Author: Michael Kwan

Got accepted by ReviewMe

I remember several months ago when I tried applying to ReviewMe (aff) to no avail. Apparently, Beyond the Rhetoric wasn’t nearly popular enough to be worth their while at the time. After all, ReviewMe has much more stringent demands on which blogs they accept compared to PayPerPost (aff), who will take on just about any comer. Well, after John Chow went out and did his Technorati pinging scheme, I got a huge boost to my Technorati ranking which currently sits at 78,469. That’s quite a bit better than the number I had before (well north of 100k). You can further help my cause by adding my blog to your Technorati favorites. Anyways, seeing this good news, I decided to try my luck again with ReviewMe. Posts done for them tend to pay a lot better (Chow’s rate is $250) than PayPerPost, so I figured it’s definitely worth a shot. Bang, poof, wham-o: immediately upon telling them about Beyond the Rhetoric, I got accepted and am now in their marketplace, ready to accept reviews from advertisers. They determine the rate on your behalf and I got appointed with a rate of $40. I know that it’s really short notice, but if you order up a review from me by the end of February (meaning the end of today), you get 50% off of that price. And it’s not like I’m...

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My bunny has wry neck

When I showed my previous post to Susanne, she said that it didn’t clearly show the definite tilt to Roy’s head. Other people said that it just looked like he was a little groggy and was just turning his head to munch on some timothy hay. So, I thought I’d make another video to show you how Roy is doing (this was taken last night). As you can see, my poor little bunny’s head is askew by about 20 degrees or so. I gave him his first dose of Baytril this morning by cutting up the pill into tiny pieces and mashing it together with a piece of banana. Roy very happily lapped that up and asked for more. I wonder if he’ll grow tired of banana over the next couple of weeks. (Maybe that’ll be my next vid, Roy eating Baytril-infused banana.) Anyways, here’s the vid. Sorry about the dim...

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Roy recovering from a vet visit

As many of you already know, I have a pet bunny named Roy. Generally speaking, he’s been a pretty healthy rabbit. I got him neutered when he was still quite young, but while at the vet’s, he suffered a mild infection on his rear foot. That healed up without too much trouble. This little bunny is also missing a toe on his front left paw because of an unfortunate accident. Other than those two little things, he’s always been in tip top condition with a healthy appetite, lots of energy, and a whimsical, curious personality. Imagine my shock last Friday evening when I saw him in the corner of his cage, a little lethargic, with his head cocked to one side. Upon further research by Susanne, we discovered that this was a very common condition among pet bunnies, particularly those who are lightweight and live indoors (because they stay closer to the litter pan). Head tilt, also known as Torticollis or wry neck, can be caused by all sorts of things, but the most common are inner ear infections, head trauma, strokes, tumors, and cerebral problems. Symptoms include a lack of appetite, loss of balance, discharges from the eyes, circling, and the tendency to lean on the sides of the cage. Naturally, we were very concerned for our poor little rabbit. I haven’t had the best of experiences at...

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More than just a Google whore

I recently went out for another dot com pho adventure, but this time around there were far fewer people at the table. Anyways, Stephen Fung brought up a PayPerPost sponsored entry I did on UK credit cards, asking if I felt dirty for doing blog posts like that. After all, I don’t have very much to do with UK credit cards, so why would I be writing about it? Well, I don’t really have any excuse or shame associated with doing posts like that, because even John Chow said that PayPerPost is the most profitable ad network for low traffic blogs, considering that we lowly beginnners can’t get in on the IntelliTXT, TTZ Media Network, Text Link Ads or ReviewMe gravy trains. I like PayPerPost because it also helps inspire me to write about things I may not otherwise think about… like UK credit cards. In any case, I thought I’d repost a comment I made on Stephen Fung’s blog, replying to the question of whether “PayPerPost Posts Make You Feel Dirty.” How did I know that my UK credit card post was going to show up on this blog? 🙂 And no, I didn’t take my blog down out of shame. I was surprised this morning when I woke up and found out that my entire site is down, not just the blog, but the main freelance writing...

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Proof that John Chow is the root of all evil

Is there any denying that John Chow is the root of all evil? He’s been known to kill baby pandas and to instigate unsolicited rock fights in China, after all. The self-proclaimed dot com mogul recently made his way to an affiliate marketing dinner here in Vancouver, and that is where the above picture was taken (by the proudly unemployed Stephen Fung). That’s pretty close to Exorcist material, John. We all knew that you were possessed by the devil; now we have proof. Update: Thanks again to Stephen Fung, we have also discovered that John Chow has come out...

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Cultural learnings and a flaming skull

I remember a long, long while back, Darren Barefoot said that he was going to review every movie that he was going to watch in 2006. I’m not entirely sure if he ever followed through on that to its entirety, but it seemed like a pretty good goal. As such, I’m inspired to do the same for 2007. I’ve been pretty busy these past couple of months, so I haven’t watched as many flicks as I normally do, but I did manage to catch a couple this past week or so. They’re pretty different from one another too: Borat and Ghost Rider. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan Joseph Planta of The Commentary is a big fan of Ali G, but I never really “got” his sense of humour. I just don’t find Ali G particularly funny, and as such, I didn’t think that I would be all that interested in Borat, considering that the principal actor is the same Sacha Baron Cohen. Unless you’ve been living under an Amish rock for the past year, you’ve surely heard about this movie and all the controversy that it caused. It’s lewd, it’s crude, and at times I was on the cusp of hurling (the hotel wrestling scene was sickening), but by the same accord, I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s a shame that the trailer...

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Reward yourself with a no-debt credit card

We are a nation of debt and we are not alone. It seems like the average person in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and so on all live with with a balance sheet in the red. In Vancouver, we’ve seen rising interest rates and housing prices, resulting in huge mortgages that people just can’t afford. It’s just as easy to point to 0% credit cards and blame them for our increasing debt. After all, how enticing is it to buy the latest electronic device, big screen TV, or that hot new spring dress when you don’t have to pay any interest for it… at least up front. Luckily, I never had to take out a student loan for my career at UBC. I always pay my credit card bill on time (and in full) so I never have to suffer those atrocious interest rates. That’s why things like 0% balance transfers don’t really appeal to me. At the same time, I love having my credit cards because they reward me for doing things I’m going to do anyways. I get Airmiles to spend on free flights, merchandise, and gift certificates. That’s why when you compare credit cards, you should not only look at the up-front gifts they may offer (a free t-shirt is nice and all, but basically worthless), but also what additional benefits they can provide you....

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It’s alive! (evil laughter) It’s alive!

So, do you like the new look? As promised, Beyond the Rhetoric underwent a bit of a facelift, migrating from the not-so-nice QuickBlog tool over at GoDaddy to the much more user friendly and customizable WordPress. Big sigh of relief on my part. Among the changes you’ll notice are that the sidebar can now display images and is quite a lot more customizable. I’ve included buttons for AGLOCO (aff), Text Link Ads (aff), and PayPerPost (aff). You should check them out when you have chance. Here’s a quick summary of those three affiliates if you’re interested: –AGLOCO puts a “Viewbar” at the bottom of your internet browser window and you get a portion of the advertising money. This figure grows exponentially as you expand your referral network. –Text Link Ads is designed to help sell ad space on your personal website or blog. This way, you don’t have to go hunting for sponsors on your own. –PayPerPost pays you to blog about the things you love. Simply review a sponsor’s website or product and get a good chunk of change in return. I’m totally open to suggestions, comments, and questions, so feel free to chime in with a comment below on how I can improve Beyond the Rhetoric....

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Apple and Cisco make nice over iPhone name

Well it’s official. The whole iPhone debacle between Cisco (parent company to Linksys) and Apple (makers of the iPod) has come to a conclusion and the agreement allows both companies to make use of the iPhone moniker for their products. Joe Public probably still associates the term “iPhone” with Steve Jobs and the rest of the team in Cupertino, but the more tech savvy among us will instantly recognize that Cisco — and not Apple — used the iPhone name first. The Linksys iPhone is a VoIP family of products designed to let you chat it up with people all around the world using a standard broadband internet connection. If you’ve got a WiFi network set up in your home, for example, you can use select items from the Linksys iPhone VoIP family and yak it up without wires. I don’t make very many (if any) long distance calls myself, but if you’re the type of person that makes a lot of international calls, VoIP can save you a heck of a lot of money as it is typically cheaper than a conventional landline. I don’t think anyone is going to confused the Apple iPhone with the Linksys iPhone, but search engines may be a different issue altogether. The preceding post was brought to you by...

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The ebb and flow of internet income

I’ve been self-employed for about a year now and I can’t imagine myself ever going back to a standard nine-to-five schedule. I enjoy being own boss and having the relative freedom to set my own schedule. All this comes at a price, naturally, and the price is that I can never know how much money I’ll be making. I’m not only talking about soliciting clients for my freelance writing business, but also in terms of how much advertising cash this blog brings in. Such is always the case when it comes to internet-based income. I guess the same could be said about running any business. When you first open a restaurant in Vancouver, for example, there’s a very good chance that you’ll generate some initial buzz and business could very well be booming for the first month or two. After a while, though, customers get antsy and fickle, looking for the next new dining establishment and you find your daily take start to dwindle. I’m pretty sure that’s the case with Simply Delicious on Main Street, which is a couple blocks away from my house. It’s hard to say where I stand on the issue, because on the one hand, I enjoy the flexibility and the possibility of essentially setting my own income wherever I’d like it to be. On the other hand, there is value to be had...

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Michael Kwan
Hi, I'm Michael. By day, I'm a freelance writer. By night, I'm still a freelance writer. I'm also a proud father, a voracious foodie, an avid traveler, a gadget geek, and a thinker who thinks he might be thinking too much. Beyond the Rhetoric is a reflection of my eclectic entrepreneurial life.

Read more about me and what I can do for you.