Janette Toral sharing her tourist experience in Australia.

Monday 29 December 2008

Adelaide Startup Club Meetup on January 16

This coming January 16, I will be attending the Adelaide Startup Club meet-up. Special thanks to Geoffrey Kwitko's invitation. He also asked me to do like a short pitch about the Blogging from Home book and other endeavors.

This got me thinking as I'm currently working on two projects to be offered globally. This includes:
  • Virtual assistants network (Australia, Philippines)
  • Blog marketing network (US, UK, Australia)
  • Blog advertising network (Philippines)
If the demo will be ready by then, I look forward in being able to give a glimpse of it during the said event.

If time permits, I will discuss SEO and Busby SEO Test as well.

Link Exhange Network - Invitation

I just started this program in my website readers social network. This was also inspired with my experience in the Busby SEO Test competition and have received inquiries if I can help out other bloggers too in spreading links about their blog or website. As my number of contacts in Australia is increasing as well, I thought of extending it here. Happy New Year!
"When you have a new site, one important requirement is to get it ranked on search engines. There are many steps involve to get that done but one of them is through getting your website / blog name or keyword / keyphrase and url link placed in others that are real, rather than spam. Normally, you will also need to pay a sum for that.

However, for those of you who don't have that much resource to spare and have your own blog or website inventory on hand, you are invited to join our small link exchange network.

To participate, here is the process:
  1. Fill-up the form and indicate the following:
    - anchor text: (this is the title or keyword/phrase of your site)
    - URL: (website or blog address)

  2. Number of placements: (number of blogs or websites where you want the link to be placed)

  3. Your blogs and websites: (web address where you can place links in return for others. They must be updated in the last 30 days.)
    - Putting the exchanged links at the sidebar (sitewide) will also get you the same exposure.
    - Putting them in a specific page will also merit you the same exposure.
    - In the end, what you give is what you get.
Upon receipt, here's what will happen:
  1. I will send you an email with the links for posting at your site.

  2. Upon confirmation of placement, you will receive an e-mail stating where your ads were placed.

  3. If you need 6 placements but only have 3 websites/blogs, we will send you an equivalent number of placement in order for the 6 to be carried out.
At the moment, I will have discretion on where the ads shall be placed until a formal structure is set-up.

  1. Note that all link exchange agreements are good for no more than 90 days only. We will send you a replacement link prior to the end of the 90 days to sustain your current placements. It is possible that your placement will also be transferred to other sites thereafter or when the blog/website participant backs out from the program or becomes unqualified to participate (e.g. cancellation, removal, blacklist).

  2. Those who will remove the link prior to the end date agreement shall be removed and blacklisted.
Thank you."

Saturday 27 December 2008

Address Plaques & Whitehall Mailboxes

We just got word that we won't be moving anytime soon as the house we live in today doesn't have a buyer yet. However, what we have now is a flexible leasing contract instead of fix date term. It is funny though that our mailboxes are full lately as we still get letters meant for previous renters at our place.

I wonder how soon do we need to have a plan in handling our mailbox posts so that this can be manageable. Ideas are needed as the volume of mails I've been getting as I get more active in the blogosphere is increasing.

On the weird side, one of the most serious parent in the community has told me that we should have one of those popular address plaques plastered in our door. Maybe in our new house, I'll consider. I am not sure whether that is cool or not but it got me thinking that we might as well one of those whitehall mailboxes while at it.

Watching Adelaide Lightning

Last November 28, I got the chance to visit the Dome (Crittendale) to watch the Adelaide Lightning game versus Canberra. It was my first time to visit the place and watch a female basketball game. The players were very impressive and hope to get the chance watching them again soon before this Busby SEO Test competition ends.

Friday 26 December 2008

O'Donnel Griffin Social Club Christmas Party

Last December 6, Jhermie and I got the chance to attend the O'Donnel Griffin Social Club Christmas Party where we saw a Greyhound race track first hand. It was an interesting evening as the venue, Chaser Function Centre at Angle Park, had various social clubs (of various companies) celebrating their Christmas party.

There was an entertainer / performer also strutting Rod Stewart and Elvis Presley songs.

We didn't stay long enough though and glad that we returned home soon so I can work on Busby SEO Test.

Monday 22 December 2008

Buying a Beach Cruiser Bicycle

It is now summer time in Australia and most folks frequent the beach for relaxation. In our case, Henley Beach is only 15 minutes away.

As we see folks riding Cruiser Bikes or Beach Bikes, we can't help but consider investing in one.

In the U.S., there is an online bike store, Makai Bikes, that sells beach cruiser bicycles. I noticed that the price range is no more than 200 dollars.

Other products being promoted are bicycle accessories such as bells, horns, and stickers that are worth no more than 10 US dollars.

What I like about the site includes:
  • Product photos
    The site has more than one that allows the user to see products in greater detail and perspective.

  • Comparison of products
    Each product category has multiple products. You can tick the products you are interested in for comparison purposes based on price, availability, and other product features.

  • Customer review
    You can also read product reviews made by customers. Hopefully this can give further insight on products being considered by prospects. I think it would further help if those who gave testimonials were photograph near or while riding the bicycle.

  • The site also provide Free Shipping Bicycles to majority of U.S. states.

  • Friendly refund policy
    Customers may also return new, unopened items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. They can also return any used items not satisfied with within 30 days of delivery for a full refund or an exchange. All returns must first be authorized so that they can give detailed instructions on where to send your item(s).
Other areas worth improving includes:
  • Sell locks or security
    This is meant to protect bike owners from theft. Another option also is to sell insurace for bicycles.

  • Newsletter promo
    The site has a promotion encouraging people to join and be included in the raffle for getting a bike for free. I think this is an interesting promo and needs to be further disseminated. Mechanics on how to win one must be also be visible in the site to attract attention.

Trevor Jones, Jacob's Creek, & Chateau Barrosa

This is the last part of our October 18 visit. I consider a trip to Barossa Valley to be composed of three parts. The flowers, dam, and finally the wine. For this part, we checked out three spots, Chateau Barrosa, Trevor Jones, and Jacob's Creek to taste and buy wine as souvenir.

The three outlets has a good selection set. It is best to be ready when visiting in order to take advantage of good offers.

Now back to Busby SEO Test.

Sunday 21 December 2008

Barossa Reservoir Dam & Whispering Wall at Barossa Valley

This is to continue my story sharing about Barossa Valley that I visited last October 18. In this post, I'll give you glimpse of the Barossa Reservoir or Dam. It was once the highest in Australia (36 meters high). It was also considered as one of the most innovative dams in the world because of its curve and radical innovation.

Another interesting aspect of the dam is that is also known as "Whispering Wall" where a voice of one person can be heard from one end to the other (140 meters).

More info about the dam can be read at Wikipedia.

P.S. I will post one more about Barossa Valley after my Busby SEO Test updates.

Saturday 20 December 2008

Mailboxes & New Home

We are still not sure if we will be starting our search for a new home soon as we await on who will end up buying the property we live in today. However, I already expressed to my partner that we need one or two mailboxes.

One of the mail boxes can be small for the usual letters and a big one for all the brochures, newsletters, and newspaper we get in the mail.

I am particularly concern with our mailbox as I receive parcels coming from book publishers to review their book and possibly feature them in one of my blogs. At times when no one is at home, the courier ends up leaving a note about it. However, if we have a bigger one, I'm sure this won't be an issue anymore. There are also sites where you can start canvassing for the mail box that will suit your home and have an idea about its price.

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Filipino Christmas Party in Australia

Last December 6, we attended a Filipino Christmas party. This is where we pitched in an amount so we can take part in the occasion. In the past, I've always been quiet and reserved during events such as these. However, this time, I decided to let my guard down and enjoyed. Gladly, got more than what I ask for.

Also, the star for that day is no other than my youngest son, Jonathan, where he got the chance to show off his magic tricks. Janin is a natural magnet for kids. They just love her. Jasmin brought her reading and drawing gear.

Of course, a Filipino Christmas Party, especially in another country, won't be a considered as one without great Filipino recipes such as kare-kare, kilawin, fish inihaw, pinoy spagetti, lechon, rice, leche flan, among others.

I got the chance to enjoy the wine served at check out Rene's cool camera and Joseph's iPhone. I was also teasing Armstrong, the guy in the just above photo set, that I'll help him find a girlfriend through blogging. This was also the time when Marilyn, Leila, Jhermie, and I agreed to have a blogging tutorial session the week after.

I attended a few more parties after this one and admittedly it seems this year is one of the best Christmas I ever had with the family.

Now back to my Busby SEO Test entry.

Saturday 13 December 2008

Blogging Tutorial & Nuffnang Christmas Treat

Earlier today (Saturday afternoon), I spent time with Marilyn, Leila, and Jhermie on how to further configure their blog and shared ideas about planning their post so that it can also increase traffic in the process.

As they are all interested on how their blogs can become revenue sources and possible programs they can join, I introduced them to Nuffnang Australia. This is a blog advertising network that allows bloggers to earn from their blogs through the advertisement that gets served.

Bloggers, big or small, are being invited to join the community and be part of its growing network. With that I asked Marilyn, Leila, and Jhermie to join Nuffnang and take part in its Christmas promotion.

What I like about Nuffnang is the spirit of friendliness behind the organization. They proactively reach out to prospective advertisers and bloggers in the community. Events and activities are also being planned to further build interest and affinity to the organization.

The best post will get a Dell™ Inspiron™ Mini 9 also. This mini laptop, comes in black or white color, has the following features:
  • Processor: Intel® Atom™ N270
  • Operating system: Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition
  • Memory: 1GB Dual-channel DDR-2 SDRAM Memory
  • Hard drive: 16GB* SSD Hard Drive
  • Monitor: 8.9" WSVGA LED Display with TrueLife™
  • Graphic card: Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950 graphic card
  • Wireless network card: Dell Wireless 802.11g Mini Card
  • It has also a 1 year standard warranty
In my various workshop and tutorial sessions, people get amazed on how simple my laptop is while they have these more expensive branded gadgets. I get to show that today's technology allows you to do more even with simple devices. Over time as well, I feel that my MSI laptop has become heavier and would certainly want a lighter one. I also would like to be able to point to a laptop and say, "I got this funky Dell™ Inspiron™ Mini 9 from blogging about Nuffnang".

Monday 1 December 2008

Adelaide Bloggers Christmas Get-Together

This is my 3rd time to attend the Adelaide Blogger's Meet-up. Although there is not always enough time to chat with each other, I feel that we are getting more comfortable and look forward in doing interesting stuff in the months to come.

If I'm not mistaken, this is the first time that we actually have a sponsor for the meet-up, Kirrihill Wines, who brought a nice selection of wines. I was able to try the two variants and they were just beautiful. If I didn't had to take a bus home, would have surely tried more. Also found out that this particular wine biggest market overseas is in Norway.

Nevertheless, I asked Matt McCulloch about the possibility, if they are interested, of having bloggers come over to their winery, have a tour, discuss and blog about the experience. He seems to be ok with the idea so we'll see how will that go.

I brought a few copies of my Blogging from Home book during the said affair. It is my first time to reach out and promote my book in Australia. It will be interesting to know their thoughts in the weeks to come about it.

Great thanks to Shai and Jim for organizing this beautiful get-together. I missed interacting with Jen at the affair. I should do better next time.

Special thanks also to Geoffrey Kwitko for this beautiful video he made celebrating the folks he met in the past two months.

Will update this post as I get to see more blog post about what happened at the affair. For the meantime, will work on my Busby SEO Test. Cheers!