Non-Domain Related

Writer’s Guild Strike Boon for Internet

Several weeks ago, on the eve of the strike by the Writer’s Guild of America, I mentioned that the writers strike could be a boon for websites as people tune in online rather than watch reruns and countless reality shows. Now that the strike has been in place for weeks, there are some signs that writers may opt to move to the online distribution channel instead of waiting idly for the contract issue to be resolved.

According to a recent article in The Guardian about Hollywood writers moving online, “Seven groups are thought to be working on forming companies to challenge the dominance of the studios.” It appears that some writers are choosing to bypass the studios and create direct to consumer content via the Internet. Just as direct marketing does, this content can be highly targeted to a specific niche. Writers will have the creative freedom to express themselves, and they will be able to produce material of their choice, without the normal studio oversight.

I don’t have the time to do this, but I think it would be neat if someone set up a website specifically for the striking writers to distribute their work. YouTube and other video sharing sites are great, but it would be neat to have a specific website devoted to the striking writers, to give them the opportunity to display their skills and allow visitors to compensate them.

According to an article in CNN, the gaming industry is capitalizing on the writers strike, and I don’t see a reason why Internet television couldn’t see the same gains.

Cool Domain Name, Cool Blog, Cool Idea

Gordon is a domain investor who I met and had several conversations on  DN Forum  and in person at Grand Central a few weeks ago.  He is  knowledgeable  about SEO and about domain names, and is a  genuinely good person.A few days ago, I briefly noticed a new industry blog at the domain name  DailyBull.com.    Little did I know, Gordon was the person behind this blog.  I think it’s the perfect domain name for a blog, and it’s great to see that it’s going to be a blog in this industry!

I am a proponent of giving back to the less fortunate when possible, and Gordon has a  great idea.  In almost every organization with which I have been involved (college fraternity, Interfraternity Council, corporate job…etc) the group raises funds for a specific cause as a way to help, show unity, and show strength.  I like the idea of working together as a community to help a cause that is important to people of all backgrounds.  Kudos to Gordon for this idea.

No matter what causes we support, it is important to give back and help the less fortunate.  

What a Moron!

When I was visiting my brother two weeks ago, I received a parking ticket for parking “Within 20 Feet of Intersection.” While I disagreed with the officer’s interpretation of 20 feet and didn’t have a tape measure nor the desire to fight over a $25 ticket, I decided to pay the fine.

I logged on to the city website to pay, and they couldn’t locate the ticket. I called the city, and the automated system couldn’t find it either. When I was connected to an operator, she asked for the number and said they probably hadn’t entered it into the system yet.

She said she would manually check for me, and she asked me for my ticket number and violation. I gave it to her, and she replied, “thank you, I manually entered your ticket into the system for you.”  Since it was 17 days after the ticket was issued, I probably would have gotten off.  I should have kept my mouth shut!

Bummer!

Making Purchases Online

Beat the mobs on ‘Cyber Monday’

According to the article and a study from the National Retail Federation, nearly 75% of online retailers will offer special promotions on “Cyber Monday,” which falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving (tomorrow). Up until last year, I had never heard about Cyber Monday, but apparently this is one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.

CyberMonday.com, a website powered by Shop.org and owned by the National Retail Federation, offers links to many retailers who have “Cyber Monday” deals.  

CNN.com  offers some good online shopping tips to help save money and ensure a safe shopping experience.  As with all shopping, people should use their best discretion, and they should use common sense when making purchases online.  

Pump your Gas and Google

Ever find yourself at a gas station looking for directions?   When I was younger, my family pulled into a gas station in the Bronx, New York looking for directions out of the Bronx.   My dad asked the station clerk for directions, and she replied, “fill up your tank and I can help you.”   My dad filled up the tank and went back for the instructions, to which the woman replied “sorry, no hablo English.”

Soon, you won’t have to rely on the gas station service clerks for directions.   According to a CNN article  and the Gilbarco Veeder-Root website, Google has formed a partnership with gas station pump maker Gilbarco Veeder-Root, which just introduced their Applause Media System.    Gilbarco’s  pumps will  now include an Internet connection displaying Google’s mapping service on a small screen.

At first, pumpers will be asked to find their location by scrolling through many popular categories, including hotels, restaurants and hospitals selected by the gas station’s owner.   Once a destination is selected, the pump will print out directions.

This is another way Google is becoming involved in the search business.   Some of the other non-traditional search engine searching you can do include:

  • Dialing 1-800-GOOG-411  for free phone number services.
  • Texting “GOOGL” along with a business and city, and Google will send you the address and phone number.
  • Searching using  a Blackberry or other handheld device – Google.mobi

Someone asked me what I thought the % of people who would use the Google  pump maps  vs. in-car GPS systems.   That got me thinking, why doesn’t Google  develop an inexpensive  Google Maps branded GPS system?   Better yet, why not develop an in-car computer system to allow motorists to connect to the Internet using Google’s technologies?

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