ubiquity n : the state of being everywhere at once (or seeming to be everywhere at once)

I just happened to see a tweet from Ed Dale in his Friendfeed display on the Thirty Day Challenge training page a little while ago.  Since I was just starting my lunch, I did what he said to do:

“do a search on Ubiquity by Mozilla – very very very cool”

And Ed is right – it’s super-cool.  (Thank you for finding cool stuff to tweet about Ed)

From their site:

“The overall goals of Ubiquity are to explore how best to:

  • Empower users to control the web browser with language-based instructions. (With search, users type what they want to find. With Ubiquity, they type what they want to do.)
  • Enable on-demand, user-generated mashups with existing open Web APIs. (In other words, allowing everyone–not just Web developers–to remix the Web so it fits their needs, no matter what page they are on, or what they are doing.)
  • Use Trust networks and social constructs to balance security with ease of extensibility.
  • Extend the browser functionality easily.

………………….

The Ubiquity Add-on allows you map and insert maps anywhere; translate on-page; search amazon, google, wikipedia, yahoo, youtube, etc.; digg and twitter; lookup and insert yelp review; get the weather; syntax highlight any code you find; e-mail from your g-mail account, and a lot more.”

When you have a chance, you can learn more about it by clicking here

And you can get it by clicking here and scrolling down the page a bit.

(By the way, I just had to use Ubiquity to “define scrolling” just to make sure I was spelling it right – oh, and I used it to “define ubiquity” above too.  In both cases, I was able to avoid interrupting my workflow – and I think that is the point.)

One more thing – I started using Flock 2.0 beta today – so far, so good.  Ubiquity is working flawlessly.

Feel free to add your comments and/or share some “social love.”

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A Magnificent Symphony

Time to watch today’s videos: Approximately 31 minutes

Additional time to complete today’s action steps:

Depends on where you are with ideas. Assuming you’re all caught up as you begin this day, you could spend thirty minutes on ideas…or 2-3 hours exploring…

Thirty Day Challenge PDF Transcripts are also available below each video.

Day 01 Introduction Video | Thirty Day Challenge

And so it begins…

2008TDC01_Intro_Day1

—————————————————————–

A Magnificent Symphony In Four Parts…

2008TDC01_Four_Parts_1

The Key Concepts:

1) Market/Keyword Research

2) Traffic

3) Conversion

4) Product

If you follow these steps, in this order – the market will tell you what they want to buy. You’ll be in a position to offer them a product they are already prepared to buy. And that’s a good place to be…

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Tools Of The Trade…

2008TDC01_Tools_Of_The_Trade_2

Make sure you’ve installed the Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar.

It’s a good idea to go through and catch up on any Preseason training you may have missed – you can do that from the Preseason Catch Up Page.

Things to get and/or get familiar with:

Flock

Twitter and Twhirl

Google Reader

StumbleUpon

YouTube

Google Subscribed Links

Friendfeed

The Video Tips

and The 30DC Forums

—————————————————————–

The Getting Of Ideas…

2008TDC01_Get_An_Idea_3

A great place for getting niche ideas is Amazon’s Magazines and Newspapers area.

Try to come up with 5-10 different niche ideas. You don’t have to be an expert, just curious…

One way to begin keeping track of information relevant to your niches is to search through Google News and use Google Alerts to create feeds for your Google Reader.

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You’ll never guess what happened. Even if you did guess – you might not care. And if you’re a jaded internet marketing veteran – you might think to yourself, so what – Steve? It’s no big deal…

But it’s a big deal to me. And it would be a big deal for anyone whose never done it before. I think we’ll see a bit of this kind of excitement during this year’s thirty day challenge – and I’m all for being excited for someone whose accomplished something big.

So what am I talking about?

Well, while I was sleeping ( you know, between 2:30AM and 7AM) the 500th visitor came to this site. For me, that’s pretty exciting. Take a look at this:

Blog Traffic Graph

Blog Traffic Graph

You can see some of the high points – and what was happening behind the scenes to draw visitors here. I think this is another important thing to look at – the stats:

Blog Stats

Blog Stats

If you’re really paying attention, you’ll notice that the graph shows 46 visitors today – and the stats show 48. That means a couple more people visited while I was taking screen shots – cool, huh?

I started this site a little over a month ago, not for traffic or glory – mostly because I knew that the “best way to learn is to teach.”

And my goal is to teach this process to my 10 year old son Stephen – so that he never has to work 50+ hours a week to build somebody else’s business – so that he never has to worry about where the next house payment is coming from.

I also thought this would be a good way to shift from “learning mode” to “take action” mode. For about a year, I’ve been learning and experimenting here and there – dabbling with internet marketing. I’ve had a few things work out – and like Edison – I’ve learned a lot of ways to “not” do something.

By committing to go through the videos, make notes and write summaries – I’m disciplining myself to take action. I could get lost in Friendfeed, Twitter, Facebook – and never actually “DO” anything. I know. I’ve done it. But not anymore.

Did I post this to brag – heck no. Mostly, I hope this gives you hope. The things you’ll be learning throughout the challenge will make it possible for you to research a niche, create a blog or website, drive traffic, and hopefully make sales.

In my case, this site isn’t about making money or sales. Heck, I’m not even trying to get your name and email address for list-building purposes. This is about me learning the process, teaching it to my son – and letting you come along for the ride.

I’ll have the latest “Video Tips” notes up later tonight….

If this made you smile, please take a moment to spread the word…

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We’re going to learn some more tips, tricks and techniques from Ed to help us get even more out of Friendfeed. Let’s take a look at the video below:

In the last video, Ed had said – he sees Friendfeed becoming this huge database of people and their interactions on the web. They’ve given us many, many ways to interact with that database and alert us to things that are relevant to us. That will have an important impact on us when it comes to our rankings in the search engines and general SEO (search engine optimization).

If you’re not sure about what we’re talking about – not a big deal right now. Don’t panic. We can worry about rankings and SEO later. For today, we’re going to be learning how to filter, manage and use Friendfeed in an effective way…Let’s get started.

The first thing we’ll be looking at is the “Friends” Tab.

Friendfeed - Friends Tab

Friendfeed - Friends Tab

This is a feed showing the different activities of all of your “friends.”

Ed teases us for a second about “Market Samurai” – a state of the art keyword research tool that is in a limited beta release at the time of this writing. Members of the “Immediate Edge” have access – and yes, it rules!

Over in the upper right corner, notice there are several “filtering” options available to you. You can see the “Best of the day,” or “week” or “month.” These are items that have shown a lot of interest during the timeframe. Anytime you use one of these filters, you can go and grab that RSS feed and add it to your Google Reader. If you have questions about how to do that, take a look at the Google Reader post.

Friendfeed - Kern-Rolled

Friendfeed - "Kern-Rolled"

Then he gets “Kern-rolled” by Nez – that’s just classic guys…a nice little ukulele video featuring Frank Kern.

Back to business, Ed scrolls down through that list generated by that filter. He then filters by the week. One of the cool things is how this web-based interface keeps the flow of the conversation steady and smooth. Ed mentions that there are applications, like Twhirl (which we ARE using for Twitter) – that can be used for Friendfeed.

Ed doesn’t like using Twhirl for Friendfeed because of how disjointed the conversation can become. It bumps you up whenever you comment – and that’s not really beneficial to your work flow. Part of this preseason training is about learning how to use these tools to help you work smarter, not harder.

Friendfeed is really designed to be used either from within its web-based interface at a time that suits you. Alternatively, you can use its superb search functions to create feeds that you can add to your Google reader and interact with them at a time that works well for you.

Notice how Ed is able to watch a video right from the feed – he’s able to stay within the flow of the conversation and read, watch videos, make comments, etc.

Let’s think about you for a minute – think about how you can use this in your niche. Anytime we’re watching Ed do this stuff, try to keep in mind ways to apply the techniques that are working for him – so you can translate this information into action steps you can take within your niche.

No niche yet? – not a problem. We’ll be getting into that soon enough within the challenge. In the meantime, if you familiarize your self with using these tools, it will be easy to go back and apply them within any niche you choose.

One of the ways Ed slices and dices the Friendfeed conversation is to look at anything he’s put up that has been commented on. Of course, he can go and grab that RSS feed. He can also look at the things he’s liked – and grab that feed…

Taking a look at the search box – he can search for anything containing the “#30dc” tag.

Friendfeed - Search Box

Friendfeed - Search Box

Friendfeed will deliver results containing that term, whether or not Ed has been following them. And of course, he can grab that feed and stay on top of anything happening around the “#30dc” tag.

Can you see how Friendfeed becomes this vast storehouse of data that you can slice and dice and mix things up? Then you can interact with that data, jump into the conversation – which translates into more exposure in the search engines, and more traffic for your site.

Now Ed loves the Friendfeed rooms – let’s look again at the Thirty Day Challenge room. This is a place where thirty day challengers can comment and interact on anything shared into this room.

Notice the “Share Something” button.

Friendfeed - Share Something

Friendfeed - Share Something

You can click and drag that button up into your Flock toolbar. That’s actually not easy to show with screen captures – but you can see Ed do it in the video. Now wherever you are in your browser, you can share something back to that room.

Remember, you can create your own room – maybe for your team, maybe for your niche. You can grab the “share something” button for that room too. I would recommend re-naming it after you drop it into your toolbar.

Simply drag the button into your Flock toolbar – THEN right click it.

The drop down menu appears, click on “Properties” and change the name. (There are also other options, like delete, etc. – pretty self explanatory. If you have any questions – feel free to post a comment.)

I’ve gone ahead and placed that button up in MY toolbar – now every time I make a new post to this blog, I’ll share it to the Thirty Day Challenge room. You can bet I’ll do it as soon as I publish this post. 🙂 You’ll see…

If I’ve done a good job, there’s a good chance people will leave a comment, and maybe share the link with others. Can you feel the power yet? Are you beginning to think about how you could apply this knowledge into your niche?

Ed does a quick search and shows how it is limited to the room or tab he’s in. He then goes to the “Everyone” tab and does a search for “thirty day challenge”, which brings up pertinent results and some YouTube videos from all Friendfeed users. And yes, he can grab the RSS feed….

Living on the edge, he does a search for “Trout fishing” and there are pages and pages of results. Trout fishing on Del.icio.us – tweets from Twitter, blog posts, Digg mentions – and as more and more people use it – more and more data is available and more conversations are happening. If you’re doing research into a niche, or trying to expand your reach into a niche – this is a powerful way to gather information and jump into the conversation.

Another technique is to use the advanced search – which give you several search options to filter your results.

You may notice that “Advanced Search” doesn’t appear on your pages or tabs. Not to worry – If you run a basic search – the page changes and looks like this – giving you the advanced search option….

Friendfeed - Advanced Search

Friendfeed - Advanced Search

I know this is probably getting old – but you can grab that RSS feed too. These advanced searches are available at all the various tabs, once you do a basic search. So you could do an advanced search through your friends, or yourself, or everyone, etc.

Let’s look again at the “room” level. You can “like” things, make comments, link and reshare – and filter in several ways – depending on your control level within the room.

Friendfeed - Other Interactive Options

Friendfeed - Other Interactive Options

Each of these options/filters can produce a customized RSS feed for you to grab.

Come the Thirty Day Challenge in August, we’ll be learning even more about using Friendfeed in our niches and/or within our teams. The thing to do between now and then is to get used to using it. Also, it would be a really good idea to create a room for your team – or join the room your team has already created.

How cool would it be to find something interesting, click on your “share something” button – each room gets its own custom button – and alert everyone on your team through Friendfeed? It allows you to connect with everyone while minimizing your own work flow interruptions.

That’s it for today’s Friendfeed tips. Remember to hug your kids…

Today’s training is all about Friendfeed, a service that will be a pretty crucial element for us in this year’s Thirty Day Challenge. Let’s take a look at Ed’s video below…

Using Friendfeed for the Thirty Day Challenge

—————————————————

Before I start in with my notes, let’s take off our internet marketing caps for a second. I know it may not be easy – but shift gears with me here…

Internet marketing, making money online, affiliate marketing – call it whatever you want to. At the end of the day, money is moved whenever a sale is made. If nothing is sold – there’s no money to be made. So – to successfully make money online, you end up having to talk about a sale of some kind. Let’s talk about sales…

There are a few ways to approach sales – without turning this into a sales seminar…Let’s say there are approaches that could be described as “adversarial” and on the other end of the spectrum – there are approaches that could be described as “advisory.”

I don’t want to knock on any specific person or job – but one of the most prevalent stereotypes involving salespeople is the “used-car salesman.” The image brought to mind is the guy sitting across the table – being pushy, trying to close the deal – overcoming the objections – and creating urgency by limiting the time the price is valid.

I’ve met car salesmen who truly seemed to have my interests in mind. I’ve also come across a few who were out to sell me a particular car. They sized me up and decided what they wanted to sell me before I even had a chance to tell them what I wanted or what I could afford. In those instances, it felt adversarial – their intent was to line their pocket, not serve their (potential) customer.

An emergent sales approach in the last decade or two involves taking on the role of consultant or advisor. It means asking a lot of open ended questions, finding out what a customer is looking for, what they need. An advisor wouldn’t try to push any certain product or agenda – rather, through conversation – they would begin to work out a solution that is the ideal fit for the customer’s problem.

In one sense, it takes more work – more of an investment on the salesperson’s part to make sales this way. But if done well, if the salesperson has used conversation to connect with their client – to assess the problem and come up with a solution – the end result is a customer who trusts you, who is ready to make their purchase and will remain a satisfied customer.

It’s this idea of conversation Ed is talking about here. The conversation can now happen online. And that is the power of services like Twitter and Friendfeed. You get to have those conversations with potential customers. You get to create those relationships, and become known as a problem solver. Solve enough problems for enough people – the money will follow.

I know, I know – I’ve digressed from the lesson. I’ll get back to it in a few sentences. Just think about this – a conversation probably brought you here. Maybe a blog post or an interesting article or a search – whatever it was, you’re still reading this. So, something has held your interest. You’re seeing the process in action, you’re part of this conversation – and you’re going to learn how to put this process into action for yourself in your own niche….I’ll get off my soapbox now, let’s get back to Friendfeed…

————————————————

Friendfeed is a great way to communicate with a group of people. It will be an important tool for communication. We’ll take it kind of slow, because if you get into Friendfeed too far, too fast – it could be like trying to take a drink out of a fire hose. (I’ve heard that can really hurt.)

One of the key concepts to keep in mind – it’s not about the volume of content Friendfeed sends out – it’s about the ability to create conversations around bits of content. This is where Friendfeed excels as a conversational platform.

By the way, the use of the word “conversation” here implies a two-way communication.

People try to do this with Twitter, but Twitter isn’t designed as a conversation platform – like Instant Messaging or Skype. It’s a micro-blogging platform – designed around the idea of short, 140 character posts. People try to use it as a two-way conversational tool – and it can sort of work that way. But at the core, that’s not what micro-blogging is meant to accomplish.

Friendfeed takes any piece of content and provides a mechanism to filter and stream that content – allowing people to vote and/or comment on it. It doesn’t “generate” the content per se – it gives you a place to gather or aggregate this content from several sources, turning it into a feed – and then turning it into a conversation.

If you follow Ed on Friendfeed, you’ll see just about everything Ed is doing online. It could be a new picture on Flickr, a new video on YouTube, a new blog post, his latest “Stumble” – etc. It’s been referred to as a “Life-streaming” application.

When it’s all said and done – the more times you are able to communicate to your market in a non-threatening way – without getting in their face with a “hard-sell” – the more successful you will be. The more times you’re able to make contacts, build rapport and get your offer in front of them – and they can respond to you – the more likely you will be to make sales and the more successful you will be.

In this regard, Twitter and Friendfeed are two of the most powerful tools currently available for opening up the conversation and allowing online business people to interact with their potential customers.

As you read on, we’ll see how to create a Friendfeed account and sign in. We’ll also take a look at Ed’s feed, so you can get familiar with using Friendfeed. There are a lot of tools and options that we will be able to explore later on. But let’s take it slowly, to keep from getting overwhelmed and/or distracted…

So let’s get started – click the picture below – and let’s go sign in to Friendfeed:

Friendfeed - Sign In or Create Account

Friendfeed - Sign In or Create Account

In my case, I’m going to have to create an account. So – step one: create account

Friendfeed - Create Account

Friendfeed - Create Account

Step 2 – Find your friends – here, we can find Facebook friends and/or import our address book.

Friendfeed - Find Your Friends

Friendfeed - Find Your Friends

Friendfeed is a great way to keep your Facebook news feed up to date. It’s a bit advanced for today, but it’s something we’ll want to look at later. We could also add people from our e-mail address books. Again, we can come back to this step later.

Friendfeed - Popular Friendfeeders

Friendfeed - Popular FriendFeeders

We could also add popular Friendfeed users – but we’ll skip it for now to avoid getting overwhelmed. Beware the fire hose…

Next Step – Share something – here we can add things like our Google reader or blog or YouTube, Twitter, and many other services (Seesmic, Flickr, etc.)

Friendfeed - Share Something

Friendfeed - Share Something

Look at that list! I mean seriously, that’s a huge list!

I’m going to go ahead and share a few as I’m writing up this post. I’ve been dying to do this. Watch how easy this is…

First, Google Reader – I click on the link that says Google Reader and this pops up:

Friendfeed - Share Google Reader

Friendfeed - Share Google Reader

Uh-oh – so far I haven’t paid attention to my “shared items” page. Where do I find that?

Just log in to your Google Reader account – in the upper left corner, you should see something like this:

Friendfeed - Google Reader

Friendfeed - Google Reader

Notice the link under “Your stuff” – it says “Shared items” – go ahead and click that. Here’s what I got:

Friendfeed - Google Reader Shared Items

Friendfeed - Google Reader Shared Items

Nothing like Google letting me know I’ve been a slacker…

Okay, so I can do this two ways. I can select the link text above and copy it – or I could click the link. That would take me to the actual page and I could copy the link right out of my address bar. I chose to copy it from here – and paste it like this:

Friendfeed - Google Reader Added

Friendfeed - Google Reader Added

Click on the “Import Google Reader button and that’s it. Let’s do another one…StumbleUpon:

Just click on the “Share Something” link to StumbleUpon and here’s what pops up:

Friendfeed - Share StumbleUpon

Friendfeed - Share StumbleUpon

I just add my username and click the “Import StumbleUpon” button. That was easy. How about another?

Let’s try Twitter – I click on the Twitter link in the “Share Something menu and here’s what I get:

Friendfeed - Share Twitter

Friendfeed - Share Twitter

So far, so good. What about something trickier – maybe something like, oh – I don’t know – this Blog perhaps? Glad you asked…I click on the “Blog” link in the “Share Something menu and get:

Friendfeed - Share My thirty Day Challenge Blog

Friendfeed - Share My Thirty Day Challenge Blog

Seriously, that’s it – now whenever I update anything on any of those services – it will show up on my Friendfeed.

So now, I’ve shared the following services:

Friendfeed - My Shared Sites

Friendfeed - My Shared Sites

I could keep going – but I think you get the idea. You can always come back and add services as you start using them.

Now, just for giggles – I made a special Twitter post – just for you…

Friendfeed - Twitter Post Just For You

Friendfeed - Twitter Post Just For You

Now let’s see what happened in my Friendfeed:

Friendfeed - Message From Twitter

Friendfeed - Message From Twitter

So – I do something in Twitter, and it gets picked up by Friendfeed….

Now, let’s take a look at what Friendfeed pulled in from my shared items:

Friendfeed - My Friendfeed Page

Friendfeed - My Friendfeed Page

It actually went a brought items in from as far back as July 12th – let’s see, today is the 21st – so it went back a little over a week. That’s pretty cool – it keeps me from looking like a slacker, well – at least a little bit. just don’t compare me to Ed 🙂

Speaking of Ed – Let’s go look at Ed’s personal Friendfeed page:

Friendfeed - Ed Dales Friendfeed Page

Friendfeed - Ed Dale's Friendfeed Page

(You can click on the image above to go to Ed’s current Friendfeed page…)

So in looking at Ed’s page, you can see he follows several people and a lot of people comment on his items.

You know, sometimes I look in on stuff like this and feel like the nerdy little freshman who wandered into the cool upper-classmen party in high school. Oh well – at least I didn’t wake up on stage singing – and realize I was naked 🙂

The thing to notice here is the conversation that is taking place. Granted, the niche here is “thirty day challengers.” Well, that – and there are some people who are members of the Immediate Edge. But the key is the conversation. Ed posts something that should be of interest , something that adds value – someone else comes along and adds a comment – or adds a link to a related item. Friendfeed keeps the flow of the conversation going in a way that is “seamless.” Yes, I DID just use that word – if you watched the video, you know what I’m talking about…

Let’s take a look at the “rooms” functionality – using the “Thirty Day Challenge” room.

Friendfeed - Thirty Day Challenge Room

Friendfeed - Thirty Day Challenge Room

You can click the image above to go to the Thirty Day Challenge Room.

You can join the room – go ahead, join the room…the link is over on the right hand side.

Friendfeed - 30DC Room Share Something

Friendfeed - 30DC Room Share Something

You can take this little link (pictured above) and use it to share items to the thirty day challenge room. Everyone gets an opportunity to contribute and jump into the conversation.

Here’s the important thing – everything in Friendfeed is…..drumroll please…. an RSS feed. So you can add feeds from Friendfeed into your Google reader.

Remember how you can “share” from within Google Reader – that means you can interact with a feed from Friendfeed from within Google Reader. Talk about cutting out interruptions to your workflow…

We’ll be learning even more killer ways to use Friendfeed for our internet marketing endeavors throughout the thirty day challenge.

Ed encourages every team to create their own room – all the members of your team can interact and share. It’ll become a one-stop-shop for everyone to keep track of each other, their activities, and the sites they’re looking at. And with the commenting capabilities, the feed capabilities and the privacy options – it’s very powerful. It’ll be something to get used to, but it will be absolutely worth it.

Remember, once you create your team room – you can subscribe to your feed and interact with your teammates directly from Google Reader. Nice!

So if you haven’t done it yet – go get signed up for Friendfeed and start getting used to it. Share a few things like your Twitter, maybe your Google Reader – join the Thirty Day Challenge room and subscribe to Ed’s Friendfeed page.

The next lesson will take us deeper into Friendfeed….

If you got something out of this post, please take a moment and spread the word…

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