Google Earth

I really like goofing around with my Google Earth layer. The ROI on the time spent on it is next to nothing, but I enjoy it.

There are a bunch of things I want to try and do with my current KML file.

1) I’d like to create a simple template for all my pins. I know you somehow create a consistent background color and font for each pin, but I don’t know how yet. Currently I’m just doing HTML on every pin.

2) I’m going to integrate Google AdSense into the map. I know it is possible, I just need to figure out how. I have no problems doing this.

3) As I mentioned earlier, I’m going to integrate the map into the header of my website. I’ve wanted to do this since I launched the site. A lot of travel sites use a map as some sort of graphical effect. I think i can use it in the same way, but also have it serve a very practical function.

4) One problem I’ve noticed is that the size of the balloons you get when you click on a pin is usually far to large for the size of the map on an web page. It looks fine in Google Earth, but not in Google Maps.

If anyone has experience or suggestions for how I can improve my map, please let me know.


5 ways to fix Entrecard

I’ve been using Entrecard lately as a way to generate traffic on

While the system is a good idea (ie: a market based blogging network), having been using it now for over a month, I think it is in serious need of tweaking. Here are my suggestions:

1) Lower the cap on drops to 50 a day. This is a number which humans can reasonably do which would discourage chain dropping. The quality of traffic would increase as people would drop on sites they actually read. Chain dropping would still occur, but it would be seriously diminished. This would also deflate the currency. Over a few weeks the thousands of credits in the system would get eaten as ads are placed.

1a) Entrecard admins need to serve as a Federal Reserve and watch the supply of credits in the system and adjust the % of credits which are retired when an ad is purchased. They should be prepared to adjust this weekly if necessary and make the change public. I’d shoot for a credit per user ratio and try to stick to that over time. Just make the currency stable, regardless of what the ratio is.

2) Put in a real forum. If you want it to be a real community, put in real forum software. Let people create topics dealing with non-entrecard issues.

3) Remove categories and put in tags. Let each person give 3-5 tags for their site. I’d love to be able to target Filipino websites for example, but that is impossible with the current system.

4) Let site owners set their own price. A clearing price would soon be established for each site. Popular sites will sell for more obviously. If you set the price too high, you wont get advertisers. If you set it too low, you leave credits on the table.

5) Remove the “most popular” page and let people create ad hoc searches based on tags. If I want to find a site with “Japan” in the tag which sells for 30-60ec, then I can just find that site. This would remove the sexy factor of trying to get on the “most popular” page and eliminate a lot of the motivation for chain dropping. Results for “most dropped” could still be obtained and trumpeted, but you’d have to work for it.


IZEA is useless

I signed up for the new ranking service at IZEA. You put a bit of javascript on your site, it records traffic and ranks your site.

Great idea, except it doesn’t work. At all. I put it on both this site and the main site and it didn’t register a single bit of traffic. Considering this is the only function the site and script has, it seems like a pretty big failure. Moreover, lots of people are having the same problem.

Hint: if you are launching a service that is designed to do one thing, make sure that one thing actually works when you launch it.


New Logo?

I ordered a new logo from Logo Samurai. Personally, I don’t like it.

It looks cartoony and the font, well, I don’t get the font. I don’t think I’m going to be using it.

I don’t think I’m ever going to pay for anything upfront again. Nothing good ever comes from it.


Google Page Rank Update

One of the goals I was going to list was going from a Google Page Rank of 3 to 4. Well, last night they changed the formula it and went from a 3 to a 4. Not shabby. I credit it to not filling the site with tons of crap links.