3 Things Zynga Poker Can Teach You about Content Marketing

zynga pokerI’ve been playing a lot of Zynga Poker lately. Full disclosure: It’s to practice for the next poker night when I’m up against my father-in-law.

And like many things, I’ve been subconsciously relating it to marketing. What a freak, I know. See, poker has a lot to do with representing something in exactly the right way, just like in marketing. You’re not always in control of what’s given to you, also like marketing. Particularly with Zynga Poker, some players have an annoying tendency to go all-in on every hand, or to bet thousands of dollars on crappy pocket cards, like a 3-8 offsuit. That’s kind of like blog spam.
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5 Hilarious Blog Spam Comments

shakespeareWhen you have a blog (as I do), you get comment spam. There’s no way out of it. Some of it even gets through the filters, unless you have some genius hacker technology I’m not aware of. In that case, hook a buddy up.

Anyway, for your amusement, here are the five most innovative types of blog comment spam I see these days. Honestly, these approaches to link building may represent the future of marketing as we know it. Feel free to use these cutting-edge comment spamming techniques to create fascinating comments to post on your friends’ blogs.
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Put Your Newsletter Efforts into Online Channels Instead

vitamixI just downloaded and glanced through this useful whitepaper by Kentico (which produces a nice, user-friendly CMS system, by the way), and read about the typical customer experience in the digital age.

It paralleled my and my wife’s product-shopping experience for the most part – when we want to buy a new whatchamacallit, we go online first. We look up reviews on Amazon and other sites, we visit product websites for specs, we might watch a video or two, and we might ask our friends for recommendations on Facebook. We use a desktop computer, an iPad, and our iPhones to do this research at different points during the day – usually computers during work hours and mobile devices afterward. And we definitely choose to purchase online if it’s significantly cheaper than going into a store.
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Working from Home: Pros & Cons

home officeFor almost the past year, I’ve absolutely loved my office. I’ve loved my desk, I’ve loved the lighting, the break area, the office mascot, and especially my coworker. That’s because my office has been home. My desk has been the dining room table, the lighting ambient sunlight, the break room my kitchen, the office mascot our fuzzy pup Ruby, and my favorite coworker my wife Lana (who also works from home).

There’s no commute, no parking hassle, no expensive dine-out lunches, and no need for a tie. There’s technically no need for pants either, but I keep it classy.
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Way to Go, Monster BeKnown

Monster BeKnownAs a frequent Internet user in the age of social networking, I’ve become slightly numb to the many ways in which social networks integrate, connect, and personalize the Web experience. I’m no longer surprised when a hotel review site seems to know my Facebook profile picture, or when an article I’m reading has a share tweet all ready to launch from my own Twitter account. I’m used to unflinchingly clicking “no” when mobile games ask to post things to Facebook on my behalf. (Even though I entirely condone this style of crowd-sourced marketing, I’m nobody’s promotional drone, y’all.)
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Self-Promotion: Shameless?

self promotionAnyone who manages an online community is constantly at war with one particular enemy: Web spam, and the endless onslaught of borg-like spammers who offload their syntactically deranged, hyperlinked gibberish night and day. In fact, I’ve launched websites that have started receiving streams of meaningless comments before I’d even started promoting.

I’m sure it’s the same for forum managers, whose aim is to host actual discussion between users who are genuinely interested in the local topic. Their battle is against the borg users who pose as “real” humans, but only post links to the content they’re trying to promote. And often it’s got almost nothing to do with whatever the conversation is about.
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Have Fun at Google’s I/O 2013 Without Going

io13I just had a chance to check out the weird, Google-y website for I/O 2013, and about 20 minutes later I’m more entertained than a cat in a hamster petting zoo.

Just start clicking stuff and figure it out. Here are a few combinations of clicks I found that did fun things:

  • IIOIOOII – A fun Simon Says-style game
  • OIIIIIII – The Matrix
  • IOOOOOOI – Pong
  • IOOIOOOO – Bacon and eggs
  • OIOIOOII – Cubist art
  • OOIIIOOI – Hotdog and hamburger
  • IIIOOIII – Glaring cats

There are other ones I discovered whose combinations I can’t find again. But I challenge you to find them … Oh yeah, and the conference sounds interesting, too.

How to Never Again Accidentally Hit Caps Lock

caps lockIf you are like me — a ridiculously uncoordinated typist whose most-used key is “backspace” — then the caps lock button on your keyboard is probably more of an irritating speed bump than a useful tool. In fact, after two or three accidental caps lock incidents in about 10 minutes, I found I’d rather just disable the thing. But how?

This quick, very simple solution will disable your caps lock button completely, or just make it a little more difficult to use, ensuring you never again run over the accidental caps lock speed bump. In 3 steps, we will create a hotkey for that caps lock button that does … absolutely nothing. (Don’t worry, if you occasionally use it, we can also set up a separate hotkey for it, such as shift+capslock.)
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There are Still Pop-Ups?

As I clicked, for about the eighth time today, to close a space-invading pop-up within .004 seconds of it opening (without even giving it the benefit of a nasty glance), it crossed my mind that pop-ups are long overdue to expire as a means of getting attention.
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Web Marketing Ninja Needs New Castle to Defend

Web Marketing NinjaOk, I see the metaphorical inaccuracy here: Ninjas technically don’t defend castles. Got it.

But syntactical nitpicking aside, I would like to tell you the story of an online marketing ninja whose castle crumbled, leaving him scouring the feudal landscape for another castle to call home. He is a roving ronin, loose among the trees and the wild, living on twigs, berries, and residual income from a few random ninja websites. His eyes scan the horizon for the next fortress with which to ally. His sword glints in the sun, calling out for new enemies to vanquish. He smells just like the guy in the Old Spice commercials.
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