Fake Commenter Names

I’ve been thinking about the use of fake blog commenter names a lot lately. Actually, I’ve thought about it before, and probably for a long time. I really started thinking about it a lot more after I wrote my post on the person who was hiding behind a fake name and defaming the model; she got hers in the end. Earlier in the summer I also wrote on the anonymity of bloggers and how I will agree that, sometimes, a blogger has to keep their name secret to protect themselves, but how generally I don’t believe that’s the way to go.

I’ve also written many times on leaving valuable comments instead of throwaway comments. One such post was about commenting and not wasting people’s time with a terrible comment. Another post was a little rant about why it behooves you to comment on other blogs. People appreciate when you comment on their blogs, and if they like it you might get some love back; who doesn’t like that?

Anyway, back to this name thing. I’m someone who likes to respond back to people who leave pretty good comments on my blog. I don’t expect perfection, but I expect realism. I know to delete all those posts that ask me where I got my theme, especially when I haven’t ever written a post about blog themes here (well, that’s not quite true; I did write one that was more about gravatars than themes but mentioned it, and another one reminding people to move things after changing their theme, but that’s it).

When I don’t have a name to respond to, I feel a little bit silly if I want to comment and I have to use the fake name, which I know some people like to refer to as a keyword name. I will often look at the email address to see if there’s a name there, and if so I’ll respond to that email name and leave the keyword name. If not, then I change the keyword name to only initials, then I’ll comment on it. But that takes time that I shouldn’t have to deal with.

I’m easily not alone on this one. There are posts galore from people about hating keyword names, such as this one from Neil Shearing, this one from Success Creations, and this one from Blogging Startup. There was even a post from Remarkablogger on writing keywords in comment posts that I thought was very good. Even my friend Sire addresses this in his comment policy.

I’ve always deleted links in comments that have nothing to do with the topic I wrote on. They’re not needed; this always tells me that some folks have no idea what CommentLuv is all about, which they see at the bottom of every post. If you’re writing from a blog, CommentLuv will go and find your last blog post and add it automatically. If you go to the CommentLuv site and sign up for an account, it will find your last 10 and you get to select which one you want to highlight. I mean, that’s just a great thing.

If you’re not writing from a blog, then just post the link you want in where it asks for your domain address, and you’re good to go. I don’t have a real problem with that, unless it’s a TinyURL or to a site that’s easy to discern as bad; I will delete those, and have. I hate hidden links as a general rule, and it’s one of the things about Twitter that makes me wary at times.

Why do people use keywords as their comment name anyway? It seems that many years ago some people were writing and saying that it would help them with their SEO efforts to do it. Gang, that’s just not true. It only helps if you’re doing it on your own blog or website. By putting it on mine, all you’re doing it either helping or hurting me if your name does or does not equate to the topic I’ve just written about. And it generates a lot of spam; many other folks seem to say that they get way more blog commenting spam when they’ve been allowing fake names, and I do get quite a bit.

I’ve given people who comment on my blog a lot of benefits. I’ve added CommentLuv. I’ve made this a dofollow blog, which means you’ll get your little bit of juice by commenting. And I don’t turn comments off after a certain point in time either. I even respond to almost every comment (I mean, there’s a point at which I might have to determine who gets the last word, and it’s not always going to be me). All I ask is for a little bit of decorum coming back.

So, from today on, I ask everyone to at least give me a real name that I can respond to before you write your keyword name, if you really feel that you have to do it. Either that or put your real name at the end of your comment, which our friend Steve of Trade Show Guru fame does. It helps us develop a relationship, and keeps me from having to go in and edit names. And, if you can, use CommentLuv or the domain name area for your links, unless you’re adding a link in your comment to add to the discussion at hand.

From today on, I will be reducing those keyword names without a real name preceding it to one letter; if I’m going to work, I’m going to make it easy on myself. And we’ll proceed from there. I think it’s fair, and so would our friend Dennis, who also wrote a fairly good comment policy, which at the time I thought was pretty tough.

And there we go. Something for a Sunday morning before football starts, where I’m hoping my Cowboys will remember why they’re known as America’s team and actually starts playing some better football.


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GoogleRankings Is Dead; For The Most Part

One of those little inside things I’ve always had going for my SEO business is that I had a Google API so that I could use GoogleRankings. This little tool allowed me to put in keywords and see where I was ranked for those keywords (SERPS); that was wonderful. When I wrote a post about this little SEO Project I undertook, which actually ended up working pretty well but took longer than I had expected, the way I was able to check my rankings was through GoogleRankings.

Now, why I was ahead of a lot of people is that Google had stopped giving out APIs some time in 2006. They said they weren’t really going to support it anymore, but would continue running the service. I thought that was great since I had my number.

Suddenly, it stopped working. I had thought that maybe there was a glitch somewhere, so I didn’t worry about it. However, when I checked again today, now I was wondering what was up. So I did my search on Google, and lo and behold I learned that they’ve totally shut down my SOAP API service. This meant I could basically check GoogleRankings for Yahoo and MSN, but nothing else. Because they weren’t updating it, they weren’t ever going to add Bing, and actually MSN had pretty much shut down, as well as Ask. And then, just after midnight, they shut down the site totally; GoogleRankings is no more.

So, what will I use next? I’m kind of at a loss. I found a couple other sites, but none of them worked. And I mean that literally; it’s not that they didn’t give me what I wanted, they just decided they didn’t want to play. I will find something, though; I have to have my information. Anyone have any ideas out there?

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When Is The Last Time You Searched Your Name?

How many of you ever check your name on Google to see what might be out there for you? If you have a common name, the numbers might be kind of skewed, which stinks. If I go looking up Mitch Mitchell I’m out there, but I have to deal with a heck of a lot of stuff that talks about Jimi Hendrix former drummer.

However, when I go looking under my official business name, which is “T. T. Mitchell (and don’t ask, because I’m not telling what any of it stands for), I’ll find myself all over the place. As a matter of fact, out of the first 50 references on Google, 38 of the references are to me. Out of the next 50 references, 17 are about me. I mean, 55 out of the first 100; that’s not bad if you ask me.

It can be pretty heady stuff when you keep finding websites that you’re listed on, or things you’ve written. I’ve found all sorts of things about myself that I never expected to find. I found a reference to a speaking engagement I’m giving next April on social media; never knew that was online. I found that many songs I have copyrights on are listed online in a certain place; freaky. I’ve found my articles on sites I never knew existed. I’ve found myself listed for things I’d have never expected to be found for. I even found someone who recommended both my newsletters and my services (read the article by Catherine Ryan on the right), someone I hate to admit I don’t remember, or can’t verify that I’ve met, but you know, we take recommendations as we find them, right?

Overall, how many references are there that pertain to me? According to Yahoo, more than 8,600; yeow! There’s also one thing I found that kind of freaked me out. The last year of my dad’s life, he was going to try to learn HTML so he could put up a family genealogy site. He got some of the references in, but not all that many. However, one of those references is me, and seeing that, something my dad put online back in 2001,… chills!

I guess the best thing is that I didn’t find anything negative about me, which is always a good thing. Of course, I’d probably find more if I could weed myself through all those other Mitch Mitchell’s. I’m listed at least 3 times in the top 100, and I guess that will have to do. Of course, if I add the “T T” to it, in quotation marks of course, I kill! As a matter of fact, 46 of the top 50 references are me; yeah baby! How long have I been talked about by some folks online? Check this article out from January 2004. I’d forgotten about it, to tell you the truth.

I’ve talked often about marketing and advertising on this blog. I haven’t talked as much about PR, or public relations, or press releases and the like. I have talked about being all over the internet and wondering what else I need to do to break through and become at least a well known name so that I can start making money, or at least getting more business, off my own name. No one can say that I haven’t established a presence on the internet, that’s for sure.

So, how are you doing with spreading your message, and getting your notoriety online? Are you ready for more? I am.

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Problems Getting Into Google Adsense Account

So, just what is it with Google anyway?

Every once in awhile, I’ve had problems getting into my Adsense account. It will tell me that I have a Google Adsense account and to log into it, but it just doesn’t work.

Once again, tonight I’m having that same problem, and it’s irking me to no end. Usually after a few tries at it it’ll pop back and start doing right, although I have no idea what I’ve done. This time, it’s just not letting me in at all.

I went to the Google page and saw where, it seems, there’s a lot of people complaining about it this time around. Google says they’re working on it, but Google is one of those sites where they don’t often answer people’s questions. Kind of like how some of us complain about big time bloggers never responding to comments on their blogs. It reminds me of putting in my request to get my page rank back, knowing that they’ll never write me to tell me if I get it back or not, just that it’ll either show up one day or it won’t.

But not being able to get into my Adsense account is problematic. I can’t check my revenue. I can’t change any of my ads, nor add any new ads. Basically, I can’t do anything, and that stinks as much as the first week of August when I, and many other people, weren’t generating much revenue, if any at all, without any explanations from Google.

Anyone else having this problem tonight? Man, I hate when my money is being messed with. This stinks, so I need to take steps to get rid of the stink. What do you think about my ad below?

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Update – I finally found a workaround for this issue. It seems Google is doing something with the logins and acknowledges that they’ve messed up; in their own way, of course. So, the workaround is to log in, and if you get something telling you to go back and log in again click on this link and it’ll take you there:
https://www.google.com/adsense/login3

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Update 2 – You know, Google’s just messing up these days. The above fix worked only for a day. Then they came out with a new messages saying to go to this site, https://www.google.com/accounts, change your password, and all will work again. I went ahead and did that, and it’s working once more. I hope this is it.


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Archie Got Married! Or Did He?

Back in May I wrote a post titled Archie’s Picking A Bride. It was about the comic strip character named Archie Andrews finally deciding, after 70 years, to get married to one of his long time girlfriends.

We later learned that he had chosen Veronica, the spoiled rich girl, as the one he was going to marry, breaking the hearts of, it seems, nearly 80% of Archie readers who have always favored Betty (and a very small group who wanted him to marry Jughead; comic book readers have to have a sense of humor after all). And, as you see in the picture there, they really did get married.

Or did they? It seems that, in a very short time period, Veronica gets pregnant, has twins, and Archie is working for her father. And just as suddenly, we see Archie back at Riverdale High, and now he’s contemplating marrying Betty instead.

Yup, as I predicted in my original post, it was a dream sequence. Archie is still in high school, and he’s contemplating his future. Turns out the comic book signifying the proposal from Archie to Veronica was the first of a six story arc where Archie is thinking about what his future might be like, and he’s starting with thoughts about marrying either Betty or Veronica. The story editors are saying that at the end of the six story arc there will be a resolution of some kind, but of course they’re being close mouthed about the whole thing.

It also turns out that this was one brilliant piece of marketing. Upon release of comic book #600, they sold more than 54,000 copies; seems they were averaging around 2,500 copies before that. That doesn’t include the number they sell in grocery stores.

How slick, and what a boost. There’s talk of another cartoon on TV, and the possibility of an Archie movie. I guess many of us are still wondering what it is about Archie and the gang that still compels us to care, whether we see the comic books on a regular basis or not. For me, it’s that I grew up with hmi and his friends. I bought all of their albums; I’m not proud, but I’m not as ashamed as I once was. Sugar Sugar did go to number one after all, and it was a great song. And, if they can not only make two Scooby Doo movies and now a new TV series, why not Archie?

How will all of this resolve? Any bets on it? No predictions coming from me again; I’m going to wait to see what happens.

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