November 2007 Posts

Mixing Up Posts Between Blogs

This is never pretty, but I did it twice yesterday – and left it overnight without noticing. I posted a Yankees blogger interview on Bad Boy Blog instead of I posted Dolphins injury notes on instead of What happens, predictably, is that all of my blog admin panels look the same (except for some being Nucleus CMS and some being WordPress) and I’m in one of them and just post without switching sites. Annoying, but it happens. Kind of embarassing, though. It doesn’t happen THAT much, though.

New Hotness

Thanks to the awesome 30% off $999 or more coupon that HP is offering, I purchased both a new desktop and a new laptop today. I had been planning to buy them next year, but if I’m getting a good deal, I may as well buy it now, quite possibly getting a more powerful setup than I would have been able to get if I had waited until next year. As I can tell by searching this blog, I purchased my current desktop on September 12, 2004 and my current laptop on November 30, 2004. When you’re on a computer as much as I am, it’s a good idea to keep everything around you fairly recent, just because I basically live on my computers. Anyway, here’s what I picked up. Desktop first:

HP Pavilion Ultimate d4996t customizable Desktop PC
Genuine Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)
Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Quad processor Q6700 (2.66GHz)
4GB DDR2-800MHz dual channel SDRAM (4×1024)
640MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS, 2 DVI, TV-Out
500GB RAID 1 (2 x 500GB SATA HDDs)
LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive
16x max. DVD-ROM
15-in-1 memory card reader, 3 USB, 1394, video
ATSC-NTSC TV tuner with PVR, FM tuner, remote
Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer
Norton Internet Security(TM) 2007 – 15 Months
Microsoft(R) Office Professional Edition 2007
Logitech X-530 speakers (5.1)
HP keyboard and HP scroller mouse

And for the notebook:

HP Pavilion dv9500t customizable Notebook PC
Genuine Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)
Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo processor T7700 (2.40 GHz, 4 MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
17.0″ WXGA+ High-Definition Ultra HP BrightView Widescreen Display (1440 x 900)
4GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS
HP Imprint Finish (Radiance) + Fingerprint Reader + Webcam + Microphone
Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 4965AGN Network Connection and Bluetooth(TM)
500GB 5400RPM SATA Dual Hard Drive (250GB x 2)
LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-RW with Double Layer Support
HP ExpressCard Digital/Analog TV Tuner
Extra High Capacity 8 Cell Lithium Ion Batteries
Microsoft(R) Office Professional 2007

Once I get moved over from my current system, this should be awesome. Thanks to Jared, Brandon and Bryan for their advice.

Spamming Forums is Not a Strategy

My friend Lee LeFever linked to a guest post at TechCrunch by someone named Dan Ackerman Greenberg of The Comotion Group, a “video viral marketing company”. (I realize I’m providing them with links and maybe that was one of the points of his post, but it doesn’t really matter). The post is titled “The Secret Strategies Behind Many “Viral” Videos”. Basically, he’s talking about how you can get people to your video. The problem is when you get into stuff like this:

Forums: We start new threads and embed our videos. Sometimes, this means kickstarting the conversations by setting up multiple accounts on each forum and posting back and forth between a few different users. Yes, it’s tedious and time-consuming, but if we get enough people working on it, it can have a tremendous effect.

Commenting: Having a conversation with yourself

Every power user on YouTube has a number of different accounts. So do we. A great way to maximize the number of people who watch our videos is to create some sort of controversy in the comments section below the video. We get a few people in our office to log in throughout the day and post heated comments back and forth (you can definitely have a lot of fun with this). Everyone loves a good, heated discussion in the comments section – especially if the comments are related to a brand/startup.

(“Every power user on YouTube has a number of different accounts”? I wonder how the Angry Video Game Nerd, Ask A Ninja, Barats and Bereta, Blame Society Productions, Brandon Hardesty and Derrick Comedy feel about that?)

Basically, what you have here is a group of individuals who aim to create what I try to prevent on my communities. We get this sort of stuff with frequency (not necessarily with videos, but with links, etc.) and it’s always shut down right away. If someone joins and their first post (or one of their first posts) contains a suspicious link that they may be affiliated with, the post is removed and they are contacted, making them aware of our user guidelines. If they start off with more than one post that does this, they’re posts are removed and they are probably banned. New users are not given the benefit of the doubt on these matters. Once someone is established in our community, they will be given more leeway, however it is not appropriate to create threads or posts to bring attention to something that you are affiliated with.

Spamming is not a strategy that respectable individuals employ. If you want to post your website on a community, you check their guidelines. If you are unsure, even in the slightest, you ask a staff member and then proceed as they outline – and only as they outline. If a particular website is a persistent offender on my network, they might find their link banned from the network as a whole. That is, their link is not allowed to be posted on any of my communities in any instance.

Regardless of what the guidelines say (unless they specifically permit it, which is… suffice to say, highly unlikely), covertly creating multiple accounts to boost up your discussion or talk amongst yourself is universally looked at as uncool. Really, it’s embarrassing behavior that no respectable organization will want to be associated with because if it should come to light, they’ll be roasted and you should never do anything that you will be ashamed of should it come to light.

I certainly disagree with the notion that can’t be successful if you promote your videos in an ethical fashion, as the article states that the days of natural hits like Ask A Ninja, etc. are over. If you create something engaging and you work at it, you can be a success – just as much as if you manufacturer that success in an artificial fashion. Quality stuff, funny stuff (to someone, not necessarily you or me), gets passed on. If no one likes it, it doesn’t, no matter how much you push it.

The article has some good points, I’m sure, but how can you be left with anything but a dirty feeling after having read it? I mean, yeah, some people won’t feel that way, but those aren’t people I really want to associate myself with. There is always a group of people who don’t care how they get something, they just want it. And there can be serious consequences for that. It’s good for us to know that people like this exist so that we can know what we’re up against and also so that we can know what we don’t want to be.

For me, it’s about creating something of quality and doing it the right way, through hard work and dedication and through respecting others’ space – in other words, having a semblance of ethical values to adhere to. If you think “this is business” and there are no ethics, that’s just not true and, to me, that’s a terrible way to think. You always have a choice. You don’t have to be slimy.

Just a random question you have to ask yourself if you are a client of a company with this philosophy – if they are not above manufacturing interest in your video, why would they be above manufacturing views, favorites and whatever else in order to meet their quotas to fulfill their contracts and make you feel like you’ve really gotten your money’s worth? Be careful who you get in bed with.


Today is my 23rd birthday. I needed a new camera and got one – a Canon Powershot A720IS. A definite upgrade over my old one (that is broken). Thanks to everyone who passed along their birthday wishes.

SitePoint Community Awards: Web Community Guru of the Year

The winners of the SitePoint Community Awards have been announced and I won in the Web Community Guru of the Year category. This is the first time I’ve ever won an award in the SitePoint Community Awards. Thanks to everyone who voted for me.

Experimenting with Posting Interview Audio Online

Starting with my recent interview with Cheri Dennis for Bad Boy Blog, I’ve decided to try something new. I’ve posted the audio from the interview online a few days after the text of the interview was published on our site. I posted it on YouTube, MySpace Video, Yahoo! Video and imeem!

The idea is to get more traffic to the site through exposing our content to the visitors of these video/audio sites. Of the sites, YouTube is the only one that allows hyperlinks in the video description. But, really, it’ll be hard to track just how much traffic is generated through this effort. Still, it can’t hurt and it really didn’t take that much to put together.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Wow, I am so looking forward to this. I don’t know why they feel the need to do this, though:

Developer Terminal Reality is making a “Ghostbusters” game for PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 aimed primarily at the core gamer demographic, while Red Fly Studio is making a version for Playstation 2, Wii and DS designed more for families and casual gamers.

Casual gamers? Why? The proton gun plus Wii controll should equal goodness. At any rate, definitely can’t wait for this one.

Via A.J. Quick.

Nominated in SitePoint Community Forums Awards

For the first time ever, I have been nominated for awards in the SitePoint Community Forums Awards. Cool! I don’t know who nominated me, but I thank them. :)

I’m nominated in the Web Community Guru of the Year (award given to community managers) and Greeter of the Year categories. I’m going to be smoked in Greeter by Datura, but I think I might have a shot at the Web Community Guru award. Never know!

Make My Logo Bigger Cream (Who Needs Designers?)

I thought this was cute. Thanks to Bryan for mentioning it to me. = Spyware (and My ieSpell Problems are Fixed)

I wanted to post an update to the entry I posted on Thursday regarding and how their ads had been cropping up all over the place for me.

Duane Gordon left a comment on my post yesterday, telling me that it my system had actually been infected with spyware that was forcing these ads to be displayed – and that it didn’t have anything to do with the actual websites themselves. This made sense as it would seem odd (though, not implausible) for those ads to just slip into all these sites. So, I ran the free version of Lavasoft Ad-Aware last night and I haven’t seen the ads since. That must have been it. I’ve noticed that some people are finding this site by searching for or admedia365. I’m guessing this means a fair few people have been infected. Hopefully this post will help them to realize this and get it cleared up.

This also had the side benefit of fixing my issues with ieSpell. Whatever happened to my computer, it would seem to have been caused by some sort of junk that found it’s way onto my computer. Glad to have ieSpell functioning correctly again.

Thanks to Mr. Gordon for pointing this out to me.