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Volume 3 - Issue 3 6-1-08

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Table of Contents for this issue.....

1.    Authors Comments

2.    Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

3.    Retirement Research

4.    Merrill Lynch Retirement Study

5.    Retirement Dream Jobs – SBI C2.0

6.    What is Your Retirement Dream Job?

7.    Mechanical Turk

8.    Article Checker


Author's Comments


This month has been interesting.  We have been remodeling our house in preparation for selling it when I retire.  We built this house in 1976 so we definitely need to update it so it will appeal to new buyers.


It is a challenge living in a house under construction.  We replaced all the counter tops and mirrors in our bathrooms so for a few days, it was just like camping out.


I do the electrical and the plumbing around the house which gave me plenty to do since we replaced the vent fans in the bathrooms, three toilets, and most of the light switches and wall plugs.


We are almost back to normal after about two months, and we are enjoying having our house back to ourselves.


Q & A, Suggestions and Comments


Steve Coleman sent me an email about a tool he discovered to analyze a website as being informational or transactional.  This is found on the Adcenter Labs website at


Here is the information about the tool taken from the tool’s website.


Webpage searches display two levels of commercial intention: informational and transactional. This tool can detect your customers' intention to acquire information or to purchase products based on his or her search queries or recently visited URLs. For example, if a customer searches for "Canon digital camera", it is likely that he or she wants to purchase a Canon digital camera; therefore, the online commercial intention is strong, with a confidence level bigger than 0.5.


Steve, thanks for sharing this with us.  Steve is a fellow SBI’er at


I received a very helpful email from Charlotte Demontigny about my mid-month follow up message.  Charlotte is a fellow SBI’er at 

Hi John, 

I always learn something instructive and helpful in your eZine.

Thank you.  

For your information you might like to know that the two following emails did not reach their proper destination:

1- Subject: Charlotte, Boomer eZine is published on the website

Date: Fri, 16 May 2008 20:00:14 -0400 

“This is your mid month reminder that the Boomer eZine is published for your reading at”

It opens to 404, I see the period at the end; it's easy to add the dot involuntary. 

2- Subject: Boomer eZine Special Message from John and Linda Howe

Date: Sat, 10 May 2008 09:36:04 -0400 


John, don’t you think it will be useful to include one link after your

signature, as insurance to return to your website in case the previous link opens to a 404, leaving the subscriber with no direction except the

“unsubscribe link” just one space away. 

Looking forward to your June 1st newsletter,

Charlotte Demontigny 

My reply to Charlotte:     


Thank you very much for the feedback.  I am a stickler for proper punctuation and look what it did for me. 

I have corrected the message template so I do not include the period after the link.  I also redid the signature block on for my email messages so it includes a link to the home page of Boomer eZine. 

May I publish your email in this next issue?  Your tips are very helpful and obvious, but sometimes the obvious is overlooked. 

Have great weekend. 

John Howe 

Welcome to our newest subscribers:  Jill, Cheryl R, Valter, Mike, Cheryl K, Alice, Susan, Mike, Angelina, Mike Mc, Laurie, Donald, Johnny, Dave, V V, and the many others who  are too numerous to mention. 

If you have anything for this section or you have a suggestion for a topic for an article, please use this suggestion form to give us your suggestions or your input.  With your help, we can improve the Boomer eZine.  This link will open a new page.  Close the page to return to Boomer eZine. 

Retirement Research 

I do not know your age, but since you are reading the Boomer eZine, I am going to assume that you are a Boomer.  If so, that places you between 44 and 62.  That is a wide age spread.  The older Boomer group is just facing retirement and the younger group has more time to think about it.  Regardless, we are all going to reach retirement age at some point (We hope, considering the options). 

I will turn 65 in August and guess what.  I will go on Medicare.  That is a sobering thought that I am old enough for Medicare.  I used to think that Medicare was only for old people, but it is amazing how my perspective has changed now that I am there.  65 used to be old.  Now it is the point where things just get started.

I have been doing a lot of work on retirement planning.  I am not ready to retire from my day job yet, since I enjoy it and I still feel that the ten years I have put into Kodiak has yet reach its full return to the company and to me personally.  But I plan to retire in approximately a year. 

What does the word “retirement” conjure up in your mind?  It used to bring the vision of an old couple in rocking chairs on the front porch watching the world go by.  Now it usually means the start of a new life with a different type of work and a different lifestyle. 

I applaud Merrill Lynch, the large financial firm, for performing a study in 2005 that defined the “new retirement”.  It showed that 76% of all retirees planned to continue to work after formal retirement.  The rocking chair is not a part of the plans for retirement anymore.  Merrill Lynch “got it”.  It seems that so many of the other financial companies have yet to “get it”. 

Boomers are redefining retirement.  I watched a very short PBS video this last week titled “Rewriting the Retirement Routine” which has the same message as the Merrill Lynch study.  In it, Commentator Robert Morison said it is “time to retire retirement”.  I like that phrase.  It captures what the Boomer generation is doing and will do in the future.  To watch the video, go to the following link.  Then scroll down to find the video. 

Rewriting the Retirement Routine – “Time to Retire Retirement” 

This is the theme of our Retirement Jobs website so we certainly agree with Merrill Lynch and Mr. Morison. 

What plans are you making for your retirement?  Not just how much money you are saving, but what you are going to do when you get there? 

Now is the time to start thinking about it!  It will be here sooner than you think. 

Merrill Lynch Retirement Study 

I feel that the Merrill Lynch Retirement Study is extremely important for Boomers.  I created a resource page on Retirement Jobs to cover the press release and give links so you can read the results of the survey. 

I have included the press release verbatim.  The end of the press release contains survey methodology and credits to everyone who worked on the survey so skip down to the end of the page when you get bored. 

At the end of the page are the links to the results of the survey so don’t quit before you link to the pages on the Merrill Lynch site and read the results.  This link opens a new window.  Close it when you have read the survey material and want to return. 

Retirement Dream Jobs – SBI C2.0 

I have been considering using the new Site Build It C2.0 content feature for a while, but I could not find the time or think of the right place to use it.

C2.0 allows you to create an invitation page where you invite your readers to submit their stories or input about a particular topic (based on your keyword).  These submissions are tied to your main invitation page and build the credibility your keyword for the invitation page. 

So the rest of this article makes sense, go to the page for retirement dream jobs and take a look at it.  This link will open a new page for your viewing.  When you are ready to finish reading this article, close the page and we will continue. 

SBI has automated the C2.0 process where your reader submits the information on the form.  The input is stored and is not posted live.  SBI sends the poster an email thanking her/him for the post.  You are sent an email that there is a new post waiting to be approved.  You log on to SBI and review and edit or reject the post as you see fit.  When you approve the post, it is placed on the page as a live submission and the person who submitted the post is automatically sent an email telling them that the post has been accepted and is live on your page. 

The notification emails are automatic.  You write the text in the emails so you can customize them to fit your style.

I decided that “retirement dream jobs” would be a fun topic to use for the C2.0 experiment and launched the page this month.  I wrote the first submission and made the first comment (like voting for yourself).   I was testing the system to see that all the email notifications and posting worked – and it did. 

I set up a folder in my Outlook named “Content” with a message rule that any message from SBI about C2.0 would be sent to that folder.  With that help, I would not lose the message in the mass of email that I receive.  It took a couple of days for the first post to appear.  It was a post titled “Online Travel Business Owner”.  I edited it and posted it live and the content site was launched.

The second post, “Event Planner”, was made a few days later.  Within a few days, this post was number five on Google for the keyword search “retirement dream jobs”. 

I am very impressed with the C2.0 feature of Site Build It.  It is easy to use and is well automated.  Your readers help you build content which improves your website and makes the keyword for your invitation page rank high on Google search. 

As a note, C2.0 is an extra charge ($99 per year) above the base SBI annual fee.  I can accept this since the development work for C2.0 was significant.  Also, not all SBI’ers will use C2.0.  However, after my brief experience with it, I plan to use it in many more places so my readers help develop the content for my sites. 

SBI does have a trial period where you can accept up to 25 submissions free to see how it works for you.  Once you go above that number for your site (not for a single invitation), you will be charged. 

SBI recommends that to really jump start the C2.0 page, you “seed” the page with the first few responses.  This is like “priming the pump” to get the water flowing.  Read the article on “Mechanical Turk” on how to do this. 

What is Your Retirement Dream Job? 

Please help me grow the responses on my Retirement Dream Jobs page. 

This will only take a few minutes and you can have some fun with it.  Go to the retirement dream jobs page and tell us your retirement dream job.  We all have one hiding down deep inside us.

Thanks for sharing yours with us. 

Mechanical Turk 

That is an odd name, don’t you think?  When I first heard it, the name conjured up a vision of some half mechanical calculator, half computing device.  Wrong! 

Mechanical Turk (MT) is a website developed by Amazon (  The site introduction says, “The online market place for work. We give businesses and developers access to an on-demand scalable workforce.”  It is a website for finding outsourcing help.

Mechanical Turk

I learned about MT reading the Site Build It forums since many SBI’ers use it for creating content and ideas for their sites.  I specifically needed help in “seeding” the submissions to the Retirement Dream Jobs content pages described in the previous article. 

I logged onto MT and set up my account.  I funded the project with $5.00 from my credit card and set the cost per HIT (human intelligence task) at $.10 each for the first 20 submissions. 

I modified a template from the SBI forum and here is what I posted in the Mechanical Turk: 

Submit Your Retirement Dream Job

Visit this page on my site:

Read the page so that you understand the information I am looking for. Then simply follow the instructions and fill in the information in the form provided on the bottom of that page.

I am looking for the following information:

1. Your concept of the retirement dream job

2. Describe your retirement dream job and why you think it is the dream job.

3. Your story should be between 150 and 200 words.

I am looking for your retirement dream job that I can share with the visitors of my site,

I am not looking for submissions that have simply been copied from other websites. The submissions must be original thoughts on this topic. This is critical. This will be checked before the assignment is approved.

**NOTE** Please make sure you copy the information you entered into the form on my site back into MTURK so that you get credit for your work. Also, make sure that you enter your name in the form on my page so that I can properly match up your submission on both sites.

**NOTE**  Only submissions that follow the above guidelines will be considered for approval.

Thank You!

Next morning when I checked, I had two new submissions to approve.  However, only one of these was from MT.  I was disappointed with these results since that is the only HIT that I received. 

On May 30, I cancelled the first HIT since I felt that I might not have clearly described what I wanted.  I created a new HIT in which I changed the heading, the description, raised the Reward from $.10 to $.15 and lowered the total Hit’s from 20 to 15.  I left all the rest of the HIT the same as the first one. 

The first part of the new HIT read: 

Title: Write a short piece about your retirement dream job 

Description: Complete a form on my website describing your retirement dream job 

I immediately received three responses from this HIT.  Two were good and followed directions.  They posted their dream job articles on both MT and the dream jobs form so I could pay them.  The third HIT response only posted the article in the MT input.  I sent the poster and email through the MT system asking them to post the article in the form on the website.  I am still waiting for a response on that request. 

It appears that the HIT’s get the most activity right after they are posted.  Once they disappear from the first page of HIT’s, it seems to be “out of sight, out of mind”.  I do not profess to be an expert on MT since this is my first time to use it, but a better strategy in the future may be to post a HIT requesting only a few of the responses that you want.  Let it run for a couple of days and end it.  Then set up a new HIT for the same work so it will appear as a new HIT on the first page. 

I am amazed at the talent for a VERY reasonable price that is available at MT.  $10.00 was the highest reward for work on MT on the day I checked.  It was a HIT to Find 150 Sports-Related Documents.  That is a lot of work for $10.00. 

Keep Mechanical Turk in mind for your future projects when you need some support or you need to outsource work for your online business. 

Article Checker 

In the previous article, I specified “I am not looking for submissions that have simply been copied from other websites. The submissions must be original thoughts on this topic. This is critical. This will be checked before the assignment is approved.” 

Now that I have made that specification, how can I check to see if I am being sent plagiarized material?  Enter at 

I learned about this website on the SBI forums also.  Enter a paragraph or phrase into the search and it will tell you if it finds it on the Net and where it is located. 

I tested it using an article I wrote and posted on the website and on several other article sites. 

When I entered the test paragraph into the article checker and clicked search, it took less than a second to locate all the articles that I posted.  It also found some that other websites had picked up from the free article sites.  It also found a few sites that had copied my article without any credit of my being the author. 

I do not know how accurate this tool is.  My initial testing shows it is reasonably accurate.  I think it is accurate enough to check the input that I get from my Mechanical Turk HIT so I can verify that the material is original. 

The best part of this is this tool is free. 

That wraps up this issue.  Until next month, stay tuned. 

John and Linda Howe

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