29 December 2009

Choosing Topic for your Blog which is right for you

One of the readers of the blog asked my advice on how to choose the right niche to work in. While it looks like and easy question to answer, in reality it is not. I have personally started several blogs, which I got eventually bored with, thus placing them in the passive mode. I have other blog, quite interesting and attractive, but appeared to be unmarketable and unprofitable (at least, for me). I have found a nice post by Daniel Scocco at DailyBlogTips, where he reviews the possible reasons of the blogging failure, based on the improperly chosen blogging niche. Presenting the post for your attention. 

A lot of people want to make money blogging, and a most of these people will fail miserably. There are 1000 reasons why this happens (and happens so often), but I find that one of the most common reasons a blog fails is because of the subject it is about.

No, not because you picked a subject that is way over saturated. And no, not because you picked a subject that is hard to monetize. What I am talking about here is when you pick a subject that you, the writer, have no business writing about in the first place.

You see, the number of people with blogs about a subject they either have no real interest in, no real passion for, no real experience with, no real knowledge about, or any combination of the four, is, quite frankly, pretty freaking insane. And hilarious.
Seriously, do you have any idea how many blogs there are about “making money online” that are written by people who have never made a cent online? Or how many blogs there are about “blogging” that are written by people who don’t actually have anything close to a successful blog? It’s kinda like a fat guy writing about weight loss. They lack significant knowledge about it, and they certainly lack first hand experience with it, but they see other people blogging about it successfully and making decent money, so they decide to try it too.
I mean, if it works for these people, it will surely work for you, right?

The obvious problem (well, obvious to me at least) is that you don’t actually have any knowledge about or experience with the subject. And, no matter how talented of a writer you may think you are, this tends to come through to your readers. You’d be surprised at just how easy it is to tell when you are reading something written by someone who is truly knowledgeable about a subject, and when you are reading something written by someone who is mostly just rewriting stuff they’ve learned from someone who actually IS knowledgeable about the subject.

It’s a big difference, and it’s usually quite noticeable. The result? Your blog will probably fail. People seeking information want to get that information from someone who is truly qualified to give it. You aren’t, and they will most likely notice.

It’s also entirely possible to be knowledgeable about a subject, but still not really be interested in it or passionate about it. This will again come through to your readers, but the even bigger problem here is that one of the keys to having a successful blog is time. It is extremely rare (you might as well read that as “impossible”) to see a blog become a success overnight. As I’m sure has been mentioned on Daily Blog Tips before, it takes time. In some cases, lots of time. And, if what you are blogging about isn’t something you are truly passionate about and interested in, guess what? This will be the slowest passing time you’ve ever experienced in your life.

In most cases, you will completely lose interest long before that time is ever reached. The result? Your blog will probably fail. You can’t fake passion, at least not long term. You may be able to fool your visitors for a while, but you won’t be able to fool yourself.

In the end, it’s pretty simple. Blog about a subject that you are at least somewhat knowledgeable about, and a large amount passionate about. If you don’t, you are putting your blog in a position to fail from day 1.
So the question now is, how do you find this magical blog subject that fits the above description? Well, there’s a few ways, but here’s my personal favorite tip:
Go to your family and close friends and present them with this question: If they had a problem of some kind, something that they needed help with, something they couldn’t figure out, something they didn’t understand, something they had questions about… what would make them say “Hey, I need to call [insert your name here]!”

The responses they give should give you a really good idea of the kind of stuff you should be blogging about. And once you have that, you’re set. Only 999 other possible reasons for why your blog will fail. Look on the bright side though. At least you’re starting off in a position to succeed. Many people don’t even have that.

08 December 2009

WordPress Exploit Scanner – Check your blog for malware!

The WordPress Exploit Scanner is a free plugin that scans your blog installation to see if any nasty malware code has been inserted into your site by hackers. It hunts for unauthorized code in the database and WP files on your server (it’s designed for self-hosted WordPress, not WordPress.com) and sends back a report on anything suspicious it finds.

When a website is compromised, hackers leave behind scripts and modified content that can be found by manually searching through all the files on a site. Some of the methods used to hide their code or spam links are obvious, like using CSS to hide text, and we can search for those strings.

The database can also be used to hide content or be used to run code. Spam links are sometimes added to blog posts and comments. They’re hidden by CSS so visitors don’t see them, but search engines do. Recently, hackers took advantage of the WP plugin system to run their own malicious code. They uploaded files with the extensions of image files and added them to the list of active plugins. So, despite the fact that the file didn’t have a .php file extension, the code in them was still able to run!

You can find the Scanner admin page linked off the Dashboard. This is the screen you’ll see.

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You can search in numerous ways:

1. Files and database.
2. Files only.
3. Database only
4. Search files by custom keyword.

The custom keyword form allows you to search your files for whatever you like. Be careful with that one because a search for a common keyword like “php” will takes ages and generate an extremely long list of files.

Warning! Searching through the files on your site will take some time. Even a clean WordPress install with no plugins will probably take a noticeable length of time. It’s also heavy on your server. Only run the file check when your server is idling and not busy.

More information and direct downloading link at the developers website: http://ocaoimh.ie/exploit-scanner/

30 November 2009

Uncover personal secrets with Spokeo Social Networks Aggregator

When you enter Spokeo for the first time, you immediately notice the program slogan: “Want to see something juicy? Spokeo searches deep within 48 major social networks to find truly mouth-watering news about friends and coworkers”. While that might be attractive for some visitors, there is definitely not too pretty slogan for me. However, let’s not look too close on the façade, but review what this site can do for you, and how it can enhance your social presence on the Web.

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Mashable.com called Spokeo a simplest of the social networks aggregators today. It is useful for the Internet fans, trying to cover all bases in the multi-sites virtual presence and bring all the contacts together under one single “roof”.

What can you use the application for?

Spokeo is a powerful online application that is designed for syndication of information available publicly across the Internet. In other words it is a social aggregator that allows the users to aggregate photos, videos and blogs available on the web. It often happens that the people/friends of the same group use different online services as per their liking and preferences and it is very difficult for them to aggregate themselves at one common place and they keep hovering around looking and searching about what their friends are doing. Spokeo aids users to maintain separate profiles of all friends and it automatically scoops important information from all the contacts (without letting them know that someone is keeping an eye on their activities). Spokeo is an important technique to manage all information of the user under one roof and let him decide what information is to be provided to others and what not. One of the main features of Spokeo is 'recommend', when any person recommends a message or post on the website it will automatically spread through and show on the home pages of everybody in the contact list.

What is the history of the application?

It was started by Harrison Tang and three other Stanford graduates in the year 2006 with a view to provide a helpful interface to the users if they are unable to keep up with their friends.

What are the differences to other applications?

The website is pretty useful and beneficial for users who have large friends base. It keeps tracking all the contacts across 48 social sites and concurrently updates the action. With its features like Recommend and Contact Ingestion, Spokeo has tried its level best to eliminate the deficiencies and fill-up the loopholes of other service across the web.

How does the registration process work?

The user can easily join Spokeo service by just providing the e-mail and passwords of AOL, Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail accounts and in just 5 minutes the user can follow up his/her friends on 48 social networks. And in case a person doesn't have the e-mail he/she has the option to create it at the same place itself. No credit card details are required for registration.

What does it cost to use the application?

Getting registered with Spokeo is free and easy. The site is funded by 'Angel Investors'. Spokeo also provides for advertisements with the concept of 'sponsored insertion' in which the advertiser is allowed to specify the blog that he wants to promote.

Who would you recommend the application to?

Spokeo is a social aggregator and is beneficial for such users who remain wired up on the Internet all day long and have a big bunch of friends across the web. It is likely that they face difficulties in tracking them and updating their actions and activities on numerous sites. So this site can be recommended to the persons who wish to enlarge and maintain their communities across the web.

Control your privacy

Spokeo respects the privacy policies of your social networks. Your content can only be read in Spokeo by the same people allowed to read it in your network.

Currently supported networks
  • 43 Things
  • Amazon
  • Bebo
  • BizShark
  • Blogger
  • Buzznet
  • dailymotion
  • deviantART
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Flickr Group
  • Flixster
  • Fotolog
  • Friendster
  • Goodreads
  • Hi5
  • iLike
  • imeem
  • Last.fm
  • LinkedIn
  • LiveJournal
  • Multiply
  • MySpace
  • Netlog
  • Pandora
  • PhotoBucket
  • Picasa
  • PictureTrail
  • Slide
  • Stumbleupon
  • Tagged
  • Target
  • Twitter
  • Upcoming
  • Veoh
  • Vox
  • Web Results
  • WebShots
  • Windows Live Spaces
  • Wretch
  • Xanga
  • Yelp
  • YouTube
You can access and instantly sign in for the Spokeo membership at http://www.spokeo.com/

20 November 2009

Entrecard - virtual business card directory

Entrecard is one of the few blogging networks, which considered being quite useful for the blog promotion by many respected and successful bloggers. There you can buy and sell ad space for credits, which you can use for spreading a word about your own site.

Entrecard is actually a virtual online business card directory. By creating your online business card, you can use your blog as a social networking tool to increase traffic, , reach new readers, or just to make new friends.

How it works

  • When you put the Entrecard widget on your blog, your visitors are able to leave you their virtual business cards. All cards received are stored in your dashboard.
  • You can find the blog sites you like and click on the "drop" link on their widget. This is how you give your business card to people you want to network with.
  • You can communicate directly with people in your network through our private messaging system.
  • By giving your business card way, you earn Entrecard credits! It is a virtual currency. You can buy/sell/trade services with other users using earned Entrecard credits.
  • The service is free for all users.
For a limited time only, community is offering new users 200 free credits when they become active members of the Entrecard community. The promotional credits will encourage new users to spend their credits and become familiar with the Entrecard system.

There is also promotion for current site users. You can promote Entrecard through the referral program and receive 800 credits for every new referral that joins Entrecard. You can promote Entrecard on blog posts or by putting our pre-made banners on your blog.

Get your unique referral code and pre-made banners here: http://entrecard.com/r/referring

You can access Entrecard site through the link: http://entrecard.com/

14 November 2009

Obsessive-Compulsive Blogging Disorder (OCBD)

Blogging is a pastime for many, even
a livelihood for a few. For some, it becomes

an obsession. Such bloggers often feel
compelled to write several times daily
and feel anxious if they don't keep up.

Katie Hafner
The New York Times
May 27, 2004

Do you see random events in your life as blog-fodder?

Are you struck with post ideas when you're nowhere near your computer?

Does a sign, a conversation, or even your lunch make you think- "Hm, I should blog about that"?

Do you take photos of things which no one else can understand why you're photographing?

Then you might just have Obsessive-Compulsive Blogging Disorder (OCBD)!

05 November 2009

Top ten blog design mistakes to avoid

Today, I want to present Jakob Nielsen’s publication on many blogs, which are too internally focused and ignore key usability issues, making it hard for new readers to understand the site and trust the author. The original article was published in 2005, but it is even more important for the bloggers than before.

Weblogs are a form of website. The thousands of normal website usability guidelines therefore apply to them, as do this year's top ten design mistakes. But weblogs are also a special genre of website; they have unique characteristics and thus distinct usability problems.

One of a weblog's great benefits is that it essentially frees you from "Web design." You write a paragraph, click a button, and it's posted on the Internet. No need for visual design, page design, interaction design, information architecture, or any programming or server maintenance.
Blogs make having a simple website much easier, and as a result, the number of people who write for the Web has exploded. This is a striking confirmation of the importance of ease of use.

Weblogs' second benefit is that they're a Web-native content genre: they rely on links, and short postings prevail. You don't have to write a full article or conduct original research or reporting. You can simply find something interesting on another site and link to it, possibly with commentary or additional examples. Obviously, this is much easier than running a conventional site, and again indicates the benefits of lowering the barriers to computer use.

As a third benefit, blogs are part of an ecosystem (often called the Blogosphere) that serves as a positive feedback loop: Whatever good postings exist are promoted through links from other sites. More reader/writers see this good stuff, and the very best then get linked to even more. As a result, link frequency follows a Zipf distribution, with disproportionally more links to the best postings.

Some weblogs are really just private diaries intended only for a handful of family members and close friends. Usability guidelines generally don't apply to such sites, because the readers' prior knowledge and motivation are incomparably greater than those of third-party users. When you want to reach new readers who aren't your mother, however, usability becomes important.

Also, while readers of your intranet weblog might know you, usability is important because your readers are on company time.
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Usability Issues
To reach new readers and respect your existing readers' time constraints, test your weblog against the following usability problems.

1. No Author Biographies
Unless you're a business blog, you probably don't need a full-fledged "about us" section the way a corporate site does. That said, the basic rationale for "about us" translates directly into the need for an "about me" page on a weblog: users want to know who they're dealing with.

It's a simple matter of trust. Anonymous writings have less credence than something that's signed. And, unless a person's extraordinarily famous, it's not enough to simply say that Joe Blogger writes the content. Readers want to know more about Joe. Does he have any credentials or experience in the field he's commenting on? (Even if you don't have formal credentials, readers will trust you more if you're honest about that fact, set forth your informal experience, and explain the reason for your enthusiasm.)

2. No Author Photo
Even weblogs that provide author bios often omit the author photo. A photo is important for two reasons:
  • It offers a more personable impression of the author. You enhance your credibility by the simple fact that you're not trying to hide. Also, users relate more easily to somebody they've seen.
  • It connects the virtual and physical worlds. People who've met you before will recognize your photo, and people who've read your site will recognize you when you meet in person (say, at a conference — or the company cafeteria if you're an intranet blogger).
A huge percentage of the human brain is dedicated to remembering and recognizing faces. For many, faces work better than names. I learned this lesson myself in 1987 when I included my photo in a HyperCard stack I authored that was widely disseminated on Mac-oriented BBSs. Over the next two years, countless people came up to me and said, "I liked your stack," having recognized me from the photo.

Also, if you run a professional blog and expect to be quoted in the press, you should follow the recommendations for using the Web for PR and include a selection of high-resolution photos that photo editors can download.

3. Nondescript Posting Titles
Sadly, even though weblogs are native to the Web, authors rarely follow the guidelines for writing for the Web in terms of making content scannable. This applies to a posting's body text, but it's even more important with headlines. Users must be able to grasp the gist of an article by reading its headline. Avoid cute or humorous headlines that make no sense out of context.

Your posting's title is micro content and you should treat it as a writing project in its own right. On a value-per-word basis, headline writing is the most important writing you do.

Descriptive headlines are especially important for representing your weblog in search engines, newsfeeds (RSS), and other external environments. In those contexts, users often see only the headline and use it to determine whether to click into the full posting. Even if users see a short abstract along with the headline (as with most search engines), user testing shows that people often read only the headline. In fact, people often read only the first three or four words of a headline when scanning a list of possible places to go. Sample bad headlines:
  • What Is It That You Want?
  • Hey, kids! Comics!
  • Victims Abandoned
Sample good headlines:
  • Pictures from Die Hunns and Black Halos show
  • Office Depot Pays United States $4.75 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations
    (too long, but even if you only read the first few words, you have an idea of what it's about)
  • Ice cream trucks as church marketing
This last headline works on a church-related blog. If you're writing an ice cream industry blog, start the headline with the word "church" because it's the information-carrying word within a context of all ice cream, all the time.

In browsing weblog headline listings to extract these examples, I noticed several headlines in ALL CAPS. That's always bad. Reading speed is reduced by 10% and users are put off by the appearance of shouting.

4. Links Don't Say Where They Go
Many weblog authors seem to think it's cool to write link anchors like: "some people think" or "there's more here and here." Remember one of the basics of the Web: Life is too short to click on an unknown. Tell people where they're going and what they'll find at the other end of the link.
Generally, you should provide predictive information in either the anchor text itself or the immediately surrounding words. You can also use link titles for supplementary information that doesn't fit with your content.

A related mistake in this category is to use insider shorthand, such as using first names when you reference other writers or weblogs. Unless you're writing only for your friends, don't alienate new visitors by appearing to be part of a closed clique. The Web is not high school.

5. Classic Hits are Buried
Hopefully, you'll write some pieces with lasting value for readers outside your fan base. Don't relegate such classics to the archives, where people can only find something if they know you posted it, say, in May 2003.

Also, remember to link to your past pieces in newer postings. Don't assume that readers have been with you from the beginning; give them background and context in case they want to read more about your ideas.

6. The Calendar is the Only Navigation
A timeline is rarely the best information architecture, yet it's the default way to navigate weblogs. Most weblog software provides a way to categorize postings so users can easily get a list of all postings on a certain topic. Do use categorization, but avoid the common mistake of tagging a posting with almost all of your categories. Be selective. Decide on a few places where a posting most belongs.

Categories must be sufficiently detailed to lead users to a thoroughly winnowed list of postings. At the same time, they shouldn't be so detailed that users face a category menu that's overly long and difficult to scan. Ten to twenty categories are appropriate for structuring many topics.

On the main page for each category, highlight that category's evergreens as well as a time line of its most recent postings.

7. Irregular Publishing Frequency
Establishing and meeting user expectations is one of the fundamental principles of Web usability. For a weblog, users must be able to anticipate when and how often updates will occur.

For most weblogs, daily updates are probably best, but weekly or even monthly updates might work as well, depending on your topic. In either case, pick a publication schedule and stick to it. If you usually post daily but sometimes let months go by without new content, you'll lose many of your loyal — and thus most valuable — readers.

Certainly, you shouldn't post when you have nothing to say. Polluting cyberspace with excess information is a sin. To ensure regular publishing, hold back some ideas and post them when you hit a dry spell.

8. Mixing Topics
If you publish on many different topics, you're less likely to attract a loyal audience of high-value users. Busy people might visit a blog to read an entry about a topic that interests them. They're unlikely to return, however, if their target topic appears only sporadically among a massive range of postings on other topics. The only people who read everything are those with too much time on their hands (a low-value demographic).

The more focused your content, the more focused your readers. That, again, makes you more influential within your niche. Specialized sites rule the Web, so aim tightly. This is especially important if you're in the business-to-business (B2B) sector.

If you have the urge to speak out on, say, both American foreign policy and the business strategy of Internet telephony, establish two blogs. You can always interlink them when appropriate.

9. Forgetting That You Write for Your Future Boss
Whenever you post anything to the Internet — whether on a weblog, in a discussion group, or even in an email — think about how it will look to a hiring manager in ten years. Once stuff's out, it's archived, cached, and indexed in many services that you might never be aware of.

Years from now, someone might consider hiring you for a plum job and take the precaution of snooping you first. (Just taking a stab at what's next after Google. Rest assured: there will be some super-snooper service that'll dredge up anything about you that's ever been bitified.) What will they find in terms of naïvely puerile "analysis" or offending nasty flames published under your name?
Think twice before posting. If you don't want your future boss to read it, don't post.

10. Having a Domain Name Owned by a Weblog Service
Having a weblog address ending in blogspot.com, typepad.com, etc. will soon be the equivalent of having an @aol.com email address or a Geocities website: the mark of a naïve beginner who shouldn't be taken too seriously.

Letting somebody else own your name means that they own your destiny on the Internet. They can degrade the service quality as much as they want. They can increase the price as much as they want. They can add atop your content as many pop-ups, blinking banners, or other user-repelling advertising techniques as they want. They can promote your competitor's offers on your pages. Yes, you can walk, but at the cost of your loyal readers, links you've attracted from other sites, and your search engine ranking.

The longer you stay at someone else's domain name, the higher the cost of going independent. Yes, it's tempting to start a new weblog on one of the services that offer free accounts. It's easy, it's quick, and it's obviously cheap. But it only costs $8 per year to get your personal domain name and own your own future. As soon as you realize you're serious about blogging, move it away from a domain name that's controlled by somebody else. The longer you delay, the more pain you'll feel when you finally make the move.

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23 October 2009

7 Recommendations on how to annoy readers with your Tweets

You probably know that if you want you can easily annoy people. With all technology advances, you are getting even more opportunities and tools to annoy people massively. Here, we will present several effective approaches on how to annoy people on Twitter, which are brining the most promising results, based on the extensive testing.

  1. Approach every follower immediately and give him/her a strong sales pitch. That will definitely leave an expected negative feeling at the first communication between you and your new follower. What you need followers for? Really, to buy your products, to sign your pyramid, or at least visit your web pages.
  2. Daily send detailed reports on your life events. Send at least 10 tweets a day about how you are going to the store, walking your dog, scratching your nose, and washing your hair. It will make your tweets seem like a really boring reality show.
  3. Send excessive tweets all day long. Do it manually, if you really have time for that, or use any auto-twitting utility. If you send no-stop endless tweets, people will start avoiding and ignoring your tweets, but that was your target, remember?
  4. Call yourself a Guru and teach everybody the right way of doing things. Self-confidence is very important, especially when you do not have a clue about the topic of discussion.
  5. Send repeatedly the outdated new, stressing the same issues again and again. Hell, not all the people are really sharp, and you need to repeat thing for 20+ times, before they get it.
  6. No matter, what and how you write about, ask and beg to be retweeted. You need traffic; these people will multiply the exposure for you. They just need to understand, how important is spread the word about. Note that you will not reach your target, and your readers might not get annoyed enough, if you have a really important public announcement, valuable to be retweeted.
  7. Be always negative, angry, and aggressive, and you will get to the readers fast. To be even more efficient, you need to add rudeness and lack of respect in your posts. It is probably, one of the most effective advices on the list.
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BTW, please bookmark, RSS, tweet, and add to Facebook, Digg, and others, this post! I really need this traffic. I need the Google Adsense money to pay my property tax in one week!

15 October 2009

How to Add Free Live Chat to your Webpage?

You want to make your blog more interactive – think about embedding live chat window on your page. Chatango is offering you to put a chat in your site with voice, emoticons, and avatars, both in public or private modes.

Chatango lets you do three cool things:
  1. You can create your own chat room, a Chatango group for your web page. This is a public chat, and all messages stay in the group history. As a group owner, you can block people from your group, and delete messages from it.
  2. You can put Chatango private chat MINI box into your page. This is a private one-on-one chat between your page visitors and you. You can put Chatango MINI box in your Xanga, Myspace, Friendster, Piczo or in your eBay stores to increase your sales and enhance your customer support opportunities on a professional level.
  3. You can search Chatango for users near you, who are online and who have similar interests. When you login, you can scroll the list of people's profiles, or you can use search to make new friends and chat with them in real time.
The service is absolutely free for all users. Note that when you close Chatango window, you will appear offline unless for all your site visitors unless you download a small utility - MessageCatcher. It places a little icon in your Windows system tray, which notifies you when you get a new message. When you get a message, a little alert pops up, which you can click on and start chatting immediately.

Message Catcher is currently only for Windows (Vista, XP, 2000, ME/98/95), it has no spyware of any kind, and it's only a 165 KB download. You can download it from here.

Samples of embedded widget:

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10 October 2009

Blogging for profit might get you in trouble!

Does writing a blog constitute work? That appears to be the position of the New York State Department of Labor, which recently declared a laid-off attorney ineligible for unemployment benefits because she was bringing in $1.30 a day from blog ads.
Earlier this year Karin--a 2008 graduate from the University of Virginia School of Law who asked that her last name not be published--was laid off by a New York City law firm six months into her job.

Karin applied for state unemployment benefits and began receiving $405 a week. Unable to afford her rent in New York, she moved to St. Louis, Mo., and began searching for paralegal jobs while preparing to take the Missouri bar exam (it is common, and legal, for the unemployed to receive jobless benefits from the state where they last worked, even after moving elsewhere.)

In April, Karin started a blog, called STL Meal Deals, where she wrote about local restaurant promotions. Since she received no payments from the businesses she mentioned, Karin decided to try generating some income by signing up for Google AdSense, a service run by the Web search giant that pays bloggers to host ads on their sites. Google sends bloggers checks when their earnings hit $100--a level that took Karin three months to achieve.

When the check came in, Karin realized she had a legal obligation to disclose the income to New York State, even though doing so might reduce the weekly unemployment benefits she received. According to state regulations, anyone receiving unemployment benefits, who works one day and earns less than $405, will have his check for the week reduced by 25%. Someone who earns more than $405 in a single week becomes ineligible for any payments for that week.

It was after Karin notified the Department of Labor of her AdSense income that the confusion started. New York cut her weekly benefits to $300 and sent her a form to fill out and send to her employer. Unsure whether Google was considered her employer, Karin called the DOL to get an answer. She says a state official told her she shouldn't have claimed the AdSense payment as income because it was "residual," meaning a payment made for services previously rendered. New York does not regard residual income as employment pay that could make someone ineligible for unemployment benefits.

The call prompted Karin to file another claim with the state and to attach a letter stating she was running a blog and that the Google AdSense revenue it generated was her only source of income. A few days later, she received a letter from the DOL informing her that it had launched an investigation of her "business" to determine whether she remained eligible for benefits.

Karin called the DOL again and says this time she was told that the state considered her self-employed, which would require her to claim earnings each time she received an AdSense check. She called back to get another opinion, and Karin says this time she was informed by yet another state official that she needed to declare that she was working every time that she updated her blog.

Meanwhile, New York State has informed Karin that she is ineligible for unemployment benefits while its investigation is ongoing.

Several phone calls by Forbes to the Department of Labor failed to yield a clear response as to whether New York State regards Google AdSense payments as residual or self-employment income. Such payments are "uncharted territory" and questions of eligibility are "very case specific," according to a DOL spokesman.

Karin, meanwhile, has pulled AdSense from her Web site. "It's frustrating that nobody seems to have a straightforward answer," she says. "It's even more frustrating that trying to work and generate additional income, while being straightforward and honest about that income, is treated with suspicion and punished."

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Her total AdSense income: $238.75!

Google, for its part, seems to want to stay out of it. In a statement, the company said, “Google AdSense revenue supports many publishers and bloggers with a revenue stream from online advertising. We're not able to comment on how various states choose to classify this revenue for purposes of unemployment benefit eligibility."

The company does send 1099 statements to anyone who earns $600 or more in AdSense income within a calendar year. The recipient, in turn, is supposed to declare this as miscellaneous income when filing his federal tax returns. Google does not report to the IRS, or issue 1099s, for AdSense income of less than $600 per person.

So is blogging work only if you make a certain amount of money? New York, at least, doesn’t see it that way. “You are considered employed on any day when you perform any services - even an hour or less - regardless of whether you get paid for that day,” said a spokesman from the Department of Labor.

Sources and Additional Information:

07 October 2009

8hands – Free Services for Lazy Social Addicts

If you maintain accounts on multiple social sites, like Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and you want to stay always updated on what is going on there, but without desire to waste too much spare time, consider get help from a free social assistant - 8hands.

The 8hands Desktop application organizes all your different online profiles into one place, and sending you real time notifications upon new events via desktop alerts, allows to be on top of the things (when friends upload new pictures on Flickr, or there’s a new comment on your Flickr photos, or when you have private messages on Facebook or new tweets on Twitter) without manual visits to your profile pages on all the different websites.

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When you are away from your computer, 8hands Mobile will instantly connect your social networks to your mobile device.

List of Supported Networks:
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • MySpace
  • YouTube
  • WordPress
  • Twitter
  • LiveJournal
  • Blogger
  • FeedBurner
With 8hands Desktop you can:
  • Get notifications of new comments, messages, friend requests, videos, feeds and more - in real time!
  • IM and share online content with your friends: Just drag and drop your YouTube videos, Flickr pics and more into our easy to use chat window
  • Receive summaries and statistics on your social networking activities
  • Easily access your community locations from a single entry point.
  • Use "best friends" algorithm, for more accurate matches in your friends tab
  • Use Post back options in features like private message, wall to wall, friend request
  • Get Image display on incoming events
To download 8hands click here.

More information on the developers website: http://www.8hands.com/about

01 October 2009

Dead-End, or 6 reasons to stop blogging

After three-plus years, Christian Ziebarth decided to stop blogging — at least, temporarily — for his OC Mex blog that tracks the ins and outs of the Mexican restaurants in Orange CountysOCial sunday asked him to share the sign that convinced him it was time for a break …

  1. When you realize you are putting way too much time into it and getting little in return.
  2. When the amount of your site traffic indicates you should be getting more comments than you are.
  3. When you realize other people get paid to do pretty much the same thing.
  4. When friends and family think you have no other focus in life than the subject matter of your blog.
  5. When you know you have some readers; but when you also see your blog isn’t reaching many people who are interested in the subject matter you write about.
  6. When you go to bed every night stressed out, and, even worse, when you wake up stressed out.
Christian adds: “I may very well get back to the blog, but I need to let my life simmer down for the time being and then see how I can work the blog back in.”

25 September 2009

In Text Advertising and Google AdSense: Is that a good match for your site monetization?

AdSense is not enough?
It's no secret that AdSense represents an evolution from the distracting and non-targeted web ads of the past. Using the power of Google, AdSense ensures your site's ad content "jives" with your site's overall theme and visitor demographics.

Still, what if you could take things a step further by transforming your site's content into its own ad platform? That's exactly what Infolinks has done. The perfect complement to AdSense, Infolinks uses In Text Ads - and transforms your site's copy into ad copy in a matter of seconds. Better yet, there is no risk, it takes no space of your site, no commitment, you don't have to alter your site's content and your site will become profitable right away.

According to Infolinks Vice President Tomer Treves, "Infolinks In-Text ads complete the contextual web ad experience initiated by AdSense. Plus, it only takes a minute to get going and we don't hold you to any long-term commitments - it couldn't be simpler."

What is InfoLinks?
InfoLinks is an in-text advertising service that allows you to quickly and easily make money off your website’s content.  In-text advertising is when certain keywords on your website are used as a means of advertising. The advertisements appear in a link form which when clicked will bring you to the advertisers website or product page. These types of advertisements can be very useful and can also generate revenue for the publisher with very limited work. InfoLinks acts as a middle-man that makes the arrangements with all of the advertisers so you don’t have to, letting you, just focus on earning money.

Infolinks, Inc. is a leading provider of In Text Advertising services, working with online content publishers worldwide. Infolinks enables website owners and publishers to benefit from premium highly relevant In Text ads. Established in 2007 and backed by Primera Capital, Infolinks leads the industry with the most attractive business model and guarantees the highest revenue sharing basis to all partners. Since the incorporation of Infolinks, thousands of websites have been integrating their In-Text ads and the Infolinks team takes pride in making the process effortless, easy and immediately profitable.

In Text Advertising Appearance
Perfected by online advertising powerhouse Infolinks, this cutting-edge contextual ad service is the next step in complete website monetization. In Text ads look almost identical to embedded hyperlinks - only there's one key difference. When you look at an in-text ad, you'll notice a double line under a keyword within your site's overall copy. When users hover their pointer over the word, an ad bubble that relates to the keyword appears. If the users are interested, they click on the ad to go to the advertiser's site. It couldn't be simpler!

AdSense and InfoLinks: Does it work for the same page?
Yes, you can monetize your website with in text ads together with Google AdSense ads. AdSense has become such a standard monetization tool that you can see it alongside any other method of online advertising. With a trusted in text ads provider you can be sure that there will be no technical clashes with AdSense ads, and also, Google does not have anything against in-text ads.

Will In Text Ads affect AdSense Revenues?
No, in text ads do not affect AdSense revenues. The possible reasons are probably based on the nature of the click through rate (CTR). It seems that the type of visitor that clicks on a banner-like ad from AdSense (these ads surround the text) is different than the type of visitor that clicks on the in text ads within the content. They don’t replace one click by the other and therefore there is no influence on the earnings. One exception to this general statement is that when in text ads are just added to an existing website, they sometime get more attention than usual for a short while, but as the double underline links become more familiar, it all goes back to normal.

How much Revenue can In Text Ads add on top of AdSense?
This is a tricky question since earnings from online ads differ widely depending on many different factors. Based on the feedback of the users, who already implemented both advertising types on their pages, in most cases, with a good in text ads provider, your website revenues should not be less than half of the AdSense revenues (on top of the AdSense earnings). If you get less than that, you should look closely in the in text ads optimization approaches for the better site monetization.

More reasons to add In Text Ads to your Google AdSense equipped page
As we mentioned earlier, in text ads are not an AdSense alternative, but an AdSense supplement.
If you are already using AdSense ads on your website, it means that you’ve acknowledged the fact that ads are going to interrupt your visitors’ attention while they browse through your content. In fact, with the growing portion of flash banners within AdSense ads, they become more and more intrusive, grabbing your visitors’ attention away from the original content. If so then adding in text ads on top of AdSense is both logical and beneficial. In text ads are not as jumpy as flash banners, they are opened only upon your visitors’ active choice (when they hover over with the mouse), and they add substantially to your revenues. In text ads make sense together with Google AdSense.

Warning over In Text Ads use!
While most of the internet observers are giving positive feedback on the In Text Ads usefulness and future potentials, I want to present an opposite point of view to make the topic evaluation more leveraged.

At a first sight this advertising method represents a good way for online publishers to generate some money from their websites. But some experts think that you should stay away from it because it might be considered as quite an intrusive form of advertising, going against the main principles of web usability.

The hyperlink navigation structure is one of the most basic and most important features of the Internet. You should think twice before messing up with it. Check out the words of Jacob Nielsen, a web usability guru:
One of misery design’s most insidious recent examples is the idea of embedding links to advertising on the actual words of an article using a service like IntelliTxt. By sullying the very concept of navigation, such ads not only damage the user experience on the host site, they poison the well for all websites. Such links make users even less likely to navigate sites, and more likely to turn to trusted search engines to guide them to the next page.

Probably, the best way to test the concept is to run it. At least, I am going to try it first just on one of my sites to see, what is the income level, how can that affect to the general traffic, repetitive visits, bouncing rates, etc. Based on the evaluation results, I am going to make the final decision, is that good or bad for my blogs.

Sources and Additional Information

15 September 2009

What are the Most Popular Platforms among Top Bloggers?

I use Blogger for all my blog hosting needs. I have heard that there are some other blogging platforms, and the most competitive to our Blogger is, definitely, WordPress. I even reviewed the differences in one of my posts, but overall for me the blogging world was divided between two ruling blogging platforms with small fractions of all others, having a limited, mostly local, influence, like Live Journal in Russia. Maybe, it is the same for you? But also maybe it is time to at least consider more professional solution?

Pingdom performed a very interesting research of which platforms are chosen by the top 100 blogs according to the Technorati rating. Note that there is a notable distinction between blogging services and self-hosted blog software.

  • Blogging services are online services like Typepad, Wordpress.com and Blogger, where a third-party is handling the blog software and hosting for you.
  • Blog software is the software you use when you set up and host the platform yourself (using Wordpress, Movable Type, etc).
Review the diagram so you can get a quick overview of which blog platforms (and CMS) are the most popular among the top 100 blogs.

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Blog software (self-hosted)
As you see Wordpress is the most-used platform among self-hosted blogs, which perhaps isn’t a huge surprise. It has more than twice as many blogs in the top 100 as Movable Type, the blog platform that came in second place.
  • Wordpress is used by 27 blogs in the top 100.
  • Movable Type is used by 12 blogs in the top 100.
  • Only 8 of the top 100 blogs use a custom-made blog platform.
  • Drupal is the only general-purpose CMS with any presence worth mentioning, with 4 blogs in the top 100.
Blogging services
Though Wordpress is more popular among the self-hosted blogs than Movable Type, the situation is reversed when it comes to the blogging services based on these blog platforms. Typepad (based on Movable Type) is more popular than Wordpress.com (based on Wordpress). Blogger comes in at third place.

That’s at least if you count the commonly available blogging services. If you also count the AOL-owned Blogsmith that is used by Weblogs, Inc., that ends up having almost as many blogs in the top 100 as Typepad, leaving Wordpress.com and Blogger in a distant third and fourth place.

Traditional media like Entertainment Weekly, CNN and Wired often use blogging services for their blogs, and most seem to have chosen Typepad.

  • More than one third of the top 100 blogs use a blogging service.
  • Typepad is used by 16 blogs in the top 100.
  • Blogsmith is used by 14 blogs in the top 100.
  • Wordpress.com is used by 5 blogs in the top 100.
  • Blogger is used by 3 blogs in the top 100. (Including, of course, The Official Google Blog.)
Wordpress and Movable Type as a whole
If you combine the hosted and self-hosted versions of Wordpress and Movable Type (i.e. include Wordpress.com and Typepad as well), they dominate, claiming 60 of the top 100 blogs.
  • Wordpress + Wordpress.com have 32 of the top 100 blogs
  • Movable Type + Typepad have 28 of the top 100 blogs.
Blog networks
Interesting is that two big blog networks have taken a large chunk of the top 100 blogs. In addition to these, Wired has created a small blog empire of its own.
  • AOL-owned Weblogs, Inc. has 14 blogs in the top 100. All use Blogsmith as a blog platform.
  • Gawker Media has 8 blogs in the top 100. Gawker Media uses its own, custom-made blog platform for its blogs.
  • Wired’s blogs are plentiful as well. There are 9 Wired blogs in the top 100, all using Typepad.

10 September 2009

Monitor your Blog Activity with Free Woopra Account

When you are running your website or blog, you need to keep the fingers on the pulse of your readers and visitors. One of the best free tools for this purpose is Woopra - the world’s most comprehensive, information rich, easy to use, real time Web tracking  and analysis application.

Woopra delivers the richest library of visitor statistics in the industry, and does it within an unmatched user interface designed to be aesthetically pleasing as well as highly intuitive. The application consists of a small script on your page and additional downloaded tool for your PC.

Woopra shows your visitors as they come in (with all usual details such as browser, country, referral site, etc..) and navigate through your site, tracing the visited pages.

Woopra comes in handy to check which of your posts propagate visitors through your site rather than have them bounce off after the first read.

Woopra also offers the standard summarized and graphed page visits, referrals, user characteristics. And everything in real time! Handy comes in the user tagging tool, alerting you when a particular user comes in, which allows you to catch the spammers an easy way.

Main Features in Details

Live Tracking and Web Statistics

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Woopra’s revolutionary server architecture, combined with its intuitively designed client software, enables seamless tracking of visitors. Webmasters can track over 40 different statistical events and analytics. Never before has so much information been instantaneously available to Webmasters.

Most analytical and site statistics are updated once a day at the least, or several times during the day. With Woopra, you get live track of visitors coming and going and moving through your site. You get the stats now.

Real-Time Analytics

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Woopra redefines Web Analytics by enabling instantaneous information transfer combined with the ability to immediately act on each action. Woopra changes website management discussions from “how should we change things in the future” to “what should we do right now?”

Webmasters can respond faster to sudden influxes in traffic and help monitor trends in search and traffic patterns. Woopra helps web owners generate content based upon customer needs and trends now, not after the fact.

Deep Analytic and Search Capabilities

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Woopra breaks the Web statistics mold by allowing lightning quick search functionality along any data point in the system. What information do you need to help you manage and develop your site? Specific user names, IP addresses, geographic locations, user browsing data, visitor history, visitor paths, arrival and departure points - what do you want to know?

The data is searchable. Using the Search panel, you can reach into the data to find specific information about your site’s visitors, learning more about your site’s demographics and loyal readers. Woopra simply digs deeper.

Rich User Interface

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Woopra’s interface was designed to display information clearly and efficiently, without upsetting the balance between design and function. Links to data and various pageviews are easily recognized and accessed. As the program runs on your computer, there are no delays in the response time as comes with web-based programs.

Woopra’s interface is designed to be flexible, with plans for future development of various color schemes and themes. The information is at your finger tips to access a wealth of statistics and data about your site and visitors.

Manage Multiple Blogs and Websites

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Woopra creates a one-stop service for monitoring all your blogs and websites. Through the quick site tabs at the top of the Woopra panel, you have one-click access to your registered blogs.


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Woopra enables websites with both “proactive” and “reactive” chat functionality. Webmasters can remotely initiate sessions with visitors, or embed “Click-to-Chat” buttons within a site to accept inbound requests. This breaks the virtual wall between visitor and webmaster. Customer service sites could offer personal service directly through the Woopra interface, with no installation of software by the visitor. Woopra breaks down the barriers of the static web.

03 September 2009

Twhirl - desktop client for the popular microblogging platform Twitter

Twhirl is a Twitter client, written in Adobe AIR, that enables you to manage multiple Twitter accounts from your desktop. You can view and post tweets (with spell checking), read direct messages, get notified of new messages, manage your followers and more. The program also allows you to post images via TwitPic and can automatically shorten your URLs via a variety of services. Other features include the ability to search tweets using Twitter Search and TweetScan, and follow topics in near-real time with saved searches, as well as support for cross-posting to Jaiku, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and other sites. Twhirl supports multiple Twitter accounts and also laconi.ca, Friendfeed and Seesmic accounts.

This is multi-platform software, running on both Windows (2000/XP/Vista) and Mac OSX.

Note that Twhirl uses the Adobe AIR runtime and can be installed and used on every system for which AIR is available. Currently, AIR 1.0 supports Windows (2000 SP4, XP SP2 and Vista) and Mac OSX (10.4.9 or newer, 10.5.x). You can download and install AIR from http://get.adobe.com/air.

Main Features:
  • remembering login credentials on user’s computer
  • all-in-one timeline with tweets, replies and direct messages
  • configurable auto-updates for the timeline
  • displaying user’s latest 20 status updates and direct messages sent
  • sending status updates
  • sending replies to other users (with quick buttons on others’ statuses)
  • sending direct messages to other users
  • showing user’s friends and followers
  • deleting own status updates and direct messages
  • input area can be hidden (configurable auto-hiding)
  • multi-account support
  • keyboard shortcuts
  • sys tray / dock icon support
  • audible and visual notifications
  • viewing and (un)setting favorites
  • (un)following users
  • auto-updating the program
  • changeable color schemes
  • searching for public tweets (powered by terraminds)
  • filtering the timeline.
You can get more information, and download the software from the developers website: http://www.twhirl.org/

26 August 2009

Bum Marketing is not only for Bums!

For some reason, I never stumbled upon Bum Marketing concept before. Actually, many people use it without identifying this approach as a standard Bum Marketing strategy.

What is Bum Marketing?

BUM Marketing is a technique where you can legitimately earn an online income from the commissions of affiliate products, sales of your own products, AdSense ads and so on. The major advantage is that you can do it without the need to own a website. It does require a fair amount of work though, just like any Internet Marketing endeavor.

Bum Marketing is the mastermind of Travis Sago with the name chosen by his wife. Why using bum?
My wife (Jeannie) named this the “Bum Marketing Method” because she thinks it is so easy that I could take a bum off the street…take him to the public library…and have him earning cash within a week.

How Bum Marketing Work?

In a flash, it works like this:
  • Find a niche that isn’t overly crowded but is marketable or find a hungry market that is looking to buy something.
  • Find an affiliate program that offers products within the niche/market, which pays a decent commission.
  • Brainstorm keywords for each product you are going to promote.
  • Research the themes/topics for each of the chosen keywords.
  • Create articles about the products you are trying to promote and use keywords or keyword phrases within those articles. The articles should contain at no more and no less than 350-500 words.
  • Then you submit your articles to popular article directors such as USFreeAds, EzineArticles.com, or Squidoo so they get picked up by Google and the other major search engines.
  • Begin to reap the results after some time.
Note that for significant returns, you will need to create a massive amount of articles for every keyword from the products that you want to promote. It is tiring and not too exciting work, so be prepared to that.
It is kind of ‘firing thousands of arrows to hit a single prey’ type of marketing strategy. 

Benefits of Bum Marketing

  • No cost (or extremely low costs) to execute the strategy and stay on the track.
  • No need to understand the topics of promotion or any special skills to succeed.
  • It’s extremely low risk – all you have to loose is time.
  • No need to have a Website, or Blog, or even an email list.
  • No need to create or develop your own product.
  • Since you submit your articles to the well ranked sites, you can start to get the positive returns as fast as after one week.
Negative Side of Bum Marketing

  • You will need to write a lot of articles a day.
  • It pushes writer to think in a non-creative ways to produce an article (combining other articles, modifying, etc without touching own idea).
  • Bum marketer doesn’t communicate as well as real blogger.
  • Bum Marketing is a solo play.
  • Write article with focus to earn money without caring the fact of the product because they need to write quick and earn quick.
  • Always rush content out without checking the quality.
Bum Marketing Recommendations

The whole point of Bum Marketing is not to get your articles clicked on from people searching the article directories. BUM Marketing is really about getting as many articles of decent quality ranking highly in the search engines in order to get traffic to your affiliate links, sales pages, AdSense pages, opt-in pages and so on. The main goal is to get your articles into the top 10 Google results – meaning on Google’s first page. The more people that read your articles, the more likely they will click on your affiliate links contained within your article and resource box.

A key to being successful is looking at the priorities of a successful BUM Marketing campaign:
1. Articles and more articles. The more articles that you are able to write and get in the directories, the higher your ranking in the search engines will be.
2. Try to find a niche that is interesting to you. Writing articles is a whole lot easier if you are interested in your subject.
3. Submit articles to the major article directories every day. Don’t let up on this. This is one of the best Bum Marketing tips you will receive. Consistency is the key to get a high ranking in the search engines, which in turn means a high income.
4. Use Yahoo Answers for keyword research. Type in your keywords and see if people are asking questions that contain those keywords. If so, then start writing articles around those keywords.
5. Build a blog around your niche. This is one of the most critical Bum Marketing tips. Most article directories do not allow affiliate links, so you need a site to link to. A blog will give you a site link without the expense and time of building a website for each product you are promoting.
6. Jump on the social network by using Squidoo. The search engines are starting to love Squidoo, so build a lens around your niche.
7. Target phrases that have between 1,000 and 10,000 optimized results on Google. The lower the results, the better chance you have of getting on page one of Google quickly.
8. Forget all the complicated SEO tricks. Another very important tip in a long list of Bum Marketing tips is to make sure your keyword phrase is always included in your title. Then place it a few times throughout the article as I’ve done here. Keyword = “Bum Marketing Tips”
9. Write articles that contain tips and how to information. People love tips and lists so write articles that have a list of tips included in them.
10. Another great Bum Marketing tip is to write a FAQ article. Visit Yahoo Answers or forums and find the most frequently asked questions concerning your niche. Then write a FAQ article around these questions.
11. Here’s another great Bum Marketing tips that most people don’t think about. Use a pen name when submitting your articles. This does two things. First of all, unless you are a natural born writer, your first articles may not be that great. A pen name will keep you from being embarrassed about the quality of your articles. Secondly, once you get well known in the Internet marketing circles, using a pen name will keep your competition from searching out your niche markets.
12. One of the most important tips of all. Be persistent. If you really want to make a decent living online it is going to take some hard work and persistence.

Sources and Additional Information:

18 August 2009

How to Make Drop-Down Labels Menu in Blogger?

If you host your blog on the Blogger (blogspot) platform, and you have significant number of labels on your sidebar, you might be looking for a suitable solution to show them, but also save the expensive space for other elements. These two tasks can be achieved by using the option of displaying your labels in a simple drop-down menu. Many bloggers already use drop-down option for long lists of labels (categories), which minimizes clutter and enables information to be displayed in the sidebar neatly.

While Blogger offers a dropdown menu option for the Archives widget, you will not be able to find an option to do the same for your labels. In this post, we will review two ways you can use to convert your regular Label list into a drop-down list.

Method 1

1. Template Backup. As usual, when you just think about making any changes to the template code, it is strongly recommended to make a complete back up of your existing template. This ensures you can easily roll back and restore your current, working template if you make any mistake.

To make a back up of your current template, go to Layout > Edit HTML in your Blogger dashboard and click the “Download Full Template” link near the top of the page. This will offer the option to save your current Blogger template as an XML file to your local computer. Be sure to save this file in a location you can easily find later.

2. Ensure you have a “Labels” widget in your Blogger template. If you do not have a Labels widget activated in your template, go to Layout>Page Elements and add a Labels widget using the “Add a Gadget” link above your sidebar. Definitely, your posts should be labeled as well to transfer the related content to the activated widget.

3. Go to Layout > Edit HTML in your Blogger dashboard. This time, DO NOT check the "Expand Widget Templates" checkbox!

4. Search for the following code (note that the name of the label in your template might be slightly different):
<b:widget id='Label1' locked='false' title='Labels' type='Label'>

5. Replace the above code, with this:
<b:widget id='Label1' locked='false' title='Labels' type='Label'>
<b:includable id='main'>
<b:if cond='data:title'>
<div class='widget-content'>

<select onchange='location=this.options[this.selectedIndex].value;' style='width:200px'>
<b:loop values='data:labels' var='label'>
<option expr:value='data:label.url'><data:label.name/>

<b:include name='quickedit'/>

6. Modifying the Widget. To alter the phrase “Choose a label to view” which is visible when the drop down menu is contracted, you will need to go to the Layout>Edit HTML page of your Blogger dashboard and check the “Expand widget templates” box. Then search for this phrase in your template code. Simply alter the wording of this phrase to something more suitable for your blog, being careful not to alter any of the surrounding code.

To clarify, here is the line of code where adjustments will be made. The text which can be altered is highlighted in red:
<select onchange='location=this.options[this.selectedIndex].value;'>
<option>Choose a Label to View</option>
<b:loop values='data:labels' var='label'>

Method 2
As you understand, the first steps of the code modification will be similar to the method 1, so I will skip the introduction, which you need to backup the template first before doing any modifications.

3. Go to Layout > Edit HTML in your Blogger dashboard. This time, CHECK the "Expand Widget Templates" checkbox!

4. Now look for the following code in your template

<b:widget id='Label1' locked='false' title='Labels' type='Label'>
<b:includable id='main'>
<b:if cond='data:title'>
<div class='widget-content'>

   <b:loop values='data:labels' var='label'>
       <b:if cond='data:blog.url == data:label.url'>
         <a expr:href='data:label.url'><data:label.name/></a>

<b:include name='quickedit'/>

Note that you need to replace only the part of the displayed code IN BLUE. All the remaining text is provided for easy reference. So, replace the text IN BLUE with the text IN RED below:

<br />
<select onchange='location=this.options[this.selectedIndex].value;'>
<option>Select a label</option>
<b:loop values='data:labels' var='label'>
   <option expr:value='data:label.url'><data:label.name/>

No matter, which method you choose, at the end of the performed modification save the template and back it up with a new name. Do not overwrite the backup file you created at the beginning, since you want to try the option for some time and decide you do not see any problems or performance drawbacks.

Sources and Additional Information:


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