Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Best New Cable Show - Men of a Certain Age on TNT

The best new cable show on television is TNT's "Men of a Certain Age." A TV show that gives twenty somethings a glimpse of their father's world and something the old men to relate to. It is sort of the male version of "Sex in The City," I like to call it "No Sex in The City."

Scott Bakula, of Star Trek: Legacy and Quantum Leap, plays Terry, the older ladies man that Ray Romano and Andre Braugher live vicariously through. Episode 2, Let it Go, has Terry stealing a car of a crazy driver running a stop sign almost hitting him and a pedestrian. Prior to this incident, he confronts a family man that made him spill his coffee while he walked with Joe (Ray Romano) and Owen (Andre Braugher) from the coffee shop.

Sitting at lunch, Terry tries to talk Joe and Owen into going to the house of the coffee stop sign runner from earlier in the week (with no dice). However a work friend has a brother as a policemen, so Terry runs the license plate anyway. Terry doesn't know what awkward moment he is in for later in the episode.

Road Rage
Now if you run someone of the road, in society, it is ok to yell at them and get in a verbal fight at the scene of the crime, but don't go to their house to confront them later (as Terry did). It was sort of awkward to see the exchange between Terry and the Road Rage family. They even said they were going to call the cops. What has this society come to when people can run stop signs, while talking on cell phones, and then when confronted not apologize?

Andre Braugher, of cult TV classic "Homicide: Life on the Street" and my personal favorite "Hack" plays Owen, a 49 year old family man with three kids and a debt up to his ears. Working at his father's car dealership he finds out how fun it can be to work in the family business (hated it!). It reminds us that we make the bed we sleep in, which means to me, don't rack up a credit card bill and have three kids if you want to quit your job. Sure you have a lot of nice things but you end up painting yourself into a financial corner and their is no getting out. Forget about keeping up with the Joneses, Enjoy your freedom instead of material things.

Ray Romano, "Every body Loves Raymond" star, finds out in "Men of a Certain Age," that everyone doesn't love him anymore. Struggling with a gambling problem and separated from his wife of two kids, Joe (Ray Romano) struggles with a new life of gambling, beers, and great friendships. Recently losing $300 and having his bookie meet him during the day at his business of record, Joe decides that betting $2,000 can some how fill the empty hole that his wife has left in his life, after saying her and Joe should date other people.

Gambling in America
Gambling is everywhere, from friendly poker games to bookies breaking legs in back alleys. Joe's obsession with gambling breaks up his marriage and strains all of his other relationships. Gambling is a disease that can be all-encompassing. The need for a bigger and bigger rush can drive someone to continue to lose more and more money. Michael Brodrick quickly learned from War Games that the only way to win is to not play. CNBC tackles the issue of gambling and dives deep into the underground gambling life in a new segment The Big Business of Illegal Gambling, a must watch CNBC original.

If you enjoy drama with a funny streak, guys hanging out in coffee shops and hiking, then "Men of a Certain Age" is the TV show for you. I am now glued to TNT on Monday nights at 10pm PST for "Men of a Certain Age."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

CNBC: Must See TV (Part 2)

Executive Vision

The series, hosted by CNBC’s Melissa Francis and Simon Hobbs, is broadcast globally across the CNBC network. Reruns play on Tuesday's at 10pm PST.

Episode #1 The Blueprint for Breakthrough Leadership: Health Care

Episode #2 Navigating the New Leadership Landscape:Retail

Episode #3 Building a Global Leadership Brand: Technology

Episode #4 Leading in an Interconnected World: Transportation

Episode #5 Being a Leader - A Job That's Never Done: Energy

The most interesting episode of the bunch is Episode 3 about technology and building a global leadership brand.

In Episode 3, Executive Vision explored the following leadership themes:

- Leading with passion
- Taking calculated risks to get ahead
- Motivating and inspiring teams for success
- Leading in competitive times
- Staying relevant as technology changes

Marissa Mayer is "one of the most powerful women of her generation." The 20th employee at Google and its first woman engineer - she's now one of its most influential leaders. As Vice President of Search Products and User Experience, Mayer puts her stamp of approval on virtually everything you see on the search site.

A Stanford alumn, Mayer joined Stanford graduate students Sergey Brin and Larry Page how famously started Google in a Stanford dorm room. Marissa Mayer decided to pick Google over multiple offers from other Fortune 500 companies because she wanted to work with the best and brightest, at the time that was Sergey and Larry.

Also chiming in was Jimmy Wales. He turned his vision of a world in which everyone has free access to all knowledge – into the collaborative phenomenon Wikipedia. He’s now bringing people together through the web-hosting service Wikia.

Jimmy Wales Wikipedia page says, "Wales is a self-avowed 'Objectivist to the core'; Objectivism being a rationalist and individualist philosophy developed by writer Ayn Rand in the 20th century."

Other executives (including Dr. Jean Botti, Chief Technical Officer, EADS; Bill McDermott, President, Global Field Operations, SAP; Gerald Quindlen, President & CEO, Logitech; Ram Shriram, and Founder, Sherpalo Ventures) offered their vision in a round table discussion about being a leader, and inspiring teams for success.

A must watch if you haven't been lucky enough yet. Executive Vision gets my highest recommendation, a real must watch!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

CNBC: Must See TV (Part 1)

If you love business and marketing as much as I do, you have to start watching the following show on CNBC:

The Business of Innovation

Hosted by Maria Bartiromo, get access to what's happening in cities across the world. Whether it is redefining healthcare, reshaping cities, or my favorite of the three-part series, rethinking work; The Business of Innovation aggregates some of the brightest minds of our time to solve the most pressing questions on all of our minds.

Episode 3 (rethinking work) offers a peek into offices and classrooms of the future that will help us solve the following problem; “each week, more than 40% of employees use incorrect information to make decisions, thereby wasting time and resources.” Thought leaders including James Surowiecki, Author of "Wisdom of Crowds," shows us that the solo expert model must change to a group think model. The wisdom of groups, with diverse backgrounds, can solve a problem and make better decisions than just one expert.

Showcased as an example of the group think model was InnoCentive, an open innovation platform for external experts to solve corporate challenges. With time to market a more important factor in success than security of ideas, many external experts are looking for methods to analyze consumer emotions, environmentally friendly bottle Caps, and turf treatment granules with increased adherence to foliage, to name a few challenges.

Re-runs show on CNBC Monday’s at 10pm PST of this interesting and hopefully continuing show about the Business of Innovation. Stay tuned for more great shows and documentaries from CNBC.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Most Infuential Internet Professionals of 2009

In no particular order, here is just a short list of the most influential SEM professionals of 2009.

Avinash Kaushik - writer of Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability & Science of Customer Centricity, analytics evangelist for Google. Avinash recently received the 2009 Statistical Advocate of the Year award from the American Statistical Association. If you can't get enough read Avinash's blog Occam's Razor.

Danny Sullivan - Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land, He oversees the entire Search Engine Land website, directing coverage plus writing articles to boot! Thanks for keeping the Search articles flowing and the dissemination of the knowledge to us Search Marketers.

PPC Heroes - Keeping us on the cutting edge of PPC, this blog often has those Wow! moment articles. And heroes, don't forget, "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World!"

Pete Cashmore - Tech media wunderkind Pete Cashmore founded the Website Mashable from his home in Scotland when he was just 19 (over achiever!). Now based in Silicon Valley, it's a must-read for the tech cognoscenti, and Cashmore is widely regarded as an expert on how to use, consume and profit from social media.

Steve Ballmer - Bing! unveiled by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on May 28, 2009 at the All Things Digital conference in San Diego. Gaining more search volume share and more of our hearts, Bing! is fastly becoming the next best search engine, to Google that is. How did Microsoft do it? Buy the rights to distribute Bing on Yahoo! Search, Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Internet and a Movie: 2009 a Retrospect

2009 was hardly the year of the Internet but some movies continued the theme that swept the world in 1994, busted in 2000, and slowly became something each and every American couldn't live without.

Two Journalists Released from North Korea "State of Play"

Furthering the status of online journalism as posed by Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams in "State of Play," in early 2009, are two American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee. Ling and Lee were detained by North Korean soldiers near the country's border with China, in March 2009. Inadvertently bringing credibility to the title "online journalist." State of Play was the first movie I can remember that legitimized online journalism while at the same time illustrating how archaic Newspapers really are.

Julie & Julia: Out with the Old, and In with the New

The 2009 blog hit, Julie & Julia, promoted bloggers to the status of Internet Celebrities continuing the phenomanon that built billions of blogs (thanks to Meryl Streep and Amy Adams). Blogs are still a staple in the world of Internet news. A trend that took early 2009 was hyper-local blogging coined by search marketings own Matt McGee. Hyper-Local Blogging has caught on like wildfire with Newspaper Conglomerates that are losing readers by the second to online news sources. Maybe Hearst and Knight Ridder can stop the newspaper ship from capsizing (like the Titanic)?

Funny People and Myspace, A Perfect Combination

Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen put a smile back on your face when you think about MySpace. The fledgling online music destination, owned by Fox Interactive, is resurrected, if only for a moment, against its online rival Facebook. "F*** Facebook, In the Face!" as Seth Rogen says on stage to a crowd of MySpace employees. MySpace changes guard with a new CEO, Owen Van Natta of Facebook fame, in an effort to once again rain supreme in a battle of Iron Chef's (off on a tangent, sorry!). Funny People gets two funny thumbs way up, MySpace not so much.

Paranormal Activity: Ouija would be Proud

Paranormal Activity is the best use of the Internet to promote a movie virally. Blair Witch Project, I mean, Paranormal Activity is another in the "is it real or is it fake" independent movies, shot by a camcorder (or a new iPhone 3GS?). With a gross revenue of $1 million (making Mr. Evil proud) and a production cost of $15,000, and a Ouija Board for $19.99, this makes the list of the top 10 most scarily profitable movies (mou..ha..ha).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

11 Search Marketing Books You Should Read

It is amazing how many good Internet Marketing books come from Sybex. Here are 11 Internet Marketing books, most of them I have read from front to back. A couple of them are to be released in the next few months.

Landing Page Optimization Need to optimize your landing pages? Don't know what to test? This book offers an exhaustive list of optimization variables to make your landing pages successful.

Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics Did you read Web Analytics: An hour a day but need more advanced success metrics to optimize your SEM campaigns? Get the advanced web analytics secrets and get a competitive advantage with this book. Also available by Sybex is the Yahoo! Search Analytics book.

Always be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer Google Website Optimizer is a free tool offered by Google to optimize your website and test multiple variables (e.g. colors, buttons, copy, images, etc) to see what your target market is persuaded by. Coffee is for closers so Always be Testing and making your SEM more successful.

Email Marketing: An Hour a Day A great introduction to email marketing and spam filters. This book also gets you ready to build your email campaign from scratch like a professional. If you don't want to spend your money on companies like Constant Contact (or maybe in conjunction with them) get the secrets of the email marketing professionals in this book.

YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day

Multichannel Marketing How does online marketing overlap? Does one online channel affect another? This book opens your eyes to the other marketing professionals minds and shows you how to work with your fellow colleagues. Are you a brand manager? Learn the ins and outs of brand metrics and how marketing metrics from multiple channels work together to help you succeed.

Radically Transparent Are you looking for reputation management or online social networking ideas? Create a plan of action for your online reputation whether it be reactive or proactive. Get a jump on the competition and be prepared if something goes terribly wrong. This is great reputation insurance.

Social Media: An Hour a Day Need a complete guide to social media? Ready to embrace social media and need to know what it all works together? This book is great for all skill levels from beginner to expert. Social media is an emerging market, get involved before your competitors do.

I already have my pre-order on Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity, it releases on October 26, 2009

A couple other books I might pick up are Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day and Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day.

By the way, you can get a great deal on these books both new and used on Amazon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Follow Google on Twitter

Like lots of you, Google has been drawn into Twitter this year. After all, Google is all about frequent updates, and there's lots happening around Google that they want to share with you. Here's a list of the current Google profiles on Twitter.

twitter.com/Google - our central account
twitter.com/Blogger - for Blogger fans
twitter.com/GoogleCalendar - user tips & updates
twitter.com/GoogleImages - news, tips, tricks on our visual image search
twitter.com/GoogleNews - latest headlines via Google News
twitter.com/GoogleReader - from our feed reader team
twitter.com/iGoogle - news & notes from Google's personalized homepage
twitter.com/GoogleStudents - news of interest to students using Google
twitter.com/YouTube - for YouTube fans
twitter.com/YouTubeES - en Espanol
twitter.com/GoogleAtWork - solutions for IT and workplace productivity

twitter.com/SketchUp - Google SketchUp news
twitter.com/3DWH - SketchUp's 3D Warehouse
twitter.com/Modelyourtown - 3D modeling to build your favorite places
twitter.com/EarthOutreach - Earth & Maps tools for nonprofits & orgs
twitter.com/GoogleMaps - uses, tips, mashups
twitter.com/GoogleSkyMap -Android app for the night sky

twitter.com/AdSense - for online publishers
twitter.com/AdWordsHelper - looking out for AdWords questions and tech issues
twitter.com/AdWordsProSarah - Google Guide for AdWords Help Forum
twitter.com/GoogleAnalytics - insights for website effectiveness
twitter.com/GoogleAdBuilder - re building display ads
twitter.com/GoogleRetail - for retail advertisers
twitter.com/TechnologyUK - for U.K. tech advertisers
twitter.com/InsideAdWordsDE - for German AdWords customers
twitter.com/GoogleAgencyDE - for German ad agencies
twitter.com/AdSensePT - info for Portuguese-language publishers
twitter.com/AdWordsRussia - AdWords news & tips in Russian
twitter.com/DentroDeAdWords - Spanish updates from the Inside AdWords blog
twitter.com/AdWordsAPI - AdWords API tips

Developer & technical
twitter.com/GoogleResearch - from our research scientists
twitter.com/GoogleWMC - Google Webmaster Central
twitter.com/GoogleCode - latest updates for Google developer products
twitter.com/GoogleData - Data APIs provide a standard protocol for reading and writing web data
twitter.com/app_engine - web apps run on Google infrastructure
twitter.com/DataLiberation - our initiative for complete import/export of all data
twitter.com/GoogleMapsAPI - about using Google Maps embedded in websites
twitter.com/GoogleIO - Google's largest annual developer event

Culture, People
twitter.com/googletalks - notes from our @Google speaker series
twitter.com/googlejobs - the voice of Google recruiters

Country or Region
twitter.com/googlearabia - news from the Google Arabia Blog*
twitter.com/googledownunder - Google activities in Australia & New Zealand
twitter.com/GoogleDE - Google in Germany
twitter.com/GoogleKorea - News & notes in Korean*
twitter.com/GoogleLatAm - Latin America (en Espanol)
twitter.com/GooglePolicyIt - Notes on Google policy issues in Italy

Get updates to this Google Twitter list here.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Twitter is Caliente: Twitter Directories for Promotion

Want to promote your Twitter profile in Twitter Directories? Here are the top Twitter Directories to add your Twitter profile:

WeFollow - A creation from Kevin Rose, the Digg guy, with the use of Twitter Directory tags to segment Twitter users. WeFollow is heavy on the celebrities.

Twellow - The yellow pages of Twitter Directory Listings. A search directory of people by area of expertise, profession or other attribute listed in personal profiles on Twitter.

JustTweetIt - Just Tweet It is a user directory for Twitter organized by genre to allow for users to easily find other Twitter users to connect with.

TweetFind - Live Twitter Directory to Find Twitter Users and Twitter Businesses.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Twitter Matrix Has Gotten Me

I recently have been bitten by the Twitter bug. I really enjoy the simplicity of the interface. Twitter offers a really competitive landscape for those that like to compete and try to get the most followers. Twitter also offers a way for people to stay in contact with one another on the day to day happenings in their life.

If you want to follow me on Twitter I am semFunny, enjoy!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

California Tax Refund Status

Did you know that you can check to see when your California Tax Refund was authorized and when you should get it in the mail or in your bank account? Visit the California refund status center for a date when your tax refund was authorized.

No IOUs from the California State Tax Board
If you have already filed your tax return you should get an authorization date shortly. If you have not filed your tax return, the news states you will be authorized within 2 to 3 weeks after your return is approved. The sooner you get your California State Tax Return filed, the sooner you will get your money. Especially if California runs out of money again.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What's a Crackberry? Internet Slang Part 1

With new technology and social networks comes new slang words.

Twitterer or Tweeter - Someone that uses Twitter.com to keep in touch with friends. Are you a Tweeter?

Twuet - Having sent a Tweet recently to a friend. LOL {Used in a sentence} "Did you just twuet?"

Crackberry - Are you addicted to your BlackBerry? Then it's your Crackberry.

Rim-Shout - Sending a shout out to all your friends on your Rim Blackberry.

Linkedin - Are you part of your inner circle of business professionals, then you are Linkedin!

Bitchmeme - Group dialogue on a single topic, often kicked off by one blogger’s rant.

Yelper - Someone that is part of the Yelp! community.

Yelping - Leaving a review on Yelp! for a community business or professional.

Any other funny slang words. Rim-Shout-out!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Las Vegas: The House Doesn't Always Win!

Las Vegas is no stranger to the failing economy. If you have been to Las Vegas you have undoubtedly found yourself at a Station Casino. The reasonable room rates and low table minimums have made a large dent in many a wallets. But this time the house doesn't win, and it didn't take a pack of MIT graduates playing 21. Who needs Las Vegas when you can gamble with your job and paycheck in this economy.

Station Casinos. (Privately owned, about 14,000 employees). Las Vegas has already been creamed by a biblical real-estate bust, and now it may face the loss of its home-grown gambling joints, too. Station - which runs 15 casinos off the strip that cater to locals - recently failed to make a key interest payment, which is often one of the last steps before a Chapter 11 filing. For once, the house seems likely to lose.
15 Companies That Might Not See 2009

Donald Trump, "You're Fired!" The Atlantic City mob has put a hit out on gambling in 2009. Who has money to gamble, let alone pay their mortgage? One of Trump's Casinos already filed for bankruptcy in the last two years, this might be the end of the Trump Entertainment Resort dynasty.

Trump Entertainment Resorts Holdings. (TRMP; about 9,500 employees; stock down 94%). The casino company made famous by The Donald has received several extensions on interest payments, while it tries to sell at least one of its Atlantic City properties and pay down a stack of debt. But with casino buyers scarce, competition circling, and gamblers nursing their losses from the recession, Trump Entertainment may face long odds of skirting bankruptcy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Green Initiatives & Red Economies Don't Always Mix

Being green in a down economy isn't always that easy. Yes you want to conserve energy, use less water, use mass transit to get to work, but green products aren't always the least expensive alternative. Shopped at specialty stores and gourmet food store lately? Yeah they offer healthy and eco-friendly alternatives to many cheap products and foods but specialty usually means expensive.

Business As Usual, As Green As Possible

Especially in this down economy you still may need to print reports for clients, keep lights on so workers can get their jobs done (without a lot of optomitrist appointments with employees complaining about strained eyes), and run massive servers to keep computers going.

Ask yourself this, if you can either choose to go out of business and layoff thousands "or" be the greenest company on the planet, which one would you choose? Point made. Be green, but be smart.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Virtual Media: Unemployment's Solution

Many loose their jobs as the financial industry falls and the brick-and-mortar retail world crumbles. What are the jobless to do? A growing industry is virtual media. The Internet is taking away jobs from brick-and-mortars but the appetite for Internet media is growing exponentially.

Amateur Media Goes Mainstream
With the influx of amateur news at Current.tv and Internet episodes on YouTube, TV viewers want millions of choices for entertaining content and news that is not satisfied by current Dish and Cable TV providers. People from different countries are moving around the world and their media content isn't.

This means you can produce your own content and support it with advertising, thanks to the Internet. Choose a topic you are interested in and produce news, episodes, or infomercials. For now it can be a side job to make some money until you find a new job. In a year or so you will be able to access any content anywhere with your mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer. Use a special box, like the one from Roku, and you can watch this content on your home's TV.

A Web Cam and a Dream
Unemployment is a problem but the solution is learning new talents to supply the demand. In this case it takes a web cam or camcorder and a good idea for Internet content. Add advertising and you have a great part-time job.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Super Bowl Ads: A Captive Audience

With the Super Bowl on the heals of the NFL Divisional Playoffs, I sit in a sports bar getting ready for a good old football time. Many times people have access to a TV remote and can change the channel during commercials or use Tivo to delay the game and skip over commercials. What about all those NFL fans that are away from home, in bars, at a friend's house, or watching on their mobile device? A captive audience for football fun and super bowl ads. Reuters reports that a 30-second 2009 Super Bowl Ad will run you $3 million.

Super Bowl Ads of the Past
Everyone remembers the Go Daddy girl commercial in 2005. It single handedly
launched Go Daddy as the premiere web host on the Internet. This commercial made Go Daddy a household name and they didn't stop from their. Every year since they capitalize on the success of the 2005 Super Bowl Ad with another just as funny.

Super Bowl Ads for 2009
Of course we will see another Go Daddy ad with "Danica get's steamy." Hyundai will join the elite with a Super Bowl Ad to promote the Genesis Coupe. One notorious Super Bowl advertiser, Fedex, will be opting out of the $3 million ad. What funny Super Bowl ad will take their place?

The newest trend in Super Bowl ads is a 3D ad to promote DreamWorks' movie trailer for Monsters and Aliens and a Sobe ad to be named later. Over 125 million 3D glass were distributed for this monumental event. You can save your 3D glasses and watch My Bloody Valentine or break out your copy of Rad Racer for the original Nintendo NES.

Get your engines started and get ready for this race.

Check out a collage of 2008 Super Bowl Ads:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dear Diary: Brick-and-Mortar Bubble Bursts

We all remember 2000-2001 when anyone and everyone started a website, got funded for a new web venture, and money was being thrown around the stock market on Internet IPOs. The Internet finally came of age but the teen years were tough. We realized that it is not just good enough to be on the Internet but we had to actually make money (really?).

Jack and Jill Went Up The Hill
The best of the bunch survived the crunch and the rest came tumbling down. Now the Internet can vote, drink hard alcohol, and stay up all night without a curfew. Unfortunately, brick-and-mortar got old and stogy, and is now.

Circuit City Came Tumbling Down
Just when you thought that brand was king, down with Circuit City. Big brands have ruled the retail world for over 100 years. Macy’s closes 10 stores, Mervyn’s liquidates and disappears, and many other big brands are laying off employees and closing up shop. Did you know that Internet retail sales were up 4% in 2008, from 2007? Shocking, who could have seen that trend coming? Lower overhead, less labor costs, open 24/7/365, and the ability to be anywhere and everywhere around the world; someone was asleep at the wheel!

Status Quo is Status No
The lesson is not just about the brand but about diversification. Status quo is status no. “Everyone else is doing it,” they say. “I want a piece of that pie.” Well the pie is in short supply. Maybe Marie Antoinette had it right, “Let them eat cake.” Stay ahead of the curve, try to conserve, or get what you deserve. Now wave bye-bye to those big old stogy guys and say hello to Web 2.0.