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August 24 2012

Agile Bits 1password

Written by / Posted in reputation management / 3 Comments

I hate writing posts like this, but unfortunately the is the second time this week, I need to use my blog to get good customer service.

By the way, I am willing to pay for good customer service, just please help me out.

I am a huge Mac fanboy. Fricken will die for Apple.

I own something like 6 Mac computers, 3 ipads, ipods and god knows what else.

All of us in the internet biz have hundreds of usernames and passwords.

I currently use Diigo for my bookmarks, and 1Password for my passwords.

Up till this week it has been a rock star program.

For some reason this week the Diigo short cuts started disapearing off of Firefox.

At around the same time, 1Password stopped being able to detect what page I am on.

I can double click on 1Password and find the password still, but it will not autofill.

Business has been expanding monstrously fast lately, and my production speed is through the roof.

Not being able to use the 1Password program as I usually do has brought my work speed down like 30 percent.

I emailed Agile Bits about this, I tweeted politely to them, and they did respond with how to try to improve it.

The problem is that their suggestion has not worked. I quickly tried it and emailed back stating the details,

painstakingly long emails with every detail described. It is now 48 hours later, and still it is unresolved.

I uninstalled 1Password, uninstalled firefox, updated all versions, removed all extensions in firefox, and still it does not work after a clean re-install.

Please 1Password figure something out for me quickly, or I am going to go look and find the alternatives. Fix this fast, and I will post how awsome you are here. The world wants to know what is going to happen next! LOL

Update! 2 days later they have it fixed.

It took one of their programmers, and then me spending 10 minutes following their advice.

Companies like this with an excellent but discounted product are going to have troubles like this.

If you really want the first class, super productive users, to use your product, I highly recommend that golden button in the corner for white glove treatment of high value players. I would have been happy to spend $100 to get that done in 15 minutes in the first place.


February 13 2011

Bad Bad Media, Facebook, Blogs and Shitty Journalism

Written by / Posted in reputation management / 57 Comments

(First off, don’t worry, it is not contagious :))

Last week, I and some hundreds of other people went to DomainFest. First off the conference was first class, amazing food, amazing venues, and culminated with a fantastic party at the Playboy mansion. My favorite moment was taking Andreas on a lightening fast tour of the grounds after the official tours were over. We all had a great time.

The day after I got home, I got sick, really, really sick. In fact there was only one other time in my life that I ever remember even being close to that sick.

I was so sick in fact that I did not pick up my computer once the first two days, except to beg for help from my staff, and to cancel patients on Monday.

This was the fourth day in 20 years that I have taken off work due to something wrong with my body. As a busy chiropractor who does all the adjusting himself that is one hell of a run.

The fever came down, the coughing mostly stopped, so I strapped on a facemask to protect patients, let them know I had been sick, and let them decide whether to see me or not. Wednesday or so I was flipping around online looking for photos of the event, still not full strength, and still with a little gurgle in my lungs, and came across a blog about how a lot of people had gotten sick. It was full of jokes, about how all of these drunken fellows had stayed up too late and given each other the flu.

This being my first time at DomainFest, I found the whole thing a bit funny and endearing. I felt it bonded me a bit to this new group.

I found jokes being made on blogs about us catching it in the Grotto at the Playboy mansion, which of course I just laughed at as a good joke. It was obvious to me that we had all caught a virus of some sort, most likely the flu. In fact one of the big domain blogs even accused me of having brought the virus up to domain fest, which was of course a joke, and which I was quite proud of even being mentioned.

Then Thursday night someone had posted a blog about Legionaries disease. I remembered studying it in school, and something about people catching it through air conditioner systems, and lots of people dying. Now it was a little harder for me to laugh at.

So I spent a few hours online studying up on the subject, and got in touch with my doctor.

Initially I was reading about fatality rates of 5% to 20% which is not a promising number when you are talking about your own death. 🙂

It turned out that a few of the guys had doctors who had gone the whole nine yards, done the required tests and found them positive for having been exposed to Legionaries disease virus.

In this blogosphere it was funny to see where good info was coming from. I was sitting there the first night, thinking I had a 1 in 20 chance of dying of this thing. Odd thing to be thinking. 🙂 Wife was still asleep, hadn’t even heard about this yet. One guy who is real smart, and writes straight facts about domaining, unlike the wandering opinions here on Purpose Inc, wrote a really good write up on the whole story, and he has kept updating it.

There were even some light hearted stabs at one guy who had left the domain industry, who was jokingly being blamed for the whole thing, on one of the more spicey domain blogs.

What was funny about the whole thing was as follows.

1. We were talking about something that might be life and death for all of us.

2. The most accurate place for information was in the comment sections on the blogs.

Then something funny happened.

The comments on the blogs talked about the source data being on a thread on Nico Zeifang’s facebook wall.

So I found myself in the odd position of needing to get the most up to date information, literally about a possibly life or death situation, but being able to see it only on a facebook thread, on a wall, of someone I didn’t know.

This puts facebook profiles in a whole new league.

I looked at the photos of Nico, and I can’t remember actually meeting him. Luckily I am not shy, so freind requested with a message about being one of the fallen comrades.

Nico graciously friended me which allowed me access to this thread where all of the source info is being reported.

So in my studies it turns out that there are two types of sickness that come from Legionelles bacteria. One of them is Legionnaires disease, the shit kills 1 out of 20 people who get it, and it is no joke. The other version appears to be what we all have which is called Pontiac Fever which is like a bad flu, lasts a week, and then is gone with or without treatment. (See your doctor, don’t trust me on this.)

So why am I pissed off in all of this?

In all of this it will turn out there is one guy who didn’t do his job. Somewhere there is going to most likely pop up a mechanical device, such as an air conditioner duct, or place holding water vapor that was not kept clean. That is where this stuff comes from when you read the data on it. But this guy I am not pissed off at. Not cleaning the inside of an A/C duct or tank? I can understand that. I’m not pissed at that guy.

Here’s what I am pissed about.

The media grabbed onto the fact that it was at the Playboy mansion. Every man over the age of 40, and most who are younger, spent a good part of their youth drooling over these curvy girls who had been airbrushed, and later photoshopped into a level of perfection that can not be accomplished on earth by natural means. When my wife tells people she has been to the mansion, or writes about it on facebook, nothing ever gets so many responses. It basically gives us a collective uncomfortable tightness in our pants just thinking about the place. It is for us like the royal castle of America, and Hugh is our prince.

So anywhere that loved is an easy target for the media if there is even the slightest weakness around it.

As soon as the word was out that we had all gotten sick, it has started popping up faster than gophers on a spring hillside that we may have all gotten Legionnaires at the Playboy Mansion. The headlines though shoot first and ask questions later.

The New York Post has as their image leading to the story, “Outbreak at Playboy Mansion”. I know that Heffner and the Playboy organization can’t safely comment, but I can. Fuck You New York Post for putting something like that out there before the cause has been determined. I am sure if the cause is found to be at the mansion, they will take the appropriate actions, but to harm the reputation of an organization so many of us love, before you know, is slanderous and libelous. You know, you get SUED for it because it is against the law!

MSN does a little better. They don’t straight out make it up like The New York Post did, but it still is cheap crappy journalism. They state in their headline, “Playboy Mansion Visitors Come Down With Mystery Illness” Which is roughly the same as saying “Men From Every City In America Killed In War” which I am sure is true if you take into account every war since the civil war. Grammar is important, including verb tense and the choice of every word you use.

When I write, I know about 20,000 people will read it here. When they write, millions will read it. Your level of responsibility goes up with the number of readers. At least it should.

Tomorrow this Playboy story is supposed to be on Good Morning America. God only knows what the sound bites will say.

I have watched good people, good churches, and now one of my favorite American Institutions, Playboy, get slammed in the media before something was established as truth.

Be nice guys. Being mean and trying to sell a few bucks of cheap online advertising space aint worth harming others.

To the organizers of Domain fest, Aaron and the rest, you guys did a first class job, and thank you for having me.

To the hotel, I loved the place, the tree is amazing, food was good, and you guys did a great job.

Heff, thanks again for hosting me at your house. My third party there, and we had a blast. If you need someone to kick some ass online for you, please ask. I have been a fan since I was 5 years old and first found your fine periodical in my dads auto repair files in our garage.

And to whoever the engineer who was responsible for the maintenance of the device that got us all sick. Apologies accepted, please go restudy how to keep this stuff clean, and please have your establishments insurance agent get ahold of all of us to cover my medical bills and lost time. Fair? I think so, and that is what insurance is for. (Plus of course anyone else interested).

Media? STFU until you know absolute truth. And I don’t just mean on this story, I mean on all of them before you wreck the lives of innocent people and organizations.

So we end this off with a Huge thank you to Nico and his facebook profile, without which I would not have known what was going on and would not have gotten the right treatment.

DomainFest attendees. World class meeting all of you. I had a great time, and was honored by the warmth of the welcome I got into your fabulous group, and was blown away by the intelligence, and graciousness of the group.

September 11 2009

How to be Shoemoney’s Friend

Written by / Posted in reputation management / 5 Comments

The internet is still the wild west. With gunslingers, sheriffs and whores. There are plenty of pioneers making their way over the prairies in rickety covered wagons, trying to find their patch of land, where they can set up and stake a claim.

The guy I want to ride with is not the new sheriff in town, but instead the half wild gun slinger whose seen it all, and done it all. See the new sheriff in town with his shiny badge, and chaps that are not quite broken in, is gonna miss the meaning when the smoke comes up on the horizon from the left, with a southerly breeze rising, just before the turn to autumn, the morning after the first frost.

On the other hand, the half wild gun slinger, whose been living out in these parts long before anyone else, knows the lay of the land. See he has seen it all, and he has done it all. He’s fought side by side with the Indians, killed a bear with his hands, and limped across the dessert for two weeks without a drop of water to drink, living off the juice he could squeeze out of a cactus. So maybe he shot a few people along the way to survive, maybe he still walks into a restaurant with his gun drawn, and maybe he’ll go a few weeks without shaving.

That’s the guy you want riding by your side. Now if you are relatively new on the trail you’re not going to know what a rattle snake looks like when it lays across the trail like a branch, and your not going to know which lizard you can eat in an emergency and which one will kill you. That’s what the hardened gun slinger is for.

So how do you be friends with Jeremy Schoemaker.

People love him.

People fear him.

In two minutes he can write a post that launches a career, or destroys one.

Whenever I go to conferences, even the elite ones like Azoogles Playboy Mansion party, many people come up to me and ask me about Shoemoney. It usually goes something like this, “The guy has been a total inspiration to me, but whenever I try to go up and talk to him, I don’t have the guts to speak, or I just blurt out something stupid.

Even a few of the people who went to thinktank last year, after spending three days with Jeremy literally 10 feet away from them, were disappointed that they never spoke to him.

I consider him a great friend, and I would like to help others be better friends with him too! My online career was literally created by Jeremy. I’d been doing great work, but until he pointed it out to others, I had never gotten the kind of respect I do now.

This is written not to be funny, but literally so you can be a better friend to Jeremy and help him, which will absolutely help you!

Here’s what I learned:

1. Don’t try to start the next war with him online to get traffic and look cool. At this point so many people have tried this role, that I predict he will ignore you, and other people will think what you are doing is dumb.

2. Don’t try to get the upper hand on him. I have heard enough stories now about people who tried to get an angle or an edge on him. He is powerful enough that this is not a good idea. Back to the gun slinger analogy, if there is another new gun slinger in town walking down the road toward him, don’t expect Jeremy to run into the saloon.

3. Listen to the guys stories. One day at the stratosphere, when we went to go meet with the Coutures the first time, I sat there for something like 4 hours in the coffee shop while Jeremy schooled me on the world of internet business. If I had gotten an MBA, and then worked in the internet world for another 20 years, I would not have learned as much as I did in that 4 hours. The secret, was that I paid attention to everything he said.

4. Help and protect the people around him. Tigh is Jeremy’s right hand on day to day business matters, Dave Dellanave is his main programmer, Jeremy with good reasons loves his wife and kids. If the possibility comes up where you can help any of them, this helps Jeremy and will give you credit in the Shoemoney book as someone who in the words of Shoe “contributes”.

5. Don’t expect help right when you want it. Shoemoney is working on huge things all of the time, and just becaue you want him to promote this thing or that thing right now, or you need help with something this week, it may not happen.

6. Forgive the guy for his failings. Yeh, I’ve noticed he is not perfect. Remember it was not too many years ago that he was over 300 pounds, living off of pizza, playing online games, not paying the bills, until his power got turned off. To have gone from where he was, to where he is now, in such a short time, is mind blowing. I know what that is like, as I have seen the bottom also, but that is a story for another blog. 🙂

Bottom line, when the dust on the horizon is heading down the trail toward town, the Sherrif has taken off on his horse high tailing it to the south, and the kids are under their beds trembling, Shoemoney is the guy you want standing in the middle of the road to town, a shotgun in each hand, piece of hay between his teeth, and grinning. But don’t be afraid of him, not unless you are the one kicking up the dust riding toward him.

August 17 2009

Yeh they’ll google you, but what will they find?

Written by / Posted in reputation management / 14 Comments

There are some real scoundrels out there. People who have nothing better to do than talk badly about you or your company. Are you listening? Your customers are!

Up to this point, I have danced relatively well above these ne’er do wells,  bouncing from cloud to cloud with a pretty angelic reputation online. It isn’t because I haven’t pissed anybody off. It’s just that I haven’t pissed anybody off “enough” to write too badly about me online so far. 🙂

I was recently speaking to a business guy who was pooh pooing the effects of google. Believe it or not, some very successful companies, like my favorite Mexican food and Friday night caterer for thinktank, Tacos El Gordo de Tijuana, don’t even have a fricken website! This place literally serves over 5,000 people a day in their combined locations, actually has the best Mexican food I’ve ever had (tied with Chipotle) and has zero online presence.

Unfortunately, no matter what someone may “think” about the effect of google, googles got us all by the butt, even if you are friends with Matt Cutts. Having your own site rank well for your name, or your key terms is great for getting customers, but what about the next 30 sites down blabbing about you?

In my opinion, there are a few different categories of searches that people do.

1. Entertainment – These are people just cruising around because they don’t have anything more important to do.You might grab someones interest with an article or add, and then gently steer them in some direction. They will rarely notice the bad stuff written about you online unless by chance they come across it.

2. Know What they want, but not Who to buy it from – These are the ones who have made a decision to buy, and now they are looking for the best place. This is the sweet spot in SEO, and why you want your site to rank high for your keywords.

3. Researching a particular topic before they close. – Again, this is where good SEO will lead them to your site, or another site to educate them on your product.

4. Researching your company before they buy.

We are going to take a good look at this last one.

They are at that last step before they send you that e-mail, spend the money, or sign the contract.

Researching about your company before they buy in my experience is still a relatively new way to use search.

For those of us who can type faster than we can speak this is probably second nature. I hear a brand name, a website, a T.V. commercial or even an individual, and before I say a word, I google it. I even do this while talking to someone on the phone. I could give a flying piece of toast as to what they say about themselves if we are not already friends. I do care what others say about them.

A prefect example was yesterday. My right heel had gotten so dry and cracked it barely looked human. I’ve never had a pedicure in my life, but realized that this had gotten to a point where I needed professional help.

I know if I google pedicure San Diego that the top site is most likely going to be the one where the owner of the salon has a friend who does SEO, or the site designer bought a few links, or something of that nature. Honestly, the whole system is way too easy to game for me to trust my delicate heel to it.

So I went to Yelp and entered in pedicure – San Diego. The place that popped up is called LuLu’s. There is a reason they popped up as the best place to get a pedicure in San Diego. They ranked well in yelp because they had a ton of reviews, and overall the reviews were very positive. To earn this they do an amazing job, and are less than dinner for 4 at Mc Donalds. For this I got Leslie, a beautiful estitician, spend half an hour soaking, buffing, scrubbing and filing my cracked calloused feet into submission. She won. The place is adorable, in a cute older neighborhood, easy parking, offered us tea when we arrived and were warm, friendly and safe. It was also super clean.

The next thing I did just to be safe was googled LuLu’s salon San Diego. As you scroll down you see nothing but “best place in San Diego”, “love this place”, “what an amazing experience”, on and on and on down the page. Not a single whinning compaint!

I’ve been working for years on reputation management, and John Andrews recently really got me thinking about exactly what I was doing, and how it all worked.

I would wager a bet that if you took the group of all Americans.

Then you removed everyone who makes less than $100,000 per year.

The group you would have left are the movers and shakers of our economy. They for the most part make the decisions that effect everyone else, what they do, what they buy, and even what will be available to them.

I’ll bet over 90 percent of that group, when making a buying decision of any significance, google their final choice before they actually purchase. If they don’t, they will be once they figure out the power in this.

As a business owner it is pain in the butt keeping track of what people are saying online about you, and correcting the damage when they do. It can also down right hurt ones feelings when the people writing are mean, and inaccurate. An unhappy customer obviously should come to you first, give you a chance to resolve it, then if you don’t resolve it, they can write about their unhappy car buying experience later.

As John Andrews suggested in his blog, the time to get positive reputation management is now, before the world gets the idea of the damage they can do you online. On the other hand, if you are aggressively getting your name in place properly before hand, it will take a pretty powerful internet marketer to knock you down online.

As consumers understand the internet and especially rating sites and blogs, I predict it will eventually be considered stupidity unless you google the name first to see what it is.