I needed THAT

I am struggling with something, and it has been really hard to figure it out. I have about 3 necessary projects that I am not able to start, which is pretty abnormal for me. Typically, I identify a need, craft a solution, think out what needs to be done and go to it.

But it is not happening for me right now, to the point where I have grown increasingly frustrated and irritable with me and everybody else. I am not writing as I would like (I have 5 started posts in this folder), and as I mentioned, I am having trouble getting started on other things.

I think I finally resolved the problem. It is a matter of not taking proper care of myself, not taking care of my needs. And I know better.

You see, I have real physical needs. I get hungry, and need to eat. I know from long experience that I can postpone eating for quite a while if I have a reason for it. I can go until I write 3 words and think God I am sooooo Hungry. I have waited too long.

I need to pee. If I have something going or am riding, I will wait until I am wiggling in misery.

I need a ride. It is the very same to me as eating or peeing. I need to go, and soon. Doh. Why wait so long??

I will tell you Wednesday how it worked. I am unfortunately scheduled Sunday and Monday, but Tuesday I am gone to Prescott.

Why Prescott? Because it is 150 miles of mind numbing straight and level roads with 50 miles of great road leading into town. I will be able to use the 300 miles (out and back) to think things through, I see most clearly on a motorcycle. And I will giggle like a 4 year old girl through the White Spars part of the road.

More will be revealed!

Im just sayin’

Business Law 010

This is a fundamental, if often ignored part of TE Land.

The contract. Everytime I log in to a Traffic Exchange I sign a contract with the owner. We both agree to certain things and agree to a deal.

We agree to trade goods for services. It doesn’t matter if I surf for credits or buy them, I agree to trade my time and money for page views for the owner. I benefit by being able to advertise my product on the owners advertising platform. The owner benefits by selling my page views to his advertisers.

The agreement is pretty cut and dried. Good owners will explain what they expect and what they offer in language that even the dimmest bulb can understand. If you never read the Terms of Service, I suggest you might try it.

Just because you have read the TOS at one site DOES NOT mean that you have a really good idea about all. Some owners take great care with their TOS and getting it precisely right. William Miller II and Robert Arnold fit into this category. Some have an older TOS that has been added to and subtracted from to trim it into shape for today. Some just grab whatever free TOS (Google it, there are millions) and don’t even read it themselves. Some simply copy and paste the TOS from another site.

What of the other side of the contract? Good owners will adhere to their part of the agreement very closely, most to the letter and then some.

But some don’t. There are some sites with very poor timers. The owners may advertise a 5 second timer but it takes 12 seconds per page view. That is fundamentally dishonest.

Some have mathematical difficulties. They promise one surf ratio and deliver another.

Some have been known to suspend accounts when they are approaching commission limits. (This has never happened to me). Some just don’t bother paying commissions. Some keep increasing the payout requirements. (This has happened to me)

The point is, we have a contract, the owner and I. If I follow the terms of the contract I have a reasonable expectation of receiving the goods and services promised. The owner needs to be able to have a reasonable expectation of behavior as set out in the TOS.

It’s really that simple. I do what I am supposed to, you do what you are supposed to and everybody is happy…

I’m just sayin’

Be strong: Be Leo Strong

I’m sure it is coincidence.  Nobody could plan this well.

48 hours after John Novak’s List Build Surf returns, Nick Grimshawe sends me this video as part of his regular series “Wednesday Morning Video”  (Clever name, right?)

I have been anxiously awaiting Leo’s return for several months now, and known for a while that the return was imminent.  It just couldn’t happen a minute too soon….

It all started when John had his PTC site savaged by thoroughly bad people.  A huge pulse of cheating, a multi day DDOS attack, and hundreds of PayPal claims.  PayPal shut down all of John’s sites until they could get it sorted out.  One of the ugliest things that could happen to any of us…

What happened next cost John a ton of money.  Out of pocket money, not just the lost revenue sort which he also had plenty of.  It just would have been pretty damn easy for John to fold his tent and go away.

But that isn’t his style.  He paid everybody that he owed money to, and then some.  He got everything back in order and brought LBS back after launching an innovative new site, XPTasker.

John never let go the dream, never let go the idea, never let go the reason.  There is a lot to be said for that.

John has always been known as one of the best people in TELand.  We now also know him as one of the toughest.  John stayed strong, Leo strong.  And is all the way back. Welcome back John and Leo.

“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous”   anon

I’m just sayin’

The Mice Ate My Plan

“The best laid schemes o’ mice and men                                                                                         Gang aft agley”                                                                                                                               Robert Burns    1785

This was not the post that I started to write for today.  That post is hanging in my ‘draft’ file and may or may not make it here.

But my friend Andrew Stark wrote this post.  Yes, take the time to read it, it will open in a new window and will show you, in less than 500 words, how to make money in this venue. You don’t have time to read 500 words?  Shame on you.

Then my friend John Brewer published this post. Another one you ought to read.

In fact, if you find yourself in the second post and not in the first, you have some questions to ask.  Like “What the Hell am I doing, anyway?”

I’m just sayin’

 

The BEST Autoresponder

So. It’s my opinion that the single most needed tool in this business is an autoresponder. The reason we always hear “the money is in the list” is because it is true. And to build a list you need an autoresponder.

Rocket Responder. TimTech’s autoresponder. The guys at TT have done a simply amazing job here, and what exists today is a polished, high functioning piece of gear.

It is a piece of gear. An autoresponder is utterly necessary to anyone that wants/needs to do business with email. RR is the third AR that I have used, and is much the best of them.

It is absolutely made for a blogger. Made for. There simply isn’t a better way to notify your subscribers to your blog, and hasn’t been anything like it since Google cancelled their RSS reader.

Rocket Responder is not only built for building a list, it is very reasonably priced. And the first 30 days are FREE! It is stone cold simple to use, much easier than anything else I have tried. Much easier.

So. You know you need it, you know that you want it. Have I got a deal for you! Sign up for Rocket Responder and I will give you a free upgrade at Your EMail Series. YEMS was built by the genius Sunny Suggs and gives you step by step instruction for building your list.  Her sentences have verbs in them like:  Do this, Next do, You must.  Very straightforward and simple.

It’s a natural pair, RR and YEMS. Both great products, and you get 30 days of RR absolutely free and a free upgrade at YEMS 30 days is plenty of time to get your list started.

Isn’t it time? If not now, when?

All you have to do is click on one of the Rocket Responder links and then subscribe to the List when you are offered the choice. I promise you it isn’t a spam list, it will be used only to get you the upgrade I promised:)

I’m just sayin’

The Curious Case of Daniel Goettman

Consider the case of Daniel Goettman. He looks reasonably normal, his children certainly look normal, he has a job and a family and a house. All the normal stuff.

But we need to look at his undershirt and see if it has the Superman S on it.

Eighteen months ago, he was just normal as pie. The first time I ever bumped into him was when he answered a support ticket at Top Hits 4 U, his brother Eric’s terrific Traffic Exchange. It turns out that I wanted to do something that wasn’t readily doable at TH4U, and that Eric had just hired/convinced/cajoled/threatened him into doing support.

He took real good care of me, got me fixed up just the way I wanted to be, and promised changes at TH4U to be able to do what I wished. All in all, a very good support episode from my perspective.

But nothing in that encounter that hinted at what was to come.

A few months ago I got an invite from Eric to alpha test a new website. Did I want to alpha a new Goettman project? Does a bear do his deal in the woods?

Eric gave me a brief synopsis of the site, and I had to tell him, honestly, that I wasn’t a gamer and probably would much get into a role playing TE, but I would be happy to give it a test ride or two.

Boy was I wrong.

Turns out It was/is Lords of Lothar, which has only just revolutionized all ideas about the TE industry. And there was Daniel listed as owner. Made me happy, I figured I could suck up to Daniel as a new owner because we had already met. And I was completely sure that it was really Eric’s project…

Wrong again.

Not that Eric didn’t help, not that Eric didn’t do plenty, but this was Daniel’s all the way. He did much of the coding and tweaking and mistake fixing and all the stuff that goes into making a website of this magnitude. So, he’s a genius coder, that’s no big deal.

Steerriike three.

Daniel LEARNED the code necessary to get this complex site up in much less than 18 months.

Did you get that? Daniel LEARNED how to code so he could do it himself.

He isn’t a prodigy that has had a keyboard in hand since age 4. He doesn’t have a college certificate in any computer language that I know of. He’s just a regular guy that learned to code and then built a large active website in about a year. Nothing to it.

Let me see here, somewhere in my pile of excuses is the one where ‘I can’t do that! I can’t code a lick.’

I’m just sayin’

Mentor of Mine

This shapes up to be one of those ‘personal’ posts as opposed to ‘business like’. We will see.

I mentioned a mentor in my last post (Je Suis Charlie) that happened to be a Muslim. The post itself made me think of him and others in my life, and just how fortunate I have been to have these people in my life right when I needed them.

Abdullah Bin Adam was not born to the faith,and that was not his given name. In fact, he was born quite some distance from it.

He had started out on the docks and ended up owning a shipyard in the greater Seattle area where he mostly worked on fishing trawlers and some pleasure boats. His yard could handle anything up to 100’ in length, a pretty big deal.

It’s a rough and tumble life on the docks. You have to be as good with your fists as you are with your hands. The primary language is pretty coarse, to say the very least. It is survival of the fittest, and not a particularly good fit for a man of peace.

It turns out that Abdullah may have had a bit too much to drink a time or two, and he lost EVERYTHING. He was given a copy of the Koran shortly after he first sobered up. He read it, asked some questions and made a fundamental change in his life. And I do mean fundamental.

He not only helped me in my journey to put alcohol and drugs behind me, he taught me much about life in general. He still knew the language, and I’ll bet if need be could have whipped his weight in wildcats, but his life focus had changed.

His biggest gift to me was the concept of Inshallah. Rough translation is ‘In Service to God’, but he explained it to me in language I could understand, something like this:

“You do something for somebody, you see. A favor or a good turn or maybe a few bucks in a time of need. But you can’t tell ANYBODY what you have done. God already knows, and you lose all your brownie points if you brag about it”.

So, I guess there really are some business lessons here.

You can ALWAYS help somebody with something. It isn’t really important what the thing may be, what is important is that you give of yourself.
It’s NEVER too late to change. What you were yesterday has very little to do with what you shall be tomorrow if you make the effort to make a change.
It doesn’t matter where you started, it’s where you end up that counts.

I’m just sayin’

Je Suis Charlie

I am Charlie

That is the English translation of the title of this post.

Je Suis Charlie

I’ve started this post enough times that the news that spawned it has become rather stale, but still I need to talk about Charlie.

Charlie Hebdo is the name of a French satirical Newspaper. You might remember that the offices in Paris were raided one morning by Muslim thugs who proceeded to call out and kill multiple employees. An all in all extraordinarily bloody act remarkable in the degree of cowardice that the killers showed.

What was the motivation? According to the killers, Charlie Hebdo had parodied the Prophet Muhammad and the employees that participated in the article needed to die. Along with a few others, probably just for the sport of it.

I don’t know about you, I don’t know about anybody but me, but my God is larger than that, and has no need for humans to carry out that sort of vengeance. Really? Why would it be necessary to send humans to do that deed? Really?

That isn’t the point. Neither is this a forum for Muslim bashing. I have friends that are Muslims, that truly serve Islam. One of the great mentors of my life was a Sunni Muslim. Don’t even begin to go there with me.

No. The point is, Je Suis Charlie is more than a slogan, it is a way of standing up to some of the foulness that exists in our world. I am Charlie. Means that I am part of that, I chose to be. Come for us all, there will be even more.

You see, I know I am just dumb ass out in the far reaches of the Sonoran desert. But with Je Suis Charlie I am linked to people all over the world.

I AM Charlie.

I’m just sayin’

Net Neutrality

Neuter your pets, not the internet.

The FCC has spoken after many months and it seems to be a huge win for ‘net neutrality’ advocates.

For better or worse, the US dominates the internet and regulation there of. It may not be the best possible system, but it is the system that is in use. I won’t for a minute say that it is right that the Federal Communications Commission sets the rules for the world wide web, but that is simply the way it is.

The FCC has decided to treat ISPs like providers in the 1934 Communications Act. Which is a really good deal for those of us who worried about a ‘tiered internet’ with many of us being relegated to the slow lane wihile the money players went fast. If this goes through, it should do that, protect you and I from a tier system. A net very good thing.

But is the FCC and Title II the right answer? I really hate to see the FCC have very much power over the innerwebs, also.

Do you remember TV censorship as late as 2001?
Do you remember the ‘profanity ban’ on TV?

What happens to our internet when the American people elect a deep south Southern Baptist that is convinced that ‘Damm*^ Frank. That suc^%s and fu!@#s” should be reduced to a continuous beep going to feel about an open internet? Probably not as free as we know it today.

On the whole, something needs to be done. Currently, internet regulation is left to the suppliers and providers. I mean, it worked out well for us when the Mortgage Bankers ran the credit business, didn’t it? Or when Wall Street self regulated? That was fine, wasn’t it?

So. We need regulation and oversight. No question. The problem with a Federal Commission handling it is that it can quite literally take decades to make any major changes.

<sigh> I guess the best thing to say is that it could have been worse and wonder if it will BECOME worse. And that is the never poplular long-view on things. We can always hope that the FCC gets it right the first time.

I’m not sure

I’m just sayin’

Opinion Extraordinaire

New Player

This isn’t what I had planned today at all. I had an incredibly witty post about something crafted in my mind, and then I checked my email one more time.

There was a notice of the first review at opinion writers dot com from my friend Matt Badura. Wow! There is a new player in our world today. Matter of fact, there is a new game. This is just incredible.

You can (and should) read this for yourself right here. Be sure to sign up for email notifications while you are there, just in case the next one is anywhere near as good as this.

Beautifully written, logically crafted, well stated. There is simply no doubt in my mind that I have moved one notch down the ‘best one million blog writers’ list today. It’s epic.

Now for the rest of the story (Sorry Mr. Harvey. I couldn’t help myself).

How many of you heard of Matt Badura one year ago? I knew him very casually because he had a name that I could remember and he was hanging around TE Live on a regular basis, making himself known in chat. And just not much else.

What happened?

CTP Teams. Matt jumped in RIGHT AWAY and organized a pretty decent crew that you might have heard of, SurfAholicsAlpha. Yes. The guys that beat my team out of everything but their lives. One of two teams that has never been relegated to the Competitive League (care to guess the other? :))

As the leader and most visible member of the SAAs, Matt quickly cut his chops in TE Land. He has been an absolute fixture right from the first day. Stamped himself as a huge action taker and ultimate capable leader in this business.

In a surprise move, Matt retired as leader of the SAAs in January. Instead of being like an old plow horse put out to pasture, we see this in less than ONE MONTH. Wow. Just wow.

The obvious question is ‘What is holding YOU back?’ Maybe even more germain is “What is holding ME back?”

So the next time you hear somebody question the validity or need or possibility of CTP Teams I want you to imagine the sun glasses encased vision of Matt Badura. Yep, you know the one.

CTP teams is a playground that is filled with endless possibility. If you chose to work the Badura model, it will work just fine. It’s not the only one. It is simply up to you.

I’m just sayin’