Hit It With The Big Bashy Thing First

Hit It With The Big Bashy Thing First

In looking for an answer on a computer issue the difference between dd and ddrescue I came across an interesting concept that I have been thinking about. The application is practical for most things we do if you understand the why and apply it properly. As Journeyman Geek says ‘Most UNIX graybeard would say “Use the big bashy thing” – it’s the “right” way to do it.’ He may not be agreeing with what he attributes to the graybeard but I think it is genius!

Bashing away at things may seem like the wrong choice when you aren’t trying to break things but in most cases, we have to make a compromise between speed of getting the thing done and accuracy. Both of these are things that we strive for speed … accuracy. It’s the holy grail of productivity to achieve both in any project or endeavor be it work or personal.

In computing specifically you need accuracy or things break very easily, however, there is a little more to it than that. There are known problems with accuracy in computing such as bit flipping. I learned about it from Defcon years ago you can see the talk here: Bitsquatting.  You can also read more here.

Basically, due to faulty equipment at some point along the way of you typing in amazon.com you could actually end up at aeazon.com (as an example). This is due to one of the zeros flipping to a one or vice versa.

And that might be a poor demonstration of what I am getting at here, but let me try to just break it down a more simple way. If the Big Bashy Thing succeeds in making things work it likely did it faster and with enough accuracy. So we should try that first then get more fine-grained especially since some operations like ddrescue can take days to complete where dd might only take half a day and output the same quality even if it is a little less accurate.

On the way to Clean and Organized

On the way to Clean and Organized

It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I wrote you guys about how I was working so hard to get things cleaned and organized on my computers…

But…

Here I am again. Not completed from last time…

Anyone who knows what I’m talking about here knows that if you don’t keep things organized as you go then it becomes a daunting task to do it later. Sometimes that is easier said than done. We get busy, things get in the way, or others were forgotten.

Part of getting it right is having the right system. And I have had my share of “wrong” systems. I am certainly still trying to figure it all out. You can read about some of that in my Paper vs Digital posts (at the time of writing I still have 2 more posts to come).

Today I am going to tell you about 2 new tools I have added to the mix that seems to be holding their own weight… My only evidence is that I am sitting here writing this blog post now instead of …

1st up on our list is Getting Things Done. This is more of a methodology than a tool but it is just as much a tool in how you use it. I found the book terribly boring and recommend not getting it – sorry to David Allen for that. However, there is this YouTube video which does a good job of breaking things down in about 8 min. And eventually, I will finish the book. To help with the system there is an app called GSDfaster. I’ve been using this for around a week now and really am enjoying it. I will make a blog post about it when I get through the book and understand the system fully.

2nd on our list we have pCloud! I got this AppSumo deal for 500 GB of space for a lifetime for 1 payment of $49. I loved it so much I upgraded to the 2TB plan for $200 more. You might ask how that helps but as someone that uses several devices, several computers, and in many locations. I have had to leap-frog my cloud storage solutions for years. OneDrive, Dropbox, Google, and iCloud are all full and due to device limitations not all of them are on all of my devices. But pCloud is different… It saves my data in the cloud and gives me a virtual hard drive effectively extending my hard drive to the size I need. I can also set a cache size allowing me to keep all the files offline if needed such as if I were traveling where there was no internet but still needed access to my files.

I hope you found that useful! I will let you know as things develop and I find more useful tools. Additionally, I have made a major change on my Ultimate Guide to Online Marketing essentially I have followed my own advice and made an adjustment to my target audience. This guide is going to be most helpful to anyone running some sort of service based business such as coaching, consulting, and alike. You can find more details on the actual post as it develops by clicking here.

Thanks, everyone!

-Spencer

PS I will do a blog post about this in the future but I have used affiliate links when possible. This costs you nothing extra and helps cover the costs of operating the many sites I have. Thank you!

The Solution Technical Blogs with Low Traffic

During the research, I am doing for my Online Marketing Guide I came across a common problem, one that I have been facing.

Missing Traffic

In the past, this blog used to get around 10,000 unique visitors to technical posts. It ranked rather well in google and that is what I can attribute most of the traffic to. However, since I took the blog down for about 1 year my ranking dropped, but I realized so did the landscape. I have found many technical blogs no longer get the traffic they once enjoyed.

This traffic can be motivating in itself to keep going and trying things out. It gives us clues about what people are interested in and helps drive us forward when things seem hard.

So where did it all go?

While I feel like I am pointing a finger of blame here… I am bringing you a solution in just a moment.

But it is the rise of sites like Quora and StackExchange that I would say is directly responsible for this drop in traffic (there are others but I actually like these, I even got a “Famous Question” award recently).

What happens now is partially speculation on my part but it makes sense.

First, I think people are answering questions on these sites because it is easier to have a question posed and answer it. It is much harder to identify a problem and figure out the solution and report on that.

Second, I think people instead of searching Google (or other) to find the answers or information they are looking for now head straight to the question sites to ask their question. Quora actually lets you type your question in and then if a similar enough answer pops up you would just click on it.

Don’t get me wrong I love these sites. While I do think they are changing the landscape of the internet we have grown accustomed to over the last 10 years or so when blogging and podcasting seemed to be “the thing”. This is the natural trend of things. But it doesn’t mean blogs are dead or anything like that.

And I think the solution is rather simple. If you are looking for traffic then you should be answering questions on these sites, blogging about your answers and linking back to your blog where appropriate.  Simple as that.

Find things to answer and answer them well. Provide more in-depth tutorials, explanations, or advice on your blog and link back where you are allowed and it will not be seen as spammy. And that means spammy here and now but also in the future.

 

These sites also offer a unique opportunity to those that are smart, in that they will show you the trend. They do a better job than Google ever did of giving you insight into what people want to know right now. They let you make an instant connection and then if you are able to link back give you the traffic you have been looking for. Win-Win in my book.

Another Dollar —– Another Day

Another Dollar —– Another Day

I wanted to get this out there because it has been so long!

Basically, I have been hard at work as you have you and like everyone in our predicament I end up saying “I’m too busy.” <–(a lot)

But I decided I have to make some time to make things happen 🙂

If you don’t know my wife and I recently moved back to Tulsa. While this has been so much easier giving us more time to see each other and less time driving and expense it also means I have been doing a lot of “catching up” if we can call it that. We also still regularly travel back to Muskogee to see friends, customers, and family.

Working on Few Things

Something that I have been putting off for over a year now is working on the Hektechnologies website and the Better PC Health website. I need to fix the design, layout, and copy. So I have started on that, but in the process, I started something else. Well, 3x something else:

1st – The Ultimate Guide to Building a WordPress Business website – This will be interesting because unlike most blog posts and articles that are posted on completion I have posted this as I work on it and update it each time I make changes. So far I have reorganized the content more than once and rewritten a few things, but it gets better each time. When done I will turn it into an e-book and Udemy course, but also leave the free guide posted right where it is.

2nd – The Ultimate Guide to Online Marketing – Like the WordPress guide I am posting this one as it is developed. I think this one will take much longer as I want to cover everything and at the end leave readers with a checklist of sorts that they can apply with reasonable success.

And Working on Other Things

Beyond that, I have several other things going including working at a company called Techsico doing a really cool program that connects their web driven project management system directly into QuickBooks. This removes human error in the data entry process and makes syncing data a breeze. I plan on showcasing the features in the near future.

In order to brush up on my marketing knowledge, I wanted to challenge myself. So on my personal YouTube channel, I am doing live videos discussing popular Online Marketing articles from around the web. It should be interesting and worth subscribing. So please check it out and let me know what you think. If you didn’t know there is also an official Hektechnologies YouTube where I post helpful WordPress, business, and developer/programming videos.

One last thing to mention, if you made it this far then maybe you’d like to check out another project that I have been hard at work on. Uniquelahoma is a website dedicated to featuring the Uniqueness of Oklahoma. I encourage you to take a look!

Hope to talk to you guys again soon,

Spencer

PS If you didn’t catch it the title it’s backward 😉 sometimes it takes a little longer and we need to work a little harder to get that dollar.

The Problem with Most Technical Blogs These Days

The Problem with Most Technical Blogs These Days

Solution to come in a later post, but…

The problem with your awesome technical blog that exposes new methods and techniques of doing things is that someone just copied an excerpt from your latest post. They posted it verbatim to Quora or Stack Exchange. Trust me these sites have way more domain authority than you and they will take your “random” traffic.

But I think I have some solutions to this problem especially since the name of the game is to keep progressing and moving forward. So if you are missing traffic and wonder why. You are putting out great content but not able to hit the numbers you did 1 or 2 years ago. I think I have a solution. It will come in a later post since I have to get to work now.

A Quick Word On What I Have Been Posting

You may have noticed some interesting looking, but incomplete posts that I have put out recently. This is ok. It is intentionally done this way. Partly as an experiment related to online marketing and the current state of SEO. Beyond that, it is an experiment on how people consume content and the best way to deliver knowledge. I hope you find these posts useful and possibly entertaining.

I also want you to comment and interact with the things you are interested in. I promise it will all work better if you get involved.

Parental Computing: Making the internet safer for your children [in development]

I will be developing my Udemy course here on my blog this means you will get most if not all of the content free by following this post. Thank you for looking there is a lot more to be added over the next several months.

How to Run Your Online Marketing Like a Boss 2017 [in development]

How to Run Your Online Marketing Like a Boss 2017 [in development]

Online Marketing

Over the last several days while considering edits to make where to head next I realized something very important. This guide will not serve anyone as well as it could or should unless I make an effort to niche it down enough that it is not only simple but effective.

For this reason, I have determined this first guide will cover Online Marketing for Service-based businesses such as consultants, web builders, and marketers. In the future, I will develop more guides that will incorporate the changes needed for each industry.

The reason I have picked the industry I have is that they will see the greatest immediate impact from getting to know and understand their customers. This could also apply to some local services such as law firms, coaches, and alike. We shall see as the guide develops.

The Challenge

Your company, startup, or even personal brand needs a solid plan for marketing online. Each path leads to its own challenges and needs. I am working to design this guide in such a way that you will be able to plug in the parameters of your needs and then see the path you should follow. Until this guide is completed with that ability I will be posting everything related to online marketing in a start to finish fashion that will allow you to build your own solid plan.

Where to Start

As I develope this guide you will see major changes, but some tenets of marketing shouldn’t ever be changed. Some of these have only been learned more recently while others take on the form of almost an ancient knowledge. The first tenet you will learn is simple:

Start With The Customer

*Additionally I will be working to ensure what I write about is implemented on this blog at a minimum. Each thing I will talk about will be tested somewhere if not here. To see the latest changes check out my change log (bottom of the page for now)

Customers: Who is your Dream Client?

Understanding who your customers are or who you would like them to be is a large part of the battle. The best resource for working through this I have ever found is Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid. He has developed an entire process that will take you cleanly through understanding who it is you would like to work with, server, and overall deliver results to.

We are going to take a stunted approach to this here and simply ask a few questions:

  • Who would you love to work with?
  • What kinds of problems do they have?
  • Where do these people hang out? Where do they get their information?
  • How can you help them?

Now we need to match this to your current business. Are you working with the people who you would most like to work with? Sometimes the answer is a very hard no. Personally, I have been down this road and it begs you to ask some specific questions such as:

  • If these are not my ideal clients how long do I want to keep this up?
  • Am I making enough money that it is truly worth it?
  • Do I love what I am doing?
  • Can I do what I love while serving the “right” clients? (Hint: The answer is nearly always yes)

Next, we will look at building your customer story and how it is going to help you find your ideal clients.

Customers: Building a Customer Story

Knowing where your dream clients are is just as important as identifying them. What good is it to know you want to help veterans if you don’t know where or how to find them. I have not fully introduced the concept of the customer story yet. So let’s take a quick look and I will add more details later. This process helps alot when used properly, and I will get into more details later.

Customer stories are all about making our ideal clients as real as if they were standing in the room with us. Our brains are kind of funny in that if I asked you to tell me ‘what age range is your customer base’ you might look at me perplexed. This is normal.

To get around this problem we build an ideal client then it is easier for us to make more accurate adjustments almost like doing it backwards.

You say:

“my ideal client is a 34 year old career driven marketer that is making progress but knows they could be doing so much more. They have been in marketing for at least 10 years and understand the major changes that have happened over that time while also seeing the things that have remained the same.”

Now it is a little easier to come back and say looking at the ideal client model and say ‘my customer base age range is approx 29-50’. We arrive at that number knowing that is going to be hard for someone much younger to fit inside our 10 year model, and anyone much older might be less likely to keep up with the current trends. (If this offends you then you might fall outside of my ideal client model  😉 )

Customers: How Will You Serve Them?

It might seem strange to start with the customer. You might already be saying, “I’m serving the wrong people.” If this is the case it is time to make some changes. The reasoning is simple here.

You only have one life to life and if you plan on living it effectively that should mean doing your best work.

The key to this is that you define what your best work is. You choose each day when you say no to one thing and yes to another. This applies to whom you choose each day that you will work with as well.

So ask yourself, take some time to think on it: “How am I going to best serve my Dream Client?”

 

Customers: Where “is” Your Dream Client?

Typically we know where our clients are. However, I find it difficult sometimes and more to the point I hear from my clients a often, that they do not know where their dream client is. A better way of saying this is possibly they do not know how they can effectively communicate with their client.

This is one of the major differences in the online vs IRL, In Real Live, when you are IRL you can typically walk right up to the person you need to talk with and have a conversation. Your marketing, or rather salesmanship, in this scenario may or may not be effective, but the main point is you can literally point to and directly talk with the person you need to see.

However, when we are talking about online it is important to realize that the same person you can talk with while you are in the same room will never see your carefully planned out Facebook campaign and advertising if they do not use Facebook.

More than once in helping someone with their marketing campaign some simple questions and a little reconnaissance can go a long way.

Doing Proper Recon Work

For the purposes of moving things along I will fill this section out in more detail later, however here are some prime examples of how you can ensure your Dream Client is where you think they are.

Google/Bing/Other – The engine you use is not important and often I will use different ones in the hopes of getting different results. But you want to start out by searching for the product or service you are about to offer and see if any special groups pop up such as forums, targeted fan websites, blogs, or other interesting results that might help you find your Dream Clients faster. (example to come later) Think of things like:

Have any major news articles were published in this space? Do any peoples names keep popping up? etc

Facebook – Just the same as searching on Google only this time you are looking for Pages, Groups, and Influencers in your space. You may find a few people are posting often about your topic/niche now you should investigate. Are they posting as a potential competitor to you? Are they a fan? For the Pages and Groups which ones seem to be most active? Which has the largest following?

(use this same method for any social network such as Twitter, Linkedin, etc..)

Change Log:

These are the changes I am making to the site as a whole during the progress of writing this post.
*This log was started a little late and represents changes as of 9/23/2017

  • 9/23
  • Added push notification for updates and new posts
  • Integrate Facebook and G+ comments (testing different methods)

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