Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Segmentation is unfair

There has been a lot of talk about PPP segmentation and I think that it is simply unfair. Link Aunty Lilian pointed out that many posts were left untaken by US posties because it was just too paying for them. Everything is relative. A USD 5 post may seem too little for some but not for others.

I suspect there is a bit of negative sentiment towards non-US posties just as the general negative sentiment of the US general working public towards outsourcing.

Even though many advertisers have changed their tune and do not go for Geo segmentation, there is still a big number of posts still require US only bloggers. It's wasted opportunities to both PPP, bloggers as well as advertisers.

I dream of Sydney

Besides Brisbane, another place I would like to visit is Sydney. My sister graduated from Sydney University and I have an uncle living there.

Accomodation in Sydney is pretty reasonable.For example, this 4 stars apartments at Waldorf, South Sydney stars off at AUD 110 only. You can definitely find and compare Cheap Hotels in Sydney online and find one that fits your needs and budget.

Of course I'd like to find Sydney accomodations that are close to places of interest such as harbour bridge walk and Bondi Beach.

One of the things I would like to do is to start of a blog review on hotels. Staying and reviewing Sydney Hotels while I'm there is certainly an appealing thing for me. What can I say, I'm just hooked to blogging :)

That being said I must make sure that the hotel has WiFi at reasonable rates too or at least is close to a WiFi hotspot outside of the hotel.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Nuffnang Experiment

One of the two newest and hottest local online ad company is Nuffnang. Being a local company I was excited and gave my full support in running their ad campaign. Not that there were big bucks in it but I was happy to get over RM200 for the few months I ran Nuffnang's various ad campaigns.

However on September and October my income from Nuffnang dropped to almost ZERO. I did what typical bloggers would do - I ranted about it. :)

Timothy Tiah, Nuffnang's head honcho took notice and wrote me a detail email telling me what went wrong. Talk about great customer support!!

I was enlightened by the lengthy explanantion telling me why I got zero income. One of the key thing that struck me was exclusivity. I had too many ads on my blogs so I did not appear attractive to advertisers as well as Nufffnang.

So here I am with an experiment. I removed most of my other ads including the top banner ad previously occupied by Advertlets (Nuffnang's arch-rival and nemesis) and reserved it for Nuffnang. Let's see if my situation of ZERO income improves. I'll let this experiment run for a month and report back the results if any.


I have a many relatives in Australia. It's one of the countries I want to visit but have not had the chance yet.

Adelaide which is a city full of beautiful churches is top on my list. They have wineries and tram rides there. Cruising the famous Murray River is a must when I get there. Of course I already checked online for Hotels in Adelaide for the best rates. It would seem Adelaide Hotels rates are not much higher than similiar standard hotels here in KL.

I would also like to visit Brisbane where it's famous for the Strabroke Islands and Moreton Bay. Relax in the beaches on their beautiful sunshine coast is a dream vacation come true. A quick online check reveals Brisbane Accommodation is quite affordable too.

Bad English hindering your blog?

Ok this is just what I think and it's not meant to be a direct criticism to the website. So if you are the owner, please take this as constructive criticism ok? Also, I'm just an insignificant blogger who happened to visit your blog, that's all.

I was compiling the top list of blogspot websites with the highest PR rankings when I came across bloggingsecret.blogspot.com.

Cool I thought, because according to the Google PageRank history this blog is PR 5. However a check on my toolbar indicated it was now only PR 3. Guess this blog was the victim of Google's page demotion that has been going around lately.

But that's not what I want to talk about. The English used in the blog made my skin crawl. Maybe it's just me but when your site is in English, you should take care and spend some effort in getting the basic grammar right. I'm no English teacher, but I used to teach. It is a big responsiblity when your students depend on your communication skills to deliver to them something that they can consume, digest and understand. It's a great disservice if your students don't understand you because your English is bad.

Since my initial impression of the site as revealing "secrets" to blogging for money, I assume that the author has some elements of tips and coaching in his blog content.

Take his latest post:

Free 2GB Online Storage! Guarantee Free!

I just now come across the net and something interesting and free online storage. I go their site and found out that the give away 2GB online storage for new members sign up.

First I think this must need to pay, but when I try to sign up, the note that "Free 2GB Online Storage". Who don't like free stuff ya? ;)

Ok, now what you should do to get this free stuff is just register on that site, you can click it from here,Free 2GB Online Storage.

If you think you are not understand, you can visit here: How to get free 2GB online storage.

Here is the mistakes I spotted and the corrections:-

So take this as constructive criticism. Please run through some form of grammar check before you make your blog post. This applies for for high traffic sites like blogging secrets (I see a high number in his RSS feeds). Your readers can probably figure out the main points you are trying to get across but why make them scratch their head trying to understand certain sentences, right?

Then again, maybe it's me. I'm just too sensitive and my mind shuts off trying to make sense of a posts filled with mistakes in English.

You can fix the problems in two ways:
Use Microsoft Word
Fire up Microsoft word and paste your blog content there. See the squiggly red lines (spelling mistakes) and green squiggly lines (possible grammar mistakes). Of course, this will only point out the basic mistakes but it's a good start!

Get a friend to read it
Get a fried to proof read your article before you post. Preferably a blogging buddy who is online most of the time. Just message him or her and post your article into the IM / messenger window.

One of the reasons why PPP started off the PPP segmentation thing was because of bad English. Many non-US posties took offense to this and stated that our English is just fine. There's just a handful of bloggers whose English was really poor. I guess this is one example I've found on the web. Incidentally, the blogger in question is also a postie.

Van Insurance

Having just sold my car I'm now without transport. I must say this is a serious disadvantage at times. Mobility in a city like KL is a godsend. So a car or a van is something of a necessity. If you are living in the UK and happen to own a van, take a look at this site for affordable Commercial Van Insurance. They boast of having the cheapest van insurance in UK. Of course, they back it up with money back guarantee. If you can find another van insurance that is cheaper than theirs, they will give you a full refund!

* sponsored *

Google Earth

When my uncle from Australia came down to visit, he introduced me to Google Earth.

Sure, I've heard about it but never really used it. The reason was because my PC at home was just a Pentium 3 and I was sure that it couldn't handle something as CPU and graphic intensive as Google Earth.

However, on that day, I had just bought my new Dell notebook and after hearing good things about it from my uncle, I installed it. The notebook was using a core duo chip so it was no problem.

What was impressive was that my uncle could show my parents and I his house and the area where he lived. We spent more than half an hour "flying" around his housing neighbourhood.

Then we tried to find the place my parents would be moving to in Cameron Highlands. Disappointment. Google Earth didn't have enough details on Cameron Highlands :(


One of the places I want to visit is Britain. It's simply because some family members have visited it and told me how unimpressed they were of the place. For me, I just love to experience some place new. I like to judge for myself whether the place is good or bad.

First thing to do is I went online to find accomodations in Edinburgh. Found this website where they featured cheap hotels in Edinburgh.

Of course Edinburgh is just one of the many places I want to visit. The main reason is that they have some interesting activities such as the edinburgh comedy festival, military tattoo and Hogmanay. But mainly I'm interested to meet new people. You can find more information on Edinburgh at http://www.edinburgh.org/

Hotels in Edinburgh come at pretty reasonable rates too. But not all of them. So it's a good idea to compare the prices first online and know exactly which hotel fits you and your budget.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

We are but a bunch of numbers

You can hear it in the blogosphere. People moaning and some jumping for joy after Google made a major PR update.

Are we just worth a number from 1-10 ? Is Google PR overrated ? Lots of experienced bloggers advice the same thing :

Don't make such a big fuss out of Google PR.

However, everybody is giving it attention. Even those who tell us not to give it any attention :)

This blog is still only PR2. That's not a surprise as I rarely update it. Still, since everybody is in the numbers game, I've added two buttons on the left sidebar to show both Google and Alexa rankings.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Home Equity Loans

A common way of getting a loan is via home equity loan where you can borrow money by by mortgaging your home. It actually isn't as bad as it sounds. Home Equity Loans gives you the chance to obtain a large amount of funds without much risks.

Lots of people, like me, are quite uninformed about which loans to take for our particular situation. Hence it is good to get recommendations on the best suited secured homeowner loan to apply for. Magic Loans is one such company that helps you make difficult decisions on which loans to go for, whether it's
£5,000 or £250,000.

* sponsored *

Breakfast at Ikea

One of my favourite things to do now that I've left my full time job is to "time shift".

I mean to go to public places like Ikea here at off-peak hours. I'm here on Wednesday morning when most people would be at the office working.

Not my first time but when I came to the Ikea cafeteria on a Saturday, the place was packed.

Today, in the middle of the work week, the place is pleasantly half empty.

I ordered the 99 cents (yes 99 cents !!) breakfast which includes Mee with Sambal and a hot drink. I took some hot fresh milk. Drinks refillable.

Tell me if this is not the cheapest breakfast in Kuala Lumpur. :)

Mac Games

A friend of mine has a Mac and loves the intuitive and friendly
interface it comes with. However she complains that there are not
enough games on the Mac. So I went out on the net to search for free mac games.

One of the sites I found offered a free mac solitaire.

Being a chess freak I couldn't find a good chess game for the Mac. However, Gomoku comes close. It can be found at http://www.macgamesandmore.com/best_freeware.html.

However, the best site I've found for macintosh games is at http://www.macgamesandmore.com. The website features the latest games as well as some reviews.

Bought Virtual Fighter 2

This game is classic!!

I just bought it from Popular bookstore of all places for RM20. It's an original CD package.

I used to play Virtua Fighter in the arcades over 10 years ago (Man do I feel old !!)

Installed it on my notebook and the game screen came up. I was excited as the graphics was exactly how I remembered it from the arcades.

The gameplay was also exactly the same. I was in heaven. I was happy that all the combo moves I used to play in the arcade came back to me naturally after all those years.

Only gripe is that using the keyboard doesn't feel all that natural. It was hard to execute some difficult moves.

Anyway, all in all, I'm very happy with my decision to buy the game :)

Buying your own home

I dream of owning my own house one day. With my current income, it's not so easy. There are so many expenses to pay off first like car loans, rent, electric bills and the list goes on and on.

Sometimes with so many things to pay off, you can't even afford to put the downpayment to own the house.

Came across Mortgages UK which has INDEPENDENT financial advisors and not salesmen (very important!) on every call. Well for someone as raw as I am, it's good to find out all the resources about mortgages. I want to own a house soon!

* sponsored *

What backup plans do you have?

I just watched Darren Rose's video blog talking about what to do if blogging is suddenly fails you in generating income.

I really never thought of that ever since I quit my job to blog for money. I always thought that since I have multiple websites with many different income streams, I would never have to fear failure. If Google Adsense goes down, I still have paid posts. If paid posts are down, I still have paid links. If those go down too, I guess I'll be in trouble :)

Actually, it's good to think about contingencies like these. Anything can happen. So seriously, if blogging is no longer working for me, I still have my other skills like teaching and programming to fall back onto. :)

Big Blue Hotels

I love staying in hotels (who doesn't!). It's nice to visit a hotel that is rated highly by hotel reviewers like the Blackpool Hotels. The Hotel is located in Blackpool UK.

It's been voted Hotel of the Year at the Blackpool Tourism Awards. Also, the Big Blue Hotel is the only new hotel to be built in Blackpool for over 25 years. So comparatively it's one of the newer hotels in that area.

I like the big oversized American space the hotel room has.

Adjacent to the hotel is Pleasure Beach, which is said to be the entertainment and adventure capital of Britain. It is 42 acres of grounds with over with attractions such as cafes and restaurants, and Europe's tallest fastest roller-coaster.

* sponsored *

Nap in the afternoon

Well I don't have the classy French bed as shown from my previous post but I can still fall asleep in my modest bed that I currently have.

I had lunch, bathed and just took a quick nap because I was up doing paid posts from 5am till the afternoon.

However when I woke up it was already 5pm!! 4 hours sleep. Well I can't complain as for the first time in weeks I feel rested. I've been blog surfing so much that I was getting too little sleep and becoming a zombie.

Somehow sleeping in the afternoon always made me feel guilty because of time wasted. But if you are a brainless zombie then isn't that more of a waste of time ?

So from today onwards, I won't feel guilty taking the occasional afternoon nap.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Luxury Beds

Half of my 'work time' is using my tummytop laptop on my bed. So it's not such a bad idea for me to think about 'upgrading' my bed. I went online and took a look at luxury French Beds from Time4Sleep, a UK-based company. They have just launched a french bed collection on their website.

I can imagine lying on this bed upholstered from the finest silk featuring deep
buttoning and a luxurious gilt frame.

This bed is styled from the Louis XIV, French renaissance, Baroque, Rococo era. Talk about classy beds!

Check out their website which also features leather beds, wooden beds and childrens beds.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Income from Chess

I've always had an interest in chess. In fact I have over 10 websites related to chess. Two of which are earning me money via selling ad space and writing sponsored reviews.

This is funny because I've always had the opinion that chess will never bring any profit to me. In fact it's a hobby that requires some investments especially if you are serious about improving. You have to invest time and money to get quality books and coaching.

As for blogging for money, I've even been advised by popular gadget full time blogger LiewCF that chess is a niche that is NOT profitable. While what he said is true, my narrow niche also meant that my chess site is the top news website in Malaysia. The traffic is not high but daily visitors is consistently at 100 visitors and above for both of my chess blogs. This give me a regular income via Adsense and other advertisers. Also it was easier for me to become the leader in this niche than to become a leader in say technology and gadget topics as this has become too saturated with thousands of blogs talking about the same two topics.

In the end, it's chess that got me started in blogging for money. Of course I'll still listen to LiewCF advice and go into more profitable blog topics such as gadgets and technology since that is something I'm very interested in too. I'll experiment with new tourism related blogs since I'm getting a good hint of income from my Malaysian related blogs.

Free Chat

Here's another community website that has chatting facilities.

This free dating site is called Friendsation and joining this community is free. It features Live Chat thru multiple mediums.

Once you have signed up, you can send instant messages to other members of Friendsation. Besides having a text-based free live chat online via chat rooms where you can mingle with other members, the website also offers free phone chat for members. This service allows you to talk with people live all over the United States for free!

The site is still in beta so there are more improvement in store. Currently they offer personals and blogging for members.

Rainy weather in Malaysia

It looks like the rainy season is upon us. Just woke up at 5am this morning to feel the cool air coming thru the window from the light morning drizzle.

It's going to be a beautiful morning! I just love the morning rain because I don't have to go out. I get to enjoy working at home and listen to the pitter patter of rain drops :)

It's been like this with rain in the early mornings and mid afternoons for a few weeks now. I hope it continues as long as possible as it is a welcome change from the constant hot weather we've been having for so many months.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Clutter Fix

I am in dire need of a storage solutions to help clear the clutter in my home. I've got lots of computer /PDA accessories such as charging cables, usb extenders, extra power cords, spare CD ROM drives, printer cables etc hanging all over my book rack. I see a nice 3 piece set of metal storage cabinets at www.carguygarage.com which is quite suitable for the task even though these were meant for the garage.

* brought to you by carguygarage.com *

Not making headway killing off Andrew Ooi

When I do a vanity Google search on my own name "Andrew Ooi", I expect my website to be right on top in the number one spot.

It was for several years until last year this Professor from Australia with the same name as mine knocked me of the number one position. I have been trying for several months now to regain my spot.

I even registered the domain www.AndrewOoi.com to battle the false Andrew Ooi. The best position I got was at position no. 3. However, now there is yet another Andrew Ooi from Hollywood who has taken 3rd spot. Now I've dropped to no. 4.

I will work hard at it and learn all the SEO techniques including writing more useful articles to get myself indexed by Google. I can't stand not having the no.1 spot !!! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Car Insurance

This is something I've yet to do myself as it was always done by my father. I guess I'll have to get around this next year when I get a new car. This is a funny thing as I've worked in an Insurance software vendor company writing insurance applications :)

I know nothing about Auto Insurance Plans. How's that for an insurance programmer?

A good place to research things like Online Insurance Policy is at http://www.advantageautoquotes.com/. They list down car insurance quotes that are competitve so you can save money on the auto insurance.

Grab Bag at Blogvertise

Just discovered this new "feature" from Blogvertise called the “Grab Bag” task.

It's the small money bag
next to your blog accounts when you login to your blogvertise account. Clicking on the money bad lets you see other offers available to you. However you can only take one Grab Bag task daily.

I just saw one on my account today.

I like Blogvertise but have not got many offers from them yet but recently there seems to be more 'Task' available. They pay via PayPal after 30 days from the day your task was approved (similiar to PPP).

New Zealand Hotels

One of the places I'd like to visit is New Zealand. It's a beautiful place and there will be a major chess tournament held there next year. Not only that, New Zealand will also host the Waitakere World Junior Badminton Championship 2007. You can find out more details of events in Auckland here.

The first thing I did was research Hotels in Auckland would cost. It's pretty decent starting from NZD 119 for a 4.5 stars hotel.

My recommendation is to subscribe to their newsletter (http://www.cheaperthanhotels.com/newsletter/) to keep abreast with the Auckland Hotels offers.

No work no income

Since about 80% of my income is now from paid post I just realised I lost quite a lot of money for this month's income because I didn't write any paid posts for a couple of days.

Cumulatively it all adds up and I think I'll be a couple of hundred dollars short by the end of this month :(

My excuse was that it's the holiday season (Hari Raya) and I had to visit friends and family. Anyway, now I have to work extra hard to recover my "lost income".

Perils of being free of a fulltime job I guess..

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Most of my online earnings come form paid posts (about 80%) and it's always nice to have additional streams of paid posts.

One new addition to my income streams is Bloggerwave.

It is not new but sometimes when there is not enough opps, I take a look at Bloggerwave.com. So far I've only been paid for one post that I did some time back. Right now, I will try to write more opps from Bloggerwave to increase my income.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cancer causing burgers

I have lost too many loved ones to cancer. So the recent news that cancer causing Red 2G (or coloring no E128) was found in so many our Malaysian burger and sausage product is really alarming.

I always have a strong suspicion there are many other carcinogenic compounds found in our local supermarket that has not been identified or publicised yet. Anyway, Red 2G discovery is good.

Whatever it is, I personally think it's safer to take less processed foods and try to consume more fresh produce like vegetables and fruits.

Related links:-

Malaysia in Space

I am really out of local news recently. I only found out about the launch when I it was announced on TV an hour before the event. Sure there's lots of negative comments saying how much a waste of money this is to the country. But I think it's something we have to do. It's will be the first of many. I feel there'll be unexpected doors opening after this..

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Hotel Reservations

Hotel Reservations is a great website to start looking for what else, hotels to stay in during your vacations. Having all the information and booking facilities available online saves you so much time and hassle.

Firstly, the site's design is pretty simple and uncluttered. That's not an easy feat considering how much information the site is packed with. Of course the search feature works flawlessly and lets you custom search a suitable hotel using criterias such as City, check-in and check-out time, number of people per room and how many rooms you require. I tried it out by searching for a nice hotel in Cameron Highlands and it returned 2 of the best hotels in that holiday resort. Details such as room price, hotel star ranking, and a short description as well as a thumbnail view of the hotel is given in the initial search page result. From there you can drill down to find out more information about the Hotel you are interested in. You can find out detail information about the hotel such as total number of rooms, room types, photo gallery of the room and facilities, hotel amenities, area of attractions around the hotel, driving directions and a whole slew of useful information for the traveller.

The great thing is you can make bookings online once you've chosen your hotel. You can make payments via major credit cards such as Master, Visa or American Express. Should you have any enquiries, the website provides a toll free number you can call
1-800-447-4136 for US or Canada, 00-800-1276-3549 for Europe, (1) 817-333-5105 for other countries.

Another added bonus is that you can get rebates if you are staying a little longer at a hotel. For example, you can get USD 30 rebate for a 5-night booking at certain hotels. All you have to do is print out their coupon and mail it in.

If you are planning for any vacation trip, check out HotelReservations.com now.

* sponsored *

Friday, October 05, 2007

Top blogs dropped PR

Just found out about this from 5xmom.com( now spotting only a PR3)

HongKiat.com Google PR dropped from 5 to PR 4
ChanLilian.com dropped from PR 5 to PR 4.
Sabahan.com dropped from PR 5 to PR 4.

My god!! This is not happening. Is Google going out to punish these bloggers for selling ads or doing too many paid or sponsored posts? I certainly hope not as I only have 2 PR4 blogs and I would hate to see them dropped.

I checked all my other insignificant blogs (I have over 20!) and didn't see any PR change in them yet. I was hoping for PR increases in some of my blogs. Perhaps one or two PR 5?? But now I just hope that all my blogs maintain their PR!!


Today I'm sad to know that family can break up because of money. I'm sad to see that this can happen in real life. I'm sad to see people I care about change..

Never too old to date

I just saw sadness in one of my uncles eyes when his wife of over 50 years passed away.

Which got me thinking. Senior people should go out on dates too. Life must still go on and there's simply no reason seniors should be alone in their twilight years.

There is a site for dating for seniors (datingforseniors.com) which is a community site for seniors to date over the internet.

The site offers free membership sign up and instant access to thousands of other seniors who are also looking for a partner or a date. Features such as profile photos, search based on certain interests all help in finding a senior match easily. If you know a lonely senior, do him or her a favour and introduce them to datingforseniors.com

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Gazing into the Google PR crystal ball

With Google PR update no where in sight, I had to gaze into some SEO websites crystal ball to see what they predicted.

This blog remains the same with the lowly PR 2/10 :(

Most of my other blogs remain the same too. There is one PR5 prediction though for my chess blog gilachess.com. At least that is good news - that is, if the predictions come true..

There are many prediction engines out there that are broken an return 0 for all my blogs. This is one that I found that looked believable.

You can try it at: http://www.odditysoftware.com/page-prpredict.htm

Anyway it's hard to believe my inactive blogs like andrewooi.com and thepatzer.com can jump from PR 0 to a PR 4 !! Guess I have to wait for the update (if there is one!) to see if the predictions come true.