Sunday, August 30, 2009

Getting free samples and free stuff on the internet..

Yes you can get totally free samples on the internet, but you have to be ready for a couple things. The first is, the email you use to register for the free stuff will probably get spammed, so I recommend getting a free disposable email like Yahoo or Hotmail. You usually have to confirm your email with the free stuff site so you have to use a REAL email. The next thing is, they may send you promotional mailings to your house long after you receive your free sample. But I have a trick for readily identifying junk mail, use a fake name. As a matter of fact, the stupider the name the better. For example, I signed up for a free sample of D-Max energy supplement and used the name Ima Phatass.

It came even hand addressed with a sticker on the envelope promoting weight loss. I laughed so hard at this one that I used the same pseudonym to see if Body-For-Life would send me an entry form for their weight loss challenge. Sure enough, they did. I was really tempted to follow through and enter the contest with some fake pictures that were obvious photo-shopped before and after photos, but I chickened out. It was funny just thinking about it though.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to post the link where you can get free sample stuff on the internet: http://forums.slickdeals.net/forumdisplay.php?sduid=0&f=4

Friday, August 21, 2009

The 18 Digit Calculator Widget..

You may remember from prior posts that I have been working with widgetbox.com. Widgetbox.com is website where you can go and make widgets, easily distributable add-ons or do-dads for people to put on their website or blog for free. A widget will have a short, easy to copy bit java-script that people can install in seconds with little effort.

There are several different reasons to offer free widgets to your visitors. People love FREE stuff, so having a sought after widget is like having a popular I-Phone app. Visitors will seek out your website or blog to get the widget, so you get traffic that way. You also can use the widget to get traffic from the widget itself once it is installed on the end users site. So it is a fun form of viral marketing.

I have been offering my own type of free widgets from my sites for a couple of years, but the only way (I know of) to protect the code within the widget is to use I-frames. A frame is like a portion of a web page within another web page. And you want to protect the content of the original script so the end user does not modify it and take away the benefits you have worked so dearly for. So I could offer a short bit of I-frame code to distribute a game box or something, and when a visitor clicked a game to play, it would lead to one of my websites.

Unfortunately, some social networking sites like myspace and others prohibit the use of frames. I would guess it is due to the fact that after I have a ton of people install the I-frame code, I could change the content of the page that is being "framed" to whatever I wanted, so there is no way to monitor the content or protect unsuspecting users from unscrupulous widgets.

The advantage of using widgetbox.com is they can turn an I-frame into java script in minutes. And java script is ok to use on almost all websites and blogs. Once you have an account at widgetbox.com, you can start developing widgets for free right away. However, like all good start-ups, the perfect world was only free for a while. Yes, you can still create free widgets, but they display a short ad on your widget as it is displayed. It eventually disappears or you can "x" out of the ad, but nonetheless it is annoying.

Which led me to the problem with my 18 digit calculator widget. When I first started working on the calculator widget, I could tell by the traffic reports from widgetbox.com that the calculator had the potential to be a popular widget. But the forced ad resulted in a real big problem. Even when there was no ad being displayed, there was a small clickable "ad" icon in the top left of the widget. In most cases this would not be a problem, but on the calculator, it ended up right over where the first digit would be on the display. This made the calculator virtually unusable.

Without completely refiguring the entire layout and starting over, there was really only one alternative; going pro. I am all about FREE, and have based my entire website modeling on FREE, but widgetbox.com will remove all ads and give some other benefits for $30 a year. So I am giving it a shot. And below is the free (and ad-free) 18 digit calculator widget that you can embed on your site or blog. And if you like it, maybe you could shoot me a Paypal dollar or two to doyledawkins@yahoo.com. We will try to keep it ad-free forever.




Sunday, August 16, 2009

2009 PBA Senior Tour News Widget


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Random Game Widget

I have been working on a random game script that people can put on their websites and blogs to display hundreds of different games. A new game icon appears every time the browser is refreshed. I ran into a few snags, one being, getting the script to open in a new window when the game is clicked on, but I think I have found the right script. It works out nice because I can add more games as they become available without the end users having to change the code.

I have also been working with Widgetbox to turn it into a easy to distribute game widget. Widgetbox has started displaying a short advertisement on their widgets, and they want $30 a year to remove the ads. So here is a beta version of the random game widget. It is available for free if you want to use it.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Craigslist Email Scammer

I was selling something on Craigslist and I got an email asking if my item was still available. Like a dork, I answered back that it was and got this email back:

---- begin email ------

Reply to: mailto:sale-xxxxx-1312070878@craigslist.org>
From: kelcibbs05@gmail.com> To: xxxxxxxxx@hotmail.com>
> Hello,
> Thanks for the prompt response ,I really appreciate it.yes i want to
> buy it and i assume its in good conditions as you stated ,I would
> have loved to come check it but my son will going for a Kidney
> transplant in the next few days so I wouldn't be able to come see it .
> I intend paying you with certified check which i will include the
> freight and handling fee with it and I'll be sending a mover to come
> pick it up. so you don't have any further problem ,all you have to do
> deduct your funds and send the freight and handling fee to the
> shipping vendor i already set up coming for the pick up.I would need
> your Name, physical address and telephone to send the check. Thanks for
> your anticipated understanding>
> Regards> > --


> Is this item still avaialable????>
> Regards
> 206-339-6681

------ end email ------

Well I did some research since the area code is from Seattle. Well it seems this guy Kelvin Cibbs goes by several different names with the same story. So I figured I would play with him a bit by replying with this:

----------- reply ------

Hi, that would be great except I will be out of the country until Labor Day. I am leaving Monday to go to South Africa to collect my late uncle's 9.6 million dollar inheritance. It seems there are no other living relatives and luckily they found my email address. I cannot give you my home address because I had to sell my house to get the $18,000 fee to release the money.

It will take me until Labor Day because after I collect my 9.6 million from Barrister Williams, I will be traveling to England as I have won the UK lottery for $400,000.00. It has been a great month, isn't the internet great? And I was told when I got my computer for my retirement gift that the internet was full of scammers, won't my friends be surprised?

I have just verified my personal information in an email from Citi-Bank so you have nothing to worry about me cashing your certified check. Maybe you could make the check out for extra money, so I could send you the extra cash for your son's kidney transplant. I like helping people, as I have donated to the tsunami relief fund 4 times from this email.

Well I better go, I need to check my Ebay account as someone in Nigeria wants to give me $5600 for my 1972 Schwinn Stingray!

Rufus

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Saturday, August 1, 2009