This Blog Is Now …

….. SPONSORED!

I am sooo happy, I finally have an own-hosted blog in the system. I know, this blog is right now unranked and does not offer much value to advertisers but let’s be patient and wait for the next Google Page Rank update, ok? I just hope that Google will not take as long as it did in the previous update. I am confident I will at least be assigned SOME rank!

For the past few months, I have been sidelined and punished by advertisers for using a free blog host. However, even now with this blog in the system, I do not foresee too many sponsored posts as not many advertisers would want a new blog with no ranking writing for them.

Anyway, there will always be a perfect post for this blog and it will be the 1K Tuesday on PayPerPost! Woohoo I must be dreaming to even dare think I will get one of the four opportunities!

Booking With HotelReservations.com

The task of arranging for our company annual trip fell on me. It is not something I relish doing as it takes a lot of time and meticulous planning, especially when it is group travel. Moreover, it does not help that the budget management gave us is nothing to shout about. But as luck would have it, it is my responsibility to see to it this time around.

Once again, I rely heavy on my trusty internet and in my search, came across HotelReservations.com, a website that is dedicated to giving us the best deals in Hotel Reservations. I was quite relieved that I did not have to waste much time searching other websites or worse, booking hotels with them that are way more expensive than what HotelReservations.com can offer, which is well within our budget.

We are given a hefty rebate for our booking and as this is a group travel, we are eligible for special group rates, which is excellent news indeed.

Before I commit myself to a package, though, I made use of the complete city guide that is available on their website to research and plan our trip. This of course made things so much simpler than I had thought.

I also made a call to their worldwide telephone number and found out that we can also book motels, resorts or vacation rentals and not only hotels. I will have to find out what my colleagues want, then, but I really like the options that are offered to us.

Once I found HotelReservations.com, I am able to compare their rates with other similar online sites and our local agents and I am delighted to note that with the rebates and discounts offered to us, we actually get to save quite a sum of money. I bet management would be very satisfied with the way I handled this task!

Technorati Issues

I’ve been having problems with my ** An Anonymous Journal ** blog on Technorati where it is stated that the blog is not updated for more than three months. What a joke, when I update is almost daily. The consolation is that this problem is not exclusive to me.

I have written in to Support since early February, 2007 and a follow up mail in early March, 2007. I did not receive a reply at all nor was my problem solved. So someone told me that I should post my problem on the Support Forum. She did it and her problem was solved quickly. I searched for the link to the Forum for ages but could not find it until I read the Technorati Blog and went to the Forum from there.

The Forum took ages to load on my computer and as a matter of fact, the Technorati site is generally slow. Then I finally managed to access it and located the right thread to post my problem. Little did I know that my problem does not end there.

For the life of me, I have no idea why my post kept going to another thread!?! I ended up posting a similar message on four different threads that are not on my issue. Bah! I quit posting after that lest I look like a spammer or worse, someone with a mental problem, harping on the same problem and on the wrong threads too!

Las Vegas Honeymoon

My cousin, Samantha, came home from a Las Vegas honeymoon with a stack of souvenirs and photos for the family. None of us have ever been to Las Vegas before so we were very happy to see the other side of Las Vegas. We are usually only shown the glitz of Vegas casinos and night shows but my cousin’s photos show the residential areas of people who actually live in Las Vegas and not the tourist spots that are always shown on television or travel brochures.

It is amazing to note that even Las Vegas homes have some kind of glitz to them, let alone Las Vegas luxury condos. We heard that many celebrities own premium Las Vegas real estate too but during her one week vacation in Vegas, Samantha was not lucky enough to spot any real celebrities, except for the look-alikes, especially Elvis Presley look-alikes.

Samantha told me that she met a Las Vegas agent during her stay there who told her that Las Vegas is a very popular city for real estate investment because it is possible to buy a brand new Las Vegas home with zero down payment and no closing cost. This is indeed far more attractive than buying homes in many other cities!

What’s So Special About WordPress?

Well, I have been using WordPress blogging platform for more than three months now and honestly speaking, I hate it. No doubt, it may be highly customizable, but so what if I can’t make head or tail of what code to put in (and where) to customize it? It’s like having a Rolls Royce at home and not knowing how to drive it.

The Write and Edit pages are too slow to load for my liking, even without the Preview window. I was advised to use Windows Live Writer but I have not tried it. I don’t know how fast it can help me publish my post but what about images? Will it be handle that or just text? I don’t know and don’t have the time to try it out.

The only things that I like about WordPress are Categories and advanced publishing. These are the two features that I use and wish that Blogger has. Labels just don’t cut it, you know?

So if Blogger can accommodate these two, it would be the perfect blogging platform for me. Then I could get rid of this spam haven! GGrrrr

Template Quest

I think I am going crazy. I have spent the past week looking for the best Blogger template as I am thinking of changing it. And one thing led to another and I began to search for beautiful website templates.

And then I am trying to look for templates for Googlepages as I saw one Googlepages site that has a layout that is NOT available from the Googlepages selection. Weird. As I know, Googlepages, although is easy to use, is not very flexible. How on earth did he have an entirely different layout?

So I have this bright idea that perhaps, we can also edit the HTML codes of Googlepages like how we do to our Blogger blogs but I still can’t find the solution. In the first place, I can’t even find the templates!

Of course, the easy way out is to just pay a designer to come up with a design that is really for me and me to use alone but if you know me at all, you will know that I am a cheapo.

Not only do I want a beautiful template, I also want it free and I want it to be friendly enough for me, an HTML noob, to customize easily. Am I asking too much?

Are You Kidding Me?

Two weeks ago, I registered with a new paid to post program that is actually a bidding marketplace. This has got to be the worst marketplace for me. Since the day my blogs were approved, I have yet to write even one post through them.

For one, when we submit our blogs, we have to set a value to our blogs. How high could I go with the STILL incorrect Technorati rankings?

Upon approval, we have to bid for the opportunity to review a product or website. From my experience, the advertisers who do not want you to post for them will decline you straightaway but those who are of two minds and would like to wait for a better offer will leave your bid pending for ages with no decision made to approve, reject or to make a counter offer.

There was this opportunity where the advertiser offered $10 per post. At a commission of 35% to be paid to the host, the blogger only gets $6.50. As the product was suitable for my blog and I was agreeable to the rate, I made a bid for it.

The advertiser made a counter offer for $4 and since I am only getting 65% of that price, I will only be getting $2.60. Are you kidding me? $2.60 for a 200 word review!?! No way, man.

I have written a 10-word post for $2.50 and 100-word posts for $2.80 but $2.60 for a 200-word post is a new low I do not wish to dip down to, even if the product is 101% relevant to my blog.

I did not even bother to make a re-offer to such an unreasonable advertiser. I know my blog’s value, although not much, is definitely worth more than $2.60 for a lifetime live link on a Google Page Rank 3 that will only go higher as time goes by.

Random Thoughts Off My Mind