Increasing the Omega 3 in your Steak

A few weeks ago TED, that cool conference where people share ideas (watching all of those lectures is probably as valuable as going to college for a year..) held a Tel Aviv event called TedX Tel Aviv.
In any case, one of the speakers was talking about seaweed as being a key to cleaning carbon gas byproducts from oil refineries. He also talked about how fish are high in Omega 3 because they eat seaweed.

Anyway, the other day i bought a can of sardines to increase my Omega 3’s and while eating it – it wasn’t too tasty, I was thinking…

Why don’t we feed cows seaweed – I figure its more like grass than the corn we feed them now (at least in the US) and if they can get absorb the Omega 3 then the steak we eat should be more healthful. A quick search on Google shows that various people have already suggested adding seaweed to cow diets as a way to lower “gas emissions” from cows, which cause 20% of all greenhouse gasses…

Food for thought?

Thinking Outside the box – A cell Phone Example

See below from the Los Angeles Times today.

I think its a great idea…
I am wondering whether there are other ways to utilize the public and devices they are carrying for the greater good.
The free Mobile GPS App – WAZE uses crowd-sourcing to provide information on traffic jams (and speed traps).
Food for thought…

Teaching phones to smell danger

Today’s cellphones have the technology to take photos, record videos, check stocks and play games.

Now the Department of Homeland Security is teaming up with high-tech firms to develop a cellphone that could also thwart terrorist attacks.

The department’s science and technology arm is spearheading a plan to give cellphones the ability to sniff out dangerous chemicals. If successful, the phones could help detect chemical attacks at airports, train stations and subway stops, the agency said.

In 2007, the department called on companies to develop the danger-sensing technology. Now it’s pushing ahead, working with wireless technology developer Qualcomm Inc., camera lens specialist Rhevision Technology Inc. and NASA.

As they are envisioned, these cellphones would sound an alarm if they sensed a noxious gas such as chlorine.

But if the phone detected something more deadly, such as sarin gas, it could send a message directly to authorities, using GPS technology to pinpoint the location of the gas.

If the idea works, every person armed with a cellphone could become a sentry against terrorist attacks. Nearly 90% of the U.S. population owns a cellphone.

That’s about 277 million phones sniffing the air for trouble.

My Travels – A MEME (first time for me)

rules: Fill in the following questions

  • My best trip ever…
    2 week Kenya Trip with safaris with Ofi and Daniel (4) and Yonatan (2)
  • My worst trip ever…
    probably a transatlantic flight where they seated me in the very last row – back when the last few rows were smoking!
  • Most important thing I ever lost on a trip…
    nothing comes to mind
  • Most important thing I ever forgot to take on a trip…
    one of the kids?
  • Thing I miss most when I’m away…
    My family
  • Thing I miss least when I’m away…
    babies keeping me up at night
  • Favorite travel partner…
    My wife, Ofi
  • Place I hope to travel to someday…
    Japan

Sphinncon Israel 2010

Sphinncon SMX Jerusalem 2010
This past Sunday afternoon Barry Schwartz hosted a mini-SMX in Jerusalem, Israel. Vanessa Fox joined him from the US as well. A short, relaxed version of SMX. Nice event – loved that it was so close to our office! It was good seeing my friends and colleagues from various places in Israel who made their way through the mountains to Jerusalem on what turned out to be a beautiful springlike day!

I spoke about Reputation Management Pitfalls and I will share the main points.
Note: when I say reputation management I mean getting negative results for your keyword out of the top 10 in Google.
1) Understand what your client really wants – it’s not always what they tell you at first. Dig deeper.
2) The goal is to “own” the top ten in Google and other search engines by working with Google – create and promote sites full of relevant content and get authoritative and/or topic-relevant links.
3) Don’t confuse Rep Management with SEO – it’s not a good idea to overdo the linking process – you will end up making your job more difficult – you will need to compete with yourself to move more sites into the top ten.

I will post the presentation on Slideshare soon.

CES 2010 in Las Vegas – identifying naïveté

First time at CES – I decided to go in order to understand better what I can do to expand our offerings on YouNeverCall.com and our other cell phone and tech websites. We get huge amounts of visitors but dont manage to turn enough of them into customers – yet. We think this is for two reasons.

1) The site needs a major upgrade – which we are doing.
2) We dont have the products that people want – many people just want to buy a cell phones.

In any case the show was interesting and I saw a lot of interesting technologies. – especially related to 3D TV in the home.

But the event also made me feel old. I could see so many young companies banking their future on what could best be summed up as a cute idea. Reminded me of my first few tech jobs.

Some examples: a ball-shaped mouse, various iphone stickers to personalize your iphone, plastics to put on your TV to make it appear to have more depth etc.

I feel like I have a much better sense of how likely a company is to succeed than I did some years ago…

So I feel like I have been around the block a few times – enough to identify other people’s naïveté about projects that will fail. Interesting that I still get into projects of my own that are bound to fail!

SEO Dark Matter

For about a year my company has been utilizing a new set of techniques to help us in our online marketing efforts. While the techniques are not unique our results are in some cases singularly unique and valuable.

Even if you are new to online marketing you probably already know that some of the main “types” or areas of SEO are:

1. On Page – things you can do on your site to make your site rank better (think rich on-topic text, titles, descriptions, keyword choice, site structure, interlinking etc.)
2. Off Page – things that can be done on other people’s sites to make your site more popular (think linking and creation of pages and content on other sites that influence the search engines and push your efforts forward)

Aside from these, there are actually many other, sometimes equally important arenas where you can act to increase your site’s popularity and rankings for specific keywords. These include:

  • Properties of the website itself – the age and provenance of the site (getting the right site may involve finding an existing site with the right qualities and purchasing it from the current owner, or finding an expired domain that is either for sale or even dead and building it back up)
  • Redirects – taking sites or pages that are popular especially if they are popular for your target keywords, and redirecting them using linking 301 redirects or other redirects to concentrate their linking/power toward your target site
  • Behavior on tracked sites, search engines, etc. Search engines are capable of seeing lots of activities and inferring real popularity of a website- think bounce rates, CTR – basically the same things that Google uses to determine “quality scores” in adwords.
  • Location of of your site/server – this means IP Address, the identity of your domain registrar, the geographic location associated with your IP Address, Hosting neighborhood, unique IP vs. Shared hosting, Hosting and OS environment, and the like

Looking at this incomplete list, it stuck me that aside from the very visible link acquisition and site building activities there are a lot of very valuable activities that contribute to a site’s dominance of a keyword, but which are much harder to see. I call these activities SEO Dark Matter because we can sense they are there but we may have some difficulty actually detecting and monitoring them.

For example – if you see a site rise in Google’s rankings for a tough keyword like “contact lenses”, checking its backlinks and the pages of the site itself will not allow you to see that the strength came from an old on-topic website that you redirected to the new site – you wont see the 10,000 incoming links that give it strength and you will probably be fooled by the 20 incoming directory links that have been purchased for the sole purpose of fooling you.

Another example – imagine your site falls for a target keyword – even you may have trouble detecting that the reason was that someone was generating a lot of erroneous search engine traffic to your website and has suddenly stopped that activity – sending the search engines a clear signal that your website no longer deserves the rankings it has.

That’s SEO Dark Matter – it’s harder to detect and it’s the next frontier of online marketing. At least for me.

Google is becoming my mother-in-law

I love Google, but I have to say lately Google has started to remind me of my Mother-in-law.

Here’s what I mean.

Google announced recently that they are going to be personalizing search results even if you are not logged into a Google account.
Presumably this means they will use your own search and surf patterns (or the ones of your PC – ever heard about shared PC’s?) and perhaps extrapolate from your IP Address (maybe people in your area or using your ISP have certain patterns of interest?) anyway Google will use this to give you more of what they think you like.

Let me tell you a story. My in-laws live in California, and are terrific people. When my wife and I got married my mother-in-law apparently really liked me and the first time I visited she went out of her way to find out what I liked so she could get it for me. I am fond of blueberries. Well, MIL found out and Boom! – 2 lbs of fresh blueberries. every day. So I branched out. I also like raspberries. Boom! raspberries and blueberries. You get the idea.

Sometimes I’m polite and I say something like, “thanks, the Hungarian goulash was really good.” even when I don’t actually love goulash. Next thing you know, “yep, Sam loves goulash, I’ll make him goulash every time I see him.”

So I end up eating a lot of blueberries and goulash and less of things I might really enjoy, like ribs, lasagna, etc.

So now I am more than a little weary of trying new things when my Mother-in-law is around – she’ll probably decide it’s my favorite and serve it up to me again and again.

Personalization should be a choice – when you go to your favorite eatery – the place where they know you – they usually don’t serve you that thing you always order – first they ask, “You havin’ your usual today?”

So Google, if you dont want to be my mother-in-law, please don’t decide what I like based on what I liked in the past, or what people like me usually like. There’s a lot to be said for exposure to new ideas, new websites etc.

At the 140 Conference in LA

Interesting conference. Lots about Celebrities and using Twitter!

Celebrities need to be twittering – it makes it real!!

Takeaways:
1) Twitter is not mainstream enough yet if half of the speakers are still defining what twitter means to them.
2) Iphones are way more popular than Blackberries with the attendees of this conference.
3) Conferences where 90% if people are on their laptops are great for multitasking.
4) ADHD seems rampant at this conference.
5) The Kodak theater is smaller than I would have thought.