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Online fraud & country reputation

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Sunday June 4, 2006 )

A recent CNN story about a Russian site that allows users to download albums for less than $1, which is *supposedly* legal under Russian law (which I doubt), brought a few points to mind about the serious reputation issues that some some countries still have in the online world. (more…)

MySpace Pt. 5 – tracking sequel

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Friday June 2, 2006 )

The MySpace Profile Tracker issue continues to stir up all sorts of reactions, from those who fruitlessly seek such an application, to striking fear in the hearts of those who feel they may be tracked. (more…)

Online freedom of speech

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Wednesday May 31, 2006 )

Amnesty International have taken the fight for freedom of speech online a step further by launching It’s not just a petition against governments who curtail online activities (more…)

Simple MySQL connection test

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Tuesday May 30, 2006 )

You know the scenario – you’re trying to install some software that requires MySQL, but it can’t seem to make a MySQL connection. Your hosting service says it’s the installation routine of the software, the software author says it’s your hosting service.

Here’s a simple script for testing (more…)

How much does spam cost you?

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Monday May 29, 2006 )

I’ve often wondered about how much spam costs me in terms of my life rather than cash. If I spend x minutes a day dealing with spam, how much of my life will be lost to spam over the next 20 years (more…)

DMOZ snippets & SERPs

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Sunday May 28, 2006 )

A listing on DMOZ (ODP – Open Directory Project) is a great thing to have as it can score you extra kudos with some search engines. One of the down sides to having a listing is that the (more…)

Web 2.0 – what’s in a name?

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Saturday May 27, 2006 )

A lot it would appear. If you’re considering running a conference on Web 2.0 technologies, call it anything but “Web 2.0 Conference” – otherwise you may get a tap on the shoulder from O’Reilly Media or one of their partners.

O’Reilly were the company that (more…)

Customer loyalty and rewards

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Friday May 26, 2006 )

Rewards are a great way to keep your customers coming back – whether it’s a discount on their next purchase or other bonus goodies that change each time they buy from your store. I happened upon an interesting rewards offer tonight that may be useful in your online business. (more…)

Ecommerce results & predictions

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Wednesday May 24, 2006 )

Figures from the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce released last week estimate that retail ecommerce sales in the US during the first quarter hit over (more…)

Outsourcing – be cautious

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Tuesday May 23, 2006 )

So you outsource some development work to another company – the worse that can happen is they don’t complete the work or produce shabby results, take your money and run, right?

Wrong.. it can get much worse. (more…)