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BuddyPress

Posted on: November 9, 2009 I Written By

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This weekend I had a little bit of fun and installed BuddyPress. YesN I know I’m twisted to think that is fun. Oh well, it is what it is. I must admit that it was super simple.

I’m really looking forward to using it. I’m planning on using it for my next project. I still need to find a good host for it and create some killer plugins. Hopefully I can get it to work the way I need it to work I’m a little hesitant building this project on top of BuddyPress, but at least it can bridge me until I can hire a true programmer to work with me.

Marketing on Facebook – Fan Pages versus Group Pages

Posted on: November 6, 2009 I Written By

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I’m doing some research on using Facebook to market. I’m interested to learn more about people’s experience using Facebook to market. I’d love to hear what you’ve found works and doesn’t work.

Some more specifics of things I’ve been considering is the different between a Facebook Fan page versus a Group page. My understanding is that Group pages are kind of the “legacy” pages that Facebook is slowly phasing out and moving to Fan pages. Is this true? If not, why would you use a Facebook Fan page over a group page or vice versa?

From what I can tell, it makes more sense to have a Fan page. If group pages are indeed being phased out by Facebook, then a Fan page is even more important. However, how do you best make the transition from a group page to a fan page? It’s unfortunate to lose all of those followers when you make the switch. Is there a way to keep all your followers and just convert your group page into a Fan page? If not, Facebook should make a tool for this.

One other question is, “does it matter which category your Fan page is in?” I imagine like most people you could put your fan page in all sorts of categories. Sometimes the categories match great, but most fan pages could be in a number of spots. Does it really matter? Seems to me that it would only matter if you were the top Fan Page in that category maybe?

Ok, there is a start for the discussion. Anyone have some other thoughts on engaging people on Facebook as well?

Vonage Thinks Their Sly in Raising Prices

Posted on: June 17, 2009 I Written By

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I got the following email today:

Dear Customer,
At Vonage, we’re committed to providing our valued customers with the best experience possible through meaningful updates to our services. To ensure that we continue to deliver top-notch service and quality, we will modify two of our existing fees as follows:
The Emergency 911 Cost Recovery will become the Emergency 911 Service Fee, which ensures we maintain nationwide E911 service in compliance with FCC regulations. Our customers’ safety in an emergency is our primary concern and this update allows us to continue delivering reliable emergency services.

The Regulatory Recovery Fee will become the Regulatory and Compliance Fee, which covers our regulatory-related and legal compliance expenses. For example, this fee pays for charges associated with benefits like procedures to ensure customer privacy, identity theft protection measures and phone number porting.
These fees will each increase from $0.99 to $1.49, effective July 15, 2009. This change allows Vonage to maintain our commitment to safety, innovation and customer service.

If you have any questions, call 1-VONAGE-HELP and speak to a customer service representative. We’re always available, 24 hours a day, everyday.

Thank you for your business,
Vonage

Does Vonage really think I’m that stupid? They aren’t raising prices in order to “deliver top-notch service and quality.” They’re raising the prices so that they can make more money. Call it what it is. Don’t try to blow wind up my skirt.

WordPress.com is Utter Genius

Posted on: June 13, 2009 I Written By

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I’m a huge fan of WordPress.com. I’m amazed at the platform they’ve created. There are some amazing benefits to using WordPress.com which I’ll save for another post. However, you can be sure that it’s a big part of my marketing strategy. I just wish they’d open it up and allow users to show ads on it already.

What is so amazing about WordPress.com is how they monetize traffic on the site. I’ve been using it for a long time and driven quite a bit of traffic to the site. However, I’d pretty much forgotten that WordPress was putting adds on my blog. At least when they launched, they said it was only a small percentage of the pages on WordPress.com and ads are only shown to people that aren’t logged in to WordPress.com (or was it just users of that blog that weren’t logged in?). Either way, it’s a genius plan.

See, since they don’t show any ads to logged in users (which the owner of the blog is almost always logged in), then owners of the blog forget that the content their creating is being monetized by WordPress.com. How smart is that?

I imagine Matt Mullenweg back there with a little percentage setting that he can change at any time. This week it might be set at 10% of the pages getting ads. Then, next week he decides to double the revenue of WordPress.com and so he changes the setting to 20%. Best part is that users of WordPress.com won’t even notice the difference.

It’s not quite money growing on trees, but pretty close.

Nice Video of A 5 Year Old Playing Violin Around the World

Posted on: April 19, 2009 I Written By

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This came across my twitter stream and I just had to post it. In the same kind of theme as Where the Hell is Matt?, this video shows a little girl playing the violin all over the world.

I bet the stories they can tell are even better than the video. You can read more about the video and this little girl on the soultravelers3 website.

Google Adsense and Double Click Privacy Policy

Posted on: April 16, 2009 I Written By

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I’m a big fan of Google Adsense. I reserve the right to change this opinion, but for now they’ve been doing very well for me and they are a great partner for my websites. My key is to create great content and drive traffic like crazy. So far it’s worked out really well for me.

Well, Google Adsense has kind of caused a pain in my butt with this new Privacy Policy requirement. Basically they gave until April 8, 2009 to post a privacy policy with certain things about Google Ads. Well, I’m late, but better late than never. I now have a Smuggle Me privacy policy and posted a similar policy across all of my blogs (at least I hope I got them all). Thanks to JenSense for a lot of the wording.

At the end of the day, I don’t think that Google really cares about all this. I’m sure it’s just something they’re required to do because of some lawsuit. It’s just so lame, because like anyone really cares about a privacy policy on my blog. Oh well, at least now it’s done.

Terminated Google Adsense User Sues Google

Posted on: April 1, 2009 I Written By

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So, I think that most people are like me and love it when the little guy goes after the big guy. It very rarely even matters who the big guy is. Maybe it goes back to David and Goliath.

Of course, this is why I absolutely loved this article I found where someone sued Google. The article is a little long, but it’s worth reading every word. It’s highly entertaining and interesting to read.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of the things that Google does and I use a ton of their products. However, I also think they should be held accountable when they do stupid things. Granted the awarded judgment isn’t for much.

$60,000 Worth of Software Free

Posted on: March 3, 2009 I Written By

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A nice link came across my Twitter feed that talked about 45 open source or free software packages that a business could use. They valued the 45 software packages at over $60k. The cool part of the list is that it lists the paid option alongside the free option.

I knew most of the things on the list, but it had a few that I’d never heard of and I’m going to have to check out. If you are a startup company today, you have to be crazy to be spending much if any money on software these days (with a few minor exceptions).

One software that I wish was on the list was a nice video editing software. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a good free and/or open source video editing software out there.

Free Open Source CSS Templates

Posted on: February 23, 2009 I Written By

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I’m always interested in finding free and open source CSS templates on the web.  If nothing else it gives you good ideas on what can be done on web pages and a code base you can use to build your own templates.  Othertimes, I like to take the whole template and just make some minor modifications to fit a website I’m doing.

Today I was linked to another resource.  Since I don’t keep favorites, I just blog about web pages I like here’s a link to Open Designs free and open source CSS templates.

Let me know if you know of other sources for these types of templates.