December 2009 Posts

Newly Upgraded iFroggy Hosting Plans Offer More Value

ifroggy-hostingI’m happy to announce that we recently upgraded the disk space and bandwidth of the iFroggy Hosting plans in a big way, offering our customers even more value. Here is the breakdown:

Pro Plan ($25 a month, $250 a year)

Disk Space: Now 400 GB, Previously 4 GB
Bandwidth: Now Unlimited, Previously 100 GB

Webmaster ($15 a month, $150 a year)

Disk Space: Now 175 GB, Previously 2 GB
Bandwidth: Now 500 GB, Previously 60 GB

Advanced ($10 a month, $100 a year)

Disk Space: Now 100 GB, Previously 1.4 GB
Bandwidth: Now 250 GB, Previously 40 GB

Standard ($5 a month, $50 a year)

Disk Space: Now 10 GB, Previously 0.8 GB
Bandwidth: Now 50 GB, Previously 16 GB

Starter ($3 a month, $30 a year)

Disk Space: Now 1 GB, Previously 0.4 GB
Bandwidth: Now 10 GB, Previously 8 GB

New England Weather Legend Al Kaprielian’s Run at WZMY to End (and What I Would Do if I Was a New England News Outlet)

Al Kaprielian

I was on Facebook when I saw that my friend Tom Tollefson had joined the “Save Al Kaprielian’s Job!” group. Started by Zito and Karen Blake, a pair of DJs at Boston-area radio station 103.3 WODS-FM, the group has 2,823 members as I write. But, you’re probably asking: who is Al Kaprielian?

Al has been the weatherman on New Hampshire-based TV station WZMY (formerly WNDS) for 26 years. In the area, he’s something of a legend, due to his approach to explaining the weather, which is fun and light-hearted with imitable, high pitched catch phrases. “High pressure!” “Good eeeevening!” I lived in the Hudson and Nashua, New Hampshire area for around 10 years and if there is such a thing as a local TV fixture, Al is it. To get a sense for why this is, watch this video, which was produced to commemorate his 25th year at the station.

I also went on a field trip while I lived there where we met and got a tour from him. On and off TV, he’s always come across as someone who cares about the weather and, more importantly, a good man.

Music Video: “Young Forever” by Jay-Z featuring Mr. Hudson

This is the brand new music video for Jay-Z’s “Young Forever” featuring Mr. Hudson. It’s off of his latest album, “The Blueprint 3.” I love this record. It’s a beautiful, emotional track. It reminds me a little of “Beach Chair,” which featured Chris Martin of Coldplay, from his “Kingdom Come” album.

Products, Products, Products… What Product Could I Sell?

Wal-Mart
Creative Commons License photo credit: micah.d

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger has been doing a lot of good writing recently on the importance of having a product to sell and his own results in launching an eBook. Naturally, this has got me to thinking: is there a product that I should be selling?

The book is a product. But, beyond that, I primarily operate on an ad supported basis. This can be a challenging model to win with – as can any model, of course – and the more that you can smartly diversify, the better off you’ll be.

I see pay to access communities like Darren’s ProBlogger.Community, Scott Fox’s Click Millionaires, Lynn Terry’s Self Starters Weekly Tips Elite Members and more and that makes me think, too. Update: J.B. Glossinger’s Morning Coach is another.

Why I Always Tell Prospective Book Authors to Get a Good Literary Agent

Since “Managing Online Forums” came out, I’ve talked with a lot of authors or potential authors about their efforts or planned efforts to get their work published. I’ve been through the rigors. When I held the physical copy in my hand, it had been five years since I had the idea for the book. It was three and a half years from when I started pitching it myself and about two years from when my agent, Neil Salkind, started pitching it. Since I signed the deal a year before it was out, it was about a year from when Neil started to when I signed the deal. So, I can definitely speak from some experience.

First, let me be super clear before I start: you don’t need an agent. You absolutely don’t need an agent. Just like you don’t need someone to do your taxes. It takes time, effort and gumption. You can do it. Plenty of highly successful authors sign deals without an agent. When some authors hear my advice about getting an agent, some of them take it as a personal affront if they themselves do not have one. It’s cool, you don’t need one. It doesn’t mean anything about you or your book. I would never say you needed an agent because you don’t.

Happy Holidays!

old school light
Creative Commons License photo credit: jronaldlee

The holiday season is here and I wanted to take a moment to wish you Happy Holidays!

Thank you to everyone who has read, commented on and linked to this blog or otherwise supported me  in 2009. I really appreciate it and I wish you a happy, healthy and successful 2010!

Thank you for reading.

When Reviewing a Book, Please Know That Your Words Are Very Powerful

-ism's
Creative Commons License photo credit: quinn.anya

When you review someone’s book – whether it be on your blog, in your publication, for a newspaper, on Amazon.com, on a book based social network, or elsewhere – please know that your words are very powerful. They are full of meaning  and wisdom and can impact whether or not people buy that book and, as such, they can impact the livelihoods of many, many people.

Please understand that I am not talking about positive or negative reviews. I am also not talking about worrying what people think or worrying about affecting others in a negative way, at the expense of your own honestly. What I am talking about is treating your words with the respect they deserve for the power that they wield. Your words matter – a lot.

This doesn’t just apply to books, but I’m an author, so I’m going to tackle it from that angle. A bunch of people invested their time and efforts to put “Managing Online Forums” together. Beyond me, there was my agent, editors, those who contributed to the work and other creative people inside and outside of the publisher. My hope for the book was that my knowledge would help others. It is both the simplest and the biggest goal you can have. My success in achieving this is judged not through my beliefs, but by what others tell me, after they have read the book.

The Responsibility of a Conference Speaker to the Conference

I speak at conferences and events. Though it’s hectic, nerve racking and may very well shorten my life, I enjoy it. It’s still a little early into my speaking career, but it’s something that I hope will develop into a bigger part of my life and a portion of my income. I’ve been able to speak at South by Southwest Interactive, Blog World & New Media Expo, Social Media Business Forum and more.

As I attend more and more of these events, I’ve come to a personal understanding of what my responsibility is to the conference as a conference speaker. In other words: once they’ve selected me to speak, what should I do? I’ve talked at length about this with my good friend Wayne Sutton, who co-organized the first Social Media Business Forum in October and my conversations with him helped to spur this post.

Note that this is just my personal philosophy. I’m not taking shots at anyone. I’m not judging anyone. I’m just sharing my way of doing things. Take it as you will. This philosophy specifically applies if a conference is paying me to speak or, at least, paying for my expenses, which is something I’m generally requiring now. But, even if they aren’t paying my expenses, I still try to adhere to this as much as I can.