Tired of Stumbling Forth Among the Heep

by splork on January 24, 2013

869 Paris-Marais

New Year’s greeting and all that crap. I wish I could tell you of my good fortunes making fat stacks of cash via my numerous online ventures but, alas, I cannot. I have few websites left that do very little. I have no motivation to resurrect those piles of web sewage excrement. I spew forth great boasts of creating Kindle verbage for the consumption of literary minds yet have little interest and fewer ideas.

I am currently involved in a project that may have potential but I will probably sell that venture as soon as I can get it out of the stable. I find the Internet to be a mind numbingly grotesque location. I am at the point where if I need to understand something I would prefer the 15 minute drive to the library and skim through the card catalog to discover the information.

Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…all useless reflections of a user’s narcissism. Much like a blog I suppose. This wholly putrid collection of words that serves little purpose but to dump thoughts and comments from otherwise little used right sphere brain matter.

Indeed, I have grown weary of marketing to the Interwebs. I am actually quite adept at this enterprise yet find no real value in wasting time in trying to sell the herd goods, services or information. I would prefer anything to writing content for a cat sweater site. Or servicing another sales request in an ecomm venture. Or, blah, blah, blah. Alas, it is simply not fun anymore.

I abhor the remaining guberus that further sell their witch hazel brew of rehashed splendor. They offer nothing but encouragement to buy their next offer. I have yet to meet anyone that has truly succeeded from SquidooAzon Formula Pin Rocket Tumble. Those that are stacking are the ones that have conquered the mountain of creativity and service. Not absorbing the hash of trash. Yet these hucksters are still finding an audience to thrill.

I apologize if the few reading this finds sour graping in the words. If you are moving forth in your ventures and are rightly excited by the opportunities you see before you then I wish you nothing but God speed. I hope your travels through the web sewage are prosperous and eventful.

I am simply tired of stumbling forth among the carcasses of useless ideas, Google zombies and fickle consumers. Alas, the one thing that I have mostly enjoyed is organizing words onto this collection system for my catharsis and enjoyment. Yet I would be surprised if it made more than $500 since I set sail into the sewers. Lost Ball could have been a money machine, I suppose, if I was more like “them”. Or could figure out what it was I was trying to accomplish.

Perhaps the journey is the reward. Not everyone will make it to the top of 5 figure hill. I never did and never expect to. I enjoyed the view as I traveled. The lights of success; the dark chasms of failure. The people along the way were interesting. Some wonderful characters while others sublime morons.

Am I still a lost ball in the weeds? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Sometimes I think the way out is simply seeing the freedom of life as anything but an Internet marketer. The stress of finding that next niche. Of finding customers. Wrestling with Google. Is the reward worth the hassle? Maybe. Maybe not.

I’m fairly happy not spending a lot of time down in the web sewers anymore. Frankly I have no idea what you will find if you choose to visit Lost Ball in the future. I may resort back to free-form writing about whatever. Nobody reads this anyway so I might as well do what I want.

Good day to you all.

Credit: I Am Not I / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack January 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Splork, well… I read it.

Jack

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John M January 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Waddaya mean, “Nobody reads this?” I’d be willin’ to bet that, besides me, you have five or six other readers out there… right, guys?

Look at it this way, Splork… when you are sittin’ out there in your rocker on the front porch of the Old Folks Home, you’ll be able to say “Yep, I did all that”, while Henry and Sam will just say “Damn! I wish I had…”

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Seth January 24, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Before you sell anything that might have potential please let us know what it is. You might find a buyer here somewhere.

This game is not for everyone, that is for sure. Only thing keeping me going is that it is my job and it is still better than the bullshit I would have to put up with a real one.

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RT Cunningham January 25, 2013 at 2:25 am

Well said, Splork. This is definitely not a game for everyone. I find myself at a loss of what to do next more often than not. I have ideas and some of them are actually good ideas but translating ideas into money-making endeavors doesn’t always work out.

I have reached the four-figure mark a few times but I doubt I’ll ever reach the five or six figure marks simply because it requires a mindset that I don’t have — the ability to sell things (information, products, whatever) that I don’t believe in.

Regardless of what you do in the future, I wish you the best of luck.

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Conray January 25, 2013 at 7:44 am

We love you man!! I guess to get to 5 and 6 figure you got to have your own product? I guess. Or just suck it up and do pay-per-click. I remember Rich Schefren saying “If you can’t pay for customers then you will never have a business”. Guess I will never have one. I just don’t have the income to spend on testing that theory.

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zania January 25, 2013 at 10:37 am

Hey Splork!
I still read you.
Nowadays I keep my head down, ignore the guberus and just get on with things.
Some stuff works; some doesn’t.
Not much to talk about really :)

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Fraser Cain January 26, 2013 at 4:36 am

Lots of us still reading. I look forward to your unconstrained, unfiltered writings.

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Peter January 26, 2013 at 9:46 am

Hey Splork,
Whether I’m in London or New Zealand or even today in Sydney for Australia Day….whenever I see a new post from LBIHW on my NetNewsWire feed, I open it before most of the other junk than clogs my RSS. In fact your feed gets a 100% open rate from this outpost, which is pretty good considering I have 5636 unopened posts which will probably never get read.
I signed up when I was dabbling in “internet marketing” and while that has long gone, your feed remains. I always enjoy your rants and the unbridled honesty about the “web sewer excrement” and ongoing scams and crap it creates. So please keep your stuff coming…free-form or whatever…you speak the truth with a sense of humour and we can all do with more of that.

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Jon January 26, 2013 at 11:36 pm

“Nobody reads this anyway so I might as well do what I want.”

Hiya Splork!

What was that statement all about?! Can’t you see top notch Internet Musketeers and Mustangs (what happened to Grizzly Brears by the way) are following all your web sewer journeys and picking up wise scrap of advices in each of your post. We are here waiting for your next journey into the web sewer.

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splork January 28, 2013 at 12:48 am

Thanks folks. I appreciate your kind words. I like writing stuff on here but folks are here to hear what i have to say about IM. I think it might be difficult to “pivot” into something different and keep you all interested. I refuse to do politics. Other than that, we’ll have to see what spews forth.

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IMHypeless January 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm

You underestimating yourself dude, first and foremost. I found your blog through a reference on Warrior Forum…of all places. Yes, even on that putrid hive of mail swapping wankers, hype gobbling brain-dead zombies and slimy ‘’gurus’’, few people mentioned you as their favorite IM blogger.
That means a lot, at least from my PoV. You got your niche, you got your fans who really appreciate what you do. Shit, I’m one of them. Pat Flynn once asked on FB or e-mail, are there any less-known bloggers who are worth following and you instantly popped to my mind. Now, I doubt he checked you out and even if he did, you’re probably too honest for his sugar-coated, you-can-do-it-guys attitude (I’m not flaming, Pat is OK in general).
About being ‘’tired of stumbling forth among the carcasses of useless ideas, Google zombies and fickle consumers”…I feel ya. But as Bertrand Russell once said: “The secret to happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible.”
In my eyes, majority of people are dumb, greedy, impatient, egotistic assholes. BUT, that approach only makes appreciate good, quality people even more.
As an internet marketer, our goal is to give consumers what they want. If most of them are brainless idiots who just want to be assured there’s a quick fix for their lives, we give it them. We sell them dreams, make them feel better, hype the living shit out of them…whatever it takes to make them happy for a few minutes and take their money.
I don’t mind doing that, because, as an internet marketer, that’s my job. On the other hand, I’ll do my very best to treat decent people with respect, offer them real value and help them achieve their goals.
I don’t know if all this rambling makes any sense or is it helping at all, bottom line is – whichever road you take, I’ll be happy to new stuff you put on this blog, whatever the topic may be and even if it’s once a months.
GG, sir.

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John M January 28, 2013 at 6:25 pm

When you tried your hand on politics, you wrote thoughtfully and honestly, just as you do here. If you really have given up writing on that topic, you may still want to read the continuing works of others such as you’ll find at http://justcommonsense-lostinamerica.blogspot.com/ and http://patriotpost.us/ and opinion columnists George Will and Frank Beckman at http://www.detroitnews.com/section/opinion03

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Meg January 30, 2013 at 12:33 am

Well, like everyone else – I’ll read your ramblings before I’ll read anyone else’s. But then I’m not really that into IM anymore anyway. Keywords, niches, SEO – it all just seems like a game except the rules keep changing and I can’t keep up. And when I have no chance of winning a game I have a tendency to say “Fuck it” and just close the page.

I do like writing, I like passing on what I’ve learned and hopefully helping someone that way, and I’m finally starting to see little tiny bits of cash to show for my efforts. I do mean “little” here – forget about 5 figures, I’m shooting for 3 – but it’s been enough of an encouragement for me to keep going.

A long time ago I was involved in a group project with a friend who said she would stop doing it when it stopped being fun. Well, the fun ran out for me before it did for her so I’ve lost touch with her. But I think I could apply that thinking to this internet thing. It’s still fun so I’ll stay with it – for at least a while longer. I hope you find your own direction soon, but I expect that whatever it is I’ll still want to read about it.

P.S. I do still go to the library, though. All those free books, what’s not to like? :)

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Diane January 31, 2013 at 8:42 pm

I’ve been reading your rants, raves and ramblings for years! Keep it coming, no matter what the topic is. If you feel like it.

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splork February 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm

@ALL – thanks for the support. I do appreciate the visits.

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Robert C - The Wholesale Guy February 2, 2013 at 7:56 pm

I know I am late to the comment party here, but when I saw this I just had to throw my verbal hat in the ring. And as you know, my hat, as well as my comments, will be very long and pointed…

Buck up Splorky. The “Interweb” grist mill can be a somewhat boring and frustrating exercise but what, in life, eventually isn’t? There are very few endeavors either professional or hobbyist that can provide us with an endless supply of happy pills. Every pursuit, either plateaus, or, at best, provides us with a comfortable state of banality.

In the wider context, beyond our professional pursuits, life, overall, is not a journey, or an adventure, but a slog. A long, hard, slog, that compels us to constantly grope around in the dark searching for the light that will hopefully illuminate the purpose, meaning, and contentment within our own lives.

My meta-physical musings aside, I seem to recall that you have been a Debbie Downer about the IM marketing issue more then once on this blog. While I am not sure if you are just being a temporary “nattering naboob of negativism” about the online world, or you are close to critical mass deciding to exit, stage left, (which sort of sounds like you are) I would not like to see your sizable talents go to seed.

I encourage you to search for that dim ember of motivation within you and conjure some of the elements contained within the Sam Malone Babe Kit. Clad yourself in the modern day equivalent of a Members Only jacket and reignite your IM swagger.

Truth be told, my initial thoughts before I crafted this post was to provide you with a lengthy “treatise” in the form of a “I remember when” montage (well, the lengthy part will be in tact, once again, my apologies).

Such dialogue would have included yours truly pulling the old man card on ya, regaling you with “back in the day” tales of when I was growing up and the only technology I encountered as a young skull full of mush was pen, paper, and later, the Word Doc of the time – a typewriter.

Hosting a website “back in the day” cost upwards of 2000 dollars a month. Cell phones were as big as bricks with calling plans starting at a dollar a minute.

Additional persuasive prose would be lamenting about how you are blessed to be living in interesting technological times and you don’t know how lucky you are yada, yada.

But, just like the stories that were told to me by the elder statesman of my time about how they walked five miles to school in the snow, (or various other hard life equivalents) I know that tales from the ones who came before us have little to no effect on the future behavior of those who are targeted by such ditties.

We all believe, in varying degrees, that history began when we were born. Very few of us learn or listen to the lessons of the past…

However, I could not read a post like this without at least trying to throw a modicum of my own motivational mojo your way (or as Megan McCain likes to say in a statement about Barry O’s privacy concerns, an “emoticon of privacy”).

I know this has probably been bantered around before or offered by me as sort of pedestrian advice, but consider taking a rifle instead of a shot gun approach to your IM projects.

Slinging the Squidoo hash, getting “crunched up on Kindle” and developing various affiliate niches are all good pursuits. But,the chase, as you are experiencing, is not exactly awakening the giant within.

Just try to grow one particular group of Internet crops, tend to them vigilantly, forming a brand or authority site with evergreen products.

It might just yield fruit year after year with only a bit of necessary pruning. Yes, initially, there will be heavy lifting and more of the IM boredom that you abhor, but in the end, “the juice just might be worth the squeeze”.

In addition, I think now, more then ever, the hope of creating a sustainable, solid, online venture is entirely possible without the help and assistance of the recently acquitted of any wrong doing, Google. And, as Tim Robbins said in Shawshank redemption, “Hope is a good thing and no good thing ever dies”.

Don’t develop an ossified mindset when it comes to web slinging. Venture your way out of the turd tastic hollows of the web sewer onto it’s much cleaner river banks.

Go beyond the tin foil hat crowd, Guburu’s, WSO slingers, spamtastic automated money making software, and psychological snake handlers, hawking their “make a million in a minute” wares to the masses. There is a more upscale, gentrified, version of the web that is ripe for your an honest word smith like yourself…

For ideas or swipe files about said gentrification, consider reading one of my new favorite online sites like PandoDaily.com. They feature companies that are small, large, VC funded, no VC money, little money, Silicon Valley, non- SC. And they cover the gamit in terms of the types of online properties, not just technologically based.

Some examples of companies I am garnering some ideas from for my ongoing “site fantastic” are JackThreads.com, Fab.com, and Woot.com. All, are product based B2C and B2B businesses..

SIDENOTE: Woot.com is snarky and can be somewhat insulting with their marketing approach and people love them. I find that they have a “unique selling position” in the world of web marketing. And so did Amazon.com.

They were bought by them for about 110 million dollars. Woot.com, I think, is exactly the type of site that would fit your style of selling and communication. One of my favorite features of the company is their bag of crap sale.

The other, is that they stuck a finger in the “Eye of Sauron” aka, Google, by getting (and I don’t know how) 2.75 million registered users. Now that is a marketing gift that will keep on giving.

This NYT article explains them a little more in depth: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/01/technology/01woot.html?_r=0

Also, as a side note to this side note, check out Quora.com. There are a lot of marketing types, product reviews, and company CEO’s answering all types of questions about their businesses. It is sort of like Ezinearticles.com.

The only difference is that there is some substance being bantered about and not a group of articles dedicated to various affiliate product like Acai Berry supplements. I was surprised to see that people like the CEO of Woot.com was on their answering questions. A good place for ideas and insights. END SIDENOTE…

Some, if not all of the featured ventures in Pando are from young guns like yourself who are makin the “fat stacks” from online concepts and innovative shopping sites that “stupefy” my small mind as to how and why some of these products are selling.

I have listened to Podcast’s and read the “how they did it” interviews featuring some of the owners of these sites.

I was hoping that I could discover the secret sauce of their product development as well as the marketing magic they employed to garner the gaggle of customers ready to whip out the plastic to buy their cascade of craptastic merchandise.

While not everything they say I take as gospel, the JackThreads.com owner mentioned that he used Social Media to find bloggers and top influencers in Twitter to to push his site. I have to say that I am an avid traveler of the web sewers and have yet to find any of the sites mentioned here with just random product search terms.

Except for Woot.com, if I had not read Pandodaily I would have never heard about these types of specialty web properties.

Their tales of finding the top influencers in Twitter and using Social Media as a part of their strategy to market to the product buying faithful, can be taken, in part, as true. I am sure that there is some paid advertising involved but it seemed that SM did a pretty good job, at least at the outset.

They have what some believe to have a good product, a well designed site, so I guess word spread and their popularity grew. In addition, their linking and SEO strategies seem to be somewhat simple and well managed.

I did a cursory back link search on sites like Fab.com. The majority of web properties linking to them are quality. Nothing from low end directories or anything that even hints of “bad neighborhood” linking as far as I can tell.

And when it comes to getting links, less is more. In my unprofessional opinion, I think this is just a small example of where we are headed with the web. Quality, sleek design, and selling new and different shiny objects. Controlling your customer base and not leaving in the hands of Google traffic is also key to their success.

And you better be mobile compliant as well. The screen tappers and IPad/IPod users among us are shopping via their devices. No longer can you serve up websites like they are fast food with little nutritional value and expect to make coin from them year after year. It is a brave new Web 3.0 world.

And that is the long and veiny of this rambling diatribe. If you cannot find the “spark within the splork” to continue on with your IM journey then all of this has been moot.

While I do encourage you to find a new sense of IM purpose, I do understand your reluctance to continue in your efforts.

But, I have to say that while I may not be setting the world on fire monetarily, the Internet is the only place that I know of that has a low financial barrier of entry.

So while it maybe a grind, it is the only one we have that does not cost us the farm. It gives us all a chance to experiment and pursue our personal and business ambitions.

I cannot tell you what a hassle research and product development was before the web fell out of the nerd nest of ARPANET and into commercial hands.

One more thing. I have to say respectfully that you need to stop declaring that you don’t know if any – or – how many people read your musings. I read more then my share of business and technology blogs from high end corporate types.

While I am sure that some of these sites get a good share of readers most are ghost towns when it comes to feedback. One, which I subscribe to almost never gets any posts to their articles and they are a corporate player.

There is no uniqueness to their writing skills and leaves the reader cold, uninspired, and, at times, uninformed. Most are filled with glittering generalities and common sense observations of the subject matter that can be found with anywhere you find a search engine.

But, that is not the case with the Lost Ball. As others have mentioned here, you have more then a few people who have been reading your take on what is floating around the web sewers for a number of years. They dig what you are doing.

I guess you could make this analogy. People may like the food, but they love the entertainment. Served at random, the main course of LB is irreverence, always accompanied by a side dish of snark.

Dinner theatre for the virtual world. And even though the number of patrons may vary, the place is always packed by the loyal and mighty few ready for another “heapin helpin” of Splorks special sauce..

Just sayin……

Stay Excellent…
Robert C – The Very Long Winded – Wholesale Guy…

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splork February 3, 2013 at 3:18 am

@Robert – Awesome comment…if I should even call it that. Some excellent musings jammed in there. I’m with you as far as the cost of IM and the lack of physical barrier to set sail into the web sewage. I like the easy way I suppose and am always trying to do more with less I suppose. It always worked before and now it’s not. I simply have to adjust and I might.

I’ll have to check out some of your resources. Your fresh peep at the obvious could be quite useful. I too love Woot’s vibe. I can’t say I’ve ever bought anything from them but I like their approach. Funny thing is 95% of my Internet purchases over the last 10 years have been with Amazon. Really amazing I think.

Thanks for reading…and writing. I hope some of my legion takes the time to read your missive. Their are some choice ideas floating around in there.

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