Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Evil Dogs

I've been getting a decent amount of traffic off of Stumbleupon over the last week, so I decided to post a video I put together a long time ago staring my two dogs. Figured this was Stumble worthy...

Thanks for all the thumbs up guys.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Jennifer Slegg of Jensense.com reports "Numerous AdSense publishers have been receiving emails from Google the past couple of days stating that their use of their AdSense account is an unsuitable business model and that accounts would be disabled as of June 1st..."

As an official member of the MFA/Arbitrage Haters Association I can't help but sit back in my chair and laugh and laugh and laugh. Now if only Yahoo would step up or Google would stop letting Yahoo arbitragers buy traffic through Adwords we'd be all set.

Thanks for helping to make the web a better place Google. You rock!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Optimize for Cross-Language Information Retrieval (CLIR)

Greg Sterling recently posted an article on Search Engine Land about Google's launch of Cross-Language Information Retrieval (CLIR) search services.

Greg states "Search queries will be entered in the native language, translated into English and run against Google's index. Any retrieved pages/sites will then be translated from English back into the native language".

As anyone who has ever used Google's translation tool knows, machine driven translations often butcher multi-word strings. If I were promoting an English site and wanted visitors in other languages to be able to find my site through these new CLIR powered search services I would discover what phrases people are searching for in each of my target languages and what English phrase Google translator returns for these queries.

If the English translation of the original query makes sense grammatically it may be worth it to use Google's translation of the native language phrase as one of my targeted key phrases.

Of course, for anyone wanting to get a foot hold with readers whose native language is not English I would recommend just translating your content. I like to use Click2Translate for most of my translation needs.

If you don't have the time or the resources to translate your content, optimizing for CLIR may be a good alternative.

If You can't Create, Emulate

I wanted to send a quick shout out to yet another one of my competitors who lifted the basic design, fonts, color scheme, and copy from a site I manage. I guess you know you're an industry leader when every site in your space rips you off in one way or another.

I'm glad to see there are lots of lazy webmasters still out there. I was getting worried.

Friday, May 11, 2007

10 Ways to Sell Out Fast - How to Go from College Geek to Business Chic

A family friend of mine recently graduated from college and it got me thinking about my own transition from college life to the business world. Moving from a life of sleeping late, summers off, and outlandish parties to a more professional existence can be filled with hazards and hard lessons to learn. I decided to jot down a few tips about the transition from college to the business world.

1. Learn how to dress.

I'm sorry, but I don't care if you're an engineer or an executive how you dress is a reflection of who you are. Find out what your boss wears and emulate him. Don't worry about your co-workers. Your goal is to beat them out for promotions and raises. If you want a promotion then dress the part. If you're ever in doubt dress up.

2. No one ever notices if you're early, but they always remember when you stay late.

The business world is very macho and one of the things people will brag about is how late they stay at the office. Don't worry about the fact that these same people stroll into the office at 10:30 every morning, they stay late and so should you. Staying later makes you look like a harder worker. You're "burning the midnight oil". Also, executives are rarely in early so if you arrive by the crack of dawn no one will be around to see it. If you have the luxury, adjust your work schedule so you work later and can join the good ol' boys club that convenes every day after 5:30.

3. Manage your image.

Remember that awesome picture on your MySpace profile of you upside down slamming 4 beers in a beer bong? Well guess what? So does your next employer. Search for yourself on Google, Yahoo, etc and see what pages exist out there about you. If you find something that could harm your professional image get rid of it immediately. If you can find it then others can too. If you don't control the page, ask the person who does to remove the reference. If they won't, offer to pay for their trouble. A hundred bucks is a small price to pay for your reputation.

4. Get a new car.

Okay, so your 96 Corvette is fast, but at some point one of your business associates is going to have to ride in that car. Clear out your dirty laundry and discarded Taco Bell wrappers. If you can afford it, buy something fairly new and keep it in good condition. You don't want the boss reading your "I Got Slammed in Amsterdam" bumper sticker on his way into the office from the parking garage. Get a nice ride and keep it nice.

5. Read, read, read.

So you've graduated high in your class and you've mastered everything that's been put in front of you. Congratulations, you've just started. The industry you'll be working in is a microcosm with it's own celebrities, customs and lingo. Read every blog, trade mag, and news site you can about your industry. You'll have a better point of reference for the responsibilities of your new job and you'll be much better equipped to communicate with people in your industry.

6. Pay your off your credit cards every month.

Besides just being plain old smart, paying off your credit cards will help you avoid embarrassing business lunches with a rejected card. This will also help to keep your debt low and allow you to save money and invest. If you're sound with your own money then other people may trust you with theirs. Keep your credit in line and increase your chances for professional success.

7. Leave your politics and religion at home.

I know you had fun reducing your carbon footprint your senior year by protesting pants, but your co-workers don't care. Everyone at your new job is there for very serious reasons. They all have to pay bills, feed kids, and save for their retirement. Everyone wants to coexist with the least amount of drama and friction. If you walk around preaching about Scientology and asking people to sign your petition to end the war you may be endangering your job. Wait for the weekend or after work to start your crusade. If you are going to be political or religious make sure anything published on the web about you and your cause is kind to your reputation.

8. Work sick, but not if you're contagious.

Remember that part in the "Pursuit of Happyness" where Will Smith gets hit by a car and still goes to work? Do that. That exact same thing happened to me and after a quick trip to the hospital and some x rays I went back into the office. The amount of respect I received from that one little act was immeasurable. Show your boss how committed you are and cruise into work regardless of that nagging hang nail.

On the other hand, if you're hacking up green phlegm so much you look like you're possessed it may be a better idea to stay home. If you're forced into taking a sick day make sure you work from home and send emails to everyone so they know you're not sitting there catching up on soap operas.

9. Forget the words "I should get", "I deserve", and "I'm entitled".

You're not in the academic world any more. Tenure doesn't mean anything and no one is politically correct. What you get and what you deserve is tied directly to your value as an employee. If you have the opportunity to expand your duties, take it! Don't worry about whether you're paid at the right level for those responsibilities. This may be a test by your boss to see if you would be a good candidate for something more advanced. Additional duties also teach you new skills which will be very valuable to your career later in life. Prove your worth with exceptional work and avoid long winded emails about how everyone should get free sodas from the soda machine. No one cares.

10. Work for a small company at least once.

So you got that job at Dell answering tech support calls. Good for you! Unfortunately your career path at Dell is answering phones, hoping to get promoted to manage people who answer phones, and then maybe one day managing people who manage people who answer phones. Large corporations tend to pigeon hole you into one skill set. You'll have few opportunities to try out other challenges. Combine this with the fact that you have a whole host of people above you keeping you from advancing and you can see why this can be frustrating.

Work for a small company and expand your opportunities to try out new things. The experience you gain by having the opportunity to try on many different hats will be priceless. You'll have a much better perspective on how business is done and you'll have more opportunity to prove your worth.

Transitioning from college life to the business world can be a fun and exciting time in your life, but with a little proper planning you can get a leg up on other recent grads in the race to get ahead.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

An Error Has Been Detected

About sick of this showing up when using Analytic's new interface. Anyone else seeing this...

An Error Has Been Detected

Please try again. If you are experiencing long delays, please reduce the selected date range or disable date comparison. Thank you for your patience.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Quality Score and Ad Creative

Greg Meyers recently posted an article on "Google Quality Score Myths" on his blog Searchmarketinggurus.com. In the article he said that "what really effects quality score at the Ad/Creative level is any change made to the landing page of a Destination URL field."

In my blog post Optimizing for Quality Score Based Ad Ranking I claimed that changing any part of your ad creative would re-set your performance history. This was based on advice I had received from Google in the past.

Apparently this is not the case any more.

Quality score history is of course just tied to keywords and not to ad creative.

Changing your ad creative may change your quality score on the keyword level as click through rates, etc. change with the new ad creative.

Any changes in quality score will effect your ad's ranking (min bid) in a short amount of time, but any historical factors used to determine quality score are tied solely to keywords. In short, changing ad creative will not change any historical factors related to your quality score.

It still may be a good idea to leave a static ad in your ad groups to combat problems with updating ad creative and dealing with editorial review, but in so far as retaining your performance history there is nothing to worry about.

Thanks to Greg for posting about this and forcing me to review this issue again. It's always great to revisit something and learn something new.

Friday, May 4, 2007

YouTube You Sued?

YouTube has announced it will be sharing ad revenue with users posting videos to their popular video sharing site. It has been no secret that YouTube has had problems with users posting copyrighted content.

To date this meant that copyright holders could submit a DMCA request to YouTube to have the content removed from the site, they could get a court order demanding the identity of the person who posted the copyrighted content, and they could sue the person who posted the material.

Now that users will be profiting from the content they post, what will this do to the user's legal liabilities? If a user gets sued for posting copyrighted material and the copyright holder can prove damages related to the revenue the poster received, what happens to the cut of that exact same revenue YouTube received?

The DMCA provides nice provisions designed to protect website owners from items posted by their users; however, now that YouTube is providing an exact picture of the advertising value of that video does that mean that the copyright holder can seek damages for YouTube's cut from that content? As a whole YouTube has a much better case for dealing with copyright content through the provisions of the DMCA, but when they start putting specific value on specific content are they opening up a bigger can of worms?

All in all, I like YouTube's strategy, but I hope they spend some time thinking about defining the value of specific content on a video file sharing site.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Feral Ferrell Video

More accustomed to the big screen than the computer screen, actor Will Ferrell has released a viral video on FunnyorDie.com.

I don't know if we're going to be seeing a run by other Hollywood types in the viral video space, but it's good to see some off the cuff work showing up out there. Maybe Tobey Maguire could do a Diet Coke and Mentos video or perhaps George Clooney could pretend to be a Jedi in his parent's basement. Either way I'm thinking guaranteed Webby's!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Iraq Propaganda 2.0

About two months ago Multi National Force Iraq, the US backed force in Iraq, started their own YouTube channel called MFNIraq.

The channel has a wide variety of videos including everything from F/A-18 Hornets bombing a chlorine truck to an Iraqi Boyscout Jamboree.

To my surprise, all the official comments I've read on this do not reference the existing YouTube propaganda campaign by Iraqi insurgents.

The insurgent YouTube campaign includes videos of horrendous insurgent activities with messages clearly designed to promote terrorism. The messages are all in Arabic and the videos are widely popular with their target audience.

I'm sure the US military noticed the effectiveness that the insurgents were experiencing by utilizing YouTube and decided to fight back with videos of their own. I'm a little confused why they didn't develop a channel in Arabic, as that might be a better way to counteract the effectiveness of opposing propaganda in Iraq itself.

This may also be a ploy to take some of the spotlight off of some of the more embarrassing military footage out on YouTube.

All in all, I find it very interesting to see these propaganda wars played out in the new 2.0 world. Maybe we could work on a scheme where future conflicts can be settled based who has the most friends on their MySpace profile or who has the coolest people listed in their MyBlogLog. Of course in that scenario with 175,060,680 Myspace friends, Tom would be world emperor.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I Googled iGoogle

So about now everyone knows about iGoogle, the new name for the Google Personalized Home Page. With my ever increasing list of "i" devices (all from Apple), I'm a little worn out on the whole "i" concept. Let's see how many "i" devices I have in my home.....

1 Shuffle iPod
1 Nano iPod
1 Regular iPod
1 Video iPod
1 iTrip
1 iHome

That's a total of 6 "i" devices! With the iTV and iPhone firmly on my shopping list and the iRobot inevitably waiting to pop its head up as the next gift I receive, I'm sure I'll be well beyond my "i" quota by the end of the year.

What ever happened to everything being "e" something? Are the days of "Etrade", "Ebooks", and "e commerce" behind us? What's the next big prefix on the Internet? What ever happened to everything being "smart"? Smart phones, smart refrigerators, smart cars? Are we so lazy that we have to shorten everything to one letter?

For now I'm going to sit quietly and wait for everything in my home to be prefixed with an "i"; although I'm a little apprehensive about getting an "iToilet". In the mean time I'm going to be sticking to good old fashion acronyms. TTYL TFRMB.