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Vote for Me In The You Be The VC Finals

Posted on: April 26, 2008 I Written By

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I have a big HUGE MAJOR ULTRA BIG favor to ask that I guarantee I won’t forget.

It will only take five minutes of your time and this isn’t some random request, asking you to spend any money or do anything more then register on a site and click a button to vote for me.

You’ll be helping me and a good friend out a lot and I’ll be forever in your debt.

Click on this link: http://www.youbethevc.com/users/new
Fill out the form. I’d suggest using your name as your username.
Use your real email address and for your bio putting something very short about yourself. You don’t have to get really descriptive. Just one line will do… it worked for me.

In the Do you want to section I’d suggest clicking “meet people” which is the very last option.

Once you’ve registered with YBTVC, I just need you to click and vote for two ideas. One of them is obviously mine and the other is a good friend who I’d like to see joining me in Boston.

Go here to vote:
http://www.youbethevc.com/finalists

Then look for “techguy” (that’s me) and rate it FIVE stars and “moshmobile” and rate it FIVE stars. The winner is determined by average vote, so the more 5 star votes we get the better.

I greatly appreciate your help and let me know if you voted. I will be forever in your debt. I promise you that I won’t forget it either.

Also, if you really love me, then I’d appreciate you asking everyone you know to vote about me. If you blog about it, send a trackback so I know you did.

Thanks!

Social Spark Has Been Launched

Posted on: April 23, 2008 I Written By

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I’m sure that many of you know by now that I have been with PayPerPost since nearly the beginning of Ted’s journey to make money for bloggers. It’s been quite the adventure for me and a true learning process. I’ve met hundreds of amazing bloggers and learned a ton about blogging. Oh yeah, and I made a bunch of cash along the way too. I personally call it my “date” money.

Well, back in November I attended Postie Con where SocialSpark was announced for the first time. It was a very exciting time to see what Ted and crew had been working on for so long.

I was invited into the alpha version of Social Spark and it’s been quite the experience. My favorite part has been the blog sponsorships. I can see why this might not fit right for many of the bloggers out there, but it’s perfect for a number of my blogs. In fact, I’d like to automate the blog sponsorship so that my blog always has a sponsorship with the highest paying sponsor (possibly with the option for me to block certain sponsors). Overall though, sponsorships are really neat and I haven’t heard any complaints from my blog readers. Granted I understand how I generate traffic to my blog and these type of sponsorships aren’t a problem. I’m still generating just as much traffic as before.

The next best part of social spark is the transparency and disclosure (ie. no follow). Here’s what social spark offers (which quite frankly was a problem with PayPerPost):
-100% Audit-able In-Post Disclosure
-100% Transparency
-100% Real Opinions
-100% Search Engine Friendly

Now that those problems are out of the way, I think that Social Spark can bring in some really large brands. Hopefully that means more revenue for us bloggers.

I think the most disappointing part of Social Spark to me has been the method of filtering, organizing and finding blog opportunities. It was bad in PayPerPost and is still bad in Social Spark. It should be much easier for me to know what opportunities are available and a way to sort them the way I want to see them. Plus, if I no longer want to see an opportunity, then give me an option to hide that opportunity forever.

Some of the social aspects of the site are interesting, but I would have preferred if Social Spark would have focused on more of the functional parts of the site and less on the look and feel of it all. I’m sure that hundreds of hours of design and development time were spent making it look pretty. When the reality is that functionality would have been more beneficial to all involved.

In the end, this is still the beginning of social spark, but I honestly had hoped for a little more after all the delays. However, it’s a good foundation for making bloggers a good amount of money. Especially with blog sponsorships. Let’s just hope the market will pay well for those blog sponsorships. They definitely can’t be missed by blog readers.
Sponsored by SocialSpark

eBay’s Subversive Plan to Save Money

Posted on: April 17, 2008 I Written By

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Today I received an email from eBay’s affiliate program. Basically they wanted to remind me that I needed to change all my ebay affiliate links to their new eBay Partner Network. The following is pieces of the email and my personal commentary.

Dear John,
As you know, eBay’s new global platform, the eBay Partner Network, went live on April 1st. We have gotten a great amount of interest and response to the new network’s new creatives, new single global registration, and enhanced reporting capabilities!

Note that eBay said they’ve gotten a lot of interest and response to this program. They didn’t mention whether this was good or bad response. My guess is most of it has been bad.

As a reminder – please register now and plan to complete your migration to the eBay Partner Network by April 30th, 2008 as we anticipate access to parallel reporting to discontinue shortly thereafter.

Note that unless you migrate your links, you will stop receiving commissions from eBay sometime shortly after April 30th.

This is really the core of this post. eBay wants users to go in and change all of their eBay affiliate links over to a new system. Sure, if you only have a few links this is not a big deal, but imagine if you have a few thousand links. I only personally have a few hundred, but even that has me overwhelmed at the thought of having to update them. I did some of them so long ago, that I’d have to try to remember what I was even linking to on eBay.

Basically a total pain and let’s be frank, hundreds of thousands of affiliate links won’t be changed because either the webmaster doesn’t get the notice, doesn’t care to change them, they don’t know where to find the links or they just have so many that they can’t change them all. I see most affiliate members doing like myself and only converting the links that convert well. The rest just aren’t worth the extra time to convert.

However, the real question is why should I have to convert them? eBay should honor those links as mine. It’s really a rather genius plan for eBay to be able to save a ton of affiliate money. By telling everyone that they have to update all their links, eBay can stop paying affiliate payments on literally thousand of old links that people don’t update.

Is this fair? Well, it doesn’t seem like eBay really cares. I mean, eBay isn’t doing this to save money. they’re doing it to provide better tools to their affiliates. Yes, that is a byproduct of this change, but I can’t imagine that this huge cost savings wasn’t part of the strategy too.

You can still receive an additional 5% bonus for all traffic tracked through eBay Partner Network in April 2008 (bonus applicable to traffic sent to Half.com and US, UK, Australia, Canada, Italy, India and Spain eBay sites). The sooner you migrate, the more you’ll earn! Just:
• Register at https://www.ebaypartnernetwork.com and confirm your registration via an e-mail you will receive
• Obtain your new links in the “tools” tab, then update your eBay links on your websites with the new code. See our migration guide for more details: http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/english/ebay-partner-network-migration-guide/
• Enter your payment and tax information in the “accounts” tab

See, you can even get a bonus for selling more eBay products. I wonder how this 5% bonus will compare with the savings from old affiliate links.

If you still have questions, we have several additional resources for you:

• Check out our new blog (http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/), and specifically our step-by-step how to get started guide: http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/english/getting-started/

• Take a look at our cool new video tutorials for help! http://eyeview.vo.llnwd.net/o23/eBay/FullMode/Player/Player.html?Video=1&Lang=EN.

• Get help from our other users on our new Discussion Boards (http://forums.ebay.com/db2/forum.jspa?forumID=1000000047)

• Or visit the HELP section of eBay Partner Network, where there are links in each topic where you can ask questions to our dedicated support team (note that you have to click on specific help topics to see the “Contact Us” link).

At least they did offer a bunch of support options. In fact, so many that it illustrates how overwhelming it is to switch.

Thanks for being a valued partner. We’re excited for a successful transition, and the opportunity to grow your business through even more innovation, information and communication moving forward!

Thank you, but if you were a valued partner you’d figure out a way to have commission junction track our old affiliate links for a lot longer. Shafting your “valued partners” with a whole bunch of work changing links is not a good way to thank your partners. A nice big fat bonus check would be a better option. Maybe that’s just me.

Sincerely,
eBay’s Affiliates Managers

Cordially,
Overworked Link Changer

Windows XP Will Last Longer Than Troops in Iraq

Posted on: April 14, 2008 I Written By

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I just read that the Windows XP OEM will end on June 30, 2008. The fact of the matter is…I don’t really care. No, I’m not a Mac or Linux fanboi (although they are both very nice and workable offerings). I’m just not concerned, because Windows stopping the OEM license doesn’t mean that XP isn’t going to be around for a long time to come.

I still have a friend who swears by Windows 2000. Despite my personal dislike for Windows 2000, I’ve installed it on a few “throw away” laptops for my little sisters to use. Windows 2000 hasn’t been offered for how long? Eternity in tech terms. However, I had no problem finding a CD and license to install it for my sisters. Windows XP will be no different.

Until If Vista can finally get things together, then it might catch on and start to take some share from XP. If it doesn’t, then people will continue to use XP for the foreseeable future. It won’t be that hard to find an XP install CD, legally or illegally.

So, all those worried about Vista and not wanting to switch from XP, stop it. There’s nothing to worry about. Go back to worrying about getting the US troops back from Iraq, because that’s going to happen before Windows XP stops being the main O/S people use.

Update: This post on Techcrunch made me think about how much the O/S matters. It’s true that a lot of things can be done with a web browser. Certainly gives pause for thought, but realistically corporations have thousands of products that run clients on Windows O/S. The majority of people use the web browser, Office Documents (which the web still hasn’t completely replaced), and at least one other major application to do their job (and many more than one application). Microsoft will still be dominate on desktops for a while.

Andrew Barron of Rocket Boom Sales His Twitter Account on eBay

Posted on: April 12, 2008 I Written By

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Tonight, twitter has been alive with the news that Andrew Barron is selling his twitter account on eBay. It’s already up to $455 at the time of this posting. People are hating on him for selling it, but I have to admit that I think it’s a great idea. We should have known that it was only just a matter of time until someone tried it. Techcrunch even covered the sale. Should be fun to see how much it goes for. It only has 1400 followers. I wonder what Scoble’s 20k followers are worth.