HashOut: 2007/02/16
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Now anyone can sign up for Gmail from anywhere in the world!

I think I am a little late on this due to the long break. But I feel it invites a lot of debate. Especially because Google has changed its policy overnight.

Eighteen months ago Google said that SMS invitation codes were used to prevent SPAM accounts and now Google has opened Gmail to anyone anywhere in the world without the need of any invitation code, either from a friend or through SMS. It's true that any web based service that monetizes from ads needs more users but then how is Google gonna fight spam now? Have they got any alternative arrangements?

It has been reported that the change did not occur simultaneously across all Google data centers and there might still be some places where the link is yet to appear.

Also another speculation doing the rounds is that Google might launch a paid premium service like Yahoo! But before that could happen it needs to be out of Beta, or is it already out of beta? If yes, then the folks at Google need to fix the graphic.
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Getting ideas for blog posts and RSS feed posts

After a long break, I was scanning the web for the latest news and discussions in the blogosphere and looking forward to discuss something on hashout when I stumbled upon this article by Sharon Housley. It gives 10 very useful ways to find topics for your blog or RSS feeds.

Sharon emphasizes on writing about unexplored topics and "tackling all of the content that many other publishers find difficult or uncomfortable". But considering the vastness of the internet and the anonymity that it provides, one would find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find such topics.

From my experience, I would recommend devoting certain amount of time on a daily basis to read blogs, news, magazines and even watch TV shows in the area of your interest. You might not get an idea to blog about spontaneously, but over a period of time it will surely help. For example, you read a news article about the Cisco-Apple iPhone trademark tussle in the morning and then discuss about it with your peers at work during the day. Now you have not just your own thoughts but also opinions from your pears to blog about.
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