Connecting With People

In my business (ThinkComputers) I am constantly dealing with people. Every time you see a new review I’ve had to talk to someone at that company in order for them to send it to me. Well sometimes things just show up, but not that often. Most of my contact is done through e-mail, but I also talk to some people on the phone, especially when I want something specific. When I call them on the phone they know I mean business!

The thing about most of these PR people is that they just think you are some “kid” running a website. Over the 6 years I’ve been running ThinkComputers I have been turned down plenty by many companies. Even now I still am, but not that often. A lot of PR people will just never e-mail you back. Yes I’m serious, I guess it’s their easy way of not saying yes or no, but also PR people get tons of e-mail each day so answering every e-mail is kind of hard. So how do I get these companies to sponsor ThinkComputers? Meet them in person!

Once a year I travel to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). CES is HUGE! Anyone that has anything to do with technology is there. You will find all types of things from computers to massage chairs there. It is where most companies showcase what they will be releasing in the upcoming year. CES is great for coverage articles, but it’s really good for making new contacts and meeting sponsors. I try to fill up all of my days with meetings. Some meetings are with my current sponsors and some are with new companies that don’t know me.

When you meet people they can finally put a face to the name and unless you’re a jerk they will most likely send you something out to review. There are a few companies that sponsor ThinkComputers now that I would have never imagined would, but because of meeting them in person they are now sponsoring ThinkComputers. Also the same PR people that would ignore your e-mails are now e-mailing you about new products. The main reason for this is that they know you are serious about your website. Going to Vegas for a week is not cheap, so they know you have spent some money to get there.

Some people that I know say that going to CES is a waste of time. Well my first year we got a Slashdot for one of our coverage articles, then a few months later we received a product which our review also made the front page of Slashdot. The company we received the product from we met at CES. The revenue from those 2 days paid for the entire trip. This year at CES one of our articles made the front page of Digg and just the revenue from that article alone paid for the trip! Even if you don’t get any big stories if you meet people and they send you product throughout the year that is essentially money because if you are not posting reviews then you are not making money.

So in any business I believe that it is better to meet people so they know who you are and what you are all about. They know you are serious about what you do and will be more willing to help you out if you need it.

VOSS Water in Pittsburgh!?!


Well last night I was doing some work and I was a bit hungry, but didn’t want to make anything. Luckily there is a Sheetz 2 minutes from my place. So I decided to go over there and get a MTO. MTO’s are great, I usually get a 12-inch steak hoagie with double meat, double cheese, and bacon. Anyways while waiting for them to make my hoagie I went over to get something to drink. I really did not feel like pop or an energy drink so I figured I’d get a water. I would normally pickup a Fiji, but looking over at the water section there was VOSS! I was like, “What the…”. Usually you only find VOSS in high class restaurants, hotels, casinos, etc. Now they are selling it at Sheetz?

It was not VOSS Glass, which comes in a glass bottle, it was VOSS Red that comes in a plastic bottle. Of course you know I picked it up! It was $1.59 for the small bottle (pictured above) and $2.29 for larger bottle. As far as taste goes it was still awesome, but not as good as the glass version. I don’t even think any restaurants in Pittsburgh serve VOSS. I guess I will have to wait till Vegas for that.

$3 For a Link on JohnChow.com

Well this was a great deal! A ReviewMe review on JohnChow.com is $400! A Text Link is $240! So how did I manage to get a link in his latest post? I bought him a beer! John just installed the Buy Me a Beer WordPress plugin. You can see it at the far bottom of the right column of his site. All it is, is a link to paypal. He suggests $3 for a beer and $7.50 for a pitcher. I decided to buy him a beer for $3. He made a post for the people that bought him a beer with links to everyone blogs / websites. This will give me some good traffic and it only cost me $3! The only other way to get a link back like that on JohnChow.com is to write a review, and that takes time. Paying $3 is much easier!

If you want to get the buy me a beer wordpress plugin you can get it here. I might install it on here, but no one would buy me a beer!

Increase RSS Subscribers with Facebook

When I first heard of this I was a bit wary, but I guess it seems to be working for me, although I’m not really sure. I know most of you have heard of Facebook. If you haven’t it is the less spam version of Myspace that allows you to connect with old classmates from college and high school. Facebook has a feature called Notes, which is much like a blog type system. You can post notes and all of your friends will see them in the recent notes section. This is cool and everything, but I have my own blog and I don’t want to write posts twice.

What’s cool about the note system is that you can import a RSS feed and every time you post on your blog the post will show up in its entirety in your notes on Facebook. So all of your Facebook friends can see what you are up to. To import your RSS feed into Facebook all you have to do is login to your Facebook account, click on Notes on the left, click on My Notes at the top, on the right side you will see something that says import settings, click on that and there you can import your RSS feed. It’s pretty simple and now you will see all of your post in your Facebook notes now. These notes will also appear on the mini feed in your profile.

So how does this increase your RSS subscriber account? Well every time someone reads one of your notes that are counted as a subscriber. Since implementing the system I have seen a 10-15 reader increase in my RSS. This is really easy to setup and even if it does not help you out a lot it still lets all of your friends from school know what you are up to.

Thanks to Michael for the tip!

Ashley’s New Puppy


Well Ashley has talked about getting a dog for a while. I just said ok thinking she would never get one. Yesterday she came home with a puppy! It is an 10 week old Yorkshire Terrier. Ashley named it Teddy. I can’t believe how small it is, it’s smaller than both of our cats. So now we have 2 cats and 1 dog. So far the cats have gotten along pretty well with the new puppy. We will see how things go.