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Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Beneficial Uses of Google Alerts

Using Google Alerts, you can set up a monitoring system to track anything you want, such as finding out what’s being said about you or your company; keeping track of articles you write under your name; monitoring the competition or simply to keep up to date on any given topic. Google Alerts has many beneficial uses, and many of those can help you blog. Keep reading to find out how this internet monitoring program can help you become a better blog. 
1. Find Content Ideas 
Using Google Alerts, you keep up with your niche and find the latest news, trends, etc. regarding the subject you blog about. This can be a handy tool for bloggers who are strapped for content ideas, as monitoring what’s going on in your niche can help you find topics to write about. You can even use Google Alerts to follow other bloggers in your niche to see what they’re writing about, which may inspire you to come up with your own unique perspective on a given topic. 
2. Brand Monitoring 
Google Alerts can help you monitor what’s being said about, your blog and/or your business. Why is this useful? You can set up Google Alerts to monitor certain keywords, such as your blog name, your business name and your personal name, and they will e-mail you anytime they find those keywords in their search. This can be a great way to keep track of your company and any bad publicity you may be getting, because let’s face it – it’s impossible to create a brand that EVERYONE loves. With Google Alerts, you can be instantly notified when and where the bad content was placed, and be able to respond accordingly. 
3. Keep Track of the Competition 
Keeping track of the competition in your niche can help you be a better blogger, and ensure you’re staying as up to date in your niche as your competitors are. You can set up Google Alerts to include specific keywords, like your biggest competitors’ names, company names and blogs so you can see what they are doing and when they are doing it. This might sound a bit stalker-like, but in all reality, keeping informed of what your competitors are doing can only help you be a better blogger in the long run. 
4. Know when Others Link to your Blog 
Set up a Google Alert with your blog address. When people link to your blog via that address, Google Alerts will send you an e-mail. This is an easy way to keep track of how many people are linking to you. The more people linking to you, the more likely it is they’re interested in what you are offering. This can help you forge new business relationships, acquire new customers or increase your following. As you can see, using Google Alerts can be very useful and help you when it comes time to blog. From finding new content ideas to keeping track of whose linking to you, as well as monitoring your competition, Google Alerts can help you be a better blogger – plus, it’s free, so what do you have to lose? 
Discussion Time 
Do you currently use Google Alerts? What kinds of things are you using it for? Personally, I use Google Alerts for terms such as StudioPress, Genesis Framework and a few others. It’s always good to know I’ve got Google watching my back when it comes to folks talking (hopefully positively) about us. 
Happy Blogging ! 

Source :

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Still Life Paintings

While still life paintings remain one of the most hallowed works of art, the proliferation of postcards and reproductions lends to the stigma that the art form is dated and a feels a little stuffy. In a brilliant -- or sacrilegious -- piece simply titled "Still Life," artistScott Garner reexamines the field and adds a defiantly modern twist to the genre, animating the normally unmoving subject matter. Garner created an interactive still life that reacts to the movement of the frame. "Still Life" appears to be just another picture of fruit and accompanying glassware, but it's actually a complex video installation, one that has been brewing in Garner's mind for quite some time. The artist states on his website, "Years ago I had the idea of a still life painting that wasn’t so still, but could never quite wrap my head around how to build it." Using a combination of cutting-edge technologies such as Unity 3D, spatial sensors and cameras, Garner synchronized all of the objects in the frame to ensure cohesive realistic motion. It's not your grandparents' still life, but that's what makes it fun! What do you think, readers? Let us know in the comments section below Source :

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Power of Social Proof

What is social proof? As defined by Wikipedia , social proof is “a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect correct behavior for a given situation.” To put it in layman’s terms, social proof is the positive influence created when people find out others are doing something – now, suddenly, everyone else wants to do that something too. Social proof can be very powerful, so if you want to harness that power and use it to your business’s advantage, here are a few key ways to do so. 
Approval from an Expert 
Also known as “expert social proof,” a business that’s recommended by a credible blogger, critic, magazine, etc. can see a dramatic increase in traffic and sales. For example, let’s say a magazine in your niche mentions your business in a positive light. If they’re a credible (i.e., popular) magazine, you can see a real impact on not only your website traffic levels, but your potential sales as well. 
Celebrity Endorsements 
You’ve seen commercials with celebrity endorsements, but few internet startups have done this. The few that have, however, have met with real results. Take ShoeDazzle, for example. The monthly shoe club launched with Kim Kardashian as the face of the brand, and in 2011 they raked in 70 million dollars in sales. Other companies, such as and, with William Shatner and Jessica Simpson as spokespeople, respectively, have also managed to harness the power of celebrity social proof to amazing effect. 
Popularity Social Proof
You can harness the power of social proof for your business by highlighting large numbers of users or sales. Let’s say you run a clothing store online. You can follow the example of by letting consumers choose the styles you sell, with the most popular styles being the products chosen. Modcloth has managed to harness this method of social proof by engaging their community to feel like they are part of the company’s business model, and the styles chosen by the community end up selling at 2x the number of other styles. How can you make this work for your business? Highlight a popular product or service you offer with real numbers, which will imply to those that visit your site that “X amount of people can’t be wrong.” You can do this with your RSS feed subscribers and social media followers too, if you have large numbers in those areas. There’s power in numbers, and this method of social proof is beginning to prove that. 
Social Media Followers 
If you truly want to harness the power of social proof, build a dedicated fan base on various social media accounts for your business. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to draw attention to your brand and the products you offer, and studies have shown that people are more likely to purchase something based on a friend’s recommendation than not. With that being said, take the time to build your followers on the social media accounts you have. This not only gains exposure for your brand, but also allows your current followers to attract even more followers (i.e., potential customers) to your business. Some of these methods may not be realistic for your business, but you can start to employ at least one of them to increase your social proof. It takes dedication and active engagement with your followers, but once you start to build a little bit of social proof, you’ll see that it grows faster and faster over time. 
While thanking to the information source Brian Gardner , we’re waiting for your inspiring comments.
Good Luck !

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Be a Leader in Specific Thing That You Could Do

(Letter From Japan)
Papa, please forgive me if I’m using English in this email. There’s one friend that I also want him to read this^_^ as the thing that I want to share to you today, might related to things I want to share to him First of all, arigatou for the poem that you’ve sent me^^; and also arigatou for Mba Rita’s email too. Both really made me cry in the morning T__T I know you’ve read my old articles in my old computer back home, as you might realized that I’m so living in the past’s shadow at that time. And I could see how thankful you’re when you’ve read my recent articles. Somehow I did, Alhamdulillah found the answer. And I pray I’ll never walk out from this path again. Yes I will always try to move forward^^, forgive my past, Alhamdulillah for today I live, and also pray for the better future. I heard about your crash computer, how’s about the articles and the scenarios that Papa have made? T_T I hope you have back-up file. o__o I’ve lost a lot of my articles when my computer crashed. That’s why, now I always have a back-up cd of files per semester=3 Don’t forget, a writer, always remember to back-up files=D hehehehe… as I’ve lost my hundred-pages novel files in my early age in writingT_T huhuhuhu~ Papa, yesterday I went to iftar (buka puasa) in the new masjid in Beppu. I guess that’s the first time I really come to masjid in Beppu, as I never went to the old mushola that we’ve have in different place before. I went there with my kohai. She’s kinda surprised to accept the fact I almost never been to such an occasion. The masjid (mosque) is like a ruko building^^ It kinda weird as first time I entered coz I couldn’t see it as a masjid, but when I reached the 3rd floor^^ I know, I finally find a place. It kinda far from from my apato=D but ii~. I’m so thankful there such masjid now in Beppu ^^ ~ I’ll walk with happiness to be in that place… I then remembered my highschool’s masjid, and my university’s masjid, and how active I’ve been that time. And I do remember one hadith saying that we should take our self close to masjid, as masjid is place to remember Allah. Then I realized this is also my way of “cure” and maintain my faith. I remembered most of my mentally break-down was happened when I’m far for muslim-friends, or I’ll say, jamaah. Far from masjid. I was so simple when I was highschool and during my early 20s. But yet a beautiful soul to remember. And I really want to be in that condition again, with the new me and my new point of view. I was so live for Allah. And it kinda make my heart tremble in fear when I realized, I’ve turned away quite far along this way. Yeah, I became so arrogant and forgot about the reason of us being here in earth. Astaghfirullah… Alhamdulillah for Allah still remind my mistake now.. Seeing masjid yesterday, couldn’t make me stop of feeling thankful that I’m here now. To see different moslem around the world, feel the unique ukhuwah that I’ve never seen before. Yeah, yesterday was my first day of living as a ‘new’ me, but yet-,+ I’m still shy and almost never saying a thing at that evening...T_T yadaaa na, watashi~~. Usually I need to meet people regularly more than 1 month to be able to speak with themT_T I hope with Qur’an class that we’ll have, I’ll manage to be more active and cheerful:D as usually almost everyone who knows me will say, “I never thought before that you’re so funny when I first met you”. Yea, I know that’s my weaknessT_T… Come to think about it, I still have 2 years, Alhamdulillah^_^ … There’s so many things happened in this last 2 years, maybe some would say, I wasted my time. But I do realized, without that “time” I won’t be here in this position now. Astaghfirullah for all my mistakes back then, and Alhamdulillah for Allah made me through it and made me see the reason why it’s happened. InsyaAllah^_^ Things that I also remember during these times were, ‘I forgot to take Islam as my life goal’. I’m thinking about being an ARTist one day, but yet I forgot there’s no goal for Islam..T_T ararara… I remember the surah which saying that we live here, because of Allah want us to be leader (khalifah) here in earth. Be a khalifah in specific things that we could do. For example, teach, write, or make art that could make people remember Allah. I realized that the time I’ll birth my babies also means birth a khalifah in this earth. And I then realized I’m soooooo live in a box. All I could think before just, “keep doing art-things”, “married”, “have a lot of kids”,”happily ever after”. Full stop. “The best years in my life, is the time when I did something that I could do and I really like to do (like drawing, writing, and making things, etc) for Allah only…” Then I found my answer again^^… “I want to do something for Islam, with my two small hands” Of course, I will still earn rizki, and do the “not related to Islam” kind of job… ^^ but I also promise myself to do something for Islam, as our main purpose living. As there will be a day, when we’ll be asked, “What have you done during your time in earth?” I want to answer it well that time T_T insyaAllah… insyaAllah… ^^ These are things that I found these couple days. I hope everyone that read it could be inspired of these things that inspired me… I also want to thank for all the tausiyah that Papa always sent me. And Mba Rita, Mba Linda, Piah… recently I realized that a true friends, is the one who could make us remember Allah. And it’s also our duty to remind other friend who forget. ^^ Please don’t be tired to remind me always when I’m weak… And I hope I will always have the strength and the smile to remind you, to be strong… always^^ Aamiin^^ Uhibbuka fii Illah…
Love you so much Pa^_^ 
Meilina Utomo (Beppu, Japan, 14th September 2008)