Power of Blogging for Business – 1 Article Created 6 top 10 SERPs

Trying to evangelize the concept of why a company should communicate through the blog medium with anecdotes is a fool’s game.  Companies either get it or they don’t with a description like a college kid getting a business lesson out of a text book.

small fishing net I have understood the merits for several years now working as a blogger, ghost writer, web designer and more.  I’m not only in the choir, but I’m a part time choir director.  If you are like me, I’m not trying to preach to you.

However, if you are looking for an example of why blogging can be fruitful for business and you DO NOT understand the need to get closer with your existing and potential customers, then consider this.

Your company website is essentially a foot print on the web.  Make a small website and you have a small presence.  Grow that website and make it bigger and bigger and you have a larger presence on the web.

Each blog article you write increases the size and more importantly the reach of your website, like a fisherman using a larger and larger net.


Last night I wrote a single blog article and created a YouTube tutorial video to accompany the article making it stickier and more useful for the people that might actually come see the article.

Optimize Artisteer WordPress Theme’s H1/H2 Title Tags for SEO

A video & written tutorial to optimize a Artisteer WordPress theme h1 & h2 title tags to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) results and SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Placements)

Single business blog article generates 6 top 10 Google listings

Within 6 hours this new article had garnished me a position in Search Engine Results Pages within the top 10 of 6 different keywords that I felt were important for business.  I was indexed in at least 10 somewhere on Google covering other keywords that were not as important, but might not hurt either.

Not only is my website larger, stickier to hold a visitor, but my presence on Google is also expanded and positioning me for even better things!  All from a single article and a video.

Is there money in writing a single blog article for your Own Business?

Yes!  I’ve already made a sale as a result of this article and its only 6 hours old.  It will now go on to live on the internet for months if not years, where it can help people learn a useful skill (video tutorial) and find the right tools (products I offer) and possibly choose to hire my firms services (after learning a thing or two about us and developing a relationship).

What do I do with that Article now that it is built?

imageI’m not done with it yet.  I still have further work to do to market the article, push it out even further on the internet, work to attract back links to the article and my site.  Optimize that blog article to perform even better, searching out other related and important keywords that I didn’t originally consider and track my way up the rankings on the keywords I already have.

CS5 Content-Aware with PatchMatch Technology Has Graphic Designers Drueling waiting for Adobe’s Release on April 12th

Adobe logo CS5 Content Aware PatchMatch Technology Graphic Designers can’t wait to get their hands, mice and stylus’ on the new Adobe Photoshop CS5 coming out in a few weeks on April 12th.  Last October the new PatchMatch technology getting incorporated into the Content-Aware feature upgrade was pretty cool for those following Adobe developers, but now that the super feature set is ready for primetime, People can’t wait to start saving zillions of pixels of time deleting wires from pictures, camera flare and your extra buffalo or leaf too.

Original Content Aware Patch Match Video from Adobe Development

Official Preview of CS5 with Content Aware running Patch Match technology

The technology makes it super easy to remove an object from a picture without having to do a lot of ‘photoshopping’ after wards to patch up the blank holes in the picture or the blurred coloring of an image that was never quite right in Adobe CS4 Extended.

CS5 Content Aware Removes a Tree and fixes the background by Hitting the Delete Button

image image

If you have been waiting to upgrade an older version of Photoshop this feature in the upgrade may be reason enough alone to justify the super high expense, possibly even pulling in some open source users on Gimp back into the Adobe fold.  Afterall, if you can automate something that used to take hours or days, that rapidly starts to pay for itself in savings (or extra billable hours).

Deleting WordPress Tag Creates 404 Error – Watch Out!

Quick WordPress Tip about deleted Tags Creating 404 errors in Google Webmaster Tools

If you delete a wordpress tag, it will create a 404 error if a visitor or possibly as important, Google Bot comes through to re-index your site.

Sure you can redirect that deleted tag link, but if you later create it again on the fly with a new post, your redirection will drive people away from the tag.  :(

Solution – Don’t Delete WordPress Tags!

If you have already deleted a WordPress Tag, think about adding it back in again so that you don’t get nicked by the Search Engines!  :)

Good Picture Trumps Good Content-Exception Proves the Rule

Fast Company knows their graphics

Fast Company recently repurposed some good content about ad money.  The original content was relatively boring, and as displayed in an informational teaser on the original site of Outsell, where they are essentially trying to sell a research report, one has to wonder how or if Outsell will stay in business.

Fortunately, Fast Company came along to save their Outsell’s bacon and possibly help Outsell sell more with a better graphic about ad sales.  Crazy!

The great graphic above shows the total money, and breaks out how it flows out to the various different channels that get to take that money home.  That should be important information for any marketing company, any corporation curious about benchmarking their own marketing budget percentages at a generic level, and if you are a blogger or a newspaper, you either see a yellow brick road paved in gold or a cobblestone mud path off a cliff.

Here’s Outsell’s lackluster sales pitch for their own product  It only costs $1295 so if you have some extra coffee money lying around, knock yourself out.  The authors, Chuck Richard, Vice President & Lead Analyst; Sheila King, Director of Primary Research, may be great researchers, but either they or others at Outsell have just been schooled by Maccabee Montandon of Fast Company.

Outsell shows people how not to sell research reports online

Its your standard teaser article about industry stats.  That’s going to get people buying like nobody’s business.  Not.

Makes you wonder why Outsell doesn’t hire a groovy graphic designer or two to compete with the graphic from Fast Company.  Maybe Outsell just isn’t that fast, or maybe this will be their wake up call.

In general, there comes a point these days where a research company is just a blog.  If you are not selling your reports anymore, then you are just a blog, that happens to do research.  If you are a site that only sells a research report or two per year, then you are still just a blog, a blog that sells linkbait.  If you sell lots and lots of research reports, well then maybe you are a research company, but if so, you better have a blog and you better hit it out of the park when you are prompting your own goods.

Centralized Social Network Participation May Kill Your Content

Kill Content with a blow to the head

On April Fool’s Day, Izea will be shutting down their forums.  The forums were setup back in September of 2006 just a few months after the company launched and served as the primary social networking platform for the first couple years.

Important Boards Information- PLEASE READ

Postby BrightGirl on Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:06 pm

Image representing Izea as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Hi Everyone!
Due to falling participation, the rising costs of hosting and our expansion into other support avenues, we have made the decision to close down the IZEA Boards effective April 1, 2010.
Many of the same topics posted here are currently being discussed at http://getsatisfaction.com/izea and we encourage you to visit us there to post any questions you may have or to participate in the discussions there. We will also still be posting major system updates on the IZEA blog, http://blog.izea.com.
In addition, we will still be available by support ticket and through Twitter
Finally, I think I speak for the entire team when I say what a pleasure it has been working with you and learning from you all the past few years. The interaction of this community is what makes the job we do fun, challenging and exciting and leads IZEA to better products and services.
And one last shout out to our Boards Mods, past and present who have worked tirelessly in providing information and support. It has an honor to work with you all!
All the Best,

Carri Bright
Communications Diva
Izea Customer Love

This forum post is followed by a member named RealityTVFan who has had a long technically challenging series of difficulties making it virtually impossible to communicate with anyone through the Get Satisfaction social media network.  766v1-max-150x150[1]

Ergo he can’t even talk to people about not getting satisfaction through Get Satisfaction!

Now, I don’t have near the issues that RealityTVFan has encountered, but Get Satisfaction has always been very problematic for me as well to the point that I just don’t use it/go there/ provide feedback there.

LESSON LEARNED (again) Giving Content for Free to a Network that Voids your Control of Said Content is a Mistake

I started working with Izea about 6 days after they launched back during the summer of 2006.  They set up their forum or boards later in September as their rapid growth dictated that they needed the ability to communicate with bloggers on the web, efficiently and in an area where they could control the message.  Even more important, they needed other bloggers to help each other, benchmark off of lessons learned, and grow together, so that the same lesson could be taught and retaught more efficiently.  This was one of the most successful aspects about what was PayPerPost back then.  It not only accelerated the growth of their blogger network, enabling them to get a second round of venture capital, but it helped them improve their business, and create a sense of community.

The boards themselves were getting thousands and thousands of hits and visitors a day, generating hundreds of forum posts on a forum with no advertising or as we say today, no monetization plan.  So from Izea’s perspective it was a cost center, with a value add that was difficult to measure.

Years later they did eventually ad advertising after the recommendation of many members on the boards, including yours truly.  This apparently might have minimized the cost (bandwidth maybe?) but not enough.  More importantly through Get Satisfaction they were finally able to run with a ticketing process that worked for the company better than the home grown coding they had relied on in earlier years.

But there is a lesson to be learned here for both Izea and Bloggers and it has nothing to do with cost control or even customer satisfaction. :)

It is a flawed approach to host a conversation in a centralized social media environment (whether it be a forum like this, Get Satisfaction, Facebook, Twitter etc) when you are engaged in a business reliant on the blogosphere.

Sure there are indirect benefits from being part of the conversation and siphoning eye balls away from a centralized social platform, but it is INDIRECT at best and there isn’t much money in that.

When you write on a centralized platform you DO NOT own your content. You have no control and that content is subject to deletion, editing, or worse. When you play with the long tail, that is bad for business too.

Plus, just as a personal example, when this board goes dark on April Fool’s day, I’m going to loose upwards of 1800 backlinks to my site. Also bad for business considering those backlinks are a small factor in promoting my blogs in the SERPs.  Izea may not sell links so much anymore, but that still translates to reduced traffic and influence, which is something they do sell these days.  So by closing down the boards they are going to devalue their own product line just a bit.  

SOLUTION – At Least for Bloggers


Fortunately, there is an open source solution that is almost available. Very soon, none of us will have to rely on centralized social network systems. The days of Twitter and Facebook (and Get Satisfaction too) playing a role as the dominant social platform are likely to go the way of Compuserve, Prodigy and AOL playing a role as the dominant email system and internet logon portal.

What’s that solution called?

Ironically its WordPress and the new 3.0 version combined with other components of WordPress will conceivably give every blogger, writer, business site the means to turn their website into a decentralized social network.  Now we just have to figure out how to inter connect with each other all over again!


You can follow me on twitter ( http://twitter.com/brettbum )if you like, but its kind of a silly place. 😉

Time Warner Cable Can’t fool me-I have a .gov Speed Test and a Birds Nest in my Router :(

For the last week or so my broadband connection has been slow as a dog (I have a bassett hound) and when I heard that the Federal Government was going to start their broadband crack down with their own speed testing tool, I was happy!

Finally big brother was looking out for me.  I’ve had to put up with slow internet connections since the internet began, and before that, don’t even get me started.


So I zipped over to Broadband.gov and ran my system through the paces to test my broadband on an unbiased system.  I was a little suspect about the privacy policy from the government as they took my address but not my name.  They are apparently sampling information on speeds from around the country.  Probably grabbing IP addresses, browsers, computer systems and more too but what the hell, I used to work for the government. 

I just quit Monday (after working for the Census counting forms on pallets one form at a time).

So I ran the speed tests and my worst fears were confirmed.  My internet connection was slow as all hell in a hand basket hanging from a tree.


I was only getting 739 kbs per second. 

I get faster than that on my Palm Pre with 0 bars, and that damn thing always has zero bars.  I think Palm only makes Pre’s with a zero bar connection setting or maybe Sprint sends down an update through the network resetting everyone’s phone to zero bars under a system wide campaign of lowering expectations, but hey, I’m supposed to be bitching about Time Warner Cable here.

I grab my latest bill from my pile of paper work for my taxes, and look to see what package I’m on so I can figure out just how wrong this speed is.


The stupid Time Warner Cable bill doesn’t mention speed, hell it doesn’t even name my package.  I go online try to login, but my login doesn’t work any more.  Try to reset, register, reconfirm my email, nothing, it all fails.  Website error pops up and I give up on that one.

So I  whip out my trusty Palm Pre with zero bars on the Sprint network and call Time Warner Cable, expecting a fiasco, a run around, a long hold time, and a snarky technician from Bangalore exacting his wrath on me and my ancestors for not doing more to stop the British from being complete assholes during colonial times 60 years ago.

Instead, I get through to a technician relatively quickly.  Explain my slow connection issue, mention that I upload/download a lot of video for editing (not torrenting) and hope that I’m covering some secret keywords that will allow TWC to reset my account and restore my super fast connection after the speeds were governed down for all my heavy internet work.

The technician isn’t so much snarky as he is a book reader.  Literally, he reads and repeats phrases from the TWC Technicians Guide to Customer Service in a Post Colonial Non-Snarky Age Version 3.2.891.43.0.1.

speeds per package for the cheep seats

Time warner cable packages for Road Runner Turbo, standard, basic and light with speedsI tell him I have a turbo package, even though I don’t know what I have.  I did seem to recall the word turbo being used when I was talked into an upgrade.  The only thing I do know is that I was paying $34.95, then they raised the rates to $44.95, then $49.95 and then $54.95 and when I called to bitch and moan, they told me they would give me a better package than the basic package for the new higher rate of $54.95 that I was already paying.

Of course that only costs new customers about $35 so basically, I’m just screwed and know it, but I have to have a connection.

The tech, proceeds to ask me if I’m using a router.  If I bought the router from some other source besides TWC, I say Best Buy, even though I now remember it was Office Depot.  I’m expecting them to wag their finger at me and say, ‘You shoulda used our router and paid the $10 increasing to $20 per month fee for our router…’  But he doesn’t.

He asks me to go unplug the router so we can check the speed from the modem. I do and as I’m walking out on the deck to do this, I see that there is a flipping birds nest being formed between my router, modem and 1 TB western digital network drive that is the biggest piece of junk I ever bought.

I remove the birds nest and add it to the mulch in the flower bed below (there were no eggs).  I don’t mention the nest to the rep.

He asks me if I can restart my computer, I tell him to go jump in a lake, there is no way I’m restarting my computer, I’m in the middle of a lot of work with too many windows open.

Then, and I’m not making this up, he asks me to restart Internet Explorer.  I laugh, offended, ‘I don’t use Internet Explorer.’

He says, ‘OK well just open up what ever browser you do use.’  Probably thinking I’m some sort of anti-Microsoft Nazi.  Hell maybe its in that customer service guide, if your caller claims to work on the internet, see if you can trip them up by asking if they use internet explorer.  If they do, then they probably don’t really work on the net and they are likely downloading every movie ever created by Hollywood, so don’t fix a thing on their account.  But I passed the test and we moved on.

I go through this really foreign process of unplugging this thing called and ethernet cable, finding this dusty cobweb filled slot on my computer for this ethernet cable thingy and turning off my wifi button (the world did not end, the dead did not rise to walk the earth, and Jesus did not stroll up to pat me on the ass and ask for money for a sandwich). 

It took my computer about 90 seconds to figure out what the hell was going on, but eventually it was able to connect to the internet through this ethernet cable thing.  Who knew?

I then think to myself, time to be sneaky!

I go back to broadband.gov, retype in my address and run their speed test again!  I’m going to get these TWC bastards and prove that they are messing with me!  Then Obama the broadband super hero will bring the full weight of the Justice department down on them and force them to give me connection speeds of 100mbps for free for the next 5 years.  [ahhh, dreammy]

The test finishes running and will you believe it, but the speed was up to more than 16 mbps. 


I then plug in everything on the router, turn the works off and then on again 60 seconds later, save my computer before it suffocates by turning the wifi switch back on and run that test again thinking its probably time to buy a new router after the birds built a nest on it.

But no, that linksys shit is strong.  No bird is going to take out my linksys router.  (western digital ethernet 1tb hard drive is another story though.   An amoeba in Guinea could take out that piece of junk, just by splitting itself)

So I run the test over wireless one more time and my speed has gone up to over 17 mbps!


So I’m no dummy, I figure customer service technician guy has probably cranked up my speed again, or maybe the reset of the router helped, or both.

Ironically Time Warner uses the same tool but yields a different speed result which shows a faster speed on the download and slower on the upload.  Notice the Ookla powering technology on both TWC and Broadband.gov.  Kind of like having Arthur Anderson working for the government to audit abuses by auditors at Enron where Arthur Anderson was the auditor.


Broadband.gov’s Privacy Policy

The FCC is collecting and storing street addresses, IP addresses, and broadband performance information through these speed tests. (The FCC is not collecting email addresses through these speed tests.) The street addresses will not be released, disclosed to the public, or shared with any outside entities, including Ookla and M-Lab, except in the limited circumstances described in the Consumer Broadband Test Privacy Statement. The FCC, Ookla, and M-Lab are collecting and storing broadband performance information and IP addresses, which Ookla and M-Lab may release to the public. The FCC will not make individual IP addresses available to the public except in the limited circumstances described in the Consumer Broadband Test Privacy Statement. For more information, see the complete Consumer Broadband Test Privacy Statement, the Ookla Privacy Policy , and the M-Lab Privacy Policy. The FCC is soliciting this information under authority of the Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-385, Stat 4096 § 103(c)(1); American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA), Pub. L. No. 111-5, 123 Stat 115 (2009); and Section 154(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

Tweexchange – Almost Useful for Searching out a Domain Name and a Twitter User Name at the Same Time

Blast Applications BLAP Launches Tweexchange.com

image PLAINVIEW, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blast Applications, Inc. (OTC: BLAPNews) announced today it has officially launched newly acquired and fully developed website, www.tweexchange.com.

Tweexchange.com is the fastest and easiest way to search Twitter Usernames and Internet Domain Names at the same time. Tweexchange.com also unveiled a new integration with GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain name registrar. Through the Domain Name search, users can Backorder and Register Domains using GoDaddy. If a name is taken and is currently listed for sale on Sedo.com, members can also try to purchase names through the site using the Sedo API.

This is one of the first sites to launch with this functionality, to ease and reduce the time to action to secure the right name for branding purposes. With domain name investment an established industry, consumers can conveniently secure a Twitter ID to match. Cross-referencing Twitter and GoDaddy with Tweexchange.com also enables their members, for a fee, to be notified when Twitter Usernames and Internet domain names become available from being in a suspended state. Tweexchange.com provides Blast Applications with several different revenue streams contained within one site.

Dino Luzzi, CEO of Blast said, “When you think about Blast, our newest web portal, Tweexchange truly fits the bill. This one stop shop for users to acquire and reserve user names and domain names through two of the largest providers of branding elements on the web today, Twitter and GoDaddy is truly a blast.”

About Blast Applications, Inc.

Blast Applications, Inc. (“Blast”) is a premier creator and developer of applications for iPhone®, Twitter® and Facebook®, that allows users to have more fun, be more productive and make social media sites easier to use and more intuitive than before. Social media sites are growing fast all around the globe. Blast Applications has a unique opportunity to monetize the web surfer’s dedication to sites such as Twitter® and Facebook®, and through direct advertising programs tied to the Company’s tools and applications. For more information visit www.blastapplications.com.

Editors Note:

We have covered several different web applications, typically focused on twitter from Blast Applications over the last few weeks.  Almost all of them did not appear terribly useful, but hey the team is at least coding something and trying to make a buck.  This particular service combines the search process of looking for a twitter username and an available web domain into a one stop shop.

In reality, it is not difficult to perform either of these steps separately, but I suppose if you are trying to buy and set up a whole bunch of sites and twitter usernames for some reason (I can only think of spammy reasons why you would even contemplate this, but if you can think of something better, let me know because I’m curious!)

Regardless, this is minutely helpful, but probably not that much of a jump past the status quo.

In general, my advice is only to perform domain searches at EXTREMELY trusted primary domain selling sites, and only run those searches when you are prepared to buy.  I’ve seen too many domainers pull too many tricks snatching domains up from under prospective buyers to let my guard down when I’m serious about setting up a site, and I recommend the same practice for all my clients, friends and family.

When I tried this myself, it seemed a little buggy at the search level, things did not refresh automatically, nor even when I hit the clear button, prepare to hit the refresh button on your browser.

Turn Your Text Upside u?op?

imageI can almost guarantee that if you use this tool once called Tweact.com, you probably will only use it maybe 1 or 2 other times.  Its a nice example of a gimmicky website that can help you spread a gimicky look around with upside down text.

“Tweact is a fun app that enables users to flip their text and paste it across the social web. Simply type your text and it’s instantly mirrored upside-down. You will shock your friends.”

You type in some text, and the application returns the text upside down such that you can copy it and paste it somewhere else.  You could create something of a mirror image with it, but really why?

The site is monetized with adsense ads, but that probably doesn’t yield a whole bunch of money.  Hopefully, someone got at least a B on this project and picked up some beer money in the process.

If Googling Something is To Difficult, You Can Hashtag a keyword on Twitter and get an Ad Served to you too!???

image Blast Applications BLAP Launches Twuition.com

PLAINVIEW, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blast Applications Inc., (OTC: BLAPNews), a premier creator and developer of iPhone, Twitter and Facebook applications, announces today the official launch of www.Twuition.com.

Twuition.com is a corporate branding and advertising application which responds automatically via Twitter informing Twitter users of translations, weather reports, product pricing, locations and even the national debt by typing in the hashtag “#whatisthenationaldebt”. The tweet platform, generates an advertisement for each response sponsored by businesses for brand awareness via our Twitter profile. This advertising application gives corporations the ability to sponsor answers while building awareness to millions of twitter users, also providing them information without leaving twitter.

“Find out the weather report, shop for a product best price, find the restaurant of your choice or translate while visiting other countries, on your iPhone via Twitter, make sponsors proud of our innovative way of communications,” says Dino Luzzi, CEO of Blast Applications.

About Blast Applications, Inc.

Blast Applications, Inc. (“Blast”) is a premier creator and developer of applications for iPhone®, Twitter® and Facebook®, that allows users to have more fun, be more productive and make social media sites easier to use and more intuitive than before. Blast Applications has a unique opportunity to monetize the web surfer’s dedication to social media sites. Through direct advertising programs tied to the Company’s tools and applications. For more information visit www.blastapplications.com.

Editors Note:

While some of Blast Applications other products do seem relatively useful, this one really seems to be a stretch.  If you absolutely can only access twitter for some information, this might be useful, but this same type of service didn’t really take off in the 90’s with 2 Way Pagers either, somehow I doubt it will go far here. 

That said, sometimes you have to work outside the box a little in order to make a break through.  :)

For all that this is not likely imho to be useful, the advertising that you can purchase through this same channel is not likely to be very robust either.

How to Delete Mass direct messages in Twitter – $6 bucks a pop



Save Time and Get Redemption Through Twedemption.com

PLAINVIEW, N.Y. – February 9, 2010 (OTC: BLAPNews) – If you ever leave on vacation, step away from your computer for a few days or been on Twitter for a reasonable period of time, it’s easy for your direct message inbox to get full quickly. Blast Applications, a premier creator and developer of iPhone, Twitter and Facebook applications, announces today the official launch of Twedemption.com.

With the new launch of Twedemption.com, a PHP script that allows Twitter users to mass-delete direct messages, you can participate in the latest innovation developed to enhance your Twitter experience. For a one-time fee of $5.99, you can safely and securely delete multiple or all DMs from your inbox on the go.

“If you’ve been receiving a lot of auto generated-direct messages or are building quite a following, this type of program is invaluable for Twitter users,” says Dino Luzzi, CEO of Blast Applications. “What we wanted to do with Twedemption.com was focus on a very talked about problem on Twitter and bring a bit of internet attention to it.”

Going through one-by-one to delete each DM is very time consuming; however with Twedemption.com you can delete all the messages from one Twitter id.

About Blast Applications, Inc.

Blast Applications, Inc. (“Blast”) is a premier creator and developer of applications for iPhone®, Twitter® and Facebook®, that allows users to have more fun, be more productive and make social media sites easier to use and more intuitive than before. Social media sites are growing fast all around the globe. Blast Applications has a unique opportunity to monetize the web surfer’s dedication to sites such as Twitter® and Facebook®, and through direct advertising programs tied to the Company’s tools and applications. For more information visit www.blastapplications.com.

Editors Note:

I typically try to keep the number of new services that require my twitter login information to a minimum and after I have used one, I change my twitter password right away.

Personally, I don’t have so many DM’s that I need a mass delete option, was even aware that you had to delete them at all, but I suppose if you are a bit of a clean freak and can’t stand to look at a bunch of DM’s any more, $6 might set you free.