Sunday, July 13, 2014

Revenue From Websites - The Google, Chitika and Bidvertiser Error

I have been creating and managing websites since years. They were mostly related to my own work or some for clients. The two websites that I was passionately working for over the years were The Official Michael Jackson Indian Fan Club - www.clubmj.com / www.michaeljackson.in and The Official Shammi Kapoor Fan Club - www.shammikapoor.net . I was also technically managing Shammi Kapoor's own website www.junglee.org.in in where I never fiddled with the design to keep it his own. But Shammi Kapoor on many occassions had adviced me to monetize the websites which were related to any of the fan clubs. I was very apprehensive about doing so because both he and Michael Jackson were my idols. I was doing this out of love and not as business. But he was adamant. He said I was being a fool in the world where people rake millions out of such official associations.  

In my last meeting with Shammiji, there was detailed talk on implemention of advertisements. I had never charged him a dime for anything even I had paid for like the domain/server costs of his own site also. He had been very generous in trying to pay me in different ways or even directly, but I had never accepted that. He that’s why suggested about implementing advertisements on all the sites. He also said that I could use my experience in his fan club and implement it for other celebrities, which wouldn't essentially be official. That idea really hit me. I started to study that business of the internet world and realized that I was already good in SEO without any intention of doing so. Also, I was aware of GOOGLE ADWORDS so GOOGLE ADSENSE was easy to understand and implement. 

I started around 50 more websites related to celebrities and started designing the official fan clubs also in a way that I could incorporate the advertisements to the maximum limit allowed and without infringing any rules. I wasn't fiddling with any other PUBLISHER PARTNER/AFFILIATE programs apart from GOOGLE ADSENSE. I was happy with whatever was going on and the little earning I had till one day suddenly Google banned advertisements to a female celebrity fan club. Google thought that the contents(images) on the website came under ADULT or PROVOCATIVE terms. I was really confused because bollywood doesn't have a porn industry. I tried the check and compare all the images that google showed me as provocative, but none of my images were like that. I tried to argue in vain. The site was never accepted.  

This declination of my website made me hunt for new advertisement revenues. Considering the HITs I had per day I was thinking of getting exclusive with some specific advertiser for yearly or monthly contract, but I avoided and still avoid that. I found out options like Chitika, Bidvertiser, etc. The many apart from these two were a bit dangerous as they posted adult advertisements even when my website content wasn't adult. I avoided them. Generally reading the reviews I decided to implement Chitika. I implemented its advertisements on 4-5 of my websites which generated most of the traffic. I was happy for some months with them when suddenly I couldn't login to my account. 

I was confused. I thought maybe my account was hacked because I possibly can't forget any password. Nothing worked. I contacted support who told me that my account was banned for FRAUD CLICKS. Being a one man show in these sites I made, I knew well that it had to be an error. I had spent so many months in implementing Chitika on some 3000+ pages of different websites, I didn't have time to generate clicks because I knew it could get my account banned on google as well. Thankfully google has a better tracking system to see the sources that the visitors come from and also their IP addresses. I was really frustrated, I contacted Chitika support and told them about the error. Also told them that Google was successfully running advertisements on the same sites. Any person from this field knows that Chitika has miles to go to reach the level of Google Adsense. So it wasn't possible that their systems were more efficient than Google's. Also Chitika ate up all the revenue generated in that month which they claim they gave back to advertisers. 

So again I had an empty space in the page designs where Chitika advertisements were supposed to appear. I shifted to Bidvertiser and was surprised to see that their coding system though not much customizable is very easy to implement and mainly organize. It has limited AD sizes though, yet it has got a different kind of implementation for advertisers as well as publishers. Immediate results and their revenue (points) generation shows a good income though their NEXT PAYMENT (section) is still stuck with something since many days. This is the first month, but looking at the results it does look like a good option to work with. I can't confirm anything till I actually get a payment from them since again their system will check for frauds. Reviews for Bidvertiser haven't been good on the internet otherwise, but I am hoping things have changed.  

Google as usual remains stable. Maybe they could start an advertisement program for what they categorize as adult/provocative but wont be necessarily adult. They will surely have a lot of advertisers interested in posting their advertisement on such content. I am sure that Bollywood censorship has changed with time, but its really weird to see that Google is finding adult content that Bollywood passes of under (PG) category in a conservative country like India. Hope this blog helps a lot of enthusiast and bloggers to decide what they have to implement on their websites for revenues. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A MYTH about Desktops Vs Handhelds 

The media was never in such a worse condition like today. There was a time in history when a newspaper (sole kinda media then) was used as a tool for freedom struggles and a voice against oppression. With the same concept in our heads the world moved on and so did humanity. History changed and repeated but technology kept growing. With the growth of digital technology 'handicraft'(rather something engineered by hands) lost importance and  the mind with machines took over. A machine that was built by human hands was now designed, refined and built by their fellow machine hands (industrial robots). The increase in precision and speed triggered a frenzy of products pouring out the market right from clothes to technology related. 


Over the time humans forgot the hardwork of a person needed behind a product and rather started working hard for choosing a product OR starting working hard to confuse consumers with multiple products of almost same standards. The media/newspaper was no longer a tool of the common man, it rather became a product catalogue for someone who could afford to pay them to plant news of products and men alike. Humans had forgotten that the media were themselves pretending to be oppressed and appearing like the common man, joining in struggles against the material lords. Media houses were paid to be politically or technologically inclined. We were bombarded with stupid statistics of how much a news paper costs to be made and yet we can afford it at Rs.1 or now Rs.3 for a premium one because of the advertisements in it. We were aware yet forgot that even the headlines or normal news we read these days is actually an advertisement. 

A recent analysis by IDC said - PC sales slumping and tablets sales climbing up. The media went crazy over this and started the PC Vs Tablet/Smartphone wars which didn't even exist. The news itself was laughable because it had 2 funny sides of ignorant people that the media/ paid media was exploiting. First, the tablet or smartphone is still a small PC or a Desktop computer (u can call it a MAC too). PCs had touchscreens long back, but the applications were different. The tablets integrated keyboards into the screens itself making them lighter and portable. Second, Tablets and PCs cannot be compared if we look at their application today. Let me take you back in time. 




There was a time when having a hotmail account was prestigious even if it was free. The prestigious part of it was that you could have an account, but using it regularly was a big deal. Forget the Internet, not even a Desktop Computer was then affordable to a common man. Even if it was affordable, it hadn't got a use worth its cost. A PC/MAC used to adore offices and homes of people related to the industry including simple DTPs, designers or engineers. Still a common man wanted to use a PC to be able to email their friends and family who were far away. They wanted to get away from heavy keys of typewriters and get smoother in their work with great word processing apps like Word.  
 
Things look brighter when many people tried to afford a PC yet couldn't afford an internet connection (that was stable in connection). Internet café's offered a haven for such people. For the cost as less as a cuppa coffee, one could surf the net for an hour. These services offered email or general surfing. Eventually everyone was on the internet. Once they got addicted to the world wide web they wanted to save more to buy a new computer and internet connection at home. Internet was getting a wider bandwidth and now starting to offer multiplayer gaming, video chats and more. At that time mobile phones could call or SMS at a good high cost.  

A lesser known fact. MP3 players were first made by creative who sued APPLE for ipod patent at a time. Apple settled the case and as we know today that an ipod stands for a mp3 player. Regardless of that the ipod was changing the scenes. MP3 format itself had shaken the biggies of hollywood and music industry for the piracy of general artists songs as well as movie soundtracks. MP4 with videos was adding a new trouble. With video playing handheld devices, a new headache of movie piracy dawned. A p2p network and an internet connection was all one needed to download a pirated movie for free, but STILL everyone needed a PC.  

A smart person or a team thought of integrating a mp3/mp4 player with a phone. And as far as I knew long before Nokia or Apple brought up something like this, chinese and Israel versions existed. There was even a chinese smartwatch (wearable watch with mobile, mp3, mp4 all together) available in 2004. A smartwatch is yet to be release by any company today because they wait for the smartphone market to get saturated. But the smartphone changed the sales of the devices. Smartphones today are actually like having a desktop computer in your palms. Some techie's might remember palmtops!  
Smartphones today are much smarter, they can do everything a PC can apart from development of apps or softwares. They can do everything else that a normal consumer would want to do like email, call, sms, see videos, listen to music, GPS navigations and a lot more. But is that the only reason that the tide shifted towards handheld devices? Not really! It was actually the trend to have everything for free. Smartphones allow youtube videos to be downloaded and nowadays even torrentz. You can download music anyway, but download a movie, copy it to a USB and see it on your TV. Simple! The free stuff/apps that one gets on smartphones is equally interesting. Again humans forgot nothing comes for free. Free apps can access your phone, camera, gallery, location and many other details. We ignore this even knowing the dangers for this, or maybe many don’t feel its dangerous. A free app from ur smartphone can start your camera and you might not be even knowing it.  

Coming back to the point, its laughable to compare smartphones and desktops in terms of sales. They were never comparable things. Desktops regardless of their sales will still be required. Google fans can also believe in this due to Chromebooks and maybe Chrome desktops that will pop up in future. They will be needed to develop app and content for the consumer tailored smart-devices like smartphones and tablets. When you are buying a smartphone you are still buying a PC that is not capable of developing stuff. The future tablets will come with a keyboard again with ability to develop apps but they will shy themselves away from the handheld devices more towards laptop/pc segment again. A developer knows today that even one screen is not enough, so we will be having multiprocessors and multiscreen desktops in future. Once the media finds a way to make them look more useful, the handheld devices sales will drop. Its all the game of the media the consumers are only made a fool of! 
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TheFinalMiracle

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

MJ Estate Vs MJ Siblings

The recent happenings in the Michael Jackson family are not very shocking if family history has to be seen. The Michael Jackson siblings suddenly are again uncomfortable about The Michael Jackson Estate handling things… mainly the money. Katherine Jackson, mother of Michael, was seemingly missing since 2 weeks. Its speculated that she will be mostly brainwashed by her children to take a legal action against the estate. Though she is the legal guardian of Michael’s children, they have been totally unaware about her disappearance. The strangest thing in all this mess is Janet’s involvement. Janet Jackson had stayed out of the family circus which was cashing a lot on Michael’s death and even when he was alive.

Let us do a bit of revision of Michael Jackson’s history, or rather his family history. Michael is admired, respected and sympathized for the childhood he lost due to early stardom. He practiced, recorded and performed day and night unlike other siblings who indulged in other teenage and normal childhood activities. The pressure was more on Michael because he was more talented. Without him, the Jacksons would end up as a mediocre group whom we would never know. It has been openly discussed by Michael and others of how strict Michael’s father Joe had been. Honestly speaking I never knew about any Michael Jackson sibling except Janet till I was forced to. Why Forced?? Because when my fan club work was noticed by Michael and his management then, many international fans used to talk to me about scandals or his family, whom I never knew much about. They seem to be obsessed with his family just because they were obsessed with him! I never found that correct but I felt myself lacking about the information I had. So instead of studying just the family I studied everything about Michael including his music, business and simply him as a person from whatever sources I could lay my hands on.


When Michael famously fired his father before OFF THE WALL, the spotlight was only on the father-son relationship, which was not the entire story. No one noticed that though Michael loved Jermaine and Janet dearly, he hardly really wanted to be involved with any of his other siblings. The actual scene was that he had eventually also distanced himself from his siblings who were earning more than their share. He somewhat did it indirectly but legally. If Michael was the highlight of the show, he knew he was working harder and should be paid more. The Jackson’s were nothing without him, yet he could be everything without them. The generations after 80s probably never heard about any other Jackson sibling except Janet. The other Jackson siblings were either followed by their earlier fans. They also would be noticed due to their hogging in the spotlight whenever there was any Michael Jackson news… faking their support to get noticed or just to impress Michael.

Some might argue that Michael loved his siblings dearly. Yes he did! As they are his own blood, but he surely didn’t trust them and it shows. Except for Victory tour and the MSG concert in 2001, we haven’t seen Michael perform with his brothers. In fact even before and during the Victory tour, Michael was constantly pressured and emotionally blackmailed to get into the tour and continue with it. The details that public never know about this feud and stays within the family, might be more dirty. They were anyway introduced everywhere as Michael Jackson’s siblings, without a real ‘huge’ identity of their own. Some might argue that they were very talented as well. Well yes, Janet was and she did make her mark. Rest of them wouldn’t even be known as they are now unless Michael was a part of their performance. Maybe he overshadowed them because he was greatly talented, but then they could have come out hugely successful like Janet did. They tried and they didn’t really fail. Most of them have gold records, but their success is neither close to Michael’s or Janet’s nor enough to support their exorbitant lifestyles.

Used to a lavish lifestyle since their teens, they couldn’t really keep up with their finances to support it. It might not be public, but I am sure that Michael still might have supported his family a lot of times in millions even when he didn’t really trust them. He trusted his mother blindly and his WILL shows that. He loved his children undoubtedly, but the WILL doesn’t need to show that. What about The Michael Jackson Estate executors – John Branca and John McClain?? Well! They are the ones who handled Michael’s legal issues involved with entertainment, got his business deals done or rather had them done the best way. This includes arranging investments for Making of Thriller video when the Thriller video itself went over budget ending up Michael spending his own money on it. Not to mention buying of The ATV catalog which is still the most valued asset that Michael Jackson owns. The WILL also shows that Michael trusted Branca and McClain to handle his finances and ensure that his children, mother and charities get his legacy and not his siblings or father!

Fans should understand that support for Michael shouldn’t be blind. If you want to support any side or be involved in the new feud started by Michael Jackson’s siblings, you should really research Michael Jackson and his history well. Everything is very clear in there. Being an emotional fool and supporting the family won’t make any sense unless you have a strong reason beyond emotions. Michael was smart to give the control over to these executors to secure the future of his children. If the money went into the hands of his siblings, the ones who would suffer the most are Michael Jackson’s children. Their present and future along with Michael Jackson’s legacy is safe with the estate and not Michael’s siblings. The siblings would probably make wrong deals and blow up a lot of money on their own family and themselves. I never wish that Michael Jackson siblings win. I never ever supported them for any of their stuff that never involved Michael in it. Look at their recent tour. Do you think they would get even 20% of the audience they have now without involving Michael’s name in the tour. Nevertheless, the feedback from the audience has been pathetic. Every Michael fan went there only because his name was involved and many of them only gave disappointing reviews.

I wish that atleast one of Michael’s children was an adult to have some control over what is going on with his finances. Many might not remember, but Katherine Jackson had had withdrew her objection about The Michael Jackson Estate executors in 2009 and her lawyer had stated that her actions were in the best interest of Michael's children. What is a better proof than her disappearance just when Michael’s siblings are planning a legal assault against the estate. They probably will emotionally blackmail their mother again to be a part of their team.  Michael had himself fired his trusted team of John Branca and Frank Dileo long ago, but again these are the same people he trusted for his comeback during This Is It preparations! He knew that these are the guys who helped him with the THRILLER success and only they could be trusted for his comeback unlike many other lawyers and managers he appointed later. These other people had only helped Michael take wrong decisions and end up in terrible crisis including his huge financial debt.

I hope and pray that that the US Courts do the justice and put an end to this. I also hope and pray that Michael’s siblings loose the case. John Branca and John McClain remaining the executors of the state only ensures the safety of Michael’s Legacy and most importantly Michael’s children! And in anyway the family doesn’t have any other will which the executors have. Michael did the will maybe quite a time before he died, yet its he who made that decision. One should respect and notice that!

P.S : I had always liked Janet as a true sister of Michael rather than a performer, I wish she was not a part of all this! Also know that I don’t know Mr. Branca or Mr. McClain personally like I knew Mr. Frank Dileo. So this blog is my own effort and my own thoughts/study without anyone’s influence.

***If any of the Michael Jackson fans hate me for this blog and question my love and devotion for Michael, they can first make a support campaign for him and beat my efforts. My effort of The Michael Jackson Anthem was downloaded by more than 4.5 Million people worldwide and also appreciated by Michael Jackson himself. And remember, this wasn’t a commercial project which helped me earn anything more than Michael’s love.





Friday, April 20, 2012

Your Internet Privacy : Act Before its Too Late!

(WARNING A LONG BUT IMPORTANT BLOG)

Time and again we read news about leading websites playing with our personal data and violating the boundaries of our private life. They misuse the data sometimes for marketing and sometimes they act as a spy for governments or even some private players. Much of this problem has been highlighted by the media and users very lately and we are probably quite late to take care of it. The trap laid for us has been FREE EMAIL, FREE CHAT MESSENGERS, everything FREE….! We were aware that the companies were getting their revenues from the advertisements displayed at the footer of our emails in early stages and then on the email client / browser page itself. 

Recently it has been open in the public the way social networking websites or other websites giving free services like email use our data. All our data is been analyzed by computer programs to categorize and prioritize the data which tells what we like, what we talk, who is important to us and maybe also stores the intimate details of our life. Our attachments which contain important documents like bank statements, the photos of our family, friends and perhaps videos too, everything is stored in a cluster of servers since years (that we know as cloud now.) One may never know but yet can assume that the information is sold to third-parties for building of developing of apps or just using your data for research purpose.

Whenever I discussed this issue with my family and friends they seemed to be very careless about their privacy being infringed, and some of them probably still are. Not that they are unaware of the privacy issue, they don’t understand how dangerous it is to give out information that might seem unimportant at the moment. It is hard for me to spend time explaining the dangers of this privacy infringement. Probably people will start realizing it after 10-12 years of the harassment they will suffer out of this outcome. Smartphones connected to the information is helping these companies more. The addicts or some people who simply do it to show that they are up with the latest technology leave prominent footprints of your life on the web. The riskiest and the latest one being CHECKING IN at a specific location. There are softwares that run on your cellphones without your knowledge when you are using a free game or app that scans every SMS, dialed number, contact list and the locations you check into, and then send all this data to their servers. One hardly reads the TERMS & CONDITIONS before installing a software which clearly mentions this usage of your personal data.

Coming back to the same point you might again argue that you don’t have any confidential data on your emails, phones or social networking profiles. Think again… Look back into the archives of your data that goes beyond 2 years and your will realize there is a lot. Again the systems cannot be fooled with multiple accounts. When you sign in your publicized account your IP (A protocol that identifies your device/computer) is recorded. You then logoff and sign in on your other private account for your secretive stuff thinking that both of them can hardly be matched as your accounts. Even if you have different names, usernames or any data of that account, the system identifies YOU. It knows that when a device accesses multiple accounts from the same device over a period of time, these accounts belong to one person. The data is then again compiled into one format which becomes a blue-print of your life. Even you will be surprised to see such an organized format of your life. The best example to see this is the TIMELINE feature of facebook.

Now if you have understood or anticipated the implications of this risk you face on the internet you might want to play safe. And how would you do that? I have some tips which might work only for some months to come. They are crude methods which will take a lot of your time but it will surely work. There are also some precautions you could use in future but they are also applicable for a limited time. As data storage becomes cheaper and takes lesser space the more risk we run into. Lets start!

Precautions :
  1. Delete your emails after their purpose is over. It will be surely stored as a conversation in your mail. Unless its very important to store it don’t keep it on the web.
  2. Delete thrash regularly. Keep an automated setting which clears thrash every week or after 30 days so that you can still retrieve it if you have deleted something by mistake.
  3. Use voice chats / video chats more than sms or emails for confidential communication. The companies still struggle to save such data in their archives due to storage limitations. But its only a matter of some years that even this data will be stored.
  4. Clear cache and private data of your browser every time your close it.
  5. Install apps that are reputed software companies. Not that they wont invade your privacy but they are atleast clean in their terms and conditions. Not to mention that they are always under the scanner of privacy fanatics and govt laws. Free apps are always risky unless they are provided by your device manufacturer or default OS company.
  6. Multiple accounts was a good idea before but not any more since there are softwares that know who own it. These softwares are government authenticated as criminals can be easily tracked down in case of a crime.
  7. Be careful of opening any kind of mails esp. bank emails which are regular phishing cases
  8. Be careful of adding strangers on your social networking accounts. Many of them can also be bots who are automated to chat with you and advertise various websites. Click on the link in their chat and the link will be forwarded to all the friends in your account. Sometimes it even grabs all the info of your account.
  9. Internet banking is good if you use a good browser. There will be a lot of argument about which will be the best, but as long as you use a non-pirated copy of Windows on your laptop PC, Internet Explorer is the safest.
  10. Call people or have a voice chat when its discussing something important. Avoid sms and chatting on a messenger.

How to remove your digital footprint –
  1. Facebook is the most dangerous thing right now. Avoid chatting in facebook because all your chats are saved in messages. You don’t have any choice to select all of the conversations and delete them. You have to do it one by one. So just take a lot of time at hand and delete all that are stored.
  2. Turn of the archiving option in your other chat messengers so that your chats wont be stored officially. They will still be stored on your service providers servers for some years but that’s less risky that officially having them in your account.
  3. Keep your mailbox clean. Having a larger storage means getting too tired to delete your mails. The more mails you keep the more your risk into leaving the details of your personal life with someone you don’t want to. Clean thrash, spam and even inbox.
  4. Remove and block unwanted apps. Having less apps wont just keep your safe but will also give you more storage space and also faster boot-time incase your apps load at startup.
  5. Keep your private photos and videos locked from strangers. Delete them after the people whom you have shared them with see them.
  6. Make the best use of the account settings and privacy settings of your social networking site and email websites also.
  7. Avoid registering on new sites that seem interesting. Not everyone ends up like facebook and google. You might just add up giving them your address book contacts for free which actually would cost a lot otherwise (regardless of your ignorance about the price of such data).
  8. Keep changing passwords regularly. Avoid sharing them with anyone.
  9. All websites nowadays have a feature to have your mobile phone number to retrieve your password in case lost. So use that feature and update the number in case you change it.
  10. USE OTP (One time passwords) and Mobile Notifications on all possible websites especially banking websites. Even facebook provided secure login where it notifies users when they are logged from an un-registered device.

The most important point here is that you might feel that your data is safe with a service provider e.g. google since it’s a reputed company, but we have heard a lot of cases where their servers were hacked with usernames and passwords being stolen. It doesn’t require much time to loose your accounts and data to someone unknown in such scenarios. There can be a lot more examples, but I guess my blog has already been long enough. So if you have the patience and understand the importance of your privacy and digital footprint act now, because later you might not even have chance to do all the processes I mentioned above. Please also remember that the free world of internet will soon be curbed by government policies and laws. All democratic countries might soon end up like CHINA and feel under a communist rule with their data being scanned and also restrictions on what you can read or post on the internet. God Bless!
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TheFinalMiracle