The Oilman Moves On

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On June 15, 2005 I took the position of Director of SEO at Range Online Media and embarked on a journey that’s lasted for 2 and a half years and has been nothing short of absolutely amazing and rewarding. For some reason, still not totally known to me, Misty Locke and Cheryle Pingle handed over a growing SEO department to me, a guy that had, up until that point, been working in his bath robe in the basement of his house. I’ll never forget how freakin scared I was to step into a management role and carry the responsibility of growing a whole division of a company. For the next 900 and some odd days the team at Range offered me guidance, forgiveness, patience, mentoring and leadership. The end result has been far and away the most rewarding and enjoyable job of my life. It’s with a very heavy heart that I must share with you today that my time at Range has come to an end. I have taken a VP role at company in Seattle called Visible Technologies. I will be overseeing their search department part of the time but mostly I will be working with the product team on two products: TruCast and TruView. I am very excited to embark on this new path and grow my skill set beyond SEO to include more expertise in reputation management and social media measurement. Visible Technologies is a great company that is backed by Ignition Partners. I’ve had the opportunity to meet several folks at both Visible and Ignition and I’ve been impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm of each and everyone of them. I’m confident we’ll all find success together. In order to properly fill the new role at Visible I will be moving to the Seattle area as soon as I can sell my home here and get my family packed up. Look out Seattle – here I come. Yes, I’ll miss my island paradise but the opportunity to work more closely with search community in Seattle is a great benefit that helps offset the extreme sadness of leaving behind a life and friends, here in Victoria, that have been simply wonderful. As I mentioned already, my time at Range has been amazing and I cannot say enough about how great a place Range is to work. The people at Range, long ago, became family. I often have a hard time imagining not being a part of the team at Range anymore. Working at Range has been a privilege. I can’t say enough of Range as a whole or, specifically, the SEO team. The team that reports directly to me is completely badass. Watching them hit homerun after homerun for the likes of Neiman Marcus, Nike, Sharper Image, Macy’s and more has been such a pleasure. There is nothing like managing a world class team. Lastly, Range is working hard to add some new staff to the SEO department. I will still be the Director of SEO until January 31 so please send me resumes directly to todd at rangeonlinemedia dot com or you can submit them to our HR department. I will be helping sort through applications and resumes to ensure that Range continues to have a world class SEO team.

Viva Las Vegas

Well I’m part way to Las Vegas for Pubcon. Based on the weather reports rolling in last night for the Pacific Northwest, it was doubtful I’d be in Vegas today, but after reading a morning weather post on Vegasguy.com, as usual, it turned out that the weather people were a bit off. Seems there’s a Pineapple Express rolling our way but it’s moving slower than expected. Yay for me cuz now I can play craps today. I’m on 6 or 7 panels this year – a couple as speaker and most as moderator. I really need to not be so helpful. Hopefully craps and booze will still figure prominently into the mix. Stop by a session and say Hi. Here’s a shout to the Victoria SEO Posse I met on the flight down here. First round of drinks you guys when we get back. Let’s hit Swans and scare away the ladies with our wit and geekiness. Here’s a pic of how a Pineapple Express is formed (from wikipedia but no link – choke on it wiki).

Video Professor And The Continuity Model

Continuity programs have to be the number one industry being dogged and harassed by online reputation issues. I figured out why. Hang on here…this is profound…people are DUMB!! Totally, unabashedly, ridiculously, box of hair dumb.

Continuity programs, for those of you not familiar with the term, are also known as auto ship programs or some variation on that theme. Basically you order a product then every month they ship you another order, or the next CD or whatever. Typically the first month is free and you just pay shipping. These programs are hot in the affiliate space and quite often backed with late night infomercials. Big deal right? I’m sure we can all agree that there is no free lunch and if you stop and think for even 2 seconds you can probably come to the conclusion that nobody can pay for infomercial time by giving away their products. Clearly common sense eludes the masses.

Probably the most well known continuity player is Video Professor. John W. Scherer (the Video Professor himself) is a very recognizable face today. You all know who he is. He looks like your favorite uncle and by all accounts he’s a phenomenal business man that’s build an empire teaching people how to add numbers in Excel or get rid of red eyes in their digital photos.

I poked around www.videoprofessor.com a bit to see how hard it is to miss the small print that explains that you are enrolling in a program and will be sent more DVDs and be charged for each one. It was pretty damn easy to find. When you fill out the order form there is a check box that is unchecked (you MUST check it to order) that says:

I have read and agree to the details of this offer by reviewing the HOW IT WORKS and Use Agreement program overview.

How It Works and the User Agreement are hyperlinked and one opens a popup and the other opens a new page. I’ll bet the language is confusing and cleverly obfuscated though…

How It Works:

ANY TWO of the three computer tutorial CD-ROMs are yours free without further obligation, PERIOD. Take 10 days to decide if you want to keep the complete set of CDs. After your 10-day free trial, if you decide to keep the complete set, we’ll conveniently bill your credit card just $89.95. Or simply call our customer care number at 1-800-503-3536 if you decide to return any one of the lessons. You will be charged nothing more, and get to keep two computer learning CD-ROMs! You can also return everything within 10 days and receive a full Shipping and Processing refund upon your request.

Hmmm…that’s pretty plain english. Just like you’d expect from your favorite uncle.

User Agreement:

At the end of any Trial or other promotional period, we will begin billing your credit card for subscription fees at the current rate in effect for your use of the SoftwareKeep plus any applicable sales taxes. For your convenience, we will charge the subscription fee (plus any taxes) to the credit card you provide to us during registration (or to a different credit card if you change your account information). Your subscription, whether it is Trial or another promotional period, unless it is a Direct Purchase, will automatically renew for successive subscription periods, without prior notice to you, unless and until you cancel your subscription or we terminate it. You must cancel your subscription before it renews in order to avoid billing of subscription fees to your credit card. We will continue to bill your credit card on a monthly basis (or other periodic billing, depending upon the terms of your subscription) for your subscription to the Software until you cancel your subscription. If you are not satisfied with the fees or billing methods, you may cancel your subscription at any time, but Video Professor will not refund any remaining portion of the monthly (or other periodic) fee when you cancel your subscription. If you subscribed to a free or paid Trial period to the Software, you should understand that your subscription runs continuously from your initial subscription regardless of your use of the Software, and to avoid being charged a subscription fee, you must cancel your account before the end of the Trial period. Video Professor reserves the right to change our fees or billing methods at any time, but we will give you thirty (30) days advance e-mail notice of these changes if your subscription fee(s) will be affected. In certain circumstances, termination charges may apply if you cancel prior to the end of a designated term, if, for example, you have obtained a bonus product.

Certainly that copy is more formal but it’s still pretty damn clear that you aren’t getting anything for nothing.

The real problem here isn’t that continuity programs are hard to describe. It’s also not really that people are dumb. It’s that these dumb people are still smart enough to blog. The bar is too low. I know this sounds totally arrogant but I kinda liked it better when my idiot cousin didn’t know how to work the internet or didn´t know anything about great fonts for resume.

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I found a couple great videos too:

Video Professor

Video Professor

YouTube Canada? Take Off Eh!! Buncha Hosers

Wheee – YouTube is launched in Canada. I can barely contain my excitement and appreciation that someone has recognized us in the Frozen North and…wait…excitement contained and anger rising. This is about the lamest, insulting, piece of crap I’ve seen in a long time and it’s your lucky day cuz I’m gonna rant about it for a bit…EH!! Let’s start with the YouTube Canada home page:


First off, YouTube Canada get’s a teensy weensy little Canadian flag up in the top right corner of the screen? C’mon, where’s the love? Where’s the Canadianized version of the YouTube logo? You know, the one where the red box behind “Tube” is a maple leaf. We don’t even get YouTube.ca. It just redirects to ca. youtube.com. Next is the blog. Here’s my favorite bit:

In developing territory-specific YouTube sites, we wanted to bring YouTube to you, in your language..

Your language from naati translation services? I’ll be the translation was a bitch…all those extra U’s in words. At least YouTube did a nice promotional video for us. You can see how the highlighted above with the fancy title bar and the great name: “YouTube Canada, Eh?”. Yeah, we say Eh. At least it sounds like a letter of the alphabet and not the unintelligible American grunt of “huh?”. Funny stuff YouTube. You sure nailed it. How well you’re endearing yourself to the Canucks. Let’s watch the video… Are you freakin kidding me? I had to look at my calendar to make sure this wasn’t a horribly ill conceived April Fools joke. Nope. It’s November 6. You really think some total tool with the personality and screen presence of piece of drywall (sheetrock for you Americans) wandering filming Canada flags is engaging? Oh look he’s trying to make the flags flap by blowing…hahahahha…pffft. The best part of this is the complete and utter slap to the face of Canadians when this retard says “you disappointed me again Canada, but not YouTube Canada…”. What? You launch a service in my country and then tell me I’ve disappointed you? What kinda message is that? What exactly is disappointing you? The fact our dollar is worth more than yours? The fact that EVERYBODY would rather have a Canadian flag on their backpack than an American flag when aceboater traveling abroad? At least you got the logo right at the end of the video.Welcome to Canada YouTube. Now take Tony and Take Off Eh!!

Crazy In Home Depot

I bought one of the Aliph Jawbone blue tooth headsets a little while ago. It is totally badass. Now I’m one of those losers that walks around with a piece of technology hangin on his ear. Honestly tho I only wear it when I’m talking on it. At all other times it resides in my coat pocket. Sure I’m a dork but I’m not a total tard. A couple evenings ago I was in Home Depot getting some light bulbs and other domestic type stuff and I happened to be talking to a very good friend of mine while I was shopping. At the end of my 4 mile hike around Home Depot I decided to dod the self check out thing. I’ve never done it before and the voice in my ear goaded me into trying it out. So I did. It is less intuitive than I hoped and so I was commenting on that as part of our conversation. I provided a very editorialized step by step and critique of the process. It was actually pretty fun. It turns out tho that there is a worker there that moniters the whole area and is ready to help out. Here’s the good part. He was standing to my right well within earshot. I wear the Jawbone on my left ear… yep… you guessed it. When I looked his way he was clearly sizing me up and trying to determine if I was high, drunk or if I had a 14 IQ. Either way he was clearly not headed over to help me. He looked rather scared actually. There are not a lot of headset users here on my tiny technologically backward island so it’s not something we’re used to seeing and accepting. I’m at the point now where I love having it on cuz people just get so confused. Am I talking them? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m never going to see these people again what do I care? I’ll take the humor.

Local Ads But I’m Not Local

I used to live in Calgary, AB. That’s about 600 miles from where I live now. I still listen a Calgary radio station on a daily basis and of course I listen to it over the net. I like the music and it’s kinda nice to hear Calgary news and stay sorta pluggin to the hometown vibe.

The station streams through a nice little pop up player and when you first launch it you have to sit through an ad before the the actual stream starts. It’s an ad for local Calgary business. It’ s been the same business for as long as I can remember. Something they’ve started doing lately is every 90 min or so they pop up a message that says “Click here to keep listening”. If you click it the stream continues uninterrupted.  If you don’t click it in time it changes to “Click here to resume listening”. At that point you are subjected to the ad again before the stream comes back. I’m really fine with all that and it makes some sense to me to get some more ad play but there’s a bigger question…

If I was in Calgary would I be streaming the station? No. So why put local ads in it? So close to being on target but yet so far.

On the Do Follow Bandwagon

Installed the plugin and activated it. easy peasy.

Twitter, Facebook, Blogging and Economies of Scale

I’m always a bit curious about what kind of jobs in Pensacola FL some of you have. I log into facebooke every other day or so and I see many of you have been very very busy. I also follow some of you on Twitter and you’re very active there as well. When do you actually work? and can I have your job? I joined Twitter just a bit ago to see what all the fuss was about. I find it totally retarded yet oddly addictive. The simple fact that people follow me on Twitter I find to be very amusing. I hope I haven’t disappointed you nice folks. What’s more fun is choosing who to follow. On a masochistic whim I decided to follow Jason Calacanis – cuz, ya know, he’s so terribly interesting with his odd views of SEO and search in general. What I have learned so far about Jason?

  • he went to UCLA to play some baseball the other day
  • he had dinner at Mastros Steak House
  • he made up a new word for when Maholo-ers karaoke: Maholoke (gheeeey!)
  • he’s a big Guitar Hero fan

So does that make my life better? I have to assume so otherwise what’s the point of all this? I think there has to be some great way to link it all together to save me time and effort. For example: when I blog here it automatically gets Twittered. (oh btw I turned off the daily digest crap for Twitter. It was bothering Dax.). If I Twitter I can have that automatically injected into my facebook account or my blog for that matter. Now I’ve also added Jott to the mix so I can just call in and talk for up to 30 second and say I want my brilliance transcribed to any number of sources. So here’s my plan… Jott –> Blog –> Twitter –> Facebook. That will work only for thought snippets. If I want to actually say anything of substance or include links and formatting (like this post) the process (that’s pronounced with a long o btw) up a bit… Blog –> Twitter –> Facebook. I could also have Facebook set up to import my blog as well then I could totally avoid Twitter but I think I’d rather have both and not care about those people that are on my blog, Twitter and Facebook. Clearly they can stand reading me three time right? I think it all starts on the personal blog. With all the plugins and junk out there I’m fairly confident I could cobble together enough pieces that a simple post here would reach out to all the social networks I’m part of. Anybody doing something similar? Read more at http://thehappypooch.com/grooming-care/.

Twitter Updates for 2007-10-24

  • New blog entry: I’m A Twit http://www.oilman.ca?p=238 #
  • Long day of strategy meetings. The forthcoming drinking is well deserved. #
  • @jasoncalacanis effin good for u 😉 #
  • mmmmmm beeeeeeer #
  • New blog entry: I’m A Twit http://www.oilman.ca?p=238 #
  • mmm – chicken fried steak for lunch – making me sleepy during meetings. #
  • hahaha – #1 on Yahoo for eastbound and down – good stuff #
  • @graywolf – twitter about my G ranking showed up blank on sms – so weird #

Twitter Tools Test

Finally found an updated version of Twitter Tools. It was well hidden.