Archives For Web 2.0

rspca

So anyone who knows me knows I hate email.. I even had an email from someone who spammed this blog recently who (and I’m not making this up) complained that having had second thoughts, he couldn’t delete his spam comment.

I probably should publish those emails at some stage, but some dopey prick promoting Sri Lankan dating isn’t all that interesting in the big picture of things.

What is interesting is when a company using the RSPCA name asks you to remove a link to help their SEO ranking with Google.

I’ll note in advance: it’s not the RSPCA direct, but the company they use (and use their name, so guilt by association) to sell insurance.

Here’s the fun first email, cut and pasted into pure text…because you know Google loves that shit, particularly when they’re looking for folks who are trying to game their Google ranking ;)

RSPCA WebMaster rspcawebmaster@hollard.com.au
4 Feb (8 days ago)

Hi,

We have recently received a notification from Google stating that our website has unnatural links pointing towards it. This has negatively impacted our search engine rankings and as a result, we are trying to tidy things up. Our website url is www.rspcapetinsurance.org.au, which is part of the Hollard Australia Group.

We have found links pointing to our website from the following pages:

http://www.4aus.com/6330/free-pet-insurance-information-pack/

We appreciate this is inconvenient and isn’t a reflection on your website at all, but if you are able to remove the links, we would really appreciate it and would be very grateful.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Hollard Financial Services
P: 02 9253 6600
F: 02 9253 6699
58 Norwest Blvd?Bella Vista NSW 2153 Australia
www.hollard.com.au
www.rspcapetinsurance.org.au
Team Spirited | Results Driven | Customer Focused

 

Damn, an insurance company representing the RSPCA (be it that they are a kill shelter, another post, another day) is wanting me to help them game Google by removing an actual link to an actual offer they have up… because they reckon falsely that it’s bad for their Google ranking. Well fuck me :)

But wait…here’s today’s email (12/2)

Hi,

We would like to follow up on the link removal request we sent you last week.

We appreciate your time is important and so apologise for any inconvenience.

If you could please take a moment to remove the links as requested in the email below we would be extremely grateful.

If you have already removed the links and emailed us about it, then we thank you for your cooperation and please ignore this email.

If you have any questions please just reply to this email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Otherwise we look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Hollard Financial Services
P: 02 9253 6600
F: 02 9253 6699
58 Norwest Blvd?Bella Vista NSW 2153 Australia
www.hollard.com.au
www.rspcapetinsurance.org.au
Team Spirited | Results Driven | Customer Focused?

Dear RSPCA, do you as an organisation support Google manipulation and fraud?

Decent question given your associated company is running around trying to game their Google results using your name.

Food for thought :)

problogger

I honestly didn’t wake up a week ago and decide to take shots at my former business partner Darren Rowse: we can/ do disagree on a range of things (in a good way..indeed I valued him as a business partner way back then, working through different ideas is the BEST way to get the BEST out of your business ) but I have to take umbrage with another of his posts.

No offense (I know that’s cliched) but honestly Darren, none meant.

This post: How Much Content Should I Have Ready to Go When I Launch a Blog? and it’s recommendations are…well, let’s just say I disagree ;)

To tl;dr his post, Darren recommends that you have 3-5 posts published, 5-10 posts ready to publish and 20+ blog post ideas “brainstormed.”

Sorry, but seriously this is balls.

Here’s my comment on the post (with one typo fixed) and explanation to follow:

Sorry Darren to disagree again but 3-5 doesn’t go close.

But that given, depends on your launch strategy.

If you simply launch with no publicity, no contacting people, PR etc yeah 3-5 is all very well and good.

But lets pretend that you can actually get decent attention with your launch…I know you certainly could. People come in (in a spike, be it small/M/L) to check out your new site.

Do you really want to present them 3-5 posts or 20 or even 100 posts that highlight the full range of topics/ subtopics you want to cover?

The key with ANY good launch is like catching a fish: once you get them interested you want to hook them into reading the site. 3-5 posts doesn’t even come close. At a standard, depending on the site I’d say 10 but more 20+ posts, and depending on the topic possibly more.

Of note is that Gawker sites use to launch (out of private, ie non-Googlable) with often 100+ posts, that’s because when people come looking they want to cater for them with a variety of options.

You see a “launch” done right should ALWAYS involve more posts, end of story.

My analogy in that comment I will repeat again: it’s like catching a fish, once you get the fish (in this case your readers) interested you want to permanently hook them, and you need a variety of bait to do so.

Unless your blog is about Llama farming in far eastern Peru, or a similar extraordinarily niche topic, your bait (your content) has to be more than 3-5 posts when you launch, end of story.

A proper launch (and I note this in the comment above) should include publicity. That might be something as simple as emailing everyone you know, but it may include press releases, ad campaigns, and a full blown PR campaign.

If you do it properly it should result in some sort of surge of new readers (might be 100, might be 10,000… I’ve experienced both.) The key here is to turn those one off “I’ve read you’ve launched a site and am checking it out” readers into long term readers.

20 is a figure I’ve used, but even anything up to 100 helps. The key to ANY good launch is to get the new traffic to come back, and 3-5 posts isn’t a lot to offer. 20+ posts, particularly if your topic isn’t uber niche is the way to go: the theory is to offer content (bait) to as many people coming to your site as possible, and you can’t do that in 3-5 posts. 20+ posts you can.

Give your launch customers bait, give them a full range of content you intend to offer at launch that you expect to deliver full term. Given as many people as you can a reason to read your blog on a regular basis.

I mentioned in the comment at Problogger the way Gawker use to launch their sites: I don’t think an individual blogger should go that far, but likewise Nick Denton knows his stuff, and that’s why he launches blogs the way he does. You don’t have to believe me, but you can look at one of the best and see how the serious pros do it.

skitched-20130518-213134

Those that have been reading this blog for a long time know that I speak with some level of experience: I founded the first blog about blogs early 03 (although I could argue 02…but lets be fair and not go there.)

I’m only bringing up the history because what I want to say is going to end in some level of argument. Darren Rowse, Jeremy Wright, Dave Winer and others can vouch for the fact that I was around in the old days, back when blogs couldn’t make money, and there was a massive outcry when some blogs did.

Enough of this though because I wanted to bring up a comment on Problogger I made where I disagreed with Darren Rowse.

Darren and I have disagreed about much more in our life, so I will make this clear that it’s not personal, I respect and love what Darren has done, and always appreciate the bloke.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t disagree on this post:

How Many Posts Should a Blogger Post? [Pros and Cons of Daily Posting]

Let me say that the title, and the premise is bullocks up front. I have no doubt that Darren can run a site and make a fortune every day. Hell, I’ve seen his stats back when.

The problem now is that’s not a reality for anyone trying to make money now.

Here’s my comment on the site, judge as you will:

Darren,
going to agree to disagree with you on this one because if you want to become a serious “problogger” one post a day doesn’t cut it… let alone less than that.

Having written for major sites (including some of my previously owned ones) there is a direct correlation between quantity and traffic. The more posts the more choice you provide the reader, and the more Google spiders the site and you have the ability to get search traffic.

By no means am I suggesting you post rubbish simply for the sake of volume, but take for example my current project: I’m 8-15 posts a day on average, and the traffic suffers when I post less.

Different blogs, different horses I will concede, but likewise there’s a reason blogs like Mashable or Lifehacker have anywhere from 15-50 posts a day… it drives traffic and there is a proven correlation between posts and volume of traffic…and from your b5media days you’d know that ;)

This bullshit reality that you can run a blog and post 2-3 times a week and get rich…it’s not true, unless you are a genius, and lets face it most of us aren’t.

Posting once a day is a start but the same criteria applies: unless you are so bloody shit hot that people love you, you’ve got no chance at all.

As per my post to Problogger.net I’m not arguing for quantity over quality but I am stating the obvious: the more you post, the more traffic you get. The more quality quantity, even better.

The reality is if you want to ramp up a good site in the 9-12 mth period I’ve described here (to crack even, and 4aus.com is exceeding that) and on other sites you need to post and post and post, end of story.

Aside from a couple of hope pushers (ie who are selling books, courses etc etc as their primary income..) no one makes serious money from blogs unless they provide the volume.

In my past I’ve always employed writers. In the last year I haven’t been able to but I still do 6-18 posts a day.

You can get rich from blogging; I’m close again (for the 4th or 5th time post selling sites) but it means hard work, and very few people EVER make living money (500-2k ok, f/t no) posting at 1 or less a day, let alone decent money (2k +.)

Blogging gives what you put into it. The more you blog, the more you can make, end of story.

And I’ve been doing this for 10 years, officially this month :)

I received news today that I didn’t expect, that one of the guys I absolutely adored, both for his energy and honesty had passed away.

That guy was Allen Stern.

I tried to log into iPhoto tonight to find a picture of him back in the days I’d first met him: I know I have pictures of him, but ironically iPhoto keeps crashing. I’m not superstitious, but maybe iPhoto knows, and it knows that Allen would always wanted to be remembered for the life, vitality and amazing person he was, vs some photo I’d taken back when I was at TechCrunch (sorry, I stole the above pic from someone… he would always tell me you’ve got to have a pic in a post after all. )

When I first met Allen I wasn’t sure. Michael Arrington had him marked as a potential competitor at CenterNetworks, but as long as he linked to the TechCrunch stories there we’d allow him to attend TC conferences.

After some initial trepidation I actually got talking to the man, and a man in the truest sense he was.

I reckon I met Allen maybe 4-5 times in person, but that was enough that in the last 7 years that I could honestly call him a friend and at times a confidant.

He was a guy who I could bounce ideas off, and he would bounce ideas off me. He bounced many of his latest sites of me, and asked for advice, which coming from him was always a compliment, but likewise he’d known that I’d gone away from serious tech and was trying to enjoy myself.

When he walked away from tech blogging he came to me about selling the site, and we also talked about pitching his new sites as well. We didn’t talk far enough (sometimes 10 times in a week, other times once a fortnight) but I do say that never expecting him to leave us. My only regret now he is gone that I didn’t speak to him regularly enough..we were like friends who spoke epically when we were doing something, and then only share the odd thing in between. He’d helped me as well on SEO and similar in the past.

In the end I knew Allen loved tech as I did, but likewise he hated all the drama and politics around it.

Some of the best (be it via email) conversations I’ve had in my life came from Allen. I could have made him an honorary Australian because he got sarcasm, he could take the piss out of others, and he was honest to a tee… and that included again his opinion. That may not have made him broadly popular (I always loved CenterNetworks, but it didn’t work in the US) but meant that every day he lived his life he was a far better person than so many other people I know in the United States in particular. I promise I’m not having a go at Americans but my experience in the tech blogging/ startup community was all PR and falseness (I’d hope that my calling some of that out is why I was popular at TechCrunch.) Allen didn’t give a shit, and that’s why I came to love him as a person and writer.

Allen will be sorely missed, and I know not just by me but his family, friends (including Louis Gray, who I shared a friendship with, often together) and others who came to appreciate a big guy with a huge heart who spoke as we all should: honestly and from the heart.

This was a guy full of life who recognized his mortality, and gave it a shot to fix things. That he didn’t make it…well, it’s a fear of not only me but I’d guess many people reading this.

Vale Allen Stern, you were and should be an example to many other bloggers to come. You were honest, friendly, and called it like it was.

I’m an atheist Allen Stern, but lets pretend for a second you are up there looking down: thanks for being mate. I will never forget you.

 

scum

I’m all for a more liberal version of copyright, but where a site steals every single post you write at 4aus.com, even when you work your arse off for it to find those offers…well, that’s a different kettle of fish.

Let me introduce to you “Thrifty Sue.”

And before you say “there is no proof” look at the picture above. The watermark was intentionally placed once I realized they were copying all of the free stuff from 4aus.com to try to catch them copying our text and pictures.

Suffice to say, they were caught in the act.

It gets worse: the site claims the following:

We are a family of 9, yes, you heard me right, and we actually have 7 children. I’m sure that you probably want to ask “How do you do it?” Well that’s what I’m here to talk about. With a large family such as ours, we realized early on that we needed to figure out a way to make sure we were still getting all the necessities and not breaking the bank in the process.

Balls.

I’ve done the research on the site, and every single free offer they’ve done for weeks copies 4aus.com. They even copy the language, but change it near the end.

You know the thing that disgusted me more is when I found that they are working affiliate pumping via CheckMyStats a company I work with.

So basically a company I work with is promoting a site that steals all my content with a few changes, but promotes others via an affilaite offer.

I guess there is no honour amongst thieves.

UPDATE

I’ve now sent a DMCA notice to their host.

I’m not fond of the DMCA in the US, but if you’re going to copy me, at least make an effort to not make it so blatent :)

me...in a horse mask :)

me…in a horse mask :)

So long term readers of this site know that my life has been pretty topsy turvey for a long time. The irony that those words are both highlighted as spelling errors by Firefox sort of sums it up.

I’m not going to write an angsty post about the past, but share with you how Nichenet Pty Ltd is moving forward.

I’m happy to report that Nichenet Pty Ltd now has two active projects.

The first I’ve mentioned recently and that’s 4aus.com.

Oh, and it’s officially out of beta as of now :)

I started 4aus.com in August using one of my oldest owned domains (4aus.com) a domain I’d struggled for years (actually 12 years) to know what to do with.

From August I started posting free samples, competitions, and offers for Australian’s (with some international coverage.)

When I started it was hard to find a way to describe an offer…I cringe even now at some of my earlier posts. But the site has continued to grow, doing 50k + page views a month for the last few months and this month growing to potentially more again.

I’d note that linking to PR promos (freebies/ comps) is damn hard over the silly season as they dry up, but I still managed to find them.

I’m not yet rich off the site but it’s continuing to grow and I’m confident it will keep me in good stead going forward; it is covering its costs with a profit, but not enough yet for me to live off.

I’m also happy to announce that fortytwotimes.com is back (now 42x, but same domain.) I was running short of money last year, and I’d over time put most of the writers off.

I’m please to say that Steve Hodson of WinExtra (one of the original writers) is helping me out with a post a day, and I’m aiming for 2-3 posts myself. We’ve also engaged with a company that will contribute the odd guest post as well. The intent is eventually to get 8-10 posts up a day, but we’re back at 3-5.

It’s early days but the funny thing is that the site never really stopped getting traffic; sure, it dropped from its peak (no one writing does that ;) ), but the content there still brings page views in. I’m the first to admit that it’s helped a lot by the fine folks at wahoha.com. That’s not an affiliate link BTW, they don’t do affiliates, it’s simply a recommendation to a service that delivers us 5 page views for every 1 we give them.\

Sorry, I can ramble on forever but the tl;dr is that in the last couple of months I’ve posted as much and even more than I did when I was still married.

I’m back, I’m going to kick ass, and I’m bringing some content to your screen sooner rather than later :)

If you’re an old TechCrunch fan, or an Australian who has met me or likes to follow a battler, please follow 4aus.com and fortytwotimes.com, the first will give you freebies and the chance to win stuff, the second will make you smarter.

The alternative title was going to be “this guy is a f&*kstick” but I try to keep the blog PG :)

2 points:

  • you don’t need “authorization” under Australian law to give away tickets…unless it’s a game of chance, then you need registration in some states…noting though that you still don’t need “authorisation” from the company offering the tickets. The use of logos etc is still subject to copyright law, but the use of the name is not as it’s a factual statement.
  • this guy seems to think that 4aus.com is Roger David and that somehow us linking to a perfectly legal competition is us running it. He clearly either hasn’t read the site and this is automated, or he is retarded.

While a more formal cease and desist can certainly be sent, I am hopeful that will not be necessary and that you will voluntarily comply with the following request:

The Roger David Coachella ticket giveaway is unauthorized, violates the terms of sale for festival passes, and violates our trademark, copyright, and other intellectual property rights.

Please remove ALL references to “Coachella” and the Roger David ticket promotion from your promotional emails, flyers, and from any other locations on your blog, website, facebook, twitter, and other social networking accounts.

Please confirm that the requested changes to your promotional materials have been made.

Many thanks for your anticipated cooperation.

Jason Bernstein
Associate Counsel
AEG Live
5750 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 501
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tel:  323-930-7155
Fax: 323-930-5785

LOL: Twitter Bios Show Exponential Increase – to 181,000 – Self-proclaimed Social Media Gurus

I did find interesting that Charlotte Dawson has become a hero amongst the mainstream media for “getting back” a person on Twitter who dared say something negative about her.

To put this in perceptive: as of today, the person who dared say something bad to Charlotte has lost her job.

Yep, when Charlotte doesn’t like someone, she goes the bully and pings their employee in an attempt to get them sacked.

And according to the latest news: Charlotte “bully” Dawson managed to get that person sacked.

The sickness here is that Charlotte Dawson is apparently a member of an anti-bully group. Indeed, she’s apparently a person who advocated against bullying.

So how does one explain that Charlotte Dawson disagreed with a Twitter comment then got someone sacked from their job????

Charlotte Dawson is a bully herself. Her actions show it.

It’s one thing to disagree with someone on Twitter, it’s another matter to go out of your way to find their details and complain to their boss.

If you have an issue with people, you take it up with them.

If you’re Charlotte Dawson you get someone sacked by taking it further than personal and taking it further because you are sad and pathetic.

I’m looking for a writing gig.

I shouldn’t at this point need one, but unfortunately after some serious real life drama, most of the funds from the sale of The Inquisitr are gone. I can’t say much legally, other than pick your partner closely, and never give them access to your money.

The sites I’m running are going well, but are not yet making enough money, and I’m running out of money to support them.

If you know a decent gig, here’s my pitch: I’m ex-TechCrunch, b5media, Blog Herald, and The Inquisitr, I’m good at what I do, and I know how to deliver traffic to your site.

Hell, I started blogging in 2002 and founded the first ever blog about blogging. I was a founder of b5media as well…when it comes to blogging I know my game.

If you know anyone who is looking, please let me know. If you own a blog and are looking for a writer who WILL make headlines and traffic, doubly let me know.

thx
Duncan.