Sunday, December 9, 2012

One Day On Earth: 12.12.12… So it begins

312755_3876785042879_505673581_nFullscreen capture 1292012 14207 PM.bmp   Fullscreen capture 1292012 12843 PM.bmp   Winner-180x180

Pretty much the same post I threw up in late October about NaNoWriMo 2012. 

Between working on this project and finishing the NaNoWriMo novel (I did get over 50,000 words in during November to “win” the event), I won’t be posting much on the blogs until 2013.

I wanted to do something quick and easy for One Day since the more complex idea a friend and I had will be impossible, since I am in Sacramento and not Portland, but things happen and after doing some planning and discovering that there is a theme for this years event, my idea for this year will be pretty complicated to edit.

Of course, I won’t be filming until Wednesday 12.12.12, but before then there is some prep work, and after there is going to be a whole bunch of editing.  And a whole bunch of writing on the novel.  And a whole bunch of major life stuff.

So the blogs will remain on hold for the time being.

Yes, this is being reposted everywhere…

One Day on Earth - Film on 12.12.12 from One Day on Earth on Vimeo.

One Day On Earth - 11-11-11 - Gresham and Portland, Oregon (720p) from A. F. Litt on Vimeo.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fun with PTC Sites: PTC Sense

2012-10-27. 01.

Another road leading to broken promises and false hope?  This is actually the same people who ran the last one I posted about, Fine PTC

PTC Sense ( - Is it a Scam? | Not Recommended:

Connected to other scams - This site is being ran by the same people who owned DingoBux, PTC Wallet, RichPTC, and other scams. Most likely the one behind GPT Network, Michael Pratt. Also ValueBux traffic is being redirected to PTCSense. Valuebux is another GPTNetwork site that ended up scamming a lot of people.

Since this is the same people, Michael Pratt and GPT Network, the information on the last post is valid for this one.  Again, it’s probably all about the money.  Same unrealistic promises made with PTC Sense as was made with Fine PTC.

All My Base Belong to You...: Fun with PTC Sites:

"Well looks like their other sites have scammed as much as they could. So they open up another site with a fresh name hoping to do the same. Lets hope people are doing their research before they start upgrading and wasting their time on this site."

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Fun with PTC Sites:

2012-10-26. 1.

Just checking this out...  An unfortunate potential new series of posts here…

advice for | Scam check for is safe?:

How did get a Trust Score of 0% ?

  • The owner of the website is using a service to hide their identity
  • This website has been reported as being untrustworthy
  • This website/business has been given a low reliability rating by other websites | WOT Reputation Scorecard | WOT (Web of Trust):

Scam, site registered to the same people who ran other scam ptcs. DingoBux, BriteBux, to just name a few. Don't fall for the high rates and promises.

Fineptc and how I got scammed by it:

The worse part of my entire experience with the company is that they even told me that I will receive my payment after 60 business days, making that over two months of waiting. Waiting that long means that I won’t even be able to file a dispute with my PayPal accounts.

PTC Investigations: Fine PTC ( - Is it a Scam? | Not Recommended:

Well looks like their other sites have scammed as much as they could. So they open up another site with a fresh name hoping to do the same. Lets hope people are doing their research before they start upgrading and wasting their time on this site.

60 Business Days!! - Are you kidding?!! That is business days we are talking about here. That is about 3 months worth of wating. Guess how long before your time is up to file a dispute for paypal? Or even better, how about Payza (formerly known as AlertPay)? Last I checked, 45 for paypal, and only 30 days for Payza (formerly known as AlertPay). Starting to get the picture?

So you wait and wait for your payment. Then after you have waited 60 business days and you realize you were scammed and have no way of getting your money back.

Does fine ptc paid to anyone:

Best answer: Never

Fine ptc is true or fake??? - Yahoo! Answers India:

no no no. Fine PTC is an infamous scam site. DO NOT invest or do business with them...they will never pay you. PTC sites have to offer you like .01 or .02 per click to even have a chance at being legit....$10 is out of the question!

Is fine PTC Scam Pls Tell Me Guys - eMoneySpace:

with $10 Per  Click  and $10,000 cashout do you really need to ask if the site is a scam

FinePtc Review - Legit or Scam?:

The flashy layout was honestly what motivated me into joining this PTC site. If something seems a little too good to be true, it usually is. This site was a scam. I managed to reach the minimum payout, but it's been two months and no cash has been received. I recommend you stay far, far away from this one.

How does one earn $10 for each click when 1000 link credits are selling for $5? Be realistic and do the math. This site is only beneficial to the owner/admin of the site and not the clickers. They only want the money and do not care about members getting paid or not. I was a member there and feel that it was a waste of my time to click there because lets face it, the site is not going to pay you $10,000 when you reach payout.

I would not recommend to a friend.

Fine ptc is true or fraud:

The bad news is that most PTC sites fold up in just a few short months. They are complete scams. They will try to get people to buy as many referrals as possible and then when they have raked in a lot of money they will close the website instead of paying their customers. Some PTC sites like have waiting lists of up to a year. Which means that when you request payment, you wil be waiting a very long time. A PTC site will start going down hill when it says it has to delay payments. This means they are broke and they will try to delay paying as long as possible and try to get more people to sign up and buy referrals. I would not trust ANY PTC site that takes longer than 30 days to pay you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NaNoWriMo…. So it begins


Decided to throw this up everywhere tonight….

Pretty much starting in on NaNoWriMo this week. Not with the actual writing, but with character outlines, plot development, outlining, and a smidgen of research. More than anything, preseason training for writing a novel in one month.

Won't be around here much until December (except for when my laptop seizes up and I am spending time on the desktop waiting for spinning circles and endless hourglasses to work themselves out).

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

MySpace refuses to crawl off and die

2012-09-27. 1.

Been awhile.  Here is something, er, new?  Yes, a post about MySpace.  See, I am hip to what the kids are all into these days…

Myspace Wants to Be Pintumblfacergramify | Motherboard:

If MySpace’s fresh promo video is any indication, I think the veteran social network is finally sick of 187th place on the Internet. Now the site – preparing for a relaunch “very soon” – is offering something I don’t think many other networks have planned or thought of. Myspace is placing itself – and quite relentlessly so – in the center of the social networking panopticon, and it’s just so crazy, I’d sit in on this hand if I could.

The new Myspace from Myspace on Vimeo.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

It’s Spooky in the Future! Fun with Obsolete Technology

Bumming around on YouTube watching tech geeks’ fathers fail on Windows 8, I noticed these…

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Gear: RIP frankenPC II - 2011-2012 & some thoughts on Windows 8 Consumer Preview

FrankenPC II  - 2011-2012.  May 17, 2012.

Well, it didn’t die so much as I chose to go in a different direction.  A while back I installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview (yes, the beta)…  It was interesting, but I was never able to get the sound running. 

Fullscreen capture 5202012 110232 AM

Long story short, yep…

Played the driver game, did everything suggested, and still no sound… 

This wasn’t a big deal, I could use my laptops for anything I needed sound for, except for editing videos.  The editing program I am stuck dealing with lives on frankenPC II and is non-transferable, but the hardware was so old that it had a hard time working with 1080 HD video anyway…

So, I already was planning on getting some Adobe software to edit on my newest computer and to call it good. 

Before installing 8, I also reorganized a lot of my files, backed everything up, and started using my Toshiba laptop as my primary computer. 

By this point, all I was really using frankenPC II for was using Windows Live Synch to automatically back up the photo files off of the Toshiba. 

Now, from the beginning, there was something a little off with frankenPC II.  Even XP was crashing a lot on this beast, so, of course, it only took a month or two before Windows 8 just got tired and didn’t want to play anymore.

If 8 had an easily accessible way to boot in Safe Mode, I probably could have fixed the problem, if it was a software issue, but I couldn’t keep it up and running long enough to navigate to the buried menus where they keep this option in 8. 

However, considering XP’s troubles, I think the motherboard was just reaching the end of its life. 

Decision time.  I spend an entire day, most likely, rolling back to Windows XP or I could just stick with my two laptop solution (applications on the newer Toshiba, email and music on an old Inspiron 9100) and move on…

Rebuilt external hard drive.  May 17, 2012.Considering that the backed up picture files were stored on a second hard drive and the fact that retiring frankenPC II would free up a lot of real estate on my desk, I chose retirement.

Fortunately, dealing with another recent issue, I had some hardware laying around to turn the internal HD into an external, plus I pulled a bunch of hardware and memory out of frankenPC II to soup up the tower in the living room, and this is a win, win, win situation.

So, the end result.  I have a lot more room on my desk.  I have to manually back up my picture files from time to time.  I have an ancient laptop as my permanent desktop PC (and a lot more room on my desk).  I am not bouncing between three different PCs running three different operating systems.  I need to invest in some new editing software, which I was planning on doing already. 

And, best of all, I am happier and less frustrated with my computer situation than I have been for a long time.

Some thoughts on Windows 8 Consumer Preview

As for Windows 8?  It was all right.  Mostly Window 7 with the Metro interface slapped on top.  A quick internet search will lead you to a lot of comments about the new operating system, and I think they are pretty fair and valid.Old Brick.  Inspiron 9100.  May 17, 2012.

In short, bright back the Start button for the Desktop.  Allow a choice between opening in the Metro mode or the Desktop mode (right now, it always opens to the metro screen).  Obviously, bring back the old F8 screens, with all of those start up options accessible immediately…

Oh, and work out that damn sound issue.  It looks like I wasn’t the only one struck deaf by my upgrade.

I can see where touchscreens are going to be playing a huge role in the future, and where touchscreens, for many people in many PC configurations may abandon their mice in the future.  However, I cannot see entirely abandoning my mouse ever.  There will always be, for as far into the future as I can see, times when I will want a mouse.Toshiba.  May 19, 2012.

Also, I can also see a future where I may have my screens mounted in places where it is inconvenient not to have a mouse or some similar input device.  When TVs are fully replaced by/merged with computers (5 to 10 years?), like hell I am getting up and walking across the room to interface with a menu!

In these case, I don’t know if I will want the Metro screen or the Desktop, probably depends on what I would be doing, but since we are not at this point yet, we need the choice.

Other than these small issues, when the time comes and I need to either purchase a new OS or a new PC, I see no problem picking up the latest version available.  7 if it is sooner, 8 if it is later. 

If if is 7, I’ll probably just stick with it and not bother upgrading for a while.  But I really see no real need, at this point, to avoid it like many people did with Vista.

Some Links

The State of Windows 8: Cheap Upgrades, Better Apps [RUMORS]:

Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley first reported that the company intends to provide cheap upgrades for new Windows customers over the summer. According to “contacts,” after the Release Preview arrives, customers who buy Windows 7 or a Windows 7 PC will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 when it’s released in the fall for just $14.99 — a pricerevealed to Windows Supersite by “sources.”

The best part of the deal is that those customers will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, the “higher-end” version of the software that’s a step above the basic edition. (for more on how Microsoft intends to market Windows 8, see this summary).

Living With Windows 8 Consumer Preview:

Microsoft has said that Windows 8 aims to be a "no compromise" operating system, focused on "and" instead of "or"—not a touch screen or a mouse and keyboard, but both together. It sounds great, but as I use it, I'm not quite convinced.

It's certainly improved since the developer preview. You can now use it successfully on a desktop or notebook, but I'm not sure why a typical desktop or notebook user with Windows 7 would upgrade to Windows 8.

Overall, I've gotten used to running Windows 8, and while a lot of it is neat, I'm still a bit skeptical.

In short, it almost feels like two operating systems in one: Metro, which works quite well on touch screens and tablets but feels awkward in the desktop mode; and the classic Windows UI with a Metro Start screen for desktop users, where the new UI seems unnecessary at least for now. It makes a lot of sense on a tablet with an optional keyboard, or with a hybrid or convertible notebook/tablet, but those seem to be relatively small parts of the market.

I think there are a number of things Microsoft could do to make Windows 8 more appropriate for desktop users. I'm not expecting it, but it would be nice to see an option for desktop users to return to the classic Start menu, and even launch Metro apps from there. For laptop users, it would be good to be able to use a touch pad for the kind of gestures you would use on a touch screen (a similar feature is in Mac OSX Lion). And for desktop users, I would be interested in an option to run Metro apps within windows, so you could have a number visible at the same time, particularly for large or multi-monitor setups.

As it is, Microsoft is right in saying there is "no compromise" to utility. You do get both sets of features, but simplicity of operation is compromised, I fear that will make a lot of desktop users in particular rather unhappy.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

An interesting conversation about social media

Pepsi Digital Exec: Google 'Messed Up' With Google+, Instagram Is 'Phenomenal':

Was Instagram worth $1 billion? Will Google+ ever compete or beat Facebook?

Shiv Singh, global head of digital for PepsiCo Beverages and author of Social Media Marketing for Dummies, shared his thoughts on those trendy questions and more during his recent visit to Mashable to unveil Pepsi’s new celebrity-infused “Live for Now” global ad campaign and “Pulse” digital dashboard.

In a 10-minute interview with Mashable‘s editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff, Singh commented about the launch ofGoogle+, Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, avoiding digital marketing mistakes, establishing a brand voice and creating a Twitter list for “regular people.”

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

10 Years Later, All Your Base Still Belongs To Us | Motherboard

10 Years Later, All Your Base Still Belongs To Us | Motherboard: "10 years ago today, Newgrounds user Bad_CRC uploaded a music video called All Your Base to the popular flash animation site, and shortly after it exploded all over the Internet faster than nearly any media before it."

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Marketing on Pinterest

Well, I am slowing down, not completely stopping!  Getting these long infographics to appear properly is a pain in the tush, but click through…  It is worth a glance.

Actually, full disclosure, while I may not be worrying about marketing my RubbleSites for the time being, I am going to be helping the ex one with some on-line marketing projects of her own.  After watching her wallowing in some semi-legitimate, shark infested pools of online marketing slime for a while, I’ve decided to take a little time to help her get on a proper track.

Pinterest is going to be right out there on the front line of our strategy. 

Now, I very much agree that Pinterest is a great way to generate brand attention for small startups, but the real question I have, it is going to be a source of sales? 

Even this graphic spends more time talking about potential future customers than actual customers.  

I think the answer is: Time will tell. 

How Pinterest Can Get Your Brand Attention [INFOGRAPHIC]:

While shaping your brand’s image on Pinterest, remember to take into account the specifics of the site’s userbase. A recent study showed that home, arts and crafts,  style/fashion and food are the most popular categories on Pinterest.  The food category is the fastest growing segment of Pinterest.

Source: via Aaron on Pinterest


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Saturday, March 17, 2012

How I learned to stop worrying and to ignore my statistics: The evolution & extinction of my online marketing strategy…

Stop Sign Reflection.  Springwater Trail.  Gresham, Oregon.  January 10, 2012.  Photo of the Day, February 25, 2012.

A little bit of navel gazing this morning…  It is early and I am not feeling well, so this might wander and ramble a bit.  You’ve been warned.

No More Stats (For now)

First of all, I am, for the time being, not going to be posting my statistics here any more.  Those posts were mostly for my own benefit and I find that I am not interested enough (for now) to invest the time it takes to collect that data every month.  This has a lot to do with my evolving philosophy about my blog sites and my online activities in general.

Last fall, I was looking at the idea of trying to grow these sites quickly and to try to use them as a way to generate some income.  This is no longer a primary goal of mine at this point in time, so those statistics are not as interesting to me right now. 

Overall, growth has leveled off a bit the last couple months since growth has become a secondary goal to content creation.

However, that being said, I noticed it has almost been a month since I posted here.  That is too long.  It is not that I have forgotten about this blog; I haven’t.  It is not that I am giving up on this blog; I am not.

Tech Blogging (Or the lack of it)

I suppose one of the reasons why posts have been few and far between here actually goes back to the creation of this blog.  I, originally, was going to post about tech and social media topics on my Suburban Eschatology Part Two blog, where my general posts about life live.  I did not think that I would be posting often enough on these topics to justify a dedicated blog.  A tech blog was not part of my original online strategy at all.

However, a couple months back, I realized that I had so many posts going up about tech and new media that the SE2 blog was looking a lot like a tech blog, which is not what I wanted for that particular piece of online real estate.  So I created this blog. 

This is not to say that I am regretting that decision.  I feel that I do have enough to say and share to justify the existence of this blog but, realistically, it is not ever going to get the attention from me that my other sites receive.  I started this blog during a period when I was posting a little more often than usual about tech issues, so I may have misled myself about the frequency of posts that I should be expecting here but, more than that, my philosophy about the content of my blog posts has evolved a bit.

Since creating this blog, my approach to blogging has changed, with my blogs now being my primary forum for content creation and with various social and microblogging venues being the focus of content curation.

I am still interested in tech and social media topics, but I am not writing that much about these topic at the moment.  Mostly I am sharing links, and those posts are appearing under the All My Base Belong To You banners on (, Pinterest (, and LinkedIn, but I generally have little commentary to add, so those links are not being posted here.

New hows, whys, and wheres of posting

Posting to one of my blogs requires a greater time commitment than throwing links up onto social media or microblogging sites, and my blogs are not the best venue for posts that are nothing more than shared links.

Unless I have something to add, or unless the link is something that I really want cataloged for later retrieval using the more sophisticated tagging and searching functions of the blog, I see no need to take the time to post them to my blogs.  These types of posts usually (usually, but not always) involve links to videos, and with the topics I want to focus on with this blog, there are usually not a lot of related videos out there.  The recent video on Rubble of the history of the moon falls into this category of post.  It is not my content, but it is very cool and something I will want to be able to easily locate years from now.

For the most part, this approach effects my tech posts the most.  This is not because I have nothing to say about the tech and social media links I post, but because I have a lot to say.  More than a few words.  But each link usually only touches on one small element of the topics that I am thinking about at any one time, so I share them through the microblogs and social networks and then sketch out big posts to work on later for this site.

And I have a few of those posts in the works, drafts in various stages of completion that will see the light of day over the next month or two.  But these longer posts, because of the time commitment involved, are few and far between.  Even if I write one longer, substantive post a week, that means, if distributed equally between all my blogs, that only one a month is going to land here.

I suppose this is a clunky way of sketching out and describing my evolving social media strategy in general. 

Basically, I want my blogs to focus on content creation, not curation.  This does not mean that I will not share material created by others on these sites, but that I want the majority of the posts to primarily feature content that I have created myself.  At the very least, when I do post links to other people’s material, I want to contribute a few original words to the post.  Some observation or commentary. 

These are not strict rules, but they are guidelines that I am trying to follow for the most part. 

Also, on Retrovirus Lab, this policy does not strictly apply, since it runs contrary to using that blog as a forum for sharing music I like or find interesting for some reason.

Of course, fewer, more personal posts means slower growth on these blogs, but growth is becoming a secondary goal of mine. 

Evolving Social Media Priorities

Last fall, I noticed that I was getting a lot of hits for my content across the web and that two of the three blogs I had at the time were receiving a lot of traffic. 

At the time, life was a little more complicated and frustrating.  I was stuck between the need to get back to work and to make some money and the need to take more time at home to work with my special needs children and my disabled ex-wife.  This was a lose / lose situation.

Finding that I was receiving over 20,000 hits a month for my content on the web suggested a new option - generating income via my websites.  20,000 hits a month seemed like a good starting point.

What I discovered over the next couple months was that, yes, those hit counts were a good starting point, but that is all.  To really generate any useful income, it would take a lot of work, a lot of time, and a pretty serious revamping of my online footprint.

Sharing cool stuff and selling cool stuff is two very different things.  Driving traffic to generate advertising revenue is something else entirely.

It became apparent that generating income would be possible, but there would be a lot of work involved, distracting me so much from my family’s needs that I might as well have been working outside of the home.  I ran the flag up the pole for a couple months to see how the wind was blowing, but, all things considered, I found that it was just not a good fit for my life right now.  It was not an efficient way to accomplish the current goals in my life.  Better serving my needs would be focusing on using this online footprint as a portfolio to assist with the hunt for more traditional sources of income, otherwise known as getting a real job.

Since then, over the winter, the financial situation has improved a little and I am able to relax and to take a little more time working with my children, making sure that they will be prepared for the time when I have to give up my current role as a stay at home dad.  This is good, because my family will be facing a lot of challenges over the next two or three months and the demands on my time for meeting everyone’s needs has never been greater. 

I’ve already described, in general, how this has effected my approach to posting.  But I must admit, I am still working a lot of the details out.  My mind is a bit scattered when it comes to all of this stuff and I am still getting settled down into my new goals.  Hell, I am still defining my new goals.

I suppose what it really boils down to is that I really want to be using what little free time I have over the next few months to really focus on personal projects of a more creative nature.  On photography, video, and music.  Maybe even some creative writing.  I want to spend a lot less time on social networking and content curation. 

I’ve been fighting a nasty cold the last couple weeks, and during this time I haven’t had the energy to use my free time for much other than “content curation,” though, which means sitting around for a couple hours here and there staring at the internet and sharing a few links to justify the time expenditure as being a “productive” use of time.

But this is not really how I want to be spending much time in the future.   If my goal right now was to drive traffic, there would be more value to these activities, but since this is not my goal right now, these sessions leave me feeling hollow and empty.  I sit and feel like I’ve been “working” for a couple hours, but then I look at what I’ve done and I feel like I have accomplished nothing.

I’d rather be working on music, writing stories, or editing photos or videos.  

I think what I really want right now is to stop worrying about maintaining traffic and growth entirely. 

I want to go back to the mental zone I was in last fall where my online activities were entirely self-centered.  My posts were purely about entertaining myself, saving stuff I liked, and sharing stuff I worked on…  Posting what I wanted, where I wanted, at what frequency I wanted without any concern about what others might think.  Besides, that approach actually seemed to work very well.  Traffic was growing.

This is not to say that these worries matter much to me right now either, but they do lurk more than I’d like in the back of my mind.  I really do not worry much about what other people think when I post anything.  What I worry about, though, is maintaining traffic.  Making sure I am posting interesting enough content frequently enough to maintain interest in my boards on and Pinterest, on my Facebook profile and pages, on my Twitter feeds…

Worrying about building traffic on this blog when I am only inspired to write here once a month or so… 

This is what I am working on shaking right now, not worrying about these things.  It is hard, though, to ramp down those considerations, but I need to.

Because, with my current content model, I am fighting a losing battle anyway.

In order to really drive growth and build readership, I would need to drop all but one or two of my blogs and focus all of my energies towards one topic.  If I wanted to make any real money doing this, that would be the only real way to proceed. 

But that would not be fun.  I like writing about politics, but these sites are about recreation, not vocation, and, for fun, I like to write about a lot of different things.  I like photography, but I also like writing about politics, and in order to really sell my photography online, I would not have any time left to blather on about the tragicomic antics of the GOP presidential contenders.  I am fascinated by tech and new media issues, but spending more than a few hours a month on these issues starts feeling like work and not play very quickly…

So my goal for the next month or two, until I really gear back up into a job hunt, is to just have fun with these sites.  If some task involving these sites starts feeling like a chore, I am probably not going to spend my free time working on it at this point in my life. 

Life is full of unpleasant chores right now.  My free time should be fun.  And if I do not feel like posting out of some odd sense of necessity, I am not going to do it.

The result of this will be better and more interesting posts.  More interesting links on the boards.  Wittier comments on the social media sites.  But less frequent posts all around.

No longer a blogger

I suppose a clear way of explaining my new intentions is this… 

For several months, I was trying to be a blogger.  To me, this means that I saw my blogs and social media sites as an end in and of themselves.  That my end goal was the creation of content for these sites with the primary purpose of promoting these sites. 

More clearly and specifically, this means I spent too much time doing things like writing a post on politics because I felt that it had been too long since I posted on Democracy In Distress, not because I was really interested in writing a post on politics at that particular time.  I also have been spending too much time actively looking for interesting links for the boards and social networks instead of just throwing stuff up that I come across along the natural course of my day.

I am taking a break from those sorts of activities.  For the next, indefinite period of time, I am just going to be a parent, photographer, writer, and musician who happens to also have a blog (or four).

And if people get bored and turn away from these sites, that is fine.  I will be having fun and that is fulfilling enough for me right now.  I am not going to be worrying about the wolulda, shoulda, couldas of running a successful online/social media marketing strategy with my sites at this point in my life.  I don’t have the time or energy right now and, at the end of the day, I just don’t care enough right now. 

Just because I can does not mean that I must take the time to do.  But I can still write about how to do it from time to time, when it suits me.  When it is fun.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

It’s all about the content, baby!

When it comes to any sort of on-line marketing, it is all about content these days, not ads.  Especially when it comes to social media.  No one wants to subscribe to a stream or an email list that is nothing but ads.  One example, this morning I received emails from both Kodak and Canon. Kodak’s emails are generally a few ads and an article link.  Canon, just ads.  Guess which email I actually opened before trashing this morning?

This approach is discussed in Solis’ post:

EC=MC (Every Company is a Media Company), a movement to help businesses realize the opportunity presented by social for not only marketing, but true storytelling, experiential journeys, and engagement. Also referred to as brand journalism or brand publishing, the idea is that brands can earn greater attention, reach, and results by investing in a journalistic approach. It’s a move away from promotional content to the delivery of useful, entertaining, or meaningful engagement and experiences through new media.

How to tell the difference between content and advertising?  Canon directs me to sales promotions and advertising pages discussing the features of their new cameras, while Kodak points me towards an interview with a photographer discussing his early career and the techniques he uses to stand out from the crowd. 

Since I am not currently on the market for new gear, the Canon email does not really have much to offer me, while the Kodak link is one I plan on checking out later.  In this case, Kodak is succeeding in keeping me engaged with their brand, their content, and their site, while Canon is losing me.

So, later on, when I am in the market for new gear, who’s actual ads have a higher probability of hitting my eyeballs first?

Here is some recent content I spotted talking about, yep… content.  Some discussions on “contributing to signal instead of the noise.”

Report: Content and the New Marketing Equation - Brian Solis:

…when we look at the online and mobile behavior of connected customers, a sense of responsibility emerges as everyday people become media beacons in their own right. As such, they rigorously share and curate for their audience with an editorial-style approach as what was once a static audience is now an audience with an audience of audiences. People are learning that there are rewards for contributing to signal instead of the noise. Those who do not, learn the hard way…that people will disconnect in order to preserve the integrity of their stream.

Content Development That Gets Them Salivating | Inside The Mind Ep. 2 - YouTube:

…let's talk about the different types of content.

Lead Generation
Sales content

The next biggest mistake people make when using their blog as a marketing device is that they expect every piece to perform the function of all four of these types of content. And while there can sometimes be some cross over, this generally is not the case.

Google Keyword Tool: Click Here!

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from tag Interwebs

Friday, February 10, 2012

~37,195 Views Last Month: January 2012 Statistics Wrap-Up

Site Statistic Totals 2102012 24549 AM - chart

New Facebook pages, a few other changes…  Having trouble getting the monthly statistics I want from the new Facebook insights tool, but I will try to figure it out for next month.  I doubt the numbers are that dramatic at this point, anyway.

Running a bit late this month on the stats post, so some numbers may be a bit skewed, but who’s really counting anyway?  So, for most of these sites, the numbers reflect counts since my last stats post.

Site Statistic Totals 2102012 24831 AM - graph

The growth has leveled off a bit last month, but there were less posts last month than in a while.

Site Statistic Totals 2102012 25045 AM - monthly


December:    3,822
January:        4,209
Change:        +387
All Time:      19,514*

Democracy In Distress:

December:    5,945
January:        4,529
Change:        -1,416
All Time:       25,998*

Retrovirus Lab:

December:      1,363
January:          1,257
Change:           -106
All Time:        5,547**

Suburban Eschatology Part Two:

December:     255
January:        367
Change:         +112
All Time:        2,097**

All My Base Belong To You:

December: 120
January:     332
Change:     +212
All Time:    452

December:  4,631
January:      6,693
Change:      +2,062
All Time:      15,000******

December:  11,383
January:      12,182
Change:       +799
All Time:      42,799***

December:  7,546
January:      4,144
Change:      -3,402
All Time:      29,840****

Picasa Web Albums:

December:      741
January:          288
Change:          -453
All Time:         5,309*****


December:   314
January:       474
Change:      +160
All Time:      2,303

* Blogger has been keeping stats since May 2009, these blogs have been around much longer.  However, since they were essentially dormant until March 2011, they do reflect the activity on these blogs during their current, active incarnation.
** These blogs were created in August 2011.
*** Since August 2011, when I first started posting on this site.
**** I hate Photobucket and I rarely use it.  I believe 11,007 is the total since May, not March, since I had 10,909 hits on June 15.  I've arrived at this static by adding the monthly counts since June to 10,909, which is probably more accurate, but still leaves 15 days worth of hits unaccounted for.
***** I began recording statistics on Picasa in March, 2011. I was posting to the site earlier, but not by much, so this should be a fairly accurate statistic.
****** Joined October 2010, stats rounded to neared thousand starting January 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Three “Ps” of Identity: Presentation, Protection, & Preference (plus a look at Facebook profiles vs. pages)

Fabruary 6, 2012. 1.

Allison Cerra writing on Brian Solis’ blog.  I stole a decent chunk but the entire post is worth a read.

What’s Love Got to Do with It? The 3P’s of Identity - Brian Solis:

We visited with respondents in 30 homes across the country, observing them for hours in their natural habitats going about their ordinary day. We followed up with a quantitative study to more than 5,000 consumers across the US from teens to mid-lifers to isolate psychometrics, behaviors and values. Our goal was ambitious: How do the devices and networks connecting us each day affect our view of ourselves and those serving us?

To answer the question, we first had to understand how respondents view themselves in the networked world that keeps them connected. Through the research, we derived the 3P model of identity.

First, there’s presentation, which speaks to the image I attempt to reflect depending on my context. Before the days of devices connecting us in a 24×7 always-on world, life was simpler. Specifically, managing my image was simpler. My presentation at work may have been different from that at home, church, social gatherings or other venues. But, the networked community surrounding us demands a pervasive and constant reflection of who we are. And, I am no longer in control of how I appear, but anyone with an opportune cameraphone or texting fingers is capable of casting my image in the light they see fit.

Next, there’s protection, in which my worldview shapes what I choose to reveal or conceal about myself and loved ones. Protection-centric stories typically steal the headline of the day – whether it be in their scorn of companies that suffer security breaches or some other misstep in infringing customer privacy. Predictably, the public is fascinated with tales that expose how vulnerable we can be in the virtual world that surrounds us. Not all violations are created equal of course; an annoying spam message doesn’t carry the same consequence as a debilitating identity theft crime. In the protection realm, navigating the connected world requires an ability to discern innocuous from more harmful threats – despite not having our more primal, physical sensory capabilities to arm us in doing so.

Finally, preference is a psychological orientation toward targeted products, services and individuals. There is an abundance of choice in a hyper-connected world. Preference seekers long for the targeted offers or opportunities that appear just at precisely the moment they need them. Even better, these individuals crave personalized options that magically materialize even before a conscious need arises. In this space, the constellation of mouse clicks, channel changes and location updates presents a compelling view of who I actually am through my behaviors.

The 3 Ps exist in each of us simultaneously. While some of us may more psychometrically align with one P in particular, we make conscious and unconscious tradeoffs between all three multiple times each day. Should I post that picture about myself on my social networking page? It depends on how strongly I believe it aligns with a particular presentation important for the unique audience. Should I reveal my location to others through my social networking updates? It depends on how protective I am of leaking such information compared to how strongly I prefer a targeted interaction or service benefitting from the same. Should I opt-in to receive targeted advertisements? It depends on how certain I am that such personalized information will be used to help me, not harm me.

Another in a series of recent posts on Solis’ blog where he is presenting some very interesting metrics while not necessarily telling us how to apply them.  However, the application is fairly obvious with most of them.

This one, obviously, is a way to look at both how we present ourselves and how we  understand our customers.  In my particular case, my customers are the readers of my blogs and my followers on social media. What is suggested to me, though, is that how we present ourselves via these Three Ps will determine which customers engage with our content.  This is not a chicken and egg approach; here, A does come before B.

This is particularly interesting to me today.  Today I am  realigning how I present content on my Facebook profile and pages.  Before, I used my personal profile as a portal to the content I created, and then threw a bunch of links and images into the mix as well.  In many ways, this watered down my own content and much of it got lost in the torrent of information. 

But this was not the only drawback.  My two primary blogs are Rubble, which is primarily used to present my nature photography, and Democracy In Distress, which is primarily used to argue my political views.  Because of this, most of the content on my Facebook profile was links to artistic articles, photos, and videos, and links to political content centered around a center-left viewpoint.

I think the problem is pretty clear. 

There are not a lot of analytics available for personal profiles on Facebook.  I am pretty sure that I lost few “friends” after posting a picture of Mt.Hood, but I know I lost “friends” after posting too many anti-Republican articles in a row, some disagreeing with my politics, some because they just did not want any politics in their feed at all.  This was not the content they were interested in and my one or two photos a day were no match for the much more ubiquitous political postings when making a decision on whether or not to friend or un-friend me.

So I have a presentation issue affecting my online identity.  In my case, somehow I ended up gaining a pretty solid following around the politics, most of my followers, “friends,” who were not people I actually knew in the real world, were there for the politics, not for the photography.  My efforts in the artistic realm were being buried and lost in the flood of political material I was posting to keep the majority of my profile’s followers interested.

Presentation is not my only problem.  Because I have been using my personal profile as more of a page than a profile, I also have a protection issue.

With a page, the goal is to get as many followers as possible.  To get as many eyes on my content as possible.  I do not need to or even want to know all of them personally.  And with pages, this is fine.  However, when following this practice with my personal profile, this creates some problems.

Between friends on Facebook, some layers of protection are eliminated since we are supposed to be responsible for those layers of protection ourselves, not the site itself.  We are supposed to be vetting our friends, and once they get through our gate, they then have increased access to the profiles on our friends list.  Of course, every user can tweak their setting controlling the amount of access these friends of friends have to their own profiles, but the default settings are pretty open.

These friends of friends also can send messages to the people on our lists.  They can whether or not they are our friends, but with access to our lists they can also send messages such as, “Hey, since we both know that Litt guy, why don’t you check out my totally worthless spam and my potentially hazardous link?  You know Litt wouldn’t lead you astray, right?”

No, I wouldn’t.  Intentionally.  Especially if I am using my profile correctly.  However, using it as a page, while trying to vet most of my followers to some degree, some bad seeds do slip through since I am inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to new contacts.

This happened to me recently, and it was the final factor leading up to the changes I am implementing today.

After a couple weeks of warning, I am moving the majority of the political content to a page for the Democracy In Distress blog.  This is certain.  I am, for now, also moving the photography to my new A. F. Litt page (as opposed to my personal profile).  This way, those who do not care for the political content can enjoy the photography, and those who enjoy the politics can be spared the landscapes pictures, etc. if they wish. 

It streamlines and clarifies my presentation, targets my specific followers better, and it creates a more secure environment for my existing friends while still allowing me to purse new, unvented followers.

Unfortunately, it is not a win-win scenario.  In Game Theory, it is a non-zero sum scenario.

Overall, I may not lose any followers or friends, but I will, hopefully only for the short term, be sacrificing click throughs to my blogs and other online accounts.  My Facebook profile is my second largest traffic source behind Google Search, with and Pinterest coming in third.

By not posting these links on my profile, I could be reducing my traffic by quite a bit (not to mention killing my Klout score!), but I do not want to flood my friends’ feeds with multiple posts of identical links.  Already, my most dedicated followers have “liked” the pages they are interested in, and hopefully, overtime, the new pages will build the following my profile has.

Because of this, these changes were not the easiest choices to make.  There were some difficult decisions involved.  But it is better to do this when I am approaching 600 followers instead of approaching 5000 followers. 

If I could go back and do this all over again, I would have created these pages as soon as I revived the Rubble and Democracy In Distress sites last year.  In the future, putting together a social media marketing campaign, there would be no question of this.

However, there was not a lot of planning going on last year as my blogs slowly came back to life.  I was posting here and there for the fun of it and the idea that I would start getting the traffic on these blogs that I am never crossed my mind.  By the time I realized that things were taking off I was just rolling with it.  Only over the last few months have I sat down and tried to bring some order to the chaos.

The fact that I would need to migrate my content to pages was obvious then.  The only question was when.  Now, or wait until my friends list reached its upper limit?  The protection factor was the deciding factor in making this change now.  Also, I’ve seen too many people trapped with having to maintain identical content on two different pages/profiles – profile content for their first 5000 followers and page content for everyone who came along later. 

Another trap I’ve noticed is accounts with 5000 friends on the profile and nine followers of the page. 

By making this change now I hope to avoid both of those problems in the future.

Really, what I am doing on Facebook is no different that what I did with my blogs last year, I sorted the content by subject matter, knowing that some people would be interesting in certain topics more than others.  While with the RubbleSites, this has led to five different blogs (Arts & Sciences, Music, Politics, Tech & New Media, and Family Life & Parenting), I am breaking these five down into three pages on Facebook: Music (Retrovirus Lab), Politics, and everything else, with the everything else being split between my personal Page and Profile depending on the content’s presentation and protection factors.   

I will depart with humor.  This was spotted by Kelly Rossi on Facebook earlier.

I like the last one.  I still haven’t figured out why G+ is worth my time, other than maintaining some place holders just in case it takes off in the future.

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