Author: Michael Kwan

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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Free Blackberry with web hosting and domain registration

When you’re looking to start out own small business — whether it’s freelance writing or otherwise — the last thing you want to worry about is getting your website up and running. Sure, you will want to spend quite a bit of time working out the design and content, but there’s no need to stress out about hosting plans and domain registration. When I first launched my site, I went with GoDaddy simply because they were one of the cheaper options out there. My, how blind was I! There are so many other hosting companies out there that offer pricing that is just as good (and customer service that is probably even better). One such firm is If you’re looking for a deal, Concentric may be up your alley because they offer a free domain name with every hosting account, even if you opt for shared hosting (most people do, in order to keep costs down) instead of a dedicated hosting solution. In addition to web hosting, their accounts — even the basic plan — come with free email addresses as well. For an added incentive, Concentric is giving away a free Blackberry (7290 or 7105T) if you sign up for a new hosting or email account (select plans, of course). Take a look. Well worth your time. The preceding post was sponsored by...

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GM to buy Chrysler, chaos to ensue

The automotive world is all topsy-turvy these days. Everyone owns everyone and no one owns themselves. It’s about to get a little more crowded (or a little less, depending on your perspective), because there’s a very good chance that General Motors, the world’s largest carmaker, is going to buy the Chrysler Group from DaimlerChrysler. This would mean that GM would be adding Dodge, Jeep, and of course Chrysler to their ever-expanding stable of brands. The next time you ask a Cobalt or Cadillac driver whether their car has a HEMI in it, the answer just might be yes. A Merrill Lynch analyst is saying that this is a “defensive maneuver” on the part of GM in that they are trying to protect their position as the automaker with the greatest worldwide volume. Toyota — when you include their subsidiaries like Hino, Scion and Lexus — is currently the number two carmaker, but their numbers are very quickly approaching number one status. GM is scared, I guess, that they’re on the cusp of being de-throned. Personally, I don’t like it. GM has enough brands already and adding three more to the bunch can only make things more confusing. Hummer and Jeep clearly overlap with one another. And then there’s the matter of the Dodge Viper vs. Chevy Corvette. In fact, there’s a lot of overlap, so GM may not be...

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Three Wii games I want in 2007

Okay, the post holiday slump is officially over in the industry of video games, so we should start to expect some fairly juicy numbers coming down the chute. While I have a Nintendo DS Lite and a Sony PSP, the system that I’m much more interested in — and the one that I sorely need to expand my library in — is the motion-sensitive and phallic symbol-sporting Nintendo Wii. In addition to Wii Sports which came bundled in with the home console, I have only purchased Rayman Raving Rabbids and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I finished the former already and am not all that interested in the latter, despite it being rated the best game on the system (as well as Game of the Year for 2006). I’ll leave Zelda to Susanne. Me, I need short spurts of enjoyment. I have a short attention span, so the games I play need to reflect that. Here are a list of three games I want to play in 2007. Sonic and the Secret Rings (February 20) This game was released today and I’m going to wait until I read a few reviews before I go ahead and splurge the 60 bucks plus tax required to purchase it. After all, the last few entries in the Sonic franchise have been less than impressive. By contrast, Sonic and the Secret Rings...

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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.