Nov 19 2009

Torrance California Hair Salon

Andrew Melchior

This last week I had the chance to finally get away on a little family vacation.  We decided to do the whole Disney Land thing and it was AWESOME!  Along with spending time at Disney Land and also at Salon Auxin, we also visited some family in the L.A. area and also spent some time at the Redondo Beach Pier.  Before heading out on vaca, I was working in Vegas at Pubcon and hadn’t had a chance to get my hair cut in a little while so after grabbing a bite I decided to stop in at a Torrance California Hair Salon called Salon Auxin.  I normally and a quick and cheap hair cut kind of guy, meaning I often frequent places like Fantastic Sam’s, but today I wanted to experience a new kind of thing and it was awesome.  I rarely write about experiences like this on my blog, but this one is worth it.

My hair cut was great and the place was super nice and clean.  Now I’m sure you’re thinking it was super pricey as well, but that wasn’t the case.  I also had my family with me and to my surprise they have an actual dedicated kids play room in the salon so my boy was loving it and didn’t want to leave.  The custom cut was awesome as she didn’t use any clipper guides and the shampoo and head massage left me all tired and ready for a nap.  Larayne cut my hair and she also cleaned up by boys cut that was horrible from the last place we went.  I Yelped about it too.  Mad props for the great Torrance California Hair Salon…Salon Auxin!

Connor Getting Clipped

Connor Getting Clipped


May 11 2009

Image SEO Interview with Marketing Sherpa

Andrew Melchior

2-3 weeks ago I had the chance to do an interview with a writer, Adam Sutton, for Marketing Sherpa.  He regularly contributes to the blog and newsletter content on MarketingSherpa.com.  The interview was about Image SEO and the different techniques you should use to optimize images for search within the major image search sites such as Google Image Search and Yahoo Image Search.  The article is really good with some very helpful insights related to Image SEO.  He and I met for about 30 min. and discussed the topic and I am mentioned in the article for this quote:

“I don’t think I can remember an instance where we’ve met a client and done a site analysis, or looked at an image gallery they have, and they had all the alt tags filled out. Literally never are the alt tags filled out.” Andrew Melchior

Anyway, I thought the interview was great and the article was great as well so I thought I would post about it here real quickly.  You can find the article here: http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=31221.

Here are my suggestions for basic steps you want to take for high-quality Image SEO.

  1. Name the image file something relevant to the search term you are targeting.
  2. Insert a proper Title and Alt tag for the image related to the search term(s) you are targeting.
  3. Include related content around the image that is related to the search term(s) you are targeting.
  4. Link the image to another page on your site that deals with the topic.
  5. Include an image caption using the target term(s).
  6. Tag the image if possible.

Those simple steps will really help your images get found in search.


Mar 16 2009

The Modest Clothes Movement

Andrew Melchior

The other day I was sitting with my wife talking about shopping (yeah go figure), we were talking about something that I hate talking about and something I hate spending time dealing with.  Especially when it comes to shopping for clothes.  The discussion we were having revolved around the difficulty that women have, in today’s society, finding clothing that is attractive, yet modest.  She has explained to me on many occasions that she had found something she really liked, but that the one thing wrong with it was that it just showed a little too much skin for her to feel comfy in.  I think this is a reality for many women; at least from what my wife said.  This problem facing many women has brought to light this “modest clothes movement” and I found it interesting.

Well, just so happened that after having that conversation I had a similar one with a friend of mine and he recommended we check out Blend Fashions for modest clothing.  That’s exactly what my wife did and she is now a raving fan!  She told me that Blend has the perfect mix of modest clothing that is also considered modern clothing as well.  Here is a glance at the items they carry:

Undertease Brand: Long Camisole, Modern Apparel

The Mod Bod Brand: Modest Womens Clothing, Modest Cami

Blend Brand: Modest Swimwear, Modest Dresses

Privacy Wear Brand: Jeans, Modern Clothing, Modest Clothing


Mar 11 2009

Twitter Causing Confusion on Facebook for Friends

Andrew Melchior

In the past couple of weeks I have had a few friends ask me what all the junk is on my Facebook wall.  By junk they were referring to all the @replies, RT’s, and shortened words and abbreviations that I use on Twitter.  I really don’t have time to stay plugged into Twitter, Facebook, and all the other social sites I play on.  So, to help me share my thoughts on the many networks I post to, and stay in touch with friends with out having to actually sign into all of them, I use Twitter Apps and feed readers to pull my Twitter updates into my other accounts.  This makes it simple for me to update the accounts I really care about by really only having to update Twitter.  BTW, you can follow my on Twitter once you have an account at http://twitter.com/atraine.

From my Facebook Wall -- See all the "Junk"?

From my Facebook Wall -- See all the JUNK?

For those of you who don’t know what twitter is, here is a definition:

Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates (known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. Wikipedia.

You can visit Twitter and sign up for an account in only a few seconds and then you can start micro-blogging too…along with updating your Facebook account, or using the Twitter Facebook App to update your Facebook account automatically.

There you have it, my short explanation of what all that so called “junk” is on my Facebook page.  Sorry if it’s been confusing to you.


Mar 4 2009

He’s Electric: Dave Butler a Utah Electrician

Andrew Melchior

I’d like to think I’m pretty handy with things around the home.  On several Saturday’s a month you’ll find me wrenching in the garage, or working on little projects around the house.  In the past year I have remodeled one bathroom, our laundry room, and done a number of other small jobs.  Over the past 5 years there have been several occasions where I have needed some help with the electrical elements of my home.  Over that time I have used Butler Electric to do that work for me.  Butler Electric is owned by a licensed Utah electrician, Dave Butler.  I decided to write about this because of my recent experience trying to install a large light fixture in the entry way of my home.  To say the least, it was very difficult for me to do and I failed at the task, but Dave didn’t and made it look like it was easy as apple pie.  Here is why I found it difficult and he made it look easy.  Note to self: count this as a lesson learned.

I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture, but this fixture is huge and it weighs, in my estimate, about 50-60 lbs.  It came in pieces and had to have a number of things screwed to, and attached to the top as you were mounting it.  In addition to that, the location it hangs from is two stories high, meaning this all had to be done on a ladder while you were holding the fixture in the air and wiring it up and mounting it, etc.  I gave it my all, but after about 30 min. of holding that fixture up in the air on the ladder and trying to piece it together while wiring it, I just gave up.  My arms were totally worn out and I could barely lift the fixture anymore.  Needless to say, I was also rather sick of standing on my ladder two stories in the air.

I decided to get over my pride and called Dave up.  He was able to stop by that night and because of his experience that fixture was hung in about 20 min.  I guess his experience as a Master Utah Electrician really makes these things easier for him.  He understood how all the pieces would need to work and therefore he could build 90% of it before even going up the ladder.  He was also able to rig the fixture once he got up the ladder with it to the reinforced electrical box (that he reinforced) before connecting all the wiring.  This left him only having to support he fixture on the ladder for a minute or two.  Once he had everything in place he simply wired the unit up and installed the cover, etc.  The fixture looks great and thanks to Dave, I didn’t have to tell my wife about my failure…I’m sure she knows though, they always do!

The lesson learned here is that something are better left to the pros and that every dime spent with them is typically worth it.  Thanks Butler Electric!


Feb 18 2009

SMX West 2009 in Santa Clara California

Andrew Melchior

Last week I spent Monday through Friday in Santa Clara, CA at SMX West 2009.  The event was excellent and gave me a chance to shake hands with, and network with, many well known SEO industry professionals.  Many of which I am already acquainted, but I never miss out on an oppertunity to network.  I live-blogged the event on our internet marketing blog at DSM, you can visit it to find full recaps of each session I attended.

Along with networking, I was able to attend many sessions dealing with subjects ranging from the legal mattress of doing online business, through the process of optimizing images for search relevancy.  I do have to say that I learned a number of key things that will help add to my game as an SEO, but the biggest reason we were in attendace is because both of my partners, Matt Siltala and David Mink were invited to speak at the event.

Here is a quick recap of both their sessions

Matt Siltala, SEO and Owner, Dream Systems Media
Topic: How to Make and Image Worth $1000.00

Remember the Janet Jackson football half-time image of her “outfit problem.” Mat was able to turn that into a very interesting case-study. He found that thousands and thousands visitors were hitting the page when he posted the image just after the super bowl.

How to get image indexed and ranked:

  1. Name images with keywords.
  2. Use the proper tags in title, alt, meta, etc. The file name is really important as well; name something related like: keyword-name.jpg.
  3. Describe the photo in Flickr so there is something for Yahoo and Google to get information about your images from. This will help rankings in related searches.
  4. Wrap your images within text that is relates. You want to totally surround the image in related text.
  5. Use image captions as a way to load with images with keywords that you are targeting. WordPress offers a new features to insert a caption when uploading the image.

Where to use your images:

  1. Squidoo.
  2. Within blog posts.
  3. StumbleUpon.
  4. Twitter / Twitpic

David Mink, Chief Legal Counsel for Dream Systems Media
Topic: Developments in Privacy Law

Hypothetical: your employee loses their laptop on the way home from a business trip to Boston in 2010. What do you do now?  The answer will probably depend on how cavalier this employee was: did they encrypt their laptop, did they use a password, is the file encrypted?

Legal Problems:

  1. Over 40 states now have security breach statutes?
  2. Mass. law makes it illegal to store data that is not encrypted, has to be sensitive personal information.

What is sensitive personal information (SPI): This is a persons name associated with other personal information such as their social security number, credit card number, etc.

Mass. Law has many stipulations you must follow to be ensured safety from law. The law is long. Dave gave some synopsis, but asked that you review the law.  So, what happens if you break the law: nobody really knows because there is no case decisions on this to date. Most likely the real risk will be a fine and damage to your company brand and image.

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Benjamin Franklin.

Privacy is a really hot topic right now and focusing on protecting identity theft is a major focus from a government level right now. Mass. law, Nevada law, etc. There is a new Gov. agency dedicated to specifically this and overseeing the transfer of SPI.

Along with spending time at SMX, we also were able to tour a few businesses that were close by: including Google and LinkedIn.  We also headed up to San Fransisco a few times to hang out in the evenings; doing that teaches you about saving your wallet because San Fran turned out to be pricey.

Here are some pictures from our travels –

Mat Siltala, David Mink, and Andrew Melchior at the Google Campus

Mat Siltala, David Mink, and Andrew Melchior at the Google Campus

Andrew Melchior, David Mink, and Mat Siltala at LinkedIn

Andrew Melchior, David Mink, and Mat Siltala at LinkedIn

Andrew Melchior, Mat Siltala, and David Mink at SMX West 2009.

Andrew Melchior, Mat Siltala, and David Mink at SMX West 2009.

Andrew Melchior cruising the Google campus on a custom Google beach cruiser.

Andrew Melchior cruising the Google campus on a custom Google beach cruiser.

Everything went great and we sure had a lot of fun at the event.  I’m guessing we’ll be back again next year.


Feb 6 2009

Utah ATV Trail Reviews, Found a New Site

Andrew Melchior

If you know me personally, then you know that any chance I get, I’m off in the wilderness of Utah riding my motorcycle.  I rode a 1991 CR 500 for about 10 years before swithing over to my new CRF 450X back in 2006.  I really like my 450, but do miss my 500 when I’m on the sand!

On Golden Spike Trail in Moab

On Golden Spike Trail in Moab

When I was younger I spent a lot of time riding the dunes at Jericho in central Utah, and the many motocross tracks in Utah, but as I’ve aged (both in fearlessness and achyness) I have been looking for a more diverse riding experience.  Because of that, I have been spending a lot of time riding trail systems in Utah including: Knolls, 5 Mile, Piute, Arapeen, etc.  But for the last few years I have really fallen in love with Moab.  Riding a motorcycle on the trails of Moab is amazing.  You can see the sites, enjoy the terrain, and have all kinds of fun with small and large groups.  But, the best part for me is that I can do a trail on my bike in about 1-2 hours, as compared to doing it in a Jeep in 4-6 hours.

To help me find new trails and rides to adventure out on, I spend time searching online and came across this new Utah ATV Trail Reviews website just the other day.  The website offers trail guides, GPS waypoints, videos, and much more to help you on the trail.  It’s always fun finding new atv trails to get out on with the friends and family.  Here is a favorite of mine from Moab Utah: Hell’s Revenge.

Here is what the site looks like…check it out.  I found it helpful.

www.atvtrailreviews.com

www.atvtrailreviews.com


Jan 27 2009

Ice Fishing at Fish Lake Utah

Andrew Melchior

Last weekend I had the chance to going ice fishing for the first time, and it was a pretty good time all considering, because the fishing wasn’t really that great.  We spent about 5 hours on the ice at Fish Lake.  I went with a group of friends, some from the Salt Lake area, and some from the Cedar City area.  We met in Richfield Utah and crashed at the Fairfield Inn by Marriot, which honestly was a really nice hotel.  The hotel was packed because there was a junior wrestling tournament in Richfield so we basically got the last two rooms in Richfield.  We ate dinner at Pepperbelly’s Restaurant and it was excellent.

Anyway, the fishing wasn’t great that day.  We hauled in 3 Perch in total, 2 of which I caught, and the catch of the day measured a full 6″.  Enjoy the pics.

The Fellas

The Fellas

Catch of the Day

Catch of the Day