Archive for February, 2006

My Name is Tony and I’m a MacBook Pro Addict

February 23rd, 2006 Tony 14 comments

macbook pro
Ok, to be absolutely clear I don’t actually have a MacBook Pro. I have ordered one (we’ll actually three) but I am in an agonizing queue that I cannot see the length of. Yes three. This is how bad my addiction to this beautiful machine has become. After pouring over the first reports of folks who had received shipment confirmation early, I made the assessment that some configurations were shipping sooner due to their higher cost and lower demand so in addition to my 1.83GHz order I also placed an order for a 2.0GHz and the highly overpriced 2.16GHz model hoping to increase my odds of getting one sooner. Perhaps even more shocking behavior is that I’ve actually gone so far as to install the bloody Yahoo messenger in the event that I might receive an update email from Apple.

I scour the forums for more info on the MacBook Pro. The Apple store at Southpoint is getting sick of my phone calls. I’m hiding my frequent order status checks from my wife. I’ve even begun checking my American Express card for authorization of funds. How did I get like this? I’m even a Windows person!

I’m a Macbook Pro addict and I need help.

Off to call the shops in NY. Screw SES panels. I need my Mac.

Categories: Switching to Mac Tags:

Domain Value from a Pure Google Juice Perspective

February 20th, 2006 Tony 1 comment

Today Todd wrote an excellent piece on website value and since I’ve been spending a great deal of time and money lately trying to aquire older sites purely for their Google juice I thought I could share my crude algorithm for scoring domains based purely on their “oldness” and linkage. :) This won’t tell you what you should pay for a domain but if you write code to hunt down potential buys it will help you sort through a large list and find the cream of the crop:

if pagerank == 0
     score = 0
     score = backLinkCount
     score = score + eduCount * 50
     score = score + govCount * 50
     score = score + milCount * 50

     if domain is more than one year old
          score = score * 5 * yearsOld

     if domain is older than 2003 (my estimate for sandbox birth)
          score = score * 10

Crawl through your list of domains of interest, calculate the score, sort by score descending, and start buying!

Categories: Domains Tags:

MSN Search Continues to Fall Short With New and Not So Improved UI

February 17th, 2006 Tony 2 comments

MSN released a new UI for their search engine today. I think it looks a hell of a lot better than the UI we’ve been looking at for a long time now but it still falls way short.
MSN Search
Greg Boser complains about not being able to see the search box but in my version of Firefox it is clearly visible. I totally agree with him about the annoyance of no OnFocus on the search input field. Even worse, when I type a search in the search field and instinctively hit the carriage return key (rather than mousing to click the search button) I don’t get whisked away to the SERP’s. No! I get a stupid javascript dropdown for “web”, “news”, “images”, etc. I guess it depends which version of Firefox you are running because on my home machine, carriage return does result in submitting the form.

Bottom line: I continue to be disappointed in Microsoft search. You would think a company with the budget the size of a small country would do more testing and could be more innovative. A year ago when the first MSN search ads began running in the UK I thought to myself “Now we’re going to see the full blunt force of the Microsoft war chest come down hard on the Google empire”. Now I’m wondering if Microsoft may be so big that they’ll slowly die in the face of smarter, quicker and more innovative competitors.

Categories: MSN Search Tags: Shuns Customers : No Plans to Fix Broken Code in Both Firefox and IE 7

February 16th, 2006 Tony No comments’s web interface has always given me that 1997 kind of clunky vibe and I always dread having to use it to issue a refund. I have one eCommerce site that has a very low return rate and thus I rarely need to issue a refund. As a result I never coded in a refund process into my shopping cart which means I have to use their Virtual Terminal.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to make the switch to Firefox you may have been unfortunate enough to discover that you can’t issue a refund in’s virtual terminal. The problem is in a piece of javascript on the site that forces you to enter an expiration date in order to issue a refund. If you did not capture the expiration date in your own database (smart security), you will not know the expiration date as hides it on the transaction details page.

So I’ve been forced to use Internet Explorer for the past year when I needed to issue a refund. Unfortunately I recently decided to give the new IE 7.0 a try and now I run into the same javascript problem in IE.

I initiated a chat session with an agent today and unfortunately I was told that could care less about helping their customers by fixing this problem:

Elaine M: Hi Tony! How may I help you?

Tony Spencer: I would like to know when will be fixing their website so that it will support refunds in Firefox. Currently the site is broken when you try to issue a refund and you are using Firefox for your browser. It requires you to enter a expiration date which is not visible on the original tx. Also it is broken in the new version of Internet Explorer.

Elaine M: We do not have plans to update Java Script to be compatible with Firefox, which is the issue causing the expiration date requirement.

Tony Spencer: You may want to consider fixing it soon. As I said the new version of IE is broken as well so soon you will have many users unable to use your site.

Elaine M: Authorize Net did not create Java Script, and we have built our website to be usable with the latest versions of Internet Explorer.

Tony Spencer: Its not usable with the latest version of Internet Explorer. Download IE 7 and give it try.

Heres a tip from the customer service 101 handbook guys: Lack of concern and snide sarcasm is not the path to high customer satisfaction.

Categories: eCommerce Tags:

SEMLogic versus SEMiologic : Round 1

February 6th, 2006 Tony 2 comments

SEMLogic vs. SEMiologicI was just about to head out to catch a flight when I decided to procrastinate for 5 more minutes and catch up on Andre’s blog. Immediately I noticed a new Wordpress theme. Me likey. Then I discover a recent entry in which Andre explains the new theme and promotes a friend’s CMS plugin for Wordpress called SEMiologic.

Ok, so chicken or the egg. Who came first guys? SEMLogic or SEMiologic?

Categories: Search Engine Optimization Tags: