Domainating: Brands, Art & Content

artist/illustrator/designer/webmaster/copywriter/videographer/optimizer/promoter/ad-man

Ads, Ads, Ads…

So much spam. I abandoned this droll blogging platform when WordPress suddenly decided to add advertisements to the blog. I was so upset that I cancelled my paid domain name mapping (where http://domainating.com was the actual address of the site). You can still get here via the http://domainating.com address, but now you are redirected to this web address (https://domainating.wordpress.com/).

So, I will lose all credibilty with my domain name in Google, as Google very hypocritically and absolutely very definitely hates redirects used on any server other than its own, even though they use this method of directing traffic all the time (check out chrome.com , android.com or picasa.com, as examples).

So I started blogging on Tumblr and wouldn’t you know it, after their sale to Yahoo the very first post to every one of my blogs is now a very spammy advertisement. Sometimes these ads even contain malware!  Hence, I will not even list my 7 tumblr blog addresses here.  In fact, if you visit any blog on Tumblr, make sure you have a good malware client.  An anti-virus program is not enough!  In fact, an anti-virus program does very little to protect you from spyware and malware.  I use a good one, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro, and I recommend it, highly.  You wouldn’t believe how much stuff it has already caught and protected me from.

So now, I feel betrayed once again.  Why can’t a guy write on a blog without seeming like a spammer or scammer anymore?  I don’t have $100.00 a year for that, even full-function web hosting is cheaper, and you have more control.  It used to be that everyone who liked to blog could find a safe haven.  But now everyone is just using us to build their own scraper site.

What is a scraper site?  A site that uses ads to scrape a few cents away from the advertiser to reflect the lead, or link, giving him traffic to his site.  Now, I am not at all against advertising, when it is done right and responsibly.  But peppering the advertisements with lies, mistruths, misleading info, outright deceit, viruses, trojans, malware and spyware has always been against the law.  Plus, advertisers such as WordPress, Yahoo, even Google and Tumblr lose control of the ads and the quality of the ads because truth in advertising is never enforced in digital media anymore.

I guess I’m going back to Google’s Blogger platform, now.  At least I don’t have to display ads with Blogger (so far).  I guess all we can do is pray that corporate America sees the light and revolts against all this privacy intrusion…

Jesus Christ, please forgive the stupid people behind these corporations that are taking advantage of us bloggers and our readers with crap advertising, spam, viruses, trojans and malware, but please get some smart people into these corporations that can take charge, look after their brands, not mar us and ours up, and make it pretty darn quick! This is just plain idiocy. Amen.

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March 31, 2014 Posted by | Advertising and Marketing, Brands, Business, Computing, Google, Government/Politics, Internet, Media, Software, User Interface eXperience, Web Hosting | , , | Leave a comment

Why Rip-off an Artist?

I am so tired of the current state of society.  Humans no longer matter and we take a corporate attitude of greed and protect-your-own-ass because no one else will.

Actually, there are real people who will stand-up and fight together and stick-up for each other.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that it should have never gotten this bad.

I see this all the time.  I designed a website that not only exceeded the needs and specs of the client, but it does so well beyond any parameters, including my own.  As I am just a freelance artist, it’ll never win any awards (I can’t afford to enter the webbies, etc… I am not surviving on what I get paid now) and only the client’s customers will ever really see it.

Ever hear the phrase “Charge a Corporation Twice or more what you would anyone else for the same work.”?  It is so very true.  Although lulled into thinking I could work with these people, they broke the original contract.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have a contract in writing.  So *I* kept every promise and delivered an extremely search engine optimized, user friendly, interactive website  based on the MODx content management system/framework.  This is the most extreme I had ever gone with CSS, Sprites, Fly-out menus, minimal graphics, reduced graphic sizes, etc…

But in the long run I screwed myself because I didn’t have a written contract.  And it would have protected me, because these people were absolute abusers.

Now, let me tell you that I did bid low to get this job because I thought I would enjoy it, but I had no idea that anyone could be so rude, condescending, back-stabbing or ruthless.  Instead of treating me like a business partner with a humongous stake in  their online success, I was belittled and chastised as if a lowly underling employee.  I had never been treated with such disdain by a client, before.  The terms of the original contract agreement was breached on several occasions and the deceit I experienced was unconscionable.  It’s a surprise that I was able to complete the project at all.  And I had no recourse because the agreement was verbal and I trusted them.

But the project was finished, despite themselves.  Not only was it finished, it was done right (despite themselves): the way I wanted it done (which was well beyond what they had asked for).

But now I know why to charge 2 or 3 or more times the price for a corporate gig.  Either you are working for a committee, or you are working as a mere employee with absolutely no rights or benefits (like a slave).

The extra money covers the extra hassle of writing the contract, and in dealing with a committee or being treated like a peon.  And the contract protects you from getting the shaft, spiteful delays for meetings, etc…  Now I know.

I told them I would not work for a committee, that I would work with just 1 person in delivering them a site beyond what they expected. I did.  But not without giving in to allowing a second person in to the mix who berated me and crucified me to “corporate”, her bosses.

These employees have “corporate” on the brain because they are so scared of losing their jobs.  The girl they added to the communication chain was apparently the company bulldog.  And she thought she was right, no matter what the facts are.  In the end she twisted everything into lies, was dismissive and disruptive just to “show me” a thing or two, and delayed the whole design & development process, incredibly.

Today I was on the phone with her to reach the other party, the guy I actually get along with, in order to make the site live.  He’s gone for the day.  As I am talking to her, she grunts her displeasure with me and dismisses me by hanging up the phone without so much as a “Goodbye.”

Previously, I had always worked with the business owner and entrepreneurs such as myself where we were smart enough to understand and communicate with each other.  If only the masses could communicate, they could educate themselves.

Then, I run into this article on “Smart Planet” how artist’s should watch their own asses because it really is OK to steal someone else’s artwork!:  How a thief defends theft: http://www.smartplanet.com/technology/blog/thinking-tech/how-to-protect-your-copyrighted-images-on-the-web/3684/

I am so angry this guy works there, at “Smart Planet”.  He’s telling us to watermark our artwork if we dare to put it online?  And all we are doing is trying to give our best work.  He says we could disable the right-mouse on a web page?  That makes our visitors angry because that right mouse button does a whole helluva lot more than save images, it is a vital tool for any web user.  He says to make a robots.txt file to steer the search engine bots away from our images… I did that once.  Not only did my images no longer show-up in Google Images, but my graphic design rank plummeted, and some search engines (such as the wayback machine) showed my web pages with all the images blocked out with a gray window over them.  Heck, I said stay away from crawling there, not to not show them on my pages!

There were plenty of lame excuses he gave, but they were all just excuses.  But it was interesting to see the criminal mind at work, how he could so effortlessly come up with any excuse and act as if it was actually a convincing argument.  Hey, fella, the reason Murdock gets away with it is because he owns Fox, not because it’s right, true or factual.

Listen, you self-centered “dogs” out there who don’t give a crap about anyone but yourself, it isn’t me or another artist that is “going to get you and bring you down”, it’s your own criminal activity and stupidity!

We artists are trying to give you are very damn best as a matter of pride in ourselves and our work.  And you treat us like we aren’t worth the same as you, that we are under you, your class, your level of achievement?  You rip us off for no good reason and excuse it as if we could do anything about it?

Where has morality gone?  What has happened to our ethics, and why do we dismiss them in order to make a point on TV or in a blog?  We used to be civil to each other.  Corporate America is NOT a good thing.  It seems to embrace ignorance.  But no one is fooled by Sarah Palin.  Being dumb is just plain dumb, no matter the excuse.

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Brands, Government/Politics, Graphic Design, Internet, Media, Social Communities, The Human Condition, Web Design & Development, Website Optimization | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Contradiction of Search and the PPC Advertising Business Model

This post is a response to the article “Bing Now a Serious Challenger to Google” by Jeff Bertolucci, PC World

One should probably read this article in order to understand the inspiration for this post, though it isn’t absolutely necessary.  The links in this post open in a new window so that you won’t lose your focus here and can get back to this post easily (aren’t I a nice guy?).

Bing can actually be a boon to website designers & developers & teams of whom work together because unlike Google that does not penalize for poorly coded websites, it was reported that Live dropped pages that were improperly coded.

I have already made the argument that good web coding should be rewarded by the search engines in my blog.  I am not asking for awards from the search engines, but it makes sense to me that since a website represents the actual soul of someone’s marketing message, bad code should indicate a very poor marketing effort while professionally done, tight, clean code should be rewarded as such.  And I also emphasize that reducing the ranking ability of tables based layouts should be the very first consideration in establishing that part (of the formula) in the ranking algorithm.

I twittered this previous post to @mattcutts, who is in charge of Google’s Web Spam Department, twice yesterday and yet never received a response from him.  I suppose he gets a bunch of such posts from many being in his position, but I have also seen him respond to such posts, as well.

Matt Cutts has previously indicated that he believed that since the browser may not have had any issues with the underlying code, even if the code was poorly done, no web page was ever penalized for having poor coding practices.  However, this seems to ignore the fact that the worldwide web has become a commercial entity, and that any individual website presence represents the full resources which have been brought to bear for online marketing as a public and professional presence on behalf of a company or person.  Even if a free personal homepage, a web page exists to promote something, even if it is just information.  The sharing of it also helps promote that page’s authority and therefore its presence (possibly indirectly, but usually not).

Let’s face it, the internet is no longer free or even publicly available to all.  It is a goldmine and a company that can leverage itself as an effective online resource can prosper if marketed smart and promoted effectively.

The key here then, is the fact that Google is ignoring the commercialization of the worldwide web (aka: the w3) despite its monopolistic dominance of the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising industry.  This means that a company has no influence based on merit and drives the need for recognition through advertising in order to be noticed.

This same monopolistic attitude is seen in Matt Cutt’s attitude towards paid links.  Even though a paid link represents a measurable online marketing effort by a company or individual, he frowns on them as a purposeful and deliberate means of influencing the search engines.  But that is a protectionist attitude and monopolistic argument, because it is Google’s own algorithm itself that is tallying up direct links as votes for a website, not the marketer.

And since Matt Cutts has warned us that Google may penalize websites in the future, I will tell you that I have personal knowledge of and experienced the fact that Google is now, already started penalizing websites that display suspected paid links.  This is now a known fact based on the performance of a number of my websites which are utilizing free web hosting where paid links are employed in order to offset hosting cost, and also proven by the fact that you can report paid links to Google (as proof, simply check out Google’s “Webmaster Tools” which expedites such reporting by offering a very prominent link to do so).  My web traffic is now negligible and the PR (PR stands for Google’s “PageRank” system or ranking a site from 1-10) is non-existent at almost all these sites.  Although all of these sites are new, they had been previously gaining traffic and growing in unique visits.  A few had a PR of 2 or 3 and most of the rest were at a PR of at l.  There were a few PR 0 sites too, but now most are not even acknowledged by Google’s PR system.  They are all CSS design based WordPress sites.  They all include unique content.

In effect, as a monopoly, Google is trying to funnel any and all advertising sales through it’s own PPC (or Pay-Per-Click, as in paid advertisements) marketing program.  Most people I speak to that are marketing their business themselves and are aware of Google’s “Do not buy links” policy are actually afraid to advertise anywhere else.

The stunning idiotic result from an otherwise very smart and successful internet marketing entity known as Google is that no one there sees this contradicting business model as pure monopolistic. This is a business model which is excessively slanted in its own favor and the end result is highly unbalanced and completely unfair, especially to individuals, professionals, small to medium businesses and any business that is starting up.  Because Google sells links and tells everyone not to buy links.

In other words, Google’s business model suggests that only corporations should consider playing because demonstrated effort and merit through efficient and clean professional code which it spiders on a regular basis has nothing to say or add to a company’s online marketing effort.  And this is completely opposite of how Google should monitor marketing and effective online presence building.

Furthermore, instead of simply influencing marketing channels, Google is using protectionism in order to dominate advertising via its monopolistic presence.  The end result is a message which tells every webmaster and online marketer, “Play it our way and play with us or die.”

Nothing is more contradictory than Google’s advertisement and PPC marketing model if it is actually a serious search engine.  And we all know it is the largest.  But it is now ignoring the webmaster’s efforts in clean and efficient CSS structured and styled, properly coded (X)HTML web pages.

Quite simply, the PPC advertising model is extremely flawed because it relies on a corporation’s ability to play by pouring in gobs of money to secure the top positions with the top bids.  Even though there is a little wiggle room allowed for effective advertising copy (monitored through click-throughs), the end result is that in order to secure the top ads, the price of the advertised product has to support the bid, which makes end-sold products and/or services inherently higher.

One can argue that Frugal is a great alternative to advertising, but Frugal, which promotes low prices and coupons, is not even close to effectively marketed anywhere on the web but at Google.  With Google AdWords, you have the ability to build a woldwide presence instantly for a product, service and/or brand through Google’s content network, and each ad placement is in direct competition with the crux of web content found on each individual page, so users/readers/viewers have already demonstrate an active interested in that type of service/product/brand.  Google offers no such alternative with Frugal, nor does it effectively promote Frugal because it is not in the interest of its business model.  Google only uses Frugal in order to offer an argument against clear protectionist intent and related issues.

Long way to go to make a point that hasn’t been made yet, isn’t it?  That’s right, I still haven’t gotten to the point, all these facts mere lead-up to the idea that… [deep breath]…  if any decent search engine (with a significant presence) actually allies with the web designer/developer/studio to provide truly relevant results based on the seriousness of a company’s marketing effort by rewarding the effort, consistency and merit of professionalism which is demonstrated in the effectiveness of the code which a bot has to crawl and cache any damn way, I am sure that would go an enormously long way in allowing web design/development professionals the recognition they deserve.

But Google’s contradictory business model turns it all upside down.  It wants to see your links and tallies them to help establish your PageRank and this same tally (not the PageRank, but that link tally) also influences your ranking in the search engine results in some significant way through its algorithym.  It monitors your presence and influence on the web, but it sees paid direct links as spam.  It presently and demonstratedly marks sites with reported paid links as spam and stops sending them traffic through its search resources, even though Google is in the actual business of selling links itself, and just because they are indirect pointers to pages that is so-called different (and yet it is still advertising, still paid links).  In order to play, one has to pay Google, driving up product/service costs because Google’s AdWords model is self-corrupting.  And Google continues to scare us into using their PPC ad services.  People and businesses have been broken or made on their understanding and use of this queer system, both through PPC ads and the actual search results.

Why anyone else wouldn’t take advantage of the inherent corruption and contradiction of Google’s business model is beyond me.  Remember in fact that this is how Google started, promising an alliance with webmasters to produce effective search with relevant results.  This is what drew us all in.  And if webmasters saw a true benefit from providing clean code, they would.  But the fact is that Google only cares about content, not marketing (unless it is its own), not professionalism in presentation in the one way it could absolutely and logically measure it.

So in the end analysis leads to only one conclusion for me, this is an opportunity crying to be taken advantage of.  Bing may not be the one with the balls to do it.  It, after all has been a consistent follower in the business of the internet.  It didn’t even get it, at first, and almost missed the boat completely.  But Bing does represent an expression of a search for new ideas.  And yet, Microsoft has historically not embraced innovation in the same way that IBM snubbed Microsoft’s innovation.  It is old and Microsoft has clearly never lead the industry in any sort of innovation with the internet because it suffers from the same old conservative snobby old boys network attitude that IBM scoffed at.  Microsoft just doesn’t understand the new generation and the digital age.

But, in the same way, Google is doing the exact same thing.  It has forgotten its alliance with webmasters and web professionals.  Google now inhibits business through the same lack of understanding in the unfairness of its business model.

Which actually leaves the door wide open for a new player.  Yahoo is, after all, primarily a portal, is branded as such, and is ever abandoning any of its efforts in search because it refuses to innovate.

Anyone want to start a search engine?  The sky is literally the limit.  It should embrace net socialization, all forms of web media, localization and news.  Without utilizing a business unfriendly contradictory business model. No one does that, and it would be easy to do effectively.  But that’s another post for another time.  😀

By the way, can anyone reach the present that Google left me?  It’s dead-center in the middle of my back. Actually, it’s not that bad.  The percentage of websites I have on free web hosting is not very significant, so the blade is tiny.  But I was one of those webmasters that jumped on the Google bandwagon, so the betrayal does sting.

My code has evolved, but Google refuses to evolve their search and refuses to acknowledge superior design code.  That said, so does every other search engine.  Because they all are on the PPC marketing kick, too.  But Google and I had a thing going.  Actually, we still do, breaking-up is hard to do no matter how much a loved one may abuse you.

You know?

…………………………………
Associated Reference Links:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/181980/bing_now_a_serious_challenger_to_google.html
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Advertising and Marketing, Brands, Google, Government/Politics, Internet, Media, Sales, Search, Web Design & Development, Website Optimization | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Career Search

Trying to find a good job is in itself a full-time job.  And now I am starting to get pretty discouraged.  Although I am still working on my own projects, these self-employment web design projects are now becoming few and far between as less work is coming in.

It is actually a pretty bad, huge mistake to make on the behalf of business, not to advertise or not to hire.  It is now, when the advertising rates are lower, and the job market is full of great talent, that companies need to continue advertising and hiring the cream of the crop people it needs not only to survive, but to grow in the face of difficult times.

Advertisers that continue throughout these hard times will be rewarded in the long run because they will have much less of a difficult time establishing brand recognition when compared to the competition that refuses to maintain brand awareness.  Part of that reason is that consumers are more careful and are now establishing lasting business relationships with people they trust.

It is the same reasoning that businesses need to continue hiring the talent required to not only survive this economy, but to grow in spite of it, because the landscape of the internet and successful marketing techniques are changing so quickly that new alliances and innovative approaches have to be developed quickly and effectively with the business community itself.  Sit on your laurels too long and it is highly likely that your company will not survive the current economic devastation we are experiencing.  If GM and Chrsyler did not teach us through their lack of innovation, we have learned absolutely nothing.

I had been able to look pretty optomistic about all of this until now, as I know that I have great talent to offer the right company for the right position.  Unfortunately, I am not getting any favorable replies from anyone, anywhere.

Admittedly, I am located in a bad spot here in South Dakota.  Very few companies here get the new medias.  They are still having trouble accepting television’s role as a marketing tool, much less understanding that every single business and professional require a well branded portfolio that can represent the business in a positive light 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (or 366 days per year on a leap year).

We started out here not simply because I have roots here, but because it is such a great place to raise a family.  However, due to the considerable lack of understanding for the incredible advances in technology and new media, my skills have largely been ignored by the community as a whole.  Plus, it is more of a challenge for me to get the word out about my business when I am working out of a home office.

However, I am still trying to remain positive in my career search despite the frustration I have encountered.  But just like taking my business to the next level by aqcuiring a commercial property, it seems that in order to be noticed by potential employers outside my own area, I really need to personally visit their locations.  This is actually much more difficult than I would have thought.

It takes so long just to establish contact with a potential employee that it is significantly difficult to setup a scheduled appointment with any one of them.  And herein lies the real problem, because I have no problem visiting any location in the pursuit of a career advancement.

While it is true that I will make significantly less than I would be getting as a freelance artist/designer/copywriter/webmaster/seo/promoter/marketer/director on a contract basis, the reason that I am looking to find a decent career in the web design industry and relocate to wherever I am required for such a new position is the very attidude that I am facing because of the ignorance in this area for my industry.

Although getting to a few interviews for my craft is still a vital concern of mine, I have run into an article that was quite eye-opening for me.  In fact I actually started writing this post so that I could mention it. Therefore I should possibly apologize for this post since I am sort of backing into this recommendation, but I found that the Seven Great Questions to Ask at a Job Interview was a great article posted at Lifehack. If you are looking, or thinking of looking for a new position, I highly recommend that you read this article.

Remember, the interview is for you, as well.  Any company would want you to make an informed decision if you are offered the job.  They don’t just want people who can offer winning interviews, they actually require a person that is capable of performing the job and fulfilling its requirements as they see it,  as an educated leader.  But if you don’t know what that position entails, you are probably flunking the interview as yet another amongst the masses of applicants they are getting, anyway.

Though I have had a few interviews, they have not been in my chosen field of web design.  I know HTML, XHTML, CSS, graphic design, branding, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, copy writing, keyword optimization, search availability, website optimization, online marketing, social networks, one way link building, search engine marketing, PPC adverising, as well as traditional marketing and advertising.  I am also gaining knowledge and experience in Flash and have quite a few tricks up my sleeve for other creative solutions to web design issues.  In short, most serious businesses need someone like me directing their creative art department.

I just don’t have the resources to expand my business to the next level with a commercial presence and a complete advertising campaign.  And just like any other advertising business, I would be doomed to failure without a significant advertising campaign.

Which is why I am quite serious about relocating out of this family friendly area back into a metropolis where my talents would be valued and exploited.  I need a steady career that my family can count on guys, and if you are checking out my blog, please consider that I am quite serious about excelling as the web designer everyone would want.

July 10, 2009 Posted by | Brands, Employment, Government/Politics, Graphic Design, Media, The Human Condition, Web Design & Development | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Autos and Automotive Article Sites

Autos and Automotive Trademark Logo

Autos and Automotive Trademark Logo

I’ve setup a few blog websites to protect one of my brands, Autos and Automotive, which is a Trademark that I’ve been planning on developing for some time. Getting the right products (or services) to base an full-blown e-commerce website on the name has proven difficult, though.  To that note, please get a hold of me if you have a great automotive product for me to promote.  I was looking to establish a full automotive shop presence originally, but have since adjusted my plans.

The domain names I have activated are:

I had eventually expected to setup an automotive classifieds website on these domain names that I have reserved to protect my Trademarked name, Autos and Automotive.  There I would allow anyone to post their car/truck/cycle for sale and promote some high performance and economic fuel efficient products.

Although I have enough of a small collection of cars and trucks for sale within my own family to start such an endeavour,  it always takes a considerable investment of time and resources to establish such a serious site, keep it secure, administrate and promote it.

Therefore, I had anticipated partnering up with some interested automotive advertisers in advance in order to support the considerable time investment I would have to make in designing, hosting, administering and promoting the website just to get started.

Unfortunately, as I have so many projects going on, it seems that I cannot take the time to develop the professional business presence that I am interested in, at the moment.  I’m afraid I would have to hire an employee or two and that just isn’t a possibility as I am still working out out of my home office.

So, in the interest of getting some automotive traffic which I could build on in the future, I have configured these domains to show auto and automotive related articles through SEOParking.com.  SEOParking uses WordPress to post publicly reprintable articles from its database.   I have used this service before with great results on several other of my domains.

SEO Parking is a little spammy, as they will post their own links on your domain.  However, they have promissed to allow parkers to subscribe to the service through a premium channel so that those interested in paying the hosting fee will not show the SEOParking links.  That is why I am, for the first time, actually recomending this service.  I look quite forward to getting some of those spammy links off of my website.

One word of caution about SEOParking is that if they should fail to provide the premium service I will definitely have to move all of my domain names away from them and do the same type of thing on my own.  But the staff at SEO Parking has been great with support so far and they have not broken any of their promises, either.  So I am actually quite confident that this service will work out well for me in the long run.

I was a little disappointed when the strange links started showing up on some of my domains at the beginning of the month, but obviously they have to make some money somehow.  However, I originally thought that they were looking to expand their distribution network for their articles database and I was simply fortunate enough to find them.

I just hope they don’t price themselves out of the market.  I can afterall, get full featured multiple domain web hosting (with my own free WordPress) through any one of my web hosting solutions such as Domain Hostmaster, HD Web Hosting, Apache Website Host, Site Host Pros or F1 Hosting Networks for way less than $9.00/month.  Not to mention that the competition won’t be much more than $10.00/month for nearly as good of a feature set.

I kind of wonder if anyone hasn’t developed an add-on module for WordPress so that we can do all this ourselves, already.   Shout at me if you have ever seen an automatic article poster that will post so many articles per day/week/month based on a set of keyword phrases.  I’d love to know about it, it would save me that monthly fee at SEOparking.com.  😉

But at least the Autos and Automotive Trademark is up, active and protected again.  I really do have some interesting plans for the brand once this economy turns around.

Yes, I am a domainer, but I have very special interest in this name (and the domains I am using to protect that name).  If all goes well, this will be one of those domains that I have the opportunity to develop myself, not simply sell for a small profit.  Because despite the troubles of our auto makers, this really is a time when the automotive industry is retooling for the new challenges ahead.   It was their lack of vision and their inability to embrace new technology that has grounded them in the past and hung them out to dry.  If they understand that, and learn something from that lesson, they may well make it.

Exactly who will make it in the auto industry is unclear.  I would bet on Tesla, if I could.

Unfortunately, I have been squashed by the corrupted powers that be as well, as no one is really actively developing or reinventing brands, (re)designing their websites, advertising, or marketing like they should.    That is a real big problem for a web designer, which is what I am.   And the real problem is that now is the time to advertise.  Now is the time to hire while you have a large pool of talent from which to choose the cream of the crop.  And the people who cannot will not recover as quickly when the economy does start turning around.  It is a shame.

Maybe once this depression is over, I will be able to develop Autos & Automotive.  I certainly hope so.

Autos & Automotive Trademark Logo

Autos & Automotive Trademark Logo

You might be able to tell from this second banner that I have decided to protect both versions of the name… Autos and Automotive as well as Autos & Automotive.  It’s kind of the same princible as grabbing a few versions of the domain name so that no one else can try to steal the brand away and declare its theirs.  Afterall, I don’t want to lose them and we do want to be ready for anything in the way of future trends, branding and marketing.

June 29, 2009 Posted by | Automotive, Brands, Domain Names, Government/Politics, Web Design & Development | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This is a Crazy Time

Hi Everyone…

This has been, and continues to be, a very crazy time for me.  I have lots of my own projects that I need to work on, as well as work I need to do for some of my clients, and more things I need to accomplish for my employer.  To top that off, my mother (who provides her great child care services for our son) is vacationing in the Virgin Islands.

As a result, I am spread as thin as tin at the moment.  That’s why I haven’t been blogging too much or on Twitter and other social networking websites a great deal, recently. I’m just too busy.

I do have a whole long list of articles that I want to post, as I am still actively running the Web Design and Development group at Google Groups.  I have contributed quite a bit to the group over the years and want to archive my most helpful posts/articles here.

I am also trying to learn a few new things, as well.  Flash would be just one of them.  I have been putting-off learning Flash far too long.  I think that if I can just get a handle on drawing and tweening in Flash, I will be able to do what I need.  Unfortunately, Flash looks quite spectacularly different than any other vector drawing or frame animation graphics program that I have ever used before.  And the tutorials I am taking are the absolutely most boring peices of junk that I have ever seen in any kind of design or artistry textbook (usually I love reading these things).

I bought an HP notebook for my wife for Christmas and was so jealous that I almost bought one exactly like it for myself.  It’s a good thing I didn’t because I found a Sony Vaio VGN-AW125J laptop with a full keyboard, full 1080p Hi-Def screen and a CD/DVD/Blu-ray player & burner.  Although I couldn’t ask for a better computer, Sony is having great difficulty getting me a decent battery.  The first one would only charge to 80% and drains quickly, and the replacement battery that I received yesterday only seems to charge the battery up to 79%.  So I am starting to get very disappointed and angry with Sony. My family and I actually spend quite a bit buying Sony products.

Please note that although I would prefer to buy American for most of our stuff, Gateway & Dell have failed me miserably, before.  So I am truly puzzled when this Sony Made-In-China laptop can’t perform as required straight out of the box.  But Dell, Gateway, Compaq & HP products are all coming out of Taiwan or some other foreign country, anyway.  So it’s not like I could buy American, the US doesn’t make anything, anymore.  Even American cars and trucks could well have been made in Mexico or Canada.

The state of the economy is absolutely sinful.  And the financial institutions did this to us.  And they did it on purpose in the name of profit.  Greed corrupts.  It always will.

I am truly thankful that President Obama is finally in office.  I am very pleased with his performance so far.  I am not pleased with the senate & house who are either to inept or feeble minded to cut the pork out of the bail-out bill.  It kills me that the senate is crying about the pork and does nothing but attach its own.  No one seems to even be pondering the ridiculously heavy burden we are putting on our kids.

So I am not at all happy with how the bail-out has been going, and feel infuriated at how it has been handled.  Especially the mismanagement of banks and financial institutions who have been ripping-off the public for years on end.  And we have no options, we have no choice but to trust banks.  And yet, they stiff us at every single turn.

Bank executives are making millions for failure while I am still in the poor-house as a productive freelancer and employee.  I barely make anything and often pay double the taxes for my freelance projects because I am “self-employed”.  My own bank is wasting millions and I will be addressing that very soon by transfering accounts to a different and much smaller FDIC insured bank that I can trust.

The country was run by a moron and his moronic administration for 8 years now, and it is simply falling into the gutter.  The rich are richer and drunk as hell with unchecked power, peeing all over the rest of us.  There is no way that Bernie Madoff should have been able to steal 50 Billion dollars.  But he did because the government looked the other way.  WTF?

I am absolutely sick of this pork barrel attitude and the ineptness of our government.  And while I realize that President Barak Hussein Obama had absolutely no part in building the situation that he was left with, he is still holding the bag at a time when everything is so bad that he may get blamed with the predicament despite his hardest efforts because the government itself is so positively and absolutely broken and non-functional.

But today is a time to enjoy the blessings of my family.  It is a wonderous time because tonight my 8 year-old son will try to become a Black Belt at Songhamn Taekwondo.  Whether he accomplishes it or not doesn’t actually matter to me.  Sure, I will be very proud of him if he does, but I will be just as proud of him for trying if he doesn’t test-out as a Black Belt.  I know that he will be a Black Belt at any time, now.  When doesn’t really matter.

We put Max in the Taekwondo program at Hoover’s Martial Arts (in the Western Mall in Sioux Falls, SD) as a Tiny Tiger less than 4 years ago.  He was excited about it then, as he is now.  In fact, we have given him several chances to leave the program, but he really enjoys it and is anxious to attend each class.

Although almost certainly a great deal of pride comes from this impending great accomplishment, no matter when it actually occurs, the thing that I am the most proud of is that Max made this happen on his own.  It really is his accomplishment, not ours.

There is a little something more to add to this, as well.  Because taekwondo has been extremely good for Max.  It hasn’t just helped with his coordination and control, but it has actually enriched him as a person and taught him discipline.  Obviously, his instructors deserve a great deal of credit for inspiring him and instilling this capacity for discipline in my son.  But Max also deserves an even larger portion of the credit for understanding and utilizing the tools he was armed with through their teachings.  He was, afterall, open minded enough to absorb what they taught him.  And he is intelligent enough to understand it it, as well.

The truth is that Max’s attitude was just starting to becoming a bit of a problem when we enrolled him in the taekwondo class.  The classes gave Max direction and focus.  He’s stopped behaving like a little boy, and more like a big boy who understands responsibility.

We still struggle to keep Max from becoming a “spoiled little brat”, every parent does.  Although his taekwondo classes offer a great deal of guidance towards that goal, it also functions as a platform on which our minds can connect when discussing life’s lessons and choices.

Because as Max has told me, we have choices.  He knows he can choose to have a good day or a bad day, to be a good boy or a bad boy.  And I am proud that he has a history of making good choices.  That’s what life is all about, trying to become a righteous man.

With all that going on, I really have been busy.  I certainly wish Max all the luck in the world, although he is so skilled I am comfortable that he won’t need it.  I do hope that the government wises up and just passes what is required.  I know something needs to be done right away, but if they give away the horse and the cart too my son will be paying for that mistake because they will mis-manage it again, just as they always do.  History continues to repeat. Why doesn’t anyone learn from this?

Stupidity still abounds.  Even my own x-senator, a minority leader, can’t pay his taxes after making millions?  Don’t get me wrong, I like Daschle, he helped us out, he did some great work.  But he can’t pay his dang taxes when I have to?

ARGH!

What is wrong with this government?  Too much, I’ll tell you!  I just hope Obama will bring change, or we are truly doomed.

WE NEED SOME DAMN LEADERSHIP, RIGHT NOW.

Anyways, I had to make it a point to stop and post something to the blog, it has been way too long since my last post, and this is a very crazy time.  I am extremely busy.  I am proud of my son, yet extremely shameful of my government.  And I’m really, really sick of buying crappy computers.

But now, I have to get back to work…

Take care & be cool!  -Doug

February 6, 2009 Posted by | Government/Politics, Parenting, The Human Condition, Web Design & Development | Leave a comment