Admin Note: Changing Comment Policy

I've tried 3 types of comment moderation so far:

  1. No Comments Allowed. But that's no fun - hard to build a community or get feedback.
  2. All Comments Allowed. You guessed it - I got spammed. I hate so-called SEO's who spam.
  3. Only People with Blogger Accounts Can Post. Well, this was OK for a while, but it limits the people who will post. And for the last couple of days some spammer has been posting...get this.. requests to do link exchanges as part of his comment spam! Of course, he has a blogger account.

So now I'm trying something new. I'm letting anyone comment, but all comments are pre-moderated. Hopefully 4 times a charm.

Yes, I know I should move to Wordpress, yada, yada. But I had a sound SEO reason for using Blogger specifically in the first place, and now I find that I'm comfortable with it and really don't feel like losing all the PR, links, etc if I decided to move. Inertia wins.


Adwords Editor, Vista, and Error 2739

I've been having problems with the installation of Google Adwords on my Vista machine for a while now. I've been putting off fixing it because I hire people to do PPC for me on a day to day basis, so it's not a huge issue. But today I needed to fix something for a client ASAP, and it was enough of a job that I needed to do it personally, and I needed to use the Editor.

Well, it turns out that Googles installation package doesn't work on Vista. It won't install, it won't UNinstall, it won't repair. Nothing. It's very annoying. I'd blame Vista except nothing else gave me this problem, so it's Googles fault. Oh, heck, I'll blame Vista as well.

Anyway, courtesy of Brent Crouch, I found the fix:

  1. You need to make sure you are logged into Vista as an administrator.
  2. Open Command Prompt and change into the C:\Windows\System32 directory.
  3. Type: regsvr32 vbscript.dll
  4. NOW PRESS Enter (I got an error after this command, but it still worked.)
  5. Type: regsvr32 jscript.dll
  6. NOW PRESS Enter (I got another error after this command, but it still worked.)
  7. Now try the install again. It should work this time.
I didn't have to change directories - I just clicked on the "Run" choice in the start menu and typed in the 2 commands. It worked fine. I was able to uninstall a previous version of Adwords and install the latest with no problems.

Thanks Brent. And a big raspberry to both Vista and Google. Mostly Google.

Note to Google: the "eternal beta" trick only works online - you might want to test downloadable software from now on - just a thought. It makes you look silly when you can't even get your software to install properly and every other piece of software I've installed has no problem...


Yay! Patent Number Assigned.

I've already mentioned that I've applied for a search related patent recently.

Well, I finally got offical confirmation of the "Patent Pending" status and my very own USPTO Patent Application Number - 60/999,180. "System and Method for Website IP Address Based Geolocation"

Cool. Now I just have to finish up the control panel and it will be ready for public use.


SEMPO International Committees

Once I joined SEMPO, I also joined a couple of committees/working groups/SIGS that struck my fancy at the time.

Since I'm the "International SEO Guy", I joined SEMPO Canada, SEMPO Latin America, and SEMPO Asia. We've already begun having meetings, and although these local SEMPO focus areas are new, there is some nice momentum going.

It's nice to see some localization happening - running things in a centralized or US-centric manner for a global market like the Internet is a bad idea, and I'm glad SEMPO has seen that. I'd like to see more, but I guess that's partly my job now (bait, fish, or get the hell out of the boat!)


The 3 Pillars of SEO, SEM and their Relationship

I made these charts for a presentation recently. I hope you like them.


The 3 Pillars of SEO

3 Pillars of SEO

The 3 Pillars of SEM

3 Pillars of SEM

The Relationship Between SEO and SEM

The Relationship Between SEO and SEM

November 11: Lest We Forget

Flanders Fields PoemMy father drove a tank in Germany for NATO, my Great Uncle was Norman Bethune, who fought fascism as a doctor in China, and my many greats grandfather was General Sir Isaac Brock, who defended Canada during the war of 1812. There were many more, of lessor fame but not lessor valor.

My own military experience is far more limited - Air Cadets, militia and a civilian instructor for wilderness survival. Nonetheless, I feel a strong sense of duty to my countrymen and women, and every November 11 (Remembrance Day here in Canada) I reflect on the losses my family and my country have endured.

I don't like war, and would be more than happy to see it become extinct as a method of solving problems. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way, and in practice if you let bullies succeed, it just encourages more bullying. Same with warlords and warhawks.

In Canada (and the UK and Australia), we have a tradition where we wear a poppy on our lapel around Remembrance Day to symbolise our sympathies for those lost in battle, and to help support veterans, who use the money made from the poppy drive to help homeless and ill veterans. It's a really nice gesture, and one I'm astonished has not been picked up in the US.

After all, although the poppy drive gets it's symbolism from a poem written by a Canadian, it was an American schoolteacher who first started wearing them, followed by a French woman who used them to raise money for war orphans. It was only after this , in 1921, that Canadian veterans associations began to use it.

Regardless, I'm posting a poppy on this blog (below) and am virtually giving one to everyone I know - not in support of war, but in remembrance of those lost in war, and in the hope that one day the world will be a better place.

Lest We Forget - Poppy



Canada e-Connect Show

I just got back from speaking at the Canada e-Connect show, which was actually several events (and several firsts) all rolled into one. First, there was the inauguaral meeting of the Canada e-Tourism Council. Then there was the show itself, and then there was the Canadian e-Tourism Awards.

I'm not a member of the e-Tourism Council, and it was a closed session, so I can't report much on what happened there, other than everyone apparently was concerned about content - it's quality, availability and use.

The Canada e-Connect show was great. It was backed heavily by Yahoo! Canada and other sponsors, and was very informative. I was pretty humbled because one of the articles written by the Vancouver Sun about the conference mentioned me. I get mentioned a lot around the web, but when a newsreporter only quotes 3 people, including me, and the other two are Flight Centre vice-president Sean Sutherland and Expedia Canada managing director Sean Shannon, that's pretty lofty company.

As an aside, planning and organization for the event was almost flawless, not only was it the best inaugural conference on any topic I've ever been to, it was probably the best organized conference I've ever been to, period.

Jens Thraenhart, the mastermind behind all 3 events and Canada's rockstar of e-Tourism, did an amazing job putting it all together.

Canada e-Connect Awards

The e-Tourism Awards were incredible. They took place in Vancouvers Omnimax Theatre.

If you don't know what Omnimax is, it makes IMAX look small and malnourished. You are seated inside a large globe and the movie covers almost all of our field of vision.

It must be seen to be believed, and they played several clips that were absolutely breathtaking, including a small clip from an upcoming destination film starring a steam locomotive going through Canada's Rocky Mountains.

Speaking of breathtaking, both Miss Canada International 2008 Alesia Fieldberg and Miss Canada International 2003 Lorenza Sammarelli were on hand to help hand out the awards, and to help plug Teddy Bears of Hope.

During the after-event party at the Coast, I just *had* to get my picture taken sitting in Yahoo's purple Chair of Innovation.


Acts of Kindness

I somehow found myself on the Toronto Stars' "Acts of Kindness" page tonight, probably by surfing following some news story about something terrible happening to someone, though I don't remember exactly what.

As I read the page, I felt my chest tighten and eyes water a bit, as I'm kind of sentimental that way. The section of the site is little stories about acts of kindness from strangers that readers have contributed. It made me think of some of the acts of kindness from strangers in my own life.

There was the man who picked me up while I was walking from Coaldale to Lethbridge as a very young teenager. I wasn't hitchhiking, I was just tired and needed to get to town because I didn't have a car and my friend was hysterical and needed me.

There was the man who, as I was walking downtown in Toronto suddenly shot out his arm in front of me blocking me from taking a step off the curb into the street. As I stopped, confused, a city bus roared from behind me and turned right into my path. He saved my life. I don't even remember what he looked like.

There was the couple in Taiwan who overheard Jason and myself trying to figure out a map in Chinese while sitting in a food court. They came over, helped us with the map, then walked us over to where we needed to go. Thank you.

There was the staff at the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami, who, when I woke up one morning blind, called the house doctor, sent over the manager and even loaned me a staff member to escort me around the hotel so I could attend the SES Conference and make my speech. I was not billed for any of it, including the doctor or ambulance. Just the standard room rate like everyone else. That's above and beyond.

I can't count the number of times people have helped me in many other ways in my life. I can never repay them back directly, but I can pay it forward to the strangers who need help that I meet, and I promise to do so. How could I do anything else?

Have you ever had a stranger be kind to you? Have you tried to repay it forward by helping others?