Public Message To Josh

Firstly, I think you are a very smart person. Seriously, and I’m not even being sarcastic. However, I also feel that you are very manipulative (eh? I thought said won’t be sarcastic!). I have never met you in person but your feedback and responses for the past few days gives me that impression. I wonder how many others share the same thoughts as I do. Or I could be alone.

I would like to clarify two things. Firstly, I did receive your email that contains a picture of a screenshot with a graph in it. However, that picture doesn’t prove anything for it can be easily edited. If I were to post pictures instead of a video, do you think my readers would believe me half as much? Heck, it doesn’t even show which domain that graph belongs to. And I don’t see that graph anywhere in google analytics, can you please direct me to the location where it can be found?

Secondly, you’ve been saying you sent me details for the access to your website stats. And again, you said I am biased for not inspecting it. To be very honest, I don’t see it anywhere. It’s not in the attachments, it’s not even in the body of the email. Just take my word for it — it’s not there. Unless you want another video. I’m a little too stressed out for that right now, I prefer not to.

Time and time again you claimed that I am biased. Please, show me where and when. I would like to correct and improve myself further.

As for your comments:

The other point to bring up of course, is whether “DevilsAdvocate” is “TenthOfMarch”. It seems to have taken a lot of effort to make the video. If you calculate the time it took to script, shoot and edit, and the lovely props as well – it’s at least 3-4 hours, and probably more. And if you stutter, it’ll take even longer to record a good take… Btw, it’s “AdverTlets.com”. Enounciate la :) All that’s missing is ominous music in the background, and shocking sound effects (dum dum dum dum!)

Why would someone go through so much trouble? :) For a vendetta against whoever of us (Until now I have no idea which side you are on), for increased traffic, “because I can” or all of the above?

TenthOfMarch, if its not you – fine, then great piece of investigative video journalism. But you are implicated as much as we are, really. I’m not pointing the finger at you, but just stating that we can’t really see what goes on behind on your side right? We don’t even know how you look like. To either Your / DevilsAdvocate / Nuffnang’s credit though, its quite interesting though that they chose to reply in detail to the “false criticism”.

In most of the failed recordings of the video, I did mentioned, “I hope I pronounced your names correctly“. I guess I missed that out in the final recording. In the end, I was too tired I didn’t bothered going for another retake. I was wondering if Nuffnang’s ‘nang‘ was pronounced as Pe-nang or ‘Pulau Pi-nang‘. I went for the English version of course.

To say the least, when you started pointing fingers at me saying that I could be the one creating all this nonsense just to attract people into my blog did stir a little tsunami in me. To be fair to you, there is a possibility that it is true. I’ll just leave it at that. I guess I lost to you and the guys from Nuffnang in this area. Despite all my criticism, you guys managed to remain calm. I’ll need to practice more on that.

I also want to add that I DO want more traffic coming into my blog. Who doesn’t? There were a few things that I did that successfully brought in new traffic. However, there are also some that didn’t. I assure you and my readers that the technique used is legal, and most importantly, ETHICAL. I even plan to write a tutorial on it one day when my blog audience grow larger and more stable. I can’t teach something that I haven’t mastered myself, can I?

If you are still wondering whose side I am on, the answer was, and is still — neither. I’ve said this in the video, I don’t give a damn about your fights. But it looks like I stood a little too close, and have received a few blows myself.

One last thing. You don’t need to hit on me so hard. My blog did somehow attract a larger crowd out of a sudden, but it would probably disappear the same way. Furthermore, it’s not like my opinions have any ‘weight’. Now if you will excuse me, I have a Part Two review to write.

TenthOfMarch Reviews Nuffnang From The Inside (Part One)

Wow! I never thought that writing Review: Nuffnang Vs. Advertlets would bring in a few new readers to my blog. That post generated some great discussions between Nuffnang, Advertlets and myself. However, they say you cannot judge a book by its cover. Therefore, neither can you judge a website by its index finger page.

Pointing finger to Nuffnang’s banner on the right

Finger pointing at Nuffnang’s banner on the right

So, I decided to register an account with them and make a review (and also one or two ringgit) from the inside. I’m going to start off with Nuffnang and continue with Advertlets after completely ransacking Nuffnang’s ‘insides’. This may seem a little unfair for Nuffnang because it gives Advertlets some extra time before ‘judgement day’. However, I have no choice because apparently, Advertlets do not do business with small-time blogger with less than 100 unique visitors per day like me. Grrrr!! :evil:

Due to the extra traffic generated from the previous posts, as of 10pm today, my blog has successfully surpassed the 100 unique visitors mark. I will work on it and hopefully will be able to stabilize or increase this number further. Alright, enough nonsense and lets get to business.

**********

Registering an account was a breeze. It took me under a minute to fill up the form and hit the ‘Sign Up Now!‘ button. Seconds later, I received the confirmation letter and clicked on the activation link. When I thought I could start setting up my banner, I was asked to fill up some survey first. :mad: What annoyed me was it took me longer to fill up the survey than it did with the account registration. And I can’t even skip the damn thing (I think). But I guess it’s ok — they help me scratch my back, I help them scratch their backside loh.

Immediately after starting the survey, I felt like throwing one of the Nuffnang guys down the Penang bridge already. I wonder which one of them made the survey. Surveys should be short and easy to answer. Nevermind the 10-over questions. I’m already stuck with the first one!

Stuck at first survey question

I try to make it a commitment to blog daily. However, my statistic shows I misses two or three posts a week. That means I blog ‘4 or 5 times a week‘. Where’s my option? If I answered ‘3 times‘ will my earnings be less? If I answered ‘Daily‘ will you call me a liar if I missed a post? First question also so challenging already. Grrr……WOOF WOOF!! Oppss…. :oops:

TenthOfMarch recommends:
Provide option for “Daily”, “1-2 Times a Week”, “3-4 Times a Week”, “5-6 Times a Week”, etc.

**********

Some of the questions asked DO have multiple answers. However, you only provide ‘bullet options’ which allows only one answer. Take for example:

a) How would you categorise your blog?
b) Are you signed up on any other ad networks?

My blog is (or will be) about business, personal and technology. Currently, a workaround to this problem would be to select “Others” and write them in the textfield. However, I am lazy, so I just selected ‘Technology’. Luckily I only have AdSense running on my page, or else I’ll be scratching my head bald thinking which to choose again.

TenthOfMarch recommends:
Provide checkbox for questions that have multiple answers. That way, we get to select more than one answer.

**********

Then comes the second part of your survey. “Section 2: Now tell us about your readers“. I tell you, this part is the most ‘jia-lat‘. I was having a head-banging time answering questions about myself already. And now you want to know about my readers? All I know is that they have taste (they are reading my blog, aren’t they?). Ok seriously, I think (but I may be wrong) that most bloggers do not have a clear knowledge of their readers accurately.

Here is my reasoning. According to this article, only 1 out of 100 of your readers will leave a comment. Let’s say you are really good and manage to get 1 out of 10 of your readers to comment. After that, you make real good friends with them. Such a good friend you are, you are even able to know their future! However, you are still very much in the dark with the other 90-99% of your readers. True? Therefore, answering any of your questions regarding my (our) readers is based purely on my (our) own guessing. Is it still accurate then? So why bother having it? This part of the survey is just a big waste of time.

TenthOfMarch recommends:
Remove section 2 of your survey. If you really want the survey done, I suggest putting it up in your Nuffnangites’ blogs and allow their readers to answer them instead. How? What? I can only point you to one direction. You know where that is. Innovate. If not, just copy (at your own risks). :twisted:

**********

So that was it. I finally finished registering an account. How did I feel right after that? To say the least — somewhat exhausted and tu-lan frustrated at the same time. Nonetheless, I’m excited to be able to continue my quest in drilling deeper into them. You cannot imagine what I found next. BUGS!!!! Yes, those creepy crawly ‘things’ that become every programmers nightmare.

This is only Part One. Catch Part Two of my review that will be coming out soon. I hope I don’t have to extend it to Part Three. :mrgreen:

Sorry for the occasional sarcasm, no life joke, some not so friendly remarks and my honesty. You may bitch me, but don’t ditch me. See that “Leave a Reply” section down there? Go on, tell me what you think about my post, me or even my hand (if you want!). Oh by the way, hope you like the ‘handjob’! ;-) Cheers.

Advertlets Invites TenthOfMarch To Their Office

After posting a review on Review: Nuffnang Vs. Advertlets yesterday, I had 3 great gentlemen commenting in my blog — Ming and Timothy Tiah from Nuffnang, and Josh Lim from Advertlets. In that post, I pointed out a few mistakes and suggested further improvements that can be applied to their websites. Some of which were applied immediately. While others are taken “into consideration for future site features and amendments“.

It did felt great. Me being a one month old blogger, having such an impact on two (may I say) leaders of a unique twist in blog advertising network in Asia. It reminded me of the scene where Superman carried a truck while he was still in his diapers.

If that is not enough to make a man fly, what about an invitation to Advertlets’ office? I’m sure that even an elephant would fly. It’s true guys, TenthOfMarch has been officially invited by Josh Lim to visit Advertlets’ office. In his own words, “You’re also welcome to come down to the Advertlets office one of these days for a peek at our back end if you like …“. That was great news, but he has to add, “… but no photographs“.

What is a blogger good for ‘visiting places’ without a camera? Can’t I have my shot at cam-whoring? I’ve seen other bloggers so excited doing it. And I have no idea why. Haha. Of course, I understand and respect his reasons. However, it would be nice to at least have a picture with him, wouldn’t it? That would add an extra picture into my collections.

I’m seriously looking forward to it. I just hope that they don’t beat me up, or satay me alive because of my ‘not-so-kind’ reviews on them.

I wonder what I should wear on that day. Damn…better lose a few pounds before taking that picture. Until then…..

Review: Nuffnang Vs. Advertlets

(This IS NOT a sponsored post)

The war for the best Malaysian blog advertising company has begun!

In the blue corner, we have Nuffnang who claims to be “Asia’s First Blog Advertising Community“. While in the green corner, we have Advertlets who claims to be “Asia’s Better Blog Advertising Network“. Which one of these two titans will emerge victorious? We will have to wait and see. In the meantime, it is review time!

Nuffnang

I come to know about Nuffnang a few weeks back. My first impression on it? “Why didn’t I think of that?” Anyway, it was a nice concept and all, but I wasn’t so sure if their idea would work. I found nothing much that interests me apart from “their story” (lengmou.blogspot.com), their wacky stickman logo / mascot and of course, the two lady models.

I gave no thoughts about this program until I read this post. Having a paid post in kennysia.com will definitely be a boost for Nuffnang. However, there were some mistakes and improvements that I have suggested here for Nuffnang and kenny. I noticed the title of Nuffnang’s website says, “Nuffnang – Malaysia’s First Blog Advertising Community“. However, in all their banners they used, “Asia’s First Blog Advertising Community“. Hours after my comment, I noticed Nuffnang changed their title to “Asia’s…“. I wonder if they changed it after reading my comment. If so, at least say thank you lah! Oh, maybe they didn’t because I sounded a little rude in the comment…haha.

Thank God I took a screenshot of it as a proof (and souvenir).

Nuffnang, Malaysia or Asia’s First Blog Advertising Community?

Now, more complaint suggestion for Nuffnang.

I know you have bought both nuffnang.com and nuffnang.com.my. However, you should official stick to one of them. Throughout your website, you used both the domains. It’s confusing and is not uniformed. Since both domains leads to nuffnang.com.my, I suggest you stick to that domain throughout your website.

I also recommend you remove that flash navigation bar. Reason? Firstly, I’m allergic to flash. No seriously, using flash is a No-No in SEO. Whatever you put in a flash WILL NOT be accessible by search engine bots. You can use flash if you want, but use it wisely. However, creating navigation links throughout your sites using flash is suicide. Search engine bots can only crawl whatever links that is outside of the flash. In this case, the links that are not accessible to the bots are:

1. our_story.php
2. advertiser_faq.php
3. blogger_faq.php
4. blogger_faq.php

Not much, but you decide.

Advertlets

I only got to know of Advertlets a few days ago. My first impression of it? Pretty impressive. I like the way they used AJAX throughout the website. Their AJAX-ed banner is a knockout compared with Nuffnang’s. It allows the banner to remain small, while being able to contain a hell lot more information in it.

So, everything is good with Advertlets? No way!

Advertlets has way too many ‘taglines’:

advertisers + bloggers = money + happy
Asia’s Better Blog Advertising Network.
Advertlets.com – Putting the bling in blogging.
Malaysia Boleh!
Majulah Bloggers Untuk Negara!

Advertlets, so many taglines?

Need so many for what? Just choose one or two (max) and stick to it. May I suggest you stop using “Malaysia Boleh!” and “Majulah Bloggers Untuk Negara!“. It’s not because I’m not patriotic or I hate Malaysia or I’m inviting ISA officers to my house. Here’s my explainations:

Firstly, your website consists of 99.99% English words. The 0.01% is the two slogan above. And that is WEIRD!

Secondly, “Majulah Bloggers Untuk Negara!” is a plain rip off from the slogan “Majulah Sukan Untuk Negara!“. You simply replaced ‘Sukan‘ with ‘Bloggers‘. OK OK. It’s not wrong or illegal (I think), but it’s grammatically wrong. Notice that the slogan uses, “Majulah Sukan…” not “Majulah Ahli Sukan…“. It urges athletes to improve sports for the country. Therefore, your slogan should have been “Majulah Blog Untuk Negara“, not “Majulah Bloggers Untuk Negara!“.

Lastly, you simply have to remove the tagline “Malaysia Boleh!” because it is not suitable. It is like begging for sympathy of Malaysians to join your program for the sake of patriotism.

Then, there is the case of inconsistency again. Your title shows “… Putting the ‘bling’ in ‘blogging’“, while the one at the bottom of the page reads “Putting the bling in blogging“, without the ( ‘ ) symbols. I know this is a minor mistake but it shows amateurishness.

Advertlets, inconsistent taglines

Advertlets provide a comparison chart that compares themselves with their “nearest competitor”. They didn’t mention who, but of course is our “NN” lah! I wasn’t too fond with a few things that they did and did not compare with.

1. Web 2.0 style logo.
So what if you have and they don’t? It doesn’t add any value to your advertisers or bloggers. Furthermore, according to this article, “There is no official standard for what makes something “Web 2.0”…“. Therefore it’s useless to claim that yours is, and theirs is not. Using bigger and / or brighter fonts is considered Web 2.0. Using ‘Beta’ to replace ‘under construction’ is Web 2.0. Logo of websites like Technorati, Weblogs, Inc., Wikipedia, and even MySpace looks ‘older’ than their logo but is still considered a Web 2.0 style logo. So in my humble opinion, their logo IS Web 2.0 styled.

2. Friendliness of logo.
So, yours are “Happy and laughing”, while theirs “Appears to be boxing and screaming”? I have to admit this is true. Their stickman’s hands are so short it cannot even reach their mouth, thus looking like they are asking for a fight. But then again, what’s your point here? It doesn’t add any value.

3. Meaning of name
Your name sounds like “applets” and theirs “Doesn’t appear to mean anything”. Dear Advertlets, kindly get your facts right. If their name is meaningless, that is a proof they are MORE WEB 2.0 THAN YOU! More and more Web 2.0 start ups come out with names that have no meanings! There’s Skype, Meebo, Zimbra, Wayfaring, Kajeet, Zopa, Pando, and more.

Again, all these three comparisons are VERY LAME. It shows that you guys are desperate and cheap because you’ll do anything to knock out your competitors (including punching them below the belt). This comparison is baseless, useless and meaningless. May I add, your minimum payout is RM200, while theirs is only RM100. Why didn’t mention this?

To be fair to you guys, here are some improvements you can have on your website:

1. Currently, the top bar that contains “Login, Register, Help” cannot be closed. One of the right way to do it is, click once it opens and click the second time it closes.

2. Remove “Malaysia Boleh!” and “Majulah Bloggers Untuk Negara!” slogans. It’s an English website. If you are serious in putting Malay slogans, create a Malay version of your website. That would be another punch to your competitors.

3. Remove the 3 comparisons I mentioned above. It is useless. Your facts are wrong. It degrades your image. Period.

4. Insert the minimum payout in your comparison chart, if you have the balls guts. People know the amount. If they don’t, they will find out. Not putting it in the chart only shows that you are somewhat intimidated by your competitor. Or better yet…

5. Decrease your minimum payout to RM100. If you don’t convert the currencies and just compare a dollar to a dollar, most advertising companies set a minimum payout of at most 100 dollars. AdSense is USD100. Text-Link-Ads is USD25 (no minimum for paypal payment). Adbrite is USD5. Setting a high minimum payout shows that you want your bloggers to work like mad, for a longer period of time before they can get their paychecks.

You may argue it is the same (that they will still receive their paychecks once they reach RM200) but it is not. Imagine you work for a company that pays you RM2,000 a month. However, your boss tells you that you can only receive your salary after it has been collected up to RM10,000. That means you only get paid once in 5 months. You still get paid the same amount right, but is it the same?

**********

Wow. This is a long post. Looking back, I commented more on Advertlets than Nuffnang. That’s because Nuffnang really has nothing much to talk about, really. Everything is short, sweet and nice. Straight to the point. And yes, lovely models. Design of the website is a little plain though, but it is the advertising campaigns that matters. And of course, the two lovely models.

As for Advertlets, the design of the website is really nice. I like the fact that you chose Yvonne Foong to become one of your Featured Bloggers. That will help her with her fund-raising campaign. I wish her well. Anyway, I especially like your banners. As Randy Jackson puts it, “It’s the bomb“. However you should modify your comparison charts a little. Those “3 things” I mentioned above really makes you look a little too desperate.

**********

Up to this point, I still have no idea who will rise up as the winner. What do you think?