Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Celebrate Life

My good friends at Lasting Tribute, the UK obituries site, have done a cracking fun video for a seemingly serious subject. This is the team in the video. Nice one folks. Well worth a look :-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Journalisum News

I was asked for some comments on the state on regional media and how digital media can help the industry, for a short article on Journalisum.co.uk today.

On the whole, it caught the main points. While it's not how I would have presented it (specifically the graphic) but I guess they had to get the redundency thing in somehow (technically being the opposition to Hold the Front Page, which is a Northcliffe side-line). Anyway, I've been asked to write a 'Comment Piece' for their site, which I'll cross post here, in the next few weeks.

[5.30pm: I see Jon Slattery commented on the article on his blog.]

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Pizza Pi(e) of Rassilon [from iPhone]

Being Pi day, and my birthday tomorrow (42, I *am* the answer to the ultimate question), the loverly @SparklyJem spend 2hrs in the kitchen trimming Montery Jack into shape and creating the mother load of cool pizzas for a few assembled guests.

The '
piesta resistance' being this, the Pizza of Rassilon (additional 'Dalek bread' not shown). Home made pizza dough. Home made pizza sauce. More pics (inc. creation process) on Facebook and Twitpics.

My idea of a prefect birthday cake :-)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Plugging Wyoming

I'm doing a bit of work right now with Conversify, aka web pioneer @alizasherman, the incredibly hard working @MoniqueElwell, and their team of international bloggers, researchers, and social media specialists.

One of the projects I'm working on, is The Wyoming Film Office (yeah, I know, this is right up my street, that's how they do things at Conversify, targeting) and, though I wouldn't normally do this on this blog, I've got to draw your attention to their Short Film Competition which is in it's second year and right now accepting submissions.

When I was a student, this kind of prize money just didn't exist for a short film comp. I'm not even sure it exists now in this country. These kind folks are offering a whopping $25,000 first prize. To be eligible, all you need to do is complete the entry form and upload your film to the Wyoming Film Short Contest Channel on mDialog.  It's international, so anyone can apply. The contest "requires all entries to take place in Wyoming, feature Wyoming, or present Wyoming as a major character in the storyline", but, all formats (inc. machinima, animation, etc.!) are accepted, so "Bob's your uncle". I mean, come on. SERIOUS good deal here. I could fund 3 more shorts off those winnings, even with the crappy exchange rate. I'm tempted to nip to the Deadwood SL sims and knock out a quick machinima myself (but I'm pretty sure I'm no longer eligable cos of the work I'm doing) ;-)

Please, if you know anyone who might be eligable let them know about this. I never blog about stuff I'm working on in social and multi-media, but this is such a good oppertunity for someone out there.

Good luck ;-)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

WTF is 'Affiliate Marketing'?

It must be one of the new buzz words going around.

I was asked by a client the other day "Do you do affiliate marketing?". I said yes, it was something I could sort for them on blogs etc. to get a token gesture ROI back on their campaign, then I was asked "Er, great, what is affiliate marketing?". Despite the familiarity of the phrase, it's still true that a lot of folks are just not aware of what it is and what this 'type of marketing' is all about.

The term 'affiliate marketing' was one of these cross-linking terms used in the late 90's, it was up there with old ideas like 'link-farms', and it basically meant "flogging stuff your writing about by linking to it and banging a bit of tricksy code in there to make sure you got paid". In short, this was writing film reviews to sell DVDs, compiling vegan recipes to flog Jamie Oliver books (who probably should be flogged) or cutting a deal with some sci-fi shop to stick banners all over your site while you froth on about comics (a-hem). In short: "You big me up or link to me and I'll give you a cut of any sales". Opportunities for this, back then, were rare.

It never really dawned on me that the door swung both ways. It does. Both sides are getting something from this arrangement, and it pays to play both sides. "Endorse me and I'll give you a cut, but if I don't sell what they want then I'll do the same for you". While search engines, e-mail, and website syndication capture much of the attention of online retailers, affiliate marketing carries a much lower profile. Still, affiliates continue to play a significant role in e-retailers' marketing strategies.

For me, in my halsian SEO days, it was also a bit of grey-hat cheeky spamdexing too. A way to get your site ranked for selflessly (textually) linking out to related topics. All good stuff, but incredibly time consuming. Things, thank heavens, have changed.

A lot of people are enticed with affiliate marketing. It looks easy money and business can be run from the convenience of the laptop. There are, in fact are a number of programs and information that can help you get started should you be tempted.

Here’s a few I’ve tried at different times:

Google AdSense


The PPC everyone wants. I’ve done my time in the trenches on this one. I ran the 2nd biggest campaign in the UK for a year (shudders).



Get paid to blog reviews of products.

Text Link Ads


Links are sold ‘in an area of your site’.



Textual linking from your articles, a personal favourite I’ve included on some BIG clients sites. Not usable with Blogger, alas.



Ad banners, links, etc for your site.



Integrate ads into your pictures. Can be fiddly.



Sell items from ebay.



Sell items from Amazon. Good click-through rates in my experience.



Show ads on your site based on direct bids.

Anyone can add this kinda thing to their blog or site, and I recommend you do. If you have good content that brings in traffic, this is a perfect small revenue stream that soon accumulates. It’s not something I really do any more, but it’s certainly something you should consider to make a few pennies back. Writing good content should be rewarded, and if no one else is going to do it you may as well do it for yourself. If you have a niche topic, so mush the better for targeting.

Put it this way, this blog is about nothing. Jack, nada, bupkiss. Zero except my momentary rantings, and it's made between £15 and £65 a month on AdWords for the last 4 yrs. That's a lot of long-term Scooby Snacks for sweet FA.

Optimising this stuff to get max coverage is a hardcore dark art, and alas I’m a different kind of wizard (the 1d4 hit points kind) even though the merchant side of AdSence (AdWords) is probably still second nature. All the optimization of a big campaign isn't really your problem though, and not really needed where your just directing traffic and not paying for click-throughs (we're not The Daily Mail lets face it). The only tactic you need to consider is getting genuine visitor value in your keyword rich content and keep on trucking your SEO etc. Anyone can use affiliate marketing nowdays, and in moderation how's it gonna hurt?

So, WTF is affiliate marketing?
It's money in the bank and easyer than you think ;-)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Saturday Morning Watchmen

Well, it's Saturday morning, so...

Got together for a geek tweet-up to see Watchmen at the midnight showing last night, and WOW. Okay, it's really, really, really, good. Alas, to these fanboy eyes, it's just shy of making the grade to excellent for reasons of cannonicity.

I'm trying to give nothing away here, no spoilers, but I think it's the best it could be and I see why the changes that were made were made to give it a narrative suitable for the cinema audience. After all, in the words of Alan Moore (who, naturally, "knows the score") The Watchmen [as presented in comic format] is "unfilmable". Snyder has done as good a job as anyone could have done. I know, that’s something of a loaded compliment. But as compliments go, it’s a huge one, trust me. Through sheer will and fanboy love Snyder has succeeded where others failed, and has brought Watchmen to the screen faithfully and smartly, if not completely.

Seriously though, it's worth the price of admission for the opening credits alone, and the characterisation totally blew me away. A few acting lessons needed, but some gob-smacking performances to make up for it.

Watchmen proves once more that the action movie is where the best young Hollywood talent has gone to bring flesh to their fantasies. I'll be there front and centre for the Directors cut Blu-Ray, with added 'Tales of the Black Freighter' animated :-)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Social Media Rap (Online for Hours)

The infamous SEO Rapper turns the spotlight on to Social Media this month. If you don't know Mo Serious, aka @chuck, then you should check him out

Thanks to Dennis at Red Creative Moves for pointing this out to me.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Social Media Marketing Overview

A good simple over view of Social Media Marketing by @perrybelcher.

Check out his other stuff at his blog, and thanks for popping by.

Have some dip.