I’m Running For President

Posted: June 26th, 2008 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | Comments Off

I’ve been keeping this under wraps for a while, but it’s grown a bit out of control now. So I’m officially declaring that I’ll be running for president in 2008. Watch the video below for a story my local television station did on me.

This is actually a very cool concept, and very interesting in terms of viral marketing, and Internet marketing in general. It seems the lines are really blurring with what you can do online dynamically with video. With YouTube’s new inteartive buttons in their videos, and videos like this one where you can insert dynamic text I think we’re on the verge of seeing a lot more when it comes to interactive video.

Firefox 3 Tweaks & Hacks

Posted: June 23rd, 2008 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | Comments Off

Image NameSo I recently upgraded to Firefox 3. If you don’t know, Firefox 3 is the most recent upgrade to the Firefox browser, and just recently set a new Guinness World Record for most downloads in 24 hours, over 8.3 million. If you aren’t using Firefox I highly recommend you check it out, it’s highly configurable and there are many free add-ons available that allow you to customize, tweak, and fit the browser just the way you want to use it.

I love Firefox and have been using it for quite some time, however I can’t say I’m impressed or unimpressed with Firefox 3. There are many improvements and improved memory performance, but overall I haven’t seen much difference in the way I use it vs. the way I used Firefox 2. I did however have to make some additional customizations to fit the way I use it and make my Firefox 3 look and act a little bit more like the old Firefox.

Here’s a few tweaks and hacks I did, in addition a list of all the add-ons I use and why I use them.

  • Customizing the AwesomeBar (Location Bar). The new ‘Awesome Bar’ as it’s called was hardly awesome for me. Especially with the two icons at the right, RSS, and Bookmark icon. The problem is, you can’t easily get rid of them. If I want to subscribe to an RSS feed I will find the link on the site, it’s something I don’t do often anyway. I don’t use Firefox Bookmarks, so that icon is completely worthless to me. So here are the resources and add-ons I used to get the awesomebar the way I wanted it.
  • With the awesomebar customized, I then turned my attention to installing all the old add-ons I used in Firefox2. Listed below are the current add-ons I use and a brief description of why I use them.
    • AI Roboform Toolbar for Firefox – You’re probably already using Roboform by not, if not you should be, I’ve written about it many times before. This add-on will be installed when you install Roboform.
    • ChromEdit Plus – This is a great tool and I used it to implement the customizations to remove the RSS and Bookmark Icons from the location bar. You can also use it for additional advanced hacks.
    • Download Statusbar – For me downloading with Firefox is much too complicated and requires too many steps, there’s no point in opening a new window, clearing out the downloads from it, etc. etc. This add on gets rid of all those steps and makes downloading easy, convenient, and customizable.
    • Google Toolbar for Firefox – Google Toolbar, pretty much a standard for Internet marketers.
    • IE Tab – This is a must have, I HATE having to use IE for sites that only use IE, like movie watching on Netflix, or online QuickBooks. Use this plugin and you can use IE inside a Tab, just like it’s Firefox.
    • Navigational Sounds – Well, one thing I always missed about IE was the auditory cue that something was actually clicked on, without that sometimes you don’t know if you’ve actually clicked or not. This addon makes that click sound for Firefox.
    • New Tab Homepage – I don’t know why Firefox doesn’t have this as a standard option, however that’s the nice thing about Firefox and add-ons. Now every time you open a new tab your home page will be loaded. I use my custom homepage with all kinds of links on it, so this is a very important add-on for me. :)
    • ReloadEvery – This nifty little add-on will refresh a page at set intervals. I like to use it to keep an eye on my stats sometimes if I’m doing a special promotion or something.
    • Screen grab! – If you ever want to grab website screenshots then this is the tool to use, you can even grab long, full-page screenshots of an entire website.

There you have it, those are the add-ons I use to help make my browsing easier, faster, and more productive. There’s also an add-on called disable menu that I liked, it would remove the File menu at the top of the browser to save screen real-estate, right now it doesn’t work for Firefox3, hopefully it will soon.

5 Cool iPhone Apps

Posted: June 9th, 2008 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | 1 Comment »

RemarkableWith the announcement of the upcoming release of the new 3G iPhone today, I thought it would be fitting to share some cool iPhone Apps that I use on my iPhone. And yes, I will definitely be getting the new iPhone when it comes out in July. With the lower cost of the new iPhone and the 3G network I think it will definitely be worth the $200 to $300 cost. I’ve already purchased two iPhones, the second one I purchased after my first one didn’t survive the ‘super cycle’ in my washing machine. Walking in to drop another $500 for a second iPhone because my first one got soaked wasn’t a pleasant experience, however for me the iPhone has been worth its weight in gold.

  • Hahlo – Now you can Twitter right from your iPhone. I use this all the time as it makes Twitter a much more useful tool for me when I can use it when I’m bored away from my PC.
  • Files2Phones – Very cool app allows you to view any file on your phone, you can publish photos to the web in seconds, and many other powerful features.
  • iNetwork Test – Test the network speed on your iPhone.
  • Concert Lighter – This is a fun app, probably pointless, but you’ll be the coolest geek at the concert with this!
  • Guitar Chords – If you’re a guitar player then this one will come in handy. Get guitar chords right on your iPhone, a very practical app.

What’s Remarkable About Your Business?

Posted: June 4th, 2008 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | 1 Comment »

RemarkableThat’s a great question, one that I always ask before I start on a serious project. I’ve had some very successful products in the past, and when I think back on why they found quick success one of the reasons is they were different, they were either ahead of their time, cutting edge, or they were completely different. They were remarkable products which in turn got me great exposure and more sales.

The reason I’m writing about this today is I’m personally starting a new business venture with a partner and this idea has been on my mind lately. The project is somewhat of a large undertaking, and again, it’s something new, it’s first of its kind, and it’s truly remarkable. It has a viral component to it, yet beyond that it’s going to have to be remarkable for that viral component to work, which I believe it is.

Before I started on this project I asked myself several questions. You may want to consider asking yourself similar questions before you start on any serious project of your own.

  • Would I recommend this to my best friend, my Wife, or use it myself?
  • Is it unique, new, original, different, special, or does it stand out in any way?
  • Does it provide true value?
  • Is it filling need? Are people currently looking for it? If it were available would it fill a void?
  • Would I tell my friends and/or family about this product?
  • Will other people tell their friends and/or family about this? Is it remarkable?

The answers to all those questions will play a critical role in the success of your new venture, and they should all have the same answer, YES.

Being in the Internet marketplace it’s 100 times easier and faster to get your product noticed. Word of mouth travels at lightning speed, and in numerous ways such as video, email, social networks, blogs, etc. However, none of those methods will do much for you if your product isn’t worth talking about, if it’s not remarkable.

Being remarkable doesn’t only apply to products or websites. Ever since I got my Iphone (perfect example of remarkable) I’ve been watching a LOT of YouTube videos on it. What I notice is the same concept happening every day when I look at the most viewed videos of the day/week/year, they’re all the most remarkable videos! I end up sharing a lot of them with my friends.

Things that are remarkable get talked about and shared. Unfortunately I see way too many websites, blogs, ebooks, and other products with nothing different about them, nothing to separate them from the thousands of others out there. Being remarkable could be something as simple as exceptional hands on training or customer service, or even a unique way of presenting or organizing information, even a unique look or design is a start.

Find out what’s remarkable in your business and make sure you let people know about it!

It’s All a Part of Doing Business

Posted: June 3rd, 2008 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | 4 Comments »

All a Part of BusinessSome days are definitely better than others. Especially yesterday, I got a nice surprise bill from the IRS for several thousand dollars with large penalties, then another hefty bill from one of my accountants, come to turn out the task I hired the accountant for was related to those taxes and the enormous penalties which may have been prevented had the accountant done her job. It wasn’t a nice surprise.

In addition to this, I decided to upgrade my XP machine to Windows Service Pack 3. What a mistake that was! To make a long story short, it corrupted Windows so badly my only option is to reformat. I’m losing several days of productivity without it.

I can’t complain however, these are minor setbacks compared to many I’ve encountered over the years, and I can afford to pay the taxes, as well as buy a new computer. However, it reminds me that no matter what setbacks you have in business, frustrations are going to happen, it’s a guarantee. Things will not always go like you want them to. Campaigns may get slapped by Google, someone will steal your online content, and you could easily be falsely accused of spamming or something else. Nonetheless, you have to realize it’s all a part of doing business.

I see people complain on forums, bitch and moan about a refund, or something that isn’t going their way. Many times I see people even quit and give up when they encounter obstacles. What they don’t realize is that’s all a part of this game. You have to continue or you lose, period. 99% of obstacles in business can be overcome with a commitment to succeed with time and elbow grease. Trust me, I’ve been there. When I started I didn’t have a credit card, a bank account, and hardly any money. My credit was so bad I had to seek out a bank that didn’t run a credit check. On top of that I didn’t even have my own computer. I didn’t make excuses, I just made it happen!

I’ve been over $50,000 in debt with the IRS and negotiated and struggled, and worked my way through it over several years. I’ve had my share of obstacles, as anyone in business will have. Yet, when I see someone on a forum say “this is too hard” or “that’s a lot of work”, well, it makes me want to puke!

No matter what comes against you today, this week, or this year, stay committed and focused, and realize that truly, it’s all a part of doing business. The only thing that really separates the successful from the failures and the quitters is the commitment and dedication to succeed. People can come up with all kinds of excuses for why things didn’t work out, but in the end someone is going to make it to the top, and that person won’t have an excuse for why they didn’t get there.

The video below illustrates this point exactly. How many people do you think would say “I can’t play guitar because I don’t have any arms”? As you can see, most limits are in our minds.