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

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

Not every Windows user is going to like Windows 7

Not every Windows user is going to like Windows 7.

And, it’s true– you cannot please all the people, all the time.

I have been using Windows 7 as my main desktop OS for a while now, and have written several installments of  “A Tech’s Impressions” series, (see, A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7 — Part 1 of a series) with more on the way. This article is not one of them – it’s more a (my) look at psychology than technology.

It is hard to be a reader of technology-oriented websites, or business analysis sources, and be unaware that Windows Vista was not a pop sensation (it did not “go viral”) … and that many people are (deliberately) “sticking with XP”.
For a multitude of “reasons”.

In fact, many flat-out say Vista was a flop. From a marketing and sales standpoint, I think I have to agree. It was, to me, mind-bogglingly stupid (and I’m being polite) to 1) let Vista be released without driver support, 2) To not hammer home to the public the fact that Vista was NEVER meant for old machines, and 3) To let 18 months (!) of brilliant “I’m a Mac, and I’m a PC” ads run unanswered.
And.. when the long awaited Microsoft reply finally came?
An equally stupid (and vaguely insulting) move; a campaign called “Mojave”, that nobody saw. (see, Marketing the Microsoft Way–”Mojave”). They got a little smarter with the following “I’m a PC” campaign.. but that was way too little, far too late.
The number of Apple machines jumped from somewhere around 5-7% to 10-15% (I don’t care about that though. Good for Apple). Microsoft’s revenue declined, and has announced a 5,000 -employee layoff. (see, Gartner: Blame Vista for Microsoft layoffs.)

But Vista is stuck with an (IMHO) undeserving bad rap, and many people have chosen to stay with a less secure and aging operating system. (Me? I’ll never go back. I retired the last of my XP systems a while ago.)
XP was released in 2001. In computer years, that’s five iterations of Moore’s Law ago -more people used floppy disks than thumb drives- and in human perspective.. the Trade Towers were still standing.

Microsoft has clearly learned a few things from Vista’s “failure”, and made some changes, evident already in the Windows 7 beta release. I am eager to see if that “education” will change how Windows 7 is marketed to the masses.

Let’s get back to the topic: built on the Vista kernel, tweaked for friendliness and one-click-simple, loaded with device drivers, faster, etc., etc., Windows 7 is what Vista should have been, and all the standard reasons to avoid it (or.. “wait for Service Pack 1”) seem to me to have been already addressed and answered. I boldly predict that you will not see the same “this sucks!” or “my doohickie won’t work!” reaction that Vista saw.

But people will still find ways to avoid “going viral” over Windows 7.. and find excuses to stick with old OS’s on old equipment. For instance, I know a retired Admin who won’t run anything except Windows 2000.. it, quote, “does everything I want, or need”.
Some folks will move to Server 2008 (and say they aren’t runninspockg Vista/7) because they don’t care for the “eye candy”.
Yet others will stick with XP.. because they’ve become intimate with it over the years (or claim “it’s faster”…).

People are a “trip” (to use some California lingo), and seem to me full of idiosyncrasies; and as Mr. Spock kept pointing out, don’t always react logically. I do know one thing — people are inherently resistant to change, and find it stressful.

Is Windows 7 a big change? Well, it looks different, but, no. Does it have some new “must have” feature? Well, no. (see, What’s really new in Windows 7?) Is it “better”? Well, from what I’ve seen so far, yes. (And I think 7 will go a long ways towards moving us into 64-bit computing.) Can it run on older workstations (one reason Vista was not adopted by the enterprise) or does it require a hardware upgrade? Less stringent than Vista, but, sheeze.. just how long do you want to run that single-core+512MB’s?!

The official release date of Windows 7, and finding it on computers in stores, is a ways off yet (October?).. probably coinciding with next year’s Holiday shopping period. A very good argument can be made that Windows 7’s success or failure will not be due to consumer opinion, but the state of the economy. But.. I will be carefully watching the consumer’s reaction.

One thing I’ll be watching is if Apple’s new “Snow Leopard” continues to eat into the “Microsoft share”…

Today’s free link: Fighting malware: An interview with Paul Ferguson

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

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January 23, 2009 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, Microsoft, tech, Windows 7 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Ad Block Your Way To A Happier You

What is real? What is ‘hype’?


Why is everyone trying to sell me something? All the time.

I have had it up to my eyeballs.. and I think I’m going to rebel. I think I’ll declare a new Personal Policy.. which goes like this: If I know about this product because of advertising and/or the media, I ain’t gonna buy it.

Wait. That won’t work. I can’t think of a single thing that isn’t being hyped.

Hmmm… maybe I’ll have to modify that some. How about: When forced to choose between two products.. I buy the one that advertises less.

Yes.. that might work.

TechPaul’s Plan to Improve the World #347.

Hey, do me a favor, will you? I need more input for my data set. If you haven’t taken my (quick and easy) Tech poll, please take 60 seconds, and click here. Thanks!
[ It won’t take you the full minute.. I promise.]

**Look for the results Friday.

Today’s free download(s): The Sophos Endpoint Assessment Test (an “endpoint” is IT- speak for “computer”) is a single scan checks that:

  • your Microsoft service pack is the current one for your operating system
  • your Microsoft patches are all up to date
  • anti-virus protection is installed, running and current
  • a personal firewall is installed and running

The Endpoint Assessment Test checks for over 600 patches, 28 anti-virus applications, and 22 firewall applications.

Need some ad blockers?
For Internet Explorer: try SelectView
For Firefox: get the plug-in “Add ons” AdBlock Plus, Flashblock, and NoScript.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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November 19, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, security, tech | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marketing the Microsoft Way–"Mojave"

Have you seen the buzz? Maybe, noticed the little ads appearing on web pages? Microsoft’s new ad campaign for Vista — called Project Mojave — has cause a bit of a, well, stink.

What Microsoft did was take a group of Vista Bashers — folks who are “sticking with XP”, and talking bad about Vista (in print)– and invited them into a room for a “sneak peak” at a “new” operating system. A “blind taste test”, so to speak.

Of course, they really liked the new Windows. When could they get a copy?

Of course, what they were looking at was Vista.

Now.. I don’t know how smart it was for Microsoft to use this strategy. Out here in California, we have an expression for what Microsoft did to these folks– “clowned” them.
(Exposed them for the clowns that they are.)

Part of me says these folks deserved it. How can you look at a Vista machine and not say, “Hey! You’re trying to pull a fast one.. This is Vista!” unless they’re completely unfamiliar with it.
If they’re unfamiliar with it.. what business do they have bashing it?
Hey, they just joined the bandwagon– bashing Vista is popular hobby.

I am treading on dangerous ground when I state, I like Vista and I recommend it without hesitation (on new machines.. not “upgrades” on old and underpowered machines).
I open myself to the hundreds of people who seem to have nothing better to do than to post Comments attacking anyone who doesn’t hate (and fear) Microsoft. I can already see the comment that accuses me of being in MS’s pocket. Hah! Microsoft doesn’t even know I exist.

My point is this– Microsoft is merely proving that the vast majority of negative “lore” about Vista is being produced (or passed on) by people who don’t even recognize Vista when they’re touching it.
Has all this Vista bashing you’ve read or heard made you hesitate to try Vista?
Why? It’s being written or regurgitated by clowns.

Regardless if Microsoft’s rebuttal advertising campaign was smart.. or just plain mean.. it has come too late (IMHO). The Mojave experiment will not change the public’s perception of Vista; and frankly, that perception is not good. And that’s too bad.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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August 7, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, tech, Vista, Windows | , , , , , , | 2 Comments