Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Master Bruce Wayne: Business’s Best Potential Superheroes

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 |

Most readers associate the name “Bruce Wayne” with Batman, the masked vigilante who has fought crime in comic books, TV shows and movies for over 70 years. Another side of the character, one that does not get as much attention as his rope-swinging, villain-punching alter ego, is the effort he puts forth with his “Wayne Foundation”, the charitable trust he established with his family’s fortune.

Several real-life billionaires, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and the late Steve Jobs, have also endeavored to give away much of their fortunes to charitable causes, setting the example for everyone getting a master’s degree and hoping to follow in their footsteps. After all, what is the point of pulling yourself out of poverty to sit atop a mountain of inequality.

Gates and Buffett have not only donated billions of dollars personally to charity, they have also collaborated in urging those with similar large fortunes to give at least half of their wealth to philanthropic causes through their “Giving Pledge” campaign. While we may not see Bill Gates join the Justice League, or watch Warren Buffett ride a zipline among the concrete canyons of Gotham City, their generosity has sparked several other charitable efforts from fellow billionaires. Many hope that those in university now, those looking to change the world in the future, will use their knowledge and degrees to shift it towards systemic progress.

Luckily, a more liberal student body is considerably more charitable towards nonprofits than many generations that came before. If the current trends continue, it is likely that half of the graduating class of 2020 will be joining the ranks of these philanthropic billionaires.

Charles Feeney
While not as visible with his giving as Gates and Buffet, Duty Free Shoppers Group tycoon Charles Feeney has donated billions from his personal fortune to charity, including AIDS clinics in South Africa, a wastewater treatment plant in Vietnam, and a cancer research center in Australia. Feeney currently operates Atlantic Philanthropies, which donated $350 million to the founding of a new science graduate school in New York City in December 2011.

Jon Huntsman, Sr.
Jon Huntsman Sr., founder of chemical giant Huntsman Corporation and father of former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. is one of the largest charitable donors in history. According to a Forbes magazine report, Huntsman is one of only 19 living billionaires who have donated at least $1 billion to charity. His family history of cancer, including his own bout with prostate cancer, inspired him to establish the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.

Philip Berber
While millions of people have seen reports of the tragic famine in Ethiopia, Philip Berber decided to do something about it. After selling his company, CyBerCorp, to the investment broker Charles Schwab for nearly half a billion dollars, Berber set aside $100 million from the sale to found A Glimmer of Hope, a charity with the mission to “(lift) women and children out of extreme poverty in rural Ethiopia.” Since 2001, A Glimmer of Hope has funded the digging of thousands of fresh-water wells and hundreds of educational efforts, with all administrative and overhead costs covered by the family fortune.

While each of these men may qualify as genius, billionaire philanthropists, not one of them wears a black cape or red-and-gold armor. However, with their life-saving efforts, each of them qualifies as a superhero in the real world.

Drew Hendricks is a social media and SEO enthusiast that spends his free time browsing the internet and playing frisbee golf.

Do Forums Still Have a Future?

Friday, December 11th, 2009 |

forum-copy

A friend of mine in Social Media was checking out a site with me the other day and discovered the site had a forum. “Wow! A Forum!” he exclaimed, “That’s so 1999.” His comment made me realize that some people share his same mentality but yet, totally miss the point.

In my dealings in Social Media, and in the internet in general, I’ve noticed that forums still play a huge part in the realm we know as the internet. A ton of internet memes have started in forums and continue to be to this day. So why do people have the idea that a forum is “So 1999?”

Everyone is getting lost in other forms of communication on the internet. Not that using these new methods is the wrong thing to do at all, it’s not. I do feel people should take a step back and look at the big picture. Forums and boards have been around for a long time yes, but they still play a huge part in content delivery; some of that content delivery kept us “In the know” during the Iran protests.  Secret forums were set up by the group we all know as Anonymous during the Iran protests. These forums hosted Iranian Government Proxy information so protesters on the ground could Tweet, Stream, upload, and blog in real time about what was happening there. During that time we all saw the carnage, the resolve, and the martyrs of the Iran protests, thanks to a forum.

One really cool forum I came across this week is MyBlogGuest, a community of guest bloggers. Now, I have to say, I was kicking myself for not thinking of this first.  I ran across this site as a result of a Twitter Stream from Ann Smarty. To me this seemed like a really good use for a forum, so I joined up and noticed a lot of high-end blogs are signing up.

So if forums are so 1999, it seems 1999 put out a really good tool that year, a tool that in my view, we will keep using.

Grandma got run over by a scammer….

Monday, November 30th, 2009 |

y1789550706221001

Another holiday has come and gone. The crowds gathered on Black Friday and today the techies drain bandwidth for Cyber Monday. With most readers of Collective Thoughts being tech savvy, I don’t have to break down the dangers of online shopping and scams. However, I would like to encourage everyone to pass on the knowledge.

For example, your grandmother or mother (depending on your age), how much do they know about these scams? A lot of baby boomers are taking to the Social Web and think they are beginning to get an idea of how it all works. However, in most instances, this is not the case.

Are you familiar with the old saying about “knowing just enough to be dangerous?” Well, in today’s Social sphere, that statement rings truer than ever. Technology has accelerated at such a significant rate, catching up isn’t so easy for a less tech-oriented generation. They want to use sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter to stay connected to their friends, and let’s face it; these sites, security-wise, have become a hen-house of sorts, and there’s no farm dog there to look after them. Weasels and foxes abound.

I, as well as my colleagues, have noticed GenX and GenY are starting to step in and police their family’s actions. Not only in Facebook posts, but also in online shopping, and gaming apps. With all the gaming apps like Farmville, Mobsters, and the hundreds of others, the tech-educated have noticed a lot more scams and virus outbreaks. The problem is that the users of these apps have no clue what they are doing. These apps are addicting and annoying to non-users. I have actually un-friended people on Facebook for being app addicts. I really don’t care how many pigs you raised, or how awesome of a hitman you’ve become. I am concerned for your well being aunt Kim. How many offers did you sign up for to get “FREE” Farmville upgrades? Watch your credit card statement Aunt Kim.

TechCrunch did a great piece on these scams that I highly recommend you read and share with your families. In case they are not techies, direct them to the Washington Post article as well. It really is up to us to watch out for them and educate them.

Speaking of education, in the TechCrunch article they target Video Professor. Apparently Video Professor has some special offers in the game apps to get upgrades for the game. The offer claims that you pay only $10 for shipping up-front. But then there’s always the fine print. Apparently, the $10 is for shipping all of the Video Professor’s library and you have to send them back or get charged $189. A lot of people have fallen victim to this scam. They have seen Video Professor on TV and therefore assume he has credibility and that they’d not get taken by the guy. Video Professor said it’s all clear in the fine print.

If Video Professor wants to show you how to do things correctly on the internet, then why are they doing things wrong? Should you not protect your brand? The web is buzzing about the article where Video Professor was called out and they have even made it a point to go after anyone who criticizes them. Here is my guidance Video Professor, from someone who I dare say has gained an Associates Degree from the Social Media “Community” College but is not an “Expert” or “Professor” in Social Media: Accept the fact that what you are doing is wrong. Do it on as many blog posts and Social Networks as possible. Then, set up a means to refund EVERYONE you have done wrong. Make the refunds as public as possible. Also, engage — not aggressively — but engage your critics. Find out what your critics have to say and ASK them how you can make things better. Additionally, make sure all offers are CLEAR. Not just in fine print. This would absolutely improve your image.

People everyday are taken for a ride, be it online shopping scams, 419 scams, gaming apps, or viruses. Let’s all pass our knowledge on to the less fortunate, and have a great and safe Holiday Season.

The Art of Social Media War

Thursday, November 12th, 2009 |

As a known Social Media enthusiast, I’m privy to a ton of information. I stand on the sidelines of various Social Media realms and watch as drama unfolds. I find that it’s usually the best thing to do when two opposing forces in Social Media go head to head. It’s not that I’m disloyal, don’t get me wrong, but rather that I prefer to not get involved.  “Jay not get involved? Since when is Jay a pacifist? I thought Jay was a Marine!” Well, yeah, I choose which battles to fight, especially when it comes to elite Diggers throwing down on each other.

artofsmwar

I refuse to name names, that wouldn’t be classy of me. I am, however, going to give a run down on how the battle has been fought; it’s actually been quite interesting.

It all started with Google. Yeah, you heard right, Google. Google has been posting Sesame Street / Google Logos all week to celebrate Sesame Street’s 40th anniversary. As anyone who is an internet junkie knows, Google tends to do this sort of thing to celebrate milestones or holidays.

One Digger, with a good ratio I might add, had been placing these images on his site, and submitting the new image each day to Digg from his site.  Another Digger saw it but had also submitted the image directly from Google. The first Digger (Digger A) cried Dupe! In doing so he went after the other Digger (Digger B) and reported the image to Digg. Well, things got real nasty.

Name calling ensued in a chat and before you know it Digger A got Digger B banned. A fine line was crossed in the whole ordeal.  Digger A was posting the images on his site, some people calling him out for “Blogspam,” but he considered the images a place holder as Google would change them everyday. Digger B, being an old school Digger, had linked to the original source.  Digger A did not care, he was mad over the whole dupe ordeal. Things escalated sverely after that.

With the banning of Digger B, being an old school Digger, things did not look well for the upstart. I even shot a friendly warning to Digger A. “Hey man, he is old school, watch your step, his loyalties run deep.” I guess my warning fell on deaf ears. The name calling and threats continued. Digger A then lashed out at other people in the chat who were making lighthearted jokes about the situation. With a line in the sand already drawn, my advice would have been not to upset everyone else.

Elsewhere, other old-school Diggers heard of Digger B’s banning at the hands of Digger A. Things do not look well for Digger A. Yesterday his account was banned from Digg, his site is under DDOS attack, a satire blog has been erected to forever mock him and a lot of people in the Social Media Community are upset with him.

You guys still with me on the whole A/B thing?

Many mistakes were made during this dis-agreement.

1. If you do have an issue with someone’s submission, especially a dupe, approach the individual who duped you. If the individual will not take down his submission, make a friendly game out of. (Okay, first one to the FP wins, loser buys a beer at next meet up.)

2. Social Media or Social News Sites are just that, Social! Play well with others. Do not soil your name and give yourself a bad reputation.

3. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.  Sound familiar? It should. Same rules apply to any war if you expect to win. If you do have a rival, find out his mistakes and exploit them if need be, but it must be done in a way that keeps you squeaky clean. Name calling and bashing only makes you look bad.

4. KNOW YOUR ENEMY! Good Intel is always key to winning any war. Know who is loyal to them and their amount of influence. Crossing one person could mean crossing more people than you realize.You must also know the level of your rivals technical skill — there are a lot of good hackers out there. Do your homework!

5. Be prepared to defend yourself and your brand. A good defense is also a great offense.

6. Never, Never, Ever, write a check your butt can’t cash. If you have to resort to threats, make sure you can carry them out. Empty threats make you lose credibility.

Hopefully you should never have to deploy any of these tactics. Just like real life, most small conflicts can be settled using a good attitude, and a little respect.

Then again, The Internet is serious business.

Social Media is Not Dead. It’s Run by Cats.

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 |

Humans think they’re such hot stuff.  Them and their opposable thumbs.  I’ll have you know that us felines are really the strength behind Twitter.  Don’t believe me? Apparently the San Diego News Network does:

Brians_cat and Petco haz a conversation

Brians_cat and PETCO haz a conversation

That’s right folks.  PETCO pays Natalie Davis, Director of E-commerce to talk to pets.  We even convinced her to get her cat Leo to start getting up and running on Twitter.

We cats are better equipped than you humans for taking over the social media sphere anyway.  Here’s just a few signs of our prowess:

  1. The expression is LOLCats.  Ever see a LOLhuman? Pssh.
  2. Cats sleep 18 hours a day, so we’re better rested.  Besides, humans are always too busy “working” to mess with Twitter as we cat professionals are.
  3. We outrank you.  @Sockington has 3/4 of a million users following him on Twitter.  Ashton Kutcher and CNN are clearly fronts for the feline empire.
  4. Twitter is a bird.  Cats catch birds.  We’ve caught you.

Image credit: Twitkitteh

This has been an informal update by Brian’s Cat – if you want more informal thoughts, follow me on Twitter.

Is Being Social Online Enough?

Monday, June 29th, 2009 |

Although I have had these thoughts about this many times before, I never placed pen to paper to convey my thoughts. I began this version of this post while sitting outside of Laidoffcamp/Freelancecamp in Miami. I was watching the afternoon monsoons about to come down on me. I was sitting alone in a garden of hedges and walkways watching the passersby. Everyone seemed to be busy buzzing by. The cool breeze just washed in from the approaching rain. I can feel the electricity in the air. The energy created by everyone that attends social gathering of large magnitude is incredible. The energy feels like the change in the air as a storm rolls in. I also have a sad disturbing feeling of what is about to happen.

miamisunpost.com

photo credit miamisunpost.com

Unfortunately in the past once the excitement of the event dissipated the attendees often fall back into their daily grind and lose their zeal. The positive drive is taken away by the dream stealers and opposing elements. The mega builders in the MLM industry have spoke of this for as long as I can remember. They were always looking for a paradigm shift. Looking forward from where I am at, has technology brought this downward spiral to an end? Can the mix of an online presence keep the energy going?

Let’s look at online social networking; we have so many places to congregate. Every day I am approached by someone new with an idea or thought on how to make communication online one step easier. Although most of the concepts are spun over and over, often there is a spark of true imagination that pops into view. The main downfall of so many ideas is the lack of true open communication. It is difficult to pass the same feelings over phone, let alone a keyboard. If you lack communicative skills you may feel that your voice may never be heard. Video and webcams do help to transfer the visual imagery to a point. If there was a way to capture the intimate relation of one on one conversation like that of being in person, online long distance communications would also see a parabolic leap in growth.

photo credit @refreshmiami

I am one of the biggest supporters of both online and offline congregative tools. Conferences and Barcamps are great for connecting with your online social graph, but only occur over large periods of time. Refresh Miami and Social Media Club of South Florida hold monthly meetings that I have attended for close to a year now. (Both organizations are opening events, some may be near you.) Before that I was also very active in the local Meetups that are held here in South Florida. Now there has been a great surge in Tweetups popping up all around me. Some are even specializing these Tweetup events. Craig of Worst Pizza has taken this idea even further with starting Pizza Tweetups. These events are great sources of support for your online endeavors. They help you to cement your online bonds with the brick and mortar world that many of us are quickly leaving behind. Plus they are a great source to build your social graph with users that would ordinarily not friend you till a physical connection has been made.

I wrote this post to quite some thoughts on what needs to be addressed about online and offline social networking. Do we really need that physical connection to build our networks or is a virtual world something that we are all going to embrace in the future? Tell me, do we really need to attend offline events to grow? Are these events something that will advance the online world? Are these offline events dragging back the innovations that we need to make the next leap forward to a truly virtual world?

What is your view?

Why Are Alexa Double-Dipping Social Media Penalties?

Friday, August 8th, 2008 |

Alexa Graph

Earlier this year Alexa shook things up a little, applying some kind of penalty or reduced modifier to websites with a traditionally higher percentage of Alexa toolbar users than average, predominately technology and webmaster focused sites who found the Alexa data useful, or who actively evangelised Alexa toolbar use as it is often a major factor in gauging traffic for advertising.
Some of the 3rd party tools offering Alexa data also provide other useful features, especially for webmasters with toolbars such as Search Status for Firefox.

Some level of rebalance was probably fair, to try to address the concerns of sites with high traffic but with a much lower frequency of Alexa toolbar users, who often felt they were at a disadvantage, especially in advertising sales.

During the last month Alexa has introduced another round of filtering or penalties, reducing or wiping out the effect of traffic from Social Media and Social News sites such as Digg and Stumbleupon, but potentially other sites such as Twitter or popular feed readers.
I haven’t done enough granular research to come up with a final list of likely candidates.

This is something potentially valuable to advertisers, as huge traffic spikes are possible from the largest social sites that can lead to an imbalance in their trend data, especially for the most recent 3 month period that appears in their toolbar by default.

I actually welcome this change, although I would much prefer to have both sets of data available, thus allowing Alexa to also provide a 3rd, possibly unique measure of the most “socially influenced” sites.

Unfortunately they seem to have made an error in their calculations, reported by both Performancing and more recently Daily Blog Tips (lots of head to head comparrisons), which is interesting to explore in more detail.

Double Dipping Penalties

If there was a 75% penalty for webmasters, or their toolbar multiplication factor was 75% less you currently have something like this:-

Traffic=((Toolbar*10)/4)-SM

Say there were 60 visitors to a site using the toolbar (maybe from 500 -1000 total visitors), and 100 visitors were from social media (10-20%)

((60*10)/4)-100 = 50 visitors being counted

Note: It would only take 25% of traffic to come from social media for the resulting traffic to equal to zero

What it should be is something more like:-

Traffic=((Toolbar*10)-SM)/3

/3 rather than 4 because webmasters might more frequent social media users as well, though penetration of both toolbars might be even higher.

((60 *10)-100)/4 = 125 visitors being counted

These are only examples of how the math might work and are not real world figures – I am sure Alexa are using much more complex calculations, but I am equally sure they are making some serious mistakes that can make a site receiving 500+ unique visitors per day appear to have way less than 100, or a site receiving 10,000 appear to have the equivalent of 1000 visitors or less.
This is something that affects all sites, but disproportionately affects sites (technology and webmaster) with a higher percentage of Alexa toolbar users, that had them rebalanced earlier this year.

Here are some examples of popular webmaster related sites that this double-dipping penalty have had a drastic effect on

Shoemoney.com currently with a 1 week average of over 174K
Doshdosh.com currently with a 1 week average of over 200K
ReadWriteWeb for 5th August one day stats was an Alexa rating of 90,000
Search Engine Land for 5th August one day stats was 83,000 with a one week average of 86K

The double-dipping penalty also hasn’t left the social sites themselves unscathed, with Digg and Reddit for some strange reason showing noticable declines, but Mixx continuing to gain. Maybe internal referrals from subdomains offer a benefit.

Then there is Tech industry favorite Techmeme, which is quite capable of sending 1000s of visitors to other sites on a daily basis, real referral traffic, but for some reason has a weekly average of 137,000 itself.

Daniel on DBT went into a lot more examples as mentioned earlier, including comparing traffic where he knows the real stats.

It is hard to tell how this might have affected larger sites, as relative traffic levels might be looked on as seasonal averages, and a drop from 2K Alexa to 4K Alexa might be just par for the course.

So far there is no official mention of any changes on the Alexa blog.

Whether my equation is correct doesn’t actually matter, it is clear that many sites (but not all) within the technology and webmaster niches were hit.
The most infuriating part isn’t the penalties and calculation mistakes themselves, however they are done, but how Alexa, owned by Amazon, could make such as huge and obvious mistake.

Could this be deliberate, and if so why?

Quality; the ultimate marketing tool

Thursday, July 31st, 2008 |

If you’re selling crap, if your website sucks or your customer service is non-existent, then you are likely making your marketing efforts much harder than need be. This is never more true than when talking about social media marketing. If you’d be so kind, allow me to elaborate.

Recently the masochists here at Collective Thoughts tasked me with writing the odd tidbit of social goodiness I was certainly bemused at the prospect of doing so. You see, in the end analysis I am a business consultant that almost exclusively moves from the mindset of what is best for the SMB (small to medium sized business) – which is not always to favour Social Media Marketing. Actually, for some time there was every reason to question where it fits inside the marketing toolbox at all when success already existed without it.

(inspired by Web Pages that Suck!)

And what is the secret to social media marketing success anyways? That will all depend on what you’re looking to get out of it. Some common benefits include;

  1. Branding and brand management
  2. Customer service/relations
  3. SEO implications (rankings/SERP management)
  4. Sales (advertising, product or service)
  5. Leads (primary and secondary)
  6. Qualitative market research

While in most cases you will have multiple goals and benchmarks for measuring success, there is one simple concept that you should consider to ultimately ease the strain on your marketing load; quality.

The quality connection

Ultimately with any type of offering one of the primary factors that truly needs addressing is quality. Your efforts in marketing will always be best served and budgets eased by putting the effort into quality control throughout the business lifecycle. Should future plans include strong web support from SEO, SMM or even Branding and Qualitative Research aspects, quality is your friend and can do much of the work for you. You should put an effort into each aspect as this will ultimately help you maximize your marketing efforts.

Some examples include;

  1. Quality products and services
  2. Quality information/resources
  3. Quality conversations and interactions
  4. Quality presentation (website and packaging)
  5. Quality content (websites/blogs)
  6. Quality infrastructure and usability (online and off)

By making all efforts possible in attaining the highest possible levels of quality, your efforts in not only social media marketing, but all areas of your marketing plan shall be eased. It is no longer the world of hard sell and the viral wonderment of cumulative efforts shall bear its sweetest fruit.

Do your self a favour and don’t be swayed into thinking that shortcomings in your approach can be made up with marketing budgets. While reach can be improved, ultimately the social world fumbling could do more harm than good to your cause.

Understanding the value of quality we can also look to the actual traffic generated from your SMM campaigns.

Quality traffic over quantity

No matter what the goals of your SMM campaign may be, targeted traffic will always be the call of the day. By running generalized campaigns one ultimately attracts generalized traffic which is usually not effective in the end analysis.

  • Would you rather have a momentous wave of mindless Diggers or lesser set of targeted TechCrunchers for that latest service offering?
  • Would you rather a sea of Stumblers or a trickle from Kaboodle with that new camera line your pimping?
  • How about market influencers?

A single positive experience from a market influencer can be worth more than a Digg and Stumble rush combined. It is often the quality of the visitors that we desire over sheer numbers.

One must certainly try and decide early on what your goals, qualifiers and associated values will be for a social media marketing campaign as mere mass of traffic to the website is usually not going to get the job done. In most cases you should be more focussed on the qualities of the visitors generated. Are they your target market? How can they further your course to the ultimate goals of the campaign? Is the traffic generation method sustainable?

Once more, quality is an important aspect that must be considered.

Screaming into the social void

Word of mouth travels at the speed of sound

And so, you should at all times remember that one’s efforts from the goal setting, systems and planning to the development and analysis processes; quality is a word to respect. You should not cut corners nor try and fool a wary public into believing you are more than you are. This attention to quality will surely be noted in the greater sphere and pay the ultimate dividends to be reaped from a successfully social media marketing campaign and beyond.

The next time you hear ‘quality over quantity’ remember to look in the metaphorical mirror to ensure your mindset seeks out the qualities of success.

Social Media Without “The Man”

Friday, April 4th, 2008 |

Dave Gorman
This post is inspired by Dave Gorman the UK comedian who is known in the UK for looking for other Dave Gormans amongst others and in America as the stats guy who occasionally appears on the Daily Show. Dave Gorman was recently featured in a TV show where he traveled across America only to make it far more fun he choose to travel without giving any money to “The Man”. “The Man” is the large faceless corporations that seem to be pandemic across the western world from Starbucks to Wal-Mart to IBM “The Man” is everywhere. If you haven’t seen the film or read the book go do so now!

So can you market a site without “The Man”?

Dave was on Radio 2 the other day (yes I am an old fart) promoting his book and he got me thinking with Tad’s ranting on Google doubled with people’s general dislike of corporations is it possible today to market your site without the aid of these large groups.
Well, let’s find out!

Domain names and websites

It’s actual impossible to create and market a website without giving to the man. Since the domain registration system is run by a large corporation and while ICANN the global governing body is a non-profit corporation in the US nearly every national registrar is a faceless corporation. However all is not lost and with a quick tweaking of the rules finding a mom and pop registrar which is reselling a big boy is possible. Hosting its still possible to find small hosting centres just remember to avoid the big boys 1&1, Pipex, etc.
Obviously the site itself can be hosted on good Linux systems and open source software, just remember to avoid Fedora (RedHat) and SUSE (Novell) one thing you might have not thought about your Feedburner, and Google Analytics will have to be put to one side.

Search Engines

Sorry these are all out, at least the big 3 indeed to be truthful to the goal we probably need to block them totally so out with your robots.txt file.

User-agent: Googlebot 
Disallow: /

User-agent: Yahoo! Slurp 
Disallow: /

User-agent: msnbot 
Disallow: /

Without search engine traffic we will have to rely on other forms of advertising the obvious answer is social media!

No StumbleUpon

Sacrilege I know but life without the man includes life without StumbleUpon which of course is owned by Ebay it also means life with out PayPal again an Ebay company. Interestingly a quick search for ways to stop people sending traffic from StumbleUpon returned virtually no results but fear not we can use HTACCESS to send this unwanted traffic away.


RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} (stumbleupon.com) [NC]
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.stumbleupon.com  [R,L,NC]


Ok that’s sorted the StumbleUpon traffic it’s now being sent back to StumbleUpon of course thinking with our marketing head we perhaps would want to send it to a page explaining the idea of not getting traffic from “The Man” and with a link for them to find their way back!

Digg

Tricky one this is Digg owned by the man? I think not so it’s safe to market their maybe an article on how to block the evil corporations and “The Man” would go down well just a thought.

Propeller

No chance with it’s Netscape, AOL, Time Warner, Google owners this is clearly the sort of corporation we are looking to avoid so no Propeller traffic once again we will want to redirect users. Normally we would have to come up with some complex strategy to still gain benefits from these links to help our search engine strategy but for once this is not an issue as we blocked them at the start.

Myspace/FaceBook

Sorry News corp but you are the sort of people we want to avoid as for Facebook with a turnover of $15 billion according to Wall Street Journal and with investments from Microsoft and at least 3 major Venture Capital groups looks like your out to.
Looks like the man is pretty widespread but let’s not despair all is not lost we live in the age of web 2 where every kid and his programmer have an idea and the number of start-ups are immense it is still pretty easy to drive some traffic without going to the big corporations.


But why do it?

We are creatures of habit it is worth looking at other sources simply to have a backup strategy it’s also good to support new ideas what is new today may well be the norm tomorrow so it’s better to be in on the ground floor.
But the spirit of independent entrepreneur is being eroded once it was about coming up with a great idea marketing it and amazing people. Now its come up with a concept, get large venture capital company to fund your lunches with Google’s reps.

The next step

First off all I am not advocating giving up traffic sources, or blocking Google on your sites but I am passionate about supporting the little guys who are just like me. So I do plan on setting up a “Man” free site with the whole purpose of finding new traffic methods and ideas.

If you got any ideas or if you think that I was being lenient by claiming Digg was not “The Man” why don’t you let me know below!

GoogleWhackp.s Dave Gorman book and DVD is available from his site and Good retailers as is his GoogleWhack stage show DVD (Not suitable for children) if you take nothing from this post go read the books and watch the DVDs!

Can You Take a Vacation From Social Media?

Thursday, March 20th, 2008 |

Social Media Vacation
Why haven’t you frontpaged yet? I want to go for a swim already.

The short answer: no.

The longer answer:
So I’ve been out for most of the week on vacation. Which got me to thinking – can you really take a vacation from social media?
I mean, how can you expose yourself to risking all those great tech/news nuggets like WordPress 2.5 Release Candidate?
Once you have social media in your system, it’s hard to step away from all those RSS feeds and social sites.

Especially when most hotels have free wifi (in the USA anyway, thanks for pointing this out, Tim). They’re in on it too. A hotel employee actually asked me if I had wireless, which was pretty amusing. In any case, it’s important to break away from social media from time to time.

Perhaps we take ourselves too seriously in social media. We blog, podcast, Twitter, lifestream, RSS, aggregate, rant, and vote. Does the “outside world” think we are nuts? Probably.

Are we the news source? We break the news. Sometimes we even make the news. Trying to separate the signal from of the noise isn’t easy, and this is what we are tasked to do.  So I ask you again, are we the bloggers, the real news source?

All told, it’s good to be back… even though I never really left 🙂

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Welcome to the new wisdom of crowds. Each member of Collective Thoughts is here because not only are they a known or rising star in their own field, but they also have a passion and unique understanding on social media. Together, we make up Collective Thoughts. More

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