Great SEO people, Thomas aka Thos003

Did you ever wanted to get a black shirt with your quote on it just before a conference for you to wear? Just make sure you get on the good side of Thomas, aka Thos003. First time you meet, he will tell you he is killing bugs. No, not the bugs in software, but rather the real deal. Thomas is the SEO for a pest control company, Bulwark Extermination.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Florida for the BlueGlass conference in Fort Lauderdale. Thomas made me a shirt with a quote I used in a panel on SMX advanced in-house session. A few weeks after the SMX advanced in Seattle, Thomas asked me what the acronym was I used on the board. I figured he wanted to use it in some internal presentation, so I shared it on Twitter:

Thomas: @TheNextCorner What was that acronym you used for #SEO priorities?

Me: @Thos003 LUMPS > Links, URL's, Meta Tags, Page Content & Elements, Sitemaps

Little did I know he would had something else in mind; Thomas brought to Florida my own quote printed on a t-shirt! Check this out:

To show off in the office, I put on the t-shirt the  first day I got back from Florida. Posing in front of the eBay logo:

Black Shirt SEO via Thomas, aka Thos003

2010 Equinox, Summer turns into Fall

And before you knew it, the summer is over. The 2010 September Equinox falls on 23 September 03.09. The Fall Equinox is the moment when the night and day span exactly the same amount of hours.

An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth's equator. The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens….An equinox happens each year at two specific moments in time (rather than two whole days), when there is a location on the Earth's equator where the center of the Sun can be observed to be vertically overhead (in astronomical terms, the subsolar point), occurring around March 20/21 and September 22/23 each year….On a day of the equinox, the center of the Sun spends a roughly equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on the Earth, night and day being of roughly the same length.

If you ever have the chance, go check out the Equinox in Chichen Itza.

Foursquare Church, Did You Check In?

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Did you check in with the First Foursquare Church? I wonder who the mayor is?

Happy Fathers Day 2010

For two weeks my daughter Jools, 3.5 years old, has kept a special fathers day secret. She made the card she gave to me this morning herself at pre-school. Summer break at school started 2 weeks ago, so the card has been made before the break started.

Happy fathers day to all daddies!

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Hello Kitty Wedding Cake Topper

Will the Hello Kitty Wedding Cake topper become the new standard on wedding? I don’t think so, or at least, I don’t hope so. So why would I write about a Cake Topper if it’s not that interesting?

imageEvery person has their own favorite examples they always use to make a point. A couple of weeks ago, somebody asked me why we were not ranking on Ernie Banks Baseball Cards. So we hacked a page together to try to rank.

Today, a new challenge came along. The Hello Kitty Wedding Cake Topper. These Kitty’s are selling for some serious money. There are currently a couple listing on the eBay.com site, where these sell for between $50 and $150! Those are some serious Wedding Cake Toppers…

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Find a Hello Kitty Wedding Cake Topper on eBay

German iPad

You know how much Germans love David Hasselhoff. They should change their national anthem to: I’ve been looking for Freedom”.

So when my German colleague got an iPad this morning through the mail, we were all so surprised the iPad came with a pre-installed David Hasselhoff background. The book: Don’t Hassel The Hoff was a give away included in the package…

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Sven Kramer vs Stupid NBC reporter

UPDATE: YouTube removed the original video with the subtitles. You can still find the video on a Dutch video site. I'm sure they won't remove the video: click here


The Dutch interview of Sven Kramer where the reporter discusses an NBC reporter asking some stupid questions to the just crowned Olympic champion, is stirring up quite a storm on the Internet. On Reddit there is quite some discussion on who is the Douche bag here, and on other blogs there are people cheering for Sven, and others disagree with his response. One more time, here is the actual Youtube movie:

The Dutch reporter and Sven Kramer are discussing the awkward situation after the reporter asked the question and Sven called the NBC reporter stupid. The reporter is pointing out that US media work this way and expect athletes to work with them. Ultimately, Sven does not want to work the way the NBC reporter asked him to, and thinks the media should do their job, where he should concentrate on his sports. He is still in the race for two additional gold medals!

Although I agree totally with Sven Kramer calling the NBC reporter stupid, this might well be one defining moment in reputation management. How it will play out is not sure yet, but it could turn ugly if people would become more aggressive in their comments. I just wait for the clip to turn up on the Colbert Report tonight!

Some comments from across the web:

The guy JUST won the gold medal race at which you are in attendance for the sole purpose to report on and you have to ask his name? Is this reporter really someone in General Electric's accounting dept. who won a contest to go to Vancouver? Kramer is sure to point out in the above interview on Dutch TV that it was an American reporter, not Canadian. Hey, we might not pay much attention to this sport between Olympics, but at least we can pay attention when the race is happening right in front of our face.

So then why didn't she just say his name and where he was from herself into the mic before she started the interview? Do you think a reporter would do the same for Brad Pitt?? This isn't some guy she's chatting with on the street, asking him for an opinion on some random subject.

And from people who work in the TV media world comes the following:

Anyone who has worked in television news will tell you it's standard practice to get any interview to state their name and for very good reason. The person doing the interview is often not the one who pulls the "clip".

A producer in a dark room shuffling through hours of video of guys in orange suits would have no way of knowing this is the guy that just won a gold medal.

The other reason is to provide a pronunciation guide. Even a seemingly simple name like Smythe can have at least three different variations.

I work as a field crew for a television station, so let me put this in perspective here. In most situations the crew does know you biography, it our job to know who we are interviewing. The people who haven't read your entire life's history is everyone else watching the tape. I don't know if that was aired live, but in the course of a day, or a major event like the Olympics, or super bowl, or Daytona 500, we interview dozens and dozens of people. Sometimes when in a hurry its easier just to shuttle to the beginning of the interview and refresh our memory with the persons name and where they are from. Its standard practice to ask from name, spelling, pronunciation, and title at the beginning of every interview because at the end of the day you may not be the person writing the story or editing it. You may be "kinda a big deal" where you come from, but we have 20 other interviews to get today and I probably won't remember your name in 3 hours when I'm editing my tape asshole.

So, I’m interested in what you think. Was the reporter asking a stupid question to somebody who just won an Olympic gold medal, and can we expect more from today’s media crews, or has Sven Kramer hurt his own reputation after making this remark.

PS> One thing I would like to put into the equation, as English is not the first language of Sven Kramer, it might be a slip of the tongue as his first reaction. If the NBS reporter really feels offended, I would suggest to do the interview next time in Dutch!


10 Top Gear Cars You Can Buy on eBay Motors + 1 Bonus

I love Top Gear. It's an awesome program about cars, of which most of the cars the Top Gear team drives, I cannot afford to buy. Or can I? So what to buy if you have more than $100,000 to spend? Let’s just have a look at what sold on eBay Motors in the week between Christmas and New Year! The results are not too shabby...

Porsche Panamera 4S

The 30 November 2008 edition of Top Gear featured a look at the Panamera in its news section, with the three presenters critically comparing its looks to those of the Austin Maxi. On 21 May 2009 Richard Hammond and James May from Top Gear were seen driving the Panamera along the A30 in Devon. They were racing against a letter sent via Royal Mail between the Isles of Scilly and the Orkney Islands. This episode was broadcast on the BBC on 12 July 2009. Jeremy Clarkson reviewed the Porsche Panamera for an article with The Times newspaper and said "Porsche plainly gave the job to a janitor". (Wikipedia)

What do they say at Top Gear about the Porsche Panamera? Just enjoy the race between the Porsche Panamera and a letter travelling with the Royal British Mail across the country. The clip is in two movies below here.

Watch this car on eBay being sold for $100K+

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Ferrari 612

In a spectacular race between a Ferrari 612 and a plane, the Top Gear crew is putting the Ferrari to the test. Just check out if a Ferrari can beat a plane to go from London to Verbier in 3 short clips of Top Gear.

This is the James May of Ferraris. Conservative, practical and slower than the rest of us (Top Gear)

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A Ferrari 612 can sell for just over $200K on eBay

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Bentley Continental GT GTC CUSTOM

Have you been dreaming of owning a gorgeous Bentley GTC series but did not want to pay the new car price or get haggled at a dealership? Here is your chance to own this Bentley GTC at a huge discount to a new one and without the stress! This esteemed Bentley is the true definition of sports, luxury, prestige, and comfort.

Buy a Bentley convertible and you might as well don a velour tracksuit, have your teeth over-whitened and tan yourself orange. You are either nonentity-yet-rich starlet or a over payed CEO. (Top Gear)

You can already buy a Bentley Continental GT for just over $125K

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Lamborghini Gallardo

In the movie ‘No Man’s Land’, where a lot of Porsches were stolen, the Lamborghini was called ‘Italian Trash’. Who would not mind driving this trash…?

Any other vehicle feels a bit sterile by comparison. Even a Ferrari F430 feels a touch emasculated when parked next to the nasty, brilliantly insectile Gallardo (Top Gear)

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson announced on 18 February 2007 that he had bought a Gallardo Spyder, replacing his Ford GT. (Wikipedia)

The Gallardo is Lamborghini's most-produced model to date, with over 5000 built in its first three years of production. Although the Top Gear clip above here is claiming the Lamborghini is selling for 120K pounds, you can already but the Gallardo for just over $122K.

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Ferrari 430 F1

As we move from the Lamborghini Gallardo to the Ferrari 430 F1, there is no better test than the Top Gear race between the two...

The F430 is obsolete. No one their right mind would buy one now. They’d get the F430 Scuderia instead

The elder statesman of Maranello, the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is every inch a proper Ferrari, but it’s comparatively understated and seats four in serious luxury. Still good for nigh-on 200mph though. (Top Gear)

A Ferrari F430 can sell for $143K on eBay. Claimed to be “the cheapest” Ferrari of them all, it’s quite affordable to drive an Italian Stallion for just over $143K.

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Porsche 911 Turbo

German Engineering in the house

All-wheel drive? You want all-wheel drive? What are you, octogenarian? (Top Gear)

The GT2 made an appearance on Top Gear, where it had a lap time of 1:19.5, faster than a Carrera GT by .3 of a second. (Wikipedia)

Buying a Porsche 911 Turbo, is buying some German engineering.

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Ford GT40

Clarkson on the Ford GT40:

The GT40 became my favourite car and I would plead with my dad to buy a Cortina, to replace the last one he'd crashed. Ford need the money, I'd argue, to build more GT40s.

I had three Dinky toy GT40s and my bedroom wall was plastered with pictures of them. I even sat in one once, when I was eight or so, and decided there and then it would be the car I'd have one day.

Amazing that a Ford GT40 is selling for more than most of the cars in this post, and more for most of the luxurious cars. I guess beating Ferrari in Le Mans for 4 years secured the price of any of the Ford GT40’s for collectors.

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Aston Martin DBS

Feeling like James Bond today?

The most spectacular thing ever to have been invented. The Space Shuttle looks a bit rubbish in comparison. (Top Gear)

Driving this Aston Martin DBS You must feel like James Bond. If only you would not wreck it, as you just bought it for $209K. My absolute favorite of all the cars here on the list! If there would be one car I would try to save some money for, and buy it later in live, it would be an Aston Martin!

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Rolls-Royce Phantom

For just $138K, you can drive is style. Who would not want to drive the royal of the royal, the Rolls Royce Phantom? And if you ARE driving it, why not drive it on an aircraft carrier, just like the Top Gear tea has done… Awesome!

The best luxury car made anywhere. And we’re sneakily pleased it’s made 30 miles from the TG hangar.

The Rolls-Royce Phantom is another world. It’s not simply a normal car with more performance or more knobs on. In fact it’s got fewer knobs on. But its charm puts you in an entirely better frame of mind about life. (Top Gear)

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Audi R8

Maybe less style than the Rolls Royce, but if you like to go for speed, the Audi R8 is the way to go. Absolute powerful!

The R8 is on your side. It’s designed for ordinary drivers, not taciturn men in Nomex (Top Gear)

In a half mile drag race conducted by Top Gear between the R8 and a 997 Carrera S, the Porsche won, crossing the line just a half meter before the R8. However, the R8 easily beat the Porsche around Top Gear's test track.

The television show Top Gear compared the Nissan GT-R to the R8, and remarked that the R8 was "simultaneously less impressive and yet somehow more involving". On the R8 they wrote that "it rewards driver input", calling it "fantastic in a way that will appeal more to true car enthusiasts", but also remarked that it was "much slower", and the GT-R was cheaper. On their test track, the car performed better than a Lamborghini Gallardo and an Aston Martin DB9. (Wikipedia)

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Maserati MC12

Far the most expensive on the list here, you would have to bring more than $800K to buy this collectors Maserati MC12

The Top Gear television series acquired an MC12, and test driver The Stig achieved a lap time of 1:18.9 around the Top Gear track—0.1 seconds faster than his lap in the Enzo Ferrari. Host Jeremy Clarkson also drove it, comparing it to the Maserati Biturbo, a car he disliked. Clarkson criticized the car greatly, pointing out that, like the Enzo, it lacks a rear window. He also commented that it is "difficult" due to its size, and "one of the twitchiest cars" he has ever driven, meaning a small action by the driver results in an exaggerated reaction from the car. For these reasons, he promptly renamed the car "The MC Hammer". Regarding the design of a racing car and modification to road standards he said, "Is it a racer? Is it a GT car? Is it a de-tuned Enzo in a fat suit? You can't really tell." Despite his criticisms he did compliment the smooth ride:

“This car glides over bumps, the suspension absorbing the roadworker Johnnies’ laziness without transferring a single ripple to the cool blue interior with its Milanese fashion house upholstery.” (Wikipedia)

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Happy New Year 2010

I would like to wish everybody a Happy New Year

Champagne

Can Facial Hair Help Cure Cancer

The months of November is also been known for the increase of the number of facial hair showing faces around you. It seems like men are more inclined to grow some gigantic moustache when the leafs are falling, the sun goes down early and the temperature drops. November might be also known as Movember; the month of growing a moustache!

eBay search team is raising money for cancer research by growing a moustache. Please donate to the cause, even if it's only $1, Donate here

Moustache man

Picture credit: hapal http://www.flickr.com/photos/hapal/ / CC BY-ND 2.0

Did you know that 1 out of every 6 men will get diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and that testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 18-35? Are you paying enough attention, as a man, to your own health?

Before you read any further, you can donate at least $1 to the cancer research society. Support our team, the hair on my face is itching… Donate here

I personally have not seen a doctor for the last 2 years. The last time I was checked was for my green card application, where the doctor did a thorough examination. Other than that, I never see a doctor, as I’m hardly ill.

Every year in November since 2004, the men and women of Australia (especially those in the eBay Australian offices) have participated in a fun and exciting charity event called Movember. Since it started, the event has exploded in popularity and in 2007 the event went global with countries like Ireland, Canada, Spain, UK and US also joining in.

Right now, Movember is one of the hot search words in Australia. And from the trending data, you can see how Movember has grown rapidly as a yearly event to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer research.

The cause – to raise awareness of men’s health. It’s really quite a simple concept and there are 2 easy steps to participate

Men (also known as Mo Bro’s)

  1. Clean shave your face of all facial hair on the 1st of November
  2. Don’t shave your face for the month of November in an effort to grow the best mo (Australian for moustache)

Women (also known as Mo Sistas)

  1. Support your fellow brother by encouraging them to participate
  2. Help by donating to the cause

This year, the search team of eBay, at least some of the men, have organized themselves with the objective to raise money for cancer research. So if you are one of the search partners of eBay in the US, or you work at eBay, or you are married with one of the search team men who grow their moustache, expect some facial hair growing in the months of November.

Now, half way, the amount of money we raised is pathetic. We need to be able to raise more! So my call out right now here is to raise money from all of you! Even if you are not a fan of eBay or if you are competing with eBay in paid search or natural search, you can still make a donation!

Take a look at the progress of some of the MO’s below here…

Thomas is one of the only ones who really grows a moustache. All the others are growing beards really. Funny that we finally have evidence he is wearing the same kind of shirt everyday… He has 30 of these blue/white shirts. One for every day in the month.

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I get scary by the thought of the Vikings plundering the Northern France coast villages hundreds of years ago. We have our own Viking in the eBay office, and with the beard he even looks more dangerous. However, you can fully trust me, if I say that JH is no danger for you as long as you don’t scam the quality teams for Adcommerce.

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Kwame must be able to grow a full moustache at the end of November. He is wel under way of growing a good breakfast catcher, that will allow him to have an extra snack around 10 am.

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Although Mike has taken the initiative, and is our captain, he does need to work on more facial hair to keep up with the other boys. Well, as long as Mike is bringing in some cold hard cash for the cancer research, it’s forgiven.

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Bambou probably has the strongest growing facial hair of all of us. He might come out of the months of Movember as the overall winner of our group. Although the real winner off course will be the cancer research society, Bambou has a good chance of getting all of the attention in our final post. However, this will all depends on the grooming of the moustache. A full beard is not allowed, so there is still a chance of others to steal away eternal fame for Bambou!

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Jonathan has somewhat blonde facial hair, but don't let that fool you. His moustache can sneak up on you, and he might be able to walk away with the grand price at the end of Movember...

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And then finally yours truly. I shaved my cheeks and neck last week, after 6 days. Now I have a full beard and around my mouth the hair is getting long enough to curl into my mouth. It’s itching, and even painful as I realize how much I actually started to touch the beard. And every time I touch my chin now, it’s scratching hard hairs against my chin skin.

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PLEASE DONATE

Donate for the following reasons:

  • This beard is itching
  • We need encouragement
  • Men’s health is important
  • We will donate in any women moustache growing contest

This Movember, the money raised in the U.S. will be split between the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation will use the money raised by Movember to fund research to find better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation will use the money raised by Movember to fund:
•    the LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance program which has the goal of improving survival rates and quality of life for young adults with cancer between the ages of 15 and 40.
•    research initiatives to further understand the biology of adolescent and young adult cancers.
To date, Movember has raised $47 million globally making it the world’s largest charity event for men. Significantly, awareness of men’s health issues has improved with Movember helping to spread important health messages directly to millions of Mo Bros & Sistas around the world.
We challenge you to join us in changing the face of men's health.

For any further information, please feel free to visit the Movember Foundation

Grooming

Grooming only happens at the end of the months. At that moment, you can decide if you are going to get lifetime acknowledgement for all your hard efforts, or if your moustache is not worth mentioning.

Coming from Europe, I think I will groom in Eurotrash style…

Eurotrash

Just come back in the first week of December here, to see the end results.