Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Idea For Entrepreneurs: Exoskeleton Rental

Where I live there is a company which rents Segways for tourists. Tourists rent the Segways and tour the beautiful city center. Seems like it must be very successful. I see a lot of tourists on them and the company has been renting the Segways for several years. I

Now there is a new option for entrepreneurs. Rent an Exoskeleton. Exoskeletons are new robotic legs for wheelchair users. An exoskeleton allows a wheelchair user to walk upright. The first exoskeletons are just now coming to market.

However, with a price tag in the neighborhood of $100,000, few individuals will be able to buy an exoskeleton. Still there are 3 million wheelchair users in the USA, many of whom have not walked for years.

I can imagine that in the near future, entrepreneurial business people will be organizing exoskeleton tours for wheelchair users. Wheelchair users will soon be able to go places where it may have been difficult to go with wheelchairs. For example, imagine leading an exoskeleton tour in the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Or consider taking a group of wheelchair users on an exoskeleton tour of the Acropolis of Athens. Or imagine leading an exoskeleton walking tour across the golden gate bridge. Wheelchair users will rent them for two reason. First, they will have the chance to walk again. Second they will have access to places they could only dream about before.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Great Hannukah present: "I Can't Complain" yiddish cd

Hanukkah is very early this year - it starts December 1, right after Thanksgiving - so I'm pleased to have been able to get this cd out in plenty of time. You can listen to all the mp3s for free here: Jewish music cd for Chanukah (hear mp3s)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

5th Anniversary Of Squidoo: What Squidoo Means To Me

I just read Seth Godin's post announcing that 12 October was Squidoo's fifth anniversary. That is quite a remarkable milestone for any website. I have been with Squidoo for over 3 of those 5 years. Not since the start, but nearly so. And they have been remarkable years. I feel like I have gotten so much out of it. Squidoo is my favorite website (other than my own, of course). Why?

Squidoo combines a community relationship with a way of developing skills and earning money. In the past three years that I have been with Squidoo, I have developed a great deal and at the same time, I have seen Squidoo develop a great deal as well. We have both come a long way. I have learned mostly from two ways. First, I learn from the remarkable community at Squidoo. I love that Squidoo is, by and large, a very positive place to be and most people are very willing to lend a hand. Second, I learn just by making lenses and seeing what works and what doesn't. Squidoo is a wonderful place to experiment, learn and have fun.

But of course, that is not all. Squidoo is something like a hobby with benefits. I mean, how many hobbies teach you so much and pay you for learning at the same time? Every month, without fail Squidoo makes a nice deposit in my Paypal account. I am not getting rich off of Squidoo, but that deposit has been growing steadily, partly due to my activity, partly due to the activity of the Squidoo team. Since I have been with Squidoo, I have seen the amount of money paid for a Tier 1 lens steadily grow. I would guess that in the past three years, my top lenses earn 3 times as much as they did when I started with Squidoo. That is not bad at all.

I also appreciate that since I have become a Giant Squid, I get so many benefits from Squidoo. Probably the most important of which, the one I REALLY appreciate is the "Squidoo Concierge Approach". By this I mean, that as a Squid Giant, if I have any problems at all, I get personal attention by a member of the "inner circle". In the past three years I have communicated with Bonnie, Gil, Megan and Seth. I appreciate that these busy people have taken the time to lend a hand when I have needed it. That says alot. Thanks guys.

Are there things to improve? You bet. I do hope that Squidoo will come up with other ways to sell products besides Amazon and Ebay. For example, I would love to see Squidoo partner with an affilate organization like ShareASale and allow any of their products to be sold from a lense. I would also love to see more thematic lenses (the only one I really use is the Highlighter). Maybe there could be themes with some cool HTML modules standard such as colored text modules or Amazon modules with embedded wigits. Perhaps Squidoo will one day find a way to improve Amazon modules so that if a product is sold out or withdrawn a similar product is put in its place to reduce the possibility of having deadlinks. I appreciate that Squidoo is constantly taking risks and trying to improve. Over the 3 years I have seen Squidoo develop a great deal. Mostly for the better.

I plan to be with Squidoo for as long as they will have me and for as long as Squidoo remains Squidoo. Being realistic, I can imagine that one day some big company will come along and make Seth and Megan and offer that they can not refuse. A much better scenario would be if Seth and Megan took Squidoo public and gave Giant Squids the option of owning shares. Wouldn't it be cool to celebrate the 10th year annniversary as owners of Squidoo?

Happy Annniversary Squidoo!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

US Air Boots Passanger Because He Is Too Disabled To Fly

I came across a story that astounded me. A US Airways employee booted a wheelchair user from a flight because he was "too disabled to fly alone" as you can see from this video:

In fact, ADA rules allow airlines to do this.

Carriers may require the following individuals to be accompanied by an attendant....A person with a mobility impairment so severe that the individual is unable to assist in his or her own evacuation from the aircraft.

The carrier and the passenger may disagree about the applicability of one of these criteria. In such cases, the airline can require the passenger to travel with an attendant, contrary to the passenger’s assurances that he or she can travel alone. However, the carrier cannot charge for the transportation of the attendant.

I find this unfair and discriminatory. A Wheelchair user is then left to any airline employee's opinion about whether they can fly that day or not. How can a wheelchair user ever make a flight alone?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Tier One Challenge

Would you like to have another lens in tier one? Wouldn't we all?

There's a Tier One Challenge happening in SquidU - the thread started less than a week ago and already has more than 200 postings. Don't worry about reading every post in the thread (unless you'd like to know about all the cool things we're doing to promote our lenses). Feel free to jump in anywhere - the water is just fine!

This morning we had our first WINNER! Lynn, a homeschool mom whose screen name is eclecticeducation, reached tier one with a lensrank of #1,835 for her challenge lens: File Folder Math!

The rules are simple. Pick any of your lenses that has never been as high as tier two (10,000 lensrank). Then post it in the thread: The Tier One Challenge, stating the current lensrank and the highest-ever lensrank.

The goal is to do everything you can to make that lensrank rise higher than ever before - to get your lens into tier one!

Lynn did it! YOU can do it!

My lens, which I've been working hard to promote all week, is Top Ten Horse Movies - Perfect Christmas Gifts. I tacked on the Christmas gifts in hopes that I'd sell a few movies between now and December 25. After that I'm reducing the title back to "Horse Movies" or something like that. I've been posting in the thread about places I promoted the lens, articles I've been writing, and everything I did to change the lens (on-page SEO factors) since the challenge began on 10-10-10. The lensrank has risen dramatically - from 20,477 to 4,172 today. Getting up there!

So, come on by... even if you read this posting a year from now - you're still welcome to participate in the tier one challenge. Let's have some fun and make our lenses the best they can be!

CCGAL made a lens for our project - The Tier One Challenge... how cool is that?

These Pancakes Will Be A Hit With Your Kids

Do you want to spoil your kids? What parent or grandparent doesn't? Are you trying to get your kids to eat? We are. Our little guy is a super picky eater.

If you fall into one of the two groups above check out Jims Pancakes. You will be amazed by the level of creativity that Jim has come up with. Jim can turn a pancake into a fairy tale dream that would make Walt Disney proud.

Also, Jim is smart enough to use his "cute as a bug's ear" daughter as model for many of his pancakes. So, Jim's website combines creativity with a sweetness that will warm the heart of any parent. (My little guy is equally as adorable, but unfortunately his dad is not quite as creative as Jim).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Death Of Yahoo Email and Hotmail? Google Coversation View Is Now Optional!

I have been struggling with Yahoo premium email service for about 10 years now. Why? The alternatives were pretty bad. AOL and Hotmail are, in my opinion, poor quality. That left yahoo and gmail.

So, I have been struggling with the poor quality that Yahoo offers. I use my email several hours everyday and I constantly have problems logging onto Yahoo email. I have had many conversations with technicians at Yahoo. In a nutshell it has been bad. Why did I use Yahoo over Gmail? I could not get used to "Coversation View" that gmail offered.

Today I realized that I can now switch off the coversation view and my emails are now listed in chronological order.

How do you switch off conversation mode? Simply click "settings" and there in the middle of the page you will see "switch off coversation mode". It could not be simpler.

I predict that now that you can switch off conversation mode, many holdouts like me will switch over go Gmail. I will test both over the next year and if it is as good as I hope it will be, I will slowly phase out of Yahoo and into Gmail.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Best Reviewer: Easy Backlinks & Plenty of Potential

A lot of Squidoo lensmasters are using a new site, Best Reviewer, for quick backlinks to their lenses. Right now, Poddys is the top referrer, and Jimmie the homeschool mom is the top publisher. I'm the top commenter.

The user interface is simple so you can write quickly and easily... not a whole lot of complex thought is needed to create a page there. All the pages are "Top Ten" type lists though you can range from "Top Three" up to "Top Twenty".

To write the article, you compose the title, a short intro, and then your listed items. Each listed item has room for a link. Like I said, a lot of Squidoo lensmasters are linking back to their lenses. I made three pages with affiliate links to Amazon. Use your imagination and business sense here! An example: "Top Three Best-in-Niche Lenses".

Squidoo lensmastering is more than just making lenses. We also must let people know about them.