Business Blogging

Patient Gagging: Sign here before you're treated.

I wrote a post on this on Medical Spa MD, a blog I own, but since this crosses the bounds from medicine and straddles all of blogging, I've posted most of the original here:

Medical Spa MD, my blog for physicians running med spa and laser clinics, hosts anonymous comments. I made the decision to allow that after some careful thought when I first launched the site. (Of course, almost all comments on the web are anonymous.)

There are both benifits and drawbacks to anonynimity. With the number of cease and desist letters I've received I'm aware that not everyone is happy when they're pilloried in public by namless commenters. Here's a story from the AP on doctors who are asking patients to sign what amounts to a gag order befor they'll treat them.

The anonymous comment on the Web site was unsparing: "Very unhelpful, arrogant," it said of a doctor. "Did not listen and cut me off, seemed much too happy to have power (and abuse it!) over suffering people." Such reviews are becoming more common as consumer ratings services like Zagat's and Angie's List expand beyond restaurants and plumbers to medical care, and some doctors are fighting back.

They're asking patients to agree to what amounts to a gag order that bars them from posting negative comments online.

So... where to come down? The right to criticize and protect yourself, or additional protections for individuals who may be the recipient of negative comments.

A number of companies; Sona, Solana, Dermacare, medical spa frachises and consultants,, Cutera, Thermage, Lumenis... these companies have taken some heavy hits on Medspa MD from disgruntled docs. Would you want unhappy patient to have a high profile forum like this one that they could use to damage your reputation and business?

Technorati Tag Authority

There’s a fresh new opportunity from Technorat to create both powerful one-way links to your site and build your own reputation as the expert in your market.

Technorati has introduced new “tag pages” system, the main page:

There are two approaches to keep in mind when utilizing the new Technorati tag pages.

Firstly, you want your own blog posts to appear in the more popular tag pages (of course, they need to be on relevant tag pages as well - don’t pick irrelevant tags). There’s a comparison engine that can help you determine the most popular tags. For example, here’s “Internet marketing” compared with “seo.”

As you can see, SEO trends higher than interenet marketing. So, if you had a blog post relevant to both categories and were trying to decide which one to tag it with, SEO would be a great choice as it’s a more popular tag. You should use between 5-10 tags on your blog posts, so there’s plenty of room for several tags but, again, it’s important they’re relevant.

Secondly, and this is the fun announcement from Technorait - each tag page has a sort of “sponsor” who writes an introduction to the topic. In return, Technorati links to the authors blog! Take a peek at what this looks like:

These pages are, of course, new right now and there are TONS of them available for you on which to add your own description and link! Because you’ll only get links from and write descriptions for tag pages that are within your niche, these links from Technorati will be HIGHLY relevant as well - and we know Google loves that!

Technorati describes the opprotunity:

This is a unique opportunity for authors, brands, agencies, experts and content sites with some significant benefits. Your tag article will appear on with a writer credit. You will be seen as the definitive expert on a tag subject – by millions of readers. Your article can include links to useful references and sites, including your own, if relevant, as well as your own byline link. It’s also really easy to contribute: tag articles are only 2-3 paragraphs, between 100 and 200 words, and can live for years as evergreen content.

Aside from the Google love link you’ll receive, having a prominent space on your niche’s main Technorati tag pages will bring your own site and name brand recognition. Having written the tag article, you’re now the expert in the niche.

How to become a tag page author? You’ll need to join Blog Critics, and they do a manual review of your content. If you’re publishing MFA (made-for-Adsense) or other non-unique content, you’ll likely not be approved. This is the opportunity to showcase your best work. Once you’re a Blog Critics member, you’ll be able to author Technorati tag pages.

Move forward with this opportunity as quickly as possible, as the “keyword goldrush” is occuring right now - grab the best keywords for your niche before they’re all snapped up!

Via Crowd Mountain


Squarespace is the platform I try to build sites on if I can. It's fantastic as I say in my Squarespace vs Wordpress review.

There are some solutions that don't work as well on Squarespace, when you can't use a hosted solution for example, but if you're blogging and want fantastic functionality and ease instead of Wordpress backend-ugly, Squarespace is da bomb.

Squarespace has made some changes to their own site today and it's more than just a little improvement if you, as I do, hate to read light body copy on a black background.

Oddjob: Allan Young’s Incoherence

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

If you're among the RSS subscribers of this blog, Allan Young's blog, Incoherence, is one you might think about adding it to your feeds.

I know Allan. I like Allan. He's smart and a very critical thinker. 

I've recently been editing me RSS feeds down to what I consider something of a manageable level. (I had over 300 and it was not manageable.) Allan's blog is one of only two I've added to my feed reader in the last four months. 

Simple Curiosity? Blog for the uber-intelligent.

dogrocketThree days ago I had something of an epiphany. There's a blog missing. 

I'd sometimes like to post interesting snippets of knowledge that are somewhat funny and viral and wouldn't fit on my other blogs... So I decided to make a new one where I could write a post or so a week on 'why?'.

I've been blogging for around three years and have learned much. (about 45,000 unique readers a month cross my blogs) One of the thinks I've learned is that groups of smart people are valuable. So, with the thought that all the readers of my blogs must be inherently uber-intelligent... I offer you this.

Simple Curiosity is a site offering uber-intelligent posts from yours truly on: History, Science, Religion, Philosophy, Literature, The Arts, Business, Technology, Music, & Politics.

The idea will be to provide small, interesting, two minute read posts that my mother will want to get in her email and forward and is perfect for Stumble Upon. Mental Floss could be considered something close to the direction I'm taking except that instead of linking out to other articles, Simple Curiosity will be all content and little commentary. You know, Dictionary word of the day stuff and heavy linkbait.

Here are a few:

I'm looking to grow Simple Curiosity? and I'll be putting some time towards it. I'm also looking for interested blog partners who are willing to commit 2-3 quality posts a month on an area that is of interest to you personally an might not fit on your current blog. I don't care what area it is as long as it's interesting. In fact, the more unknown the subject the better. Funny is needed as long as the topic isn't the Holocaust or something else touchy.

If you can write an intelligent post on:

  • How your eyeball works (well, that's one of mine so skip this first one)
  • Why plants are green.
  • How the Great Wall of China was built.
  • Romanticism
  • How a microwave oven works.
  • Egyptian war tactics
  • The rise of modern fashion.
  • A timeline of Paris Hilton's formal education. (maybe not)
  • How oral traditions were passed down among Native American tribes.
  • Footwear in the ancient world.
  • Musical Genres
  • How credit card transactions work.
  • etc.etc.etc.

I'll handle all of the technical aspects. There will be plenty of opportunities for backlinks, networking, and income will be shared equally based on contribution. You'll be able to back link to your sites, have an author page, use affiliate links, etc. You can read more here.

This is a fantastic opportunity for the right blogger(s). I you think this is you, please contact me via this form and include the fact that you read this post. I'll also be actively soliciting individual subject authorities from around the web.

If you think the site, the content, or the start of this as a potential business is worth blogging about, linking to, digging, stumbling, or whatever, I'd welcome a link or post, or subscription to Simple Curiosity's RSS Feed.

Blog Mastermind Master List

I signed up for Yaro Starak's Blog Mastermind course and have found it to be much better than I expected.

Click here to get The Blog Profits Blueprint

The quality of the bloggers involved ranges from first timers to ole' grizzled vets like yours truly.  Here's a somewhat comprehensive list of the bloggers involved:

If you're with blog mastemind and you're willing to put these links on your blog... post your blog and url in the comments.

Review: vs. Wordpress

You can find a list of other reviews I have completed and links to the products and resources I use to run my businesses in the Resources Section of this website. Review - Dynamic web sites.

Blogging Evolved

Name: SquareSpace
Purpose: Dynamic web sites, blogs, content management for laymen.

Let me start by saying that my personal experience to date with Squarespace has been 100% satisfactory. I have never had a complaint the system has always done what I wanted it to do. I’ve been blogging for the last four years and have switched all of my blogs from hosting systems like Wordpress or Blogger, and my static sites (I still have one) to

Your web site is the most important part of your online presence. How it looks. How it acts. And more importantly, how easy it is to change, are of prime importance in making a decision on what kind of system to use.

What are your options?

Static HTML Sites:

By far the most common choice are static sites. Of course it's not really by choice, they were simply the only available choice until recently. If you have a site, it's probably static, meaning that it's not easily updatable and you can't to it yourself unless your pretty technically inclined.


Pros: You already have one.
Cons: Hard to build. Expensive. Search engines hate them. No traffic.
Cost: Expensive to build and host.

Blogging Software: Wordpress, Blogger, Typepad

Extremely uncommon for medical businesses in the current market. Wordpress , Blogger, Typepad... these were the first attempts at making dynamic sites that are easily updatable and they work as far as they go. Their somewhat technical and again you'll have to hire someone if you'd like to customize your site and offer more than a standard template. 


Pros: Relatively easy to set up. Inexpensive or free. Search engines love them if regularly updated.
Cons: Hard to customize. Limited function. Still need some tech savvy to implement.
Cost: Cheap. From little to free depending on configuration.

Dynamic Content Management Sites: is the next generation of content management systems that go far beyond what's previously been available. Squarespace has built a system that takes absolutely no knowledge of html, css, or other geek speak and it's built from the ground up for ease of use. If you can use Word, you can use squarespace.


Pros: Easiest to use and setup. Completely functional with advanced features like built in RSS feeds. You can try it for free.
Cons: None, if you don't mind the price tag.
Cost: About what a static site costs: From $7 to $25 a month.

The Bad.

I always like to get the bad news out of the way so here it is... I used to have here that I couldn't think of anything but I've since stumbled across some shortcomings. Here it is:

Squarespace is not open source so they don't have nearly as many members or or growth as Wordpress has. While it means that squarespace provides detailed support (which is excellent I might ad) it also means that they don't have nearly the footprint or developer time that Wordpress does. So, squarespace does not support at least one of the options that I would like to use on my blog. Text Link Ads uses server side scripts. Since squarespace is hosted, they don't allow you to install server side scripts and so I can't use one of methods I'd like to monetize my traffic. Text Link Ads doesn't offer a scripted solution yet so I'm SOL on this one.
I emailed Anthony about this and he responded that if they felt any platform gained enough of a foothold they would start supporting it. I would expect this negative to resolve itself and I certainly can't consider it as anything but a note but I thought I'd include it since I it is something I would like.

How I found Squarespace.

Blogging EvolvedBack in 1999 I started to need web sites. So I learned how to write and code so I could build them the way I wanted.

As usual I conducted extensive due diligence before deciding to use squarespace. (As a guy the definition of horror is finding out later that there was a better choice I could have made.). I read forums and surfed around the web. I talked to my geek coder friends. I quickly came to realize that squarespace different from everything else available. It was clean, it was customizable, and most of all, it just worked perfectly and had everything I could want and nothing I didn't. The fact that they were charging actually made it an easier decision for me since it convinced me that they were going to make money and actually stay in business, making it easier to get help and service rather than have to research and do everything on my own with a 'free' service.

Now I'm inherently nervous about putting all of my eggs in one basket, so I started a new site in order to test squarespace and find out if it was as good as I hoped. 

To be honest I have very little confidence that squarespace would live up to my expectations. I've been more than pleasantly surprised. In fact, every site but one (Surface Medical Spas) has been built or switched to squarespace. Here's the list:

There are some others that I've helped my friends set up as well but I don't own them.

Why choose Squarespace over a free blog site?

You can get a blog up and running for free as on Wordpress or Blogger. It's a valid solution and I've done just that in the past. (Squarespace also has a 30 day trial period that's free.) There are a number of things to take into account:

  1.  I've found the 'free services' to be something of a misnomer since there is either:
    • Significant time involved that could better be spent elsewhere so you're, in effect, paying yourself 50cents an hour.
    • You end up having to pay someone to do it for you anyway.
  2. Starting at $7 a month squarespace is a steal. In most cases if you're really running a site you're going to be responsible for hosting it anyway. (My virtual server for Surface Medical Spas runs about $49 a month.)

  3. Since Squarespace is a paid service, they offer a host of support features and technical support. Since switching all of the blogs I run to Squarespace I've opened up around 35 support tickets. In every case the problem has been resolved and the tech support has been phenomenal with same day turnaround.

  4. Squarespace comes with some really great features standard:
    • Search: Where Google's site search works great, Squarespace blows the doors off.
    • FAQ builder: If you've ever tried to build a FAQ (as I first did here: Medspa FAQ) The new FAQ feature stomps any other solution I've seen.
    • Drag & Drop: Moving stuff around on a whim.
    • RSS: No longer any need to configure your RSS feeds. It's already done.
    • SEO: Snap. Everything is valild and optimized so people can find you.
    • Build forms and capture information from your visitors. You've truly got to see this in action to believe it.
    • I could go on ad nauseum but here's the Squarespace feature set.

Building a dynamic business site that actually works the way it's supposed to.

If you're building a business site these day's it's easier than every. You no longer need to know HTML or CSS or any geek speak. However, and this is important, building a site that no one goes to is a waste of time. There are literally billions of web pages and your tiny spot on the web had better be easy to find.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of using Squarespace is the ease of use. While I'm writing this on the site, I've got spellcheck and the rest of the editing tools that everyone takes for granted. If my front desk needs to offer a special at a certain location, they just log in and do it... The don't have to call me, get the IT guys involved, or shed a tear. It's so easy that my daughters site at Pony Tail Club is run completely by my wife and daughter who have zero, zilch, nada, snake-eyes, by way of geek training. 

If that isn't the tipping point I don't know what is.

How to get 500+ comments on your blog post.

Since I gave up the Fight Club blog to Matthew Prestwich, I've been blogging infrequently here, and more often at my blog for physicians in cosmetic medicine, Medical Spa MD. Three blogs was just too much, especially since I've still got to make all of the links on my daughters blog at Pony Tail Club. She's on a Mac and can't pull up the WYSIWYG on squarespace.

logo.gifEven with the infrequent postings, this blog is now at 5000 unique readers a month. But the real surprise is that Medical Spa MD is going to go over 16,000 uniques and 1,200 RSS feed subscribers, most of which are physicians. Yowza. It's growing at about 25% month over month.

But the interesting thing is the content. Medspa MD gets between 5 and 35 comments a day.

Take a look at this post on Dermacare Medspa Franchises and Laser Clinics which currently stands at 500+ comments. It's become a  watering hole for that whole business and the corporation under discussion, Dermacare, sent me a cease and desist letter. That blog has prompted a flurry of corporate emails. Interestingly, the Dermacare franchisees forward them to me.

American Laser Clinics, Sona and Radiance Medspas are other medical spa business I've discussed that didn't fare too well. I've been contacted by a number of lawyers who wish me ill and send me nasty writings. But there are others, Thermage for example, who want to get in front of those doctors in a positive way.

But the real reason that the readership has grown so fast is that I'm posting information on medical spas that you just can't get anywhere else.

Almost all the information available to people interested in vertical niche markets is advertising or promotion that comes from companies with an interest in 'spinning' the information. Then along comes someone on the inside. That has real appeal for those seeking real info and not advertisements. It's like Al Reis says, "If you can't be first in a market, create a new market so you can be first in that one." 

Perhaps I'll be able to figure out how to monitize the traffic. 10,000 physicians in cosmetic medicine a month ought to be worth something. 

Ain't technology great. 

Fight Club Blog: Free to the right person.

tn_fight_club_front.jpgTake over the Fight Club Blog.

To the tune from Oliver: "Blog. Blog for sale. It's going cheap. Only seven guineas."

I was going to close the account where I keep the Fight Club Blog since I've moved that discourse over here onto this blog for the most part. Of course my mind was muddled with thoughts of saving the $7 a month that that blog costs me to run.

When out of the blue.. an epiphany. Why not give that blog to the under-served wannabe blogger who can benefit from it. After all, it has a pagerank of 4, has 125 subscribers, 82 back links, and has been up and running for a year or more. And people say nice things about it like this myspace entry:

"I don't know why, but I got on a kick about Billy Barty. No one has dedicated a blog to him, but there is a Fight Club blog entry that features him. Apparently, Barty, post-humously, took on a kid named Ryan Coombs."

See, everyone loves it. No need to shut it down. Recycle.

So, I offer my offspring to the world lest it wither and fade away.

If you'd like to take over the Fight Club Blog, email me at jeffbarson at gmail . I'll happily sign the adoption papers for a deserving parent. Besides getting the blog I'll promise to say nice things about you here as well as teach you everything you need to know if you're blogging challenged. You start paying the $7 a month. That's the deal.

Keep in mind that this is not first come, first serve. I'd prefer that the acquiring home have at least one of the following attributes:

  • A local (meaning Utah) entrepreneur.
  • A Fight Club Member.
  • A technology startup in need of a voice.
  • Bigger than a bread box.
Of course I usually don't get my way, so if you don't fit one of the above categorys, don't let that deter you. If you'd like to take on a blog, send me an email and make your pitch. I'll wait a few days and then announce the happy new parent.

Blogito, ergo sum.

Blogaholics linked to this nifty Blogito Tshirt at TinkGeek.

blogito.jpgBlogito Ergo Sum. "I Blog, therefore I am" for those of you who aren't big Descartes fans or weren't required to study Latin as a child as was I. ( I never really found much use for Latin in everyday discourse and have dropped much of my use of it.)

This t-shirt is charcoal with a blogger-brown button dead-center on the chest with "Blogito, ergo sum" in white. Beneath, a small reminder that you might not be as popular as you think: "Comments (0)."

It's great to see some old Latin usage taking over the blogosphere. Monty Python has been trying to educate the masses alone for long enough.

Oh, and by the way, thanks to those who keep my comment count and embarrassment level above 0.

Connect Blogs needs an overhaul.


First, I love the boys over at Connect Magazine so don't take this the wrong way.

The Connect Network Blog needs some serious work.

I blog for Small Business Branding which is exactly the same idea; get a bunch of guys to provide the content and build traffic. Good idea.

But Small Business Branding has a much better setup than Connect. (I emailed Colin about this already.) Take a look at them both and you'll immediately see what I mean. Author pages, images, yada... Still, I'm going to start posting there too. I can't be worse than Colins test posts.

My guess is that Connect is going to make some improvements. And why is no one posting any images on Connect? Type only goes so far.

Cool Science Facts: A feed worth having.

pi.gifI have about 250 rss feeds that I subscribe to. Some I skim or glance at, but some I actually take the time to read every post that comes out because the content's always that good. I'll have to go through and pick out a best of to post later.

One of the 'always reads' is Cool Science Facts from Drew Olbrich. It's the kind of info that's perfect for blogging. Short, extremely well written, accurate, and funny.

Cool Science Facts: Binary Neutron Stars 

The astronomers who discovered this binary neutron star system gave it the name PSR J0737-3039. I wonder what these guys name their pets.

Every day, the two neutron stars in PSR J0737-3039 get a quarter of an inch closer together, because of energy loss due to gravitational waves. 85 million years from now, they'll merge together. One minute before this happens, the neutron stars will be only a few hundred miles apart, and orbit around each other 30 times per second. In the final few moments, they'll get much closer together, and extremely angry, and the orbital frequency will increase to 1000 times per second.

This is totally insane. Two city-sized objects, each with the mass of the sun, whirling around each other 1000 times per second. If you don't think this is impressive, you might as well go back to bed now.

When the neutron stars in PSR J0737-3039 merge, they will probably form a black hole, which is an exotic astronomical object whose gravity is so strong that even humor cannot escape it.

Pay per Post vs. TechCrunch

I got the sweetest little iPod Shuffle yesterday to replace the mini that was 'smash-and-grabbed' from my Landrover 6 months ago. (The new Shuffle is the cutest little thing. You just want to play with it.) Anyway, I downloaded the newest iTunes and podded (is that a word?) up my Shuffle with a backlog of podcasts to listen to while driving. The three I listened to last night included Venture Voice interviews with Guy Kawasaki and Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn as well as this one on Pay per Post.

ppp.jpgPayPerPost Raises $3 million

Michael Arrington and Rob Hof (Silicon Valley Bureau Chief at Business Week) took a few minutes today to talk to Ted Murphy (founder and CEO of PayPerPost) and Josh Stein (a Director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson) about the funding and the controversial nature of PayPerPost’s business.

The Podcast Driveby

Michael Arrington has a definate load of redass out for the boys at PayPerPost and performed something akin to at podcast Driveby. He must have said 'unethical' thirty times. At one point he says, "I wouldn't want to draw any comparisons...", and then brings up statutory rape as an example of something that the free market would allow but that's not good for society. (Statutory rape?)

It seems that  TechCrunchThinking feels that it's PayPerPost's duty to require that bloggers post that they are being paid to write about a topic and that failure to do so undermines the very fabric of credibility that the bloggosphere has been built upon. He, Michael Arrington, would never allow so crass and slimy a business to become affiliated with his brand and actually pulled a $40 add buy on TechCrunch so that his hands would remain clean. Poor Rob Hof of Business Week was so upset that he could only occasionally interject a 'unethical' comment of his own. (Arrington interjects that Hof is unable to find any humor at all in the situation.)

While the podcast is entertaining since Arrington is doing his best to get his guests to admit that they're willing to slime the bloggosphere and trade in their Dudley Dooright hats for Snidly Wiplash moustaches if the price is right, Michael Arrington is not a great interviewer. The PayPerPost duo actually came across as sympathetic since it was obvious that  Arrington had a pot of boiling oil ready and was just waiting for an opportunity to use it. At various points he interrupts with comments like, ' you say what you're going to and then I'll tell you the real answer." That's an interview in the style of Morton Downey Jr., not a blogger who has 'a social contract with his readers'.

Arrington just can't get past this idea of paid placement. He thinks he has a real A-Ha moment when PayPerPost says that this is a way for small companies to get a 'boost' in name recognition. Arrington trumps that with, 'if the company was worth anything they wouldn't have to pay to get written about'.

Business? What's a business?

This more than anything shows just how insular and elitist the A-list bloggosphere is. Arrington thinks that all the CEO's of all the companies in America should get to know the A-list bloggers and the bloggers will decide if they're worth writing about.

Arringtons world does not contain real red-blooded businesses. It contains room for geeks, aps and ASP's. The very thought of a small regional business reaching out to the bloggosphere in an attempt to gain recognition or be seen by a certain demographic goes completely over Arringtons head. The PayPerPost duo brings up shoe retailers and single locations, Arrington acts like these types of businesses don't exist.

Mainstream media sells editorial

PayPerPost is doing exactly what tradition media does. My business Surface Medical spends money on traditional media. I'll highlight some local examples that I'm intimately familiar with.

Salt Lake Magazine offers paid 'advertorials' in runs with specific topics. For example: Salt Lake Magazine will run a 'health issue' in Jan/Feb. They then go and find health care advertisers and pitch them with inclusion in an advertorial section. The section is purposely designed to appear as though it's editorial. Only it isn't editorial. It's paid advertising. The attraction to the advertiser is that it looks like editorial. I've also been pitched and gone with a service provided by a local paper in which they have an auction, sell my inventory, and keep the money in trade for advertising dollars. 

Selling editorial is frowned on by the editors and love by the ad sales guys and the advertisers. 

The PayPerPost model for business.

Most businesses are not run by geeks or bloggers. Most businesses are local. Most businesses are small.

PayPerPost will be a marketplace whose success or failure will be determined by how effective their advertisers are. The market will determine the benefits and opportunity costs of using paid editorial. Some bloggers who don't disclose that their content has been paid for will be outed and flamed. (Probably by those do-gooders from Wikipedia.)

I'm getting gentrified in my old age.

Yesterday I was with the masses of bloggers descrying the PayPerPost sellouts. Today my view has moderated. PayPerPost is sticking with their mantra of 'markets are efficient and we believe in the American way'. Good for them.

Disclaimer: This post has not been paid for. DropSend is selling itself on it's own blog.

dropsendlogo.gifDropSend posts it's own sell.

I've actually been using dropsend for most of a year not knowing they were just a tiny web app out of a basement. It'll be interesting to see who might buy them.

Dropsend is one of the apps that allow you to send huge (up to 1 gig) files through your email. It's worked for me.

Why Barenaked App?

Barenaked App is the online diary of the building of our second web app, Amigo.

Well, we’re not Porsche, or Microsoft but we figured that size shouldn’t matter when it comes to letting everyone in on the hows and whys of product creation. And so Barenaked App was born - a place to document the planning, design, coding and marketing of our second web app.

So how bare will we get? The answer is, down to the pants (or underpants if you’re not English). We will be revealing all of our costings, the reasons behind our decisions, why we chose to work with the people we did and of course the embarrassing mistakes we made along the way.

Here's a shot of their growing income:


The discussion in the comments is particularly interesting. If anyone needs a new company you'd better jump on the train.

Post directly to your blog using the ultimate speech recognition.

I have recently put to a new form of blogging using a pay service called Copytalk.

_mouth.jpgCopytalk uses a transcription model for which I pay around $50 a month. I am able to call up a phone number and just talk. The transcription is sent, I think to India, although I'm not sure, and typed by a real person who then deposits it in my e-mail box.

Since I'm using Squarespace for my blogs, I don't have the option of posting directly from email. However, there are a number of blogging options that allow you to e-mail a post directly which means that it can be set it up so that instead of coming to my inbox, it just appears on the blog. Now to post a blog, all I typically do is type 8 on my speed dial and start talking. That is how this post is generated. I'm curious to see after I have posted for a while using this method whether my blog post become more or less coherent.

Somebody stole my domain name.

Somebody stole my domain name, that dirty son of a bitch. I've had the domain for the last eight years from a former stint as an artist, it was my art site. Since I've been so busy lately, somebody came along and as soon as that domain expired, they snapped it up.

I can't really say I blame anybody except myself. I'm sure a bot snaped up a domain that's been registered for a long time immediately, as soon as it goes offline. I do have something of an ethical problem with the people that do this, since really, they're adding no value to anything the damn parasites. So now I'm going to have to register another domain and switch over my site. It could be worse, of course, but I still think it's kind of screwed up that these guys are allowed to register a domain, make a dead end with a bunch of paid advertising links on it, so that when you get there you have no option except to click a paid link. I hate that.

Is clicking an add without intent click fraud?

Comment from Does anyone else tip bloggers?

A tip? Keeping the PPC model alive and working? If you're clicking on an ad merely to reward the blogger, you're committing a mild form of click fraud and compromising the performance-based PPC ad system.

It’s reasonable to take the step of browsing the ads on a blog you would like to support, but you should click only when an ad genuinely entices you. Otherwise, you're doing all parties a disservice. At least that's this purist’s view.

That's John Lewis Needhams opinion. Of course, he does work for Google and since he's my brother-in-law he usually adopts the contrarian point of view. (Here's a picture of the do-gooder.)

I would argue this. PPC is someone elses business model and is simply advertising. Viewing advertising is not a promise to pay or anything else. If you're paying for PPC advertising (as I do) you know that your conversion rate is low. Advertisers are hoping that their landing page is targeted enough to get people to stay and hopefully buy. Using the web or clicking on a link instills no moral obligation to purchase anything. Google/Yahoo is pitching advertisers on a model that charges them only when a viewer takes an action (clicks on a link). Google/Yahoo or other PPC providers have no moral athority to determine 'why' someone is clicking on an ad if it's not a concerted effort to make money.

Clicking on a blogs link as a 'thank you' or 'tip' to the blogger isn't fraud. It's not even close. As an advertiser I want my business in front of potential buyers. If content based advertising works, any advertisement or ppc link that's provided should be of some interest to whoever's reading the blog.

Perhaps terrorists will be able to target the US PPC model?

Utah Bloggers offers you free pizza & t-shirt.

I thought the first Utah Bloggers whatchamacallit went well. Ryan (whom I know well) and Phil Burns (whom I do not) performed admirably with a first throw of the dice. I spoke with Ryan after the event and he claimed he'd have been happy with a turn out of 50. There were obviously were many more.

Here's my post-partum critique of the event and the attendees from the back row.

  1. While a panel is fine as background noise while you chow down on the pizza, the general info being disseminated is not the optimal use of the event for those of us familiar with blogs and blogging. I think I'd prefer informal groups where I could find out about the bloggers.
  2. Bloggers hide behind their blogs. Sheesh. It's like the 'geek' dinner. You'd think that speaking in person was a hazardous activity. I could care less about what type of software is used, I'd like to actually know who I'm reading.
  3. Interest is high. It was equally obvious that bloggers are looking for a venue like this.
An excellent start. Makes me happy that Ryan Money is coming on as a principal in Fight Club.