Wednesday, August 01, 2012

There Is Something Rotten In The State Of Facebook - A Different Perspective

Well, more than a year since my last post and yet, this still seemed like the best place to put this post.

It is a response to Ed Dale's blog post There Is Something Rotten In The State Of Facebook. (There's some nice anchor text for you Ed, even if it comes from a garbage blog like this!)

For those who haven't read the blog post and are too lazy to follow the link and do so now, Ed's main beef is that Facebook only delivers a Facebook page's content to 10-12% of it's fan's news feeds by default. He feels that if he has put the effort into convincing thousands of people to like his page, that all of them should get every one of his posts delivered to their news feed. He also pointed out that scheduling services such as Hootsuite and Buffer seem to be getting your posts put in the bad books with Facebook which means they reach even fewer of your fans.

I have noticed the same thing with my clients, but I have come to a slightly different conclusion. Social following is important for search results.

Some clients with a large fan base have their Facebook pages appear higher in Google's search results than their websites do. So Ed, if you check your Facebook page stats and see how much traffic it gets from Google, it might not be such a bad thing to keep the effort going. A Facebook page is still not a bad place for a first encounter with a prospect as long as you are strategic about the way that encounter happens.

What I like to do for my clients is really push to get their fans onto a mailing list via an opt-in on a custom tab. Email open rates might not be sooo much higher than the 10-12% that Facebook deigns to show our posts to, but hopefully it is a different chunk of your following than see the post in their news feed.

I have noticed that Facebook seems to dole out it out slowly - 5% or so of your fans at first, but then posts with one like see a couple more percent, posts with one share see a couple more percent again. I haven't analyzed it so much as to be able to make it a science (eg I can't say with certainty that a post with ten likes and two shares = 36% of your fans will see it), but I have noticed that there IS a pattern.

It does make sense from Facebook's point of view - there is limited space on everyone's news feed to get every update from every friend and page they have ever liked.

I see it as an incentive to post good content. If you post good content, people will like and share it and comment on it and therefore more people will see it in their news feed.

Remember when the internet was young and search engines were only returning manageable numbers of search results? Then things got crazy and the importance of backlinks increased. They became the currency of standing on the search engines. The idea was that people would only backlink to quality content and therefore, pages with many backlinks must be worth putting at the top.

Now likes, comments and shares are the currency of news feed penetration on Facebook.

Over at Facebook they figure that people only like, comment and share good content, therefore, when they show your content to a few of your fans, if it gets liked, commented on or shared, it must be worth showing to more of your fans.

One place this is clearly true is in the Facebook search. People are beginning to put in search terms into Facebook instead of going to old man Google. I admit that I have done that on occasion when I have been looking for something.

The search results that come up are almost always in descending order of the number of likes. As more and more pages are created, more Facebook users are going to begin using Facebook search instead of Google, that means pages will rank higher than Bing search results and pages with relevant keywords and many likes will end up at the top of the list.

So, admit it, your Facebook page still has some value, right? Although, the Ed Dale page and other public figure pages probably have less value than pages with key word dense titles. You show up if someone searches for Ed Dale, but even a page with 7 367 likes shows up in the Facebook search results for internet marketing when your page with 11 126 likes is nowhere to be found!

Also, you must admit that, underneath the indignation of being told that your posts won't, by default be broadcast to every fan, you secretly know that not all of your posts are worth showing to everyone!

For instance, do you realistically think that all 11 126 of your fans needed to see the post on July 27th about the Sewing Projects & Tips mag? I got that one in my news feed (first one of yours to show up in my feed in quite a while) and it made me ask myself, why am I seeing this?

So, all of this is just to say that Facebook is not going anywhere so you might as well stop complaining about it and try to use it as strategically as possible. The digiratti might be rejecting it in favour of Google+ or twitter, but the average internet user has no clue what Google+ is and can't be bothered with twitter.

They DO want to see their friend's brother's drunken escapades overseas and they do want to feel like they can have a personal contact with the companies who's products and services they use. There ARE ways of getting your posts seen by more than 10% of your fans.

That's it for now!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Importance of Commitment

Tonight I went to my girlfriend's long time family friend's recommitment ceremony/20th wedding anniversary celebration. It was a good time and I felt priveleged to be there as these people who have been so important in my girlfriend's life reaffimed their love and devotion to each other.

Anyway, the once-again-bride did a survey of the couples she knew to see if they could go back in time if they would remarry their spouses. Out of 15 couples, only 6 of them said they would do it all again! She stopped the survey of her friends at 15 because she was getting depressed.

I really think that this little survey shows us something that is wrong with us and our society today. We have lost the ability to really commit to something. When people get married, they say they are committing to each other for life, but often that commitment is based solely on a feeling, and when that feeling goes away, so does the commitment.

Being committed to something means sticking with it, even when you don't feel like it. If you're like me, you probably have goals for your health this year. Mine is to shed the 15 pounds of fat I put on in the second half of last year and replace it with about 10 pounds of muscle. This is in preparation to do my first triathlon on June 11th. That means I have a little less than 4 months to train. I know I'm going to need every minute of it, but when it's cold and dark outside and I don't feel like going to the gym, just how committed am I? I can't just be involved in training for the triathlon, show up at the gym every once in a while and hope for the best on race day. I need to commit to sticking to my training schedule and to eating right if I want to meet my goals and have any chance of finishing the triathlon on race day.

I recently heard a story that illustrated the difference between involvement and commitment. I don't know where I heard it, but basically it said this, if you eat a cooked breakfast of bacon and eggs, the chicken was involved but the pig was committed!

We need to have the same kind of commitment to our health goals as the pig does to you breakfast. It's all on the line and there's no going back!

You don't have to commit to doing a triathlon, but if you want to feel good about your health, you need to make some sort of a commitment to it. Whether that's committing to eating right or taking better care of your body by getting regular chair massage (my shameless self plug of the day), it doesn't matter. What does matter is that once you've committed to your goals, stay committed by telling people what they are. Introducing accountability to your health goals means that you are much more likely to complete them!

Now that I've told you what my goals are, please hold me accountable! Post a comment below or drop me a line to ask me how my training is going. I'm sure I'll write more about it as I go.

If you want me to keep you accountable and committed to your health goals, I'll reply to everyone who emails me at with the subject line of "Keep me accountable Andrew!".  I'll check in every month this year to make sure you stay on track.

If we can be just a little more committed than the chicken I know this year will be one we can feel good about!

Here's to Feeling Good!


Friday, February 18, 2011

The Feel Good Chair Massage Groupon Store Needs followers!!

If you haven't already, please click on this link and follow my Groupon Store! I need 25 followers before I can run a Groupon deal, and let me tell you, it's going to be a great deal!

It doesn't cost you anything to join Groupon or to follow my store, in fact, it might actually save you some money!

If you are already following the store then Thank you! You'll be the first to know when my deal goes live! Tell your friends!

Here's to Feeling Good. . . for a little bit less at Groupon!


Sitting On The Highway Going Nowhere

Following on from yesterday's post about how stress can manifest itself in our lives and that when it does it can incapacitate us bit by bit, I'd like to talk a bit about ways of dealing with the stress that will inevitably come into our lives.

I'll do that by telling you a story. This morning I was running late for a massage gig. That's a feeling that I hate, and if you're in business I'm sure you  do too. Now I could tell you how bad traffic was or that it was only the second time I've been late since starting my business nearly two years ago, but that isn't the point of the story. The point is that as I was sitting in the fast lane doing 2km/h I could feel myself tensing up.

I was beginning to have the feeling that it was going to be "one of those days". Eventually I made it past the problem and off I go trying to make up for lost time. When I arrived at the company we were doing massage at, I grabbed my equipment and went inside as quickly as possible. So now I'm trying to provide a relaxation service (chair massage)to someone when I myself am not relaxed.

Instead of worrying about it I focused on the massage I was giving and on my technique. I forced myself to control my breathing and to become calm. Fortunately it's relatively easy regulate your breathing when you are doing something as metered as massage, but doing massage professionally has made me realize just how important controlled breathing is to maintaining your stress levels.

I'm not suggesting you try to massage someone the next time you feel stressed, although, I do teach a couples massage workshop if you do want to learn to regulate your breathing by helping those around you!

I AM suggesting that the next time you have something stressful come into your life, that you consciously think about the fact that you are experiencing a stress response, then try to take long and deep rhythmic breaths until you start to feel yourself relax a bit. I promise you'll be in a better place to deal with whatever it is after you do!

Here's to Feeling Good!


PS On the way home the sun was shining, traffic was good and I was belting out whatever song was on the radio. . . I guess being 10C in February will do that to a guy!

PPS Tell me about a stressful time in your life and how you dealt with it in the comments!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Stress Train

As I write this I'm sitting on the subway on my way downtown for a massage gig I do every Wednesday. When I ride the subway I assess people's gate as they get on and off the train. (I promise I'm not a creepy lurker!) A lot of the time you can tell if someone's shoulder, hip, knee or ankle is bothering them. The way that a person walks and holds their body on the train also tells you a lot about their state of mind. Some people read, others pretend to sleep, some actually do sleep (or are better pretenders!), others are in their own little world caught up in some internal monologue about whatever is causing them stress. I know they are stressed out and it doesn't take any sort of special training to know that. Chances are they'll be agitated with an abundance of nervous energy, or their posture will be hunched over and their face will look worried. It could be any one or all of these signs that prompt me to think someone I see on the subway is stressed. The point is that when I see people like that my heart goes out to them because I know I can help them. You see, stress is a vicious cycle: you feel stress so you tense up and your posture suffers, then after the thing that caused you stress is done, you continue to hold the posture you adopted when you were stressed. Now your body says, "well this is what it felt like to be stressed so this seemingly un-stressful situation must actually be very stressful!"
And then it tenses up a little bit more. The problem is that your body can't distinguish between the cause of stress and it's symptoms. It just feels tight and sore. The good news is that when you get a massage, your body loosens up. The knots in your muscles un-tie allowing you to have better posture and your body sighs a big sigh of relief. Once you know what it feels like to be de-stressed it gets easier to return to that state after a stressful situation. You can't avoid stress completely, but you sure can develop strategies to better manage it!

Here's to Feeling Good!

Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Thursday, August 05, 2010

How to make good money online - where do you start?

If you want to make good money online where do you start? This is probably THE most asked question successful Internet marketers face. So what is the answer? Well, it depends on who you talk to! Of course, this does not help if you are looking for a quick answer on how to make good money.

Perhaps a clue lies in the work of Australian marketer Peter Downs's work for his site called, would you believe, 'make good money'. Peter has interviewed 10 top marketers from all over the world including some of the most successful online entrepreneurs on the planet. One of the questions fired at these online guru's was "what personal characteristics does it take to succeed online?"

Most agreed that to succeed online you need a strong personal motivation that means you will not give up. The biggest myth of working online is 'instant riches'. You need motivation, persistence and patience. Do you have that?

Next, what skills do you need to make good money online? Interestingly, most agreed that you actually do not need too many skills. One or two highly successful marketers confessed to being incapable of any kind of web design or SEO or keyword research. The important thing was to know what your skills are and to outsource the rest. Not try to do everything yourself. Naturally you need to know what skills are needed, to focus on those skills and to only do yourself what you are capable of doing.

ANother interesting question was "if you had to start again what would you do?" The answers were unanimous. Build a subscriber list. All top marketers have a list and in their formative years online concentrated on building their list, often through Giveaway events and adswaps. Even when their businesses became established and lists grew into 10, 20 ,50 or even 100,000 people the successful marketers still concentrated on building lists. This was regardless of the nature of their business.

So, if you want to start to make good money online then make sure you have a strong motivation, that you know what your skills are and don't try to do everything yourself and, in the early stages focus on building your subscriber base. Sounds simple!!

If you want to get transcripts from all the interviews in Make Good Money click here

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Monday, December 21, 2009

I told you so, Chair Massage, and other random news.

Ok, so I told you I wouldn't write for at least a year! Well I was right. In fact, I was so right I didn't write anything for two years!

So, it occurs to me that I really can't go through everything I've done in the last two years so i'm not going to even bother apart from to say that I kicked the chiro bucket so to speak, spent some time looking for work, sold TVs for a while, worked for RIM for a while, spent some time looking for work and then decided I'd rather make my own work!

Enter chair massage! It seemed like the perfect solution to my woes. I needed work, but I still had all the same criteria that had originally attracted me to chiropractic with no real inspiration as to how to fulfill them.

My criteria for a good job were that I wanted to:
  1. Help People
  2. Be My Own Boss
  3. Not Be Chained to a Desk All Day
Chair massage lets me do all of that because it feels great and really helps people to feel good, I own my own business which means I work when I want and only for who I want and it is a completely mobile service which means that the busier I get the less time I spend at my desk!

My company's name is Feel Good Chair Massage just in case you hadn't followed the link I posted above yet!

I graduated from the Relax to the Max massage school here in Toronto back in July and have been pursuing it full time since then. It has been paying the bills, but I am looking forward to it paying more than that as I put the the internet marketing knowledge I have gained from internet marketing guru Paul Tobey. I strongly recommend that you bare minimum sign up for his free eReport if you are involved in internet marketing in any way.

The quality and practicality of the info he teaches provides amazing value and I'm sure in future posts. . . well when I write again in 2014 I will probably still be going on about how great Paul's internet marketing course is!

So I am working on getting back to being a learn it all instead of a know it all. Assuming that you know everything is a dangerous recipe for disaster!

Well Never, I have to stop calling you babe cuz there's another one in my life now and I see her a little more often than you. I'm sorry. It's not you, it's me. You've always been there for me, but from now on we're going to have to keep this fairly platonic. . .

Until the next time I remember that you exist and that people may actually still have RSS feeds pointed your way: Ciao!

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Three in a row?? Are you sure?

Three times is a lot to handle all at once, are you sure you don't want me to wait twenty minutes or a couple of days? Who are we kidding? We both know that if I wait a couple of days we won't even talk to each other for at least a month or maybe even a year!

Ok, have it your way. .. .

So, moustaches and bad Christmas sweaters.

My last exam was on Friday (woot!) and afterward a bunch of us went to the nearest Firkin pub for some lunch. Then I went home to catch some sleep and get ready for the party. Jesse, Jay, Mike, Crystal, Easnor, and probably others I can't think of right now had gone out to Value Village earlier in the week for our wonderful ugly sweaters. During exams a bunch of people had agreed not to shave their moustaches until after the Christmas party. I was in on it, but alas I stumbled into the bathroom and realized what I was doing mid shave. I suppose I could have still kept what little stache I had left, but I'm really not so enthused about looking like Hitler. Anyway, the party was ridiculous. There was definitely a bit of stress being released. The same night students' council had organized a party called Christmas Crunk at Blurr nightclub downtown. I went to the Christmas Crunk party last year and it was a crazy good time so I wanted to go again this year. Well, the sweater party was winding down early because it had started pretty early and the neighbours had called the cops. The cops couldn't do anything though, not even a noise violation because it wasn't even 11 o'clock yet and clearly at a grad school party is probably going to be of age. Anyway, around 11 the party spilled downtown to the Christmas Crunk party. Good times were had by all, but I had leave in time to catch the last train because I had stuff to do the next day and there was no way I was gonna pay for a cab from downtown back to my place. Yeah, that's 50 bucks still in my pocket. Anyway, good times were had by all and it was a good way to say goodbye to those leaving for home for the holidays and say hello to the Christmas break all at the same time. I'll tell you about Saturday in a bit.


PS Never, do you want a cigarette?

Hey babe,

Alright, so I'm not quite sure when my blog started being female. . . whatever. I'm not talking to her right now. Getting on with my post. . . So, a year has passed. Ok fourteen months. I'm somewhat saddened. A lot has happened since last year. Some of it I'm not going to get into much detail about except that I had an opportunity to spend a few more months working than I had expected between school years this year and I've now joined the ranks of the class of 2011. I'll let you figure out what happened. I was, and always will be too stubborn to quit something once I've started it. I'm a finisher. Anyway, in other news, I moved out from the Miller's place into my own pad back in August. The rent is a bit exorbitant for the space I have but it's enough for me, it's clean, the landlords leave me alone and it isn't *that far from school. I like it but I will definitely move for next year. Living on your own is nice because you don't have to worry about roommate issues, but at the same time it kinda sucks to come home to a dark and quiet home. I may try to see about getting one of the townhouses right next to the college and filling it with a few people for next year.

For those of youtechno-geeky people out there, the next paragraph is for you. Otherwise skip it. Or not at the risk of your own boredom.

In October I finally made the complete switch to a Linux system. I have been running a dual boot with windows for the past couple of years, but mostly ended up booting into Windows because that was what I was comfortable with and that was the path of least resistance. I had tried a few different distros (Mepis, Ubuntu and Kubuntu). Mepis didn't really have enough of a user base - it took forever to get help on the forums and then it became proprietary. So I tried Ubuntu because it has a much larger user base, but it was an immediate no. I really don't like the Gnome Desktop Environment. So that led me to Kubuntu which brought me back to the K Desktop Environment that I was used to and still had the user support group of the Ubuntu distro. Well, the biggest problem with any linux distro is that it isn't really point and click enough for the average Windows user. This led me to Freespire. It's so much more intuitive than any other distro that I've used so far, ok, well, maybe intuitive isn't the right word so much as Windows-like, but then that's what you might expect from people that to the best of my knowledge used to be called lindows. Anyway, I screwed up the install and Windows won't boot properly, but it's ok. Maybe that was the kick I needed to really embrace linux as my primary os. I'll let you know how its going from time to time.

Well, welcome back you techno-illiterate folks. Lets talk about something more up your alley. Ok, no, this topic is worth it's own post. I'll give you a clue now though. I thas to do with sweaters of an ugly Christmas variety and moustaches. . . piqued your interest? Good.


This is getting a bit silly. . .

Alright Never, I know so don't even say anything. No, I said I KNOW! Don't look at me with those eyes. You knew what I was like when you agreed to this. You knew there would be long periods where I ignored you. Ok, I admit that this is a little bit ridiculous. Over a year between posts and I walk back in here expecting everything to be the same. All the loyal readers (if they ever existed!), all the adoring masses. But admit it, you're nothing without me Never. Nothing. You need me. After a period of sufficiently awkward silence I'm going to post on you like nothing happened and your going let me because deep down you know you like it. I'm leaving now Never, but I'll be back and when I do you better have on something nice. Maybe a new template or something. I'll leave it up to you. Surprise me.


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