eBay launches craigslist competitor

eBay formally launched the US version of Kijiji which is a free online classified advertising website, very similar to craigslist, reported PC World.

Kijiji could become a major competitor for craigslist, as it is a free online classifieds website mirroring craigslist in many areas. After only a few seconds, I realized that the usability and features of Kijiji were far better than craigslist in many areas. It offers a cleaner look, and better categorization and the site itself is much faster that craigslist. Currently it is somewhat limited in the cities that ads can be placed in, but I imagine that these will widen once more people start using the service.

eBay currently owns 25% of craigslist which may have played some role in eBay’s lack of public announcement of Kijiji, or even the lack of placing an eBay logo on the Kijiji website. Personally, I think that there will still need to be a better marketing campaign to kick this thing off. But a company with as much money as eBay definitely has the funds that could make it go somewhere. Just a few strategic links on the ebay.com would probably be a good start.


Where wikipedia fails

I love the idea of Wikipedia. A user generated encyclopedia, where people decide what information needs to be addressed under each topic. Theoretically, people who are well studied or professionals in a particular field can contribute to a topic and make it a great resource of information. However, I feel that the current Wikipedia is a complete failure.

Wikipedia’s failure can be summed in a single word: ‘accountability‘.

Because there is no accountability for what is written, people write about topics that they have no business writing about. Because there is no accountability for creating false information, people correct topics that they have no business correcting. And because of the lack of acknowledgement due to the lack of accountability, the people who actually do have the knowledge and ability to write informative, professionally and concise, don’t!

Here’s how I would fix it: Give credit to those who write, and penalize those that spam and those that create inaccurate or personally biased information.

I have seen several good contributors driven completely away from Wikipedia because their articles were mutilated, or some passerby thought their resources were spam. The articles that those authors had created or edited to a professional level, have since been reduced to garbage. I myself have downgraded to only removing spam links (which is a daily event) and no longer actively contribute content. When 10-year-olds question the whole concept, maybe it’s time to make some changes!


404 error, File not found: What your custom error pages must contain!

When a visitor reaches a page on your website that doesn’t exist, by default they get a nasty, ugly document, that very well may end any future interaction with your company.

It is extremely important to create a custom 404 error document for your website. More than any other error page, you must customize your 404 error page to hopefully route those lost visitors back to your mainland.

404 error’s are for the most part unavoidable. I have never seen a website that doesn’t serve a 404 error every once in a while. Whether you mistyped a link, the visitors misspelled a page in their address bar, or anything else, at some point your server will send a 404 error.

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Comments Off on My favorite time-saving programs and hardware

My favorite time-saving programs and hardware

Mitch at practical ecommerce posted an article about helpful gadgets for ecommerce owners.

I decided to throw together my own list of programs, and hardware that I currently use that really makes developing and managing websites, and generally using a computer much more efficient. Many of these are not free however, they have all paid for themselves many times over in the time they have saved me.

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Internet Explorer (Auto Complete) stores your passwords unencrypted!

When you check the auto-complete option in Windows internet explorer, you just opened yourself up to a mess of potential problems. Internet explorer stores all of the user names and passwords that you tell it to learn, in a single flat-file that is unencrypted and can be easily read by a variety of program.

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How your website’s style affects your website’s visitors

If you’ve seen the movie ‘The School of Rock’ this video should be pretty humorous to you.

If you haven’t seen the movie, then this looks like some sort of suspense thriller movie about a deranged teacher, when it is actually a comedy.

How does this apply to a website?

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Ecommerce How-to List for Do-it-yourself’ers

Following a post from Matt Cutts, I have been collecting how to’s every time I come across one that I use. I have about 900 saved up now, in just about every area imaginable.

There are so many how to guides that people need for running their ecommerce website’s. With that in mind, this is a list of very useful how to’s related to ecommerce. Hopefully this post will be a good resource for site owners, and those looking to get into ecommerce. Topics include everything from setting up a web server, marketing, to integrating a website with a payment gateway.

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Google Checkout Desperation

I went to login to my Google Checkout account today. For some reason instead of clicking on my bookmark, I did a search for Google Checkout and clicked on the link. Something really caught my eye with the Google Checkout listing in Google.

Google Checkout

Google doesn’t even have their own listing as the title for Google Checkout in the SERPS. They are advertising an auction company (hibidder.com) in the title of the Google Checkout listing.

Andy Beal recently blogged about Google Checkout taking a dive after their $10 and $30 coupons went away. Coincidentally I had commented about how Paypal was able to get very large only because of the wide use of eBay, and that without a site like eBay, Google Checkout would have a hard time catching on. It looks to me that Google may be thinking the same thing, and that they are trying to get users away from ebay and onto sites that support their own payment system.

I cant believe that Google would do something this seemingly desperate. In addition to this, it also looks like they had manually changed their title in the SERPS, as nowhere in the Google Checkout Homepage does any of the altered title text appear.


Making a poor image

I was driving home from work a few days ago, and I saw one of those Best Buy geek squad cars. They are really noticeable as they are a VW beetle, and they are painted black and white, like an old police car (SEE PICTURE HERE).

Now this may seem like a fairly effective practice. They are definitely noticeable, and they probably appeal to a fairly wide audience. The car itself is a representation of simplicity and clean lines something that Geek Squad would definitely want people to associate them with.

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Domain parking is out of hand!

I have been searching for a domain for several hours now. I know that there are millions of website owners using billions of domain names, but the whole system is completely out of hand.

I have searched for over a hundred names, not one with an actual dictionary word in it, and only one domain has been available so far. What bothers me more than the lack of available names, is that none of the takes names actually have useful content on them. Almost every one, has a parked page or a made for adsense page, with some generic ads on it and nothing else.

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