Innovative Way to Bring in the New Year

December 31, 2009

Do it in style!

Happy New Year to all.

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Email Me Updates

December 30, 2009

There is a local brewery near my home town in New Jersey that continues to email me.  Here is the story behind that email.

I went with a friend to the brewery, which offers a small casual style bar where you can come in and try to featured beers.  There were a few small groups of people there, the servers were friendly, and they love to talk about beer.

As we were leaving, we were offered the chance to join a mailing list by simply our email address on the bottom of our check.  I was happy to do so.

Now, whenever they plan a new event, or come out with a new brew, I get an email from them telling me all about it.  It is a short email, usually one paragraph in length, that gets directly to the point.  And they don’t email me when they have nothing to say.  It’s perfect.  And even though I no longer live in the area, I continue to stay on the email list because I visit from time to time.

It’s that simple. If you are a restaurant, a bar, a retail store…anything where people might visit you again and again, why not have a mailing list like this.  The cost to do so is minimal, and the reward can be huge.  It allows people to keep up to date with what you are doing without harassing them when they don’t care.  It can increase customer loyalty, meaning that more of your customers will give you repeat business.  And guess what, they will probably bring their friends in too!

Even this blog offers Email Updates to anyone that wants them.


NY Times Allows Adam Raff to take out Personal Vendetta against Google

December 28, 2009

Here is an op-ed piece in yesterday’s New York Times about “Search Neutrality“.

Before I respond, its only fair to say that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and so Adam Raff is not wrong for writing this piece.  A lot of his points, upon further investigation, are wrong.

It does not take long, only a couple of paragraphs, to discover that Adam Raff is not in favor of Google for a reason.  He blames the failure of his company, Foundem, on Google’s “decision” not to rank them near the top of search results for product comparison.  More likely, the website was not favored by people on the web, or was not refined to show up for relevant searches.  I doubt very much that Google took the time to single them out and destroy their chance at success.  But that is not for me to say.

Here are a couple of other issues I have with Adam’s rant:

1. Google only controls so much of the search market because their service is better.  People have a choice when it comes to searching the internet, and we choose Google because we like their results more than others.  Why mandate changes to those results when they are the reason people choose them over competitors?

2. Youtube is the most popular video sharing site.  Why shouldn’t that show up over other videos?  Google was smart enough to buy them.

3. Google being innovative has really nothing to do with the companies they have purchased.  They just have better business sense, and the ability to foresee how we will use the internet, than other companies.  Their ability to incorporate all of these services in their core business, and make it both free and easy to use, is what makes them far more innovative than Mr. Raff gives them credit for.

4. Google Maps is better than MapQuest.  If it wasn’t, Google would not be able to use it the way they do.  The same is true for almost all Google services when compared to the competitors that they successfully “took down”.

Don’t penalize Google for being the best.  And definitely don’t force your opinions on us just because you blame Google for your failure.


Are the People Behind the Movie ‘Avatar’ Spamming Me?

December 27, 2009

I operate a couple of different blogs, including this one, and I can’t help but think that “Avatar” is spamming me all over the place.

It has become one of the latest “spammy” things to do, comment on millions of blogs with links back to your site within the comment or the “name” field.  If the comments don’t go through an approval process, they go live on the web for all search engines to see.  Links back to the site help overall search engine rankings and the practice is a success.

As a blogger, I find the practice disgusting.  But as a marketer, if it works, it works.

And no one is beyond it.  Lately I have been getting hundreds of comments about the movie Avatar on multiple blogs with links back to some various fan sites and movie reviews.  Who is behind this? Do the people promoting the movie even know about this?  If they do, are the happy with it?

I wish there was a website that announced to the world what companies were doing this and created a massive blacklist of comments to erase from the web forever.  I was never going to see the movie Avatar, and now even more I will go out of my way to stop others from seeing it as well.

Stop the SPAM!


Drive Traffic to Your Blog

December 23, 2009

It’s funny.  I have owned this website, zachheller.com, for two years.  I used to blog at a very good pace, averaging a couple of posts per week.  I was getting really into and then all of the sudden, back in September when I started my new job, I just stopped.  I had less time on my hands and I lost the will to really commit to writing new posts.

Then, a few days ago I got an email reminder from GoDaddy.  The domain was about to expire and I had to decide whether or not to commit to it again.  Since it is relatively cheap I decided to renew, knowing that eventually I would want to own the website again.

This morning I logged on for the first time in months, and low and behold the traffic to my site is up.  It’s been going up the whole time.  The date of my last blog post was September 22nd, and since that day I have had 4 of my most active days yet.  Traffic in November and December are up over this time last year when I was writing very frequently.

So my advice to anyone trying to start their won blog is just do it.  Just write something.  People will come.

Obviously that is terrible advice but it works for me.  Thanks to all my readers and happy holidays!