Monday, 4 February 2008

MS, Yahoo VS Google

Back to Auguest last year, Google unveiled Google Apps for Your Domain, which clearly shows their interests of the business software market. Obviously, it is not going to be an online version of MS Office, and as Dave Girouard said, Google is not going to compete with MS Office. But, is google aiming to build a platform for online business software, and possibly going to allow outside developers like myself to offer services? If not, why the hell they do that for?

However, is the marriage of MS and Yahoo going to kill this baby product of Google's enterprise division?

Combining two dogs could possibly make a pony, who know :)

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Google Page Rank Updated?

Was there a Page Rank export today? Anyway, this blog got a Rank 3 now. :-)

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Back from FOWA Expo

Back from the three-day web 2.0 conference...
I like it! cos I left with loads new ideas to digest; I hate it! It is as dangerous as a bomb which will release all my energy very rapidly. :-)

Thursday, 20 September 2007

BlogSpot VS WordPress - Which One Your Like

Recently, I posted a question on Linkedin asking which blogging service provider is better? BlogSpot or WorldPress or any other .... I am quite impressed with all the interesting answers and would like to share them with you here. Thanks once again for all people who answered the question!

Please don't hesitate to comments on this post to tell us your thoughts and blog examples!

Here is a list of all the 17 answers by September 20, 2007 (20:20:00)

David Cote

I’ve been using WordPress for a blog tool for years now. With thousands of developers working around the clock to improve this software each release update gets better and better. At this point, I find it much more than a blogging application. Now it’s perfect for building complete websites. Sure - you can never get a website to be EXACTLY the way you want it unless you do it yourself from the ground up. But, WordPress has so many super features and plugins available, I’m willing to bend in certain areas. Here are a few of my favorite things about WP:

* Easy to install
* Easy to upgrade
* Quickly put together a “complete” site - static pages, a blog with commenting, contact form, etc.
* Themes-a-plenty - Even if you aren’t an expert at CSS, don’t worry. There are many themes ready to go for WP and you can use them as is, or make some slight tweaks in order to make them “just right.”
* Great user interface on the backend.
* All open and ready to customize - both the front and back ends.
* Many plugins — there’s a huge community of developers making little plugins that will do everything from producing a spam-proof contact form to sucking in other open source apps like Gallery.
* Smart from the get go — right after installing, you only have to do a few things to make your site live and ready for traffic.

I could go on and on, but if you’re looking for a simple way to get your site live, give WordPress a spin! Take a couple hours to fool around with it and I bet you’ll be hooked!


Damian Rees

No experience of blogspot personally, but I like Wordpress. Its very flexible and once its set up its really easy to use on a day to day basis.

The only issues I've had is when I wanted to integrate Wordpress into my website - it got a bit too technical for me but as long as you have that sort of knowledge or someone to help you its a great tool.

David Thiel

Wordpress is far more customizable -- even for a novice with no programming skills. I highly recommend it. (And I've used Wordpress, Typepad, Blogspot, and others...)

Juha Ylitalo

If you are using blog for commercial purposes, you definately want to handle blog under your own domain name. I would assume that this invalidates blogspot as an option.
If you don't want to setup WordPress into your own server and do all administration that it might require, you might want to check Typepad, where you can run your blog as part of your domain (for example Only downside in comparison to blogspot is that its not free service, but ...


Scott Hanis

I write a couple of blogs on Blogspot. I've never used Wordpress. I only blog on simple things (sports, job-searching, etc.) so I don't know how adequate it would be for your needs. I like it though.

Guillaume Dufloux

My short answer (is a question) :
"Does allow CSS editing for free?"

Here's what I remember from a recent comparison (July 2007, see link).
Main points for :
- Image storage is 6 times bigger at blogspot (300Mo/50Mo)
- blogspot allows you toinclude third-part-scripts
Main points for :
- Hierarchy is better done at wordpress (Administrator, Editors, Authors and Contributors.)
- Wordpress allows comments editing

So, the better one depends on what you require first.


Matias Bellone

If you are planning on a blog that will represent your company you definetly want to look very professional. The first thing for that would be to make sure the blog is accessible from your domain. That leaves most hosted services off the game.

After that, you can chose whichever CMS you feel comfortable with. I've worked with WordPress quite a lot and that's why I would recommend it. But you may be better off trying several CMSs just to make sure you use the one option that fits you most. CMS Matrix (see links) is just what you need to check all your options.


Nate Walton

I'll answer this question as a graphic designer, considering the visual statement you'll want for a business blog. The more professional it looks, the more credibility you'll have.

My experience with Blogspot has been that most of its users are personal bloggers. The recognizable Blogspot themes, as well as the logo at the top make it something I probably would avoid for business blogs.

I've used WordPerss quite a bit, but I've used the open source blog software that I installed on my servers rather than the online signup. (Many hosting providers actually have 1-click installs of Wordpress built into their control panel). This is a very good solution, because you can build it exactly how you want it. But it does require someone to install, configure, and design the blog on your server.

The Wordpress-hosted blogs (at have a small footer at the bottom of the page that mentions Wordpress, but other than that it's a custom blog. Theyre easy to set up, and there are lots of themes and add-ons.

Some of the most professional business blogs I've seen have used SixApart's Movable Type, linked below. They're advertising Movable Type as their business blogging solution, and their recently released version seems like an excellent piece of software. Their interface designs are also excellent. Again, this one has to be installed and configured on your server.

Juha mentioned TypePad above, also by SixApart. That's one that you sign up for online. I've never used it, but I'd suggest taking a look at it in addition to the other two you're considering. I think SixApart does great work, in both software and visual design.


Victor Gevers

I would suggest ExpressionEngine. It runs pretty smooth and can handle a heavy user load well. It's has a lot features and it's very flexibel to set up.


Pamela Hazelton


James Dellow

I agree with Guillaume's comments. I use both Blogspot and Wordpress (see links), and each has pros and cons. Wordpress is easier and has many nice features included "out of the box", but I've found Blogspot gives you more freedom. However, I think you need to clarify if you intend to host the blog yourself in your own domain or not, and how much skill/effort you want to put into designing your blog.


Laura Tanner

I use Wordpress for my blog at I experimented with Blogspot early on, and found it to be quite rigid and limited in terms of design, available add-ons and features. Wordpress has thousands of plugins and themes that can be easily customized. You also have the option of running it on your own servers, via many ISPs or hosted by Wordpress. Moveable Type is another more robust option. If you want a simple solution with minimal maintenance and don't mind a generic look, Blogspot is fine. If you want the flexibility to brand your blog and add functionality over time, Wordpress is the better choice.


Mia Kosma

I have used both and prefer Wordpress. One of the advantages of Wordpress, in my view, is that even if you start your blog in, you may later decide to install Wordpress on your own website (you can download the software at

However, I would try both if I were you. You won't lose anything: they are free services, so you can create a blog for testing purposes and then just delete it. (Or make your "test blog" private and only publish it once you decide which service to use.)


Jade Cadelina

I haved used Blogspot and Wordpress for my sites.

I decided to setup my own customised blog using Wordpress with a hosting company. I have better control of the backend and tweaked some of the codes by modifying the themes to make more flexible and modular.

If you are looking for a business blog then you are better off getting a hosting package and install Wordpress.

A customised business blog is more professional looking and presentable if you have a good web designer. If you dont want to use a web designer you can choose from the the hundreds of Wordpress themes on

With Wordpress you will need a hosting company that supports PHP and MySQL. You can install Wordpress out of the box by downloading from

Wordpress is opensource and you have access to hundreds of experts in the Wordpress forum. You can find a local support by finding a PHP programmer thats familiar with MySQL and a good understanding of Content Management Systems.

Clarification added 1 day ago:

You can check out my site on

Dirk Hoag

Having used Blogspot for the last two years now, I can definitely say that if I had to do it all over again, I'd go with Wordpress. From all of my research it seems much more flexible.

Daniel Thornton

I'd suggest blogspot is far easier to get a blog going with; but it will be noticeable as a blogspot blog, even hosted on your own url (Which is easily done with blogspot).

Wordpress is a little more complex, but is far mroe customisable, more professional, and there are plenty of resources and templates available to make something look very good without much work. The only reason I haven't switched my blogs is that I can't justify the expense of hosting my personal blogs in revenue returns, but I don't want to turn off the adverts.

I'm actually just starting with Expression Engine and it looks pretty good...


Claudia Tietze

I use BlogSpot primarily, but WordPress lets you do more. There are also a lot of free tools to put your WordPress blog together and post at times you choose, which is very handy to get better exposure.

I have also started using WordPress, and would move my blog over to it, but I am just so hooked into BlogSpot.

What I can suggest is that you create two test blogs. Try out the different things each has to offer before you decide. After all, your blog becomes your baby, so you should be happy with it's "cradle", so to speak.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

My blog is one month old - Tips to improve site traffic

I would like to express my thanks to everyone who visits my blog. You are the reason why I am keep doing this ... ...

Google Report - Blog Traffic Overview

Learning Point:

  1. I will write more posts during the weekend as the blog traffic goes down during each weekend;
  2. Long posts are better than short ones (Blog traffic goes up a lot after I write a long post);
  3. Use images, and upload them to flickr;

Google Report - Usage Summary
Learning Points:
  1. Share my knowledge & experience (Posts of those type getting more page views than others);
  2. Use proper labels which indicating what the blog is about;
  3. List your best posts as they will attract your new visitors;
  4. Encourage and help people to subscribe the feed;

Google Report - Traffic Source
Learning Points:
  1. Use proper referral sites, including:,,,;
  2. List which sites/blogs you like;
  3. Try to reduce the bounce rate by putting proper labels against each post
Google Report - Search Results
I am not using Google AdWords or any paid category services. What I 've been doing is:
  1. Leave comments on others' blogs, forums;
  2. Only submit your blog to relative blog/site categories;
  3. Allow comments on my blog and reply emails asap;
  4. Write some posts about google (Google like that, and they promote those posts, which means they generate more links from their engines);
  5. Make the blog looks pretty and armed with useful technologies (google analytics, digg, snapshot, google adsense, etc); [Drop me an email ( if you need help to implement them]

Technorati Report - Blog Response
  1. Check technorati account regularly;
  2. Understand why other blogs response to mine and express your thanks;


Thanks once again for all your help!

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Technology review for this 29 days old blog (section one)

Feed - The feed does look good by using Feedburner, and it reaches the widest possible audience. I am using the rotating highlights (screenshot 1) and the counter (screenshot 2) at the moment.

(screenshot 1)

(screenshot 2)

SnapShot - Without clicking a link, SnapShot can help you to get a general impression of what the page behind looks like. (screenshot 3)

(screenshot 3)

Footer - I made a transparent footer, just trying to improve the usability. If you like it, please read my previous post CSS-Driven Footer.

Google Analytics - It is just too good a web monitoring tool to miss. It tells you absolutely everything about site traffic (a sample report as shown in screenshot 4). If you not using it, better give it a try. (Click here to start)

(screenshot 4)

Motigo - Another useful web statistics tool, and it provides some interesting reports, like a page-view-per-hour report shown in screenshot 5:

(screenshot 5)

I will write the second part later :-)

Web 2.0 is a feature

Web 2.0 is actually more of a feature than a technology, and not all web 2.0 sites care about using of new technologies. Take MySpace and YouTube for example, they are using flash content and HTML forms all over their sites.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Sunrise Or Sunset

Moments of life
…are measured

Life is shared in laughter and love.
Love comes from the peaceful bliss of just being together.

Sunrise or sunset
It is a special event
…a moment to last- forever.

Sunrise and sunset
-one and the same
…yet far apart in years-
but, still connected in the cycle of life.

Sunrise or sunset
It is a cherished moment
…a symbol of unity,
of being together
like for a parent
and a child.

Sunrise and sunset
Ever after to be remembered
As a sunset too soon!
And yet, treasured as a
sunshine of love!
(Author: M. Matthews)

Use CAPTCHA to protect sites from abuse - PHP Approach

First thing first, lets take a look at CAPTCHA's physical appearance (a screenshot from my application) :

Ah... CAPTCHA is a program to tell whether the user is a human or a computer.

Secondly, CAPTCHA is very very secure as it uses two layers of protection when generating the image. It starts with images that can't be read by computers, and then distorts them even more as shown in the screenshot above. The OCR software read the image (screenshot above) as "ibataz Iueqm". :-)

Now, Lets implement it by using PHP:

Step One: Display the image

$publickey = "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx";
$capImg = recaptcha_get_html($publickey);
echo $capImg; //Display the image

Step Two: Check if the user input is correct
The reason to use $_SESSION['Code'] is to stop checking it again if the last attempt was correct. For example, you need a user to specify a valid email address AND to get this image correct. But, he forgot to put his email ... So, he only need to tell you what his email address is on the next screen.
if ($_SESSION['Code'] != "yes") // user's last input was correct
$privatekey = "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx";
$resp = recaptcha_check_answer ($privatekey,

if (!$resp->is_valid)
$_SESSION['Code'] = "no";
} else {
$_SESSION['Code'] = "yes";

Step Three: Display another image if the user's input was incorrect
if ($_SESSION['spamCode'] != "yes")
$Info = "Oops! You got it wrong, please try again ...";
$publickey = "xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx";
$capImg = recaptcha_get_html($publickey);
echo $capImg;
} else {
$Info = "Correct!";
echo $Info;

Google Webmaster Tools Updated

The google webmaster tools updated this morning, and it looks like this now:

Not only the looking feel changed, but also some new functions they are providing, including Top Search queries, etc. Take a look see if anything interesting there ....... :-)

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

MySQL Transaction in PHP (Commit & Rollback)

We all know that an SQL query will either execute completely or not at all (i.e. they are atoms). But, sometimes, we want several queries to be bundled together as response to business logic. Transaction processing will help you to ensure this and maintain database integrity.

If you are new to MySQL transaction with PHP, then this article will definitely help. :-)

Step One - Make sure the type of your database table is innoDB not MyISAM.
(Here is a screenshot of from phpMyAdmin)

Step Two - Start transaction $dbh->query('BEGIN');
$dbh is an pearDB object ($dbh = new pearDB(), if you are not familiar with pearDB, please click here.)

Step Three - Specify your queries which reflect the business logic. ($sqlA and $sqlB)
Step Four - 'ROLLBACK' to cancel $sqlA and $sqlB, and 'COMMIT' to confirm the changes.

Code Example:

(Click the image to Enlarge)

If you have any question or suggestion, feel free contact me on twitter: