Baby Camel. Not quite what I was expecting.

rspca

So anyone who knows me knows I hate email.. I even had an email from someone who spammed this blog recently who (and I’m not making this up) complained that having had second thoughts, he couldn’t delete his spam comment.

I probably should publish those emails at some stage, but some dopey prick promoting Sri Lankan dating isn’t all that interesting in the big picture of things.

What is interesting is when a company using the RSPCA name asks you to remove a link to help their SEO ranking with Google.

I’ll note in advance: it’s not the RSPCA direct, but the company they use (and use their name, so guilt by association) to sell insurance.

Here’s the fun first email, cut and pasted into pure text…because you know Google loves that shit, particularly when they’re looking for folks who are trying to game their Google ranking 😉

RSPCA WebMaster rspcawebmaster@hollard.com.au
4 Feb (8 days ago)

Hi,

We have recently received a notification from Google stating that our website has unnatural links pointing towards it. This has negatively impacted our search engine rankings and as a result, we are trying to tidy things up. Our website url is www.rspcapetinsurance.org.au, which is part of the Hollard Australia Group.

We have found links pointing to our website from the following pages:

http://www.4aus.com/6330/free-pet-insurance-information-pack/

We appreciate this is inconvenient and isn’t a reflection on your website at all, but if you are able to remove the links, we would really appreciate it and would be very grateful.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Hollard Financial Services
P: 02 9253 6600
F: 02 9253 6699
58 Norwest Blvd?Bella Vista NSW 2153 Australia
www.hollard.com.au
www.rspcapetinsurance.org.au
Team Spirited | Results Driven | Customer Focused

 

Damn, an insurance company representing the RSPCA (be it that they are a kill shelter, another post, another day) is wanting me to help them game Google by removing an actual link to an actual offer they have up… because they reckon falsely that it’s bad for their Google ranking. Well fuck me 🙂

But wait…here’s today’s email (12/2)

Hi,

We would like to follow up on the link removal request we sent you last week.

We appreciate your time is important and so apologise for any inconvenience.

If you could please take a moment to remove the links as requested in the email below we would be extremely grateful.

If you have already removed the links and emailed us about it, then we thank you for your cooperation and please ignore this email.

If you have any questions please just reply to this email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Otherwise we look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Hollard Financial Services
P: 02 9253 6600
F: 02 9253 6699
58 Norwest Blvd?Bella Vista NSW 2153 Australia
www.hollard.com.au
www.rspcapetinsurance.org.au
Team Spirited | Results Driven | Customer Focused?

Dear RSPCA, do you as an organisation support Google manipulation and fraud?

Decent question given your associated company is running around trying to game their Google results using your name.

Food for thought 🙂

Thailand is often referred to as the “Land of Smiles” but surprisingly many people have a pre-conceived notion of the country, particularly if they haven’t been there.

Here’s 3 common myths about Thailand which are completely BS.

1. Thailand is all about sex tourism


This comes to mind in terms of the myth
One of the most common myths is that people only go to Thailand for sex tourism. Sure, there are areas in Bangkok for example that are “red light” so to speak, but the reality is that Thailand as a whole is conservative.

The big difference with Thailand vs many other places is where the sex industry exists, it’s often (but not always) more out in the open in selected areas vs hidden as is the case in most Western countries.

I’ve read (honestly) that Pattaya, and small parts of Bangkok (Patpong etc..) have all of this “entertainment,” and from the pics I’ve seen (research I promise 😉 ) they do. But while other places in Thailand may have small red light districts, it’s all small in perspective…as Bangkok is: BKK is a town of 12 million people, the red light stuff is <0.1%.

The most I’ve seen is Khao San Road (KSR,) the famed back packer street (also in a Cold Chisel song) and I’ve got to tell you that it’s very not happening…hell, Kings Cross in Sydney was 10x more in your face.

In Chiang Mai the only reason I knew it existed is that I was going to the Night Bizarre one night and stopped at an average looking bar for a beer, and this “lady” asked me if I wanted anything more. All I wanted to do was drink my beer 🙂

2: You don’t know if a “woman is a woman” in Thailand, might be a “ladyboy”

kathoey
I wouldn’t think twice.

First time I went to Thailand I just thought I’d see ladyboys (Katheoy) everywhere. I’ve seen less than fingers I have on one hand, and even then I’m guessing because it was always a maybe, such as a receptionist at a guest house I stayed at, a very very tall woman I saw in the Sunday walking street in Chiang Mai.

Note that I mean no offence to transgendered people in using the term, it’s a post about what people think about.

There are, by all reports, a some what significant number of Kathoey in Thailand, but if you visit you’re not about to end up in bed with a Kathoey “accidentally.”

The best thing about Thailand is (perhaps because of the Buddhist side) that people just accept people for who they are, and Kathoey are just part of the general population, often without any issues, or (this is the important part) identification.

3. Every one is out to scam you

tuktuk
OK, so I can’t get the locals rate, but you can negotiate them down
I’ve read some forums where people have been scammed in Thailand, and it does happen everywhere…god, start at 90% of the hotels in Australia for starters.

The reality is that most Thai people are seriously honest… as in they use a calculator to add up your bill at a restaurant to make sure you’re charged the right amount…vs say somewhere like Indonesia where you can’t even walk into a local version of a 7-Eleven without them trying to rip you off (I spent 3 weeks in Bali..never again.)

Thai’s have got to be the most honest people I’ve ever met, 99% of the time. Yes, watch out for the tuk tuk scams and a small number of others (try to get a Bangkok cab to use the meter is impossible, despite the fact it’s a legal requirement posted in print on the OUTSIDE of the cab) but really, as South East Asian countries go, Thailand is great in terms of honesty, and you’re just as likely to be ripped off in Australia.

 

 

dec

Merry Christmas Dec.

Never forget that your Dad loves you, and there’s not one day at all that I don’t think about you and wish that I could see you, spend time with you, or even talk on the phone with you.

I hope you had a great Christmas.

Never forget that when your told your Dad doesn’t want to see you, or won’t ring you on Christmas Day, that it’s your mother who doesn’t allow this.

You see, to see you on an ongoing basis I have to do a course that involves basic cooking skills; you’re told that the “court” dictated this but the court simply stamped what your mother wanted.

And the mere fact I cant even talk to you this Christmas is because your mother stripped phone calls out of her court order…and she’ll tell you that she will allow you, but the last email I received from her she stated that if I ever tried to contact her and you again she’d take me to court…and get me into trouble with the police so to speak if I ever tried to find a way to contact you via phone again.

Hopefully one day Declan you will remember that I wasn’t evil, and work out for yourself that while your father would love nothing more than even to talk to you on the phone today, tomorrow, or anytime in the future, I’m not the one preventing this. I’m also not the one preventing me seeing you.

There are 2424 days from today until I can legally contact you. I can only hope as you get older that you might like to contact me, as there’s nothing in your mothers orders that prevents you doing so.

Love you always Dec.

Dad.

reset

Before I start, let me say that the following comes with a warning: I’m not a lifestyle guru, nor am I a life coach, any sort of guru, or any of the god knows how many sites who are promising you the world based on an idea.

But here’s the catch: I have an idea.

The following should be taken with not a grain of salt, but with about a dozen bags of it, because like way to many people blogging theses days, I’m not an expert just because I have an idea that may or not be good.

That aside.

In the new year I’m hitting the reset button on my life.

I’ve had some amazing experiences, successes, but I’ve also had some fucking tragic awful failures, be it mostly in my personal life.

Yay, I can build a website up. Nooo I fail at relationships, although I can survive them from anywhere to 3 months through to 9 years (with most <2 years.)

A friend (and I wish I could remember who) once said to me that you will only be ready for a relationship when you are comfortable with living by yourself.

After nearly 10 years of marriage the whole concept sounded wrong. The thought that I could live alone was wrong, and after the separation then divorce all I did was try to fill my life with someone else.

I’m not suggesting that anyone reading this can’t, or shouldn’t have someone in their life, but it’s an interesting point: “you are only ready for a relationship when you can live with yourself” (I know that’s not what I wrote above, but in each instance, it’s words to that affect.)

I can live with myself now. Actually, at this point in my life, I’m quite happy doing so. It only took 38 years 🙂

I’m currently planning to move back to Chiang Mai, where I spent roughly 4 out of the last 6 months in. I love the place, but I’m not using this post to explain why, I’ll save that for another post.

The moral/ idea of this post/ story is that you can be happy alone (with salt 🙂 ) I know it’s hard and hell it took me years to accept it but as I write this I know that I’m going to be far more happy alone than I will be in a relationship (and that’s putting aside the BS I’ve dealt with.)

I only wish I could remember who told me about being happy alone so I could credit them.

I’ve been there, done that, and if you are going through any relationship issues, or alone issues, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you can be happy alone.

I’m not going to open up a call centre here but if you want to talk about your probs, or ping my brain: duncan at nichenet.com.au Happy to talk.

But again, as per the heading: the reset button is coming. I hope to get back in Chiang Mai ASAP and come January 1st I’m pressing that button.

(insert guru stuff here) YOU CAN DO THAT 😀

OK so I’m taking the piss now but seriously, I am, and if anyone reading this has had any doubts, you can as well.

 

I need to be more selfish

October 25, 2013 — 3 Comments

selfish-1

 

One of the biggest failings in my life, personally, in business and even in a gig, is that I’ve been way to trusting.

The reality is that over and over again I get screwed for being so trusting.

I should theoretically be in Melbourne as I write this; I’m not. I’m in Chiang Mai.

I’d paid to go home to Melbourne but got bailed on at the 11th hour. So be it.

But I can say it’s not the first time I’ve been deceived either. Sort of the story of my life.

I’d booked to see a Stephen Fry and Kevin Smith maybe 3-4 years ago..and go bailed on in the end…I still went though 🙂

There’s more behind that, but I won’t carry on.

But I will say this: never trust a woman when it comes to promises, even if you are married.

 

 

XXXVIII

September 4, 2013 — 1 Comment

2013-09-02 21.03.17

“… and the sea will grant each man new hope, as sleep brings dreams of home.”

XXXVIII

and greetings from Kuala Lumpur.

I went through some old posts and stories about me tonight and I read this quote I wrote back in 2008.
What more can I say that I was deeply wrong:

…Life’s to short to ignore your family. Arrington is significantly older than me and has never been married; if the cost of being successful is being alone then I’d rather be unsuccessful and with my wife and son, and I’m sorry if that makes me soft in the eyes of some people. The best thing about The Inquisitr is being free to set my own timetable and taking a day off if and when I want to (and I hired a weekend writer to allow me to do just that). Sure, I still work long hours and spend far too much time in front of a computer (or iPhone) and the work/ family balance isn’t perfect, but its a damn lot better than it use to be.

Guess what, it didn’t work.

End of the day if your partner falls in love with the husband of the woman she wants to donate her eggs to under IVF at Epworth in Melbourne, there is literally nothing you can do.

End of story.

 

djr11

It’s my son’s 11th Birthday today.

Thanks to his mothers lies I haven’t seen him in over 12 months. I’m not allowed to call him, send him a present, or even know what the hell is going on in his life.

It’s wonderful how winning the entire house after a divorce settlement sets you up for lawyers, to the point that I’ve spent virtually every cent I’ve had on lawyers in the last 2 years and still lost.

None the less I’m happy to note that today marks that there is 7 more years to go until I can see Declan again.

My note to Declan:

Dear Declan

Happy Birthday and I hope you had a great day.

I would love to have talked to you today, and even sent you a present, but your mother doesn’t allow it via court order.

Know always that I love you always with all my heart: never forget that it was I who took you to school every day and picked you up before your mother ran off, never forget that it was I who cooked your meals every day when I could still see you, vs the nanny who does it for you now. Remember that it was I who bought your clothes, and the great time we had shopping together at places like DJ’s buying Zanerobe.

I know this is very hard on you, and it is beyond unfair that your mother won’t let me see you fairly, but look up: today marks the 7 year mark until I can see you again.

I know it seems a long time but you’re 11 now…that to me is remarkable in itself.

Be well always Declan and know always that your dad loves you and misses you every single day of his life.

Love
Dad.
xo

And here’s the counter. I might make this a desktop app as well so I can count the time.

problogger

I honestly didn’t wake up a week ago and decide to take shots at my former business partner Darren Rowse: we can/ do disagree on a range of things (in a good way..indeed I valued him as a business partner way back then, working through different ideas is the BEST way to get the BEST out of your business ) but I have to take umbrage with another of his posts.

No offense (I know that’s cliched) but honestly Darren, none meant.

This post: How Much Content Should I Have Ready to Go When I Launch a Blog? and it’s recommendations are…well, let’s just say I disagree 😉

To tl;dr his post, Darren recommends that you have 3-5 posts published, 5-10 posts ready to publish and 20+ blog post ideas “brainstormed.”

Sorry, but seriously this is balls.

Here’s my comment on the post (with one typo fixed) and explanation to follow:

Sorry Darren to disagree again but 3-5 doesn’t go close.

But that given, depends on your launch strategy.

If you simply launch with no publicity, no contacting people, PR etc yeah 3-5 is all very well and good.

But lets pretend that you can actually get decent attention with your launch…I know you certainly could. People come in (in a spike, be it small/M/L) to check out your new site.

Do you really want to present them 3-5 posts or 20 or even 100 posts that highlight the full range of topics/ subtopics you want to cover?

The key with ANY good launch is like catching a fish: once you get them interested you want to hook them into reading the site. 3-5 posts doesn’t even come close. At a standard, depending on the site I’d say 10 but more 20+ posts, and depending on the topic possibly more.

Of note is that Gawker sites use to launch (out of private, ie non-Googlable) with often 100+ posts, that’s because when people come looking they want to cater for them with a variety of options.

You see a “launch” done right should ALWAYS involve more posts, end of story.

My analogy in that comment I will repeat again: it’s like catching a fish, once you get the fish (in this case your readers) interested you want to permanently hook them, and you need a variety of bait to do so.

Unless your blog is about Llama farming in far eastern Peru, or a similar extraordinarily niche topic, your bait (your content) has to be more than 3-5 posts when you launch, end of story.

A proper launch (and I note this in the comment above) should include publicity. That might be something as simple as emailing everyone you know, but it may include press releases, ad campaigns, and a full blown PR campaign.

If you do it properly it should result in some sort of surge of new readers (might be 100, might be 10,000… I’ve experienced both.) The key here is to turn those one off “I’ve read you’ve launched a site and am checking it out” readers into long term readers.

20 is a figure I’ve used, but even anything up to 100 helps. The key to ANY good launch is to get the new traffic to come back, and 3-5 posts isn’t a lot to offer. 20+ posts, particularly if your topic isn’t uber niche is the way to go: the theory is to offer content (bait) to as many people coming to your site as possible, and you can’t do that in 3-5 posts. 20+ posts you can.

Give your launch customers bait, give them a full range of content you intend to offer at launch that you expect to deliver full term. Given as many people as you can a reason to read your blog on a regular basis.

I mentioned in the comment at Problogger the way Gawker use to launch their sites: I don’t think an individual blogger should go that far, but likewise Nick Denton knows his stuff, and that’s why he launches blogs the way he does. You don’t have to believe me, but you can look at one of the best and see how the serious pros do it.