Captcha Forms for hire?

Couldn’t believe the blurb in yesterday’s New York Times (a surprisingly useful section on Monday covers cyberworld) that spammers have figured out a way around those “captcha” forms—you know those little puzzle things you need to complete when you are doing an online form.  Apparently there are people out there willing to sit hour after hour for pennies filling out these forms on behalf of the bad guys.  So…yes, you are still preventing your site from getting automated spiders and bots filling out those forms, but when a wage slave in Indonesia will do hundreds of them per hour, well, you can’t get around that.  How annoying.

What an amazing event!

An exhausted thank you to all who attended our One Day Web Makeover today in Sherman Oaks.  Co-presenter Libby Gill and I loved doing it and here’s the best part:  even if you missed it, you can catch it on (almost) instant replay since we taped the whole thing and will be turning it into a powerful three (or possibly four) part DVD learning series.  Stay tuned for updates and early-bird pre-release pricing on this terrific learning opportunity.  Wait til you see it and the wonderful testimonials from the participants today.  Thanks for the memories, gang!

How do you feel about blogging?

I am starting to prepare for a webinar I’ll present in April about Blogging.  So I’m online doing research about blogs, the good, the bad and the ugly.  This blog is actually a wholly-contained part of my marketing website and I still find it difficult to find enough time and enough interesting and worthwhile material to write about to make it a compelling destination.  Have you invested time and energy into blogging and has it paid off for you?  Would love to hear your experience…pro and con!

April 15th: Countdown to the One Day Web Makeover

One Day Web Makeover

One Day Web Makeover

Are you in overwhelm about how to fix your website, how to integrate your web marketing…how to finally make your website work for you?  Then you don’t want to miss this special event:  The One Day Web Makeover on Thursday, April 15th is now open for registration.  This is an amazing in-person event being offered in Sherman Oaks with my partner Libby Gill. This is the most empowering, eye-opening day of learning you’ll ever participate in.  Finally fix your website with us!

Farewell Friend Connie.

I was saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and business colleague Connie Bereny during Christmas week.  I first met Connie through the Ventura County chapter of NAWBO and then we worked together for Women’s Economic Ventures.  Connie was a tireless advocate for women small business owners and personally got involved in making sure that her WEV students had the best possible shot at success.  You can read her touching obituary in this weekend’s Ventura County Star.  My favorite moment?  Watching Connie’s sheer delight when her WEV graduating class composed and performed a song/skit to the tune of the “12 Days of Christmas” at their WEV graduation.  Connie, we will miss you!

Online ID Calculator

At the ICF Conference in Orlando, I heard William Arruda do a terrific presentation on Personal Branding.  He told us about a great tool he’s developed called the Online ID Calculator.  He asks “If You Don’t Appear in Google…Do You Exist?”  I took his quick little quiz and found that I am Digitally Distinct.   (This is a good thing!)  How about you?
I am digitally distinct! Visit onlineIDCalculator.com

Congratulations on your article, Jeanine!

Jeanine Hass of The Beagle Knows Dog Biscuit Company is today’s featured “Who’s New in Business” article in our local daily newspaper, The Ventura County Star.  Read about her creative business venture here. And thank you Jeanine for mentioning me as one of the people who helped and inspired her to get her business started!  Jeanine has participated in my workshops, webinars, mastermind groups and she uses our website builder.  Wishing you much success, Jeanine.  I’m so proud of you!

Solo Entrepreneurs Seeking Speakers for 2010

Our ongoing monthly education/networking/support group for Solo Entrepreneurs continues to grow and thrive and we are now looking for speakers for 2010.  We always meet on the 4th Wednesday of the month at The Sofa Guy showroom on Via Colinas in Westlake Village from 8:30am to 10am.  We are looking for topics that are really useful for the solo and micro-enterprise owner.  No, you can’t do a Powerpoint or a pushy sales presentation.  Got ideas?  Please let me know if you’ve got a topic or have heard a speaker recently who you think would be good for us!  More info on our group at www.soloentrepreneurs.com.

Google AdWords Frustration Part 2

How can there be no live customer support at Google?  After half an hour with my Bank of America credit card rep trying to find a person at Google AdWords to have a conversation about a disputed charge…we’ve ultimately determined they don’t give a hoot about customer service.  Even the corporate headquarters doesn’t have real humans.

The phone numbers Google provided to Bank of America are FRAUDULENT.  How can they get away with that?

As much as I am enjoying “What Would Google Do,” written by my former colleague Jeff Jarvis, I am having a hard time pledging allegiance to a company that seems to be so incredibly arrogant.

So I’m writing them a letter.  Stay tuned for more in this saga.

Why doesn’t Google Ad Words have a phone number?

I don’t usually use this blog platform to rant, but today is the exception.  I have been having a dispute with Google Ad Words over an alleged ad campaign I do not remember authorizing. It started this summer with a little $8 charge.  Then it went up to $40 or so.  And then $50.  BTW, no impact on my traffic or business at all.

So, I tried emailing Google when my credit card expired and I thought the campaign would die of natural causes.  But no such luck.  And to even fill in their online form required information I wouldn’t even know how to look up because I didn’t remember placing the order.

So I’ve been trying to put a halt to all of this.  And since Google only responds with email autoresponders, I called my credit card company to dispute the charges.

That did get their attention.  They sent me yet another email.  Aargh.  Now we are on the fourth round of my requesting a phone number so I can actually speak to a person.  No luck, stay posted.

Anyone else having this problem?