All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

PC Magazine’s Gone Digital

Have you received your latest edition of PC Magazine? No? That’s because they went digital, supposedly as of February 2009. However, the last edition I got from them was in November, their December edition.

I had wondered why I hadn’t received anything, even though I had been privy to this notice, on a fluke though, from PC Magazine Editor-In_Chief Lance Ulanoff:

An Open letter to PC Magazine (Print) Readers,

The January 2009 issue (Volume 28, Issue 1) of PC Magazine will mark a monumental transition for the publication. It is the last printed edition of this venerable publication. Of course, as with any technology-related enterprise, this is not the end, but the beginning of something exciting and new.

Starting in February 2009, PC Magazine will become a 100-percent digital publication. So, in addition to our popular network of Websites, which includes our centerpiece, PCMag.com, as well as ExtremeTech, blogs like Gearlog and AppScout, and audio and video content that includes PCMag Radio, Cranky Geeks and DL.TV, we’ll offer PC Magazine Digital Edition to all of our print subscribers. The PC Magazine Digital Edition has actually been available since 2002. So for thousands of you, the benefits of this unique medium are already clear. And those benefits will continue to multiply in the coming months, as we work hard to enhance your digital experience. If you’d like to read the rest of the letter, you can check it out here.

Now, I understand the economy and how advertising is taking a heat across the board. What I don’t understand is why I had to read it online like this. In other words, where was the same customer service you used in sending me requests to subscribe twice a month, even after I was already a subscriber, in some kind of letter or notification that you were ending my mailed magazine subscription? And, by the way, where was my offer of refunding the balance of my payment, since you weren’t sending me something monthly anymore, or telling me that my subscription would roll over to the online service, which is now charging 62 cents an issue? Okay, that’s cheaper, but what about what I’ve already paid?

I also want my information coming in a magazine form. Not that I don’t look for news sometimes online, but let’s face this fact. PC Magazine, along with PC World, were two of my favorite magazines. I could take them anywhere and read them anywhere; car, plane, bathroom (yeah, like I’m the only one reading in the bathroom), bedroom, doctor’s offices, etc. I always have a copy of one of three magazines with me as just in case reading (the other magazine is Discover). You can’t take in all of the information from any of these magazines in a normal sitting, so having it available to carry around with you is a good deal. With PC Magazine being online now, there are a lot of things I’m just going to miss, and I don’t like that all that much.

Still, my main gripe isn’t about whether or not they should be an online periodical. My gripe is that they didn’t inform me, or the rest of society that’s subscribing to it, by regular mail in some fashion. I’m thinking they owe me some money for at least 5 or six months, but I’m not overly worried about that, as my rate was under $15 a year. There is a lot of information on their site; I just wish someone had said something. What do you think?


Shop Dog.com

Why I Don’t Want To Follow Some Twitter Folks

My goodness, another Twitter post!

Yes, another Twitter post, but at least each time I write about it, I’m writing something different. In this case, I want to talk about some of the more irritating things I see on Twitter. Overall Twitter is an interesting diversion, and it’s proven to be a news breaker. For instance, Twitter users spread the news about the Hudson River plane landing at least 15 minutes before the news organizations got the story. Twitter has allowed me to talk to people, albeit in short bursts, like Guy Kawasaki and Keith Ferrazzi.

But there are some habits from people that I don’t really like. I remember having a conversation with someone one night, though I can’t remember who, on the subject of some of these bad habits. Frankly, I chalked some of it up to ignorance; ignorance of proper decorum, ignorance of what irritates people, and ignorance of new technologies and how to really use them. However, we have a mixture of things to talk about, so let’s get started.

First, there’s this new trend of people who are creating new Twitter accounts for the purpose of selling something. I’m sure that’s nothing new, but in this case what they do is create the account, then try to start following as many people as they can. They usually pop a picture of a pretty young woman in there, and I wouldn’t doubt that most of the people they’re following are men. Sometimes the names make sense, sometimes they don’t. What I do is see the email come through telling me someone new is following me on Twitter, click on the link so I can take a look, and most of the time, now that I’ve seen it so often, I know it’s a fake account and won’t follow. Usually you see something like them following 1,600 people and maybe 30 people following them.

At the same time, there are some people who legitimately do the same thing. I have no idea how they find me or anyone else, but they do, and they just start following tons of people. I also won’t add most of those folks, but if they have a link to a blog or website I’ll at least check it out first to see what I think about it all. Sometimes the person does look pretty interesting, and I’ll follow; most of the time, though, I want to wait to see if that person draws interest.

Sometimes I take a look at how often someone is updating their own Twitter messages. If they’re not doing any talking, just following lots of people, I won’t follow them; I mean, that’s a waste of time. Obviously they don’t care to share, so I leave them alone. The people who bother me the most that do something like this, though, are the people who follow you, then when you check them out you see that they have their updates protected. Sure, you could ask them if you can follow them, but didn’t I get married so I wouldn’t have to deal with having to ask women I didn’t know if they’d like to go on a date with me? Unless it’s business, I don’t give people a chance to possibly reject me, so I don’t ask, and therefore I’m not following them.

Another thing I don’t like are those folks who have automatic messages when you decide to follow them. I’m sure they think they’re being helpful, but to me it feels more like they’re trying to be pushy. If the messages just said “Thanks for following me” or something like that I wouldn’t be bothered at all. However, what happens is that they either want to tell you about their website or their product, or they want you to download something. Of course, I’m not sure whether it’s a pure download, or an attempt to get me to put my name and email address on a list so they can start sending me all sorts of stuff, but I don’t care. I don’t like it, but I don’t immediately go and unfollow them, though I should. I just don’t pay much attention, don’t download anything, and go about my business.

I also don’t follow anyone who’s barely following others. There’s something narcissisticly wrong in following 10 people when there are 20,000 following you. If the ratio looks wrong, I’m not going to follow because I know that person isn’t going to follow me. Now, if that person follows me first, then I’ll follow them, but really, when is that ever going to happen?

One last thing I hate, but ignore most of the time, is someone who keeps writing post after post, not because they’re giving us a lot of stuff, but because they want to ignore the 140 character limit and actually have a full conversation, like chat rooms or IM’s or email. Having a conversation with someone is one thing; having a conversation with yourself is another. I’ve seen quite a lot of that. I have one friend who does that very thing; once she gets going, she just goes on and on. Sometimes I jump in and start talking to her; sometimes I just ignore it and move on. Since I’ve added TweetDeck to my system to use for my “twittering”, it’s made life so simple because I get to decide who I want to follow with a custom column, so it’s easy to ignore her when I wish. But I love her just the same. 🙂

Twitter can be a lot of fun, and informative also. Some folks just don’t get it; for the rest of us, though, let’s just keep enjoying it.

Bidwell Candies tru32 Truffles Chocolate Candy- 2 pounds

Bidwell Candies tru32 Truffles Chocolate Candy- 2 pounds






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What Would You Buy?

What would you buy? A follow up question is “what would you buy from me”?

Let’s look at the first question for a minute. As y’all know, this is my internet marketing blog, and its main purpose, after just being an outlet where I can talk about whatever I feel like talking about, is to help me make money. Most marketing experts (I often wonder about the word “experts”, but that’s for another time) say that to understand buyers, you have to first understand what makes you buy.

So, let’s take a look at my buying patterns online. What makes me buy, or sign up, for things online? First, if I can get something online for a significantly lower price, I’ll buy online. Last week I purchased three HDMI cables from an online company for a total of $10 and change plus shipping (man, I wish they had an affiliate program). When I purchased a HDMI cable at the time I bought my blu-ray DVD player, the cable cost me $31, and that was their cheap cable. I’d say that was a significant savings.

I’ll buy something online that catches my mind’s eye and makes me say “man, I’ve got to have that”. As you know, at the end of each of these messages I either have some kind of banner ad or a product of some kind posted. I’ve actually bought a few of those products here and there, stuff I couldn’t find anywhere else without killing myself looking for it, and, well, that’s just not my style.

I’ll buy something online if I can only get it online. I wear Hush Puppies as my shoe of choice. I’ve been wearing Hush Puppies since 1967, the brush suede, and they’ve always treated my feet properly. I can’t find those shoes in any local stores anymore; they’re just not around. So I purchase my shoes online.

I’ll buy some ebooks online if they look like they’ll teach me something about internet marketing in some fashion. The two I’ve talked about most here are Adsense Secrets and Secret Google Tactics. I used to average $3 a month; now I’m averaging $50 a month. Those have worked well for me. And they didn’t cost much at the time; one cost $10, the other $27.

That’s another thing. I’ll buy something that’s not cost prohibitive. By that, I’m not buying an internet marketing course online for $900; just not happening. For me to spend that kind of money, I need to be able to touch it first, see it right in front of me, kick the tires, smell the upholstery,… wait, I changed genres there. Well, you know what I mean. I have spent as much as $200 for items online, but those were things I knew something about, that I’d seen elsewhere, and knew what I was getting.

So, I’ve identified what I’ll buy and why I’ll buy certain things online. Next, I’m supposed to put myself into the mind of potential buyers from me, based on my own triggers, and then determine what will compel people to buy from me. Frankly, that doesn’t translate well from my mind, which is probably why my internet marketing efforts aren’t all that successful; it probably explains the same thing for many of you also.

What’s the biggest problem in the United States today? The economy. People need jobs, or they need ways to figure out how to make money. I wrote about the book How To Make $100 A Day a few times, and I am an affiliate for this book. I bought this book a couple of years ago, and I did latch onto a couple of the items listed. I would have thought this book would have sold at least a couple of copies here and there; who couldn’t use some ideas on how to make $100 a day, right? And, the guy who put this book together, Willie Crawford, has made more than $400,000 off this book that sells for $27; heck, maybe everyone has it already. I mean, this book hits an emotional trigger if ever there was one.

Let me ask this question; what triggers you to buy something online. Heck, for that matter, if you never buy anything online, what repels you from doing so? If you were to want to buy something from me, or any other online marketer, what do you want to see from them? How would you like marketing to be presented to you so that you might at least consider clicking on it to see what it’s all about? Banner ads? Text ads? Personal products from the creator of the website or blog you’re visiting (by the way, you DID notice mine up there at the top left, right?)? More product reviews, non-paid (since I won’t do paid reviews), or testimonials? Hey, why not share; you might discover something about yourself that will help you to make money online, if you’re so inclined.

Or maybe you want more entertainment; how’s about some live Bruce Springsteen to close this out:


Be seen by 1.5 million hiring managers instantly!

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January Statistics Report – Getting Better

Well, finally some better news. The economy of the country might be going down, but the economy of my online internet marketing has gone up. Can’t say I’m rich yet, but it’s going in the right direction, so that makes me happy.

Without further ado, my January cash total was $73.37. That’s the best month since I started keeping and reporting statistics on this blog, so I’ll take that, though I know I had one better month in the summer. This month, I’m going to give a full breakdown of not only those programs I made money from, but those I made nothing from. Here’s the list:

Commission Junction – 18 cents
Google Affiliate Network – 0
Clickbank – 0
Adsense – $55.16
Mining Gold – 0
Startup Rebel – 0
Shopping Ads – 0
Widget Bucks – 15 cents
Solutions Medical Billing – 0
Joel Comm – 0
TLA – $14.60
Kontera – 42 cents
TTZ – 25 cents
LinkXL – $2.50
J-V Network – 0
Share-A-Sale – 0
Chitika – 11 cents

This was my best month ever for Adsense, which pleases me, and I made most of it from my medical billing site, which I’ve talked about before. The rest of the earnings all came from this blog, which means it made $18.21 for the month. Not bad, but now it’s time to change some things around some more.

What am I going to do? Well, the first thing I’m going to do is remove Widget Bucks from this blog, and only use it on my other sites. Every once in awhile this site loads slower, and I think it’s that widget. So, I’ll lose that 15 cents from the blog; c’est la vie. I’m also finally giving up Mining Gold; that’s an affiliate program through Shawn Casey that I actually joined 3 years ago, and I’ve advertised it a few times on some of the posts on this blog, but no longer. I’m also not going to be wasting time advertising Startup Rebel anymore, as it’s pretty much a one trick pony. The same goes for Tweet My Blog, which I didn’t even mention here, because, well, I never got any money from the past when I know people signed up for it through me, and now I just don’t trust them. Outside of those two links, I’m done.

Next, about Clickbank. As you know, in the recommended products to the right there, four of the five items are from Clickbank. Well, I’ll be removing the one link that’s not them, which is for my marketing tool book (no link this time), because I’m going to be listing the book on the left side with my other products. Matter of fact, I’ll be moving my products up the left side more, since those are my creations, and one of the things most “true” internet marketers say is that you should promote your own products first before promoting other things. True, that’ll be my only product that’s related to the internet in any way, but products are products. And I’ll be creating more as I go along. Anyway, I’m going to search Clickbank and add one more product of theirs to my recommended products, then we’ll see where things go. I don’t think I’ve promoted Clickbank products all that well, or probably anything else; I need to work on that.

There is one thing I listed that most of you won’t know anything about. It’s the Solutions Medical Billing affiliate program. They only market medical billing books, and I’ve been marketing those books on my medical billing site only. It seems that, if you find a niche, most of the time you’ll be able to find an affiliate program specifically for it; neat, eh?

And there you go. Some of the other affiliate programs here I haven’t done all that much with, but there will be items rotating on this site as I give other things a try. The latest is a Shopping Ads 250×250 that you see there on the right after the recommended products. Hey, this is supposed to be my internet marketing blog; it’s time I started marketing better.

The Bradford Exchange My True Love Diamond Bracelet






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Top 100 Singers Of All Time

Check out my Big RSS Subscriber Contest after reading this article.

Something a little different today, although it’s online, so to speak, so it fits the model. Rolling Stone Magazine put together a listing of what they say are the 100 Greatest Singers In History. I’ve got to tell you, I love stuff like this because it invokes pretty good memories, great discussions, and of course we all get to have our favorites and those that we don’t like. Being a former professional musician (I got paid for it, therefore I was a professional), I’d like to think that I have at least some basic knowledge on the subject.

Just to get this out of the way, though, we’re talking about rock musicians. No operatic folks are on the list, which is a shame because if one can’t get Andrea Bocelli or Sarah Brightman in a list then it’s not quite accurate. Also, any list that has Mariah Carey all the way down at #79 tells me that the list is not only not about singers, but that it’s more a list of performers who impress people who like rock than an article about true singers. And come on; no Celine Dion, no Whitney Houston, no Donna Summer,… ugh!

Obviously, I’ve already given some early commentary on this list. But let’s look at the top ten only; if you want to jump right to the entire list, you can use this link to get there.

Going in reverse order, #10 is James Brown. Most people only know the James Brown of Eddie Murphy fame, but when he started out, James Brown had a very melodic voice. Later on he decided to give that up for more histrionics, but no matter. You can’t have a discussion about vocalists in history without James Brown. This isn’t a bad pick.

At #9 on the list we have Stevie Wonder. I wrote in a review last year that Stevie Wonder is the number one pop music genius of all time, and he’s still influencing musicians of today, so there’s no gripe about this pick either.

At #8 is Otis Redding, and if I have a gripe about this pick, it’s that I just don’t see him being in the top ten. His untimely death has probably added way more credence to his importance, but when it comes to singers, there’s so many more who were not only more important, but better singers.

At #7 is Bob Dylan; here’s the big pick that lets us know it’s more about legacy than actual vocal talent. I say this while being a big time Dylan fan. Bob Dylan couldn’t sing his way past the first round of American Idol, let alone be considered a legitimate singer on any list. However, his body of work was remarkable, and he came alone at just the right time to touch upon the psyche of America. His lyrics impressed me so much that I bought his book of lyrics some years ago, just to study the composition structure of them. Top ten in importance, yes; top ten singers, no way.

At #6 is Marvin Gaye, and this is a great pick for the top ten. There were few other natural singers who could compete with Marvin Gaye, and he knew it. Marvin Gaye was so good that he’s the only performer in Motown history who didn’t have to go through “performance school”; of course, it didn’t hurt that he was married to Berry Gordy’s sister either. Still, Marvin Gaye could have made a nun give up her virginity, there was so much sex in his smooth sound. No gripes here.

At #5 is John Lennon, and once again, I have to put him on the list with Dylan; important for the times, but not all that great a singer. His range was limited, and, well, truthfully, I think he had more of an emotive voice with no real range. I can’t think of anyone else who could have brought the kind of power he did to a song like “Imagine”, but he was a great performer, and an even better man, than he was a singer.

At #4 is Sam Cooke, and I’ll say right now that the only gripe I might have here is that I could see him being at #2, except he left this world way too soon. Sam Cooke was smooth, he had range, and, well, he was just likable as a singer and as a man. Well, except for the woman who ended up killing him, I suppose, but even there,… well, we’ll probably never know the real story. Sam Cooke could make you feel good; he could make you cry; he could pretty much do anything he wanted to do with his voice, which is what makes me so impressed with him. It was his voice and one of his songs I thought about the night Barack Obama was elected president, and what it meant to me. Great pick!

At #3 is Elvis Presley, and there’s just no way anyone can gripe about this pick across the board. Elvis was the man, plain and simple, and if he’d known how to take care of himself, he’d probably still be the man right now in his 70’s. Elvis could sing, he had presence, he touched people, and mixed in the middle of a lot of fluff were some pretty good songs. Let’s face a fact here; without Elvis being exactly what he was, a big, good looking country white kid that loved to sing what at the time was termed “race music” and doing those “heinously sexy moves”, we’d have been stuck with Pat Boone’s generic style for the rest of our lives, black music might never have had the opportunity to become as prominent as it has, and music in general would have stagnated. Yes, I think he was that important.

At #2 is Ray Charles, and I love Ray Charles. Though I might not have put him at #2, he’d have definitely been in the top ten. Ray Charles did stuff with music that no one else dared to do, which makes him important, and he did it because of the music, not for any other reason. Ray Charles did jazz, and always considered himself a jazz musician. But he also did rock, pop, gospel, country, and classical, and went to the top in every single genre. Ray Charles also touched people, but oddly enough, according to his own autobiography, he never really understood why, except for the soul of the music. And man, there’s no one who could have taken that soul away. Ray Charles was truly the king of soul.

At #1 is the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin. If you’re not old enough to remember the true power of Aretha Franklin singing almost anything then I feel sorry for you. Aretha Franklin was raw power and emotion; when she went soft, you held onto your own hands because you knew the explosion of emotion was coming. The daughter of a preacher who cut her chops in church, she has earned 21 Grammy awards, was the first female inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and has the best selling gospel album in history, Amazing Grace. All that, and she’s still prominent today, singing at the inauguration of President Barack Obama just a week and a half ago. No problems with the queen being at number one.

And there you go. As I said, something different to talk about, but hey, it’s the day before the Super Bowl, so let’s have some fun here. Now, if I went through the entire top 100, there’s a lot of artists I’d throw out and replace with someone else. But for now, enjoy what’s there, and offer your own opinions; should be fun.

The Essential Barack Obama: The Grammy Award-Winning Recordings








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