Showing posts from December, 2006

US City and State CSV File

I've seen requests for this type of file on a few forums. Well, I just happen to have a pretty large list of those cities and states at my disposal, so I'm posting it on for anyone to download.

If you want any more data to go with it, just let me know. Otherwise, enjoy.

US City and State CSV File

Text-Link-Ads - You've been found out!

Look out, Patrick Gavin and crew. Google is on to you. As you can see, my gmail has already alerted me that anyone buying links through text-link-ads will obviously be needing to file a re-inclusion request, so they included the link for convenience. That's awfully swell of them.

I guess I'll quit marketing and start filing re-inclusion requests now. They're on to this little game of yours. Matt Cutts finally figured out your scheme.

Yeah... right. And next you'll tell me MSN's results are totally SPAM-less. At least Google has a good enough sense of humor to make me laugh today.

Free shipping test

We've never really wanted to offer free shipping. After all, it something we get charged for every single order we send out. So we're running a test. Let's see what our conversion rates do. It's not actually free, but it is one penny. Close enough for me.

Over the holidays, we had some manufacturers pony up and pay for shipping on a lot of the orders. Our conversion rates really went up. But this will mark the first time that any order over $99 (and under 75 lbs) will ship for 1¢ on ToolBarn.

I've got my eye on it, and when I learn something, I'll report back here. But for now, it'd be a great time to buy something from ToolBarn.

Doggone blog tags.

Yeah... incrediblehelp, I mean Jaan Kanellis, blog tagged me. It took me a few days to get through my RSS feeds to see that he had done it, so here goes.

5 things you (probably) didn't know about me.

1. I never finished college.
Much like Jaan, I didn't finish. In fact, I took 2 semesters of Chemical Engineering from UNL right out of high school, didn't really take a 3rd, then went through most of the management training at Radio Shack before going off and really getting into computers. I took some classes at Metropolitan Community College for web stuff later, although I just ended up helping other students (and the teachers) most of the time.

2. I play tennis.
I started in grade school, didn't take it as serious as I should have in high school, didn't play in college at all, and took some years off. Last year I started up again and now play a couple of nights per week on an organized league.

3. I've built and mostly on my own.

Frosted Linux Charms - Openly Delicious

“They’re always after ‘me Open Source Secrets!” A favorite for more geeks than sheiks, delicious Linux Charms cereal features frosted oats and colored marshmallows. Tux the Penguin creates the marshmallow shapes – yellow dogs, red hats, and white boxes – with his Open Source magic. While kids love the taste, parents are happy that Linux Charms is fortified with 256 bit security, and is a good source of independent thought. It’s openly delicious!

This magical Yellow Dog marshmallow, while not all that well known, has been found to be particularly tasty for those with iPod, cell phone and PS3 serving utensils.

Probably the most famous of the Linux charms marshmallows is the Red Hat, which has taken the enterprise breakfast to the level of banquet in a short amount of time.

White boxes have a flavor similar to that of Red Hats, but are getting to be much more plentiful due to their low cost and quality ingredients. We include White Boxes in each and every spoonful of Linux Charms for exactl…

My PC is finally back to full speed

I'm not exactly sure what happened, but we had a power blink yesterday (which my battery backup didn't protect me from), and now my PC is back to full speed. How ironic. I even turned on hyperthreading for both CPU's and it's working fine, with a graph showing 4 CPU usage percentages.

Now we get to see if I can do more work. I know for sure I'll be looking at my email more since it won't take 2 minutes between messages.

Interview on

I got interviewed alongside Allan Dick at SES in Chicago last week by, and they posted the video on their site. Go ahead and give it a watch. I'm sure I said something stupid somewhere, but I think it shows my long-term strategy a bit.

Linkbait... oh the possibilities

Every time I go to SES, I end up talking to Todd. Lately, I've also been talking with Rand, Ken (some guy), and Todd. What do the first two have in common that the second two don't seem to buy into as much?


Todd and Rand are two very good writers, and the linkbait they produce is second to none. Ken and the other Todd seem to use more traditional SEO methods, although they're not totally ignoring linkbait. Nor are they ignoring rankings.

I guess what it comes down to is this: Do you want to do linking strategies, or do you want to be creative and have links show up because of some (interesting / controversial / insightful) content? Either one takes work.

So what type of linkbait could we come up with for power tools? Something viral, like doing stupid things on video with power tools, would obviously attract some attention. Buying guides and hands on stuff seems to get minimal attention, although they do bring a few links if done well. I've got a couple ideas up …

Wal-Mart's pricing is different online

As I was browsing for a monitor today, I noticed they had one for less than most of the other online sites I usually check out. I decided that since this wasn't an "Online Only" listing that I'd head over and pick one up. I didn't have much trouble finding it in the store (they don't have much selection, so it's easy to spot it), then I went to the checkout. I was grabbing the one below:

I wasn't thinking about it much as I approached the register, but when the lady scanned the box and it came up as $192, I wasn't pleased. $22.12 extra just for shopping in the store? That's not right. That's an extra 13%, plus I'll have to pay more in sales tax.

For now, Wal-Mart is on that list that begins with the letter "S" once again. Not that they ever stray much from that list, but I've got another reason. Too bad my hometown doesn't have much else to choose from. I'll have to venture out after work one of these d…

By popular demand...

I've been having lots of people email me asking for a copy of my slides from the Shopping Search Tactics session at SES last week. Instead of emailing everyone with that, I'm just going to post the presentation here. Any questions on it, let me know.

WebmasterRadio.FM - What's up?

I had a nice conversation with Darron of WebmasterRadio.FM at SES. He showed me a sneak peek of WebmasterRadio 2.0 and gave me a tour of the analytics he can pull from Akamai, which he had switched to just 8 days prior. It was really cool, and I'm hoping to take a deeper look at using soon (which is why he showed me anything in the first place). Oh, and I won't say anything about those stats, the servers, or the admin panels since Darren said he'd hunt me down and kill me if I did. I don't think that's really the case, but I did see some sensitive stuff that he doesn't want out in public.

But all of this leads me to wonder what's going on tonight. As I'm trying to get a podcast of "The Alternative" - specifically the episode from 12/07/2006 (52 MB), it's been working for 2 hours and still shows 12 minutes left. I'd consider that it might be my connection, but I downloaded 800 megs of other podcasts while this was going, and that didn…

Being called a RockStar... priceless

My ego got a boost at SES this time (not that it really needed that - ego's don't sell products) when I was called a "True SEO RockStar" by an SEO RockStar. It's rather nice getting noticed by some of the people in the industry, and really validates what I do on a daily basis.

Some other take-aways from SES so far.

There is a lot of money in domain brokering. I heard about a .net domain that a guy bought for $149k. He also has a domain that is related to our space that he scored that has had multiple offers that he's rejected thrown at him.

Podcasting isn't just for playing with any more. It's a real medium that even some nuts-and-bolt sellers are using to increase sales.

Very few online businesses can do $1M/month in sales. According to a source, even the's of the world fall short of that mark, making what I'm doing at ToolBarn even more impressive.

I guess what people have been saying for years is true - the Internet creates a level play…

The windy city... and SES

One thing you've got to say about Chicago... this place blows! Literally. And it's always a cold wind on top of that. But I made it here, all the giveaways I have for evens made it in one piece (well, 37 pieces for the socket sets), and I'm all ready and waiting for something to start.

While checking in, Bruce Clay welcomed me to the wonderful weather of Chicago. Little did he realize it wasn't much different than home.

Prices for Internet access went up from last year. It was $9.99 12 months ago, now it's $12.95/day. I opted for the $59.95 for a week route, since 5 days at $12.95 was a bit more than the weekly rate.

In any even, I'm off to meet Allan Dick of Vintage Tub and we'll see what we can accomplish tonight. First order of business: food.

Packing my bags

I'm packing my bags tonight to head out to Chicago tomorrow. I'll be speaking on one panel on Thursday. I'm looking forward to seeing some friends, talking shop with someone who understands what I do, and meeting some new people. I tend to get more from the networking than from the sessions now (9 conferences in 3 years can do that), so I'll be watching out for cool people once again.

Someday I'll have to show up with my resume polished up, but for now I'm not actively looking. Yet, every time I go there, someone offers me a job. I guess success breeds interest and options.

I've also got some really cool giveaways this time, ranging from several 37 piece socket sets for my session to a huge contractor's bag full of hand tools and a Lithium-ion cordless driver for a private party on Monday night. This should be fun. Last time sure was as I gave Chris Sherman of SearchEngineWatch a tool belt. Not only was it fun that he won it, but he actually wanted it fo…