Archive for May, 2008

I just noticed something…

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Web Owls has a Google PageRank of 5.0! That’s pretty impressive…

A little too impressive, perhaps. Are others seeing the same thing?


Google Maps adds photos and Wikipedia

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Google has rolled out some new options for their Google Maps service. If you click “More”, you can activate an overlay of photos or an overlay of Wikipedia buttons.

The photo overlay adds thumbnail photos of points of interest, from Panoramio. Clicking on a thumbnail displays a larger version of the photo.

The Wikipedia overlay adds a Wikipedia icon for any location that has a geotagged Wikipedia article. Both overlays can get quite cluttered in popular areas, but two things make this more manageable: as you zoom out the number of items in the overlay decreases, and more popular/important items are indicated with a larger icon or thumbnail.

(Hat-tip to mbegin at Google Blogoscoped)

eHow. An interesting community, that pays for content.

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

I’ve been playing around with for about a month now, and I must say, I’m pleasantly surprised and possibly, mildly addicted. They invite user-submitted content on “How to” topics. This can be pretty much any topic of your choosing (no matter how much of a stretch), as long as you can present it in Step 1, Step 2-style format.

It may come as a surprise to some to find out that there are sites out there…tons of them actually…that will pay you to post content. The usual model works like this: we’ll build a site, you fill it with content — writing, photos, video — and we’ll split the ad revenue.

That’s fine, in theory, but many such sites suffer from two key failings. One, they just don’t (yet) drive enough traffic to generate much views on your content, much less clicks on ads, and Two, they’re not particularly generous in their sharing arrangements.

eHow may well be the rare exception. They’re a long established site, and pretty visible in search results. And while they don’t provide details on how they split the take on ad revenue, I’m already making more per day from eHow than I do from my two personal websites that I’ve been working on for years now.

It’s hard to generalize eHow earnings. Some articles sit and do nothing…no views, no earnings. Others get lots of views, lots of earnings. And there’s a few oddballs with a ton of views, but zero revenue, and vice versa.

Overall, though, a typical article pulls in about two to four cents a day…let’s say three cents, for the sake of discussion. It takes me about a half hour of work to write and post an article to eHow. So, you say, why bother, just to get three pennies for a half hours work?

Once you post to eHow, that article is up there. Presumably, forever! Three cents a day become ten dollars a year, and $100 in ten years. Which is not bad for a half hour of work. Post a hundred articles, and the figure becomes $10,000 in ten years. A thousand articles and….you get the picture.

I’m up to 60 or 70 articles so far (and I’m not proud of all of them, but so far, I’m leaving them there).

Of course, there’s no knowing if the model will hold for ten years. Things may go bust for a variety of reasons. But then again, they may improve. I’ve already gotten much faster at posting new items, and I feel like I’m learning how to target good themes, match up with the ad language, and drive a bit of traffic to the articles.

The money part is intriguing, no doubt. There’s also quite a nice community over at eHow, who I’m coming to enjoy. For anyone looking for a place to spend some time, earn some spare change, and tell the world how to do things, eHow is probably the place for you.

Cheers, all.