Last week I had the opportunity and pleasure to attend Pubcon Las Vegas 2011 through my full time position at Zacuto USA, and I must say that it was the best year yet for me for several different reasons that go beyond just the great knowledge that goes on in the sessions.
If you have never gotten the opportunity to see Marty Weintraub from AimClear speak you are missing out. I have seen him several times and it is always an informative session with actionable tips given by Marty. Your in luck though if you arent heading out to any of the major conferences soon, Marty has had a new book released a little bit ago so you can get some of those great tips without actually having to travel.
Killer Facebook Ads: Master Cutting-Edge Facebook Advertising Techniques is a great read that will give you the ability to get your Facebook advertising to a whole new level. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was a little behind in getting my Facebook ads up to snuff performance wise compared to my other platforms. That’s why when I saw @aimclear mention that it was up for preorder I quickly had it in my shopping cart and was waiting for delivery.
It was well worth the wait and though I haven’t finished it yet, I can confidently say that it is worth picking up if you have any intentions of running Facebook ads, or are currently running them and want to boost performance. I won’t insult Marty by putting any of his work for free here on the blog, do yourself a favor and pick it up yourself!
Disclaimer: Thanks to IL Governor Quinn, I am no longer an affiliate for Amazon, the links above to the book are straight links, and this post was done out of admiration for Marty’s work
This morning while wasting time networking on Twitter one of my favorite SEO link builders tweeted about Mike Halvorsen. Apparently Mike, like most other SEOs that take client work wanted to rank for his local area searches. This is done all the time all over the world, but in this case Joe Rozsa has decided that he owns the words SEO Columbus.
It doesn’t seem to matter that there is no registered trademark with the state, nor that both those terms are too generic to really be trademarked. In going to Mike’s website I have NO confusion about who he is, I know from reading his site that he is a SEO in the Columbus area, and not part of the company SEO Columbus. (How lame is it to name your company that way, good thing you got the exact match domain too Joe cause I think your going to have ranking problems in the near future.) It goes to the heart of what is really wrong with a lot of America today. It’s the need to threaten or browbeat a competitor instead of being a better service or product. Joe has decided instead of making sure he keeps his #1 ranking in the SERPs by hard work, he will threaten Mike with an incredible weak arguments in my opinion. (As a side note I have no training as a lawyer, but I deal with a ton of TM issues in my in-house position with usage of our name and images)
For years I have been a diehard fan of Firefox as my browser, but lately between numerous updates and generally crashing once every few days I’m done with it. I have been flirting with the idea of moving to Chrome for awhile but I just couldn’t be bothered finding all the little things that I use in Firefox and my password manager didn’t have an extension for Chrome, which was a huge deal breaker because really I cant be expected to remember all my passwords between clients, work, and personal sites.
Then I saw a tweet by SEO journalist Danny Sullivan talking about his first day experience with the new Chrome OS. It’s a great read and one of the things that was referenced in the article was a password manager called LastPass. It got me thinking that I could now start using Chrome more and not have to remember passwords. Also I have applied for the Google OS pilot program for Zacuto as I have a few users that could benefit from that kind of machine, so I figured I need to get comfortable with Chrome in case I do get selected.
So I sat down to install Chrome and get my customizations in place to make it workable. I want to do a real go at switching which means I don’t want to be switching back and forth to do different things. After some searches I found extensions and web apps that will cover all the things I need taken care of in my day to day work. I lost one toolbar from Raventools.com, but I can still do all my work from within the site so it wasn’t a deal breaker though it was close. Ill petition the Raven guys for a chrome extension, they are pretty good about working on requests if enough interest is generated. (Sidenote: If you work with Internet Marketing check out Raventools.com, amazing reporting/monitoring tools.)
I also am taking this opportunity to test Springpad as I have been trying to find a good to do/task app that works across all my platforms, as I recently traded in my iPhone for a EVO with Android. It looks pretty good so far but only time will tell how I interact with it.
If you have been waiting until Chrome is more “mature” to start working with it, I believe that time is here. With Chrome OS coming its important that if you do any kind of tech support work your going to see it, so you might as well start getting into it. I’ll update in a few weeks to discuss how the switch is going, good luck with yours!
Another set of users were using the Yahoo web chat instead of doing what we are paying them for so I needed to block them also. There are a lot of useless and out of date messages posed about this but I finally figured it out, and the answer was close to what I did to disable gmail chat:
I setup my DNS with two primary domains for:
I then set a host record for those to go to 127.0.0.1
After that they couldn’t chat no more!
Because it seems lately I am more a babysitter for users than a network admin, we have had some new employees abuse the google gmail chat feature. We also use Google Apps, but I had already disabled chat through the settings interface for the domain.
Unfortunately these users were logging in to their personal gmail accounts to chat it up. Google will give you the answer you want at the following URL: http://www.google.com/support/chat/bin/answer.py?answer=161980 which will tell you to:
- To block Gmail chat: chatenabled.mail.google.com
- To block iGoogle and orkut chat: talkgadget.google.com
- To block the Google Talk client and other desktop clients: talk.google.com and talkx.l.google.com
So I plugged this into my router web content filter and it worked, except it leaves a little help link to a help article that tells you to login through a secured connection https:. For some reason my router would not block that, so I went in to my DNS servers and created a primary zone for chatenabled.mail.google.com and pointed it to 127.0.0.1 and jsut like that it was blocked for both http & https.
Next up…. Yahoo Chat!
For the next 3 days Microsoft is broadcasting live feeds of some very successful small business owners and secrets to their success for free on the site http://www.sbsummit.com
The three days are divided by topics and are setup as follows:
Tuesday Oct 14th: Sales & Marketing
Wednesday Oct 15th: Productivity & Security
Thursday Oct 16th: Financial Management
You can find a complete guest lineup at http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/summit/guests.aspx
Though it is absolutely free and you can ask questions if you sign in with a Live account, I had issues with it running in Firefox, so you will definitely want to use IE for this one.