Archive for April, 2007

How To Get Me To Buy Something

Monday, April 30th, 2007

I buy online all the time, but I will not buy from "internet marketing" sites. Where do I buy (when I’m not buying from eBay :) )?

What kind of site sells me something? One that is professional, well written, nicely designed, easy to get around, and respects me. One that’s not based on fear (you’re lacking security, you’re not with Web 2.0 baby!, you’re wasting time and money). One that doesn’t need my email address to show me more information. Look at http://www.symbol.com/. OK, it’s corporate and no fun, but it takes itself seriously. The products don’t need 18 pictures of guys who want to tell you how great it is. The products and reputation speak for themselves.

It doesn’t have to be Symbol. I’m thinking about buying from these guys: http://www.spritesoftware.com/ It’s not the most amazing site ever, but it gives me all the info I need without the fluff I don’t want. I don’t need 18 testimonials on how great this is. I don’t need to get my email address collected. I don’t need them to try and convince me that this is a secret… after all, how long does a really great product stay a "secret"? If it’s that good, people will buzz about it, and it won’t be a secret. Evidently these internet marketing products stay secrets that people just don’t want you to have!

Maybe it’s just me. I never felt peer pressure. Growing up, when people said "nyah nyah" or "my ____ is better," I didn’t say, "Oh yeah?!?!" I’d be more likely to say, "And your point is…?" So I don’t get swept in made-up tides in these internet marketing messages about how all these other people are finding success and making money, and I’m just not. All of these guys can pretend they are creating the most elite club of people who know about this product, but I’m not driven by needing to feel like part of an elite club.

So you tell me. Have you ever felt swayed by these internet marketing pages? Did you buy it? Was it everything it said it would be? Did you become one of their testimonials? Let’s hear it!


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#1 Way To Get Me To Not Buy

Friday, April 27th, 2007

What’s the number 1 way to get me to not buy something you’re advertising from a website? Put it on one of those incredibly long "internet marketing"-style pages.

Well, actually, the number 1 way would be to start with a short page that won’t show me ANY information until I sign up for a free newsletter, a copy of your very important e-book about all the mistakes I’m making, or the like. But once you’re showing me information, the best way to convince me I don’t want the product is to write an "internet marketing" page.

What’s that, you ask? Let’s go to a real example. http://www.mycontactstation.com/promo/ What are the hallmarks of this type of web page (though you may already recognise them)?

  1. Smiling person at the top, usually a man, usually well dressed.
  2. The date on the page is always today! Go there tomorrow, it’ll say tomorrow. That’s to make you feel this is new and now!
  3. Buzzwords! Web 2.0! Security! Money! Impress people!
  4. I’m famous! I created something famous, I wrote a book you might know, and now I’m putting my name on THIS! That’s for automatic trust. Now I don’t know anything about the guy on this page to which I’ve linked, but I’ve been to pages like this where the smiling guy establishes how you can trust him with this eBay selling product… but he forgets to mention that the internet is full of scam reports about him and eBay permanently suspended him years ago.
  5. Various text colours, text sizes, and text background colours tell you that nearly every sentence is important. Read this! Now read this! Oh my god, look at THIS!
  6. A checkmark or bulleted list of all the things it does that you absolutely need (evidently).
  7. Audio and/or video from the smiling guy. If it’s audio, it usually automatically starts when you hit the page so that everybody at work knows you’re browsing for a fast way to make quick wealth (or whatever it’s selling).
  8. Testimonials abound. People just like you are making money/having success/improving their lives. Here are their pictures, here is what they said, and here’s some audio we got them to record. To me, testimonials are nice when they identify who the person is so you can contact him/her to see what they really thought. But then again, testimonials can be totally fake people. The guy I mentioned before who is suspended on eBay, but always selling you something for you eBay selling… I remember when the main testimonials on his site were from his accountant (also suspended on eBay) talking about how much the product improved his selling. So contacting him to ask how it worked wouldn’t exactly lead you to the truth there! To me, testimonials like this are like a note from your Mom. We’re only going to hear the best!
  9. Then the action messages start. Take action now. Take control. You must be out of control and inactive. Make money now. Stop laying around. Let this system make you money while you relax on your pool raft, knowing nothing about selling online. And it’s all in this handy system! Learn everything in a box! Amazing. Next, it’ll be in a pill.
  10. Order now! Yes, I want to control my life and make so much money. There’s always something that is written as if it came from you mouth, with first person pronouns.
  11. The end bit is often why is this so cheap or free. What they don’t tell you is that most of the value is adding you to their mailing list. I wrote about this last year.

And let’s not forget that there is usually something in there about what a secret this is. Or somebody doesn’t want you to know about/have this system. It’s that amazing!

What can you do? Check these people out. Google them. Google this product. Make sure you are reading reviews that do NOT have affiliate (coded) links to the product. Those aren’t going to be unbiased reviews. :) Those people hope you click on it so they make money. It may be hard to find a site without a coded link. What do those look like?

http://www.mycontactstation.com/promo/?taf=1 is the link I followed to find the page I am talking about today. The ? and a number or letters on the end is often what you’ll see if it’s not being hidden. Here’s another. http://www.worldwidebrands.com/?oid=7948 So when someone says this product is great, you have to try it, here are testimonials, and then you see a link like that, just know that even if they really mean what they say, they DO get money if you follow the link and then sign up. Some people like to make a little money for products they like and would be recommending anyway. Some people don’t care what the product is; they’ll link you to anything that makes them money.

So I clicked on the link that brought me to the Contact Station page. I was interested in how this was going to help me. And once I saw it was an internet marketing page, I left. I unsubscribed from the blog I had read that recommended it.

I suggest that you avoid ANYBODY marketing based on fear. But you pick what you do. :) I have a lot to say on this issue, so tune in Monday for more!


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Windows Mobile Calendar Fix

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

I accidentally asked my ActiveSync to sync all of my calendar entries. It made my WM5 phone run out of memory. Then, I wanted to delete my calendar and start again.

I searched all over the web for how to do this, and couldn’t find anything. So just in case someone else is looking for things like windows mobile erase entire calendar delete calendar file et cetera, I hope you find this!

All I did was go into File Explorer, into My Device, and find a file called pim. This has ALL of your contacts and calendar appointments. I couldn’t erase it because it was "in use," so I renamed it to pim2. I did a soft reset, and noticed I had no contacts or calendar appointments. I then deleted pim2, and that cleared off LOTS of MB of memory.

There, now I hope others who need this will find it!


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I’m A PayPal User

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

I’m Debbie. And I’m a PayPal user. (hi, Debbie)

According to my PayPal account, today is my 7th anniversary of using PayPal. That’s right. I signed up 25 April 2000. It’s a great month of anniversaries!


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Made Up Disease is Back

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Remember the commercials for the disease/syndrome PMDD? This was supposed to be SO much worse than PMS that it "interferes with your life." I think most women would agree that PMS and periods in general interfere with your life. So by this description, every woman on the planet can now prescribe herself every med the commercials want to sell you for this.

Enter "Yaz." This is the newest drug to advertise this. The twist? It’s a birth control pill WITH something in it to help with your PMDD. What was the original PMDD drug? Prozac under another name. They were actually prescribing Prozac under another name for a disease that was made up specifically for the marketing of the drug.

How do I know that? One of my best college friends is a psychologist, and told me all about it. I’m sure it’s something we could all find out if we took the time to dig up the information. But that’s what it is. So enjoy your cocktail or hormones and Prozac!


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378,000 Secrets Revealed!

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

I am noticing more and more the use of the word "secret" in everything, especially books. I think this would be like the use of the word "extreme" a few years ago, but still now.

So I searched for secret in all books on Amazon.com, and it told me there were 378,000 results. 378,000 books all telling you some sort of secrets! And once you know, they are no longer secrets, are they! Were they secret to begin with?

We have…

  • Gardening secrets the experts never tell you about. Really? You’d be talking to a gardening expert, and he or she would keep important information from you?
  • Secret tips to sell your book on Amazon.com (this one fulfills its own cycle!).
  • The secret lives of all sorts of species. I had no idea cows were keeping secrets specifically from me, and that this book will help me.
  • Secret restaurant recipes! What the hell is in that stuff you love to eat? I’m going to guess lots of butter and sugar. Oops, did I give away the big secret?
  • Books about secret government plots (I guess that’s how the terrorists are one step ahead).
  • Windows XP secrets. Like what? It didn’t look as much like the Mac OS as Vista?
  • A kids book called "Abuelita’s Secret Matzahs." First of all, isn’t it "matzot"? Second, this has to win for the first Jewish – Hispanic kids book I’ve ever seen.

I did NOT notice anything called "The Secret of Selling Books That Didn’t Come Up With Better Names and Just Put Secret in the Title." You could only do better by putting in Extreme Secrets. Now that would make every American open his wallet!


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Make Your Own Dog Food

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

Home made dog food. It’s getting big now considering the pet food recall. My dog had all her food home made for her when she was a baby, but I haven’t done it in years. I wasn’t affected by the pet food recall. My interest in making her food was partially to avoid factories likely to have future contaminations.

But more so, I started looking at how many cans I threw away. And how many labels were on those cans. And I was thinking I could be greener than that while providing my dog with something – made with total joy and love – that she would love.

Here is my shopping list and what I paid (before sales tax) at Wild Oats (most things are organic on my list).

  • $2.15 for 0.75 pounds of 80% lean ground beef
  • $0.32 for 0.25 pounds of corn meal
  • $2.19 for a small packet of frozen peas and carrots
  • $0.50 for 16 ounces of chicken broth
  • $1.10 for 16 ounces of cottage cheese (I bought a 16 oz container for $2.19 but only used half)
  • $0.50 for 6 large brown grade A eggs (I bought 6 eggs for $1.49 but only used 2 eggs)
  • 1 minced clove of garlic (had it laying around)
  • 1 dash of BBQ sauce for flavour (had it laying around)
  • A handful of uncooked oatmeal (had it laying around)

I also bought an 8.5 ounce bottle of flax oil for $6.39 but only used a few tablespoons, and a 16 ounce canister of brewers yeast for $16.49, but only used 4 heaping tablespoons. Both of these look almost full, so for good measure, let’s say I used $1 of stuff from these two.

I ended up with 3 pounds of dog food for a cost of $7.76. I threw away very little packaging, and threw away no cans. That’s 8 six-ounce servings for my dog, and she gets one a day. 8 days is really all I’d expect cooked food like this to last sealed tight in the fridge… for a dog. I’ll throw it away early if the smell changes.

If it lasts, that’ll be 97 cents a serving with:

  • Very little garbage to the environment
  • Less processing of food
  • Less worry about contamination in factories
  • A very happy dog who inhaled the stuff, kept licking an empty bowl, and has been napping for hours, comfortably full.

I fried up the eggs. I cooked the frozen peas and carrots with the garlic, corn meal, and the chicken broth. The corn meal thickened up, and I took it off the heat and put it in my food processor to cut down the peas and carrots. I cooked up the ground beef on medium heat. I put everything in my electric mixer, and had it slowly blend everything together. I added the cottage cheese, flax oil, brewers yeast, and a bit of BBQ sauce. I then added a handful of oatmeal to thicken it a bit since the corn meal hadn’t absorbed all of the chicken broth.

Next time, I would do more meat. It’s a little veg-heavy for a non-veg dog. But it’s a big hit and very cost effective. I would happily feed my dog this or something like this at a cost of around $1 per day, stop wasting all those empty cans, and make sure she’s not getting mystery meat and rat poison. I plan to make alternate recipes with other meats and other veg (that I know she likes) so that she has some variety, but I plan to get it fresh at Wild Oats.

I say make your own baby food and make your own soft pet food. It’s pretty easy! It took me an hour INCLUDING going food shopping 4 miles away. Could I feed my dog for 25 cents a day? Probably. Could you feed your child for $1 a day? Probably with today’s ready-made, microwaveable, preservative-rich "foods." Sure you could. But considering the usual results and frequent scares, why do it?


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I’m The As Was Founder

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

Today is the big anniversary of when I started As Was back in 1995. I founded it as a custom website development and programming firm, so we’ve always helped people with online sales.

We’re 12, and today starts our 13th year in business. Don’t forget that we’re technically older than eBay! Pierre started it in September 1995, so we’re the big sister. :)

Happy Anniversary, As Was.


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How To Be Greener

Friday, April 20th, 2007

With Earth Day coming this weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about the small ways I can be "greener." Here are some things I’m doing in case they inspire you OR you have more ideas for me. :)

  • Turn off the air conditioning and open the back door. Cuts my energy bill.
  • Turn off the lights when leaving a room, even for a minute. The Mythbusters TV shows that you use more energy leaving a light on than turning it off, even for short trips out of a room. So turn off lights when you’re leaving the room, even just for a minute.
  • Rinse of dishes with warm instead of hot water. Less usage of the hot water heater.
  • More walking to the local shops. Saves gas (and anything my car might emit) driving to them.
  • Make my dog’s food. Saves cans and paper labels from being thrown away.
  • Run the dishwasher or clothes washing machine when I can totally fill them up.
  • Rechargeable batteries. I’ve nearly stopped buying alkalines. I have rechargeable AA and AAA batteries that I use for just about everything. So I’m not throwing away batteries (and their acid and their packaging).
  • Solar. I’m buying some portable solar panels from eBay. With over 320 sunny days here in Arizona, I can surely power some of my stuff from the sun and not the wall plug.
  • Keep using my GPS navigation as much as possible. The less lost you are, the less gas you’re burning for no good reason.

I get OK gas mileage… around 21.4 on average across all of my driving. But I drive very little, probably around 10K miles a year. Most of that is going to and from the Phoenix airport since the Tucson airport barely flies anywhere.

I’m doing what I can and what feels right, and I’ll always look for more new ways. You can too!


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REAL Mayonnaise

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Hellmann’s/Best Foods is running a commercial here. That it’s time to stop eating fake foods, foods that are bad for us and our children.

I agree!

What do they suggest doing about it? Eat their mayonnaise. It’s just eggs, oil, and vinegar. But they don’t say anything about it being organic. It’s still mass-made in a factory, and we hope the ingredients are quality. And we hope they’re not contaminated.

And then the commercial shows people eating sandwiches. Sandwiches on white bread, which typically has all the nutrition of a fortified handful of sand. Sandwiches with cold cuts, which are so full of chemicals. Have you look at sliced turkey lately? Does that look like a turkey breast at all? How did they get it so smooth? What are they doing to these meats?

So make sure you have REAL mayonnaise (as opposed to WHAT?) on your chemical meat sandwich on crappy white bread.


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