Monthly Archives: December 2006

PayPerPost acquires Performancing

Interesting. PayPerPost buys select assets of Performancing.

Reading further, the deal does not include the Firefox Blog Editor or the Ad Technology, but was primarily for Performancing Metrics – a stat analysis package – and Performancing Exchange – essentially a classified section for bloggers.

I wasn’t overly impressed with Metrics, mainly because I’m more comfortable within my custom-tuned tool-set. As for the Exchange, I can’t say I’ve been there in a while, but it makes sense for the audience PayPerPost is trying to reach.

As for the general implications of PayPerPost, everyone is trying to monetize the blog space but I’m not really in favor of a clearing house approach to paid promotional posts. On a number of sites I’m involved with, we accept advertorials, but we find the opportunities and negotiate directly. Typically they provide more impact for the advertiser at a better price and are more in tune with the blog’s audience. And, we adhere to strict labeling policy indicating all paid advertorials.

Spam Gains Skills in 2006 Looks To Grow Even More in 2007

MessageLabs released their annual MessageLabs Intelligence Report which details their analysis of email threats (spam, phishing, virus) in 2006 and trends to watch in 2007.

The report indicates that the annual average spam rate for 2006 was 86.2% with 80% of all spam coming from Botnets (autonomous systems) and 63.4% of all spam cam from new sources indicating that spammers are staying a few steps ahead of the spam fighters.

Email-borne viruses had a relatively light year, but Phishing attacks doubled over 2005.

For 2007 they see a further decline in virus rates but a strong growth in Ransomware – malicious software which encrypts files and documents by using a secret key known only by the extortionist. Spam will become increasingly targeted to vertical markets, especially Finance and Legal. The threats to Mac OS X will begin to see an increase in worm attacks as the popularity of Apple continues to grow.

A Typical Conversation In Selling Aftermarket Domain Names

I buy and sell domains for fun and profit. I stay away from trademark issues and intentional cybersquatting by focusing on rather generic names that may find a run in popular culture or unique names that could be highly brandable. From yesterday, a typical conversation on potential buyers approaching me with the names and the domain in question changed for privacy’s sake:

From: xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.com
Subject: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com

Hi,

I’m willing to offer you $50 for this domain. I’m a graphic designer and would like to use it to build a portfolio of my work.

Note: This domain has a landing page with an asking price of $2500 – derived from my own formula. For comparison, Network Solutions’ Certified Offer Service pegs it in the range of $7525 – $10025. My Response:

From: Me
Subject: Re: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com

Sorry, $2000 (US) is as low as I can go on xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com.

I’m a nice guy, a $500 discount off the bat just to start the negotiation process. The response:

From: xxxxxxxx@xxxxxxx.com
Subject: Re: Re: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com

That’s absurd. Unless you can show me some traffic stats from a reputable online traffic monitoring source that this domain is getting a lot of natural traffic each day then that price tag is completely over valued. Yes it’s a great name but domain value is based strictly on natural traffic.

If you’re interested I’d be willing to offer you $350. I’m making this same offer to two other domains I’m considering for my online portfolio. If you’re interested in selling it please contact me as soon as possible.

First, don’t tell me it is absurd. I’ve has several four and five figure sales in 2006. Second, don’t contradict your statements on a domain’s value by then raising your offer. Obviously they agree that the domain in question does have some marketability (as well as the other 15-20 visitors the domain gets daily – mostly from type-in traffic) or they wouldn’t have upped their offer by $300. Their counteroffer is usually my action point; if they raise their offer by at least as much as I’ve conceded initially, 90% of the time we’ll eventually reach a deal. If not, the odds of deal are less than 5% based on my past experience.

Usually I also own the .org and/or the .net version of the .com names that I publicly I have listed for sale. These come in handy for bargaining or to throw in gratis as the conclusion of a sale. In this case I threw the .org of this particular name out there at his offer price:

From: Me
Subject: Re: Re: Re: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com

Absurd? Perhaps; if one values a name solely on natural traffic –
which I do not.

I’d be willing to sell you xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.ORG for $350 (US), but my
price for xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.COM remains firm at $2000 (US).

Good luck with your search.

It has now been 36 hours since my last email without a response. Negotiations are more than likely over and they have moved on. I’ll probably be chastised from those that see me as walking away from about a $250 profit (based on the price I bought it and renewal fees since) but for the $8 per year renewal I still have a few years before the cost of ownership exceeds the lowest price I’d let it go for.

Free Skype Out ends December 31, 2006

Skype, the Ebay-owned voice over IP (VOIP) company recently announced some changes to their SkypeOut offering. SkypeOut allows you to place phone calls from any computer with broadband access to any phone in the US and Canada (with per-minute fees for international calls) Previously, Skype had been offering SkypeOut free for the last six months or so, but announced that the free promotion will end on December 31, 2006. However, for $14.95 (until 1/31/07) will get you unlimited SkypeOut per year.

Details include:

  • 12 months of unlimited calls to any phone in the US and Canada – right from your computer.
  • More than an hour of international calls (based on current rate of 2.1 US cents per minute).
  • Over $50 in coupons to get a Motorola headset, Netgear WiFi phone, and a Polycom speakerphone.

Computer-to-computer calling via Skype remains free.

WordPress Blogs and Google’s Supplemental Index

It seems that WordPress-based blogs have a tendency to be dropped into Google’s Supplemental Index pretty quickly. The general consensus is that this is due to the duplication of content present within WordPress. A typical installation will generate a minimum of five instances of a post – more if the post is identified in multiple categories.

To alleviate the problem, include the following Javascript in which ever template contains your <head> tag information:

<?php if(is_home() || is_single() || is_page()){
echo '<meta name="robots" content="index,follow">';
} else {
echo '<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow">';
}?>

You may also want to block the Googlebot from your Feeds as well. Add the following to your robots.txt file:

User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /*/feed/$
Disallow: /*/feed/rss/$
Disallow: /*/trackback/$