Sometimes on a Saturday

Sometimes on a Saturday I seem to be able to get things done with code that I can’t do during any time during the work week. When I used to work at big agencies, my weekends were pretty sacred which allowed me to recharge the batteries for managing my department. If I imagine myself still doing agency work, outside my own Search Return agency of course, then I think the advances made in mobile computing alongside social media has given anyone the ability to work 24/7. And that includes Saturday.

Thinking back on some Saturdays I think some of my best innovative ideas came out of Saturday dabbling in code. Rather than feeling boxed in by the cubicle in my corner office I get the freedom that the iPad can bring, or the mental space to dig deeper than when being intruded upon by employees. Saturdays now provide me that same freedom of space even when I’m not working at an agency. That is because if I have client work to do, I can’t be expected to accomplish it on my weekend unless it’s an emergency issue.

The last few weeks there have been some moderate emergency issues to deal with. Cleaning up after when people make a technical wreck of things can be lucrative work when the sham industry tap doesn’t stop flowing. This is the year I plan to get back to industriousness after taking somewhat of a break. I am writing more frequently and that takes time. I am coding and tinkering with Mobile Sidecar applications, preparing for our SEO future. Everyone knows the future of content and a few know the future of tech.

I love my Saturdays. The work-week pressure is on hold and I can get my creative thinking going again. I’ve spent the last few years thinking about my transition physically, now my thoughts have returned to thinking about my transition from SEO tech to social optimization tech. There are new plugins, platforms and protocols which all affect our rankings. Personalization in search prepared with its DNA the era of social search, where Google and Bing are bringing it. You’ll see Facebook matches in Bing and +Plus matches in Google.

One thing that intrigues me which goes beyond social search is what’s possible around the corner. While we optimize our social graph and content with posts and Tweets, Twitter Discover and Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer are giving us an indication of a future with push content again. Twitter Discover and Marissa Mayer’s Interest Graph description from World Economic Forum reminds me of the Pointcast service. That was such a long time ago, yet prophetic of the future. Much like LinkedIn, which started around the same time, long before Facebook. Sometimes on a Saturday I think wider in scope to peer around the corner.

Good Things That Fail

There are many launches that deserve to take off without incident but suffer from epic fail. The phenomenon seems to be worse in our digital world, as consolidation and patent suits limit or squander innovative ideas. The notion of the ‘four horsemen’ in tech as cited by Eric Schmidt are Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google. In the case of what happened today, Felix the space man from Austria was planning to jump from the edge of space and reach super-sonic speeds in a specially designed suit to break records, capture attention and important data for the physical sciences. Too bad gusty winds cancelled the jump. Better safe than sorry. Postscript: He eventually made the leap!

While this failure to launch won’t console you or me when we start something that we think will take off for the pure genius of it, that doesn’t mean you can’t withdraw and survive to fight another day. Even when you are on the brink of going flat broke, there are ways to claw your way back in. Remember to create something great and try and try again until it goes. Being persistent is a trait of successful personalities. Sometimes you have to turn back to the things you love to find your solace in order to see what is right in front of you.

These thoughts are going through my mind a lot these days as I am writing some of my best material, and working with a developer to create an innovative crawler that most people, when they hear about it, have no idea what makes it so outstanding. I think sometimes I am viewed as a total madcap. It’s my vision and a passion for seeing things that are as yet intangible that scare people. The way I’m going to tackle the problem this time is through demonstration (again and again). The original prototype that is Mobile Sidecar is a toy compared with Mobile Sidecar 2.0 that is due for release soon. It’s operational on my laptop in developer mode. It’s very different, and very exciting. At least it is to me.

A Content Queen Comes Alive

There is no question that when it comes to online content, Heather Lloyd is search engine marketing’s SEO Copywriting content queen. Heather and I have a unique relationship. I worked alongside her and learned a lot. We traded great content knowledge for solid SEO tech know-how. I got the better end of the deal. I get to use the things I learned from her now.

I learned neat things watching Heather at work. How she went about getting to work and benefit from the simple act of writing content. When I first came to know Heather, she worked over a dial-up modem, writing her pieces then sending them to the Rank Write newsletter that she was a part of. I know she got herself motivated at that time by way of a work habit. I picture her that way still, with Corky and cat, in a house among the tall woods of Sudden Valley.

Living there was like losing oneself in the forest by day, to have the night descend among the trees, quickly in late afternoon. Though the wood had its hidden creature benefits, soon enough our broadband connection to the outside world opened up a whole new life. That, and a T-Mobile Starbucks Hotspot fell right into place for Heather. I know she still writes from Starbucks in Portland.

In Bellingham, I played a role in support of her writing her first book, purely focused on copywriting for search engines. We innovated things together back then. She had me contributing resources she could turn to, the website, the network, and our broadband. I discovered Blogger. Hey, it was new back in 2002! I figured Google would grow to love blogs. I was right about that, wrong about which platform. Now I’m writing on it.

With SEO2Go in 2002, we were way too early, by several years. There were other search engines to write for, and after about a year of posting (mostly Heather posting), Heather’s focus on the book and our writing for clients took attention away from me blogging until much later. I was more keen about code. She published her book, and things took off. She’s blogging again, as am I. it’s very different for us today, with her in Portland and my sweet home Chicago.

Apple Wins Patent Skirmish Against Google

Crazy to think that right as I put the finishing touches on some text, news broke through on my iPhone Apple v. Samsung verdict is in: $1 billion loss for Samsung. I wasn’t expecting this to go to Apple, and that’s a hefty amount for any company to have to pay. It’s pretty harsh for Google.

This is a ‘thermo-nuclear war’ that Steve Jobs vowed to conduct shortly before his death. Patent wars are nasty business. Huge day for Apple. Bad day for Google. Google owns Motorola, and just made their first tablet with ASUS (I bought one). What manufacturer in their right mind would make a product based-around Android now? I’m sure there will still be many who do. There is always taking the Kindle/Nook approach, leaving Android mostly out of the device so it runs purely with your own brand.

Disa Johnson

Updated: This post originated so long ago, as if it’s been a lifetime since I wrote what was here. Like anything else, things change. We get older, hopefully wiser and better at what we do. I like progress. For vulnerable people living in the United States, our election of 2016 caused what Hunter S. Thomson would call “fear and loathing” among liberals like me. It is felt around the world, making a mockery of democracy on the international stage. As a consequence, I am going through a renewal process. I’m changing what I originally posted here. I’m going to get with the times, these scary new times to write a bit more about what I find to be true. I hope you tune in and drop out and into a vocal swelling of liberalism with me as I pontificate the strongman right-wing leader at the helm and throughout government.