Carpenters. No.

Michael Jackson was one of the few who kept innovating, kept changing, kept refreshing his music. Michael Jackson's music played a role in just about every stage of my life.

I miss Michael Jackson. I wish he were still making music today. Happy Birthday Michael Jackson.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Bad Reputation Of Online Marketing

Has anyone else had this experience? You have a friend out of work, or looking to make some extra money. So, you tell them about Squidoo, Google Adsense, Affilate marketing, etc. Your friend asks alot of questions, seems very interested, wants to know how much money you make, how it all works, etc. You answer their questions, show them what you are doing. Then about 3 months later you ask how it is going and they have done nothing about it. They are still out of work, still looking to make some extra money, still have yet to sign up for Squidoo or even read about it.

What is it with online marketing? I have told probably about 10 friends /aquaintences about what I am doing. Yet as far as I know, no one I have tried to help out has actually taken the plunge. When I ask why, they answer "I have been too busy", "I am not really sure". I dont hear a concrete answer.

Is it me or is it the bad reputation of online marketing?

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Case Of The Vanishing Lens

A couple of weeks ago, I was checking out some of my lenses and discovered to my horror that one of them was GONE!! Actually, it was not 100% gone. But rather than the 20+ modules that it was supposed to have, only the introductory module remained.

Now, this was not just any Squidoo lens. It was one of my first lenses, a lens about sexy lingerie that I wrote just after joining Squidoo. I had put quite a bit of time in creating the content for that lens and it was rather difficult to create it. I had to write it very carefully so as to keep it interesting, but not anything that would go against Squidoo policies.

So, imagine my surprise when this 3 year old, PR4 Squidoo lens was simply MIA. Just a stub of its once healthy self.

What did I do? I wrote a letter to the "Giant Squid Concierge". The privilage to be able to Giant Squid Concierge email address is one of the best reasons to be a Squid Giant! Why? I use it very rarely, but when I have I have gotten an IMMEDIATE response. Always with the same day, usually within a few hours.

I sent a polite letter explaining the situation and asked if they could help. My response was:

Wow, I'm not sure. I see that the lens still exists, but confirm that the rest of the modules are not showing at the moment either on the live published version of the lens or in the Workshop of the lens.

I'm passing this along to get checked out for you right away.

Hang in there -- we'll get it figured out!

About a week later, my Squidoo lens was still just a stub. So, I sent a polite reminder. I got this response:

I am looking into your case now. Thanks so much for your patience.


Receiving that letter from Gil made my day. I felt pretty confident that "stubby" would be saved. and then

I've just restored your lens and corrected the bug that caused this. Thanks again for your patience. You're the best!


So, I asked if I had done something to cause it and if I he minded if I blog about the event. Gil responded:

It was a very rare code problem...nothing you did wrong. I corrected the problem so it will not happen again.

As a customer service representative in the age of the internet, I always start with the assumption that everything I say will be blogged. Thanks for being polite enough to ask :)


Whew! It was a nice feeling to have my old lens back. But it left me wondering if I am cursed. Why? Back in April, the same thing happened to me at World Village, my Village Vanished.

Not one but TWO of my masterpieces have vanished, only to be returned with the help of technical experts. Has anyone eles lost any of their work this way?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Will The Greying of The Population Make Science Fiction A Reality?

Were you aware that there are approximately 3 million wheelchair users in the USA? That number is rapidly increasing and currently represents approximately 1 in 100 people. You may not realize that the number is so large, because during your day when you see 100 people, you will rarely see that 1 wheelchair user.

But one result of the rapidly growing number of people with disabilities is the rapid growth in disability equipment. The markets for disability equipment like the common wheelchair and the everyday mobility scooter are becoming larger and larger.

But also more futuristic disability products such as exoskeleton suits for wheelchair users are now coming to the market. These products which were once only seen in science fiction shows like The Bionic Man, are now a fact. They exist.

For example, this product which allows paralyzed people to walk again was recently launched in New Zealand and will soon be marketed worldwide:

The fact is that the aging of the population is changing not only the demographics of society, but may also help to turn science fiction into everyday reality.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

When you need a long, cheap swivel arm for your 26" hdtv...

home-made extension arm to add to a purchased tv swivel arm
A lightning storm took out my ancient, gigantic tv, so old that I designed my built-in bureau AROUND IT when I built my house in 1996! So I have a nice empty space now where the tv used to be - and an opportunity to bring the new flat-screen replacement tv closer to me when I lie in bed and watch!

Store-bought swivel arms (articulating arms, swing arm wall mounts) are very expensive. In my brand-new lens Make your own tv swivel arm extension, I show you how to make a sturdy extension that will bring your tv closer, let you swing it further around, and - hurrah - make it possible to use a smaller, cheaper store-bought swing arm (I paid $20 for mine) on a larger tv.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Take 10 Minutes To Earn Extra Money From Squidoo

Do you know how to earn some extra money on Squidoo? Freshen up and republish your top lenses.

Follow these steps:

* Log into Squidoo
* Click on "My Lenses"
* In the second column "Rank" look at the lenses that range in lens rank from 0-30,000
* Click "Edit" look quickly to see if any updates are necessary.
* Click "Publish"

These few steps will bump your lens rank for these lenses significantly and will probably move a few of them into the higher payment catagories earning you more money at the end of the month.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Free Baby Songs

As I posted earlier, our baby loves baby songs. Baby songs are sometimes the fastest way to comfort him when he is in a bad mood. And you know, baby songs are not only entertaining but also educational. Some baby songs teach the alphabet, other baby songs teach about colors and other baby songs teach the numbers. If you are looking for FREE baby songs, Youtube is a great source of free baby songs, but you could spend hours sorting through them to find some baby songs which are entertaining and educational. We were doing that for a while and then decided to make a Squidoo page of our favorite free baby songs so that we would not always have to seach for them.

Our baby loves his baby songs so much if we travel or go to a restaurant we always take some of our baby's favorite baby songs on a small net computer. The baby songs make the journey so much more pleasant for everyone. How do we do it? You can convert YouTube songs into AVI files with Zamzar for free. AVI files will play on windows media player. Then with a small laptop or net computer you can take your free baby songs with you where ever you go.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Postpartum Girdle: Myth Or Magic?

If you are considering pregnancy you may hear about a product which is relatively new in the US market called a "postpartum girdle". You may also wonder about the claims that a postpartum girdle may help reduce size of a woman's waist after pregnancy.

The truth is that until now, although no one is absolutely sure what a postpartum girdle does, a postpartum girdle may help and for most women it probably can not hurt.

While postpartum girdles are new in the US, abdominal binders have been around in some form or another in many countries for many generations. Although postpartum girdles are not yet routinely used in the USA after pregnancy, postpartum girdles are basically a type of compression garment. Compression garments are considered routine, standard therapy after many types of surgeries to help in the healing process.

While there have been no clinical studies to prove if a postpartum girdle works, many women do report that after using a postpartum girdle, their abdominal shape returns to near pre-pregnancy condition.

If you are considering a postpartum girdle, why not ask your OB/GYN or health care provider if there is any reason not to give a postpartum girdle a try?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Squidoo Versus Hubpages : Which Is Better?

Before I compare Squidoo to Hubpages I should start by saying that I have alot more experience with Squidoo than with Hubpages. I only have a couple of hubpages, both about footed pajamas, while I have over 100 Squidoo lenses.

While I prefer Squidoo to Hubpages I think that both are important for a valuable SEO strategy. So, I will break this comparison into sections:

What Do I Like About Both Hubpages and Squidoo:
* SEO Value: I can give free, one way inbound links to my websites. Squidoo is better in this regard in that Squidoo links are always dofollow, while Hubpages links will become nofollow if your hubscore and your hubmaster score drop below a certain level. As we know, links are key for search engine placement.

* Free Traffic: Both Squidoo and Hubpages do well in the search engines. My feeling is that Squidoo may do a bit better, but I see them both appearing in Google for my keywords. Therefore, both drive traffic to my websites.

* I earn money. Neither Hubpages nor Squidoo makes me rich, but both generate some money. So, while I am giving myself links and traffic, I also earn a few bucks every month.

What Do I Prefer About Squidoo:
* I think you earn more money from Squidoo. Maybe it is subjective because I have more lenses and more experience, but it seems to me that the money making potential from Squidoo is higher.

* I think that a Squidoo lens looks better than a Hubpage. Again, subjective stuff. You may prefer the look and feel of a Hubpage. But for me this is a plus for Squidoo.

* I like that my Squidoo links are ALWAYS dofollow. I don't like the fact that I must do stuff in Hubpages in order to keep my hubs dofollow. With Hubpages, if your hubscore or your hubmaster score fall below a certain value, your links become nofollow. Bummer. You have to get active in the Hubpages community in order to get your scores up.

What Do I Prefer About HubPages:
* I think that it is easier to get good URLs with Hubpages. With Squidoo, many of the best URLs are reserved by Squatters.

What Do I Not Like About Both
* I wish that both would ease up on the coding restrictions. For example, I use Popshops on my websites, but can not use Popshops on Squidoo nor Hubpages, since they do not allow the coding. Similarly I can not use Amazon widgets in either, again due to coding restrictions. Oh, well. You can not have everything.

As a bottom line, I think both Squidoo and Hubpages are valuable for SEO purposes. Free inbound links, free traffic, money making opportunities, no costs. What is not to like? Why would you NOT use both? I prefer Squidoo, but maybe I am just a creature of habit more used to Squidoo than to Hubpages. I would like to find MORE sites like Squidoo and Hubpages which offer the perfect combination of free links, traffic and money making potential. I am experimenting with sites like Triond, Info Barrel, etc. If you know others I should try let me know.

If you have experience with both Squidoo and Hubpages let us know how you would compare the two.

Monday, May 24, 2010

How To Be Successful With The Opposite Sex

In this Lens about 10 Ways To Meet People, there is a poll for single men and another for single women asking "What Is the Most Important Thing That You Look For" in a potential partner. Nearly 500 men and 200 women have given answers. That is a lot of answers!

I spent a few minutes reviewing the results of these surveys and found something interesting. The number one response for men is "The Face", while the number one response for women is "Values". This is not a huge surprise. More of a surprise to me at least, is that the number two response for both men and women is "Sense of Humor".

So, if men want a woman with a pretty face who can make them laugh and women want a decent guy who can make them laugh, then is this the secret to success with the opposite sex?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Play Pac Man On Google!

Has everyone realized that the Pac-Man Image on the Google search page is a REAL GAME? This is pretty cool technology. Nothing to download. You have to wait about 15 seconds until the game says "Ready", then just click your mouse in the direction you want your Packman to go and he is off to the races.

There are even some sites, such as Rusty Brick where you can download the code to embed the game onto your website. Very cool!!

I never was very good at Pac Man and I still am no good. But I managed to get above 1'000 points a couple of times. I am always amazed at the cool things that Google can come up with.

FREE Baby Songs : Selected By An Expert!

As new parents, we are always on the lookout for something good for our baby. And I will share one of our best secrets with you. When our baby is fussy, tired, grouchy and nothing seems to work, we show him his favorite baby songs and they calm him down like nothing else.

One of the great things about these baby songs is that they are eductional. These baby songs teach our baby about numbers, the alphabet or just "I love you". They never fail to make him smile. The other great things about these baby songs is that they are FREE Baby Songs. Why are these baby songs free? They are hosted on YouTube. But believe me, you will search for hours on YouTube finding quality baby songs. Our baby did the work for you. He listened to many, many baby songs before he selected THESE baby songs.

These baby songs are the work of the people at Super Simple Songs. The people who produce Super Simple Songs are apparently Americans who run an English school in Japan. One of their previous teachers, Jeremy, starred in a collection of videos and these are the baby songs that our baby loves best.

When our baby is tired, grouchy and crying, we just go to his baby songs and sing along with him. This never fails to bring a smile to his face. Maybe other babies will enjoy these free baby songs too/

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My painting of Sarah Palin with Oil Rigs and Polar Bears (Drill Baby Drill!) featured on Facebook!

This morning I got an email from Ron Gompertz, creator of the Send Sarah Palin to the Louisiana wetlands to help clean-up the oil Facebook page, retroactively asking permission to use my painting on his site. He also said I should make a Drill Baby Drill Sarah Palin t-shirt. It's customizable (change colors, styles, sizes, add text of your choice) and you can actually stick the picture on any Zazzle product you like.

See Sarah and my other paintings at my Uncle Shlomo's Pushcart Zazzle Store.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Lies, Lies and Triond's Lies

Recently I was checking out Triond as a place to post articles. At first glance Tiond looks interesting. But there is something rather unsettling there.

What is interesting about Triond is that they have many websites. So, if you write an article on health, it can be posted on their health website "Healthmad.com". If you write an article on Sport, it will be posted on "Sportales.com". From the SEO point of view that seems rather interesting.

What is strange about Triond is that they allow their authors to post lies, apparently just to get traffic. I won't name the website because that would only bring them more traffic. But for example, one of their most recent, most popular and most pathetic posts has the title "Death of Bret Michaels". The author of that post writes this about Bret Michaels "Another who chose, in lieu of making a positive impact on the world, to live a life of excess and waste".

The problem is, at the time it was posted Bret Michaels was (and still is) very much alive. In fact, I read that he is recovering and expected to survive his recent stroke. What is Triond's view of this? Nothing wrong, this is just satire. If you look very, very closely, you see that the post is put in the "humor" category. Ha, HA! However, other than that there is nothing obvious on the website that indicates that this is intended to be satire. No humorous titles, no funny pictures. Nada. In fact, if you read the post there is no humor there at all. Just poorly written trash. And many of the commentators to the post, believing the writer's trash, leave their condolences. The same author has previously posted garbage such as "Johnny Depp Found Dead", etc. Triond has been contacted on this subject on numerous occasions, but only shrugs their shoulders and repeats that it is satire. Right.

This falls under the category of "if you post something controversial it will get traffic". This is true, I guess, but it depends on how low you want to stoop for that traffic. Triond must be happy to receive the additional ad clicks that this type of tabloid writing (I can not even call it journalism) will generate. As long as Google allows adsense ads to be put on such websites, I guess it will continue.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baby Products: Ten ESSENTIAL baby products every parent must have

Before our baby was born, I made a lens about baby products that I thought we would need. I was wrong.

Now, with the benefit of hindsight I have used our experience to update our lens with the ten baby products that we believe are absolutely essential. I have never seen a list like this before. Please have a look and let me know if you agree or disagree.

Plus we have included some reviews of the hits and flops that we bought. I will give a hint here. One of the essential products was footed pajamas. Our baby lives in his footies.

The worst? We bought two of the best known swaddlers on the market. Some babies love swaddlers, or so we hear. Our baby HATED swaddlers. He voiced his opinion about the swaddlers from day one. Our little Houdini struggled his way out of both swaddlers nearly everytime that we put him in one. After a few weeks we surrendered. He won and we stopped using them.

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Experience With World Village

Imagine you spend time writing an article, you spend more time submiting it to a site and getting it just right and publishing it. Then you spend more time getting links to it. It starts to appear in Google. Then the article vanishes. How would you feel?

Well, that is how I felt about World Village. I wrote an article, submitted it, created links to it. Everything was fine until it had vanished. Their technical support was not doing much, after 5 days, I still did not have my article and they just told me to resubmit. So I went to their corporate website and made a plea. The VP of Ideas interceeded and I got my article back. Wow!

Getting the article back gave me enough confidence to write another footed pajamas article, so I wrote an article about matching footed pajamas.

It is still too early to say what the future holds for me with World Village. I am preceeding with caution and will give more feedback later.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Show This To Someone You Know Who Is Pregnant

Do you know someone who is pregnant? If so, forward them this link. In a few months they may thank you for it.

Few people know to use a postpartum girdle. A postpartum girdles is a type of belly band. But post partum girdles are a well kept secret. If you go to some maternity forums you will read, "I wish I had used a postpartum girdle" or "I wish someone had told me to try a postpartum girdle"

Fortunately, someone suggested that we consider a postpartum girdle AND they told us about it in time, before my wife gave birth. We asked our OB/GYN about it and she insisted we use a postpartum girdle.

The postpartum girdle we used was not expensive, in fact our postpartum girdle cost under $20. Frankly, we don't think it matters alot which postpartum girdle you use. Most important is that you use a postpartum girdle.

We looked at it this way. A postpartum girdle might help and couldn't hurt. Our OB/GYN and a friend recommended a postpartum girdle. If the postpartum girdle did nothing, we were only out a few dollars. What did we have to lose?

We actually documented the effect of the postpartum girdle by accident. Once we learned we were pregnant, we took a photo every month at the same time from the beginning of the pregnancy and 1 month after our baby was born. As a result we had nice photos of my wife's belly before (or nearly before) and after. Have a look at the before and after photos and see what you think. Do you know someone you should tell about a postpartum girdle?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dear World Village : My Article Vanished!

I posted that I was testing World Village to publish articles. Yesterday I wrote an article about adult footed pajamas. Today, to go along with a squidoo lens about footie pajamas, I wrote a second World Village article about adult footie pajamas. There is Good News and Bad News.

Good News: The Footed Pajamas article I wrote yesterday is ranking quickly and nicely in google! It is currently on the second page of Google for its keyword.

Bad News: Yesterday's Footed Pajamas article has VANISHED!! Yes, it is gone and instead, it is replaced by someone else's article about Karate!! Here is a screen shot of my article dashboard (click the image to expand)

I am wondering if that guy has got my footed pajamas article? I wrote to him and am awaiting his response. I also submitted a support ticket and asked for my article back.

So, the first review of World Village is mixed. Lets see how quickly it gets fixed.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

An Alternative To Squidoo?

As I recently posted, I am looing for an alternative to Squidoo. It is a difficult task, because frankly, Squidoo is tough to beat. I do not want to replace Squidoo, I want to find a site that I can use along with Squidoo to:

* Drive Traffic To My Website
* Give Links to my Website
* Bring Income

Squidoo is the best thing I have found for all of those things, but I am still looking for a good alternative. Today, I discovered WorldVillage and I wrote an article about how to select adult footed pajamas.

So far, I like what I see. It was easy to sign up for, it was easy to post my article and my article was live immediately, without a review process. So far so good. I will be watching to see if World Village will generate any traffic for my footed pajamas website or any significant income. I will be post what I discover soon.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Is There Anything Better Than Squidoo?

Calling all Squids, I would like to get your input on this question: Is there anything better than Squidoo? Or even: Is there anything nearly as good as Squidoo? If there is, I have not found it.

As I reported earlier on this blog, I have a website about footed pajamas. I am trying to get my footed pajamas website to rank high on Google for important keywords like Adult footed pajamas, children's footed pajamas, etc. I am making progress, but I am not there yet.

So, I am trying to find a site which offers all of the wonderful things that Squidoo is able to offer and I can not find it. Squidoo is great. Squidoo offers me the ability to add Dofollow links from my lens to my website, send traffic to my website AND earn some money at the same time. I am not earning a fortune from Squidoo, but there is some money coming in and it is interesting. Further with Squidoo, I am not rigidly moderated, I can publish when I want and there is a very helpful and friendly community to boot. Squidoo is great.

I am pleased with Squidoo and if I can find something similar at another site, it would be even better. However, experiments with sites like Hubpages and Infobarrel have been disappointing. In my experience, neither site generates any income to speak of nor traffic and Hubpages' links become Nofollow if your Hubrank drops below a certain level. I have written 4 high quality articles for Infobarrel and I get zero traffic to my websites and have not earned a dime. I can not figure out how to be successful at either of those sites nor do I really want to invest a great deal more time trying. Frankly, I have all but given up on both of them.

Ezine and GoArticles are good about generating links and traffic, but not money. Other article sites such as Searchwarp and article base actually give you NOfollow links (Uh, why would I submit an article there?).

Today, I spent sometime investigating Qondio, a website which "allows you" to post a blog and earn 100% of your income. Right. The downside, they forget to tell you that there is a hidden $5 activation fee. I say "hidden", because you read their FAQ, no mention of it there. Read their registration page, again no mention. Only after you submit your registration details WHOOPS!! Please pay $5. Now, that is not alot of money. I just hate it when a website does not reveal the games that they are playing upfront. So, I looked on the internet to what other people are saying. Apparently you can give a link to your website at the bottom of your blog, but it is not an anchor text link, it is just a raw link. Also, I read that there is some kind of automated softwear approval mechanism of your post and some writers complain about having their posts rejected for no stated reason. All of that was a turn off for me. I just do not want to spend time writing for a website that proudly states all of the advantages and hides some of the less attractive things. It makes me wonder what else they have up their sleeves.

I looked into Helium articles and while you can earn money, you can not give a link to your site! However, Helium does now have something called Zones that are something like a Squidoo lens and I recently created a new zone. I will be watching to see how that develops.

I am reading strange things from disgruntled EHow authors. Many people are unhappy there and anyway their links are Nofollow....again a no go.

So, fellow Squids, can anyone tell me a site that even comes close to Squidoo in terms of those three criteria? Where can I find a site which will offer:

* Dofollow links to my website
* Traffic to my website
* Interesting earning potential

Or is Squidoo simply a "one of a kind"?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Horoscope and Zodiac Jewelry - a lens turning into a blog

One of the advantages of having a hostgator webhosting account is that you can set up as many blogs as you want without having to switch to a more expensive plan. That is: you do of course have to buy the domain name, but the various sites (blogs in my case) are all hosted under one account.

One of the least intuitive things you can do with that system is set up a blog ONLY to promote a lens. I know, weird isn't it? But that's what I just did. I spent two days setting up a blog, creating content, building links on something that I expect will only make me money through the promotion of a squidoo lens or two.
Here's the lens: Astrology Horoscope Jewelry 

It does OK selling zodiac jewelry and it gets decent traffic, but I want it to move up a notch in both search engine traffic and sales. And since I'd already bought the domain, I've set up a blog. It's called, not unsurprisingly:  Horoscope Astrology Jewelry. 

Normally I'd have turned the lens around at this point: linking it to the blog wherever reasonably and perhaps toning down on the content on there. Instead I've done the opposite: linked to the lens and used this as part of my link wheel around that lens.

Why? It has to do with being an international publisher. Amazon makes it real hard to get to their money, because they only pay out by check internationally. And guess what: it's expensive as hell the change them into actual money. So one of the reasons I'm active on squidoo is that for me it pays to have a middle man that pays out through paypal.

Of course, if ever Amazon starts paying out directly to my Dutch bank account, or in some other way where I can get to the money without having to jump through hoops, I can always turn the blog around too: link to the blog from the lens and turn the blog into an online 'hub' or the center of my 'link wheel'.

In the mean time though, that blog is going to get older - and therefore more trusted by Google as well. So it makes sense to host and own it myself, not put it on some free account. All thanks to hostgator.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

If sitting makes you fat... then get off your rear and start walking

I've been wanting a treadmill desk for months, every since a friend sent an email with pictures of hers. There was a recent article in the New York Times:
If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting — in your car, your office chair, on your sofa at home — you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death. In other words, irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you.
The last straw for me: I painted my ceiling beams and after stepping up and down off a kitchen chair more times than I can tell you, I jammed my knee and could hardly walk. I got mostly better, then got on my elliptical trainer and the knee got terrible again.

So in a fury I went out and bought an inexpensive home treadmill from Walmart, set it up, and - since I'm a make-your-own type - built my own "work station" for free. Since then I've spent quite a lot of happy time on the treadmill, mostly reading books I've wanted to "get around to" for quite a while, but also working on my laptop, which fits securely on the treadmill desk.

Want to read how I made this simple cheap DIY laptop treadmill desk and see pictures of my workstation and my friend's too? Visit Make your own treadmill desk for free! (BTW, It's only free if you have woodscraps lying around or can scrounge some.)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Look How Easy It Can Be To Break Into A Hotel Guest Room

We travel and stay in hotels or motels all of the time. Most of the time we feel safe. Much of the time that we think we are safe, we are actually fooling ourselves. Have a look at this video showing how surprisingly EASY it is to break into a hotel with the card type lock. Of course the video also shows us a simple technique to stop it with a towel. But not all hotel rooms use the same type of locking system, and many are just as easy to break into:

I have created a lens with some suggestions about how to optimize hotel security. In addition, here are some suggestions about hotel / motel safety from a Kansas police website.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Valentines Day Ideas

A couple of years ago, I made a lens with Valentines Day ideas about how to make Valentines Day very special. It remains one of my best lenses. I have recently refreshed if for this Valentines Day. There are alot of great ideas there and I am very proud of it. I always wanted this lens to be a lens of the day. Maybe one year it will be.

Use Squidoo to research and advertise an event

I'm thrilled with the way I've been able to use my page, Complaints Choirs, as a hub of information for people who might want to join the Complaints Choir I'm starting here in Durham - Chapel Hill NC. On this lens, I've assembled a brief history of the movement (which started in Finland and is going strong across the globe!) and some of my favorite Complaint Choir segments from YouTube.

I built a website for our soon-to-begin group (Complaints Choir, Durham - Chapel Hill headquarters) and on it put a link to my squidoo lens, which has more information than I wanted to put on the local website.

If you've never heard of them, here's an example:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Making a facebook fan page for use with Squidoo and business in general.

As usual, when I hear people talking enthusiastically about something I am tempted to try it myself. I already had a Facebook profile but was very reluctant to mention my lenses there, because it's more a place where I connect with friends, family, and colleagues.

Some lensmasters evidently look at it the other way around: they don't want to annoy their squidoo fans and connections with personal matters.

In either case, the solution may be to create a facebook page. I've got one now: Chapel.Hill.Fiddler on Facebook. I already feel freer to mention business related stuff and to drop a lot of links which my friends and family might consider spam!

I discovered something cool: if you add the application called "Static FBML" (FBML means Facebook Markup Language) you can make tabs or boxes using html, which means you can style them to look more like a webpage - you can have big pictures and links and embed stuff...

... and to make it even more fun, you can set one of the tabs you create to be your Facebook Landing Page, so when people surf to your URL for the first time, they see your special custom page (on subsequent visits they go to the wall page).

I made a landing page with links to a lot of my blogs, and to my squidoo lensography. If you haven't been there before, you should see a page with the heading "What's Going On Here" ? (Go on, go visit, you know you want to! And maybe become my fan while you're there!)

In other news, I've finally managed to get google to index my Best Wedding Songs blog, mainly by pointing to it from various other locations! And I've done a new lens full of research on Complaints Choirs, an absolutely hilarious concept. I'm starting one myself: Complaints Choir, Chapel Hill Headquarters.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Freelance Home Writer: Excellent Resource About Article Writing Sites

As I posted recently, I am looking for an article writing site to meet certain critieria. I have not found it yet and I am not sure it exists. Here are my criteria:

* Appear high in the search engines
* Are a good source of quality anchor text "DoFollow" links
* Send some traffic to my sites
* Pay some money
* Not require much "social networking"
* Be easy to use

Basically, I am looking for something like Ezinearticles or a GoArticles which pay money too. I have already ruled out several sites, including:

* Hubpags: If your hubs fall below a certain ranking, the links become NoFollow
* EHow: Resource Links are NoFollow
* Associated Content: Resource Links Are Nofollow
* Helium: Requires that you vote on other articles and others must vote on yours.

In the meantime I have located a very good source of information about article writing sites, called Freelance Home Writer. The blogger "Willow Sidhe" is a freelance writer. She checks out all of the paid article writing sites and reviews them. She even tells how much money she earns.

Willow appears to prefer EHow due to how much money she is earning. EHow does look like a good site, however, oddly their links are NoFollow. This rules Ehow out for me, as I want an article writing site which can go along with my Squidoo lenses and websites, sending traffic and links my way.

I will keep looking, but in the meantime Willow's blog is VERY useful. Check it out.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Calling All Squids: Need Your Advice!!

Usually on Valley Of The Giants, Squid Giants are giving advice. I would like to turn tables and ask advice. I wonder if I will get any here?

I use article writing as a way to give some benefit to my websites and lenses, like traffic and quality links. I currently use Buzzle, GoArticles and PR Log. (Yes, I prefer GoArticles to EzineArticles) These sites are great, because articles I write appear high in the search engines and send some traffic to my websites. They are also easy to use and give quality anchor text links (except PR Log just gives regular links, not anchor text) without much requirements other than writing a quality article. There is little in the way of moderation and little waste of time.

I know that there are some sites out there that pay money as well and that is always attractive. But some of them are quite complicated and I would like to avoid that.

Sometime ago I joined Hubpages and I have been disappointed. You may not be aware but if your Hubpages fall below a certain ranking, the links become Nofollow links. In order to be above a certain ranking you need to meet some unknown qualifications. For example, I believe you need to get other hubbers to follow your sites. In order to do that, you need to follow their sites. It seems to be another one of these social networking sites and frankly, I just dont have time for another. Since I am not very involved in the Hub community, many of my hubpages are below the minimum threshhold and the links have have become Nofollow. This, despite the fact that many of my Hubpages have good quality information. I do not want to deal with another site where I have to invest time into social networking or figure out how to get popularity, etc. I just don't have time for more networking. I would prefer a site where it is just about creating quality content.

I have been thinking about some others:
Associated Content
etc, etc

But I am concerned these may also require social networking where you need to spend time getting people to give your articles a high ranking etc. I want to avoid sites where your articles or you must have a certain popularity in order to have value.

Does anyone know of any good websites that
* Appear high in the search engines
* Are a good source of quality anchor text links
* Send some traffic to my sites
* Pay some money
* Not require much "social networking"
* Be easy to use

Friday, January 8, 2010

Squidoo Strategy is WORKING!

I have been meaning to post this for sometime, but I wanted to be certain before making this exciting announcement. My Squidoo strategy seems to be working. If you do not know my Squidoo strategy, let me give you a brief outline. Here is what I do:

* Get my ideas for interesting products in interesting niche markets from sources such as Amazon Best Sellers, BuzzFeed, O-Magazine, etc.
* Make as many squidoo lens on the most interesting products using best guesses about what might be successful.
* Create links in order to draw traffic to the Squidoo pages.
* See what products are selling successfully.
* Based on Squidoo sales success, select a few topics and build websites around the topic.
* Use Popshops as the core of the websites in order to easily manage them.
* Create sub-niche Squidoo pages in order to offer not only links and traffic to the website's home page, but also deep-links and traffic to the website's subpages.

As a result, I earn Squidoo income from the Squidoo pages and affilate income from the websites.
This strategy has worked for my Footed Pajamas business, so I have now launched a brand new website called Slippers Shoes. The new website will offer cozy slippers. I have recently built this website and an now finalizing the content for it. I am also currently creating Squidoo pages based on each of the website's subpages. I am excited about the new website and also have plans for future websites.

I guess that this is not rocket science and that many Squids are pursuing a similar strategy. However, after nearly 3 years with Squidoo, this approach has only started coming into focus for me. Slow learner, perhaps?

I will keep you informed of my progress in upcoming posts here on Valley of the Giants.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I Got My Website Back!!!

As I reported last week, I discovered that someone had taken the content of my lingerie party website. My wife and I spent a great deal of time creating a website to help people organize lingerie parties. But after more than a year, I realized that Google was only delivering search traffic to internal pages and completely ignoring the home page.

How did I discover the problem?? I did a google search on content from my home page and google delivered links to two websites, mine and another one; a website about lingerie parties. I contacted the owner of the website and asked that the content be removed. I waited a week and nothing happened. Two weeks went by, I heard nothing.

Frustated I decided to take the next steps. The rest of this post will document step by step what I did so you can do the same thing if you find that your website content had been copied.

I went to this whois website and entered the address of the website that had taken my content(http://www.xyz.com/) and clicked search.

If you do that for any website (http://www.xyz.com/) lower down you should see information for the IP (Internet provider) something like this:
IP Location: San Francisco, United States
Website Server: Active
Server Type: Apache, blah, blah...

The number following IP: should be hyperlinked. If so, click on it. A page should come up telling you everything you need to know about the host, together with a contact email address. Hopefully the host is in the USA or some other friendly country. In my case it was in New York!!!! I struck GOLD!!!

I wrote an email to the owner of the website and I copied the email address of the IP company (internet provider) demanding that my content be removed. Within a couple of hours I got this response from the IP company:

"You will need to specify exactly which material (by completefilename, i.e. myimage1.jpg, myimage2.jpg, mypage.html, etc.) and you must swear under the penalty of perjury that you hold or you represent the holder of the copyright."

I sent back a simple email swearing under penalty of perjury, together with links to my site and the other site, as well as the content which had been taken.

Within 1 day I received an apologetic email from the Website owner (Finally!!) telling me that they were not aware that the content was taken from my site (Yeah, right) and that it would be removed shortly. The next day, I got a very nice email from the IP company asking me to confirm that my content had been removed. I checked and it was GONE!!!! Interestingly, I can see that there is other content on that website which is duplicate from other websites.

The other good news is that my website is receiving more traffic than before. It has a long way to go, but I am hopeful that things are getting better.

I hope you never need this information, but if you do, follow the steps provided above. Be sure to come back and let us know if it worked or not.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Is Your Website Performing Poorly in Google? Maybe Someone Stole It!!!!

Is your website under performing in Google? One of the reasons could be that someone stole your content. I have a website called Lingerie Party. A couple of years ago, my wife and I created it. We put alot of work into the Lingerie Party website and were very proud of our efforts. We created lingerie party invitations, lingerie party games, lingerie party themes and uploaded everything to the website so that people who want to organize a lingerie party only need to go to the website and download everything for free. We spent several days making quality lingerie party invitations, creating quality photos to decorate the site, etc.

Although we got plenty of links to the Lingerie Party website, we were dismayed that the website got very little attention from Google. Strangely, Google delivers search to some of the internal pages but not to the home page. In fact, the homepage was pretty much ignored by Google.

Recently, I think I might have discovered why. I did a search on some of the content of the homepage and discovered that another website had copied the homepage word for word! I was astonished.

This may explain why Google is not sending traffic to my homepage. It is possible that Google sees the homepage as duplicate content and is ignoring it.

Here are the steps I have taken:

* I have removed the content from my home page, so that it can heal as soon as possible. I have created an internal page (Lingerie Party Ideas) and transferred the content there.

* I have created new content for the home page

* I wrote to the owner of the website via their website and asked them to remove the content. They ignored that friendly request.

* I went to the Whois website and gotten the name and email address of the owner of the website.

* I wrote an email to the owner and copied their intenet provider and demanded that they remove the content.

If they do not remove it now, I will call their internet provider and I will contact Google.

The efforts are already paying off. The homepage is already appearing on the 3rd page of Google for the keyords Lingerie Party and Lingerie parties. I am hoping that it will appear on the front page Google for the keyword Lingerie Party before long.

Lesson: If your website is underperforming in Google, put a few lines of your homepage into the Google search engine. Your website should be the ONLY site that Google has indexed with that content. If it is not, change the content or contact the offending party.