Tag Archives: Twitter

Love For Ferguson, Missouri

A few days ago, I posted this on Facebook, Twitter, and here in my quotes section:

When your protest uses violence, you will prosper the very tyranny you claim to fight.

What we see in Ferguson, Missouri shows this exact point. People are angry and riot. This is not the first time this has happened in the US. Local police forces see this and worry it will happen in their towns, so they collect more and more military style equipment and tactics. This concerns many citizens and the loop becomes a vicious cycle. Love and Peace should be our first recourse, not violence. The former can overthrow tyrants, the latter will be used by tyrants to increase their grip. True and lasting change is created one person at a time and spread through Love.

Instead of turning to hate, live with Love. Seek the path of Forgiveness in all things. Despise not your Enemies. Love them and stand on Principles. Hearts are Converted with Love, not hate.

The Be Of Schnur

Pensive
Pensive (Photo credit: BrainMuffin)

The original version of this content appeared on the Aztec server in the Hodge’s Library, Systems Department, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in the early 1990s. It was written to explain the name of Schnurmann to those on Lamda MOO. I had tired of giving the whole story and made a we page explaining it. Even the former high school classmate, Kevin Pelch, mentioned in the article found his name on the Internet and contacted me. This was long before the search engines were covered in irrelevant results.¬† Yeah, back in the glory days.

Growing up, several people gave me various nicknames. Most of them were not kind, so they were not used passed that person. In 1983, we moved to Patch Barracks, Vaihingen, Germany. This meant attending the similarly named Patch American High School (yeah, the military can be so original). In 10th grade World History class, Kevin Pelch gave me the nickname Ropeman due to my pantomiming the video game he played nearly constantly in the bowling alley. The name stuck and some people called my Ropeman the rest of the year.

The school year 1984-85 dawned with me in 11th grade and Kevin no longer there. Few called me Ropeman, nearly solely my friend Bruce Platter. It looked as though the nickname would fade forever. Then German III my senior year happened.

Senior year arrived like any other. As I had for German I, Herr Dobner war meinen Lehrer. Then came the chapter with Spitznamen and we all choose one. Having actually liked the nickname Ropeman, I chose to translate it into German as Schnurmann, though that is technically “String man”. It stuck so well that I would turn homework in with the name instead of Bryon Lape. After graduating and moving back to the States though, the name was shelved for many years.

In the early 1990s, I was working at the Hodges Library when Ross Singer and Bob Patrick came across Lambda MOO. I applied for a character and named in Schnurmann with aliases such as Ropeman, Rope, and Schnur. As it was German, most mispronounced it and many asked me what it meant, so I eventually created a web page for it on the server with our personal pages.

I was Schnurmann again until one day Ann Langley called me Brainmuffin. This was her combination of how Southerns say Brian, the more common spelling of my first name Bryon, and Frank Zappa’s favorite word: muffin. This nickname stuck so instantly that I changed my MOO character’s name and co-workers would actually call me by it.

That was 20 years ago and I still use the nickname Brainmuffin. I use it on Twitter, MySpace, various forums, and Flickr. Over the years, a few impersonators have appeared, but there is only one Brainmuffin. I do thank Kevin and Ann for giving me good and lasting nicknames. I do hope I live up to them.

When Will Google See Me?

English: a chart to describe the search engine...
English: a chart to describe the search engine market (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writing a blog is a good way to attract potential customers to your business, but there is an art to the science. The web is crawling with all manner of experts who claim they know how to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and that will rank you high on results for terms your potential customers use. Great. But they all claim it and they all can’t be correct. After all, how many different websites will be using the terms you want?

Do a keyword search using Google’s tool and you will see how popular certain search criteria are. Really think these experts will get you ranked high on those? They will say choose different ones that are not so competitive. If your are selling jackets and sweaters on your site, why would you want to rank high for terms like wool thread or outer clothing? The terms need to be relevant or it will nor work properly.

Regular readers of this blog will start to wonder if I’m repeating myself as there are several posts here lamenting the plights of SEO and the rip-off artists that prey upon those who have new domain registrations. True and this is not a repeat as much as it is a flow of consciousness rant. Google keeps changing their search engine rules and staying up to date on the latest techniques is exhausting. My blog doesn’t even rank highest for my name, Bryon Lape. Why is that?

A few weeks ago, I moved all the content for my blog to a domain that is my name. I’ve had bryonlape.com for quite some time, but I was using a permanent forward to the old domain. The content was exported and then imported to a newer WordPress server. Several of the posts have been pushed to Twitter and the old site has been redirecting to a BlueHost capture day for weeks.

And so what?

Searches for phrases from the old site reveal that Google has not yet followed the content. The results that are shown are still the old domain and must be fetched from Google’s cache to be viewed. I even searched for my name this domain was nearly at the bottom of the list. How is that? My name is in the title of this blog and in the domain. Surely that should rank higher. My nickname of Brainmuffin ranks worse with Google still believing I’m really wanting bran muffins. Arg!

I’ve had several nicknames over the years, with Brainmuffin being the most recent and given to me nearly 20 years ago. Two others of mine, Ropeman and Schnurmann, go back to high school nearly 30 years ago. Perhaps I should blog on their meaning and origins too and see if Google ever ranks them high enough to recognize.

There are times I truly do not understand Google’s algorithms and why pages rank as they do. Microsoft uses this lack of understanding on the part of users in their Bing ad campaigns. It is not too infrequently that Google will return a mismatch of pages and one has to use the phrase remove feature to remove them. Search for a business opportunity review and it gets worse.

This latter inquiry is not all the fault of Google though. Remember those SEO experts? Some of them have a service behind them that puts your content all over the web, with changes made here and there to make the search engines believe the content is different. It is this manner of inorganic content that Google is trying to combat with all their algorithm changes. Sometimes it works, other times it really hurts the small business website.

So, now here I am. I make new content and post in different places. I wait a day or two and search for terms in my content. Often the pages returned are irrelevant and the old site continues to be returned. I have moved. When will Google see me?

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Conference In Phoenix

Customers are Ignoring You
Customers are Ignoring You (Photo credit: ronploof)

Last week I attended the AAA Marketing/IT conference. It is an annual conference to cover ideas and trends going on in the world of marketing and information technology. This year, the conference was held outside of Phoenix near Chandler. The Wild Horse Resort held host.

The last conference was held 18 months ago in Boca Raton, Florida. The main message then was social, social, social. Twitter and Facebook  were becoming good and powerful tools by which to push marketing messages. They are new ways to reach current customers and a new audience. For technologists, the social sites can be a headache with their increase in network traffic. Nearly every workshop was related to using social, leveraging social, accessing social and using social.

Time frames on the Internet move quickly. The short 18 months between conferences have lead to the latest trend: mobile. The discussion of mobile in all its facets was the main idea of the conference, repeated over and over. Experts from Google spoke on using mobile to reach the younger customers and the importance of knowing what kind of device is being used to access your website and what time of day it is. Adaptive design is a must on your website. If customers have a bad mobile experience on your site, it is very difficult to get them back.

The use of a mobile application is another way to access the customer. It must allow the user to be flexible and use it in ways intuitive to them. Make the customer work too much on using your mobile application and they will remove it. It too needs to take location and time of day into account. It must adapt. It must keep their attention.

The age of mobile is here. Smartphone sales have outpaced desktop computers for the last few years. This year, the number of smartphones on the Internet will be greater than number of desktop computers. More and more of your customers will access your web site from mobile devices of various types: phones, tablets and phonelets. They come in different sizes and every user on them expects to use your site within the proper context of their device.

Get mobilized or get left behind.

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