Pay4results.eu is seeking new affiliates

Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 14:11 | Posted in marketing | 2 Comments
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Anybody can acquire extra income by showing ads through an affiliate marketing network in their website, blog, e-mail list or messages in their social media networks. The income may even be good if you put an effort in it, working hard and consistently. For an avergae blogger, though, the money earned could likely be something you could by coffee for or just purchase something extra that you might not want to buy using the money from your regular income.

Affiliate marketing is different from regular web marketing in that the advertiser pays for a result they get from their ads being shown by affiliates. There is an affiliate network between the advertiser and the publisher. They deal with the advertiser and the affiliate gets the ads to be shown through the network. This makes it easy and comfortable for the publisher.

Pay4results.eu has been around in Central and Eastern Europe for some years and they are now rapidly expanding their operations in Northern Europe, especially in Finland, Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia. There are several active CPA campaigns as I write this directed to the Nordic market.

The income to be earned for showing these ads varies between tens of cents and several euros for  a lead, closed transaction or whatever the adjusted result is fixed for in each individual campaign.

As a publisher it is up to you to decide which ads you want to show in your website. You are the best person to judge what your regular readers may be interested in and thus likely to bring you revenue.

If you want to try out affilate marketing in the affiliate network Pay4results.eu you can join by clicking here. If you do join up I am asking you to use specifically this link.

Full Disclosure: I do co-operate with Pay4results.eu and publishing this post may affect my economic interests.

Open letter to president Obama

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 12:57 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mr. President,

thank you for sending me all those e-mails through Obama.com. I subscribed to them all by myself and I can not blame you for spamming. Nevertheless, I have a couple of issues to talk about.

It is not that I would get too much of your mail. Not too little either. You seem to have a good balance between sending too much or too little.

The actual senders or those who I am supposed to believe are the actual senders are generally well marked. That said, when my inbox suggests that I have a letter from vice president Biden I do not think that the VP wrote that letter in person. At least he did not type it and he probably never checked the list of addressees who have opted out. I hope somebody else did.

Your secretaries of state are a frequent lot to send letters. Since I already know they did not write those letters in person I would prefer that they were signed by the persons who actually wrote them. It is a question of honesty. Can you fix that, Mr. President?

Mr President, it is a bit hard to talk to the leader of Free World about his spouse. But if you excuse me, I would rather receive notices about your whereabouts and doings than those of Mrs. O. The same goes for the vice president and doctor Biden. You and the VP elected the women you married but they were never on the ballot.

Mr President, I have heard that there is another party in the U S of A. Apparently they have something to do with a mammal that does not even exist in your part of our globe. I hope donkeys do.

Mr President, much of the mail I receive under your name is focused on re-electing you. What a waste that is. I can not vote for you although I would want to. Why don’t you send that stuff to those who are eligible to vote and are not sure yet.

One more point, Mr President. After your inauguration the White House suddenly appeared in the World Wide Web. That is good but did you have to do it the old way? I hardly need to explain this, it would be under estimating your intelligence.

Mr President, I shall be back in four years to review how you have improved during your second term. But do by all means not wait till then. You have the power to make things happen now rather than appearing to happen which you have done hitherto.

Page refrehs in Google +

Friday, August 19, 2011 at 14:24 | Posted in google, internet, social media | Leave a comment
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Last night I sent some feedback to Google + about the current page freshing. As I posted it as a public entry at my Google + page I thought it might just as well appear here in the blog. Just for the record, I like Google + a lot.

This is what I told them:

Hi, Google folks!

This is not a technical error but rather a matter of policy concerning the on line updating or refreshing of the Plus page.

Firstly, I have a problem with this new way of lifting up the latest commented posts at my home page. To be frank, I am not interested in comments added to ALL posts. This way it is harder to find the posts and comments that DO interest me. Also, I may miss a number of interesting fresh posts just because a number of much commented older posts keep popping up.

Another issue with update is that I used to be able to peacefully read and write at the spot of the page that I happened to be at. Fresh posts caught my attention only after I had completed what I was doing and scrolled back up to the top again. I very much liked this.

The present situation is that whenever somebody makes a fresh post or adds a comment on an older one my page moves respectively and I must find again the spot where I was either reading or writing. Needless to say that these new posts in their turn take up the position on top of my home page even if they are just comments to a post I was never enthusiastic about in the first place.

My suggestion is to return to the original system or at least make these two approaches optional. I appreciate that the page refreshing is automatic but I do not want it neither to interfere with what I am doing nor to mess with the original chronological order of the posts.

Update (20.08.2011): As it looks now, the “jumping page” seems to have been corrected but the order of posts at home page is still not chronological. I am grateful for the half measure. I would be even more grateful for the other half.

 

A happy commuter

Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 3:42 | Posted in Estonia, railways, tallinn, traffic | 2 Comments

The Tallinn commuter train service is just great. I live well outside the capital and do not visit it too often. It makes sense to buy a single ticket rather than having a monthly card.

I do not need to have cash with me on board. There is a card I can upload either money or travel time to. Debet card payments are not accepted on board but other than that, I am happy.

Last time I uploaded balance to my rail card, it did not work with Firefox. Chrome was the only of my options to work. Of course I complained in Twitter.

Uploading yesterday, I detected suddenly that there was no problem with Firefox. The Elektriraudtee have a Twitter account of their own and it seems they follow feedback as well. Not to mention their real time updates whenever something extraordinary happens.

There is also a wifi network on trains, allowing me to spend the 70-75 minute journey doing something useful on line. When the rails and trains get modernised there will not be very much to hope for.

I am a happy commuter.

Was Osama not dead already?

Monday, May 2, 2011 at 14:32 | Posted in terrorism | 3 Comments
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As I blogged for three years ago, late Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan, mentioned in a BBC interview recorded as early as November 2007 that Osama bin Laden was dead. As far as she knew he would have been murdered. That part of the interview was not broadcast by the BBC and it was not referred to by main stream media.

Here is the relevant part of the interview for a reminder:

Now that president Obama announced that Osama bin Laden was killed by US troops last night I take it that we can safely assume he is indeed dead. The question is if he was killed last night or a few years ago. Unfortunately we can not ask Ms Bhutto but the US government just might have some clarifying information to provide.

Here is president Obama’s announcement:

Fruits of an absent mind

Friday, April 1, 2011 at 21:12 | Posted in life | Leave a comment

Due to a memory failure earlier this week I ran out of toilet paper this morning and had to inspire. At the corner store, buying – among other essentials – toilet paper, I detected that I had forgotten to pick my new bank debet card and the old one had meanwhile expired. I was lucky enough to have just enough cash for my shopping. Now I should have no problem to remember what I need to do the first thing on Monday.

Political Compass revisited

Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 21:49 | Posted in entertainment, Politics, web tests | Leave a comment
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Last time I did the Political Compass Test was a bit more than three years ago. This is the result I got back then, together with coordinates of then US presidential candidates:

I did the test again today with a somewhat different result:

It looks like I have become a bit more libertarian (a slide from -6,82 to -7,18) and quite a bit more left-leaning (from -3,50 to -5,38). What has happened in the mean time, one might wonder. Have I changed or has the World around me changed?

Probably both. I do not remember how I answered the individual questions last time but my basic values have certainly not changed as much as the result might indicate. I have certainly gained a few years worth of experience which may have contributed that I have put those questions in a different context than three years ago. Then again, the World has also taken a few steps ahead from that time.

The more I see various governments trying to regulate life of citizens, the less I tend to trust them. That would explain the slight shift towards a libertarian direction. The left slide is a bit more difficult to understand. Maybe it is that the economic crisis was not exactly caused by too much of governmental regulation of the market but rather by lack of it. While I trust governments less than I used to, I definitely also trust corporate businesses much less. When the economy was booming, they did not want the governments around but as soon as they fucked up the economy, they cried for the governments to bail them out.

As always, I regard this sort of tests as entertainment  rather than science. Also, some of the questions were not very accurate and the difference between agree/disagree and strongly agree/strongly disagree is not very big.

Real life is harmful

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 16:48 | Posted in internet, life | Leave a comment
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Related to a discussion about winter weather and road conditions, I searched up a post in this blog a few years back. Embedded in the post is a YouTube video about slippery road conditions in Seattle. The video shows cars bumping into each other as drivers in Seattle are not accustomed to snow and ice on the streets and accordingly have no idea of the appropriate usage of winter tires.

As I tried to watch the video I was encountered with this screen, much to my amazement:

Come on, YouTube! Consequences of human behaviour are often harmful and driving on an icy street without proper tires can certainly have harmful effects but I am buffed to learn that YouTube has a policy of banning coverage of real life situations as they may occur. They obviously have a lot of censoring to be done to turn 100 % of the content into harmless fairy tale with no connection to real life.

Oh, and while I am at it, how harmful is the activity depicted in this clip, so far unbanned and watched by more than 100.000 times? I am adding a screan capture just in case the clip gets removed.

Smoking in bed

Amendment XXVIII

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 4:07 | Posted in beer | Leave a comment

Congress shall make no law disrespecting an establishment of a saloon, or prohibiting the free exploitation thereof; or abridging the freedom to drink, or to brew beer; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble in a drinkhole, and to enjoy the beverages to obtain redress of grievances.

Liking negative news

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 2:39 | Posted in ethics | Leave a comment

I am sometimes confused to detect what kind of news some people press the like button for on Google Reader. Deaths, accidents and other kind of news that are generally regarded as negative. What is there to like?

For me news about somebody’s death is by definition a sad piece of news. Whatever they did in their life and how much I may have disliked them while they were alive, everybody deservs to die in dignity. Hitting the like button for news like this is just bizarre.

What is the matter with you people?

Summary of workshop discussions

Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 15:52 | Posted in Estonia, Finland, helsinki, internet, Media, social media, tallinn | 7 Comments
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This is a summary of discussions in the workshop  “Bloggers, portals and social media” in Helsinki Tallinn Euregio Forum in Tallinn.  The workshop took place on 14th September 2010. My Finnish live reporting of discussions on 15th December is here.

Social media workshop

Social media is not going to set up the agenda of a future twin city but it is a tool in composing and developing it. It offers tools for citizens, businesses and administrations to discuss and and share their arguments and goals.

Community tools, such as video blogs and map based community software make it possible for grassroot communities in both cities to interact directly. A good example of this is the similar character – historically, demographically and visually – of Uus Maailm in Tallinn and Käpylä-Kumpula in Helsinki. Tools of social media make it eaiser than hitherto to common interest communities like these to “discover” each other and interact both virtually and in “real” life.

The idea of a twin city region is not new. It has been discussed for years but very little has materialized. Both these discussions and – hopefully – ideas that will eventually become reality should be recorded for future. The idea of a community composed wiki arose in our discussions and we warmly support it.

As businesses have learned, a successful usage of social media is not free. The platforms are in general free but you need to allocate resources. This goes for the public sector as well. If you obligate a worker to maintain a large and time consuming visability in channels of social media you can not reasonably expect them to carry on with their other obligations.

People using social media on behalf of their public sector employer have a legitimate concern of mixing their public roll with their private personal profile in social media, Facebook in particular. Luckily, most platforms, Facebook included, offer tools to address this issue. Public sector employers need to actively draw their personnel’s attention to this kind of problems.

Not only were our discussions deep and good in quality. We addressed a broad range of issues and it would be impossible to give you a full acoount of everything. Luckily, the discussions were recorded both by Tallinn TV and by volunteer participants of the group. The former recording is going to be made available at Tallinn TV web site and the raw material of the latter may become available as a downloadable torrent and Common Creatives licencing.

It has been said that the purpose of the Talsinki Hellin twin city concept is that the two cities will grow together. This does not mean that Helsinki is going to become a suburb of Tallinn. Much less so the other way round.

The process of growing together into a real twin city, a twin city with living people, prosperous businesses and a good government must be fulfilled for the benefit of the people, by the people. Social media can offer a channel to distribute the will of the people.

Edit: You will find most of the presentations at the forum here.

The giant cocktail party called social media

Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 14:21 | Posted in Estonia, Finland, helsinki, internet, Media, social media, tallinn | 1 Comment
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This post is a part of my preparations for the  Helsinki-Tallinn Euregio Forum to take place in Tallinn on 14th and 15th September 2010. I am going to co-moderate with Barbi Pilvre a workgroup for bloggers, portals and social media. I have posted related links onto the Facebook page of the group.

As Seth Godin says on this video clip, the Internet is a giant cocktail party which certainly also goes for social media. It does not matter if you have 5000 followers in Twitter because you tell a dirty joke every two hours. If you want to be connected with people that matter for you, your input to social media needs to add value for them. You need to build your relationship with your contacts in a way that promotes your goals and theirs equally.

Vesa Ilola writes in his blog (Finnish) about organising a business oriented cocktail party in social media. While the post (as well as what Serh Godin says in the clip above) relates to businesses, the basics also apply to public sector. A cocktail party hosted by a government on any level (local, regional, central) takes place in the same giant ballroom whereby creating and maintaining contacts that matter happens much the same way.

No matter whether you are an individual, corporate or private business or indeed a municipal government you need a plan, a manuscript of your virtual cocktail party. While the platform is (more often than not) free, you still need to allocate resources such as time, staff and intellectual effort to keep your party going smoothly and to reach your goals. You also need to listen, interact and breathe together with your contacts in social media.

“Is the public sector, especially municipalities, flexible enough to interact in the ever-changing media space?” That is one of the crucial questions the Helsinki-Tallinn Euregio Forum is seeking to answer. Corporate businesses may have hard time understanding that social  media is a two way street where you need a totally new approach to interacting. Municipal government has traditionally been an environment where creative thinking and flexibility have not exactly been encouraged. But municipal bodies just have to rethink their approach unless they want to get alienated from their citizens and the everyday life of citizens.

Incidentally, politicians who (are supposed to) run the government, seem to have even a bigger problem with orientating in the rapidly changing giant ballroom environment. In this interview in Kansan Uutiset (Finnish) Jussi Lähde predicts that right or wrong approach to social media is going to make a huge difference with several seats filled in the Finnish parliamentary election in April 2012. Do you still think that social media is something that does not effect the way a municipal government works? Think again!

The media landscape revolution is not only a future prospect. Much of it has already taken place and most municipal governments (politicians and civil service alike) are lagging behind. They can not afford to ignore the giant cocktail party called social media or they are going to be ignored themselves.

Still not convinced? Just take a few minutes to watch this clip and digest the facts displayed!

Twin city tourism in social media

Friday, August 27, 2010 at 2:10 | Posted in Estonia, Finland, helsinki, internet, Media, social media, tallinn | 1 Comment
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In my previous post about Helsinki-Tallinn Euregio Forum I wrote that I had not detected active usage of social media by any governmental or municipal organisation in Finland. I did write, however, that there is a growing interest in social media in administrations of Tallinn and Helsinki and it is probably being used “in a light scale” by both.

Today I discovered that Helsinki City Tourist office, in addition to their traditional web site, also have an active presence in YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I would have embedded the lead video clip of their YouTube channel but they unfortunately seem to have disabled embedding. Something to reconsider?

In context of Helsinki-Tallinn Euregio Forum, tourism is one of the very core areas of a common information space since it is one of the few areas – if not even the only one – where the twin city concept already works in practical terms. Not only do Estonians and Finns frequently visit each other’s capital cities. An increasing number of tourists from elsewhere, while having either Helsinki or Tallinn as their main object, also spend a day or two in the other.

It would accordingly  be in the best interest of both Tallinn and Helsinki to attract tourists to the twin city region in the first place. Whichever city the potential visitor may choose, chances are they would bring in some revenue to the other city as well. This seems to answer one of the questions that the Forum’s group V (Bloggers, portals and social media, moderated by Barbi Pilvre and myself) is expected to discuss: What are the chances for common information space bridge building in social media?

Let us have a look at what the Helsinki Tourist Office have done! Their main focus seems to be in Facebook which is understandable, given the huge penetration of Facebook among target groups. The site is well done and frequently updated. Even more importantly, comments and questions are being responded to. I am positively surprised!

As I mentioned above, embedding video clips is disabled in the Visit Helsinki YouTube channel. I would strongly advice to enable it because allowing to share is exactly the way to spread information in social media. Those clips are real nice and nice videos are definitely helpful in bringing visitors to the twin city region if redistributed by bloggers, tweeps and in Facebook. The good content is right there, why prevent people from sharing it?

@HelsinkiTourism in Twitter seems to be orientated the same way as many of the Estonian governmental organisations I wrote about in my last post. There is a lot of useful info to be found but it is a one way street. Notably, they have 254 followers but just 10 are followed back and those 10 seem to be their partners. It is by no means wrong to use Twitter this way but a crucial part of potential of the social media is being missed if you do not interact and discuss.

Now, back to the common Helsinki-Tallinn information space which is the main topic of this year’s forum! As I mentioned tourism is one of the key areas where a common information space is easy to build up and practically certain to bring in positive response and practical advantage in a very short term. Tallinn has an ambitious tourism portal of its own but I have yet to discover any usage of social media (forgive me if I am wrong).

Why not join efforts with Helsinki to build up a twin city presence in social media?

Political gobbledygook

Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 21:10 | Posted in languages | 2 Comments

The Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has issued a statement on the Kremlin web site about a controversial highway construction project through the Khimki Forest. This post is not about the issue itself but about the language of the statement. No doubt it was first issued in Russian and then translated into English.

Be that as it may, I spotted a sentence with no less than 73 words in Medvedev’s release:

Despite the fact that the Government adopted a separate resolution on the construction of a motorway, and despite the fact that this issue was addressed in our judicial system and relevant rulings have been made, yet, our people, namely, representatives of various political parties, ranging from the ruling United Russia party to the opposition parties, as well as representatives of public associations and various expert circles say that this issue requires further analysis.

Say what? That is some qualified gobbledygook that you have to read several times to understand. I think the president wants to say that he is not so sure the highway through Khimki Forest is a good idea and he is not the only one with doubts. That is why he has ordered the project to be suspended and reviewed again.

If that is what he meant, why did he not say so in plain language?

Thoughts about (local) government and social media

Friday, August 20, 2010 at 3:47 | Posted in Estonia, Finland, helsinki, internet, Media, social media, tallinn | 2 Comments
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I have been approached by Helsinki-Tallinn Euregio Forum to participate in the event which is going to take place in Tallinn 14th and 15th September. I am going to write more specifically about what I am going to do there closer to the date. My input is connected to the workshop “Bloggers, portals and social media“.

The Forum is a biannual event organized in one of the two capitals, this year in Tallinn. It involves the local governments of both of the two cities plus regional administrations of Uusimaa in Finland and Harjumaa in Estonia. The twin city concept is an essential part of the Forum. This year’s event discusses developing a common Helsinki-Tallinn information space.

As a part of my preparations for the Forum I am going to discuss related topics both in this web space, my Finnish and Estonian blogs and elsewhere. One of the places is the Facebook page “Helsinki-Tallinn Capital Regions Common Info Space“. To kick it off I am posting some loose thoughts about (local) government and social media. Since the idea is partly to build up my own input and partly to give a chance to anybody interested (whether they actually participate in the event or not) to contribute, your comments are most welcome either here in the blog or at any of the two Facebook pages linked above (1, 2).

If you browse the web sites of Helsinki and Tallinn you do not easily detect signs to suggest that social media would be actively and systematically used as a tool by either city. Yet I know that there is a growing interest in social media in both administrations and it is probably being used in a light scale by both. It is more than likely that neither Helsinki nor Tallinn has yet a comprehensive social media strategy, i.e. they have yet to figure out how to use it and what for.

Please correct me if I am wrong but I have in fact not detected any active social media presence from governmental organisations in Finland, neither local, regional nor central government. The picture is somewhat brighter in Estonia. Various levels of government are using the channels of social media in various ways and with a variable level of success.

Most notably, the President of Estonia, Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves has a Facebook page of his own. The page is being frequently updated and is very popular (9,575 people like it). Each post collects a lot of comments. The president does not seem to talk back but I do not really think anybody would expect him to.

The Estonian Foreign Ministry has an official blog which is very actively updated by Estonian diplomats around the World and by civil servants of the ministry. The comments are very few and practically never responded to. The blog portraits a colourful picture of life and people in external service but basically works as a one way street.

Returning to the local level of government, the City of Tartu appears in Twitter. The tweets are posted fairly regularly and almost always consist of links to the city’s web site. By following them I get quite a lot of interesting information about current events in Estonia’s second largest city without drowning into a bulk of stuff less interesting for me which would be the case if I subscribed to their RSS feed.

The city does not seem to discuss with their followers. Alas, I conclude that their strategy is to get their message through effectively. Looks like it works reasonably well and does not require very much resources to be invested to. On the other hand, Tartu does no doubt miss the benefits of the very idea of social media: it is a two way street. Incidentally, the University of Tartu seems to have a bit more sophisticated approach: they also link to sites other than their own and even occasionally respond to comments and retweet.

The most boring approach to social media is the Twitter feed of the Government of Estonia. The feed is practically a duplicate of their RSS feed, thus adding no value if followed. Despite having (at this moment) 566 followers they only follow back 8, all of which are governmental organizations or institutions. As you could expect, no replies or retweets to be found.

As you may or may not know, the two European Capitals of Culture next year are going to be Tallinn and Turku. The Foundation Tallinn 2011 has a pretty nice presence in Twitter. Not only do they post operative info about preparations to the year as Cultural Capital, they also discuss with their followers. Add to that their activities in Facebook and YouTube and you get something which looks like an impressive social media strategy for an institution sponsored by a local government.

These are just a few examples of different approaches to social media in various governmental operators. They all have a different strategy (or in some cases lack of it). I hope to soon return to the question of social media strategy more specifically. In the mean time I would appreciate any thoughts you may have.

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