Sunday, May 18, 2008

Where is my pagerank?

Ive been working on the website now for around 3 months. Under my management the traffic has grown from 50 visitors per day to over 1000. The growth in traffic has come from a redesign of the myspace page and the creation of a facebook fan page. Every day these two sites provide us with over 80% of our traffic.

I've made an effort to build reciprocal links from pages with pagerank but the page still has a pagerank of 0.

I would love to be getting more traffic from google. We are currently page two for the most common results. I am told that to get to page 1 I need a higher pagerank.

I measure my pagerank using the firefox browser. You can download it here.

It is my understanding that google actually updates its pagerank more frequently - I have seen us move a little up the search engine rankings.

But no one actually knows when the published information will become available.

Has anyones pagerank changed recently? Does anyone know when the last update was?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Adsense is down

I'm one of those people who have to check their AdSense balance every 30 minutes or so. Its generally the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night. When it doesn't work or I don't have Internet access I find myself getting distressed.

Today adsense is down - 18.44 GMT.

Is anyone else experiencing problems with AdSense? A couple of weeks ago my stats were lagging at least 12 hours behind what they normally do and today for the first time - I am getting an error message when trying to access AdSense.


Chess PLC and the evergreen contract. Beware!

I am in charge of the IT and telephone systems at an Independent Financial Advisers in the London area. Their call spend had increased dramatically as their business had grown and they had expanded to 10 channels of ISDN30. The bills they were getting from BT were now in excess of £1000 monthly. In an effort to reduce their call spend we experimented with least cost routing. We use a company called Chess PLC.

We used them for over a year and had no problems at all. The call spend was lower and everything was going well. At this point we were contacted by Rainbow Telecom - who claimed that they could even further lower our bills by removing the minimum call charge and lowering the cost of calls to mobile tariffs. As Chess had been good to us I felt it would only be right (and good business practice) to allow them the opportunity to lower their prices even further.

As I suspected they would they price matched Rainbow on calls and asked if a representative could come down and discuss a way by which we could save even more money by transferring our lines to Chess. In return for a 12 month contract they would offer us a 15% saving on BT line rental. They would deal with everything from their end - no engineer would need to visit and the line would still be maintained by BT. All I had to do was sign on the dotted line. Including the Businesses other sites and old analogue lines (required for BT Redcare and ADSL) there were in total 17 lines to be transferred. The cost saving would be around £450 annually. How could I loose?
Everything went smoothly for a further 4 months and then our Midlands branch started developing a crackling on the line. My initial investigations showed that internal calls were unaffected. I decided the problem lay with the lines. Our staff told us that the condition seemed to worsen when weather conditions were bad and that the problem was intermittent. I reported it immediately to Chess PLC who told us that they would forward the problem to BT.

Days went by and I heard nothing our staff were still reporting the problem so I decided to give Chess another call. They told me that the problem had been shut down same day by BT as they could detect no problem on the line. I explained the problem was intermittent and asked them to re-report it to BT.

Again days went by - the problem was still there, I phoned Chess again. They had once again shut the problem down as BT could not detect it. I explained that the lack of communication was unacceptable and that the problem should not be shut down without confirmation that it no longer exists from the end user. I asked for an engineer to attend the site. Chess explained that if BT could not find a problem with the line I would be charged for the call out. This was fine as I was certain the problem lay with the lines and our business could be losing money rapidly with a prolonged period without functioning telephones.

The BT engineer arrived and confirmed the problem did indeed lay with the lines. The lines appeared clear afterwards, however, the problem was intermittent - I asked him not to shut the problem down without consulting me.

A few days went by and the problem occured again. I phoned Chess and was told that once again the fault had been closed by BT.

I phoned BT who told me that they were unable to speak to me as my telephones were serviced by Chess.

At that point I threatened to leave Chess as the level of service I was receiving was unacceptable. They explained that I would have to pay 6 months average call spend (£6000) to release the company from the contract as I still had 6 months to run on my 12 month contract. 6 months? I was 18 months into a 12 month contract. Chess PLC explained that my contract was "evergreen" and it was automatically renewed every 12 months unless they received by recorded delivery a cancellation notice. Despite repeated complaints and an email to Ofcom that never received a reply. Chess refused to budge in their stance.
I experienced further problems when a line went down earlier this year and Chess were unable to redirect it. BT could have done this within 10 minutes. Our Midlands site was without phones for over 2 days. We have 5 lines there. Were we with BT we would have received £50 in compensation - there was none from chess.
On another occasion I would have liked to redirect a number for a period of 24 hours. Chess explained that whilst they could enable the redirect immediately it could take up to 3 working days to remove it. Which made the service pretty useless.
My 12 months is up on the 16th of June and I'm returning to BT with my tail between my legs. They have convinced me to try their new VOIP system. I will report the results.

Thankyou Lucy Pinder

For as long as I can remember I've always liked large breasted brunette women. In my teens I adored Kelly Brook. How dare they sack her from the big breakfast for being too dumb!
Anyway, After some moaning from my girlfriend of the time I finally took down my 6 foot Kelly Brook Poster from my bedroom wall. The world felt a little bit emptier for it - I had won a concession whereby I could still keep my Kelly calender as I'd written all my important dates in. When I heard she was engaged to Jason Statham (what a dickhead!) I decided it was time to move on. The calender went in the bin and I forgot several peoples birthdays.

Lucy Pinder first came to my attention several years ago. I believe I was walking past a newspaper stand when a front page photo of her and Michelle Marsh in the Daily Star. They are both gorgeous women but Lucy particularly caught my eye. I bought several copies of the daily star over the coming months in the hope of one day catching a glance of her nipples. That's what women normally do on page 3 isn't it?

From this day I made a special effort to purchase copies of FHM, Maxim, Front, Nuts etc .... in an effort to get my eyes on those elusive nipples. Her breast was 99% exposed just the nipples remained hidden - but somehow that lead me to purchase more and more magazines. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months - magazine piles turned into bookshelves full of nipples mags containing Lucy articles - and still no nipples in sight. Eventually disappointed I went off travelling. When I returned I found that finally Lucy had exposed all. Happy days.

When I saw them - I thought : They're grrrrrrrreat! In fact they looked just how I imagined they would. However, I haven't bought another magazine with Lucy Pinder in since. It must have just been the mystery of the unknown. Oh well.....

If you want a good look - go to Google turn off safesearch and do this search:

Thanks Lucy!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Fasthosts - Service Unavailable

I use the fasthosts reseller package to host my companies websites and domains. Most of the time I find them reliable and greatly appreciate the 24/7 support line. The great password change recently was quite an annoyance but I was pleased to see that they were quite pro active about getting the problem resolved and decided it wasnt worth the trouble of moving to a new server.

However, since becoming involved in several projects that are more commerical in nature reliablilty has become a bit of a sticking point for me. At random times of the day several or all of my websites display "Service Unavailable". I am now getting some complaints from customers.

I have upgraded those who have complained Load Balanced websites at a cost of £40 per year per site. Apparently this increases reliability. We will see.

Does anyone know of a reseller package that has similar facilities to fasthosts? Has anyone made the move - was it worth it? how long did it take you?


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Help Neg Dupree get his own show.

Neg Dupree urban sportsman and star of Channel 4's Balls of Steel needs your help. Sign the petition now and get him his own show.!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Olympus 790 SW Scuba diving

The front of my Olympus 790sw says that it is waterproof to 3 metres. Today I took it to 12 metres whilst scuba diving and it was still functional.

Check out the photos at

I suspected that it could in fact go much further than they said and they were choosing a very conservative depth as the maximum. I futher reasoned that it would not implode but the buttons would just end up constantly depressed rendering the camera unusable. As it turns out the camera was fine. The screen discoloured whilst at the deepest parts giving the viewfinder a kind of maroon tint to all the photos. However, when I returned to the surface the camera returned to normal. One problem I found was that the directional pad did become completely depressed and that made changing the cameras mode impossible - it was now simply a point and click device which suited me.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Neg Dupree

Neg is a comedian from London most famous for his Urban Sports on Channel 4's Balls of Steel. I have recently been asked to redesign the The idea is to replace the current static home page with animated flash ..... add a forum, a Neg Urban Sports flash game - or two. WE wil improve all the social networking sites and expand his site to include his own you tube channel and blog. - is his youtube channel. Everybody including the Queen has one of these. Neg has some unseen material we intend to put up here - and dependent upon its success there may be more. You can also find all the best bits from Balls of Steel there. Neg will also be issuing youtube challenges as soon as he has some spare time to film them. It is our aim to get Neg involved in the youtube partners program - any suggestions from existing UK members would be welcome. - here is his facebook fan page. Because everybody is on facebook. Except my friend Matt - but its ok no one misses him. Its only 1 day old - but already we have 23 members - yesterday there was only 1. This represents an astounding 2200% daily growth rate - if this rate of growth continues we expect to be friends with every member of facebook by early next week. - here is his myspace. Neg without my help has already grown his fan base to 1500 myspace members. We hope to develop this further - and intend to redesign the graphics to be more in keeping with the Urban Sports theme. - Neg's blogs on myspace creased me up - especially his recounts of being stalked by Bobby Davro. We have decided to develop this theme further - keep an eye out here for more from Neg.

Suggestions are welcome whilst we work on it. Have we missed anything? A working site should be up and running prior to the broadcast of Balls of Steel Series 3 in March.

Whilst Neg and myself are quite happy to develop all these wonderful sites for his loving fans, we are at the same time constrained by the financial worries of every day life. The parts of the sites that will develop and prosper will be the ones that we can earn an income from. Google ads have always been a good source of income - and we are hopeful that acceptance into the youtube partners program will mean we are able to produce exclusive web content. An overhaul of the merchandice section of the site - and ringtones will help us develop more website content. If anybody has any suggestions we would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Pixmania and my passport

It seems that once again I am writing in my blog about some sort of online transaction gone wrong. This time it is with Pixmania. Yesterday I placed an order for two computers for my office - using their 24 hour next day delivery service (as long as you order before 1pm). Again I found them using google product search.

The next day as I sat in anticipation of my new machines iminent arrival I grew increasingly inpatient. After re-reading my order confirmation I noticed that they required a passport and utility bill from myself before processing the order.I phoned up as surely this was not the case - I have never had to provide my passport details to an online retailer before. The less than helpful lady on the end of the phone explained that they were a french based company and worked a little differently. I decided to cancel.

After being on hold for around 10 minutes the lady got back to me and explained that my computer had already been dispatched. "Oh" I said, "So you don't need my passport then?" I then thought, Where is my computer if it has been dispatched then? The lady said it could take upto 48 hours from dispatch to get to me. But I paid for 24 hour delivery and now I am being made to wait an additional 48 hours. I then asked what is my shipping number - I will call UPS and find out where my machine is. They could not provide me with this - and said I could keep checking their website to see when the information was available.

I will not be dealing with Pixmania again.