Picking a domain name; don’t be stupid, use a tool

Picking a domain name; don’t be stupid, use a tool

It is interesting and challenging to pick a new domain name.  At some point, it can get frustrating since everything you try to pick is already registered.  Here is some advice, use a tool.  You would not want to search the Internet by going to every building that is connected to the Internet and looking on each individual hard drive.  We use a tool.  Search engines.

Picking a domain name also has it’s tools.  My first step was to find a source of words.  I wanted short, common words. I found this resource of the top 100 words in the English language: http://www.askoxford.com/worldofwords/wordfrom/revisedcoed11/?view=uk

This gave me a source of data.  I captured the table from the webpage using Broadlook Eclipse (I don’t cut & paste) and exported a list to Excel.  Next, I visited a few of my favorite sites.   Nameboy.com and Bustaname.com.   With bustaname.com you put words into groups, and then bustaname creates permutations of available web domains.  Using this method I picked up whichwhen.com for $7.   Nice domain.  2 syllables, includes 2 of the top 100 words in the English language, and it rhymes.

Here is an example of what Bustaname.com looks like.  In this example,  you can see a small sub section of available domains based on top 100 words in English.

bustaname1 bustaname2

In my first hour of searching, manually, I tried over 50 domains, and none that I liked were available.  In the next hour I had my pick of about 5 domains I really liked.

Moral of the story: Whether you are picking a domain name or doing Internet Research,  don’t be stupid,  use a tool.

VMware; when you can’t even pay to get support; my personal tech support nightmare

It is rare that spend my valuable time with a complaint.  However, in my recent quest to get support for VMware fusion was met with a hard stop.   I have never been so amazed at the ramifications of a bad policy.

Here is what happened.  I use VMware fusion on my macbook pro to run a virtual windows vista environment.  I use that environment for software demos.  It needs to work.  I switched to a mac for ease of use (that is another blog).   Windows has a tendency to bloat…so my virtual environment ran out of space; I needed to increase the size of the virtual disk.   For one reason or another,  the standard disk-expanding procedure did not work.  Time *is* money, so I decided to call support to get it resolved.

Here is where the nightmare started.

When I called, I was prompted to press the # button for support for fusion.  I eventually got a message stating that there was online support only.  “Ok, I can understand that”, I said to myself.   I would just call back and let them know, I’m willing to pay for support to resolve this issue and get back to giving software demos.

I called back.

This time I pressed the series of buttons to get to a live person.

The nightmare intensified.

I was told that there is no phone support, even if I payed.  Never in my 25+ years in the industry has this happened to me.  I was shocked.   For those who know me…yes, I was speechless for a few moments.  I’ve had tough tech support cases at Broadlook, first when I started the company and I was sales, support, development and garbage man.  Now my tech support team handles everything under the sun.  We have never told a client “NO”.  Yes, sometimes, when there is an issue outside the realm of our software, we charge, we have to.  Sometimes we resolve firewall or Microsoft windows issues. It is not always our software, this is what paid support is for.   I was simply in disbelief.

My issue is still unresolved.  Where does this leave me?  This blog is “what keeps me up at night”.  This time it really will.  I will be re-installing Windows, adding all the software that my demo machine needs, transferring files from one session to another.

Here is my support ticket in case VMware cares: 1136362675

Here is the email of the manager who said “no”:  callum at vmware dot com

Notes to VMware.

-Microsoft, for all it’s faults, will help you if you pay for it.
-Support can be a revenue stream.  (said with a tone of Duhhh)
-If you treat your customers this way, competitors are going to eat your lunch, and I will enjoy watching it happen.  I don’t like being told no.
Parallels has an alternative to VMware fusion for the mac.  I called Parallels and asked if they had pay-for-support and they said absolutely.  In fact, the guy I talked to at Parallels was extremely helpful and also shocked when I shared the VMware fusion story.

At this point, I don’t want to work with VMware

Fast forward 3 months

I holded off posting this blog for about 3 months.  I switched to Parallels for mac which allows me to run a virtualized windows environment.  I wanted to wait until I had a problem and needed help with Parallels.  When I called Parallels support, I did have an issue that qualified for paid support.  The rep was probably surprised when I was enthusiastic and excited to pay for support.  In the end, I was not even charged, even though I was willing to pay.  My issue only took a minute to resolve and the tech support rep wished me well.

VMware: That is service.

Micro squatting: Domain squatting for the next decade

Micro squatting: Domain squatting for the next decade

domain-squatter

MICRO SQUATTING
Is your brand safe?

Getting a good domain that is a real word or combination of real words is almost impossible these days.  Now, for someone like me that has a new product idea every week or so, this poses a problem.  Sometimes I get “stuck” when I can’t either name a creation or get a good domain to put it on.

I’m done with picking real words.

I am one of those people that *refuse* to pay more than 7 bucks to GoDaddy to get a domain.  I won’t do it.  Paying for a domain that someone else squatted on it simply against my DNA.

Now I have no problem with domain farmers…that’s what I call them.  These people take a domain, build it to have some valuable content, and then sell it.  The squatters are the ones that do nothing, create nothing, they scarf up someones (trademark) in some cases and hope to play leech until they get blood (yes this happened to me).   He lost.

Sometimes, paying a squatter good coin is just unavoidable, however, many companies have simply avoided this trap by making up words.

Look to the future.

What is the equivalent of domain squatting now?  Where is the wide open frontier?  Here are some things on the horizon.

Username SEO: What happens if you create a username of wwwgooglecom?  or RecruitingSoftware?  Try it.

URL shorteners: most of us have seen http://tinyur.com and http://tr.im.  Both of these services are used widely in services like twitter, where cutting down a long URL can be important.  Both of these services now offer vanity URL’s.  For example try these:

http://tr.im/recuiting

http://tr.im/salesleads

http://tr.im/keywords

http://tinyurl.com/shally (I secured this one for a friend…and let him know about it)

Yes, I made sure I got these before someone else did.  I used each of these in a twitter post where cutting the URL to a reasonable size was important.  Am I saying that tr.im is the next big thing?  No. I am simply making a point.

Forum names:

Think about it.  What is the value of having the username BarackObama on facebook?

What is your brand or trademark?  Do you have the tinyURL, tr.im, facebook, etc for at least the important ones?

Spend 1 hour and secure them.  Don Ramer and his company Arbita does a great job in reversing the “brand highjacking” that happens when a company’s job postings start showing up first on aggregator sites like Indeed. For the large corporations that are unhappy when a google search with “Jobs” + “your company”  does not yield search results to your company… you need to call Don or George LaRocque, head of sales.

This is the large scale stuff… What about smaller stuff like a product name or trademark?

Perhaps there is an entirely new business model here to protect clients important product names.  For a fee:

-Secure the major trademark names & product names for all the major social media sites
-Wrap them up and turn them over to the user via a single-sign on interface
-Facilitate cross posting across all sites  (in many cases, you must keep accounts active to keep them)

This may exist already, but probably not in the form I am thinking here. There was a company called NameProtect.  From what I remember, they are reactionary to protecting a brand or trademark once a violation has occurred.  I’m talking more about a proactive approach to registering your brand under every major site, forum, etc.   This would be too hard for anyone to do themselves.  Ahh the wonders of automation.

Among my 12,000 readers… I can hear the vendors running to http://tr.im

Think I’m silly?   try this  http://tr.im/google and   http://tr.im/microsoft these are not owned or controlled by Microsoft or Google.

Hopefully they are really running now. Take this to the next level.  Shut eyes and think (after you read this senario):

1. Someone correctly secures a tr.im vanity URL and correctly assigns it to  salesforce.com.  So  http://tr.im/salesforce points to http://www.salesforce.com

2. He starts using twitter and does real tweets about salesforce, using the tr.im/salesforce   URL

3.  Others using twitter start using that URL to shorten their messages

4. Remember, someone controls that URL, not salesforce.  After that shortened link gets very popular, the one who controls it, changes it to point to netsuite.com  (a salesforce competitor)

5.  Brand highjacked!

Is your brand safe?

*Note: as to not have someone misuse salesforce.com brand in any way thinking I was suggesting it, I registered salesforce to point to the correct location of salesforce.com.
Keyword proximity and keyword extension engines

Keyword proximity and keyword extension engines

Here is an experiment to help develop taxonomies of keywords.

First engine is http://keywords.broadlook.com. The focus of this engine is the keywords and metatags within websites and build a list of (1) keyword extensions of your input. Example: if you type in the word “research”, the engine will return the top results in 1000’s of phrases that start with “research”, like “research and development”, “research papers” and “research triangle”. In addition, engine 1 returns a list of keywords in closest proximity to your input term.

Second engine is http://keywords2.broadlook.com. This engine does the same as engine #1, except it works with the BODY of html pages vs. keywords and meta tags.

 Blog Pictures | acobox.com

 

 

 

 

Building a ultra-fast proximity engine with entity recognition could yield some interesting results.

Examples:

-Who are the top 10 people on the web that are mentioned in closest proximity to Bill Gates or Barack Obama? How does that compare to the month previous?

-What are the top 10 companies mentioned near Broadlook or Salesforce.com?

-Who are the top 10 people mentioned in conjuntion with an event, company or date?

The combinations are endless. What applications can be developed from this type of information? I can think of many in the research and analytics space. The 2 main components are the entity recognition and proximity indexing. For questions about the engines email to donato dot diorio at gmail com with subject “keyword engine”

Please keep in mind that this is pure research and we are not even sure ourselves of the uses of the core technology.

Enjoy!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for resumes

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for resumes

I just came back from the Kennedy conference in Orlando, FL.  The most important thing I learned is that Broadlook needs to buy more headphones.  Anyone who has been to a conference and seen the Broadlook booth, knows that we get lines backed up to get a peek at our wares.  In order to reach more people, we created a 4 minute video, that concisely describes what Broadlook does.  So, even though we did not have enough headphones for everyone… I want to thank the great attendees at the Kennedy show for sharing.  Next time, we will have more headphones!

Among the groups of people at Kennedy, there was a contingent of professional resume writers.  One of them stopped by the Broadlook booth and I gave her a quick walk-through of Diver.

“Can you do a search for Chemical Engineer resumes?”  She asked

Sure, I said.

I let her then type a search string into Diver, to let her put it through the paces.   She pressed the SEARCH button.  As Diver started extracting resumes from across the web, she spoke out loudly  “There he is!” as she jumped up and down.   This was good for me, as it drew additional people to the Broadlook booth.

She was loud, proud and rather giddy.  One of her recent clients, for whom she wrote the resume,  was pulled up with a large group of other resumes.

Then I scared her.

She asked me to show her how the filter function worked in Diver.  In the filter box inside Diver, I typed in, at her request, “polymer clay”.   Her candidate, her work, her resume was filtered out.  Gone.

At first, she blamed Diver, telling me that she knew that she added “Polymer clay” into a skills list to help with search engine optimization (SEO).   I then explained to her that Diver filters based on the significant parts of the resume.   It was designed this way based on my years of being a recruiter.  During my recruiter years, most systems, like job boards would search on text anywhere within the resume.  A quasi-smart candidate could add a Über list of every tech skill imaginable to a resume.  The intent being that is it would turn up in every search.

Those days are over.  Diver ignores the skills section of a resume and applies it’s filter to the education and experience blocks of the resume.  This way, Diver is looking for skills listed within the language of the job history.  Basically, Diver is doing exactly what a smart recruiter does;  Ignore the big skill list and read through the job history and look for a direct correlation or inference for the desired skill set.

Keep in mind that most job boards still perform a “stupid” search.  If you are looking for a keyword it doesn’t matter if your first name is Java, you list a skill as Java, or you write about Java in your work history.  All keywords, at all places, are equivalent.  The same can be said for searching Job Postings.  Think about it… a job posting can have multiple sections, the actual job description, a section about what the company does, information on how to apply, benefits, etc.  Most Internet search is poor.

I didn’t really want to spend much time on Diver, but it is a glimpse of how things will be done in the future.  Eventually, the job boards will catch up.  A friend of mine, a CEO of search technology company points out that the job boards may never want to do this. Why?  “Because it will significantly reduce the resumes that match your query and people will realize how few candidates job boards really have”.   Interesting point.

So, for those resume writers out there,  personal or professional.  Here are some tips on how to develop your resume so that it will have greater impact within “search”.

Before doing this, I read up on many resume writing services. The fact that most of site (not all) that I visited reminded me of web 1.0 tells me that most of the writers have no conception of SEO.  They may be good writers, but they do not understand technology.  They are writing for the reader and that is the cardinal mistake.

1.   Write your final resume for the searcher, not the reader.

This is the biggest mistake made.  It is a frame of mind.  If you can “grok” this, you don’t need to read any further.   The searcher is not just a person.  The searcher is a person combined with the capabilities (or inabilities) of the search mechanism being used.

2.  Use permutations to your advantage.  Leverage it in work history, education and anywhere

Work history line:

BAD 2001-2008  CEO, Broadlook

GOOD 2001-2008 Chief Executive Officer / CEO,  Broadlook Technologies Inc. / BTI / Broadlook.com / Pewaukee, WI 53072

Broadlook has never been referred to as BTI, but think of the ways that IBM could be search for: IBM, IBM CORP, International Business Machines, etc.

3.  Put your most important skills within the description of the job history. As discussed earlier, technology will improve over the next few years. More and more search tools will allow the targeting of specific sections of a resume.

4.  Post your resume on your own site as well as the job boards.  Get a free hosted blog via wordpress.com and add a resume section to it.  This is something that resume writers could do for free, it does not cost anything.  It would even be the delivery mechanism vs. a WORD or PDF file.

5.  If you do post on the job boards, include a link back to your own resume site.

6.  Post your resume now, even if you are not looking for a job.  Why?  The longer something is online, the more chance that it will get indexed.  Make it an anonymous resume if you don’t want your contact information out there right now.

7.  Make sure that some part of your resume page has dynamic content.  Search engines like pages and sites that change.  It is easy to find free plug-ins to add content and feeds.

8.  Lastly, do make sure that you have a well-written resume.  Having all the SEO in the world with a bunch of spelling mistakes won’t endear you to a recruiter or employer.

There is a tremendous GAP in what could be done as a service for job seekers and what is being done.  What this means is that some entrepreneur is working on that problem already or someone should.  I surely don’t have the time for it.

Resume Writing Resources

National Resume Writers‘ Association

Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches

AORCP – Association of Online Career and Resume Professionals

Resume Writers Association of America, LLC

Donato Diorio is the Chief Executive Officer for Broadlook Technologies, an award winning blogger and a contributing author for the upcoming Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0

Announcing the Official Broadlook blog & my first repost.

Announcing the Official Broadlook blog & my first repost.

I have been ask to write more and more about the recruiting software company I founded, Broadlook Technologies in this blog.  I do mention Broadlook quite often in my postings, I can’t help it, it is a big piece of my day and it’s a source of daily inspiration.  However, the mission of my blog was to touch on many topics, therefore I would like to announce a place where I will be gratuitously promoting all things Broadlook: The Official Broadlook Blog.  I, Donato will remain what it was meant to be.  A safety valve for an overactive mind.

For recruiting animal, I am doing this for you…here is a repost of the first Official Broadlook Blog article.  I plagiarized it from myself and I challenge you to a donut eating contest or oreo cookies or whatever you are calling me these days. Peace.  Donato

This is my first and hopefully only repost.

The history behind the Broadlook logo

March 6th, 2008,  By Donato Diorio,   Reprinted with permission.

The Broadlook Technologies logo has meaning.  For the 5 of us that started in a single 400 sq ft office, it has a special place with us.   When it was time to create the image/logo/icon that would come to be our stamp to the outside world, we stopped everything for 2 full days. No sales, no development, no marketing.   It was white boards and debate; define our mark or die trying.

Here is how it came to be.

The original vision behind the company was building recruiting software products that were the right mix between automation and human interaction.  We wanted to create a company logo that somehow communicated that concept.   One of the ideas tossed around was 2 hands, one machine and one human…intertwined.  Neither myself (Donato) Igor, Kevin or Dan (working remote from Portland) were artists of any sort, however, Andy had experience with some photoshop so he was elected to sit at the computer while the rest of us tested his design skills.   The machine-human hand thing was too complicated; it did not scale down to logo size image.   A bunch of ideas were tossed around when I suggested doing something with carbon, denoting human and silicon for meaning the machine.  We then started working with the atomic numbers of carbon (6) and silicon (14).  We tried to create a large “B” using a series of dots for our logo.  14 Dots were the background, 6 formed the B.   I remember showing the first iteration to Dan, our first sales rep working remote out of Portland, OR.

“What in the hell is that?”, said Dan.   “It looks like one of those darn eye tests they give  blind people”  (Dan’s comments are famous around Broadlook and often repeated years later, we all knew he meant color-blind).

We couldn’t find any of the “B” logos in the company archives (trust me, it was horrid).

Back to the drawing board we went.

Kevin had a brainstorm.  Why not use the ratio of carbon to silicon?  It was one of those ideas the didn’t need any discussion.   Rare for our meetings.   So we went back to the dots.  here are the iterations.

 

Broadlook logo history3

Eventually a voice of reason spoke up and suggested we move away from the dots and go towards solids.  I’m guessing it was Igor and the Broadlook logo was born.  Here is the first iteration that we still use today.

 

Broadlook logo history

 

The blue and the charcole are the proportions of 6:14; carbon to silicon.  If I can find it, we even have a math equation that defines the graphic (I’ll find it and post it to this article later).

The most important thing that I learned when looking back at the experience is the team effort required.  My contribution was the spark, but without the operational know-how, the out-of the box thinking, the strong logic and the feedback from the outside, we wouldn’t have our logo.   To the outsider, it is a box with a slash through it.  To us, it was the genesis that grew into the company we are today.  The world leader in Internet research technology.