Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Before You Invest In Online Advertising…

Okay, so your company has come up with a new doofangle. Nevermind that this doofangle is basically a copy of someone else’s doofangle, you want a slice of that doofangle-sales pie, (as it hasn’t been sliced up enough yet) and so you have a Product Launch coming up.

skeptical-face_thumb.jpgAnd you’re The Marketing Specialist.

And everything you’ve ever heard, or read, says you Have To Have An Online Campaign. And your company has given you the budget. (After all, with the here-today-gone-tomorrow nature of tech, you might not have a company next year if the Doofangle 1 doesn’t sell millions of units.)

So you do your research, and conduct focus groups, and decide that having 20-somethings dance around a fountain holding the Doofangle 1 is what you’re going to go with. It’s zesty, hip, and it is F-U-N-!
You’re going to dress the dancers in vibrant colors, as the Doofangle 1 is a boring black plastic .. rectangle.

So you spend MILLIONS on TV ads. (Which nobody looks at, except to maybe laugh.)

And now you’re ready to launch your online banner ads, using still images from the TV spot. And you’re going to spend more MILLIONS, to get lots of eyeballs.


You are now the person responsible for *urinating*-away millions on online ads that only robots looked at. As you didn’t know about click fraud, (a term first coined sometime around 1997) or botnets.

Sorry. But don’t worry. Someone is always hiring Marketing Specialists. A different one calls me at suppertime every night.

(Latest) * Chameleon Botnet Steals Millions

Internet advertisers are the latest target of a botnet that could be costing them up to $6 million a month.Read more..

(Last month) * Botnet steals millions from advertisers with fake mouseclicks

The Bamital botnet defrauded the entire online advertising platform, which is what allows the Internet and many online services to be free..Read more..

The entire history of defrauding the online advertisers would – I suspect – fill a book. But, “You Have To Have An Online Campaign”.
Everyone says.
I would think, though, that you’d want actual humans to see/hear your marketing efforts.. right?

It isn’t the ad services that take the hit; it’s you, the Doofangle seller.

Oh, well. Not every click is bogus… right? Some sales will happen.. right? But how will you know? That number might not be real either.

Down the rabbit hole.. and ignore the man behind the curtain.

At least with the airwaves advertising, the worst they can do is run your spots from 1am – 3:30am (or show you charts that say they ran all 1,000 spots but only air 200) … This online stuff seems 100% the shadows of vapor.

Today’s quote:Go on till you come to the end; then stop.” ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

March 21, 2013 Posted by | advice, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, News, phraud | , , , | 4 Comments

Facebook, The Advertiser | Website Optimization Strategies

Quickly, for now, an interesting read. I’ll try to get more up later on today.

Big Data: Facebook’s next big idea

The Facebook fallacy is that at its core the Social Network is really an advertising company. The problem is that “Liking” does not translate to “Buying” something.Read more..

(Read that, and learn why I said, “Good for GM. Somebody’s getting smart, at least..”)

A world run by advertising… yippee yahoo. (And.. is that really the Facebook “fallacy”?)

Sometimes, I just have to scratch my head: A spammer left me an unsolicited Comment. Nothing new there.  What is new is they taught me all I need to know about the current tactics for search engine optimization (aka “SEO”). Which is great! Cuz you cannot run a business without SEO. That’s a fact. And some people go to school to learn this.

“Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at…”

What? You don’t think about “keyword density”??? Where you been?

Another coupl’a reco’s:

* Absolutely FREE – Quality, Innovative Online Computer Skills Training

I was in the process of drafting a mini written tutorial on the usage of Microsoft Powerpoint for someone in my Church when I came across a really nice online training tutorial site that has a section totally devoted to computers skills.  It is called, (Goodwill Community Foundation). Under the computer skills category you […] ” Read more..

* Clotilda mentioned a website  (for those of you with children) in her article today..

There is a website that we use a lot called brainpop.  It teaches facts about things like Math, Science Social Studies, and English.  It’s entertaining enough for the kids to actually watch without feeling tortured.”

~     ~     ~

Remember all the fear-speculation that there was going to be skyrocketing prices due to a hard drive shortage? Well, today I saw a 1 TB GoFlex external drive (USB 3.0) for $84…

( How to redeeem:
1. Start here at Dell direct store
2. Click “Add to Cart”
3. Apply coupon code LX7KP3R$KBXMDH for total $46 instant savings, proceed to final checkout. )

Today’s quote:Good for the body is the work of the body, and good for the soul is the work of the soul, and good for either is the work of the other.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

… aw, heck. Let’s all try to have a good day today, shall we? Perhaps performing a “random act of kindness” is in order…….

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<

All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

August 2, 2012 Posted by | advice, Internet | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Image Advertising – version 1.0

Web ads’ final frontier

I have been sitting on today’s topic for almost ten days now, because I have been giving myself time to “cool off”. (Because I cannot post an article here using the language I want to use, and say the things I want to say.) It all started with an article I came across in the business section of our ‘big city’ newspaper. It starts out,

“For years, advertisers have complained about “banner blindness,” Internet surfers’ tendency to browse sites without noticing the rectangular ads on the periphery of most Web pages. And most browsers excel at blocking the pop-up and “pop-under” ads that advertisers have relied on for more than a decade.”

And, like much of what you read in the rags, that’s partly true — advertisers have been complaining about p-ing away their dollars on Internet ads. But it is us, the “consumers”, who go to great lengths to block the [expletive deleted] *crud* from our screens (and buy a TiVo so we can ‘skip over’ broadcast ads). The reason I do not use Internet Explorer 9 is because there is no really effective way for me to block ads with it. (If some folks get their way, ad blocking software will become illegal.)

Banner ads don’t work, annoy (anger, even) the viewer, but, Man, being the freakin’ genius that he is — “For all the difficulties that companies face in reaching consumers on the Web, online advertising keeps growing. U.S. companies spent $26 billion on digital ads in 2010, 15 percent more than they did in 2009, according to a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Yeah. It doesn’t work, so pour more money on it.
That’ll fix it.

Okay, so, there’s going to be a new kind of ad, ads placed in Web photos, and the hope is, this new type will work, and we’ll buy more stuff (Hey, Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!).

“Now some of the nation’s largest publishers are starting to sell ad space in what may be the final frontier of digital advertising: the trillions of images displayed across the Internet. If startups in Silicon Valley and elsewhere have their way, it will soon be commonplace to mouse over an image and find advertising, e-commerce or other information contained within them.”

Early versions of this exist.

“Mouse over an image of a denim shirt-clad Sean Penn on and a pop-up image will suggest a similar, less expensive shirt. Click the image and you can buy the shirt.”

I simply cannot print my reaction to that sentence; but I will say, I do NOT want that “feature” on my Internet. And I will say that it gives hackers another way to attack your machine. I will further say that if I find a website doing this, I will take pains never to visit it again (MSNBC is now blacklisted). And companies that elect to advertise this way, I will take great pains to ensure I never purchase their product/service. (My rebellion.)

The entire article is here. I do suggest you put on your thinking cap and read it.

Related: Good-bye YouTube. Enjoy Your Ads.

Today’s free download: I don’t actually see all that many ads when I surf the Internet because I use ad-blocking software/tools. (Don’t worry all you businesses running ads, I never buy stuff because you ran an ad anyway. Usually I boycott you because I detest ads so much).
Firefox: I use the plug-ins (“Add ons”) AdBlock Plus, NoScript, OptimizeGoogle, and FlashBlock
Internet Explorer: I download and install SelectView

There are other products available for you to choose from, both free and for-pay.

I hope people wake up soon.. or this vile and ugly scene is our future..

Because some *people* think it works…

Think I’m ‘off base’?

For those of you who actually read down this far.. I will say that “tar and feather and run out of town” was the mildest phrase I chose not to print.
I guess this is a “pet peeve”..

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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June 22, 2011 Posted by | Internet, News | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

I Support A Good Cause

aka “An Open Letter To CNet, et al”

A reader wrote in and voiced a complaint about a Tech Industry “way of things” that they find.. um.. er, well, “not right”. They asked if I could help. Since I find this type of thing as repugnant as I do the ole add-a-toolbar-to-the-installer trick (see, An Open Letter To Sun Microsystems) I will share their letter with you.

“Tech Paul,
I am getting really sick of these download websites that try everything possible to get you to download the wrong file, usually a registry editor, but has pushed my button for the last time…

I’m starting a campaign… personal emails come first. Any help you want to add would be appreciated.

I had advised my brother to download MBAM, and he got on to Cnet. Those shameless money grubbers have no less than 4 links to the wrong file on the page.

Top left: “Recommended Download”,
Top right: Big red “Download Here” button. (Both for Spyware Doctor);
To the right of the MBAM screenshot: A green right-then-down arrow pointing to a big green “Click to Download” button, actually for Advanced Registry Optimizer;
To the left of the screenshot: A green “Special Offer” link to a purchase MBAM page.

My brother clicked all of those before I finally got him straightened out. OK, my brother is not tech savvy, but this is absolutely ridiculous… My mother had 5 of those *darn* registry optimizers last visit.”

It only takes one glance to see why a person might click the wrong download link.

But.. as angry as this type of thing makes me, I have to play fair and point out this is not so much a thing CNet’s is doing — they are just selling advertising spaces — it is the advertisers (who design their ad knowing it will be on a “download site”). In this case, PCTools (of which I am a fan) and a few somebody else’s.

Which is why I run Firefox with the plug ins AdBlock Plus, Flashblock, and NoScript. When I go to the page it looks like this… (Listen up, all you advertisers)

And, advertisers? When I go shopping? I choose the product who doesn’t bombard me with unwanted ads. Guess what else? I am not alone. And I have been that way my whole adult life.

People, you have to slow down, and be super careful what you click. You need to read the words. You have to exercise some attention. Why? Because they only made the Internet “public” so they could show us ads. And the cybercriminals are poisoning websites, posting their own websites, and more, to steal Billions from us each year (often, they need us to click the link to do their evil deeds).

And, yes, CNet.. you can do a better job of ‘regulating’ your advertiser. (Maybe .. redesign things so your [proper] download link is the most prominent.) Maybe say “no” to some? Revenue isn’t everything, you know. You have to be able to sleep at night too.

* Top Tech Tip #2: Leave Registry Cleaners Alone
Good-bye YouTube. Enjoy Your Ads.

* The letter’s writer used stronger words.. (I don’t blame them.)

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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January 7, 2011 Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Competing With Google Search

Neither Microsoft (with MSN or Bing) nor Yahoo! can compete with Google in the arena of Tech that matters most — showing you advertisements. So…

“A powerful new choice in search is coming”

Microsoft® and Yahoo! have now received regulatory clearance to form the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance in the United States and European Union. This milestone is an exciting step in our effort to give your business a time-saving and cost-efficient way to connect with show ads to a larger combined audience of potential customers.

After the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance is implemented, you can:

  • Reach more potential customers: Search ad inventory from both the Yahoo! and Microsoft networks will be joined in a new, unified search marketplace powered by Bing™, with a combined audience of over 150 million searchers in the U.S and nearly 577 million searchers worldwide.
  • Save valuable time and effort: You’ll use a single platform—Microsoft adCenter—to manage your campaigns easier and faster. With just one buy, your search ads will reach users on Bing, Yahoo!, and other premium partner sites and networks, such as The Wall Street Journal Digital Network,,, Facebook, and
web page filled with ads

Just a few helpful results

Related: This “alliance” between Microsoft and Yahoo is interesting.. because I seem to remember Yahoo! selling ad space to Google a while back.. see Google-hoo — a world run by ad revenue

And for those of you who feel as I do, How to block ads (updated)

Note: I am a big fan of healthy marketplace competition, and not a big fan of monopolies, so I have set the “default” search engine to a different provider on each of my different machines.. to “spread the love” (IE users, to do that yourself, click here). Which ones? Well, basically any one but but I will say I am a fan of Dogpile.

Copyright 2007-2010 © Tech Paul. All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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February 19, 2010 Posted by | computers, Internet | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hooray For Jon Leibowitz

FTC to ban most telemarketing ‘robocalls’ Sept. 1

American consumers have made it crystal clear that few things annoy them more than the billions of commercial telemarketing robocalls they receive every year.” (Robocall = recorded telephone spam)

This is amazing and impressive to me on a couple of different levels. For one, Mr. Leibowitz is a bureaucrat (not just any bureaucrat, he’s in charge of the FTC). It seems to this lil’ ole country boy that for the last several decades, a prerequisite for being in Government is that your only concern for your constituents is obtaining more of their money, and eroding their civil liberties as much as possible. Mr. Leibowitz sure seems to defy that.

If you read my recent article, Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You, you know that I didn’t come right out and call telemarketers bottom feeders and scum, but I think I made my feelings pretty clear. I absolutely, totally, completely support the ‘curtailing of free enterprise’ if it means that “Daisy” from the “carpet cleaners” will stop calling my business number several times a week.

Sadly, this new law will not terminate-with-extreme-prejudice the perpetrators of spam phone calls, but it will clearly define their activities as illegal and impose a $16,000 fine — per call. (With this formula, the “carpet cleaners” folks would be dinged $1.6 million just for their calls to me! Ha!)

In a nutshell, the ban stops spam calls unless the telemarketer has written permission from a customer that he or she wants to receive these calls. What kind of loon would willingly do that? If you want the full skinny, here’s the link, Federal Trade Commission rules. To read the Associated Press news story, click here.

I hope that there will be the action and enforcement promised, Mr. Leibowitz. I, for one, support you.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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August 30, 2009 Posted by | News, spam and junk mail | , , , , , , | Leave a comment