Archive for May, 2010

GoToMeeting Technical Note

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Because I've needed this twice, I'm posting it here, in case it helps anybody else. I'm in Windows 7, and when I try to run GoToMeeting, it acts like everything tests fine. But when I try to start or join a meeting, it hangs during the "connecting" part. This fixes that! Thanks to GTM tech support for their helpful and quick answer.

1. Surf to http://www.gotomeeting.com/wizard
2. Click the "Download GoToMeeting Connection Wizard" link
3. Run or open g2mwizard.exe
4. Right click the GoToMeeting logo banner
5. Click "Manual Tools"
6. Click "Reset"
7. Click "Reset" again
8. Click "OK"
9. Click "Custom Wizard"
10. Click "Next"
11. Click "OK" on the dialog box
12. Wait for tests, then click "Next"
13. Under "Streaming Communications" click "Direct, Hostport: 8200"
14. Click the lower right drop down menu labeled "Usage:", choose "Force", or leave it at "Try Always" (Try Always is recommended)
15. Click "Store and Validate"
16. When tests finish, click "Next"
17. Click "Exit Wizard"

GoToMeeting/GoToWebinar will now use port 8200 for access on that particular machine.

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Happy Mothers Day To Pet Moms!

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

When I was four years old, my life goals were to be a mommy to a puppy and to run my own company. I had a zillion stuffed animal dogs, and I took very good care of them. Had one doll, hated it. Had a cool Wonder Woman figure! She didn't need anybody to take care of her. :)

I've had my dog since she's 7 weeks old, and she's now 12. I also have cats. They're heaps of fun, and bring laughs to each day.

Happy Mothers Day to my fellow pet moms!


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I’m Special, But Not Special Enough For A Personal Email

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Another in my series of "please don't do this on online dating sites." A guy I was not interested in sent me an email. Sure, he could have said, "Hi. You look interesting. Please check out my profile." That could have been it.

But no. He sent me this long email… that was clearly not for me… that he probably sends to everybody. I am not going to even BOTHER pointing out everything that is wrong here. From the fact that I don't start wars to the idea that this guy wants to kiss all his female cousins… well, I'll let you enjoy.

I emailed him back with, "Boo to copy and paste," and set the online dating system to block him.

The email was entitled, "Greetings." But really, it's like a bad forward we would all delete.

    You are a very pretty woman. I prefer brunettes. You have a face that could launch a 1,000 ships. Do you know what that saying is from? And not a song by Bread.

    You have an interesting profile.

    Auction Humor

    The bidding was proceeding furiously and strong when the Chief Auctioneer suddenly announced, "a gentleman in this room has lost a wallet containing ten thousand dollars. If returned, he will pay a reward of two thousand dollars". There was a moment's silence in the auction house and from the back of the room came a cry: "Two thousand five hundred".

    I enjoy traveling. That is why I am in Tucson. I am from Chicago. In 2005, the Chicago White Sox won the World Series. In 2006 and 2007 I came here for spring training and decided to move here. I have traveled throughout the USA and Canada. New York City, Boston, New Orleans, LA, Phoenix, Toronto, SF, Mrytle Beach VA., skiing in VT, MI, OH, KS, IA, MO, AR (been to the Hot Springs), LA, MS, AL, GA, Atlanta, Disneyworld, TN, Nashville, KY, IN, WI, MN, ND, SD, IA, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, Glacier Park, Yellowstone Park, and a helicoptor ride over the Grand Canyon. Overseas:Paris, Fance; Rome, Italy; Ireland and Australia.

    Family is important. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. One of my sisters is 2 years older than me. When we were young, she thought it was her personal responsibility to teach me how to treat a girl. I open all doors. Women ask me why I do that. Well, it is because of my sister. My mother's twin sister had 9 kids. Boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl, boy. The 3rd oldest boy was a year younger than me. In grammar school, I lived every summer with them. I am from a big clan. I always thought my uncles and aunts were the best in the world. Being a Catholic clan. Everybody was baptized, first communion, confirmation, graduations. The clan got together for all of them. I was close to all my cousins. It was mandatory that all clan gatherings to shake all uncles hands and kiss all aunts. Of course, I kissed all my female cousins.

    Communication, honesty, integrity loyalty and respect are important to me.

    Please, tell me more about yourself.

    Johnny


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What To Do If eBay Sales Are Down

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

A client called today saying his April eBay sales were down. I said how we fix this depends on the answer to this question: Are your items getting lots of hits? The answer changes my advice.

If your items are not getting a decent amount of hits, then one (or both) of two things are going on:

  • Demand may be down. Maybe your item is seasonal. Maybe the newest hottest one just came out, and people really want that. What to do about this: Not much. You can't make people want an item they don't want. I hear this all the time from people who buy liquidation stock, and find out that people kinda don't want what they happened to buy. That's not a blanket statement; plenty of liquidation stock is VERY successful on eBay. My point is that you can't make people want an item they do not want.
  • Something is wrong with your listing strategy that is keeping people who want your item from finding yours. This can range from strategy mistakes you might be making to issues with how eBay sorts you in search results. What to do about this: Check your Seller Dashboard. Check what may be holding you back, and fix that. We'll cover more of that in another post. But these should be things you CAN change.

If your items are getting a decent amount of hits, but not really getting sales, that tends to mean that people want your item but for some reason don't want YOURS from you. Reasons might include:

  • Something about your item is not what people expected. For example, I've been searching laptop batteries lately. Most of the items in search results are not clear about the mAh rating for the batteries. So I am hitting a LOT of items, but I am leaving when I realise that they are half the power of my existing "standard" battery. I'd like something the same power or a more extended life. What to do about this: Build more info into your title. You can also build into into item specifics and the subtitle. In my case, if someone had shown the mAh in the title or subtitle, I wouldn't have bothered looking at low-powered batteries.
  • Something about your listing is turning them off. Not enough pictures, not good/focused pictures. Unclear policies or too many policies that people don't want to read. Fear of what's hidden in the fine print. What to do about this: You can fix this. Clean up your listings. Take better pictures. Make sure your pics tell the story of what this is and the condition it's in. Revise your policies to be more organised, clearer, and in an order that makes sense to eBay shoppers (shipping first). Not everybody who has a question will ask it. Some will just hit their back button. And even if they ask a question, while they wait for your answer, they might hit the back button, and shop your competitors.
  • Your listing design and organisation could be turning people off. Some listings look very unprofessional… clip art, lots of wacky font colours, everything centred, and Comic Sans can make people think you're a small nobody. What to do about this: Revise your listing. Create a template that is organised. Don't try to design your text. Let your info be info. Let your design be design. If you have no design, still let your info be info, and don't try to design it. Make info easy to read and professional-looking.

And as always, hire a pro if you could use more help! :)

This is where we start when looking at why people are having issues with eBay sales. It starts by knowing if you're getting hits, so make sure you are using a (hidden) counter.


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Another Online Dating Profile Tip

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

I'm giving online dating another shot. Partially, I hope to make good friends. Partially, it seemed to be an endless source of blog, Facebook, and Twitter content… so much so that when I left online dating sites, there was a mini rebellion. People told me they loved those posts, so I guess they're back!

I read a dating profile yesterday that made a good point. He said he's not interested if most or all of your profile is about who your perfect match is. He's right. The profile is YOUR chance to get me interested in you. It's your commercial! It's your, "This is who I am… want to know more?"

First, I thought he was being a bit jerky with his list of things that if you're doing, he doesn't want to hear from you. But he's right. I got a profile this morning where the WHOLE thing was what the right woman will be… an do… and understand… and be into. Someone has been watching too much Weird Science.

And to make it worse, his profile says he doesn't have kids, probably doesn't want kids, I don't have or want kids, and his ONLY profile picture was him holding a baby. That's a turn ON for women who want kids. That's a turn OFF for women who don't want kids. :) This guy claims to not want kids. Wrong picture!

So men and ladies, use your online dating profiles to show me who you are. What are you into. What are you passionate about. Hobbies, favourite bands, fave comedians. Recent live shows you saw. Your fave vacation. Get me interested by telling me actual things about who you actually are!

Aaaaaaaa!


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Take Pics of eBay Items Before You Return Them

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

I bought a spare battery on eBay. Based on the mAh, it should have lasted twice as long as my standard battery. I got the battery. I tried it out. I was lasting about the same as my standard battery. It was some off-brand, so maybe that explains it not really living up to the claimed time.

I contacted the seller. He was willing to take it back and give me a refund. OK that sounds great. He sent a UPS return label. Also very nice! Didn't have to. He sent me an email asking me to please give him very high ratings because he is trying so hard to make me happy. I thought it was a shame that he felt he had to say that. I said of course I'd give you good ratings… you are helping me out.

I returned the battery. A week later, I get a phone call from the seller, and then an email. They tell me they got the battery back, they gave me a full refund (which was in my PayPal account, so it was true), but I sent back a badly damaged battery that they cannot resell. The email said that they knew I resell to my customers, and they thought I would want to know.

I was surprised. I don't resell. I used that battery. I told him that in my email when I wanted to return it. And I didn't think I had damaged the battery! The battery went from my desk to the couch… that's about it around here! I emailed telling him that I do not resell, and I would like pictures of this badly damaged battery.

He emailed back with two pictures. The battery looks scuffed and badly used. I didn't think it looked that way, but can't prove it. Note to self, take a zillion pictures of things before you send them back. The email with the pictures came with an email asking me how I could do this to him.

Excuse me? How could I do this to him? Like I planned to get a crappy battery, send it back scuffed up, and be a jerk?

He thinks that I purposefully sent him back a damaged battery? And what do I gain from that?! You couldn't ask me if I saw that the battery looked badly used? And if this is so damaged you can't sell it, why did you refund me in full? Why not refund me like $20 or nothing? If my return doesn't fit into your return policy, you don't have to refund me!!!

I sent a pretty angry email. I thought it was pretty jerky of him to accuse me of that. Why not ASK me? Why not show the pictures and tell me they can't refund any or all of it? I really don't like being accused of things I didn't do. Don't treat me like a jerk until I act like a jerk. If he had emailed me and said it was too damaged to give me the return, and I saw the pictures, I would have had to go with what he's saying and not have gotten a refund.

I won't say how this ended, but I sure wish I had taken a video of the item in great detail, and then me sealing it up in the box. I even had all of his original packaging.


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How To Get Me To Hang Up On You

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Guys calls my music business phone line. Tells me he's a drummer, and he would like to get a list of everybody who works at my company. He wants that so that he can try to get my staff to find him drumming work.

I'm not OK with that. My staff are very unlikely to want to go to bat for some guy they don't know. And my staff are not here to market you, random, unnamed guy. It doesn't make sense to expose my staff and the important celebrities they know to anybody who calls. And with blocked caller ID, who KNOWS who this guy is, and what he would really do with that information!

I told him I did not think we would do that. His response was, "Well, is there someone else there I can talk to, or are you just the secretary."

(That's how to get me to hang up on you.)

I replied, "Sir, I own the company," and hung up on him. He called back. I decided to not answer. He left a voice mail saying that was going to tell all his celebrity friends to watch out for me.

Are these the same celebrity friends not hiring you right now? So many celebrity friends that you needed to call me try to get access to my and my team's celebrity friends?

Just a tip. When you do something stupid, APOLOGISE. It goes MUCH farther than threatening to hurt my business.

Another tip. Don't call a company to ask strangers to give up all their celebrity contacts to you. Not gonna happen.

I said good day. :)


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What “Don’t Tattle” Teaches

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Many people grew up hearing "don't tattle" and "don't snitch." Evidently, the idea is that if you see someone doing something wrong, keep it to yourself because nobody will like you. Nobody likes the person who reveals the truth, and wouldn't you rather be popular.

I've never understood this. I don't understand why people continue telling their children this. To me, this is what leads to unreported crimes, sexual abuse, and other issues. And for those of you who think that you don't want your kids to "snitch" but when they grow up, they'll know right and wrong, guess again.

I cannot tell you how many times I watch unjust things happen, and nobody says anything. Except me. I grew up being told you are your brother's keeper. Stand up for people. Stand up for the person who can't stand up for himself. Say something if you see something wrong. We were taught to tell the truth, and instead of lying to cover up bad decisions, we were taught to make better decisions.

In high school, we learned about the famous case of Kitty Genovese, who was evidently screaming while being murdered, and nobody wanted to call the police. Nobody wanted to get involved in what was someone else's trouble.

Last year, a bunch of teenagers watched a girl get gang raped. One decided to call AFTER it was over. How many kids didn't stop the attack or call the police earlier. They were standing there. Someone taught them that you don't tattle. If they had been taught to act on these things, someone would have seen this, and even if they didn't think they could stop it, they would have walked off and called the police. The attack evidently went on over an hour.

I recently saw something in an advertising blog about an ad that was being run to remind people to report things they think are crimes. The ad shows a guy feeling annoyed that his neighbours are loud… in the ad, he can evidently hear the man beating the woman. The ad asks how he will feel when he stops hearing her cries (and it's too late… and he did nothing). Good question.

It's about more than crimes. It's about standing up to what you see as wrong. It's how I was raised, and if you know me (or read my blog), you know I'm not afraid to say something. Someone recently asked if I were some sort of trouble-maker. I said I am a whistleblower.

Yesterday, I went to my apartment's sales office to ask why the leasing office is always closed (they sell some of the units here as condos, and run two different offices). The girl said she had nothing to do with that office, but heard the leasing agent is never there when she should be there. I said we should talk to the property owner about that. A grown woman said to me, "I'm not going to tattle."

Really. Someone whose job has nothing to do with you is creating a bad experience for customers who COULD be yours (if I like living here, maybe I'd buy a unit), and you don't want to say anything to your bosses. You'd rather your customers get poor service and a poor experience so that you don't have to report the problem.

I tend to think that people who don't want to tattle as adults have something or a lot to hide. I'm happy to stand up and say something because I know I have no closet skeletons. I can cast the first stone. :)

I would like to see today's parents teaching children better decision-making with the future and multiple possible outcomes in mind. I would like to see today's parents teaching children to stand up for what they believe in and what they think is right. How much less abuse, crime, or just day-to-day negative situations would there be if our children felt responsible for themselves and for their fellow man?

Just a dream.


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