Archive for June, 2007

No iPhone for me, AT&T store ran out of 8GB models

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Yup. I am just a little bummed. I was 55th in line (got there around 5:30pm) at the local AT&T store in Exton, PA and by the time the part of the line I was in got to the front, they had already run out of 8GB iPhones and a bunch of people either left or placed a direct order with AT&T for the 8GB phone.

The only reason why I stayed in line was because I figured I would order from them and then I’d at least have a point of contact if I had problems porting my cell phone number over. I even told the nice young guy who was helping me out that I would most definitely hunt him down if I had a problem.

So, yeah, it was very obvious that local AT&T stores had nothing like the rumored 300 or so iPhones per store. I guess that Apple was being bearish on the units they would need for this launch.

As for the experience, it was very similar to going to an Apple Store Grand Opening. People clapped when the first customers walked out with their phones and the salespeople were overly nice. I can say that I did appreciate Brian, the store manager, coming out and giving the line updates. He did a great job considering the circumstances. The hostesses at the Applebees next door came around the line around 6:30 or so asking if anyone wanted reservations or to order something to go. Passersby were generally nice, although a few were like “All this for a phone?” Oh and yes, there was a security guard placed at this store just for this event. It was a bit of overkill for a suburban strip mall.

inlineforiphone

[tags] Apple, iPhone, iPhone line, iPhone SOLD OUT, AT&T, there were definitely not enough iPhones, I am bummed [/tags]

Good Friday iPhone post #1

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Ok, so it is Friday, the Friday, where we can finally get our hands on the iPhone…. or some of us can, at least…

The most amusing commentary (with terrible religious overtones) I’ve heard so far was someone calling it “Good” Friday since the Jesus phone is coming.

As for me, I will be at the local Cingular/AT&T store at 6pm since I need my number ported from some other wireless carrier which shall not be named. That wireless carrier has quite lamely announced they will be open all day today. The phone that this carrier is trying to tout as an iPhone competitor? The LGV9400. Oooh, checkmate.

Also, getting iPhone should actually save me money since I should be able to get cleverhack email on it, while to do that on my current carrier, I would have to pay $15.00/mo or so for that email synching feature.

[tags]iPhone, Apple, AT&T, anticipation, I need my number ported, I am gonna be restless all day [/tags]

chinashch referrer

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Has anyone else seen this? This referrer is kind of strange in that the IP address belongs to AOL, but if you browse directly to the base IP address, you get what looks to be some sort of portal page for a Chinese TV network and the /advice.php page doesn’t work at all.

The whois for chinashch.com doesn’t show any relationship with AOL as far as I can tell.

Host: 205.188.242.10

/2006/06/14/siphoning-traffic-from-serps-to-track-for-what/
Http Code: 200 Date: Jun 27 18:32:21 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 11800
Referer: http://www.chinashch.com/advice.php
Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.2; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)

/wp-content/themes/default/style.css
Http Code: 200 Date: Jun 27 18:32:22 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 9738
Referer: http://205.188.242.10:82/prc0/0/394/igtime77542.2920002369

Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.2; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)

[tags]referrers, AOL, Chinese language Web portals [/tags]

Fooky This

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Fooky is a new search engine that is trying to poise itself within the search engine market with guns blazing. I have to give them props though, instead of just being yet another indexing service, they are trying to force a little change in Web Marketing, including offering a PDF on what they consider Web Marketing basics and dissing those SEOs who promise top Search Engine Results Page rankings.

Aside from their idea for a Command Phrase, by basically allowing a Web site owner to “own” particular keyword phrases on Fooky.com, the search engine is also only allowing site submissions that fit their criteria. As far as I can tell, this means Web sites that are meta tagged with Title, Keyword and Description tags. While properly formatted Title tags and Description tags are a must these days, Keyword tags are basically a nice to have (and could cause problems on other more popular search engines if you get aggressive about deploying keywords).

I think competition in the Search Engine market is a good thing. While I don’t necessarily agree with some of the more outlandish SEOs, I’m not sure if Fooky has the total answer either, especially with requiring meta tagging. Perhaps the idea behind that is to slow down the submission of spammy sites, who knows?

Good SEO is presenting information to the Search Engines and getting visitors because of that. Great Web marketing is the art of having those visitors to convert to your desired action.

Also, Fooky can’t find the cleverhack description tag, so I do believe they still have some work to do with their indexing.

Host: 68.217.9.240
Http Code: 200 Date: Jun 23 08:18:51 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 65921
Referer: -
Agent: Fooky.com/ScorpionBot/ScoutOut; http://www.fooky.com/scorpionbots

[tags] fooky.com, search engines, search engine results pages, Web marketing, Online marketing, another search engine, meta tags [/tags]

Someone touched an iPhone?

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

or at least someone, a non-Apple, non AT&T civilian has written a post on how he got to use an iPhone for a few minutes.

One…More…Week!

Update: Link to the Guided iPhone tour that was in today’s Apple email. And as a marketer, I will keep the clickthrough tracking that Apple oh so helpfully appended to the URL.

[tags]Apple, iPhone, fangirlism[/tags]

quick and dirty network tools

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Ever since DNSStuff went to a membership/paid model, I’ve been looking for a replacement of the quick and dirty network tools they offer. (And yes, I do know that I can already do some of what DNSStuff does via the command line. I just like having these things available in a browser tab for some reason.)

In that vein, I like Network-Tools.com.

Has anyone else found any other Web based network tools replacements?

[tags]Network Tools, Ping, Whois, Traceroute, Blacklist lookup [/tags]

Buh-Bye Microsoft Office 2003

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

By chance today, I happened to catch this MSDN blog article announcing the official End of Life of Microsoft Office 2003. Yup. What it means is that Office 2003 will not be sold by Microsoft after June 30, 2007.

So if you’re part of an organization which has standardized on 2003 and weren’t planning to upgrade any time soon, think again. You apparently can purchase Office 2007 Volume Licenses with “downgrade rights” and use Office 2003 instead. Here’s a link to a Microsoft Live search on downgrade rights.

I dunno about you, but the blog posting seems a little crotchety, don’t you think?

[tags]Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office 2007, there is no real reason to upgrade to 2007 except to act as a income generator for Microsoft[/tags]

Philadelphia Wi-Fi Update

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

In an article on Philly.com today, there was an update on the Philadelphia municipal Wi-Fi project that is being built and soon to be deployed fully, starting in July 07. The system will provide outdoor and indoor access, and while you need to have a wireless capable computer, for guaranteed indoor service an EarthLink supplied Wi-Fi modem is needed. EarthLink, the ISP building the system, expects 5,000 subscribers in July and 12,000 subscribers by years end. I’d say that is an aggressive subscriber timetable.

Being curious, I nosed around the EarthLink FAQ for the municipal Wi-Fi service and found a few interesting tidbits.

1) To use Wi-Fi indoors, you are strongly recommended to purchase the EarthLink Wi-Fi product (i.e. the monthly fee plan which includes a Wi-Fi modem) to ensure you have a signal in your home. However, if you live on the upper floors of a high rise, you may be out of luck since the Wi-Fi signal may not reach there.

2) The Wi-Fi service is intended for use by one computer at a time. So, say you’re a multi-computer household, by the way this FAQ reads, you’re out of luck. In fact the EarthLink FAQ doesn’t address such a situation, only to say that if they catch you, “you will be charged $1 for every hour (or part of an hour) that more than one person is connected via your account. This service charge is capped at $21.95 per month.” Nice. Although later in the FAQ, EarthLink provides instructions on working with a home network, so as long as you have a router behind that Wi-Fi modem, you should be ok.

In another piece, two Inquirer reporters tried the outdoor available wireless in the current 15 square mile testing area. According to the article, sometimes the Wi-Fi worked and sometimes it didn’t. And honestly, I have yet to see a Wi-Fi system that reaches 100% saturation everywhere.

Outdoor Wi-Fi access in Philly can be purchased through Earthlink’s Feather product - with access available from 1 hour, 1 day and 3 day increments.

[tags] Philadelphia, Philadelphia wireless, Philadelphia Wi-Fi, EarthLink [/tags]

fofRedux

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

From the sourceforge page, FeedOnFeeds-Redux (FoFRedux) is a continuation of the popular, but stagnated FeedOnFeeds project. FoFRedux provides a simple, yet effective browser-based news aggregator.

Agent: fofRedux/0.3.x (+http://fofredux.sourceforge.net/)

Also, I know who you are… Hi Harald!

[tags]RSS, RSS Reader, RSS aggregator [/tags]

E-Commerce Update 6/17/07

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

Two stories from the E-commerce world that I thought were interesting.

The first story from today’s NY Times alarmingly discusses the fact that E-commerce growth has slowed greatly in the past year. E-commerce as a whole will only be about 5% of total retail sales and is expected to grow to about 7%. This trend does not surprise me at all.

In the past, E-commerce grew because we had all of these players entering the field, trying out some new paradigm changing business model and watching what would stick. We saw clever business models, such as Amazon and not so clever ones.

But what goes hand in hand with a business model and what I think many online retailers initially ignored is that E-commerce works when there is a need that can’t be fulfilled or is hard to fulfill in a local store. Think about it, to shop online, you need to log on, then research a couple of stores, then choose your items and put them in the shopping cart and then reach for your credit card and checkout. Oh, and lets not forget the tracking and waiting for the shipment. Tasks that are time consuming.

In addition, E-commerce sites have to fight the perception that they are more expensive that traditional retailers because of shipping prices. As I’ve noted before, the most effective E-commerce promotion is Free Shipping.

Because of the perceptions of time and expense, E-commerce is indeed a different animal than a traditional retail store. In the E-commerce B2C sector where I worked, our best sellers time and time again, were the hard to find items that weren’t usually stocked anywhere else. And let’s not forget the sales we had from some sweet, sweet Search Engine Optimization. (Indeed, just because we were first in the search engine result pages for certain keywords, we got sales.) In addition, we always saw spikes around the gift-giving holidays for third party ship to orders.

The other interesting trend for the larger retailers is the local store pick up option, which definitely makes sense if you’re comparison shopping for a specific item and need it immediately.

Getting a little bit more technical, I was intrigued by this article in EWeek chronicling the dilemma that E-commerce sites have when testing credit card systems. The article states that many sites use old customer data to test merchant systems, which is scary.

You see the conundrum is that the merchant payment gateways don’t provide test data for retailers and if you’re testing real time card processing systems - online as well as offline, you want to see where the data goes (in this case where the money goes) before taking your systems live.

There are dummy credit card numbers you can use to test your systems, so you can see the numbers go through the gateway system but these are invalid numbers which won’t test bank processing.

[tags]E-commerce, ecommerce, online retailing, Internet retailing, Free Shipping [/tags]

Mac OS X Web hosting

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

I hadn’t realized it, but there are companies which provide Mac OS X based Web hosting, aside from Apple’s consumer oriented .Mac service.

[tags] Mac OS X, Web Hosting [/tags]

Linked for Email Deliverability

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

A Yahoo Email Deliverability post was linked to on an article on the Electronic Frontier Foundation Web site.

From the search engine referrals I still see today, people are still having issues with Yahoo deliverabilty, mainly small and medium sized organizations. And while Yahoo has been the backer of such initiatives like the now to be made into an Internet standard Domain Keys, I would hope that pay to send email does not become reality.

Further reading: other Yahoo Email Deliverability posts

[tags] Email, Email Deliverability, Spam, Yahoo, Domain Keys, Pay To Send [/tags]