Category Archives: Community

Free AdSense Help

A few months ago, we did a short video on YouTube that covered Google AdSense tips:

It may be due to my doubled traffic and a digg frontpage hit, but your suggestions on ad optimization tripled my income on AdSense. It’s still not a lot of money, but it’s three times a little amount of money which is good.

Digg users seldom bring with them an increase in AdSense revenue for quite a few reasons: (a) they’re largely underage, (b) they’re largely idiots, (c) they’re largely underage idiots, (d) they block ads in their browsers, (e) they hold no staying power in terms of your audience, (f) they have attention spans shorter than a nanometer, and (g) they’re quite predictable.

Digg has power because it drives traffic, not because it drives intelligence.

Live Conference Audio and Video Streaming

For the first time ever, Gnomedex will have a live video stream of on-stage events – something I’ve wanted to offer from the very beginning of the event series (which started seven years ago). Ustream has opened up personal communications and professional business models, taking them each a step further by helping push our conference experience to the connected world in real-time. They will be set up on a dedicated line, much like we had done for the audio stream in years past. There will be no need for anybody else to stream the event.

Not only will the video stream be live (passed through my own account in conjunction with the community), but through the magic of Ustream’s infrastructure, each session will be uploaded to our various online video network accounts almost immediately after it’s been recorded. So, even if you’re unable to experience the magic of Gnomedex live – you can catch it before the energy and buzz dissipate. Indeed, it will be nice to review and share the sessions with friends – long before and after the conference comes to a close.

Much like our live videos are produced with Ustream today, each segment will have our live chat and sponsor logos integrated throughout. You’ll have the opportunity to be a part of the videos, whether you’re chatting from the Gnomedex auditorium or from a remote location. I’m sure this won’t keep backchannels from popping up here and there, but at least we’ve given everybody a chance to be a part of our Gnomedex family.

But don’t thank Ponzi or myself – thank Ustream.

What kind of Blog Geek Reader are you?

This blog has been hand-selected to be a part of Tech Dispenser, Computerworld’s technology blog network. They’re conducting a brief survey (just 3 questions!) of visitors to better understand the audience they’re delivering content to. I guess they believe that geeks read me? I keep trying to tell ’em that my audience is really underwater basket-weaving grandmothers from the Arctic…

As a member of the Tech Dispenser Network, we need your help to learn about your blog’s readers. This information is vital to our understanding of the Network’s audience and will dramatically help our sales team’s efforts in the field. We’ve included 2 linking methods below; a 125×125 image and a simple link to the survey to include in a blog post, however, feel free to promote the survey in whatever way you choose.

I almost chose to promote it on my chest, but it’s a well-known fact that Arctic elders run chest-blockers in their browsers. However, YOU can’t block this text! Well, you can – but if you blocked it, then you obviously couldn’t be reading it right now. My blockers are in beta, which would make them beta blockers?

Less than 100 Seats Left

I’m not sure what else to say at this moment, other than… we’ve got less than 100 seats left for Gnomedex (which is coming up in a little over a month). This is roughly where we’ve been in years past – and will likely sell out once more. I’m not sure we’re going to do overflow rooms again, however. We certainly have the space for it – but I can’t help but feel that energy is lost if we’re not all sitting in the same hall.

So, don’t wait too much longer before securing your passes. There are a lot more events happening these days – especially in the Bay area. What’s shocking to me is the surprisingly low numbers of Seattlites who have registered to attend?!

The Future of Audio and Video is Here

I’m thrilled witless – making #1 Guru on YouTube today without having been featured anywhere significant within the network. Everything is going according to a loosely-structured plan, and things are only getting better with every passing day. While anybody is free to set up an account, we’ve been specifically invited to MetaCafe, LiveVideo, and a few other video verticals – all because of our production workflow, inherent community value, and forward-thinking sponsorship strategies.

Marshall is starting to put two and two together, too. He submitted a video voicemail via Eyejot – and I thought it was a good enough question to dive further into (although OPML is anything but a simple subject for people who are still trying to wrap their heads around the Back button in their browser). No matter, here’s how it came out:

A few hours ago, I received an odd notification in my brand search folder. Some site was referencing my YouTube video, but… here’s the text, which seemed to be a machine translation of the video’s audio…
Continue reading The Future of Audio and Video is Here

Clearwire: Clearly NOT Worth It?

I was looking to cancel my two-year contract with Clearwire, considering it hasn’t been anything but mediocre for me (questionable download “speed”, unusable upload “speed”, consistent miscommunication with my router, etc.). Looks like I’m pretty much stuck with Clearwire:

Kirkland, WA-based Clearwire, for example, imposes a early termination fees ranging from $180 to $220 for customers who drop its wireless broadband service before the end of their contracts. (You can view Clearwire’s terms and conditions by clicking here.)

Interestingly, Clearwire does pro-rate its $220 early termination fee, knocking off $10 a month for each month the customer has service. The pro-rating would only reduce the fee by $110 at the most, however, meaning even a customer canceling in the final month of the contract would still owe Clearwire $110 in early termination fees.

Are the Clearwire executives clearly off their f*cking rocker!? This is no way to treat a customer, even if they’re deciding that your service isn’t working for them any longer. More than anything, no former Clearwire customer (in their right mind) would refer others to even TRY the service. Do they honestly believe that anybody would walk into a Clearwire contract – knowing that it’ll be a financial nightmare to escape it? Caveat emptor.

Newspaper Industry Problems?

The newspaper industry is dying:

  • Web pages and emails are 100% recyclable material
  • “News” is old by the time it hits newsstands
  • People don’t (and won’t) pay to read general news
  • Craigslist eats classified ads for breakfast
  • Bloggers typically publish out of passion, not payment
  • Traditional press misquotes, misquotes, and misquotes
  • The Internet doesn’t leave ink on your fingers
  • Executives continue to operate as though the Internet wasn’t real
  • Printed word is no longer seen as the definitive word
  • Marketers no longer understand what they’re selling…

Flash IRC Script

Ever since I can remember, we’ve been relying on a Java applet to provide visitors an interface to IRC – without requiring them to install a separate client, sign up for an account, or fire up a proprietary program. We didn’t choose Java because it’s an amazing technology, however. Java in the browser is slow as molasses, and I’d just as soon shove icepicks under my toenails than use it.

But, until today, we had no choice but to use Java for Web-accessible IRC.

TFlash has finally been designed and released by ThunderIT Consulting Inc. – and we’re already using it on our live site. The script can be embedded anywhere, which means that the community can start building desktop widgets which include not only our live feed, but the accompanying chat room as well.

Dealing with Seattle Contractors for Home Improvement

We moved into our new house a few months ago (early December, mere days before getting married). Since then, we’ve had a regular stream of traffic coming in and out – contractors from far and wide. Some were recommended to us by existing (trusted) service providers, and others were suggested via sites like ServiceMagic. Results, thus far, have been both good and bad.

Our painting contractor has been amazing… absolutely amazing. Detail oriented, works without interruption, doesn’t complain, doesn’t ask a million questions, efficient, etc. I will have absolutely no problem in recommending him to anyone in the Seattle area (after he’s finished with what we’ve hired him for, of course). He came to us through “The Cleaning Zone,” a small outfit we’ve used to keep our home from turning into a barn. It was a personal recommendation that hasn’t failed us.

Our fence contractor has been amazing… at taking us for $1,000, not returning our phone calls, starting the job and not finishing it, etc. It’s been weeks since he was supposed to have started and finished, and all we have in our backyard are fence posts. Ponzi tried calling him (again) this morning and learned that his phone number had been disconnected. We’re scrambling to find someone to pick up where he left off (or start the project all over again). I’ll ask Ponzi for the name so that you might avoid him, too.

Our bathroom remodel contractor has been amazing… better than I ever would have expected. We’ll post the “before/after” photos when everything is complete (we’re just waiting for a special-order shower door to arrive). They really did an outstanding job. Moreover, they kept to themselves and only asked questions when necessary. I wasn’t really sure why Ponzi wanted to remodel the master bathroom, but now I see why it was worth doing.

Our home audio contractor has been amazing… in more ways than one. We’re happy with the work they did, but more impressed with how they were the only home theater outfit that kept telling us ways to SAVE money instead of spending more. Everything seems to be working fine, although I haven’t had much time to reprogram our Harmony remotes to control the new receivers. Plus, our media room was just painted and needs a bit more work before we’ll be able to show ‘er off.

All in all, we’re pretty happy – but I think that (moving forward) we’ll be dealing with a single source of contractors, because general contractor coordination has been an absolute nightmare to manage. Ponzi suggested a place called House Doctors? Now, some would argue that DIY is the way to go – but since we got such a good deal on the house, we had a little extra budget for small remodeling tasks.

Seattle is on Fire!

From the Seattlist (not to be confused with the Seattlest): “Bre Pettis & [Brady Forrest] are hosting a geek night next thursday (the 7th) at the LowerLevel in Seattle. Come if you can. Speak if you can. Sponsor if you can.”

RSVP at Upcoming. I’ll have family in town, and will likely be knee-deep in last-minute wedding planning. Sounds like I’ll miss quite the party. Although, like we do for a few other Seattle-based events, we’re throwing in a few bucks to help feed the geeks.

CHAC is home to three performance venues which cater to collaborative, innovative and community-powered events. Whether it’s food for the belly or food for the soul, CHAC has got it, all under one roof. Cozy up to a cup of coffee, an evening cocktail conversation or rent space for your next event. From live local music to Seattle’s best performances there’s always something brewing at CHAC! We also offer free wireless access in each of its public spaces.

Damn cool Seattle venue, too.