ASK and You Shall Receive..

October 11, 2009 Leave a comment

From the article, “Ask.com Has a Deal for You”, the search engine wants to be the destination to find coupons and other online deals.

“There are lots of sites for coupons and deals but they vary in quality and we’re seeing consumers confused about where to go,” Scott Garell, president of Ask Networks, told InternetNews.com.

Ask’s solution is Ask Deals an aggregated “one-stop shop” of coupons and deals that launched today with over a million coupons and discount offers. Garell said Ask Deals scours almost all of the top 40 coupon sites as well as various community sites to find the best deals.

The main Ask.com search site also now has a “deal$” option so you can search right in the box you might otherwise use for more conventional searches. Ask Deals uses the company’s “Deal Detector” technology to scan millions of online promotions, store circulars, and nearly 40 of the top coupon sites.

Consumers can also get a specially selected “Deal of the Day” streamed right to their home page if they choose an Ask Deals homepage skin. Ask.com also identifies the IP address to present local deals.

Garell said ‘Deals’ fits with Ask.com’s mission to provide answers. “With other sites, you as the user have to do all the work, we just give you the answer, not a sea of blue links,” he said.

***

In the midst of the worldwide economic downturn, ideas and projects like this is of great relief and aid to all the consumers out there. As we aim for frugality, we also search for money-saving offers, and this is manifested in our fondness for interest coupons which will cut our shopping costs and other personal expenses. And the good thing about this Ask.com innovation, it’ll be available on the net!

Free for all Folks!

October 11, 2009 Leave a comment

From an article/review from, “NiftyClicks: Apture, Fawnt, One-Time Offers, YouConvertIt” by Andrew Lock, he shares 3 invaluable freeware apps that can invariably help with your schoolwork, hobby or even your business.

These are the following:

1. Apture

It’s a free service that allows you to quickly find and include images, videos, maps and music into your content.

The service works with Blogger, TypePad, WordPress and Drupal. I think you’ll like it, so check it out.

This is really an all-in-one multimedia tool for blogs. Video, audio, photo, etcetera – all of which are scoped under Apture, giving your readers/viewers the richest experience that they could have.

2.  Fawnt

Well, one of my favorite graphic design resources for fonts is called Fawnt. There’re always about 50 featured fonts on the home page, but the site actually hosts around 10,000 in total and — get this — they’re all available for free.

Alas! A useful tool for creating stand-out logos, images, and even advertisements. Free, fun, font-filled!

3. YouConvertIt

The really great part is the site converts over 120 of the most common formats of documents – audio, video, images, MP3 to WAV, Word document to PDF, Quicktime movie to Flash – it handles all of those, and it does it really quickly.

Great web app for converting your documents with ease. This is a must-try!

So there you go, try and let your productivity levels rise!

Uh-oh Facebook..

October 4, 2009 Leave a comment

In an article, “Facebook Hit With New Spyware Scam”, it has been reported that Facebook, on Thursday, was hit with yet another spyware attack – Hackers bypassed the social networking site’s captchas to create new accounts at will.

This time hackers managed to crack the security captchas — the words or letter combinations that users are asked to retype when registering — to create new Facebook accounts designed to steal users’ account and personal information.

Facebook spokesman Simon Axten told InternetNews.com the social-networking site is working to identify all the bogus accounts in order to disable them en masse.

“The URL contained in the profiles has already been blacklisted by the major Web browsers and blocked from being shared on Facebook,” he said. “We’re looking into how these accounts were created, but it’s very likely that the sign-up process was manual, or that the person behind the attack farmed out the captchas to be solved by humans for a price.”

Security software vendor Websense last month reported that 95 percent of user-generated comments on blogs, message boards and chatrooms are spam or contain links to malicious code.

“On the education front, we encourage users not to click on strange links and to take appropriate steps if they feel their computer or Facebook account has been compromised, Axten said.

**

Ok, so much for this unethical hacking. We, Facebook users, have no control whatsoever in the propagation of these accounts, or a direct concern to the bypassing motives of other cyberusers. But that does not mean that we have to condone this apathy.

We can do our fair share for a much safer and better social networking lifestyle. As a quote above said, it is very crucial to practice secure internet surfing. By this, I mean that we should be aware of malicious links, mysterious advertisements, spam, or even unsecure websites. Our system also have to be equipped with antivirus and antispyware tools to combat this scams. Let’s do our part in upholding ethical browsing and let not be our intent to place the networked market into a grave state of net anarchy.

Posted by: Luigi Dollosa

This is why I love Google..

October 4, 2009 Leave a comment

From my previous post, I shared about building charismatic brands.. So why not blog about the most charismatic brand out there?.. (well at least for me and the other million fanatics out there) Lo and behold, GOOGLE!

You heard it right.. Google is the internet, and perhaps, the software giant now! You got to agree with me on this.. 🙂

Maybe you’ve already heard of it being the “Best Company to Work for”, but the company is beyond its culture and philosophy – it has already became one of the best brands in the world, in a span of less than a decade.

This ppt explains it all.. got it again from slideshare..

All about Google

View more documents from Ouriel Ohayon.

What the slides informed us were amazing.. Some of my take-away points:

1.  450 modifications on its PageRank algorithm in 2007 alone?

2. OpenSocial vs Facebook – brilliant idea to tap the “meta-social” network.

3. Google buying satellites!

4. Consistency at its best – Don’t be Evil. They continue to provide open-source tools, exploring different profit models. Some indirectly profit, but one thing is for sure: they really are sincere with sharing the culture of innovation to the community, despite the absence of the proprietary business model.

Yeah, they are really getting stronger in spite of the economic downturn. They still focus on their main strength, search. But they never cease to blaze new trails in different areas: mobile, web, infrastructure, networking, and they also explore different markets, including the worldwide developer community.

With their unending passion for perfection, there will be always something to look forward to them. Something that keeps us excited, what’s the next big thing?

Redefining Brands..

October 4, 2009 Leave a comment

I stumbled upon one of the most favorited ppt presentations on slideshare. Very insightful yet entertaining. I want to spread the word, so please leaf through the slides, which I’m sure you’ll be able to finish till the end.. it says it all, here goes..

See.. it was jam-packed with useful things..

Some pointers:

1. The market (the networked individuals) defines the brand, not the company. We are intuitive and emotional beings. It’s all about gut feel. Kudos to the Cluetrain Manifesto!

2. Trust = Reliability + Delight

3. There must be a bridge between Logic (Left-brain, Strategy) and Magic (Right-Brain, Creativity) to produce charismatic brands.

4. And the 5 key disciplines of branding – Differentiation, Collaboration, Innovation, Validation, and Cultivation.

UK consumers hesitant to embrace E-Grocery

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

In a Britain news article, “Many consumers yet to click with online grocery shopping”..

Nearly half the population (45%) do not see the point of shopping for food online, and more than two in three (69%) think that they might as well do all their shopping in-store, if a top-up visit is needed. Today, around one in three (35%) adults shop online for food, but just one in nine (11%) of all UK adults do so regularly or exclusively.

Today, nearly one in three adults (31%) see grocery shopping as a chore. In addition, it seems Brits also want to be masters of their own shopping basket as the research reveals two thirds (66%) of shoppers prefer not to buy fresh food online as they are concerned about use by dates. Meanwhile, the majority of consumers (83%) still like to see and touch fresh produce before buying.

“Our research reveals food is an emotional issue for today’s consumers. For many shoppers, touching, feeling and even smelling food before purchase to select shopping taliored to their own specific requirements is prefereable over the online shopping route. In addition, nearly three quarters of consumers often choose products because they look interesting in-store, so online grocery retailers could benefit from encouraging such impulse shopping online.”  Kiti Soininen, Senior Retail Analyst at Mintel said.

On a positive note, the report finds that major retailers’ online operations now cater for around 90% of the UK population. What is more, broadband penetration and connection speeds are steadily rising, making online shopping faster and thus an increasingly viable alternative to shopping in-store. A steadily rising share of adults are shopping online for non-food, lowering the barrier to doing so also for food.

What’s happening in UK is also happening here in our country. One of the primary roadblocks for the penetrations of E-Businesses is our Filipino culture. We value every little experience and find most of it as an integral part of building relationships with ourselves and among other fellow pinoys. With the case of online groceries, it is not surprising that in other countries, and in ours as well, the innovation has not yet gained its spotlight.

Perhaps, the culture entails this ‘chores’ as something that we want to experience for real. Food involves  sensory experience, and as shopping for groceries involves this, our preference tend to gravitate toward performing it the traditional way – inside the marketplace.

Anyhow, I firmly know that in the near future, the web will be the homeplace of all our commodities, and a majority of today’s users would likely embrace the convenience of online groceries.

Philippines on board for Mobile Money

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

In an article of inquirer.net, “RP gets grant to promote e-commerce”, the Philippines has been chosen as one of the first recipients of the Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) Fund by the GSM Association, an international organization of telecommunications operators. The grant aims to create an electronic and mobile money scheme in areas with a population that does not have bank accounts.

In a statement, the GSMA said the MMU Fund should help the organization reach its goal of having 20 million “unbanked” users worldwide to start using e-commerce for their payment schemes.

In the Philippines, telecommunications firm Smart Communications will be one of the four initial recipients of the MMU Fund. Smart will use the funds to expand its Island Activations Program, which provides microfinance institutions with systems that allow for mobile payment and mobile banking.

With the dawn of E-Commerce, users are now faced with a newer and quicker way of transacting business online. This would be one of the milestones for the year, as it seeks to empower more individuals to shift to e-commerce as the way to do business in the modern context. Credits to MMU, our country is now gradually changing its paradigm by penetrating the online markets for doing the “money matters”. Also, they also had made the right decision to partner with SMART, one of the telco and IT giants of our country. By forging this partnership, the programs will reach a wide population of unbanked users, thus ensuring that it gets promoted with the right avenues. I am looking forward for the success of this endeavor in reaching its vital target of empowering users to utilize the power of E-Commerce!

Microsoft vs. Malvertisers

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

According to Johnston’s article, “Microsoft Takes ‘Malvertisers’ to Court”, the software giant has sued five so-called “malvertisers” in Seattle civil court as part of an effort to stop the practice of hiding malicious code in seemingly safe online ads that instead seek to prey on users.

Tim Cranton, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) associate general counsel, said in a post on the company’s On the Issues Blog..

“[Malvertiser] ads may redirect users to a website that advertises rogue security software, also known as scareware, that falsely claims to detect or prevent threats on the computer.”

In Friday’s filing, Microsoft sued five companies: “Soft Solutions,” “Direct Ad,” “qiweroqw.com,” “ITmeter INC.” and “ote2008.info.” The suits name “John Does” as the heads of the companies under investigation.

“This work is vitally important because online advertising helps keep the Internet up and running … It pays for free online services like Windows Live, Facebook, Yahoo and MSN,” Cranton said in his post.

In the past year or so, Microsoft has taken an increasingly aggressive stance against spammers, click fraudsters, purveyors of Scareware and, now, malvertisers, in a concerted effort to make the Web a safer place to surf.

Personally, Microsoft has again proven itself to be considered as the “giant” of the software industry for not only raising the bar for its technologies, but also in ensuring that technology that users access are safe and secure. By  taking its role seriously in its Corporate Social Responsibility,  it has paved the way in guaranteeing that the community is not exposed to fraud and unethical web antics. With this, they are really in the right direction with the vision they uphold- “Empower people through great software anytime, anyplace, and on any device.”

In another note, we users can also take responsibility for this by observing proper security practices. By ensuring that we are equipped with updated and first-rate anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware software, and a built-in firewall configuration on our PC, we already have a very strong layer of security measures in our machines. Moreover, we should be aware of web threats and be cautious in handing out personal information to random sites. With this practical measures, we are on our way to building a safer and more secure online community.

Weaving the silk threads of Web 2.0: FreeAgent

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

FreeAgent is an online money management and accounting tool intended for small, service businesses of 1-3 employees. This will include most kinds of freelancers, contractors and consultants. Whether you are just getting started, or are already in business as a sole trader or limited company, VAT registered or not, FreeAgent can save you time.

FreeAgent

Here are what FreeAgent has got to offer:

  • Manage your projects and contacts, track the time you spend and create flexible timesheet reports.
  • Keep tabs on your business and out-of-pocket expenses and quickly rebill to clients.
  • No complicated procedures, FreeAgent simply works out your accounts as you run your business.
  • Create great looking invoices with no fuss. Email them to the client and easily track through to payment.
  • Online banking that’s better than the banks. Compare accounts and track balances
  • FreeAgent makes sales tax reporting a snap, and you can easily customise it for your country.

Awesome huh? Well, I better discover more web-based apps like this, so as to fulfill my aspiration to be a future technopreneur.

Here are some of the insights and sentiments of users:

“Hats off to the FreeAgent Central team for doing a fantastic job creating all the tools I need to run my small business. The ability to see your business’ vitals laid out clearly and concisely is priceless. Financial decisions are much easier to make around here now.”  -Simon King (Organic Internet)

“It has saved me so much time and allows me to see an accurate picture of my business instantly.” – Richard Allum (ParaPlan Plus)

“I’m in the construction industry and have found it to be the perfect tool.” – Tom Creed ( T-Lec)

Two thumbs up for this. Never have I encountered at first glance a software that is versatile enough that it caters to a lot of facets of business: Accounting, Invoicing, Time Management, just to name a few. It’s indeed a virtual accountant on steroids as I might consider. Looking forward to using this app somwhere in the future. By the way, did I mention of its very sleek Web 2.0-ish user interface? 🙂

http://www.go2web20.net/app/?a=FreeAgent

http://www.freeagentcentral.com/

Categories: Uncategorized

Weaving the silk threads of Web 2.0: Simplifythis.com

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

My fondness for the current trend of the dotcom era, Web 2.0, is singing on a glad note when I discovered this kick-ass website:  http://www.go2web20.net/

Showcased here is a vast collection of Web 2.0 apps and tools, some are on the rise, some have already reached mainstream attention.

One day, while I was curious about the concept of E-tailing, I stumpled upon this interesting service which I found on the site..

Simplifythis

As the domain implies, its main service is simplifying online payments and appointment scheduling, using their Easy-Bill and Easy-Book features.

To further elaborate its benefits, here is an excerpt from a user interview…

“I like getting paid faster. Because I invoice as project work is completed I get paid faster. Also, it’s great that clients can pay through PayPal or Amazon Payments.”

-Andrew Bartelt (AB Computer Solutions, Computer & Network Assistance for the Houston, TX)

He used Easy-Bill online invoicing to keep track of his clients and their contact information, track items and hours and invoice immediately as projects get completed. Now, with the new iPhone app, it’s even easier for him to invoice people quickly which means he gets his money faster. His clients liked it too – they hire him more because they know the status of their projects and can plan for more things.

With the quick invoicing and Paypal integration, bills are automatically updated when they are paid. Coupled with security, support, and simplicity of UI, Simplifythis is a surefire way to track and manage online transactions with clients.  Grow the business, save time and money, and boost your professional image- try Simplifythis.com

http://www.simplifythis.com