Archive for July, 2006

Cherry Boom: Dear Prince (Qing Ai De Wang Zai)

Monday, July 31st, 2006

Cha-cha (lead vocalist), Gua (guitarist), Xiao-qian (bassist), and Da-tian (drummer) make up Cherry Boom, a band they formed as students of Fu Jen Catholic University. Jolin Tsai and Faye of F.I.R. are also alumni of said school. But that’s besides the point.

Yes, the fact that it is an all-female rock band is enough for some people to just buy the album out of curiosity or intrigue. But if you don’t buy this album, just let me assure you that you are missing out on one of the better Chinese pop albums released so far this year.

And, in case you were wondering, it’s not a recording company’s attempt to make a female pop group seem credible by dressing them in punk-rock garb and electric guitars. They actually play their own instruments and write most of their own music (gasp!). The four-member rock band is composed of more than some pretty faces, for once. Let’s move on to their lead vocalist, Cha-cha. She has a crisp, young, spirited voice with tons of energy and a lot of attitude. Her voice basically grabs you and says, “Hey! Listen to me!” without being grating to the point where you’d rather give that Rainie Yang CD a few spins. Her sweet, powerful, emotion-filled voice juxtaposed with heavy rock is a perfect fit. I am using the term “rock” a bit loosely though. Some may still consider Cherry Boom to have a relatively more pop sound: so be it. It’s good pop then.

Now, on to individual songs. I figure I should just warn point out to you, their lyrics are occassionally sugarcoated evil. Look on to get what I mean.
If you didn’t know the lyrics of “清新早晨” (A New Morning), you’d think it’s some optimistic love song. But no. It’s about poisoning your ex-boyfriend. In the morning. Cheers.
Oh, don’t let the song title “親愛的王子” mislead you as well. “Dear Prince”? Think fairytale…gone very wrong. If the witch from Snow White had a music box, this creepy tune would play everytime it opened. The one word “eerie” basically encapsulates this song.
“再見我的愛” (Goodbye My Love) is one of the more pop-sounding songs on the album, so it makes sense that it is the first single off the album. Though it has a more mainstream feel to it, it’s still arranged very well and doesn’t stray too far from the other rock material.
“蝕月” (Lunar Eclipse), one of few slow songs, is a lulling, beautiful number that avoids boredom due to the great background instrumentals (the electric guitar goes well with all the songs on the album).
Though they didn’t compose “I Wanna Rock”, it’s a great song. Fun, energetic, perfectly fitting its name. “我的空氣” (The Air I Breathe) is upbeat as well.
My personal favorite is “不對也要愛” (Have to Love Even if It’s Not Right). It’s a cover of some song written by Natalie Hemby and Angela Lauer. Anyhow, I don’t know what about this song makes it so amazing to me. Maybe it’s just an appealing melody and some talented composition. Nonetheless, I do feel Cha-cha’s voice seals the deal. A singer with just a more emotionless voice would have just broken the song. She accomplishes it flawlessly.

01. 清新早晨 (A New Morning)
02. 親愛的王子 (Dear Prince)
03. 秘密花園 (Secret Garden)
04. 再見我的愛 (Goodbye My Love)
05. 蝕月 (Lunar Eclipse)
06. I Wanna Rock
07. 我的空氣 (The Air I Breathe)
08. 小丑世界 (Clown World)
09. 不對也要愛 (Have to Love Even if It’s Not Right)
10. 黑夜來臨 (Night Approaches)

It’s not every day that you’ll find a Taiwanese girl band that writes and plays its own songs. So savor the opportunity. And no, I’m not saying they’re the next female Led Zeppelin. But they’re pretty damn good at what they do.

Discuss this album here.

Critical Web Design Rules

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

Content is King! If you want a website to generate back-links and have quality content the search engines love, be sure to make it readable by both people and search engines. Search engines are working to give people quality results. Thus, they are looking for sites with quality content. So by building site content for people, not only are you getting back to basics (information dissemination to people via the Internet), you are creating a site search engines will love. So, build sites for people and the search engines will come.

When creating a new website or redesigning an existing site, there are four critical rules which should be followed to make the site effective, functional, loved by search engines – and successful.

Easy to Read

When building a website, the first thing you need to be sure of is that your website is easy to read. When you write content, remember that most web site visitors don’t read every word of a page – in fact, they only scan pages to find what they want.

Break up Your Content
Break up your pages and use headers between major ideas so people scanning your site can find what they want quickly. Use meaningful headers between each paragraph or major idea this helps with SEO. Headers should be created with the H1 through H4 tags for SEO. Always use good writing structure. Additionally, avoid long paragraphs that run on. You should break up any long paragraphs.

Color and Fonts
To help readability, use high contrast colors between font and background. Black text against a white background may seem stark, but it is very readable. To make a website easy on the eyes, try an off-white background and a dark gray (almost black) text color.

Things to avoid with content color:

  • Avoid vibrant background colors like purple or yellow. Such back colors make text difficult to read.
  • Avoid using an image behind your text.
  • Avoid using bright text colors on bright backgrounds.

Standard Compliant Browser for Development
When developing and testing your site, use a Standards compliant browser like FireFox. If you develop your site to be standards compliant, it will work in most browsers, including MS Internet Explorer (IE). It is recommended that you test your site using the latest and last browser versions of IE (IE6 and IE7). To run multiple versions of IE on the same machine, TredoSoft.com has a free installer that will install multiple versions of IE. It works great!

Keywords in Content
Of course, when writing content, not only should it be formatted to be readable, but it must also be consumable by not only people, but by search engines. One way to make the subject of the content known to search engines is to use the keywords that people use to search for your site in your content. Be sure to use keywords in your header tags, your first paragraph and throughout your text. The keyword density should be between 4% and 7% – but any more than that could 1) be hard to read and still make sense and 2) be considered spam by search engines and banned. Keywords should also be used in your TITLE tags and your Meta description.

Successful Internet Marketing: Advice You Should Follow

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

Make sure that neither you or any internet marketing partners take unfair advantage during this process. This can irritate potential customers. In a worst case scenario, cookie stuffing can spread a nasty virus and lose you your whole customer base.

A hot tip for those new to online marketing promotions is to locate an affiliate company that keeps releasing new products. Join a reliable company that has multiple products for great repeated business. Avoid products that seem like fads.

For maximum profitability when it comes to web/internet marketing programs, utilize Google Ads or other paid advertising methods. You’ll increase your web traffic and potential buyers by attracting them with a keyword.

It is not common to see lifetime commissions in the field of affiliate promotion. There are some great companies that still offer this perk, so still put some time into looking for it. The typical affiliate contract specifies that the affiliate will receive a certain amount of money for every sale referred through his affiliate link. If the referred customer doesn’t buy anything within a certain, fixed period of time, the commission offer usually expires. That is the reason why they are such a valuable find.

Do not depend on just a few affiliates to keep going. Be sure to diversify the vendors you contract with, as well as the products that you offer. When you have a diversified affiliate marketing portfolio, you will be safe from going under if something happens to one of your affiliates. If you feel you can handle more products, feel free to put more up!

Be honest with your readers to be a successful affiliate marketer. To develop this trusting base of readers, be straight with them. Dishonesty never pays off. Your readers might even decide to bypass the link entirely, just because they don’t want a dishonest person to receive a referral credit.

Offering prizes and contests on your site is a great online marketing technique. Visitors who are interested in your contest will return to the site regularly and may also tell others to visit the website as well.

Share ideas, learn the latest techniques, and find answers to all of your questions by becoming a member of an online community designed especially for affiliate marketers. There are a lot of resources available through online forums and communities that will help you find programs, code, and graphics. They also offer advice that can help a new affiliate marketer get started.

Don’t grow your affiliate marketing program too much in those critical first few months. This will give you the best chance of early success, learning as you go along. Gaining some experience will give you the confidence you need to take on the niches with more competition.

Use the tips in this article to help you with your affiliate marketing endeavors. Since these techniques have been tested by many others, internet marketing are sure to help you out.