12.12.2008 Uncategorized Comments Off on A New Webmaster Community

A New Webmaster Community

Net Builders is a new webmaster community. In fact, it is very new — the domain was only registered on 7 December. And yet, during that time it has taken off like a rocket ship.

Many people in the webmaster community have lamented the lack of a good public forum to meet people, engage in conversation, and do business.

Most existing webmaster forums have unnecessary rules which restrict conversation. Many of them hoard Page Rank by using nofollow links or disallowing links entirely. One popular webmaster forum even has a rule against mentioning the names of any of your sites. How can a webmaster get help with his website if he can’t share the name of his web site — it’s ridiculously irrational and it violates the spirit of the web.

Webmasters tend to be entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs get extremely excited about their projects — which is one of the reasons they succeed. It is moronic to try to prevent entrepreneurs from talking about their projects and then still expect them to contribute to your forum.

Another common failing of the existing webmaster communities is that they see themselves as forums and not as communities. They fail to involve their community members in management decisions which affect them. Participatory democracy isn’t a new idea off the web, but it does appear to be a new idea on the web. The existing crop of webmaster forums are ruled like autocratic fiefdoms. That hasn’t works Cuba, Zimbabwe, or North Korea. How can anyone expect that it will work well on the World Wide Web, where community members can leave just by typing in another URL.

I encourage you to visit NetBuilders.org and judge for yourself.

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07.10.2008 Uncategorized Comments Off on Chitika Premium

Chitika Premium

We recently reviewed the results of placing Chitika Premium ads on some of our web properties. The results we discovered were good enough to expand our use of these Premium ads to several more of our web sites.

Chikita Premium ads are contextual, but in a very different manner than AdSense. The content of these ads is based upon the search terms that the visitor used to find your page.

ChitikaOne interesting result is that you will never really see these ads yourself — nor will your direct visitors. Chitika Premium ads only show to visitors who come in via searches. This lets your regular visitors see fewer ads and simultaneous enables you to monetize “drive by” traffic.

Last month with Chitika Premium, we saw an EPC of $.18, a CTR of 1.30%, and an eCPM of of $2.32. This was with only one Chitika Premium ad block on each page.

Instead of replacing AdSense, we are using Chitika Premium to generate additional incremental revenue from our existing content.

We are very happy with the Chitika Premium ads right now — and with the additional revenue which they are generating.

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05.10.2008 Uncategorized Comments Off on Expat Intelligence

Expat Intelligence

Expat Intelligence is one of FIM’s web sites which is close to my heart, and one which I expect will grow very nicely over the next few years.

Evolutionary changes in transportation and revolutionary changes in communications are making our planet smaller every day. As our interactions with other cultures and governments increases, more individuals choose to leave the land of their births and experiment with new lives in distant lands.

Retiring to Mexico is becoming common for middle-class Americans who want to live the good life on limited retirement incomes. More adventurous Americans are finding new lives in exotic locales like Panama, Costa Rica, The Philippines, and Thailand.

In addition to lower costs of living, many countries provide much better tax systems than the United States. Tax laws vary, but it is possible to legally lower your income tax burden to $0 by becoming an expat.

Many working Americans are finding that their jobs will allow them to work at home. Home can be in Belize almost as easily as it can be in Boise. Belize offers beaches, sun, and some of the worlds best scuba diving. In addition, as an American living in Belize, the U.S. government will let you deduct the first $80k of your income.

These factors, along with many others, are rapidly increasing the number of Americans who choose to live abroad.  And that will be good for Expat Intelligence.  🙂

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