Blog Listing Sites: Another Way to Promote Your Blog

Not many blog owners, particularly the new ones, know about the existence of blog directories. But this is one avenue which need to be fully utilized to promote one’s site to the rest of the world.

blog directory 460x460 Blog Listing Sites: Another Way to Promote Your Blog

Being a directory, these sites lists blog links and classify them according to specific categories and sub-categories. Compared to the regular websites, blog directories are considered to have more authority. And while they may not be often used by people to search for sites or links they want, it is still a must to do this step.

The Pros of Directory Submission

There are advantages when a blog link gets listed in a directory, one of which is in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). [Read more...]

VPN: What is it and Why You Need to Use it?

You may not be familiar about VPN or the Virtual Private Network yet and it’s time you know if you want to experience worry-free internet surfing. Whether you’re going online for personal, work or business reasons and no matter the frequency, this kind of service will protect your vital information onwards.

secure internet browsing 300x249 VPN: What is it and Why You Need to Use it?

Next to your internet connection, this is a very important service anybody should think about subscribing to today. It’s all about ensuring your privacy and safety online amidst the ongoing hacking, scamming and phishing activities on the internet.

What is a Virtual Private Network?

A VPN is a public network of computers. Individuals can use to access network resources not covered in their local area network (LAN) or simply to secure their communications when using a public network such as in an internet café. Businesses also use it to connect to their remote servers or datacenters. Primarily, its objective is to ensure a secure and encrypted communication to protect people’s personal information and identity. [Read more...]

Barnes and Noble Gives Nook More Features, and Games!

nook Bestofthebest f1 490x219 Barnes and Noble Gives Nook More Features, and Games!Whether we like it or not, we have to give Apple some credit for releasing its magical iPad tablet. Despite its shortcomings and minor flaws the iPad has managed to stir up the otherwise sleeping tablet computer industry and the e-reader market. Several brands are now in a rush to come up with something better than than the iPad.

For Barnes and Noble it’s much easier to do this because Nook is already out even before the iPad hit the market. So, what B&N can do right now is update Nook’s features and make it a better e-reader than the iPad. And it is doing this right now as it announces some new features for Nook such as Read In Store and the addition of some games that Nook owners can play on their device. These were made possible via a software update to v1.3.

The beta Read in Store feature allows Nook owners you to read ebooks while your inside a Barnes & Noble store. You Nook will automatically connect to the Nook online bookstore and let you read titles from the B&N online bookstore even if the books are physically out of stock. While inside the store, you can read ebooks up an hour per day. B&N also plans to make some current edition newspapers and magazines available for in-store reading soon.

“Our digital customers will feel at home in our stores with Read In Store, which puts a digital spin on the popular Barnes & Noble bookstore experience that millions of our customers enjoy each day. At no cost, NOOK customers can browse through our robust collection of digital content while enjoying their favorite beverage in our café,” said Tony Astarita, Vice President, Digital Products, Barnes & Noble.com.

In addition to these, Barnes & Noble has also included new games and other entertainment features to Nook including Chess and Soduku.

While the Nook v1.3 software update includes the following new features and enhancements:

  • improved page turn speed, enhanced color touch screen navigation, faster access to previously opened eBooks  and more
  • high-speed connectivity to more hotspots
  • built-in web browser
  • updated homescreen

Nook v1.3 is available to download from www.nook.com/update or you may want to wait for automatic update in the coming weeks.

Techmeme Intros Mediagazer, Media News Aggregator

Screen shot 2010 03 09 at 5.02.40 AM 490x362 Techmeme Intros Mediagazer, Media News Aggregator

From the same people behind tech news aggregator Techmeme comes a similar service called Mediagazer, aggregating your daily dose of media news. Mediagazer is backed by media companies such as WordPress, Seesmic, Zemanta and others.

So, if in your daily browsing of the Internet you encounter questions such as “What do news organizations need to do to survive?”,  “Will books become extinct?”, “Can video bring television and the internet together?” and other questions regarding new or old media Mediagazer will organize them in a similar fashion as Techmeme. In other words, everything else that don’t fall under Techmeme, you can find it on Mediagazer.

Mediagazer is organized through the same technology and process as Techmeme, that is combining automated aggregation technologies with direct editorial input from human editors. The media news memetracker collects relevant takes on an issue and package these into group of links.

And just like Techmeme, Mediagazer also makes it easier to share headlines via a recently introduced “share” button. A mobile site is also up and running if  need to get your daily fix of media news  via smartphones on mediagazer.com/m or through mediagazer.com/mini for simpler phones.

So there, another site to monitor for daily news coverage. Hopefully, the human editors of Techmeme and Mediagazer will be able to distinguish clearly what should be aggregated on each of these news verticals and duplication of entries will not happen.  Otherwise, they  might as well combined these two aggregators later on.

Pew Says Americans Turn to the Internet for News More than They Do on Newspapers, Radio

Screen shot 2010 03 01 at 10.58.48 PM 490x423 Pew Says Americans Turn to the Internet for News More than They Do on Newspapers, Radio

Another day, another Internet research findings. This time it’s from Pew Internet  saying that more Americans are turning to the Internet to get their daily news fix, rather than the traditional print newspapers and radio.

Pew Internet’s study on “Understanding the Participatory News Consumer”  revealed that 46% of Americans are getting their news from four to six media platforms/online sources including social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook as well as on their mobile phones.  Only 7% get their news from a single media platform.

Pew’s findings also revealed that 33% of mobile phone owners get their news from their devices, 28% have personalized their mobile phone’s home page to include news from various sources and on topics that interest them and 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, either by commenting or disseminating them on various social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook.

What’s peculiar about the current trend on reader behaviour is that news is being shared socially. Just like when reading a newspaper and you find an item that is interesting enough, you share that news orally, but now, news sharing is done almost as quickly as you’re done reading them – through social media tools. [Read more...]

New York Times to Charge for Access to its Online Paper

newyorktimes 490x273 New York Times to Charge for Access to its Online Paper

The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times both charge for access to their online publication and seem to be working along fine. So, I don’t really see any reason while New York Times won’t succeed as well. But to be honest about it,  Im really hoping that NYT’s plan will not push through. I’m not subscribed to both WSJ and FT and was glad that NYT’s online newspaper is still free. But then it’s all business decision, so be it.

The New York Mag is running a story about New York Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger close to announcing that NYT will start charging for access to its online publication.  Actually, there has already been an internal debate going on as to what payment scheme that the paper will adapt. It was a choice between the WSJ-type subscription scheme or the Financial Times’ metered system wherein readers are asked to subscribe after being offered a number of free issues.

The decision as to which payment model that it will adopt is said to be announced within a matter of days while announcement of the plan is set to be made within weeks. So, if push comes to shove, by next month or early March New York Times we may no longer be able to access the New York Times online for free.

There are other considerations that are yet to be resolved within the management of NYT, conflicts to be ironed out and both major and minor kinks that could spell out the demise or the continuation of the online newspaper.

In the meantime, let’s all take advantage of the NYT while it still remains free. But should the plan paid subscription push through, will you be willing to pay for it?

Kindle is the Most Gifted Item on Amazon Ever

Screen shot 2009 12 27 at 5.24.46 AM Kindle is the Most Gifted Item on Amazon Ever

Amazon should be thankful for the Holiday season as it can rest easy on the stress brought about by Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Sony PRS e-Readers.  It looks like there are more Kindle owners right now than before as it is now the most gifted item on Amazon. And if this is not enough, on Christmas Day, Amazon achieved quite a record-breaking sale on Kindle books than the printed ones.

And no one could be more pleased than Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos as he claims:

“We are grateful to our customers for making Kindle the most gifted item ever in our history. On behalf of Amazon.com employees around the world, we wish everyone happy holidays and happy reading.”

I could just imagine Dan Brown grinning from ear to ear right now, since his new book “The Lost Symbol” is among the top-selling Kindle books on Amazon. And so did Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue” and Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help.”

Going back to Amazon’s Holiday shopping report. It was noted the Amazon’s sales peak was on Dec. 14, when consumers flock to the site and ordered 7 million units of various Amazon products. Amazon shipped to over 178 countries on this day.

Aside from the Kindle, the 8GB iPod Touch, Garmin nuvi 260W 4.3-inch GPS unit are also among the hottest-selling Amazon Electronics products.

So, did you get any of these items as a Christmas gift?

Read the full Amazon PR here.

Mag+ Take On the Possible Future of Magazines

Mag+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

As the future of printed magazine is being curved into its possible digital form, we’ve seen several takes already. How many of these future gadgets have came out  anyway? Let’s see, recently there was the CrunchPad which became the JooJoo. Then there was the rumored Apple Tablet, Time Inc’s Tablet Magazine, Wired Magazine and even Sports Illustrated showed us their own digital magazine reader.

Now here, we got another take on this  - Mag+. This digital magazine was being  conceptualized and developed in cooperation with Popular Science magazine’s publisher Bonnier.

Mag+ features scrollable articles which are placed side-to-side in kind of mountain range and are delivered electronically on the device per issue. Very much like how printed magazines arrive on our hands.

Another feature of the Mag+ is its ability to flip through articles shifting focus and by tapping icons displayed on the screen. So, Mag+ is definitely a touchscreen magazine tablet.  It will treat magazine articles in appealing format, so as to elicit long-time interest from readers. Very much like how printed magazines look like, glossy and colorful.

Of course this is still a concept. But considering the increasing interest on digital ebook ereaders and magazine readers, it is most likely that the Mag+ will actually become a reality.

Actually it should. Mag+ looks pretty sleek and cool. It can even give the current crop of ebook readers a run for their money.  The only possible contender that I can see is Apple’s tablet, if in case it goes to production.

Amazon Should Not Worry About Nook, But with the iPhone Instead

It looks like Amazon should not worry about the upcoming Barnes & Noble’s Nook ebook reader but with the iPhone instead. According to a report by analytics research company Flurry, book apps for the iPhone have overtaken previous  most downloaded category – game apps. [Read more...]

Creative Touts Zii MediaBook eReader

And the latest company to join the ebook reader bandwagon happens to be Creative, more popularly known of course for their media players. In a surprising announcement during the company’s annual general meeting in Singapore, Creative showed a working model of its upcoming eReader, tentatively named the Zii MediaBook.

Specs-wise, we’re looking at a touch screen display, text-to-speech function like the Kindle perhaps, SD memory card slot, Internet connectivity – in short a multimedia device that can handle videos, pictures, text and services. [Read more...]