101 Alternative Uses For Toothpicks

I know what you’re thinking…well possibly anyway. Yeah I did a 101 post a few days ago, and it was fun. I mostly did it to poke fun at the Yellow Pages survey, but what it did do was give me a ton of ideas for blogging. Well, one type of blogging, lists. Specifically “101 Alternative Uses” lists. So after I clicked publish on the phone books post I started thinking, what else can I write about? I had already spent too much time writing that post so I went off to bed. The next day I was taking the trash out before heading to work when I looked in my hand, a Target shopping bag and poking out of the bag were some toothpicks. Target bags and toothpicks? Yes. Random? Yes. Did I ask some friends and co-workers which I should do a list on? Yes, now you have someone to blame. So toothpicks won, so here we go:

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101 Alternative Uses For Phone Books

I read an article on Search Engine Land called, “Survey: Print Yellow Pages More Trusted Than Search Engines & Social Networks”. This got me thinking, when was the last time I looked at a printed copy of the yellow pages? I couldn’t remember. I asked my wife, she couldn’t remember. Then I looked under the mouse on my home computer and realized oh I use it for something completely different. So I started thinking, what are some other uses you can use phone books for? I figured since it’s late I might as well try to come up with 101 alternative uses for phones books. Why 101? Because 101 is a lot more challenging than 10. Now I’ll admit some of these uses may require at least one or a plethora of phone books to accomplish. I’ll admit, some of these are pretty ridiculous but hey, I had to come up with 101 and I didn’t mention one twice. Gimme a break : )

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Revamp In Progress

Well I figured I’d better write a post since my last post was in February. I’m really considering scrapping Internet marketing as the main content of this site. I mean I do most of that on other sites as it is not to mention my employer, Click2Rank, has me filling our site with my ramblings on SEO/SMM. So what’s left at the end of the week? I have no idea; I think I’m getting burned out with industry talk and the pressure to keep my blog up to date with relevant material. It’s time for a change here, I just don’t know what it is yet.

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25 Favorited Tweets Part Deux

After the positive feedback from the first round of favorited tweets I figured why not do it again. I’ll admit this post did come a little faster than I thought it would, but hey when you’re getting good tweets you want to share them right? So without further ado, here are the next set of tweets:

1.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/JackLeblond/status/28559483122749441″]

2.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/AlanBleiweiss/status/29595442492743680″]

3.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/katemorris/status/29649780435058688″]

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Using Auto-Start Media Correctly

Before I begin, let me clearly state that I am not a huge fan of using auto-start media on websites. I don’t think there is ever a reason it should be used. If not done correctly it can really disrupt the users experience on your site. If done incorrectly one of three things is bound to happen:

  • The user is already listening to something and the dual audio will be unpleasant.
  • The user (for some reason) doesn’t have any speakers to hear the audio. Not to mention if you’re using something other than traditional video embedding (YouTube/Vimeo), their computer may need to update/download in order for the video to function properly.
    • I’ll admit most users should make sure their computer is up to date and all peripherals are working properly, but it is still a risk to take.
    The user may get confused when the audio from the video is someone speaking and visible text on the website is different from the speech. I can’t think of very many people that can read something while hearing someone talk about something else and comprehend both at the same time.
    • If the video is of someone talking, I think it best to keep the amount of text to a minimum, unless the text is a script of the audio so users can read along.

    So if you must use it, I recommend paying attention to the following.

    Keep It Above The Fold

    A video typically has two elements, visual and audio. One thing I look for immediately when something starts up, is the source. If the video sounds like something I’d be interested in I’d also like to SEE it rather than scroll down and start it over to see what I missed. If you’re only giving visitors’ one element they’re missing the other or may assume it’s just an audio file. So if a video is important enough the users should see it immediately when they arrive place it in a place where they can see it and hear it right away.

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25 Favorited Tweets

When Twitter first rolled out the favorite tweet feature I wasn’t really sure if I’d be using it or not. Mainly because I didn’t want to use the new version of Twitter, but thankfully Tweetdeck updated and allowed me to be able to favorite tweets without being able to use the web interface. Now if they could just let me view my favorites from the desktop application that’d be great. I like to think of the favorite tweet feature as a type of bookmarking. Any tweets I think I’d like to remember or reference at a later time I can just browse my favorite tweets and find what I’m looking for. So I’ve decided to share my favorite tweets, twenty-five at a time. Some of them are industry related, some of them aren’t. I hope you enjoy and consider following the tweeps whom did the original tweeting.

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Four Things I Learned In 2010

With 2010 coming to an end, a lot of people are starting to come up with their New Year resolutions. Ever since high school I’ve kept the same resolution year after year that my basketball coach told me we should focus on each ball season, “Have more wins than losses than the previous year”. I can honestly say in 2010 I kept this resolution, and by keeping it I’ve learned four things that can be applied to life career anything.

1. Step Out if You’ve Never Flown

There is a saying that goes, “You never know unless you try”, I think it could be said, “Step out if you’ve never flown”. I used to work for a non-profit in Kansas City doing anything and everything they asked me to do. Most of it was writing grants, organizing fundraisers and updating the website. After a few years of this I knew I wanted something else. So close to the end of 2009 I started to prepare myself to leave the company to “attempt to fly”. And after a month I did, but I didn’t really get tested until the beginning of 2010 when I would finally get the job I was seeking. I learned a lot from that time in my life:

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Is your hashtag being spammed?

A few months ago I started following the #seochat. For those who don’t know, the #seochat takes place every Thursday at 6:00 PM PST. An industry expert is brought in to answer a few questions by one of three moderators, in addition to fielding inquiries asked by the peanut gallery. The chat is pretty basic, and usually takes an hour or so. I have to say, the #seochat is very informative and entertaining at the same time. In order to keep current on who is up next to be interviewed I monitor the hashtag. But lately the #seochat is getting spammed; pathetically ridiculously it’s just getting spammed. So rather than just ignore the hashtag completely I’ve taken a few steps to help alleviate the frustration:

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Managing Client Expectations

Managing your client’s expectations is critical to being a successful SEO consultant – or any kind of consultant for that matter. If the client has completely unrealistic expectations for you, any SEO efforts that you undertake will be seen as unsuccessful regardless of whether or not you actually are successful.

Making sure that you and the client are on the same page begins even before any contracts are signed. You should be evaluating how reasonable and realistic a client is from your first interaction. Do they seem to think SEO is going to be a really quick project or think they are doing you a favor by giving you business? If so, you probably want to move on and recommend someone else that might be able to “better” help them. Stay away from people who think they are helping you out by giving you business. These people typically think that since you are working on the internet and the internet is fast, SEO will be a fast and cheap process. Usually they think SEO is somehow magic too. Run away.

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Fred Meyers Reward Card Fail

If there is one thing I’ve learned from living in various states, it’s that each area has their own “local grocery store”. For instance, my home town in Arkansas had a placed called Jades, my college town had a store called Brookshires, and my home town in Kansas has a grocery store called Hen House. In Lacey, WA there isn’t a “local grocery store”, or if there is I haven’t found it yet, but instead I shop at Fred Meyers. Fred Meyers isn’t exactly a small store; it’s pretty big and has a lot more than just groceries. But regardless of size, all of these stores had some type of “rewards/discount program” that allowed customers to sign up for a free account in order to acquire points or be eligible for discounts. And out of all of these reward programs, Fred Meyers leaves somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth.

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