Category Archives: miscellaneous

Astaxanthin Reviews

Purity Products’ AstaFX Astaxanthin Super Formula has been getting a lot of great reviews. Don’t take my word for it, check them out for yourself by going to their website.

Astaxanthin is growing in popularity for its strong antioxidant properties. Their product contains 4mg of astaxanthin.

Caffeine

I’m into day 3 of my cold turkey caffeine stoppage. It’s rough, but could be worse. I’ve done this before. Usually I’m ok after 2 full days. I guess the volume I was drinking prior to the stoppage is prolonging my withdrawal. I don’t have a headache per se. It’s a weird feeling. Not necessarily sleepy tired, but very worn out feeling. I can’t wait to get over this.

What I’ve Been Working On, What I’ve Been Doing and Learning

Besides my very first post, I haven’t blogged much about work. So here goes.

I have a passion for online marketing. I kind of fell into it back when I worked at The Foundation Center. They needed someone to manage a lot of the nuts and bolts of the online marketing program, which was ramping up in parallel with a new e-commerce enabled website. Prior to that I worked on coordinating the direct mail program, which I liked, but I saw the new opportunity and jumped on it. I’m glad I did! The online marketing program was built, with my help, from scratch. I mean scratch. Imagine that… I became addicted to the immediate results you can see when marketing online. Although we didn’t have the best analytics and tracking (or any at all), it was obvious where sales were coming from following an e-mail or newsletter ad.

I plan on writing more about my online marketing travels in future posts. I just wanted a quick intro to frame this post because most of my time since, has been on retention marketing (upselling, e-mail marketing, merchandising, etc). And of course analytics.

I got 8 years into my career and realized I by and large was working on half of the internet marketing puzzle. I needed acquisition experience!

That’s what made my current position so appealing. I was able to leverage my experience in retention and apply it solely on acquisition. I’m now responsible for SEO, SEM, and other initiatives like partnerships, social media, content creation, etc. It’s a challenge, but I love it.

On the social media front, I’ve launched a blog, Twitter account, and Facebook page. And even some other pages like YouTube and LinkedIn. There is still a lot of work to be done to maximize those!

As I go, I hone my craft so to speak. The biggest area, analytics. I’m currently reading Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik. While reading, there were some ah-ha moments, but far more reassuring moments. I like to have my suspicions, thoughts, and theories backed by “experts.” The biggest takeaway so far is to focus on the analytics that matter most and what’s most actionable. Looking at too much data can be more of a distraction. It’s helped me so far. And it’s helped my company too.

We recently launched some new features on the site, and careful attention needed to be put on the effects. Careful planning was done before (to make sure we knew what we had to measure) and after (to make sure what we were seeing is valid). It’s always nerve wracking to launch big new projects, but it’s reassuring to know you have all the bases covered to measure and take action if something isn’t giving you the desired results.

One area that I’m focusing a lot of attention on is funnel metrics. In e-commerce, there are a lot of steps customers go through before they ultimately order. If you can improve each step, even a little, the results follow. A lot can be improved with improving usability. Sometimes there are technical and resource limitations, or other priorities, that stand in the way. I’ve been given the green light to test some alternate pages hosted separately from our main site. This gives me the control to make changes quickly and easily. The goal is to target the first part of the funnel with laser like precision. Meaning a customer is looking for something, show it to them right away instead of requiring them to navigate through an entire site.

So far the traffic those sites have received are converting pretty well. They are highly targeted, so it’s no surprise. Whether or not the orders are incremental remains to be seen. Either way, the learning is valuable.

Wow, that was a really long winded answer to what I’ve been working on. I promise to post shorter posts on specific content areas soon. I finally feel I’ve touched on all areas on online marketing, so I can hopefully share some of my experience in each area. Hmmm, maybe I’ll map out an outline later today…

Haven’t been sick in over a year and a half. Knocking on wood.

Can’t help but notice Facebook friends’ statuses filled with illnesses. It got me thinking back. I haven’t been sick or even had a cold in about a year and a half.

I’m sure not commuting by train anymore helps. I used to think of the train as a giant germ infested petri dish. I don’t get myself run down with stress. I get an ok amount of sleep. I eat so so, I guess. I take my super duper vitamins from my company. Maybe a little luck too? Maybe my immune system is like a force field. I AM knocking on wood big time.

Just my random Tuesday observation…

How to x in y many simple steps

I can’t tell how much it bothers me to see so many advice blogs (personal, business, how to, etc) give a list of “simple” steps to accomplish something—when the list is a list of lists of lists.

How to solve widget problem in 2 steps:

Step 1:
Do the following 10 things:
Thing 1: Do these 3 other things:
Other thing 1: Simply do these 5 other other things.

You get the point. It drives me crazy. And why I almost always avoid lists in my feed reader. I’m a prejudiced antilistite.

Same goes for 10 best sites for x. Then the 10 sites are lists of other sites. Repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse.

March Fools Day

Huh? Well it seems bloggers can't wait a day and post their "fools" tomorrow. How lame. Note: if you had to do it a day early to fool anyone, your trick was stupid. I might not open my feed reader tomorrow. Twitter will probably be a stupid trick sesspool tomorrow too.

My Dilemma – Jack of All Trades, Master of None

Professionally it suites me well, and may not be true. I am a specialist in internet marketing. And I’m happy that I have a diverse background in it (retention, acquisition, B2B, B2C, e-mail, merchandising, testing, social media, PPC, SEO, SEM)—ok let me stop bragging.

My dilemma is personally when it comes to hobbies, interests, and the like. It can get frustrating. It has nothing to with my ability to become a master at anything (cough, cough), but rather my interest wanes before committing to anything fully. It’s not ADD, I don’t think as I am able to concentrate on a given task at a time and complete it.

But it goes like this:

  • I am interested in cars, but not enough to really get under the hood.
  • I am interested in carpentry, but not enough to get good at it or make anything nice.
  • I am interested in computers, but not enough to build my own computer.
  • I am interested in a million other things, but not enough to [fill in the blank].

It’s not isolated on doing things either.

  • I like the Simpsons, but not enough to recite lines from episodes.
  • I like Blink182 (and other a million other bands), but I can’t name you one song. And I’ll never go to a concert. And I don’t know the lyrics. All I know is when I hear them, I think to myself, “this sounds good.”
  • I like baseball, but I can’t rattle off stats like an almanac.
  • I like video games, but I think I finished one or two, probably with help from cheat codes. Actually I do think I was awesome at the original EA NHL Hockey on Sega Genesis. But that was a long time ago. I miss the days of 3 buttons.

I can go on and on and on. It’s kind of like I have such diverse interests that there isn’t enough time in the world to devote to them all. And if I do devote a lot of time to one, that means I take away from others. It’s like my brainpower is wrapped around a million little things instead of a few big ones.

This all sounds fine probably, but I kind of feel like I’m missing an identity. Whenever I bring up an interest in a conversation, there is always someone who’s uber-indulged in it—whom which I can’t carry on a meaningful conversation about that subject.

Person:  “Oh you like the Simpsons. Hey remember that Simpon’s episode, when…”

Me: “No.”
Person (to self): “This Matt guy isn’t a real Simpson’s fan.”

Maybe I shouldn’t use the word dilemma. This doesn’t really case any emotional strife. But I do think about it from time to time.

Also, sometimes I’m not without the focus to devote to something, rather I’m put off by the fanatics. Take for example biking. I love to ride my bike. But I’m NOT going to deck myself out in a spandex uniform or get pedal cleats and the whole nine yards. Can’t a guy just hop on his bike and casually ride? I sure can, yes, but all bike events (like Bike NY which I did a few times) are ridden with weekend warrior types who turn me off. Speaking of Bike NY, I have a funny story about being in the front of the pack along with the Saturn race team (on my 15 year old hybrid bike, wearing a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and sneakers). I’ll write up another post about that soon.