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Volume 1 - Issue 27 10-13-06

 

For those who would like to read this in HTML format, this issue of Boomer eZine is posted on the Boomer eZine website at http://www.boomer-zine.com/V1I27_101306.htm and on the Boomer eZine Blog at http://boomer-ezine.blogspot.com.  

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Table of Contents for this issue.....

1.    Authors Comments

2.    Q’s, A’s, Suggestions and Comments

3.    Apache on the Internet is not an Indian Tribe (video)

4.    Listing a Video on eBay

Author's Comments

 

We have started a new section in this issue to include questions & answers, comments, and suggestions.  Send us an email with any of these to john@boomer-ezine.com, and we will use your input in the eZine.

 

John is working a hard pace this week trying to finish all that is necessary to list our first video on eBay.  On the surface, it appears that all you have to do is list it on eBay, but that is the tip of the iceberg.  See the article below for more details.

 

We had our first taste of fall this week with what we Texans call a “norther”.  The wind shifted out of the north, and we felt a little cool wind for a while.  The high for Friday was 80F.  That is almost like winter!  

 

Q’s , A’s, Comments, and Suggestions

 

From Volume 1 Issue 25:

 

Thanks to Ana for asking about a space being represented by “%20”.  The “20” is actually the computer code for a space.  The percent sign in front of the number tells the browser that the two digit number that follows is the computer code for a character.  In this case the “20” indicates a space.

 

The reason we have to do this is because the specification for permissible characters in a URL is narrower than the specification for characters allowed in HTML code.  A space is not a permissible character in a URL.  If your bookmark has spaces in it, and it is used in a URL, the browser replaces the spaces with the “%20” which means a space to the browser.

 

There is a very good explanation about this at http://www.blooberry.com/indexdot/html/topics/urlencoding.htm.

 

Suggestion:

 

Thanks to Sue for the suggestion to write an article about copyrighting.  We will have one for you soon.

 

Apache on the Internet is not an Indian Tribe

 

Statistics show that as of October 2006, the percentage of websites hosted on Apache server is 61.64% of all websites.  Another interesting statistic is that in the October 2006 survey, the total number of websites reported was almost 98 million sites.  This number grew from September to October by 1.08 million.  See the statistics at http://news.netcraft.com/archives/web_server_survey.html.

 

Apache server is the leading server for hosting websites on the Net.  Second place is Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Services) at 31.26%.  Apache is open source software which means it is free.  If you want to download Apache and use it you can do so.

 

Read the Wikipedia definition of Apache server.  The derivation of the name is amusing.  The logo for the server is an Indian feather which seems fitting for the name.  However, the amusing part is that the development team that built Apache came from another server project.  It seems that they collaborated on building Apache, and they did a lot of software patches to the server in the process.  You guessed it! They called it “a patchy server”.  Hence, the name Apache.

 

Both of the web hosts where we host domains use Apache server.  The interface between you, the user, and the server is called the control panel.

 

I developed a video to take you on a tour ( 13:54 minutes) of the control panel for Hostexcellence.com.  This web host is where Boomer eZine, Boomer Entrepreneur.com, Boomer-Guru.com, Backtracker.com, and John Howe .com are hosted.

 

The control panel gives you the ability to control your domains, set up email accounts, delete files from your web, add folders, set up password security on folders, etc.  I will not try to list all the options that are available on the control panel nor will I try to explain all of the options on the tour.  This is just an overview.

 

When the video ends, you will be taken to the Hostexcellence site where you can check it out.  This site has done a very good job for us and we highly recommend it for hosting your website.

 

Click the link to take the video tour of the control panel for Hostexcellence.com.

 

http://www.boomer-ezine.com/Videos/V1I27Video/Click-to-Play.html

 

Listing a Video on eBay

 

Listing a video on eBay?  No problem, right?  Think again!

 

I know that all of you know Murphy’s Law – if anything can go wrong, it will at the most inopportune time.  There are many additional corollaries to Murphy’s Law.  The one that I am referencing is “Everything takes longer than you expect”.  Such has been the case with this project.

 

Much of the extra work is because this is the initial video and the foundation must be built for all future video listings.  Many of the activities will not be necessary on future listings.

 

Here is a list of the items that must be done or must be considered:

 

1.          The video must be recorded, edited, and produced.  (This is really the easy part).

2.          The fulfillment page for distributing the video must be written and debugged.  This is the page on which the buyer will land after the purchase to either view or download the video.  Since you are readers of Boomer Video eZine, I am giving you this URL free so you can see how it works. LINK REMOVED 10-20-06.  Please do not pass it around since it is for sale on eBay for $9.97. Thanks. Note:  This link will be removed on 10-20-06.

3.          In order to minimize support calls, develop an instructional video to show buyers how to view or download the videos.  You can view it from the download page in item 2 above.

4.          Update the Boomer Guru home page to include the video in the video list.

5.          Update the Boomer Guru eBay About Me page to include updated information about video production and add a link to a form to ask for suggestions for topics for new videos.  See the About Me page at http://members.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=boomer-guru.

6.          Write the sales copy for the eBay sales page.

7.          If you are not already a seller on PayPal, open a seller’s account.

8.          If you are not already a seller on eBay, open a seller’s account.

9.          Develop a loading video.  This is the short video that plays as the main video is loading.  The standard Camtasia video does not tell the viewer anything (shows the Camtasia logo) so I created a video to tell the viewer that the buffers on the computer are loading so please wait.  This will automatically precede any Boomer Guru video and will reduce support calls.

10.     Set up an ASK database question set at the end of the video to capture any suggestions the viewer has for updating or improving the video and any suggestions for a topic for a new video. (ASK database will be the topic of a future article).

11.     List the video on eBay.  This is a challenge with my firewall, since the eBay form has some active components in it.  I have to shut down Zone Alarm (the firewall software) in order to not have problems with interaction with the eBay set up pages.

12.     Once the listing is live, log onto another eBay account (yes, you should have more than one eBay account) and purchase the item to make certain that all the functions of the eBay setup work correctly.  Leave your self good feedback. (See below for more discussion on this).

13.     The listing is on eBay, but since the URL is time sensitive and will expire in five day, this link will only be good until 10/18/06 . http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290039247075&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&rd=1

 

Let me pass on some additional items I discovered during this listing.  

The eBay input form allows you to enter detailed delivery instructions.  I composed a paragraph explaining the buyer would be shown an instructional video on how to view or download the video, etc.  When the live page was generated, eBay has standard information for a digital item, and my delivery instructions were not shown.  However, when I purchased a video to test the system, this message does appear in the page that the buyer sees after purchase.  If you want this as part of the sales information, put it in the section titled “File type, system specifications, or other requirements for this digital item”.  Wow! That is a long title.  

One of the powerful features of an eBay listing is the Featured Listing for an additional $19.95.  If you choose this option, your listing is usually shown on the first Google search results page for your keywords.  This is a great traffic generator.  I discovered that Boomer Guru must have a feedback rating of 10 or more to use this option.

 

How do we solve this problem?  Post the item and buy it myself using some of my other eBay accounts, call my children and ask them to buy it and leave great feedback.  I will send them $10.00 for their efforts to pay them back for the charge to their card.  I will be out the eBay listing fees on these transactions, but the 10 plus feedback threshold is important.

 

Another way to build feedback is go to eBay and buy inexpensive items.  This is a way to get the 10 plus transactions quickly for not too much money.  Perform an advanced search on eBay and enter $.99 in the upper and lower price boxes.  This will give you only items selling for $.99.  You will find a lot of them.  Pick ones that you can use (and on which the seller has not put a high shipping fee) and buy them.  Leave the seller good feedback and you should get the same in return.

 

Authors Note:  When Linda proofed this, she asked me if buying my own product and creating my own feedback was ethical.  That is a good question.  It is a common practice to “prime the pump” and get the momentum stated on selling products on the Internet.  It is similar to the question that if you are running for an office, do you vote for yourself when you go into the voting booth.  My answer is “yes”.  If your conscience tells you that you are selling a quality item, you jump start your sale by buying the item and leaving good feedback.

 

Another reason for buying your own item is to debug your eBay sale.  When you buy it, you can take the transaction completely through PayPal and make certain that the buyer will be given the correct instructions and will get the correct link to go to your download page to view or download the video.  You certainly do not want a buyer to have a bad experience when he/she has purchased your product.

 

Feedback is for both buying and selling.  On eBay, when you look at the sales page for an item you are considering buying, you only see a number for the feedback.  To determine if it is buying or selling feedback, you have to go to the seller’s detailed feedback page.  Most people do not do the detailed research and accept the number on the main sales page without question.

 

Feedback on eBay is a life and death deal.  You need some good feedback to show that you really are OK.  Bad feedback will kill your business.

 

That wraps up our issue for this week.  Until next week, stay tuned.  

John and Linda Howe

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