I don’t have much to say on this, except Alexis Madrigal did a great job putting what I’ve been thinking (for a while) into words: Dark Social: We Have the Whole History of the Web Wrong.

We often become so obsessed with metrics that we forget that, akin to advertising in the “real world,” we cannot measure everything.

I would wager that your spread in the dark social correlates to your spread in Facebook/Twitter.

I spent the past weekend hanging out with fitness professionals at the PTDC – Becoming the Expert seminar. I’m not a personal trainer, so you would imagine a lot of it would not have applied to me, but the lineup was full of smart and interesting people (I will post about the event itself later). It was a great event.

Really though, this post is about me (no surprise) and how I’ve pivoted yet again into another industry. As an immigrant (didn’t arrive in North America until 8th grade), it’s been amazing how my projected career path was nothing like how events actually unfolded. Retiring in my 20s being the most obvious example.

“Fitness” (in all of its vagueness) is the sixth major industry I have entered. Two years ago I was at a conference for daily deals. A year before that had me in local search. Three years before that had me at domain conferences. And so forth. Vegas was a second home to me, spending at least a few days there every month, meeting and schmoozing in the variety of fields I dabbled in (with a lot of overlap). It’s been years since I’ve had to do that.

Examine was (and is) a highly interesting hobby for me, but it is now starting to become large enough (~100-125,000 visitors a month now) that it’s taking up more and more of my time. It is starting to graduate from “fun hobby” to “serious hobby”, and I have to admit, as I don’t have to rely on Examine to pay my bills, the immediate need to monetize has been incredibly freeing.

The previous five industries I entered were all very profitable for me. I am very confident in stating that Examine has the best pages on the Internets when it comes to supplements like creatine, fish oil, caffeine, and more. As a generic user, I firmly believe that Examine belongs in the top 3 Google results for any supplement that we cover.

Of course, it’s easier for me as I am essentially retired – I “work” because I find it fun, not because I need to. It’s liberating.

Amongst the dozens of businesses and websites I have launched, none have excited me as much as Examine has. I’m really looking forward to seeing where it is in two years time.

Apple & Mapping

14 Jun

Mike Dobson does a great job talking about the many challenges Apple is about to face with their new mapping system.

The one part I disagree with Mike is the impetus that is driving Apple into this. Beyond the brand, beyond it making sense for Google (with the integration into local search), Apple’s new payment system will be greatly aided by having a door into local.

UrbanSpoon is already doing a great job kicking CityTable’s ass using iPads. If Apple can integrate the iPad/iPhone/iPod into business transactions, they’ll (continue to) do well in the future.

I was puzzled today – Examine had a huge burst of traffic today.

Turns out Dr Oz did a story on “fat burners

One of them turned out to be a supplement we have a page on – Raspberry Ketones. It’s a surge of traffic.

Losing Fat is Easy

29 Nov

It took me longer than it should have (and I’m 90% done), but I’m very cognizant of why it took as long as it did (I’d rather eat nachos with buddies on a Saturday night than not).

It’s really a matter of physics. If you burn more calories than you ingest, your body will lose weight. A bit of intelligent is required to ensure it’s fat and not muscle, but the general premise remains.

It’s also a lot easier to eat 200 calories less than to burn off 200 calories.

And please let’s not get into carbs, paleo, keto, protein TEF, and other shit. That accounts for 10%, not the actual 90%. Even the oft-mentioned hyperthyroidism is naught more than a weak excuse.

So yeah, easy. You have only your diet to look at.

Google is your God

2 Nov

Aaron from SEO Book has been talking about this for a long time – Google has been slowly but methodically using its monopoly to destroy entire internet niches.

I noticed the other day while searching for ‘what is my ip’ that Google now directly responds to the IP. Check out whatismyip.com’s traffic:

For the past year I’ve been doing my darndest to get away from anything that relies on Google – for traffic (eg DealCatch) or anything they would directly compete with (eg Examine). I’m not there yet, but I’m feeling more confident as time passes. I’m hoping that 50% of our revenue by 2013 will have nothing to do with Google (at any point of the transactional funnel).

I hope you are doing the same.

Broken Contact Page

17 Aug


Seems like my contact page has been broken for … forever. So if you wanted to contact me, do so now.

LeanGains FAQ

27 Jul

As an update to my post on weight loss not being just about the number, I’ve created a LeanGains FAQ, a quick and easy summary of the LeanGains protocol I’m on.

I’ve gone from ~35% body fat to ~12%. I should hit 9% in the next 6 weeks. I’ll post comparison pictures when I finally hit 400 DL and 300 squat.

It isn’t hard, and it does not take up a lot of time. Best of all, it has a ton of science backing it.

For the past few years, the latest rage seems to be blogging/tweeting about weight loss. Somehow people have convinced themselves that declaring their plans publicly will make it happen.

I won’t get into that (there are enough scientific studies that show the opposite happens), but what gets to me is the complete focus on an arbitrary number. If I was to say “Hey I have a website that generates $100,000 revenue, do you want to buy it?” you obviously want context for that revenue. So when people start criticizing Groupon because their margin isn’t as good as some other (not-competing) company, you have to shake your head. Mark Cuban does have the right idea … most of these guys only care about pageviews, intelligent discussion be damned.

And so back to losing weight, it’s the same foolishness. Except at least in the case of business and finances, such simple minded thinking gets called out. Weight loss? Never. Would you rather be 150lb at 25% fat or 160lb and 15% fat?

We seem to be living in a world of context-less sensationalism, slowly rotting away any and all meaningful intelligent thought. What a dour note to end on :)