Current state of affairs keeps me silent

I am enjoying things that I do now, except that I can’t talk a lot about them. I am very much involved with a few companies right now and I surely can’t say what I am doing there. I have a few interesting plans that I can share just yet. And I have plenty of unfinished thoughts in my head, which should not come out, as they will probably hurt a lot of people as they are.

Exciting times, but not very much blogging fun…

In other news, the works have started on a new design for this blog. I don’t remember if I told you, so here it is again. Blog design matters. Even in our age of RSS feeds and email alerts. Blog design matters for the author. For me, at least. Currently, this blog’s design is not very representative. It’s very outdated. It does not show how I feel about blogging and does not help me be a blogger that I want to be. I don’t have links and tools integrated with my blog that I need, and the visuals of it do not inspire me.

That’s why there will be a radical change. This time the design will be done by a professional designer and it will be done specifically for this blog and will suit my needs and wants. It’s about time I invest into the new design after running my own and third-party themes for years.

Life without Google

I read this blog post, which describes online life without Google. I then tried to imagine how it feel for me.

Awful. I am much more dependant on Google than the author of that post.

Here are things that I will miss with all my heart.

  • GMail. All my personal email is in there. I am currently using 1385 MB (48%) of my 2849 MB limit. I don’t even want to think about exporting and importing it all over again. It’s easier to start from scratch. Also, I am using GMail as my note taking application (I’ll post about it separately). It turned out to work better than anything else that I’ve tried.
  • Google Search. As a matter of fact I work with Yahoo and MSN search engines pretty often. But I wouldn’t want to have either one of them as my primary search engine. Now I’m using them only to compare results for some SEO stuff that I do. Google Search is really the king and emperor for me. And with Personalized Search History even more so.
  • Google Calendar. Again, I’ve tried a few alternatives, but they don’t work quite as good for me as Google Calendar does. GCal has the closest user interface to what I want. Plus SMS notifications and reminders that work with non-USA mobiles. Plus easy management of multiple calendars. Plus integration with GMail, albeit via Firefox extensions.
  • Google Analytics. I’m running a few web sites and I want to know everything and anything there is to know about my visitors. Google Analytics provides a number of reports and graphs that other applications don’t. Also, I’ve sold Google Analytics integration and support as part of the web solution package to more than one client. Not something I want to get rid off, for sure.
  • Google Reader. This is my life support system. Enough said.
  • Google Documents. I mainly use their word processor for my business needs. It’s nice to have it all online, and to be able to easily share documents with my co-workers and partners. All of them have at least one Google account, so nobody needs to register or even to login.
  • YouTube and Google Video. These two occupy the most of my entertainment time. I haven’t seen anything as good or even close yet (including rutube, porntube, and metacafe).

The rest of the services, like Google Alerts, Google AdSense, Google Adwords, Image Search, Google News, Groups, Notebook, etc will be missed too, although to a smaller degree.

So, obviously, for me, blocking Google is like Hell breaking loose. No, thanks.

Google bits

Here we go again – some more Google love.

First of all, I’m really glad that Google continues to integrate its services with each other. Recently they’ve updated Google Reader with a feature that allows one to email items without opening any additional windows or doing copy-pasting stuff. Those who have GMail accounts will automatically have their address book integrated too. Very nice. (Until now I was marking items as “Shared” and had them emailed by

Secondly, SMS reminders and notifications in Google Reader are not anymore limited by the default (primary) calendar.

Google services aren’t perfect, but it’s nice to see them slowly getting there. By the way, if you can’t think of ways that Google can improve its services, check out this list of things that some people wish them to add and improve.

And if you think GMail can be better, than check this out. It involves a Firefox extension or two, but does pure magic.

Every cent matters

I have received an email from GoDaddy today, which kind of made me think about how small things matter. Here is a quote:

Dear Leonid Mamchenkov,

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN(R)) recently agreed to reduce their Registrar Transaction Fee from $.25 to $.22. What does this mean for you?

Good news. You have been credited $.03/yr for each domain name you registered or renewed dating back to July 1, 2006* — $1.02 has been placed into your Go Daddy(R) account

For non-technical folks among you, here is a quick explanation. Whenever anybody registers a domain name (such as or, they pay some money. $0.25 USD of those money goes to the organization called ICANN, which controls domain name distribution. Recently, ICANN decided to charge a bit less – only $0.22 USD. So, all those people who registered any domain names since July 1st, 2006 should get a refund of $0.03 USD for each domain they registered.

Who cares about three cents, right? Well, not that many people do. But here is a good example of how small things build up. I am not a domain name king by any measure. I just have a few domains here and there. But even with me, those three cents per domain built up into more than a dollar ($1.02 USD).

Those people who have thousands of domains are experiencing an uncontrolled feeling of joy right now…