Category Archives : Posts


Twitter CAN get it done, but not For Very Long 2

I typically retweet many of my older posts (daily) to see if I can get some traction on older content that I had. Usually this only constitutes a bump of 10-20 readers a day, however, last week one of my older posts got picked up by a Twitter heavy weight who retweeted it and suddenly I received over 100 readers from Twitter.

The specific retweet was from Rob Carrick who has about 17K followers, but what was interesting was the effect really only lasted about a half an hour and then things went back to normal.

Social Media, Social networking

Social Media is Everywhere
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

This seems to suggest that Twitter can be useful driving traffic in short spikes, but not overly very useful for driving quality traffic, that will stay and come back often, but that does some up Twitter nicely (i.e. Wham Bam thank you Ma’am).

I continue to grow readership slowly on all fronts, we shall see how best to keep bringing older posts to the forefront (like the one in this post) Financial Time Machine List, which is simply me lamenting some bad financial decisions I made as a young man.


Best SPAM Comments of the Week

Yes, I figured it was time to take advantage of the thousand or so Spam Comments I get a week and highlight some of my favorite ones. Some are just so strange, I am wondering if they think my Spam filters might let it in because they get confused.

"Say yes to this message and we will help save a fictional dog!"

Holy cow! How do I not answer YES to that! I love fictional dogs!!! What this has to do with Finance or anything else is beyond me, but it really does jump off the page, wants me to write an article with that as the title!

Dorothy, inher element at last, took over the ranch (of which Richard had made afailure), payday loans online vyxmnsewe payday loan online payday loans online went to catch a dishof fish.

I was impressed by the gibberish factor here. This did include three separate links to different pay day loan sites, but I am intrigued by what the message here is. It is unintelligible but isn’t just a bunch of random words either, it is almost beautiful in it’s randomness.

Now, go and tell Slushie yoou have a kidd to teat hhis project. Now there’s no need to get upset wheen your ladey don. Other hazardous substances found in items sold at your favorite sex toys store are latex and jelly.

Not surprisingly this was linked to a site for adult toys another favorite of my site. The funny thing is this got by my Anti-Spam filter, must have been really good. The comment only linked to the site, no links in the message which is why it got by my anti-spam filter, I suppose.

Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored at work so I
decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
I enjoy the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look
when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my phone ..
I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, good site!

Someone from Idaho reads a Canadian Personal Finance Blog? Good to hear, but again it wasn’t the message that Akismet didn’t like it was the site that it was linked to.

{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more than
{three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
{It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me.
{In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers
made good content as you did, the {internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than
ever before.|
I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting.

This one is my favorite, I can’t figure out whether it is a very lazy script kiddy, or a genius. I think this was to be run through a front end first and then “posted”, but an amazing bit of semantic gibberish.

The sad part of all of this is that my ratio of 100:1 Spam to real comments, which makes me want to thank AKismet for their catching of 99% of the spam.

Google


A Few Changes Here

I decided to change things around here a little bit, as I have been using the same Theme (UBD Money Maker) for a long time and it was getting a little stale. The theme had served me well but the new Customizr theme does give me a little more flexibility without having to pay for a premium theme (i.e. it is free).

Customizr has a funky looking slider and an ability to highlight specific posts on the front page, so I will be looking into that once I feel a little more comfortable with things.

The other interesting plug-in that I am trying out here is the Google Publisher Plug-in  which is supposed to be from Google (in Beta) which helps with Adsense ads and hooks into the Google WebMaster tools as well, which (I hope) helps this site finally get listed on Google (again). Still having no end of issues getting any of these posts crawled by Google, not really sure what is the problem here, but trying many different things.

I removed the All in One SEO Plug In, because it didn’t seem to be helping and was creating a very odd sitemap.xml file, and I reinstated the Google XML Sitemap generator plug-in which seems to create a normal sitemap, which is still not getting me crawled, but at least I can read it.

I am glad I have this site to try things out, I just wish it was actually in the Google Index.

Addendum: And I turned on WP-Supercache as well, I had issues with the previous cach’ing program but this one has worked just find on The Canadian Personal Finance Place, so it is now running here as well.


Writing a Swerve Article

Another great wrestling marketing idea is the swerve, for those of you unaware of the term:

Slippery and Swervey

Slippery and Swervey

Swerve

 

A sudden change in the direction of a storyline, to surprise the fans. Often, it involves one wrestler turning on an ally in order to join a supposed mutual enemy. Swerves frequently start feuds between the former allies. Also, when a booker leads fans to believe that something is going to happen (or someone will appear) at a show, before doing something entirely different.[1]

Writing a swerve post does not mean you suddenly change your point of view on something, unless you have suddenly realized you werewrong, no, the Swerve is making it sound like you are changing your point of view, but then using it as a “learning moment” for your readers.

An example of a swerve in my writing is In Defense of Pay Day Loans, which if you read the title you’d think I had completely abandoned my visceral hatred of the pay day loan industry, but if you read the article I haven’t changed my point of view, I am in fact trying to get folks’ attention. It’s useful sometimes to get people’s attention with a cheap trick but remember you can’t do too many of these kind of articles either, or they lose their shock value.


Under Attack but Fighting Back

So THE Canadian Finance Site has been under attack for a long time from various nasty folks out there, however, I now have finally at least figured out how to identify who (or some of who) are doing this.

The easiest way to stop these attacks is by updating the .htaccess file for the site and add the following code snippet:

## IP-ABUSE-LOOKUP
 Order Allow,Deny
 Allow from All
 Deny from 209.85.238.213 188.134.33.64 209.85.238.216 66.249.67.146
 Deny from 178.178.10.40 95.108.150.235 58.63.241.209 209.85.238.201
 Deny from 175.42.13.20 27.159.199.71 204.12.228.34 5.9.7.208 199.58.86.206
 Deny from 120.43.20.237 59.58.137.5 119.131.99.162 204.12.247.34 64.31.32.131
 Deny from 120.43.4.134 24.36.243.139 183.5.140.189 219.154.133.225 220.180.62.187
 Deny from 96.22.53.162
 Deny from 174.0.25.72
 Deny from 117.26.85.214
 Deny from 112.111.175.177
 Deny from 27.159.253.234

This is an example of my current .htaccess file, and I keep adding addresses as I sort out who is attacking my site. I learned about this file from my Hosting Service Provider Dreamhost, so thanks to them.

There is a very useful plug in called Redirection which I first installed to help me with my “resurrect the dead” program (I’ll write about that here at a later date). I installed it, but it also logs “odd” access to your site, and from those logs I have collected IP addresses of very questionable attack sites. I suppose I should reverse look up the addresses to see if they are legitimate, but I can’t be bothered right now.

This is only a partial list, I have added many more IP addresses, and currently I use Filezilla to FTP the .htaccess file from my site, edit it on my PC (adding new addresses) and then putting the new .htaccess file back on my site. If your Service Provider offers an easier way to do this, I would strongly suggest using it.

This hasn’t stopped my site from getting pounded, but it can’t hurt either.


Being a Douche is One Way of Doing It

Don Rickles is one of my favorite comics, and he made his entire career of getting folks to laugh while he berated, or insulted folks in the audience. I don’t think a comedian like Mr. Rickles could thrive these days, but I might be wrong, however, his acidic commentary seems to be the basis of a lot of the “new breed” of writers on the net these days in the Personal Finance Forum.

I must admit that this must sound like the Pot calling the Kettle Black, however, I feel that a lot of my nastier commentary is as much Parental commentary. I berate folks who are in debt, and I mercilessly lampoon and attack the Pay Day Loan world and banking in general, but that is about as far as I will go.

There are a few sites that are now attempting to “cross the line” in terms of decorum (in my opinion) in terms of commentary on issues. One site blamed women for being underpaid (which is transparently an attempt to whip up controversy), why not blame the disabled for not being able to get up stairs (yes that is just me trying to be controversial too)? I realize the post is mostly just the standard puffery about “Women should stand up for themselves” and such, but it does smack of being a douche bag (a female concept) for the sake of it, but that again is a writing technique. It could also be that the writer genuinely believes in his heart of hearts this is the case.

This article spun off a shite storm of folks commenting on it (on Facebook, this site smartly has turned off comments) (one could even argue this post is a shallow attempt to do the same), so in truth, it did exactly what it was designed to do (i.e. cause interest in the site, and discussion on the topic), but did the writer need to do that? I must admit that I do agree with those who say that writing about personal finance is a very dry subject and very prone to quite dull regurgitation of numbers and formulas (or worse a simple attempt to make as much money off advertising by using keywords littered about the article), but being a mathematician I do actually like that kind of article.

Figure out what your voice is, and stick to it. If you want to be a lampooning jack-ass like me, go ahead, but always couch your commentaries remembering that some folks may not “get” your style, or better still, write the way you want and don’t worry about what others think.