John Novak

Leo StrongJohn Novak’s Travails

Got the emails from John Novak earlier this (Monday) morning. All his sites are suspended for the foreseeable future due to the consequences of a malicious hack on Easter weekend.

The hack itself was enough, but over 500 of his ‘loyal customers’ have triggered PayPal disputes. PayPal has almost no choice but to suspend his account until they are settled. With out PayPal, John is out of business.

Without the excessive PayPal disputes, John would have been back up today at all 3 sites.

Consequences

3 Websites down. Dr Clix is a PTC, a part of the income stream for a whole lot of people. List Build Tactics is a teaching site, primarily to help newbies get started in the business on the right foot. List Build Surf is one of the best TEs around, by anybody’s rating system.

And the personal damage to John. He is one of the truly fine individuals in this sphere of business. Always ready to help, always supportive, always kind and caring. I have no idea how much this has/will cost him, but it will be significant.

Don’t forget Sunny. She is John’s support person, and I presume that she is now out of a job, too.

Stinks.

What to Do?

The short answer is, I don’t know. If I knew, I would do it today.

If there was anything I could do to support John Novak and his sites, I would. All I can do for now is support John Novak, affiliate marketer. I am, I do. I would suggest that a kind word of support and good feelings for John would be appropriate when you see him around.

I think I will put John’s Leo to work. You know, the little blue guy that is his mascot at List Build Surf and List Build Tactics. He is on the Logo picture right at the top of this page.

I’m going to try to live ‘Leo Strong’ for a while.  We’ll see how that works out for me, I’ll let you know on Saturday.

I’m just sayin’

Saturday Shortstop: Ernie Banks

Ernie Banks
image courtesy of Topps Baseball Cards

Wrigley Field, Chicago celebrated it’s 100th birthday this last week. Who else to be the shortstop but ‘Mr. Cub’ himself, Ernie Banks.  I remember that baseball card so well, I can almost taste the bubble gum.

Ernie Banks spent his entire career with two teams: The Kansas City Monarchs and the Chicago Cubs. He played one year in Kansas City before the war and 2 years after his military service. Broke in with the Cubs in 1953 and retired in 1971. A 14 time All Star, 2 time MVP inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

As of this writing, Doc John remains hacked and his websites down. His host is struggling with it because he has two separate servers that were both compromised. So far, it looks like simply a malicious hack, with no money missing yet. I’m rooting for Doc to come back any time.

There is a lot of rhetoric swirling around the FCCs (Federal Communication Commission) attempt to re write the ‘Net Neutrality’ rules (article here). Near as I can tell it all comes down to money. Who has it, who gets it and who pays it. What does it mean to you and me? Higher fees, almost with out doubt.

Bitcoin seems to have rallied a little and stabilized in the $500 area.

The Federal Election Commission is reviewing a request to allow bitcoin donations to political campaigns as soon as this year. Really.

Click Your Face Off continues to grow steadily and has made it over 1500 members. Congratulations, Sunny.

Ernie Banks was more than just a ballplayer. He was an ambassador of goodwill and enthusiasm. Very famous for his “Let’s play 2” line, he was ALWAYS ready to go.

A little ‘Let’s play 2’ enthusiasm in my business will go a long way, too!

I’m just sayin’

Advertising Advertising

Advertising SpiderYou ever get a spider in your head? An idea, or a concept that won’t completely finish up, and doesn’t want to come out until it is? I’ve got one.

It’s about advertising. Is too much too much? Is a little too much? Is there a line, a tip over point? Who knows? Who is the expert that can tell me?

Advertising Advertising

I get it, trust me on this. We are in an advertising medium, and it’s ALL about advertising. It’s what we do. I advertise. You advertise. We advertise. But…

John Morrow got me started on this. He mentioned that Copyblogger doesn’t have advertising on their site. They promote their products, certainly. But it’s promotion, not advertising and isn’t even remotely ‘in your face’. So I got to looking around at some of the most successful sites that I know of. Guess what? It’s everyplace. Real successful sites don’t advertise on their sites for the most part.

Do the big, big dogs of this industry know something I don’t?

Advertising Stuff

I do it. Look just over here to the right =====>>>> 4 square banners. It’s a little passive income, and every now and again, somebody that reads this blog clicks a link and joins.

Harmless at worst, a little cash in pocket at best. Right?

But. Does it dilute the message? Even a little bit? Take some of the focus off my words?

Advertising Too Much

I’m thinking here of those ads that have 73 banners around a central core ad. I KNOW that I am distracted by information overload and get none of it. None. I’m not sure that is the general rule, but it is certainly true for me. If you are using one of those sites to advertise to me, you would be way better served to post an entirely blank page with only one link.

And the Answer Is…

I don’t know. The spider seems to be indicating that promotion and very focused promotion at that, is the right way to go. It seems right now like every banner is a distraction from the focus of the piece. What do you think, gentle reader? I’d really like to know. It’s time that I either feed the spider or squash him. You can help.

I’m just sayin’

Hack

Authors note:  No clever picture today to boost my SEO score.  I searched Hack and Hacking and got nothing but friendly to the hacker results.  Hacking is a crime and always HURTS SOMEONE.

So, my friend John Novak got his sites hacked this weekend.

I could go on at great length about John and his websites. He is truly one of the good guys in this industry. Fair, equitable, honest in all his doings. It astounds me that he’d be the one to get a savage hack.

Hack Hacker Hacking

According to Wikipedia, hacking dates to the 70’s phone network breach. People banded together to steal time and lines from ATT. At the time, it was given a little polish because the cost of phone service was atrocious. Even a modest computer habit could cost you $100 per month. $0.25 cent per minute long distance was the norm. In the days prior to the internet, the only way to communicate was ATT long distance. Person to person or computer to computer.

There is an essential truth to hacking that is evident no matter how much polish is applied. It is theft of service and somebody gets hurt by it. Period.

Today’s Truth

Hackers today are seen in a funny light. Many are viewed with sympathy and as a modern day Robin Hood. Taking from the wealthy to distribute to the poor sort of thing. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo certainly treated hacking in a favorable light.

We as a society have perverted the very word hack. We have ‘life hacks’ and ‘headline hacks’ and a multitude of other shortcuts to ordinary problems. It makes an attractive selling point. But every one of these makes the obvious a little less so.

Hacking is a criminal project. Hacking is against the law. Hacking is a process by where someone (always the unknown someone) STEALS something that he/she has no right or claim to. STEALS.

Specific Hack

In the case of John Novak’s hack over Easter weekend the monetary cost to John is pretty large, and the cost to his hosting company is huge. The biggest loser, however, is John’s reputation in the general public. The raw dollar cost is nothing compared to the loss of trust and reputation in a competitive market.

John didn’t deserve this. Nobody does.

I’m just sayin’
Works Cited
“Hacker (computer Security).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Apr. 2014. Web. 20 Apr. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_(computer_security)>.

Saturday Shortstop: Nomar Garciaparra

Nomar GarciaparraNomar Garciaparra

Boston Red Sox. You have to say NoMah to get it right. Part of the team that finally put ‘the Curse of the Bambino’ to rest in Boston, he is the stuff of legend there. It is hard for me to imagine a more popular player ever in Boston. Johnny Peske? Yaz? Ted Williams? My money is on Nomar.

Ok. It’s official. I am irritated with the Cash Surfing Network guys. In fact, sorry Robert, I am irritated with the CSN City guys. What’s up with that? I am a big believer in the ‘Launch it then Fix it’ theory, but it’s now been over 2 weeks with nothing. Is it just a surf and collect deal? Then why can’t I look at my whole collection? Is it a game? What is the object? What are the rules? How do you play? Will I be able to use ‘City Money’ to buy this information? When and for how much?

Part of the reason for my irritation (more than miffed, less than angry) is the massive potential that is there. I saw that it could be the unifying part to a business hub. What I see now looks more like a forgotten step child. I really expected more from this team.

Speaking of programs with stupendous upside, TimTech seems to have turned one loose this week. Kore4. I’m not sure why it has been so polarizing, it seems a simple ‘take it or leave it’ business opportunity to me. For the record, I am firmly in the ‘take’ category.

And another program to watch: Sunny Suggs’ Click Your Face Off TE. Over 1000 members, running promotions and working like a new watch. It’s going to be great, no doubt in my mind.

Note: The DoD (Department of Defense) OK’d Amazon to be their cloud computing supplier. Why does that matter? Not only is DoD a huge customer, but Amazon beat out Google. When was the last time you remember Google being beaten out for anything??

For those keeping track, Bitcoin is up most of $100 for the week. For the record, I am not invested in Bitcoin, and don’t recommend this market at all.

I have promised myself that I will spend the weekend cleaning up my bookmarks. I easily have 10,000 with over 5000 in folders. It’s the 5k that are not in folders that I need to address. <Big Sigh>

Even for me, it is hard to remember that Nomar Garciaparra finished his career playing for the Dodgers, the Cubs and the Athletics. He so dominated and was the face of his franchise that it is hard to remember the rest. It’s a good business lesson for me. Be known, and well known in my area. People remember

I’m just sayin’

 

Would You Buy From You?

You want to know who chaps my ass today? I’ll tell you. Blain Jones. Remember? He came tearing (back) into our community about the first of the year. Made a lot of noise and promises. Where are you now, Blain Jones??

Which makes me want to turn the other cheek. Yes, both cheeks are chapped. How many new blogs started in January? How many of them are still in business?

Cumon’ Man! This isn’t a get rich quick business. It isn’t a get well known quick business, either. Takes commitment and dedication and stick to it. What? You didn’t get rich and famous in the first week or month so you move on? Good luck with that.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: If you want to succeed in this business you need to pick a course of action and follow it for one year. One year. Without making appreciable money, without 10,000 subscribers, without reward. One year. Otherwise, you are perceived as a person that can’t stay the course.

Would you buy from a person that you know can’t stay the course? I certainly wouldn’t. Would you buy from YOU? There is the real question. Would you buy from you?

Yes, it’s all about your reputation. The only way to establish a reputation is to have one and ESTABLISH it. Without a reputation, you are not likely to make any progress at all.

The good news? It’s never, ever too late to establish or re-establish a reputation in this business. You can’t buy it, you can’t fake it, you can’t wish it. You have to work for it. It takes time and consistent effort. No secret, no million dollar answer, no shortcut.

You want to make a million overnight? I know the perfect product for you to develop. A five year reputation of consistent effort and success. Bottle that up and you can sell thousands of them for thousands of dollars. A genuine million dollar product.

Until then, I ask one more time: Would you buy from you?

I’m just sayin’

Author’s Note:  This should not be construed as an attack on Blain Jones, or anyone else.  I really like Blain, I just don’t know what happened or where he went. It should be construed as a chance to look in the mirror and check your progress.

 

 

Kore4: What’s Happening?

Kore4 BannerHere’s a surprise. At noon EDT yesterday, TimTech launched a new program. Kore4. If you haven’t been comatose and around this business at all, you are at least familiar with the logo by now.

What is Kore4?

There are a lot of things being said and claimed about Kore4, and at this point, most are absolutely true. Much of what you and I see of Kore4 is dependent on where we are on the socio-economic spectrum.

For TT it is clearly revenue enhancement. Ultimate upgrade or business builder, it is clearly another step toward the outlet of the sales funnel for TT. It’s capitalism 101 in action, and it looks like it will work just fine for TT.

For affiliates, Kore4 is a chance to promote a good solid product and earn residual income. A wonderful chance for that.

For members, it is simply an ultimate upgrade and the chance to accelerate their education and training in CTP.

Why Kore4?

For us affiliates, Kore4 is a high paying solid business opportunity. It is based on TimTech’s legendary core products of CTP and Traffic Exchanges. It is a product that is based on retention and longevity. Pretty attractive stuff. I know I am promoting it, and think highly enough of it at this point to modify my 2014 plans and goals to include it.

For members, there are a couple of things.

1: It is a money saver. I signed up yesterday and paid my $30.00. I then went to PayPal and cancelled my upgrade subscriptions to the individual sites. I save $15 per month over the cost of individual updates. (I know the raw retail numbers are different. Most of my upgrades were ‘bargain priced’ from TT sales) I will upgrade at 2 more sites with that $15. Free upgrades, as it were.
2: Commitment. In my opinion, the single most important part of any upgrade. It is an absolute physical sign that I am committed to my craft, and growing my business. It may not mean much to anyone else, but putting MY money into a program is a real sign of effort and willingness to me.
3: And you get all of that STUFF! There is a real laundry list of coolness attached to Kore4.

The Lifetime Upgrade Quandary

If you are a lifetime member at the TimTech sites, Kore4 presents a decision. You are used to no payments of any sort, and have made a significant commitment to TimTech with your lifetime upgrade.

Kore4 DOES NOT supplant the lifetime upgrade. Those go on forever (well, at least to 2114) and are as valid today as they were the day you bought them.

Kore4 DOES provide an upgrade to lifetime (seems weird, doesn’t it?). The very most is 100% commission on the first month of every sign up to Kore4. That is significant.

And if you have lifetime upgrades and sign up for Kore4, you DO NOT give up your lifetime upgrades. When you quit Kore4, you will revert to a lifetime update. Pretty sweet.

Initial Grade

A. I think Kore4 is the real deal. I’m in, I encourage you to at least read all about it.

And Another Thing

Sunny Suggs’ Click Your Face Off TE is one week old and growing nicely. I predict that CYFO is going to be one of the top TEs in one year. Yep, Sunny is that good. Don’t forget about it in all the hype and frenzy around Kore4.

I’m just sayin’

 

 

 

Saturday Shortstop: Luke Appling

Luke ApplingLuke Appling was a great shortstop that played his entire 20 year career with one team, the White Sox.  A .310 career hitter, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1964, in the original class from the ‘oldtimers committee’.

First things first:  Sunny Suggs’  Click Your Face Off is out of the gate and going strong.  There is no doubt that this is going to be one of the Traffic Exchanges to watch and be in, you might as well join now.  Great for newcomers and veterans alike, it is based on branding and exposure.

Bitcoin is dropping in value like a stone in a well.  Currently (Friday morning) just under $400, I have seen it as low as $350 in the last 24 hours.  Remember folks, this is not a currency.  It is in fact a commodity, and should be treated as such.  There is money to be made when a commodity is volatile like Bitcoin is, but it takes daring and caution to outguess any market.  Be careful.

A by-product of the Bitcoin slide is a corresponding rise in scammer sites.  People are losing value hourly, and the unscrupulous are taking full advantage of the situation.  Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.  The Bitcoin PTC where I have an account (BTC Clicks) has lots of ads, and at least half are completely suspect.  Buyer beware.

The good news?  The Bitcoin slide makes advertising cheap.  I got 1000 PTC clicks for .98 dollar (98 cents) in bitcoin last week, and it has lost ⅓ of it’s value since then.  There are bargains to be had.

NextGov dot com has an article this week about the problems of smuggling large amounts of cash and how the government hopes to catch said smugglers.  Interesting article, but there were some side lights that really caught my eye.

  1.   “El Chapo” Guzman (head of the Sinaloa Cartel) had over 1 billion dollars in $100 bills in his possession when he was arrested.
  2.   One million dollars in $100 bills weighs over 20 pounds.  El Chapo’s stash weighed over 10 tons.
  3.   In fiscal 2013 Homeland Security (ICE) seized $59 million from currency smugglers.  By their estimates, that is about 1% of the total.
  4.   Combining those statistics, $6 billion dollars weighing 60 tons (120,000 pounds) cross the border into Mexico each year.  That’s a big pile.

I got to see Luke Appling hit his last ever home run on TV.  He was playing an oldtimers game in RFK stadium in 1982 (age 75).  You can see it here.  There is a lot to be said for staying in shape and ready for action in business, too.

I am not in any way advocating drug use, or smuggling of any sort.  But I could live like a king for the rest of my days off the leakage from one year’s stack of smuggled money.

I’m just sayin’

Video courtesy of NBC sports.  Picture from baseballjunkies blogsport.com

 

Click Your Face Off

Click Your Face OffEvery once in a while there is a profound change in the structure of life, a disturbance in the force, or Hell freezes over. It has happened.

My friend Sunny Suggs has a new traffic exchange. Click Your Face Off was launched yesterday with much ado and fanfare.

Click Your Face Off

At first glance, it’s a relatively straight forward TE. Cute mascot, beautiful design and build. The biggest difference between CYFO and any other new exchange come down to a pair.

1. It’s Sunny Suggs. This is not some ‘babe in the woods’, this is a very experienced internet marketer, program owner and TE developer. You KNOW it’s going to work.

2. It’s based on branding. You just about can’t be anonymous at CYFO. You have to get your face in the grind.

What to Expect

Sunny Suggs. Click Your Face Off will be the very best that she can make it…and her best is mighty good. Sunny has a secret. Not only does she have vast experience on the internet, she just plain works harder than everybody else. Trust me on this: I pride myself on my work ethic, and I’m not in the same league.

Consistency. Once Sunny starts a project, she pursues it like a terrier after a rat. She will absolutely make this one of the best sites on the web.

You know how you can tell it’s going to be great? Look at the people promoting it. TimTech, Legacy, Eric Goettman, Robert Puddy, John Novak, Jerry Iannucci, Tony Tezak, Russell Stockley, Tech Dime, and many others. These are savvy smart TE guys that know the value of getting into a place like CYFO and getting downlines started early. How can you go wrong with that??

How did this Happen?

Sunny has told me on more than one occasion that she would never, ever, not even possibly own another traffic exchange. For those that don’t know, she started, developed and sold Boot Scootin’ Traffic. She launched it and took it to a position of prominence in TE land, I have no doubt that she will do the same with Click Your Face Off.

Comes to the story our friend Janelle Pineau. Owning a TE was her mission in life. When she and Sunny first became friends (it’s part of the story about the face. I’ll tell it another time) Janelle expressed her desire. Sunny tried to talk her out of it (it’s a LOT of work, and a real serious commitment) by explaining all the negatives. Janelle was not convinced, and with the inevitability of a glacier on a boulder, wore Sunny down. They formed a partnership, and started the development of the site.

Then, Janelle was hired by TimTech. Company rules are ‘our sites, not yours’, so she divested herself of Banner Monkey and the idea of the TE. For my part of the story, when I decided to hold TrackeryMe until after Christmas/New Year, they gave me their original launch date, Jan. 8. It worked really well for me.

The idea of the TE just wouldn’t leave Sunny alone. She told me some time ago that she was going to go ahead with it…and I’m not saying that Hell froze, but it got cold in Yuma, a close neighbor.

Honesty Bites

That is my referral link up there near the start of this. But I don’t have the best deal going for signing up at Click Your Face Off going. It won’t take you much looking to find a better offer.

This is going to be a dandy TE, I already know.

I’m just sayin’

Make up Your Mind

Yota
Lucas Films

“Did you ever have to make up your mind?
Take the one you want and leave the other one behind?
It’s not often easy, it’s not often kind.
Did you ever have to make up your mind?”
copyright 1965 John B Sebastian and Loving Spoonful

“Do or do not. There is no try.”
Yota Empire Strikes Back Lucas Films, 1980

The Dilemma

I am faced with a fundamental shift in how I present my online business. The evidence and reasons for making a change are very compelling, it should be a ‘no brainer’. Do it…do it right now! Just make up your mind.

The Problem

Here’s the rub. I have been infected with the largest known inhibitor to growth and change. Success.

What I do, how I do it, is working.

How do I walk away from what is working and take a path that is theoretical at best? Why would I even consider such a step?

Conventional Wisdom Says?

“Get in line, stay in line.” Thanks Jon Olson, I’m a big believer. What if I can see the (front) end of the line, and it’s not quite where I am headed?

“Make your choice and go all in” Well, yeah. I buy that too.

“Make up your mind.”

“You know you better Make up Your Mind”

What I want, where I am going, and how I am getting there are in conflict right now. I have mind mapped, I have meditated, I have thought extensively about where and how to go. I have read more than 20,000 words. The simple act of writing this out has helped me immensely.

The whole truth is, I HAVE made up my mind. The winds of change are blowing through my mind. Blowing hard, with all the possibility and excitement that can bring.

Now I just have to convince my heart and my gut that the brain is right, this time.

Not an easy task.

Stay tuned!

I’m just sayin’