Miscellaneous Ramblings – 8/24/2007

Most Liveable City In The World

For the who knows how many years in a roll, Vancouver has once again won the title of the most livable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit global liveability rankings. The ranking assesses living conditions in more than 125 cities around the world by looking at nearly 40 individual indicators grouped into five categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure.

The survey gives a rating of 0%-100% and judges a city with a lower score to be the more attractive destination. A rating of 20% is where real problems are seen to begin – anything over 50% places severe restrictions on lifestyle. Vancouver is the most attractive destination, with a liveability index of just 1.3%. Directly behind Vancouver was Melbourne, Vienna and Perth. Toronto (ranked #5) was the only other Canadian city in the top 10.

Ideas for the Next John Chow Ad Contest

Tim Schroeder at eMonetized thought it would be a good idea to raffle off his sponsorship button. He was going to offer tickets at $10 each. However, he later discovered that raffles are technically only allowed for charities and non-profit organizations unless they are free.

Tim is now looking at other ideas for a John Chow ad contest. One of the idea is to give the button away for free! Considering the button cost $500 per month, that’s very generous of him.

Sponsor Button Performance Numbers

Speaking of ad buttons, Zac Johnson made a post giving the numbers he’d received on his Zactoon button.

According to Google Analytics, initial stats show a little under 400 clicks have been sent over since the new design went live, which went live on Aug 22. Stats also show the average referral from John Chow views 2.24 pages and spends an average of 8:58 minutes on the blog.

Four hundred clicks in less than two days. Not bad at all. Zac is looking for someone to make him a new ad button. If he uses your button he’ll send you a free “Damn It Feels Good to be a Super Affiliate!” t-shirt. Speaking of which, how come he hasn’t sent me a shirt yet?

Make Money Online by Blogging for Someone Else

Bob Buskirk is looking for some bloggers to help him run Think Gaming and Think CE. If you are interested in writing news they require one post per day. If you are interested in writing original content they require 2 posts a month. These are paid positions. For the blogger who just wants to write and not worry about all the other stuff associated with running a blog, this may work out well.

What Do You Mean You Only See The Header?

For those who are complaining that the header on this blog is too big, you have to look at it through the eyes of my theme designer, Nate Whitehill. This is what he see when he looks at his monitor. Click on the image for the full resolution screen shot.


The problem I see is Nate has only one 30″ Apple Cinema display. They’re only $1,800. Go grab another one and get some dual monitor goodness happening! Hmm, maybe that can be the next contest giveaway. BTW – the current John Chow dot Com Million Dollar Wiki contest has been extended until September 30.

Doing The Potty Dance

To get your weekend off to the good start, I figure I would show you a video of Sally doing the potty dance at her Grandparents’ house. Enjoy!

76 thoughts on “Miscellaneous Ramblings – 8/24/2007”

  1. israel says:

    interesting i would never have thought Vancouver to be the most liveable city in the world.

    1. Chris Stark says:

      You’ve obviously never been to Vancouver then. The city is amazing, clean, great weather, very little pollution, and like the rest of Canada great on things like crime and social programs…

    2. John Chow says:

      You need to visit Vancouver. Then you will know why it’s #1.

      1. Mat says:

        Melbourne represent!

        I have no idea why we stopped sharing top spot with Vancouver, whose weather is so much worse than Melbourne.

        1. Tony says:

          You’ll see what is cultural diversity when you come to Vancouver :mrgreen:

          1. Geedos says:

            I’m jumping on the Melbourne bandwagon too!

            I’ve been to Vancouver though and it’s a great place but Melbourne is awesome – and Mat’s right, it has much better weather.

          2. Mat says:

            Australia is the world’s second most diverse country. Israel is first.

            Melbourne is the most diverse city in Australia. Don’t talk to me about diverse 😈

        2. Maltese Dog says:

          Melbourne all the way..!

          woof woof!

      2. Chad says:

        I just got back from a trip there and loved it! Super expensive though… I can definitely see why it topped the list.

  2. I suppose Vancouver is also an expansive city to live in? I went over Tim Schroeder’s blog and he is doing a free raffle. I believe I got myself the very first entry though that does not increase my chances of winning in any way but you would have thought hundreds of people would have had already replied to his post in order to get a chance to win the ad button space on johnchow.com for free.

    1. John Chow says:

      Yes, besides being best city, Vancouver is also the most expensive city to live in Canada.

      1. Fortunately, I live in Burnaby :mrgreen:

        1. Tony says:

          That is part of Vancouver: GVR 😀

      2. Will says:

        where does it rank in terms of most expensive cities to live in?

        1. John Chow says:

          It’s the most expensive city in Canada to live in. Not sure where it ranks in the world however.

          1. Chris Stark says:

            It’s low in the world. A few years back when Toronto was most expensive, it was ranked around 85 in the world for expensive cities. I bet Vancouver is on about the same level…

      3. ashxx says:

        and you pay all that money just to freeeze to death in the winter

  3. Enkay Blog says:

    Thats interesting! Theres always so much going on in the blogosphere that you have to have a weekly post dedicated to it! I did one today myself!

    1. After all of the crazy events in the US, my husband and I have talked quite a bit about moving to Canada. I’d love it, except the cold weather.

      – Sally is the cutest baby… gosh… I want one!

      – I really need to get my husband one of those little toilets. haha. “It’s toilet paper time!”


  4. Debo Hobo says:

    I not sure she is not going to appreciate that video when she is a teenager. Whatever you do, don’t show her prom date. Oh Dad!!!!

    1. Shaun Carter says:

      I was thinking the same thing! Every family has its stash of embarrassing moments for when their kids become teens.

      1. Geedos says:

        Perfect wedding day fodder! 😆

    2. When I have a baby, I would like to get one for him/her too :mrgreen:

  5. Lars says:

    The header is clearly to big. Who cares what resolution the designer is using, the only resolutions he and you should care about is your readers. Stats show that most people use 1024×768 and 1280×1024 pixels so why not design something for them instead for people with 2560×1600… Just my two cents

    1. Steven says:

      I think the new design looks good. Although my resolution is up there so I don’t have the same problem as though viewing 1024×768 or 1280×1024, I can understand why you guys might not like it. Personally though, a little scrolling doesn’t bother me seeing as how you usually have to scroll to read the post anyway.

      1. Fixed resolution is always — ALWAYS — bad usability practice. Unless you want to completely ignore years of usability reasearch.

        Google Jakob Nielsen.

        1. John Chow says:

          Fixed res maybe bad usability practice but it allows the publishers to control the look and feel, and therefore the brand, of their sites. And that is more important than usability. Why do you think sites like Yahoo, MSN and AOL are all fixed?

          1. Jack Book says:


            you have to look at it through the eyes of my theme designer

            hoq could you say that? who reads your blog? is it your designer or us?
            we don’t have large monitor as your designer has. well.. most of us don’t.
            the new design looks good, no doubt on that. but the header is just too crowded. so bad.
            i have just scratched my own redesign if i was john chow. how do you think with this new header?

            oh and John,
            could you ask your designer to give us an ajaxified commenting system please? so we don’t need to reload the page after each time we add a comment. we want to read another comment following. and that is pretty hard since each of your post has at least a hundred comments.

          2. Jack Book says:

            doh.. my comment shows twice. i really-really aplogise guys, i know it must be so bothering. sorry

          3. Steven says:


            I think the ajax commenting system would be a plugin, not a theme design. I don’t think asking Nate would help. He’s already done his part. We’d need someone to program the plugin itself if possible at all

          4. John Chow says:

            That is correct. If someone would make an AJAX comment system that can do threaded comments, I’ll be the first to use it.

        2. Jack Book says:


          you have to look at it through the eyes of my theme designer

          hoq could you say that? who reads your blog? is it your designer or us?
          we don’t have large monitor as your designer has. well.. most of us don’t.
          the new design looks good, no doubt on that. but the header is just too crowded. so bad.
          i have just scratched my own redesign if i was john chow. how do you think with this new header?

      2. ashxx says:

        the new design is sexay

  6. The Most Liveable City In The World award is for the Greater Vancouver or just the Vancouver City?

    1. John Chow says:

      I believe it’s Greater Vancouver, but they just call it Vancouver.

  7. Max says:

    I like your new look John, I haven’t had time to come by in a while but I do like your new theme on the site.

  8. KingJacob says:

    Any city in British Columbia is beautiful, Im just glad houston isnt at the bottom of that list.

    High quality monitors are insane, my friends alienware is 1080p and the web looked entirely different, though it wasnt on par with a 30″ apple display.

  9. Apart the 30″ monitor your designer has, he also hit the magic F11 button apparently. Anyway, as i said the header is not a big problem, dunno why people like to complain about that.

    C-ya all Monday.

    1. KingJacob says:

      It doesnt look like hes viewing full screen thats what high resolution apple screens normally look like.

    2. Geedos says:

      I can’t see the F11 button problem but I do shudder at the prospect of using a Mac!

  10. mikpuk says:

    As a born and raised Vancouverite, I laugh at Vancouver being #1. Vancouver is #1 for natural beauty. The ability to boat, run the seawall and ski in the same day. BUT………………..the city is unaffordable for an average person. About 70% of all housing is rental. Due to the high rental rate, every city side street is loaded with cars parking everywhere. Also the drug scene is ridiculous. So many areas are scary aka Pidgeon Park. Also even if you want to shop the trendy areas expect to be bombarded with rude panhandlers on the corners. My funniest example was picking up relatives at the 5 star Pan Pacific who were attending the Chiefs of Police convention. We were waiting at the front entrance when we were accosted by a heroin head for a score. My “chief” relative was gob smacked especially when we said this is normal for this city.

    1. KingJacob says:

      All the major cities have a panhandler/homeless/druggie problem, Ive been to vancouver alot and relative to other large citires vancouver is doing good(or not bad).

      I bet the economist constantly calling vancouver the nicest city is partly to blame for the high living cost 😆

      1. Tony says:

        They invited a lot of rich immigrants to Vancouver.

  11. Max says:

    Wow, that is kinda cool… SallyChow.com~ Hmm… maybe you are too evil to use Sally as marketing tool… (Not that I wouldn’t…) 👿 👿

  12. Max says:

    Hey John,

    We are having a Free Green Laser giveaway contest but it seems like it’s getting out of hand. There’s people commenting 500 comments…

    Take a look:

  13. Ray says:


    “You should see the header through the designers eyes”

    Come on, please. our designer should be looking through your readers eyes. I don’t think it’s your designer who’s doing all that click through that makes you all that money each month.

    1. John Chow says:

      I told Nate to design for a min. of 1024×768 and he did that. At the resolution, the first post is visible. Those who can’t see the first post are running too many toolbars.

      1. Jack Book says:

        haha.. that’s me :p
        i have google toolbar, bookmark, address bar, and firefox tabs.
        and i can’t see the first post :p

  14. Click Input says:

    And where was Auckland in that city poll!

    1. Geedos says:

      Er … stuck in traffic!?!? 😆

  15. I like the new design.
    Now I wonder where Bangkok would come on that list. Probably near the end.

  16. Will says:

    I like the new design too. it’s very sleek 🙂

  17. Nice monitor, now I see how to work with design.

  18. Max says:

    Click Input, Bangkok is great by the way, it’s not even the real name, you didn’t even know, i feel bad for you…

    1. I know Bangkok’s real name. Krung Thep (Well atleast the shortened version is). But had I said that, how many people would know what city I’m talking about?

      Now where is that “Click Input” option you mentioned?

  19. Ken says:

    Hard to believe that Vancouver could win that prize. Still, congratulations to them.
    I live in Mexico City, and the chances of this place winning anything are about nil.

  20. Wicked screen, I want one :mrgreen:

    1. John Chow says:

      Of course you. 🙂 I might add one of these bad boys to my Xmas shopping list. Either that or the Dell 30″ LCD.

      1. Gotta get me a new PC first 😥

      2. Nate W. says:

        John you know it’s time to switch to the Mac anyway… 👿

        1. Nate W. says:

          BTW, congrats on hitting 7666 RSS subscribers… Truly evil… 👿

      3. Chris Stark says:

        Do these 30″ monitors still require two inputs to the one screen? I was going to setup duel 30″‘s once, but I would have had to install 2 video cards to do it…

  21. Sally’s got herself a pimped-out potty!

    I think after hearing the “Potty Song” a dozen times, I would throw the potty to the curb and Sally would be back in diapers.

  22. Wahlau.NET says:

    that monitor is great

  23. Rhys says:

    Seems to be a distinct lack of UK cities in that list, surprise surprise.

    I should move to canada whilst the Pound is still so hot 🙂

  24. recetas says:

    pretty I want one :mrgreen:

  25. thien says:

    hey john Sally is so Cute hehe

  26. Wow. A lot of comments here! I’ve got two to add.

    1. As for the concept of raffling off advertising space, while it’s illegal, I am totally enamored with the concept. There used to be this website called PrizeWise whereby you could raffle off items you owned. Think of it as eBay with a raffle twist. I actually raffled off a $100 HomeDepot gift card for $140. The site is now gone; its holding company is also mysteriously GONE!

    2. As a sponsor of the new theme, Shopzilla’s Publisher Program (publisher.shopzilla.com) is pretty pleased with the outcomes so far. We’ve had close 35 accounts apply for our affiliate program. We’ve had to reject about half of the applicants (because they didn’t meet our approval guidelines…don’t ask, we don’t disclose them), but we’re really pleased with the outcomes so far!

  27. ricdes says:

    Well, here in Zurich I think the only 2 things that suck are the lack of sea and the lack of nice people. 😡

  28. Tyler Ingram says:

    Vancouver is good to live in, well I’m not downtown Vancouver I’m out in the ‘burbs’ and its not bad. Though if you take transit outside of the downtown core it sucks as. Transit in the downtown core is awesome because buses are ever 5 mins! In the suburbs its anywhere between 15mins to 1hour depending on time of day.

    Good thing i have a car 😉

    As for seeing only the header: My laptop is running at 1280×768 and I can see the first header (but then again my windows menu at the bottom of my screen is doubled due to the number of windows I work with and this screen is only 15″ widescreen I think).

    On my 19″ Samsung (widescreen) i see an ok amount of content but then again I don’t mind scrolling down. I am happen I don’t have to scroll left and right. I should check it out on my blackberry which runs opera and see how it looks 😉

  29. Joy Smith says:

    Headline looks good to me. :mrgreen: Congrats on your new layout for the page!

  30. Michael says:

    Hi, John Chow. I’m a long time re-visitor of your blog. There is something wrong with those video of the baby. No offense or anything, I’m just concern with the well being of the kid when she grows up. Would you want the internet to be showing a video of you learning to go potty?

  31. I love these posts because you frequently provided links to great articles on other blogs and I end up finding more great blogs to read about. I’ll have to contact Bob about that writing position and the stats on Zac’s ad were interesting as well.

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