Google Might Pull Out Of China? So…?

So Google seems to be seriously looking into reasons why they should stay in or pull out of China. Whether it is the right thing for Google to pull out of China for business reasons as mentioned in TechCrunch, or for the greater good – the fact is that Google can do what they like.

Hacking happens all the time. Ten years ago, we were raving about Yahoo! getting hacked on New Year’s Eve. I remember that because I was online as it was happening and was in shock like the rest of the users on. I have nothing really against China. Their economy is growing and yeah, I wish the United States could be in the same situation, but for any of our home grown companies to venture to another country, it is not my problem to judge Google if they pull out of China.

While some would say that Google is not profiting well in China, and others argue it is stupid to pull out because the country has 1/6 of the world’s population – who cares. If Google pulls out, what can the common techy online do – NOTHING (but grouch about it.)

Perhaps as mentioned in the TechCrunch link above (and I will put a quote from it):

This may be the most shocking part: In retrospect Yahoo has played China far better than Google. It pulled out of the country years ago, knowing it wouldn’t win and owns nearly 40% of the Alibaba, a company that very definitely knows how to grow in China. Entrepreneur and angel investor in China Bill Bishop —who hasn’t always agreed with my China coverage in the past—pointed this out, adding “Not often Yahoo looks smarter than Google.”

Perhaps Google could learn from this and invest smartly in Chinese web companies as Yahoo! has.

What do you think?

What Happens When A Web Developer Is Underappreciated

Recently I came up with a dilemma with my own scripts PHPads and PHPurl. Because they have been so popular, and I have been hosting the zip files on my own server, it has been eating up my bandwidth. Believe me this year, the downloads for both have skyrocketed compared to last year. Link promotion from many websites have been awesome, BUT… I have only received $60 in donations last year. I am lucky to have received what I have and appreciative. That is just 3 hours of my time….or even for those who want another smaller comparison – at minimum wage, which covers 1- 8 hour day.

I had to take the files off my server and host them at a free host. I am hosting them at FileHosting.org. I also found a lot of people were going directly to the page and not enjoying the rest of my site, which has a lot of articles that are very useful.

So… in the near future, I am moving it to another page, and putting 125×125 banners on my sidebar. By the way, the site is about to go through a bit of an overhaul. Nothing too extravagant, but something I feel is needed. People who have linked to the scripts in their articles, I will be going through and asking that they either link the Hotscripts listings for each script or my main site.

———–
I know I am not the only web developer that has had issues. Some have removed their free versions and re-posted to charge a small fee. Some simply removed their script for good. Some could not keep their sites up because of bandwidth from the downloads. Some no longer bother to answer support emails, even if there is a FAQ. The script might be free, but let me ask: If it has helped you quite a bit and you have a few dollars, you might consider pitching in a few dollars. It is not much and it keeps future scripts coming in, and staying free.

It also helps for web developers with smaller websites who might need more bandwidth and space, or even database resources.

Other ways to appreciate your web developer is to either check out their sponsors, or possibly become an advertiser. That way, you still get something for your money. You can also visit other parts of their site. If they blog, perhaps they might be someone you might want to connect with, or find that they have a lot of great information.

Have you shown your appreciation to your favorite web developer lately?

Using Social Media & Support Systems

The two things in the title of this post might be a bit vague, but really you can use social media marketing as a support system. While there are people out there willing to teach these methods in exchange for money, your time, and an open ear, there are many more online more than willing to connect and help you – for free.

Forms, social networks… blogs, and other websites are just some of the ways. Really, all it takes is some knowledge, how resourceful you can be, and how imaginative – the same things in regular marketing practices. While blogs are not forums, some blog sites are so active, you can really feel like you are in a community that is giving you a hand – whether for your personal site or your business.

Here are some places I believe you should hook up to for your own social media marketing support system:

Social Media Club (you can even find local or area SMC groups near you!)
Chris Brogan
Liz Strauss at Successful Blog
Problogger
Wired PR Works
Mashable
Social Media Clubs on Facebook and LinkedIn (all you have to do is search)
Cre8asite Forums
UTalkMarketing.com

Feel free to leave links to other places that are helpful to people needing their own support system. I am actually gathering links for my resource project for several areas I cover on Blondish.net

2009 And Social Media

Social Media – it was a word that popped up in the mainstream and blew everyone away by storm. Well, at least those who were not as computer savvy nor marketing savvy.

We learned Social Media and Social Networking were not the same, where social media was a technique to market yourself or your company a social networking were the sites you could exercise your marketing strategies. Of course, there are still people who get those two words mixed up a lot.

This past year, we saw social network giants clamber to be the top, making unique features to draw more users. In fact, there are probably more users that jumped on the bandwagon of social networking versus blogging. In fact, users found more ways to flex their social media muscles on the social networks to attract people to their blogs. Some users found web celebrity status this year, overpowering teeny bopper half clad girls on MySpace who just wanted you to leave a comment while debasing themselves.

We saw governments crack down on Twitter usage, even countries banning their own people from telling the horrible truth about them to the world.

We even saw celebrities and normal everyday people gets sued or even fired or literally roasted online for their Twitter usage.

It has been quite the year for Social Media. Can it get better? Yes. But it could get worse as well. In 2009, spammers crawled out from their holes and found they could play with the social networking masses.

What is in store for 2010? Who knows? For myself, of course, I would love to strive to be better than last year. I went to having a Google PR of 1 to a Google PR 4, and on Alexa, I am doing better than 200K. I actually made my goals, AND beat my goals. I even improved my content. I have more than one blog – each focusing on some of my major interests. I opened Blogrity, a social bookmark site for bloggers that is built with WordPress. I started guest posting at other blogs. I educated and influenced people. I believe I am a blog rockstar, but nothing huge…yet. ;)

What have you noticed this past year in social media, and have you met your goals? How did you go about achieving them and did you use social networking to do it?

2009 Status Updates for PHPads and PHPurl

I am pleased to know that since the release of both of these scripts, that they have done well in the community since introducing them in January 2009.

PHPurl, my free PHP URL shortening script has been downloaded over 1737 times. Before I reset the demo site, Re-URL.me, the site had been used more than 7000 times to shorten URLs. I even had an issue at one point with banning spammers. I was a bit flattered at first, but also angry to have to find the time to remove them. It ended up the reason for resetting the numbers. PHPurl was introduced at the time where short URL sites have been in need, especially since Twitter has become mainstream. There have been countless sites that have mentioned my short URL script and I appreciate it a lot.

My other PHP script, which is a simple ad management script, PHPads has been downloaded over 3900 times. PHPads is actually a re-troduction and rename of its previous – PixelledADS, which was available well over 3 years ago. Most of the installation questions I have gotten have been the same, and dealing with not CHMODing certain files or changing the ads.dat file before loading it up. As for the page and the demo, because I did not remove the configuration section that allowed people to change the password, I ended up removing the demo, and replacing it with screenshots, until I can find the time to put a demo back up again. Someone had changed the password to be a jerk.

I enjoyed the comments and some of the smaller jobs that people have hired me to customize these for them. As for donations, there have been a few, but it was to be expected. Developers are not as appreciated, but I did not want to turn these into commercial GPL. I may introduce such versions at a later time, but right now, until I have more time on my hands, that will not happen anytime soon.

I appreciate the support and look forward to introducing other projects I have worked on the side this past year.

How to Build a Website Fast, Easy and Low Cost or No Cost

There are people who I talk to a lot from my local area that ask me this question…. well a variation. I have seen some blog posts out there that blog about this, but issue their affiliate links to webhosts and such. Of course, I webhost at Host Solutions and I believe even as a small business, I have a great product that runs people $25/year for 5GB diskspace and 25GB bandwidth.

However, I would like to emphasize a few ways you can either have a type of website at little or no cost.

First off, for the people html-challenged and who are not familiar with putting together a page, there are many places you can get free templates for your site – for free. Just search for them. For example, you can use ‘free website templates’ to search and there are many sites that will come up in your search on Google.

1. Of course, actually purchasing a webhost. I have been a small business webhost with Host Solutions since 2004. I recommend mine as my servers are with Host Gator (by the way, that is a direct link and not an affiliate link) and even I would recommend them if someone is looking to host with a bigger business. The are professional and have made hosting easy for both myself and clients.]

2. Free sites like WordPress.com. The only thing is that there are limitations and you cannot do to many things on a free WordPress.com account. I really recommend this as a beginning for those who have heard of WordPress and are interested on how it works. It is not really that hard to go from a free host with WordPress.com to being a self-hosted WordPress.org site

3. Etsy or Ebay – these sites are auction based sites. Etsy is really cheap, but everything has to be DIY (do-it-yourself / totally handmade.) All you need to do is put your shop description, logo (optional), and your products. Other than that, this is not a really flexible way.

4. Subdomain Hosting: So-Pink is small, but they offer subdomain hosting. I would not recommend domain hosting with So-Pink in case you want to take your domain elsewhere.

I even offer free subdomain hosting on my domain Pixelled.com as long as people link back to my site. You can use my contact form here to inquire. However, I do not host commercial sites for free.

Please note that these places do not usually have anything but FTP access, but you can host a self-hosted WordPress blog.

Making a website is not difficult, nor finding a good place. This is just for those who need an easy and low cost way to do it.

What other places do you suggest?

List of Free FTP Clients

In the past decade, there has been an increasing number of FTP clients available for free or purchase. For those who do not know was FTP is, it stands for File Transfer Protocol. It allows you to upload and image to another server from your computer. Of course, a lot of the paid FTP programs are great, but the normal person does not really have the money to fork out to buy for a program that they might not use that often. Of course, for webmasters or web designers, it is a necessity, so I have gathered a small list of FTP programs to share.

Here are a few I found:

FileZilla – I use this and it is great!
SmartFTP – actually there is only a 30 day trial, but I have tried it out in the past and liked it. Although it is not free, I thought I would mention it as it has been one that I have enjoyed using.
GoFTP – only costs if you are in a company of 50 or more clients. I tried this, but it did not work very well and I found it a bit unfriendly user-wise.
FireFTP – this is a cross-platform ftp client for Firefox users. I have not tried it, but after asking a few friends of mine, they liked it. It is free and the site says it has been downloaded over 12 million times.
CoffeeCup Free FTP – free version. They also have a purchase version called Direct FTP. Very user-friendly.

What do you use? Is it free? Do you recommend it?

Social Bookmarking – How It May Help Your Site In Obtaining Traffic

Social bookmarking has been a great tool for webmasters and bloggers to push their content to the masses. There are sites that obviously weigh in on their power to help attract traffic while others are struggling. Social network sites in a way have contributed to social bookmarking in a way as live streams like Twitter are crawled and documented by Google. However, they are not “social bookmark” sites.

Though you may be apt to join larger communities, it may suit your interest if you find smaller social bookmark communities that have a concentrated interest in your niche. For example, WPVote is specifically gear toward people who talk about anything WordPress related. Top Roundups is focused on articles that have lists (roundup articles.) Blogrity is very new and in beta mode, but hopes to use a wide topic range, but it is a social bookmark site dedicated to bloggers.

Of course, you will want to join Digg, Delicious, Reddit, and many others that are large and have been around for years. However, do not cut yourself short.

The great things are that these social bookmark sites are an asset for bloggers and webmasters because it allows people to find your article in a community setting. You are allowing them to either discuss your article on the social bookmark site or within your site, which both attract traffic. Of course, just bookmarking your links will not make your site succeed alone. If you are a person that is writing to connect with others, you will have to reach out and talk with your readers. In return, this will build a relationship that may keep them coming back to view what you have to say.

Do you use social bookmarking sites? If so, has it helped improve your site? What social bookmark sites do you recommend people using?