Over the years, I’ve seen people who seemed to be able to sell anything. They worked in startup companies (sometimes with really dumb business plans), but which were eventually acquired by larger, more established firms. These startup companies almost never were successful, even after getting the financial backing and resources that were offered by the larger firm.
I wondered why the founders–who seemed to be able to sell anything–could successfully sell small businesses to larger companies, but couldn’t seem to be able to sell the actual products or services that their companies produced. How could they be so good at selling to one group (investors), but so bad at selling to another group (customers)?
The fact is that each group requires completely different selling tactics. A one-size-fits-all strategy to selling is guaranteed to fail. If you aren’t as successful a salesperson as you’d like to be, stop and evaluate if your tactics are well suited to your target market.
Search engine optimization is a big deal. A lot of companies survive or perish based on their ranking on major search engines. Actually, the term “search engine” is somewhat of a polite, politically correct term for Google. Google is really the only search engine that matters, at least in the United States. Maybe things are different if you live in China. But around these parts, Google is the only game in town. I probably get 30-50 times more traffic from Google than all the other search engines combined. So for me, search engine optimization means Google optimization.
Call me a sucker, but I somewhat believe Google’s official story. Just worry about making good content and don’t worry about SEO. There are a lot of smart people working at Google (and I mean really smart) and they put a lot of time into making algorithms that can’t be beat by simple gimmicks. Go ahead and register your domain for the next five years, but I doubt it is going to do anything for your search placement.
What do you think? Has anyone out there had real, measurable results with this technique?
I recently upgraded my home internet connection speed to 25Mbps down, 5Mbps up. Previously I was running at 5Mbps down, 1Mbps up. The difference isn’t too significant when browsing simple sites, but the higher speed does lead to faster / higher quality video streams. The main reason for the upgrade, though, was to get a faster VNC connection.
I’ve used Splashtop Streamer to connect to my remote server and had good results for a time, but had poor results with the latest version of their software. I’m back to using a regular VNC connection and find it to be more reliable, but significantly slower. With my faster home internet connection, VNC is now quite usable.
I also have a VOIP phone and haven’t noticed much of a difference, but am hoping to see a bit better audio quality even while my computers may be uploading or downloading web content.
Like many website operators, I’ve used google’s adsense program to run some ads and generate revenue from my websites. Google is by far the dominant search engine (at least in the USA), and generally has a good program both for advertisers and content publishers. I’ve used both programs and have generally been pleased with the results.
I haven’t done much to optimize my ads. I just let the run and figure that Google has a bunch of sophisticated algorithms to figure out how to maximize revenue with my sites. I generally think this is true, but I recently stumbled across the “Allow & Block Ads” section of AdSense. I had assumed that all ads would be allowed to run unless I disabled them. It turns out that gambling ads are disabled by default and require the publisher to specifically allow them and certify that the site is aimed at people over a certain age (18 or 21–I don’t remember). Anyway, I turned on the category and will let you know if a couple of weeks if it seems to make any difference in my net revenue.
What has been your experience? Have gambling ads paid off?
I got a dedicated MacMini server because I didn’t like the limited features on shared hosting plans. A decent dedicated server typically runs $100/month or more, but you can do much better than that if you pay for the MacMini upfront. The monthly fee on my plan is only $25/month and I get a nice server, plenty of bandwidth, a fast connection, and lots of storage.
I run the server as a hobby. It is an opportunity for me to play with technology and learn how the web works. I run a few websites that have ads and generate enough revenue to pay for the hosting plan. It took a couple of months for the sites to get enough traffic, but now they seem to be running on autopilot fairly well.
This isn’t a highly profitable enterprise, but if I ever break even on a hobby, I think I’m doing fairly well. Are you looking for something to do in your spare time? Get a server and try your luck. We are still in the golden age of the internet.
OK–so the screen of my MacBook was having problems. It turned out to be just the LVDS cable, but I went ahead on got an external monitor. I ended up with a 23-inch Dell monitor that I purchased on Cyber Monday.
To make it work, I also got an apple keyboard (for only $20 from a pawn shop), and pulled out a wireless USB mouse that I had in storage. Both work really well. The Apple wireless keyboard is really nice. Apple’s Magic Mouse is nice in principle, but has a flatter profile than is comfortable for my hand. My Logitech wireless mouse works just fine instead.
The system works so well that I end up using my MacBook almost exclusively as a desktop machine now. The MacBook works very well with the lid closed. Sound comes out just great and the DVD drive works just as expected. It really is nice.
So the next time I see a cheap used MacBook with a broken screen, I’m going to snap it up as a desktop machine.
In the last post, I mentioned that my Macbook screen wasn’t working properly. It had some nasty ghosting effect that resulted in a “ghost” image (shifted about a half inch down) of everything on the screen. This was annoying, but the screen was still usable. When I looked at pictures of people, their eyes would show up in such a way that the people looked like aliens with four eyes. That was an improvement for some of the pictures that I have.
I took the MacBook to the Apple Store, hoping that they’d fix it for free. No such luck. They’ve treated me fairly well in the past, but now that the MacBook is four years old, they seem to think that it is out of warranty. They gave me a price of about $350 to get it fixed.
The guy at the Genius Bar said that the problem might be with the LVDS cable, not the actual display. I took apart my machine and gently removed and then re-inserted the LVDS cable hoping that would fix the problem. It didn’t. I then got some electrical tape and pushed it into the metal slot where the LVDS cable makes an abrupt bend. I inserted the tape in such a way to make the bend slightly less abrupt. The display seems to work normally again!
With my display back in business, do you know what I noticed? My MacBook display looks really nice. It is absolutely beautiful.
I also did some surgery on the power supply that has been giving me some problems. It is back in business as well–more on that next time.