I took a hammer to my recently "damaged beyond repair" iphone3G. No I am not crazy; it was permanently damaged in an "incident" and so my natural curiosity saw an opportunity. I really wanted to see what the guts of an iphone look like and to see if I could find the hard drive before it goes to recycling. iphones don't make the battery accessible (unlike all of my previous mobile devices) so I was curious to see how it was configured.
As the hammer began doing its work, I felt like I was in an alternative universe knowing that for 2+ years I panicked every time it hit the ground from more than knee-height. I gave it some pretty hard pops and surprisingly it held up for a good 3 or 4 shots. On roughly the 5th shot, the screen popped off. What I found was multi-layered hardware stacked on top of each other - no surprise really - so it could actually fit in the phone. The layers were:
1) touch screen: although the picture is awful (taken with a first generation iphone), its the black piece on the left. This screen actually lies underneath the outer screen that you touch with your finger under normal oreatoin. The outer screen was shattered into hundreds of glass pieces in the "incident" and was gone on impact.
2) SIM Card, circuitboards, camera, and small tethers to the back of the touch screen
3) battery (not shown -under the circuit). To get to the battery layer, I had to unscrew 6 tiny screws to lift the circuit boards.
Overall, I didn't find anything too shocking. I think the most interesting findings are
that the touch screen takes up at least half of the space in the phone and that it was somewhat resilient when I gave it a few shots. Maybe I can rest a little easier now with the next phone (hurry up Verizon) when the little guy in my house drops it on the floor every other second.
I was pleased today to see Search-Werks' client philosophy skin care and cosmetics featured on Oprah's Favorite Things today. Hope in a Jar was touted by Oprah as "hands down the best skin moisturizer she has ever used". I know my wife April really swears by it too after getting her hands on a few samples. Now lets get some of this content retweeted and backlinked! Congrats philosophy!
Although its a little off topic, I couldn't resist posting something that came up recently with a client partner of ours. Its a reminder that when something is free, you usually get what you pay for.
Inadvertantly during profile and account edits, the client's Google Analytics account was deleted. The client immediately posted on the Google Analytics help forum in obvious panic. Approximately 9 days after the panic request for help post, the client received this "helpful" response (I have to admit that it came infinitely faster than I expected).
We're able to restore deleted accounts immediately after they've been canceled but not after a few days. Therefore, we're unable to restore your account.
Thank you Google for the helpful response. Obviously I removed the Googler's name. No need to get in trouble. However, my advice to GA users out there...DON'T ACCIDENTALLY DELETE YOUR GA ACCOUNT (my humor) and if you do, don't expect Google to help.
Thankfully, the Googler didn't know that we had previously rescued the client's account from the garbage can through contacts we had. If not for that, the client would have lost several years of data.
I recently went to a conference on mobile commerce and surprisingly I didn't hear about this one. Its been out for a while so I am thinking that I must be living under a rock?? Has anyone tried this yet and if so, how did it go? I know I spend quite a bit of time as a small business owner running back and forth to the ATM to deposit funds so this could be a nice little time saver for me.
I saw a headline yesterday that caught my attention..." Apple launches social music network Ping". I had to read because I was thinking that I misunderstood. Considering my terribly expensive golf habit, I was thinking the well established Ping golf clubs/putters that happens to be based here in the Phoenix area.
But after reading, Apple did truly launch "Ping". Conceptually, a music oriented social network really is a great idea (and still slightly innovative several years into the social networking boom). But come on Apple....Ping??!! With such an incredibly creative company, that's the best name you could come up with? Not only is it non-descriptive, uh hello, that name is already taken by the well established Ping golf club brand and by Microsoft by changing the P to a B.
This headline triggered a recurring thought in my mind about some of the dumbest social media and search names I have heard over the years. Way back in the day, I remember saying "Gooo-gul? What is that? At least its a name that you would recognize if you heard it again." Google got away with a kitchy name because they were the first and it was memorable. Please please everyone else, stop naming your products and websites with dumb names. It is NOT a requirement to copy Google and have a double letter name or drop a vowel to be memorable, be a social media hipster, and get lots of VC funding.
This means you Flickr, Squidoo, Tumblr, Digg, Reddit, Sphinn, and numerous others. While I am at it, bit.ly, delicious, and orkut too.
Looks like this morning, Google has unveiled a very impactful match type, modified broad match, in the Adwords platform. I can see this really helping remove some funky matches from clients' broad match adgroups.
Update: we have tested it today already and found that it can be somewhat difficult to make your keyword setups act exactly like you want. Our advice.....start out slow and test before you leap in full force. It could wreck your campaigns if you throw the modifier on all of your broad match adgroups.
Once upon a time before parenthood and marriage, I had the notion that I wanted to accomplish something big. I decided I was going to ride by my bike (yes, the pedaling kind) across the United States. The best part of the trip ended up being something I had never even thought about while planning....the relationships I would build.
About 2,000 miles and 45 days into the trip and after a very long and mentally draining climb across Togwotee Pass in Western Wyoming, I met Scott Stoll while camping in Grand Teton National Park. I won't bore you with the subsequent long story but essentially we became life long friends and finished our trip together a few weeks later, putting the front tire of our bikes in the Pacific Ocean near Victoria, BC. During our ride to the Coast, Scott posed the idea of riding around the world on a bike. My adventurous spirit was temporarily satiated by the North America ride so I politely passed. Being somewhat crazy and completely brave, Scott did eventually circle the globe by bike, an incredible accomplishment. Scott subsequently wrote a book about it and I asked him if he would share his experience writing, publishing, and publicizing in 2010. As he had first-hand experience, I wanted to hear what he thought about how technology has forever changed the publishing business. Thanks Scott for sharing....
How to fall up the e-book hill
I considered myself lucky. I've got a creative bone that just needs to be itched, and I had something entertaining and enlightening to write about—I rode a bicycle around the world in quest of happiness. Combining work and play seemed a recipe for success. I thought there couldn't be a simpler business plan than to produce a book, and I would have the added benefit of fulfilling another dream. Well, years later, including a year of promoting Falling Uphill, the book about my quest for happiness and the meaning of life, I seem to keep surprising myself how difficult it is to sell a book. And that's not including a 4-year, 26,000 mile trek, including dengue fever in India, being imprisoned in Zimbabwe, suspected of terrorism in Israel, nearly dying of dehydration in Mexico, meanwhile discovering the meaning of life along the way; and let's forget the degree in graphic design and production, and the on-the-job education of learning my P's and Q's as a copywriter, and nevermind the thousands of hours of writing. That's all simple stuff compared to the publicity stunt of selling a book.
It should also be noted that I achieved some stellar results. I started a book tour again riding my bicycle around the country as a publicity stunt. Spending 6 hours a day pedaling wasn't a great use of time, but it did produce results even without a PR agent. I had dozens of media interviews, including the New York Times, far exceeding the average 1% return rate on my cold emails. I advertised on Youtube with a movie about my trip that actually got conversions. I had friends helping me. My mom sent out 200 letters to agents. They actually responded. Even publishers were showing interest. My book was translated into Korean. I had rave 5-star reviews. And I broke at least 4 records at bookstores for author signings. In fact, I have 18 spreadsheets of actions and ideas that are too numerous to list. The bottom line is I sold about 4000 books so far, which is 8 times more than the average book even by a big name publisher. But yet, I have still burned/invested every penny I own, hoping someday my book will go viral. Yet, the world seems to have had other plans, for one inventing a thousand upon a thousand devious ways to get a slice of my pie, or prevent my pie from getting to the market. So, what is my devious solution? Why not fight fire with fire?
Why not enter the world of online innovation and publish an e-Book? This will save me the cost of manufacturing and shipping, especially opening up the overseas market. I can tap into this market that has seemingly exploded overnight. (Two new e-readers have hit the market since I was asked to write this article.) And, hopefully, I can claim some online real estate, since it seems people are skipping books and even televisions and going straight for instant online satisfaction. Plus, there is fairly convincing evidence that you will sell 35% more books at the click of a button.
What the heck is an e-Book? Well, obviously it is an electronic book that can be read on a computer or portable device using a variety of file formats. The most basic kind is an ePub format, which is basically a variation of HTML so that the type can be reflowed and resized at whim. The second kind is a PDF, which can look fantastic, but the page layout is static. And, there are a bewildering array of other file formats: DRM, XML, LIT, DTP, PDB, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, MP3, Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible, MOBI, PRC, HTML, XHTML, DOC, RTF, BBeB, and more.
What kind of e-reader should I choose? It seems every e-reader is different and uses different formats, which means publishing numerous different versions of your book. The big players at the moment are the Amazon Kindle, iPad, Barnes & Noble Nook, Adobe Reader, MS Reader, Palm Reader, and your basic old computer or cell phone. However, the current battle that is revolutionizing the publishing world seems to revolve not around the e-reader itself, but the unique distribution network each one is attempting to capture.
So the next question is: Which distribution network do I use? My printer, a division of Ingram, the largest book distributor in the world only deals with a handful of devices, excluding the Kindle and the Nook; however, they just struck a deal with Apple's iPad. The cost is astonishing! Apple takes $250 to join plus 30% royalties; and Ingram gets another 5.6%. So far, Barnes & Noble, in traditional fashion, snubs the small publisher, offering no information except an email address. And Amazon's Kindle takes a whopping 70% of my literal blood, sweat and tears. There are also a variety of online bookstores that will distribute your book for you.
So what's the answer? Well, I haven't been able to find a good solution. So, I plan to take a few small steps in the general direction and see what happens. I think my book, Falling Uphill, would simple be lost on the e-shelf of most of the distributors(there were a record breaking 1,000,000+ new books in print in 2009); and, since, publicizing my book and driving the customers to the bookshelf is 99% my problem (i.e. being an unpaid employee for the distributors), I've decided to simply sell the e-book on my website. I know how to make a PDF and ePub file, and those two formats work on every device. One of the consequences will be security. The benefit of the aforementioned distributors is being able to prevent people from pirating your book, you can even set your book to expire. However, since after a year of hard work it still hasn't gone viral, I don't foresee e-piracy as being a big problem. (I never figured into my business plan that multiple would read my paper book or the used market further undermining my promotion efforts.) Also, though I like to attribute Amazon as one of my biggest problems (read my article "The high cost of low price") I have to give them credit for making publishing on their Kindle open to everyone and super easy to convert to their format and distribute inline with your existing paper book, rather than having to buy a separate ISBN at another $125 bucks and marketing a second e-edition. Plus, they promise to lower their royalties to 30% this summer, provided you meet their list of unmeetable requirements.
And, if you are new to this, you will soon realize that e-book or paper book, the great grandmother question of them all is: How do I publicize my book? Well, that is a whole other e-ball of wax.
Stay tuned for an update of how this whole dream manifests itself into some kind of cyber reality.
Read more about Scott and his journey.