Friday, July 27, 2007

Heading to NY for Pubcon / SEOClass

There are still a few seats available if you are interested in attending the Advanced Search Engine Marketing training in Manhattan next week. Visit SEO Class for more information.

I will be covering Second Generation Submissions (Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo Site Explorer and the Sitemap Protocol) and Advanced Content Generation. You may notice by looking at the syllabus, there are no sessions on SEO basics like titles and meta tags. The focus of this training is Advanced SEO.

Lobster Mini Season 2007 Results

It was a great Lobster Mini Season! The picture above is myself and Dr. Amunategui with our catch. We also had help from John DeMarco, Peter Leshaw, and Tony Cuozzo.

The weather was great, the seas were calm, the water was clear, and the Florida Lobster were ready for the picking. There were hundreds of boats within eye's view. The boats that did better then us had a system of dropping divers at different locations and circling back to them. I had not seen that technique before, but it was a great way to efficiently cover a lot of ground.

Regular Lobster Season opens August 6th. I will most likely wait for the weekend to go out again.

Simpsonize Me - Part 2

After a few days of getting an error message that was at least customized with the Simpsons flair, I finally got in and was able to Simpsonize my picture.
I guess it sort of resembles me? I wonder if I will show up in an episode one day?
The Simpsons Movie opens today, best of luck!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Burger King's Simpsons Mini Web Site -

I am typing away on a Sunday night working on my presentations for next week's SEOClass Search Engine Optimization Class in NYC. The Simpsons happens to be on the TV. I noticed a commercial for Burger King that was very creatively integrating the new Simpsons Movie and their products. Then I saw it!

I was a Really big fan of their Sith Sense Mini site. I also really liked their Subservient Chicken site! So I was intrigued by what the Simpsons site had to offer.

Unfortunately, too many other people have their laptops in front of the TV and hit the site at the same time... I received a fatal error - Service Unavailable.

I waited about 20 minutes and the initial spike must have settled since I was now able to log in. I started the upload process (apparently it will convert a picture of your face into a Simpsons-esque cartoon character) and other plug for it hit the TV.

It looks like the servers are not prepared for the initial load. I tried several times with no luck. I will update this post with my Simponsized Picture and marketing feedback on this new site.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Does your business show up on Google Maps?

A business without a sign is not a business. A sign could mean many things in today's virtual world. I am speaking particularly about a sign on Google Maps. I just got back from a trip to the Hamptons, NY. I am setting up my first LocalbyLocals (Local Search Marketing) franchise in Long Island. (But that will be another post)

I started heavily relying on Google Maps on my smartphone to find close businesses. Unfortunately both places I was looking for did not show up -- An Asian Fusion Restaurant and a Liquor Store. We had to do it the old fashioned way and drive around. Now, that is not to say that there were not results for both searches. Even the smallest local business should be registering their site with Google Local, Yahoo Local, and MSN Local. These free registrations can act as your "sign" when people are searching on the local search products.

In the airport on the way back, I picked up the latest issue of Wired Magazine. I saw the big picture of Optimus Prime (Transformers) and thought it would make for good reading. I did not notice the article across the top of the page: Google Maps is changing the way we see the world (HyperLocal). It is a great article and I highly recommend reading it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lobster Mini Season is Coming!

For those who are not familiar with Lobster Mini Season, it is a two day period where recreational divers can catch up to 12 Florida Lobsters per person per day. It is the highest employee absentee holiday in South Florida. It probably equates to the opening of hunting season in other parts of the country.

This year it falls on July 25th and 26th (2007). The Florida Fish and Wildlife Web site has up to date information on Lobster Mini Season and the Regular Season Rules and Regulations.

This holiday is a Dive Shop's dream. Actually, it is hard not to pass "Lobster Gear" in the local Walmart. (Lobster Gear usually means a net, tickle stick, and gloves)

Here are a few tips from someone who has gone out the last 10 years, well minus a year or two for bad weather.
1. Leave early and plan on being out for the day
2. Bring plenty of food and water
3. Make sure you have your up to date Saltwater Fishing License and Lobster Stamp (Now available in 5 year increments)
4. If you have not used your dive gear, service your regulators at your local dive shop
5. Make sure your tanks have been VIPed and are up to date
6. BE PATIENT - This is usually amateur hour on the water. If someone is in your spot, go somewhere else. If a boat gets to close, wave and move away from them. The ocean is a big place and everyone can have fun. Leave the tempers at home. Enjoy the day off of work and on the water!

There is nothing like watching grown men and women chasing bugs around the bottom of the ocean. It is quite comical. I hope everyone has a fun and safe mini season!

One last thing - Lobster on the BBQ!
Split the Lobster in half by twisting off the head
Cut the tail down the middle using meat shears
Brush with garlic butter and grill on both sides for about 6 minutes
The Lobster meat will peel out of the shell with ease. Mmmmmmmmmmmm

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Transformers - This is NOT your Parent's Transformers

It is MUCH BETTER! I am a 31 year old father. My child is a little too young to enjoy Transformers yet, but I do have my old collection waiting for him in the garage. After a little research, I found out that my Transformers are now called Generation 1 or G1 for short. I remember first being interested in Gobots, and then Transformers became my favorite toys.

Back to the movie... This film was incredible! I would easily put it up with Armageddon, Independence Day, and even some of the Star Wars films. Seeing the "Spielberg" name tied to the movie made me wish he would have been involved in the new Star Wars films. It was action packed, had amazing effects, and a very good story.

Marketing wise, Chevy made a splash with the new 2008 Camaro that should make the 007 serious and BMW jealous. I left the theater and headed straight online to find out when that car is coming to the market. The Chevrolet Web site catered directly to me (someone who just left the theater). My only complaint was that the new Camaro mini site did not stand out.

One last note, when I was looking up Movie times, I used my Motorola Q to try to find local times. I was a little disappointed in Google Local, but it did lead me to That site is Smartphone friendly. Yahoo Mobile was the best solution I came across. While I a browsing the times, I noticed that the Transformers Movie was playing on a DLP screen. I closely followed the DLP hype of Star Wars III - The Revenge of the Sith. I even saw the movie for a 3rd time in Orlando, FL just because I found it playing on a DLP screen. I did not notice the difference then, but I really noticed the High Definition DLP broadcast of The Transformers. I could not recommend enough watching it in a state of the art DLP theater!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

IPhone Activation Problems

I was at a friend's 4th of July party when I was informed, as the residential tech guy, that I would be activating an IPhone. Admittedly I was a little excited to play with one. My first impression of the device was that it was very sleek, but a little heavier than I would have expected.

I attached it to a Laptop and started the process. The first step was to upgrade to ITunes 7.3. The upgrade took about 20 minutes. Once the upgrade was completed the registration process started. I was setting up the phone for new service with At&t.

I made three attempts to complete all of the information before finally giving up. All the failures were the same, they could not verify the credit of the person's credit card information I was using. I even tried two different people and credit card info. Plus they ask for the Social Security Number of the service owner!

30 out of 50 people at the party were very disappointed that the phone could not be activated and they could not play with it. The resolution seemed to involve working directly with At&t for an authorization code.

One cool thing that I did learn was that the Apple Store in Aventura Mall, FL was offering several free classes daily on IPhone usage.