Thursday, April 17, 2014

Facebook Compulsion Disorder

How much of your life revolves around Facebook? 

Are you in danger of losing your mind to Facebook Compulsion Disorder?

Take this quiz and see how deeply entrenched in your brain you have allowed Facebook to become.

If you answer YES to 3 or more of the following statements, you may have Facebook Compulsion Disorder.

(1) The first and last thing I do every day is check Facebook.

(2) I cannot imagine what life was like prior to Facebook.

(3) If my Facebook account was hijacked due to my dumb behavior, like using a rogue app, and I was unable to get my account back, I'd be devastated.

(4) I argue on Facebook about personal issues going on with people I don't even know.

(5) I give life-altering advice on Facebook to people I don't even know.

(6) I get irritable when I'm unable to access Facebook or work some Facebook function on my cell phone (like upload photos or copy and paste text).

(7) I get angry if on Facebook someone posts a comment on my status update that disagrees with my opinion or tastes, even if I state them in an inflammatory, combative manner.

(8) I like to express myself on Facebook with great vigor and zeal, but am annoyed when people challenge or criticize what I say.

(9) Facebook is my primary method of communicating with others.

(10) I don't want to meet in the real world anybody I interact with on Facebook, it would be that "when worlds collide" situation George Castanza wanted to avoid (mixing Married George with Your Friend George) on Seinfeld.

(11) I am deeply suspicious of anyone who's not on Facebook.

(12) I know all my Facebook friends eagerly look forward to my status updates and love to know my every mood and move.

(13) I feel a compulsion to respond to everything I see on Facebook that I either agree with or disagree with.

(14) I'm happy or sad, depending on what my most recent experience on Facebook was like.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Destroy All Corporate Fluff Website Content

Here's my best web content writing technique. I burn to the ground all "We Oriented" copy. I will not tolerate any business blabbering about itself. I convert all text to "You Oriented" copy. Internet marketing must be customer-centric.

Customers don't care about you. They're worried about their problem, need, or desire. They want to get something done. They want specific information relevant to their situation. They don't have time to wade through the muddy waters of your boring boasts and extravagant but vague claims.

"You have [specific problem]. You seek [specific solution]. You can feel good now. Your problem is about to be solved." This is the general tone and direction of marketing content that connects with customers and differentiates your firmfrom the self-obsessed competition.

Customers have ZERO interest in your company. All they care about is their problem -- and how it can be solved quickly, competently, affordably. That's it.

Sure, there might a tiny bit of curiosity in your company because of a radio commercial, YouTube video, Facebook post, or word of mouth recommendation.

But when that customer gets to your website, it had better be a mirror reflecting themselves, their situation, and a proposed remedy for their dilemma or a perfect fulfillment of their need.

98% of all websites and marketing in general is "we, we, we all the way home" like the 3 little piggies. "We do this" and "we offer that" and "we are so great." It's called corporate fluff and almost everybody does it. No wonder people have such low degrees of brand loyalty.

If you need website content that instantly connects with customers, making them crave your solutions, contact me. Right now, while you're thinking about it.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

You Centric Ad Writing: An Anecdote

When I was working on Madison Avenue at Grey Advertising, or a little while before that actually, I came across the most amazing anecdote.

An ad writer visited a company and told the CEO, who disliked advertising, but saw it as a necessary nuisance, that he had a guaranteed way to force the CEO to read an entire ad he wrote, from beginning to end, without skipping a single syllable.

The CEO, a Mr. John Trussle, thought this was absurd. He laughed out loud and had trouble regaining his composure. He thought the ad writer was nuts.

"You can write an advertisement I will read all the way through?" John Trussle replied. "I don't really like ads. I find them intrusive and boring. I'll take you up on your challenge. Write me an ad that I will read in its entirety. I bet you can't do it."

The next day, the advertising copywriter did some research, wrote the ad, and visited the CEO again, ad copy in hand.

The headline said, "Everything You Need to Know About John Trussle."


Let this little story keep you in remembrance of a simple fact.

Customers don't care about you.

They care about themselves and their problems, needs, and desires.

Make your website content "you oriented" -- focus on your customer, not your company. 

Convince your web traffic that you understand them, speak to them like a close friend, talking about them. Once you relate to the customers, then they might get interested in hearing a little more about you. But not until you connect with them, on their level, in their language.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

22 Signs Your SEO Provider is a Con Artist

(1) Promises high rankings in a short period of time, like #1 in 3 months.

(2) "Free 30 day trial -- just give us the admin password for your website."

(3) Says they'll submit your website to thousands of search engines.

(4) Gets you thousands of backlinks from spammy article submission sites and dubious directories. (If Google penalizes you for these links, it may be very expensive to get the directories to remove their link to you.)

(5) Uses reciprocal linking schemes from websites that aren't even relevant to your business.

(6) Uses paid links, paying websites to link to you.

(7) Won't answer your questions in language you can understand "because it's very technical" or "it's a trade secret."

(8) Requests copyright on meta data they create or edit.

(9) Claims to have an inside track to Google.

(10) Uses black hat techniques like keyword stuffing (using keywords repeatedly in an unnatural manner),  invisible website text, affiliate links (websites built just for linking to each other), cloaking (showing search engines a different version of your website than what customers see) -- that may temporarily boost generic traffic to your website, but will eventually result in penalties and even de-indexing (your website will vanish from search resutls, nobody will be able to find you unless they have your website URL.

(11) Has no understanding of the new Google Hummingbird semantic search engine requirements. (Be sure to ask "How will you help our website comply with the new Hummingbird algorithms?")

(12) Uses plagiarized, copied and pasted, we-oriented, or generic text for your website content.

(13) Has poor skills in creating videos, photos, audio, and other rich internet media for your website.

(14) Has no real understanding of how to integrate Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus, local niche directories, blogs, and your website, just promises to do so in vague but enthusiastic terms.

(15) Has no business or marketing savvy, just a lot of geeky energy and trendy buzzwords.

(16) Has trouble answering the question "What SEO tactics do you recommend NEVER using?"

(17) Avoids the issue of ROI and conversion (sales and other business goals) tracking.

(18) Has no expertise in web usability or how website design and layout will impact SEO.

(19) Puts a strong emphasis on esoteric analytics and obscure tracking metrics that may no longer be relevant.

(20) Has no idea how to optimize photos, video, meta tags, H1 - H3 header tags, or calls to action.

(21) Has no idea how to optimize for mobile, voice search, or clickless search.

(22) Contacts you via an unsolicited email promotion, writes bad English, and keeps hounding you with spam emails (which are illegal).

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Creepy Hug Me Jacket ad for Comcast cable TV

When you don't have cable TV, you get bored. When you get bored, you tend to pamper your son. When you pamper your son, he ends up wearing a creepy Hug Me jacket.

Don't have a son that wears a creepy Hug Me jacket.

Get Comcast cable TV.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

25 Basic Rules for Selfies

Selfies are governed by rules you can learn and MUST OBEY. Selfies -- photos you take of yourself, by yourself, with your own camera -- are an unfortunate trend.

They were invented by the NSA to obtain up-to-date photos of US citizens, but are really the worst kind of photography. If you must post a selfie, here are some guidelines to make them less annoying.

1. Never in a bathroom, especially a public restroom. Nobody looks good with a toilet, urinal, or hand dryer behind them.

2. You don't need a mirror, you can point your camera at yourself.

3. Make sure there's no photobombing going on behind you.

4. Keep all your illegal or questionable items out of the shot.

5. Nobody wants to see a new photo of you every few hours or every day -- a few times a year is sufficient.

6. Keep your mouth closed. An open mouth tends to make people look dumb.

7. No V for Victory, middle finger, Shaka (Hawaiian "hang loose") gesture, heavy metal horned salute, or any other hand signs in an attempt to look cool or demonic.

8. No blurry shots made on cheap cell phone cameras.

9. No duck lips, bug eyes, fish cheeks, pouting, grimacing, or other facial contortions that make you look ugly or uneducated.

10. No dopey captions like "good morning," "good night," "bored," "tired," "sick as hell," "a moment before surgery," "found out I've got STDs," "at the gym," "happy birthday to me," "what's up?", etc.

11. Try to fix your hair and have good clothes on prior to taking the photo.

12. Don't have a bottle of beer in your hand unless you're looking for a bartending job.

13. Don't flash any gang signs unless you want to start a turf battle.

14. Never post a selfie just because you're bored and don't know what else to do.

15. Never post an unflattering photo of yourself, with messed up hair, smeared make-up, bad angles, double chins, bleeding shaving cuts, or spaghetti stains -- unless you're preparing to enter a hermitage and want to ward off any possible romance or friendships.

16. Never post a selfie with a joint or pot pipe in your mouth -- unless you're planning to open a medical cannabis dispensary.

17. Don't expect any Likes or comments on your selfie, especially if you post them relentlessly and carelessly.

18. No sexy selfies unless you're under 28 years old and have a really great physique.

19. No selfies at funerals, burials, car wrecks, homicide scenes, drug busts, or orgies.

20. No selfies around little children because you don't want to set a bad example for them, do you?

21. No filters or crazy colors because they tend to make you look old or like an extraterrestrial being.

22. No selfies with always the exact same look on your face, especially if that look is one of disgust, confusion, boredom, or pathetic neediness to be loved and admired.

23. Don't use an app to combine multiple selfies in a montage or sequence -- one image is about all we can handle.

24. No Justin Bieber, Miley Virus, or Lady Gag Me With a Spoon type poses.

25. Don't smile in every single selfie -- or we'll think you're massively dosed on sedatives and off in La La Land.

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14 Things Most Pastors Refuse to Preach Against

Ask your pastor why he focuses so much on gay marriage and abortion, but refuses to preach against:

1. Warmongering & war profiteering

2. Exploitation of the poor by the rich

3. Exploitation of the poor by televangelists

4. Gluttony

5. Materialism

6. Mammonism (money worship)

7. Spiritual pride (holier than thou attitude)

8. Megachurching (growing too big for the pastor to handle)

9. CEO pastor syndrome (one guy doing all the sermons and acting as head of the church and using worldly marketing techniques)

10. Nicolaitans (exalting "clergy" above "laity" -- an unbiblical practice)

11. Grossly distorted films on biblical themes

12. Political polarization & argumentation

13. Hypnotically repetitive "praise choruses"

14. Passive spectatorship in church "services"

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20 Things To STOP Doing on Facebook

According to MSN Living, there are 20 extremely annoying behaviors on Facebook that you might want to consider not doing anymore:

1. selfies

2. sonograms

3. drunkbooking

4. cardio and fitness updates

5. airing dirty laundry, personal hostilities to "you know who you are"

6. local business bashing

7. polarizing political rants and images

8. relentless food photos

9. hysterical romance tragedy updates

10. relentless self-promotions and marketing for your company

11. oversharing minute details of your life

12. non-local issue petitions

13. kill shelter photos of suffering animals

14. endless baby photos

15. constant complaining, whining, bitching

16. psychotic over-cheerfulness & unrealistic inspirational drivel

17. party announcement & photo overload

18. begging for Likes and Shares to elicit support & sympathy

19. vaguebooking (statements nobody can make sense of, except maybe people who know you intimately or are watching the same TV show you are watching)

20. gross medical problem photos & updates

Read original article. Warning: it's a slide show.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Jan Crouch not a good role model

Why would a "ministry leader" lady, in this case Jan Crouch of Trinity Broadcasting Network, want to look like a hooker?

Is this what happens when the owner of a large ministry gets filthy rich off the tithes of poor people?

Is this an example of the prosperity gospel's "wearing your blessings" (a completely unbiblical concept)? Is this vain show a good role model for Christian women? And -- does she actually believe she looks good like this?

No wonder the world makes fun of Christianity.

Before anyone accuses me of "being judgmental", let me quote a relevant passage of scripture:

"I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."

-- II Timothy 2:9,10

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

No More Status Updates on Facebook

Facebook to eliminate status updates and comments, starting July 4, 2014

Independence Day this year will mark the beginning of a whole new Facebook experience.

Instead of posting updates on your life, your lunch, and your cat, you will only be viewing what Facebook decides to post in your news feed, which will be news about missing planes, ads for exciting products based on your interests, and announcements about celebrity antics.

Embarrassingly personal status updates, and all those dopey comments that used to be posted to them, will be a thing of the past.

This will make life a lot easier for everyone.

No more FOMO (fear of missing out).

No more agonizing over what to complain about each day.

No more bathroom selfies that make you look gross.

No more stressful political arguments.

No more alleged quotes from famous people that they never said.

No more ranting about how comical the "Noah" movie is.

No more asking if anybody knows of good jobs with benefits (since there are none).

No more feeling obligated to click Like and Share on silly click-bait images.

All you'll have to do is just relax and view a steady stream of Sponsored Posts from Facebook's advertisers.

I think it is a wonderful development.

I don't get much out of all these status updates people post. 

It's either too personal or it's preaching to the choir. Facebook will be more like a news service, plus discount deals on things I'm actually interested in buying, based on my interests, which Facebook has been tracking.

It's the ultimate implementation of the Knowledge Graph of data mining.

Allowing us to post status updates and comments was just a gimmick to get us to go to Facebook every day. Now that training period is coming to an end.

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More April Fools Day Fun

To calm things down in North Korea, today Barack Hussein Obama appointed Dennis Rodman as Ambassador to North Korea, causing Putin to tweet on Twitter: "Obama, I'll trade Pussy Riot for Dennis Rodman. I could use him in the Ukraine. Please change your mind. Thanks."

"Half Beatle Hits" LP, compiled from the secret collaborations known as The Lost Lennon-Harrison Tapes, to be released in August 2014. Bootlegs of these sessions have been so hard to find, even obsessive collectors are eagerly awaiting this album.

Obama ditches socialism, decides to change US flag as of July 4, 2014.

New Facebook vaccine has been developed that makes you immune to click-bait images, like-farming memes, scams, hoaxes, fake journalism, "breaking news" about missing Malaysian airliners, and games that trick you into posting self-deprecating status updates "for fun." Spammers and con artists are not happy about this.

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