Sunday, October 30, 2005

Furl added to side bar

I've just added looksmart's furl to the right hand sidebar. Furl is a great way to find, save and share links. I suppose it's a kind of favourites version 2 with community implications.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Friday, July 29, 2005

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Viral marketing not exclusive to dark-side marketing b*****ds

I thought it was about time I did something positive with this knowledge,my Project: Shining Light blog documents the evolution of an AI child now exclusively supports the Marie Curie Cancer Research Charity, I expect this should provide an extra component to it's proliferation through the web, whilst supporting a very good cause.

It's still not enirely clear how the traffic will be monetized, will post an update here, when this has been decided, To interact with Shining Light go to

Monday, July 11, 2005

Trackback, now I get it!

A few days ago I posted a queston on a message board to ask about trackback, what exactly was it and what was it's potentential for marketing.

Hey cut me some slack, If you'd looked round my blog, you'll know I'm new to blogging.

Long story short, I was pointed in the direction of Jim Edwards' blog - click here
where I learned everything I needed to know about trackback. So here goes, I'm about to do my very first trackback - Thanks Laura from for the pointer.

Unlike movabletype and wordpress, blogger doesn't currently support trackback, so I opened a free account with, a 3rd party trackback and commenting system, which is very easy to implement, especially with blogger - It took me about 3 mins to set up. So you'll now see, trackback links below these posts if you wanna trackback any of my posts.

OK, here goes - my first trackback from Jims site, I'll report back when I see it's worked.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Project Shining Light - a viral AI experiment

I've been interested in AI for some time, and it's potential applications for marketing. However I found that the Lobner prize winning conversational AI program, ALICE by Dr Richard Wallace didn't have the kind of conversational skills that would appear human to the average human.

So I decided to create my own AI entity from scratch, while learning AIML (Artificial Intelligence Mark-up Language).

I also wanted to create something that was simple, duplicatable and would 'live' forever so I constructed Shining Light using only remotely hosted solutions, Blogger (to host the blog) and Pandorabots (to host the AI component)

I expect both of these remotely hosted solutions will be around for years to come since so many people have invested too much time into these tools for them to ever responsibly 'pull the plug'.

Here's the link

Monday, June 27, 2005

Intensify Your Viral Call To Action

I published the following article some time ago, I felt I should post it here again, because it will help the next post I make, to make sense.

Article follows...

Intensify Your Viral Call To Action

In this article I'll show you a simple but effective way to increase your reader's psychological motive to forward your newsletter or e-zine.

OK, we've all by now included that little phrase "please e-mail this message to a friend" in our newsletters and with varying success but without a motive to forward the message we rarely do.Unless of course we personally know someone interested in a particular snippet of information.

What I'm about to show you, came to me while consulting on a B2C affiliate program for a small local publishing company who sell tangible cookbooks online.

If you've ever used the line "please forward this email to your friends" you'll no doubt know just how ineffective this actually is... The reason is simple.....There is no motive!

When asked to forward an article or newsletter to a friend. In most cases you'll ask ... "what's in it for me?" ... Right?

In the rare case that you do forward an article or newsletter based on this simple request. You're likely to have done so for your own personal reasons.


a) to please the recipient


b) to please the publisher/author

Working with this understanding of why people forward an e-zine or newsletter we can easily intensify this motive of the desire to please an individual.

I simply replaced the line "Please forward this e-mail to a friend" with a different lines from the following, each day.

1) Please forward today's email to the last person you had a great dinner conversation with.

2) Please help spread the word - just forward email to a dear friend of loved one

3) Forward today's email to a person you truly believe in, but who doesn't quite see themselves as you do.

4) PS. Every time you pass on one of these e-mails Lucky you are helping to support a small publishing company hidden away, above a restaurant, in the historical snickleways of York.

5) Please forward today's email to the person you most enjoy being with in silence

6) Please forward today's e-mail to the person who recently did you the smallest favour with the greatest impact

7) Please forward today's e-mail to someone you've learned a lot from.

8) Please forward today's e-mail to the colleague that you respect the most.

Obviously these were written specifically for a B2C audience however, once you understand the psychology, you'll be able to dramatically increase your sales using this technique.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Put Things In Perspective

Just incase you didn't have a clear vision of the future, this should help put things in perspective.

Thank you Jason for sending me this link, it offers a fantastic insight into the future of the web.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Viral Marketing Quote Of The Year

By far the best viral marketing quote I've ever seen:-

"If the Internet can be described as a giant human consciousness, then viral marketing is the illusion of free will."
- By George Pendle

taken from a great article about famous 'Small But Tough' fake VW Polo ad

click here

First Switched Onto Blogging

As you can see I'm still quite new to blogging. In fact it was only last year that I first began to "get it" thanks to an extremely smart friend, Mark Taylor.

As a consultant and speaker for the UK's largest ISP, Mark explained to me, one drunken night, how he'd been tasked to research the various technologies and schemas that make Blogging what is is today, and what it will be tomorrow, and how starting his own personal blog was part of that process.

It was through Mark, that I began to understand the significance of Metadata (information about information) and the evolutionary paradigm it represents.

In fact it was this particular months archive that actually switched me onto blog culture.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Book Review: The Irresistible Offer How to Sell Your Product or Service in 3 Seconds or Less

I received my advanced review copy of Mark Joyner's new book: The Irresistible Offer How to Sell Your Product or Service in 3 Seconds or Less, a couple of weeks ago.

Although, I've clearly stated that my blog will never be biased, I find it almost impossible, not to be biased towards Mark's work, since he's always been such a great friend and mentor over the years I've known him.

Having worked closely with, and studied Mark closely for many years, I always find his written work provides a fascinating window into the man's thinking and his understanding of psychological motivators and human nature.

Just as with his previous #1 best seller, extensively titled:, How Everyday People are Using Ruthless Military Tactics and Forbidden Mind Control Psychology to Make Millions Online... (all in one breath) Mark manages to get across some very detailed principals and ideas, using language and analogies that can be clearly understood by the average man in the street. Including a successful breakdown of the mechanics of a viral system, based on it's biological analogy.

The book outlines every aspect of creating and presenting an irresistible offer and describes in great detail exactly what does and does not constitute and irrisitable offer. Among other things is a careful explaination of how he repetedly used the "triple your money back guarantee" to reverse the risk.

The book is contains plenty of real life case studies, of marketing and brand positioning, from household names to some lesser know companies who's marketing pitches have not only caught his eye but had him reaching for his credit card. The book details exactly how they won his business.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone faintly interested in viral marketing, and it's a must read for anyone selling products online or offline. The book is not yet available but I'll give you notice as soon as it is and how to get a discounted copy, just subscribe to my RSS feed.

Greenzap the Crowned 'Viral' King of Pay-by-eMail

It would be out of order for me to start my new viral marketing blog without paying respect to Greenzap, the latest and greatest viral champion.

Greenzap are claiming their stake of the pay-by-email market currently monopolized by Paypal, but their highly lucrative referral rewardz program (with a 'z' - nice branding touch) is far more attractive than the old, single tier, referral commission structure adopted by Paypal.

They've gone a stage further than adopting a 2-tier structure, like that of the revised Amazon commission model, they've adopted a compensation model based on an MLM structure, similar to companies like excel communications and cognigen, which are gaining favour amoungst more and more Internet marketers and web site owners alike.

They're also paying down to infinity (Community Rewardz), obviously there are breakages built into their compensation model, to qualify for community rewardz, members must first upgrade to gold, which involves loading their account with $100 which must be spent online, gold members receive a pretty cool looking Greenzap branded mastercard debit card.

Also, 20% of the commissions paid must be spent online. I spoke to Greenzap's president Alex Sonkin to find out more about Greenzap, as I was curious how they would sustain profitability with this seemingly suicidal business model.

Not only do they ensure that Greenzap members are forced to spend some of their commissions and all of their $100 online, they (Greenzap) have struck deals with their affiliated partners, and here's how it works...

...When a customer buys through Greenzap, the affiliate commission paid by the selling merchant to Greenzap, is shared between Greenzap and those users reponsible for bringing the purchasing customer (ie Greezap member) .

Well the proof of the pudding at least from a viral marketing perspective was the massive growth they've seen in a very short space of time here's the alexa chart for the last three months:-

Lesson #1 - Ensure You're Servers Are Ready For Massive Demand

A GreenZap spokesperson said, "Due to an enormous amount of traffic, the GreenZap site was temporarily down due to server overload. We worked with Dell® and Cisco® and quickly reinstated the site with a top-of-the-line system capable of handling global traffic."

As you can see from the above graph, the initial spike caused sufficient, downtime, to prevent prelaunch promotion by the core promotional leadership. This also gave competitors time to implement, PR counter-measures, see
et al..

You can see from the traffic trends for the greenzapscam site (who is incidentally affiliated with Alertpay judging from the banner at the top if his site) that he had a lot to gain from the initial interest in Greenzap and the raw numbers of people who were carrying out their due dilligence on Greenzap before promoting it to their lists and members.

Lesson #2 - National Enquirer Traffic Strategy.

When a start-up with a new brand hits the Alexa movers and shakers list, buy a domain and create controversy, especially in the case of a sensitive business such as a payment processor or finance related company. At the time, the Greenzapscam domain was purchased, the KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index) was skyhigh, ie the demand for this keyword was hugh and the supply was still low, in the case of claiming a scam at such a sensitive time, many people (without doing their own due dilligence will believe whatever they read, perpetuate it, often referencing the original source.

You can see how evidence of perpetuation of negative press on the developers site for the mambo open source content managment system...

Lesson #3 - Piggy Back Large Communities for Ultimate Google Listings.

I created a module to allow mambo site owners to create revenue from their sites by adding a affiliate (ZapID) encoded banners using a plug and play mambo module. Within hours there was a post quoting, the greenzapscam site.

Incidentally if you search google for 'Greenzap' you'll see my project listed Second to Greenzap's corporate site. With the link name:

In Summing Up
I've seen start-ups with good ideas come and go, I sincerely hope that greenzap survive although no one can tell, it's just a matter of waiting and seeing. Having spoke with Alex on the phone, I genuinely warmed to the guy, he's clearly very intelligent and believes in the Greenzap concept, I hope they survive, I recommend signing up and spreading the word.

If you've been put off by the negative press, you may want read the book... The PayPal Wars: Battles with eBay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth by Eric M Jackson here's a link

At least, unlike most start-ups, they didn't waist a chunk of their funding of plush offices, but rather they're operating as a lean efficient company, in the same way as Paypal did in their early days. Did you know that Paypal started out operating above a bicycle shop

Yes, I've signed up and claimed my $25 dollars, but I'm not including my link here, I'd rather keep this site free of affiliate links, to encourage you to send people here for good honest information. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Thought it was about time I started a blog, so here it is.

Here it is, and there's lots I want to rant about right now.

First I think it's worth checking this blogger tool out properly, so I'll be right back

Email Subscribe

Receive the latest posts via e-mail.. don't worry, I promise I won't spam you and the email delivery is managed by feedburner so you can unsubscribe at any time.

Subscribe to Feed