Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Web Secret #82: The Social Media Decade

What will we call the first decade of the 21st century?

That's easy - the social media decade.

But before we burst into the second decade of the 21st century with social media barrels firing, lets take a walk down memory lane and review the past 10 years worth of hardware and software miracles - as they were first introduced.

2000 - The Hi-Speed USB 2.0 becomes the industry standard along with Windows 2000. We still use it today (the USB 2.0 interface - not Windows 2000).

2001 - This is the first promotional video for the iPod. No iPod, no podcasts.

2002 - before MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn there was ... Friendster ... the first modern, general social network. It still exists.

2003 - Welcome to Facebook in a suit. LinkedIn, a business-oriented social networking site, is launched.

2004 - At the first Web 2.0 Conference, Tim O'Reilly contrasts Web 2.0 with Web 1.0. Here he is, a few years later explaining Web. 2.0 to a reporter.

2005 - Ning, an online platform for people to create their own social networks is launched.

2006 - Twitter is launched. Here is an early CBS news report trying to explain what it is.

2007 - The iPhone is introduced. Watch the first four commercials. No smart phone, no apps.

2008 - Blogger is the top social media sites with 222 million unique worldwide visitors. This took less than 10 years to achieve. Here is what blogger looked like in 1999 when it was first launched.

2009 - YouTube reaches "well over a billion views a day" worldwide. YouTube is the top online brand ranked by video streams in the U.S. In November 2009 alone, 106.9 million unique visitors watched 6.8 billion streams on YouTube.

How many of the technology/websites introduced over the past decade will still be in use in 2020?

Happy 2010!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Web Secret #81: Social Media - How Much Should You Use?

My friend DeeAnna Merz Nagel recently sent me a thought provoking blog post by social media guru Jeff Bulla, "How Many Social Media Channels Should Your Brand Be Using?"

To answer this burning question, Jeff points out that a big company like Starbucks uses 11 different social media "channels" (like Twitter, Facebook, blogging, etc.) and employs 6 staff on their social media team to make it happen.

He explains that all social media channels fall into 7 major categories:

1. Blogging

2. Social Networking: eg Facebook. Building relationships online can be a big part of having a successful business. Social networking allows you to hang out with people that have similar interests to you.

3. Micro Blogging: is a combination of social networking and blogging. Building a large list of followers is a great way to meet people and increase traffic to your blog and websites.

4. Social Bookmarking: Directories such as Digg and Technorati serve as search engine bait for your blog posts and for new traffic from people who read your blog articles. Bookmarking a blog post is very easy to do and the rewards can definitely pay off.

5. Discussion Forums: One of the first forms of social media. Eg: listservs on Yahoo Groups.

6. Email Marketing: There has always been money in having a list.

7. Video Marketing: YouTube.

Finally, he answers his own question "How Many Channels for your Brand?", with the following: "it is ... a matter of the resources that you have available, both in time and money to engage in Social Media effectively." He then recommends blogging.

Wait! Halt! STOP!!!

Jeff, I agree with you, time is definitely a factor. I always tell my clients, "be honest with yourself - how much time do you REALLY have to blog, or tweet, or write on your Facebook wall?"

Money? I am not so sure. Social media is free. So dough is not necessarily a factor.

But expertise? That is the whole enchilada.

And blogging? 90% of bloggers have no business blogging.

Ask yourself:
  • Can I write?

  • Can I write something clever, useful or witty?

  • Can I write something clever, useful or witty, at least once a week?

  • Can I write something clever, useful or witty, at least once a week - for an indefinite period of time?
Most people will answer no to one or more of these questions. And if you answer no to any of these questions, DO NOT BLOG.

If you are burning to get involved in the blogosphere, find and read the best blogs in your field(s) of interest. Post your judicious and well thought out comments on these blogs.

What about Twitter?

Ask yourself:
  • Can I craft clever, useful, interesting tweets?

  • Can I craft clever, useful, interesting tweets, at least once a day?

  • Can I craft clever, useful, interesting tweets, at least once a day, for an indefinite period of time?

You get my drift. You can have all the time in the world, but if you don't have the skill set, don't do it. And if you want to be involved in Twitter, you can always follow the people who are useful to your goals and retweet interesting stuff.

In fairness to Jeff, money can play a helpful role, because you can hire people to help you with your social media presence. If you have good content, but no writing skills, hire an editor to help you blog. Engage an expert to convert your thoughts and ideas into clever tweets. Get someone to help you with Facebook or LinkedIn. (Contrary to what you might think, do not hire a kid. Kids use Facebook to socialize - they have no clue how to use it for business purposes.)

Here is a helpful analogy. Thinking about renovating your kitchen? Do you have plumbing and electrical skills? No? Hire a contractor.

Ditto with social media.

Use as much social media channels as you have time, money AND expertise.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Web Secret #80: BreakThrough

It may come as a surprise, but not so long ago - in 2008 to be exact - I was not a fan of online counseling. To be precise, the thought of online counseling filled me with visceral horror.

Then, at the 2008 World EAP (Employee Assistance Professionals) Conference, a presenter revealed that in India, 70% of all EAP counseling is delivered online. Because I have an aversion to being provincial, I decided to open my mind. And I learned that there are all kinds of reasons to embrace this new frontier which includes e-mail, chat, and video methods of service delivery.

Of course, it's not for everyone, nor is it suitable for every diagnosis. But consider this:
  • What if there is a pandemic and you have to stay home to avoid contagion?
  • What if you live 200 miles from the nearest clinician?
  • What if you have young children and no child care?
  • What if you have no transportation?
If you answer yes to any of the above questions (and many other similar ones) - online counseling may be a solution for you.

And what about you, the provider? Maybe you want to access a new pool of clients. Maybe you want to reduce your overhead. Maybe you want to relocate to a more remote area, yet still stay in contact with your existing clients. Online counseling may be the answer for you.

But where to start?

The yellow brick road for you and your clients may well be BreakThrough is an online counseling delivery platform that helps you with every aspect of accessing or delivering online counseling - from technical logistics to legal ramifications, from fee processing to ethical implications.

In September of 2009, the BreakThrough concept was presented at TechCrunch50, a major conference for new online ventures. BreakThrough CEO Mark Goldenson does a better job than I could explaining the concept, so click here to watch his 15 minute presentation.

Ten years ago, how did you feel about online banking? Buying stuff on Booking your trip on Travelocity?

Trust me, ten years from now, when we are all videochatting on wafer thin tablets, online counseling will just be another mainstream treatment modality.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Web Secret #79: Know Your Meme

Create a successful meme to promote your product or your services and you have captured lightning in a bottle.

There is no more powerful form of viral marketing.

What's a meme?

It's a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the Internet, much like an esoteric inside joke. The content often consists of a joke, an altered or original image, a complete website, a video clip or animation, among many other possibilities.
  • An Internet meme may stay the same or may evolve over time.
  • Internet memes have a tendency to evolve and spread extremely quickly, sometimes going in and out of popularity in just days.
  • They are spread organically, voluntarily, and peer to peer.
I have previously written about the brilliant "Whopper Sacrifice", but there are others, many others...

What does it take to come up with a compelling meme? Enter, a fabulous website that catalogues memes making them easy to study. As an example, typing in "hamster" in the site's search window brings up the 1998 Hampster Dance, one of the earliest examples of an Internet meme. Of course the Hampster Dance was meant to entertain, not sell products. But there is much to learn from even non-commercial memes.

But what about something more recent?

Check out the Starbucks Love Project launched December 7th. It asks that you submit a 30 second video of you and your friends singing the Beatles "All You Need Is Love" or your "love drawing", and Starbucks will contribute 5 cents towards the global fight against AIDS.

Today, December 8, hundreds of thousands of people from 120 countries have already participated.

Now how much good will do you think Starbucks has generated for itself?

But what if you have zero dollars to invest in viral marketing?

Once upon a time, there was a real estate project in San Franciso called Pacific Cannery Lofts. The challenge they faced was getting San Francisco dwellers to buy one of their loft apartments in West Oakland - which most locals considered to be an Outer Mongolia location.

The Pacific Cannery marketing team had no money to promote the project.

But they were smart. They borrowed a car, a very cheap video cam and they created a handful of minute long videos titled “Time Trials”, shot documentary style, showing how quickly a person could drive from the Lofts to various desirable locations in San Francisco. They uploaded the videos to YouTube.

"Time Trials" became a cult hit. Hundreds of people e-mailed them to one another. Some even filmed their own "Time Trials" and submitted them to YouTube as well.

Completely cool.
So clever.
I am jealous.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Web Secret #78: nPower Personal Energy Generator

The other day I was tuned in to NPR's "All Tech Considered" when I heard, "The next time your batteries need a recharge, try taking a walk".


A few years ago, as Aaron LeMieux was walking along the Appalachian Trail, he kept having to stop in little towns to find batteries for an electronic device. Dragola.

Aaron is a mechanical engineer, so he turned frustration into an idea. He wondered if it was possible to convert the kinetic energy we expend when we walk into a Personal Energy Generator (aka PEG). After all, mobile electronic devices like the iPhone only require 2.5 watts of power to fully recharge. So, all you have to do is harvest 2.5 percent of our human walking energy, and voila! juice for your mobile electronic device.

Fast forward to 2009 - Aaron's new company Tremont Electric prepares to unleash a PEG device that is about the size of a small flashlight. It captures the renewable energy of your footsteps — no outlet required.

Just place the nPower PEG in your backpack, briefcase, or handbag, and plug it into your iPod, cell phone, or GPS. Walk or run. As you move, your PEG continuously charges your handheld electronic device at the same rate as a wall charger. Typically, a battery receives an 80% charge in one hour.

It's cool, it's green it's great.

It's not cheap - $149 - but figure the price will go down - quickly.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Web Secret #77:

A long, long time ago, in what seemed to be another galaxy, I attended a transformative Tech Boot Camp in Santa Fe, New Mexico conducted by Bill O'Hanlon. Bill is one of these maverick individuals who has a lot to say (29 books so far) about a whole lot of things. Credit is due - Bill introduced me to the potential and power of social media and inspired this blog.

Periodically I need an infusion of Bill, so when his newsletter doesn't do the trick, I sign up for one of his webinars. And that is where - to make a long story short - I learned about

Catchy name, huh?

Dimdim bills itself (pardon the pun, Bill) as the world's easiest web conference system. It lets anyone deliver synchronized live presentations, whiteboards and web pages and share their voice and video over the Internet - with no download required.

They made it their mission to create a web conferencing system as easy to use as the iPod. A single click is all it takes to meet. Dimdim features two products:

Dimdim Free allows you to meet freely with up to 20 people, absolutely FREE.

Dimdim Pro gives you unlimited meetings and pro features with 50 people for only $19 per month. And you can try it for FREE.

I think I am going to Dimdim real soon...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Web Secret #76: Powermat

At the end of a long day of blogging and other geekery, it's time to charge my iPhone.

I head over to the kitchen, my family's version of NASA mission control. I am not alone.

Other 21st century paraphernalia is already plugged into the Matrix, including:
  • a Blackberry Curve
  • a Nintendo DS
  • a Motorola Rival
  • and two ancient LG phones of dubious provenance.
There are power cords and chargers everywhere.

I have a dream, a dream of a wireless world where I can just drop my iPhone onto a table, and it will charge itself...

Wake up babe! My dream is a reality. All I have to do is shell out some cash and buy a Powermat!!!

WTF is a Powermat?

Watch the 30 second video, "What the Bleep?", and you too will know the answer.

Still don't get it? Here are the Cliff notes:

Powermat allows you to charge just about any device without being directly plugged into a power socket. For example, if you have an iPhone, a Nintendo DS or a Blackberry device, all you have to do to charge them is… well nothing, you just put them on the table.

The Powermat is a sleek mat that sits quietly on a table waiting for something, or more accurately up to four somethings (if you include the built-in USB port), to charge. To use the mat, you simply take a device that is “wearing” a receiver and place it on the Powermat. That’s it! Sound and light indicate that a connection has been made and that the device is charging. A second sound indicates when the device is removed from the mat. Once on the mat the device will charge as fast or faster than the stock power adaptor.

The Powermat supplies universal, international power (100-240V).

The Powermat is green. Communication between the Powermat and receivers allows the mat to give exactly enough power for exactly the right time. When a device is fully charged, power is shut off to that device, so no energy is wasted.

The good news: it's cool, it's well built, it works!
The bad news: it's $100 for the base unit and then if you want to just throw your device on the mat, you also need a receiver which can cost from $29.99 to $39.99.

You and I both know the price will come down...

And the cool factor? Priceless.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Web Secret #75: Ning

What is Ning?

No, it's not a 14th century Chinese dynasty, or a tai chi move, or a take out dish featuring tofu and bok choy.

Ning is a FREE online platform (aka website) that enables people to create their own social networks.

So what?

Well if you have very specific interests and want to connect with a very specific group of people, you might want to create your own very specific social network. If Facebook is a Ford factory, Ning is a custom car kit.

Still don't get it? Well I didn't until I was invited to join the Online Therapy Institute Social Network (OTI)created on the Ning platform.
  • When you create a social network on Ning, (which is quick and easyy) you get a Ning URL, so OTI's is
  • You can then get really specific about the purposes and goals of your Ning. For example, the OTI Social Network is for people interested in sharing knowledge about online therapy, cyberpsychology and the impact of technology on mental health.
  • Joining the network allows for the creation of a profile with links to websites and blogs. All member pages are accessible to the public so your listing serves as both a networking tool with other professionals but also as a directory listing for potential clients.
  • If you are interested in creating a blog, your Ning listing comes with a blog feature that can be publicized and optimized.
And that's just the beginning... Spend 5 minutes on the OTI Social Network and you will develop a rapid appreciation of what Ning can do for you.

Now I Ning it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Web Secret #74: StopBADware

"Bad, bad, bad, bad software, you make me feel so mad..."

With a nod to the 1985 Gloria Estefan hit - there is nothing that makes me angrier than downloading a program and being subjected to "BADware".

What is BADware?

BADware is software that fundamentally disregards a user’s choice regarding how his or her computer will be used. Common examples of badware include free screensavers that surreptitiously generate advertisements, malicious web browser toolbars that take your browser to different pages than the ones you expect, or keylogger programs that can transmit your personal data to malicious parties.

Thank God for They are looking out for my computer, your computer, EVERYONE's computer. is a partnership between top academic institutions, technology industry leaders, and volunteers committed to protecting Internet and computer users from threats to their privacy and security caused by bad software.

What's in it for you?

Well for starters, when you go to StopBADware's Alerts & Reports page, you will find a list of applications that are potentially exhibiting badware behaviors. So, for example, I find out I should NOT download:

Aldi Photo Manager
AntiVirProtect & AntiSpywareShield
the Jessica Simpson Screensaver (damn, I wanted that.)

...among many others.

I can also look up a site in the Search Badware Website Clearinghouse BEFORE I download any software. - THANK YOU.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Web Secret #73: Social Media Is Not a Fad

I am always trying to succinctly explain to Baby Boomer non believers why social media is relevant to them.

And then I Stumbled Upon Erik Qualman's brilliantly executed video "Statistics Show Social Media Is Bigger Than You Think" which deftly answers the question "Is Social Media a Fad or the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution?" using statistics.

I have pared down Qualman's 37 stats to just 10 of the most compelling:

1. Years to Reach 50 millions Users:
  • Radio (38 Years)
  • TV (13 Years),
  • Internet (4 Years)
  • iPod (3 Years)
  • Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months
  • iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months
2. If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 4th largest between the United States and Indonesia

3. 1 in 6 higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum

4. % of companies using LinkedIn as a primary tool to find employees…80%

5. The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females
Boomers - are you listening?

6. Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Ireland, Norway and Panama

7. Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé… In 2009 Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen
Pay attention - people born after 1985 do not read e-mail

8. The #2 largest search engine in the world is YouTube

9. Facebook users translated the site from English to Spanish via a Wiki in less than 4 weeks at a cost to Facebook of $0

10. 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 14% trust advertisements.

Qualman's conclusion: social media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Web Secret #72: Backblaze

Anytime a website can simultaneously entertain me, provide a useful service, and save me money, I am compelled to pay attention.

Recently, I randomly landed on, one of dozens of sites that offers online data backup. When Backblaze opens, the first thing that happens is that you are treated to a lifelike 5 second video of a young woman dousing a laptop with gasoline and then setting fire to it.

That was so rewarding, I had to watch it a couple times before further exploring the site.

Essentially, Backblaze offers:

Online unlimited backup for only $5/month per computer for 50 years via a tiny application that installs in three clicks. They claim this online backup application automatically finds all your photos, music, documents, and other irreplaceable files and compresses and securely encrypts them. When you're not using your computer, it sends them over the Internet to the remote Backblaze datacenters.

SIMPLE. I like simple.

But it's not just about back up. What if you need to restore a file? Like all the other vendors out there, Backblaze allows you to restore from the web.

But what I really like is that you have the option to get your files on a DVD or USB drive sent via FedEx. Personally, I am keen on having the option of virtual backup AND something I can hold in my hand (or put in my safe for that matter.)

Try Backblaze for 15 days for FREE.

Then watch the girl flambé the laptop. AGAIN.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Web Secret #71: Online Snark Attacks

When I present on the use of social media for professional purposes, many participants seethe over the lack of accountability on the web. They ask:

"Where is the law?"
"Where are the guidelines?"
"Where are the codes of ethics?"

The quick answer is, (for the most part), nowhere - yet. Professional associations are in the beginning stages of crafting codes of ethics and practice guidelines that cover social media. MANY corporations don't even have a social media policy for their employees. And the law...well that's lagging about a decade (in my estimation) behind practice. The analogy would be that social media is moving at warp speed, and regulation of any kind - that's following in a Model T Ford.

So if we are in the wild west stage of our online history, how do you protect yourself, your brand, or your organization from online snark attacks?

I use StepRep to keep track of my online reputation. My HootSuite account also lets me monitor anytime my Twitter account is mentioned. You should too. It's your first line of defense.

HootSuite and StepRep help you find out when after you:
  • uploaded a blog post
  • tweeted
  • wrote on your wall in Facebook,
  • or performed some other online publication function
someone responded:
  • With a critical comment
  • A scathing tweet
  • A nasty message.
That's because on the Internet, a small, but vocal minority get a kick out of pinpointing flaws in your thinking, sometimes in the meanest, mean girls in the middle school fashion possible. And it's online for everyone to see.

Now what do you do?

You may be able to delete the offensive remark - and if you can - that's usually your second line of defense.

Otherwise, you need to think long and hard about responding. Defending yourself — even correcting a factual error — can prolong or aggravate your turn under the collective Internet microscope.

Opinions diverge. Speak up or shut up when you, your idea, or your product get a bad rap online? Be forwarned: anger, defensiveness and denial will almost certainly set off a feeding frenzy. Some experts favor correcting factual errors and countering negative opinions — but only to a point. No more than a short, simple clarification.

Some, including many corporations, forbid response of ANY kind except in extreme cases.

What's an extreme case? Two Domino’s Pizza employees were fired after they posted a video on YouTube showing one of them sticking pizza ingredients up his nose and sneezing on food. Even after the two were fired, the CEO of Domino's felt the need to post his own video reassuring the public that none of the food pictured in the original video was served to customers. (Duh.) Of course the CEO's statement was reported in the news causing tens of thousands of additional people to view the prank video.

My position is that unless something is egregiously incorrect, it’s almost better to let it die, because if you comment on it, it takes on a life of its own. If you react, the thread will move up to the top of the list again, and the more you respond, the more other people are going to respond.

Further thoughts.
What happens online usually stays online — forever — but the influence on viewers and readers is unclear. Some critical comments may be valid and you may want to heed them.

Or maybe not.

Final thought.
As a last resort, you can hire an online professional reputation cleaner like Reputation Management Consultants. Among other techniques, they will post until the negative comment falls off of page 1.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Web Secret #70 - Tiny Flash Drives

Recently my friend Alex, the software genius, came over to dinner (and to fix one of our 8 computers - thank you Alex), took out his wallet, and slid out...

What the heck is that?!

It was the size and color of two pieces of grape chiclets (only MUCH thinner). In fact it was a brand new, penny thin, one inch long Verbatim TUFF 'N' TINY 8 GB USB Drive.

Fellow gadget freaks, this thing is absolutely amazing. The TINY is one of the most compact, durable USB flash drives available. It is resistant to dust, water and static discharges, and compatible with all USB ports. The TINY comes with a key ring lanyard to attach to mobile phones or key rings. Alex keeps it in one of the credit card slots in his wallet - it takes up virtually no space. Get it in 2GB (orange), 4GB (green) and 8GB (purple) sizes. The 8GB costs about $25.

Question: "What's a little wider than a quarter, a hair thicker, fits in your wallet and holds a boatload of crap?"

Answer: A TUFF 'N' TINY USB Drive.

I want it, NOW.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Web Secret #69: Is This A Scam?

When I get an e-mail telling me I won 20 million Euros in the Paris lottery I know it's a scam.

But sometimes, I get e-mails, or read stuff online - and I am not so sure. When that happens, I launch Jason Morrison's neat little website "Is this a scam?" The site is a Google Custom Search Engine tuned to anti-scam and anti-fraud sites, useful forums, and government agency websites.

I simply LOVE the simplicity of this website. In white lettering against a vivid bright green background, you read:
Is this a scam?
Wondering if an ad, email, or miracle cure is a scam?
Ask the internet
All you do is fill in your area of concern in the search window and click "SEARCH".

As an example, I have been wondering if a certain $29.99 product will really give me teeth as white as Beyoncé's. So I entered "teeth whitening". Here are a few of the listings that came back:I am now thoroughly enlightened.

Scam off.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Web Secret #68: Wireless Extension Cords

It's been a while since I've reviewed cool stuff. Hadn't been inspired, until I stumbled upon one of my favorite sites,, a website that features endless toys, gadgets and geekery.

Anyway, the gadget du jour on the site, Wireless Extension Cords, had me reaching for my Amex card in a matter of seconds. Why? - (you might ask...)

I like to imagine that when Al Gore is paid $250,000 to deliver a keynote speech about global warming, his computer/microphone/powerpoint/lighting set up works. I, on the other hand, arrive at my speaking venues ready to give a stirring presentation about innovative uses of social media, and find that, 9 times out of 10, things DON'T WORK or are "not set up properly."

Examples of "things not working" include:
1. my flash drive does not work in their computer
2. my PowerPoint slides are not visible on their screen
3. the microphone they attached to my lapel is dead
4. no one knows how to operate the brand new LCD projector
5. I have 10 minutes of power left before my computer dies (did I click "hibernate" instead of "shut down" before I got on the plane???) and the nearest outlet is 20 feet from the dais.

And the tech person assigned to FIX things at the conference is:

a. unfindable
b. an idiot
c. does not have the necessary gear to solve the problem (eg an extension cord!)

This has led me to arrive with enough backup equipment to implement a Plan B, a Plan C, or (God help me), even a Plan D, when all else fails.

Clearly a new addition to my presentation first aid kit is going to be Wireless Extension Cords (priced at an affordable $34.99.)

All I need to do is plug the Wireless Extension Cord (WEC) base unit into a standard wall outlet, and plug whatever I need into the satellite unit (in this case my laptop power cord.) (The WEC uses microwaves in the 7.2GHz range, so it won't interfere with wireless networks, Bluetooth components, etc.) Now, all I need to do is adjust the antennae on the two units so they are aimed at each other. Turn everything on and I have the power! The distance the WEC units can broadcast differs from situation to situation (due to interference of such things as walls, power lines, and microwave ovens), but ThinkGeek has beamed power over 300 feet!

Problem solved.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Web Secret #67: Everything Is Virtual

Question: What's the next step in the social media revolution?

Answer: An explosion in virtual activity in an increasingly sophisticated virtual world.

In its day, (the 90’s), the TV show Star Trek – Deep Space Nine featured what seemed like a very futuristic concept, that crew members on a spaceship would be able to enter a virtual recreation area where, (even though they were in a spaceship), they could play baseball on a virtual ball field, listen to jazz in a vintage nightclub, etc.

Fast forward 10 years or so, and today, we can go to Second Life, (an online virtual world), and have all kinds of experiences that would never be available to us in the “real world”. Granted Second Life does not have the sophistication (yet) of the Star Trek holosuite – but that’s just a matter of time. I just heard a prediction that by 2012, many of us will be watching the London Olympics on 3-D TV sets. Just imagine that Second Life becomes a 3-D environment which we can enter as ourselves, without an avatar, and the leap to recreation in a holosuite suddenly seems much smaller.

Some experts believe that the existing surging virtual goods market represents a profound economic revolution, on par with the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century.

In a thought provoking article in The Guardian, Is virtual boom our industrial revolution? journalist Victor Keegan point out that people using Facebook or other social networks are already sending each other "virtual" gifts such as roses, birthday cakes or even stuffed animals. These gifts are often paid for with "virtual" currencies. Estimates put the value of virtual goods on Facebook at almost $100m.

A team, including the guru of virtual world economics Edward Castronova, has been poring over internal transactions for Sony's Everquest II online game. It found that income per capita in the game was between $130 and $164 a year, putting the average player on par with citizens in developing nations such as Congo.

The reason Keegan believes that virtual interactions represent a seismic economic change rather than a passing fad are numerous:
  1. The technologies behind virtual spaces are rapidly developing.
  2. Soon products will be constructed in a virtual world and then "printed" out in the real world as a tangible product.
  3. Social networks, virtual worlds and the three-dimensional web are getting more powerful every year.
  4. There is a growing awareness of the necessity to combat global warming, (and I would argue, to cope with pandemics), by limiting the use of transportation in favor of staying home, using virtual goods and traveling in virtual worlds. It is much more cost-effective - as increasing numbers of organizations have already found out - to meet or collaborate in a virtual world than to fly everyone to a destination.
Keegan closes his article by making the somewhat mind bending argument that everything can be seen as virtual. A piece of chocolate you eat becomes virtual in a matter of seconds; a virtual rose sent to your Facebook can last longer than a real rose. Many things we think of as real – such as "money" in the form of a dollar bill, or the value of a "brand" such as Nike – are already virtual.

Keegan concludes that if the move towards virtual doesn't become a revolution in its own right, it will only be because the virtual and real worlds will have merged to the point where it is difficult to distinguish them.

The implication for me is clear – there is a huge opportunity, (I would even say an imperative), for clinicians, companies, associations and organizations to establish their presence in a virtual world – be it an existing platform, or one yet to be created.

I will meet you there.

Thank you Online Therapy Institute Blog for your thought provoking "Is Face-to-Face Therapy Technically More Virtual Than Online Therapy?" which led me to Keegan's article and inspired this post.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Web Secret #66: 5mn Life Videopedia

Do you have the patience of a toddler?
Wouldn't be caught dead reading instructional manuals?
Too proud to ask your friend/relative/colleague for help when your computer/hairdryer/toilet goes on the fritz?

Then you need the 5mn Life Videopedia aka, a website containing tens of thousands of professionally produced instructional videos across 20 categories and 140 subcategories. 5min features content from some of the world’s largest media companies as well as the most innovative independent producers.

For our purposes, I decided to browse the 5mn Tech category.

Product Reviews: I am thinking of getting a MacBook Pro, so I click on Product Review Videos, then enter "MacBook Pro" in the FIND window. Voila: A Look at the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2009. I have to watch a 10 second ad before my video launches - no biggie.

Software Tutorials: My brain dead neighbor is asking me to help her unglitch her vintage computer. Step one - run Scandisk. I set her up to watch How to Run Scandisk in XP. She leaves me alone. All are happy.

How to Do Stuff on the Web: I have been dying to add a Favicon to my website. No sweat, here is How to Add a Favicon - nice & easy.

Tech Others: This section features an amalgam of useful material, including lots of "how to shop for..." videos. For example, I've been thinking of buying an LCD projector. Here to help me is A Guide to Buying LCD Projectors., I love you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Web Secret #65:

The other day, my friend Alex, the computer genius, started raving about a website called He confided, "Before I purchase any electronic stuff, I check them out first. It's the kind of website where you can find deals like 'Buy a ream of paper, get an Apple MacBook for free!'"

OK Alex, not quite, but the site promises to scour thousands of online retailers and tens of thousands of deals to deliver the best 100+ deals each and every day. They verify that each deal is valid, the lowest total price they could find, and from a reputable retailer. Then and only then do they post it. And contrary to the name, does not just feature Apple products.

I visited the site this morning and found that Alex was right. Here are just a few of the deals that were available that day:
  • a refurbished Apple MacBook Core 2 Duo 1.83GHz 13.3" Laptop in White, for $569.99 (!)

  • an unlocked Nokia E71 Smartphone for $280 + free shipping

  • an HP02-Compatible Inkjet Cartridge 8-Pack for $35.
The deals are endless, ranging from items costing just a few dollars, to LCD TVs costing many thousands. Savings are considerable, and tells you exactly how to get them - which websites to go to, what coupon codes to enter, etc. - I just added you to "My Favorites".

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Web Secret #64: You Should Read My Blog HERE

I spend a fair amount of time doing web site critiques and writing website content.

In doing this, the most common mistakes I see are right on the home page:
1. It takes longer than four seconds for the man from Mars to understand what the website is about.
2. The man from Mars cannot quickly find the focal point of the home page.
(Thank you "Does Your Web Site Suck? Checklist 1")

This is because most people make the text on their home pages too long and too vague.

Since most of the websites I get involved with belong to service providers (like psychotherapists and health care providers) and associations - I also frequently see another common mistake - the lack of a call to action.

If you are a divorce mediation expert who commonly provides a free consultation, why not say so on your home page? (Eg "Click here to sign up for a free consultation") After all, isn't that the whole point of having a website in the first place - to get more clients?

Now, thanks to a brilliant new blog post by Dustin Curtis, I can prove to you that a carefully worded call to action is one of the most constructive steps you can take to improve your response AKA clickthrough rate.

In his post "You should follow me on Twitter", Dustin describes a quick study he performed exploring the power language has on clickthrough rates. At the bottom of most of his posts, he added a phrase with a link to his Twitter account. He started to wonder if he could increase the clickthrough rate by altering the way it was worded.

He speculated about the impact of using commands instead of statements on response rates, so he decided to test forceful phrasing. Each of the permutations he chose was randomly selected so that it was seen by 5,000 unique visitors to various articles on over the period of a couple hours in the afternoon.

Ultimately, this is a summary of what he discovered:

First, he started with a statement: "I'm on Twitter." and it led to a 4.70% clickthrough rate.

Then he switched to a command: "Follow me on Twitter." The result of switching to a command was pretty remarkable; the clickthrough rate jumped by 55% to 7.31%!

Then he tried a stronger personal command: "You should follow me on Twitter." Making the phrase more direct and personal by adding the words “you should” increased the clickthrough rate by 38% to 10.09%.

In the final phase of the experiment, he added the literal callout “here”, as in: "You should follow me on Twitter here." Simply adding “here” as the link at the end of the phrase increased the clickthrough rate by 27% to 12.81%!

His explanation for the results:
"You" identifies the reader directly, "should" implies an obligation, and "follow me on twitter" is a direct command. Moving the link to a literal callout "here" provides a clear location for clicking. He tried other permutations that dulled the command, used the word "please" in place of "should" and made the whole sentence a link. None of them performed as well as the final sentence.

Conclusion: You have a huge opportunity to use powerful language and nudge your website or blog users to clickthrough!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Web Secret #63: Avatar Therapy

Avatar Therapy is the concept behind delivering therapy via an avatar in an online virtual world like Second Life

Definitions please:
An avatar is commonly a two dimensional representation of a person. It usually looks like a cartoon representation of what the person looks like in real life.

Second Life is a free virtual world that launched in 2003 and is accessible via the Internet. In Second Life, users, called Residents, interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another, or travel throughout the world, which residents refer to as the grid.

Second Life, now hosts private practitioners and mental health agencies offering psycho-education, consumer information and psychotherapy. Proponents of avatar therapy at the Online Therapy Institute believe that
"the virtual world setting offers another level of sensory experience that could enhance the therapeutic process. People can create an avatar that is a literal or metaphorical representation of self...With advances in technology and artificial intelligence, the ability to simulate various scenarios with therapy clients is not far off. Artificial intelligent avatars can be used in the therapeutic process to help a client heal from trauma, create a new ending to a dilemma, or work out unfinished business with a deceased loved one. These are but a few examples of how avatar therapy...can benefit people".
I can think of other benefits to avatar psychotherapy:
  • A safe place to obtain treatment during a pandemic
  • A convenient method of obtaining therapy for the home bound or those living in locations where quality services are not available
  • To save energy and reduce our carbon footprint by eliminating the need to travel to obtain therapy
  • A lowered entry barrier to therapy for those reluctant to get help.
The experts at the Online Therapy Institute Blog caution that in the ideal world:
  • Properly trained avatar therapists would have a clear understanding of more traditional approaches to therapy online and understand the ethical issues related to online therapy and the delivery of mental health services through technological means.

  • Avatar therapists would have adequate knowledge of the online disinhibition effect as well as trauma related theories so that clients could be adequately prepared for avatar work.

  • Avatar therapists would need to understand the importance of titrating emotions and properly grounding the client using containment techniques. Keeping the client emotionally safe would be paramount in a virtual environment because issues that would typically surface over several months or years could potentially surface much quicker in virtual world setting.
I am both fascinated and slightly frightened by the potential of avatar therapy. I firmly believe that avatar therapy is here to stay, and that in the very near future it will become an increasingly "real" and compelling means of service delivery. But much like everything happening on the Internet, Avatar Therapy practice will grow much faster than our ability to craft and mandate ethical considerations, protocols for use, as well as educational and licensing requirements.

What do YOU think?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Web Secret #62: Find Yourself

Recently I happened upon an interesting blogpost 25 Free People Search Engines to Find Anyone in the World. I am not really interested in finding anyone at the present time but I was neverthelss intrigued.


Because I think it is critically important for all of us to have a handle on our online persona. And aside from mastering privacy settings and being smart about what we write, we all need to be on top of what we posted in the past on Facebook (oops!) and the like, and what was written about us that we may not even know about.

So I put all 25 search engines to the test and found these five to be particularly useful (and FREE):

123 People
123People searches through many social networks (like Facebook, Hi5, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster) forums, Wikipedia and other communities to see if the person you’re looking for is a registered member there.

I expected to find my profile on LinkedIn and an article that I published a few weeks ago on the need for a corporate social media policy. But I also found:
  1. that I am still listed as a certified Sexual Harassment Prevention Trainer in the state of Connecticut. (Haven't provided this training in 4 years - delete!!!!)
  2. a MySpace profile that I don't even remember creating (delete!!!)
  3. and who knew that my Wall Street Journal interview about the impact of the US economic downturn was translated into Spanish and Japanese? (Worth tweeting about?)
Tweepz searches for people on Twitter by name, profession, religious background and many other criteria. Here I want to make sure that my Twitter profile shows up. I type in "iWebU", and BAM! I come up! (Excellent)

I have a soft place in my heart for a search engine named after my favorite Star Trek character... Spock's primary purpose is people search. But it is especially excellent if you’re searching by profession. I typed in my name, followed by my clinical credentials and discovered a stirring endorsement of the Web Whisperers' Tech Boot Camp I attended a few years ago. I didn't know my enthusiastic review was online. That's cool. (But if it wasn't cool, I now know about it and can FIX IT!)

Sorry Spock, Yasni is amazing. Not only does it turn up amazing info, but the info is organized by tabs, eg personal, business, news, other web sites. So under business, I find out that one of my articles is on sale on (who knew? shouldn't I be getting a percentage of the gross?)and under other web business I find that I am listed on the board of directors of a not for profit (correct!)

Criminal Searches
This is a free criminal records engine. You can search for a person and see if he/she has a criminal record. I don't have one (reassuring) but like the fact that I can screen potential employees and my daughter's boyfriend.

Best of the best? Yasni hands down. That said, each of these engines revealed different info, so if you want to be comprehensive, explore them all.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Web Secret #61: iRestAssured

Have you ever been on bed rest during pregnancy? Or know someone who is? It's a hell of boredom, anxiety, boredom, and more anxiety.

So when my colleague, psychologist Dr. Mike Klaybor, told me he was harnessing new media to help pregnant women on bed rest, I had to check it out.

Mike and his wife and associate Dr. Gayle Klaybor use Skype, blogging and Twitter to provide a supportive environment and psychological counseling.

Skype and iRestAssured: Mike explains it best:
"Nine months can seem like an impossibly long time when you're dealing with the stress of a high-risk pregnancy. We are here to help to help you cope.

We can work with you remotely if you have a computer, broadband (high speed connection) and webcam. Just download Skype ( and we can meet online in your home. With experience working with stress, anxiety, depression, and relationships, we can help build your coping skills as you deal with the difficulties of high risk pregnancy and bed-rest."

iRestAssured blog: The blog features weekly posts containing tips, information, and helpful recommendations for weathering a high risk pregnancy.

iRestAssured Twitter: The newest component to iRestAssured allows high risk pregnant mothers to share whatever they're doing with their new support network!

iRestAssured - brilliant!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Web Secret #60: Back It Up!

I am 99% sure you don't back up all of your files (ie all those documents, photos, videos, files and folders that are on your computer as we speak.)

Those who can't do, teach. I fess up to not being fully backed up myself. BORING. But seriously you need to do it, because if your machine crashes, you will be very, very upset. And stats show that 43% of people lose irreplaceable files every year.

So do one of the following:

1. Buy a Corsair Survivor Flash Drive and use it!

2. Use DropBox!


3. Check out my latest find Carbonite. What's cool about Carbonite? It installs a small application on your computer that works quietly in the background looking for new and changed files that need backing up. It looks and feels like it's part of your computer, and is integrated with your operating system (mac or pc)- there's no new interface for you to learn.

Of course, you can try it FOR FREE for 15 days. If you become a convert, it costs $54.95 a year - but here's another cool thing - there are no limits on backup storage capacity. Carbonite will back up all the supported files on your internal hard drive whether you have 1GB of documents (like me), or 10GB of music files (like my daughter who is personally floating iTunes.) And you can access your backed up stuff online, from any computer.

Wasn't Han Solo frozen in carbonite in Star Wars?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Web Secret #59: Meetup

Sure online communities are great. But sometimes, it's nice to have real human to human contact. When you want to meet with like minded people in the flesh, you need

What's great about, is that it serves two different purposes. First, you can use it to find a group in your area. To try this out, I entered "new technology" and my zip code in the Meetup search window. In a matter of seconds, I had a list of over 200 new technology related groups that meet in the New York City area.

For example, I found The New York Dot Com Hatchery. Meetup informed me that this is a 1,000+ member group that is located 19.1 miles from my home. The group defines itself as a "unique funnel for innovators to interact with a wide range of investors, present their plans, receive expert feedback, bring in strong leadership, and pave the way for them to receive angel and institutional funding". I can join the group for free, and attend their next monthly meeting.

Meetup's second purpose is to enable you to easily create a group and get the word out about it. My friend Juliette is a Washington DC area macrobiotic chef and cooking instructor who decided to start DC Area Macrobiotics. She just started it, so it's still very small, but she considers it an interesting adjunct to Healthy Living, her "day job." In time she hopes to drive members from Healthy Living to DC Area Macrobiotics and vice versa.

Meetup's motto is Do something • Learn something • Share something • Change something. I like it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Web Secret #58: User Name Check

When I present my workshops on social media marketing, I always urge attendees to secure their Twitter username ASAP, even if they are not sure whether they will ultimately tweet.

Twitter usernames must be 15 characters or less, and many desirable names are still available. You can sit on your acquired name for 6 months, without posting a single tweet. (After that your unused name gets sucked back into the Twitter username pool and released to the general public after an additional 6 month's time in no man's land.)

But what if you are launching a comprehensive social media marketing campaign? You might want to check if the same name is available on Blogger, Twitter and Linkedin before you even get started. Now there is a quick and easy way to check username availability simultaneously, in a matter of seconds, on a super useful website with the catchy name

The User Name Check website is very spare. There is a search window, followed by a massive list - 4 columns of dozens upon dozens of social media and other websites, from flickr, to livejournal, to posterous, and much, much, more. All you do is enter your desired name in the search window, and click "check". Then sit back and watch as one after the other, in a matter of seconds, you find out if your username is available or unavailable on that specific site.

Even better, if, for example, your Twitter name is listed as "available", you can click on "available", and you are taken directly to the Twitter website where you can sign up on the spot.

One stop user name shopping.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Web Secret #57: TinyChat

Today I was stuck for blogging inspiration so I start clicking the Stumble button on my toolbar. Three clicks later, I stumbled upon a not untypical blogpost: 26 New And Awesome Web Apps You Probably Don’t Know About. Usually my response to this type of blogpost is "if I don't know about them, I don't need them."

Well there's a first time for everything, and the first app listed was TinyChat - and I fell in love - immediately.

TinyChat allows you to create your own chatroom and invite people through one simple link. You can upload documents into your personal chatroom and share them with your TinyChat guests. You can also embed your chatroom on your blog, your Facebook, or other sites. You can even invite people to join you through email and Twitter. Chat can be via text or video.

It's completely private and only those who know the link can enter your video chat room. The app won't save the video conversation unless you decide to save it for future access. The app can handle up to 12 people per video chat room.

The possibilities are endless...
  • Have a therapy session
  • Host a webinar
  • Hold a meeting
So simple, so quick, your 5 year old could use it.

And then when your finished, you close it up - POOF!

Love it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Web Secret #56: Hushmail

Recently, DeeAnna Nagel mentioned during Ethical Implications Online: Working and Socializing in Cyberspace, a free webinar previewing an all day presentation on the same subject, to be held October 20th at the 2009 World EAP Conference.

I perked up because DeeAnna is one of the world's experts on issues related to delivering online counseling. Anyway, she was talking about the importance of encrypted e-mail to maintain confidentiality, and until that moment, I thought you only needed encrypted mail if you worked for the CIA, or your name was Obama, or you lived inside "The Matrix".

But I soon learned that according to the people at Hush, a typical clear text e-mail message is no more secure than a holiday postcard sent through the public postal system. Actually less - it seems any number of people can hijack your e-mail account.

Hushmail, the virtual Alcatraz of e-mail, is a Web-based service that lets you send and receive email in security. Hushmail messages, and their attachments, are encrypted using Open PGP standard algorithms. (Whatever that means.) These algorithms, combined with Hushmail's unique key management system, offer users powerful email security.

Hushmail's encryption works automatically, requiring no specialized computer skills or knowledge (whew!). Encrypting a message is as simple as clicking a mouse. And it's FREE!

Need to keep secrets? Need Hushmail.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Web Secret #55: Alltop

There are a number of milestones every social media fanatic aspires to:

* Having a 1,000 followers on Twitter
* Getting sent free stuff to blog about
* Making enough money on AdSense to actually get a check
* Getting paid to present your social media expertise

and...drum roll please...

* Getting your blog on Alltop®

Alltop collects and displays all the top stories on the web, aggregated on subject-category pages, and it’s fast growing into a digital magazine rack that includes all topics. Aggregation without the aggravation, for people who don’t read blogs in an RSS feed reader, but want to browse popular topics of interest on easy-to-read pages where the best of the best are available all the time.

Alltop aggregates RSS feeds from key blogs around the web. It categorizes them by topic and each topic gets its own page. There are around 30 topics varying from Design to Celebrities and Gaming to Mac. My blog is listed under "Blogging." Guy Kawasaki chooses which blogs to publish as well as the ordering of the blogs. There's basically no user input involved in the hierarchy and choices of the blogs.

What's great about Alltop? (Thank you Shiv Singh.)

1. It points me to some useful blogs. While I know which are the important blogs in my primary areas of interest like Social Media, I don't know which blogs to scan in other areas. In that sense, Alltop serves as a starting point especially if I am doing some research.

2. It's clean, uncluttered and kind on the eyes.

3. Less is more. I know exactly what to expect from Alltop and every page meets those expectations. There aren't any surprises - nor do I need to watch a video to understand what's going on. There isn't anything complex about this.

4. When you place your cursor over a headline, you get to see the first paragraph or so of the story. This allows you to decide whether it's worth actually clicking on that specific link.

No time for modesty. Alltop - I kick ass.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Web Secret #54: Kableflags

I don't know what your desk is like, but mine looks like NASA mission control. I have two cordless phones, a VOIP phone console, a laptop, two USB hubs, a wireless router, a wireless signal booster, a 22 inch LCD screen, a printer, a fax machine, chargers for a broad range of electronic devices - but wait - there's more.

I won't bore you further. The point is that identical black power cords and various black wire tentacles spread all over the place.

My neat freak spouse is appalled by the mess. I don't care about the mess. What I care about is when something goes wrong with my little high tech empire. Say my wireless router acts up and I need to reboot it (aka unplug it). Which one of those ten identical looking plugs, (inserted haphazerdly into a giant power strip), should I pull?

In the past, I would try to follow the cords to their source, (this required Twister like moves over and under my office furniture), and usually, because I have the patience of a toddler, I ended up pulling plugs, (with attendant catastrophic results), until I found the right one.

Fortunately, these tragic days have come to an end because I am now the proud owner of a set of Kableflag™ Cable Identification Tags. Each hard rubbery label wraps around a cord to mark its function. Unlike tape, the tags won't age or become disagreeably sticky. You can get a set of blank tags, and label them yourself.

Or you can buy a preprinted set. For example, the Computer Cables Pack includes labels for computer, scanner, speakers, monitor, printer, keyboard, mouse, network, UPS, phone line.

Sanity and electronic order for under $7.00 a pack. Sold.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Web Secret #53: Read the Manual!

A few weeks ago, I was idly clicking my StumbleUpon toolbar, when I came upon a website called The Manuals. Be still my heart.

I have discovered the world is populated by two kinds of people. One group consists of people like my daughter Jamie. Since middle school, if you give Jamie a cell phone, ANY cell phone, she intuitively, immediately, knows how to operate it. Within minutes, she is making conference calls, setting up voice mail, uploading secret intelligence, and incurring national debt sized data charges.

I, on the other hand, along with the people in the second group, need, want, must have The F@#$%!ing Manual. In the 21st century, this is a bad thing because:

a. The manual is not included. Have you ever bought an iPhone? NO MANUAL!

b. The manual is 1,000 pages long

c. You have lost the manual

d. The manual was eaten by your dog

So imagine my delight when I came upon The Manuals - Free Manuals Online. They assure me that they have 5,770,000 free manuals which I can view or download.

Need a manual for the iPhone? No problema. They offer a number of them, including a comprehensive one from

Still struggling with Adobe Photoshop? How about a manual from

The Manuals website pretty much consists of a single search window into which you type your product name and then click "SEARCH". Seconds later you have a selection of relevant manuals to choose from.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Web Secret #52: StepRep

The Internet can be lethal to your personal and professional reputation.

You have no way of tracking if those unfortunate photos are now posted on someone's blog, or if someone has written snarky comments about your latest article/event/business on their website.

Some people respond to a negative invasion of their privacy by following my tips on becoming Web Dead.

But most of us are here to stay. So what can we do? We can sign up for a FREE StepRep account. StepRep allows you to monitor, manage and build your reputation and it takes less than five minutes to set up.

All you need is a Google account (if you don't have one you can sign up for it on the Step Rep website.) You fill out a profile with your name, your work and company information, any websites, blogs, etc. your involved with. Then you click "Go Get It".

I signed up and within seconds, StepRep pulled up dozens upon dozens of articles, blogs, newspapers, and websites that mentioned me. There was stuff even I had forgotten about, like a letter to the editor I wrote to the New York Times in 2002, a tweet about my blog entry on The Ethics of Online Counseling, and a comment I posted on someone else's blog.

Better yet, you can note whether the mentions are positive, negative or neutral. You can even click "not relevant" and StepRep "learns" which items are not important to you.

Anything positive you can use to promote yourself and your business:
  • Post positive remarks on your website as testimonials
  • get in touch with people who are saying nice things about you - they could become clients
  • post comments on blogs and gain increased visibility for your organization.
Negative comments? You can:
  • learn from them
  • ignore them
  • respond to them
StepRep - an easy way to find out who your friends and enemies are - in just seconds.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Web Secret #51: Pelican Micro Cases™

One of my friends is on her fourth iPhone. One drowned accidentally in a pool, one was swept away at sea (who knew high tide could reach that far...), and the last one was crushed to death when she inadvertently left it on top of her car, and then put the car in reverse. She could have used a Pelican Micro Case™.

What's so special about these cases? Well first of all, the case can withstand up to 5,000 lbs of pressure. To help you visualize this feature,, (which sells them), shot their infamous "Ziggy the Hamster Survives in a Pelican Case" video. Ziggy is placed in a case, is run over by a Lexus SUV and survives unscathed. (PETA members please don't call me - no hamsters were harmed or even actually used for the stunt.)

Secondly, the case can withstand temperature ranges from -10° F to +200° F. So you can go to hell and your case will survive.

Thirdly, the case is water resistant, so while it won't protect your valuable small electronics if you take them scuba diving, it will protect them in the pouring rain, or on a boat, or in your son's backpack which he left outside during a snow storm.

The cases come in a variety of cool colors and 6 different sizes, and prices start at a mere $9.42. Pelican Micro Cases™ - my friend could have used one...