Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wordpress vs Blogger

I have used both and Blogger to host my blogs so I thought I would do a comparison.  First let me explain there is a confusing difference between and provides the free program that you use to write your blog on.  However, they do not host your blog for free there.  For this article when I refer to WordPress, I will be refering to

Both WordPress and Blogger will host your blog for free.  I cannot state this as a fact, but it seems on WordPress, new blogs get listed better on the search engines.  They both provide easy to use, nice looking templates that will get your blog up and running in literally minutes.  All of the templates on Blogger are free, whereas many of the templates on WordPress are free, but there are also some that are premium templates.  Another difference is that on Blogger you can choose from many different fonts for free, however WordPress will charge you to "upgrade" to your choice of fonts.

I like both interfaces equally well.  I think they both do their job, and any preference of one or the other would simply be a matter of taste.   I know many people use and recommend WordPress if you are going to have your own domain hosted by a third party.  I think both services look equally good and are equally easy for me to create content.  However, I do like the way Blogger has the built in ability to "join" or "follow" other Blogger blogs.  This is very popular on Blogger.  WordPress offers something like it through a third party, but it doesn't seem as popular.

To me, the most difference is important difference is immediately apparent if you want to monetize your blog content.  On WordPress, the Terms of Service prohibit advertising on blogs they host.  On Blogger you can run ads from Google AdSense as Google also owns Blogger.  You can also run ads from third parties like adBrite.  In addition, WordPress has the right to put ads on your blog.

Ever since Google took away my Adsense account for no reason, I am not a fan of Google.  I use Blip instead of YouTube (Google owned), however, I do use Blogger just because I want to monetize my content.  I wish WordPress would allow advertising.  What do you think?  Who do you use and why?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bing Rewards - Getting Stuff for Surfing

I have been using Google as my default search for as long as I can remember.  What more can you ask for - it just plain works.  It was just about a week ago that I decided to try  I cannot even remember what prompted the thought.  I'll bet it was because of the stupid composition editor box that constantly came up covering the text while writing blog posts on Blogger with Chrome.  (I wrote about it here).   I decided to try Firefox loaded with Bing. 

So far using Bing has not been bad.  Sometimes it is interesting to see the different sites that Bing brings up vs. Google.  I guess it boils down to just personal preference.   

Anyways, while I was there, I found the Bing Rewards program.   Now this IS pretty cool and so far I am enjoying it.  Once you sign up, you will start earning credits for searching using Bing.  Basically you just do your normal search stuff through Bing and it keeps track of your rewards.  For example, you get one reward point for every 2 searches.  In addition, they also have promotional stuff they will give you additional points for looking at if you want to. 

The reward points that you accumulate can be exchanged for things like Amazon gift cards, Xbox stuff, Redbox rentals, and Hulu.  I like that they have Amazon gift cards so you can get pretty much whatever you want. Of coarse, Bing has a page that shows all of the stuff you can get. You can even gift a donation to your favorite charity.  You get a little counter where you see in real time how many points you have accumulated.  I have been using it for about a week and almost have enough for a $2.50 Amazon gift card.  I know, not big money, but hey if I can score a little treat now and then for doing nothing new, why not.  Anyways, check it out for yourself.  Let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Firefox vs Chrome

Last week I wrote an article about the annoying Composition Editor Box that constantly pops up when writing with Chrome on Blogger.  Since the good folks a Google/Chrome/Blogger haven't changed this, I decided to try Firefox. 

So, I downloaded Firefox and have been using it for a day.  The good news is while I am writing this there is no stupid composition editor box blocking where I need to read.  I do a lot of blogging so it was worth the download of Firefox just to get rid of that maddening box.

I have to admit I have been a Chrome user since forever.  I really like Chrome in that it is sleek and snappy.  I remember when Chrome first came out, it seemed so much faster than the others. Today, I was pleasantly surprised to see Firefox was fast and snappy now.  However, there was something that I missed.

Why on earth does Firefox simply open a new tab page that is blank?  Of coarse when you open a new tab page in Chrome you have your most visited sites there just waiting for you to click them.  In Firefox you get a blank page that is useless.  Who thought that a blank page is helpful?  At least have it load your homepage.  The answer is to download an extension written by who knows, to do it.

Well no thanks.  Firefox should come all setup with this feature built in.  Until then, I will stick with Chrome to do most of my browsing.  However, until Blogger fixes the composition editor box, I will use Firefox for writing!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Google+ vs Facebook - A Comparison

Well it was about a week ago that I wrote I would try Google+.  At first blush, I liked the look and feel of Google+.  However, I knew it would take a little time to get the real feel of it.  A week ago, I was concerned that Google+ might just be redundant and unnecessary given that we all seem to use Facebook.  I was wrong.

Google+ has a very different vibe going on than Facebook.  First, I would say Google plus+ feels snappy and looks clean.  Facebook by comparison has a lot of ads.  I wouldn't say Facebook is spammy yet, but not too far from it.  Second, people on Google+ seem much more open and accepting than those on Facebook.  Facebook feels like it is more for personal friends and family whereas Google+ seems to be more about meeting new people you don't already know.  I think this is because the idea of different circles or levels of intimacy and privacy were with Google+ from the start whereas with the original Facebook version this wasn't an option.

I really like that you can search out on Google+ for topics.  This is very useful to find other people that are sharing and interested in a certain topic.  When I was only on Facebook, I never felt that I was missing anything, but now it seems really lacking in the ability to reach out to others.  After all is not that point of social networking?

Of coarse Google+ can feel a little commercialized when you search.  For example I want to find others that are interested in weight loss.  When you search, it seems to me that about 80% will be people selling diet pills versus 20% who are blogging or discussing weight loss.  However, finding the 20% seems worth it because for the most part the people seem friendly and open to conversation.

I am not giving up Facebook anytime soon.  Facebook is the go-to site to find your friend from childhood simply because it is so massive.  Right now Google+ just doesn't have a very wide reach.  If you start putting in your friends from Facebook, you will be shocked by the number of people who do not use it.  However I am certainly enjoying using it.  I am meeting new and interesting people.  I just hope more people will try it out.  Feel free to circle me.  The button is on the top right. What are your thoughts?  Which do you prefer and why?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Composition Editor Box on Blogger Using Chrome

Is anything as annoying as the composition editor box on Blogger?  Seriously, who in the world would have thought that to be helpful?  Don't the good folks that came up with this idea actually try it out before releasing it to the general public?  For the life of me I cannot think of a single reason to blot out text with this composition editor box!  It has the uncanny ability to constantly position itself exactly over the text you are trying to read.  I cannot think of anything more maddening!  Surely whatever the purpose, there has got to be a better way.  I am using Chrome for a browser, and haven't tried with Firefox beauase I really like Chrome.  Please for the sake of the sanity of everyone that uses Blogger, make the bloody composition editor box go away-NOW!!!

Google+ or Facebook

Hello, is anyone out there on Google+?  I mean does anyone really use it?  I tried it a while ago and just got bored with it and shut it down.  Now, I just started trying it again to see if it changed any.  Is it just me, or does it just seem since the world has Facebook, we don't need (or want) another networking site?  I don't foresee myself quitting Facebook in the near term, so then Google+ just seems to be redundant.  If there is nothing better about Google+ over Facebook, it will just be a chore  to update.  Why bother?   What can it do different than Facebook?  I admit I like the look and feel of Google+, but it just doesn't seem to have the right "something".

Google+ just doesn't seem to have the critical mass yet to make it compelling to use.  Frankly, unless they can get enough people there, I am afraid it will die on the vine.  I doubt it will go away completely, but just hang there dead.  I am totally in favor of competition and having options.  However, the options need to make sense.  I suspect it is all about the money.  I guess they see it like the original Coke vs Pepsi.  They are very similar, and the world was big enough to support both.

I don't know do you go through your friends list from Facebook to see who is on Google+?  Or do you try to meet new friends there.  I don't know what I am going to do with it.  I would like your thoughts.  Are you a + user?  How are you using it?  Do you use it just like Facebook or are you trying something different there?

Monday, March 5, 2012 Revenue Data Problems

I am on record here on this blog as being a fan of  I feel Blip is the best alternative to Adsense if you have been banned and wish to monetize your video content.  However, the fact that they are the only choice for an Adsense alternative certainly comes into play.

Lately there seems to be a problem updating the revenue earned for video views.  The view counter seems to be working, but the revenue data is not updating.  Blip put out a bulletin that stated that since February 24, all accounts have seen revenue data delayed. It goes on to say that they will fix this problem as soon as possible.  Well, it is now March 5 - 10 days later and it has not been fixed.  While I can see some delays as being normal,  I sure hope they will get this fixed soon.  I just hope that it is not the sign of a larger problem.  I certainly hope they don't see the revenue portion of the Blip experience as unimportant!  As far as I know there is no other choice available to those seeking to monetize video without YouTube and Adsense.  If you know of any others, please let me know.

****UPDATED on 3/11/12  Finally everything seems to be back to normal at Blip.  The revenue amounts on each video are updating properly now.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stumble Upon

If you are like me, you don't "need" another reason to spend even more time on the web.  Between blogging, making videos, and Facebook, spending too much time online is my guilty pleasure.  I probably shouldn't do it, but I really enjoy it and don't plan to change anytime soon.
From time to time, I plan to highlight various sites that I think are useful or just plain enjoyable.   I'm giving you fair warning, you can certainly spend a lot of time and have a lot of fun with this site.  I just recently stumbled upon  It's a neat site that aims to bring you the very best of the web.  First, you sign in and it's totally free.  Then it will ask you to choose topics you are interested in.  Now you are ready to start stumbling.  Basically they learn what you like to see.  It is a lot like Pandora but for interesting web content instead of music.  If you have some free time, check it out.  I think you will like it.  There is some cool stuff out there to StumbleUpon.  Let me know what you think.

Adsense Disabled

Since my AdSense account was disabled in December 2011, I could no longer monetize my YouTube content.  I was very upset at the time because I had invested a lot of time and effort building up my subscriber count.  So, I was determined to find an alternative to YouTube that would allow me to monetize my video content.  Let me just be frank and say it is slim pickings.  Sure there are many YouTube alternatives like Vimeo and Dailymotion that offer free video hosting.  However, I could only find one alternative that would let me monetize
Blip is the best alternative to YouTube that I could find.  It plays my videos flawlessly.  In addition, Blip has high quality advertisers with well produced advertisements.  To me, this is really important.  No one wants some crappy ads to be tied to your content!  This being said, Blip is not like YouTube.  They don't want to be.  The bar is definitely set higher at Blip.  They want the producers to think of their videos more as a show with episodes.  They do not encourage the "one off " type of viral video wannabes that are common on YouTube.  I suppose both have their place in the online world.
Blip has many things going good for it.  The only drawback  is that Blip is not a destination page like YouTube.   At least not for everyone.  Let me explain.  Let's suppose on YouTube  you make a video of someone eating ice cream while standing on their head.  If someone searches on YouTube for that, your video will come up.  That is not always the case on Blip.  There are two classes of producers at Blip.  I will call them approved and non approved.  If you are approved, you will come up on searches on the Blip homepage.  Unfortunately, I am not approved yet, so if you search for weight loss vlogs on Blip, mine will not come up.  This means I am solely responsible for driving traffic to generate any views.  To drive traffic, I tweet as well as post on Facebook.  I also make short "teaser" videos that I show on YouTube and ask my subscribers to watch over on
Blip is not YouTube, but it is the best alternative if you happen to lose your AdSense account.  I am thankful for it and glad that there is a least one other choice to Youtube for someone that wants to monetize content.  Let me know what you think.  I love to interact through comments with you!!  By the way, you can check out my channel at Blip here.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Searching for the Best Alternative to Google Adsense

I remember when I was notified from Google that my AdSense account had been disabled.    I got the infamous email from Google Adsense with the subject of "Google Adsense account disabled".  It went on to say, "After reviewing our records, we've determined that your AdSense account poses a risk of generating invalid activity."   Notice it said that my account "poses a risk" and not that it specifically did generate any invalid click activity.   I had done nothing to violate their terms of service.  I never clicked on my own ads.  I never used songs, clips, or any copyrighted material.  I quickly filed an appeal, but was immediately denied.

I had first gotten involved with AdSense several months earlier.  I had started making video vlogs on YouTube when I was asked to monetize my content.  I also placed AdSense ads on my blog.   I would post several videos a week and my subscriber count was slowly but steadily growing.  I soon had 400 subscribers and was really enjoying the whole experience.

 I had never gotten a check from AdSense because I had never earned more than the $100.00 threshold.   Making videos was simply a hobby that I enjoyed.   However, if I could make a little cash that made it even more fun!  I have to say that losing your account with no warning and being banned for life, especially when I did nothing wrong, seems both unfair and just plain wrong.

When I lost my AdSense account, not only did I lose the ability to monetize my YouTube videos, I also could no longer monetize my blogs.  I understand that AdSense is the the biggest and probably the best advertising network.  Unfortunately, when they disable your AdSense account, basically you are banned for life.  I am still very unhappy about it, but I am determined to find the best alternatives to AdSense.  I would certainly like to hear any thoughts or suggestions you may have.  Maybe this has happened to you, I would love to hear your story!!