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English Lesson 12: Correct Use of Lose and Loose

May 31st, 2008

lose-loose-english-usage.jpgDue partly to over-reliance on spell checkers, incorrect usage of both lose and loose has become common on the Internet and occasionally occurs in offline printed documents as well. Technically, the two words are not homonyms because there is a slight difference in pronunciation; the s in lose is pronounced with a z sound, while the s in loose is pronounced as we would normally expect. They also mean very different things, which is why it is important to learn the proper usage of these words so that one can avoid confusion and embarrassment. First, let us review the various meanings of lose. In all of these cases, the word is used as a verb.

  • To misplace or fail to locate something; the opposite of find
    1. She managed to lose her keys by locking them in the car.
    2. Because flash drives tend to be small, one must be careful not to lose them.
  • To suffer defeat in a contest or struggle of some kind; the opposite of win
    1. The extra time and energy expended in fighting off the Viking invasion in the north of England was a significant factor in causing the Saxons to lose the battle of Hastings to the Normans in 1066.
    2. Our team will probably lose the game, but we will still have a winning record overall.
  • To give up or relinquish with regard to quantity or value; the opposite of gain
    1. If the quarterly earnings are lower than expected, our stock could lose at least five points in afternoon trading.
    2. With regular exercise, it is possible to lose five pounds or more in a week.
  • To suffer a loss due to an unfortunate event or circumstance
    1. We may lose some of our possessions if there is a fire in the building.
    2. We could lose one of our relatives if the disease proves to be fatal.
  • To evade or elude pursuers with the intention of avoiding detection and capture
    1. The vehicle was able to lose the police by using its off-road abilities and traveling through relatively rugged terrain.
    2. After the tax resisters were able to leave the country, the government goons managed to lose them.

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Entrecard Time Saver: Firefox Snap Links Extension

May 30th, 2008

firefox-logo-small.jpgentrecard-logo-small.jpgThose of us who are active with the Entrecard system often have occasions where we need to visit several websites within a short period of time so that we can complete our daily drops more efficiently. Many sites now have lists of links that allow us to click through directly to pages displaying an Entrecard widget. When encountering such lists, I would normally use the middle-click (mouse wheel) button to open each site in a new tab. However, approximately two months ago I discovered a Firefox extension that makes this process even faster.

It’s called Snap Links and can be downloaded from the Mozilla site here. This handy little application allows you to open whole groups of sites at one time by holding down the right mouse button and dragging the dotted green box that appears over the links to all of the desired sites. Here is a screenshot of the Snap Links extension in action:

firefox-snap-links-extension.jpg

After you have dragged the box over all of the links that you would otherwise want to click on, simply let go of the right mouse button and each of the sites will open in separate tabs.

Note that the actions described above are the default settings; it is possible, for example, to have Firefox open the selected links in multiple windows instead of tabs, open all links in tabs but in a different window, copy the links to the clipboard, bookmark them, or download them. You can also change the settings to control the color and thickness of the drawing or selection rectangles, designate which mouse button you use to initiate the selection, and tweak a few other advanced options. These settings can be accessed after you have downloaded the extension by going to Tools >> Add-ons >> Snap Links >> Options from your Firefox browser menu.

For power-dropping Entrecarders, this spares us the hassle of having to click on as many as 300 links per day and allows us to make more efficient use of our time. Snap links can also be used with the results pages of your favorite search engine. Simply drag the box over the desired number of results, let it go, and wait for the pages to load in their tabs. After clicking on each tab and viewing the pages, you can quickly close any of them that are not relevant to your research by using the middle click button. Along with savvy use of keywords and search parameters, this can allow you to find information quickly and effectively while saving you some wear and tear on your all-important clicking finger.


Related article: Useful Firefox Extensions


How to Get Rid of Dust Mites

May 29th, 2008

picture-of-dust-mite.jpgThis article by Kristie Leong provides four tips for how to kill, eliminate, or otherwise get rid of dust mites. These little critters are only half a millimeter long and have a pretty short life span (up to 75 for females and 30 days for males), but they also reproduce quickly, so they can be very difficult to completely get rid of if you wind up with a major infestation. A highly magnified picture of a dust mite can be found in the upper left corner of this paragraph. Meanwhile, reading through this article on getting rid of dust mites has reminded me that it is definitely time to change my bed sheets and wash the old ones.


If you have a history of allergy symptoms, you may be suffering from the effects of pesky, indoor dust mites. These tiny bugs are members of the spider family and have the ability to wreck havoc with your allergy symptoms if you’re unfortunate enough to be sensitive to them. They tend to thrive in areas that are warm and moist and are a common resident in most homes in America.

Whether you like it or not, these little bugs may have taken up residence in your bedding, clothing, furniture, or other areas of your home where conditions are ripe for their survival. Once they’ve established themselves in your house, you need to take immediate measures to eliminate them. This can help to reduce your allergy symptoms if you’re sensitive to them. Here are some effective ways to get rid of dust mites:

1. Wash bedding at least every two weeks

Since bedding is one of the most frequent places for dust mites to hide out, probably the most important step for how to get rid of dust mites is making sure that you thoroughly wash all bed linens, sheets, pillowcases, etc. at least once every two weeks. Use hot water to make sure you kill all of the mites. Generally, water should be at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy any type of bugs.

2. Reduce indoor humidity

Since dust mites thrive in warm, high humidity environments, it’s important to keep the humidity of your home less than 50 percent. To measure indoor humidity, purchase a hygrometer, available at most hardware stores. If it’s above fifty percent, consider purchasing a dehumidifier to help bring it down.

3. Remove unnecessary carpeting

Dust mites thrive within the fibers of carpeting. If possible, remove the rugs in your home and replace them with hard flooring. This step can go far towards reducing the number of dust mites in your home. Vacuuming is generally not effective at eliminating dust mites, although it may reduce the population. Never vacuum without a mask if you suffer from allergies.

4. Encase your pillows and mattresses in vinyl

Covering your mattress and pillows in vinyl can significantly reduce the dust mite population in your bedroom. This step is generally not cost prohibitive and can have a positive impact on allergy symptoms.

Taking these four steps to eliminate dust mites can be quite effective and may allow you some relief from your allergy or asthma symptoms. Why not give them a try?


Related article: How to Get Rid of Ants in Your House


AdBux Revamps, Launches New Business Model

May 28th, 2008

After celebrating its first year in operation last month, the AdBux GPT program has finally unveiled the promised changes to its business model and is scheduled to begin making regular payments again soon. Upon receiving the update posted below by email, I logged into my account and confirmed that the changeover to the revenue share model has been implemented.

So far the new system seems to be working in my favor; my total account earnings are actually higher than they were before. I am showing a balance of 5.71125 “Click Shares” based on a total number of 542 clicks. The share value is listed as an even $1 per share, giving me an effective rate of a little more than 1 cent per click. I have a similarly favorable ratio with the completed offers, giving me a total account balance of $12.76.

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May 28th 2008 Updates & Announcements
We’ve finally launched the latest version of AdBux with a ton of changes and with changes still in development. Here are the latest updates:

Revenue Share
The revenue share program is a system we developed to give AdBux users the majority of the entire AdBux monthly revenue divided amongst the given shares. This revenue doesn’t just account for clicks and completed offers but all income including premium account purchases, autoline subscriptions, purchased leads, purchased referrals, 3rd party advertising and more. To learn more about the revenue share program, check out http://adbux.org/support.php.

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Tip Top Traffic Eliminates “Hard Work” of Clicking

May 27th, 2008

Today I received an email from a traffic exchange that I have not used very frequently called Tip Top Traffic. Although this particular program is designed for manual surfing, the owner Thom Pearson has managed to implement a new technology that allows users to move to the next site in rotation without actually having to click on anything. Here is the official announcement.

tip-top-traffic-banner.jpg

Hi Karlonia,

No-Click Surfing, Hover Surf, and I’m sure there are other names for it :)

And Now - We Have it.

Save the Strain on your Clickin’ Finger.

Just move the Mouse over the link or button for next site, that’s all. no need to click.

If you have ever felt pain in your finger hand or forearm after a clicking session you will know just how good this news is.

I am REALLY looking forward to the time when ALL my favorite Traffic Exchanges have this.

AND WE HAVE IT NOW - Enjoy :)

That’s all for now folks.

As always, if you have any problems, questions, suggestions or comments, just use the support ticket system or forum. You are Always welcome to write to me about anything.

Best Wishes,

Thom

While typing this post, I have the Tip Top Traffic surfer open right now in a separate Firefox tab. The “clickless” surfing seems to work pretty well. As soon as the timer runs out for each page, the surfbar displays four little squares with distinctly different colors where the timer countdown numbers are located. To the left of these four squares is a fifth small square with the words “Next Site” to the left of it. This fifth square displays a color that matches one of the other four. Normally the user would click the colored square that matches the one beside “Next Site”. With the new system, I only need to move the mouse over the matching color and it automatically moves to the next page; there is no need to click.

Another benefit I noticed is that there are no longer any problems with wasted time because of accidentally mis-clicking and hitting the wrong square. Whenever I hover the mouse over any of the three non-matching colors, nothing happens at all until I move the mouse over the correct color. This is a time saver because under the old system, if someone clicks on the wrong color, the rotator would move to another page and display a “Wrong Click” message. The member would not be credited for the page view but would still have to wait for the timer to run down before being eligible to begin earning credits again. With the new system, there do not seem to be any “wrong” clicks - just keep moving the mouse until it hovers over the matching color in order to get the credit and go to the next page.

Right now, according to my stats I am receiving a relatively favorable 1:1 ratio on this exchange with a 15-second timer. The surfing is very smooth and there are chances for bonus credits and small cash amounts being offered for every 30 page views. This might be a good time to build up some credits for later use. Alternatively, you could use them immediately to promote affiliate programs or drive traffic to lead capture pages for list building purposes.


Figuring Compound Interest: Why Saving Is Important

May 26th, 2008

compound-interest-savings.jpgIn my earlier article on simple interest amortization schedules, we looked at how to figure out the monthly payments and total costs of paying down debts from loans on things like homes or automobiles. This short piece by Alexander Bond deals with the other side of the financial spectrum - why it is important to get into the habit of saving money instead of spending it all, and why Albert Einstein once mentioned that the most powerful force in the universe was compound interest.

Meanwhile, if you’re just looking for an easy way to calculate compound interest and play around with the numbers, this calculator page for savers from About.com will give you a good idea of how much interest you can earn over time with various rates and principal amounts.


According to legend, a Dutch trader named Peter Minuit bought the Island of Manhattan from the Lenape Native American Tribe for $24 worth of glass beads and other trinkets. On the surface, this seems like a bad deal for the Lenape; some would likely see it as an early form of predatory capitalism. But if we examine the situation more closely, we may find a different story.

If the Lenape tribe had invested their $24, earned a return of 6.25%, and did not take any withdrawals, they would have had $371.1 billion by the end of 2006. This growth rate on their investment actually ends up being greater than the value of the land they sold. In 2006, the New York City Department of Finance estimated the property value of all of Manhattan to be around $200 billion.

In modern investing, 6.25% is usually considered a rather low rate of return. It is equivalent to what the bond market is returning in recent years. What if the tribe had taken a slightly riskier investment strategy? Assuming an 8% return on investment, the tribe would have $151 trillion today. Maybe selling the Isle of Manhattan wasn’t such a bad deal after all!

Of course, the Lenape Indians did not have the financial tools and investment knowledge that we have today. You, however, can put the power of compound interest to work. Due to the miracle of compound interest, even tiny amounts of money can become large ones very quickly. If you can save even a modest amount of money and put this information to use in your retirement portfolio, you can eventually enjoy the benefits of having a comfortable nest egg.



Search Query Sunday, 14th Edition

May 25th, 2008

search-market-share-graph.jpgFor this week, current events have caused searches related to gasoline and crude oil to increase, while my previously popular Flash Flash revolution page continues to be mired in Google’s supplemental index. Overall, the pages on rejection letters and ants continue to be the top performers in terms of traffic, with my cell phone and Fair Tax pages also continuing to do well. Meanwhile, here are the next eight queries from my “interesting long tails” list:

which is correct english? May 26th 2008 or 26th May 2008 — In the USA, the first date format is correct if you include a comma after the day of the month and write it as May 26, 2008. As far as I know, it is not necessary to put the “th” after the number, although this blog’s theme creator seems to have included it for some reason. The second format, written without the “th” or the comma as 26 May 2008, is also correct and is commonly used throughout Europe. This is an important distinction to remember when looking at dates that have been abbreviated to purely numerical forms and separated by hyphens or slashes.

For example, in America this date would be written as 5/26/08, but in Europe it would be 26/05/08 or 26-05-08. This can be quite confusing if the day of the month is 12 or less, so if you are at a website and are unsure about how to read the date, it’s a good idea to look at other dates on the page for clues. If you see one that has a value greater than 12 as the first number, this refers to the day of the month, not the month itself.

Lunar eclipse and its consequences for Women — This particular query brought the visitor to my ignorance vs. stupidity page, where I recalled a very interesting passage from a medieval history book that I had read several years ago. It referred to an old superstition from the early Middle Ages in which women were believed to derive their female powers from the moon, so whenever there was a lunar eclipse, these powers were thought to be temporarily reduced. The actual text of the passage is quoted on the linked page and still ranks today as one of the most humorous things that I have ever read.

does leap year keep the calendar accurate — Yes, the idea of a “leap year” was introduced in order to make the calendar more accurate by keeping it in alignment with the astronomical solar years. Although the system’s accuracy is still not perfect, it is a much closer estimation of actual solar years than the previous system was. For a more detailed explanation, see my Leap Year Facts and Trivia article.

real data entry not advertisingKeyForCash is one of the few programs I have encountered that offers real data entry jobs as opposed to doing advertising for products or affiliate programs. If you happen to run across any other sites that offer real data entry opportunities, please let me know so that I can properly review them.

homemade coke blak — This query came through from Dogpile and indicates that there are still some people searching for the infamous Coca-Cola Blak. The Coca-Cola company has stopped selling this particular beverage in the United States due to lower than expected sales, although I have read that it is still being marketed in a few other countries. Fortunately, it is still possible to create a homemade version that tastes nearly identical to the actual product. The linked article provides the instructions for how to make it.

WHICH IS CORRECT LIE DOWN OR LAY DOWN– If you are referring to doing it yourself, it’s “lie down”. If you’re doing it to something else, it’s “lay (the object) down”. For the full explanation, see Correct Use of Lie and Lay.

is it important to peel the skin off zuchhini? — From a purely clinical standpoint, there is no significant danger in eating the skin, so whether or not you use the peeler in this case is not really important. It comes down to matter of personal taste and preference. In general, I have not found it necessary to remove the skin, especially if I am planning on cooking the zucchini as part of a recipe.

hillbilly vs. redneck what is the difference — Although both hillbillies and rednecks are stereotyped as being simple, economically poor, and relatively uneducated folk, the hillbillies are generally found in rural, mountainous areas such as the Appalachian mountains, while the rednecks inhabit the lowland areas of the southeastern United States. There are other differences also; this forum post at Fredericksburg.com does a pretty good job of explaining the basic characteristics of rednecks, hillbillies, and few other related groups.


English Lesson 11: Correct Use of Ad and Add

May 24th, 2008

ad-add-english-usage.jpgOne issue that few grammar guides seem to cover is the apparent confusion between the words ad and add. Although their meanings are quite different, whenever I see an instance of incorrect usage, it is sometimes difficult to tell whether the writer is simply making a typographical error or truly does not know which word to use. In either case, this is an important issue to clarify for Internet marketers because these two words are often used in sales copy, and mistakes made here can turn off potential buyers and lead to lower conversion rates.

First of all, the word ad is a common abbreviation for the word “advertisement”. Ads are the basic vehicle that marketers use to generate leads, sales, and revenue. They are also used to increase public awareness of a brand and improve overall name recognition. Some examples of ads in the offline world include:

  1. classified print ads
  2. newspaper ads
  3. billboard ads
  4. leaflet ads (also called “flyers”)
  5. radio ads
  6. television ads (often referred to as “commercials”)
  7. aerial ads such as flying banners or blimps

In the field of Internet marketing, we usually do most of our advertising online in order to reach people that already have computers and know how to perform the basic functions necessary to purchase our products or sign up for our services. Some examples of online advertising include:

  1. text link ads
  2. banner ads
  3. contextual ads (advertising that is placed within the body text of web pages)
  4. email ads (may include paid-to-read or opt-in lists)
  5. pay-per-click (PPC) ads
  6. interstitial ads (advertising that is displayed in between content pages)
  7. pop-up, pop-under, fly-in, glide-in, drop-in ads (generally considered annoying)
  8. splash page ads (often used in traffic exchanges)
  9. widget ads (such as Entrecard, BlogCatalog, or Bumpzee)
  10. long copy ads (also called “pitch pages”)
  11. audio ads (may be annoying if played automatically)
  12. video ads

Meanwhile, the word add means to combine, increase, or extend something. It does NOT refer to advertising. For example, we can add two numbers together, add to our collection of referrals, or download a Firefox add-on (that is, an extension), but we cannot run an “add” in the newspaper.

Here are some examples of correct and incorrect usage:

Incorrect: Friends should one keep your add here text on adbrite adds when you opt for there network ads? — user “icare” on Digital Point forums

Correct: Friends, should one keep the “Your Ad Here” text on AdBrite ads when you opt for their network ads?

Incorrect: I started with $50.00 three weeks ago and my add has not run at all. — user “dansdesals” in AdWords Help discussion

Correct: I started with $50.00 three weeks ago and my ad has not run at all.

Incorrect: thanx for ad me to fav and to friends! — user “Druyi” at DeviantArt.com blog

Correct: Thank you for adding me to your Favorites and Friends lists.

Incorrect: Humans have lived on earth about 4000 years so if you ad them together 11000 years. — user “twaddell21″, a Jehovah’s Witness creationist displaying some massive ignorance at Yahoo answers

Correct: Humans have lived on the Earth for about 4000 years, so if you add them together it is 11000 years.

For next week, I will probably cover lose vs. loose, as I have noticed that mistakes involving these words often slip past spell checker software. Other candidates include site vs. sight vs. site, past vs. passed, and higher vs. hire.

Some people have suggested that I deal with errors involving past and past participle tenses, such as using “have went” (incorrect) instead of “have gone” (correct). Others want me to decry the use of non-words such as “irregardless” and “anyways” in order to prevent the bastardization of the English language. Eventually I want to cover all of these issues, so if your favorite pet peeve has not been addressed yet, you can cast your vote for it in the comment section.


How to Uninstall Yahoo Toolbar from Firefox

May 23rd, 2008

yahoo-toolbar-remove-firefox.jpgAlthough the Yahoo toolbar has some convenient features such as customization, email alerts, and bookmarking, many users are already able to access these options from their existing applications and discover that the toolbar becomes a redundant annoyance. Moreover, some users have expressed concerns that the configuration for Firefox presents vulnerabilities that can allow hackers to infect a user’s system with spyware or other types of malware that would need to be detected and removed by a good anti-spyware program.

The process for uninstalling the Yahoo toolbar from the Firefox browser is similar to the one for removing it from Internet Explorer if you are able to do it from the toolbar’s menu. Additionally, if this does not work you can also attempt an uninstall through the Firefox extension manager or by resetting your browser’s user profile.

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How to Remove Yahoo Toolbar from Internet Explorer

May 22nd, 2008

yahoo-toolbar-how-to-remove.jpgAfter looking at some of the queries that are going to my article on how to fix the computer CPU speed, I noticed that some of you are having difficulty trying to uninstall the Yahoo toolbar from your IE browsers. Initially, this little application can be useful for many things such as customization, email alerts, search, bookmarks, or enabling tabbed browsing. However, many of us already have these capabilities built into other programs, so eventually the toolbar becomes redundant and simply clutters up the browser interface. I wound up getting the toolbar installed unintentionally because it apparently comes bundled with the Yahoo messenger service as well as SBC Yahoo DSL.

Fortunately, removing the pesky Yahoo toolbar from IE7 or earlier versions is not terribly difficult. There are two basic methods for this: you can either use the toolbar interface itself or go through the Windows Add/Remove Programs settings.

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Clickbank Check Payment Arrives

May 21st, 2008

Yesterday I received a pleasant surprise in the mail when this check arrived from Clickbank. I had not logged into my account for a while to look at the actual numbers, but it seems that I managed to make enough sales to reach the default $100 minimum threshold without even realizing it.

clickbank-check-payment.jpg

To get a close-up view of the check, simply click on the image. Clickbank’s current check printing font is quite small, making it difficult for me to display a properly resized image that is easily legible. Fortunately, the thumbnail feature will allow you to view the image in its original full size without requiring me to display the whole thing on the home page. This is handy for keeping the overall “weight” of web pages relatively light and reducing load times.

After I received the payment, I logged into my account so that I could find out where the sales had been made. I was pleased to see that most of the sales were coming from my pages on bum marketing techniques and how to fix the computer CPU speed. This confirms that my overall strategy of combining bum marketing methods with targeted long tail SEO is actually working, even with Karlonia playing the role of the article directory. Now I just need to find a way to scale it up so that Karlonia will finally have a respectable income and I won’t have to worry about moving to a place like Malawi and subsisting on nsima just to be able to afford basic living expenses.

One of the biggest challenges with using this strategy is that in order for the traffic to actually convert into sales, the article page needs to provide information that helps the visitors solve a real problem that they are struggling with, and then suggest a product that can help them with the solution. I have found that it is not enough to just do the SEO and throw in an affiliate link or two as an afterthought. The product(s) that are linked to from the page must match up exactly with whatever the visitors are searching for as a solution to their problems. Otherwise the page will receive traffic but will not convert.

I still have many pages that are receiving a reasonable amount of traffic but are not yet monetized. Most of them are keyword-targeted articles that have been moderately successful in terms of SEO, but the topics do not match up well with any available Clickbank products. Recently I have signed up with Amazon and Barnes & Noble as possible alternatives, but their commission rates are generally much lower than those found at Clickbank. They do have a much greater selection of products, however, and even a small commission is better than nothing.

Another alternative that I have discovered recently is PayDotCom. This program uses PayPal and works much like Clickbank in terms of offering a variety of digital products with relatively high commissions for affiliates. They also have the advantage of being available to people in countries like the Philippines that are still not allowed to sign up with Clickbank. Moreover, they pay bonuses for referring affiliates who either become vendors and sell their own products or purchase the account upgrade that is offered to new affiliates. After catching up on the posting, I will browse through their marketplace and see if I can find some relevant products to include on my currently unmonetized pages.


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