Tweet the Vote

votereport iphone interface.jpg

Since 2000 with the infamous hanging chads and Palm Beach liberals who “voted” for Pat Buchanan, presidential elections have become something of a circus sideshow in themselves. Both Republicans and Democrats fiercely fight over every vote (as they should) and the media loves to chum the waters with tales of voting irregularities.

Thankfully, web2.0 has given us a couple of tools to sort through the impending (and already present thanks to numerous states like my own NC doing the early voting thing… which is terrific, btw) carnival.

Time’s political Swampland blog has more on how voters can “Tweet the Vote” by following special accounts that voting activists groups have set up as well as Time’s own Twitter account:

Swampland – » Blog Archive Tweet the Vote! «: “Stepping up to the plate this year to make reporting concerns as easy and as public as possible are two organizations: the grass roots group Twitter Vote Report and the more corporate-y (they have consultants!) Election Protection, who is also partnered with a ton of other organizations, including NBC.

Both groups are encouraging voters to use Twitter as a kind of panopticon of the polling process. I assume you’re following all the right people already, but interested parties should also follow 866ourvote to for real-time poll watching. After the jump, a memo from the group, noting the specific conventions for how to report your own observations and how it works.”

Time also has their own account set up for real time poll watching (which should be awesome). Or you can follow along here.

There’s even an iPhone/iPod Touch app (pictured above… search for “votereport” in the App Store on iTunes).

This is really exciting stuff. I’ve been a political junkie since the Dukakis/Bush ’88 race (I was a dorky 6th grader, ok?) and could only dream of being able to really take part in the political process with tools such as an iPhone or Twitter.

Whatever your persuasion, it doesn’t take much to realize that web2.0 is good at breaking down boundaries and providing both a voice to people and a check on the political corruptions of the past.

Cheap eee’s Coming But Get A 7″ While You Can

7_ eee.jpg

A new report from Asustek (say it out loud… it’s fun) says the company will be shipping $200 variations of its now famous (and ubiquitous) eee PC.

I grabbed a 7″ model in January of this year before Asus flooded the market with more variations than imaginable. It’s one of their “weaker” machines in terms of specs now, but I still love the little guy to death and wouldn’t part with him for an ATOM processor-based 8.9″ eee for anything.

So, I was sad to read this:

Asustek expects to ship US$200 Eee PC in 2009, says president: “Shen also pointed out that 7- and 8.9-inch Eee PCs will slowly phase out of the market to be replaced by 10-inch products.”

Part of the charm and mystique of the little computer that started a revolution is its amazingly small size and form factor. I constantly get asked what it is when I’m out in public. When I have the eee and a Kindle at a coffee shop, I look like a real geek freak.

So, go grab a 7 inch Asus eee while you can (only $330 at Amazon!). They are cheap and don’t have as many features as the more expensive 8.9 or 10 inch models, but we’re talking about a netbook here. All you need is Firefox and you’re good to go.

Wilco Performing The Wilco Song on Colbert Report

Wilco performed an exclusive song on The Colbert Report last night. Before the performance, Jeff Tweedy sat down with Colbert for a pretty funny interview. Here are a few highlights:

Colbert introducing the band at the beginning of the show says: “True Wilco fans will listen to the show on vinyl.” Awesome.

Colbert: I like your American flag lapel pin.
Tweedy: Where’s yours?
Colbert: I gave mine to Barack Obama.

Tweedy then gives Colbert an Obama tshirt.

Colbert: You offer a song for free on your website. Are you a socialist?
Tweedy: We’re just lousy capitalists. We thought free market meant free.

The song is interestingly good… Tweedy said it’s called “Wilco: The Song.” Main refrain is that “Wilco will love you baby.” Odd, but a good rocker from the gang. And it was neat to see them crammed onto the small Colbert stage. Looks like they were enjoying it. Of course Nels had his whole guitar-to-the-amp distortion thing going on.

Hulu – The Colbert Report: Thu, Oct 30, 2008 – Watch the full episode now.

Affiliate Opportunity: Google Now Indexes PDF’s


One of the keys to success in affiliate marketing is getting your site or link in front of the people who are looking for the info, services, etc you are representing.

Google has helped create the affiliate marketing landscape by becoming the world’s database of information as well as being fairly transparent on what it takes to rank well in the search result pages organically (not to mention the ability to pay for positions on relevant keywords).

So, this new move by Google to ramp it up on the recognition and indexing of PDF’s is promising for smart affiliates given that history. Why? Because PDF’s are a great way to produce quality content on specific topics. Instead of having to invest the time, effort or money into OCR efforts themselves, affiliates can let Google do the heavy hauling and have the info indexed. Nifty.

Google Search Indexes Scanned Documents – AppScout: “Google today, however, announced a new technology that lets the search engine perform Optical Character Recognition on scanned documents saved in Adobe PDF format. OCR converts the picture of words into actual words. “

And here’s the Official Google Blog post about the new feature.

Here are some examples of what’s in store:

repairing aluminum wiring

spin lock performance

Lots of opportunity there!

Google’s New Link Reading: Potential Problem for Affiliates?


For those of you not content with Google’s present level of omnipotence, here’s more for you to chew on:

Google Blog Search Now Reads Links on Web Pages: “Today Google introduced some changes in the way they index content from blogs / RSS feeds.

Earlier they were only using links from RSS feeds to determine the resultset for link: operator but now they consider links that are mentioned on web pages as well very similar to Technorati.

This means that if another blog ( has linked to your own blog ( from his sidebar, Google will now show in the results as well when you query for

If there were a Technorati Rank like parameter for Google Blogs Search, almost every blog may have seen major fluctuations in their rank due to this simple change.”

If you do your affiliate marketing via blogs (or even RSS), take note because this will definitely have an hand in determining your site’s PageRank as well as its organic rank.

The bigger question is how this might (in the long term) affect affiliate marketers. Affiliates necessarily rely on links as the lingua franca of doing business because the nature of the economic model. Will Google slap affiliate sites with too many commercial (affiliate) links in the search results?

Fun stuff to ponder on Halloween!

I Miss Larry

It’s always late at night (it’s almost 3am now) that I miss Larry the most. It’s been less than a week, but reading a great blog post somewhere about an obscure Southern writer or statesman or chef and her or his connection to the Civil War or some county in Tennessee or Kentucky or Alabama or South Carolina makes me wish Larry was there to receive the email link I really want to send him.

Muscle memory is a hard thing to forget.

Love you, Larry.

Highrise Deals

I really do love Basecamp, BackPack and Highrise. All three of these products make up a substantial part of my business life as an affiliate and I can’t imagine having to hack together a “getting-things-done” solution without them.

Even my wife, a physician, loves and uses BackPack on a daily basis.

So, I’m excited to see this new addition to Highrise (a fantastic CRM manager):

37signals Product Blog: Big new Highrise feature: Deals: “Deals let you keep track of proposals, bids, RFPs, and project sales right inside Highrise. Highrise has always been great for keeping track of the people you do business with, but now with Deals you can keep track of the business transactions as well.

Now you’ll know which proposals/bids are pending, which you’ve won, and which you’ve lost. Enter notes about the deals, attach proposals or contracts to the deals, and keep a log of any changes. Now you’ll know how much money a particular customer has paid you over time or how much you’ve left on the table from deals you didn’t win.”

Seriously, if you aren’t using BackPack or Basecamp (at least), you’re missing out.