Monday, September 27, 2010

" Sorting Through the Noise on Social Networks"

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Long before there was Google Adwords it was Overture, and before pay-per-click search engine marketing was even born, there was a website called If you've been marketing products/services online for more than 10 years, you might remember that was the original and one of a kind when it came to bidding on keywords and ranking for them in search results.

Fast forward to today, and the same man responsible for Goto, Bill Gross, the team at Idealab and other investors, are attempting to strike gold twice with the invention of A concept very similar to Google Adwords, but this time for Twitter and other social networking platforms. When first launched, they were called Tweetup and were only for Twitter, but they've since changed the name and included other social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.

It is a self service bid-based marketplace that runs on a patent-pending platform. At the time of this writing, it's only available to those in the U.S., but eventually plans to go international.

The concept is simple really. You sign up, bid on keywords and  your posts will appear in Postup's sponsored results when a search is done for that phrase. They'll also appear on a number of particular sites and other Twitter third party apps, such as Twitterfeed and Tweetdeck. Partners also include, Seesmic, Popurls, TechCrunch and more. They've also recently purchased Twitdroid, a Twitter app for Android phones.

With the help of multiple distribution channels, Postup's search results will be widespread and viewed by millions. This is a great way to not only display sponsored posts, but also grow your base of Twitter followers and "friends" all at the same time.

To sign up, you'll need a credit card, although initially it won't be charged as all bids are set to “0” by default. Unless you decide to place a bid, they'll remain that way. An email is sent that must be confirmed to complete the account activation process. Right now it's based on CPM, cost per impression, but that may change down the road into cost per

At the time of this writing, Postup is still collecting stats and bids, but they are live on a limited number of partner sites. Right now, search results are organically optimized, but in the future bidding will open on keywords and you'll have access to an account page to edit settings and bid on keywords. Many factors are used to determine relevance such as how much is re-tweeted, popularity of posts and more. They also give users what is called "Authority Ranking" based on the topic they mostly post about. The best posts will go to the top of search results.

You'll also want to make sure your social network bios are up to date and reflect your areas of expertise, as it's used by Postup's search function to help establish the quality of your postings and ranking. Third party Twitter clients and websites who partner with Postup to display their sponsored posts do receive a cut of the ad revenue. There are four formats to choose from.

1) PostUp API- For apps and clients
2) PostUp Twidget- For Content Pages
3) PostUp Search Field- Search without leaving your site
4) PostUp Sign-Up Widgets

As you can see, for Postup to be a success, they need to have a multitude of distribution and partner sites. They've been hard at work getting all of their "ducks in a row".

As everyone knows, Twitter has launched their own "Promoted Tweets" program which now puts Postup as a direct competitor. Twitter has also announced they will not allow third party networks to place ads in their timelines. Twitter users are able to, just not third parties. According to Twitter, they made this decision to preserve the integrity of the user experience. Twitter's chief operating officer stated:

"We will not allow any 3rd parties to inject paid ads into a timeline on any service that leverages the Twitter API."

So how will these new rules affect Postup, if at all? Well, third party apps can still run next to and around Twitter feeds, even next to Twitter search results, but they must be separate. This does put Twitter in control of who's running ads in their timeline, and they can block the API access of anyone not playing by their new rules.

According to Postup's Blog they state they do comply with Twitter’s new terms of service. For more, see their blog at

So for now it looks as if Postup has found a way to work with Twitter's new rules. It's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out. This may also explain why they've decided to branch out into other social networks,
and not put all of their eggs in one "Twitter basket."

The Internet is often compared to the Old West Gold Rush days, and in some ways maybe it is. was a brilliant concept back in the day, and it's possible that by taking the popularity of Twitter and other social networks, and merging it with sponsored ads, gold may be struck twice. I for one can't wait to find out.

For more information see: or
follow them on Twitter at

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

“Kindle”- The King of Reading Devices and My New Toy

Amazon Kindle e-book reader being held by my g...
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I've been wanting a Kindle for years. So when they came out with the latest version, (3) which includes 3g and wireless I finally broke down and bought one.

Due to the demand for the nifty new gadget I had to wait about a month to receive it.
The day it arrived in my mailbox my heart was pounding with delight as I opened the little brown package. There it was in all its glory. A small marvel of a machine capable of holding about 3,500 ebooks. Wow!

Say goodbye to overstuffed bookcases and books on the floor. Now it's possible to carry a complete library right in the palm of your hand. My first impression was that it was a bit heavier then I thought it would be but still light enough for prolonged use.

Now I must admit I'm a "book junkie". I love paper and buying books from Amazon is one of my many obsessions. So how will I feel with e-books no longer being allowed to touch and smell a "real book"? Only time will tell.

So far I'm impressed with the battery life. I charged it when I first got it and it's been weeks and I've yet to plug it in. Amazon states that with wirelss off, battery life should be about a month. With it on, about  10 days. That's still a long time. With so many electronics it's annoying to reach for one, only to find it has a dead battery. So far the Kindle has always been ready when I am.

The unit I purchased comes in at 7.5"x 4.8"X0.335" with the screen size about 6". I paid 189.00. There is a cheaper unit for 139.00 and the Kindle DX at 379.00. My logic was to choose the middle buying point as it seemed to have all the features I was looking for.

One of the improvements with this new model is the high contrast E-Ink screen thta boosts 50% better contrast. It's also 15% lighter and weighs less than a paperback.  The Free 3G Wireless has no monthly or annual contracts and gives you global coverage. 

The built in Wi-Fi allows you to connect at Wi-Fi hotspots. There also were some enhancements made to the PDF reading ability. And I'm really excited about the new WebKit-Based-Browser which allows me to browse websites. Amazon has not overlooked the importance of social media and now allows you to share meaningful passages of books with friends and family via Twitter and Facebook integration. 

If I'm particularly lazy I can choose to have whatever I'm reading read out loud to me in a male or female voice. Pages turn automatically when content is being read. Great, no physical labor on my part.

Now I admit I'm hoping to find a lot of free ebooks (and so far I have)  and not have to spend a ton of money obtaining reading material so the free book samples are great. I can download a sample chapter and decide if I really want to part with my hard earned cash for the rest of it. Anything I do purchase is automatically backed up for me at the Kindle Store in my personal library. I can delete books off my Kindle and re-download them at anytime.

Charging of the device can be done via plugging it in or with the USB port on your computer. Now I admit my vision is not what it use to be so I do like the fact that text size is totally adjustable. There are also three different font styles to choose from. It's also easy to add personal notes to text or export certain passages. It may not be a yellow highlighter but hey, it works.

Documents can be emailed to your Kindle with the personalized email address Amazon gives you with your purchase. The Kindle can read documents in these formats: HTML, Txt, Word Docs, PDF Docs, and pictures in Jpeg, Gif, PNG or BMP formats.
I don't think I'll run out of reading material anytime soon as Amazon has over 670,000 books for  my downloading pleasure.  Including over 1.8 million free out-of-copyright titles. The Kindle includes 4G of storage so I don't think I'll run out of space either.

Listening to music and podcasts is also possible and can be played in the background while reading. Transfer of files can be done with the included USB cord.
Look, there are a lot of choice when it comes to choosing a book reading device but I'm loyal to Amazon. They were there in the beginning and I believe they'll be there in the end. It's a strong company that makes buying books a breeze so when it came time to purchase a reading device it was an easy decision.

I personally love Amazon and have been buying books from them from the very beginning. I'm a loyal customer, period. As the weeks fly by I'll share my thoughts and experiences with my new favorite toy and where free books can be found. So far I’m pleased as punch!

Buy your own Kindle using the link below:

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite - Latest Generation

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

“Top 10 Article Directories”

So you’ve written a great article that you’d like to use to drive traffic to your website, but how do you get the word out? Fear not my friend, Merle is here to once again save the day. Ok, that might be a bit dramatic, but it sounds good. pencils

Article directories are the key to getting your article in front of editors, bloggers, and newsletter publishers who are in need of high-quality content for their audience. There are literally hundreds of possible directories, some large and some small, some targeted and some general. To save you some legwork, here's an overview of the ten largest online article directories, and details on their submission process.


Ezine Articles is by far the largest and most popular article directory. Ezine Articles is one of the oldest article directories, and its age serves it well. Since its inception in 1999, millions of users have logged on to submit and download articles. There are more than 30 parent categories with dozens of sub-categories on every imaginable topic. Don't let the size scare you; this is one of the first stops when editors need content, so your chances of being picked up are high. And the sub-categories and search functions make it easy to target articles. Submission is free, although you are allowed ten article submissions to start. Further submission credits are awarded, based on quality.

2. has one of the highest site traffic rankings from among article directories, and it boasts more than two million articles. Front page listings include “Editor’s Picks," highlighting six of the most popular articles, and “Latest Free Articles,” which is updated frequently. Writers can find Article Writing Tips and an Author Spotlight which showcases the talents of various writers.  Submission is free.


ArticleSnatch offers a huge selection of free reprint article categories including several less-common sub-categories such as Humor, Language, Philosophy, Poetry, Ethics, and so on. These well-defined sub-categories make it easier to categorize your articles according to your specific niche. Submission is free.


More than 185,000 authors have submitted more than two million articles to since it was founded in 1993. As part of the Jayde Online Network, considers itself “The Web’s Largest Free Content Article Directory.” Whether that’s true or not, it is one of the largest and definitely a place to submit your articles for potential publication on other sites. Submission is free.


Article Alley offers dozens of categories, including automotive, business, dating, fashion, and music. Submission is free.


Article Dashboard has one of the largest category listings for free reprint articles online with thousands of available articles. What really sets this site apart, however, is their free Article Dashboard software. The software allows users to start an article directory of their own at no cost. Submission is free.


This one is my personal fav. While IdeaMarketers is one of the top-ranked article directories, they are much more focused on quality than similar sites. Not only is the layout more professional than many other directories, but IdeaMarketers offers a Bid-For-Promotion System that lets writers pay for more prominent placement of their articles, which can dramatically increase the number of times an article is published. Basic submission level is free. This is also a great place to archive all of your documents in one place.


Amazines is one of the oldest article directory sites with hundreds of thousands of free articles in a multitude of categories. In addition, they also offer a huge free ezine directory, blog directory and article feeds that webmasters can use to add automatically updated content to their sites in minutes. Submission is free.


Article Rich is a clean, easy-to-navigate article directory that’s been online since 2005. Boasting over 360,000 articles by more than 75,000 authors, the site includes a number of popular categories. In addition, the front page highlights 20 featured articles as well as two featured authors, adding the potential for greater exposure for you and your articles. Submision is free


Another long-time Internet resident, Search Warp allows a variety of topic categories. But unlike some of the other article directories, they don't accept what they consider to be “high-spam topics” or those promoting such concepts as gambling, casinos, pharmaceuticals, prescriptions drugs, lending, mortgages, credit cards, SEO, affiliate marketing, network marketing, MLM, and several other taboo subjects. Submission is free.

There are many more article directories available online, but consistently submitting your site to these top 10 article directories will ensure you a tremendous amount of exposure and help build your online reputation as you attract targeted traffic to your website or blog.

Additional Resources:

Create Video for your articles with voiceover, animations, all the graphics and submit it to 17+ top video sites in 3 minutes flat- Click here to find out how

Just a quick note to let you know where you can get 75 free private label articles:

Do You Write Articles? Do You Want To? Grab This Free Tool And Start Cranking Out Articles In 10 Minutes Or Less!

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

“Why spend over $1,000 when you can learn online copywriting free?”

Have you seen the prices on some of these copywriting courses lately?  $600, $800, $1,500!  Whether you’re an aspiring copywriter, a new freelancer looking to improve your skills or a website owner/manager who writes your own online copy, that’s a lot of money to spend. 0314000019a

Why spend over $1,000 when you can learn online copywriting free?

You can lay a firm foundation for online copywriting simply by attending this free, 10-day event.  It runs September 1 – 10, 2010 and is produced by Chris Cobb and Karon Thackston.  They decided to broadcast each session free for 24 hours so as many people as possible could hear this vital information.

That’s almost $300 worth of expert teaching for absolutely nothing.  No strings attached.

Are the sessions taught by nobodies?  Absolutely not!  Here’s the lineup of speakers.  I’m sure you’ll recognize more than a few of these names.

  • Kevin Hogan on the Science of Persuasion
  • Michel Fortin on Sales Letters 2.0
  • Lynn Terry on Blogging
  • Jeff Herring on Article Writing
  • Shannon Cherry on Press Release Writing
  • Brian Massey on Landing Page Creation


  • Karon Thackston on Knowing Your Target Audience, Basics of Online Copywriting, Headline Creation and SEO Copywriting

Get all the details and the complete schedule when you click over to Online Copywriting 101 now

You’ll also get your free pass to this world-class beginner’s copywriting event so you can attend at no cost to you.

Here’s to your success!


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