Wednesday, 31 October 2007

BBC Blunder hands out 800+ subscribers personal email details

I have been a subscriber to the World Services - World Have Your Say (WHYS) programme newsletter for a number of months now. On weekdays they send out an email asking for responses on a number of topics they will be discussing in the days show. I like to keep up with world events and found this was a good way of doing so, occasionally contributing to their blog when the mood and topic suited.

There have been a few minor blunders with the daily email in the past asdifferentmember of the team send the emails out, it's fairly regular to get 2 emails both differing somewhat, whichisn't too much of a problem usually. I often don'thave the time or inclination to even read them as was the case with todays email (30th). Then I got a further email entitled 'Apology' .....

The earlier email 'mistakenly' contained the full list of subscribers email addresses - a list totaling 847 personal email addresses! A spammers dream! Although the apology was quite weak I was more incensed by it not going into detail of the risks posed to others from spam by not deleting it, all it would take for the full list to become the property of spam networks is one person to have their email compromised by a virus and everyone will then be getting spam, quite frankly I get enough without help from the BBC!

Monday, 15 October 2007

Squidoo payout! #2

Well, this is my second month of receiving a squidoo payout and I thought it would be good to do a little update. The earnings were not as strong as in my first month when I had a lens in the top pay out tier for the adsense share-out. Also, as I hadn't fully realised what a goldmine squidoo has the potential of being I didn't really do much work on it in August which is what this weeks payout was for. I did get quite a few click-thru's to my amazon account and a few purchases there though. All in all the payout's I did receive were mainly for mid-ranking lenses (pages) , and a very small amount of commission from ebay/amazon/cafepress modules on those lenses.

I have put a lot more work into squidoo lately, creating at least 2-3 lenses a week since the payout at the start of September. Also, I have utilised more of my own affiliate links within lenses rather than use the ones they provide, except where it is easier to do so. If these lenses start to see good traffic, I will then often include my own affiliate links, this has been quite a winner in a big jump in my affiliate earnings through affiliate sales. My strategy is now to create a lens on a subject I am interested in,or think others will be, filling out a few basic modules, including some unique content then see how it is doing a week or 2 later. If it seems to be popular I will develop it further and include relevant affiliate links, if it's being a bit of a lame duck I will pop back and try make it more likely to succeed by doing some editing, though this does not always seem to work.

I'll list here a small selection of my successful and not so successful lenses to give some examples of what works -

Perry Mason - A very extensive list of the Perry Mason novels, this gets a good amount of regular traffic and click-thru's to amazon. Though the majority of visitors are looking for free downloads or ebooks.

Discworld Store - a moderately successful page with a large variety of unofficial discworld merchandise and links to official merchandise on ebay.

Shimshi - A lens reviewing this magicians tutorial DVD. Mainly to promote the surplus of these I have for sale. Get's lots of visits and click-thru's to youtube magic tutorials, as well as sales of magic tutorial dvd's on amazon.

UK Cash Back Sites - A lens highlighting the sites in the UK that you can join to receive cashback from purchasing online. Provides a voting system and invites visitors to review and share their experience. All links on this page are affiliate links and all though traffic could be better, I'm pleased with the click-thru rate and the percentage that convert to commission earned.

Jon Richardson - A fan page created using squidwho, which autofilled a lot of the lens for me, and I just added some bits and pieces. Jon is comedian who co-hosts a show on 6music. Quite popular with people to find his youtube videos, also as he does not have his own website it gets a reasonable amount of traffic for a relatively unknown celeb.

The Spacemen 3 - A lens about 80's Drone Rock band, supposedly with quite a cult following but traffic has been quite scarce despite having a lot of info on the band and it's spin-offs.

Psychometric Testing - A lens explaining what psychometric testing is and detailing books on how to prepare and to improve your score. Did well in it's first month or so, but now barely getting any traffic - possibly in need of a revamp!

So, hopefully having checked some of these out you'll be inspired to start writing articles about stuff on squidoo to earn some money! If so you may wish to use my referral link here as you will get a $5 bonus when you have earned your first $15, and I'll also get $5 then for introducing you. You will have to create a lens when you sign up for your registration to be successful, so pick a topic, or save the first one you create in draft. Also, fill out your profile and provide either a link to your blog or webpage, and consider making yourself available to be contacted through squidoo, as I may offer you assistance and advice if you sign up via my link!

Review of a new Coupon Site

NcNatural Coupon site is very easy to navigate and provides coupon info giving discounts at hundreds of online merchants, giving thousands of up-to-date coupon codes to give you discounts and free offers. Merchants included in this coupon site include, Disney & The Vitamin Shoppe. So you can see just from this small sample that they cover a wide variety of online merchants.
So, what's the site like? Fast, simple & vast in choice, the main site link, takes you to an alphabetical list of merchants that loads quickly. When you click on a merchant name the page that then loads is populated with all current coupons with info on what discount is achieved with each and the expiry date of that offer. When clicked on you will get a small pop-up with the coupon code you will need to enter during the checkout process, you will need to write this down, as clicking OK will then take you to the relevant page on the merchants site to select items applicable to that offer.
The Verdict - A great coupon site giving up-to-date codes in a well laid out and easy to follow site.
Coupon Savings at their best!

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

UK Paid Survey Sites

There are literally dozens of UK paid survey sites, some good, some bad. The newest I have come across is a site which will pay you regularly for doing nothing! Well apart from downloading a small piece of software to you smartphone which will anonymously study and report your browsing habits. They pay £15 to install the software, then £5 a month after, as well as entering you into a competition to win a 40" LCD TV.

This is what they say on their website -

The Smart M:Panel is a targeted research panel comprised of Windows, Palm, and Symbian smartphone users who voluntarily install a software client on their mobile device that measures their real-world data usage. The software client, or M:Meter, captures activity around messaging, browsing, application usage and media consumption. Once installed the M:Meter operates with no user interaction. M:Metrics is focused on accurately capturing data usage and consumption while protecting our panellists privacy and ensuring our software does not adversely effect device performance.

For more UK Paid Survey Sites