Category Archives: Tech

#Give on Social Media Giving Day and Make Your Social Media Matter — Prize Pack Giveaway [Closed]

Social Media Giving Day

Twitter’s birthday is July 15, andĀ Givver is rallying the social media community in a big way to help celebrate the occasion, with Social Media Giving Day. Our collective mission? To set a world record for the most donations given in one day via social media.

Givver is an easy-to-use Twitter tool on a mission to transform charitable giving by enabling individuals to support their favorite causes in seconds by using the power of social networks. Whether it’s a nonprofit, educational, or political organization you want to help support, Givver can help you fund and raise awareness for the issues that matter most to you — all in a single tweet.

How to donate on Social Media Giving Day July 15:

Join the Givver movement

Once you have signed up with Givver, donating is quick and easy. All you have to do is sign in to Twitter, then tweet:

$ (Amount)
@ (Organization’s Twitter handle)

For instance, if you wanted to support fee medical services in Honduras with a $10 donation, you would tweet:

#Give $10 @ochoorg

Check out the Social Media Giving Day app below to learn more about some of the organizations you can help support on Givver. You can also take a fun quiz to discover your Twitter personality. I’m a Breaking News Nut, what about you?

Social Media Giving Day Givver Prize Pack Giveaway

Social Media Giving Day prize pack

One lucky reader will win a Givver prize pack: 1 #Give limited edition t-shirt and sticker.

This giveaway is open to US and CAN entrants ages 18+ and will end July 18.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was made possible by Givver and PartnersHub. No incentive was provided and opinions are my own.

When Link Removal Requests Turn Ugly: How Do You Deal with Threats?

Google search engine optimization
moneyblognewz / Flickr

There is a saying that you should never wrong a writer because they get their revenge in print. I have always said the same thing about bloggers, because while bloggers are indeed writers, there is a difference between the two. Writers who choose to channel their craft into stories for more traditional outlets, such as papers and magazines, have an audience that is limited to those who have access to those specific papers or who subscribe to those magazines. Writers who run blogs, on the other hand, have the ability to transcend those limitations and reach a bigger audience. The only people a blogger cannot reach are those without access to an internet connection.

It is wise to never wrong a blogger, because when they channel their craft and put you in the metaphorical cross hairs, there is no telling how far their story will go. Which brings this blogger to this story.

Google has recently undergone some major changes. Many bloggers are acutely aware of this because several of those who once sat atop search engine results are suddenly nowhere to be found — or at least buried under several dozen pages. Their Google PageRank has slipped a digit or two, or has been stripped completely, and in more drastic cases, business relationships and income have been lost as a result. But bloggers are not the only webmasters to feel the heat from Google’s recent updates; those who run internet businesses from their websites have also begun to be penalized.

Up until recently, online businesses have been busy linking to their websites in the comments section of blogs. They have been doing this for two reasons: first, and least importantly, it’s promotion that they did not have to pay for; but the real reason is that having their website linked to from another, perhaps even more reputable, website has made them look good in Google’s eyes. This linking practice works especially well if they filled out the name section of a comment form with their business name, which then linked to their website, banking on the anchor text that would propel them higher into Google’s search engine results.

This linking practice has been going on for years — longer than this website has even existed, which is impressive considering 2013 marks Woman Tribune’s fifth year of being up and running. Businesses have hired “SEO experts” and “internet marketers” with no real grasp of ethical linking policies, while others have merely taken the ball and run with it, saving their dollars and instead trading in their time to spread their links far and wide on their own. This has never really been an ethical internet business practice, but it took until Google began to penalize the businesses who have been doing this to get them to pay attention.

So, that is more than five years of businesses commenting on blogs, leaving behind their business name and a link to their website. That kind of significant spam has left bloggers responsible for combating it. Spam filters will flag and capture a certain number of these comments, but even the best spam filters fail to put a dent in this unique type of spam — especially when a lot of these comments don’t look like spam. In fact, a lot of these comments can even be legitimate and genuinely add something to the conversations being had, but are left by underhanded and unethical businesspeople looking to get ahead. This is what makes them so tricky to tell apart from the other comments left by well-meaning people, fans of your space, and fellow bloggers. When spam filters fail, it is up to the bloggers themselves to manually get rid of spam comments, but it is unrealistic to expect even the most diligent bloggers to be able to track down and delete every last comment that has been left by a self-serving business. But that is exactly what we are being expected to do now.

Over the past several months, I have received more “link removal request” emails than I care to even begin counting. These same people who left numerous comments on several of the posts published on this website have been emailing me to ask that I remove the links to their websites — links that they put there themselves — because Google has caught onto their linking practices and their past actions are now significantly hurting their business. Bloggers are basically now being told by the very same people who are responsible for leaving hundreds of spam comments on their websites that they are responsible for cleaning up their messes, and that we should all understand the need to do hours of unnecessary work in order to make this happen for every business who has ever done this because they are now being hurt by what they did. They had absolutely no consideration or regard for the spaces in which they spammed, but we need to care about them and their businesses right now. Right.

I have tried to remain helpful when I receive these emails. Every couple of days, I go on a mass comment deleting spree, sure to double-check my email and even search for the keywords “link removal request” in my inbox, just in case an email slipped through without me seeing it. I like to think that I have been pretty understanding and awesome amidst the scrambling businesses, but then I received a new kind of link removal request email, and I am not pleased.

Below is the email I received from a webmaster who left three comments on three different posts on Woman Tribune several years ago. All identifying information has been removed because, well, if they could send such a ridiculous email about me not getting back to them within a couple of days, who knows what someone is capable of when you publish their ridiculousness for all to see? I also left the typos in, so please don’t think that I am the one without a grasp on how the English language works.

Hi Holly,

Last Friday, I emailed you requesting to remove our link from your site but didn’t got any reply. I know you’re a busy person and I understand that. But we really need to have the link removed as it affects our business. We have not asked you nor paid any SEO companies to put the link on your site.

Thus, if I won’t receive any favourable response from you in the next 3 days, then I will be force to include your site on the disavow list and file a formal complaint on your hosting provider for having unscrupulous links of our site without permission.

All the best,


The Google disavow list is nothing new. Mention has been made to it in nearly every link removal request email I have received. Here is where my problem lies: filing a formal complaint with a website’s hosting provider because a link that you placed on that website wasn’t removed as soon as you sent an email and in the time frame you would have liked? And to add to the utter absurdity, the reason as to why this person believes that they could file a complaint with my hosting provider is for having links to their website on my blog — links that all appear in the comments section of posts that pretty much prove they were put there by the business themselves.

Receiving this email damn near made my head explode, and it turns out that I don’t take too kindly to having the website I have put five years of my life into threatened. In fact, I got mean.

Here is the email I sent back — again, all identifying information has been removed.

Hello [redacted],

I have removed the links you repeatedly left in the comments section of the various posts on my website. I apologize for it taking me a little while to get back to you, but since Google has updated its policies and algorithms, I have received countless emails just like this one from people whose comments slipped through the cracks of my spam filter.

Also, how dare you threaten me with the possibility of losing my hosting. I am one person who works incredibly hard to run my blog. I’m sorry it took me a few days to respond to your email and remove links you chose to put on my website on your own. I’m also sorry that Google is now hurting the websites who have shamelessly spammed their links far and wide on as many smaller websites as they could, but that is not my fault and I will not be threatened by some smarmy, underhanded, faceless businessman on the internet when it comes to the hard work I have tirelessly put in on my website over the past five years.

Please have a little more consideration for the people you are emailing to remove your spammy comments from their websites in the future. It will likely have much more favorable results for you.

You should have no reason to contact me again in the future.


Bloggers already take on a lot of responsibilities and are expected to do so much. This is only getting more difficult as Google changes up their policies on a whim and the FTC gives us more rules to adhere to than any other type of media that exists today. We have collectively worked our asses off, oftentimes wasting time on the backends of our sites that could have been spent creating worthwhile content, and we have stood for it all. But one thing that we must never stand for is being threatened. No one has the right to scare us into action because they are finally the ones who must bend to the Almighty Google Machine. No one has the right to take it upon themselves to decide that we must do something to help them when they have done nothing but add to our already immense workload.

Have you been inundated by link removal requests? How have you been dealing with them, and if you’ve been threatened, have you handled it better than I did? Share your insights!

Turning on Your Lights or Fireplace from the Car? It’s Possible with HomeLink #ad

This is a sponsored post on behalf of American Security Company. Incentive was provided to me, and opinions are my own.

Rachael Ray 6-Piece Nylon Tool Set

The idea of complete home automation these days is gaining in both popularity and importance. One of the latest innovations in this field has been the ability to control your home from your car. Whether you want to turn on the television (or turn it off if you forgot about it before leaving the house) or simply open the gate to your driveway, you can now do that and so much more with HomeLink products from

There are so many unique and innovative uses for these products; everyone is sure to find a new and effective way that these products can be used in their home, and who knows, you may grow to refuse to live in a world that doesn’t include them. For example, in the dead cold of winter how great would it be to walk into a home that has already begun to be warmed by the heat of your electronic fireplace? Well, with a HomeLink product you could turn on your electronic fireplace from the car before even walking up to your door. Simple things like this are why these products from American Security Company are completely changing the way people live their lives day-to-day.

If you usually have your hands full when you walk through your front door, whether you’re carrying groceries or a baby’s car seat, HomeLink products from can turn the lights on in your home from the car; no more fumbling for the lamp or light switch only to drop what you’re holding, knock something over, or have to haphazardly find your way into a dark house to put down whatever you’re carrying.

The possibilities of unique home automation with HomeLink are virtually endless. What would you like to be able to turn on (or off) in your house from your car?

School Technology Then vs Now #infographic

Technology has advanced quickly and drastically, and with it, so has the way we teach our children. Check out the infographic below that details how technology in schools has changed, from the one-room schoolhouse of the early 1900s, all the way to students having access to iPads and mobile technology in the classroom in 2013.

Then Versus Now: How Technology in Schools Has Changed Over Time
Source: Then Versus Now: How Technology in Schools Has Changed Over Time |

Click to open image in new window

The Best Health Apps to Help You Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

This is a guest post by Gabrielle Green of TipsOnHowToSaveMoney.

Fooducate app Let’s face it, there just isn’t much that your smartphone isn’t capable of helping with; and if you are anything like me, which you probably are, that smartphone goes everywhere with you. It helps with work details, personal obligations, and everything in-between. If you are passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, or just beginning to really pay attention to what you eat and keep track of your exercise progress, there are endless apps out there strictly dedicated to helping you succeed.

Whether you have an Android, iPhone, or any one of the new BlackBerry phones, here are some of my favorite health apps that can help you stay healthy and on-track with everything from diabetes to workouts to calorie counting. I hope you find them useful too!

Fooducate: This app helps users to better understand food labels and important information without incorporating too much information. In fact, it can scan items right in the store and then highlights the pros and cons of the product and grades them based on their “healthiness,” while offering alternatives.

Epicurious: Eating smarter doesn’t have to be complicated or boring. This app houses more than 30,000 recipes and also includes helpful functions such as creating shopping lists and step-by-step instructions for more complicated recipes.

Foodily: This app is a recipe database with a social twist. It allows users to collect recipes, share them with friends, as well as store favorites.

Fig: This app is basic and easy. Create a plan from common wellness goals, such as increasing water intake, walking more, and the like, and share them with the Fig community to gain the extra motivation you need to keep going on those tough days.

Couch to 5k: I’ve always been resistant to running. I just don’t understand how people love it. That changed when I started using this app. It is aimed at beginner runners who need the motivation to get started. Before you know it, the app will have you comfortably running a 5k that you never dreamed possible!

RunKeeper: Skiing, walking, running, or jogging — it doesn’t matter — this app can help you keep count of the calories you burned, the duration you’ve been working out, and more. It also lets users share their workouts on social media and with other people who use the app.

Charity Miles: This is by far one of my favorite app finds! Recently launched in 2012, this app keeps tracks of all the miles you walk, bike, and run and donates the results to charity on your behalf. Users don’t have to open their wallets, they just need to move, thanks to corporate sponsors. Simply pick a cause that is near and dear to you and get moving; it’s that simple.

Lose It!: Most people are constantly making an effort to lose weight in some way or another. Lose It! users gets custom weight loss plans that also tracks food intake, activity levels, and allows for connecting with other users. It also has a large food database. Most useful is that the app can sync up with popular fitness tracking devices for further tracking.

There are just a few of my favorite health apps; there are countless more available. There are also apps that can help you monitor health news such as food and drug recalls and more.

If you have a favorite health or fitness app that I didn’t list here, please share in the comments!

Smartphone Apps for the Busy Businesswoman

This is a guest post by Gabrielle Green of TipsOnHowToSaveMoney.

A Day in Life I finally got an iPhone about a year ago (I’m always late to the party) but I still haven’t been able to break up with my BlackBerry. So that means that I essentially carry around two phones because I love different things about each device.

I was considering switching solely to the iPhone, but I started getting cold feet and the BlackBerry 10 pricing and updated features grabbed my attention. So guess who now owns a new BlackBerry 10 and an iPhone?

My complicated mobile device relationship isn’t going to be resolved anytime soon and I’ve come to terms with that. Below is what I like about the new BB and what apps I’m using.

BlackBerry Apps for the Busy Businesswoman

My goal in business has always been to be more productive. Gone are the days of being chained to my desk or smacking myself in the head for forgetting to grab a file I needed to print or have on-hand. If you set your smartphone up with the right apps, working on the go is easy; and most importantly, efficient. In a world that has gone mobile, it seems to be that the standard, regular things are what often go overlooked. Here are some apps that help with that.

A Day in Life: As a writer and blogger, I’m always reading other blogs and news sites. I find this app particularly useful because I can store new blog ideas, memories, notes, and more. But more importantly, I like that I can easily store this information on my phone so that my ideas aren’t lost because I didn’t take the time to jot them down while I was busy running errands or working on something else.

Business Cards for BlackBerry 10: Let me be honest–I’m disorganized and I’m known to misplace papers and folders quite frequently. Naturally, that also means misplacing business cards. This app lets you take a photo of a business card and keeps a virtual copy so you never lose or misplace it.

Hide Files: This app hides any confidential files or directories on your phone that you don’t want in plain sight so you don’t have the fear of losing privacy but always have your personal and/or business documents with you. I’ve found this especially helpful while I’m going through the process of selling my home. The bank requests new documents almost daily and I don’t like keeping them where anyone can view them.

Print My Files: You can easily print single or multiple files from your BlackBerry 10 by using the device Wi-Fi that sends the files to your PC to initiate printing.

One of the reasons I started veering from the BlackBerry was the lack of apps available in comparison to the iPhone. There are now several more apps than there were before. Gizmodo recently wrote a post about some companies that have no planned intention to be available for the BlackBerry, which includes Kindle, Instagram, and Netflix–three of the companies on the list that most notably are missed, but not enough to dissuade me from sticking with BlackBerry for now.

What apps do you use for your business that I missed? Share them in the comments! Remember, being in business isn’t about reinventing the wheel as much as it is about making it work for you.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Working From Home

This is a guest post by Gabrielle Green of TipsOnHowToSaveMoney.

laptop and books
image via Mukumbura/Flickr

Okay, so here’s the thing: if you work from home in any medium, you are most likely nagged by everyone you know how to start a blog or how to get in with the company you telecommute for. Compound that with everyone sending you every email (aka spam) about a blog or job opportunity to ask you if it’s “legit.” Surely this doesn’t just happen to me?

Working From Home — Blogging and Websites

It’s not rocket science to build a blog, but it does take hard work. No one can simply tell you what to do without you applying your own time and research. There are hundreds of ways to make money online, but you have to find which ways will work for you. Nothing is more frustrating than someone expecting you to just show them how to do something so they don’t have to put in any effort. How successful will that venture be in the long run? Not very.

Starting a blog (WordPress is free) has low overhead costs — a domain name, hosting, and possibly a virtual terminal are needed (if you’re selling your own items.) The rest is going to cost you in the forms of blood, sweat, and possibly tears. There are millions of websites on any given topic, but you can stand out above the rest if you take the time to do so. “Build it and they will come” is a good starting point, but not nearly enough.

Working From Home — Telecommuting

There are legitimate companies that hire remote workers, but as you might imagine, they are in high demand. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Most importantly, be diligent in your research. If it reads something like, “Work 4 hours a week and make $4000 doing nothing,” no questions asked, it’s spam; keep looking. Logically, there will be times that you are required to have specific software or equipment, such as a headset, but that is a different scenario. A real job should be FREE.

The best advice I can give you is simply this: if you are unsure, seek out information about the job opportunity online (the name of the company followed by the word “scam” in an internet search can most often bring up any red flags you should be aware of before moving forward.) You can also join a forum for people who work from home and read through the threads; sites such as have been around a long time and can serve as a learning opportunity for you. Then, when you have your own experiences, pay it forward and share your own stories with the group. At the end of the day, you are responsible for your decisions; don’t be duped due to lack of diligent research.

So here is the ugly truth in a nutshell: it’s going to be frustrating. You are going to want to pull your hair out because the server goes down or someone curses you out for no reason. You can bet the code will break a few times. You will want to give up and you will find yourself with a complete block on what to do or say.

But, the other side to that is, you can’t give up. Treat it like you would your own children; always love it but don’t always like it. If you are frustrated, walk away. If it breaks, again, walk away. If you have no idea what you are doing, don’t touch it, ask for help. If you don’t think you can afford help, barter with other bloggers, moms, or small businesses. Be creative, but most importantly, stick it through–it is simply the only option.

The best part of working from home is just that–you are in the comfort of your own home and making money while doing so. Websites aren’t great overnight. They take time, patience, and persistence. But it is proof positive that it works with hard work.

Launch That Website You’ve Been Delaying — Simple Tips for Creating a Website

This is a guest post by Laura, a book nerd who is obsessed with her Kindle and Amazon. You can visit her at BookAddictReviews.

image via daryllau/Flickr

Everyday I hear someone say they want to make a website or a blog, yet they fail to do so. I know the process can be overwhelming at best, but if it’s broken down into small tasks, it doesn’t have to be.

Typically, there are two types of websites/bloggers. In one scenario, there lacks focus and covers too much information with impossible navigation, while the other scenario is the site lacks enough information to keep visitors engaged.

Creating a website is a practice in temperance — just enough information to be informative, but not too much that you overwhelm your visitor and they wind up leaving. The trick becomes determining what you want to cover on your site. To start, take some time to keyword research as well as visit other websites relevant to your topic.

Website Outline Examples

If your website was about handbags, it would make sense to include some of the most popular handbags out there, such as Michael Korrs or Coach. But along with providing the handbags themselves, what other relevant information can you include? If it was my site — shoes, earrings, belts, and other accessories would be relevant and worth adding.

Conversely, I wouldn’t turn around around and add makeup to the same website because that, in my opinion, is an entirely different topic, although I have seen it being done. Some might argue that they work together, but if you have to argue to make a point, maybe you need to take another look. However, it is safe to say that it is a matter of perspective.

Another example, if you have a website about cats that includes health articles and cat supplies, adding information about monkeys really wouldn’t go together, no matter what your perspective is. Yet, I would have a website that includes information on both dogs and cats.

Creating a Website Plan

The Site’s Purpose: Start by clarifying the reasons you are building the site. Is it a passion or yours, or perhaps a hobby? Next create a list of the site’s goals in order of importance. Be as specific as you can, as this outline will grow with the site, as well as your experience and expectations.

Audience: You need to clearly identify your audience and understand what they will be looking for, how you will reach them, and what information you will provide for them. Will you use PPC, Adsense, or social media? There’s many ways to monetize a site, research which one works for you.

Marketing Tactics: How will you attract visitors to your site? Will you utilize word of mouth, pay-per-click advertising, article marketing, or a mixture of them all?

Site Content: This ties into what we discussed above–what content will you provide your visitors? List the topics you will include, along with any images you will need. Sites such as iStock Photo can be a huge help. Or, you can take the photos yourself, also an important decision. If your site involves a blog, make sure it is updated regularly and engage with the people that take the time to comment.

Look and Feel: What do you want the feel of the site to convey to your visitors? It should look and feel welcoming, encouraging the visitors to stay a while. Most importantly, keep the navigation simple, easy to use, and inviting. Keep mobile marketing in mind when having your site designed, meaning simply, ensure that it also renders well on smartphones.

Twitter, Facebook, and More: This one is important–contact, contact, and more contact will keep people coming back to your site. It will keep them engaged and they will remember you. A Facebook page and a Twitter account that are updated frequently can go a long way to creating long-lasting visitors and fans. As important as Facebook and Twitter are, the rising popularity of Pinterest and the staple for business that LinkedIn is make them just as important.

Getting Started: If you are new to websites and blogs, a domain name, host, and the right business software is all you need to get started! Sites like Clicknewz, and of course our own Woman Tribune are full of information to make the process of starting a website or blog less confusing and stressful.

Using PLR Articles to Start a Blog

This is a guest post by Chrissie, a freelance writer for various blogs, including Speedy Incorporation Service, which helps new small business owners incorporate online.

image via andypiper/Flickr

Starting a blog doesn’t have to be overly difficult, but it can be challenging keeping it up-to-date with new, trendy information, which is vitally important, especially in the beginning. There are going to be days that you just might not have time to write. Or perhaps you simply feel blocked and don’t know what to write. In these cases, I’ve found turning to PLR content can be very effective, but only when done right.

What is PLR Content?

In the simplest of terms, PLR content means “Private Label Rights,” which is defined as content that was written by someone else, but you purchase it and have permission to claim it as your own. However, it is important to note that there are varying types of PLR content and before choosing this as a viable approach, ensure that you understand what you can and cannot do with said content.

What is the Benefit of PLR Content for My Site?

First and foremost, you didn’t write the content so you’ve just given yourself back some extra time — and everyone needs more time. It is often easier to edit a post than to create it, with the most beneficial part being that you upload it as your own. So while there is work to be done, it’s less work.

While there are clearly benefits, there are also cons. Most importantly, it is never a good idea to take a PLR article and publish as it is. For one, that can result in a duplicate content penalty in the search engines, and no one wants that as it can mean a lot less traffic to the site you have been working so hard on.

Keep in mind that most PLR content is sold in capped groups. One site might cap that number at 25 while another may distribute it to 100. Think of PLR as a starting point; the content should be altered by at least 50%.

PLR Content Options to Consider

How many of each pack is sold, and what restrictions are there? Don’t assume because it’s PLR content that you can do as you want, rules will still apply in most cases.

PLR Quality

If you are joining a PLR membership or just purchasing an article pack, you need to first verify the content quality. Editing is one thing, but if the article by its very nature is filled with grammatical errors and doesn’t make sense, then the whole point is lost as you will end up writing it yourself from start to finish. The standard of quality that you accept will largely depend on your objective — engaging your readers or maybe you just need some fluff.

PLR Uses

  • Launch a website with re-crafted PLR articles while you work on marketing and social media.
  • Compile an e-book which can serve as a good, free viral marketing tool.
  • Create an auto responder series. Or perhaps use it in your newsletter.
  • Use it on your website as fresh, new content.

PLR Summary

  • Before you buy any packs or join any memberships, read the guidelines so you know what you can and can’t do with the content so that it works for you.
  • Compare buying a pack versus joining a membership site, which will of course depend on how much content you need.
  • Modify the content and make it yours. Change it by at least 50%. If you want a good idea of where else the articles are posted, or if you want to check that you have changed the article enough, Copyscape is a great tool.

Whether you have the best tablet or best laptop, or perhaps just a cellphone, the point is getting started. Shortcuts such as PLR make the starting process that much easier!

The Psychology of an Internet Troll #infographic

The internet is nothing short of amazing. It is an entire culture in itself and it has completely transformed the way we live our lives.

Personally, the internet has given me the ability to create a career for myself, working from home, and doing something I love and have always wanted to do. But for as awesome as the internet is and as much as we may enjoy using social media, catching up with old friends and making new ones, the internet also has a dark side.

Everyone who has ever read an article or watched a video on any website that allows comments knowing of the internet troll. These are people who, because of the perceived anonymity of the internet, use whatever space they can find to complain, insult, vilify, and frustrate anyone and everyone. There are many layers to the internet troll, and if you’re a blogger, you have likely encountered several different types of internet trolls — I know I have.

Ever wondered what’s going on in the mind of an internet troll? Check out the infographic below, which details the different types of internet trolls out there, why people begin trolling and turn into an internet troll, what psychological impairments are at work, and even how to handle an internet troll in your space.

Psychology of an Internet Troll
Source: Psychology of an Internet Troll | Best Online Psychology Schools

Click to open image in new window

This is easily one of the most entertaining infographics I have ever put up here, and I think it’s because it is such familiar territory. We all have experience with internet trolls, and I want to hear about yours. Have an internet troll story? Share it in the comments!