Worst Support Ticket Sales Pitch Ever

Wild pitch
Image by williamhartz via Flickr

Long story short – for a few days last week I was unwittingly subverting the Chinese Government.  Somehow my private proxy server was discovered and published.  I may get into that story more later, but for now all you need to know is that I decided to ask around a few cheap hosting sites to see if I could run a small ad-supported proxy site.  This particular host shows up when Googling proxy hosting, but a couple of support tickets later it turns out that they don’t actually allow proxy hosting.  I let them know about the Google ad and got this enthusiastic sales pitch:

Hi, David.
Thanks for your notification.
If you like to host your sites, xxxxxxxxxxxx might be one of your choices. Let us know if you need more help. Thanks.

Now, I don’t know about YOU, but as for ME – I really like to host my sites.  It brings me much more happiness than when I was burning them onto a CD and trying to fling them into open car windows as I drove to work.  (readership tanked in winter and return visitors were hard to come by if the CD happened to peg them in the face).

So we’ve established that I like to host my sites, the Tech follows with the time-tested hard sell technique of telling me their product is soooo great it just might make it onto my list of choices.  It might be time to rewrite the script here folks!

Happy New Year Everyone!  Have you had any similar bad sales pitches?

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2008 Election Results

Second round of the French presidential electi...

Image via Wikipedia

There are going to be a ton of places you can find election results, for your local races try the local news sites.  For the Federal races here are a few good places to check for news:

  • NPR – Nice interactive map and list that includes poll closing times
  • CNN – CNN’s Election Results Page
  • Pollster.com – Election tracking map and all the latest polls leading up to today
  • BBC – Get international coverage of our election from the BBC
  • Indecision 2008 -  Comedy Central’s election coverage
  • The Onion – The Onion provides live election coverage
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It Be Talk Like A Pirate Day 2008 Arrr!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Image via Wikipedia

Here be ye Piratey online booty fer International Talk Like a Pirate Day:

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  I’ll be updatin’ if I find ye some more treasures, now back to yer stations ye dirty sea dogs!

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Google Adsense Knows, Taunts Me

I thought Google wasn't supposed to be evil?

I thought Google wasn't supposed to be evil...

In an attempt to drive me mad, Google has been posting adsense ads for both Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and for Pedometers to my site. This juxtaposition of doughy temptation and a capitalistic encouragement of my weight loss attempts is the height of evil! Google knows that it can appeal to either side of my nature, and either way my willpower goes, still profit (or maybe they just want me to walk to Krispy Kreme).

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KillerStartups Killed?

*Please note the important update at the end of this post

One way that a new blogger can get story ideas and make a name for themselves is to report on new and interesting startups, the problem has been how do you find out about a startup early enough to get the scoop? The main service that I was aware of was KillerStartups.com, they saw the need, the niche, and acted with great success.  The problem that appeared was the sheer amount of new startups interested in the publicity made it impossible for detailed coverage of any of them.  The cookiecutter information that became the standard fare on KillerStartups, while still useful, left open a door for competition that could do a better job providing coverage.

TechCrunch’s Crunchbase has been steadily gaining users in this arena and with the recent addition of an API and KillerStartups’ decline, has taken the lead according to Google Trends (it’s recent integration into Zemanta means you’ll see more of it from me):

Google Trends Data for Startup Info

Google Trends Data for Startup Info

Still, it’s hard to scoop TechCrunch with their own database, so other startups have entered the field, two that I’ve used and think are notable are TradeVibes and YouNoodle.  If you check out the Alexa data you can see that YouNoodle is enjoying a spike in traffic among Alexa users.  And while Alexa data is generally considered less than ideal, in this case it might be a better indicator of where web-savy users are getting their information:

Page Views by Alexa Users

Page Views by Alexa Users

The Alexa data also seems to show some hope for KillerStartups, but the Google Trends data is showing a clear flatline.   So, we get back to the title of this post, does the way KillerStartups delivers information still have a place?  Can they bounce back or has KillerStartups been killed?

*Update! – Please be sure to take a look at the comments and note that the Quantcast directly measured results back up what the Alexa results show, a significant bounce back up in traffic and a hefty lead in readership over Crunchbase.

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