Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Brausch Relusi Resource Directory New Link Request Disabling

Update 2009-06-18: I no longer use, recommend, support, or act as an affiliate for Brausch's Relusi (or Munius). More trouble than they are worth. I am leaving this page up for reference only. Not even updating links. This is dead to me.

Because of a tremendous number of spam link requests and because of continuing corruption of the "status" data files, due to those spam link requests, I have disabled further submissions to my Relusi Resource Directories (Relusi Link Directory Software).

If I thought those directories were really doing much for traffic to my pages and/or AdSense clicks and/or my product sales, I would look into rewriting or adding to the Relusi PHP script code. That would involve adding input validation routines, for example.

(Fred Black's web scripting course teaches you how to do that fairly easily. But for Relusi, even with his course's help, that is more than I am interested in doing.)

DISABLING RELUSI

If you are interested in disabling future Relusi submissions, but you want to keep the links you have already gathered, here is what I have done.

FIRST, I created a new "throwaway" e-mail address to put into "misc.php" (approximately line 6).

SECOND, since I have even received spam Category Addition requests, I deleted on the server all the category submission related php files. I deleted:
addcatsubmit.php
addcatthankyou.php
approvecat.php
approvecatsubmit.php
approvecatthankyou.php

I edited "addcat.php".
That editing was for two purposes.
1) To to notify people what is happening re that page, and give them some links to other places on my site.
2) To eliminate 404 errors and Google broken link problems.

THIRD, I disabled new link requests by deleting on the server:
submit.php
thankyou.php

I edited "submitsite.php".
That editing was for two purposes.
1) To to notify people what is happening re that page, and give them some links to other places on my site.
2) To eliminate 404 errors and Google broken link problems.

CLEANING UP THE CATEGORIES

There is a possibility that your link categories may be corrupted .
Download the "category.txt" and "newcat.txt" files from the data directory.

See if there is anything in the "newcat.txt" file that you want to add to the "category.txt" file and add it. Then clean out the "newcat.txt" file, just leaving one blank character, and upload that back.

Edit the "category.txt" file, putting the categories in the order you want them to appear, one category per line. Make sure all trailing spaces on each line are eliminated. After the last category, go to the next line, but make it empty. Upload the file back.

NOW, IF YOU HAVE DISCOVERED THAT PREVIOUSLY APPROVED LINKS NO LONGER SHOW, THAT IS A DEFINITE INDICATION THAT YOUR "STATUS" DATA FILES ARE CORRUPTED.

If you want to repair your data directory, this is a bit complicated. You will have to download from your data directory the status files "emailconfirm.txt" and "moderate.txt", edit them, then upload them back. (FTP.) You will have to eliminate on the server the link files you don't want, for whatever reason (usually spam links).

I'm going to give you the simplest way to do it. But it will be the most time consuming.

Look in your data directory on the server and note what is the highest numbered link file.

Edit the "emailconfirm.txt" file so that it is comprised of all "Y", one "Y" per link file.
Add a "N" at the end.

So, short example, if the last link file was number 5, the emailconfirm.txt file would be:
YYYYYN

Upload that to the data directory.

Edit the "moderate.txt" file so that it is comprised of all "A", one "A" per link file.
Add a "N" at the end.

So, short example, if the last link file was number 5, the emailconfirm.txt file would be:
AAAAAN

Upload that to the data directory.

Now, you will have to log in to Relusi in moderate mode and go through the "reject" procedure for the links you don't want.

Note that you cannot just delete link files on the server. If there are any gaps in the numbering, no link past a gap will be displayed.

Now, if you want to permanently delete the rejected links, you can use my packer script, Relusi Link Exchange Data File Packing PHP Script. My script deletes the rejected files, renumbers the rest as necessary, and adjusts the status files. Because at the time I developed that software I was unaware that Relusi was susceptible to data directory corruption, it is strongly advised that you save a copy of your entire data directory to your local hard drive and that you REPAIR THE STATUS FILES FIRST, and moderate, before using my program. If you run it without repairing the status files, many otherwise good link files could be PERMANENTLY deleted without any possibility of recovery. (Unless you can get your host to recover them from THEIR backup files.)

TEXT EDITING

Note: All editing should be done with a TEXT editor such as Notepad or something better like Crimson Editor. (BTW, I don't make a dime on recommending Crimson Editor. It is free, but donate a few bucks to the author; it's worth it.)

MORE ON DISABLING

A major point regarding editing "addcat.php" and "submitsite.php" is that you MUST disable the "Submit" buttons. You can do that by editing or changing the PHP script, or at least commenting out the "Submit" buttons in the code.

For examples, see (deleted).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Brausch Relusi Resource Directory: Hackable, Corruptible.

I will be gradually, as I get to it, removing affiliate links on my sites for the James D. Brausch Relusi Link Exchange Directory PHP script software.

Not that taking space to promote that P.O.S. did me any good, anyway.

FWIW, I am still offering my Relusi data file packer PHP script, for those who may still want to "fight the good fight" trying to keep their Relusi Link Directory straightened out.
Update 2009-06-18: No longer offering that. Relusi -- fuggedaboudit!

WHY?!! Why do I no longer recommend the Relusi PHP scripts?

I have discovered that the Relusi PHP script and data directory construction allows hacking or corruption of the data (the link files). That is a huge pain in the ass to fix.

If I still thought that having "Resource Directories" on web sites was worthwhile, maybe I would try to figure it out and fix it if I could. I would offer a fix, as I have previously, including offering the Data File Packer script. But I do not think it worthwhile to bother.

If Brausch doesn't think it worthwhile to fix his product, why should I? It would be a much more major endeavor for me to fix it, and then if he did fix it and sell an upgrade, that would mean I would have wasted even more time on it for nothing.

Maybe an even more important reason is that it seems to me that Google does not really value you and I having link directories on our sites. Anymore. If ever.

Look at it this way: Did you ever happen across a link directory and say to yourself, "Oh, goody, a link directory -- with all kinds of completely unrelated links -- I wonder what I will find here -- I'll just browse at random instead of going to Google or Ask.com to look for something I'm specifically interested in..." Well, I sure don't say that to myself.

Here's a basic question which I should have asked myself a year ago when I got all enthused about link directories in general, and Relusi in particular: "Why would Google think they are a good thing for Google to consider in providing the best search results to a browser's search query?" I don't think Google thinks they are.

Anyway, here is the major problem with Relusi in particular:

Previously accepted links mysteriously become "not reviewed." Even more dangerously, the "confirmed" status of many links becomes "not confirmed". This is due to corruption of the emailconfirm.txt and moderate.txt data status files. Running my packer script then removes what were previously accepted links, because the status files now say they are no good (unconfirmed),

For awhile, I thought maybe that corruption was due to new link requests not in proper format (the Brausch script has no format checking of what goes in each submission form entry box). Or maybe it was because someone who previously submitted a link resubmitted with the same a-mail address or URL and something in the code got confused because of that.

Now, since I no longer value the directories, I thought, "Just in case these directories really are of some value, I'll just fix up the directories. I'll keep them for now, but I'll disable future submissions (and changes) so I don't have to waste more time cleaning them up over and over." As a test, I edited the submission form script file for one of my directories to disable submissions/changes. I then cleaned up the data status files, moderated new submissions, ran my packer script to delete rejected links, and then verified manually that the files were all OK.

Everything was OK as of last night when I finished. This morning, the status files were once again corrupted, along with one new (spam) link request. That new spam link request was not formatted correctly. It got into the data directory, and the data status files in the data directory again got corrupted, even though I had disabled new/revised submissions. I can only conclude that the James D. Brausch Relusi PHP software is wide open to hacking.

My next step is to remove all Relusi files not directly used in displaying existing data (link files). If I get any comments to this post, I'll let you know what the results of that is. If the data status files again get corrupted, that will be a definite indication that the data files are hackable - being hacked - that it's not just the bad formatting of link requests that is the problem. (But I still am not going to try and fix it.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dumping Relusi and Munius - What Do You Think?

My previous post: Relusi - Serious Problem - Brausch Resource (Link) Directory - I have come across a serious problem with the James D. Brausch Relusi Link Exchange Software.

That post outline a problem with Relusi. Someone else reported to me a similar problem with Munius.

I had not looked at my Relusi directories for my sites for a couple of days. After fixing the data file corruption reported, I had 200 links approved and confirmed for one of them. For another site I had 83 links approved and confirmed. Looking at them today, they are corrupted again. The corruption starts at link 69 on one and link 68 on another.

Just took a look at yet another directory: That had a different number of links to start with, and it is also corrupted starting with yet another starting link number.

Anyway -- I have had Relusi and Munius installed for 8 or 9 months. As far as I can tell, THEY HAVE NOT DONE ME ANY GOOD AT ALL in building traffic to my sites.

Are there ANY success stories out there for those using either of those products?

I am thinking of dumping them as being more trouble than they are worth. What do YOU think? Comments are open.

Update 2009-06-18: I have long ago dumped both Relusi and Munius -- P.O.S.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Relusi - Serious Problem - Brausch Resource (Link) Directory

I have come across a serious problem with the James D. Brausch Relusi Link Exchange Software.

This software, aka the Relusi Resource Directory software, is comprised of a set of PHP scripts that you upload to your web site server. Underneath that is a "data" directory which holds the links as individual files, and two additional files - status summary files. One of these status files holds the moderated status (not reviewed, accepted, rejected) for each individual link file. The other file holds the confirmed status (confirmed, not confirmed) for each individual link file. (Confirmed status means that the link requester has provided a legitimate e-mail address, to which the software sends a message requiring the requester to respond to it so that the link will show in the directory when it is confirmed.)

The problem is either that the data directory is easily or inadvertently subject to hacking, or there are serious errors in the PHP script coding that leads to corruption of the moderated status and confirmed status files in the data directory.

I have no idea what, specifically, the problem(s) is/are. I have a couple of suspicions:

One is that there is perhaps a problem in the code for the feature that supposedly allows a submitter to delete and/or update his listing. Perhaps that screws up other listings and/or the status files.

The other is that spam submittals (submittals not in the proper format in each of the submittal form text boxes) may screw something up.

In any event, I have noticed several times that the status of link submittals I have previously accepted have mysteriously reverted to "not reviewed" status. And this is not just one or two submittals, but dozens. To fix it, I have had to download the summary files, edit them back to accepted and confirmed, then upload them again. This is faster than going through each submittal individually. I have had to do this several times.

Now, if instead, you just go through each link request to accept they still may not be confirmed status if the confirmation file was also corrupted.

Because of these problems, I started keeping a record of the last good post number, and its subject, so when I went into moderation, I could see what is happening.

This post is already too long, so, bottom line, just one example:

I have a Relusi directory that has 228 links confirmed and accepted, a couple of days ago. Today, 133 of those links had been reverted to "not reviewed". It turns out that the confirmed script was also, unbeknownst to me, corrupted. That directory now has only 97 confirmed and accepted links.

That really pisses me off. First, I have lost a lot of links, and second, my script to get rid of spam links now deletes good links, because of the corrupted data directory status files.

For some time, I thought Brausch had some good stuff. In actuality, none of his stuff that I have tried, with the possible exception of Artemis Pro has turned out to be worth a crap.

Update 2009-06-18. No longer using any of Brausch's crap, including Artemis.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Another Google Slap -- Page Rank Hits

There's been a lot of buzz lately about the latest "Google Slap" -- the downgrading of "Page Rank" (PageRank) for thousands of sites.

I don't pretend to know what it is all about; it's all too complicated for me, but for more information, see the link below to John Furst's site.

My take on all this is that I want to thank Google for helping me to reinforce my decision to de-emphasize this web biz cr**p in favor of re-emphasing my stock market endeavors.

I thought stock trading was hard, but I have made orders of magnitude more money in stocks than in this e-biz.

I got into e-biz as I thought it would be both interesting and good $ for part-time endeavor. (I only wanted to do it part-time.) It has instead turned into a time-consuming monster with a negligible "hourly $ rate" return.

And, I thought playing stocks was complicated. This is vastly moreso.

Thanks again, Google, for your manipulation and lack of transparency. Thanks for smashing my AdSense revenue about a year ago. Thanks for screwing with me (and others) again, now that my AdSense and other revenue has once again approached what it was then. Thanks again for encouraging me to spend less time and effort on e-commerce, and more on my stock trading and stock trading software.

Here is the link to John's blog, which discusses this in more detail and provides more links.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

MLM Being Replaced by Affiliate Programs?

MLM has always sounded good in theory. But the great majority of compensation plan implementations are designed to appeal to hype and hope hucksters and starry-eyed MLM-of-the-Month wannabees. All those wanabees think they are going to get rich by getting others to sell for them. And those others also think they are going to get rich by getting others in turn to sell for them. And so on down the line, with the result that hardly anyone sells anything.

It is not profitable for the average person to try to sell anything in most MLMs. The compensation plans are structured so that recovery of promotional and recruiting costs by average distributors is nearly impossible. He gets too little a share of the commission pie. So, the distributor in a typical MLM Payplan is dependent on a large downline to put him into profit since direct customers/distributors themselves are not profitable.

The reason for this is that too much of the sales dollar goes upline to the founders and their "heavy-hitter" buddies. Too little of the commission pie goes to the people nearest the sale -- the person actually responsible for the sale and his sponsor.

Affiliate selling has come on strong because usually only ONE level of commission is paid. That way, the person actually responsible for the sale gets an affiliate commission of 30%, 40%, or more, even up to 80% or so, depending on the product. The affiliate gets more than the typical MLM 5% or 10%, since most of the commission money does not go upline, as in a MLM plan.

Some affiliate programs may have up to three levels. But even with these plans, the commission structure is usually simple. There isn't the typical MLM legerdemain that sounds so wonderful to the naive.

My hard-hitting report, "How to Evaluate a Network Marketing (MLM) Opportunity" is a must read if you insist on getting into or remaining in MLM. It is vital that you know what to look for in order to avoid wasting hundreds, thousands of dollars and time trying to promote losing programs. Buy it; it's worth orders of magnitude more than its minimal cost.

Monday, September 3, 2007

What's Your Google Page Rank?

You can find out easily what the Google Page Rank (PR) is by going to the bottom of my site main page (link below). PR10 is the highest possible, attained by very few, if any. More common are lower than PR5. Pages that don't have any PR at all used to be listed as PR0, but now as N/A.

Pages with a rank of N/A may still be indexed by Google, but you are very unlikely to find them in the top ten PAGES of search results, much less in the top ten overall search results, for whatever your search term is. (Of course, if your search term/phrase is very specific to your page only, it will turn up, but that won't do you much good as others would be not be likely to search on that specific term/phrase.)

Here is the link: e-Commerce Business (Internet Business Biz Buzz) Web Site

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sign up for Notification of New Posts to this Blog

I finally got around to adding a sign-up function so you can get on my e-mail list to get notices of new posts to this blog.

That is thanks to Fred Black's "Web Scripting Home Study Course" that enabled me to implement it in much less time than trying to figure it out on my own. His course shows you how to implement PHP scripting and javascript to create e-mail list sign-up forms and other web forms.

Look for the "Updates" related link at the top of the right column on this page. Go ahead, give it a try, and click the link. That will take you to a web page on my site that will allow you to sign up. It will acknowledge your submittal on that page, and will also send you a "thank-you" e-mail. You then can click a link there to get right back to this blog.

For my article with a little more about my e-mail sign-up scripts, see "Web Scripting for Profit" on my website.

Update 2009-06-18: While I still recommend Fred's course in general, I am no longer using the Sign-Up function I developed using what I learned from him. It is simply a matter that I got too many invalid (spam) requests.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Attention James D. Brausch Regarding Munius and Relusi

James: How come your Munius Article Directories and Relusi Resource Directories (Link Exchange Directories) on your own sites are not - as one of my correspondents recently asked - "a shining advert for what these tools are capable of"?

Why are so many junk articles and links shown to viewers?

Why aren't Munius and Relusi installed and active on ALL of your sites?

And, on those sites where they are installed, why are so many NOT the latest versions?

Are your product sales pitches questionable? Are you just fat and happy so you just don't care? Does Google accept all the crap just as well as the occasional good stuff posted and boost page rank anyway? Or what?

But, since I am a loser with only a Blogger Blog - without "trackback" capability - I guess the only way you (James) will see my questions is if some intern happens across it and notifies you.

Oh, wait, I forgot. Recalling my intern days, interns (at least most) are not allowed to contact you with questions or comments. Just shut up and do your assignments. Feedback? Fuggedaboudit. So I guess you are unlikely to see this since I am not giving you another link with a "trackback".

Oh, well, if you do happen to see this and you do want to clean up your Munius Article Directories and Relusi Resource Directories, I have two products that can help you.

They delete - forever - rejected articles, links, comments, so they don't clutter up your moderation screens and take up server space.

Now, to my REAL target audience of this post - those of you NOT Brausch - if you are using Munius and/or Relusi, you can easily, simply, conveniently, and in just a few minutes whenever you run them, clean up your directories.

Update 2009-06-18: I no longer use, recommend, or act as an affiliate for Munius and Relusi. I also no longer offer the programs I developed to work with those P.O.S.

Monday, July 9, 2007

I Just Dumped 37 Rejected Articles from My Articles Directory...

I just dumped - permanently - 37 rejected articles from one of my Munius Articles Directory moderation screens - and my site hosting server. With just one click. How I did it is detailed below. But first...

Having article directories on your sites where people can contribute articles seems to be a win-win. You get content on your site. And the contributors get links back to their sites.

Many of the articles have some good ideas and are worth keeping in your directories. But there are a whole lot of jerk-offs who figure that your directories are a good place to get links without providing any content.

Now, with James D. Brausch's Munius Article Directory PHP script files, you can reject those articles. Rejected articles don't show to viewers, but they are still on your host server, and more importantly, they clutter up your moderation screen. I wanted to dump them PERMANENTLY so I would not have to wade through them each time I went to my moderation screens. So I developed an add-on PHP script to use with Munius to dump those articles PERMANENTLY.

That's what I used to dump those 37 articles.

And, while I was at it, I included a provision to dump junk comments, spam comments, and unconfirmed e-mail address comments. I don't even bother to count how many of those I dumped.

Update 2009-06-18: I no longer use Munius and am no longer offering this product.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Relusi Link Exchange Data File Packing - New Version

The Relusi Link Exchange Data File Packing Script has been updated to version 2.0. (Update 2009-06-18: I no longer use Relusi, and have discontinued this product.)

In addition to permanently deleting rejected links, the php script now also allows the permanent deletion of link exchange requests by those submitting a bogus e-mail address, or who do not reply to the confirmation request e-mail. While I want to have a lot of links in my resource directories, I don't want junk links. In addition to the obvious junk link requests marked "rejected", I consider unconfirmed requests as junk also.

Permanently deleting the rejected link requests and the unconfirmed link requests makes your moderation task much simpler. With all the bogus links still showing, it takes much more time. After using the Relusi Link Exchange Data File Packing Script, you see only good links and the latest unmoderated requests on your moderation page.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Articles Unique" Promotional Article Generating Software Released

The "Articles Unique" software program recently in Beta Test has now been released.

"Articles Unique" enables you to simply generate UNIQUE articles to promote your website. You do some prep work, then the program generates unique articles for manually submitting to others' sites by just pasting into their submittal forms.

"Articles Unique" is easy to use, yet has some unique and user-friendly (I think) touches, and is more "transparent" in case you like to know what's going on "under the hood", as I do. It offers more flexibility as to the source documents, so that if you are short variations in one section, you can make it up in another.

If you are an Artemis user, it will also generate a set of files that you can use with the James D. Brausch Artemis program.

Full details are at Articles Unique Article Generating Software.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

"ARTICLES UNIQUE" (tm) BETA TESTERS WANTED

I'm looking for ten beta testers for a new article generating program. "Articles Unique" is my initial entry into the "Unique Content Generator", "Article Converter", "Article Rewriter", "Article Multiplier", "Article Spinner", whatever called, arena.

"Articles Unique" is for manual submission of your promotional articles, generating a unique article (or articles) for your OWN site, and unique (non-duplicated) versions for submission manually to others' site. Some programs do e-mailing. Mine doesn't, yet.

It is simple, yet has some unique and user-friendly (I think) touches, and is more "transparent" in case you like to know what's going on "under the hood", as I do. It offers more flexibility as to the source documents, so that if you are short variations in one section, you can make it up in another.

If you are an Artemis user, it will also generate a set of files that you can use with the James D. Brausch Artemis program.

Look through the user document Articles Unique pdf User Document.

Let me know if you want to do it. Artemis or other generator users preferred -- let me know what you have used and, if so, a brief sentence or two about your experience with it.

"First come, first served".

Respond ASAP, as the testing is to be done -- and the results in -- by Wednesday, 2007 June 13, 11:59 PM.

The Beta test is now closed.

Thanks much,
David Bean

The Beta test is closed and the product is now released and available
For information about the finished product, see Articles Unique Article Generator.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Is James D. Brausch Really Serious about Munius and Relusi?

I have both programs (php scripts) - Munius and Relusi from James D. Brausch. I have spent a lot of time learning their operation, installing and tweaking them as to performance. (See my Internet Business site as well as other posts on this blog.) But -- HAVE I BEEN WASTING MY TIME?

The reason I ask this is: I recently developed a program, now in Beta test, for generating unique articles that can be manually submitted to various sites. For some additional sites to test that program on, as well as on my own, I compiled what I could find available on Brausch's sites to submit to.

You can see the results of that on my e-Commerce-biz site article "Article Submission and Link Exchange Submission Links..."

If you examine the table I made (the Brausch Sites section), you will see that about half of the articles submission (Munius) pages are not available or are not functioning. You will see that link submission pages are not available for most of his product sites; in fact, you will see that there are not many link generation (Relusi) installations at all.

Furthermore, you will see that most of the installations that have been done are of older versions. (An annoyance because article titles/headlines are chopped at 50 characters, and various other lengths maximums are also too short). And, Brausch evidently doesn't consider them important enough to increase his workload to five hours a week or to assign an intern to delete all the scores, maybe hundreds, of Cialis and Viagra posts once a week or so.

I developed a script to actually delete, not just have marked rejected, all the links you have rejected in Relusi. I have been considering doing the same for Munius articles and comments. Would that be a waste of time? Let me know. Comments on this blog are ON.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I'm Discontinuing my Subscription to James D. Brausch's Ranking Factors Software (RaSof)

This is an update to $1000 a Month for James D. Brausch's Ranking Factors Software (RaSof)?

I previously ran some tests which you can read about on an article on my web site e-COMMERCE BIZ (Internet Business) and which continues at $1000 a Month for James D. Brausch's Ranking Factors Software (RaSof)?

The data is on web pages RaSof Ranking Factors Scoring vs. Google Rankings Data - Part 1 and Part 2.

Sorry, I just don't see any correlation between high RaSof scores and Google Page Rank. So, It I'm making a mistake in discontinuing my subscription, so be it. As far as I'm concerned, I have paid for several months too many, because of the "fear of loss" that I discussed in my web page article I mentioned above.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Links for Manual Submission to Article Publishers

As you know, Google gives "brownie points" (Google love) for incoming links to your web sites. That is, they give you a better "page rank" -- you get higher in the list of search results for keywords and keyphrases that website browsers are looking for.

There are programs for automated submission of articles, like the Artemis article submission software from James D. Brausch. That is done by submitting the articles to an e-mail list.

But there are many sites that you may want to submit to that require manual submission. For that you need a list of URLs.

I have begun to compile a list of sites to submit articles manually to. Along with that, I am also including a list of sites to submit link exchange requests to.

A few of these sites are listed at my e-Commerce website. That list will be expanded on, from time-to-time, so check back every now and then. BTW, if you have any additional sources, you are invited to post a comment here. I will let you know at a later date about some article rewriting software I am developing that will reduce the "duplicate content penalty."

Saturday, May 19, 2007

CAPTCHA GOTCHA

"Captcha" stands for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart", a term trademarked by Carnegie Mellon University.

The purpose of captchas is to prevent automated log-ins and thus enhance security and reduce spam.

There is a fine line between obfuscating the graphic sufficiently so that it cannot be read by a bot, but not so much as to make it difficult for a human to decipher and enter the code.

A few good captcha examples are:
e-gold login
e-gold calls it a "Turing Number".
OmniPay login
Google Add URL

One that sucks is:
Yahoo Registration
You frequently cannot distinguish upper and lower case in the graphic, and when you fail to read it right, you have to re-enter ALL the sign-up information ALL OVER AGAIN. You can spend an hour until you get it right.

For both a good and a bad example, see the Wikipedia article.

If you want to see some that totally suck, send an e-mail to bob@corp.earthlink.net and try to respond to his autoresponder message which includes a captcha. Frequently, his captchas are completely unreadable, which means you have to send your message again, and try again. I think the purpose of his captcha setup is merely to give the APPEARANCE of accepting non-spam e-mail from the great unwashed (you and me). In actuality, I suspect that he does not want to hear from ANYONE that he has not had his secretary enter into his white list.

Why I believe that is the case is simple - McNamara is an a-hole. He is one reason, among several others, that I discourage people from using Earthlink services. I am now using Verizon DSL and 1and1 hosting and am very happy with both.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Brausch Leaves Glyphius Users in the Lurch

I have the James D. Brausch copywriting evaluation software, Glyphius. The 2006 version. Brausch now has a 2007 version out. The 2006 version was a download version from his website. I tried to access the 2006 version "owner's page" today to review the "General Use Training Video". THE PAGE IS GONE!

Prior to this year, Brausch's products were mostly downloadables, available for purchase through ClickBank. Through that process, you would get link information to an owner's page. The customer usage documentation for products was on videos on owner's pages. And that was it. He had some funky Camtasia desktop video generated file format that was viewable only on Microsucks Internet Explorer as far as I know. (Maybe also on Firefox? But not on Mozilla.) I was unable to download and save any of his videos for Glyphius and other products I purchased. I tried to download/save the videos, because exactly what I feared would happen, has happened. That they would go away.

Now (2007), it seems that Brausch is switching to physical products. CDs, DVDs, actual printed and snail-mailed/UPS delivered items. For Glyphius 2007, I assume both the program and his funky videos are on the disk that his producer sends out.

That wouldn't be a problem if he kept his old version pages up. But, I guess his reasoning is -- screw you if you don't buy the newer upgraded version.

MuVar 2007 is right now being released on DVD. Will the owner's page for the 2006 (and earlier 2007) version be taken down? I think likely.

IF ANYONE HAS ANY INFO ON HOW TO DOWNLOAD AND SAVE THE ONLINE CAMTASIA USER VIDEOS THAT BRAUSCH HAS ON HIS OWNER'S PAGES, LEAVE A COMMENT. COMMENTS ARE NOT CLOSED ON THIS BLOG.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Brausch Artemis Pro Customer Service - Part 2

In a previous post, I mentioned a reader's complaint about Brausch's customer service. It turns out, I think, that there are two problems. One is Brausch's customer service. The second is that there was customer "cockpit problems" (not being attentive to detail).

Since Brausch customer service is so poor, I tend to give the benefit of doubt to a complaining customer. In this case it appears to me that in the instance mentioned, there were several Artemis article version formatting problems uncorrected by the reader. This led to the failure of the Artemis program to accept and submit the article.

This does not excuse, however, the Brausch machine poor customer service. One problem is that can be impossible to get hold of customer service. A second problem is that Brausch instructs his customer service people to "fire" people as customers if they exceed some sort of arbitrary help quota. A third problem is that there are no on-line TEXT instructions and/or FAQs for various products. Brausch has stated that his videos are sufficient and that people don't read FAQs. I disagree that videos are sufficient. As to FAQs, I think people do try them, but they usually are written and organized so poorly that the customer gives up and resorts to trying to e-mail or call.

But, as Brausch would say, so what if I disagree, I am one of the 98% "losers". Brausch prides himself that his videos take much less time to prepare than written documentation. Good for him, bad for his users. The videos are not downloadable as far as I can tell. And even if they were, users still have to plow through talk, talk, talk for a much longer time than perusing a written document to find the possible nugget searched for.

So, I am doing Brausch's job. But that does provide content for this blog and my site.
For text tips on formatting Artemis posts:
Brausch Artemis Pro Customer Service (part 1)
e-Commerce Biz (Internet Business) Web Site
Having Problems with Artemis Pro.

Friday, April 6, 2007

How's Your Experience with Munius and Relusi? Comments Wanted.

I have installed Munius and Relusi on all my sites. I have gotten some articles and links, but not a whole lot. I'm wondering about something.

I have a custom installation for them in that I use "articles-b" instead of "art" for the Munius directories, and I use "links-b" instead of "lnk" for the Relusi directories.

Do you think that makes a difference in how many articles and links submitted? My http://www.e-commerce-biz.com/ is my newest site and has the fewest articles and links. So, for comparison, I just last night installed Munius and Relusi again, under the "standard" directory names, and as "standard" layout and graphics installations. So I have both "standard" and custom versions of both on that same site.

For comparisons, you can look at
http://www.e-commerce-biz.com/articles-b/
http://www.e-commerce-biz.com/art/
http://www.e-commerce-biz.com/links-b/
http://www.e-commerce-biz.com/lnk/

In about a month, I'll see if any differences worth noting between the similar directories on the same site.

BTW, in installing Relusi, I noticed again a couple of minor glitches that I had noticed before I started the website and this blog. They aren't serious, but are minor annoyances that you should at least be aware of and fix.
See "Relusi Header and Footer PHP Script Notes"

AGAIN, COMMENTS?

Update 2009-06-18: I no longer use, recommend, or act as an affiliate for either of these products.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

$1000 a Month for James D. Brausch's Ranking Factors Software (RaSof)?

$1000 a month? No way for me or most others. Of course, because of that reluctance, Brausch would dismiss us as being part of the 98% "loser" category.

To spend $1000 a month, I think one should REASONABLY expect a $1500 to $2000 MINIMUM bump in income within a couple of months at least.

Based on my results so far with RaSof, I would not go for $1000 a month for it. In fact, despite my "fear of loss", I am considering discontinuing it within another couple of months. I'm considering hanging on to test a bit more, but my results after already several months are not encouraging.

For more, go to RaSof Ranking Factors.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Adding Drop-Down Menu Select to Brausch Relusi Link Exchange Moderation PHP Script

The James D. Brausch Relusi Link Exchange Software is a pretty slick way to get some link exchanges. It is generally assumed that both inbound and outbound links help in getting better search engine page ranking for your e-commerce website. Relusi is designed to do just that.

Update 2009-06-18: I no longer am an affiliate for this product and no longer recommend it.

But Relusi has some rough edges. One of them is the lack of a drop-down menu for the link moderator/administrator to select or change the category a link should be in. It has to be done by typing some category into a text box.

So, I've made some changes to the script to allow category selection by clicking a selection in a drop-down menu. I've done similarly for the Munius Article Moderation PHP script.

For complete details, including the actual script (PHP code) changes that you can implement in your scripts, see:
Adding Drop-Down Menu Select to Brausch's Relusi Link Exchange Moderation Script
Tweaking Brausch' Munius Article Moderation Script

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Brausch Artemis Pro Customer Service

A visitor to my site e-Commerce Biz (Internet Business) wrote to me about a problem he had with Artemis Pro that he got as part of a package from Brausch.
Both my laptop and my desk top tell me “File A not found” when I try and submit an article. Then another window pops up and reads “Please fix the problems associated with the article(s).”

I don’t now what this is talking about. When I purchased his products I got them in an all-in-one package. Did not get any kind a receipt. So customer support will not let me in.
I too have had problems with Brausch customer support. Further, the only documentation for products are videos, which leave a great deal to be desired in many instances as to clarity and completeness. There are no online FAQ pages, much less FAQ pages updated in response to customer inquiries.

FWIW, I sent the following response to my reader, just to make sure he was doing things right. We shall see if it works for him. If I hear back, look for a comment to this post.
Hello .....
My commiserations to you:

The only thing I can suggest is to make sure you have the three versions of the article and the resource file in the same directory as artemis.exe,

articlenamewhatever-1a.txt
articlenamewhatever-1b.txt
articlenamewhatever-1c.txt
articlenamewhatever-resource.txt

The file naming convention is STRICT:
An article name followed by a dash then a number (the SAME number for the three versions), then the letter a, b, c for each version, then ".txt". The resource file has to be named the same basic article name followed by a "-resource.txt".

I have no help to offer regarding submitting to your external publication list, as I have't been able to get that to work, myself.

FWIW, other files as part of Artemis are, and in the same directory are:
fce32.dll
see32.dll
mi.hef
si.hef
common.txt
log.txt (probably optional)
page.txt
postit.txt (probably optional)
...
Regards...

Monday, March 5, 2007

I'm Deleting Some James Brausch Related... Why?

Simply because the posts here regarding his site posts have done me no good, and will do you no good. They were just taking up space. They were about a cruise, the DVD Player, and one of two about Information Products on DVD. If you are really interested, they are on his blog from near the end of February to present.

My posts were in response to posts on his blog which did a lot for HIS Google rankings, since I and many others linked to him, but since he linked back to, maybe three or four others max, NOT including me, it didn't do me a bit of good.

And I don't expect to ever get a mention on his blog. He has had the opportunity to review much of my stuff here in the past, and hasn't done so. Unlike other peoples' comments about him and/or his products, many of mine contain some criticism as well as kudos; I am not a toady. That seems to be a problem. ;>)

So, while some of his products seem to have value, and I PROMOTE THEM as an affiliate, I see no purpose in continuing to promote his site without mutuality.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Information Products on DVD vs. Download

James Brausch has decided to switch to furnishing many of his products as DVDs that he has a service duplicate and mail out for him.

He cites what are to him some advantages:

1) One of the main ones, it seems to me, in MY words, is that it makes it more difficult for the customer to apply for and get a refund. He cites a high return rate for downloaded products.

Hey, maybe the products are good, but maybe not THAT GOOD, for the price, in customers' evaluations.

2) Higher perceived value by customers, as opposed to downloaded products.

Maybe "last month/last year", but not today. Yes, that's MNSHO. Maybe that is my problem: I don't see what the advantage of having to plow through a 20 minute to an hour DVD or on-line video, even, to find out what five minutes of reading of a well-prepared .pdf doc could do instead. With a DVD/video in addition, illustrating SELECTED points that ARE more efficaciously illustrated by video.

In other words, use the appropriate medium for the message.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Tweaking Brausch' Munius Article Moderation Script

The James D. Brausch Munius Article Directory Software PHP scripts are a pretty slick article gathering mechanism to get content from others for your e-commerce or other website. But there are few rough edges, necessitating a few tweaks I've found desirable.

Update 2009-06-18: I no longer am an affiliate for this product, and no longer recommend it.

One if them was derived as follows: When a contributor submits an article, he is supposed to select an appropriate category from the drop-down "Article Category" select menu on the submission form. But generally, they just leave it as whatever your default is -- usually just "General".

Then, when you go to moderate, and you want to accept the article, and want to put it into a more appropriate category, you have to manually type something in. I don't know about you, but my memory is not so good, so I don't necessarily remember exactly all the category items and their spellings. (If you type in a category incorrectly, it won't show in any category to users -- only to you in moderation mode.) Anyway, I figured I needed a drop-down select menu in the moderating (article reviewing) page.

Browsing around the Munius scripts, I found the menu for contributors in "submitarticle.php". (Lines 21-37 of the original Brausch script I have.)

Copying that into "reviewarticle.php" and making a few modifications to that gets and displays what the contributor originally selected, then allows you/me (moderator) to select either that or a new category. (The code linked to below replaces lines 42-45 of the original Brausch script in "reviewarticle.php".)

See http://www.e-commerce-biz.com/code/munius-select-menu.txt for the code.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Brausch Closes Comments on His Blog

James D. Brausch has closed comments (disabled comments) on his blog.

Too much "spam" he says. Cutting into his bottom line to handle comments. He could have implemented the squiggly letters 'challenge and response' that many sites use (including this one). That prevents automated posts or comments and provides a small but surmountable barrier for real people to deal with to see if they really themselves think their post or comment is that important.

But this is just a symptom of Brausch's attitude. He has some good stuff, I think. At least it sounds good. But while I have implemented much, no change in my bottom line. At least so far, after several months. But he is not interested in anyone's opinions or suggestions or questions, (at least those that are challenging) so cutting off comments is a logical step for him.

His attitude towards comments is an extension of his attitude towards customer service. Which is that since there is never a problem with his products or documentation, if you have a question, you are obviously an idiot; so go away.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

RaSof Ranking Factors Evaluation Anomalies - Continued

On my e-Commerce webpage, I mentioned a James D. Brausch RaSof/Ranking Factors scoring anomaly I discovered. Keywords in HTML comments (within comment tags) count towards the score just as do keywords in text. I have no idea as to whether keywords or not in the comments tags really affect Google ranking or not. That is, if you put a bunch of keywords in comment tags, that will usually improve your RaSof score, but does Google then give you a higher page rank?

I have no idea, and since Brausch is not open to my comments and questions, the only way we will know is if you (someone happening across this blog) risks getting fired as a customer by asking him and getting an answer.

Here is an example: On my Prestige Wristwatches website, on the main page, there is a list of manufacturers at the bottom of the page. I scored that on the keyword "wristwatch". Over a few weeks, using what I could glean from the Ranking Factors Course and the RaSof video, I succeeded in getting my "score" from 215 up to 1760. A VERY nice improvement. But since no inbound links to speak of, that page is still in the area of the Google deep. Anyway, I added a few manufacturer links to that list. That list does not contain many, if any mentions of the keyword "wristwatch", just the manufacturers' names. That reduced the RaSof score back down to 1639. A little while ago, as an experiment, I included the keywords "wristwatch" and "wristwatches" in HTML comments above and below the list. VoilĂ , the score went back up to 1742.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Discovering Words that are Guaranteed to Sell with Glyphius.

Many e-commerce marketers have asked for a list of words that can be used in ad copy to increase profitability. Of course you can discover your own magical profit words with the Glyphius software, but I thought I would list a few that I have discovered.

First of all, I want to cover something even more powerful than a word that was discovered in the Glyphius research. It is the lowly period. Putting that dot at the end of each line of your ad copy has an amazing 76% positive correlation with profitability. It is the highest scoring token found in the Glyphius database. That high correlation also
indicates that not using it is THE most often mistake made by those creating poor copy. Use it. Period.

Other punctuation that have a high correlation with profitability include the ampersand (&) and the percentage sign (%). The exclamation point (!) is good, but not nearly as good as the period, ampersand and percentage signs. Use it more sparingly.

Here are some other words that I have found with nice high positive correlations with profitability:
all, am, are, area, buy, check, compare, direct, discount, find, from, full, guarantee, guaranteed, has, in, less, local, me, more, online, of, on, one, or, order, over, price, prices, save, stop, top, up.
Try using them more often in all of your sales copy.

In contrast, here a few words you absolutely should not use:
aside, confidence, decide, download, downside, evidence, exclusive, excuse, focus, free, idea, music, now, useful, video.
Hope this helps. Discover more how Glyphius can help.
Update 2009-06-17: I am no longer an affiliate for this product.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

About e-Commerce Internet Business

Internet business techniques, tips, software and home study courses. e-commerce topics including traffic, copywriting, page ranking, ranking factors, inbound link and outbound link generation, SEO, SERP, information product creation, etc.

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