Star Spangled Banner by the Singing Dogs, Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone!  To celebrate this special occasion of the birth of our country the Singing Dogs and I did a “Star Spangled Banner” rendition for all American Patriots to enjoyr.  Check it out!

Not sure if we are ready to perform our version of the US National Anthem on stage but I think Cody, Sierra, and I did a pretty good job.  What do you think?

What's fun about the Star Spangled Banner is that the song was written by Francis Scott Key in the Baltimore harbor while he was watching For McHenry be attacked by the British.  The Singing Dogs and I are currently reside in Baltimore which not only makes it a patriotic dog tribute but a point of local pride for all of us.  At least I think that is what Cody and Sierra were trying to convey musically in this rendition of America's National Anthem.

I hope whatever you are doing you for this Fourth of July you are enjoying and reflecting on what a great country the United States is.  It's great to live in a country where I I can freely and openly express ideals with the world on this blog without fear of being persecuted.  It's great other bloggers, writers, musicians, artists, etc. can do the same as well.   The US is truly a great country and one that I am happy to live in.   Even if you are reading this and don't live in America I hope you still appreciate what democracy and free speech means to the world.

I hope on this 4th of July you don't get into too much trouble and remember to be careful with all those fireworks.  If you found our Star Spangled Banner rendition enjoyable please share it with your friends, family, and anyone who loves dogs and America! 🙂

Happy 4th of July!

star spangled banner

Entrepreneur on Fire’s Secret to Creating Great Podcasts

entrepreneur on fireSome of you might remember when I mentioned Entrepreneur on Fire on this blog and said you should be attempting listen to all the great podcasts that John Lee Dumas puts out.  The reason is he releases 1 brand new podcast everyday 7-days a week.  I believe if you are having trouble with your content creation it will really encourage and motivate you no matter what filed or niche you are in.

A lot of people, including myself, are probably curios to know how a single person can put out new content new podcast everyday though.  I learned the secret;

He records ALL the Podcasts and Interviews on the Same Day!

I heard this when I listened to an interview John Lee Dumas did with Whit Richardson from the Bangor Daily News back in May.  (Probably one of the most interesting Entrepreneur on Fire interviews even though it wasn't technically on the show.)  In the interview John explained that he knocks out all 8 interviews for Entrepreneur on Fire on Monday.

At first this sounds even more crazy to me then doing a few interviews for the show a few days a week.  Preparing and recording an interview is a tiring business even if the interviewee is agreeable.  Having to coordinate doing 8 interviews in 1-day must be a lot and it is probably exhausting.  Currently I am only doing the CarNewsCafe podcast shows once a week.  Checkout our 2nd podcast by clicking here.  (I hope to expand my podcasting offerings by the way.)  After I am done recording and editing I feel kind of wiped.  It takes a lot out of you to do good audio and video content and get used to it honestly.

John explained in the interview though that this process allows him time to take care of other aspects of his business and running the website.  I assume this includes editing the interviews so the podcast audio is high quality and so he can find pictures for making YouTube videos out of the interviews.  During the rest of the week he can be a guest on other shows like the Bangor Daily News or work to expand the Entrepreneur on Fire brand.

Some might find it hard to keep up with all the podcasts and content that John Lee Dumas creates.  In my opinion this is fine, since you have not visited his site in awhile you always know there is something new for you.  For hardcore fans they are always getting great content all the time.

John is one crazy dude but I have major respect for him and what he is doing with Entrepreneur on Fire even if  I don't listen in everyday. (I do try though.)  I can only hope to match his podcasting skills and pace one day.

Keep Google Reader and Open Source the Code

keep google reader

If you are a user of Google Reader, Google's RSS (really simple syndication) feed software, then you probably are upset it will be shutting down on July 1st, 2013.  While there are plenty of options for RSS feeds outside of Google Reader, and many of these RSS feed providers have been advertising and gaining new users over the past couple weeks, I imagine you would prefer Google Reader would stick around so you can use it.

That is exactly why Christoph McCann started the website and online petition Keep Google Reader.    His idea is that if Google doesn't want to maintain the product themselves, why not open source the code?  Sounds like a great plan to me so I left this comment;

Please at least open source Google Reader! Some people don't want to share their feeds, they just want to read blogs and news!

Part of the reason Google is shutting down Google Reader is that it doesn't make sense with their overall market strategy of making the internet more open.  Essentially this means they want everyone on Google+ sharing content and not on platform where you probably weren't doing this. Of course this is Google's fault since they wanted everyone sharing content on Google+ and nowhere else.  The redesign of the User Interface also affected Google Reader's fate.  Here is what Brian Shih, a former Google Reader Product Manager, said about it on Quora;

But after switching the sharing features over to G+ (the so called “share-pocalypse”) along with the redesigned UI, my guess is that usage just started to fall – particularly around sharing. I know that my sharing basically stopped completely once the redesign happened [3]. Though Google did ultimately fix a lot of the UI issues, the sharing (and therefore content going into G+) would never recover.

The Keep Google Reader petition has 43,000 signatures already and keeps growing everyday.  If you want Google to open source the code then please sign the petition and share it with friends too.

There is also a campaign started by Dan Lewis to “Keep Google Reader Running.”   That has 152,000+ signatures currently and blew well past the goal of 47,000 signatures.  The numbers for this petition will likely keep growing too.

What is surprising to me is that I know a lot of people that use Google Reader and are not really that tech inclined.  It's just an easy-to-use RSS feed option since it hooks into you Google and Gmail account.  It's odd to me Google wants to shutdown a useful product that millions of people use.  Even if it wasn't making Google money, do they really need to worry about that?  I mean Google works on some crazy projects and I doubt they will every recoup R&D efforts on some of these endeavors.

Google's strategy going forward seems to be forcing people into their social network, Google+. While I think Google Authorship is a great feature, and really the only reason to use Google+ for most people, they shouldn't trump social sharing with shutting down a product people like and want to use.

Anyway, if you want Google Reader to stick around then please sign the petitions.   I know I do!

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!

Matt Cutts SEO talk at WordCamp 2009

I got a lot of emails all the time from people asking me what SEO (search engine optimization) strategies and tactics I use.  While I am happy to provide my experiences, thoughts, and frustrations about SEO I encourage people to always get additional information straight from the largest search engine, Google.

One video I usually always encourage people to watch is this Matt Cutts SEO talk which he presented during WordCamp 2009.  (For those that don't know Matt Cutts is the head of Google's webspam team and he wrote Google's family filter engine.)  While Google has made a lot of updates to their search engine algorithms since 2009, including Penguin 2.0 recently, what he says in this talk at WordCamp is still relevant today if you are a blogger or publication.

There is a lot of great advice in the talk and Cutts takes people through the basics of what you need to know.  This includes why WordPress is great for SEO, finding the right keyword research using the Google Adword Keyword Tool, what you need to do to standout from the crowd, and even more.

Matt Cutts SEO advice is also very valuable.  There are a lot of SEO myths out there which forums and blogs buy into.  It's best to honestly get your SEO advice straight from Cutts and Google since that is who knows what is going on.

While I do think Cutts provides great SEO and blogging advice in this talk, keep in mind their are a lot of factors which might make or break your website or blog.  Still it's worth watching the entire 46 minutes talk so you can better understand SEO.

Matt Cutts SEO Talk at WordCamp

Matt Cutts from the Web Spam team at Google showcases the good and the bad of WordPress as seen through the eyes of Google, including basics on how Google search works and how you can boost your blog’s results in Google searches.

I hope you enjoy the video and if you learned something from watching it or got something out of it, please leave a comment below and let me know.

If you want to see the presentations slides more slowly you can view and download them here on Matt Cutts personal blog.

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!

The Short Cutts makes Matt Cutts videos Easier to Understand

If you make a living off the internet or do any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work, then you probably have seen the Google Webmaster Youtube Q&A's with Matt Cutts, Google's well-known webspam guru.  I have even written posts on this blog, Domain Spam and Why Domain Parking Sucks, which included these Matt Cutts videos.

A lot of the Matt Cutts videos can be quite useful and helpful for people to understand how Google thinks and goes about dealing with unscrupulous link-building tactics and webspam.  It also helps webmasters and web entrepreneurs figure out what you should and definitely should not do to rank websites on Google's search engine using SEO.

However, quite often these Matt Cutts videos can be confusing and not give a clear answer to the question that was asked.   Many times when I watch these videos and Matt Cutts provides answers which are not straightforward and difficult to understand, especially for those unfamiliar with web and site terminology or who don't have that much technological ability.  This recent video is a great example and here is the question;

Ranking being so valuable, how does a true biz owner that offers a legitimate business and has a vast number of customers supposed to gain the traffic “deserved” over those that specialize in creating traffic? Is it supposed to be this hard for us?

Not sure what Matt Cutts was trying to say as it what he says is unclear and vague.  Maybe he was just trying to say that it isn't possible to compete, which is disheartening to hear honestly.  He says, “Just make sure your website doesn't suck” at one point which isn't really helpful to the guy who asked this question.

matt cutts videos

Click Consult, a premier Internet Marketing & Web Development agency in the UK (that's what it says on it's website at least), has started a new website called The Short Cutts to help make these Matt Cutts videos easier-to-understand.  Essentially The Short Cutts helps you cut through the word clutter that Matt Cutts sometimes provides in his videos and gives clear, direct, and simple answers to the questions asked.

The Short Cutts has a search bar so you can sort through the all the videos that Matt Cutts has done via Google's Webmaster Help Youtube channel.  They are quite a large number of videos and Matt Cutts usually shoots several new segments each week.  (Not sure how he has time to do it, but it's cool that he does in my opinion.)  If you are interested in seeing what Click Consult and the editors of The Short Cutts think, click on a video, then click on “Join the discussion” for what the short and simple answer.   For the above video The Short Cutts answer was;

Focus your content and improve your site

I guess that is basically what Matt Cutts was trying so say and I would agree with that statement.  However, he is still confusing and I see lots of great content and great sites that don't rank well on Google all the time.  (Like this blog and Singing Dogs!)

So… I guess I would still recommend watching the Matt Cutts videos from beginning to end yourself and not always taking a short cut. You will most likely still end up confused anyway. 🙂

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!