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Articles

“Diary of a Geek” Rebrands!

aw logo wDiary of a Geek started out in 2010 as a meeting point for technology enthusiasts with especial focus on Nigeria. Technology is very much the first love of our readers and has been the focus of the blog.

But over time, there have been an increasing demand for a more inclusive and wider range of topics to be covered on the blog.

In the past, we had flirted occassionally with bits of socio-political news and this received mostly favourable responses from viewers. Also, my interactions on Twitter with my handle @diaryofageek has been anything but strictly technology.

All these informed the decision for a subtle and proactive rebranding of the blog, for it to evolve to meet the yearnings and interests of its readers – evolving to remain relevant. The entire rebranding exercise would also allow the blog to reach broader horizons, reaching out to new audiences of varied interests.

As a first step of this rebranding process, the primary domain name of the blog has been moved from artwales.biz to diaryofageek.com to reflect a more professional appearance and, of course, a more memorable name. Naturally, all the old links on the artwales.biz domain still works, linking directly to the new domain name. (Why would we call ourselves geeks if we can not undertake such a simple task?! 🙂 )

Secondly, the blog would now feature social media news, news and developments in mobile, entertainment, online video, business, web development, technology , music (on the old school tip!) and gadgets. Also expect loads of geek stuff written in SIMPLE English (no geek speak!), read about tips, tricks, downloads and the technology that will help you work and live smarter and more efficiently in this digital age.

Look out for blog posts as “Diary of a Geek” rebrands to a lifestyle blog, from the viewpoint of an introvert geek.

Categories
Hosting

Nigeria slashes second level .ng registration cost by 97%

According to an article on This Day Live, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), the registry for .ng domain names, has reduced the price of registering a second level .ng domain name by 97% to NGN 15,000. That is equivalent to about $95 USD.

Updated List of NiRA Accredited RegistarsPreviously, the group had been charging NGN 500,000, or $3,165 per year, for a second level .ng registration.

But it actually used to cost a lot more than that. When NIRA started offering second level domains, it offered to sell a five year registration outright for NGN 7.5M, or $47,450. It offered reduced pricing of NGN 3.0M for domains that matched trademarks.

Some companies took NIRA up on the offer. Google registered four domains while Microsoft picked up Bi.ng.

But the This Day article says that only 32 second level .ng domains were registered, and only two of those were registered by companies in Nigeria.

The Chief Operating Officer of NIRA, Mr. Ope Odusan, who gave the information, told THISDAY that NIRA later discovered that most Nigerians preferred the .ng top-level domain name directly, instead of the .com.ng domain name. He added that they however complained that the N500, 000 per year, which amounted to N6 million in five years, was exorbitant for them.

Gee, really?

Third level .ng domains, such as name.com.ng, are available for around $15 per year.

However, since the price reduction took effect on April 16th, 2013,  there have been a spike in registrations, even at a price that is relatively high for a second level domain registration.

About 1,700 second .ng domains have been registered till date.

Judging by the 85 .ng listings on Sedo, a lot of these registrations are probably domain hacks ending in .ng. Some of the domain hacks listed for sale include sla.ng, roofi.ng, and uploadi.ng.

Some people listing domains on Sedo are asking prices in the 10,000 EUR range.

Categories
Hosting

Create Free Websites Using Your Dropbox Account

Owning a website is the norm nowadays. Whether to showcase yourself or your product, most people seem to have a reason (or more!) to own one. However, not many are willing to pay for this service.

If you are among this category of penny pinchers, you are in luck. I know just what you need – Dropbox! Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, and client software. Dropbox allows users to create a special folder on each of their computers, which Dropbox then synchronises so that it appears to be the same folder (with the same contents) regardless of the computer it is viewed on. Files placed in this folder are also accessible through a website and mobile phone applications.

site44Dropbox offers 2GB of this space free for everyone that signs on. In conjunction with site44.com, you have more than enough space needed for a website.

Follow the steps below and you will have your website running in a few minutes. It is simple:

  • Create a new Dropbox account or use an existing one.
  • Go to site44.com. Then click Sign in with Dropbox to get started
  • Click Allow to allow site44 to connect with your Dropbox account
  • You will be taken to a page on site44 where you can create your site
  • You have a choice of using a free site44 sub domain name for your website in the form artwales.site44.com or you can use your own domain name.
  • A new folder for your site will automatically be created in your Dropbox account.
  • You can modify the content of the folder to make changes to your site or you can upload website pages or templates to it.

Limitations

  • It is great for hosting small websites with static content like an online resume site, but it lacks several desirable features. It does not support any server side code like Java or PHP.
  • No, you can not host a blog on it.
  • The free package, unfortunately, is very limited in features – Maximum data transfer of 100MB in a month.
  • Premium packages are not competitively priced, you will be better off hosting your sites with a regular web host.

Free users can create up to 5, low-traffic pages in this site. Site44.com  is definitely not a replacement for fully equipped web hosting service, but for starters who don’t need all those features  and you use Dropbox anyway, then this is a good option. Do check it out!

Categories
Hack Hosting

How To Secure Your WordPress Blog – Part 1

WordPress is an open source and free blogging software. Two variants abound;

WordPress.com

WordPress.com are blogs hosted by the company that gave us WordPress, Auttomatic. Recommended to beginners with little knowledge of what goes on behind the scene of this blogging platform.

Features

– WordPress.com is the safer way to go. There are a lot of mechanisms in place to make sure that you don’t accidentally break it or prevent it from working the way it was intended to.

– While no online platform can be regarded as impregnable, this is probably as safe as you can get. All of the technical maintenance work is taken care of by some of the best hands — Setup, upgrades, spam, backups, security, etc. Believe me, it is a scary world out there.

– It is free, with 3GB space to play with. This is more than enough. Diary of a Geek with over 300 posts uses less than 100MB of web space.

– Some of the best sites also use wordpress hosted blogging; CNN .

– Yes, your blog will be in the form of, say, artwales.wordpress.com but with $18 per year, you get to use a domain name of your choice.

Deal Breakers

– Inability to use your themes or plugins. You are restricted to a bunch of boring free and premium themes. However, from a security sandpoint, this can be viewed as a strength because most hacks into wordpress blogs are not via the blogging platform itself but through loopholes in these themes and plugins. Timthumb readily comes to mind.

– You can not monetize your blog with adsense and the likes. However, wordpress has its own home brew called Wordads.

– ads, though few, are present. You pay $30 per year to remove this.

WordPress.org

These are self hosted blogs. You subscribe to a web host to host your blog.

Features

– You have complete control over the look and feel of your site

– You can install any WordPress theme or plug-in to extend the functionality of your site (believe me, this is a very powerful and inexpensive way to add functionality to your website)

Deal Breakers

– Some level of skills is required to manage your blog satisfactorily.
– Careful, you can easily break something
– You need to manage your own backups. (However, there are free plugins to automate this easily.)
– Themes and plugins may contain vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
– You pay hosting fees.

In part 2, we would discuss some basic steps to secure your WordPress.org blog.

Categories
Hack

Email Spoofing

I run a startup web hosting reseller company with a sizeable number of premium and free accounts.

Running a web hosting business can be challenging but interesting too. You get to hear varied complaints.

About 3 weeks ago, a client called me up, complaining about mails that were being sent from addresses purportedly from his domain. A quick check on his account revealed nothing. However, what makes his case a little interesting is that his cPanel account was not hacked into, so these email addresses do not exist. A closer study showed that the spammer’s intent was to use a legitimate account with a whitelisted IP address to spread “the word”, mostly selling or advertising one thing or the other.

This is not very different from what our ever so ingenious 419 crew used to do way back, claiming a mail was sent from, say, CBN or from the widow of Thomas Sankara or something. However, our 419 guys usually leave a different “reply to” address, making the whole thing a joke.

My client’s case is different because these mails that are puportedly sent from his domain name are sent out with no expectation of a reply and they are sent out in thousands. Chances are, the only mail the domain owner would ever get would be from his hosting company and that he did. His account eventually got suspended.

It really was not his fault but unfortunately, nothing much can be done about it. The sad thing too is that it can happen to any email account, even in the public domain.

Thankfully, we Nigerians are the praying type. We can only pray the spammer will tire out and go elsewhere.

Categories
Hosting

The Return of WWW


The use of “www” in website addressing will make a comeback with new top level domain names.

Type in any correctly configured domain name and you don’t need to include www. Technically www is merely a subdomain, that is why you usually see ads that just promote something like DNW.com instead of www.DNW.com. People know it’s a web address because of the .com.

Is it necessary to include www because many people don’t recognize, say, artwal.es as a web address?

As hundreds of new top level domain names come online over the next few years I think we’ll see a resurgence in the use of www when people display a web address. If you just saw a truck that had great.food on the side you might not think it’s a web address — much like I did a double take when seeing att.jobs on a billboard.

www.great.food? People get that. Well, they’re more likely to get that than great.food.

– Posted using BlogPress

Categories
Hosting

Start Your Own “Nairaland” For FREE!!!

Nairaland.com is probably the most visited forum in Nigeria. Interested in starting up yours? You just might be the one to upseat Nairaland, and for free too!

Probably the best platform you can start your forum on is Simple Machines Forum (SMF). It is free and very secured. But most importantly, the process involved in setting one up takes just a few minutes. The steps to take are itemised below;

1. Order for a FREE web hosting plan from arthurwales.com. You may use an existing domain name with it or you may place an order for one.
2. Log in to your CPanel. If your chosen domain name is, say, www.naijawristwatches.com, then your cpanel address is www.naijawristwatches.com/cpanel. Your login details would have been provided in a mail you received when your hosting account with arthurwales.com was activated.
3. You have a choice of an automated installation of SMF via Fantastico in your cPanel or doing it manually. You will find Fantastico under Software/Services in your Cpanel. Just Click on it and do a quick search for SMF. Installation takes a few minutes.

4. However, the best option to take would be to download the full installation zip file from http://download.simplemachines.org/, that way, you would be getting the latest version of the installation file, SMF 2.0
5. Create a database via your cpanel. Check under Databases for MySQL Database.
6. Upload the downloaded zip file to your web hosting space using the File Manager in your CPanel. Ensure the file is uploaded to the public_html folder , then extract the content there.
7. Type the following url in your browser; www.yourdomainname.com/install.php
Username and Password are your CPanel login details

In the Screen above, select a username and password for your admin login screen.

With this, the installation is completed. A sample installation of SMF forum can be viewed at www.artwal.es

PS: If you get stuck or you will rather not attempt the installation, subscription to arthurwales.com web hosting qualifies you for a free installation. Submit your request at www.facebook.com/diaryofageek

 


Categories
Hosting

Should You Buy the .Net or .Org to Protect the .Com?


I am often asked whether it’s recommended that a person buy the .net and/or .org domain names when they purchase a .com domain name. In my opinion, the simple answer is yes if you are going to develop your brand name, but no if you aren’t.

While it’s nice for a publisher to own other extensions when he or she plans to develop the .com domain name, it’s not critical. I would imagine very few people confuse the .net or .org for the .com. The main reason I do recommend trying to get the .org and/or .net if it’s feasible and cost effective is to prevent someone else from competing, specifically if it’s a descriptive domain name.

For domain investors who are hand registering .com names as an investment they later plan to re-sell, I don’t think buying the .net and .org is necessary. If a person has a portfolio of 200 .com domain names, owning the .net and .org of those names is close to an extra $3,000 annually.

Unless you are going to develop and plan to protect your brand, I don’t think it’s necessary. It likely won’t add much value to a deal with your .com and will only serve to significantly increase your carrying costs.

– Posted using BlogPress

Categories
Hosting

Why You Need A Blog

What Is A Blog?

It’s quite clear that if you want to make money on the Internet and want to increase the Search Engine Optimisation (S.E.O) of your website then, without question, you absolutely, 1000%, NEED A BLOG!

77% of Internet users read blogs (you are reading ours right now!) and that, right there, is massive exposure for your website. Blogs have become absolutely indispensable to businesses in their quest for improved commerce and are a great way to provide your clients with information that bonds them to your business as blogs lets them see you as an authority on your subject and a friendly person they can contact. Usefully, they are a feature that you can easily add to your website.

Blogs started as VERY simple online applications for posting online diaries. Those diaries were used as personal diaries, political activists, amateur news reporters, and for anyone that needed a soapbox. Today, that has all changed, and with this article I’ll show you some of the reasons why blogs need to be a necessary part of your online marketing (and all for just a little more than free).

You are sure to have heard about blogs on the Internet umpteen times and you are sure to have read them but do you know what they are? Do you know why they are so useful in selling your products and making yourself money?


A blog is a type of website where relatively short entries (almost like diary entries) are written in chronological order and displayed in reverse chronological order (i.e. your latest blog post sits at the top) like a news-feed. Blogs provide a commentary, information, news or your own thoughts and commentaries any particular subject (could be food, politics, sports or local news; absolutely anything you like). A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic and as such can be a rich and rewarding to read. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs and involves the visitor. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media. If you are an authority on a subject, whatever it is, you can blog about it!

Like many online tools and applications, blogs started out as a tool and a toy for geeks. If you look at email, forums, html, and now blogs, they were all used by geeks for some time before businesses found a way to monetize them. Blogs have fairly recently become the next online tool to become indispensable to businesses.

Blogs Are Almost Free!

You can create a blog for your website in minutes and this has eliminated all barriers to creating blogs online. As you can see, this blog you are reading is a WordPress blog; we love WordPress because it is highly extendable. WordPress is a free addition to your website. Naturally, arthurwales.com hosts blogs and provides the Fantastico auto-installer, so you can install WordPress in just a few minutes and with just a couple of clicks and at no extra cost whatsoever!

Install WordPress Using Fantastico

One-click installation is the quickest way to get WordPress up and running on your website; after you’ve determined that one-click would best serve your needs, you can follow the tutorial below to learn how to set up your WordPress blog using Fantastico’s one-click installation option.

1) If you have not already done so, log into your website’s cPanel account, then click on the Fantastico icon.

2) Click on WordPress Link From the Fantastico interface, scroll down until you see the Blogs section and just below it, you should see WordPress in the list. Click on the WordPress link.

3) Check WordPress Version To the right, you will be provided with some information about the version of WordPress you will be able to install. Take a moment to ensure that it’s up to date. If all is well, click on New Installation.

4) Configure Installation: You should arrive at the first of three steps in the one-click installation process. Here, you’ll be able to determine which folder you’d like to have WordPress installed to, as well as some other blog information:

Installation Location: If you want your blog to be your website’s homepage, ensure that you leave the space blank, otherwise type in the name of the folder you want WordPress installed to (make sure it doesn’t already exist).

Admin access data: Choose the username and password you’d like to use in order to access the WordPress admin panel after installation is completed.

Base configuration: Type a nickname you’d like to use throughout the blog. By default, the nickname is used whenever you leave comments or write an entry on the blog, so choose something you don’t mind the world seeing. The admin e-mail address is where notices, passwords, and other information about the administration of the blog is sent. Your blog’s name and description should be self-explanatory.

E-mail account configuration: You only need to worry about this if you plan to blog via e-mail. If you’ve set up a special e-mail account that you’ll use for blogging via e-mail, then enter the settings where applicable. (Bear in mind, you will need to enter an e-mail account password in order to proceed with the installation, simply use a false one if you don’t plan to blog via e-mail.)

When your blog information is complete, click on the Install WordPress button at the bottom.

5) Confirm Everything Is Correct: Verify that the information you provided is correct and click on Finish installation. Fantastico will create a brand new database for you and create the necessary WordPress files.

6) Confirmation Message: When the process is complete, you will receive a confirmation notice with the details of the installation. If you’d like a copy of the report for your records, you’ll have the option to send an e-mail to an account of your choosing.

Benefits Of Blogging

– You get increased sales of your product or service – If, let’s say, you were selling Baby Wears, you get a chance to promote your products through your blog and talk about your experience with them.
– You become known as an expert in your field – People will come to view you as an expert on Baby Wears and will take your advice with less hesitation.
– Blogs get more traffic from search engines
– They get traffic from next-generation social networking search engines (like Technorati.com)
– News agencies are more likely to do a story on your business
– Real-life stories and tips warm up your web presence and help your customer connect with a real person. This makes you far more trustworthy. As your visitors relate to you more, they will spend more money with you.
– Educating customers on how to be a better customer helps your business run better – Tell them to why to buy your products and tell them how to buy your products. The guidance of a human being is way better than the static instructions on your website.
– You can update your blog on your own without your webmaster’s help – More time to spend blogging, more money to spend creating and marketing your products.

Uses For Blog

– Create a how-to section – these tend to get attention from search engines
– As a replacement for a static news article on your company home page
– Warn customers of possible problems that they could have with products/services in your industry
– Use the blog as an “ask the expert” section of your website
– Tell customers about new products and services via your blog
– Link to related articles and web content from your blog
– Blogs are hard work to maintain and because they must be added to periodically so that the visitor feels they are getting the benefits.

12 Reasons Why You Need A Blog

There are many blogs for many different things and here are the top 12 reasons why you need to get a blog to compliment your money-making efforts.

1) You Get to Earn AdSense Income!

You know those Google ads you see on some web pages? Well, those ads have the ability to earn you money! Having a blog that doesn’t have Ads on it is like turning up to your Prom with no clothes on – it just doesn’t make sense.

Signing up for AdSense is easy. Then you just choose what size ad blocks you want your blog to display. When visitors land on your blog and click on an ad you’ll hear “ker-ching” every time they do!

2) You Get to Call Yourself an Expert

When someone wants to learn something new and interesting about permission marketing, the image of a bald Seth Godin springs to mind. What do they do? They Google his name and stop by his blog to learn what his most recent insight is.

Here is where different is better because it helps you stand apart from the crowd. What are you known for? Add your personality or character to your blog and let it help you build a brand for yourself. Who hasn’t heard of the Rich Jerk or Seth Godin? You have if you’ve been in Internet Marketing very long…

3) Google SEO Loves Blogs; and rewards them handsomely

As a result of all the great Internet Marketing blogging that we have done on this website, it’s no secret to most of you that the way you get good ranking in the Google is to write fresh, original content on a regular basis. That goes for all types of sites.

Well, isn’t that what blogs are best at? Write something newsy, thoughtful, controversial, or opinionated and you’ll get noticed in the search engines more easily. This is the secret to having a profitable blog, too!

Search engines recognize blogs in several ways. At the most basic level, they naturally crawl them like any other website, indexing the content n them. In this way, a blog provides your company with a second website, which can cross-link to your main website. If your company has only one website, this can help. But blog software tends to be very optimized for search engines out of the box. As long as you are entering meaningful articles that contain your keywords, text links, and categories, then you should get most of these benefits automatically. Blog software typically generates nice page titles, text link titles, and search engine safe URLs. All of these Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tricks make your blog get noticed by search engines.

4) People Subscribe and you get an Audience to Pander to!

Blogs are easy to subscribe to – if your blog theme doesn’t have RSS built-in, then it’s easy to download the plug-in to make it work. Feedburner Feedsmith is one that comes to mind. Too technical for you? If you have a blog set up for you, then your blog will definitely come RSS-ready. RSS is used for many things besides subscriptions, so make sure your blog has an RSS feed!

With RSS your followers can get your regular posts sent to their favorite RSS reader or even sent directly to their email. Best of both worlds! Put your readers in your niche pipeline and make them remember you, love you, and buy from you.

5) You Can Automate Your Blog Posts If You Want To!

What’s better than a static website? A self-posting blog! Did you know there’s a super sneaky way you can queue up months of blog posts that post themselves for you – and then even bookmark themselves on the web?

You can write a “Merry Christmas” message in January and set it to auto-post in December… and completely forget about it! It’ll be like having your own little robot employee.

It might make you feel like you’re no longer needed on your blog, and maybe you won’t be if you queue up enough posts – but it’ll be a wonderful relief knowing your blog’s left the nest and is able to care for itself – you raised it well – be proud!

6) You Don’t Have to Be really Tech Savvy to Update Your Blog

Once your blog is set up you won’t need any outside help to keep it going!

Blogs are so newbie friendly, really. The typical Internet user can keep up with a blog and make changes without any headaches at all –The best thing is that you don’t have to know any HTML or CSS. You have the control like a webmaster without all of the head knowledge of a tech geek. Once set up, you can basically just fill in the blanks and press Publish!

7) You Win the Ultimate Trust Award!

Your customers trust you more when you have a blog – they say you’re committed, consistent, and reachable. Take a bow and smile – you’re loved by your loyal fans and followers!

As you post consistently, you’ll build a following of people who bookmark your site and return day after day to see what you’ve said that’s new. Or, if they’re not stubborn with technical tools, they’ll subscribe to the RSS feed and have your blog words of wisdom come to them!

Have a contact area on your blog and allow your fans to reach you if they want to. And be committed to regular updates. Don’t post daily for 3 weeks and disappear for 5 days without warning. You’ll break their little hearts!

The key is to ALWAYS BE CONSISTENT. Post once a day, once a week, or once a month, just be consistent about it!!!

Hint: See reason number 5 above 😉

8) Backlinks from Your Blog Boost Your PageRank on Google!

Backlinks – ah yes, the key to ranking well in Google. So, make sure to refer to your main site, if applicable, throughout your blog. Don’t overdo this because Google frowns on this if it’s forced and too frequent. Just be natural, and you’ll notice the difference.

Just make sure you have links to your website on your blog, using appropriate linking text if possible.

9) Blogs Offer Online Reputation Management

Now, here again you’re creating a sort of storefront – a place where people can get to know you better. Suppose someone stumbled over your name or a product you sell on some other website and they want to know more about you before they buy.

Having a blog lets you address rumors, false information, and other nonsense floating around that was put out there by your competitors to try to tarnish your reputation.

It also lets you be a do-gooder! Helping people in public through your blog aids you in building a stellar reputation on the Internet.

There is nothing that will brand you quicker than a comment on your blog from someone gushing about how much you’ve helped them out!

10) Visitors Can Post Comments on Blog Posts

There’s just something about a blog that says, “I am here – talk to me.”

Your blog is a place for you to share your thoughts, ideas and opinions and others can talk back, even if they disagree with you.

When you get feedback or comments left on your site, it all contributes to your rank in Google. Did I mention that 77% of active Internet users read blogs – you don’t want to be left behind!

Think of the exposure you’re missing if you don’t have a blog.

Also, (and this is a golden nugget for you entrepreneurial types) one of your best sources for ideas and how to best serve your customer can show up in feedback in your comments section. If they have a problem, you find a solution. Isn’t that what we’re here for – to solve someone else’s pressing, if not desperate problem?

11) Blogs Deliver Traffic to Your Main Website!

Let’s say your main site sells an eBook or software program. If you have a blog, you can talk about aspects of your product and you can feature some benefits of your product and then promote your main URL via a link to the sales page.

Stick the 3D image of the ecover in your sidebar and make sure you hyperlink it. Add banners between blog posts that take them to your main site. And hyperlink anchor text from your blog posts to your main domain to keep visitors on the slippery sales slope you’ve cleverly created.

Don’t have your own product? Doesn’t matter! You can promote other people’s products as an affiliate and get up to 75% of the cash. Affiliate marketing and blogs are a match made in heaven!

NOTE that for maximum benefits, your blog should be part of your website domain name and not a link to some free blogging sites like wordpress.com or Google’s Blogger.com

12) Remember – Your Target Audience Is Reading Blogs

Who’s reading blogs to gain information? The question should be, “Who isn’t?!“. The fact is, every gender from teenagers to Baby Boomers and everyone of every financial classification are reading blogs!

If you don’t have a blog, then you’re saying it’s perfectly okay with you that your competition is stealing your rightful income.

A blog gives you power and presence – claim yours and rule your niche!

– Posted using BlogPress

Categories
Hosting

Free UNLIMITED Web Hosting

In celebration of the one year anniversary of this blog, our hosting provider, arthurwales solutions, is offering our readers FREE subscription to web hosting services with UNLIMITED features for ONE YEAR.

You could either register your domain name for only N2,000 and have the web hosting services thrown in for free or you may use your existing domain name.

Click on the link http://arthurwales.com/products/web-hosting/ and select “Enterprise” Hosting Plan. Ensure you also select ANNUAL billing option. Use the promo code unlimited during check out.

Offer ends on Sunday, 24th July, 2011 at 23:59 GMT+1