Posted on February 11, 2011 by Jexley
Back in my college days I was a bit of an outsider as a Montana Mountain Boy at Texas A&M. I didn’t have a lot of friends and my interests almost solely resided in an altiude > sea level. I loved hockey though and even though I’d only mucked about on a frozen pond, I got some cheap inline skates, a cheap plastic stick and fashioned a net out of leftover plumbing from the junkyard.
I went out, found a parking lot, and played. I wasn’t out to make friends or find like-minded folks, I just wanted to play. But the other stuff happened anyway. One day a couple of guys, who were from up North too, pulled over and asked me to come and play with them on Sundays. A great group got bigger and bigger and soon they built a league. Those two guys graduated and got married and I took over the league, filling my days with the thing I loved most.
Fast forward more years than I’m happy to count out loud, and those two guys are still at it, doing what they love and inviting others in on it. Through the magic of Facebook they’ve found me again, and have "pulled over" on this Interwebs Highway and said, "Hey, you’re doing something we like doing too!"
They like web stuff, I like web stuff, and we’re all good at it.
They’ve recently launched Cherry Tree and here’s a few of Tay’s words on it:
Our vision is to create a web product that helps parents change the child’s behavior through two mechanisms; 1) positive reinforcement by the parents and other key figures in the child’s life and 2) an incentive based gaming mechanism that keeps the child engaged and habitualizes the behavior. Or put more simply, think of it as a super duper sticker chart combined with a Facebook-ish status and messaging system that is private to a family.
So, bless ‘em, here’s my two old friends, getting their skates on, grabbing their sticks, and setting a game alongside a busy street.
If you get a chance, pull over and check ‘em out. You never know how it’ll turn out.
Category: Around the Web, State of the Web | Comments Off
Posted on September 16, 2010 by Jexley
I was at a friend’s office today discussing the different types of reports that we send to clients and the automated SEO traffic and rankings stuff that I’ve built as well as the stuff that he puts together manually for each client based off their Google Analytics data and his own insights.
At the end of it, what he’d told me was essentially what I’d known all along but had taken some very (comparitively) large steps towards simplifying what I’d created.
"That’s a LOT mate. There’s simply too much there."
The data gathered from reporting on website stuff is like a great novel to me, I get as much of it as I can and don’t stop until I’ve figured it all out. Not everybody’s like that though.
I realise this, and have really tried to separate out what I thought was important VS. what’s actually readable and understandable by a client.
It’s still too much.
I even went so far as to build something that measures what you spent VS. what you made via your website.
But then the brick-and-mortar business, that aren’t e-commerce websites, throw a spanner in the works by being so bold as to conduct business offline, where I can’t measure and track their leads and business and ensuing dollars.
So I’m putting it out there and inviting feedback on it: What would you look for in a weekly report?
You! With the one-person operation! You who were, and probably still are, utterly perplexed by the data in the reports that I send you… what are YOU after? What do YOU want to see every week?
I know I’ve asked before and you didn’t have anything to compare it to so you just shrugged, but now that you’ve been at this a while and you’ve gotten a feel for what your website should be doing for you… then lay it on me.
Tell me what you’re after, and I’ll do my best to make it happen.
Category: Around the Web | 2 Comments
Posted on August 6, 2010 by Jexley
Almost serendipitously Google has started a Small Business Blog aimed at helping those that aren’t ninjapimps at Web Promotion actually do things that are good for their business online… without spending a wad of their precious cash.
Why serendipitously? Because I was just telling wife (business partner and what makes Jex a "we" when it’s relevant) last night that I’m sick to death of Google Toys that come out, make no sense, and then fade away (Adios Google Wave) and that a company almost entirely composed of ENGINEERS is bound to sit in the dark, playing WOW and eschewing girls and sunlight for Fritos and Mountain Dew.
I know I’m a bit hard on the nerds, but I’m allowed, because I’m one of them.
Sure, I like kissing females and have even been known to be successfully socially interactive, but I’m also floundering in a pit of UN-usability and lack of Understanding with the
suckers users that have agreed to help me with my Jex Solutions site.
It’s got loads, and I mean LOADS of valuable and wonderful data in it, but can YOU find it? Do YOU know how to extract it and apply it’s knowledgeness to YOUR website?
I’m finding the answer is more and more a resounding: NO.
So I’ve asked for help, here and there, and have finally unleashed the bitingly critical and leaving-no-stone-unturnedly Wifeage onto the poor and unsuspecting populace. Things are going to change, oh yes and surely.
So, good onya Googs for starting something that is sorely needed in your approach to… well, just about everything, a nod to those of us in Small Business, for we are certainly the most important overall and if you treat us right, we’re the ones that’ll see you through.
I’m certainly taking a page and trying something new too.
Let’s hope we’re both successful in our humility and further efforts.
Have a Good Website.
Category: Around the Web | 2 Comments
Posted on February 6, 2009 by Jexley
Search Engine Land plopped an
into my inbox this morning and as I was leaving an insanely long comment on that blog, it occurred to me to just post it here.
I love the hand-flapping and red-flag waving that happens whenever the Googs seems to be messing with our lives.
Sometimes I wonder if they don’t necessarily do it under the auspices of a "better user experience" and only do some of this stuff to create columns like this and put all us poor SEOs in a panic.
I don’t, for one second, believe that Google would do something to their search results that would render their own Analytics tool less-capable. Nor do I believe that they would do anything that could do such damage to the analytics software industry.
Has no one wondered what their motivation for doing such a thing would be?
Seriously, when was the last time Google went and did something that so drastically mucked with all our lives that we got mad at them and lost money and clients and shaved all our cats? The Florida Update? From my memory of the experience, all that did was teach us to be a bit more scrupulous (or at least educated in Google’s "rules") in our search engine optimisation efforts.
So, at the risk of sounding too rational and pragmatic and not handflappy enough, I say "So what?"
Google is testing something and may change the entire way they do things…
So you may have to change the way you do things as well? So you may have to clean up a few of your processes and applications that you’ve long depended on?
Get real and adapt and adjust or die.
I know I’ll be fine, and No, that doesn’t mean I won’t have to do anything. I may have to work my ass off to get my systems to catch up to an all-AJAX SERP from Google, but that’s fine, because there’s probably a lesson in there about how to do things better.
Alrighty, my rant’s over. Catch you later, and have a good website.
Category: Around the Web, SEO, State of the Web | 4 Comments
Posted on May 29, 2008 by Jexley
Good stuff today, with a few Press Releases that are actually PRs and not "We’ve found another way to promote the SEO page on our site" because really "TechName Solutions Announces Their SEO Offerings" isn’t really news, goddamit. It’s NOT, it’s you using a News Site to promote your site. "UniqueName Studios Announces New SEO Tool Aimed At Photographers" actually IS news, and deserves to be there instead of your tired crap.
Though this one really only touches on it, and it focuses mostly on file sharing and other some such… This Could Be Huge.
He may be right, and the real perpetrators may have nothing done to them, but for all those crapwads out there stealing content and publishing it on their sites, as their own words, their ISPs may have to turn ‘em over.
Which, of course, I think is seven shades of awesome.
Hey, I have to play fair in this little game, so should you. If you cheat, you should be punished. At the end of the day, may the best SEO win.
P.S. It’ll be me. Haha.
Okay, you know how I went on that rant at the beginning, and promised you better? Yeah?
Well, I sort of lied. I guess I didn’t lie really, I just needed to clarify a few things. This "Press Release", this supposed piece of latest news coming from a certain company… well it’s a prime example of the kind of flotsam that’s permeating the News Sites these days.
Go ahead and read it through, and make sure you count the number of times they target a specific phrase (hint: it’s in the title of the article). Then, go ahead and click on the links. They’ve promised these new and exciting SEO Tools right? Should be something exciting yes?
A page of links. LINKS!!
Why issue a Press Release to tell me that you’ve got a page full of sites that I already know about instead of those valuable SEO Tools that you promised me?
Brutal, and the kind of thing that I’ve been railing about lately.
Reputation Management Service Launched by Search Engine and Social Media Marketing Firm, Brick Marketing
This, on the surface, can look disturbingly similar to the one above, which I railed against.
Nup, this one is an example of what is different, and what companies should actually use this for.
This guy, my buddy Nick Stamoulis of Brick Marketing, is a reputable bloke who is using the News Releases to tell the world about something that’s actually News. He’s offering a new service, similar to others using the PRs to tell about them doing the same sure, but his is actually NEW to the industry. Reputation Management, as a service, is fairly new and not many companies are doing it (or even doing it well). Everybody’s heard of SEO, so saying how excited you are about SEO Tools and then just giving me links to Google (GOOGLE! By the soul of Matt Cutts I’ve bloody heard of GOOGLE’S SEO TOOLS), is crap.
Do it like Nick, and save your big announcements for when you actually want to announce something big, it’s worth it and it’ll pay off if for no other reason than I’ll stop sledging you.
Though this content looks relatively unique, meaning that I Googled parts of it and found no dupes, it’s basically someone else’s SEO page run through the "marginally correct" English translator. Ever taken a phrase in Babelfish, run it through the English-French translator, and then taken the result and run it back through the reverse? That’s what this entry looks like.
I would’ve probably given some points until I got to the comments. By any stretch of the imagination am I to believe that these are all different people from different companies? Oh man.
Not ground-breaking, but nonetheless true. Preach on brother!
Part of the reason our industry has negative connotations attached to it, like "Snake Oil Salesmen" and such, is because there are consistently suss happenings, and no one policing them. Google can ban a site, or an IP, but they can’t find BlackHat McSpammington and put him in Google Jail. He’ll just pop up again, with a different IP and domain, ready to work his craptastic magic once again.
Standards are really the only answer. Unfortunately, no one knows how to go about this in the right ways just yet.
Including me. But it’s something I’ll think on. Watch this space.
Whew, I feel an odd combination of wanting to hug something small and cuddly and reassure it that the World is going to be a safer place with me leading the charge and wanting to kick something hard. Not at the same time mind you, for that would just be wrong.
Til next time, have a good website.