January 25, 2009: January 25, 2009
Where the Hell is Matt Game Edition
Watch more videos of TF2
January 20, 2009: January 20, 2009
For some reason (due to all the Google traffic we get) I thought Sleevage had good SEO. but it seems I had it all wrong. It's terrible. None of the posts are indexing on Google. Just the main artist headlines.
Search for CD Cover and we come up in the top 10. But search for something from a post and nothing.
Mike said it might have to do with all the drop down data at the top of the page. The actual post data is at line 900 or something. Ive done a temp fix but we wont know for a few days if this fixed it.
We're rebuilding the site now but it's interesting that the more we posted on the site the harder we made the site to index.as the links pushed the content down.
I'll link up this Portishead entry and hope in in 2 days we can see some real search results.
January 18, 2009: January 18, 2009
links for 2009-01-18
January 17, 2009: January 17, 2009
Wolverine Game Forum Admin
I am one of the admins on the forum until the full moderator team get set up and the developers of the game jump on board. I am usually one of the people who post infrequently and have little time for forums (too busy) but as I have a vested interest in this one I'm putting a few hours a day into it.
It's actually quite fun being the big cheese and people on there (just a few hundred right now) seem very interested and enthusiastic. I can't wait will the full site launches as there will be heaps more to talk about but I look forward to this being a great little forum over the next year.
January 16, 2009: January 16, 2009
January 15, 2009: January 15, 2009
My most nervous moment
This is the first time I've watched these videos after being filmed almost 5 years ago.
The reason being was that I was so nervous that I had one of those paper bag moments (sans paper bag) and in my head this interview went so badly I wiped it from my memory. It became a repressed memory until I saw someone posted this last week.
So I finally watched all 20 min! of this interview from 2004 on social media. I have to thank Lara Stella who came to me with the question "what do you think of social media and can you talk about it" I was like WTF is social media. This was 2004 way before any of this was mainstream chatter. I had been blogging since 2000 but I had no idea what social media was. I was pimping blogs to clients but never used the term social media.
So here's me talking about it from the past. 5 years in Internet time is HUGE so I can now sleep without nightmares knowing that what I said still rings true. It's not that insightful or amazing now but when I was researching this back in 2004 after Lara's email I was excited about it.
Last piece of info. I thought this was going to be a text interview. Not a live web cast. So i wore a normal T-shirt and rocked up. Lara's first comment was "oh why are you wearing a crappy T-shirt we are going on live in 5 minutes"
I kid you not I almost fell over dizzy. You can see me swollow hard and touch my face many times. My Adams apple looks like an WIP prop from an Aliens film as I struggled with my words.
Anyway here's the talk and it's kinda funny that Social Media is so popular now and I guess I can consider myself OG as 2004 predates many people's interest in it let alone dedicating their career. I just didn't have the charisma to really sell myself as an expert back then and still dont.
I love the stats which at the time I think were correct. Gawker reached 70,000 a day! WOW
I might be making an appearance on TV this year (not live but live audience) and part of me is excited and part of me is scared of recreating that feeling back in 2004. Watching this was therapy for that fear and reading all the book recently on NLP, Body Language and the like have helped too. Oh and knowing to dress up a little helps :)
I'm much more confident (with myself and my career) than I was 5 years ago. I used to hate having my photo taken (check all my feet photos) and while I don't think I'm egotistical I do have an ego now which I try and keep in check. What I do have more is an opinion and this I've been much more vocal about. Not scared that someone will disagree and not scared to disagree with other people (or the statue quo)
So if you watch the video all the way through (only 100 or so have) let me know what you think.
Imagine if every time you flushed the toilet you were charged $1 in water usage. 50c if you have a water wise toilet. I think that people would either piss in the sink (seen this in 3 TV shows/movies in recent times?!) or just be more awar of how much water they are using.
The same is for plastic bags. "Oh double bag it" might be used less if the pay for plastic bag trials were to continue. They do this in Amsterdam.
It was great to hear Australia is phasing out incandescent light globes too.
I've heard a little bit of buzz (during the lets go green phase) of agencies going carbon neutral. I was even going to do a post on Bannerblog on this until I realized how ungreen we are :(
Trust me when I cry a secret tear when I go to the printer and see half a ream of paper with jst junk printed on it. Not junk as in "emails" but actual printer error junk... half a ream which the printer kept printing until it ran out of paper. I'm the kind of guy who prints 4 up on a page when I have to print. That and staff leaving their little monitor lights on (vampire power graph here)
That said I happily leave the PS3 and XBOX on stanby 24-7 so the hypocritical nature of my statement is not lost.
I know that I wont live to regret it, i'll be dead before any of the major ramifications of this generations waste takes hold but I feel guilty about my carbon foot print.
If I ever buy a car I'll implode with guilt :)
So to my point. I wish that basic services cost more. Energy is cheap, water is not even considered an expense at all and plastic bags are disposable. If having a 12 minute shower cost me $4 in water I'd consider it a luxury that I can enjoy occasionally. Safe in the knowledge that most people will be taking shorter showers to save money not the environment.
January 14, 2009: January 14, 2009
"I'm a social media expert who blogs about social media, reads social media blogs, attends social media events and all my friends are in social media."
"I'm a designer who blogs about design, reads design blogs, attends design events, wears typography t-shirts and has design prints on my walls."
Looking at these two statements made me realize. There aren't enough blogger posters, T-shirts and other crap that designers seem to lap up like hungry hippos.
I need to make a 2010 twitter calendar, a "I Tweet therefor I Am" shirt and other ones relating to social media. Hopefully it's the same as throwing some Helvectica on a t-shirt and referencing a design term. Although I will say the KERN jacket is still kinda cool.
January 10, 2009: January 10, 2009
January 09, 2009: January 9, 2009
links for 2009-01-09
January 08, 2009: January 8, 2009
Street FIghter 4
Ive never been a major Street Fighter fan but the game play videos look hot.
Cammy is super fit too :)
January 07, 2009: January 7, 2009
links for 2009-01-07
January 06, 2009: January 6, 2009
January 05, 2009: January 5, 2009
Custom Moleskine Notepads for 2009
We got 2 of these for every staff with a character at Soap. Which is everyone with more than 3 months under their belt.
They turned out pretty good but I'm too in lobe with my tiny cahier moleskines to go big. Bit I'll use it as a sketchbook.
Don't worry Matt and Christian you're are being sent right now :)
January 04, 2009: January 4, 2009
Quite good except for the accent. Found on Antifit
January 03, 2009: January 3, 2009
Shelfari Is Neat!
Soap Xmas Party Visualised
I was able to grab the bill from this years bar tab at the end of the xmas party. Last year they said I couldn't have it which sucked as we went waaay over budget on that one while this one was under budget.
Anyway here's some top level stats. We consumed a total of 786 drinks! which comes in at 156L.
That's pretty good for a party of around 75-100 people. That's more than 7-10 drinks per person. Some like the Pineapple juice was a 4L jug and that counts as one drink.
Here's some crappy excel visuals.
Cost of Living is all relative to your perspective
Someone told me that the price of living had gone up 5%. And according to the Australian Treasury it did
So the average cost of living in Australia went up 5%. I wonder how this would change now as Sept saw us at 95c USD and petrol at $1.45+ a liter. Now it's 94c p/L. Transportation went up 8.4% for that very reason. Same with housing up 7.3% with interest rates for home loans going as high as 9.4%. They are now 4.5 and tipped to go as low as 3% soon.
In fact there's lots of stats on the Treasury site to delve into. I wish they provided the raw data though.
The example of the price increase was "lamb chops are $xx now!" I forgot to ask if he did the shopping every week. Ervi likes to shop 3 days a week (annoying!) but I know the price of most things and I haven't noticed much of an increase. But 4.9% is hard to notice on the price of meat as you buy by price not weight.
I noticed it most when I went to McDonalds. My head was still in 1995 when I worked there and a Big Mac was $2.50. It's now $4.25!!
The only thing that is still the same price is the 30c cone. After 13 years the price of the simple cone is still 30c. That's awesome and probably shows you how much McDonald's mark up their prices. I remember being told a large drink was 17c inc straw, cup and lid cost. The large drink at the time sold for $1.80 or so. To make it even funnier when I worked "close" at Maccas they used to give us a free drink at the end of shift. Oh but no straw or lid. Just to save money. Fucking tight wads. I also heard managers setting the computer timer forward in the morning and back 5 min every day to reduce wages by 5-10min across the board
But back to lamb chops. I was told that the price had increased a lot and that was an indicator of how the cost of living had gone up. He's probably right but the lamb was from the butcher not Coles or Wollies. Their aggressive pricing has pushed the price of food down. Look at 2L of milk. It's cheaper than it used to be as Cole and Wollies fight the little guys. if I buy my milk just from the corner store I'm screwed though it's $4.20 in some places.
Take pizza for instance. I can say the cost of pizza is very expensive. It's around $20+ for a pizza in Glebe. But that's gourmet, mmm lamb and baby spinach from E Lounge. I had a Dominos pizza the other day that was $6.50 pick up! $6.50! From what I remember back in high school this was the same price if not more expensive back then.
So my counter argument is that yes prices have gone up but so have people's salaries and attitudes to money.
The more you earn the more you spend.
I know people who live with their parents that say they don't have enough cash. I know people who live by the beach and complain about high rent. No matter what the persons predicament some people will always have problems with money no matter how much they earn.
It's all about perspective if your perspective changes (larger salary) you lose the perspective of someone with a lesser salary.
The secret is to keep the same perspective and with that sacrifice occasionally.
That's a weird concept for some people who have always got what they wanted. Go go without. To want something and then think no I don't need.
I'm over hearing people complain about having no money but they do little to save or curb their spending. "It sucks having no money... I can hardly afford to get my brand new car washed weekly"
I've also learnt to never talk to people directly about this topic. People love money but friends and money don't mix.
Oh and I don't mean living like this guy in 2009. hehe that's a little too extreme!
Google Adsense Earnings
What better way to start than with a post about everyone's favorite topic. Money! I'll add that to my fav topic stats and mix them into a long personal post.
I have been using Adsense since March 2007 when I added it to a few of the sites I owned and others I built for clients but the clients either don't exist anymore or didn't want to maintain the sites.
Here is a monthly breakdown of earnings per month from Jan 08 - Dec 08. This includes search, content and feeds.
That massive jump was October where WTFcostumes earnt itself a right to exist and guaranteed it will stay for 2009. I was going to let it die to free up time for other sites.
I have gone further and broken down how the earnings are divided. Let's look at the comparison of Ads for content vs Ads for search.
That's 9.8% of my revenue earnt by people searching a site and clicking ads at the top of the results. I had no idea people would actually click these ads but it seems they do. I increased my earnings by 10% by doing nothing. If you use the blogs built in search functionality you might consider going around it.
The Google Search is perfect for blogs as it also indexes comments and combines the 3 blogs I have on Bannerblog (banners, news and jobs) into a single search stream. Sadly since installing Disqus I think the comments are no longer SE friendly :(
Adsense for Feeds I only added in the last 2 months of 2008 and the amount was so small it didn't even show up on the chart. In actual fact I've found the revenue earnt by these to be so small it seems useless.
One interesting way to look at my Adsense revenue is to compare revenue generated from sites I own and have created from scratch (bannerblog, wtfcostumes, theslipperytruffle) and others I have built for clients in the past that they no longer want to maintain. These range from stuff created in 2000 to 2005.
When a client says "I don't want to pay for the hosting" or "that promotion is over just let the site die" it pains me. We at Soap need an archive of our work and some sites are still generating a lot of traffic. One site we did in 2004 that still receives over 50,000 visits a month. So let's compare the earnings from the two types of sites
49% of the revenue is from such sites. Crazy. I know of one site we did that we added a referal link onto it. So every time someone bought the product we could track the earning and also get a 5% commission. The client at the time said that was fine. Out of the 20 or so retailers we linked to we could only put a referral link onto 1 of them. The rest didn't have a system in place. We still tracked outgoing links though.
That single link (to a retailer I have bought off as they suck) has generated over $10,000 of direct sales. This is over many years but this is one of 20+ links and at a retailer that doesn't have the best prices or even a very good site.
It was only recently the client asked us to "kill the site" & "take it down as we have a myspace page" instead.
"You're making a mistake because of X & Y" I said. This site isn't huge but SEO wise and revenue generating it's doing OK. Also your audience is so wide that a Myspace page will alienate half of them. Still they persisted and we obliged.
Clients who treat websites like "digital plastic bags" are wasting their money. Even if you want a site to be "killed" there are better ways to handle it than just letting a URL and hosting expire. Oh you can't afford $25 a month on a site that's generating direct ROI?
Anyway I digress as I don't want to complain, I want to talk $$$ and stats.
In addition to Adsense I also monetized Bannerblog buy bringing on a sponsor. Rather than mess up the site with Adsense (which aren't pretty) and also would not have worked as well as the content on the site (banner ad for dog food) isn't usually relevant to the audience (marketing and digital professionals) unless those have pets but this isn't the point.
Take a look at many of the marketing blogs you visit. Some have sacrificed ease of reading and athetics to earn a little bit of cash. Some require you to scroll past a bunch of ads to read the actual article. Very annoying on mobile browsing.
Eyeblaster came on as a sponsor (great fit for the audience) and it meant I have one invoice and guaranteed income for the year. No need to worry month by month. EB got a great deal I feel as the CPM and CPC costs are tiny and that's no taking in account the brand exposure to a very targeted niche audience. But again beside the point I'm trying to get to here.
Here's a break down of Adsense revenue vs sponsorship revenue vs my salary.
13% of my salary was earnt by blogging and adsense for 07/08 financial year. Which for those not in Australia is July 1 2007 to June 30 2008.
Not bad you might say but if you consider the number of raw hours I put into blogging you're looking at sweat shop salary.
Full Disclosure: My actual income from Soap is not 100% salary. There were payments from previous years earnings/dividends that I had deferred but this isn't added to the chart above. There's no perfect science to this :)
Another interesting way to look at it is my earnings (salary + blogging) and the % of that I donated to charities. I donated over 2x as much in 07/08 than I did in 06/07 and that was 4x as much as I did in 05/06. The chart showing how much I have donated to charity over the years is below. I can't find accurate data from previous years (different tax accountant) and the ATO is shut. I'm hoping I can ask for my entire ATO history to be sent to me. This seems like a reasonable request?
This looks impressive but then if you compare last years to my earnings below it comes to 4%. Well 4.2% if you want to nit pick.
I'm not sure if 4% is high or low. I'm assuming it's higher than most people. I did have a mortgage at this time however no baby, pet, drug or alcohol problem to feed.
This 4% was bolstered by my 25% donation of Bannerblog revenue.
Here's the breakdown of blogging and adsense earnings to charity payments.
It ended up being 25.7% so that extra .7% is pure good karma!
So to wrap this post up I would like to set a challenge to all bloggers who also pull down a normal salary.
And that is "Donate 25% of your external earnings to charity"
Most bloggers I know personally also have full time jobs that earn them good money. So why not donate whatever you earn from the side projects to a worthy cause? Most of these friends don't actually earn tht much from their blogs so 25% of $10 isn't much but it's the principle.
If you earn your living from blogging alone then this challenge isn't for you as I don't expect anyone to donate 25% of their full income to charity. That's nuts!
And for those that say most bloggers don't earn anything check this recent poll on Problogger. That's per month. So while some earn hardly anything others (a smaller percentage) are rolling it.
January 02, 2009: January 2, 2009