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Messages - ergophobe

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Traffic / Re: Home page link "best practices"
« on: February 19, 2020, 05:23:10 PM »
>>No results found

I meant my comment about being curious as to what document they were referencing to be tongue in cheek. I can't imagine any such document.

This sounds like a web designer pretending to be a SEO.

I looked up the agency after I posted. Nobody on the staff who is a dedicated SEO.

I can see the text vs button rec based on *design* considerations, but this was an SEO audit. I could also see it as a conversion optimization recommendation too, but in that case, my recommendation would be to *test* it, not to *do* it because of some putative best practice.

And then, from an SEO point of view, I can't imagine worse advice for the home page links than to say that the anchor text should 1) be the same on all links and 2) have no keywords that describe the target page.

I think of your home page body links as golden opportunities to impact the flow of authority through the site. Ideally, they would use keywords that would differentiate the targets and help SEs decide which pages are most important and what they are about as soon as they crawl your first page.

>>utter bullocks


Traffic / Home page link "best practices"
« on: February 19, 2020, 12:32:36 AM »
Someone I know (not me) just got a report from an SEO agency who, citing "best practices," advised:
 - No text links on the home page
 - All links on the home page should be buttons
 - All buttons should have the anchor text: "Learn more."

I'd be curious to know what "best practices" document they are referencing.

Economics & Investing / Re: States people are fleeing - guess #1
« on: February 18, 2020, 08:00:10 PM »
drive real estate prices up,

Yes, mostly that. And it was ever so. When religious refugees poured into Geneva in the 1550s, it created a terrible housing crunch and intense, sometimes violent clashes between refugees (like John Calvin) and natives.

Economics & Investing / Re: 11 facts about San Francisco's housing market
« on: February 18, 2020, 05:31:32 PM »
Well, I would hardly blame liberals for that.

The two watershed moments that led to California homelessness of the mentally ill were
1. 1967 - Massive cuts to the CA Department of Mental Hygiene and the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act which made involuntary hospitalization illegal (which from a personal freedom point of view was a good thing, but coupled with cuts to DMH, was disastrous).

2. 1981 - Repeal of the Mental Health Systems Act on the federal level.

Who was the governor of CA in 1967 who drove the massive cuts to DMH? The same guy who was president in 1981 who drove the repeal of the Mental Health Systems Act.

Economics & Investing / Re: States people are fleeing - guess #1
« on: February 18, 2020, 05:17:27 PM »
Yes, seeing a lot of anti-Californian articles about Texas, Idaho, etc. It's like a repeat of the Californication meme in Oregon years ago. Even so, everyone I know who leaves goes to Portland or Bend. But of course, they are mountain people looking for other mountain areas.

Economics & Investing / Re: 11 facts about San Francisco's housing market
« on: February 17, 2020, 04:06:14 PM »
BTW, the portrait of California above is nothing like what I experience here.

The unfunded mandates are a problem though. California government by referendum results in people voting in measures that both reduce the state's ability to tax and require the state to spend. When the economy booms, corporate taxes make up for it, but when it doesn't we ended up with the situation that resulted in the recall election of 2003.

As for the rest of it (the "values" question), I mostly don't dare to go there so refrained. But as I've said before, I haven't lived in a place with such good neighbors since the 1970s. I'm in the middle of a major remodel and I would guess that neighbors have contributed at least 50 hours to help me. I've had dinner with neighbors at least four times so far this month. A neighbor just asked if I need him to pick anything up in town. And so on.

As one neighbor told me about another once, "d##k and I don't like each other, but when I call him at midnight because I have a water leak, he comes and helps me fix it."

Economics & Investing / Re: 11 facts about San Francisco's housing market
« on: February 17, 2020, 03:51:22 PM »
Fifth lowest Suicide rate (behind New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts & Maryland)

Interesting. Not a red state among them and that's a pretty important measure of well-being.

California ranks fifth for "happiness."

Hawaii ranks #1, but I could never live there. Every time I go there, having people constantly tell me how lucky I am to have a few days there and how sad it is that I have to leave drives me insane. Plus, no skiing or rock climbing. How can people live that way ;-)

I will also point out that the "accident" rate hides a certain number of suicides. Single-vehicle accidents, for example, rise when the economy goes bad.

auto burglary can be a year in the county jail

The guy who broke into the apartment downstairs when we were in Berkeley gave the cops a broad smile and said, "Well, ya got me." The cop said, "Three priors. As far as he's concerned, it's three square meals a day." So there's that as well. If your life on the outside isn't much better than your life on the inside, the risk isn't that high.

Economics & Investing / Re: 11 facts about San Francisco's housing market
« on: February 16, 2020, 04:48:05 PM »
Car break-in crackdown bill made perfect sense. California lawmakers killed it

California law now states that smashing a window and stealing items from inside a car can be charged as felony burglary only if prosecutors can prove that the car’s doors were locked. If not, it’s misdemeanor theft.

Water Cooler / Re: Corona Virus - Save Yourselves
« on: February 15, 2020, 09:26:34 PM »
Yes, out of "quarantine" on Thursday.

Glad to hear it! Even though you reckoned it at 0.00000000001%, I'm sure it's a relief nevertheless.

Yang is out; I bet we see him again.

I think that's a fair bet. Here's his statement upon dropping out (relevant parts in bold)

We have accomplished so much together.  We have brought a message of Humanity First and a vision of an economy and society that works for us and our families to millions of our fellow Americans.

We went from a mailing list that started with just my Gmail contact list to receiving donations from over 430,000 people and support from millions more across the country.

One of the things I’m most proud of -- we gave $1,000 a month for a year to 13 families across the country.

We highlighted the real problems in our communities as our economy is being transformed before our eyes by technology and automation.  We stood on the debate stage and shifted our national conversation to include the fourth industrial revolution, a topic no one wanted to touch.

Our signature proposal, Universal Basic Income, has become part of the mainstream conversation.  We increased the popular support for Universal Basic Income to 66% of Democrats and 72% among voters 18-34.

And without a doubt, we accelerated the eradication of poverty in our society by years, perhaps even generations,

And that is thanks to all of YOU!

Though thousands of voters came out for our campaign tonight in New Hampshire, it is not the outcome we fought so hard for.  It is bitterly disappointing for many of us.

But it should not be.

Every single day I’ve had supporters say to me:

“Your campaign helped me out of a depression.  Thank you.”

“Working on this campaign has made me a better human being.”

“I met my significant other because of you.”

“Your campaign brought my family together.  Your campaign got me excited about politics for the first time.”

These are all things that people have said to me in the past days.  I’m incredibly proud of this campaign.  We have touched and improved millions of lives and moved this country we love so much in the right direction.

And while there is great work left to be done, I am the MATH guy.  And it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race.  I am not someone who wants to accept donations and support in a race that we will not win.

And so tonight, I am suspending my campaign for president.

This is not an easy decision.  Endings are hard and I’ve always intended to stay in this race until the very end.  But I have been convinced that the message of this campaign will not be strengthened by my staying in this race any longer.

Endings are hard.  But this is not an ending.

This is a beginning.

This is the starting line.
  This campaign has awakened something fundamental in this country and ourselves.

We’ve outlasted over a dozen senators, governors, and members of Congress and become the most exciting force in this entire race.

The Yang Gang has fundamentally shifted the direction of this country and transformed our politics, and we are only continuing to grow.

My goal when I first started was always to solve the problems that got Donald Trump elected.  And I know in order to do that, I will support whoever is the Democratic nominee.  That said, I hope this campaign can be a message, and word of caution, to all of my Democratic colleagues.

Donald Trump is not the cause of all of our problems.  He is a symptom.  We must cure the disease that got him elected, and in order to do that we must address the real problems that affect our people and offer solutions to actually solve them.

Those solutions are bold, and many think they are crazy.  But I hope my campaign has made it a little less crazy to think we can lead our country to eradicate poverty.  In fact, five candidates in this field have already supported it or expressed openness to supporting Universal Basic Income.

I stand before you today and say that while we did not win this election, we are just getting started.

This is the beginning.

This movement is the future of American politics.

This movement is the future of the Democratic party.

This wave is just beginning and it will continue to build
until we rewrite the rules of this economy to work for us, the people of this country.

Thank you to each and every person who made this campaign possible, I love and appreciate you.  Being your candidate has been the privilege of my life.  We will continue to do the work and move this country forward.

Thank you all.  God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.


Water Cooler / Re: Core continuing commitment to health and fitness
« on: February 12, 2020, 07:41:21 PM »
Oh yeah. I've been pretty tired. That's why I put it in quotes that I've been off the wagon. In a similar vein, I've often found that a hard day of hauling and burning brush is one of the best workouts there is.

Water Cooler / Re: Core continuing commitment to health and fitness
« on: February 12, 2020, 05:30:31 PM »
I've been totally off the "exercise" wagon, but doing five days a week of construction work the last three weeks. Tore the cabinets and ceiling off my downstairs, added soundproofing and am putting the ceilings back up. Just need to tape, mud, paint, put the cabinets back and clean up and I'm done!

I had a serious cold at the start anyway, so it was probably better not to be running in the cold.

I also have a client on Webgility. I didn't think of it, because he uses it only for integrating Quickbooks with his web sales.

But they do inventory management with Amazon

We've had good experiences with their support. If the integration breaks (i.e. one endpoint or the other changes), they usually can sort it out.

Webgility is NOT a website platform, though. It is a utility that lets you take any platform they support and tie it to any other. Think of it more like ITTT or Zapier for e-commerce. Quite a few integrations though:

Traffic / Re: Google Draws Anger with Vacation Homes Feature
« on: February 11, 2020, 07:49:25 PM »
"Your margin is my opportunity." -- Jeff Bezos

It's interesting with a small portfolio (one vacation rental, for example) vs a larger portfolio (350 "keys"). If you have a few hundred keys, you can see how things are going and then start turning dials. So if you're behind, it's well worth it to give Expedia their 15-18%, because 85% of full revenue is better than 0%. This is why Expedia contracts are written to make it hard to cut them out if things are going well.

When you have 1-2 keys, though, once you fill, you fill. There's no more inventory to sell. You can't say "Oh, I'm pacing ahead, I can raise prices." It's already too late. If you think, "Their commission is too high," and you decide to wait it out and book without them, you might go empty.

So the decision about letting someone (Sykes, VRBO, whatever) turn your margin into their margin is a lot harder to manage as the season unfolds.

Water Cooler / Re: Corona Virus - Save Yourselves
« on: February 11, 2020, 06:07:45 PM »
Press release from Visit California (for whom the Asian market in general is big, though less so PRC).

Dear Industry Colleague,
Visit California continues to closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak. Our offices throughout China and across Asia, as well as our Sacramento team, are working closely with industry partners and Gov. Newsom’s senior administration officials to ensure we have the most accurate and timely information. Visit California is encouraging a measured response as the outbreak develops and information continues to emerge.
Travel Impacts
•   The U.S. government has temporarily banned entry of foreign nationals who have traveled to China within the last 14 days.
•   Air service to and from China has been suspended by all U.S. and most Chinese carriers, with the exception of a few flights per week. These cancelations account for 87% of total seats. Most suspensions will run through March.
Visit California’s Response
•   All China programs, including travel trade, public relations and consumer advertising, are paused.
•   Visit California’s April 6-10 China Sales and Media Mission is postponed, as are all FAMs involving travel from China.
•   Visit California is keeping followers updated on Chinese social media, including Weibo and WeChat.
•   Visit California has delayed its spring consumer campaign for approximately two weeks. It is now scheduled to roll out on April 6.

Industry Implications
•   Tourism Economics is now projecting a 27% decline in visits and spend to California from China in 2020. Even with this downgrade, overall visitor spending — from U.S. and international markets combined — is still projected to increase 2.9% in California this year.
•   Industry experts expect a rebound in Chinese tourism to begin in April and rise throughout 2020.
Visit California’s efforts over the past decade have given California a dominant share of the Chinese travel market. We are confident that Chinese travel to California will rebound once the outbreak is contained, and California’s high brand awareness positions the state to recover more quickly than our competitors. Although it is too early to predict specifics, China will remain California’s top overseas visitor market and a priority for Visit California’s marketing efforts.
For additional resources, please reference this comprehensive brief. The U.S. Travel Association has also provided a helpful toolkit. It includes a guide to communicating healthy travel practices and media talking points.

I look forward to seeing you next week at Visit California’s 2020 Outlook Forum and the Winter Board Meeting, where the outbreak and plans for the Chinese market will be discussed in greater detail.

Caroline Beteta
President & CEO

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