1 0 Archive | January, 2006
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An Update on Enrichr, Software, Investing etc.

Enrichr - Pursuing Success

A few things have happened lately. One is that the Daily Press is running an article on bloggers and apparently I’m going to be featured. I had a phone interview and the photographer came over and took pictures of me standing by my computer :).

We decided to change the name of the Community of Success (mentioned below) to Enrichr – Pursuing Success. The main reason for the change is that we (there are three of us running the site) decided that Community of Success sounds, for lack of a better word, nerdy. Enrichr is a play on Flickr (obviously) and is a pretty good representation of the purpose of the site–to enrich people’s lives through providing knowledge and motivation.

I’ve also started documenting my efforts to find an investment property on that website.

I’ll take this chance to write about some good software I’ve found lately too:

1. MediaCentral – a program similar to Front Row but in my opinion better. It uses Spotlight to find media anywhere on your hard drive.

2. MP3 Trimmer – fully featured shareware with nag screens to merge mp3′s (or spilt them). I sometimes end up with audiobooks I’ve ripped from CD that are in a million files. This program rejoins them nicely. I also recently discovered you can join them in iTunes before importing them by going to Advanced > Join CD Tracks if you have them all selected.

3. Colibri – The real Quicksilver for Windows? Doubtful, but at least it looks similar. Free.

4. Loudblog – Very cool PHP software for podcasting. With Loudbot it can also be integrated with other blog software.

5. MODx – An interesting looking CMS that is “Web 2.0 buzzword compliant.” One of the few CMS’s that has looked interesting to me lately.

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January 28, 2006
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How to Find a Great Domain Name Revisited

Domains
A couple months ago I wrote about how to find a great domain name. Since then, I’ve found several other tricks, related articles and sites… here they are:

1. Instant Domain Search – This is the site I’ve been using most. Start typing a domain name and as you type it shows you if it’s available or not. No submit button, no waiting, just good quick results. Can’t beat that. There is a similar site called Ajax Whois that’s not quite as fast (it requires verification), but adds the functionality of seeing whois results.

2. Domainers – Turns out there are people making a bit of money off buying and selling domains, or buying domains hoping people will land on them and click a link. By a bit of money, I mean millions of dollars a year. Business 2.0 has a great article on the subject.

3. Sedo.com – If the domainers article piqued your interest, check out Sedo–a quick place to park your domains to make money off ads or put them up for sale. I’ve parked a few there myself until I have time to develop them. If Sedo doesn’t meet your fancy, check out Afternic, DomainHop or DomainSponsor.

4. Looking for a different way to sell your hot new domain? Check out DomainState or DNForum. The former appears to be less trafficked and free while the latter is not free but is always buzzing.

5. All existing domains – This one is a gem sent from Beau (the guy who made Instant Domain Search). Fax in your address get access to a list (available over FTP) of all active .com and .net domain names. Very cool.

6. 2.99 domains – From Yahoo, sign up for them all at once because the offer is good for new customers only, after you’re signed up the price goes up to $9.95. I was able to get 5 domains for 3 bucks a pop. After that offer expires, I’d recommend checking out Namecheap. Their domains are 8.88 each and the tools to manage them are outstanding.

7. A ton of other name finding tools. My last post generated some good ideas in the comments. Here are tools that people recommended:

  • WordConstructor – This one is awesome. It comes up with short, catchy names with greater ease than any of the other tools I’ve found.
  • OneLook – Dictionary that supports wildcards. Could be useful. There’s also a reverse dictionary.
  • RhymeZone – This one also comes up with some surprisingly good made-up word.
  • Whois Source – A smarter-than-average tool for domain name spinning.
  • Nameboy – Enter two words and get suggestions. This one wasn’t as useful as some of the others, but I figured I’d add it here anyway

8. DomainsBot – I mentioned this one in the previous article, but since then they’ve pulled a few more tricks out of their sleeves. They now have a Lab where there are a few really cool tools.

  • WordTrends – Plugin a couple words and see how often they are used in domain names.
  • DomainStats – A couple interesting research papers on domain names. No charge to read them.
  • SearchCloud – I found this one to be the most useful, type in some words and get a list of related words and available domains.
  • SplitIt – Make sure your domain name will be interpreted how you hope it will be.
  • Shadow – I didn’t try this one, but it’s a piece of software you download to crunch data to find good domains… let me know how it goes if you decide to test it.

So.. there you go, more tools for finding domains than you can shake a stick at. Enjoy.

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January 5, 2006
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US Airways – How Not to Run a Business

US Airways

We recently flew US Airways for our holiday travels. I was unimpressed and thought I’d note a few of their shortcomings as examples of how not to run a business:

1. Not enough information. It was very rare to get any information on where we were in the flight, how far delayed we were, why there was a delay or any other information. I’ve flown on other airlines where they had a screen showing exactly where you were on a map of the world, with US Airways, we were in the dark.

2. Inconsistent. On the way to our destination they served pretzels and had a good drink selection on both flights. Both flights also had grouchy stewardesses. On the way home all the stewardesses were great but both the 5 hour flight and the 1 hour flight they didn’t serve even a light snack and there were only about 4 drinks available.

3. Uncomfortable. The airports didn’t have nearly enough seating for the amount of people on the flights–people ended up sitting on the floor and at other terminals. Once on the planes, the seats were much too close together, the fabric on the seats was old and obviously worn and there weren’t enough pillows or blankets for the passengers. The movies were bottom of the barrel as well.

4. Unconcerned. Two of our four bags were lost for more than 36 hours and finding out anything was almost impossible. From the moment they were lost we were constantly given the “I don’t have any information, try calling…” line. We had to make 2 trips back to the airport and about a dozen calls before we finally resolved the issue. No one we talked to was even remotely concerned about the situation.

These are only a few other examples from this flight. I could definitely add to this list.

It’s amazing that with airlines like Virgin, JetBlue and Southwest trying so hard to gain customers by taking care of them and making them comfortable that US Airways still hasn’t seen the light. I think this is a perfect example of a business that hasn’t caught up with the times and one that will suffer because of it.

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January 4, 2006