Friday, September 18, 2015

Google Local Guides: Who Knew?

Google+ Local, formerly called Google Local or Google My Business (Who really knows what the official name of Google's local service is?)... launched a service in February called "Google Local Guides." 

Unlike Yelp, Google has never successfully built a community around its local service, and the fact that Google+ is pretty much a flop hasn't help. That said, it looks like a major shake-up is in motion at Google with respect to both Google+ and local.

And - today - I actually received some spam from Google asking me to join and be a guide. So they're maybe kinda sortta trying to promote Google+ Local and build it into a viable social media, competitor to Yelp.

One can hope.

Here's the spam they sent me:

Google Local Guides - Who Knew?


The idea is like Yelp Elites to motivate and reward a bunch of do-it-yourself, passionate local reviewers. 

Resources on Google Local Guides



Saturday, September 12, 2015

Ad Blocker Software: I'm Going to the Dark Side

I am going to the dark side: blocking ads. I've been in business since 1994 on the Internet, making my first money off of an advertising-supported site, eg3.com. Generally speaking, I recognize that ads support the "free" content on the Internet, and I am decidely NOT against ads.

I am Not Against Ads. I am Against Slowness


But... we're reaching the tipping point.

Ad Blocking Software
My Web browsing is getting slower and slower and slower. I was recently at Content Marketing World in Cleveland, and at one of the presentations (on advertising), the jolly presenter talked about ad-serving software, and all the wonderful data it gave advertisers (on me and my habits). I'm not opposed to that: I recognize that "personally non-identifiable" information isn't bad - I'd like to get relevant ads.

I don't mind ads.

Ads Slow Down Your Browsing


What I DO mind is slowness. As I watched the presenter, I realized that it was the ad serving - the remarketing, the lookups to ad networks, the "slow waiting till they figure out who I am, what demographic and what I am" that is SLOWING DOWN MY WEB BROWSER.

So here I am: going to the dark side.

I simply Googled "ad blocker for chrome" and installed the #1 result from the Chrome store (rather ironic, no?).  AdBlock.

Note to all Internet advertisers: you gotta increase the SPEED of advertising if you want us to play nice. Until then, I'm blocking ads.