Websites to tickle your funny bone

I was recently asked to submit a list of some of the funniest websites around for Exposed Magazine. Here is what I wrote. Prepare to bust a stitch or three.

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Websites to tickle your funny bone

www.break.com

This is the most popular comedy website on the internet, so if you’re a male between 18 and 35 you’ve probably visited this site at least once lately. If you’re not in the target demographic of the site, there’s no need to fear, it’s still pretty awesome. Do you like laughing at people who fall over? Check. Like videos of cats and dogs doing cute funny stuff? Check.  You can even play games if things get too funny for you and you need a break from all that laughing.

www.ebaumsworld.com

A listing of the funniest sites on the internet wouldn’t be complete without eBaum’s World. Alexa ranks it as another of the most popular humor sites on the internet, just a few notches below break.com. Most of the funniest stuff you would have found on other funny sites can also be found on eBaum’s World and the site has been accused of copyright infringement a number of times. It does have some unique features though, including soundboards that let you mix and match phrases celebrities have said – making them say some pretty crazy stuff.

www.funnyordie.com

This seems pretty obvious, but in case you’ve been living under a rock, or in a third-world country without internet access, this site is a comedy video site created by Will Ferrell and that other guy. Lots of really famous people have actually shown up in these viral videos, like Harry Potter (I mean, Danielle Radcliffe). The first video was “The Landlord” and featured a hilarious drunken baby acting like the best landlord ever. It’s sort of like what SNL wishes it could be, only funnier.

www.cracked.com

I could spend an entire week reading every single article on Cracked.com and never get bored. The people who maintain this blog write about the things you never knew you needed know.  From plain awesome revelations: The 6 Most WTF Moments from Shakespeare to the inspirational: 5 Reasons Life Actually Does Get Better Cracked.com has a little something for everyone.

www.theoatmeal.com

This site makes me laugh every single day. I visit it at least once a day on my lunch break (at least that’s the story I tell my boss) and can be found LOLing in my cubicle. The guy who runs this website is an artist and he makes some of the funniest comics ever. None of that lame Doonesbury stuff, these comics are a reflection and interpretation of everyday life. Some of my favorite comics include: If you do this in an email, I hate you and Twenty Things Worth Knowing About Beer. Go ahead, visit the site now. I dare you not to chuckle.

www.collegehumor.com

Once upon a time, couch potato’s sat in front of the television and watched videos on programs like America’s Funniest Home Videos. Today, mouse potatoes sit in front of a computer and watch funny user submitted videos. It also has some great, hilarious articles and pictures. If you have several hours to kill, don’t reach for the remote, head over to CollegeHumor.

www.betterbooktitles.com

I’m a big reader; half the stuff they assigned us to read in high school and college I had already read for fun (yep, I’m a nerd). So when I stumbled across this site, it resonated deep inside me. The creator of this site Photoshop’s real books with titles that more accurately sum up their plot. Examples include: Always Ask Your Partner about Their Sexual History/Involvement with Nazi’s (actually: The Reader) and Sh*t My Dad Says (actually: The Bible). I know you didn’t just read that last example and not burst out laughing. Now head over to the site and checkout the rest.

www.passiveaggressivenotes.com

It takes a Minnesotan to truly appreciate this site. In the land of Minnesota nice we try so hard to never say anything that could offend anyone. But we don’t have any qualms against leaving anonymous notes. This website is full of real notes people have so kindly left behind. My favorite: “Please stop spitting and making loud deep throat noises in this bathroom. It makes me feel sick and is disturbing the work environment. Thank you for understanding.” Tell me you haven’t always wanted to hang up that exact note.

www.thoughtcatalog.com

A ton of people contribute to this site, mainly hipster twenty-something’s who live in New York. But rather than fulfilling the stereotype of being a bunch of kids who wear skinny jeans and eyeliner, these people have an amusing, self-deprecating view of the world around them, and they’re not afraid to call it like they see it. One author sums up her life and my own in one sentence about the end of her work day: “When I get home, hungry but unwilling to cook, I eat a yogurt, then lie on my bed and contemplate how if the internet ever breaks I will have way less marketable skills.”

www.textsfromlastnight.com

Repeat after me: “I will not send text messages after five beers.” They will end up on this website. You will be embarrassed and I will laugh. And if you’re the one responsible for this text, I want to meet you: “The bouncers kicked us out around 3 so we went to the grocery store flasks in hand and asked them to turn up their music.”

www.theonion.com

Life is filled with bad news. You can’t turn on the TV or go online without running across headlines screaming about budget woes and crime sprees. But there is some refuge from all that seriousness. The Onion parodies real news articles with sensational headlines and is frequently mistaken as real news by unsuspecting fools. After browsing the latest news on the Onion, you may want to take a trip over to literallyunbelievable.org for a whole bunch of times people on Facebook have actually mistaken Onion news reports as real.

www.failblog.org

Have you seen Headlines on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno? Fail Blog is similar to that, except on demand and often much more inappropriate. Because you can get away with so much more on the internet! While I’m pretty sure Fail Blog isn’t a non-profit organization, the .org seems necessary because some douchebag has the .com as a business website. Type correctly my friends, or you’ll wind up on a very boring blog about intellectual property rights.

www.ruminations.com

Part great Facebook status updates, part things-I-wish-I-had-said-at-the-time, Ruminations is a site where anyone (who registers) can write what they’re thinking. They’re mostly short quips and other people can vote on their awesomeness with the most popular ones making it to the front page.  Classic example: “I’m sorry our menu doesn’t cater to your vegan tastes. But maybe you should avoid steakhouses.”

www.leisuredive.com

Sure, you’ve heard of planking and maybe even owling, but what about leisure diving? While similar to the memes previously mentioned, it’s much harder to dive into a pool with these perfect poses and leisure faces than to lay as flat as a board. The props often make or break the pictures.

www.awkwardfamilyphotos.com

If you ever find yourself reminiscing about your childhood and all the horrible things your parents made you do, like wear that horrible junior bridesmaids dress at your aunts wedding, just mosey on over to awkwardfamilyphotos.com. After only a few minutes, you’ll be speeding over to your parents’ house to hug them and thank them for never subjecting you to these types of photos.

I REFUSE to copy and paste your status updates on Facebook.

No, this was not inspired by any one person, but rather by lots and lots and lots of people who keep doing this.

Full scale rant today. I am sick and tired of the Facebook status updates that are “in support” of something. The next person who updates their status in support of something, I will punch in the face (okay, maybe not really).

Why such vitriol, such hatred for raising awareness for something as horrible as cancer or child abuse you ask with your doe-eyes open wide in disbelief.  Because the people who mindlessly post these updates are helping absolutely no one.  In fact, they may be doing more harm than good.

If you’re ready to throw rotten tomatoes at me for raining on your good feeling rainbows, honestly answer these questions.

1)      How does your status update help anyone? Why would that cartoon character stop anyone from beating a child?

Say for example you are posting it to show your support for war veterans, or to demonstrate that you’re always there for a friend in need. How have you helped? Did you donate money? Did you actually lend a helping hand to a friend in need? No. Up to this point all you’ve done is update your status, the same activity you do 5 times a day. Let me reiterate that – you have provided zero actual help. If my house is on fire, a real friend would be at my house pulling out my valuables alongside me, not putting something banal on Facebook like: “If you’re reading this you can rest assured I’ll always be there for you when things catch on fire. Please copy this if you agree.” Actions speak louder than words.

2)      Regarding the particularly infuriating breast cancer campaign – how does the top secret nature of the status updates raise awareness?  And why does keeping it a secret from all men seem helpful?

Instead of making men aware of the devastating effects this disease has on the women in their lives and in rare occasions on men themselves, we’ll just make sexual innuendo and get their attention for NO DAMN REASON. There’s not even a link to click through to the American Cancer Society’s website to make a donation. If you like sexual innuendo, a better use of your status update would be: “Like looking at boobies? Breast cancer makes ‘em ugly. Click here to donate to keep boobies pretty.” <— Hey look, all the fun of an inappropriate joke along with something helpful.

3)      Gut check – how many times have you copy and pasted some helpful “in support of” status update and not done anything else?

You feel like you have done your part, you’ve contributed to the cause and are ready to move on. The reality is, you haven’t donated money, you haven’t encouraged your friends to donate money, and you haven’t even raised awareness about how horrible the something you’re supporting is. This really happens and it’s why it frustrates me most of all. It’s called slackitivism – something that feels good but has no real effect at all.

I know your fingers are twitching to leave me hateful comments about how it’s all a fun way to show your support for something very serious. I get it — it’s fun and we all want to feel like we’re a part of something. You’re generating lots of great PR with these status updates, right?

Think of it in off-line terms. If you were hanging around with some friends and randomly said “hey, you know what guys and gals? I am patently against child abuse” would you feel like you’ve helped prevent child abuse? It amounts to the same thing.

You’re just copying and pasting and in the real world helping someone is never that easy.

If you are among the people who do donate and or volunteer, or did help your friend pull her belongings out of a burning house, please use the extra real estate in your status update to share how your friends can be as helpful as you. If not, you’re just missing the point of “raising awareness.”

UPDATE: This blog post highlights how incredibly hurtful the latest version of the breast cancer game can be. Again, if you want to help a cause DO SOMETHING. Your games are not helping anyone, and as you can clearly see this incarnation is particularly insensitive to women who are unable to conceive by pretending to be pregnant.

Is this woman certifiably insane?!?

First, let me start with an admission; I really enjoy learning about other religions and ways of thinking. I got my start back in the days when I was a devout Christian; I loved learning about the difference between denominations. Since then I’ve spent a lot of time learning more about world religions and find a lot of things to love in most world religions.  Today I’m proud to say I’m a http://www.thesecularbuddhist.com/.

But that’s not the point of my blog post today. Today I am unabashedly ranting about Ramtha. I’ve heard of Ramtha a few times but never really paid attention before. Today, his “channel” JZ Knight was a guest on the show Coast to Coast AM so my curiosity was piqued and I started researching him/her.

Here’s a little background about Ramtha for those of you unfamiliar. He is a warrior king from 35,000 years in the past, who led an army of more than two million people into battle against the people of Atlantis (yes, the lost city of Atlantis). Historically speaking, most population estimates say there were only about one million people living on the entire planet at this time, but let’s give Ramtha the benefit of the doubt and assume three quarters of the population vanished along with Atlantis.  After conquering the world he went into isolation where he mediated and studied the world, mastered out-of-body experiences, and in general turned into a mystic. He gained some disciples and one day he ascended into a bright flash of light and disappeared. Before being taken up to heaven (or wherever he went) he promised his followers he’d come back and teach them more.  35,000 years later (and you thought Jesus was taking his sweet time) he appeared to an American woman named Judy Zebra Knight and she began channeling Ramtha. In short, she lets Ramtha borrow her body so he can go around and make prophecies and empower his followers to see the true reality of the world.  Many of the teachings of Ramtha are comparable to other New Age teachings: you create your own reality, we’re all one with God and we are all God.  Through Knight, Ramtha has made some pretty mind-blowing predictions. Many of them that have come true, many have not.

I don’t need to further rehash what has already been written, so if you’re still curious, just Google Ramtha and read about the good and bad surrounding him. What I want to talk about today is what is going on in Knight’s mind. Watch this video of her channeling Ramtha.

While I am no longer a Christian, I totally understand why people believe the teachings of the church. I also understand why people believe the teachings of Islam and Hinduism.  When you follow the teachings and example of these spiritual leaders, you wind up with a very profound spiritual encounter. This naturally leads you to assume your religion must be right, and naturally everyone else is wrong. There’s also the psychology of group think involved and the God gene.

I can even kind of understand why some people follow Ramtha. Heck, the wine and smoking sessions alone would convince me to hang out with these people and hear what they have to save.

But what I simply can’t understand is how a person like Knight can genuinely believe she is channeling a spirit from 35,000 years ago. Is she mentally ill? Is she faking this? Does she actually believe this is really happening? How bat shit crazy do you have to be to think you’re channeling at 35,000 year old warrior?!

JZ Knight, I am calling you out as a fake and an evil person. You are preying on weak minded people who desperately need to believe in a force larger than them, and you are making cash hand over first while doing it. Followers of Ramtha, please look elsewhere for spiritual enlightenment. Seriously, go drink communion wine at a Catholic church, smoke some hooka at a Hindu temple, just get the hell away from this lunatic!

If you meet this woman, please put her in a looney bin and medicate her. She is a threat to herself and others. Ramtha has recently prophesized that Knight will not live till her next birthday. Do you think she is contemplating suicide because she can’t continue with the pain of perpetrating this hoax on so many innocent people?  If Ramtha is the god he says he is, he ought to let her be caught up in a whir wind of light the same way he did 35,000 years ago.

Childfree by Choice

I love kids. Ask my five year old niece, I spoil her so rotten her teeth should be falling out! But I don’t want to have kids of my own. I never have. That is not an exaggeration; there is no point in my memory where I imagined myself with children.

Yes, if you know me you know there are psychological reasons behind this feeling. My mom left when I was in junior high school and for a time I had to pick up a lot of the slack of taking care of my sisters, the house and my dad. I have no doubt that plays a role in my childfree decision, but it is not the only reason.

Honestly, I think this day was more fun for me than her!

I can’t really explain it; I think I simply lack the biological drive to reproduce. I remember the first time someone me told me how depressed she was about her inability to have children.  I was a senior in high school and I was stunned speechless.  I actually thought that was the kind of thing that only happened on movies.  Until that point I had never given much thought to having children at all, I just assumed most people got pregnant unintentionally, either within or outside of the sanction of marriage. It hadn’t occurred to me that people actually planned to have children.  (I was 17, cut me some slack!)

Fast forward to today. My husband and I have both agreed to remain childfree. For those of you unaware, this is the proper terminology – childfree is by choice, childless is not. There’s a whole subculture of people like me who have chosen to remain childfree. I enjoy reading their blogs, but I’m somehow unable to relate to many of them.  Some of them seem vehemently against a woman’s choice of having children and openly detest kids. I don’t hate children or disrespect anyone’s choice to have them; I simply don’t share the feeling.

Have I mentioned – I love kids! I love playing with them, making silly faces at strange toddlers in checkout lines and snuggling tiny babies. The thing is, none of those things make my uterus cry out for a baby or activate my biological clock. No one seems to understand that. I realize that in most women, these things do cause some sort of reaction; a yearning for a child of their own, a calling forth of the primordial urge to reproduce.

Please believe me when I tell you, I could hold your adorable baby all day long, and ooh and ahhh over her, and still not want one of my own.  Please don’t mistake my willingness to play airplane or change diapers as an indication that I really want to have a baby.  Something is probably disconnected in my brain, but that’s OK with me.

Many people seem hell-bent on pointing out how “good” I am with kids, how much fun I seem to be having, what a “natural” I am with kids … as if I will have this sudden ahh-haah moment and say “My god, you’re right! I DO want to have children after all!”

The real trouble is, since I don’t want children but still love them, I seem to be sending mixed messages to other women. I’m 31 years old. Women my age either have a couple rug-rats already or are anxious to start their family. Nothing is stranger to them than my reaction to children.  The friends I made in my early and mid-twenties seemed more accepting of this odd fact about me, probably assuming I would outgrow this phase or meet “the right man”. The women I meet lately seem genuinely confused and put-off when I tell them of my decision to remain childfree (and no, I don’t just volunteer this information, society demands asking all married women without children when they plan to start a family). I’m about to start telling new people I’m sterile. Maybe then they’d like me more.

It’s not as big of a deal in my husband’s world.  Many of his friends have started having children too, but it seems less life-defining for them.  They can just grunt acknowledgement at their differences and go back to drinking beer. Since women talk about things, it’s harder to get over that hump. Okay, yes that is all speculation on my part, but that’s how it seems to me!

This is something I’m struggling with lately. I love my life; I don’t feel like anything is missing in my quiet childfree home. What is missing is deep friendship with women. My best friends now live 90 miles away. We stay in touch as best as we can, but those 90 miles feels like an ocean sometimes. I’m looking for more female friends, with or without kids, just a few more friends who don’t judge my choice to remain without children. Have I mentioned that I love kids?  Heck, we can even talk about how cute little junior is, I’ll be the first to agree with you! Just stop shutting me out because of this one little difference … is it really that big of a deal?

And listen up moms – I’m exactly the kind of friend you want to have! Your parents have suddenly volunteered to take the kids overnight and you’re wondering what to do? Call me, I don’t have to find a sitter in order to leave the house! Your husband is out of town and your kids are driving you batty? Call me, I’ll come over and play with them until they collapse from too much fun.

Sure, we’ll never share gossip about the other moms in playgroup and our kids won’t ride the school bus together, but we can still be friends can’t we?

Moms, I want to hear from you! How can I be a more attractive friend to women like you?

Breaking News: Eating Will Kill You!


My food is trying to kill me!

Everywhere I turn lately, there’s another report warning of a new food danger. The most recent scare: processed meat increases your risk of cancer.

Other issues to keep you awake at night: Corn fed meat is dangerous to your health. High fructose corn syrup makes cancer cells crazy happy.  Vegetables have been genetically modified, making them Frankenstein’s of the food world. White flour is essentially just sugar, but with the added fun of toxic chemicals. And all of these horrifying reports don’t even take into consideration the ethical implications of animal welfare and pollution.

I’ve heard about the dangers of refined flour for years, so I thought “great, I’ll just eat whole wheat.” Problem solved, right? I mean grains are the base of the food pyramid after all!  Well, it turns out humans aren’t “meant” to eat grains at all. Our intestinal system evolved eating fruits, vegetables and meat. These grains cause blood sugar and insulin to spike; more people seem to be gluten intolerant, which is probably due to all the grain products we eat. Best then, to avoid grain products. No more bread or pasta (damn, two of my favorite things).

Okay, I’ll resort back to how humans are supposed to eat, evolutionarily speaking. Way back in the day, my ancestors hung out on the plain hunting big game. They ate a lot of meat, wild fish and fresh vegetables. This mode of thinking is actually the Caveman Diet. What my ancestors, who were presumably much healthier than I am today, did not eat was grain, dairy, legumes, sugar or processed foods. There’s only one catch – today’s food sources don’t much resemble the food of our ancestors. As I already mentioned, our meat animals are primarily fed corn, while our ancestors’ meat animals ate grass  and our vegetables are genetically altered beyond recognition. Well, I could go buy “organic” meat and vegetables, but as we all know the labeling requirements for “organic” are iffy at best.

Even water is poison! Fluoridated water has been linked to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and declining IQ’s. We can avoid some of the fluoridated water by drinking bottled water (never mind the environmental effects) but we still cook with and shower in that poison. Water is trying to kill us!

Is there anything left in the world that is safe to eat? Please let me know soon, I’m hungry!

It’s Time to Clean House

This is an article I originally wrote for the special section of the Rochester Post Bulletin – At Home. You can find the original article here.

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I’m going to share my dirty little secret with you: I have a cleaning lady.  Oh, I know what you’re thinking — lots of busy, working moms need help around the house. Here’s where it gets a little dirty … I’m not a mom and I’m not all that busy. Go ahead, throw stones at me.

I got hooked on the cleaning lady thing for a very good reason. I was in grad school, working 60 hours a week between two jobs while my husband, also in grad school, was student teaching. Living off my meager income was enormously stressful.  Being too exhausted to clean and fighting with my husband over whose turn it was to scrub the toilets was worse.  Then a friend of mine gave me the number for her cleaning lady.

I resisted at first, we could barely make ends meet — we didn’t need to spend money on a luxury item like a housekeeper. Eventually I relented and got a free quote. Her fee was so reasonable I hired her on the spot to come by twice a month.  The first time I came home from work and my house was spotless was the first time I came close to achieving Nirvana.

My husband and I have both since finished grad school, work normal schedules and have free time, but continue the services of a cleaning lady.  Having sipped from the chalice of bliss, I can’t imagine life without her.  At this point, you are no doubt thinking plenty of unkind things about me.  It is engrained in us to equate “household help” with rich snobs. I assure you, I am neither rich nor snobby.

It works for me for a few reasons, first and foremost it saves my husband and I from the obligatory argument of the division of household chores. Second, it makes me happy.  Sure, I could clean my house, but I don’t want to. My husband could climb under the car and drain the old oil too, but no one looks down on him for paying for an oil change.

What’s it like to be the other part of this story? Colleen, the woman who cleans my house and keeps my mental health near sane had a few things to share with us.  And while I’m not the rich snob you may have first assumed, she’s likely not what you were imagining either.  Colleen has a full-time job as an Executive Assistant, and a teenage daughter who likes to shop. So she makes extra money on the side by cleaning a couple of houses.  She is in business for herself and does not work for a service.  Here, in her words is what her job is like.

What’s the best part of your job cleaning houses? “The feeling of accomplishment after I’ve just finished cleaning a home from top to bottom.”

What’s the worst part? “People who treat me like I’m inferior to them just because I clean for a living are no fun to work for.”

Any funny stories you can share? “I once cleaned the apartment of a woman who had cats.  I used a rubber glove to remove cat fur from her couch’s upholstery which produced a large amount of fur.  I called her over to show her what I’d collected.  She said she didn’t recognize her pattern of her upholstery under all the cat fur, and that she could knit a sweater with all the fur I’d found!”

In your experience, what kind of person hires someone to clean their house? “Some people are just really busy with work, family and life and need some help in getting it all done.  Others just dislike cleaning and hire me to take care of that part of their lives.”

What are the pros and cons of working with a freelancer like yourself versus a service? “If I see that something extra needs to be cleaned I’ll just do it, whereas I believe that a service would need instructions for all extras.  I’m also available on weekends and evenings which fits some schedules better than a service which just works weekdays. A service, like Merry Maids, is probably bonded and insured whereas I am not.”

What steps should someone take if they want to clean houses on the side? “Answer some house cleaning ads and ask about their methods, practices, and prices.  Get an idea of what you’d like to charge, if you can supply your own products/vacuum/mop, and the size of a house you’d like to start with.  Then put your own advertisement in a local newspaper or on Craigslist.  If you can clean your own home you can probably clean someone else’s.”

What if they want to hire someone like you, where would they look? “Some cleaners advertise in local neighborhood newspapers.  Another place to check for ads is on Craigslist under household services.”

Internet Marketing Glossary

Guilty as charged. Sometimes I get so caught up in talking about interactive marketing that I forget not all of my listeners know some of the jargon associated with it.  I know I’m not the only one guilty of this, so to make amends of myself and others like me, I’ve put together this glossary to help you with the basics of  interactive marketing terminology.

Above the Fold- The content visible on a webpage without scrolling. This is generally considered more valuable “real estate” on websites.

Affiliate Marketing – Businesses reward their “affiliates” for each visitor they send to the business website.  The business places clickable ads on affiliate websites, every person who clicks that ad results in a commission to the affiliate.

Avatar – A picture or username that represents you online. Your profile picture is your avatar.

Bit.ly – A free service that shrinks a long URL into a much smaller version for easier sharing across social networks (especially useful for sites like Twitter with character limits).

Below the Fold – The content on a webpage you have to scroll down to see.

Cache - A cache (pronounced cash) stores internet browsing data, allowing future similar requests to be completed faster.

CSS – Cascading Style Sheet; a method of building websites specifically for the look and formatting.

Click-through – Any click on an ad, link, or other call to action.

Conversion – A website visitor who has taken the desired action; such as completing an information request form or clicking a “where to buy” link.

Cookie – Information  stored on your computer by a website so preferences are remembered for future visits.

CPC –Cost per click (used in pay per click advertising).

Delicious - A free, online bookmarking site that lets users save web addresses publically and share them with friends.

Digg – A social news site that lets users submit and vote on articles. Most popular articles are on the home page.

Disqus – A comment and moderation system for websites.

Ezine – An electronic magazine.

Favicon – A small icon displayed in the browser address bar to identify and bookmark your site.

Flickr – A social network for sharing photographs.

Guerilla Marketing – Unconventional, non-traditional marketing with minimal costs for maximum results.

Hashtag – Used on Twitter to annotate a message for searching and sorting. #Mytopic indicates the topic is related to all other tweets with the same hashtag.

HootSuite – A web-based Twitter client. HootSuite allows you to manage multiple social networks, schedule updates and view metrics.

HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language; a website programming language.

Inbound Marketing – The process of being found by customers.  Directly related to relationship marketing.

Inbound Link – A link to your site from another website.

Link Building – A process of soliciting other websites to link to yours for the purposes of search engine optimization. Blogging is one of the most popular techniques.

Meta Tag – Built into the structure of each web page, meta tags tell search engines what each page of your website is about.

Opt-In – An email recipient has agreed to or requested to receive information or newsletters.

Opt-Out – The email recipient no longer wants to receive the message so removes themselves from your distribution list.

Outbound Marketing – Any type of marketing messages being “pushed” out; examples include television ads that get attention through interruption.

PPC -Pay-Per-Click; the process of paying for a high ranking in search engine results per each click on your link.

Permission Marketing – Providing content and value to customers that encourage their permission to continue receiving information from your company.

RSS – Really Simple Syndication; a web feed that aggregates blogs, news, podcasts etc into one place, such as Google Reader, based on the user subscriptions.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization; the process of improving the rankings in search results.

Sentiment-The attitude of users towards your brands or in their comments.

URL – The web address; in other words the location of your site on the internet.

Usability – The ease or difficulty of navigating and using a site.

Viral Marketing – A marketing process that encourages users to share your message without interference from your company.

Wiki – A website that allows easy creating, sharing and editing of content. Wikipedia is the most well known example of a wiki.

What have I left out? Still have questions on other terms? Let me know, I’d be happy to try and answer them for you.

What’s the Deal With the Facebook Send Button?

Have you noticed another Facebook icon next to the “Like” icon on some websites?  It’s a new plug-in that can be used on your website and it’s a close cousin to the “Like” button.  The “Send” button allows users to send a page or site they like as a message to their Facebook friends, or as an email to individual email addresses.

Why use “Send” over “Like” you ask?  Well, say for example you’re planning a trip with your three best friends and (like many people these days) your communication is done primarily through Facebook. Now, imagine you notice a great deal on Orbitz. You could:

1) “Like” it on Facebook, alerting everyone of your intentions to travel to Aruba

2) Send a private message to each friend individually

or now … 3) “Send” this information to all three friends at once.

How can you use the Send button for your businesses?

  • A restaurant could offer a buy-one-get-one coupon – using the Send button to encourage the site visitor to Send the information to their selected guest
  • Add the button to your job openings – encouraging referrals through social networks
  • On a newsletter sign-up page
  • On each blog post you write

Are you an early adopter of the Send button? Let me know how you’re using it!

Are You “The Expert” in Your Field?

Okay, maybe you don’t know everything there is to know about your industry, but I bet you know a lot. Maybe even a lot more than your competitors. How can you share your knowledge with the world? By blogging of course!

Business BlogginA business blog is an excellent way to showcase what you know, and serves as a foundation for your social media strategy.  Don’t let the idea of writing intimidate you, you can start slowly and as you gain confidence, it will come naturally to you in no time.

Wondering what to write about? Here are a few tips:

Top 10 Benefits of Product X

How Using X Service Can Save You Money

Making Money with Product X

What to Look for When Shopping for X

The Internet: The first contact your prospects have with your business.

Once upon a time, the only way an interested consumer could learn about your product or service was by calling or visiting the store. During this magical time, your sales reps largely controlled the buying process.  The job of marketing was to enforce brand standards, create pretty brochures for the sales reps to hand out and to create interruptive advertising to push out the company message.

pie chartThose days are long gone.  Today many B2B companies fail to recognize the new reality. More than 90 percent of buyers begin the buying process by searching online. These buyers won’t contact your company until they are good and ready to engage with sales.  The buying process has become the education process. And as a result, marketing must now be a huge part of your sales process.

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