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  • NegBox 7:33 pm on July 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Stages of an Affiliate Marketer – Word DOC Version 

    As a starting affiliate this post by Mr. Green – originally penned by Adam Bunch – really helped me to figure out where I was and what the next step would look like.

    I’ve since gone back and forth all these stages – several times. What I’ve found amazing is how well written this is – it really reflects what happens!

    What I did back in 2010 was reformat the post into a single letter-sized sheet – I printed it out and to this day keep it on my desk.

    Here is the Word DOC version I created out of Mr. Green and Adam’s post: Affiliate Marketing Stages

    Enjoy and thank Mr. Green and Adam for this!

     

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  • NegBox 3:50 am on July 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Fired From IBM 

    Today IBM fired over 3,062 people in the US.

    I used to work at IBM.

    The biggest group fired was 222 people in Software Group Marketing.

    I used to work in Software Group Marketing.

    They like to call it “workforce rebalancing” and internally “resource action”, and the market likes to call it “Laid off”. In the end, its “Firing” without a cause.

    Its not the first time they do it and it certainly won’t be the last. It happens pretty regularly at IBM, though usually its smaller numbers.

    20 Days ago I talked to a friend at IBM. She used to work on projects with me -elbow to elbow- She has two Masters degrees: An MBA from a west-coast university, an MIS degree from the University of Texas, and a bachelors from a foreign university. She speaks fluent English and Chinese. She is 10 years younger than me. She puts 110% into her work. She never-ever-ever drops the ball. She wins awards all the time – she is good and holds my admiration. Every time she was in a project, I knew it would get done. She was going places – and now she was being fired.

    30 Days ago, they told these 3000+ people they were being fired effective today July 12 2013 – They used to give people more notice than 30 days – What didn’t change is that they told them they could stay at IBM if they found an open position.

    That was a lie.

    Every time, they lie.

    The internal job database has thousands (yes, thousands) of openings at any given time. When a round of mass firings like this happens, the positions remain open – and people can still get hired on. Just not if you’re one of those selected for the firing. If you’re on the “hit list” managers with open positions cannot hire you. Sounds cynical? It is.

    90 Days ago the profits and earnings report didn’t produce the right numbers. So they allocated enough money to get rid of 5,000 to 8,000 people worldwide.

    180 Days ago I told IBM I wasn’t going to work there anymore for the foreseeable future, signed my resignation, returned my laptops and sent a warm thank you e-mail to all my friends of 18 years there.

    If I worked with you at IBM regularly at any point in the past 18 years, and you didn’t get a thank-you e-mail from me via Lotus Notes (don’t laugh) back in February, its because I really think you’re an asshole.

    I went thru all my emails – There were a lot of great people I wanted to thank.

    275 Days ago I got my last paycheck from IBM and went into an unpaid leave of absence.

    365 days ago I told IBM I didn’t want to do what they wanted me to do. I literally said “I feel like I don’t want to do this anymore” in a conversation that would be right at home in the movie Office Space. I just didn’t want to do yet one more PowerPoint presentation, attend yet another soul-sucking conference call where nobody was listening and pretend like I gave a damn. I didn’t give a damn anymore. My boss there is a god guy – and he concluded I was going nuts, so he gave me a time-out… A paid leave of absence for 90 days or so. He called me often to check on me – And every time I must have sounded more and more “gone.”

    Before that, I was a prisoner. Working hard to keep my cell.

    A prisoner with a vision.

    2920 Days ago I saw today – like Mr. Nobody peering into an alternate reality, I saw myself fired from IBM.

    I did a lot of things to try and prevent the train-wreck I saw coming. I did an MBA. I changed positions. I worked hard.

    In the end the only way to avoid the train-wreck was to get off the train.

     

     
    • currentibmer 12:30 am on February 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry, to hear about this sad experience in a big company.
      I currently work for them and managers are not qualified.


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  • NegBox 5:20 am on June 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    The As If Principle 

    Listening to The As If Principle from Richard Wiseman. Halfway thru and my mind is completely blown. I would never buy a book with such a lame self-help guru-esque title. However this one comes from someone whose work I follow, and it is firmly grounded in science.

    My key takeaway from the book so far: We are such confused creatures; I’d say hopelessly confused. Some day trans-humans will laugh at how amazingly inept we really were, or we’ll just stumble into extinction much the same way we seem to lead our days. I’m always looking for the limits of our understanding, and now I see even clearer that we don’t understand jack shit.

    The “As If” Principle is all about the idea that out conscious minds read the state of the body (pulse, temperature, energy, posture) then add contextual information (what you see, hear, smell) and try to figure out what is going on, and that most of the time the machinery is so basic and crude that it gets everything wrong. Example: You’re jogging with someone and instead of attributing the increased heart rate and endorphins to the exercise, you think you love the person. You are asked to hold a pencil between your teeth and feel you’re happier. You pull a table towards you while looking at picture of someone and you like them more…. The list of these is endless yet the idea Richard talks about is constant: You minds alters how you feel about EVERYTHING based on what it reads from its surroundings and your body, and you have no control over it – Your conscious mind is more like a sportscaster than an actual player in this game. I don’t think Richard states it quite this way, yet that’s what I’m seeing so far.

    Here’s an extremely short RSA-Animate style excerpt about the book. Go get it now.

     

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  • NegBox 5:16 am on June 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Hypnotism 

    I’ve been wanting to write this post for some years. Ever since I heard the song “When you were young” by The Killers. Whoever wrote that song is an absolute genius of hypnotic messaging.

    Does Hypnotism work? Of course.

    Does subliminal marketing work? Of course.

    Years ago I pulled up two dozen research papers on suggestions and subliminal advertising. Back when I still had access to Elsevier and all the academic stuff. My quick summary: Amazed. Mostly amazed how this research isn’t more widely used.

    The key element of marketing – of any kind – is understanding how ideas work in the brain. Creating an effective simplified model so you know what the heck you’re doing.

    I’ll give you the two keys of my model:

    1 – The core mind only works by increasing degrees of association. To make you like ice cream, I put an image/text/idea of something you ALREADY like next to it. Net result: You like ice cream a bit more and whatever I showed you a bit less. To make you hate ice cream, I put something you already hate next to it. Net result: You like ice cream less and the thing you hate you like a tiny bit more. Picking the concepts carefully you can manipulate the ideas in your audience – pick weakly anchored ideas or just plain wrong ones and it can backfire.

    2 – The core mind does not understand negatives. This is ESSENTIAL. Saying “This doesn’t taste like ice cream” is the same as “This tastes like ice cream”. The mind will only really get “Taste Ice Cream”

    Back to the motivation of this post… Every time I hear “When you were young” by The Killers I remember I want to write about its lyrics and how they are a PERFECT example of hypnosis. The song is like a full hypnosis session crammed into three and a half minutes. Really, brilliant. Here is a table with the original lyrics on the left side and what your mind interprets when listening to the song. Really amazing. The song basically tells you to remember when you were young, the place you used to live, and imagine a boy that looks like Jesus.

    Original lyrics What your mind understands
    You sit there in your heartache
    Waiting on some beautiful boy to
    To save you from your old ways
    You play forgiveness

    Watch him now, here he come
    He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus
    But he talks like a gentleman
    Like you imagined when you were young

    Can we climb this mountain? I don’t know
    Higher now than ever before
    I know we can make it if we take it slow
    That’s takin’ easy, easy now, watch it go

    We’re burning down the highway skyline
    On the back of a hurricane that started turning
    When you were young
    When you were young

    And sometimes you close your eyes
    And see the place where you used to live
    When you were young

    They say the Devil’s water it ain’t so sweet
    You don’t have to drink right now
    But you can dip your feet
    Every once in a little while

    You sit there in your heartache
    Waiting on some beautiful boy to
    To save you from your old ways
    You play forgiveness
    Watch him now, here he come

    He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus
    But he talks like a gentleman
    Like you imagined when you were young
    (Talks like a gentleman)
    (Like you imagined when)
    When you were young

    I said he doesn’t look a thing like Jesus
    He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus
    But more than you’ll ever know

    Your heartache
    Beautiful boy
    Save you
    Play forgiveness

    Watch him now / Here comes
    He looks like Jesus
    He talks like a gentleman
    Imagine when you were young

    Climb mountain
    Higher than ever
    We can make it / Take it slow
    Takin’ Easy Easy Now Watch it go

    Burning highway skyline
    Hurricane turning
    When you were young
    When you were young

    Close your eyes
    See the place where you used to live
    When you were young

    The Devil’s water so sweet
    You drink right now
    You dip your feet
    a little while

    Your heartache
    Beautiful boy
    Save you
    play forgiveness
    Watch him now / Here he come

    Looks like Jesus
    Talks like a gentleman
    Imagine when you were young
    Talks like a gentleman
    Imagine
    When you were young

    Looks like Jesus
    Looks like Jesus
    Know (remember)

     

     

     

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  • NegBox 6:47 am on February 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    What if a future employer read your Facebook and Twitter? 

    This comic from XKCD captures my thoughts about social media and employment perfectly.

    XKCD Dreams

    Some years ago (and while having a corporate job, now its a moot point) I decided my social media was mine and mine only and everyone that thought otherwise could go fuck themselves. In practical terms this meant I never tweeted the bullshit my employers wanted me to tweet, posted what anyone wanted and when it came to Facebook my policy was simple: People I work with directly can’t be my FB friends (especially my own business unit), people I worked with in the past yes. This was a very simple rule designed to help me be a little more free in posting what I want to post without having to stop and think if I’m writing about pansies, panties and butterflies while I’m supposed to be paying attention to a “Critical recovery action plan” phone meeting – the real problem there isn’t what I’m writing as much as when I am writing it.

    What I’ve learned about the collision of social media and traditional employers can be summed up in four words: Be Yourself. Show Yourself.

    Be Yourself: Be yourself – Accept yourself. Forget everybody else. Sounds retarded, yet the moment you stop to think about what others might think, you’re at risk of being phoney and losing your identity.

    Show Yourself: You can’t read minds, so stop trying to imagine what others might think. It doesn’t matter if your hobby is collecting Barbie dolls and cross-dressing on the weekends, the only thing that EVERYBODY wants is to know a REAL person. Everybody loves real people because there are way less masks, facades and play-pretend.

    Remember: FUCK. THAT. SHIT.

     
    • simon 8:46 am on February 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      good idea on not adding people from work.. really creates unnecessary drama. i’ve seen many people post pictures of themselves smoking a bowl (facebooks owns your pics, this shit will cant be good for you at some point)


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  • NegBox 7:20 am on February 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Imagining Abundance Makes You Complacent 

    When you imagine yourself having achieved your goals – In the manner quack pseudo-scientists tell you in “The Secret” and other works of bullshit, you are actually experiencing the pleasure of having achieved your goals without the effort, and tend to perform WORSE at actually achieving your goals. That interesting bit of research into motivation crossed my ears while listening to 59 Seconds from Richard Wiseman a while back. Apparently the best thing to do is to envision the biggest obstacles and how you’ll overcome them, instead of just daydreaming of the piles of money and orgies. Richard Wiseman actually goes into a lot more detail in the book with a proven technique similar to 1984’s Doublethink – Highly recommended.

    This picture today reminded me of the book. So true how we dream of release just to get to tomorrow without actually doing anything today.

    Labynth-of-the-mind

     

     

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  • NegBox 7:06 am on February 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    If Browsers Were Women 

     

    I need to make one of these about ad networks instead of browsers…

    IfInternetBrowsersWereWomen-NegBox

     
    • Harry 11:19 pm on February 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      For IE, all I can say is: Meh.. MY EYES HURT!!!

      • NegBox 7:37 am on February 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        That was the whole point


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  • NegBox 10:23 am on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    I QUIT MY DAY JOB 

    That’s right, I’ve quit my day job. Its been now six months of being a full-time affiliate marketer and I LOVE IT.

    Its easy to quit your day job when you’re 20-something and you are working retail jobs; or when you have your parents to fall back on; When you could live on government cheese, or when its just you with no family or kids.

    In my case quitting was a little more complicated. Its not so easy when you’re already in your 30s, you have your own family, mortgages, can’t go back to your parents, and you already have a six figure salary doing something a little more interesting than Starbucks barista.

    How did I do it? Luck x Effort

    By 2009 I had gotten an MBA to add to my technical degree and joined the marketing division at IBM. For the first year I had a blast, over time Sandy Carter, the vice president I was working for started slowly DRIVING ME FUCKING NUTS to the point I routinely fantasized how awesome it would be to get fired. One day in August 2009 she asked me to do some shit I can’t recall with grandmaster douchebag Jeremiah Owyang who was then at Forrester, that’s when I read this article. Before learning about internet marketing there I had been selling junk on eBay (circa 2007), and before that I tried a little startup of my own (2004-2005) on the side which flopped. All in all I’ve been trying to give my corporate overlords the boot for almost ten years.

    Of course I didn’t spend ten years locked in a basement trying to leave or working on affiliate marketing stuff. In those ten years I had two kids, got an MBA, changed jobs a couple of times, change wife too. The constant was simple: The writing was on the wall, I had to strike out on my own.

    Why? Because I planned for greatness, and found myself stuck in mediocrity. At one point in time I was on a great career path, then something happened – I don’t know what or how, still around 2003 or so I realized I was no longer on track to be a Fortune 500 CEO – so time to clock out.

    Fast-forward to 2009, that article from Jeremiah Owyang led me to John Chow. Don’t get me wrong here – I’m not endorsing John Chow in any way, hes so full of shit we could terraform Mars with it. Still… One thing led to another…

    I tried doing a blog like John Chow’s. I really did. I gave it all… It didn’t work. Along the way I started reading other blogs… PPC.bz among them. The first time I read it I was sure of two things: 1 – There is something good here. and 2 – I had no fucking clue what was going on. I also started reading some of the blogs on the blogroll and slowly piecing together a larger picture of affiliate marketing.

    Then every time I read a “Friday Affiliate Interview” story at JonathanVolk.com it felt like a slap in the balls: Here were people doing what I wanted to be doing, successful at what I wanted to do, and I was still sucking bottom. Jonathan Volk himself with his Christian fervor was also motivational, though not in the way he might have hoped for. I thought if someone so slow as to have invisible friends could be successful at internet marketing, that left me the one possibility that maybe, just maybe, all these folks were  smarter and generally better than me. This I refused to believe, yet it provided some serious proof that I was headed in the right direction and a boatload of motivation to prove myself – to myself.

    That was 2010… What did I do between 2010 and 2012? Everything.

    Top ten tips to quitting your day job with affiliate marketing, based directly on my recent experience:

    1 – Focus on ONE THING. One traffic source, one niche, one offer type. Sleep, eat, drink, be the offer, the customer, the traffic – One with the matrix.

    2 – The Lifecycle of an Internet Marketer from Adam Bunch and published by Mr. Green was an awesome post, so much so that I printed it out and keep it on my desk.

    3 – Your head has to accept the change. I exercised listening to songs about change – Especially awesome in every way is Butterflies and Hurricanes from Muse, that song steals the show for embracing and driving radical change. It says things like “change everything you are”, “Your number has been called” and “You’ve got to be the best”.

    4 – Affiliate Summit events. They are an investment, make it. I went to ASW 10, ASC 12 and ASW 13. The value I get from these events keeps GROWING tremendously. Its really not about the sessions for me – Its about the Meet Market and the social networking.

    5 – Transparency. The best business relationships I’ve made have come about and are nurtured daily by being completely transparent – about what I promote, where and how. If you think someone is going to steal your stuff, you need to work on your mindset – You are the creator, you have abundance, you make one good thing after another, fear of someone stealing your stuff makes you inefficient and ineffective. At the end of the day there are real human beings behind everything – if you are clean and transparent, people compete to do business with you – because the other folks who are playing “Batman” with cloak-and-dagger hush-hush games are just plain hard to deal with.

    6 – Push the envelope without breaking the rules. Forget black-hat shit. Personally, I grew up on TCP/IP Tutorial and Technical Overview original edition from 1996 and packet analyzers. So all the black-hat tricks are within arm’s reach – they will however lead you absolutely nowhere. Sometimes I see very clever black-hat tricks and invariably think to myself how that person could be stacking 10x the cash by using all their knowledge the way its supposed to work.

    7 – Stop worrying about what others are doing and get busy. In the beginning I used to “protect” my landing pages, cloak, hide, log IPs and serve up dummy pages, read browser’s histories to see if you were an affiliate. Guess where that got me? Nowhere at all. It wasted a ton of time I could have used for building more campaigns or doing something else. Who’s really going to jack my campaign? Successful affiliates don’t need to jack your crappy landing page, and they will see it anyways sooner or later, because they’re watching the traffic like a cat stalks a mouse. The other folks that can jack your page are unsuccessful affiliates – and guess what they’re going to do with it? Exactly what they’ve been doing so far: Fail. …. Get busy and forget about the idiots.. When you’re too busy to pay close attention to one single campaign, when you’re too busy to work on silly cloaking, that’s when the magic happens.

    9 – Understand understanding. You will not understand what the fuck is going on during your first try, or your second, or your tenth. Stare at it. Read it again. And again. And again. Think about it. Think about it again. In time you will start getting valuable insights, these insights only come if you actually do shit and fail repeatedly – They don’t come if you throw up your arms and walk away.

    10 – Its all a mind game. Its you against you.

    Wrap-up

    If you’re willing to bust your balls, this can be very rewarding. I have only one word of warning I shared with my fellow blogging friend Mike Chiasson at ASW – I went from working a lot, to working A LOT MORE. Of course I now work for myself, and work twice as much, twice as hard, and my balls are on the line every day.

    This is clearly not for everyone – If somewhere in the dark recesses of your mind you secretly believe you’ll hit a home run and walk home a billionaire with strippers lining up at your door to do tricks on your overworked appendage, you’re sorely mistaken. This is hardball, and hardball isn’t for everyone. As for me… I AM FUCKING LOVING IT!

     

     
    • Jay 12:03 pm on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Great fucking post and congrats on quitting ! ;)
      This fake facebook comment box is hilarious too haha

    • Nikola Cvrtnjak 2:33 pm on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting part about john chow lol :D
      Anyway, congrats! Now you are your own boss ;).

    • Angry Russian 4:35 pm on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Great article. Couldn’t agree with you more especially point number 7 about mind your own business and stop worrying about everyone else. I know when I stopped trying to copy other peoples campaigns and jumping from one hot thing to another, along with of course the ultra paranoia that kept me from really scaling, I found success right away.

      Glad to hear it man keep it up.

    • Mikey 6:00 pm on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Step 8 is definitely the most important. Don’t forget the two most important things to be successful: 1. Never tell anyone everything you know.

      • NegBox 6:02 pm on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Mike, well put on #2. For everyone else, remember its a mind game… Once you win the mind game, your brain will let you see Step 8 and Mike’s #2.

    • FrequentBird.com 11:51 pm on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Based on your use of language and nude images, I would never have guessed that you have a family and had a career at IBM!

      • NegBox 8:26 am on February 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        @frequentbird corporate America is much more human than you make it out to be. After a certain level people are awesome, and they hold nothing back – They will call shit shit and fuck fuck. I’d recommend the book Radical Honesty.

    • Mattias 5:21 am on February 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Yes! Great post and 10 great tips. Thanks. Inspired.

    • Artur 2:14 pm on February 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      There are few other feelings as exhilarating as leaving behind the slavery of employment.

    • RUss 5:40 am on February 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Negbox. Congrats. I hear it from the successful ones. Hard ball is the reality. In anything worth going after. Now I just have to adjust my focus.

    • Edgar 2:08 am on February 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Congrats man. This is where I aim to be in the next few months.

      It really does suck being a slave to work. Having to ask your boss for vacations, days off, etc…

      All the best to you and all your projects!

    • EP 7:19 am on March 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Amen! Nice blog post. I love when people give credit where credit is due, and everything in point 7 needs a retothetweet. Enough procrastinating for me, good luck!


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  • NegBox 6:57 am on September 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Tim Minchin’s Storm – Animated Movie 

    The “beat poem” was already priceless – The animation takes it to 11.

    ADHD Highlights:

    • By definition “Alternative”medicine is medicine that has not been proven to work, or has been proven to not work.
    • Alternative medicine that has been proven to work is called… Medicine.
    • Science adjusts its views based on what’s observed. Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.
    • Watch Scooby Doo. Throughout history, every mystery ever solved turned out to be… Not Magic.
    • Isn’t THIS amazing natural world enough that we have to invent MORE shit?
     

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