20 Reasons Why Vapid BuzzFeed-Style List Posts Make You Look Like An Idiot

A lot of people say “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Actually, that’s a load of bs, and I’m not going to go into too much detail explaining why.

There are plenty of outrageous and outlandish things anybody can do to get attention, that ultimately end up damaging your reputation in the long run.

I thought this sort of behavior was limited to “celebrities” trying to desperately extend their 15 minutes of fame, but no. It has begun to spillover in my beloved web design community.

Hourly rates, legal threats, and how not to hire a freelancer

A few days ago, I received an email from a potential client for what would have been a pretty small, straightforward coding project. He informed me he found me through a tutorial I wrote about adding a widgetized footer to your WordPress theme. (Yes, I know it’s over three years old, but it’s still a very popular practice to include content in the footer of your site.) He wanted me to code something similar for his own site.

I responded saying that I could do it (I wrote a tutorial about it after all), told him about my hourly rate, and that it probably wouldn’t take more than a couple hours. A pretty reasonable estimate.

What he responded with

He came back saying that he doesn’t use a per hour fee for any graphic work. Okay, whatever, I’ll just multiply my hourly rate by the number of hours I estimate it will take and use that as a fixed rate. Simple.

Your Customers Read Twitter Too

I follow a lot of people in the WordPress community from my @themelab account, a number of whom run their own businesses based around WordPress. If you run a business on Twitter, there’s a good chance your clients and other (potential) customers follow you.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Twitter postings from people which essentially mock their customers. Here’s some of the common ones I see from the commercial themer crowd:

  • Wow, this clueless customer of mine just posted a total newbie question on my support forum. Check it out! (screenshot link here)
  • Haha, someone who used a pirated version of my theme just got hacked and now their entire blog is ruined. Too bad for them.
  • This site just switched away from my awesome SEO-optimized theme and now it looks like total crap, say bye-bye to search rankings.

How Not To Respond To A Domain Offer

Yesterday I found a domain that I wanted to buy. The domain was a two-word .com domain. It was more of a brandable name, not one with much resale value, although I had a specific use for it.

I contacted the owner asking if it was for sale, and got the following response:

I still own it. I don’t recall my asking price. Make a reasonable offer, and you can own it.

Fair enough, I made a $50 starting offer, and here’s the response I got.

Obviously no way. What an insulting offer nowhere near my asking price. Good luck finding names that cheap.

Excuse me? First of all, this guy didn’t specify any price range at all, yet claims my offer was nowhere near his asking price.

Second of all, how does he know that was my final offer? I was willing to pay more, but who would want to deal such an abrasive individual? Not me.

There’s no reason for a rude response like that, and it may put off a potential sale. You never know who you might be dealing with, and how much they are actually willing to pay if you abruptly end negotiations like that after a single offer.

Here’s my advice to all you people who receive what you would consider a “lowball” offer. Politely decline and move on. It might even help if you specified an actual price range too.

How would you react in such a situation? From both the lowballer and seller standpoint. I’d be interested in hearing your views.

Stop Whining About Digg

First it was the DiggBar, now it’s the “hijacking” of Digg shortened URLs. Here’s my opinion on this whole controversy, summed up into two words:

Who Cares?

To be fair, it seems a lot of people do, but I don’t. Here’s a few questions you should ask yourself before whining about Digg.

Is anyone forcing you to use Digg or their URL shortener? You can use tr.im, TinyURL, bit.ly, and many others for your URL shortening needs.

Did you notice there’s a little “X” button in the top right corner that users can click to remove the frame?

And to all the SEO people out there: do you realize there are other things you can do to improve your rankings besides getting a direct link from Digg?

I wonder what would happen if Digg decided to nofollow all their outgoing links. What a firestorm that would create in the SEO community.

4 Reasons Why Flippa Will Suck

SitePoint recently announced that they would be phasing out the website and domain sales sections of the SitePoint marketplace and move them over to a new site, Flippa.

The SitePoint marketplace is (or was) widely regarded as the premiere place to buy and sell websites on the internet. It is frequented by many big buyers, and subsequently, many big sellers.

So why does it seem like they’re shooting themselves in the foot by moving it over to a “brand spanking new” site? I don’t know, but here’s why it’s a bad idea…

Cuil Sucks

Cuil (pronounced “cool”) is supposed to be the hot new search engine on the block, created by ex-Google engineers. Let me tell you right now, it sucks – so far at least. Just search anything, anything at all, look at the results, and you’ll see what I mean. A search for “Leland.info” returns a bunch of old stale links, which by the way have nothing to do with this site. I honestly hope they can improve though. I like the idea of ranking pages based on content relevancy only, and not “superficial” factors like incoming links.

Google PageRank Update

Matt Cutts recently announced that toolbar PageRanks were to be updated. I honestly don’t get what the big deal is with PageRank. Webmasters go absolutely crazy over it.

There is a big difference between toolbar PageRank and “internal” PageRank. Toolbar PageRank is public data, updated once every few months or so. Internal PageRank, used by Google themselves, is constantly updated. This is a floating point number (such as 5.234234). Mere mortals like me can’t see that.

A number from 0 (the worst) to 10 (godly) is assigned to a page according to the quantity and quality of links pointing to that page.

It’s just one of many factors that go into ranking pages in Google. Shouldn’t webmasters be more concerned about the daily fluctuations of Google’s search results than a (mostly) meaningless number that’s pushed out every 3-4 months?