Friday, November 03, 2006


Five New Communication Technologies to Supplement Email

Every business relies on effective communication with its customers. Communication doesn't just convey information, it inspires trust, builds credibility, stimulates involvement and generates loyalty. But in today's global, hi-tech, rapidly changing business environment, how do you ensure you're communicating effectively?

The Benchmark - Face-To-Face

There's no doubt that face-to-face communication is the most effective method for most people. Why? Because of its two-way nature. It's about dialogue. Listeners are not passive participants. When someone talks to us, we send a continuous stream of responses back to them. Some are verbal, but many/most are not. These responses have the power to actually change the message being disseminated by the talker. What's more, they have the power to change how other listeners' interpret that message. (Similarly, other listeners have the power to change your interpretation.)

Unfortunately, however, the global nature of business makes it impossible to conduct face-to-face meetings for every communication. So what are the alternatives? Specifically, what are the alternatives offered by technology?

Email - The Starting Point

The benefits of email are numerous and well known, and include (but are not limited to):

* Email is an excellent mechanism for distributing information to people. It is fast and cost effective.
* It is incredibly convenient - you can readily communicate across time zones.
* It provides a useful electronic paper trail.
* It can save a great deal of time because most of the fluff surrounding a telephone call (the social niceties) are seen as unnecessary in email.
* It allows recipients to read and respond to messages in their own time.
* The wording, grammar and punctuation in an email can be considered and edited before finally sending.

But email does have its limitations:

* Its lack of social niceties is a double-edged sword. Without the benefit of other communication cues, it's sometimes hard to interpret the tone of an email, and this can make some messages ambiguous.

* It isn't ideal for critical communication. For many people, emails are not 'real-time' communication. We all have that unaddressed email sitting at the bottom of the list. Because emails are so easy to ignore, they're also easy to forget.

* Ironically, email's dissemination effectiveness has been one of the major impediments to its communication effectiveness. It's so easy to send emails - and they're so anonymous - that our inboxes are now flooded with Sp@m. Consequently, emails are viewed with some suspicion. It's sometimes hard to identify legitimate emails, but it's very easy to just hit Delete.

* Because email senders are typically geographically (and often culturally) distant from their recipients, they have no immediate visual and aural cues to help them tailor the message as they type.

But there's no need to 'throw out the baby with the bathwater'. Email is an excellent solution to many communication needs. And for those it is ill-equipped to handle, there are newer, more appropriate technologies that are built for the job...

Web 2.0 Technologies - The Perfect Supplement

Web 2.0, a term coined by O'Reilly Media (an American media company) in 2004 refers to a second-generation of internet-based services that let people collaborate and share information online in new ways.

Web 2.0 technologies are well defined in, which suggests that these sites allow the users of the sites (members) to create and share content, including exploring and discussing ideas, opinions, initiatives and issues. Web 2.0 is all about communication. It is the evolution of the internet from an endless library of static pages to an endless world of conversations. These pages can be restricted to particular individuals (eg the executive), or open to all members. The only difference is that the interaction takes place in cyberspace, and those taking part can be sitting behind a keyboard just about anywhere on the planet.

Importantly, a reader's understanding of the message in a Web 2.0 communication is determined, not just by the publisher, but also by the responses (e.g. comments) of the audience. What's more, the publisher's actual message tends to be far more fluid as it, too, is informed by the responses of the audience. In other words, Web 2.0 services are far more like face-to-face conversations than any communication technology before them.

So what are these emerging technologies that we should be keeping an eye on? The two most notable are 'Wikis' and 'Blogs'. The following definitions are from, an online encyclopaedia developed as a wiki.

* Wikis - A wiki is a type of website that allows users to easily add, remove or otherwise edit and change content. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for collaborative authoring. Examples include Wikipedia and wikiwikiweb.

* Blogs - A weblog, which is usually shortened to blog, is a type of online diary or journal which allows one to voice their opinion on something. Blogs often provide commentary or news and information on a particular subject. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media. Blogs are usually text based, but they can include photographs, videos or audio (podcasting). Blogs can be presented in a way that creates a conversation between users. As an example, see the Sydney Morning Herald travel blog.

The Uses Of Web 2.0

As with face-to-face social gatherings and forums, online get togethers attract a broad spectrum of participants eager to engage, entertain, befriend, advise and lecture.

It was reported in The Australian (Tuesday 8 August 2006) that the social computing element of Web 2.0 has recently been embraced by the US Government. The US State Department has started including blogs and other Web 2.0 concepts to deliver public information to citizens. It is also using wiki style services to improve information by permitting small expert communities to improve advisory services.

The same article advised that Australia�s leading information advisory body, the Australian Government Information Management Office, had begun experimenting with the use of blogs, wikis and other Web 2.0 technologies.

As new online social networks mushroom, they are becoming increasingly focused on niches, ideally suited to membership based organizations and the NFP sector. Examples of general public social networks include My Space, Classmates and Bikely.

Other Useful Technologies

* SMS - Short Message Service (SMS) is a service available on most digital mobile phones (and other mobile devices, e.g. a Pocket PC, or occasionally even desktop computers) that permits the sending of short messages between mobile phones, other handheld devices and even landline telephones.

* Podcast - Podcasting is the method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio or video programs, over the internet using syndication feeds, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers.

* Webinars - Web conferencing is used to hold group meetings or live presentations over the internet. In the early years of the internet, the terms "web conferencing" and "computer conferencing" were often used to refer to group discussions conducted within a message board (via posted text messages), but the term has evolved to refer specifically to "live" or "synchronous" meetings, while the posted message variety of discussion is called a "forum", "message board", or "bulletin board". A webinar is a seminar which is conducted over the World Wide Web. It is a type of web conferencing. In contrast to a Webcast, which is transmission of information in one direction only, a webinar is designed to be interactive between the presenter and audience. A webinar is 'live' in the sense that information is conveyed according to an agenda, with a starting and ending time. In most cases, the presenter may speak over a standard telephone line, pointing out information being presented on screen, and the audience can respond over their own telephones, preferably a speakerphone. Whilst not necessarily considered Web 2.0, Webinars can also be a useful mechanism for information distribution and discussion amongst membership based organizations and SMS can provide important or urgent confirmations.


Email is - and will continue to be - an incredibly useful and convenient communication tool. In fact, with the emergence of new technologies that are either more direct, more immediate, or more like face-to-face communication, email is improved. As businesses supplement their email usage with other communication technologies, email will be increasingly reserved for those communications to which it is ideally suited.

About The Author
Gerald is GM, Salës & Marketing of Software Design Group (SDG): Website Development, Design, Search Engine Optimisation, Network Support, Outsourcing Solutions, Help Desk Support, Application Development, Hardware & Software Salës.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


If webmasters want to monetize their websites, the great way to do it is through Adsense. There are lots of webmasters struggling hard to earn some good money a day through their sites. But then some of the "geniuses" of them are enjoying hundreds of dollars a day from Adsense ads on their websites. What makes these webmasters different from the other kind is that they are different and they think out of the box.

The ones who have been there and done it have quite some useful tips to help those who would want to venture into this field. Some of these tips have boosted quite a lot of earnings in the past and is continuously doing so.

Here are some 5 proven ways on how best to improve your Adsense earnings.

1. Concentrating on one format of Adsense ad. The one format that worked well for the majority is the Large Rectangle (336X280). This same format have the tendency to result in higher CTR, or the click-through rates. Why choose this format out of the many you can use? Basically because the ads will look like normal web links, and people, being used to clicking on them, click these types of links. They may or may not know they are clicking on your Adsense but as long as there are clicks, then it will all be for your advantage.

2. Create a custom palette for your ads. Choose a color that will go well with the background of your site. If your site has a white background, try to use white as the color of your ad border and background. The idea to patterning the colors is to make the Adsense look like it is part of the web pages. Again, This will result to more clicks from people visiting your site.

3. Remove the Adsense from the bottom pages of your site and put them at the top. Do not try to hide your Adsense. Put them in the place where people can see them quickly. You will be amazed how the difference between Adsense locations can make when you see your earnings.

4. Maintain links to relevant websites. If you think some sites are better off than the others, put your ads there and try to maintaining and managing them. If there is already lots of Adsense put into that certain site, put yours on top of all of them. That way visitor will see your ads first upon browsing into that site.

5. Try to automate the insertion of your Adsense code into the webpages using SSI (or server side included). Ask your web administrator if your server supports SSI or not. How do you do it? Just save your Adsense code in a text file, save it as "adsense text", and upload it to the root directory of the web server. Then using SSI, call the code on other pages. This tip is a time saver especially for those who are using automatic page generators to generate pages on their website.

These are some of the tips that have worked well for some who want to generate hundreds and even thousands on their websites. It is important to know though that ads are displayed because it fits the interest of the people viewing them. So focusing on a specific topic should be your primary purpose because the displays will be especially targeted on a topic that persons will be viewing already.

Note also that there are many other Adsense sharing the same topic as you. It is best to think of making a good ad that will be somewhat different and unique than the ones already done. Every clickthrough that visitors make is a point for you so make every click count by making your Adsense something that people will definitely click on.

Tips given by those who have boosted their earnings are just guidelines they want to share with others. If they have somehow worked wonders to some, maybe it can work wonders for you too. Try them out into your ads and see the result it will bring.

If others have done it, there is nothing wrong trying it out for yourself.

7 Online Marketing Tools for the Smart Webmaster

As an online marketer, it's hard to wade through all of the misleading information that is running rampant on the Internet. Who do you trust? Where do you go for the very best information in online marketing? Well, this article was written to answer those very questíons. Below I have outlined 7 tools that can be used to increase your marketing knowledge, improve your website, increase your website's traffíc, and even save time. Hope you enjoy!

1. Make Your Site Sell

The first of these tools comes from Ken Envoy, who has released his bestselling internet marketing book to the public. With 100,000+ copies sold, Make Your Site Sell! 2002 can now be downloaded frëe of charge.This internet marketing bible has timeless information to improve your online business and increase your traffíc. Because it was created in 2002, some of the information is a bit dated, but if you skip the search engine info, Envoy's book is a gem from front to back.

This is the book that got me started in internet marketing and I am forever thankful to Ken Envoy. Inside Make Your Site Sell, you'll find the three cornerstones of building a successful online business - developing a great product, building a site that sells, and attracting targeted traffíc to your site.

Find it at
2. Dotcomology

Another great resource for learning about online marketing is Dotcomology by Stone Evans. This one is a bit more up-to-date.

Inside you'll learn:

* How to increase your traffíc using expired domains
* How to build and maintain your credibility online
* How to increase your profíts using back-end and cross-selling techniques
* How to optimize your site for high rankings in the search engines
* How to profít with Google Adwords
* How to build a massive opt-ín mailing list
* How to set up joint ventures to expand your marketing reach for frëe
* How to use press releases for frëe publicity and....
* How to launch a viral marketing campaign

In addition, you'll also get a number of frëe tools for all of your webmaster needs.

Download this book for frëe at

3. Website Translation

Do you know how you can multiply your content by 9 times by expending just a few minutes of your time? Simply translate your website into 9 other languages. There are tools out there that make the process quick and easy.

You don't have to worry about duplicate content issues either. It's all unique content that the search engines love. More content equals more traffíc. 64.8% of the world is surfing the Internet in a language other than English. By translating your website into other languages, you immediately open up a stream of new markets and increased traffíc from foreign search engines.

If you are a seasoned SEO, you'll be happy to hear that the competition in foreign language search engines is much less than in the English search engines. There are a number of tools available that will enable you to translate your website.

The first one is a Wordpress plugin called Simple Thoughts. This plugin uses automatic machine translation to translate your blog into eight languages - Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.

You can download this plugin at:

4. OnlyWire

Social bookmarking is a great way to increase the exposure to your articles. However, it can also be quite time consuming.

Fortunately, there is a tool that will automate much of your social bookmarking for you. It is called OnlyWire and it allows you to submit links to 17 social bookmarking sites all at one time. Simply create an account, give your bookmark a title, type in the URL, add tags, and send it off.

When using this tool, you must keep in mind that it is not meant to be abused. This tool is simply a time-saving device to help you in your social bookmarking efforts.

You must always submit quality content. In addition, you should also share and submit other sites that you feel would provide a great resource to these communities.

Social bookmarking is all about community. If you are not actively involved in the community and submitting links besides your own, then you are simply wasting your time.

However, if you spend a little bit of time to do things right, you can reap some enormous benefits.

To find out more about OnlyWire, go to

5. ROR Sitemaps

Sitemaps are an important tool for making sure your site can be completely spidered and indexed by the search engines. Unfortunately, many of today's sitemaps are specific to one search engine or another. Because of this, there have been a number of Google and Yahoo sitemap generators produced in recent years.

However, there is an alternative that presents many benefits over today's Google and Yahoo sitemaps. In addition, these new and improved sitemaps are readable by all search engines.

They are called ROR sitemaps. They use XML feeds to describe your web content. These sitemaps are structured feeds that enable search engines to complement text search with structured information to better interpret the meaning of your site. With a ROR sitemap, search engines can better understand your products, services, images, newsletters, articles, podcasts, and anything else that you want to describe.

You can create your own ROR sitemap at

6. Web Templates

If you are a webmaster, then you know the importance of quality web design. Good web design can mean the difference between a paying customer and a confused visitor.

Fortunately, there are a few websites that are providing frëe, quality templates. One of these can be found at Open Source Web Design, where they offer over 1,600 web designs.

Open Source Web Design is making the web a prettier place, one template at a time. To find a professional template for your own site, you can look over some of their favorite designs at

If you are looking for a nice blog design, you can go to, where you'll find over 800 themes, frëe to download.

7. Viral Marketing - PDF Generator

To start your own viral marketing campaign, I suggest that you look at Viral Publisher. This frëe software allows you to create your own brandable PDF ebooks and optimize them for the web. Creating your own ebook and giving it away for frëe is a great way to increase your online exposure.

You can offer your ebook to your affiliates, website visitors, and your customers.

Because it's brandable, the user can customize the ebook with their own affilíate links, encouraging them to pass it along even further.

Start your own viral frenzy at

About The Author
Kim Roach is a staff writer and editor for the SiteProNews and SEO-News newsletters. You can also find additional tips and news on webmaster and SEO topics by Kim at the SiteProNews blog. Kim's email is: kim @