Business Posts

South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive 2009 Book Reading Topic Selected

A few weeks ago, I asked for feedback on the topic for my upcoming talk at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive 2009. Thank you to everyone who offered their thoughts to me. I’ve made my decision and announced it over at It should be a lot of fun!

Commission Junction’s $10 Monthly Inactivity Fee for Publishers

Update: I have the solution.

I’ve been using Commission Junction for a couple of years (well, actually, much longer, but that account was closed), first with (for the eBay affiliate program) and then with the “Managing Online Forums” book site, to enable affiliate links to Books-A-Million. eBay moved away from Commission Junction, a while ago, bringing their affiliate program in house. Since then, I’ve just been using the Books-A-Million program. Everything was going fine, I thought, until I received this e-mail on February 1:

Dear Patrick O’Keefe,

You are receiving this email because we are concerned that your Commission Junction publisher account has not generated any valid commissions (from payable transactions) recently. We encourage you to begin earning commissions as quickly as possible. Otherwise, your publisher account is at risk of deactivation due to dormancy. Please see the Commission Junction Publisher Service Agreement for further explanation.

Accounts deactivated for dormancy are eligible for voluntary reactivation with Commission Junction, but you must re-establish any previous relationships with your advertisers. After reactivation, you are ready to redevelop your publisher business and begin actively promoting offers within the CJ Marketplace.

Of course, we would much rather see your publisher account actively earning commissions. If you would like some information on strategies and tips for doing so, please log in to the CJ Account Manager and click on the CJU Online link for helpful resources.

If you have any further questions regarding this or other issues, please use the Ask a Question feature available by selecting the Contact Us link available in your CJ Account Manager.

Client Support

Notice, there is no mention of any fee in there. I did want to keep my account and I wanted to keep working with Books-A-Million. The e-mail was vague on what exactly I needed to do – just to “begin earning commissions as quickly as possible.” So, I went and logged in to my account to send them an e-mail to ask exactly how much activity was needed and to see what I could do.

South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive 2009 Book Reading and Signing

Good news! For the second consecutive year, I will be giving a book reading at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive in Austin, Texas. The reading will be followed by a signing at the conference’s bookstore. Better news: you don’t have to listen to me read the book. (Thank goodness). They allow us to give a presentation around the book’s theme and that is what I will be doing, just as I did last year, when I spoke about “Creating a Positive Environment on Your Forums” (video).

The conference itself runs from March 13 through 17 and my presentation will be on March 14 at 12:30 PM. It’ll be on the Day Stage on the top floor of the Austin Convention Center. If you can come, please do! I’d love to meet you. Please RSVP on Facebook, if you can.

We’re about six weeks or so away, so I want to start thinking about what I will be talking about. That’s where you come in! I would love your feedback on what you’d like me to talk about. If you’d be willing to do so, please head over to to read more.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and offer me your feedback. I really appreciate it. And I look forward to seeing you at the conference.

Ryan Leslie’s Self-Titled Debut Album is Finally Coming Out on February 10

I’ve blogged about Ryan Leslie numerous times. He’s a music producer, a singer and an entrepreneur, as well as other things, I’m sure. There’s a lot that I respect about him. I love his music and I identify with him, as an entrepreneur. He was even kind enough to write advance praise for my book, “Managing Online Forums,” which pretty much guarantees I’ll always be in his corner.

For a long time, he’s dreamed of releasing his own album. That’s the reason he got into the music industry, in the first place, after graduating from Harvard. But, it wasn’t meant to be, at first, so he stayed busy – by writing and producing for other artists and launching NextSelection, a label of sorts, where he signs and develops artists – the most noteworthy, thus far, being Cassie, who is signed to Bad Boy.

His album has been delayed, repeatedly and, one of those things that I do respect about him is that he hasn’t really complained about it. There have been hints of frustration, sure, but he’s never complained or taken a less than classy route. And his dream is finally coming true as Casablanca Records, through Universal, will be releasing his self-titled debut album on February 10. I’ve heard 9 out of 12 songs that will be on the album (legally, mind you) and 8 of them are in my playlist (i.e. the songs I want to listen to again and again). When I enjoy something, I support it. Add to that, that he supported my book with advance praise, and you know that I am going to be pre-ordering this album.

He posted a video blog today, where he held the actual physical copy of the CD in his hands and talked about what it meant to him. He admitted that this meant that other people have it to and that it has already been ripped and put online for free download. He encouraged people to listen to it and, if they like it, to please buy it legally because, if they do, he’ll go back to the studio and make more. Here’s the video:

Ryan Leslie’s Album Drops from Ryan Leslie on Vimeo.

I’m rooting for Mr. Leslie. I hope this album does really well.

Upcoming SitePoint Book: “The Art & Science of Online Marketing”

My friend Brandon Eley announced on his personal blog that he would be co-authoring an upcoming SitePoint book, “The Art & Science of Online Marketing,” with Shayne Tilley of SitePoint. A big congratulations to both of them. SitePoint’s books are distributed by O’Reilly in the United States.

As an aside, I have signed on to serve as an expert reviewer on two of the chapters that Brandon will be writing, so that should be fun. I look forward to getting started.

Los Angeles Tweetup/Web Meetup on January 14

When I found out that I would be coming to the Los Angeles area for a short time, I wanted to try to meet up with some people in the area. So, I was talking to my friend Ricardo Bueno who lives in the city and we were going back and forth about it and… long story short, he agreed to plan a Tweetup (basically, a meet up of Twitter users). But, it’s not just for Twitter users – it’s for anyone who works online, is interested in social media, etc. Of course, I’ll be coming, along with 3 copies of “Managing Online Forums” to giveaway.

It’ll be on January 14, from 6 PM to 9 PM local time, at BJ’s Brewhouse and Restaurant in Glendale. We are going to have dinner, but if you just want to have drinks or stop by for a short time – that’s perfectly fine. And if you don’t drink, don’t worry – neither do I! :)

If you live in the Los Angeles area or, at least, are in town on that day, I’d love to meet you. Please RSVP on Facebook and/or Upcoming. We already have a number of people set to come, but the more – the merrier! A big thanks to Ricardo for doing the ground work on this.

New Book Coverage: Interviews, Reviews, Conference Mentions and More!

It’s been a few months since I posted a book related press recap, so I wanted to highlight all of the great mentions that the book has received in that time.

There were new reviews from Martin Reed of Community Spark, Des Walsh, Jessica Smith of Jessica Knows, Kare Anderson of Moving From Me to (also posted on Gaia), Martin Kloos of and Rob Diana of Regular Geek. Mrs. Smith was kind enough to include me in her 15 Days of Marketing series, as well.

I was interviewed by BloggerTalks and for Urban Lifestyle Report: New Media’s October issue. I appeared for live video interviews on SuccessfoolTV and The Tech Buzz and participated in a live podcast interview on PerfCast, the podcast of Performancing. For The Tech Buzz interview, the show did a book giveaway, which was mentioned by Geek Talk Radio.

My friend Jason Falls invited me to speak via live stream at a Social Media Club Louisville meet up. This was mentioned in Business First of Louisville. Esther Schindler of CIO highlighted the book in her “6 Stupid Mistakes Companies Make with Their Online Communities” article. I wrote a guest post on the subject of “Blogging for Dollars” for The Graduate Student Survival Blog, part of the Albany Times-Union.

Kelby Carr highlighted the book when talking about my sessions at the Independent Blogging Conference at Greensboro, which she co-organized. On a related note, popular Twitterer Brian Carter, who I met while in Greensboro, mentioned the book in his stream.

Using the book has a basis, Lois Kelly of Bloghound wrote an article titled “10 ideas for Creating Community Guidelines.” Lois also highlighted the book at two conference sessions that she led. One, at the Extending Your Brand to Employees Conference on November 17 in Chicago, was called “The Power of Social Media: Putting It to Work for Your Employer Brand” session. The slides are posted online and the book is mentioned in number 57. The other was at the Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, also in Chicago, on November 16, during the “Online Communities that Thrive: Realizing the Possibilities; Burning Down the Obstacles” session.

Steve Magruder of WebCommons shared that he would be rewriting his own forum guidelines using ideas from the book.

As part of a book meme, where the person that you tag must tell you the book that is closest to you and tell you what it is, Mike Mueller had “Managing Online Forums” closest.

vBulletin Setup mentioned the book in reference to a recent contest where they gave away a copy. In the 19th edition of “Jeff Herman’s Guide To Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2009: Who They Are! What They Want! How To Win Them Over!”, Mr. Herman mentioned the book in an AMACOM company profile.

As part of her “Internet Marketing Christmas” post, Lynn Terry of ClickNewz! receorded a video where she opened presents that she had received in the mail. She included a greeting card that I had sent her and was kind enough to mention the book, as I had included a business card for it, as well.

In a year end post, phpBB Weekly’s Douglas Bell highlighted the book centric interview episode we did as a runner up in his list of their best episodes of the year.

At the “Solutions Are Power” by Network Solutions blog, Steve Fisher mentioned the book in relation to my attendance at the Blog World & New Media Expo.

Finally, I provided advance praise for the book “Designing the Digital Experience: How To Use EXPERIENCE DESIGN Tools & Techniques to Build Websites Customers Love” and”Managing Online Forums” is mentioned alongside the praise.

A huge thanks to everyone who has expressed an interest in the book. It means a lot to me and I really appreciate it! I’m looking forward to what lies ahead in 2009.

“Community Builder of the Year” in the SitePoint Community Awards 2008!

I’m happy to say that I was voted “Community Builder of the Year” in the SitePoint Community Awards 2008. Dave Maxwell announced the results today. I really appreciate the recognition. Thank you to everyone who nominated me and everyone who voted for me, as well. Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees.

Happy Holidays!

With the holiday season upon us, it may be a little quiet around here toward the end of this month, but I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very happy holiday and a happy, healthy and successful 2009!

Thank you to everyone who has read, commented, linked and contributed to this site and others in 2008. It’s been a great year, in a lot of ways, and I am truly thankful for all of the support that I have received.

Thank you.

Live Interview on PerfCast Tonight

Tonight at 7 PM ET, I’ll be appearing live on PerfCast, the Performancing podcast. It’s hosted by Jeff Chandler and David Peralty. If you have some spare time, please stop by and participate in the live chat! The show will be broadcast on TalkShoe.