Get free Wifi access in Thai (Suvarnabhumi) international airport

I’m sat in Suvarnabhumi airport in Thailand waiting for a delayed flight (don’t you just love air travel?) and I needed to get my internet fix. I tried a few access points before giving up and opting for the paid Wifi service which is available throughout the airport.

As i was signing up i noticed that the connection left the confines of the internal LAN and connected out to the internet for the whole verified by visa thing. Before completing the payment I open up another tab and sure enough I had free access to any website I wanted.

So if you are ever at Suvarnabhumi and want free wifi, connect to the WLANNET SSID, go through the signup process, and when you hit the screen below (before entering your credit card details) just open a new tab and browse away. The session only lasts about 10 mins, but all you have to do is open another tab and go through the process again 🙂

Get to this point and then you have free wifi

I would imagine that this method works in a few other places too 😉

Abusing the new Facebook profile layout

My love for blogging has pretty much all but disappeared hence the very limited updates on this blog, it just seems that each time I want to sit down and write something I have 10 other things that are more important. Anyway Esrun said I should blog about this, so here goes.

Recently Facebook gave users the option to switch to a new profile layout, at the time of writing this is entirely opt in so not everyone will see it. You need to visit a friends page who has switched to the new profile and then click the button and confirm that you also want to switch to the new profile. The jury is still out on whether this new profile is better than the old one, but it does have one major flaw at that is as follows.

At the top of each person’s profile are 5 pictures, there is no direct way to chose which pictures you want or the order that they appear in, basically Facebook thought it would be a great idea to just have the last 5 recently tagged photos of you appear in this line up. Aside from the fact that you may be smashed at a party and someone tags an unflattering photo of you, causing it to be right there at the top of the page, it is also open to some creative abuse.

As I said, it takes the last 5 tagged photo, so i decided to create a new album with some alphabet letters and then send some messages to my friends. You must remember to tag the last letter first, and then work backwards.

Here my good friend Mikey is reminded of what I think of him

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So there is a message I came up with really quick, I am sure there are much more funny and creative ways of doing this but it seems a really stupid idea by the developers to just let the last 5 tagged photos appear at the top of the page. Of course the user has the choice to change the images, but its a long process where you click an [x] and FB cycles through your last tagged images. Here is what I would like to see to make the top 5 images better…

  1. Allow a privacy setting which stops third party tagged photos appear in the top 5
  2. Allow me to select which images i want in the top 5 from my albums
  3. Allow me to rearrange the order of the images

Maybe they will make some changes, but i doubt it, in the mean time, go have some fun, and post any good ones you make in the comments below 😉

SE Reputation Management For Direct Response Cost Savings

People talk about search engine reputation management (SERM) like it only serves to hide nasty blog articles dated from 2 years before you settled the class action. I’ve noticed this for a while – but never seen it blogged – that savvy companies could use similar SERP-domination techniques for direct response. Specifically, they could save money on coupons.

Let’s imagine how SERM can save you money.

Suppose you’re Mac Cosmetics. Suppose further that your checkout process prompts people for a coupon.

Guess what 90% of people do?

They google ‘Mac cosmetics coupon’ . Or ‘promo code for Mac Makeup’ or whatever combination of (i) “money off” terminology your checkout asks for and (ii) your brand and variations on it.

What happens next?

They find an affiliate coupon publisher site. They click the link to ‘reveal the coupon code’.

And then?

If you’re lucky, all that’s going to cost you is the discount plus the commission
for the affiliate that contributed NOTHING to generating the sale…

Or perhaps you don’t give affiliate coupons, so it just costs you for the discount.

But that’s unlikely. Because clever affiliates can use the ‘click to reveal discount’ call to action combined with a “site is loading” page after that. The click-to-reveal button cookies your visitor and the ‘loading page’ isn’t there to ask for patience but really to just reveal the non-affiliate coupon. Depending on your tracking, that cookie may mean paying the affiliate even if the coupon isn’t part of the affiliate channel.

If you’re unlucky, what that is going to cost you is the entire sale. The visitor just browsed your site for 5 minutes to find the product, add to cart, go through 90% of your checkout… It’s not a sure thing they’ll do it over for a 10% discount or free shipping.

So what is this notorious “that” in the phrase, “that is going to cost you”?

“That” is a failure to use reputation management to rank your own site and pages for “Brand + coupon” queries.

Selling SEO Services: Local Lead Generation

Many SEO experts ironically find it easier to get work from contacts that they make online even though there are numerous organizations in their own areas that need their services. Selling SEO services to local businesses requires good lead generation tactics and following through with the leads that you have.

Use Your Business Contacts to Generate Leads

Just because you sell SEO services today doesn’t mean you should ignore your past work experience in other industries. These business contacts are great to start building your client list.

Make a list of the companies that you have worked with and contact them to discuss the advantages that your SEO services could offer. Assuming that you left the organization in good standing, you will have a solid reputation that encourages them to use your services instead of someone else.

Use Your Personal Contacts to Generate Leads

You should also use your personal contacts to generate leads.

Many small business owners today recognize that it is important for them to maintain a presence on the Web, but few of them really know how to use their company’s site or that blog they had installed once to generate business.

Contact friends who manage or own small businesses, home businesses, and part time operations that could use your help and tell them you’re focusing on local businesses.

Cold Calling to Generate Local Leads

There are two basic approaches to cold calling. You can either pick up the phone and call local businesses, or you can walk into their stores and ask to speak to someone who makes financial decisions. I’ve found that you almost always get better leads by visiting the business in person.

Most small business owners are busy people, and they don’t have a lot of time to chat on the phone to people that they don’t know.

When you visit in person, though, you show that you are willing to dedicate your personal time to form a mutually beneficial relationship. It is also much easier for busy people to focus on what you say when you are sitting right in front of them.

You can even bring information sheets that they can read when they have free time.  That’s almost the offline equivalent of getting a whitepaper download, with the difference that online, whitepapers are usually requested, rather than thrust on people.

Don’t Quit

Finally, don’t give up on your local business lead generation attempts.

Sometimes months will go by without your hearing a single word from all of the people that you visited and talked to! This is a frustrating experience, but you should remember that it’s the nature of the business.

Some leads will close faster than others, so if you keep plugging away, the faster closes will sustain you in the short term while the long-term leads are simmering.

New Script Builds Links For SEOs As They Sleep

By now, many advanced SEOs will have heard about Tynt, a script that lets websites with good content build links automatically. A new competitor to Tynt has just been created, and it’s self-hosted. I’m getting ahead of myself though… For those who don’t know what Tynt is, let me quote from Tynt’s site.

“Our patent pending Tynt Insight technology tracks what’s being copied off your site and automatically adds a link back to your content with every paste.”

 

I didn’t create that link – Tynt did. Whenever you copy off Tynt’s site, and paste the resulting content elsewhere, that new content has a link added to it. So if your content is worth quoting, you get links.

I just got an email from Brett Barros, a student at MIT, who’s coded up a self-hosted competitor to Tynt. When he told me about his Link Building Pro, I wasn’t too impressed, since I knew about Tynt. But there are some pretty important differences. As Brett puts it:

“There are a few key differences from Tynt.

1. Most importantly for SEO, my script makes use of the meta keyword [tag] for the link text. [It pulls one of the page’s keywords from the meta keywords tag and uses it as anchor text.]

2. Second most importantly for SEO, it automatically adds focused links into the text from elsewhere on the page. Thus, the paragraph itself is embedded with *added* links.

3. It is 40% smaller in file size. You can also merge the javascript into other javascript files, reducing the total files the user needs to load (speed optimization will be important with the Google Caffeine update).

4. If Tynt’s servers go down, and you use Tynt,  your site will have problems. With my script, you host it yourself [so there’s no worries about other people’s server reliability].

5. You can specify areas of the page where the script won’t activate (like in code blocks).”

Also, while I can’t seem to find Tynt’s pricing on their site, Brett’s offering his tool as a free download. How can you quibble with free?