So in a fun little twist of fate, I ended up winning a free Gold Pass to Affiliate Summit West from CopyBlogger. I will be in Vegas Monday and Tuesday and would love to meet up! Ping me via Twitter, LinkedIn, email (rickgalan at gmail dot com), or leave a comment and we’ll set something up. Or if you can’t make it, I would love a suggestion for who you know that will be there that I should meet.  Should be a good time!

Incidentally, I have been on a roll lately with winning contests online. I won a sweet little Netbook from Andy Beal and Trackur, and now a ticket to Affiliate Summit. If you know of any other contest to enter, let me know. I’m a sure thing!

Hope to see you out at the Summit!

When I initially started playing with Google Insights, I had a few thoughts about the service:

The Name is Weird

The name is really odd – “Google Insights for Search” seems to indicate to me that there will be “Google Insights for …” Video? Blogging? Pictures? News? Shopping? I’m not sure. It just seems like Google is positioning the service to be one of many. Even the URL (http://www.google.com/insights/search/) seems to indicate there will be more coming. Should be interesting to see what happens.

So.. Google Trends?

What exactly is the difference between Google Insights and Google Trends? As far as I can tell, the interface was improved in insights, and that’s about it. I thought maybe that Insights was replacing Trends, but the Google Labs page still doesn’t even list Insights, so I guess that’s not true.

Meh.

The last thought I had was simply meh. Neat tool, useful for targeted SEO keyword research (does chiropractor or chiropractic get more search volume?) but there are significantly better tools out there for that. It’s interesting to see the news results and how that ties into search results, but it’s just interesting, not all that exciting or useful.

Man was I wrong. Continue reading

I would like to pose a question. When exactly did the world start accepting mediocrity as more than just the norm – when did mediocrity become the positive exception to the rule?

I was thinking about this as I was asked how a recent flight was. I told them the flight was great – but what I really meant was that my flight was entirely uneventful. I got to the airport with plenty of time, did not have to wait very long to check my luggage, and was able to make it through security without having to be strip-searched or anything. I went right to my gate, got on my plane, and everything happened exactly the way it’s supposed to. Plane goes up, peanuts, diet coke, plane goes down.

So the question I started asking myself is what part of that experience was great? Continue reading

I was poking around on Shopping.com the other day, doing some research for another blog post, and I came across something that made me think:

It’s Shopping.com’s header, with an exciting little vertical word above it that says “Advertisement”. Awesome right?

It’s understandable (I guess) that Shopping.com won’t be able to sell all the available adspace on their giant website. I mean, they have hundreds of thousands of pages to populate with targeted and meaningful advertisements right? It’s not out of the question that they would have some fall through the cracks, right? Continue reading

Like many young adults/online marketers/nerds, I process ghastly amounts of digital information every day. By process, i mean read, watch, listen, write, organize and communicate. Because I spend so much time and energy with this information, it’s pretty rare that something really surprises me any more. Oh there is the occasional blog post here and there that gets me thinking, or the new service or product that intrigues me, but there is simply too much information regurgitation (data puke, if you will) among the contributers in my industry.

Michael Wesch, however, astounds me. Continue reading

You will notice that you are not where you thought you would be. :) MarketingGiblets has been taken down, and replaced with ConversationRate.com. Why? There are a lot of reasons, but mostly it is because what I wanted to do with the blog was not captured by the URL, and it’s better to get that taken care of early on.

All the posts and comments from MarketingGiblets have been moved over, so nothing has been lost (not that there was much to lose). The only pain point is that you will have to subscribe to this feed, and unsubscribe from the other. I unfortunately could not push that through.

So what is ConversationRate.com?

This is a blog that will from now on be devoted to ecommerce and conversational marketing. If you are not familiar with that term, you can check it out on the ol’ Wikipedia if you would like. What it really boils down to though, is marketing through the “new” media channels, with an emphasis on cross communication with the customer or end user. It’s not broadcast media, but rather blogging, social networks, word-of-mouth, listening to your customers, etc. I like to take “communication with the consumer” to another level though, and incorporate behavioral communication as well (user behavior tracking, targeting, analytics, etc).

Long story short, this is a blog on internet marketing and ecommerce. It should be a lot of fun.

The actual URL? A play on words. “Conversation” because all markets are conversations and “Rate” because it makes it sound like conversion rate, and URLs are hard to come by nowadays. :)

Success is hard. Periodic success is actually pretty easy, most people can do it right every now and again, but really succeeding over and over again is difficult. What’s even more difficult? Leading a team to succeed. And if you are a manager, pretty much the only thing you are there for is to drive the success of your employees.

As I mentioned, in this series I will be writing about some of the things that your employees need to succeed. This post tackles the first: Ability. Continue reading

A smart person I know taught me that a wise manager will surround himself with the people that will make his or her job easier. Fantastic advice right? But how do you know whether the people you have are the ones who will make your life better?

A manager’s success, and ability to sleep through the night, is due in large part to the success of his employees. To set your employees up for success requires that you give them all opportunity to do the work as best they possibly can.

Along these lines, I am working on a multi-part series, hopefully with entries to be posted at least every few days. The question I hope to answer is, “What do I, as a manager, need to provide to make sure my employees have the best chance possible for success?”

Stay tuned, we’ll have the first installment soon. If you have any initial thoughts, please do leave a comment.

Stumbled across something interesting today – found that Google is now including a search box in the SiteLinks for sites that use Google search for their internal search engine. The example I came across was w3schools.com – check out the screenshot:

Search in Sitelinks

That’s pretty crazy – for smaller sites, that’s a really good reason to use Google search for your engine. When the big G starts including a search box for other sites (hello retail) – that’s going to change the game a bit..

Here’s the link to the search results page.