This tortoise has just finished on Day 4 of The Challenge 2010.
I am so glad of the seven day break even though I thought how much it would slow me down – funny now I think about it. The good thing with having this break is that you have the time to go deeper if you wish, or if you find ‘life takes over’ then you can at least catch up.
Mine was simply getting caught up in ideas …
The Search for Intelligent Life! On the Internet?
My distraction that caught my attention so eagerly, was the realisation that much of many process on the Internet require no cognitive intelligence at all!
I played with the technologies that allowed distributed processes to perform these simple but numerous transactions all over the globe. If I were to think of the simple Challenge process of Module 1 then the analogy would be instead of SETI, you would think of SEO@Home. I only ran out of steam when I reached architecture patterns for business process automation and then it all got a little dry.
I have decided though that I should add a new wish to my growing list, a technology research team made up of the best practical and pragmatic dreamers that I can find.
Right, let’s get on with Challenge things manual and dig deep.
For me this is the chance to understand everything I can in the time to get the selection of market right, scale up a little and test out a few variations.
Get the balance right
There were a few subtle differences made in Day 4 from the last 30 Day Challenge process to make it easier for anyone to follow it, the use of switching off columns in Market Samurai isn’t an important one in itself but when you are looking at loads of numbers checking out your niche it stops you from the distractions. The point is to check the viability of the keyword for getting into a reasonable place on the SERPs and have enough traffic to determine fairly quickly whether the niche is a good one to follow through with. I see the Challenge team are learning from the feedback and introducing usable methods and I can only imagine that their next big paradigm would be complete immersion into the latest media and learning methods. The cost in resources must be rising, hopefully less so than the returns from the take up of later products and I imagine Ed needing to mentor for more local versions of his lead in countries hungry for their own specific kinds of challenge – a Chinese Ed? – or is this imagining too far?…
Back to the post…
Well no, I do have one more thing on my mind that I haven’t looked at for almost ten years so it was a welcome wander down memory lane. Just one lane is a shame, I want loads of them with directions on mindmaps…
The efficiency of a forum for collaboration and learning.
I really think the idea of a forum has had its day, it is becoming cumbersome and is a long winding way of finding and sharing information. There are so many methods of collaboration now that cross informational, social and archival needs but nothing that ties it altogether. Seeing the progress of WordPress, of social apps, of new and rehashed paradigms, they all seem to limit themselves to a single set or single purpose. Yet as our needs of the Internet grow and we discover new ways of spreading our thoughts and wishes, isn’t there a more fundamental model that incorporates the whole menagerie of applications forming now?
I am absolutely positive that a new revolution is yet to come when the model becomes clear and all these disparate methods suddenly start coming together in a meaningful way. This is not exactly in a social sense; Facebook has done great in connecting people, because they essentially wanted to be connected in the first place, but the ground could be lost when the connection suddenly gives them a way of sharing that is more fulfilling.
Again, head in the clouds … can you see my problem just getting through a day …
So back to the post…
Low PBR – Bleeding Traffic Phrases – Be aware – But do not scare
The balance is currently a familiar and safe feeling SEOT 80, PBR 15% and SEOC 30,000. Although, I regret not being able to watch it, on a Q&A session on UStream the value of PBR 50% was mentioned. I hope this doesn’t confuse anyone because it is only important if you are near the bottom of the search count – otherwise carry on regardless. With a low PBR with only just enough traffic to sustain it, you might find that essential traffic is going to the related phrase and not yours. I have a few niches that are just below 50% but the traffic is high enough not to worry.
For anyone reading this who hasn’t got a clue what language I am talking here then there is a great post on the forums defining them all in a glossary – http://challenge.co/forum/showthread.php/633-Glossary-of-Terms.
RTFM!!! – Read The Forum Messages
I started using the forum immediately the Challenge started but found it got more and more difficult to get through all the posts and information that was passing through there. Just an example; the search didn’t seem to be helpful if you put in short phrases like SEOLC, so I use Google.
In fact here’s a useful tip for you… The best way to search The Challenge
In Chrome, or browser of choice, add …
… as a bookmark and add it to your toolbar. If you click on it, it will show you all the pages Google knows about it, but simply add a space and your search phrase you are looking for at the end of the Google search and hit return. Like this …
site:http://challenge.co "pink thong"
(Yes, thinking of Dan Raine a lot lately and his Intern Program – I’m sure he has world domination tendencies that are of great interest to myself and future plans [strokes cat – laughs formidably] – see http://www.internapplication.com/ to find out more )
((I will add strongly that I certainly don’t think of Dan in a pink thong – I’ll let you find out that story for yourself. Don’t quote me on this but I think he was so desperate to wear a pink thong for a $15k bet that he managed to hide a few hundred of it – Unfortunately the wicked marketers made hime wear black – Or something similar???)).
Why doesn’t Google Use Real Computers!!
I really wish Google would allow me to search with regular expressions. Apparently they don’t have the power to do this with their boxes and are so ashamed of them that they go to extraordinary lengths to hide the actual hardware details from the world. They should send it all up into orbit, out of the way of prying (human at least) eyes, and remove the need to heat up local lakes for cooling. I feel sorry for them … but its no excuse, I want real searches, every page on the Internet, instantly, using grown up search algorithms.
Ahem … So back to the forums …
In the last week I have hardly visited the forums at all, if only briefly to quickly catch the latest posts and to see if I can provide some useful helpful or inspirational act to anything I can answer immediately. So I decided today I needed some help with filtering and categorising interesting posts and information.
Google Reader to the rescue?
Reader has now got all the forums linked in now and I can mark off and tag the ones I want to look at later. Although I must admit I usually have a few thousand unread posts in Google Reader every time I pop in to learn something that I didn’t know I wanted to. However, I now have this urge now to write something to download the whole lot to my real computer, so that I can do real searches on it with real regular expressions!
During the Challenge, the forum is an absolutely essential element and great opportunity in steering your path through the process they have given you. Sometimes a point may be unclear or missed and the posts help keep this in check.
Please read the forums. Even if you cannot use regular expressions for searching them.
More … Me… Me… Me… Oh and my Niches
My progress through the list of 42 niches discovered for the Challenge have morphed into a new set of 33 microniches since checking them in Market Samurai for traffic and competition. 11 of these are true Challenge style niches, the other 21 are what I regard as test niches, they all have different qualities and values outside of the scope of the challenge that I want to try out. This will get interesting…
Out of Challenge bounds!?
This question was raised in http://challenge.co/forum/showthread.php/1318-A-Hill-Too-Steep-To-Climb-Guidance-Please and the recommendation is, if you are a new person to this kind of Challenge then follow the process, go outside of the bounds will take extra work and maybe not in the timescale of The Challenge. For me, I will use them as tests, keep good records of what numbers I was looking at to pick on those niches and keep a detailed log of the time spent working on them. My plan is to get some understanding of what is involved in future work and hopefully work out constantly what ways are most effective.
A useful tip – Search for Questions not Answers
Finally a useful tip, which makes perfect sense now that I have thought about it. A niche that you may think of that is a perfect solution to a problem may not be worth looking at. It makes sense that people mostly search using keyphrases belonging to the problem and not the answer. Think of what a person would type in if they had the problem. For instance more people search for headaches than paracetamol. In fact when I swapped over to my problem searches niches were flying out of Market Samurai … well, sort of, I found two very quickly.
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