I think I mentioned it before, but back in May/June I decided to have a go at making some small websites and trying to monetise them. I’m not going to be a millionaire any time soon but they’re bringing in some pocket money, and I have been quite lucky because the first site started bringing in money within a couple of weeks.
Since it’s the weekend, I thought I’d do a quick round up blog post…so here it is – ten random sites I’ve been reading this week. Taken from my bookmarks, history, and stuff I currently have open. And of course I’ve removed the usual suspects (Facebook, Grooveshark etc.) because they’re a given.
In no particular order…
When I first launched the Twitter plugboard, my policy was to follow people back on Twitter for courtesy (it was never automated, always manual). It was an interesting approach to take, and it had a LOT of unexpected effects. I got a lot of followers out of it, and made some good contacts, but it’s not something I’m going to continue doing.
I ended up following a lot of people who had opposite beliefs to me (political, social and religious), I was getting plenty of irrelevant tweets (sorry, I’m not interested in buying discount sportswear from a different continent), and plenty of tweets that I didn’t understand (why hello there language barriers). And that’s before the endless spam.
What is also interesting is that Twitter started their ‘People who are similar to you’, and ‘People you should follow’ approach whilst I was doing this. So I didn’t end up with just one follower who happened to like Justin Bieber, I ended up with hundreds and hundreds of them. And the more I followed back, the more Twitter thought I was interested in Justin Bieber and the more Justin Bieber fans were invited to follow me (as it so happens, I don’t really care about him either way). Of course, that’s great if you have a really narrow follower base and all your contacts are interested in what you’re interested in. My tweets from my blossomnu account are mostly personal, and so it’s not really that helpful.
When it started to get to the stage that I had so many Justin Bieber followers that Twitter was telling me Perez Hilton was similar to me, I knew that something had to be done. My Twitter account stopped being a personal representation of me, and I had started to become defined by my followers rather than my words.
I was a bit confused today when tweets about elephants started popping up in our company Twitter feed. Elephants aren’t a big topic in the web hosting industry (unless you’re EasySpace and your logo is an elephant), and my preferred topics are probably zombies and biscuits with a bit of tech thrown in; luckily our customers like those things too. Anyway, the whole elephant thing turned out to be possibly the biggest marketing fail I’ve ever heard of.
If you haven’t heard about it yet, basically the CEO of GoDaddy.com shot an elephant in Zimbabwe. And took a video of it which included promotional GoDaddy hats. And then posted it on the GoDaddy website. I’m not going to link directly to it on principle, so here’s a link to the Google results and you can pick your result of choice.
To be honest, I haven’t even watched the video because I really hate that kind of stuff. Most of twitter seems to be going mental though. What’s interesting is that Namecheap.com has actually set up a marketing campaign for half price .com/.net/.org domain name transfers and they’re apparently going to donate $1 from each to SavetheElephants.org. They’ve also paid for a promoted tweet to draw attention to it. I’m actually torn as to whether this is a stroke of genius or just a really low, opportunistic thing to do. At least it helps the elephants I guess…and it’s getting a LOT of coverage. Now all that’s needed is a Flash/HTML5 game where you can run Bob Parsons over with a herd of elephants and whoever does it is guaranteed to go viral.
Unfortunately, I do actually have a domain name with GoDaddy, because I picked up one in one of their auctions several months ago. I’m still happy to pay the full transfer cost even though I have a few months of hosting left, on principle.
PS Sorry for being to rubbish at returning comments recently, I’ll do it before the weekend!