Just Don’t Forget To Subscribe To Comments Or You Might Miss A Golden Opportunity

Today’s post isn’t your typical run of the mill I’m going to teach you something type post. Today I want to let you in on a little known secret of large businesses.

Oh yes, this is a closely held secret that they never let anyone know. Ok, are you ready for it? Because I’m only going to do this one post about it, and once this post is closed it’ll be gone forever …

Ok, not really. But you read? Good:

The secret is:

Talk to people! Get to know them and most importantly: Follow up!

I was thinking of making that bigger just to emphasize the importance, but there isn’t enough computer screen space in the world for that. So the <h2> tag will have to do.

Gather ’round ya’ll and listen to my stories at this here campfire.

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Automatically Tweet When You Make A WordPress Blog Post

Tweet Whenever WordPress Blog Post Title There are so many social media ‘things’ we have to manage these days that it can be rather tiresome and painful JUST to get one message out to everyone. Well, when you make a blog post now you won’t have to suffer as much because there is a easy way to have your blog automatically make a Twitter post for you automatically!

This great plugin is called “Twitter Tools”. This is a constantly maintained WordPress plugin which will do just that: make a tweet for you whenever you make a new post.

Not a big deal right, why would you want something like that? Twitter’ing isn’t hard! Yeah but think of it this way: if you schedule a lot of posts are you REALLY going to remember to go and manually make a tweet about every schedules post? Probably not. It’s also great for scheduling posts and tweets when you’re out on vacation so that people don’t forget about you! :)

In the post you’ll also find small quick tip on how to add personalized tracking to Twitter Tools (which isn’t available by default). You’ll find it at the bottom of the post.

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Best WordPress Video Plugin

There are plenty of video plugins for WordPress. A few of which aren’t even really needed, though there is one that stands out from all the rest: Viper’s Video Quicktags. Why? Because it’s one behemoth of a plugin. It supports a gargantuan amount of services and several proprietary formats which makes it the most ‘complete’ video plugin ever.

Best of all, for each service and feature you enable it has a settings tab so you can set up specific modes and settings just for that service! Neat. It supports all these services and features: FLV videos, Youtube, Google Video, Daily Motion, Vimeo, Veoh, Viddler, Metacafe, Blip.tv, Flickr video, IFilm/Spike, Myspace TV and even Quicktime and ‘general’ video files. That’s amazingly a lot!

Let’s get down into it. How to install Viper’s Video Quicktags, how to configure it and how to use it.

Before that though, here is a preview of how the plugin can fits a video nicely into my blog:


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“Simple Tags can’t work with this WordPress version!” Solved For WP 2.9

Less than a month ago WordPress version 2.9 rolled out. It came with some fancy new features and a few bug fixes. Though it also broke a few things. One of the best plugins for WP around is called “Simple Tags”.

Simple Tags helps you put tags on your posts or pages with more ease. It has auto-complete and tag searching. Meaning that it can find tags for you via Yahoo or ‘the web’ or even search through your own tags. Very neat plugin and a must have for the serious blogger.

The problem is that Simple Tags is not made to work with WordPress 2.9 … yet. So, we have to work around it. and it’s a very simple work around.

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FTC Makes Final Ruling Against Blogs And Testimonials

What happens when you mix technology, goverment and idiots? You get a ruling like the FTC recently finalized. The ruling (which you can view at the FTC’s site here) is a major blow to us bloggers and marketers. Why? Because it walks a very dangerous line bordering on the limits of Net Neutrality, Fair Business, down right stupidity.

Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a ruling such as this. I believe we do, though I believe the way it is currently written there are major implications which are harmful to the industry and serve no purpose except to pencil please some big wigs. Why do I say that?

The ruling, in its current state, leaves plenty open to interpretation while barely hitting at the root of the problem. Let me give you an example:

Advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect.

This seems ok on the surface … just like Communism looked good on paper. The need to advertise truth instead of half-truths and lies is self evident, though isn’t there a law like that already? On TV, when we see a infomercial about a “brand new fat burning formula” it is always followed by testimonials and examples during which (or directly afterwards) state that such results are not typical. I pretty much think that most people will understand that seeing a muscle builder on a ‘fat burning’ pill commercial is only part of the advertisement. They are there to look pretty. Especially when they say things like “results not typical” or “This is a paid model”. For those people who do not understand that, well … tough cookies for you for being an idiot if you do not understand that “results not typical” means that the results are not typical! Not rocket science.

This new ruling aims to squash such advertising on blogs and the like. I do not see anything wrong with using models or your best results to show off your work. Imagine if Picasso, Dali or even Leonardo Davinci instead of showing off only their best works they showed ‘typical results’. Work that they tried but didn’t like, work that just wasn’t right or rejected, work that they did when young and was absolutely horrid?! Imagine that!

Expert on this sort of stuff and marketter like us, Frank Kern had this to say about the subject on his blog Mass Control:

Up until these guidelines came out, you could be really safe by simply putting the standard “results not typical” disclaimer on your site. You’ve seen it 100 times, right?

It goes something like this: “Results not typical. Your results may vary.”

No big deal …up until now.

Here’s the key phrase form the “official” paragraph above:

    required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect.

What this means is that if you have a testimonial where someone gets an amazing result using your product, you’ve got to follow it up by saying something like this:

Results not typical. The average user uses this DVD as a coaster for their Big Gulp and never loses any weight at all.

And frankly, even doing that might be dangerous if you say “the average user uses this DVD as a coaster” because the FTC could theoretically argue that …well, you’re implying that therefore all anyone has to do is NOT use the DVD as a coaster and they’ll lose 950 pounds.

See? Easy to screw that one up.

Here’s more from my man Gary [Gary is Frank Kern’s lawyer]: “The FTC also said that it believes that it is “likely” that testimonials that present the specific experiences of a product user (e.g., the number of pounds or inches lost) will be viewed as claiming that those experiences are typical of what consumers will generally experience.”

Mmm hmm. Trouble with a capitol “T” right there, buddy.

Here’s the sentence that get’s you: viewed as claiming that those experiences are typical of what consumers will generally experience

In my opinion, this means that if you say Pasty lost 950 pounds, the FTC will view this as you saying the TYPICAL USER will lose 950 pounds.

And if you don’t have documented proof out the wazoo showing that the typical user loses 950 pounds, you’re hosed.

Frank does a very good job of describing (part) of the problem on this blog article. Worth a read. Sylvie Fortin said this about the subject:

how in the world can our buyers know what a “typical
result” would be, assuming that the endorsement or testimonial is real
and valid and based on an actual person. In other words, let’s say we
have a success story that one of our fans wants to share with the world.
They bought our product and had an amazing experience using it. They
blog about it and they truly believe that their personal experience is
representative of what any other student would experience. But they have
no way of knowing what other people experience under similar
circumstances, so how can they be expected to know what a “typical
result” would be for someone else?

And are we, as vendors, responsible for tracking down all endorsements
on our affiliate’s sites and rewriting them to be more compliant with
the FTC rules?

A very good point. How can we know what do to and what not to do? Of course, we will have to err on the side of caution, though with just generic descriptions who knows what is right and wrong!

Hopefully this will develope well in the future with more concrete definitions to help us along