A note about traffic and revenue

Steve Pavlina says that he earns $300/day from his site.  Last month I got about 1000 hits and about $3 in ad revenue.  So to get $300/day would mean 100,000 hits per day.  This is an unbelievable increase from the current traffic, but I do not think it is impossible.

There are several ways to get there.  First off, better content and more of it will allow me to get more hits through searches like Google (60% of current traffic).  Second, some well written, relavent articles with posts from Digg.com (9% of current traffic), Reddit.com, and Slashdot could cause traffic to ballon.  I posted a simple article yesterday about a tutoring service in India.  It was a short and poorly written article.  The headline and description on Digg.com and Reddit.com was not all that good.  Yet, that was an instant 100+ hits.  Third, if I could develop focus areas with interested people around those areas that visited regularily (12% of traffic, mostly me, I think) could really increase the traffic.  There are several blogs that I visit almost daily such as Thomas P.M. Barnett’s blog which is focused on geo-politices/economics/military and Engadget which is focused on all the latest gadets.

There are several focus areas that I would be interested in including “learning Hindi”, economics, and programming.  I might need to create several subsites focused around these areas.  Learning Hindi is focused enough.  Economics is a little too large.  I need to narrow the focus on a particular area of economics such as development economcis or labor economics or perhaps a region such as Texas or India.  Programming is also broad, but I think I could focus that on productivity plugin and tools.  How to do things quicker in Outlook, Visio, etc.

These are just some ideas.  I am still searching for a $300/day plan that I can commit to and implement.  If you have some ideas or suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.

Three Microsoft Outlook plugin ideas

Microsoft Outlook is a very nice tool.  It has your email, contacts, calendar, and even a todo list all in one place.  You can create rules to sort your email, and it has a built in junk email filter that is pretty good.  However, there are lots of time saving features that have yet to be implemented.

Microsoft can not add every single feature that users think of.  But outside developers can create Outlook plugins that extend the functionality of Outlook.  Here are three plugins that would save me some time.

1) Why did I get this email?  Some emails I get have a “TO” and “CC” list that contains dozens of people.  Many of these are lists, that then contain lists.  This plugin would look at that list for any references to you.  Then it would look a the members of all the global lists.  Then it would look through any lists contained in lists.  It would then show which ways the email was sent to you.  So if list A was on the TO line, and list A contained list B which contained your address, it would say “TO: -> List A -> List B -> You”.  As a bonus, it would have a button that when pressed would generate an email to the list B owner (or whatever list you were on) asking to be removed from the list.

2) Who did I send this to? There are lots of emails and documents that I need to forward.  Sometime I lose track.  This plug in would keep track of which people a particular document/email was forwarded to.  It would give me a list of documents and the people that I sent it to and when.

3) How are we connected? In the Global Address List (GAL) there is information about who reports to whom, who belongs to what mailing lists, where people are located.  This plugin would allow for you to enter two people from the GAL, it would then show you what chain of managers connected them.  It would also show any shared mailing lists, or if there location was similar.  As a bonus, you could click a button on any entry in the GAL to display how the selected person is related to you, or select multiple people and see how they are related to each other.  This feature would be enabled in the email message view as well for people on the “From”, “TO”, and “CC” lines.  It should also be possible to create rules using this information.  For example, any email coming from a direct report of person A should be placed in folder A.

If you are an Outlook user and you know about a plugin like this, please leave informaton about it in a comment below.  If you are an Outlook plugin developer and would consider implementing any of these, please let me know that as well.

Globalization, the Internet, and Tutoring – Unlimited tutoring for $49/month – one day special

Yahoo reports that TutorVista offers online, personal, tutoring for pretty much any subject for $99/month, unlimited.  The tutoring is provided via Skype, Yahoo Messenger with Voice or Google Talk.

According to Yahoo, the tutors are located in India.  However, all tutors are required to have a Masters degree in their subject or have a B.S. in education and another subject.  Tutors all are required to speak very good English.

 Today they are having a one day special.  Sign up now and get unlimited tutoring for $49/month.

TutorVista is not the only online tutoring service, but I think it has the best price.  You can check out these two for comparison.

e-Tutor.com – Online tutoring, learning, and homeschooling resources.


Making money from your blog

Another great article from Steve Pavlina that I just found, How to Make Money From Your Blog.  It has several ideas for generating traffic and generating money.  One is called a blog carnival.  I had to do a search to see what this was.

About.com says:

A blog carnival is a regular “themed” posting that is hosted by various bloggers in participating weblogs. Usually, the frequency of postings in blog carnivals is once a week.

Here is a list of some blog carnivals that you could consider participating in:


The Carnival of the Capitalists

It covers a lot of other details and information including the fact that 99% of blogs that try to make money do not do so.

 Some other pages you should look at from Steve Pavlina’s site:

How to Build a High-Traffic Web Site (or Blog)


My dumb computer

It is 2006, and I should have a computer that I can talk to.  “Computer, what is my schedule for today?”.  “Computer, are their any birthday’s that are coming up?  Can you recommend some gifts?  Ok, buy those gifts?” 

 Why can’t we just tell computers what we want?  Ask a computer scientist this, an you will begin a conversation about how voices and speech patterns are different.  Every person pronounces even the simipliest phrases in very different ways in terms of pitch, intonation, timing, accent, and the like.  I understand all that, and I could do without actually speaking to the computer.  I would be happy just IMing the computer to get the information I need. 

 Indeed, there is a program that is like this called SmarterChild. However, this program does not take into account all the information that a computer should know.  It is a IM interface to online information and information that you choose to share with it.  But everyday we get emails, browse webpages, type IM messages, read news groups, read/write documents, and many other things online.  Yet even after years of passing these messages through the computer, it is no smarter and can not help me any more than the day I got it.  The computer is not expected to learn, but the computer user is.  The computer user is supposed to create rules to sort and mark emails.  The computer user is to bookmark pages of interests.  The computer user is supposed to keep track of what and where and from whom information comes, and keep track of what is sent out.

Why can’t the computer actually look at all these documents and start building up a knowledge base that could actually help me?  Why can’t it detect the relationship between myself and others by the information that I send and receive, the sites I view, the people I chat with?

I think this is a area where there is much “low hanging fruit” for the computer industry.  Can you imagine a computer that actually “learned” from you interacting with it?  Why we can’t even get a computer that can manage its own filesystem, so maybe I dream too much?

Even on the ground, space elevators may have uses – space – 26 September 2006 – New Scientist Tech

Even on the ground, space elevators may have uses – space – 26 September 2006 – New Scientist Tech

Thomas P.M. Barnett on ’cause celebre’ for jihadists

If you have not heard of Thoms P.M. Barnett, then you need to see his brief, and read his two books.  His blog is worth reading today.  I especially liked today’s entry:

Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog: How low do we go?
’cause celebre’ for jihadists

Finished reading Pandora’s Star

Last night, I finally finished Peter F. Hamilton’s Pandora’s Star.  This is a science fiction book that contains several enabling technologies including transportation portals that are enabled by wormholes that make rockets unncecessary, a way to interface directly into a human’s nervous system allowing people to augment their abilities and be connect into a Unisphere which is like an interstellar internet, a way to store people’s memories and experiences, rejuvination that allows for people to live indefinately, and a re-life process just in case your body dies.

There are also several aliens and interesting human institutions that are explored in the book.

It is a good read, a little long in places, but definately worth reading.

Pandora\'s Star


Now it time to read the next book in the series, Judas Unchained.

Judas Unchained

Charter Schools

A friend of mine is trying to open a charter school here in Texas.  It will be called Guidance Academy.

 There are a number of other charter schools in Texas.  They are governed by the Texas Education Agency, paid for with public money, and ran by private organizations.