Sunday, July 24, 2011

WordPress Conference Roudup

Just returned from a wordpress conference in Boston. Here are some of what I learned:

* JQuery: selector by id is really fast, selector by class is fast, selector of body or head is simple.

* Buddy Press
- Use BB Press 2.0 for forums rather than Simple Press (because it has same functionality to user but better integrated admin)
- BB Press would complement Wishlist Member if I wish to charge for content and protect certain content
- BB Press plays more nicely with standard wordpress themes
- Buddy Press innately uses WordPress MultiSite so that each end user stores data on a separate instance without a
having the interface of the wordpress backend (that was the core functionality)
- Buddy Press groups can be associated with content (but there is no protection or monetization built-in)
- Buddy Press is aware that it is missing capability to address multi-media
- Buddy Press uses custom posts
- Buddy Press best documentation is the source code
- Buddy Press has free support on the forum
- Buddy Press would seem suitable as one potential solution to an music website (but missing certain pieces)
- Buddy Press believes it is big enough that they don't know whether they are compatible with other plugins such as WP E-commerce, but they think they are.
- Buddy Press focuses on custom profiles for users

* Themes
- Build website without Javascript/JQuery with the structure of keyword rich URLs with separate pages for separate keywords
- Use a gateway page with links to each of their children if javascript is missing, but shows the children in a slider if has js

* Media Handling
- Need to upload to specific media library location
- Need to enable playing and/or downloading from that location
- payment infrastructure for selective digital purchases
- Need to host media on a server

* Custom Posts
- Can configure in PHP using Wordpress logic specific fields for artists such as mp3 or images
- Does not require buddypress
- Can separately create bands who have music (without associating members to bands)
- Tag the posts with relevant sorting fields
- Can pull content from blog such as mp3 attachment or lyrics in a blog post based on tags

* Moodle vs. Wordpress
- Moodle has way to track grades
- Moodle has assessment structure such as quizes and tests
- Community of Moodle administrators is much smaller (e.g. no moodle conferences)
- Growth of plugins slower, less vibrant community
- Wordpress supports better user to user interaction
- Moodle has profiles and forum software competitive to buddypress

* Mobile Devices
- Core issue seems to be using relative numbers in the css (keep the long decimals)

* Multisite
- Set up specific set of plugins and themes that are enabled on the superadmin will be inherited by children
- Installed plugins can be available for children
(Question: can a child site have a different theme?)

* Lead Generation
- Focus on industry-wide research questions/what customer is searching for...

* Multi-Voice Blog
- Blog contributors need to register at least with email so you can ban them or encourage them to contribute more

RSS feeds will transmit only the content of posts, not the headers or footers. Similarly, content scrapers.

wordcamp, Wordpress, jquery, buddypress, bb press, inbound marketing, themes, education, mobile

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordpress Theme, Design and Content Organization

My tendency is towards: a more conservative look where the information is more important than a lot of pop and flash, and the information itself is more important and timeless, then having your posts referenced by category is the best choice.

Content: what information the user will need to know, you have to consider what information you are willing to share with them. That information may include how to contact you, what the purpose of the site is, who you are, and what your expertise is

About Us, Contact Us, Sign Up for Our Mailing List.

Need to create an opt-in incentive for the mailing list. My current thinking is "Why Destiny's Child Might not be the Best Bar Mitzvah Tutor".

Write down the possible Page titles and describe the information you are willing to share online on each Page:
* Bar Mitzvah Tutoring Team
* Bar Mitzvah Software Platform
- describe what platform current does and why to use it
* Work Harder Have Fewer Students or buy our platform
* Selecting a Bar Mitzvah Tutor
* How to get software
* Remote video teaching
- general subjects and titles
paragraph description

Mission Statement: Purpose of My Site

What am I going to do with this?
* Site for B'nai mitzvah parents and their children to learn about the process of becoming B'nai mitzvah.
* Site for Jewish Cantors to share their needs, desires, fears, and frustrations
Who is going to read this?
* B'nai Mitzvah parents and their children
* Jewish Cantors, Rabbis, and Synagogue members
What kinds of information will I be posting?
* Introductory information to parents and their children educating them about Judaism, Torah, and the B'nai Mitzvah process
* Pedagogical and technology information for jewish Cantors teaching them why they should send people to our website
Why am I doing this?
* Because I believe in Jewish education and the power of my software to transform it based on this pedagogical approach
Who am I doing this for?
* Jewish Continuity
* Parents
* Children
* Teachers
* Cantors
* Rabbis
How often am I going to be posting and adding information?
* I should do this every week.

Wordpress:purpose for your site, Mission Statement

On a piece of notebook paper, or whatever is lying around, describe your site. Take five to twenty minutes to come up with a purpose for your site, or better yet, call it your Mission Statement.

Answer the following questions:

What am I going to do with this?
Who is going to read this?
What kinds of information will I be posting?
Why am I doing this?
Who am I doing this for?
How often am I going to be posting and adding information?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Optimization of Domains/URLs

Optimization of Domains/URLs

Two of the most basic parts of any website are the domain name and the URLs for the pages of the website. This section will explore guidelines for optimizing these important elements.

Optimizing Domains

When a new site is being conceived or designed one of the critical items to consider is the naming of the domain, whether it is for a new blog, a company launch, or even just a friend's website. Here are 12 times that will be indispensable when helping you select a great domain name:

Brainstom for five top keywords
* When you begin your domain name search, it helps to have five terms or phrases in mind that best describe the domain that you are seeking. Once you have this list, you can start to pair them or add prefixes to create good domain ideas. For example, if you are launching a mortgage-related domain, you might start with words such as mortgage, finance, home repairs, interest rate, and house payment, and then play around until you can find a good match.

Make the domain unique
* Having your website confused with a popular site that someone else already owns is a recipe for disaster. Thus, never choose a domain that is simply the plural, hyphenated, or misspelled version of an already established domain.

Choose only dot-com available domains
* If you are not concerned with type-in traffic, branding or name recognition, you don't need to worry about this one. However, if you are at all serious about building a successful website over the long term, you should be worried about all of these elements, and although directing traffic to a .net or .org is fine, owning and 301'ing the .com is critical. With the exception of the very tech savvy, most people who use the web still make the automatic assumption that .com is all that's out there, or that these domains are more trustworthy. Don't make the mistake of locking out or losing traffic from these folks.

Make it easy to type
* If a domain name requires considerable attention to type correctly due to spelling, length, or use of unmemorable words or sounds, you've lost a good portion of your branding and marketing value. Usability folks even tout the value of having words that include easy to type letters (which we interpret as avoiding q,z,x,c, and p).

Keep the names a short as possible
* Short names are easy to type and easy to remember (see previous two rules). They also allow for more characters in the URL in the SERPs and a better fit on business cards and other offline media. Shorter URLs also get better click-through in the SERPs, according to MarketingSherpa.

Create and fulfill expectations
* When someone hears about your domain name for the first time, he should be able to instantly and accurately guess at the type of content he might find there. That's why we love domain names such as hotmail, careerbuilder, autotrader, and webmd. Domains such as monster, amazon, and zillow require far more branding because of their nonintuitive names.

Avoid trademark infringement
* This is a mistake that isn't made too often, but it can kill a great domain and a great company when it does. To be sure you are not infringing on anyone's registered trademark search at

Set yourself apart with a brand
* Using a unique moniker is a great way to build additional value with your domain name. A brand is more than just a combination of words, which is why names such as mortgageforyourhome and shoesandboots aren't as compelling as branded names such as bankrate and lendingtree.

Reject hyphens and numbers
* Both hyphens and numbers make it hard to convey your domain verbally and fall down on being easy to remember or type. Avoid spelled-out or Roman numerals in domains, as both can be confusing and mistaken for the other.

Don't follow the latest trends
* Website names that rely on odd misspellings (as do many web 2.0-style sites), multiple hyphens (such as the SEO-optimized domains of the early 2000s), or uninspiring short adjectives (such as top, best, hot) are not always the best choice. This isn't a hard and fast rule, but in the world of naming conventions in general, if everyone else is doing it, that doesn't mean it is a surefire strategy. Just look at all the people who named their businesses "AAA" over the past 50 years to be first in the phone book; how many fortune 1000s are named "AAA".

Use an AJAX domain selection tool
* Websites such as ajaxwhois and domjax make it exceptionally easy to determine the availability of a domain name. Just remember that you don't have to buy through these services. You can find an available name that you like, and then go to your registrar of choice.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Customer Avatar Checklist -- Emotional Hot Buttons

* I found a few blogs... mostly from URJ... One posting appears to be from a Professor of Bible, another from a Rabbi whom I met through her daughter... a URJ posting about how they are losing 80% of the Bar Mitzvah kids by the end of high school.
* Read book reviews on Amazon regarding "competing" products, explore further.
* Found a book on Amazon by Bar Mitzvah teachers
* Found an article in the NYT (which I had already read, but I didn't see the reactions)
* I discovered that my competition lives at "bar mitzvah lessons" (google search)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Niche Research and Selection Checklist -- 3 Questions

* Continue research until you meet the minimum criteria AND the answer to all of these questions is "YES":
- Is my prospective customer emotionally driven to find a solution, solve a problem, or get a specific benefit that I offer?
- Is my prospective customer so motivated that they've begun pro-actively seeking to solve their challenge?
- Does my prospective customer have few or no perceived options?

Niche Research and Selection Checklist -- Forums

BAR/BAT MITZVAH: Party Planning
There's a lot of new thinking out there. Let's not talk about what bar/bat mitzvahs HAVE BEEN; let's talk about what they COULD BE!
» Moderator: MitzvahChic Admin 394 1363 November 13th, 2010, 6:28am
by Graffiti_Zone
BAR/BAT MITZVAH: Family and Friend Issues
We all know that if the party's the soup, it's the people who spice it up -- for good and bad. Let's vent and problem-solve the people issues.
» Moderators: MitzvahChic Admin, -1 46 201 September 19th, 2010, 9:22am
by schneiders
BAR/BAT MITZVAH: Religious & Synagogue Issues
How much Hebrew is enough? How do you know if your child really can't do it? How do you get the synagogue to work with you on a range of issues? Let's tawk!
» Moderators: MitzvahChic Admin, -1 44 172 September 21st, 2009, 9:08pm
by NYmom

Niche Research and Selection Checklist -- Strong Interest

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Niche Research and Selection Checklist -- Strong Interest

* Evidence of Strong Interest, activity and indication of commercial interest found at:
- Google Insights -

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Web Search Interest: bar mitzvah
Worldwide, 2004 - present
Categories: Shopping (50-75%), Lifestyles (10-25%), Entertainment (0-10%), Local (0-10%) , more...
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More on the IPO as a Tech Start-Up's Bar Mitzvah
World War II veteran, 91, celebrates bar mitzvah
Bar mitzvah hit by stray wedding shots
When a bar mitzvah is a mitzva
Countdown to the Bar Mitzvah (and This Week's Parsha)
The Shame Of Israel: Son of Rahm's Tight Security Bar Mitzvah
SAfrican judge says he won't attend bar mitzvah
Regional interest
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1. United States
2. Israel
3. Canada
4. South Africa
5. United Kingdom
6. Australia
7. France
8. Ireland
9. New Zealand
10. Sweden

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1. jewish bar mitzvah
2. bar bat mitzvah
3. bat mitzvah
4. werewolf
5. werewolf bar mitzvah
6. bar mitzvah invitations
7. bar mitzvah party
8. bar mitzvah gifts
9. bar mitzvah gift
10. barmitzvah
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Rising searches
1. bar mitzvah dance Breakout
2. bar mitzvah wikipedia Breakout
3. werewolf Breakout
4. werewolf bar mitzvah Breakout
5. bar mitzvah dresses +100%
6. bar mitzvah video +80%
7. bar mitzvah money +70%
8. bar mitzvah boys +50%
9. bar mitzvah age +40%
10. bar mitzvah ideas +40%
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Niche Research and Selection Checklist -- Google Trends

* Google Trends shows searches are trending upwards (Guideline at least 1.0 score)

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Franco gets bar mitzvah at Hasty Pudding roast
Associated Press - Feb 14 2009
Convict stages son's bar mitzvah in NYC jail
Seattle Post Intelligencer - Jun 11 2009
NY jails official resigns after bar mitzvah report
Associated Press - Jun 16 2009
Jewish champion hoping to fight at Yankee Stadium _ unless a bar mitzvah intervenes
Los Angeles Times - Feb 16 2010
SAfrican judge says he won't attend bar mitzvah
Washington Post - Apr 17 2010
The Shame Of Israel: Son of Rahm's Tight Security Bar Mitzvah
Huffington Post - May 27 2010
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1. United States
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6. France
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5. Philadelphia, PA, USA
6. Irvine, CA, USA
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10. Toronto, Canada
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The Steps 1 & 2 -- Action Coaching Club

Step 1: Research/Select a Niche
* Research the market -- find Who's already looking (see Niche Research and selection checklist)
* Select a niche -- identify what need you will fill
* Identify the top 10 positive and negative emotional hot buttons
* Create a customer avatar (see customer avatar checklist)

Step 2: test the Niche
* Create an elevator Pitch (see elevator pitch checklist)
* Create conversion story (see conversion story checklist)
* Design a powerful name/title (see product/concept naming checklist)
* Create (or acquire) free line content (i.e. 3-mistakes report) (see Free Line Content checklist)
* Get basic web tools (e.g. domain, hosting, auto-responder, paypal, analytics) (see Website Presence Checklist)
* Put a simple list-building mini-site(s) or blog online (see Niche testing checklist)
* Create a follow up auto-responder sequence
* Drive as much traffic as you can as afford as quickly as possible
* Make offers for your or your affiliate's products
* Do coaching for market research (see Coaching for Market Research Checklist)
* If, after 1,000 visits you do not have a list of 50-200 people, and do not have at least one sale, reconsider or drop niche.
* If you see progress through "The Gates" keep testing

Action Coaching Checklist -- The Gates

Last night I was on the inaugural call of the Action Coaching Club. I found that it felt more focused than the previous Ignition trainings. The PDF guidebook is a great resource. It would be even better if it were available in word (rich-text-format) and html (hyperlinked between sections). While the content is excellent, I found it difficult to find where I need to start because it is not in chronological order rather in a recursive-top-down organization. So, I may type some of it as I progress to figure out where I am.

The Gates:
* The Market is Viable
* You are able to reach people and bring them to your website
* People who visit your website join your list
* People on your list are buying products and services
* Customers buy more products, more expensive products, more often
* Others market and sell your products
* Everything is automated, scalable

I mentioned on the call that I'm developing an educational software product. Until the product is ready, I do not have something concrete to sell without spending time that will divert me from getting the product to market. We will explore together whether the above Gates can apply in such a situation.