Friday, October 26, 2012

CCA Penguin & Panda at Randall Children's Hospital

CCA's MusicRX Specialists Matt French and Anna Spackman having some fun in costume at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. Costumes were provided by Costume Kingdom.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New article on Seychelles at Visual Itineraries

Also this week, I wrote this short article on the best time of year to visit the Seychelles.

New article on New Zealand at Visual Itineraries

I just published a short article on Visual Itineraries on the best time of year to visit New Zealand.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More TV Coverage for Costume Kingdom Donations

KCAL 9 News ran this today about Costume Kingdom's donation to Para Los NiƱos Charter Elementary School:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Costume Kingdom on NECN

Costume Kingdom was also on The Morning Show on NECN.

Costume Kingdom on WFSB TV in Connecticut

My client, Costume Kingdom, was on the CBS affiliate TV station in Connecticut: WFSB Channel 3 Trendy Mommies, who hosted the show, also put up this post about the segment.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Buy a costume, help kids with cancer

My client, Costume Kingdom, is currently focusing their marketing on promotions related to helping kids in one way or another. They donated a pile of costumes to the Boys & Girls Club about a month ago, and also donated the costumes for our SEMpdx Penguins & Pandas Gangnam Style video promo for the presentation Ben Lloyd and I are doing next week. Do you need a Hallowe'en costume for your kids, or for a "grown-up" party? Costume Kingdom will donate 20% of what you purchase to the Children's Cancer Association! They have a huge selection and totally reasonable prices. Full disclosure: I'm on the Ambassador Board of the Children's Cancer Association, so, yes, I totally have 2 ponies in this race :-)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Penguins & Pandas, Gangnam Style!

Ben Lloyd and I are presenting Oct. 9th, 4:30PM at Hotel deLuxe...the topic: Google's Penguin and Panda algorithms. To promote the event, we made this little video spoof of the Korean music video "Gangnam Style":

Thanks to Costume Kingdom for providing us with the panda and penguin costumes for the video.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rivet & Sway

Rivet & Sway is a new client of mine, an online retailer of stylish glasses for women.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

All-Inclusives in Jamaica

Just finished up an article for the new travel planning advice section of Visual Itineraries: it's on the best all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Press Release for Quick Badge & Sign

Release headline: Name Badges, Name Tags and Full Color Signs by Quick Badge & Sign Co., Inc. Let Us Help You Show Off Your Company Logo and Recognize All Key Employees by Name Release date: August 22, 2012

Costume Kingdom Press Release

Press release pickup for my client, who donated a number of costumes to the Boys and Girls Club: Release headline: Costume Kingdom Provides a Wardrobe Change to Disadvantaged Youth
Release date: August 22, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Travel Advice: When to Visit Tahiti

We've just published a new article on the best time to visit Tahiti on our Visual Itineraries blog.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Where can I find overwater bungalows?

You probably knew that they had overwater bungalows in Tahiti, but you'll also find them in Fiji, Zanzibar, Maldives, and more.

Batman Breakfast ranking test

I know this probably doesn't make sense...never mind, it's a Bat-test.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Monday, July 09, 2012

Shoreview Travel Itineraries

Roxanne Brown of Shoreview Travel and Elite Beach Vacations has created three cool visual itineraries: Maui, Oahu, and Los Cabos.

SEO Optimized Photo Gallery

Just installed my SEO-optimized photo gallery on the Marque Motors website this past week. You can also find it in action on Glen Dene Hunting, Coastal Mist Chocolates, Sunspots Safaris, and of course my own photo gallery site.

Exotic French Polynesia: Moorea & Bora Bora

Tahiti travel specialist Cathy Jackson from Sunsational Vacations in New Jersey has used Visual Itineraries to create this collection of her most recommended resorts and things to see and do in Moorea and Bora Bora.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Best honeymoon resorts in the world

At Visual Itineraries, we've put together a list of the top 250 honeymoon destinations around the world. There's some pretty fabulous places on our list, with lots of hi-res photos, videos, virtual tours, and more.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Guest opportunity

One of my clients, Costume Kingdom, is now accept guest blog posts. See their guest blog post submission guidelines page for more information.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Flying with Dominik

Click the photo, then click Slideshow

Dominik is one of our Rotary club's exchange students--returning to Switzerland next week.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Article on Honeymoons just published an article I wrote for them on creative honeymoons.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Quick backlink checker

I built this quick-and-dirty backlink checker that will find pages in SEOmoz's Linkscape database (using the very powerful SEOmoz API) that link back to a given page.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Rainy June in Portland = time to go to Fiji!

I wish...too much to do. But if you've got more free time than I do, check out my latest blog post on the best time to visit Fiji.

Friday, May 25, 2012

10 SEO Myths Debunked

Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz talks about ten SEO myths in today's Whiteboard Friday video:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Guest Blog Posts Available

Visual Itineraries is now accepting guest blog posts on our travel blog (travel topics only, please). See our guest blogging guidelines.

10 Dive Destinations for Every Diver's Bucket List

Just published an article about ten diving destinations that ought to be on every scuba diver's bucket list. Read my article on GoWorld Travel Guide.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Client quoted in the Orlando Sentinel

My client, Jonathan Alper, an asset protection and bankruptcy lawyer in Orlando Florida, was quoted in an article in the Orlando Sentinel yesterday.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Spring flowers

Click the photo to see the gallery.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

A pile o' feedburner feeds

Look at all the juicy new links

Mostly from local directory submissions, of course. If you're a human reading this, you're gonna be bored. This is really just for spiders :-)

YellowBot, on Facebook, and how about CrunchBase :-). There's a Yelp profile too for Visual Itineraries (prize goes to the first person who reviews us!). UBL has a page for our cool travel website too. Never heard of Directory Central, but our travel site is there too.

LinkedIn of course has a page for Visual Itineraries as well as my own profile page with a mention on it. And Jacob's got a visual itineraries sample page on his Classic Ridge Design site too.

Google+ (of course) has Visual Itineraries. StumbleUpon...and Lookup Book...and Best of the Web Local too. And since I'm a board member of SEMpdx, there's a page for me there with a link too. And, where I've written a series of articles on SEO.

And there's also Virtual Itineraries, which I created simply because people were typing that instead of "visual".

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

CenturyLink Paid Me $1971 To Stop Being A Customer

So here's the story. About 3 years ago, I signed up for a DSL + DirecTV bundle through Qwest (which has changed its name to CenturyLink). Somehow Qwest screwed up the account setup, and had my DirecTV account in their system tied to someone else's bill. DirecTV, not getting any money for my account from Qwest, started billing me on my credit card each month as well (I guess I must have given the installer my credit card for installation, or something like that).

This I discovered this past August, when I got a call from DirecTV asking for my updated credit card info. Hmmm...I thought...I'm pretty sure I pay for that through Qwest/CenturyLink. "Oh no, we've been billing your credit card for this every month." I'd never noticed it on my bill before, but then, I just scan my credit card bill each month really just looking for companies I don't know.

5 hours of calls to both companies later, talking to supervisors on both ends, CenturyLink finally agreed to credit me back for the double-billing. The customer service supervisor at CenturyLink, Becky, tried to get her company to send me a check, but apparently that's not their policy. CenturyLink expected me to essentially "work it off", i.e. leave it as a credit on my account until it went back to zero.

Becky says to me, "really, the only way they'll send you a check is if you close your account."

I'm really not in a position to offer interest-free loans to one of the largest corporations in Oregon. That, and I really don't feel like it in this case. So I switched my internet to Comcast (which is WAY faster, and less than half the cost).

6 months later (well, actually only 2 months took the first 4 months to get to where they credited my account), I received (and quickly cashed!) the check you see before you.

Clearly, it's not good business for CenturyLink to behave this way. If you think of the discounts and promotions they offer to GET a new customer, you'd think they'd make this problem go away quickly and try to keep me. It seems to me that this is a classic case of middle management not having the authority to make a small decision to do the right thing for their business (and the customer).

DirecTV, in my opinion, didn't come out smelling like roses either. After all, charging my credit card for the monthly bill without my authorization is probably credit card fraud. And they refused to give me the "new customer" promotional rate when I re-signed up with them. If it wasn't that I hate the Comcast DVR functionality, and DISH only has 720p HD TV, I'd have switched there too.

If you want to help spread the word, there are posts for this on Digg and Reddit. :-)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Local influence on Organic SERPs

Just published an article on local-influenced organic search results on SEOmoz's main blog today.

Cheetah Conservation Fund trip

Teresa at Mango African Safaris and Jason at Azumano Travel are putting together a trip to Namibia to visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund headquarters--and I've done a Visual Itinerary for the trip.

In addition to a visit to the CCF headquarters, travelers will be staying at Olive Grove, Ongava Tented Camp, and Otjibamba Lodge. The executive director of CCF, Laurie Marker, will be escorting the trip at Ongava Game Reserve as well as the tour of the CCF facility.

Guests have the option to add on various other stops (since they're flying so far...why not?), including Babson House, Kulala Desert Lodge, Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park, and Capetown.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Skills Mismatch in Today's Economy

This is a really terrific summary of how the raw unemployment % doesn't tell the whole story. Courtesy Crisp 360:

Infographic courtesy Crisp360 Career Development
Crisp360 Career Development

Friday, January 13, 2012