Archive for July, 2008

Dabbling in affiliate marketing, only when it makes sense

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

I get requests to join affiliate programs weekly.  One crossed my virtual desk and after a few e-mails I decided to sign up to see if it would really.  My key criteria is that it has to make sense to my JibberJobber users, as I don’t want to cheapen the offering I give them now, only enhance the value.

That’s where RevResponse comes in.  I now have a cobranded site where my readers/users can find publications they are interested in, from magazines to whitepapers.  The value-add criteria for me was that this was free for my users to sign up for, and no bait-and-switch later.  My contact told me that was the case… sounds too good to be true, right?

Check this out – just for blogging about it, they are paying me $50 buckaroos…. I’m not sure how they make their money but they seem to have a good group of affiliates, and I’m happy to be associated with them.  I’ll start introducing their publication offerings in the blog soon, and then during the JibberJobber user experience after we get some demographic information from the user.

Sound cool?  If you are a blogger, you can do this to. What do you get when your reader subscribes to a magazine or signs up for a white paper?  At least $1.50 per signup… and up to $20 per signup (let me know which ones those are!).

If you are interested, click on the image to get started!  What do you think?

Analysis of UPS e-mail scam/spam

Monday, July 21st, 2008

In the olden days I was an IT manager, and had significant hands-on responsibilities with corporate computer users as well as e-mail stuff (once we brought the e-mail server in-house).

I hated spam, but knew that it was a battle that we would never win.  Anti-spam technology wouldn’t win out against spammers who have tons of time and talent on their hands, and lots of patience.  And, as long as there are people who continue to click on it (and it happened all the time, from the n00bie to the CEO, from the non-techie to my tech team, everyone clicked on stupid stuff (except me, of course)).

Anyway, check out this image, and the descriptions below for each point I bring out:

  1. This looks pretty legit… based on this subject line, I thought it was real.
  2. This is the first red flag – look in the brackets.  Why is the UPS coming from an @bowenrealestate.com address???
  3. This slipped past me the first few times I looked, but guess what – I don’t use this e-mail address!  They scraped it from the web somewhere.
  4. This is one of the biggest red flags – a zip attachment.  No legit company should send you a zip file from out of the blue.  If you get a zip file from anyone you don’t know, delete the entire e-mail.  Harsh, perhaps, but it beats spending days messing around trying to fix a virus.
  5. “July the 1st?”  Who would write that??  Also, an e-mail from UPS would have proper formatting, which means a space between the two paragraphs.
  6. This was kind of subtle also, except I’m a nut for the period… which you’ll notice is missing.  Doh!
  7. This is not an e-mail signature I’d expect to see from a legit company.  If nothing else, I’d think they would put in a gray-font disclosure statement… this looks too bare.  Not to mention, “Your UPS” is not the way they would refer to themselves… perhaps Your UPS Team, or something like that.  Oh yeah, forgot the “sincerely,” did ya?

I think this post will help those offshore spammers more than the poor, unsuspecting recipient.  Nothing helps the poor, unsuspecting recipient, and they keep the anti-spam vendors in business as much as the spammers themselves!

Help a Reporter Out (HARO) Helps Me Out With Twitter Book

Friday, July 18th, 2008

I’m working on I’m on Twitter — Now What??? Yes, I’m a nut.  A crazy nut.  I swore I wouldn’t do a second book.  Swore more I wouldn’t do a third book.  Now I’m going to to stop swearing, since I have a fourth book I am going to do, and am anxious to write another top secret book (not a “Now What” book).

I signed up for Help a Reporter Out (HARO) a few weeks ago and have enjoyed watching Peter Shankman grow this concept into a very powerful resource for journalists.  I subscribed thinking maybe there were opportunities for me to be an expert… never did I think I’d ask for sources for an article.  Here’s the top of the HARO website:

Then I saw solicitation for input on various books, and thought maybe I should try it out.  So I did.  I put this:

11) Summary: Input for Twitter book

Name: Jason Alba

Email: Jason@JibberJobber.com

Title: I’m on Twitter — Now What???

Media Outlet/Publication: book

Anonymous? No

Specific Geographic Region? No

Region:

Deadline: 12:00 PM MOUNTAIN – July 31

Query:

“I am working on I’m on Twitter — Now What??? (following I’m on LinkedIn — Now What??? and I’m on Facebook — Now What???) and am looking for input.

Has Twitter helped you improve your network, your brand, increase revenues (make sales), etc?

What do you LOVE about Twitter, and what do you HATE about it? What confuses you about it?

Specific examples or stories are what I’m looking for. Please send answers (or questions), and your Twitter handle, to Jason@JibberJobber.com”

I can’t believe the amazing responses I’ve gotten.  Twitter n00bies, Twitter early adopters, businesses, professionals.  Some Twitter haters (or, I-don’t-getters), mostly people saying “I resisted for a long time but then I tried it out and have been amazed at what it is.”

I’m getting excellent input.  How much input?

I have received 36 e-mails from people answering my questions. And the question came out about 8 hours ago.  I’m sure I’ll get more through the next week.

Love Twitter, hate Twitter, results from Twitter (ROI)… it’s all there.  This HARO resource is phenomenal… thank you Peter Shankman, this isn’t the last time I’m using HARO!

Login pages that suck

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

There are two websites I login to frequently that I wish would be changed.  They cause me a split second of angst, and I’ve been meaning to blog about them for a while.  To get this off my chest, almost like a public confession, here they are:

Elance doesn’t quite get the order a user tabs through their login.  Follow the numbers to see where your cursor goes when you hit tab:

I should mention, I grabbed this screenshot while multitasking.  If I let the page load for a few minutes, then it tabs from #1 to the password field… but hello, I rarely let it sit for minutes, I want to LOGIN NOW!

Guess what happens if you tab from #3?  It goes down to other places on the page… I haven’t tabbed enough to see when/if it ever gets to the password page.

I wonder if elance could post a little project on their own site to see if a developer could take, oh, 4 seconds and fix that :p

The other one is my beloved LinkedIn.  This has been a beef since day one.  When you go to the front page of LinkedIn you have this handy dandy form:

They make it easy to sign up if you have never signed up.  But what about any of the 24 million people who have already signed up?  You are chopped liver, second-class citizen.  You must do an extra click, either at the bottom arrow, or at the very top of the page (not shown) where you can click a sign in link.

So, it’s annoying to have to make that extra click… that’s my beef.

But I also worry that this is what I *should* be doing with my JibberJobber login!  Check out what we have at the top right of every single page when you are logged out:

We give all visitors the ability to sign in from any page, assuming they already have an account.  We are respecting the returing visitors a hair more than the non-users.  Non-users get that big read button that says “Get Free Account”… so *they* are the ones who have to click once before they can proceed!

Which is right?  I’d like to think that I’m right… but perhaps LinkedIn has high-powered  user interface professionals that say what they are doing is totally right… and I should learn from that!

After all, they have over 24M signups… that’s saying something.

Ah, the angst it causes me 😉

Amazon shows status of LinkedIn book

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

I took a break from checking my stats on Amazon, since my book should be past it’s prime, as far as what I’m told.  But I’m pleasantly surprised to see that it’s still doing well:

In the highlight, this shows it’s the four thousanth most popular book that Amazon sells (during this period, which I think is limited to an hour or a few hours).

The red arrow shows it’s the eighth most popular book in the Job Hunting book category.  Here’s some interesting observations with that:

  1. The number one book in this category is Career Warfare: 10 Rules for Building a Sucessful Personal Brand on the Business Battlefield … funny that it only has 1 customer review, but it is a McGraw-Hill book, and a second edition.  It’s also #144 of ALL books sold in this period – big kudos to author D’Alessandro.
  2. Unbelievable that the always-#1 book in this category, What color is your parachute, is knocked to #2!  That won’t last long, but it’s good to see a new #1 for now :)
  3. I own the next three books, in #9,  Escape from Corporate America: A Practical Guide to Creating the Career of Your Dreams  #10 How’d You Score That Gig?: A Guide to the Coolest Jobs-and How to Get Them  and #11 Knock ’em Dead, 2008: The Ultimate Job Search Guide (Knock ’em Dead).  It’s great to see my friends’ books there.
  4. Surprisingly, I’m on Facebook — Now What??? is sitting at #16. That might be the highest I’ve seen it there… while I have seen my LinkedIn book down around #40 or somewhere around there.

Amazon stats are quite fickle, so I don’t pretend there’s any science here, but it’s fun to pontificate every once in a while :)

eList Coolness

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

I participate as much as I can in the My LinkedIn Power Forum, and have for about two years.  It’s been very cool to see how things change and evolve there.

Rarely have I seen something as cool as this.  It is an e-mail (see below) where a member does a play-by-play of how an e-mail thread evolves.  Realize that this is a summary of a number of e-mails throughout the thread, but the way he lays it out is just plain cool.

The problem with the daily digest is the loss of the excitement of the chase – it is just like fishing:

The quarry was there:

Posted by: “Brock Henderson”

(Something about job search or career management… )

The hook was baited:

Posted by: “Jason Alba”

Brock, I agree… and that’s why I’d be on the lookout for a good career management tool :p

The nibbles started:

Posted by: “Brock Henderson”

Jason,

I seriously doubt such a thing exists.

And then the strike!

Posted by: “Jason Alba”

I seem to think JibberJobber does a pretty good job of serving as a career
management tool 😉

The digest removes the thrill of the chase – the anticipation started at Jason’s first post but was over in the blink of an eye.

Actually, I can’t remember anything as cool as this on an e-mail. Kudos to Andrew Baker, from Australia, for putting it together.

Another reason I love Twitter (& eating grasshoppers raw)

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

My son decided he likes to eat grasshoppers.  Raw.  He goes out to our back yard, finds a grasshopper, and plops it in his mouth.  No lie, the kid eats the entire thing.

Must have got that from his mom’s side of the family.

So, here’s why I love  Twitter.  Because I can share this amazingly funny thing to my Twitter network.  I’m not sure who, if anyone, listens to my tweets… and I don’t do it to get a response.  I justify it by thinking it is some kind of life-journaling… anyway, here’s what I wrote:

And here’s the responses I got:

I love this Twitter community thing :)