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March 9th, 2009

The Tweet to Beat: Paying $3 Per Twitter Follower 288 Comments

Topics: Filling the Void, Marketing


48 hours ago in Hanoi, Vietnam. (Photo: Matt Mullenweg)

“Tweet To Beat could generate help for thousands of students in high-need public schools. My colleagues and I are cheering you on!”
-Charles Best, CEO of DonorsChoose.org

The Ethical Bribe

The gist: To benefit U.S. public school students, I will bribe the entire world to follow me on Twitter for $3 each.

I’ll also be giving away a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world and a fully-loaded MacBook Pro. But first things first… Read More

288 Comments / Leave a comment or question

March 3rd, 2009

How to Be Jason Bourne: Multiple Passports, Swiss Banking, and Crossing Borders 188 Comments

Topics: Geoarbitrage, Investing, Mini-retirements, Travel


Is it possible to become invisible without breaking the law? (Photo: gravitywave)

LOS ANGELES, MID-JUNE 2008

Sitting on a plush couch in the neon-infused nightclub, I asked again:

“What’s it about?”

Neil Strauss glanced around and looked nervous, which I found strange. After all, we’d known each other for close to two years now. In fact, he was – as New York Times bestselling author of The Game and others – one of the first people to see the proposal for The 4-Hour Workweek and offer me encouragement.

“C’mon, dude, give me a break. Don’t you trust me?”

“Guilt. That’s good. Use guilt,” Neil said. But the Woody Allen approach wasn’t working.

“I can’t let the meme out early” he said, “I trust you—I’m just paranoid,” he offered to no one in particular as he downed another RedBull. So I fired a shot in the dark.

“What, are you writing about the 5 Flags or something?”

Neil’s heart skipped a beat and he stared at me for several long seconds. He was stunned.

“What do you know about the 5 Flags?”

I was in.

The 5 Flags

Neil’s new book, Emergency, teaches you how to become Jason Bourne.

Multiple passports, moving assets, lock-picking, escape and evasion, foraging, even how to cross borders without detection (one preferred location: McAllen, Texas, page 390)–it’s a veritable encyclopedia of for those who want to disappear or become lawsuit-proof global citizens… Read More

188 Comments / Leave a comment or question

February 27th, 2009

How to Buy Domain Names Like a Pro: 10 Tips from the Founder of PhoneTag.com 75 Comments

Topics: Marketing


A rose is a rose is rose… but not with domain names. (Photo: nickwheeleroz)

I am James Siminoff. I’m an entrepreneur.

I have founded more than a half dozen companies, exited from one and currently spend my time on PhoneTag and Grid.com. I have spent over $250,000 on approximately 200 domain names because I believe that a great domain is extremely important to the success of a start-up (I learned the hard way – PhoneTag used to be called SimulScribe).

It’s especially important if you are starting a virtual business as it’s both your company name and how people will find you. My overall rules for domains are: they must be easy to spell, easy to say, and .com (no .net, .us, etc.) domains.

What I find tricky about purchasing domains is that you cannot use comparable sales (like real estate) or actual intrinsic value estimates (as you can with a car, jewelry, TV, etc.) for your negotiations. Vibrator.com sold for $1 million, I spent over $100,000 on Grid.com, yet sometimes you can find names that will be valuable for $10.

I have used my success and failure in buying domains to create a step-by-step process that should help secure the domain you want… Read More

75 Comments / Leave a comment or question

February 26th, 2009

Measuring What Really Works on Twitter: Post Timing and Headlines 44 Comments

Topics: Low-Information Diet, Marketing

picture-34
(Photo: da100fotos)
“What gets measured gets managed.”
-Peter Drucker

I like data and enhancing performance through following the numbers.

I use half a dozen tools to track metrics on this blog, and I have similarly used tr.im to track click-through on Twitter links, demographic and geographic splits, etc.. I find retweets interesting, but only to the extent that they attract meaningful attention (not just impressions), which can be approximated with clicks on embedded links. In the last two weeks, I’ve found bit.ly to be more reliable and robust than tr.im.

Below I’ve included my top-30 most-clicked Tweets from 12/21/08 to 2/13/09… Read More

44 Comments / Leave a comment or question

February 25th, 2009

How to Use Twitter Without Twitter Owning You – 5 Tips 104 Comments

Topics: Low-Information Diet


(Photo: Timothy K. Hamilton)

Total read time: 5 minutes.

I’ve evolved as a user of the micro-blogging tool called Twitter.

That said, technology is a great slave but a terrible master, and Twitter can turn the tables on you with surprising subtlety. This post will explain how I use Twitter and the 5 rules I follow to keep it from using me… Read More

104 Comments / Leave a comment or question

February 19th, 2009

Jedi Mind Tricks: How to Get $250,000 of Advertising for $10,000 92 Comments

Topics: Marketing

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These are not the prices I’m looking for. (Photo: hellochris)

Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
-John F. Kennedy

In December 2008, well-known marketing consultant John Jantsch asked me what my small business predictions were for 2009. This was my answer:

2009 will be the year for small businesses to get advertising at 70-90% off. Recessions mean budget cuts for larger corporations, which means advertising cancellations, just as in the “dot-com depression” of 2001 and 2002. There will be fire sales on remnant advertising, whether print, TV, radio, or online. In 2002, I bought $250,000+ of radio advertising for $10,000 because a big pharma advertiser pulled out a week before the ads were to go live. If you play your cards right, you can cut your CPA (cost-per-acquisition) in half.

The following sample dialogue demonstrates exactly how someone can buy $250,000+ of media for $10,000, and how you can reap the rewards of an advertising collapse.

If you’d rather acquire profitable customers for pennies instead of dollars, this article is for you… Read More

92 Comments / Leave a comment or question

February 17th, 2009

Ethical Meat vs. Meat Hype: A Look at “All Natural”, “Grass-Fed” and Other Half-Truths 138 Comments

Topics: The 4-Hour Body

supercow09

“This is no fairy story and no joke; the meat will be shoveled into carts and the man who did the shoveling will not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one.”
— Upton Sinclair, The Jungle

Total post read time: 6 minutes.

I have become fascinated by meat in the last several months, after both experimenting with vegetarianism and tracking health data.

The catalysts for my newfound carnivore enthusiasm were two-fold: reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma and getting to know local butchers in the San Francisco area. I’ve come to realize that, if conscious eating — knowing where your food comes from and how it’s both raised and killed or harvested — is the key to ethical eating, labels are the new battleground for your mind and dollars… Read More

138 Comments / Leave a comment or question

February 12th, 2009

Napoleon on News and Information Management (Plus: Video on Outsourcing E-mail and More) 77 Comments

Topics: Interviews, Low-Information Diet, The Book – 4HWW


(Photo: Dunechaser)

Napoleon, though mostly known as a little man with a funny hat, is regarded as one of history’s great commanders. He was also well-known for his unusual but effective methods of information management.

Here are just two examples from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay entitled “Napoleon, or The Man of the World“… Read More

77 Comments / Leave a comment or question

February 2nd, 2009

How to Build an Upside-Down Fire: The Only Fireplace Method You’ll Ever Need 102 Comments

Topics: Travel, Uncategorized

Total reading time: 9 minutes.

How would you like to light a fire perfectly and have it burn for 3-7 hours without touching it or putting on more wood? It can be done, every time, but it requires forgetting everything you’ve learned about starting fires… Read More

102 Comments / Leave a comment or question

January 27th, 2009

Finding the Perfect Office Chair: Aeron vs. Swiss Ball vs. the FBI’s Pick… 164 Comments

Topics: Gadgets, Remote Offices


The wrong chair = real health problems. (Photo: watz)

(Total read time: 8 minutes)

In this post I’ll cover how I identified the best high-end chairs in the world, which I ultimately chose, and the tangible results that followed.

In January of 2005, I found myself on a veranda in Panama after the usual afternoon rain, dreaming of the upcoming year and reflecting on lessons learned since leaving the US. Maria Elena, the matriarch of the Panamanian family that had adopted me, sipped her iced tea and pointed at my bruised feet:

“Tim, let me share some advice I was once given. Buy the most comfortable bed and pair of shoes you can afford. If you’re not in one, you’ll be in the other.”

I followed her advice upon returning to CA and the results were sudden: Plantar Fasciitis disappeared, as did shoulder impingement after switching from coil-spring to foam-layered mattresses.

But what about chairs? On January 4th, 2009, I tweeted out the following:

“Is the Aeron chair worth it? http://tr.im/2uxd Do you have any fave chairs for extended sitting and writing?”

Read More

164 Comments / Leave a comment or question