Sep 022008

Scooby-Doo Where Are You! premiered on September 13, 1969 at 10:30 a.m., a mere two weeks after I premiered… er… was born, and we’ve had an affinity ever since.  When I was a kid, adults would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I always answered: Scooby-Doo!  Thirty-nine years later, Scooby is still solving mysteries with ihs friends and I’m still trying to become him. is my last chance. They’re holding a dream job contest and the lucky winner gets to live their dream job for a day. I really think I have a chance, too! But I need your help.

Watch the video below and then pop over to the official dream job site and vote for me to get my dream job as Scooby-Doo. Then share the video wherever you can (MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, your blog, etc) and ask your friends to vote for me as well. But I’m a late entrant and there’s only a few days left in the contest, so please help with this big final push.  Together we can help make my last dream a reality!

May 152008

Since I didn’t sleep last night I was refreshing the SocialSpark marketplace with some regularity this morning as the IZEA staff started releasing opportunities. An excellent opp titled “$15,000 Online Video Contest” appeared that seemed perfect for Philaahzophy, so I clicked over to take it only to find that the slots for today had already been taken in the three minutes it took for me to see the listing.

Curious who was so quick on the draw I clicked over to the profiles of the six bloggers who had looked at the opp before me as clearly they were the ones who got the available slots. After looking at their blog demographics I can’t imagine the advertiser, Pandemic Labs, is going to be happy with the results of their first day’s spending. Here are the requirements for the opp-

Min. Words 100

Language English Only

You must also meet at least one of the following: ITK Installed, Top RealRank, Highest Monthly Pageviews, Highest Monthly Visitors, Most Posts Per Day, Most Props, Most Male Traffic, Most Female Traffic, Most U.S. Traffic

The opportunity is to promote a contest on that is only open to U.S. Residents. Let’s take a look at the segmentation created by the advertiser and how those six blogs measure up-

ITK Installed – since this is a requirement to take any sponsored posts at Social Spark I assume that all six blogs have it installed (as do all of the hundreds (if not thousands) of other blogs in the system)

Top RealRank – The RealRank of the six blogs are as follows: 5,288; 5,304; 1,410; 1,524; 525; 671. Two are in the Top 10%, two in the Top 20% and two are not even in the Top 50%

Highest Monthly Pageviews Every one of these blogs has their Pageviews set to private, so I can’t give you actual numbers here, but considering RealRank depends heavily on pageviews I can’t imagine any more than 2 of these blogs are in the Top 10% of Monthly Pageviews.

Highest Monthly Visitors Again, each of these blogs refuses to share its monthly visitors, but I can look at their Visitors/day: 6, 5, 50, 63, 160, and 159. Again only two have any chance of being in the Top 10%.

Most Posts Per Day – I haven’t taken the time to browse enough blogs at SocialSpark to determine what qualifies as high or low in this category, but here are the numbers for the relevant blogs: 0.28, 0, 0, 1.2, 1.26 and 0.

Most Props – again I haven’t done the research to determine how many Props is “a lot”, but the 10th most propped blog currently has 40 according to the leaderboard on the homepage. These bloggs have: 1, -1, -1, 4, -1, and 0. Hard to imagine any of those qualify as “Most Props”, especially the three with negatives.

Most Male Traffic and Most Female Traffic – These two requirementswould seem to cancel each other out, so I’m not really sure what SocialSparek or the advertiser was thinking with this type of segmentation. hence, no further comment.

Most U.S. Traffic – This, in my opinion, is the most important segmentation due to the fact that the contest is only open to legal U.S. residents. let’s see how the six blogs measured up: 8.4% (w/ 85.2% Malaysia), 15.3% (w/ 82% Canada), 32.5% (w/ 22.8% Philippines), 46.2% (w/ 29.5% Malaysia), 36.7% (w/ 33.2% Philippines), and 55.2% (w/ 21.3% Philippines). Only one of the blogs has more than 50% U.S. Traffic and the average (if I’m doing the math correctly) is only 32.3% U.S. Traffic – not exactly a majority considering many blogs in the system have 85% or more U.S. traffic.

Several of these bloggers have more than one blog in the system and I have no way of telling which blog will host the opp, but I chose the one with the most U.S. traffic for each blogger. While I won’t be sharing the names of the bloggers or their blogs here I will tell you that the numbers are in the same order for each type of segmentation.

An additional caveat is that I don’t know if all six of these bloggers received the opp. they were, however, the only six to visit it before me and there were no additional slots when I arrived, so even if they haven’t received the go-ahead yet, they will before anyone with a significant amount of U.S. traffic does.

So, I ask again. Do you think this advertiser is going to be happy with their Return On Investment?

Apr 272008

I’ve written before about where you can get low-cost business cards online. But today I’ve got an even better deal for you – Free Business Cards! Yep, that’s right. The good folks at Unlimited Business Cards are giving away absolutely free business cards.  How can they do that?  They simply sell advertising space on the backs of your cards to other businesses.  Just check out their site for details.

Apr 102008

Most webmasters and online entrepreneurs are already familiar with which allows users to create custom t-shirts, coffee mugs, and more using the print on demand business model. Essentially, with print on demand there is no need to preorder inventory. You simply upload your images and advertise you store. When someone orders something CafePress creates the item, ships it off to the customer and credits the seller’s account with a portion of the proceeds. CafePress is largely a love-em or hate-em company on the ‘net and I have to admit I’ve been in both camps at various times.
Join the global making network
Now a new company as expanded the print on demand concept to cover manufacture of just about anything! Ponoko allows anyone with internet access to design jewelry, furniture, two and three-dimensional artworks and more following a similar model. Essentially the deisgner creates sketches of their product on their computer, uploads it to Ponoko, and chooses materials. That’s all there is to it. They can then advertise their products through Ponoko, on their own websites, or even out in the “real world”.  When a customer wants to purchase an item the order is placed through Ponoko who creates the pieces following the designer’s plans, ships it off to the customer and pays the designer.

This is the technology that many of us have seen coming for years.  In fact, it brings us one step closer to Star Trek style replicators!  Whether you’re looking to create custom items for personal use or start a new business without the expense of a manufacturing plant or carrying inventory, then Ponoko is worth a look.  It’s certainly opening a whole slew of new business opportunities to the small and micro businessperson.

Mar 112008

There’s a branch of the South Valley National Bank in Tennant Station, less than a mile from my house. Yet, for some reason, when I needed a new bank account down here I foolishly went with national banking behemoth US Bank. Big mistake, but that’s another post. Once I wised up I followed my heart and went as local as possible (yes I know my Subway diet isn’t exactly local, but they’re a locally owned franchise and it’s a really good deal 🙂 )

South Valley national Bank (SVNB) is a part of the Pacific National Bancorp consisting of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, First National Bank of Central California, South Valley National Bank, San Benito Bank, and First Bank of San Luis Obispo and headquartered out of Santa Barbara. That’s about as local as it gets when you’re talking banking in this area. And it shows every time I visit.

The teller’s at the Tennant Station branch are uniformly friendly and knowledgeable. The woman who opened my account (whose name slips my mind at the moment) still remembers me despite my having my account for over a year and not needing to conduct any business with her since. The lines are quick. And there’s free popcorn in the lobby 🙂

All of that on top of free checking and the knowledge that the money I leave in their very capable hands is being lent out to local businesses to help support my local economy. I’m not sure what else to say about them. They offer all the standard banking services, have three locations (Cochrane Ave and 1st & Santa Teresa in Gilroy), and are the best bank I’ve ever done business with (including the three that I worked for).