Thursday, August 28, 2008

Get Rich Blogging!

Gotcha, didn't I? Seriously, this is the perfect place to illustrate the whether an activity makes economic sense.

I actively write three blogs on three very different topics: green roofs, economic efficiency, and management. One of my friends convinced me that I should write a blog because I could make a bunch of money. He was making $300 a day. While that seems like a fantastic claim, I saw the balances.

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So, how does one make money blogging? The simple answer is ad revenue. Whether you use a service like Blogger or Typepad or Wordpress, advertisements on the sites, when clicked, provide a meager amount of money to the site "owner." Ehow allows you to write "how to" articles, while they provide the hosting and the ads. When people read your ads, they are also present ads from Google Adsense. While they don't disclose their payment formula, my guess is that readers need to click the ads.

Ads are often provided by Google Adsense, or folks act as affiliates for a company selling something. Both blog sites and Adsense have particular rules about their use. Adsense only allows three ad units per page. Blogger doesn't allow you to write things like "Support our Sponsors" or "Click Here!" Its reasonable, as using Blogger is free for the person writing the blog. Besides, Blogger is not for "commercial" purposes. Cheap? No. 100% Free. Trade stocks for free on The Free Trading Community.

When I review the amount of time I have taken to write approximately 100 posts, as well as the supporting research and interviews I have conducted, the operation is completely in the red. In other words, I can't even think about quitting my day job, or buying that tempting cookie for desert at lunch.

So why do it if it isn't economically efficient? Simple, its fun. I enjoy writing, particularly about the topics I write about. I also enjoy learning about Web 2.0, content creation, and the metrics surrounding it. In short, its a hobby, not a job. If blogging ever becomes like work to, I am out. Trading time for fun is worthwhile, that's why casinos are still around.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nuclear, French Style

Ah, the French. While I love to poke fun at them and their, um, French ways, I have to give them credit for their successful nuclear power program. There, I said it. The French do something right that isn't silly.

The New York Times ran a piece titled, "France Reaffirms Its Faith in Future of Nuclear Power" on August 17, 2008. In it, the explain how France got its act together, starting in the late 1950s, to be as close to energy independent as possible. The article states, "Nuclear power provides 77 percent of France’s electricity, according to the government, and relatively few public doubts are expressed in a country with little coal, oil or natural gas." Certainly, this has helped smooth out many economic bumps experienced by those countries without such an aggressive nuclear policy. Additionally, think of how clean the air is without all of those coal plants?

Did I mention that nuclear power is clean, reliable, and cost effective? Here is where France really makes nuclear the best option: "He (senior aide to Jean-Louis Borloo, the minister of ecology, sustainable development and planning) said that France’s choice for a “closed fuel cycle” — reprocessing used nuclear fuel to recover plutonium made in the reactors so it can be reused — was safer." Too bad Jimmy Carter banned fuel reprocessing in the US. Spent fuel from first use has about 95% of its active ingredient left. Hey, recycling, what an idea!

Finally, the French discovered that having a successful power program is great for their economy. In some towns, the 60-year life cycle of a nuclear power plant, "...we have economic activity for two generations.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

HHO Sounds More Like HHype

In my previous post about HHO, titled "HHO or Hype," I was pretty balanced about my opinion.

Well, I am beginning to believe that HHO is more snake oil than I did before. I was willing to consider the possibility that the injection of hydrogen into the air mixture could improve combustion. Click Here to Shop

While I was also willing to accept that the turning engine would provide the energy necessary to perform the hydrolysis, nobody has been willing to submit to a true, third-party laboratory test.

Here is the full text email I got when I made that suggestion:

So, know anyone who owns a lab? I don't have the time to get labs to test
anything, or the money. By the time they get it done anyways, I will be
driving a hover car or using the transporter. We have logged hundreds of
hours ourselves, and we know what has worked for us. Good enough for me.
Everyone else will just have to take it or leave it.

Sounds a little defensive and cry-babyish for me. If you are water4gas, or Punchhho, or the makers of Hydro 4000, why would you not want a laboratory test?? Maybe it won't work as advertised? Mountain House Freeze-Dried Food

While I am willing to concede that lab testing is time consuming and potentially costly, can you imagine the boost in sales they would get? Also, these companies could make great acquisition targets. I would consider lab testing the cost of doing business. But hey, I am just a blogger, with an MBA, working for a Fortune 20 company.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Scooter Polluter

She loves her smog machine! Huh? Yes, an article in "The Idaho Statesman," spells it out in black and white:

"It's true. The cleanest scooter is still dirtier than a car," said John Swanton, air pollution specialist with the California Air Resources Board."

While scooters and motorcycles use less gasoline, they create more smog due to their lack of emissions controls. The article further states:

"Some motorcycles emit as much hydrocarbon in 10 miles as a car driven 850 miles, according to Environmental Protection Agency studies."

It all goes back to choices. If your concern is saving money on gas, a scooter or motorcycle is the way to go. If you are eco-conscious, the answer may be any of a number of choices, like the Hummer they mentioned, or even better, the hydraulic hybrid Hummer, when it becomes available! DriveTime - The used car dealership for those with bad credit. Apply online.

If you are going to buy a scooter or motorcycle, make sure you have the proper training, helmet and leather gear. I recommend Timot Leather, as I have seen how their products perform in actual accidents, which was spectacular! Additionally, make sure the scooter or motorcycle suits your needs and is certified by either the EPA or state environmental boards (like California). Taste the Purest Tea on the Planet – Organic and Fair Trade Certified Shop Numi Organic Tea

From the article: "... a rise in substandard Asian imports, Swanton said. These cheap and dirty scooters and motorcycles do not comply with EPA standards. In 2005, the EPA issued an enforcement alert warning importers and the public about non-EPA compliant motorcycles and scooters entering the U.S. market."

Finally, ride responsibly!

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Electric Car Finds its Niche

In a brutally honest (and refreshing) piece in Reuters, titled "Electric cars -- It's the economy, stupid!" the author gives a real-world assessment of her Reva G-Wiz, pictured on the left. Guess what, it isn't all pretty, but that's not why I like the article.

The author purchased the car to be able to drive in London and avoid the congestion tax, as well as the $9 a gallon gasoline, and also take advantage of free parking. To that I say, "Good for you!" She wisely identified that her objective was to have self-determination in transportation and a cost that suited her budget.

From the article, "...I set up a spread sheet when I bought the car and I fill in the savings I make on the congestion charge, estimated on petrol and on parking... I sold my old car and I have now "made back" the expenditure on the G-Wiz through these savings... I "paid off" the car in March this year and am on the way to "paying off" the total amount."

So what' the catch? The car go only go about 40 miles per charge. Additionally, that 40 miles is really only in mild weather on flat roads. It has poor acceleration and is very small. The author also stated that going up hills was like riding a bicycle.

What this article really is about is choice, and that's what I like about the article. The consumer had a choice of the beefier car, but was faced with congestion tax, parking fees, and very expensive gas. She chose an alternative which saved her money and suited her needs. Long live the free market!!

Enjoy this Jeremy Clarkson ( of the BBC's Top Gear) video of his take on the G-Wiz. It is in about 2 minutes or so. He takes those two minutes to mock the French.
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