Sunday, August 31, 2008

Workflow - Social Media Pastor

More from Chris Brogan

Workflow - Social Media Pastor

Posted: 30 Aug 2008 07:22 AM PDT

church ( cowritten and deeply inspired by Jon Swanson) Emilio rises at six and starts coffee. His RSS reader has many blogs to read, plus links to a “Bible in a Year” website that sends him daily updates. It’s no longer strange to be reading the Bible in his RSS reader. It just feels like another way to connect. Emilio is thinking of setting alerts for his community in general, plus for specific issues facing the people in his congregation.

Emilio has a personal blog for reflections, and a website for the Church, as well. Most recently, he’s added a section for using to show live sermons. Not that every house has a broadband Internet connection, but if this is another way that someone who can’t make it to the church can feel connected to the community, why not give it a try.

Other churches are putting up sermons and special events on YouTube and GodTube. Emilio has found ideas for sermons online regularly, or rather, ways to refresh his own ideas with the wisdom of others.

Some churchgoers in his extended online community are doing things like Twitter their local service. Others have been confronted for bringing technology into the church. In some affluent churches, there are even Second Life outposts, and online campuses. It’s a balance of concerns and considerations: are you still part of a community when represented digitally? Does God hear your prayer in pixel form? Emilio leans towards yes, but he knows that others aren’t as understanding.

Emilio knows that there are more challenges to taking religion into social media. He’s read and studied the book UNCHRISTIAN, by David Kinnamon. In this book, Kinnamon talks about what outsiders think about Christianity: hypocritical, focus on conversion, antihomosexual, sheltered, too political, judgmental. Emilio feels there’s a much greater risk of these concerns spreading in the online world, where some context is lost.

Emilio recently upgraded his cell phone, which allows him to receive email from people with questions, receive text messages from people seeking a quick check-in during a rough moment, and it’s allowed him to be able to take pictures and share them online with the larger community. As Emilio visits a lot of hospitals, he sometimes records quick audio messages with someone sick, to be able to store and play this message for a family member later on.

There’s still so much face to face that he does, and much that doesn’t require an Internet connection, but through these options, Emilio has reached out far beyond his local congregation. He feels friendship with people from all around the world, and he understands the larger struggles people are having through his exploration of other blogs and online media.

With so much more to do, Emilio is happy for his first steps, and looks forward to even more respectful contact with others.

How does this sit with you?

Visit Chris's website: []

These posts are made for sharing. Feel free to repost all or portions of this (as long as it’s not for profit). If you do post it, please make sure you kindly link back to [] and give me credit. Thanks!

Photo credit, Chicago Eye

Greg Cryns

Work At Home Profiles

Saturday, August 30, 2008

"Change" is happening - whether you like it or not

"Change" is happening - whether you like it or not

Despite what the candidates think is change, they are not ready for the real changes coming.

Yes, the old ways still rule, but new ideas and methods are creeping, faster every day as the youngsters start to become adults and take the reigns.

The future holds a new and different world, for sure, for the youngsters. Not necessarily better, depending on what they actually do with the power.

We are handing over the power. We don't want to do it. We don't trust them. They are too young, we think. Their music is strange. They don't like black and white movies. They don't read books so much or at least the ones that are more difficult to read.

MySpace is strange. They don't even use the Internet like we do. These days the youngsters communicate through MySpace and Facebook. They pretty much ignore our old, calcified ways of communication if not action.

They don't even use email much any more.

Texting is HUGE. It may be the most influential innovation so far in the 21st Century. Remember that. They like to text message, A LOT. They are only buying phone plans that have unlimited texting options.

cannot figure that one out except that it makes long messages a thing of the past. I just cannot see the youngsters (all up to 25 years old or so) ever writing a long hand-written letter unless electricity collapses. I think maybe YOU have abandoned that tradition as well? I know I have.

So, read this post below and read between the lines. It is important to know where this world is heading, assuming we get out of the Old School uniforms and embrace the change. We must, you know, just for peace of mind. If we do not, the world will go on without us, of course, as it always has for eons.

Change will happen. Constitutions and empires will crumble. What seems true today loses its veracity in the future.

Here is the email I received from Chris Brogan, a very smart blogger: Note at the bottom of his message how he asks you to pass this info along, just asking for credit. He wants to make his living on the Internet with the power of blogging. I don't see Chris pushing products yet. Maybe he won't have to.

Workflow- Social Media School Teacher

Posted: 29 Aug 2008 05:18 AM PDT

classroom Dharmesh wakes up a little late. After a quick shower, he skips checking email, but goes right to his RSS reader to see updates of where the students worked within the social network. Luckily, Ning (and lots of services) send new activities out via RSS, so they're easy to track.

It looks like Margarite has added more YouTube videos to the video section, and Franklin has written a blog post about the town's historic water cooler. Jeremy has already commented that Franklin forgot to cite a source, saving Dharmesh the effort. He eats a breakfast bar, and hops in his car for the commute to work.

On his iPod, Dharmesh listens to last week's book reports read out by the students. The quality of their work has improved a great deal since switching to the audio requirement. The second report, by Kelly, is a little loud and the audio clips a bit. Dharmesh makes a mental note to show Kelly how to level the audio in Audacity.

At school, the first period media students are all frustrated. They've built a media room in FriendFeed, but haven't figured out what they're going to use to present their collected information. Dharmesh lets their discuss the benefits of a blog versus just adding a group to Ning. He asks if they've tried Scrapblog yet, which makes simple pages in a primarily drag-and-drop interface. They agree to check that out.

Period four is right before lunch. Dharmesh has special permission to mix the two time frames, so he takes his class out on a walk, asking them to snap pictures with their cell phones' cameras. Only one student doesn't have a smartphone, and Dharmesh gives him a Flip camera, instructing him to shoot some video of the student's collecting their photos. Now there'll be a documentary to go along with the photo walk project.

There's only one fast computer in the class room. The others are horribly out of date. But Mister McBrian has done a great job of keeping them updated, and their browsers work well enough to be mostly useful. Because the school has opted to use only web apps instead of buying software for each computer, they were able to use some money to improve memory on the machines. It's not ideal, but classrooms are rarely state of the art for long.

Before the end of the day, Dharmesh has recorded a quick video on the fast computer, giving the next week's assignments audibly. He's already sent the assignments as a forum update to their Ning group, so the class doesn't have to write anything down to remember. It's already in their RSS feed.

On the commute home, Dharmesh listens to more podcast book reports and thinks about what he can do to raise money to get just a few more good computers into the class room. Before these kids get to fourth grade, he figures, they should know that not all computers take two minutes to load a page. Maybe a fundraiser, he think, as he drives home to meet up with his family for dinner.

What do you think? Make sense? Was it surprising that I have this as a 3rd grade classroom? It's not inaccurate. My daughter is entering first grade and she knows how to navigate a browser, iTunes, and various websites.

These posts are made for sharing. Feel free to repost all or portions of this (as long as it's not for profit). If you do post it, please make sure you kindly link back to [] and give me credit. Thanks!

What is your daily marketing routine?

There is a fellow I "met" on Twitter who has gained my utmost respect. His name is Chris Brogan. I don't really know Chris but I do know he has great content on his blog. Here is a sample:

Workflow- Social Media for Marketers

Posted: 28 Aug 2008 03:16 AM PDT

billboards What does a day in the life of a social media marketer look like? I’m not a marketer, so if I get some of your terms wrong, forgive me. I thought maybe we could do a walkthrough of a fictitious social media marketer, Yolanda, for a small hotel group (four hotels) in Boston. I picked hotels just because otherwise I’d have picked a software company. Let’s walk through a workflow, and then reconstruct it in bullets at the end.

Rise and Shine

First thing in the morning, Yolanda sends a quick tweet out to Twitter saying that she’s wondering what’s going on in Boston this week. A few of the locals give her some news she knows, but @loudmouthman mentions that he heard there’s a tech conference there Thursday. She searches around and finds it. Score, an opportunity to find some potential guests for her hotel.

Yolanda checks her RSS reader to see who’s been talking about hotels in Boston, meetups in Boston, conferences, events, tweetups, vacations, etc. She has several targeted searches with RSS feeds cooked for each, so browsing through to get the pulse of the city is easy. Yolanda also has a few hotel blogs and travel blogs in her reader, in case the occasional great idea is something she can run with. She hasn’t started blogging yet, but comments regularly. People know her name.

After getting the lay of the land, Yolanda pours her second cup of coffee and browses Yelp. She’s not frustrated like some business leaders. Instead, Yolanda has a proactive approach. She’s built a process at her four hotels such that on sign-in, guests are invited to get a Yelp account, so that they can learn what people are saying about restaurants and other venues in Boston. There’s also a polite encouragement to rate their stay via Yelp. (It’s a bit gutsy, and the CEO was a bit spooked when she started the practice, but so far - fingers crossed - people are giving her hotels a good rating.)

After Lunch

Mid-day, Yolanda’s helped her VP of marketing with some more traditional business for a few hours. She was happy to hear the VP say that she was willing to try out a YouTube promotion idea, and also to put some sponsor dollars towards a few Boston tech blogs that don’t write about hotels, but that are central to some events where people might find the affinity and choose her hotels over others. The VP kept wondering why the budget for both projects was so low, thinking there was an accident, but hey, social media isn’t about money: it’s about smaller victories.

Yolanda’s listening posts have found someone complaining about a bad stay. She goes onto the blog in question, apologizes for the situation, and offers a free night the next time this blogger is in town. This merits four comments from the blogger’s audience saying that this is good service. Yolanda feels happy. She worries about what listening will be like if this kind of interaction takes on.

On Twitter, Yolanda helps two people talking about the Red Sox to know where they might want to grab a bite after the game. Not at her hotel’s restaurant. None of her four are really known for post-baseball celebrations. She recommends the Boston Beer Works, which is always fun after a game, though a bit noisy.

Before Leaving Work

Yolanda wraps up her website analytics reports and realizes that she’s getting decent traffic from a specific blogger’s post. She thought it was positive, but had no idea it would drive so much awareness of the site. She makes a note to think about hosting a few bloggers’ meetups in their meeting rooms, free of charge, and seeing if that brings in some more guests. Yolanda closes the lid on her laptop and heads off to a Web Inno event in Kendall Square. It’s not her crowd, but she’s got a hunch it doesn’t hurt for her to hang with the geek crowd.


Yolanda used Twitter, some listening tools ( and, mixed with an RSS reader (Google Reader), commented on several blogs, and focused on Yelp as an active part of her marketing mix.

Now it’s your turn: is this realistic? Would you see this adding value? What else might she have done?

Is this post helpful?

Visit Chris's website: []

Greg Cryns


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some people miss the boat on Twitter

Don't kid us. If you are frequenting Twitter and you are older than 20 years old, then it is likely you are interested in marketing something. I think that is a fair assessment.

If you do what I do, you look to find "worthy" people to follow. You want to find people who are movers and shakers in your niche. You hope to learn things from them.

This morning I clicked on the link of one of the people I follow. She is known as "the communicatrix". In her link she was promoting a video she made that expresses why Southwest should pick her as their New Southwest Airlines Blog-O-Spondent.

Here is the link:

I think this is a great use of video to get viral attention. It is lots of fun to watch and it may even earn the communicatrix a new job. I hope so.

But here is my beef. I was about to send out a "retweet" that would show my 454 followers the link to this video. I don't know, but I believe this would help the communicatrix somehow, some way.

Golldarnit! She is not following me. So, what's the point of helping her? I am not saying that I am the most worhty person to follow, but that's what I thought. Eventually I decided to help the communicatrix anyway by putting the link on this blog. I think a retweet would have been more powerful since I know I won't get 453 crossovers to my blog from Twitter very soon.

Not only that, I could not send a message through Twitter because she chooses not to follow most of her followers.

My point is, don't be so stingy about following people. Some great people follow everyone who follows them. I think these people understand the inherent value.

Perhaps the handle should be changed to "The noncommunicatrix"?

Unless you are fearful of stalkers? If so, then you better just leave the Internet alone?

Please leave your comments. What is your opinion? I think it is bad form not to follow people who follow you. It is just plain snobbish. Should we limit the people we follow?

Greg Cryns

Friday, August 22, 2008

Google is not God!

Google Is Everything! Or Is It?
Copyright (c) 2008 Bill Platt
the Phantom Writers

As an article marketer, I say things that I believe will help
other people accomplish their goals. As a widely published
article writer, I am often criticized for the words I write. ;-)

In July of 2008, I wrote an article about meta-search engines
called, "Look Beyond Google: Meta-Search Engines Can Help Online
Marketers" (
In this article, the basic concept I was trying to share was that
Internet Marketers should look beyond the presence of Google, to
find more ways to drive traffic to their websites.

The Google Religion

This article apparently struck a chord of truth with a lot of
people, as its reprint results are much larger than even I

The article was also reprinted on the Link Referral website by
someone who seems to have appreciated the article:

The first response to the post at the Link Referral website read
as follows: "Thanks for the useless post. Google is everything.
If you cannot be found on Google, pray for MSN and Yahoo.
Anything else will give you 1 hit in 100 years. Link exchanging
and buying ads would be so much more effective than buying into
that article."

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not the least bit annoyed that
someone criticized my article. The fact that someone criticized
the article is only a testimony to the fact that my words touched
the nerve of someone who worships the Google religion. I don't
want to offend anyone's religion... That would be wrong...

Of course, this is not the first time I have offended those who
preach the tenets of the Google religion. I also wrote about this
subject in an article about Creating Page Rank, which can be read
at: This article also
drew criticism by those who mocked my assertion that people can
truly generate substantial traffic from sources other than Google
and that Google PageRank is not as important as many claim.

Answering My Critics

I will admit that if a website is not listed in Google, the task
of trying to make money online is made more difficult.

But if a website is not ranked in Google, and it is does not
possess links to it from anywhere else either, then you might as
well be working at McDonald's for extra money, as opposed to
trying to make money online.

Honestly, Google is only "everything" when you have "nothing
but Google" on the table.

The Proof Is In The Pudding

This is not just an opinion I hold. I can back up what I am
saying with real data, from a real website that does not rely
upon Google for its salvation... The statistics shown here are
from my primary website:

Even though I do not rely on Google for traffic, Google delivers
a great deal of traffic to my website. I actually do quite well
in the Google game. I get lots of Google Love for my website, as
described here:

Nothing But The Facts

The following data reflects the traffic for The Phantom Writers
for both 2007 and 2008 (through Aug 15th):

Total Unique Visitors
* 2007: 244,000+
* 2008: 169,000+

Total Page Views
* 2007: 1.2+ million
* 2008: 1.0+ million+

Unique Clicks from All Search Engines (59 in 2007; 58 in 2008)
* 2007: 119,309
* 2008: 129,749

Unique Clicks from Google
* 2007: 61,923
* 2008: 75,750

Unique Clicks from Yahoo, Windows Live, Ask, and MSN Search
* 2007: 49,291
* 2008: 50,148

Unique Clicks from Other 54/53 Search Engines
* 2007: 8,095
* 2008: 3,851

Important Data Analysis

In 2007, with 244,000+ total visitors and 61,923 visitors from
Google, I would have had to turn away 182,077 visitors or 74.6%
of my traffic in 2007, if I had relied solely upon Google to
drive traffic to my website.

In 2008, with 169,000+ total visitors and only 75,750 of those
visitors coming from Google, I would have had to turn away 93,250
visitors or 55% of my traffic, if I relied solely upon Google to
deliver visitors to my website.

With 61,923 visitors from Google in 2007 and 93,250 visitors from
Google so far in 2008, it is sure that Google is important.

I wonder how many of my critics are actually seeing 61,923
visitors per year? I suspect that many of those who claim that my
advice is bad would be tickled pink to see my Google traffic to
their websites. And I bet they would be shocked to realize that
non-Google sources account for more traffic for my website than
their Google God does.

Beyond Google

In 2007, my website received 119,309 total visitors from all of
the search engines combined, but only 61,923 of those people came
from Google. That leaves 57,386 people who arrived on my website
from the 58 search engines that are not Google. In the search
category, Google accounted for only 51.9% of my total search

The top five search engines accounted for 93.2% of my search

Had I ignored the those unknown search engines, as my critics
suggest others should, I would have been forced to turn away a
full 8,095 people or 3% of all of my visitors in 2007. That is a
far cry from "one hit in 100 years".

So far in 2008, Google has accounted for 58% of my total search
traffic and only 45% of my global traffic.

The top five search engines have accounted for 95% of my search
traffic. Those itty-bitty search engines have delivered 3,851
visitors to my website so far this year, accounting for 2.96% of
all of my gross traffic in '08.

Itty-bitty is historically worth at least 3% of my yearly
traffic. If you want to ignore that 3%, then that is your
business. But myself, I am happy to receive traffic from anywhere
that I can gain that traffic.

Beyond The Search Engines

As the owner of a professional article marketing company, who
practices what he preaches, 90% of my advertising budget is spent
on article marketing alone.

This is where the following two pieces of data comes into play:

Unique Non-Search URL's Sending Traffic
* 2007: 9,036
* 2008: 5,811

Unique Visitors from Non-Search URL's
* 2007: 27,397
* 2008: 23,907

The remainder of my website's traffic comes from articles
published in newsletters and on other websites, recommendations
by other websites, bookmarks and name recognition.

In 2007, my website received 27,397 visitors from 9,036
verifiable links to my website from articles that we wrote or
from recommendations people made for my website. Of course, I
am willing to bet that many of the 97,294 visitors who were
untrackable in 2007 were the result of the many articles of mine
that were published in newsletters.

In 2008, my website has so far pulled 23,907 visitors from 5,811
verifiable external URLs. There have so far been another 15,344
visitors that I received from untrackable sources, many of which
were probably from the articles that we have successfully had
published in newsletters.

The article marketing that we do provides a lot of verifiable
traffic to our website, and potentially a lot of our untrackable
traffic was also derived from the article marketing we do.

In the end, we credit article marketing for our great search
engine placement, for hundreds of keywords, and our substantial
search traffic as well.

One Quarter Million Reasons Why Google Is Not God

If I believed the poster who said that "Google is everything",
and I had followed his advice for the last several years, then I
would have had to turn away 275,327 additional visitors to my
website in the past 20 months!

OMG!!! To think that I could have turned away a quarter million
visitors or 67% of all of my websites' traffic, if I had simply
followed the advice of my critics.

Wow! Some of my critics are absolute idiots!

Yes, Google is important. But, is Google really "everything"?
Only if you want to fail...

As the owner of, Bill Platt has
been providing article ghost writing and article distribution
services since 2001. In recent weeks, Bill overhauled his website
format, in a way that improved navigation and simplified the
process of finding the highest ranked authors and most popular
articles on his website. You will also find a lot of great
information in Bill's article marketing blog, which can be
seen at:

See you next time!

Greg Cryns

Clickbank has competition - that's good!

"Move Over ClickBank, There's a New Kid in Town: Click2Sell"

By Merle

Are you frustrated with Clickbank? For years now they
have been the "reigning champion" when it comes to
payment processing with a built in affiliate network.
Clickbank makes it easy to sell your digital products
and take advantage of their affiliate army, numbering
over 100,000. It's simple really - you let others sell
your products and they earn commission.

Recently a new competitor has hit the scene,
They're a company based out of Europe who have put together
a service that includes many of the features that others
are lacking.

No matter if you're just a merchant (seller), or you're
a "super affiliate" making a living online, Click2Sell
incorporates some wonderful features and benefits. Let's
take a closer look:

Merchants can sell digital or material products, even
subscription based services. Your products can be sold
in U.S. dollars, EUR or GBP. Payments are received instantly
to your Paypal, Worldpay,, Google Checkout
or Moneybookers account.

Once registered, you can be up and selling right away.
There's no "waiting period" for approval of thank you
or sales pages. You set your own pricing, no maximum
price points, and it's easy to add new products.

Your digital products are uploaded to Click2Sell's server
and protected from unauthorized access. The thank you
pages shown to buyers are encrypted so they never know
the actual download location. All download links expire
within 72 hours of purchase, which eliminates the problem
of them being shared with others.

The built in affiliate program allows you to easily pay
any affiliate commission with a few clicks, using either
Paypal or Moneybookers. You set the commission rate you're
willing to pay, up to 95%. Affiliates can be automatically
accepted or you can choose to manually approve them. This
feature allows you to ban those you don't want promoting
your products.

Merchants are also given a choice to show affiliates the
conversion rates of your products in the marketplace, or
not. And, of course they've built in powerful statistics
and tracking which reports on the number of active affiliates,
and their performance. Also, it tracks product conversion
rates for different keywords, a product's rank and history
of changes in the marketplace and much more.

Hang on to your seat because the benefits and features
offered to affiliates are just as exciting. When searching
for products you wish to promote, you can search through
the marketplace using various criteria such as category,
rank, amount earned per sale, conversion rate, popularity
and more. This is a great way to find just the products
that meet your needs.

The built in advanced tracking reports allow you to see
how many people clicked on your affiliate link, and the
number that actually purchased. See how much you've
earned in "real time". Very nice. Even if they don't
purchase right away, if someone clicks on your affiliate
link and goes back to purchase within six months, you'll
still earn your commission.

Any monies earned in a month are paid out in full
the following month. No money is held back in a reserve

So, how much is all of this going to cost you? Don't
faint, but it's totally free to set up an account, no
matter if you're a merchant or just an affiliate.
Merchants are charged 1.00 to 3.00 USD on each sale.

Do yourself a favor and check out their website for
further information.

"The Tricks to Paying for Clicks"
Learn everything you need to know about
pay-per-click search engines at....

Greg Cryns

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Affiliate Marketing Program

by Ruth Brown

With literally thousands of affiliate marketing programs available to choose from, a prospective internet affiliate marketer needs to ask several questions first before making a decision as to which program(s) to join.

Doing some basic research about the various online promotion programs you intend to join is to your benefit and advantage. Be sure you that you receive definite answers to the following questions from the merchants you are interested in signing up with. The answers you they will give you are the decisive factors on which you should base your decision on whether you will join or not as an online reseller of their products or services.

1. Does it cost anything to signup? Most online marketing programs do not entail any joining fees therefore do not settle for programs that charge you money, even if it is only a few dollars, before joining.

2. When do they issue commission checks? Depending on the type of program you choose, checks may be issued monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly. Choose the one that suits you best.

3. Is there a minimum commission payout? Some companies set a minimum earned commission amount (normally $50) that must be met or exceeded before they issue checks. If you are happy with it, go ahead.

4. What is the hit per sale ratio? This is simply the average number of hits to a banner or text link it takes to make a sale - this is particularly important because it allows you to calculate the amount of traffic you must generate before you can earn a commission from the sale of the product or service.

5. How does the company track referrals from an affiliate's site and how long do they remain in the system? Since all affiliate marketing programs employ cookies to track online promotion, you need to be positive that the merchant correctly and reliably tracks people you refer from your site since this is the only way you get credit for a sale. The period of time is also important because some visitors do not buy outright, they may want to return at a later date to make the purchase. Know if you will still get credit for the sale if it is made some months later after a client's initial visit to your site.

6. What are the available statistics? A good affiliate program must be able to provide detailed statistics online anytime an affiliate wants to review them. Regularly checking and analyzing your individual website statistics is valuable and keeps you up to date on the number of impressions, hits and sales generated from your site.

7. Does the program also pay for hits and impressions aside from commissions on sales? It is important to determine if the program also pays for impressions and hits, this adds to your earnings from commissions. However, this becomes more important if the program you happen to join has a low hit-to-sales conversion ratio.

8. Whom are you doing business with? Knowing whom you do business with is fundamental to successful online promotion. Know the company, the products they sell and the average sales they generate. This will help you determine if the program is suited for you and your website.

9. Is the system a one-tier or two-tier program? One-tier programs pay only for the business you generate whereas a two-tier program pays you for your own self-generated business and also pays you a commission on the on the sales generated by affiliates who signed up through you in the affiliate marketing program. There are also two-tier programs that pay a small fee for each affiliate you recruit.

10. How much is the commission rate? Normally, programs pay out anywhere from a minimum of 5% to a maximum of 20% commission. Clicks or hits are worth from .01% - .05% per hit.

Make sure that the affiliate marketing program you plan to join gives you definitive answers to these 10 questions before you make a decision to join. It is always best to know before hand what you are getting into.

For more information, resources, and some of the best internet marketing tools on the internet, visit Affiliate Marketing News

Greg Cryns

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

5 Little known but very useful Twitter Tools

5 Little known but very useful Twitter Tools

There are now hundreds of tools you can get for free. Here is a list of my 5 favorite Twitter tools.

1.Less Friends – The name sounds funny but this is my fave Twitter tool. Who wants “less” friends on Twitter? I do. Why? I went out and grabbled all the people I could to follow but when I got smarter I realized that seeing too many posts makes finding great posts difficult. With Less Friends you can see exactly who is following you and who you are following in one long list. You can easily see who follows you so you know when a direct response will not work.

2. Tweet Scan – a “real time Twitter search” I typed in “Russia” because that was the most important world news to me today. There were hundreds of posts with great resources shown. URL:

Tweet Beep – it’s like Google Alerts except just for Twitter. Want to see when someone posts about “internet marketing” or the latest movie? Good research possibilities.

4. Twitscoop – What’s hot on Twitter right now – says it all.
You can follow Twitscoop:
- how convenient!

5. Twitzer - This is a Firefox extension that let's you put more than 140 characters into your Twitter posts. This can be very useful if you want ot impart information but you don't want your reader to have to visit your blog or website. URL:

Greg Cryns

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Trickle Up theory of economics

Being at the heart of a another fabulous election (yawn) some of my friends are touting Ronald Reagan as the savior of the western world. I wouldn't know since I did not care much for politics when he was President. I remember the line from the "Back to the Future" movie when doc asks (in the future) who is President now? When he hears about Reagan he exclaims "The actor?!"

In a discussion with a right wing friend I mentioned that the wealth of the US is flowing more and more into the hands of the rich. Something tells me that this is not a good thing for America. I suggested that the new President to be crowned next January should install "trickle up" economics since "trickle down" doesn't seem to be working too well lately.

I did not know that "trickle up" is actually used to describe an economic theory until I checked Wikipedia.

Catch this from Wikipedia.

The trickle down effect is usually used to describe a process by which benefits to the wealthy "trickle down" to benefits for the poor. The trickle up effect, in a corollary to this, states that benefiting the poor directly (for example through micro loans) will boost the productivity of the society as a whole and thus those benefits will, in effect, "trickle up" to benefits for the wealthy.

Possible causes

The trickle up effect states that benefits to the wealthy will be realized due to an increase in sales relative to the amount of benefits that are given to the poor. The trickle up effect argues itself as more effective than the trickle down effect because people who have less tend to buy more. In other words, the poor are more inclined than the wealthy to spend their money. This being so, proponents of the trickle up effect believe that if the lower and lower-middle classes are given benefits, such as tax breaks or subsidies, the increased funds would be spent at a much higher rate than would the upper class, given similar fund increases. Furthermore, the trickle up effect argues, many upper-class individuals do not spend their entire yearly salary to begin with, which is an indication that they will not spend any additional funds. Instead, they will save additional funds, thereby withholding those funds from the economy and increasing the gap between the rich and the poor. The trickle up effect avoids this pitfall by giving more money to those who would be more inclined to spend it.

greg cryns (who only know how to spell "economics" not how to make it work)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

We all need customers

How important are you customers to you? Do you take them for granted? If you do you may find your checkout time from your business will come very soon.

American Airlines was the first major airline top develop a websigte that let passengers plan their trips and book reservations, as well as access real-time flight information.

What was different about the apporach by American is that the site was designed specifically for the company's 32 million most profitable customers- its AAdvantage frequent flyers.

Along the way, American learned some important lessons.

American discovered that customer profiles are important in order to be able to tailor offerings for each customer. And it discovered the value of the Internet as an interactive marketing channel.

Greg Cryns

think about the unthinkable

It is time now to talk about the unthinkable.

I get incredibly sad when I see our adored leaders talking about how they can destroy the human race by pushing a couple of buttons.

Yesterday I saw TV commentators show on a big map how Iran's missiles cannot reach the US but exactly how the Russian missiles would land on their targets in the US. They should be screaming about it, not just talking about it. You should be so pissed off that you would take extreme actions to avoid it.

But we don't. We sit on our hands. We try to comfort ourselves by saying "They would never resort to that."

Where there is smoke there is fire and brimstone when it comes to nuclear warfare. Throughout history, humans have used the weapon toys they built, all of them. Our dear and beloved USA used TWO nukes. Correction, our leaders did that. We applauded while our Japanese brothers and sisters had their skin melted.

These people, the leaders, MUST be put in their place, IMMEDIATELY. We MUST learn to control them, QUICKLY. We cannot sit back on our hands and shrug. All is at stake. Everything.

And we are talking about McCain and Obama? Abortion? Environment? Energy?

Our thoughts are misplaced.

Don't think it can't happen. People do not understand how the old "Cold War" almost destroyed the planet. We came so close in the Cuban Missile Crises. SO CLOSE to extinction.

If it did there would be no "I told you so's" to shake our fingers with. There would be no people with fingers to do it. Our children and grandchildren would be ashes.

Is this depressing? It should be. Depressing thoughts are a drag. Most people deny it can or will happen. Most people shrug.

Stop shrugging!

I actually cried when I watched this video thinking that all beautiful things that exist on this earth, including human creations like the music, could evaporate overnight.

greg cryns

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Google Map car getting a ticket

People ask me how I find the weird stuff on the Internet.

Well, I found this picture of one of the Google Map cars getting a ticket from the local police is on Flickr:

I found the Flickr picture on this interesting site called Streetviewr.

I found Streetviewr on a very cool and addictive website called EPIC FU.

I found EPIC FU when I was thinning out the people I was following. I came across @Zadi who is the star of EPIC FU. When I saw she had 5,900 followers and that she is following only 450 or so I figured I'd better take a look at her website. Glad I did. And, no, I did not UNfollow Zodi.

The Internet provides strange journeys. One of the reasons I love it.

Greg Cryns

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fossil Fuels Beer

This is a local news story in my area. Let's see. How can I relate this to marketing? A press release for Fossil Fuels Beer.

Any suggestions?

(photo by
Jan Yarnot - thank you Jan!)

Professor brews beer with 45-million-year-old yeast

Cal Poly professor emeritus Raul Cano and colleagues recently unveiled Fossil Fuels Beer, a unique beverage that uses ancient yeast as a key ingredient, at Kelley Brothers Brewing in Manteca.

In 1995, Cano reported in Science magazine that he’d extracted living bacterium from a bee entombed in amber 25 million to 45 million years ago.

His research was a key inspiration for the “Jurassic Park” books and movies.

Now more than a decade later, research by the microbiologist and director of Cal Poly’s Environmental Biotechnology Institute is playing a key role in an entirely unique venture — brewing beer from prehistoric yeast plucked from ancient amber samples.

The fungus, originally considered a nuisance in Cano’s laboratory, is now the “star athlete” of Fossil Fuels Brewing, said a Cal Poly spokesman. The firm’s motto is “Bringing Good Things Back to Life.”

“Why waste good waste?” Cano said. “I’m hoping to use profits from beer sales to fund biofuels research at Cal Poly’s EBI. The wastewater from beer production has a great deal of energy, therefore, potential to be reclaimed as biofuel.”

< /snip >

Greg Cryns

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"SPAM" disguised

You visit a website. On the side you see a link for something or another that you think may be interesting to know about. You fill out the info with your email address included. You may not know it but you are now on their email list.

Internet marketing people use this technique all of the time. They offer something of perceived value (usually an ebook) so you click the link. You then find yourself on a page that has a short form on it, usually just asking for your name and email address though there could be other fields to fill out. You put in your first name and your email address.

In the inernet marketing industry you have landed on a "squeeze page". It is named that because they will "squeeze" your email address from you. This is also called a "landing page."

Whatever they call it I bet many newbies and even experienced web surfers will not be prepared to be put on a mailing list. You will often see a message from the website owner as soon as you refresh your email client. If it says "You need to click this link to receive further messages from us" then you are in the "double opt-in system" provided by the website's "autoresponder" system.

The double opt-in protects you from being spammed after someone puts your email address into the system from the website as a joke or if they just despise you. ;P It also protects the website owner to some degree from accusations of spamming though people can always complain and, unfortunately, some hosts will automatically suspend your account no matter what if they suspect are spamming. At least the owner sould be able to point to the fact that you signed up for the messages.

Autoresponders are very cool and valuable assets for just about any website.

But here is my problem. Not all systems are set up for the double opt in technique. I am seeing a growing trend of website owners not taking the double opt-in route. This is disturbing.

Today I saw a form that said I would be entered into a drawing for a prize from the site's sponsors. I am not sure who were the sponsors (ebook purveyors?) but I wanted to see if I would be sent a double opt-in message.

I was not.

I did contact the owner and asked if I would be on their email list. I received an immediate response that I would get messages but that I could easily opt out.

That's not enough in my book. I think all websites must employ the double opt-in method or be subject to fines like any other spammers. Like I said earlier, I am not against autoresponders and I use them for my own websites.

We have a right to insist that we fully understand that we will be getting advertisments dumped into our email boxes before we hand over our email address.

It's also good business for the website owner. Disrespecting people will often result in a severe case of assbiteitis.

Greg Cryns

Monday, August 11, 2008

Have patience, will succeed

In his latest blog, Seth Godin says, "I discovered a lucky secret the hard way about thirty years ago: you can outlast the other guys if you try. If you stick at stuff that bores them, it accrues. Drip, drip, drip you win."

How very true on the web and in real life. We get quick results on the web, almost instant recognition using Web 2.0 tactics. It doesn't take long to raise expectations and then to dash them when what you do does not take hold to create solid satisfaction.

"The trap: Show up at a new social network, invest two hours, be really aggressive with people, make some noise and then leave in disgust."

Right on, Seth.

In real life, my daughter, Liana, has been performing at local clubs in LA for over three years. She works for pennies (at best). Her efforts resulted in building a local following who show up to root her on from week to week at various bars in the vast city. She adds new songs to her routine regularly and posts them on her MySpace page.

Liana's persistence and hard work may pay new dividends soon. She was contacted by a movie producer who wants to use a song or two in an upcoming movie in 2009.

Hang in there. Good things can and do happen if you stir into the mix your talents, patience and especially hard work.

Greg Cryns

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lessons from my local insurance man

Yesterday I spent some time on the phone with my insurance agent. Let's get this right.


He is Steve Weber in Paso Robles, CA. When we moved out here almost a year ago, I needed to change agents. I heard a commercial of Steve's on the radio while driving around Paso Robles learning about the area. Since I was on the lookout to get a new agent my ears perked up.

Long story short: I got along well with Steve at our first appointment and I became a client. He was very professional in our discussion and showed me that he cared about my financial well being. Since then I've met with Steve in other business presentations and at civic meetings in town.

When I called him yesterday, I quizzed Steve about what works and what doesn't work for him in advertising.

The best results he gets are:

1. the big sign in front of his business that is on a main artery in town
2. yellow pages
3. radio ads

Steve has good Internet presence but he feels that does not generate many new clients. Not many people get an insurance quote from his website.

People are using the Internet to uncover information they can use to make decisions but in my experience they are not buying from the small business websites.

Some reasons?

1. They are not ready to buy when they get to your website. They just want information.
2. Your sales copy needs work
3. You, the business owner, did not get the email address to communicate with the website visitor in the future, hopefully at a time when they ARE ready to buy.

I will talk about list building for the small business owner in another issue of this blog.

See you next time!

Greg Cryns

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Networking - can you define it?

What exactly is "network marketing"? It's a bit hard to define.

The new marketers are attached to the Internet as though by an umbilical cord. We are the baby in that scenario and the Internet feeds us, gives us sustenance.

I hate to burst your bubble, young guns, but network marketing was popular before the Internet was a glint in Al Gore's eye. (joke, or is it?) Some people think of the days before the Internet as Neanderthal style existence. It's a little like black and white movies that my kids would not be caught dead watching.

May I be so bold to suggest that you can learn a hell of a lot from older folks like, well, me! At least I can offer my perspectives. Hint: not everyone in the 1960's was a hippy. In fact, almost all of them were not hippies.

Does the Internet give us all we need to survive and prosper as a marketer? I don't think so. In my opinion, we need to do a lot of self-study to bolster what we learn reading stuff through a monitor. We need to visit our library. There are plenty of books on networking these days at your local library. It's a hot topic. Know what? You can learn things in books that are not on websites. No kidding.

More than that, I think we need more real human contact. This can be done on the phone if not at parties and chamber of commerce meetings. We need to stop text messaging so much and actually calling people on the phone more.

To that end I am asking people to call me. Often they will call because they have something to sell. Perhaps they think I may buy their service or at least tell someone else about it. And that is OK. I want to hear about what they do and the product they offer.

What I don't want is for the caller to jump into his or her sales pitch, their elevator speech if you will. I want to spend a little time finding out about their lifestyle. Married or single? How many kids? Favorite sport or hobby? Once we establish a rapport it might be possible to grow that relationship into something more powerful.

Here is a great question you can use on or offline. I found it through Christine Lewick who is a business and life coach. She has clients around the world.

The question she poses at offline network meetings is this:
“Can you describe your ideal client so when I recognize her I can send her to you?"

That is a very powerful question. It tells the person you met that you are interested in helping him or her. That is your first concern. Implied in the question is that you could use his help as well. What an extraordinary way to get acquainted!

Greg Cryns (tell me what fresh articles you need)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Audio interview of Problogger's Darren Rowes

Nothing good happens fast. That applies to everyone.

Listen to an hour long interview with Darren Rowes. You will learn a ton about what a big time blogger did to become successful. It did not happen overnight. Darren's journey was full time from the get-go. He committed himself and is rewarded handsomely.

Problogger Secrets (audio interview by Wayne Hurlbert on BlogTalk Radio)

Darren's actual blog
Darren has a video posted this week:
How to Make Your Blog More Personal

I am learning that in order to build up a following your web copy needs an emphasis on what helps solve a challenge. You need to speak TO the reader, not AT the reader. Your copy needs to address the USER not yourself.

You also need to speak from your personal experience. Your readers can tell the difference no matter how much you try to bluff it. Don't bluff it. Give a piece of yourself. Good web copy takes big effort and often some pain. If you write something fast and it looks good, save it and come back to it for a second look an hour later.

Be unique and fresh.

see you next time!

greg cryns

Monday, August 4, 2008

Marketing spam

A guy went up to the office of Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley (the father).

Daley says, "Who sent you?"

Guy says, "Nobody."

Daley says, "We don't want nobody nobody sent!"

This applies to internet marketing email too.

If all that you send to your list are greedy "buy this" messages then you are SPAMMING too.

greg cryns

Twitter Dictionary

Yesterday someone said, "See you later, Tweeps!" I think that one is especially good. It has a magnificent ring to it. I assume it means "Twitter people".

New tool: - you type in a user's name (handle) and it returns the words that user uses in descending order of frequency, not sure of the value here.



When I visit blogs I see more and more words that I may have seen but don't understand, like:

social media (this one could mean so many things)
Qwitter - quit smoking
Politweets - When Twitter gets political

Twubble can help expand your Twitter bubble—it searches your friend graph and picks out people who you may like to follow.

Twitties - hmmmm

twitollowers - I made that up

Twittonary - the Twitter dictionary -

One more Twitter dictionary:

tweetheart (I like that one)

twacklist (twitter blacklist)

tweeotches twitter + beotches

See? It's already been done but it grows by the second.

Greg Cryns

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Do you know about Warrior Forum?

This is to notify people that I am interested in working with other Warrior Forum folks.

Sherice posted today. Here I am! ;)

The Warrior Forum is a place where you can learn a bunch and then use what you learned to make some good money online. Some of the really great marketing minds hang there.

greg cryns

Friday, August 1, 2008

Jack Humphrey's "Top 142 Social Marketing Blogs on the Web"

I don't know him personally but I like and admire Jack Humphrey. He is an expert on internet marketing.

Recently he published "Top 142 Social Marketing Blogs on the Web" and then he explained why he put this list together on his radio show that broadcasts on Fridays. The point about the "Top 142" is that he put up hotlinks to all 142 blogs. Jack is not afraid to link out from his blog. More importantly he suggests that we all do more of it.

I agree. The more good info we give YOU, our readers, the more readers we will get. It works that way. You are not losing ground, you are gaining ground by posting good links.

For myself, I will visit each and every one of the Top 142. I want to see what they offer. I want to learn more about Interent marketing through blogging. A lot of other people I talk to also want to be successful bloggers. Not so many will pursue it with vigor. That is actually good for the ones that do.

Less competition. ;P

Learn about Twitter at Twitter Squeeze

Greg Cryns
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