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


    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
    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.




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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…


    • 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  


    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… 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 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.


    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 😀
      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.

    • 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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  • NegBox 5:49 am on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Cigarette Branding Destroyed 

    In a masterful move, the Australian High Court upheld a ruling that will remove all logos from Cigarette packs.

    Finally, someone shoots tobacco companies a torpedo below the water line. Removing branding elements is an idea I’m sure more than one marketer, myself included, has had in thinking how to deal with a problem like tobacco.

    We’ll see how fast the rest of the world follows – because they will follow.

    Would something like this actually reduce smoking? You betcha. It will destroy their ability to capture new minds.


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  • NegBox 4:01 pm on August 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Media Buying IQ Test: Find the Odd One Out 

    Question 1 of 2:
    Can you spot the odd one out from this group of banners that returned from a query on WhatRunsWhere?


    Question 2 of 2:
    Now that you passed Test #1, comes the hard part. Test #2. Can you find the odd one out of THIS screenshot:


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  • NegBox 6:40 pm on May 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: nostalgia   

    Nooks of Nostalgia 

    Sometimes you bump into the ruins of a website – something you remember was mind-blowing awesome, yet now stands frozen in time like an old black and white picture. Beyond the WayBack Machine, I’m talking about real sites still online that got stuck in time. My favorite such site is:
    Avatar Teleport

    Do you have a favorite stuck-in-time site?


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